Wednesday, June 20, 2018

JAPAN SINK 10-MAN COLOMBIA IN HISTORIC WIN FOR ASIA

Colombia had a nightmare start to the World Cup as Japan secured a victory against 10 men in their Group H opener in Saransk.

Carlos Sanchez was sent off inside the first three minutes for handling Shinji Kagawa's shot at a goal. It is the first red card given at this World Cup, and Kagawa calmly scored the penalty.

Then Japan wasted two goal scoring opportunities to increase their advantage. Six minutes before the break Juan Quintero punished them with a clever free-kick. The Colombian fired low under the jumping wall, brought his team back on level terms.

James Rodriguez was brought on in the second half despite his fitness concerns, but the records show Colombia had never win a World Cup match after conceding the opening goal. In the 73rd minute, Yuya Osako regained the lead for Japan with a fine header from Keisuke Honda's corner.

The Blue Samurai finally made their extra man count and dominated as much as possible. It is the first time Japan had won a World Cup match on European soil, and the first time they beat a South American team at the tournament.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

CAPTAIN KANE RESCUES ENGLAND WITH STOPPAGE TIME WINNER

Harry Kane scored twice including a stoppage-time winner to give England a 2-1 win over Tunisia in their opening World Cup match. The Three Lions were made to sweat but got full points after the captain headed in just seconds before the match ended.

England took control of the match from start. Tunisia could barely breathe, much less compete. Kane knocked in the rebound of John Stones’s header from a corner kick to give England the lead after 11 minutes.

England had so much posession in the first sixty minutes. But then, Kyle Walker brought down Fakhreddine Ben Youssef inside the penalty area. Ferjani Sassi made no mistake from the spot to beat Jordan Pickford, and the score tied 1-1 until the break.

England were more dominant in the second half. Tunisia started to understand the English game and closed down their attacks.

As the match entered the stoppage time, England got a last corner kick in. Kane whipped the ball into the net after receiving a deflection from Harry Maguire. The crowd went wild as the Three Lions secured a good start in their World Cup campaign.


Monday, June 18, 2018

SWITZERLAND HOLD BRAZIL TO 1-1 DRAW

For the first time since 1978, World Cup favourites Brazil failed to win their opening game as Switzerland earned a valuable draw in Rostov-on-Don. The five-time world cup champs, well known for their flair, failed to shine despite Philippe Coutinho's superb opener in the 20th minute.


Brazil were less impressive than usual despite having Gabriel Jesus, Willian and Neymar in front. Steven Zuber's header from a corner earned the Swiss a deserved point.

On his 14th appearance, Zuber delivered the all important equaliser, powering home from four yards after fending off the attentions of his marker. Brazil claimed that Zuber pushed his marker to set him free but was not taken by the officials.

The draw ends Brazil's run of nine World Cup opening match wins. Both teams now trail Group E leaders Serbia, who beat Costa Rica earlier. Though, the fans may not be too worried from the result knowing Switzerland are in the world's top six on ranking.



LOZANO'S GOAL STUNS WORLD CUP CHAMPS IN BIGGEST UPSET

Mexico stunned defending champions Germany 1-0 in their World Cup 2018 opening game. The win gives Mexico three points and puts them in a golden spot to move on, while Germany now can't afford another slip up with South Korea and Sweden to come. Joachim Loew’s side now have a tougher task to qualify for the knockout stages.

Making his World Cup debut, Hirving Lozano scored Mexico’s winning goal in the 35th minute. From a counter attack, Lozano picked-up a pass from Javier Hernandez inside the penalty area, he dummied Mesut Ozil and fired past Manuel Neuer from 10 yards.

After the goal, Germany responded with continuous attacks inside Mexico's area. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was huge in goal for El Tri as well, making save after save to keep the mighty Germans out. He had to deny Toni Kroos’ effort onto the crossbar, before Julian Brandt failed to score from a good position. Mexico held-on bravely to record the biggest upset in Russia this year.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

ICELAND HOLD ARGENTINA AS MESSI MISS PENALTY

Iceland held Argentina to a 1-1 draw in their World Cup 2018 Group D match. Lionel Messi was dangerous throughout the match, but his penalty was saved in the second half.

