post

Champions League podcast: hear from Matić, Strootman – UEFA Champions League – News



We hear from José Mourinho, Nemanja Matić, Thibaut Courtois, Brendan Rodgers and Kevin Strootman as we review another superb night of action in the official UEFA Champions League podcast. Host Rob Daly is joined by UEFA.com’s European football expert Andy Brassell and commentators John Bradley and Mike Sewell.

DOWNLOAD THE PODCAST NOW

Download the podcast from iTunes or audioBoom, or listen in the official competition app.

The UEFA Champions League matchnight radio show is back on Wednesday. Listen between 19:30CET and 23:30CET in our audioplayer or the app.



Source link

post

Jurgen Klopp refuses to underestimate Maribor despite odds being in his favour


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he will never under-estimate teams no matter how much the odds are in his side’s favour.

After thrashing Maribor 7-0 in the Champions League a fortnight ago his team are expected to complete another routine victory over the Slovenians in the return fixture at Anfield.

However, Klopp referred to a lesson learned from German football history as reason why Liverpool cannot afford any complacency on Wednesday as they try to take a decisive step towards qualification from Group E.

It may not quite be on the same level but the Red boss highlighted to the 1954 World Cup final, a famous moment in his country’s sporting past, as an important reference point.

The much-fancied Hungary, featuring Ferenc Puskas and Sandor Kocsis, beat the then West Germany team 8-3 in the group stages, only for the Germans to exact revenge in the final as they came from 2-0 down after eight minutes to win 3-2.

Such was the achievement it was made into a 2003 film The Miracle of Bern. Liverpool, of course, have their own miracle – the one in Istanbul in 2005 – and Klopp is well aware that things sometimes do not always go to plan.

“I am from Germany so I know in 1954 we lost against Hungary in the group stage really clear then won the World Cup final,” he said.

“Nobody would have expected that. That’s football. That is how I learned it pretty early in my life. It’s always possible. It’s all about our performance.

“We have to use the little advantage of being the home team, using the crowd, being spot on again.

“We did so well in Maribor at the end it looked like a big difference but it was only because of our start. We have to do that again.”

Since that 7-0 hammering, Maribor have won their last two matches and are behind PrvaLiga leaders Olimpija Ljubljana on goal difference only.

It is why Klopp has warned supporters not to turn up expecting another goal-laden procession.

“Fans are allowed to expect pretty much everything and I think it makes sense in life to expect things that make it easier to enjoy what you see,” he added.

“If you expect a high result from the first second and you are already nervous in the first minute then that would not be too smart.

“If anyone is expecting something like this (7-0) I cannot change that. If we win at the end 1-0 I am completely happy about it because it means we have three more points.”

Source: PA





Source link

post

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich lead the way as Bundesliga dominates European attendance rankings



As the most fan-friendly league in world football today, the Bundesliga remains one of the best attended divisions in Europe.

In a study by DeporFinanza, Borussia Dortmund top the 100-club list of average attendances (80,830) – some 5,003 ahead of English Premier League outfit Manchester United (75,027) – with Bayern Munich third (75,000) and eight Bundesliga clubs included in the top 30.

All told, 23 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs make up the top 100.

The full package

With the promise of world-class football at bargain prices, it is easy to see why so many fans are flocking in their droves to experience the Bundesliga in the flesh.

Tickets can cost as little as £11, while stadiums such as Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park – the first stadium to surpass an 81,000 average spectator mark last season – Bayern’s space-age Allianz Arena and Schalke’s Veltins Arena habitually serve up some of the best atmospheres club football has to offer.

Watch: Discover the allure of Dortmund’s world-famous Signal Iduna Park

The terraces play their part. Dortmund’s magnificent abode, for example, boasts the largest in Europe with enough room for 24,454 bricks in the infamous ‘Yellow Wall’. And then there’s the obligatory match-day sausage and beer.

Bundesliga fans don’t only sing when they’re winning either. Cologne – currently bottom of the Bundesliga – have a higher average attendance (49,425) than Paris-Saint Germain (47,161) – top of Ligue 1. Talk about loyalty…

Whichever club you choose to follow – through thick and thin – the Bundesliga stadia will not disappoint, least of all the 13 with the capacity to house over 40,000 supporters.

Click here to find out how to buy tickets to see your favourite Bundesliga club!



Source link

post

Borussia Dortmund vs. APOEL: UEFA Champions League line-ups, stats and live blog



With just one point from their opening three UEFA Champions League group games, Borussia Dortmund know they cannot afford to slip up at home to APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday (kick-off: 20:45 CET/19:45 GMT).

Defeat for Peter Bosz’s side could end their hopes of reaching the last 16 of the competition, but the Dutchman will be able to call upon Ömer Toprak for the crucial clash against the Cypriot outfit. The Turkey international, who has missed Borussia’s last two league games with a thigh injury, is likely to partner Sokratis Papastathopoulos in central defence, while Raphael Guerreiro could start at left-back after making his comeback from injury in the 4-2 defeat at Hannover on Saturday.

APOEL’s first-choice goalkeeper Boy Waterman misses out after suffering a shoulder injury in the 1-1 draw with BVB in Cyprus earlier this month. Full-backs Roberto Lago and Praxitelis Vouros are facing a race against time to be fit for the match at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, which comes too soon for Brazilian central defender Carlao and Argentinian playmaker Facundo Bertoglio.

Watch: Pulisic determined to help Dortmund turn corner

Dortmund: Bürki – Bartra, Sokratis, Toprak, Guerreiro – Götze, Weigl, Kagawa – Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp
Coach: Peter Bosz
Absentees: Durm (hip), Piszczek (knee), Reus (fitness), Rode (pubic bone)

APOEL: Gudino – Milanov, Merkis, Jesus Rueda, Alexandrou – Vinicius, Nuno Morais – Zahid, Sallai, Aloneftis – Pote
Coach: Giorgos Donis
Absentees: Waterman (shoulder), Carlao (leg), Bertoglio (fitness)

  • The 1-1 draw between the two teams on 17 October was Dortmund’s first ever encounter against Cypriot opposition.
  • Bosz’s troops trail joint Group H leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid by six points with three games remaining.
  • Dan-Axel Zagadou scored the first goal of his professional career in BVB’s defeat to Hannover, but was later sent off.
  • Borussia were knocked off top spot in the Bundesliga for the first time this season on Matchday 10.
  • Dortmund have now failed to win three consecutive league encounters for the first time since December 2016.
  • Raul Gudino became the first Mexican goalkeeper to feature in the Champions League when he replaced Waterman in the teams’ 1-1 draw a fortnight ago.

Click here for more Dortmund news, views and features!



Source link

post

Porto vs. Leipzig: probable line-ups, stats and live blog



RB Leipzig‘s bid to reach the knockout rounds of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League continues with a trip to FC Porto on Wednesday (kick-off 20:45CET/19:45GMT).

After a slow start to life in the competition, the easterners recorded their first Champions League win a fortnight ago by beating Porto 3-2 in a thrilling game at the Red Bull Arena. Since then, their momentum has stalled somewhat after defeat to Bayern in the DFB Cup on penalties and a reverse against the same opposition on Bundesliga Matchday 10. Coach Ralph Hasenhüttl will need to lift his players for this one, as they know that even a draw at the Estadio do Dragao will take them a big step closer to qualifying.

Porto, meanwhile, are grinding into gear in impressive fashion this term under new coach Sergio Conceicao. After a 3-0 win at Boavista at the weekend, they remain unbeaten in the league and currently occupy first place the table. With just a point separating Porto and Leipzig, and leaders Besiktas five points clear at the top of Group G, this is a huge opportunity for both sides to steal a march in the race to finish second.

