A Lionel Messi penalty salvaged a 1-1 draw for Argentina against Paraguay on Wednesday as the two-time world champions once again struggled at the Copa America.
Messi swept in a 57th-minute spot-kick at Belo Horizonte’s Mineirao Stadium to cancel out a first-half opener from Paraguay’s Richard Sanchez.
Argentina also had goalkeeper Franco Armani to thank for a second half penalty save that prevented Paraguay from taking a 2-1 lead in the Group B battle.
The draw left Argentina with one point from two games and on the bottom of the table with one game remaining.
However with the two best third placed teams advancing to the quarterfinals, Argentina can still reach the last eight with a decisive win over Qatar in their final group game. Place bet on Live Mathes 24/7
“We have to win,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said of his team’s date with Qatar. “We will take stock of what we did well and what we did not do well and we will make decisions. We are lucky that we are still alive in this tournament,” added Scaloni, singling out goalkeeper Armani for special praise. Continue reading “Copa America: Messi rescues Argentina as Paraguay pay penalty”
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Portugal manager Fernando Santos hailed Cristiano Ronaldo a “football genius” after his 53rd career hat-trick sent Portugal into the final of the Nations League on home soil in Porto with a 3-1 win over Switzerland.
The hosts had to withstand a huge moment of VAR controversy as after Ronaldo’s free-kick opened the scoring, Portugal thought they had the chance to double their lead from the penalty spot.
Instead German referee Felix Brych reversed his initial decision and awarded a spot-kick at the other end for an earlier incident, which Ricardo Rodriguez converted to seemingly send the game to extra-time.
However, Ronaldo predictably took centre stage as he struck twice in the final two minutes to set up a clash with England or the Netherlands, who meet in the second semifinal on Thursday, in Sunday’s final.
“I was his coach in 2003 and I could see where he’d go,” said Santos. “He’s a genius. There’s genius paintings and sculptures and he’s a football genius!” Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet
Portugal made it to the last four without their all-time record goalscorer as Ronaldo took a hiatus from international football to concentrate on his first season at Juventus. Continue reading “Ronaldo hat-trick fired Portugal into Nations League final”
Senegal are not just quick off the mark, they also know how to defend. The African side were the only team not to concede a goal in the group stages.
Lodz hosts an all-African tie as old foes Senegal and Nigeria cross swords. Les Lions de la Teranga were the first team to qualify for the knockout rounds and forward Amadou Sagna’s goal after 9.6 seconds against Tahiti was the quickest ever at the U20 World Cup. Nigeria, who qualified as one of the best third-placed teams, will have to be on their guard from the first whistle.
Panama have been one of the biggest surprise packages at Poland 2019. Los Canaleros may have had to wait an age for their first competitive win, but they were rewarded for their patience, making it to the Fifa U20 World Cup knockout rounds for the first time ever.
Coach Jorge Dely Valdes will try to prolong the fairytale on Monday against an impressive Ukraine side starring Real Madrid’s Andriy Lunin. The young goalkeeper has already shone on several occasions, saving virtually everything thrown at him, including Muhamed Tijani’s penalty in the draw against Nigeria. Continue reading “Senegal take on Nigeria in a Round of 16 clash.”
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and the returning Sergio Aguero headed the 23-man Copa America squad announced by Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni on Wednesday.
Paris Saint Germain winger Angel Di Maria was also included but there was no place for striker Gonzalo Higuain, who is on loan at Chelsea from Juventus.
“These are the best players in an important time for the national team,” said Scaloni ahead of the tournament hosted by Brazil, which begins on June 14.
Argentina will play in Group B alongside Colombia, Paraguay and guests Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts and current Asian champions.
Messi, who only returned to the Argentina squad in March after an eight-month absence following the World Cup in Russia, will turn 32 during the competition. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet
Di Maria, like Messi, made his post-World Cup return in March ahead of friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco, but Manchester City’s Aguero had not been called up since Argentina’s 4-3 last 16 defeat to eventual champions France in Russia. Continue reading “Messi and Aguero set for Argentina Copa America returns”
Rafael Nadal defeated his greatest rival Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 to win a ninth Italian Open title and a record 34rd Masters on Sunday, leaving his vanquished foe to label the Spaniard as “the number one favourite for Roland Garros”.