The South Americans started the match with continuous attacks. The breakthrough came after 13 minutes through Manchester City's Sergio Aguero left foot shot.

The lead was short-lived as Iceland responded four minutes later after Alfred Finnbogason scored from a rebound inside the danger area.

Then Maxi Meza was taken down in the box after the hour mark and a penalty kick was given. Messi took it but Halldorsson made a perfect save and the score remained until the final whistle.

Argentina dominated the match with 78 percent possession and outshot Iceland 27-8. However, they failed to find the net in the second half.

Both teams collected a point each in the group, but it felt like a win for Iceland. They fought hard defensively and held on to claim a draw.


FRANCE BEAT AUSTRALIA TO CLAIM OPENING WIN

France kicked-off their 2018 World Cup campaign in with a win. As one of the favorites, the 1998 Champions edged Australia 2-1 in their Group C opening match.

After a scoreless first half, both teams got going after the break.

Antoine Griezmann was taken down in the box, and the video assistant referee (VAR) was used to help the head official to call for a penalty. Griezmann converted the spot kick to give the French team the lead in the 58th minute.

A few minutes later, Australia was awarded a penalty after a handball by Samuel Umtiti. Mile Jedinak made no mistake from the spot to give Australia the equaliser.

As the match was heading for a draw, Paul Pogba sent the ball to the crossbar and crossed the line in the 81st minute.

A good fight by the Australians, but France had enough quality and luck to secure three valuable points from the match.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

REAL MADRID BEAT LIVERPOOL TO BAG THIRD CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IN A ROW

Gareth Bale came off the bench to score twice, including one of the all-time great goals in a Champions League final, as Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev on Saturday to take the trophy for the third year running. Bale's jaw-dropping overhead kick in the 64th minute put Real 2-1 up moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.

Sadio Mane had briefly restored parity, but Bale put Real in front again and then sealed the triumph late on with a long-range strike that the unfortunate Karius could only punch into the net. Jurgen Klopp's and Liverpool's own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder. This was not to be Salah's night, with Real allowing Zinedine Zidane to become the first coach ever to win the Champions League three years in a row.

Madrid are the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall. Cristiano Ronaldo has now won five in his great career.

But Bale has not been a regular in the Real team this season and he admitted he will now consider his future in the weeks ahead. The Welshman had been tipped to feature in the starting line-up but was left out for Isco — just as he had been in the final against Juventus last year — before making an emphatic impact as a substitute.

For Liverpool, the game will be remembered for the disaster that befell goalkeeper Karius in the second half, and for Salah's tears as he departed the pitch at the NSC Olympiyskyi. The Egyptian hurt his left shoulder as he went down in a challenge with Sergio Ramos in the 25th minute. Five minutes later he made way for Adam Lallana, and his presence at the World Cup is now in doubt.

After Salah departed, Real sensed their chance. They even had the ball in the net in the 43rd minute, only to be denied by a marginal offside call. Isco struck the bar after Lallana diverted the ball into his path, before Benzema opened the scoring in the 51st minute.

It was a moment of unbelievable carelessness from Karius, who attempted to roll the ball out to the nearest red shirt only for Benzema to stick out a leg and send it trickling into the net. Klopp's side really could have let their heads drop, and yet they were soon back level, Mane turning the ball in after Dejan Lovren headed down James Milner's corner. But their renewed hope was crushed upon the introduction of Bale. The Welshman had been on the field barely two minutes when he met Marcelo's cross from the left with an improbable leap, back to goal, 15 yards out, to send an overhead kick on his left foot arcing over Karius and in.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

HAZARD'S PENALTY HELP CHELSEA SALVAGE IT'S SEASON

FA CUP FINAL: CHELSEA 1 - MANCHESTER UTD 0

Eden Hazard ensured Chelsea's lackluster season ended on a high note by securing the F.A. Cup in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in the final on Saturday. Days after raising doubts about his Chelsea future, Hazard netted from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute at Wembley Stadium after being brought down by Phil Jones.

After lifting the Premier League trophy last season, Chelsea finished 30 points behind newly crowned champion Manchester City to finish fifth last week and out of the Champions League places. Victory for Conte, his first in a cup final meant Jose Mourinho finished his second season at United empty-handed, paying the price for an insipid first-half display and coming to life only after the break.