Watch: Leipzig’s attacking speed demons

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Orban (c), Upamecano, Halstenberg – Forsberg, Demme, Keita, Bruma – Sabitzer, Augustin
Absentees: Ilsanker (toe)
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl

Porto: Jose Sa – Layun, Felipe, Marcano, Alex Telles – Danilo, Sergio Oliveira, Herrera – Brahimi, Marega, Aboubakar
Absentees: none
Coach: Sergio Conceicao

  • Hasenhüttl’s side are making their European debut this season: the win against Porto was their first ever in continental competition.
  • The Easterners have become the 12th club to represent the Bundesliga in the Champions League.
  • Leipzig’s first-ever European away game, on Matchday 2 against Besiktas, ended in a 2-0 defeat.
  • The Dragons have lost their last four competitive games against German opposition.
  • Porto have won eight and drawn two of 12 league games this season and sit two points clear of Sporting Lisbon at the top of the standings.
  • Porto won the 2004 Champions League at Schalke‘s Veltins Arena.
  • Leipzig’s Bruma turned out for Galatasaray alongside Porto left-back Alex Telles in the 2014/15 season.

Click here for more Leipzig news, views and features!



Source link

post

Paris and Bayern through, Manchester United still perfect – UEFA Champions League – News


Everyone should have the chance to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you’re from or how you play. That’s #EqualGame. Find out more at www.equalgame.com.

Group A


Manchester United 2-0 Benfica

United are on 12 points but not yet through after an own goal from Benfica keeper Mile Svilar just before half-time and a Daley Blind penalty sealed their fourth win. For the opener, a Nemanja Matić shot cannoned off a post and in off Svilar, who had earlier denied Anthony Martial to become the youngest keeper to save a UEFA Champions League penalty. CSKA’s win at Basel means United can still finish third and Benfica remain able to dream of second despite four losses.

Basel 1-2 CSKA Moskva

CSKA avenged their 2-0 home loss to Basel a fortnight ago as they came from behind to win with goals from substitute Alan Dzagoev and Portus Wenbloom. Basel took the lead with an opportunist lob from Luca Zuffi in the 32nd minute but instead of booking progress with a win are now level on points with CSKA, albeit with a superior head-to-head.

Group B


Paris Saint-Germain 5-0 Anderlecht

Paris are through after making it four wins out of four. Goals from Marco Verratti and Neymar, as well as a hat-trick from Layvin Kruzawa, kept Anderlecht without a point and ended their hopes of a top-two finish.

Celtic 1-2 Bayern München

Bayern also secured the victory they needed to ensure a round of 16 spot. Kingsley Coman’s 22nd-minute goal put the visitors ahead and although Callum McGregor got a deserved equalised with 16 minutes left, Javi Martínez soon headed what proved the winner. Celtic must now concentrate on holding off Anderlecht for third.

Group C

Roma 3-0 Chelsea

A stunning first-minute goal from Stephan El Shaarawy set the tone as Roma eased to a victory that moved them top of the group, a point ahead of Chelsea. El Shaarawy scored again in the 36th minute and Diego Perotti added a third after the hour mark as Chelsea became the first of the five English contenders to taste defeat in this season’s group stage.

Atlético Madrid 1-1 Qarabağ

The Azerbaijani debutants dreamt of a first win when Míchel headed in not long before half-time. But Thomas Partey levelled in the 56th minute and not long after Qarabağ lost Pedro Henrique to a red card, followed late in the game by Atlético’s Stefan Savić. Atlético, also without a win, are four points off second-placed Chelsea with Qarabağ one further behind.

Group D

Olympiacos 0-0 Barcelona

Barcelona will have to wait to confirm their progress after dropping points for the first time in the group. On his return to his former club, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde saw his side dominate but Olympiacos held on for a first point, keeping their hopes alive.

Sporting CP 1-1 Juventus

Juve remain three points ahead of Sporting in second place after Gonzalo Higuaín equalised with 11 minutes left. Bruno César had given Sporting a half-time lead.

Wednesday’s games

Group E: Liverpool v Maribor, Sevilla v Spartak Moskva
Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord, Napoli v Manchester City
Group GBeşiktaş v Monaco, Porto v RB Leipzig
Group H: Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund v APOEL



Source link

post

Cavani in stellar company after seven-game streak – UEFA Champions League – News


Edinson Cavani has fallen short of the record of scoring in nine onsecutive UEFA Champions League matches, but the Paris striker’s run is one of only three of streaks of seven and above.

Cavani’s run began on 23 November last year in the 2-2 draw at Arsenal and was ended today against Anderlecht. That is only one short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s feat between 17 September 2013 and 2 April 2014, when his 14 goals in eight games were a key factor in Real Madrid’s eventual triumph.

The record remained the nine-game UEFA Champions League scoring streak set by Manchester United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002/03. Cavani’s run is the only one of those three to stretch over more than a single season or not have to exclude any missed matches.

The seven-game (or more) streaks

Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United) – 9 games
18 September 2002, first group stage v Maccabi Haifa (h), W5-2, 1 goal
24 September 2002, first group stage v Bayer Leverkusen (a), W2-1, 2 goals
13 November 2002, first group stage v Bayer Leverkusen (h), W2-0, 1 goal
26 November 2002, second group stage v Basel (a) W3-1, 2 goals
11 December 2002, second group stage v Deportivo La Coruña (h), W2-0, 2 goals
19 February 2003, second group stage v Juventus (h), W2-1, 1 goal
25 February 2003, second group stage v Juventus (a), W3-0, 1 goal
8 April 2003: quarter-final first leg v Real Madrid (a), L1-3, 1 goal
23 April 2003: quarter-final second leg v Real Madrid (h) W4-3, 1 goal

  • Van Nistelrooy actually scored in ten consecutive games in United’s run as a whole, having struck twice in the second leg of the third qualifying round on 27 August 2002 in the 5-0 defeat of Zalaegerszeg. In the midst of his run he was an unused substitute against Basel on 12 March 2003.


Watch Ronaldo’s first 100 European goals

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 8 games
17 September 2013, group stage v Galatasaray (a), W6-1, 3 goals
2 October 2013, group stage v København (h), W4-0, 2 goals
23 October 2013, group stage v Juventus (h) W2-1, 2 goals
5 November 2013, group stage v Juventus (a), D2-2, 1 goal
10 December 2013, group stage v København (a), W2-0, 1 goal
26 February 2014, round of 16 first leg v Schalke (a), W6-1, 2 goals
18 March 2014, round of 16 second leg v Schalke (h) W3-1, 2 goals
2 April 2014, quarter-final first leg v Borussia Dortmund (h), W3-0, 1 goal

  • Those 14 goals were part of the record tally of 17 managed by Ronaldo in helping Madrid win their tenth European Cup that season.

Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain) – seven games

23 November 2016, group stage, v Arsenal (a), D2-2, 1 goal
6 December 2016, group stage v Ludogorets Razgrad (h), D2-2, 1 goal
14 February 2017, round of 16 first leg, v Barcelona (h), W4-0, 1 goal
8 March 2017, round of 16 second leg, v Barcelona (a), L1-6, 1 goal
12 September 2017, group stage v Celtic (a), W5-0, 2 goals
27 September 2017, group stage v Bayern München (h), W3-0, 1 goal
18 October 2017, group stage v Anderlecht (a), W4-0, 1 goal

  • Before tonight Cavani had only failed to score in one of his 11 UEFA Champions League appearances since the start of the 2016/17 season, the 2-1 win at Basel on 1 November 2016 (he also began that group with four goals in the opening three games).