World number one Djokovic, winner at the Madrid Open last week, produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with second-ranked Nadal, who claimed the 81st title of his career.
“It’s always an honour for me,” said Nadal after securing his first title of 2019.
“I remember my first time here in 2005. To still be here with this trophy so many years later means a lot of me.”
Djokovic had beaten Nadal in the final of the Australian Open this year for his third straight Grand Slam win after Wimbledon and the US Open. Bet Now on NaijaBet
Nadal overtakes Djokovic at the top of the list for Masters wins — the pair were level at 33 each before Sunday’s final — in a timely boost ahead of his assault on a 12th French Open crown in a week’s time. Continue reading “Nadal beats Djokovic to win ninth Italian title”
Germany are targeting a return to the world’s elite at the Women’s World Cup next month after a string of disappointing results for the two-time champions in recent years.
The Germans won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007 but were eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2011 and finished fourth in 2015, and the fans’ passion for women’s football appears to have waned.
A shock quarterfinal exit at the 2017 European Championship, an abysmal performance at the invitational SheBelieves Cup and a poor start to their World Cup qualifying campaign led to coach Steffi Jones being sacked last year.
Former Germany international and youth coach Horst Hrubesch took over on an interim basis to secure World Cup qualification, and after restoring order with seven wins and a draw from his eight games, handed the reins over to Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
The Germans, who have been drawn in Group B with Spain, China and South Africa, are widely expected to advance to the knockout phase, where they should avoid hosts France and defending champions the United States until a potential final. Various betting options are available on site for today’s Games
“We obviously want to win the group,” Voss-Tecklenburg said.
“That is our first aim. Then we reach the knockout stage and as we want to qualify for next year’s Olympics we need to reach minimum the quarterfinals or the semifinals (depending on the number of European teams.) This is our minimum demand.” Continue reading “Germany woman returns to world elite after decade in doldrums”
Aston Villa progressed to within one game of a return to the Premier League after edging West Midlands rivals West Brom 4-3 on penalties in the Championship playoff semifinals on Tuesday.
West Brom won 1-0 on the night at the Hawthorns to level the tie at 2-2 on aggregate thanks to Craig Dawson’s first half header.
However, the Baggies’ hopes of an immediate return to the top-flight were dented when captain Chris Brunt was sent-off 10 minutes from the end of normal time. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 0n NaijaBet
The hosts held out manfully during extra-time, but Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer saved West Brom’s first two penalties of the shootout from Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi Continue reading “Aston Villa beat West Brom to reach playoff final”
Two-time champion Simona Halep overcame Ashleigh Barty 7-5, 7-5 to reach her fourth Madrid Open semifinal on Thursday.
Romania’s third seed and former world No 1 will next play the winner from top seed Naomi Osaka and on-form Swiss Belinda Bencic.
Halep, who has been struggling with injury, took the opening set and went up a break in the second before losing it against the ninth-seeded Australian who won the Miami title in March.
Halep regained control with a break for 6-5 as her opponent returned wide. She wrapped up victory with an untouchable forehand to the corner. Place bet on Live Tennis Games 24/7
“It’s not easy to keep winning here,” Halep said after a victory in which she broke four times. Continue reading “Halep holds off Barty to reach Madrid semis-Finals”
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President Donald Trump and Barack Obama were among those hailing Tiger Woods on social media after his 11-year major drought was ended by a thrilling and emotional Masters victory on Sunday.
“Congratulations to @TigerWoods,” tweeted the US president Trump, who played a round of golf with Woods earlier this year. “A truly Great Champion!”
“Congratulations, Tiger!” former president Obama tweeted. “To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.”
As Woods went on a charge on the back nine at Augusta National with birdies at 13, 15 and 16 to win by a stroke and claim his 15th major and fifth Masters, social media lit up in a frenzy of congratulations.
“I am literally in tears watching @TigerWoods this is Greatness like no other,” tweeted 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams.
