Madagascar reach Africa Cup of Nations for first time

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Johannesburg (AFP) – Madagascar won a place at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament for the first time when they triumphed 1-0 at home over Equatorial Guinea in Group A Tuesday. Thailand-based midfielder Njiva Rakotoharimalala scored the only goal four minutes before half-time on the huge Indian Ocean island. Victory lifted the ‘Barea’ (prized cattle) to 10 points from four games and beyond the reach of Equatorial Guinea and Sudan in a four team mini-league from which the top two qualify. It was the second 1-0 victory for the Malagasy over the Equatoguineans within four days after captain Faneva Ima Andriatsima scored the winner in central Africa last Saturday, Madagascar are the first country, apart from hosts Cameroon, to secure a place at the biennial African football showcase, with the 2019 edition set for June 15 to July 13. They qualified despite having to play a preliminary tie, which they Continue reading "Madagascar reach Africa Cup of Nations for first time"

Chelsea-Man United game to stream in 4K Ultra HD via fuboTV

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> Saturday’s Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United will be shown live in 4K Ultra HD via the streaming service fuboTV. While DIRECTV has been broadcasting select Premier League games in 4K, fuboTV is the first streaming provider to offer programming in 4K ultra high definition as well as being the first to stream Premier League games in 4K. Kicking off at 7:30am ET on Saturday, the highly anticipated game between Chelsea and Manchester United will be live from Stamford Bridge via NBCSN. And with it in 4K Ultra HD, it’ll make you feel like you’re actually there. fuboTV will also stream Huddersfield against Liverpool in 4K Ultra HD on Saturday from 12:30pm ET via NBC. So, how does it work? First, you’ll need a free 7-day trial to fuboTV. Then you’ll need one of the following 4K compatible devices: • AppleTV 4K
• Chromecast Ultra
• Desktop/Laptop Browsers
• Internet Explorer (latest Continue reading "Chelsea-Man United game to stream in 4K Ultra HD via fuboTV"

French fan jailed for firework attack on Lyon goalkeeper

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Metz (France) (AFP) – A French judge on Monday handed down a six-month jail term and a six-month suspended sentence to two fans found guilty of throwing fireworks that put Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes in hospital in 2016. The first firework thrown from behind the Lyon goal on their visit to Metz knocked Lopez off his feet, while the second one exploded beneath him as he fell on it, leaving him temporarily deafened and with no sense of balance. Players from both teams remonstrated angrily with supporters behind the goal as Lopes was rushed away following the explosion. One 25-year-old man was handed a six-month jail sentence while a 36-year-old was handed a suspended term. Both were members of a Metz ultras supporter group known as ‘la Horda Frenetik’. The prosecutor said the pair were guilty of “an incredibly dangerous disregard for safety”. “These idiots have sullied the reputation of Continue reading "French fan jailed for firework attack on Lyon goalkeeper"

Spain dealt a ‘slap of reality’ by ruthless England

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Seville (Spain) (AFP) – Luis Enrique had said he was ready for the criticism and it fired from all angles after Spain were beaten by England on Monday for their first competitive defeat at home in 15 years.  Three wins out of three and 12 goals scored had launched Spain into a new era of optimism after their miserable World Cup last summer. But La Roja were dealt a reality check, losing 3-2, as England ran riot during a whirlwind first half in Seville.  Paco Alcacer’s header, and a Sergio Ramos goal with the last touch of the game, reduced the glare of the score but there was no doubting England were deserving winners.  Raheem Sterling’s double and a smart finish from Marcus Rashford made sure of that.  “Suddenly the Spain that seemed to be afloat again in this muddled League of Nations collapsed with a Continue reading "Spain dealt a ‘slap of reality’ by ruthless England"

Bolt offered contract with Malta football club

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Sydney (AFP) – Sprint king Usain Bolt could be making his way to Europe after being offered a two-year professional football contract in Malta, reports said Tuesday, with the club saying it wanted to “write history” with the signing. Bolt, 32, has been on trial with A-League club the Central Coast Mariners since arriving in Australia in August in his bid to pursue a boyhood dream of becoming a footballer after retiring from athletics last year. The 100 metres world record-holder scored his first two goals in professional football on Friday when he started a pre-season game against second-tier Macarthur South West United in Sydney. Malta club Valletta FC said they had made a formal offer which includes playing in its upcoming cup final, with chief executive Ghasston Slimen saying the move to snare Bolt was “about writing history”. “Usain Bolt broke the record in Beijing (Olympics) in 2008, and Continue reading "Bolt offered contract with Malta football club"