Source link

post

Cavani among stellar company after seven-game streak – UEFA Champions League – News


Edinson Cavani has fallen short of the record of scoring in nine onsecutive UEFA Champions League matches, but the Paris striker’s run is one of only three of streaks of seven and above.

Cavani’s run began on 23 November last year in the 2-2 draw at Arsenal and was ended today against Anderlecht. That is only one short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s feat between 17 September 2013 and 2 April 2014, when his 14 goals in eight games were a key factor in Real Madrid‘s eventual triumph.

The record remained the nine-game UEFA Champions League scoring streak set by Manchester United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002/03. Cavani’s run is the only one of those three to stretch over more than a single season or not have to exclude any missed matches.

The seven-game (or more) streaks

Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United) – 9 games
18 September 2002, first group stage v Maccabi Haifa (h), W5-2, 1 goal
24 September 2002, first group stage v Bayer Leverkusen (a), W2-1, 2 goals
13 November 2002, first group stage v Bayer Leverkusen (h), W2-0, 1 goal
26 November 2002, second group stage v Basel (a) W3-1, 2 goals
11 December 2002, second group stage v Deportivo La Coruña (h), W2-0, 2 goals
19 February 2003, second group stage v Juventus (h), W2-1, 1 goal
25 February 2003, second group stage v Juventus (a), W3-0, 1 goal
8 April 2003: quarter-final first leg v Real Madrid (a), L1-3, 1 goal
23 April 2003: quarter-final second leg v Real Madrid (h) W4-3, 1 goal

  • Van Nistelrooy actually scored in ten consecutive games in United’s run as a whole, having struck twice in the second leg of the third qualifying round on 27 August 2002 in the 5-0 defeat of Zalaegerszeg. In the midst of his run he was an unused substitute against Basel on 12 March 2003.


Watch Ronaldo’s first 100 European goals

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 8 games
17 September 2013, group stage v Galatasaray (a), W6-1, 3 goals
2 October 2013, group stage v København (h), W4-0, 2 goals
23 October 2013, group stage v Juventus (h) W2-1, 2 goals
5 November 2013, group stage v Juventus (a), D2-2, 1 goal
10 December 2013, group stage v København (a), W2-0, 1 goal
26 February 2014, round of 16 first leg v Schalke (a), W6-1, 2 goals
18 March 2014, round of 16 second leg v Schalke (h) W3-1, 2 goals
2 April 2014, quarter-final first leg v Borussia Dortmund (h), W3-0, 1 goal

  • Those 14 goals were part of the record tally of 17 managed by Ronaldo in helping Madrid win their tenth European Cup that season.

Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain) – seven games

23 November 2016, group stage, v Arsenal (a), D2-2, 1 goal
6 December 2016, group stage v Ludogorets Razgrad (h), D2-2, 1 goal
14 February 2017, round of 16 first leg, v Barcelona (h), W4-0, 1 goal
8 March 2017, round of 16 second leg, v Barcelona (a), L1-6, 1 goal
12 September 2017, group stage v Celtic (a), W5-0, 2 goals
27 September 2017, group stage v Bayern München (h), W3-0, 1 goal
18 October 2017, group stage v Anderlecht (a), W4-0, 1 goal

  • Before tonight Cavani had only failed to score in one of his 11 UEFA Champions League appearances since the start of the 2016/17 season, the 2-1 win at Basel on 1 November 2016 (he also began that group with four goals in the opening three games).



Source link

post

Sebastian Giovinco finalist for MLS MVP after last year’s omission


Major League Soccer: Sebastian Giovinco (72′) New York Red Bulls 1-2 Toronto FC

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco is back among the finalists for the MLS Most Valuable Player award after a notable absence last year.

Giovinco won the 2015 award, and his omission from the 2016 finalists was a topic of controversy. But the forward was listed this year as MLS expanded the list of finalists from three to five.

Also nominated for the 2017 MVP are Golden Boot winner Nemanja Nikolic of the Chicago Fire, last year’s winner David Villa of New York City FC, the Portland Timbers’ Diego Valeri, and Atlanta United‘s Miguel Almiron.

Nikolic led the league in scoring with 24 goals, ahead of Villa’s 22 and Valeri’s 21. Almiron was tied for fourth in MLS with 14 assists and also provided nine goals, earning him the nod over his teammate Josef Martinez (19 goals, one assist).

However, both Almiron and Martinez were named finalists for the Newcomer of the Year, along with Nikolic. Toronto FC’s Victor Vazquez was a somewhat surprising omission after providing 16 assists, second only to 17 from New York’s Sacha Kljestan, who led the league a second year in a row.

Top draft pick Abu Danladi of Minnesota United is a candidate for Rookie of the Year after scoring eight goals. The other finalists are Atlanta’s Julian Gresssel (five goals, nine assists), and Philadelphia Union defender Jack Elliott, who was drafted with the 77th of the league’s 88 picks.

Nemanja Nikolic
Nemanja Nikolic of the Chicago Fire is a finalist for both MLS MVP and Newcomer of the Year.

Atlanta manager Tata Martino is up for the Coach of the Year after guiding United into the playoffs in its first season. He’s joined by Greg Vanney of Supporters’ Shield-winning Toronto FC, and Veljko Paunovic, who oversaw the Chicago Fire’s remarkable turnaround from a year ago.

The finalists for Goalkeeper of the Year are Philadelphia’s Andre Blake, Seattle’s Stefan Frei and Sporting Kansas City’s Tim Melia, while Sporting’s Ike Opara, Toronto’s Justin Morrow and Vancouver’s Kendall Waston are up for Defender of the Year.

Seattle’s Clint Dempsey is a finalist for Comeback Player of the Year after recovering from a heart ailment. He’s listed alongside Columbus’ Federico Higuain and Houston’s Erick Torres.

The finalists were voted on by three groups: current MLS players, MLS club technical staffs and media members. The awards will be announced through November, with the MVP announced on Dec. 4.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.



Source link

post

100 #UCL appearances: how many can you name? – UEFA Champions League – News


There are 33 players who have made 100 UEFA Champions League appearances (group stage to final) – how many can you name?

ALL-TIME UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE STATS

Players with 100+ UEFA Champions League appearances

166 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid 150, Porto 16)*
151 Xavi Hernández (Barcelona)
143 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United 52, Real Madrid 91)*
142 Raúl González (Real Madrid 130, Schalke 12)
141 Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)


Roberto Carlos: My dream five-a-side

125 Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona)*
125 Clarence Seedorf (Ajax 11, Real Madrid 25, AC Milan 89)
124 Paul Scholes (Manchester United)
120 Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid 107, Fenerbahçe 13)

119 Xabi Alonso (Real Sociedad 8, Liverpool 39, Real Madrid 47, Bayern München 25)
119 Zlatan Ibrahimović (Ajax 19, Juventus 19, Internazionale Milano 22, Barcelona 10, AC Milan 16, Paris Saint-Germain 33)*
119 Lionel Messi (Barcelona)*

115 Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
112 Thierry Henry (Monaco 9, Barcelona 26, Arsenal 77)
112 Gianluigi Buffon (Parma 6, Juventus 106)*
112 Philipp Lahm (Stuttgart 7, Bayern München 105)
111 Petr Čech (Sparta Praha 12, Chelsea 94, Arsenal 5)

Watch Beckham's stunning free-kick for Madrid


Watch Beckham’s stunning free-kick for Madrid

109 Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)
109 Gary Neville (Manchester United)
109 John Terry (Chelsea)
108 Ashley Cole (Arsenal 45, Chelsea 60, Roma 3)
108 Patrice Evra (Monaco 21, Manchester United 65, Juventus 22)
108 Andrea Pirlo (Internazionale Milano 5, AC Milan 78, Juventus 25)
107 David Beckham (Manchester United 77, Real Madrid 26, AC Milan 2, Paris Saint-Germain 2)
106 Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)*
106 Víctor Valdés (Barcelona)

