<![CDATA[rss-Sports]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Sports]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Egypt's Salma Nesim ranks 5 in Karate1-Premier League in Dubai]]>
She failed to get the bronze medal after being defeated by her Iranian rival 0-1.

The Karate1-Premier League is the most important league event in the world of Karate. It comprises a number of the most prominent Karate competitions and endeavors to bring together the best Karate athletes in the world in open championships of unprecedented scale and quality.

Initiated in 2011 with two tournaments held in Paris and Istanbul, the Karate1-Premier League- has made exponential progress in terms of magnitude and status of the tournaments as well as the number of participants and countries represented.]]>
2/17/2019 11:24:34 AM
<![CDATA[Bayern's Coman fit for Liverpool clash after injury scare]]>
Coman scored two goals as Bayern twice came from behind to win 3-2 but turned his ankle towards the end of the game and had to be taken off.

The 22-year-old has been plagued by injury in the past few seasons, missing France's triumphant World Cup campaign last year and then being injured again at the start of the Bundesliga season leading to another months-long injury break.

"After a detailed medical examination on Saturday morning the Frenchman got the all-clear fortunately and is therefore an option for the Champions League round of 16 first leg in Liverpool on Tuesday," Bayern said in a statement.

The Bavarians, who also saw goalkeeper Manuel Neuer return from injury on Friday, are two points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who visit bottom side Nuernberg on Monday. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)]]>
2/17/2019 11:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[The Egyptian league is tough: Ferjani Sassi]]>
"We have many difficult upcoming matches, and we will deal with all the matches as if it's a knockout game; we must win," Ferjani Sassi spoke to Al Zamalek Al Youm program.

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"Pyramids' game was the most interesting for the fans, and for us players too, it was full of goals, but the referee mistakes made the difference, we lost two points," Ferjani added.

Zamalek met Pyramids in the Egyptian league in a tough game which ended by a 3-3 draw.

"The Egyptian league is a tough league; all the games are difficult. It's a pleasure to play here and I thank Zamalek's fans for their massive support," Ferjani concluded.


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Sassi featured with Tunisia in the 2018 World Cup and scored one goal against England from the penalty spot.


The 26-years-old was a player at Esperance du Tunis before he joined the Saudi club, Al-Nasr last season.


Zamalek are top of the standings with 48 points after 19 games, three points behind second-placed Pyramids, who played 22 games.
]]>
2/17/2019 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to present joint 2030 World Cup bid]]>
Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay had already submitted a joint bid to host the centenary edition of football's most prestigious tournament, but Pinera said on Twitter that those countries' presidents had agreed to Chile's participation in the "joint candidacy".

Argentina and Uruguay originally announced their intention to submit a joint bid in 2017 before Paraguay joined the coalition later that year.

In December last year, Bolivia's football-mad president Evo Morales offered those three countries help in their bid, proposing "two or three departments as sub-seats" for the competition.

Had his offer been accepted, it would have meant the Hernando Siles Reyes stadium in La Paz potentially included as a host venue.

Pinera said he had been touting his idea to the presidents of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay for several months.

Uruguay hosted and won the inaugural World Cup in 1930, Chile was the venue in 1962 and Argentina emulated its neighbor's achievement by lifting the trophy on home soil in 1978.



Like Morales, Mauricio Macri of Argentina, Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez and Paraguayan Mario Abdo Benitez are all passionate about football having all been president of a club in their countries.

Pinera is a billionaire businessman who started out as a teacher and has no previous connection to football.

The South American bid faces competition from Morocco and potentially several other joint bids, including one from Britain and Ireland and another by an eastern European confederation of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has even mooted a joint bid with Morocco, which has failed five times in bidding to host the World Cup, and Portugal.]]>
2/17/2019 9:14:00 AM
<![CDATA[Nadal's Spain to face champions Croatia in Davis Cup finals]]>
Nadal, who has played in four Davis Cup winning campaigns, has said he intends to take part in the new-look week-long event on home ground in Madrid from November 18-24.

However, long-time rivals Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will be missing.

Federer's Switzerland didn't qualify, Britain's Murray has virtually retired while world number one Djokovic has said he intends to focus on the ATP World Team Cup to be staged in Australia in January.

That is despite Serbia having qualified as one of the 18 nations for the 2019 Davis Cup finals.

Despite its troubled revamp, Spanish football star Gerard Pique, whose Kosmos company is pouring $3 billion into a 25-year deal with the 119-year-old tournament, insisted at Thursday's draw that the new Davis Cup will be a success.

"This means a lot, we have been working for more than a year, and we have created a great team to carry out this project," Pique insisted.

"I think we are a great partner for the International Tennis Federation in this competition."

Nadal, a Davis Cup champion in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011, will likely face Marin Cilic, Croatia's top player who won both his singles in the 2018 Davis Cup final victory over France.

Russia, the two-time champions, make up Group B.

Ten-time champions France, 2010 winners Serbia and Japan contest Group A while 2016 victors Argentina, Germany and Chile are in Group C.

Argentina will be sweating on the fitness of regularly injured Juan Martin del Potro while Germany could be without world number three Alexander Zverev.

The ATP World Tour Finals champion played in last weekend's qualifying round win against Hungary but has long insisted he has no interest in playing in the November finals, claiming he prefers to rest.

Group D sees Belgium and Colombia pooled with 28-time champions Australia while Britain, who have been champions on 10 occasions, Kazakhstan and Netherlands make up Group E.

Group F sees record 32-time winners United States clash with Italy and Canada.

Draw for Davis Cup finals to be held in Madrid from November 18-24:

Group A

France, Serbia, Japan

Group B

Croatia, Spain, Russia

Group C

Argentina, Germany, Chile

Group D

Belgium, Australia, Colombia

Group E

Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Netherlands

Group F

United States, Italy, Canada]]>
2/17/2019 8:13:00 AM
<![CDATA[Man United forwards Martial and Lingard out for up to three weeks]]>
Lingard and Martial suffered muscle injuries in the first half against Paris St Germain in the Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

"I think they will be out for two to three weeks looking at it now," Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of Monday's FA Cup fifth-round clash against holders Chelsea.

The injury comes as a setback for United, who have won 10 out of their 12 matches under caretaker boss Solskjaer, but it provides an opportunity for forwards Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to rediscover their goalscoring touch.

Solskjaer said it also opens doors for attacking youngsters Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong, who have been pushing for first-team action this season.

"It is a chance for anyone who plays, whether it is Alexis, Romelu or Angel (Gomes)," the Norwegian coach added.

"Anthony and Jesse have done really well for us, they're vital, but then again with Rom and Alexis, they've got different skill sets and will be able to show what they can do.

"We still have forward options but Angel and Chongy have been training with us all week, even the weeks leading up to this, so there is a big chance they will be involved."