Bolt offered contract with Malta football club: reports

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Sydney (AFP) – Sprint king Usain Bolt could be making his way to Europe after being offered a two-year professional football contract in Malta, reports said Tuesday, following his goal-scoring exploits in Australia. Bolt, 32, has been on trial with A-League club the Central Coast Mariners since arriving in Australia in August in his bid to pursue a boyhood dream of becoming a footballer after retiring from athletics last year. The 100 metres world record-holder scored his first two goals in professional football on Friday when he started a pre-season game against second-tier Macarthur South West United in Sydney. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said Malta club Valletta FC had made a formal offer which includes playing in its upcoming cup final. The newspaper added that the team was recently bought by investors wanting to qualify for the group stages of Europe’s Champions League, with the bid also including commercial incentives. The Continue reading "Bolt offered contract with Malta football club: reports"

Where to find USA vs. Peru on US TV and streaming

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> If you’re trying to find out how you can watch USA vs. Peru in the international friendly, you’ve come to the right place. This is the 10th US game since missing the World Cup. This is the 5th time in those 10 games that the US is playing a South American opponent. For the United States, it’ll be a good opportunity to get a much-needed win. But it’s against a Peru side that defeated Chile 3-0 in Miami on Friday.
Match: USA vs. Peru
Kickoff: Tuesday, 7:30pm ET
Looking to watch USA vs. Peru online from work, home or on the go? If you live in the USA, there are several options to catch all the action. We Recommend:
US Only.

Here are all of the details of where you can watch it on television and via legal streaming: Who: USA vs. Peru
What: International friendly
When: Game kicks off Continue reading "Where to find USA vs. Peru on US TV and streaming"

Where to find Brazil vs. Argentina on US TV and streaming

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> If you’re trying to find out how you can watch Brazil vs. Argentina on US TV in their friendly, you’ve come to the right place. When Brazil plays Argentina, it’s never a friendly. Both countries face each other on Tuesday in a highly-anticipated game featuring the two classic South American teams. The match will be shown live on US television and streaming.
Match: Brazil vs. Argentina
Kickoff: Tuesday, 2pm ET
Looking to watch Brazil vs. Argentina online from your work, home or on the go? If you live in the USA, there are several options to catch all the action. We Recommend:
US Only.

Here are all of the details of where you can watch it on television and via legal streaming: Who: Brazil vs. Argentina
What: International friendly
When: Game kicks off at 2pm ET / 10am PT; Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Where: Live on beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS

Continue reading "Where to find Brazil vs. Argentina on US TV and streaming"

USA vs. Peru preview: USMNT in need of a major confidence and morale boost

The much-dreaded return of Michael Bradley to the USMNT fold went about as well as everybody expected it to as the US lost 4-2 against Colombia on Thursday. There were some bright spots from some of the younger players but overall a 4-2 loss is not a good look for a team trying to win back a fan base that is quite obviously checked out on the team (most of the fans at the last three US games have been there supporting the opposing team and the only 280,000 people tuned into the game on FS1). But the Colombia game is now in the rearview mirror and another game against a quality South American opponent awaits as the US gets set to take on Peru.
        The play that quite possibly summed up the last five years of Michael Bradley&rsquo;s play for the US happened on Colombia&rsquo;s third goal.  The US <!--more--> seemingly done well up to that point: after going 1-0 down thanks to a wonder strike by James Rodriguez, the US tied it up at 1 with an opportunistic finish from close range by Kellyn Acosta and then took the lead at 2-1 with a great counterattacking move that saw Julian Green beautifully tackle the ball away from a Colombian player and send it to Tim Weah, who played an inch-perfect ball in for Bobby Wood to finish.  But that was the end of the good feelings for the US as Michael Bradley&rsquo;s appalling play reared its ugly head yet again.  The US turned the ball over and Bradley was about 10 yards ahead of Colombia&rsquo;s Radamel Falcao (Bradley was in the US half of the field while Falcao was still in the Colombia half).  By the time Falcao was inside the 18 yard box, Bradley was a full 10 yards behind him and when Falcao is unmarked, he doesn&rsquo;t miss.  He easily tucked it home and gave Colombia a 3-2 lead.  Let that sink in: the US captain having a 10 yard head start on Colombia&rsquo;s 2nd best player, and just slowly jogging back and failing to mark him, leading to an easy Colombia goal.  Falcao ran 60 yards in the same amount of time it took Bradley to run 30.  This is the type of play and &ldquo;veteran leadership&rdquo; that Dave Sarachan and US Soccer think is vital to the team moving forward.  Fantastic. 