105 Frank Lampard (Chelsea 102, Manchester City 3)
104 Dani Alves (Sevilla 8, Barcelona 80, Juventus 12, Paris 4)*
103 Luís Figo (Barcelona 24, Real Madrid 58, Internazionale Milano 21)
103 Oliver Kahn (Bayern München)
101 Arjen Robben (PSV 10, Chelsea 19, Real Madrid 11, Bayern 61)*
100 Cesc Fàbregas (Arsenal 55, Barcelona 26, Chelsea 19)*
100 Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan 59, Chelsea 15, Dynamo Kyiv 26)

*Active in this season’s competition



Source link

post

SuperSport condemn Arrows to first defeat of the season – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Supersport United FC players celebrate after scoring against Club Africain during the semi-final return 2017 CAF Confederations Cup game between Club Africain and Supersport United FC in Tunis, Tunisia on 22 October 2017 © BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 21:27


SuperSport United returned to winning ways with Aubrey Modiba leading their charge in a 3-0 win over Golden Arrows in an Absa Premiership match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Tuesday evening.

Modiba at the double for the hosts with Reneilwe Letsholonyane also getting his name on the score-sheet as Arrows suffered their first defeat of the league season.

The game got off to a rip-roaring start and after Jeremy Brockie chanced his luck from range in the opening minute, Thuso Phala forced Nkosingiphile Gumede into a good save at his near post.

Modiba also guided an early effort over the crossbar, but Arrows should’ve opened the scoring at the other end of the pitch in the eight minute.

Knox Mutizwa unable to convert a golden chance for the visitors following a defensive error.

The Zimbabwean forward was made to rue his miss as SuperSport turned on the style and duly opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Letsholonyane with the easiest of finishes following a good work by Brockie.

Matsatsantsa continued to probe and doubled their lead in the 44th minute through Modiba. The defender-come-midfielder prodding home from close range after Gumede spilled Bradley Grobler’s initial effort.

The hosts were threatening to run riot and made it three seven minutes after the interval, as Modiba hammered an unstoppable shot past Gumede from the edge of the area.

Grobler was unlucky not to add his name to the score sheet with his shot cannoning off the crossbar in the 82nd minute, but it mattered little as Eric Tinkler’s men claimed a commanding win.

SuperSport United (1) 3 (Letsholonyane 24′ Modiba 44′ 53′)

Golden Arrows (0) 0

SuperSport United: Williams; Nhlapo, Gould, Mashamaite, Boateng – Furman, Letsholonyane, Modiba (Mbule 90+2′), Phala – Grobler (Nkhatha 82′),Brockie (Myeni 87′)

Golden Arrows: Gumede, Nkombelo, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Dube – Bilankulu – Magubane (Shongwe 57′), Mahachi, Sibiya (Chideu 46′ [Lamola 74′]), Jooste – Mutizwa



Source link

post

Stubborn Polokwane City hold Kaizer Chiefs – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Sammy Seabi of Polokwane City during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Polokwane City and Kaizer Chiefs at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 31 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 21:25


Kaizer Chiefs were held to a 0-0 draw by Polokwane City in an Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night.

As a result, Rise and Shine move to position 11 on the league table, while Amakhosi remain in fourth spot on the log.

The hosts were the better side in the early stages of the encounter as they applied some pressure on the Chiefs defence.

However, the Amakhosi defence which was led by South Africa international Erick Mathoho looked solid.

Polokwane’s hard-running striker Rodney Ramagalela kept the Chiefs defence very busy with his pace.

He was able to test Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, who had kept two clean sheets in his last two competitive games.

Khune produced a great save to deny Ramagalela in the 21st minute as Rise and Shine looked to break the deadlock.

Chiefs winger Joseph Molangoane was looking lively for the visitors, but he was tightly marked by the Polokwane defence.

The score was 0-0 at half-time between Polokwane and Chiefs following a tightly contested first-half.

The hosts should have broken the deadlock through Rendani Ndou 10 minutes into the second-half after the visitors’ defence was exposed.

However, Khune made a great save to deny Polokwane captain Jabulani Maluleke and Ndou missed the target from close range from the rebound.

The Rise and Shine defence was then pressed by Amakhosi, but Hendrick Ekstein, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Dumisani Zuma missed the target.

Khune then produced a good low save to deny Ndou in the latter stages of the game – ensuring that the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Polokwane (0) 0

Chiefs (0) 0

Polokwane:Chigova, Semenya, Ravhuhali, Mbonani, Maponyane, Seabi, Phiri (Vilakazi 84′), Klaas (Mngomezulu 81′), Ramagalela, Maluleke, Ndou.

Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso, Zulu, Mathoho, Gordinho, Katsande, Molangoane, Ekstein (Ekstein 76′), Parker (Paez 67′), Tshabalala (Chirambadare 85′), Maluleka.



Source link

post

Celtic edge Maritzburg in midweek clash – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Kabelo Mahlasela of Bloemfontein Celtic celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Cape Town City FC and Bloemfontein Celtic at Athlone Stadium, Cape Town on 17 October 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 21:25


Jacky Motshegwa scored the only goal of the game as Bloemfontein Celtic defeated Maritzburg United 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at Dr Molemela Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Phunya Sele Sele move to 15 points from nine games and assume third place on the log, while the Team of Choice drop two places to 13th with nine points from their eight outings.

The teams had little to separate them in the early minutes, with the midfield battle notable for its ferocity, and chances were scarce in the opening quarter hour.

However, in the 16th minute, Celtic claimed the ascendancy through Jacky Motshegwa, as the 29-year-old took advantage of a defensive error from the hosts to beat Richard Ofori with a well-placed effort.

Maritzburg responded strongly to going behind, with the likes of Lebohang Maboe and Evans Rusike looking dangerous in attack, but they were unable to find a way through the hosts’ defence.

Celtic almost doubled their advantage in the 35th minute, with a patient build-up allowing midfielder Lantshene Phalane a shooting chance, but he struck his effort over the crossbar.

The second half continued in a similar vein to the first, with the teams cancelling each other out in midfield. Maritzburg made a bold tactical move by bringing on both Sheldon van Wyk and Pogiso Sanoka at the restart.

The Team of Choice gradually asserted control of proceedings in their search for an equaliser, but Celtic’s well-organised defence gave nothing away and were able to see out the 90 minutes without conceding.

The Bloemfontein team will be back in action this weekend when they face Platinum Stars in a Telkom Knockout quarterfinal, while Maritzburg will only play again on November 21 against Polokwane City.

Bloemfontein Celtic (1) 1 (Motshegwa 16’)

Maritzburg United 0

Celtic: Tignyemb, Letlabika (Lubisi 62’), Rikhotso, Pfumbidzai, Ndengane, Baloyi, Phalane, Hotto, Motshegwa (Mahlasela 66’), Mabena, Letsoalo (Nyondo 81’)

Maritzburg: Ofori, Onyango (Sanoka 46’), Fransman, Xulu, Ndlovu, Mokate, Maboe, Shandu, Atouba (van Wyk 46’), Saal, Rusike (Mekoa 74’)



Source link

post

2017 MLS awards shortlists revealed: Who gets your vote?


Despite David Villa’s impressive numbers in MLS, does he need to lift MLS Cup to cement his legacy among the greats?

Major League Soccer has released its shortlists for 2017’s awards. Who are your picks for this season’s Landon Donovan MVP, Newcomer of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year?