United are also locked in a battle for a top four Premier League finish with Arsenal and Chelsea, and face title contenders Liverpool at Old Trafford on Feb. 24. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru Editing by Christian Radnedge)]]>
2/17/2019 6:08:00 AM
<![CDATA[Gracia not getting carried away by Watford's Cup progress]]>
Watford became the first team to book a spot in the last eight with a hard-fought 1-0 win over second-tier Queens Park Rangers on Friday, keeping a third consecutive clean sheet in the competition.

"I think to speak about what we can do in the future is a little lack of respect for the teams we are going to play against," Gracia told reporters.

"Because today, we felt that playing against QPR we have suffered a lot.

"The game we play in the future will be very demanding, I'm sure of that, playing against a Premier League team or Championship team."

With 13 top flight sides already out, Watford will look to improve on their FA Cup semi-final run in 2016.

The Hornets have never won a major trophy, losing their only FA Cup final to Everton in 1984, but Gracia wants his players to just concentrate on the next game.

"To do something special this season, the only thing we have to do is keep working the same way we are doing and be focused on the next game," the Spaniard added.

"I don't like to speak about the future. I think football is (the) present. In this case, we are going to play next Friday against Cardiff and we now focus on the Premier League."

Watford, eighth on 37 points from 26 games, visit fourth-bottom Cardiff City who are a point above the drop zone.]]>
2/17/2019 4:03:00 AM
<![CDATA[Argentines pay tribute to Sala at special memorial]]>
The body of the 28-year old Sala, who died in a plane crash last month, was laid out in a gymnasium in the town where he grew up so friends and family could pay their last respects.

A single-engine plane carrying Sala from his French club Nantes to his new team Cardiff City crashed on Jan. 21 in the English Channel, before he could make his debut for the Premier League side.

Wreckage was found on Feb. 3 following a privately-funded underwater search and a body recovered three days later.

Sala's body was flown back to Argentina and arrived in Buenos Aires on Friday morning before being driven the 538 km (334 miles) to Progreso, where he grew up.

The gymnasium of the Atletico y Social San Martin de Progreso club hosted boys' teams where Sala played as a child.

Residents in the town of around 2,500 people, many wearing the red and black shirt of the local side with the name EMI on the back, began arriving at about 7am on Saturday to see the body and pay their last respects.

Outside, fans draped a banner saying, ‘Emi, nunca caminaras solo’ or ‘Emi, You’ll Never Walk Alone.’

"It's as if he was a member of my family," said a sobbing Lucia Torres, who lives nearby. "It's something I can’t understand nor accept because it hurts so much. The town has been in darkness since Jan. 21."

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock and the Welsh club's chief executive Ken Choo are among those who will attend the funeral this weekend.

"I would like to find a responsible person... someone who says to me, 'This happened', but, well, it seems this was just an accident," said Sala's aunt, Mirta Taffarel. (Reporting by Miguel Lobianco and Maximilian Heath; Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris)]]>
2/17/2019 3:15:00 AM
<![CDATA[Small clubs missing out around $300 million for nurturing young players - FIFA]]>
Under FIFA rules, the club where a player began his career is supposed to receive a percentage of the fee every time he is subsequently involved in an international transfer.

Many of the world's top players began their careers at small clubs where even a few thousand dollars could be useful.

However, poor record-keeping and the fact that payments are not automatic meant that clubs often missed out. Another problem is that the amounts have not changed since 2001.

"There is around $300 million that somehow has not made it to the clubs who have trained the players," Kimberly Morris, a FIFA official who oversees the transfer system, said during a football law conference on Friday.

"We know the system is too complicated, we know there is a poor record of the history of many players."

The head of the umbrella organisation for Cameroon's first division clubs told the conference that payments could often take years.

"Procedures are too long and there is no penalty when payment is late," said Franck Happi. "We can wait two years to receive 5,000 euros."

FIFA is currently working on wide-ranging reforms to the transfer system and has said that one of the aims is to improve so-called training compensation and solidarity payments.

The policy-making FIFA Council has already approved the creation of a clearing house to process international transfers.

It says this will centralise and simplify the payments associated with transfers such as solidarity, training compensation, agents’ commissions.

Giancarlo Dapoto, FIFA's head of professional football, said the amount paid in training compensation was dwarfed by the money paid in agents' fees.

Last year, $548 million was paid on agents commission from international transfers, compared to $90 million to clubs in training compensation, he said.

"There are issues with the current system that needs to be renewed to find a simpler framework and ensure the mechanism is effective," he said. (Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)]]>
2/17/2019 3:07:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tottenham's fighting spirit delights Trippier]]>
Injuries to top scorer Kane and playmaker Alli, along with Son Heung-min's absence due to Asian Cup duty, meant the club's squad-depth was exposed during losses to Chelsea and Crystal Palace which ended their domestic cup campaigns last month.

But four straight Premier League victories have kept Spurs in the title race at this stage for a fourth consecutive season, while a 3-0 home win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last-16 first-leg has boosted their hopes of progressing.

"The past few weeks have been very good," England full back Tripper told Sky Sports on Saturday.

"We could have played a lot better, we all know that, but the results are the most important thing.

"We've had a few injuries recently and the people that have stepped in have done really well."

Trippier has credited Son's purple patch in front of goal for Tottenham's resurgence, with the South Korean scoring four times in as many appearances since returning from playing for south Korea in a third tournament since the end of last season.

Son has now scored 16 goals in all competitions -- 11 in his last 12 matches -- and Spurs have won whenever the forward has found the net this season.

"If you look at Son, he's played in three major tournaments this season and he still looks fresh," added Trippier.

"He's come back and scored goals and topped it off with the result the other night which was amazing."

Spurs, currently third in the league five points behind the pacesetters Liverpool with 12 games left, next visit 15th-placed Burnley on Feb. 23. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru)]]>
2/17/2019 2:17:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ferguson set for Man United return in charity match]]>
The 77-year-old Scot will take charge of a legends side against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on May 26.

Ferguson, who won the Champions League twice, the Premier League 13 times and five FA Cups with United, had emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage in May last year but has since recovered and is a regular visitor to Old Trafford on matchdays.

"I'm really looking forward to what will be a special day at Old Trafford," Ferguson told the club website https://www.manutd.com/en/news/detail/sir-alex-ferguson-returns-to-man-utd-dugout-legends-reunion-v-bayern-munich-26-may-2019.

"It will be great to catch up with some familiar faces and a great opportunity to support the work of Manchester United Foundation."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, currently United's interim manager, scored an added-time winner to secure a 2-1 victory over Bayern in the 1999 Champions League final and complete an unprecedented treble, which included the Premier League title and the FA Cup. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)]]>
2/17/2019 2:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[Valverde renewed Barca contract to 'end noise' about his future]]>
Valverde signed a contract extension earlier on Friday until the end of the 2019-20 season with an option for one more year, having originally said he would wait until the end of the campaign before deciding whether or not to stay at the Nou Camp.

"The stability that comes with the new contract will serve us well, too much noise (about his future) could have had a negative impact on us," Valverde told a news conference ahead of Barca's La Liga game against Real Valladolid.