        Peru comes into the game having gone to the World Cup this summer for the first time since 1982.  Naturally they were beyond ecstatic.  They didn&rsquo;t make it out of the group (they finished 3rd) but they still gave a good account of themselves.  They lost their opener 1-0 to Denmark and then lost their second group game to eventual champions France, also 1-0.  By the time of their third group game against Australia, they had already been eliminated but still came out fired up and ready to go and beat the Socceroos 2-0 to register a win at the World Cup for the first time since 1978 (when they beat Iran 4-1).  Since the World Cup it&rsquo;s been kind of a mixed bag.  They lost their two September friendlies in Europe (2-1 to the Netherlands in Amsterdam and 2-1 to Germany in Sinsheim) but got a resounding 3-0 win against Chile in Miami on Friday.  The Peruvian roster for their two games in the US features a number of players with a solid number of caps but with the odd factor of only one player over the age of 30.  Several of these players also ply their trade in the US such as defender Alexander Callens of NYCFC (1 goal in 10 appearances for Peru), midfielder Yoshimar Yotun of Orlando City (2 goals in 79 appearances for Peru), midfielder Andy Polo of the Portland Timbers (1 goal in 18 appearances for Peru), and forward Raul Ruidiaz of the Seattle Sounders (4 goals in 33 appearances for Peru).  And while forward Yordy Reyna does play in MLS, he plays in Canada for the Vancouver Whitecaps.  He has 2 goals in 19 appearances for Peru. 
Notes:
1. This is the 10th US game since missing the World Cup. This is the 5th time in those 10 games that the US is playing a South American opponent.
2. Per US coach Dave Sarachan, there will be significant changes from the Colombia game to the Peru game. On Monday, Sarachan confirmed that Brad Guzan will start in goal over Ethan Horvath (Zack Steffen was released from camp on Saturday with hamstring tightness)
3. As of October 9th, roughly 19,000 tickets have been sold for the Peru game in Hartford. When and where to watch the game on US TV and streaming Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Pratt & Whitney Stadium
East Hartford, Connecticut
7:30pm ET
Live on ESPN2, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network, ESPN3, PlayStation Vue and Sling Orange (7-day free trial) All-Time Series USA leads series 3-2-1 Last Meeting September 4, 2015
RFK Stadium
Washington DC
USA 2 – 1 Peru Current FIFA Ranking USA: 22
Peru: 21 Next Game Thursday, November 15, 2018
International Friendly
England vs. USA
Wembley Stadium
London, England

England attack bounced back, says Southgate

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Seville (Spain) (AFP) – Gareth Southgate believes England’s attack answered their critics on Monday by scoring three goals in a whirlwind first half against Spain. Raheem Sterling hit two either side of a clinical finish from Marcus Rashford, while Harry Kane was heavily involved too, providing a pair of excellent assists in the 3-2 victory in Seville. Spain had never conceded three goals at home before half-time and while Paco Alcacer pulled one back, England’s win was secure by the time Sergio Ramos headed in with the game’s final touch. Sterling, Rashford and Kane have all faced criticism in recent weeks. Sterling had not scored for England in three years — 1,102 days to be exact — while Kane’s international drought now stands at seven matches.  Rashford, meanwhile, was guilty of spurning two golden chances against Croatia on Friday.  “All three of them understandably had questions asked and Continue reading "England attack bounced back, says Southgate"