Vote in the polls below, and check back throughout November as the league announces its winners.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.



Source link

post

Vieira says wasteful NYCFC ‘paid the price’ in loss to Columbus Crew


Columbus Crew SC took a giant step toward the Eastern Conference Final, routing NYCFC at home amid possible relocation.

New York City FC manager Patrick Vieira admitted his team “paid the price” for its wastefulness in front of goal in a 4-1 first leg loss to Columbus Crew SC in MLS’ Eastern Conference semifinals.

Goals from Ola Kamara, Artur, Justin Meram and Harrison Afful gave the host side the upper hand ahead of Sunday’s second leg in New York, while David Villa’s late strike gave his team an away goal that could make a difference in deciding the winner of the tie.

But it could have been a much different outcome for Vieira’s team, with Jack Harrison missing two quality chances in the first half and Villa fluffing his lines more than once, including hitting the post in a one-on-one with Crew keeper Zack Steffan right before the break.

And Vieira said after the match: “We paid the price heavily tonight. When you concede four goals away from home, you make things very difficult for yourselves.

“Of course, it is going to be a tough challenge, but it is a challenge that we are going to try to prepare ourselves for, and get ready for it.

“We’re gonna try. It will be really important to internalize the game tonight and come away with a plan of how to create chances and try not to concede.

“We’re going to give ourselves a good chance. Every time that we play them, we have the opportunity to score goals — not just one, but a few goals.”

David Villa
David Villa scored a late away goal for NYCFC, but he missed several good chances against Columbus.

Indeed, it was goal scoring that was the problem for NYCFC down the stretch, as a team that scored 47 times in its first 25 matches only found the net nine times in its last nine games before the postseason.

“In the last seven or eight games, when we were struggling to win games a little bit, the content of our game was there,” explained gaffer.

“It’s just, we don’t score goals. When you look at the number of chances we created in the first half, we didn’t take our chances.

“They took their chances and we didn’t take them. When you create so many chances and you only score once, it’s not good enough.”

When the tie returns to Yankee Stadium, the hosts will also have to deal without the services of Alexander Callens. The defender, who played every minute of the regular season for Vieira, was shown a straight red card after video review confirmed he had intentionally elbowed the Crew’s Meram during a set piece.

“It wasn’t easy for us. I think they really put us under pressure after the red card. They scored two goals and we didn’t keep our calm, but I think when you are one man down, the team has to do a little more, and we didn’t do it,” Vieira said.

“When people don’t do that extra, you suffer. And we did.”

Nonetheless. the former France international and Arsenal star said his team wouldn’t go into the match with a defeatist attitude. 

“I strongly believe that we can do it,” he said.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Bassogog should be a team player for Cameroon – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


epa06035856 Christian Bassogog (L) of Cameroon and Gonzalo Jara of Chile in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Cameroon and Chile at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, 18 June 2017. EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 19:00


The Cameroonian international is widely regarded as one of Africa’s best youngsters.

Bassogog played an instrumental role in helping Cameroon win the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Gabon.

Cameroon were then expected to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals, but the Indomitable Lions endured a poor qualifying campaign.

The five-time AFCON champions recorded one win out of five games in their qualifying group and they failed to qualify for the global tournament.

Bassogog struggling to replicate the form that saw him win the 2017 AFCON Player of the Tournament award.

The 22-year-old has been urged to become a team player by Cameroon head coach Hugo Broos.

“Bassogog has to change the way he plays,” Broos said.

“If I was 25 years younger than my age, he could never pass me.

“All the coaches master his game,” the 65-year-old Belgian tactician added.

“He just surprised people at the AFCON because we did not know him.”

Bassogog and his Cameroon team-mates will travel to Ndola to take on Zambia in their last qualifying match on 11 November 2017.



Source link

post

Southampton skipper Steven Davis proud to receive MBE for services to football


Southampton and Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis spoke of his honour after receiving his MBE at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Davis was presented with his medal by the Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association.

The 32-year-old said it was an “honour that I will cherish” to be given an MBE at such a point in his career.

He added: “I think to get it in any given field is huge, and obviously to still be playing as well, it’s unbelievable. It’s nothing I ever expected, to be honest.”

Speaking ahead of the two-legged tie against Switzerland next month that will determine if the Northern Irish reach the World Cup, Davis said: “It’s going to be a difficult game but there’s a lot of belief within the squad, and it’s two games for us to get to the World Cup so we will be giving it our all.”

Davis said the proudest moment of his career so far had been playing in the 2016 European Championships for his country in France.

He was joined at the Palace by former Wales international and current Cardiff City Ladies chairwoman Michele Adams, who said “playing and captaining my country” had been her career highlight.

She said she enjoyed watching the young girls she had coached become professional players and have successful careers.

She added that it was important to get girls of all abilities interested in sport, saying: “It builds team spirit and it builds a person’s ability to feel comfortable in various places, and also it’s good health-wise. “

Adams was given an MBE for service to girls and women’s football in Wales, while Davis was honoured for services to football.

Source: PA





Source link

post

Time is running out for Clint Dempsey to make his mark in MLS Cup playoffs


Seattle and Vancouver will head to the second leg of their Western Conference semifinal deadlocked after a draw in Canada.
Brian Schmetzer is pleased with Seattle’s clean sheet in Vancouver but thinks his side should have created more chances.

Clint Dempsey has as glittering a résumé as one can find for an American player. He remains tied with Landon Donovan for the most goals in United States men’s national team history, with 57. His exploits at the club level, in particular the parts of seven seasons he spent with Premier League side Fulham, are impressive as well.

Yet there is one stage where Dempsey, 34, hasn’t had things go his way. That would be the MLS Cup playoffs, and time is running out to set that right.

In Dempsey’s seven previous seasons as an MLS player, the Seattle Sounders forward has scored just four goals and added three assists in 19 postseason games. While that strike rate doesn’t approach Fredy Montero-like levels of futility — the current Vancouver Whitecaps forward scored his first-ever playoff goal during the knockout round after playing more than 800 postseason minutes, most of those with the Sounders — it is certainly well below what one might expect out of Dempsey, even against the tighter defenses seen in the postseason. Consider that his time with Fulham saw him score 50 goals in 188 league appearances.

Granted, some context is necessary in terms of Dempsey’s playoff performances. He spent the vast majority of his time with the New England Revolution playing as a central midfielder in support of forwards Taylor Twellman and Pat Noonan. He played even further away from goal during his rookie season in 2004, oftentimes deployed alongside holding midfielder Shalrie Joseph. Dempsey operated out of midfield for much of his time with Fulham as well.

Seattle Sounders FCSeattle Sounders FC
Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver Whitecaps

2:30 AM UTC

Game Details

In Seattle, Dempsey has played more as a forward, and as such has tended to find the net with a tad more frequency. In 10 playoff appearances with the Sounders, he has three goals. Not awful, but not the kind of form that will spur a team on to a title.

But Dempsey’s playoff disappointments go beyond mere numbers. He had a penalty shootout attempt saved by then-D.C. United goalkeeper Nick Rimando, which propelled DCU into the 2004 MLS Cup final at New England’s expense. He was a peripheral figure in the 2005 MLS Cup final loss to the LA Galaxy. In 2006, an ankle injury limited his availability, with Dempsey forced into a substitute’s role in that year’s MLS Cup final defeat to the Houston Dynamo.

Then of course there was the heart ailment that sidelined Dempsey during the Sounders’ run to the MLS Cup title last season. One of the more enduring images of the run-up to the final was that of Dempsey working out off to the side while his teammates went through their final paces. Dempsey was no doubt thrilled at the Sounders’ victory, but it’s not quite as fulfilling as being on the field, contributing to a memorable win, and letting go with a primal scream while raising the trophy. In terms of MLS success, there is still one goal for Dempsey to accomplish.