"I said before that I had a good relationship with the club and everything happened naturally. They gave me an offer a while ago, we dwelled on it for some time and then we decided this was a good moment to announce it."

Valverde, 55, succeeded Luis Enrique as coach in 2017, earning the job after sustained success with Athletic Bilbao.

He guided Barca to a La Liga and Copa del Rey double in his debut campaign and almost led them to an unbeaten season in the league, losing only their penultimate game to Levante.

However, he faced strong criticism for the team's failure in the Champions League, exiting the tournament on away goals to AS Roma, throwing away a 4-1 lead from the first leg by losing 3-0 in the away leg.

That collapse seriously damaged the coach's reputation and cast doubt on his long term future.

Those doubts have now been resolved, although Valverde said his future would not be guaranteed if his side, who are top of La Liga, in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey and the last 16 of the Champions League, ended the season empty handed.

"If that happens, we will have to talk," he said.

Barcelona lead the league standings with 51 points from 23 games, six points ahead of Real Madrid.

Their race towards the title has been slowed, however, with consecutive draws against Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, and Valverde hopes his side can get back to winning ways against Valladolid.

"It's a perfect game for us to win and that's what we want to do. We have to make sure we don't relax or switch off and we have to focus on grabbing the three points in front of us," he added. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Amlan Chakraborty, Sudipto Ganguly and Christian Radnedge)

]]>
2/16/2019 3:10:43 PM
<![CDATA[We'll not be affected by Al Hilal's power: Al Hany Soliman]]>
It's expected that Ittihad will face Al Hilal's powerful squad and the Saudi passionate fans on Saturday at 06:30 p.m. at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium.


"Al Hilal is a big club and they have amazing players but in football there is no big and small club; we must give everything," Al Hany Soliman told the press before the game.

"We will not be affected by the power of the fans, but it will be a motivation for us. The football player likes to play in front of huge fans and this helps him to innovate," Soliman added.

Al-Ittihad Alexandria became the only Egyptian team at the tournament after Al-Ahly, Zamalek and Ismaily were knocked out of the competition from round of 16.

Al-Ittihad has had an amazing run at the tournament and they knocked out CAF Champions League winners, Espérance, at round of 32 before knocking out Egyptian League leaders, Zamalek, at the second round.


The champion will win $6 million, while the runners-up will win $2.5 million.
]]>
2/16/2019 2:55:15 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ahly looks to overcome African defeat against Al Intag Al Harby]]>
They will meet in the 22nd round of the Egyptian league in a tough clash for the Red devils as they enter the game with low morale after the African defeat against Tanzania's Simba in the fourth round of the group stage in the CAF Champions League.

However, Al Ahly remain on top of the group with seven points. In the league, the Red team are third with 39 points behind Pyramids and Zamalek leading the way. After Al Ahly fought in 18 games, they managed to win 12 meetings, tied in three, lost three times and still has three games postponed.

Al Ahly's coach, Martin Lasarte, is expected to start the game with the following line-up: Mohamed Al-Shennawy, Ali Maaloul, Ayman Ashraf, Yasser Ibrahim, Mohamed Hani, Hamdi Fathi, Amr Al-Soulyah, Ramdan Subhi, Karim Nedved, Hussein Al-Shahat, Junior Ajay,

Al Intag AL Harby's coach, Mokthar Mokhtar, settled on the line-up that wil l start the game: Aamer Amer - Ahmed Shedid Qenaoui - Mahmoud Badri - Wahab Anan - Abdel Rahman Farouk - Mahmoud Kabonga - Mohamed Massad - Ahmed Magdy - Ghannam Mahmoud - James Tedy - and Ahmed Raouf.
]]>
2/16/2019 2:21:07 PM
<![CDATA[16th Men's MHC Championship to start on Sunday at Port Said]]>
“16th Men’s Mediterranean Handball Confederation Championship” will take place in Port Said / EGYPT 17th – 24th February 2019.

Sobhy assured the ministry's support for all the games, the Egyptian Association and all the championships that takes places in Egypt.

138166-الدكتور-اشرف-صبحى


He also believes that Handball is the second popular game in Egypt, after Football, and he hopes Port Said's people attend all the matches.


There are 12 countries will participate in the championship: France, Turkey, Montenegro, Italy, Romania, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the host, Egypt.


Hisham Nasr said that the Egyptian handball federation has been preparing to host the tournament for more than three months, and that the federation has invited three countries out of the Mediterranean area to participate in the tournament: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Romania.

MHC-Championship-2019EGYPT-Logo


The Mediterranean Handball Confederation was pleased to announce, in cooperation with the Egyptian Handball Federation , the official logo of the Championship.


]]>
2/16/2019 2:07:09 PM
<![CDATA[Fekir gives Lyon 2-1 win against Guingamp]]>
Fekir struck in the 35th minute after Felix Eboa Eboa had cancelled out Martin Terrier's opener to put Lyon on 46 points from 25 games.

Lyon, who host Barcelona in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday, trail second-placed Lille by three points having played one more game.

Leaders Paris St Germain, on 59 points from 22 games, travel to fourth-placed St Etienne on Sunday.

Bruno Genesio's side went ahead in the 15th minute when Marc-Aurele Caillard parried Houssem Aouar's shot into the path of Terrier, who volleyed the ball into the top corner.

The hosts, however, let their guard down and Eboa Eboa headed home six minutes later.

Lyon took the upper hand 10 minutes from the interval as Fekir chested the ball down in front of the area and unleashed a perfectly curled shot past Caillard. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)]]>
2/16/2019 1:49:55 PM
<![CDATA[Coman steers Bayern to 3-2 comeback win at Augsburg]]>
The Frenchman, however, was injured in the final stages of the game, turning his left ankle on which he previously had surgery on. Coach Niko Kovac said of Coman's injury: "It does not look good. We will know more tomorrow."

Bayern, who take on Liverpool in the Champions League Round of 16 next week, were 1-0 down after only 13 seconds with a Leon Goretzka own goal, in what was the fastest Bundesliga goal for Augsburg.

Coman briefly restored order when he tapped in a Joshua Kimmich cross in the 17th minute.

When Ji Dong-won netted in the 24th minute to give the hosts a 2-1 lead, it was the first time Augsburg had scored two goals against Bayern in a competitive game.

Robert Lewandowski, needing one goal to equal Claudio Pizarro's 194 goals for the league's all-time top foreign scorer, headed onto the crossbar but it was again winger Coman, who came to the rescue on the stroke of halftime to level once more.

Bayern's comeback was complete when David Alaba fired in from a tight angle in the 53rd before Coman almost got a hat-trick, with his 73rd minute header tipped onto the bar by Augsburg keeper Gregor Kobel.

However, Bayern have now conceded goals in the six matches they have contested in all competitions this year, even though keeper Manuel Neuer returned on Friday after his injury absence.

"We want to keep a clean sheet again," Neuer said. "Liverpool are an attacking team. We have to be better positioned against them."

