Connect with us

SPORTS

Messi’s Argentina thrash Uruguay, Brazil lose 100% qualifying record

Published

on

Lionel Messi opened the scoring as Argentina thumped neighbors Uruguay 3-0 in an entertaining World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

Goals from Rodrigo De Paul and Lautaro Martinez rounded off a successful night for Lionel Scaloni’s team in Buenos Aires as they maintained their unbeaten start to the qualification campaign and closed the gap at the top of the single South American table to six points behind Brazil, who drew 0-0 with Colombia.

“We played a great match, I think we’re improving a lot,” said Messi. “It was a tough match and we had to win it.

“Uruguay sit back and are dangerous. Once we scored the first goal we started to find spaces and many appeared.”

The first half was a classic end-to-end thriller with both sides hitting the woodwork before Argentina opened the scoring.

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez looked lively early on and had three gilt-edged chances, all from the corner of the six yard box.

Two, including an acrobatic volley, were parried by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, while his third effort came back off the near post.

For Argentina, Giovani Lo Celso skewed wide form 10 yards and Lautaro Martinez was narrowly unable to direct De Paul’s cross on target.

Lo Celso then broke from deep and rounded goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, but his shot crashed down off the bar onto the goalline before bouncing away to safety.

Messi had a low shot from the D deflected inches past the post and then broke the deadlock in bizarre fashion.

His chip into the box with the outside of his left boot was missed by Nicolas Gonzalez, whose presence seemed to deceive Muslera, the goalkeeper also missing the ball as it nestled in the bottom corner.

Muslera flirted with disaster moments later when he dribbled past Martinez in his area but Uruguay’s nerves were rattled and Argentina doubled their lead with another scrapy goal.

Messi’s pass was deflected into the path of Martinez whose miss-kick fell kindly for De Paul to stroke home.

Martinez then had a chance to put the game to bed in first half stoppage time but shot straight at Muslera.

He did secure the win, though, on 62 minutes when left unmarked at the back post to tap in De Paul’s cross.

The second half did not match the thrill-a-minute first but Argentina controlled the game.

It could have been worse for Uruguay but Muslera made a fine double save from Angel Di Maria and Messi in the last minute.

Neymar fails to inspire Brazil

The returning Neymar could not inspire Brazil to victory as hosts Colombia ended their perfect start to the qualification campaign in Barraquilla.

The Selecao had won their first nine qualifiers, scoring 22 goals to lead the table by eight points before kick-off.

Coach Tite’s side are still almost certain to qualify for next year’s finals in Qatar as they maintain a 13-point lead over fifth-placed Colombia, with the top four progressing automatically.

“Neymar did well as the team’s leader,” said Tite, but “he was well marshalled” by a Colombian side that has “more technical qualities than other teams.”

Brazil started brightly and dominated the opening quarter as Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina made saves from Neymar and Lucas Paqueta.

Neymar’s cute reverse pass then put Paqueta in one-on-one with Ospina but on the stretch he poked the ball wide.

Neymar was at the heart of much of Brazil’s attacks but when he teed up a teammate on the edge of the area, it was defensive midfielder Fred who appeared on the scene, and it was no surprise to see him blaze over the bar from 18 yards.

Colombia grew more adventurous in the second half and Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker saved efforts from Mateus Uribe and Juan Quintero, while Radamel Falcao had the ball in the net 20 minutes from time but it was disallowed for a foul on Militao.

Raphinha almost fashioned a winner for Brazil when he picked out fellow substitute Antony with a perfect in-swinging delivery, only for Ospina to make a brilliant reaction save from point-blank range.

It was a good day for the bottom two teams in the group as Bolivia beat Peru 1-0 and Venezuela defeated Ecuador 2-1.

Ramiro Vaca’s goal eight minutes from time gave Bolivia victory despite having fellow substitute Henry Vaca sent off on 75 minutes.

Goals from Darwin Machis and Eduard Bello either side of a penalty from Enner Valencia were enough to give Venezuela a rare win.

In the late match, goals from English-born Ben Brereton and Mauricio Isla gave Chile, who had Charles Aranguiz sent off, a 2-0 win over Paraguay, who had Omar Aldieret dismissed.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

breaking

Every Premier League player expected to be at AFCON and games they will miss

Published

on

Premier League players expected to be at 2022 AFCON and games they will miss

The Africa Cup of Nations is set to hamper Premier League clubs up and down the country in and around the New Year.

The continental tournament is always held midway through the season and sees established stars head away for a number of weeks.

Around 40 players will depart after the games on Boxing Day with some not returning until the second week of February.

Premier League clubs have contested the laws around players jetting off to represent their nations during the pandemic, but any hopes of keeping their players for the entirety of the Festive period looks slim.

FIFA rules state “players must be released and start travel to their representative team no later than Monday morning the week preceding the week when the relevant final competition starts.”

The African Cup of Nations officially begins on January 9 and concludes on February 6.