Now the window for Dempsey to deliver an impact postseason performance is closing rapidly, at least in Seattle, and not just because he was suspended for the first-leg draw in Vancouver last Sunday. Dempsey’s contract runs through the end of this season, with the Sounders having a club option for next year. It is unclear at the moment if the Sounders are willing to bring him back and pay him a wage commensurate with the $3.89 million in guaranteed compensation he made this season.

Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey has scored just four goals in 19 career MLS playoff appearances.

There is also the reality that this is really Nico Lodeiro’s team now, especially after the performances the Uruguayan turned in on the road to last year’s MLS Cup. Dempsey and Lodeiro have long seemed to be an odd fit, especially given Dempsey’s penchant for dropping into midfield to get more touches. There seems little doubt that the club’s direction will be led by Lodeiro.

The failure of the U.S. men’s national team to qualify for the World Cup would appear to loosen the bonds even further. There will be no World Cup buzz to drive marketing and the like. And for Dempsey himself, there is no chance of participating in a fourth World Cup to drive him back into the Sounders’ collective arms.

For now, Dempsey still has something left to give. His competitiveness remains white-hot, and his strike rate this season of 12 goals in 25 appearances is in line with his previous two campaigns.

Yet there is now the possibility that this Thursday’s second leg against the Whitecaps could be Dempsey’s last in Rave Green, which hardly seems possible. It seems like yesterday that Dempsey stunned the U.S. soccer community by leaving the bright lights of the Premier League and signing that long-term contract with the Sounders. All the more reason for Dempsey to go out with a flourish.

David Beckham got his championship sendoff. So did Donovan. It’s now up to Dempsey and his Sounders teammates to create their own iconic moment.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.



Source link

post

Watford and Stoke charged with failing to control their players by FA


Watford and Stoke have been charged with failing to control their players by the Football Association.

Stoke’s 1-0 win at Vicarage Road on Saturday came to a bad-tempered conclusion with two separate incidents involving players from both sides squaring up to each other.

First, Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure and City‘s Mame Biram Diouf were booked after they scuffled on the touchline three minutes from full-time.

Then, in stoppage time, Hornets skipper Troy Deeney sparked a second melee when he grabbed the face of Stoke midfielder Joe Allen.

That flashpoint came after Stoke had put the ball out of play with a player down injured, but rather than pass the ball back Deeney attempted a cross into the visitors’ penalty area.

Allen reacted angrily and clashed with Deeney, who appeared to dig his thumbs into the face of the Wales international as other players tried to prise them apart.

Deeney and Allen were also booked, but the Hornets captain was subsequently hit with a separate charge of violent conduct.

An FA statement read: “Watford and Stoke City (have been) charged for failing to control their players during (the) fixture on 28/10/17.

Both clubs have until 6pm on Friday to respond.

Source: PA





Source link

post

The Sweeper: Thielen pays homage to Arsenal


Previous

Manchester United

Benfica

ESPN3

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Paris Saint-Germain

Anderlecht

ESPN3

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Atletico Madrid

FK Qarabag

ESPN3

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

FC Basel

CSKA Moscow

ESPN3

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Columbus Crew SC

New York City FC

ESPN3

12:00 AM UTC

Nov 1, 2017

Leg 1

Game Details

Next




Source link

post

Al Ahly with a mountain to climb in CAF CL final – 2017 CAF Champions League


Al Ahly’s player Emad Meteb (L) in action against Wydad Casablanca’s player Abdelatif Noussir (R) during the African Champions League

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 18:00


Al Ahly have a mountain to climb heading into the second leg of the CAF Champions League final against hosts Wydad Casablanca on Saturday night.

The Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca will be the venue for the match, with kick-off set for 22h00 CAT. You will be able to follow LIVE Play-By-Play coverage of the match right here on AfricanFootball.

The first leg in Alexandria last weekend ended 1-1, with Ahly’s early goal from Moamen Zakaria cancelled out within the opening 20 minutes by Wydad’s Achraf Bencharki.

The aggregate score of 1-1 very much favours the Moroccan side, who have home advantage for the decisive leg and need only keep a clean sheet to ensure they pick up their second Champions League title.

The Egyptian giants, meanwhile, must at least match Wydad’s away goal if they are to have a shot at winning a record-extending ninth African crown.

Wydad coach Hussein Amotta will be without the services of injured winger Mohamed Ounajem, but was delighted with the first-leg result and believes his side is capable of triumphing on home soil.

“We achieved a milestone leaving Alexandria with a draw under these circumstances,” said Amotta after the match at the Borg El Arab Stadium.

“With all these fans, and against one of Africa’s finest most experienced clubs, a draw was a great result.”

He added, “It [the return leg] won’t be an easy game, but we will be more relaxed and we will have to work on scoring first this Saturday.

“Al Ahly have one of the best front lines in Africa, so it would be illogical to sit back and defend against them.

“Now that we know the flaws in Al Ahly’s defence, we will put pressure on them from the start. Yet at the same time we need to leave them no space for counter-attacks at the back.

“It is a great pleasure for me to coach Wydad and lead them up to this stage, but I cannot wait till Saturday when I become the happiest man in Morocco and all of Africa.”

Al Ahly have their own injury absentee in the shape of captain Hossam Ashour, and coach Hossam El Badry is under pressure to turn the tie around in Casablanca.

“I knew it [the first leg] was going to be a tough match, and we didn’t exploit the chances that we had during the game. We weren’t lucky [in the match] too,” the Al Ahly coach explained.

He added, “However, we put in an overall strong performance and I believe in the players’ abilities. We’ll fight to achieve victory in the second leg to claim the title.”

Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will take charge of the match in Casablanca on Saturday night. The winners will qualify for both the 2017 Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December, and the 2018 CAF Super Cup against the winners of the Confederation Cup final (either SuperSport United or TP Mazembe).



Source link

post

Ivan Perisic delivers again as Inter Milan continue impressive start


Ivan Perisic continues to deliver for Inter Milan and should be regarded as one of the best players in Serie A.

Inter Milan earned a 2-1 win over Verona on Monday night, with Ivan Perisic underlining his credentials as one of Serie A’s best players with the winning goal.

With the home side putting in a strong shift in the first half, Inter were rather limited, only to break the deadlock when a wonderful Antonio Candreva cross found Borja Valero on 36 minutes. Verona equalised on the hour mark, when Alessio Cerci was downed by Samir Handanovic in the box.

But the Nerazzurri fought back, Perisic firing a stunner past Nicolas Andrade from outside the box. Luciano Spalletti’s men are second and still unbeaten.

Positives

Nine wins, two draws: the Nerazzurri have made their best start to a league season ever. Who’d have thought that after this summer’s transfer window? And they’re 13 points ahead of mega-bucks Milan.

The Inter of old would have collapsed here. Instead, they struck back inside nine minutes after Verona’s penalty, and managed the game after. Joao Miranda is looking better, and so is Valero.

VAR was a success, too: it corrected a refereeing mistake and gave Verona what was a stonewall penalty.

Negatives

The full-backs were pretty ghastly and a number of players put in sloppy performances. This wasn’t a pretty game, but criticism on style seems ridiculous.

Verona were hardly besieging Inter, but you wouldn’t have known that reading social media. Would the press rather have a 7-0 win (plenty of those in the bad years) followed by three points in as many games (plenty of those too).

Are people forgetting that Juventus tend to win ugly on the road, especially after a rebuild? 