The Bavarians are in second place on 48 points with Dortmund, on 50, travelling to bottom club Nuremberg on Monday. ]]>
2/16/2019 1:49:01 PM
<![CDATA[30 June stadium to host 2019 AFCON instead of Al Salam stadium]]>
"30 June stadium is the only one that is ready 100% and no need for any renovations," A source inside the Egyptian Football Association told Filgoal.

"The CAF organizing committee was impressed by the condition of the pitch, facilities and stands of the stadium," EFA source added.

Egypt hosts the 2019 AFCON from June 19th till July 19th.

It's expected to be announced which stadiums will be hosting the tournament; only six stadiums out of eight will be chosen and they are: Cairo, Al Salam, 30 June, Ismailia, Suez, Portsaid, Alexandria and Al Max.

Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

The 2019 African Cup of nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.


Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the competition as Egypt has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010.


Egypt hosted four African Cup of Nations tournaments in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974.
]]>
2/16/2019 1:44:39 PM
<![CDATA[Napoli captain Hamsik completes China move - lawyer]]>
"Hamsik is a Dalian player from 2030 (1930 GMT) this evening," Napoli lawyer Mattia Grassani told Radio Kiss Kiss.

The Slovakian, who is currently in the city where he was born, Banska Bystrica, will arrive in China on Friday.

Napoli had initially suspended the deal because of a problem with agreed "payment methods" with the Chinese club who are coached by German Bernd Schuster.

Gazzetta Dello Sport reported on Wednesday that under the renegotiated deal the 20-million-euro ($22.6 million) fee will be paid in two instalments -- five million euros immediately and another 15 million euros already guaranteed within a year.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis had also demanded additional bank guarantees from the Chinese club.

Hamsik, 31, capped 111 times for Slovakia, has played for Napoli since 2007.

He scored 121 goals in 520 appearances and last season overtook legend Diego Maradona (115) as the club's record goalscorer.

The three-year deal will reportedly earn him an annual salary of nine million euros ($10.2 million) -- three times what he earns in Italy.

Hamsik helped the club win two Coppa Italia titles, in 2012 and 2014, and the 2014 Supercoppa Italiana.

Napoli -- who last won Serie A in 1990 -- are second in Serie A, 11 points adrift of leaders Juventus.]]>
2/16/2019 6:15:00 AM
<![CDATA[Man Utd youth coach who mentored Beckham and Giggs dies]]>
Harrison, who helped forge the fledgling careers of Beckham, Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Gary and Phil Neville, was diagnosed with dementia four years ago.

Appointed by then United manager Ron Atkinson in 1981, Harrison mentored a number of other high-profile youngsters, including Mark Hughes and Norman Whiteside.

His greatest success came under Alex Ferguson with the 'Class of 92' players forming the backbone of United's treble-winning side of 1999.

His decline was such he was too ill to travel to London last year to receive an award from the queen.

"Manchester United is extremely saddened to report our former youth coach Eric Harrison passed away on Wednesday. He was 81," the club said in a statement.

"We've lost our mentor, our coach and the man who made us," Gary Neville tweeted.

"He taught us how to play, how to never give up, how important it was to win your individual battles and what we needed to do to play for Manchester United Football Club. Eric we owe you everything."

Beckham paid tribute.

"He was always watching and always with us every time we played. I can still hear him telling me NO MORE HOLLYWOOD PASSES," he wrote on Instagram.

"I can still see him as we played on The Cliff training ground looking down on us either with a proud smile or a loud bang of his fist on the window knowing any minute he would be on his way down to probably advise me in the most polite way to stop playing those passes.

"More importantly he made us understand how to work hard and respect each other and not just on the pitch. We won't forget the life lessons he gave us.

"Eric we love you and owe you everything. Gary, Phil, Ryan, Paul, Nicky and David."

Ferguson, who decided to retain Harrison's services when he replaced Atkinson in 1986, said Harrison was one of the "greatest coaches of our time" who had "built character and determination".

"On a personal level Eric had a wicked, dry sense of humour and was straight-talking and I admired that in him," said Ferguson.]]>
2/16/2019 3:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Newport relishing chance to take on Guardiola's City stars]]>
Saturday's meeting between fourth tier League Two Newport County and Premier League champions Manchester City certainly provides the David versus Goliath encounter which is at the heart of the world's oldest club competition.

Pep Guardiola's multi-million pound squad, used to the pristine surfaces of their own Etihad Stadium and Premier League venues, will be in action at Rodney Parade, until a few years ago used exclusively for rugby and with a capacity below 8,000.

Leicester City have already been beaten by County this season and Championship (second tier) club Middlesbrough certainly struggled in the mud during their defeat in South Wales in their fourth round replay.

Newport manager Mike Flynn does not think the pitch will hamper City too much, however.

"They’re a fantastic outfit and knowing how good Pep is, I’m sure he’ll overcome that pitch," Flynn said after the win over Middlesbrough.

"We passed the ball around a lot in tough conditions and I’m sure Man City will do the same."

Newport have gone through some hard times -- they were relegated from the Football League in 1988 and went out of business in the following year. Their old 25,000 capacity home, Somerton Park, was demolished in 1993 and became a housing estate.

The club was re-formed by fans and had to restart in the regional Hellenic League, then four tiers below the Football League, and the several moves of stadium led to their new nickname of 'The Exiles'.

County returned to the Football League in 2013 and have been in League Two ever since.

While they have had moments of glory in their past -- they reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1981 as Wales's representatives, this is the first time the club have been in the FA Cup fifth round since 1949.

Another tie that fans will keep an eye on for a possible upset is in South Yorkshire where third-tier Doncaster Rovers will take on Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace.

The weekend's fixtures conclude on Monday with an all-Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United.

Chelsea are smarting from their 6-0 defeat to City in the league while United will want to progress after the disappointment of their 2-0 loss to Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday. (Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar)]]>
2/16/2019 2:08:00 AM
<![CDATA[Five players to be back to training sessions soon for Al-Ahly]]>
Al-Ahly lost 1-0 to Tanzania’s Simba on Tuesday afternoon at CAF Champions League's group stage.

Al-Ahly suffered their first loss at the group stage after two victories at home over Vita Club and Simba and a draw in Algeria against JS Saoura.

Al-Ahly manager, Martin Lasarte, held a meeting with the players in order to give them confidence as the doubts started to spread especially after stumbling twice far from home in the African competition.

Ahmed Fathi, Marwan Mohsen, Walid Azaro, Ahmed Hamoudi and Saad Samir are undergoing a medical examination on Thursday to check how well their conditions have improved.

Walid Soliman began a new phase of rehabilitation by running around the pitch under the supervision of Tarek Abdel Aziz, a rehabilitation specialist.

Al-Ahly is set to meet Al-Intag Al Harby in the Egyptian league. Al-Ahly is the third in the table standings after the leader, Zamalek, and the second placed, Pyramids FC.
]]>
2/15/2019 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ronaldo on bench as Juve warm up for Atletico against Frosinone]]>
Portuguese star Ronaldo brought his tally to 20 goals for Juventus in all competitions last weekend in a 3-0 win over Sassuolo.