Dzeko fires Bosnia as Northern Ireland crash again

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Sarajevo (AFP) – Edin Dzeko extended Bosnia’s perfect start in the Nations League as the Roma striker inspired a 2-0 win against Northern Ireland on Monday. Dzeko tormented the Northern Ireland defence with a predatory display in Sarajevo. The 32-year-old struck in the first half and wrapped up the points after the interval. Bosnia are top of their three-team Nations League group, which also includes Austria, having taken maximum points from their three matches. Northern Ireland, also beaten by Bosnia in Belfast last month, have gone six away games without a goal and sit bottom of the group after three successive defeats. It could have been different if Middlesbrough midfielder George Saville had taken an early chance to give Northern Ireland the lead when he hit a post from Jamal Lewis’s cross. But Bosnia gradually clicked into gear and opened the scoring in the 27th minute. Lewis slipped to gift Continue reading "Dzeko fires Bosnia as Northern Ireland crash again"

Mbappe is no bighead says Deschamps

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Saint-Denis (France) (AFP) – French phenomenon Kylian Mbappe has handled his rise to superstar status very well, national coach Didier Deschamps said on the eve of a friendly international with their great rivals Germany. The 19-year-old from the Paris suburbs is on the front page of the current edition of American weekly magazine Time, and was one of the stars of the Russian World Cup this summer. Asked if the attention had gone to Mbappe’s head, Deschamps dismissed the notion out of hand. “Not at all, he’s no big head. Even if he’s in the papers or on the cover of Time and has become world famous,” said Deschamps of his star player. “He’s handling it all really well.” “He knows where he’s going and none of this will derail him, he’s just not a big-headed person,” said Deschamps. In his last match for PSG, Mbappe tore Lyon to Continue reading "Mbappe is no bighead says Deschamps"

Under-pressure Loew insists he can handle the criticism

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Paris (AFP) – Two days after the latest humiliating defeat, Germany coach Joachim Loew seemed to have regained his poise as he faced the media Monday ahead of a match against France. “I can handle criticism very well,” Loew said at a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Nations League game against the world champions at the Stade de France. After his team lost 3-0 to the Netherlands on Saturday, Loew had seemed irritated and flustered as he refused to answer questions from German media about his future. That loss left Germany bottom of their Nations League group, fuelling questions about whether he should have retained his job after the humiliating early exit from the World Cup. “Of course, the defeat in the Netherlands has done a lot of damage, to the staff, the players and most of all the fans,” Loew said on Monday.  “It’s not really surprising to Continue reading "Under-pressure Loew insists he can handle the criticism"

Napoli boss confirms talks for Genoa ace Piatek

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Milan (AFP) – Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed on Monday that he has talked to Serie A rivals Genoa about signing Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek. The 23-year-old Poland international has scored a league-topping nine goals after his move from Cracovia last summer for four million euros ($4.6 million), having scored 21 goals in 36 Polish league games last season. “I’ve talked about Piatek both with (Genoa president Enrico) Preziosi and his agent,” De Laurentiis confirmed at an event for the Napoli club in the town of Solopaca. “We will meet again, but I’ll leave our coach (Carlo Ancelotti) in peace, I don’t need to run and I don’t want to get involved in an auction. “Without taking anything away from Piatek we’ll need to see if he can do as well in our setup as he does at Genoa.” Piatek’s 14 goals in 10 competitive games for Continue reading "Napoli boss confirms talks for Genoa ace Piatek"

No Messi but Argentina ‘have to’ beat Brazil, says Romero

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Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) – Argentina may be without superstar Lionel Messi but the two-time world champions simply must beat Brazil in a friendly in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero says. According to FIFA, this will be the 105th time the South American arch-rivals have faced each other in an official match, with Brazil marginally ahead on 40 wins to 38, with 26 draws. And while Brazil, record five-time winners of the World Cup, have picked most of their star names, Argentina are without the likes of Manchester City’s in-form forward Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain of AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria, as well as Messi. “I would love Messi to be here because that would give us a boost in quality,” said Romero, back in the Argentina squad following a knee injury that prevented him from featuring in two friendlies in September. Continue reading "No Messi but Argentina ‘have to’ beat Brazil, says Romero"