Manager rating out of 10

7 — Spalletti generally got things right, and he seems to be coaxing the best out of Candreva, while Matias Vecino is getting better and better. Despite appearances, Inter were better here than they were on the road to Benevento and Crotone.

They really didn’t concede any big chances, barring the penalty.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Samir Handanovic, 6 — Didn’t have a lot to do except for the penalty. Hard to blame him for coming out of the goal as he didn’t have much of a choice.

DF Danilo D’Ambrosio, 5 — One of his sloppiest games, despite lending a hand in attack, being found by a wonderful Valero pass. Gave away a needless corner late on and his blocked clearance led to Verona’s equaliser.

DF Milan Skriniar, 7 — Didn’t get anything wrong, except for an errant header and a miscommunication with Handanovic.

DF Joao Miranda, 7 — Still looks careless in possession, but made two key early blocks. Moise Kean was invisible, at least in attack.

DF Yuto Nagatomo, 5 — Was turned inside out by Romulo and made plenty of mistakes. He’s reverted to form, alright.

MF Matias Vecino, 8 — Had one of his best games and consistently burst through the midfield and got himself into interesting positions.

MF Roberto Gagliardini, 6 — Was lax in the first half, but recovered after the break. Gave it away a couple of times too many, but also read the game beautifully and intercepted several key balls in the opposition half.

MF Borja Valero, 7 — Didn’t have the best of games, but his goal was beautifully taken. Was also fouled for what should have been a penalty a few seconds before.

MF Antonio Candreva, 8 — Inter’s guardian angel on the right. He had better corner delivery, no silly crosses, and had an excellent assist for Valero. His long-rangers make a lot more sense when the box is stacked, because the awkward bounce he generates can end up in goalkeeping error.

MF Ivan Perisic, 7 — Not one of his better games, but came up with a superb winner. A lot of ink has been wasted on how he’s not a “top” player. He would be if he scored easier goals. All he does is bang in the difficult ones!

FW, Mauro Icardi, 6 — Worked hard and was nearly successful with a finish from outside the box following a nice Perisic layoff. Also launched a counter with a fine tackle in midfield, but finished a move with a mishit effort.

Substitutes:

MF Marcelo Brozovic, 5 — Had enough time to earn a talking-to (or yelling-to) from Spalletti. What is this guy doing here?

MF Joao Cancelo, N/R — Tried a dribble or two, but was ineffective.

MF Eder, N/R — Came on very late and held the ball up well.

Edoardo Dalmonte covers Inter Milan for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @EdoDalmonte.



Source link

post

Diego Chara’s broken foot adds to Portland Timbers’ widespread injury woes


VAR took center stage at BBVA Compass Stadium as the Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers battled to a scoreless draw.

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara broke a bone in his foot while teammates Darlington Nagbe and Larrys Mabiala also left Monday’s playoff game with injuries.

The Timbers managed a goalless draw in their first leg at the Houston Dynamo — thanks in part to a controversial video review — but they are facing an injury crisis ahead of the return leg on Sunday.

Chara went down on a non-contact play at the end of the first half and was taken off the pitch on a stretcher. He was on crutches after the game with his foot in a boot, and Timbers coach Caleb Porter said he had broken the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot.

Chara will definitely miss the second leg, while Nagbe and Mabiala could be in a race to return for the game in Portland. Mabiala picked up a hip injury in first-half stoppage time, and Nagbe left the game before the hour mark with a tight hamstring

The top-seeded Timbers are already without forward Fanendo Adi, winger Sebastian Blanco and midfielder David Guzman.

Blanco was a late scratch after suffering second-degree burns on his right foot in a cooking accident this week, while Guzman sprained his knee in the regular-season finale. Adi, who scored 10 goals this year, has been out with a hamstring injury since early August.

Diego Chara left Portland’s playoff game in the first half on Monday night.

Timbers star Diego Valeri said Chara’s injury in particular was “bad for us.”

“Diego is very important for us in the middle. We lost David Guzman, Sebastian Blanco, too. We have [Fanendo] Adi [out],” Valeri said. “So we have a couple of injuries but we have a good team so we have to fight next week and win at home.”

However, Porter remained confident that the Timbers had to depth to continue competing in the playoffs. Roy Miller, Amobi Okugo and Jeremy Ebobisse came in an substitutes to replace Portland’s injured trio on Monday.

“We’re where we’re at because of our depth,” Porter said. “I think that showed a lot of mettle from our guys to be able to adjust because it’s not really the type of game that we’re used to playing.”

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.



Source link

post

Henry Onyekuru looking for early Everton return


Dani Alves (L) of Paris Saint-Germain in action against Henry Onyekuru (R) of Anderlecht during the UEFA Champions League group B soccer match between RSC Anderlecht and Paris Saint-Germain at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Anderlecht, near Brussels, Belgium, 18 October 2017. EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 17:30


Anderlecht’s Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru is looking for an early return to Everton, according to former teammate Mamdou Sylla.

The Super Eagles player transferred from Eupen to Everton at the start of the current season, only to be sent on loan to Anderlecht.

Thus far Onyekuru has scored six six goals in nine Jupiler League games, after netting 22 last term with Eupen.

Former Eupen teammate Sylla says the Nigerian’s sights are set on a return to Goodison Park as soon as possible.

He told DH: “Henry has many qualities, which he has already shown in his first campaign in the first division.

“At Anderlecht, his playing time and his ability to adapt to the their games do not surprise me.

“A club and a level where he will still be able to progress, with the goal he has in mind is to join Everton quickly to discover the Premier League.”

Onyekuru will hope to feature for Anderlecht in their UEFA Champions League match away to Paris Saint-Germain this evening.



Source link

post

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen – One bad match can cost the title


Despite trailing Barcelona by eight points in La Liga, Sid Lowe feels Real Madrid will have chances to mount a comeback.
With Real Madrid eight points off the pace, the FC crew debate whether they have any chance to catch Barcelona in La Liga.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is not getting carried away with the excellent start Barcelona have made under new coach Ernesto Valverde and is all too aware that “one bad match” could cost them dearly.

Barca have made their best ever start to a La Liga season, picking up 28 of a possible 30 points and building an eight-point lead over Real Madrid, who lost to Girona at the weekend.

However, last season it was Barca who unexpectedly slipped up, beaten by the likes of Alaves, Malaga and Deportivo La Coruna, and ter Stegen knows there is still a long way to go.

“Barcelona want to be at their best in every match,” he said in an interview with WAZ. “One bad match could cost you the league. That’s the motivation.

“You have [to have] a good diet, be well-prepared and go to training and want to be at your best. Sometimes it’s just about that few percent which can make the difference. Only through that are you able to achieve everything.”

Marc-Andre ter Stegen said Barcelona can take nothing for granted despite their superb start in La Liga.

Ter Stegen has been in fine form this season, keeping seven clean sheets in 10 league games, and teammate Sergio Busquets said a “large part” of Barca’s win over Athletic at the weekend was down to the keeper’s heroics.

With Bayern Munich‘s Manuel Neuer injured, he is also the current first choice for Germany’s national team after winning the Confederations Cup with his country in the summer.

Despite his good form, though, he is concentrating on taking things one game at a time.

“I only focus on the next step,” he said when asked if he was targeting Neuer’s place at the World Cup next summer. “The next step is [Barca’s] match against Olympiakos [on Tuesday].

“If you start thinking about eventualities, you lose your focus and you can soon forget about it. If you think two steps ahead, you forget what’s important in the now. I learned that from coach Lucien Favre at [Borussia Monchengladbach]. He was right about that, too.”

Ter Stegen also had words of praise for international teammate Leon Goretzka. The Schalke midfielder is out of contract next summer and has been linked with both Barca and Bayern.