But the 34-year-old will start on the bench for just the second time this season before the former Real Madrid player returns to the Spanish capital next week.

Paulo Dybala returns to the starting line-up, forming an attacking trident alongside Mario Mandzukic and Federico Bernardeschi.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri's defensive problems have been eased with trio Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini back training.

Juventus captain Chiellini is expected to return on Friday.

Second-placed Napoli dropped points last weekend with a goalless draw against Fiorentina and face a potentially tricky test at home against Torino.

Walter Mazzarri's Torino are four points off the Europa League places.

Napoli will be without midfielder Marek Hamsik for the first time since the former skipper having sealed his move to Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.

Lorenzo Insigne takes on the captain's role and insisted motivation remained high despite Juventus' charge towards an eighth consecutive league title.

"Juventus haven't sapped our motivation, we knew it would be hard to keep up with them," said Insigne.

"We know they're a great team, but we're no worse than them.

"The championship is still long. We left some points on the road that we deserved, but we certainly do not give up."

- Inter in turmoil -

Meanwhile, third-placed Inter Milan, nine points behind Napoli, are in turmoil as they host Sampdoria days after stripping star forward Mauro Icardi of the captain's armband.

Icardi's contractual situation, with his current deal expiring in 2021, has become an increasingly divisive issue between club bosses and the player's wife Wanda Nara, who is also his agent.

The Argentina forward hit back by refusing to travel for their Europa League round of 32 first-leg game at Rapid Vienna on Thursday and is uncertain to play against his former club Sampdoria, who are ninth, on Sunday.

"It was a difficult and painful decision because we know his worth," said Inter coach Luciano Spalletti.

"It was done exclusively for the good of Inter. There are some things concerning the player that had to be sorted."

The uncertainty over Icardi, who scored 29 Serie A goals last season, could prove problematic as Spalletti tries to secure Champions League football next season.

Inter are just four points ahead of city rivals AC Milan who travel to Atalanta.

Atalanta, Roma and Lazio are all one point behind AC Milan.

The clash in Bergamo will be one for fourth place, the final Champions League berth, which Roma will also be targeting at home against Bologna, and Lazio at Genoa.

Roma claimed a 2-1 Champions League last 16, first-leg win over Porto on Tuesday with teenage star Nicolo Zaniolo scoring both goals.]]>
2/15/2019 9:14:00 AM
<![CDATA[Garcia blames "emotional" news for Saudi tantrum]]>
The Spanish star was thrown out of the tournament after damaging several putting greens in frustration and caught on camera wildly attacking a bunker after a poor shot at the Royal Greens course.

Speaking ahead of this week's Genesis Open in Los Angeles, his first tournament since his humiliating expulsion in Saudi Arabia, the 39-year-old former Masters champion said his behaviour was inexcusable.

"I received some very emotional, personal news earlier that week that didn’t help," Garcia told The Golf Channel. "It was in the back of my mind. As I became frustrated on the course everything erupted."

Garcia did not divulge details of the news that prompted his loss of control, saying only it was a mix of "some emotional and personal things going on and a little frustration with the greens."

Garcia was kicked out of the European Tour event after reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed and a number of other players complained Garcia had damaged six greens.

Garcia said he had snapped out of his rage during the round. He reportedly apologised to Reed and other players following his expulsion.

"It hit me like on the 10th hole. I started thinking: ‘What am I doing? Get your head back on top of your shoulders," Garcia said.

"I know I lost it. I feel terrible about it. I've been thinking about it for the last week, every day. I'm an emotional player. If I channel it the right way, it's amazing. If I channel it the wrong way, it's too extreme. My goal is make sure the bad gets better and the good stays."

Meanwhile Garcia said he had no issue with remarks by world number two Brooks Koepka, who said of the Spaniard: "You're 40, so you've got to grow up."

Garcia and Koepka are due to play next week at the World Golf Championship in Mexico City.

"I'm going to tell him I agree," Garcia said. "But I don't agree with the age. He got my age wrong. I’m 39, not 40. But when I see him, I'll tell him I’m sorry."]]>
2/15/2019 8:13:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tuchel's PSG finally show guts and team spirit]]>
Many predicted a defeat in the Champions League last-16 first leg by a resurgent United after forwards Neymar and Edinson Cavani were ruled out injured.

Instead, PSG rose up to the challenge and stepped onto the field a compact side showing no fear -- a sharp contrast to the team who blew a 4-0 lead over Barcelona to lose 6-1 at the same stage of the competition in 2017.

Marquinhos, who bossed the midfield alongside Marco Verratti, recalls a meeting with Tuchel which he believes was key to PSG's performance.

The German coach took over from Unai Emery last year as the Qatari-backed club look to shine on the continental stage after four consecutive eliminations in the quarter-finals followed by two successive last 16 exits.

"This meeting was very important," the Brazilian, who usually plays centre back, said.

"The coach gave us the strategy. He started with the defensive aspect, underlining the qualities of the opponents' attack and their speed on the break.

"He insisted on us not losing the ball too quickly after winning it back in midfield."

PSG stayed compact throughout, with Julian Draxler often dropping deep to strengthen the midfield.

"Defensively we were solid. We showed that with the right mindset we could do great things," captain Thiago Silva said.

Often criticised for missing the 'club culture' key to success in Europe, PSG entered the tie with confidence despite lacking two players who between them who have scored 30 goals in Ligue 1 and seven times in the Champions League.

"It is not just thanks to the coach," said Silva.

"It is also the whole staff who have been working to give us information on the other team. Everything the staff told us would happen on the pitch happened."

Even without Neymar and Cavani.

"They are world class players but we remain a world class team without them," added Draxler.

The Ligue 1 leaders, who have already almost secured the domestic title, now have three weeks to gear up for the second leg in Paris, where they will look to avoid a slip-up similar to the Nou Camp debacle.

"We should stop being scared," said forward Kylian Mbappe who scored PSG's second against United. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)]]>
2/15/2019 7:06:00 AM
<![CDATA[Gattuso finally finds the Milan he was looking for]]>
The seven-times European champions have spent the last month in the Serie A top four, where they need to finish to qualify for the Champions League next season, and are unbeaten in eight league and cup games.

In particular, the winter signings of Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek and Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta have given Milan a cutting edge they badly needed.

Piatek has scored four goals in as many appearances since his move from Genoa and Paqueta has brought some spark to a previously underperforming midfield.

Tiemoue Bakayoko has settled well after a slow start following his loan move from Chelsea, and with Lucas Biglia returning after a three-month injury layoff, Gattuso now has to decide who to leave out.

"If it’s a problem, we’ll solve it," said Gattuso, a former fiery midfielder who had never coached a Serie A team before he was handed the job in November 2017.

"Biglia needs time to find his form. Bakayoko is an unusual deep-lying playmaker... he used to choose the wrong passes but now he takes men on, can force his way past opponents and create chances."