United took until the 56th minute to register a shot on target when Marcus Rashford struck at goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who later rushed off his line to block the forward. United did finish second in the Premier League, the club's highest finish since Alex Ferguson retired as a champion in 2013.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

SELANGOR IS THE CHAMPIONS OF MALAYSIA AGAIN!

PIALA MALAYSIA: SELANGOR 2 - KEDAH 0

Selangor extended their Malaysia Cup winning record after beating Kedah 2-0 in the final on saturday. The Red Giants claimed their 33rd title at Shah Alam Stadium thanks to Hazwan Bakri's brace, and the brilliant tactical by Mehmet Durakovic.

Selangor did not take long to struck on the counter. Andik Vermansyah released the ball from his own half to Guilherme De Paula, whose lofted pass sent Hazwan sprinting down the right before applying a cool finish by dinking his shot over goalkeeper Firdaus. Kedah, nearly equalised just before the break but goalkeeper Norazlan Razali tipped Rizal Ghazali's drive over to preserve Selangor's lead.

As the match resumed, Hazwan was on target again after firing into the far corner past Firdaus from De Paula's through ball in the 48th minute. Kedah struggled to respond as substitute Farhan Roslan put a free-header over the bar in the 65th minute before Norazlan denied Sandro Da Silva Mendonca at point-blank range. When goalkeeper Firdaus was sent off with six minutes to go when he handled outside the box in blocking S. Veenod's shot, Kedah's hopes of a comeback disappeared.

The victory also means that Mehmet Durakovic becomes the first foreigner to win the Malaysia Cup as both player and coach, with the Australian also part of Selangor's triumphs in 1995 to 1997. 


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Monday, December 7, 2015

KEDAH REACH MALAYSIA CUP FINAL

PIALA MALAYSIA: KEDAH 2(4) - FELDA UNITED 1(3)

Kedah defeated Felda United 2-1 In the Malaysia Cup semi-finals, return-leg matche last night at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar. The Red Eagles got through to the final with a 4-3 on aggregate. Goals in by Chidi Edeh (44th) and Sandro da Silva (50th) were enough to keep the home side on course for a Premier League and Malaysia Cup double this season. Felda had earlier stunned Kedah with the opening goal by Syamim Yahya in the 39th minute.

Baddrol Bakhtiar, who missed the first leg through suspension, was the home team's best player in front of the sellout 30,000 crowd. The right-sided midfielder was at the heart of most of Kedah's attacking moves, supplying the crosses for forwards Edeh and Da Silva.

Felda United's hopes of drawing level were dashed in the 61st minute when veteran striker Indra Putra Mahayuddin was sent off after collecting his second yellow card for elbowing Shafizan Hashim in the face. Kedah will face Selangor in the Malaysia Cup final on 12 December at Shah Alam Stadium.



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RED GIANTS IN MALAYSIA CUP FINAL AGAIN

PIALA MALAYSIA: SELANGOR 2(2) - PAHANG 0(0)

Selangor overcame Pahang 2-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium in the Malaysia Cup semi-finals, return-leg match last night. The Super League's Red Giants will take on Premier League champions Kedah in the final at the Shah Alam Stadium on Dec 12.

Selangor took the lead in the 11th minute through Brazilian striker Guilherme De Paula. Pahang could not find the equaliser against the solid defending home side. The Red Giants wen into the break with a slim advantage.

Mehmet Durakovic side were quick to double the advantage in the second half. Muhammad Nazmi Faiz Mansor found the net just 9 minute after the match resumed. The Elephants made some dangerous attempts towards Selangor's goal.

Selangor held on brilliantly to secure a deserving 2-0 win over Pahang, and moved on closer to ending their 10-year wait for the coveted Malaysia Cup. The Klang Valley giants hold the record of having won the Malaysia Cup the most number of times - 32 – but they have not tasted success since beating Perlis 3-0 in the 2005 final.




Friday, December 4, 2015

KEDAH TAKE THE ADVANTAGE FROM FELDA UNITED

PIALA MALAYSIA: FELDA UNITED 2 - KEDAH 2

Kedah will have advantage for the second leg of Malaysia Cup competition after being draw by Felda United with 2-2 score at Selayang Stadium last night. The Red Eagles came back twice to seal the draw after Thiago Fernandes of Felda United put the fighters in front twice.