“Whoever ends up getting him, I can only congratulate the club,” ter Stegen said. “Maybe he will stay at Schalke.”

He added: “I think that he will get even better in the future.”

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.



Source link

post

Asamoah Gyan thankful for maiden Super Lig goal – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 17:00


Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan has expressed his gratitude and relief at having scored his first Turkish Super Lig goal.

The Black Stars attacker came off the bench to score an injury-time equaliser in Kayserispor’s 3-3 draw away to giants Fenerbahce on Monday night.

It was Gyan’s first in the Turkish top flight league and follows on from a strike in Kayserispor’s 2-1 away win over Yesil Bursa in the domestic cup competition last midweek.

Gyan took to his official Twitter page to express his thanks and emphasise the team effort needed to claim a point in Istanbul.

“Lord I thank you…couldn’t have been any special moment.. the time…massive team effort and support..we did this together @KayserisporFK,” the Ghana star posted.

Monday night’s result sees Kayserispor placed fourth on the Super Lig log with 18 points from 10 matches, five points adrift of leaders Galatasaray.



Source link

post

Columbus Crew SC take their chances against misfiring New York City FC


Columbus Crew SC took a giant step toward the Eastern Conference Final, routing NYCFC at home amid possible relocation.
Taylor Twellman sings the praises of Crew SC after their rout of NYCFC, but explains why the tie is far from over.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On a chilly night at MAPFRE Stadium, the Columbus Crew extended their unbeaten streak to 12 games, dispatching New York City FC in the opening leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal.

The 4-1 win puts the home side in prime position to advance following Sunday’s match at Yankee Stadium. Here are three thoughts from the match:

1. For the Crew, a tale of two halves

It was not a good opening 45 minutes from the Crew. Five days after shocking Atlanta United and earning the right to host Tuesday’s semifinal, the Black and Gold scored in the sixth minute but should have had multiple tallies and put the game away.

Justin Meram and Ola Kamara missed easy chances for a 2-0 lead, and the midfielder’s was an open net — ESPN stats guru Paul Carr reported that the Crew’s average expected goals per shots was nearly twice the MLS season average.

When the attack wasn’t whiffing, the backline was turning the ball over in dangerous positions. More than anything, it was New York’s inability to finish that kept it scoreless, although goalkeeper Zack Steffen came off his line quickly to scoop up loose balls on multiple occasions.

The second half was a different story, and by the 69th minute, the result was well in hand for the home team. NYCFC’s Alexander Callens was shown a VAR-assisted red card for an elbow to Meram in the 52nd, then Brazilian midfielder Artur scored in the 58th. By the time Meram got on the scoresheet in the 69th minute, with an assist to Sean Johnson’s poor goalkeeping, the contest appeared to be over.

The visitors earned one back in the 78th minute on David Villa’s spinning volley following a slip by center-back Jonathan Mensah before Harrison Afful dribbled through five NYCFC defenders for the final tally. It’s a victory coach Gregg Berhalter will take.

2. NYCFC’s offensive troubles continue

Patrick Vieira’s high-flying side started the 2017 regular season with 47 goals in their first 25 matches. It ended it with just nine in its final nine. The confines of MAPFRE Stadium did nothing to spark the attack, despite a series of Crew turnovers that seemed almost designed to provide chances for the visitors.

Villa, who scored twice in a 2-2 Decision Day draw with the Crew, failed to find the frame on four separate occasions in the first half. On another night, the Spanish superstar would have netted two or three by himself in the initial 45.

The second half looked to be more of the same as Villa found a chance in the 48th minute, only to see his shot deflected over the bar. But Callens’ red card and Artur’s goal in quick succession changed things for the visitors, who could only look to limit the damage.

The lopsided result doesn’t mean they are out — Villa’s late tally is a vital away goal — but they’ll need to fix their offensive woes by Sunday. Villa & Co. found success at home, scoring 31 of their 56 goals there during the campaign, so it’s possible they’ll pull off the comeback in the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium.

The trends, and the scoreline, are not in their favor though.

With their future in doubt, Columbus fired a warning shot across MLS with a resounding 4-1 Eastern Conference semifinal win.

3. Save The Crew is here to stay — but are the Crew?

Two hours before kickoff, a plane pulling a banner reading “Keep The Crew In Columbus — SaveTheCrew.com” flew over the stadium.

In the adjoining parking lot, Crew diehard fans displayed their best homemade black-and-gold-colored flags featuring slogans supporting their hometown team.

When the game started, they packed the Nordecke, sending a message: As long as the Crew are here instead of Austin, Texas, where owner Anthony Precourt hopes to move them, the Save The Crew movement won’t be quiet. (If there was any doubt, a rousing “Save The Crew” chant in the 36th minute dispelled that notion, as did a creative, expletive-focused one later in the match.)

From that perspective, the evening’s showing was encouraging for those hoping to keep the MLS squad in Ohio. Other signs, however, weren’t. Fewer than 14,500 fans showed up to watch the home playoff, a pitiful number that continued a yearlong trend.

During the season, the Black and Gold averaged just 15,439 fans per match, down 10 percent from 2016 and ahead of only the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas in MLS.

MAPFRE was filled to just 77 percent capacity in 2017 — ranking them 20th in the league.

A Tuesday night in late October — on Halloween, no less! — is far from ideal for fan support. And yet, the plethora of empty seats spoke volumes about the future.

Tuesday’s result means Crew supporters are the favorites to get another chance to impress in the conference finals. Tuesday night’s final chant? “We’re not done yet.”

Noah Davis is a Brooklyn-based correspondent for ESPN FC and deputy editor at American Soccer Now. Twitter: @Noahedavis.



Source link

post

Why Columbus’ 4-1 lead on NYCFC isn’t safe


Previous

Borussia Dortmund

Apoel Nicosia

ESPN3

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Shakhtar Donetsk

Feyenoord Rotterdam

ESPN3

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Liverpool

NK Maribor

ESPN3

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Sevilla FC

Spartak Moscow

ESPN3

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

FC Porto

RB Leipzig

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Preston North End

Aston Villa

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Birmingham City

Brentford

7:45 PM UTC

Game Details

Next




Source link

post

Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots calls for unity ahead of Morocco clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 16:30


Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots has called for unity ahead of his team’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Morocco next month.

The Elephants will host the Atlas Lions for their decisive Group C clash at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan on November 11.

Ivory Coast must win the match to top the group and secure qualification for a fourth successive World Cup.

Morocco, meanwhile, need only avoid defeat and they will qualify for their first global tournament since 1998.

Wilmots recently took to his official Twitter page to call for unity from Ivory Coast supporters ahead of the match.

The Belgian has come under harsh criticism for the Elephants’ form since he took over in March.

“Exactly 2 weeks before the confrontation with Morocco. All united for qualification,” Wilmots posted on his account this past weekend.



Source link

post

Luis Garcia in ‘ghost goal’ throwback for Halloween


Former Liverpool forward Luis Garcia might have just won Halloween.

The Spaniard is best remembered on Merseyside for his ‘ghost goal’ in 2005, when his shot was ruled to have crossed the line in the Reds’ 1-0 semi-final win against Chelsea at Anfield, much to the anger of the Blues players and then manager Jose Mourinho.

And to celebrate October 31 this year, the 39-year-old dressed up as a ghost and uploaded a picture to Twitter of him sat reading the programme from that second leg on May 3.

Garcia’s effort was the only goal of the two-legged tie and Liverpool went on to beat AC Milan on penalties in the final, while Chelsea would have to wait another seven years to finally get their hands on the trophy.

Source: By PA Sport Staff





Source link