Hakan Calhanoglu is another who has pleased Gattuso in midfield even though the Turkish free kick specialist has yet to score a Serie A goal this season.

"You have to look at what he does in the ninety minutes, I expect a lot more quality from him but he runs miles, holds the position and gives quality with Paqueta," said Gattuso.

It is all very different from December when Milan went four Serie A games without scoring and Gattuso's future was the subject of daily speculation.

But there is still a long way to go. Although they are fourth with 39 points, Atlanta, AS Roma and Lazio are lurking one point behind while Torino (34 points) and Sampdoria (33) are also in the running for a top-four finish.

On Saturday, they visit a rampant Atalanta side who, like Milan, are unbeaten in eight games and have already beaten Inter Milan 4-1 in the league and Juventus 3-0 in the Coppa Italia at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.

"For many years we’ve reached the spring and Milan have been outside the race for the Champions League but we need to break that trend and fight hard to be in a strong position when the final weeks arrive," said Gattuso.

"At the moment, we are doing well in all phases, defence and attack."

His recipe was very much as expected from someone famed for his combative playing style.

"We need to have hunger, a will to train and be together, we need to think of 'us' without individuality," he said. "The team always has to come first and we have to keep going until the end." (Writing by Brian Homewood Editing by Christian Radnedge)]]>
2/15/2019 6:05:00 AM
<![CDATA[Real's Ramos says he got yellow card on purpose against Ajax]]>
With Madrid 2-1 up in the last-16 first leg, Ramos was shown a yellow card in the 89th minute, his third booking of the European campaign which means he will be suspended from the second leg of the tie in the Spanish capital on Mar. 5.

Should Madrid progress to the quarter-finals, Ramos would then have a clean slate for the final stretch of Europe's elite competition, which his side have monopolised since 2016.

But in an extraordinary post-match interview, Ramos said he had intentionally got booked against Ajax, which is against UEFA's rules and punishable with a suspension of an extra game.

"Looking at the result I would be lying if I said it wasn't intentional," Ramos told television reporters.

"It's something I was thinking about, it's not to underestimate the opponent nor say the tie is over but in football you have to take difficult decisions so I decided to do it."

The Spain international, who was playing his 600th game for Madrid, later attempted to row back on his comments with two posts on Twitter in which he regretted getting suspended for the second leg.

"In a game there is always a lot of tension and you have to take decisions in seconds. The best thing about tonight was the result, the worst that I will not be in the second leg due to one moment in the game," Ramos wrote.

"I want to make it clear that this hurts me more than it would hurt anyone, I did not get the yellow card on purpose, just like the last yellow card I got in the competition, and I will be supporting from the stands like any other fan hoping we get into the quarter-finals."

Ramos' teammate Dani Carvajal was punished by UEFA last season for intentionally getting booked in a group stage game at APOEL Nicosia.

The defender was charged by UEFA's disciplinary committee for "receiving a yellow card on purpose" and was suspended for their final group game against Borussia Dortmund and their last-16 first leg against Paris St Germain.]]>
2/15/2019 5:04:00 AM
<![CDATA[Former Real Madrid coach Lopetegui open to Premier League switch]]>
Lopetegui had a roller-coaster of a year in 2018, where he was not only sacked by Spain days before the World Cup for announcing his move to Real Madrid but was also subsequently fired by the La Liga club three months into the season for poor results.

"A coach needs to be open for the future, but if I can choose, I prefer to be in the best leagues," Lopetegui, who has only coached in Spain and Portugal, told the BBC https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/47216777.

"England is a fantastic league. When you watch a match in England, you can feel the atmosphere, the respect for the players and the coaches. This is very important. I want to feel that.

"Of course, Spain is a fantastic league too, with fantastic players and coaches, but we will see."

Lopetegui was sacked by Real Madrid after a 5-1 thrashing by Barcelona at Camp Nou left the club in ninth place in La Liga, but the Spaniard does not hold any grudges against his former employers.

"I have all respect for the new coach (Santiago Solari), his new staff. And the players, I love them. They had a fantastic attitude with me," Lopetegui added.

"I would never say a bad word about Real Madrid. To manage the club is a fantastic experience for any coach. I hoped I could have more time but I have to look to the future."

Real are now second in the standings after 23 games, six points behind leaders Barcelona. ]]>
2/15/2019 3:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[Borussia Dortmund on high alert with season at risk]]>
The Bundesliga leaders, five points ahead of champions Bayern Munich at second, need a victory against Nuremberg to protect their advantage after last week's morale-sapping 3-3 draw against Hoffenheim from a three-goal lead.

That had come only days after their German Cup exit on penalties to Werder Bremen while Dortmund are also teetering towards Champions League elimination after Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in their round of 16 first leg.

"We now have a few days until the Nuremberg match on Monday and there we will try to get back on track, the track that we had been on for weeks and months," Dortmund director of licence players Sebastian Kehl told reporters.

For much of the season their defence appeared invincible as they conceded just twice in the Champions League group stage.

But the Ruhr valley backline has now let in three goals in each of their last three games in all competitions, having failed to win any of their last four.

"(Against Tottenham) was the third game in a row where we let in three goals," Kehl said. "We looked like we stopped playing football. We have to put an end to making mistakes because on such a level they are always punished."

For coach Lucien Favre there was no need for panic.

"This is part of football. Now we need to analyse what has gone wrong and try to fix it," Favre said. "I am not concerned. There are periods in a season where things may not be top. Now we need to work harder to correct mistakes."

The good news is Dortmund have won their last 12 matches against Nuremberg and lost only one in their previous 29 games against the struggling Bavarian club.

Bayern, who take on Liverpool in their Champions League Round of 16 next week, are on 45 points and will continue their efforts to hunt Dortmund down as they face Augsburg on Friday.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski needs only one goal to equal Claudio Pizarro's record of 194 for the best all-time foreign striker in the league.

Borussia Moenchengladbach, in third on 42, face Eintracht Frankfurt. ]]>
2/15/2019 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Salah wants to be CAF Best Player for 7 times: Mboma]]>
“Salah is great player; he proved his superiority from the start of his professional career thanks to his commitment. Commitment is the cornerstone of success,” Mboma spoke to MBC Masr channel.

patrick-mboma_1q3cgm59dxp001exehwez4ftfh


Henri Patrick Mboma Dem (born 15 November 1970) is a former Cameroonian football striker and the former all-time top goal-scorer for the Cameroonian national team.


“By the time he reached the age of 25, Salah has won the African Player of the Year award twice. It's a great achievement and I think he can do more like Samuel Eto'o, Abedi Pele and Yaya Toure,” Mboma added.

“I met Salah in the last CAF ceremony, he told me that he dreams of being CAF Best Player for seven times; great ambition,” Mboma revealed.

2019-02-09T160837Z_563739635_RC19DBA289E0_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-ENGLAND-LIV-BOU
Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - February 9, 2019 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their third goal REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.


The 2019 African Cup of Nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.

