Connect with us

Football Lounge

Spain thump Sweden 2020 European Cup qualifier

Published

on

Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring in Spain's win over Sweden.

Madrid: Spain pounded Sweden 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium here, continuing its unerring course toward the 2020 European Cup in a match showing the leadership and efficacy of team captain Sergio Ramos, who got his team on the board first, albeit not until the 64th minute.

On Monday, it was Spain’s fourth win in four matches, and with the victory they are in clear control of their European Cup qualifying group.

The Spaniards simply dominated the Swedes all the way through, but really came into their own in the second half on two penalty kicks in the 64th and 85th minutes, whereby Ramos and Alvaro Morata got the team on the board, and an 87th-minute wonderful curving tally into the bottom corner of the net by substitute Mikel Oyarzabal for the final result.

This was Ramos’s seventh goal in eight internationals, coming after Sweden’s Sebastian Larsson blocked the ball with his arm and on the penalty kick Ramos faked out goaltender Robin Olsen.

Morata’s penalty kick came after he was tripped by Filip Helander.

The victory put Spain at the top of Group F with 12 points, although despite the loss Sweden are in the second spot, tied with Romania at seven points after the latter’s 4-0 drubbing of Malta on the road. Also in the group are Norway and the Faroe Islands.

The Spaniards had thought that they had gone ahead in the first half after Rodrigo knocked in a cross from Dani Parejo but the score was wrongly ruled out for offside, although had video technology been available – as it is not in the qualifiers – the goal would have counted.

Spain played a fine game, albeit without much sparkle until Oyarzabal stepped up with his fabulous shot just three minutes before the end of regulation time.

Spain’s coach Luis Enrique was not present at the match for personal reasons, but after the match members of the team expressed pride that they had been able to win one for him.

Football Lounge

Coutinho stars as Brazil thump Bolivia in Copa America opener

Published

on

By

Brazil lacked a cutting edge in the absence of star forward Neymar.

Sao Paulo (Brazil): Philippe Coutinho scored two second-half goals as Brazil kicked off their Copa America with a 3-0 victory over Bolivia.

On Friday, the Barcelona attacker netted twice inside five minutes before substitute Everton put the result beyond doubt with a long-range strike at Sao Paulo’s Morumbi Stadium, reports Xinhua news agency.

Despite the comprehensive scoreline, the five-time world champions were below their best against an organised if unthreatening Bolivia outfit.

For long periods, Brazil lacked a cutting edge in the absence of star forward Neymar, who was ruled out of the tournament last week because of an ankle injury.

“It was a tough match for us,” Coutinho told reporters after the game. “At half-time, the manager (Tite) asked us to focus more and to control the ball better. We managed to do that. The first goal changed the course of the match.”

Brazil dominated possession early but struggled to find ways past a resolute Bolivia defence. Roberto Firmino and Thiago Silva had early chances from corners while Coutinho failed to make clean contact with a header after a Filipe Luis cross.

Tite opted against making changes at half-time and his faith was rewarded almost immediately.

Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana consulted the video assistant referee before ruling that Adrian Jusino used his left hand to obstruct Richarlison’s chipped shot. Coutinho then dispatched the resultant spot-kick into the bottom left corner.

The goal quickly released the pressure on Brazil and the Selecao netted again four minutes later when Coutinho headed in after a precise cross from his former Liverpool teammate Firmino.

Everton, introduced as an 85th-minute substitute for David Neres, completed the rout with a fine solo goal, five minutes from time.

The Gremio forward cut in from the left before smashing a low drive from the edge of the box that curled into the bottom right corner of Carlos Lampe’s goal.

Continue Reading

Brand Lounge

Star Sports renews exclusive broadcast rights for EPL till 2022

Published

on

Star Sports will broadcast over 250 Premier League games LIVE across the network and beam all 380 games LIVE on its digital platform Hotstar

Mumbai: For the past two decades, Star Sports, India’s leading sports broadcaster has continued to entertain football fans in India with top flight English football. On Friday, Star Sports announced that it will continue its partnership with Premier League for the next three years running up to the 2021-22 season.

The renewal reinforces Star Sports’ and Hotstar’s commitment to football in India, with the best of global and Indian football action. Star Sports will broadcast more than 250 Premier League games LIVE across the network and beam All 380 games LIVE on Hotstar.

Commenting on the partnership, Gautam Thakar, CEO, Star Sports, said, “We are excited to continue our partnership with the Premier League and are proud to showcase the best of football on Star Sports. As the home of sports, we are delighted to bring the Premier league to passionate fans in India and look forward to many fantastic seasons of football in the years ahead.”

Premier League director of broadcasting, Paul Molnar said, “We look forward to continuing to work with Star to make the best Premier League action available to the many passionate football fans in India who closely follow our clubs and the competition.”

The world’s most watched league will continue to showcase the talent of Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Mo Salah (Liverpool), Paul Pogba (Man United), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Harry Kane (Tottenham) on the field with Pep Guardiola (Man City), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool), Unai Emery (Arsenal) and Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Man United) orchestrating the team movements from off the field. The quality of play continues to get better in the league with promoted teams putting up a challenge.

Continue Reading

Football Lounge

Casillas yet to decide on future

Published

on

By

Iker Casillas suffered a heart attack recently.

Madrid: Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas on Thursday said he had not yet decided whether he would retire from the sport after suffering a heart attack amid rumours in several Portuguese newspapers that he would hang up his gloves before the start of the next season.

Cassilas, on his Twitter account, reshared a previous tweet in which he said he was yet undecided about his future in the sport.

In the original tweet, published just over two weeks after his heart attack on May 1, the former Real Madrid goalie said: “Retirement, there will be a day that I’ll have to retire. Let me announce this when the moment comes. For now … everyone relax! I had an appointment yesterday with Dr. Filipe Macedo. Everything is ok. This is great news that I would like to share with all of you!”

In his retweet, he said: “The same from this tweet from one month ago, except the part of the meeting with the Doctor. More than anything because my appointment is tomorrow. Big hug to everyone.”

The former Real Madrid captain suffered a heart attack during a training session with his current team, FC Porto, casting major doubt about his ability to continue in the sport.

Casillas’ personal situation got even more complicated when his wife, journalist Sara Carbonero, announced that she went through a malignant ovarian tumour surgery on May 21.

On June 6, various Portuguese newspapers said that Casillas met Pinto da Costa, President of FC Porto, where he was offered the possibility to continue working in the club, but as part of the technical staff.

Casillas made his professional debut with Real Madrid under then coach, Welshman John Benjamin Toshack, against Athletic Bilbao in September 1999 in San Mames at the age of 19.

At Real Madrid, Casillas was in the team that won the UEFA Champions League three times, LaLiga five times, the Copa del Rey twice, the Spanish Super Cup four times and the FIFA Club World Cup twice.

Continue Reading

Top Picks