“Knowing all you have been through physically to come back and do what you just did today? Wow Congrats a million times! I am so inspired thank you buddy.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7
Fellow golfers and former greats of the game were also quick to hail Woods’ achievement in returning to the summit of the sport after multiple surgeries and a string of off-course problems since his 14th major win at the 2008 US Open. Continue reading “All hail Woods! Trump, Serena, Nicklaus congratulate Tiger”
Chelsea benefitted from a hugely controversial offside goal to beat Cardiff on Sunday to keep themselves in the running for a top-four finish. Chelsea supporters were calling for Maurizio Sarri to be sacked prior during the game.
Brighton’s two-game winning streak came to an end at the weekend after losing 1-0 at home to Southampton. Chris Hughton’s side are five points clear of the bottom three heading into Wednesday’s match at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea- N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard were only fit enough to start on the bench in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Cardiff but they will both return to the starting XI here.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off the bench and scored the winner against Cardiff. He will hope to be rewarded with a start in midweek.
Callum Hudson-Odoi didn’t even get off the bench at the weekend but Maurizio Sarri has hinted he will start upcoming matches.
Gonzalo Higuain turned in another poor display and Olivier Giroud can count himself unfortunate if he doesn’t start on Wednesday. Bet Now
Emerson and Andreas Christensen will hope to benefit from any rotation in defence in midweek. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Chelsea vs Brighton”
Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar will returning to training on Wednesday for “on-pitch tests” after two-and-a-half months out with a foot injury, the club said on Tuesday.
The world’s most expensive player has been sidelined since hobbling off during a French Cup win over Strasbourg on January 23, missing PSG’s Champions League last-16 defeat by Manchester United.
“@Neymarjr’s recovery from injury is progressing well and he will return to training on Wednesday as scheduled for on-pitch tests,” PSG said on Twitter.
“Club specialists will carry out a full medical and radiological assessment in two weeks’ time.”
PSG were hoping Neymar would be healed enough to get back on the pitch in time for a potential Champions League quarterfinal later this month, but the French side suffered a humiliating exit as United sensationally overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit. Continue reading “Neymar to resume training after two-and-a-half months out”
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi came off the bench to help the Liga leaders battle back from 4-2 down in stoppage time to snatch a remarkable 4-4 draw at struggling Villarreal on Tuesday.
The Catalans avoided a first league loss since November with a last-gasp Luis Suarez strike after captain and top scorer Messi gave them hope with a deadly free kick in the 90th minute.
The draw resulted in Barca’s lead over nearest challengers Atletico Madrid, who had earlier won 2-0 at home to lowly Girona, being trimmed to eight points ahead of Saturday’s top-of-the-table showdown at the Nou Camp.
Even without Messi, Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic in their starting line-up, the visitors still strolled into the lead through a Philippe Coutinho goal in the 12th minute, which Brazilian forward Malcom soon doubled with a header. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
But Villarreal, who began the game hovering one point above the relegation zone, hauled themselves into contention with a strike from 19-year-old Samuel Chukwueze midway through the first half. Continue reading “Messi helps Barcelona to survive Villarreal scare in eight-goal thriller”
Kylian Mbappe fired Paris Saint-Germain to their eighth straight Ligue 1 win with a stunning goal that earned the champions a 1-0 victory at Toulouse on Sunday and kept them miles clear at the top of the league. silent
The 20-year-old World Cup winner crashed home his 27th league goal of the season, his seventh in as many league games, with 16 minutes left as he continues to shine in the absence of the injured duo Neymar and Edinson Cavani.
“We had to wait, be patient and in the end, we won with Kylian’s speed,” said PSG skipper Marquinhos.
“It brought a great deal of joy to our fans, I’m sure of that.”
PSG now have 80 points, 20 ahead of second placed Lille with a game in hand to boot.
Coach Thomas Tuchel said he was delighted that the runaway leaders have not been tempted to take their foot off the gas. Various betting options are available on site for today’s game
“Many of our players were away in the international break and there was a bit of fatigue in some of them,” said the German.
“It could have been tempting to relax, especially with the lead we have in the league, but nobody does it and I like that.” Continue reading “Unstoppable Mbappe silent Toulouse resistance”
When you try to think of the world’s wealthiest footballers, it’s natural to have your mind immediately flit to the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo – or perhaps simply a formidable player playing for a top-class European club.
Alexis Sanchez earns £350,000 per week at Old Trafford and is the highest-paid player in the Premier League, while Aaron Ramsey will be paid a handsome £400,000 per week at Juventus.