“The Egyptian national team can win the title especially that they will take advantage of hosting the tournament and fans presence; watching the tournament with the participation of 24 teams will be fantastic,” Mboma concluded.




]]>
2/14/2019 12:58:34 PM
<![CDATA[We should score two goals to win: Zamalek’s Gross]]>
Zamalek hosted Algerian club, NA Hussein Dey, on Wednesday night in the second round of CAF Confederation Cup group stage. The game ended by 1-1 draw.

“I always tell the players that we must score two goals at least to grab the victory,” Gross said in the press conference after the match.

“But we didn’t take advantage of the chances we had; their goalkeeper was brilliant,” Gross added.

Moroccan forward, Khaled Bo Tayeb, scored his first goal with Zamalek before NA Hussein Dey striked Zamalek at the last minute to give the White club only one point.

Zamalek SC was drawn in Group D of the CAF Confederations Cup alongside Kenyan Champions Gor Mahia, Algerian side NA Hussein and Angolan outfit Petro Atletico.

Gor Mahia roared to a 4-2 victory over the White Knights of Egypt in the opening match of Group D February 3.
]]>
2/14/2019 12:45:18 PM
<![CDATA[Vertonghen shines as Tottenham cruise past Dortmund 3-0]]>
Tottenham looked unfazed by the absence of injured captain Harry Kane and Dele Alli, scoring all three goals in a strong second half to take control of the tie and leave the Germans on the brink of a European exit.

Belgian Vertonghen notched his first goal in the Champions League with a well-timed volley in the 83rd minute after he had set up forward Son for a 47th minute lead. Substitute Fernando Llorente grabbed their third in the 86th, two minutes after coming on.

That was Son's ninth goal against Dortmund in 11 matches, with the South Korean, who played in the Bundesliga from 2010-15, having also scored twice in the competition's group stage last season.

"It was a fantastic second half," Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino told reporters. "The first half was difficult. It was a difficult game from the beginning.

"In the first half we played a little - not nervously - but not with the confidence. The second half was very, very good.

"There is still work to do."

Bundesliga leaders Dortmund, eliminated from the German Cup last week, were nowhere to be seen in the second half, with speedy teenager Jadon Sancho given no space to operate after the break. The return leg is on March 5.

"The first goal rattled us," Dortmund's Mario Goetze told reporters. "And then the double strike towards the end killed us off. We were good in the first half but this is very bitter. We now need to get back on track."

Before Wednesday, Tottenham had never won a home match in the knockout stage of the competition and Lucas Moura came close with a fine shot in the seventh minute.

Dortmund, themselves missing injured captain Marco Reus and top striker Paco Alcacer, gradually took control and had the better chances in the first half with Christian Pulisic firing onto keeper Hugo Lloris and the Frenchman saving a point-blank header from Dan-Axel Zagadou.

But the hosts changed the course of the game two minutes after the restart, pouncing on a defensive error and with Vertonghen whipping in a cross for Son, who has kept on scoring in Kane's absence, to tap in.

Dortmund, who had conceded just two goals in the group stage, tried to recover but found no way past the disciplined Tottenham backline.

They also looked to be running out of steam when Tottenham scored twice late in the game.

Vertonghen timed his run to perfection in the 83rd to kill off the game and Llorente gave them a big advantage for the second leg.]]>
2/14/2019 12:18:40 PM
<![CDATA[Asensio nets late Real winner as Ajax left to rue VAR decision]]>
Asensio netted in the 87th minute from Dani Carvajal’s excellent cross to give Real the advantage heading into the return leg on March 5.

Karim Benzema swept holders Real into the lead in the second half, before Hakim Ziyech scored a deserved equaliser for an energetic Ajax, who created more than enough chances to win comfortably on the night.

They were also denied a first-half opener when Nicolas Tagliafico headed home only for the goal to be chalked off after a VAR check in a Champions League first as Dusan Tadic was judged offside.

Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, whose blushes were spared by the VAR decision after his error led to the disallowed goal, felt the officials got it right.

"The correct decision? I think so," he told reporters. "When it happened I thought it could be offside. When the guy headed it I wanted to go and catch it.

"Because of his (Tadic's) intention I made a quick movement. Luckily for VAR because nobody would have seen it."

DAUNTING TASK

Sergio Ramos, making a 600th appearance for Real, backed the intervention of VAR and warned Ajax they will face a daunting task in the second leg.

"I have said many times that I am a great defender of the VAR because it will make football fairer little by little," Ramos said.

"We knew how to suffer, read the game and create spaces against them to take advantage of our speed. We achieved a great result and now it's up to them to suffer in our stadium."

The home side thought they had profited from a horror error by Courtois, who allowed a Donny van de Beek header to spill from his grasp and Tagliafico nodded the rebound into an empty net.

Yet referee Damir Skomina called for a VAR check and after a number of replays, ruled that Tadic had been standing in an offside position when the goal was scored.

Benzema put Real in front when he netted on the hour-mark, but Ajax got the goal their play deserved with 15 minutes remaining as Ziyech side-footed home after a sweeping move.

Yet Asensio had the final word, scoring at the back post from Carvajal’s cross.

"As a team we did well, it was too bad that our goal is rejected. Perhaps something like that is easy to do in favour of the big club," Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong said.

"But we have continued well and have received our opportunities afterwards. Too bad it did not yield a better result." ]]>
2/14/2019 12:12:22 PM
<![CDATA[Reports link Salah with a move to Juventus ]]>
The Italian side is planning to offer Liverpool their Argentinean star, Paolo Dybala, in addition to €50 million to sign their Egyptian star.

Salah spent two years playing in the Italian League; he joined Fiorentina in January 2015 before switching to Capital giants, AS Roma, in summer 2015 and spent two years there before leaving to join Liverpool.

Salah has had an amazing debut season with Liverpool as he led his team to the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid but he only played 25 minutes and left the pitch after suffering an injury and followed his team’s 3-1 loss from the stands.

The Egyptian scored 44 goals during his debut season at all competitions, including 32 goals at the league that granted him the Premier League Golden Boot award.

This season, Salah suffered a frustrating start with his team but he regained his form and scored 17 goals at the league for Liverpool leading his team to Premier League leadership.

He also scored a decisive goal against Napoli at home that secured his team’s qualification to the second round.


]]>
2/14/2019 12:01:51 PM
<![CDATA[Dates of Ismaily clashes against CS Constantine revealed ]]>
“Meanwhile, the decision on Ismaily SC's match against Club Africain will be communicated shortly upon confirmation by the competent body,” the CAF statement added.

Ismaily was excluded from the competition following their fans’ riot during Ismaily's clash against Club African at the CAF Champions League.

On Sunday, Ismaily was reinstated to the CAF Champions League after a successful appeal against their expulsion.

The CAF Champions League draw put Ismaily in Group C alongside Congo’s TP Mazembe, Club Africain of Tunisia and Algeria’s CS Constantine.