Smith expects Terry to make his mark as Villa assistant

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London (AFP) – New Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has backed John Terry to make a big impact after the former Chelsea star joined the Championship club’s coaching staff. Smith became Villa’s fifth permanent manager in the last three years when he left Brentford to replace the sacked Steve Bruce last week. Terry, who played for Villa last season, has been appointed as Smith’s assistant, along with Richard O’Kelly who has also moved from Brentford. The 37-year-old turned down an offer to continue his playing career with Spartak Moscow earlier this season and announced his retirement just before making his return to Villa Park. Smith believes Terry’s glittering career as a decorated defender with Chelsea and England will make him an invaluable resource to draw on as he tries to lead Villa back to the Premier League. “When I was at Brentford I worked with Richard and Thomas Frank, it’s Continue reading "Smith expects Terry to make his mark as Villa assistant"

Turkish star Turan could face more than 12 years jail for brawl

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Istanbul (AFP) – Turkish prosecutors on Monday charged Barcelona player Arda Turan over a brawl with a prominent singer, asking for the footballer to be sentenced to twelve-and-a-half years in jail. The prosecutors charged Turan, who is currently on loan to Istanbul’s Basaksehir, with sexual harassment, unlicensed possession of weapons and causing intentional injury over the fight with singer Berkay Sahin, the state-run Anadolu news agency said. Sahin, who goes on stage by his first name Berkay, was also charged, with prosecutors demanding up to two years in jail. Turan, 31, had last week been summoned to an Istanbul police station to give a statement about the incident but was allowed to walk free. The incident, which took place outside an Istanbul nightclub and reportedly left Sahin with a broken nose, has transfixed Turkey over the last days. In a bizarre sequence of events, Turan then reportedly went to the Continue reading "Turkish star Turan could face more than 12 years jail for brawl"

Mancini off the mark as Italy awaken after winless year

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Milan (AFP) – Roberto Mancini got his first competitive win as Italy’s journey back from the abyss of their World Cup qualifying failure began to take shape with a last-gasp 1-0 win over Poland in the Nations League. It was the first competitive win for the four-time world champions since a 1-0 victory over Albania in World Cup qualifiers on October 9, 2017. That was followed by the devastating failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after a playoff defeat to Sweden at the San Siro in November last year. Italian football has been in turmoil ever since. Although Mancini took over last May, the Italian football federation is still to elect a new president. It was perhaps not surprising that Cristiano Biraghi’s last-gasp winner in Chorzow on Sunday night was celebrated as if the national side had won the tournament. Despite Mancini’s Continue reading "Mancini off the mark as Italy awaken after winless year"

Barca’s Vermaelen out for six weeks with hamstring injury


Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona’s Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen will be sidelined for around six weeks after picking up a right hamstring injury while on international duty, the Spanish giants said Monday. The 32-year-old, who has been hit by a string of injuries since signing for the Catalan club in 2014, limped off the field in the second half of Belgium’s 2-1 win over Switzerland in the Nations League on Friday. “Tests carried out this morning confirm that first team player Thomas Vermaelen has a right hamstring injury. He will be sidelined for approximately six weeks,” the club said in a statement. The injury leaves Barcelona short of options in defence as the team is already without French centre-back Samuel Umtiti who has a knee injury, with only Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet at their disposal.

Sainsbury, coach’s son-in-law, eyes Socceroos captaincy

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Sydney (AFP) – Trent Sainsbury has put his hand up to be the new Socceroos captain, but his father-in-law, new coach Graham Arnold, is unlikely to make a long-term decision before their defence of the Asian Cup in January. Australia has only had two permanent skippers over the past decade — Lucas Neill and Mile Jedinak — and Arnold is keen to make the right choice. He oversees his first game in charge against Kuwait in Kuwait City later Monday (Tuesday Australian time) and plans to trial three players in their three friendlies before the Asian Cup tournament. “I’m looking to use three different captains over the next few games,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald Monday. PSV Eindhoven centre back Sainsbury is likely to be one of them, having been widely tipped as the successor to Jedinak who spearheaded the team at two World Cups before retiring from international Continue reading "Sainsbury, coach’s son-in-law, eyes Socceroos captaincy"