Felda took the lead through Thiago Fernandes in 13th minutes after receiving Hadin's crossed. The Red Eagles replied back with a controversial goal by Sandro Da Silva header in 38th minutes.

An inspired Kedah continue their fine form in second half.  But, once again Thiago sealed the show with his solo effort for the second goal for Felda United. While Felda United tried to keep the score with a deep defend, Chidi Edeh burned the hope for the Fighters after the Nigerian hits the net in 68th minutes for an equalizer.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

FELDA UNITED SEND JDT PACKING

PIALA MALAYSIA: JOHOR DT 1 - FELDA UNITED 2
*Felda United win with 3-2 agregate
 
Johor DT failed to take full advantage of playing at home against Felda United in the second leg match of the Malaysia Cup quarterfinals at Stadium Larkin. Earlier, in the first leg match held at Selayang Stadium both teams were tied at 1-1, where JDT had the advantage of an away goal, and had a better chance to advance into the semifinals.

The Fighters was awarded a penalty in the 4th minutes, which Thiago Augusto Fernandes converted to put the team ahead, before the JDT's captain Safiq Rahim scored an equalizing goal in the 50th minute. The Southern Tigers were shocked again by the Irfan Bakti's men, and this time via the Liberian import player, Zah Rahan Krangar, who popped up to score in the 76th minute.  

Felda United held on and successfully knocked the Southern Tigers out of the competition with 3-2 aggregate. The Fighters will meet Kedah in the semi-final.  Kedah, the Premier League champions beats PKNS FC 2-1 at the Selayang Stadium to reach the semi-final.



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Monday, November 30, 2015

SELANGOR MARCH INTO MALAYSIA CUP SEMI FINALS

PIALA MALAYSIA: SELANGOR 1 - SARAWAK 1
*Selangor win with 3-2 agregate
 
Selangor continued to chase their 33rd Malaysia Cup dream after holding Sarawak to a 1-1 draw last night in Shah Alam Stadium.  With advantage of two away goals in the first leg in Kuching and played in front of their fans, the Red Giants took full advantage to qualify into the last four.

Sarawak were ahead in the 22nd minutes with a goal scored by Ashri Chuchu, and Selangor was however equalized 6 minutes later through striker, Afiq Azmi. The score remained until the 90th minutes and the Red Giants booked the semi-final spot after beating Sarawak 3-2 in aggregate.  Selangor will have a tough task in their semi-final match, which they will face the defending champion, Pahang.


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Thursday, November 26, 2015

JDT HOLD FELDA UNITED IN SELAYANG

​PIALA MALAYSIA: FELDA UNITED 1 - JOHOR DT 1

Felda United wasted an opportunity to claim a first leg advantage after being held to a draw by Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) in Selayang yesterday. The Fighters showed a very good performance against the newly crowned AFC Cup Champions. However, both sides could not find the net in the first 45 minutes.

Irfan Bakti changed Felda United into a more offensive approach in the second half. Fernandes Thiago Augusto broke the duck after four minutes to give the home side the goal they needed.

JDT started to show their true capabilities. Mario Gomez sent in Amirul Hadi zainal in the final twenty minutes to add sparks into the Southern Tigers attack. The substitute finally paid off as Amirul scored the equaliser late in the injury time. JDT will carry the away goal advantage to Larkin for the second leg match this Saturday. 



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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

SELANGOR TAKE VALUABLE WIN OVER SARAWAK

PIALA MALAYSIA: SARAWAK 1 - SELANGOR 2

Selangor recorded a valuable win in Kuching after beating Sarawak in the Malaysia Cup first leg semi final match. The Red Giants will also carry two away goals when they entertain the Hornbills in Shah Alam this Saturday. The visitor dominated the first half. Ahmad Hazwan Bakri opened the scoring after 35 minutes to give Selangor the lead.

Sarawak came on after the break with a goal down. The home side pulled back with a goal by Billy Mehmet in the 59th minute. Selangor did not show any sign of going for a draw. The visitors finally found the net again in the last minute through Muhammad Afiq Azmi. The result means Sarawak will have a mountain to climb in the return leg at shah Alam Stadium.