In reality, the world’s richest footballer just so happens to be 20-year-old Leicester reserve player Faiq Bolkiah. The nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, the enigmatic youngster is worth an estimated £15 billion ($20bn) – blowing Ronaldo’s estimated net worth of between £200m and £250m out of the water.
Bolkiah has been plying his trade with the Foxes academy, having first signed a three-year professional contract in March 2016. He has yet to make a first-team appearance with Leicester, however, and little is known about his involvement with the reserves set-up.
Regarded as a talented midfielder, Bolkiah – who was born in the Los Angeles and could have chosen to represent the U.S. national team but opted to play for Brunei – started his youth career at AFC Newbury. Start forecasting your weekend games Now
In 2009, he joined Southampton’s esteemed youth set-up and stayed there for four years before making the move to Arsenal after the Gunners offered him a trial in 2013. Continue reading “Meet the Latest World Richest Footballer, Not Messi & Not Ronaldo”
Alvaro Morata’s remarkable revival continued on Tuesday as he scored twice for Spain in a 2-0 victory over Malta.
After edging past Norway 2-1 on Saturday, Morata’s double at the Ta’Qali stadium gives Spain two wins from two in Euro 2020 qualifying and the perfect start in Group F.
Luis Enrique‘s side again showed the inability to convert possession into chances that clouded their early exit from last year’s World Cup.
But Morata’s brace offers room for encouragement, the striker extending his return to form since he joined Atletico Madrid on loan from Chelsea in January.
He has five goals in six games, his best return since September 2017, and has strengthened his case for a position that has proved so troublesome for Spain in recent years. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“The boss knows how happy I am to be here and I am grateful to him,” Morata said. “We want to qualify as soon as possible for the Euros so it was important to win today.” Continue reading “Morata two goals gave Spain victory over Malta”
Kylian Mbappe answered his critics with a sterling performance as France thrashed Iceland 4-0 in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday, showing no signs of irritation this time to continue his meteoric rise.
The striker, whose nerves had been pointed out in the 4-1 win against Moldova last Friday, kept his cool throughout to find the back of the net after the break and set up Samuel Umtiti and Antoine Griezmann for the first and fourth goals.
In Chisinau, the Paris St Germain forward often sought individual solutions and was booked for diving, appearing less threatening than usual.
Coach Didier Deschamps, however, was never worried by a player who has now scored 12 and delivered seven assists in 30 games for France.
“There’s no problem with Kylian. He’s in the game like all the others. If you had been a football player you would understand,” Deschamps said at the Stade de France. Continue reading “Mbappe continues his rise as France down Iceland”
Cristiano Ronaldo does not think the injury which forced him out of Portugal’s match against Serbia on Monday is overly serious and he told reporters he expects to return to action in one or two weeks.
Ronaldo went off in the first half of the Euro 2020 qualifier with an apparent hamstring injury. The match ended 1-1.
“I’ll know more in 24 or 48 hours,” he told reporters.
“It happens, it’s football. If you go out in the rain you get wet … I’m calm, I’ll be back in one or two weeks.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
A long absence would be a blow to his club Juventus, who signed Ronaldo last year to boost their chances of winning the Champions League. Juventus travel to face Ajax Amsterdam in their quarterfinal first leg on 10 April with the return six days later. Continue reading “Cristiano Ronaldo expects to return in one or two weeks”
Germany coach Joachim Loew was lavished with praise on Monday morning after his team snatched a late win over the Netherlands in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday.
Loew has been under enormous pressure since Germany crashed out of the World Cup and suffered relegation in the Nations League last year.
In recent weeks, he has faced growing criticism for his decision to drop veteran stars Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng from the national team.
Yet after Sunday’s dramatic victory in Amsterdam, the 59-year-old appears to have got the German media back onside.
“Loew delivered in the first truly important game since the World Cup, and showed up everyone who said he is no longer the right man for the job,” wrote Bild on Monday. Place bet on Live Bet 24/7 on NaijaBet
“A victory for the coach!” read the headline in Kicker magazine.
“Loew has managed to unite this young team behind him,” he said. Continue reading “Euro2020: Loew trash Pressure after Netherlands win”