Cameroon kick off the tournament against Burkina Faso which means December 27 – 13 days previous – is the date players will be leaving their clubs.

A heavily stocked schedule means team’s with players whose countries go deep into the tournament may miss up to eight games across the Premier League and FA Cup.

There is an apparent grey area, based on certain nations beginning their tournament after the official January 9 start dates.

In those circumstances there is hope that agreements can be met which could see players stay for an extra day or two, which in some cases may be crucial.

Jurgen Klopp will be without the duo for festive games at Leicester and Chelsea – played across the space of five days.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester will also lose key players for the duration of the tournament.

The Blues will see Edouard Mendy leave in what is a major blow whilst the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Thomas Partey, Wilfred Ndidi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will all jet off.

Mikel Arteta will therefore have to endure a game with Manchester City and a north London derby minus some of his leading lights.

The Foxes meanwhile could be without Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho for both their games with Liverpool, such is the proximity of the two fixtures.

Here are Premier league players that will feature in the competition:

Arsenal

Thomas Partey (Ghana)

Mohamed Elneny (Egypt)

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast)

Aston Villa

Mahmoud Trezeguet (Egypt)

Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso)

Marvelous Nakamba (Zimbabwe)

Brentford

Julian Jeanvier (Guinea)

Frank Onyeka (Nigeria)

Tariqe Fosu-Henry (Ghana)

Brighton

Yves Bissouma (Mali)

Burnley

Maxwel Cornet (Ivory Coast)

Chelsea

Edouard Mendy (Senegal)

Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)

Crystal Palace

Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal)

Jeffrey Schlupp (Ghana)

Jordan Ayew (Ghana)

Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast)

Everton

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Ivory Coast)

Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)

Leicester City

Daniel Amartey (Ghana)

Nampalys Mendy (Senegal)

Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria)

Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)

Liverpool

Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Naby Keita (Guinea)

Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

Manchester United

Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast)

Amad Diallo (Ivory Coast)

Southampton

Moussa Djenepo (Mali)

Mohammed Salisu (Ghana)

Continue Reading

SPORTS

Jose Mourinho uses Man Utd excuse after Roma suffer European embarrassment

Published

on

Thursday night was a low point in the managerial career of Jose Mourinho as his Roma crashed to a humiliating 6-1 defeat against Bodo/Glimt.

Mourinho’s side were strong favourites going into the Europa Conference League encounter but were humbled by the Scandinavian hosts, who blew them away in the second half.

It was the first match of Mourinho’s entire managerial career – which has spanned over 1,000 matches – that he had overseen his side concede six goals or more in one match.

That it came against a team who had significantly fewer resources than his own and were huge outsiders for the match, made it all the more painful.

Striker Erik Botheim and midfielder Patrick Berg had given Bodoe/Glimt a two-goal advantage in the first half, but Carles Perez pulled one back for Roma – who were then expected to launch a fighting comeback.

Instead, the Italian side collapsed in the second half as Botheim added two more goals to complete his hat-trick while goals from Amahl Pellegrino and Ola Solbakken piled the misery on the visiting team.

The Portuguese boss was predictably in an awful mood after the defeat and did not hold back on his criticism of the players that he selected for Roma.

Mourinho explained on Sky Italy: “The initial XI of today of Bodo Glimt had better quality than us. Now you can stop asking why we play always the same players.

“I did it with good intentions, to give an opportunity to those who work hard and to rotate the squad on a synthetic pitch in cold weather. I decided to rest many players.

“If I could always play with the same XI, then I would. It’s risky, because we have a huge gap in quality between the two groups of players.

“I knew the limits of this squad, it is not new to me, but I still expected a better response.

“As I said, it’s my choice to play them, so my responsibility.”

This is the same excuse that the Portuguese boss used during his tenure at Old Trafford, when he claimed that a poor loss for United away against Brighton actually vindicated his approach.

The trip to the South Coast saw United without their regular striker Romelu Lukaku, who was injured for the game having been a virtual ever-present for the side in attack over the course of that season.

Lukaku has played the entire 90 minutes in 30 Premier League games that season to indicate how not only was he preferred in attack over others, but that he was never rested in matches.

Instead, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were given rare starts under Mourinho but the side went down to a 1-0 defeat, leaving the manager to aim a thinly-veiled dig at the two forwards.

He suggested that neither of those players deserved to be in the strongest side at United and their performances were the reason why he did not trust them above the Belgian striker.

Continue Reading

SPORTS

EPL: Chelsea facing striker crisis with Lukaku, Werner injured

Published

on

Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel is facing a striker crisis after Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner both went off injured against Malmo on Wednesday night.

The Blues went on to win 4-0 in the Champions League clash, thanks to goals from Jorginho (2), Andreas Christensen and Kai Havertz.

However, their emphatic victory was marred by the knocks picked up by their key frontmen.

Lukaku was forced off with a suspected ankle injury in the 20th minute, as he went down under a challenge inside the box.

Continue Reading

Trending