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Monday, November 23, 2015

JDT, SARAWAK MARCH INTO MALAYSIA CUP QUARTERFINALS

PIALA MALAYSIA: JOHOR DT 1 - SARAWAK 1

Sarawak earned an important point which took them into the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Cup after holding Johor DT in Larkin on Saturday. JDT have already booked their place in the last eight after five wins from five in Group B, JDT took a first half lead thanks to Amirul Hadi Zainal.

The wet condition of the pitch made it hard for both team to play their true potential. Amirul Hadi broke the duck in the 39th minute after stealing the ball from Dzulazlan Ibrahim and calmly slotted the ball past Iqbal Suhaimi and into the Sarawak net.

As the quarterfinals started to look impossible for the visitors, they equalised just after four minutes into the second half. Patrick Nyema collected the ball midway through the Johor half, took a few yards before making a spectacular strike to top corner of Farizal's net almost instantly.

The Southern Tigers tried to regain their lead but Sarawak did everything right to ensure their semifinal spot is save. JDT face Felda United in the quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday while Sarawak take on Selangor.


Friday, November 6, 2015

KEDAH WIN, JDT II OUT OF MALAYSIA CUP

PIALA MALAYSIA: JDT II 2 - KEDAH 4
 
Kedah beat JDT II with a  4-2 win at Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor Baharu on Wednesday. The win also ensures Kedah qualified to the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals. Kedah had a great start through Chidi Edeh goal in 17th minute. JDT II put the score back into level through Nicolas Delmonte 10 minutes later. Akram Mahinan made it 2-1 for JDT II with a quick counter attack a minute later.

Second half resume  with Kedah trailing with one goal down. Baddrol Bakhtiar put an equalizer in 63rd minute before Liridon Krazniqi sealed the win for Kedah in 76th minute. Kedah coach Tan Cheng Hoe was happy with his boys performance after seeing them through to the next level. Kedah finished second in Group A with ten points while JDT II laid in bottom with four points after six games played.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

SELANGOR AND FELDA CONFIRM QUARTERFINALS SPOTS

PIALA MALAYSIA: FELDA UNITED 3 – SELANGOR 2

Felda United came back from a goal down to record a 3-2 victory over Selangor in the Malaysia Cup Group C match on Wednesday. The win takes the Fighters together with the Red Giants into the quarterfinal stage.
 
Selangor took the lead at the Selayang Stadium with a goal by Shazlan Alias in the 38th minute. Irfan Bakti boys could not find the right tempo as the first half ended with 1-0 to Selangor.
 
Felda United came on with stronger after the break. They made dangerous attempts from the restart and Thiago Augusto finally grabbed the equalizer in the 48th minute. Two minutes later, the Fighters went ahead as Tiago found the net again.
 
Selangor were losing their ground against the rising home side. Felda United were 3-1 up after 65 minutes, a cross by Zah Rahan hit Robert Cornthwaite for an own goal.

Guilherme de Paula made a number of attempts towards Felda's goal, but his spot kick in the 88th minute reduced the deficits. The homeside held on until the final whistle and both team qualified into the Malaysia Cup quarterfinals. In another Group C match, Kelantan beat T-Team 3-1 in Kota Bharu.



JOHOR DT EDGE ISTIKLOL FOR HISTORIC AFC CUP WIN

AFC CUP FINAL: FC ISTIKLOL 0 - JOHOR DT 1

Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) created history after becoming the first Malaysian team to win an Asian level tournament. The Southern Tigers defeated Tajikistan's FC Istiklol 1-0 in the AFC Cup final at Republic Central Stadium on Saturday.

Leandro Velazquez turned hero for his team by scoring the winning goal. The Argentinian scored a volley after a poor clearance by Istiklol goalkeeper Nikola Stosic from a corner-kick in the 23rd minute.

Istiklol had three goals dissallowed for offside in the 14th, 52nd and 90th minutes by Japanese referee Minoru Tojo. Farizal Marlias played a fantastic game with his saves despite the home side's continuous pressures throughout the 90 minutes.

JDT's skipper, Safiq Rahim was also chosen to be the most valuable player of the tournament winner. The AFC Cup is JDT's second major title of the season after winning the Malaysian Super League.