Ismaily lost their first two games at the group; they lost the opening game 2-0 to Mazembe in Congo, and the CAF decided to grant the three points to Club Africain following Ismaily fans’ aggressive behaviors.
]]>
2/14/2019 11:50:32 AM
<![CDATA[Boo boys only made Di Maria stronger, says Tuchel]]>
Di Maria was United's record signing in 2014 when he was bought for 59.7 million pounds ($77.04 million) but an underwhelming debut season under then-manager Louis Van Gaal led to the Argentina international's departure to PSG a year later.

In the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday, the 30-year-old was booed by fans and had a beer bottle thrown in his direction but he had the last laugh by having a hand in both PSG goals in a 2-0 win.

"He had a hard time in the first half, the guy is very competitive. If you tease him, it does not make him weaker," Tuchel told reporters.

"I thought he had a good relationship with the fans. He was a bit nervous and needed to be calmer in the first half. In the end he did well."]]>
2/14/2019 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Bundesliga revenues up 10 pct to $5 bln in 2017-18]]>
The DFL said revenues for the top two divisions in 2016-17 was 4.01 billion euros while overall revenues have more than doubled in the last decade.

The top league generated revenues of 3.81 billion euros, a 13 percent rise from 3.37 billion in 2016-17.

"German professional football has continued its positive development. This is driven in particular by revenue from the current national media contracts, which are reflected in the balance sheets for the first time," DFL Chief Executive Christian Seifert said in a statement.

"Digitalisation and globalisation will open up new opportunities for German professional football in the coming years."

Revenues from media rights were up to 1.25 billion euros from 960 million due to the new broadcasting rights deal taking effect.

German football, on club and national level, has not enjoyed major success since the 2014 World Cup win, with no Bundesliga team reaching the Champions League final since 2013 and the German national team crashing out of the group stage at last year's World Cup in Russia.

The Bundesliga, however, remains successful with match, advertising and media revenues all up from the previous fiscal year.

Bundesliga clubs also pumped 177 million euros into youth development and academies, up from 163 million in 2016-17, with German players proving to be hot commodity in the international market during every transfer period.

Germany overhauled its youth training system back in 2002 after a string of bad results by the national team. From 2002 to 2017-18 clubs have invested a total of 1.6 billion in their academies.

"This is considered to be an investment in the future. The establishment and expansion of the targeted development of new talent began many years ago and remains one of the quality features of German football," the DFL said.]]>
2/14/2019 6:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Preview: Zamalek vs NA Hussein Dey ]]>
Zamalek hopes to return to the right track at the competition as they lost the first round 4-2 to Gor Mahia in Kenya.

Zamalek new signing, Khalid Boutayeb, is the favorite to lead the team attacking line alongside Mahmoud Abdelmoem Kahraba and Youssif Obama while Omar El Said is expected to start the game on the bench.

Zamalek’s expected line-up for the game consists of:

Mahmoud Gennesh, Mahmoud Abdel Ghany, Hamdi Nagguez, Mahmoud Alaa, Abdallah Gomaa, Tarek Hamed, Fergani Sassi, Kahraba, Ibrahim Hassan, Youssef Obama and Khalid Boutayeb.
Zamalek has a great record against Algerian clubs as they never lost to any of the Algerian teams in Egypt.

Zamalek SC was drawn in Group D of the CAF Confederations Cup alongside Kenyan Champions Gor Mahia, Algerian side NA Hussein and Angolan outfit Petro Atletico.

The game starts at 9:00 p.m. (CLT). ]]>
2/13/2019 2:33:21 PM
<![CDATA[Arsenal did not play Ramsey in best position, says Juventus boss]]>
Ramsey is set to join Juventus on a four-year deal in the close season after signing a pre-contract with the defending Serie A champions this week. The Welshman's contract at Arsenal expires this season.

The 28-year-old has played in a number of midfield positions and also played as a wide forward during his 11-year stay at the north London club.

Juventus Sporting Director Fabio Paratici said Juventus should play him as a 'mezzala' - an advanced role in a three-man midfield - to make use of Ramsey's goal scoring ability.

"Ramsey is a player who, in my opinion, has never found his position, because he has never played as a 'mezzala' in a three, which is his role," Paratici told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He's more technical, he's a final ball man, he has a nose for the goal. He is a different player from what we've got, we don't have someone like him in our squad." ]]>
2/13/2019 2:18:13 PM
<![CDATA[Warda wins Greek Super League MVP award ]]>
The Egyptian winger, 25, has been sensational since he joined his Greek League in 2015.

“A very proud moment in my career...Receiving the Greek Super League MVP award is very special having worked so hard to be here...Thank you to everyone who believed in me...to my clubs...my coaches...my teammates...my family...my management and to all the fans.” Warda tweeted.




Warda left his childhood club, Al-Ahly, in 2015 to join Greek club, Panetolikos, and since then his career reached another level.

After two years in Panetolikos, he joined the Greek giants, Paok, in January 2017 but he failed to shine with the club and left in the summer to join Atromitos on a loan.

Warda returned to Paok in 2018 summer and played there for six months and then he was loaned again to Atromitos with an option to make the transfer permanent.

Warda established himself as one of the key players at Egypt national team and he was among the squad that lost 2017 African Cup of Nations final and qualified to 2018 World Cup in Russia. ]]>
2/13/2019 2:16:35 PM
<![CDATA[Sancho happy to have 'opened doors' for English youngsters]]>
Sancho, a Manchester City academy graduate who was signed by Dortmund in 2017, has come into his own this season with seven goals and nine assists for the table toppers in Germany's top flight.

The 18-year-old has also featured regularly in the Champions League, making 28 appearances in all competitions this season.

"I'm happy that I've opened doors," Sancho told ESPN http://www.espn.in/football/uefa-champions-league/775/blog/post/3772910/sancho-exclusive-im-happy-that-ive-opened-doors-for-young-english-players-with-dortmund-move in an interview ahead of Dortmund's trip to Tottenham Hotspur for Wednesday's Champions League last-16 tie.

"It's a good thing to give other players the opportunities somewhere else and not just at home. It's a good feeling, a nice feeling.

"They do ask me what it's like (making the step up from the reserves to the senior team), and I tell them truthfully: It's not easy. It's difficult."

Sancho is expected to start for Dortmund against Spurs with captain Marco Reus ruled out with a thigh injury. ]]>
2/13/2019 1:32:23 PM
<![CDATA[We have a big chance to reach quarter finals, Lasarte ]]>
“We had a good game against Simba but we failed to break their defense and score.” Lasarte told Al-Ahly official website on Wednesday.

Al-Ahly suffered their first loss at the group stage after two victories at home over Vita Club and Simba and a draw in Algeria against JS Saoura.

Lasarte added” Our target is to reach the quarter finals and we will do everything to win our remaining games.”

Al-Ahly is set to play two games at the group against Vita Club in Angola and JS Saoura in Egypt.

Despite the loss, Al-Ahly is leading the group with seven points, one point ahead of Simba, two points ahead of JS Saoura while Vita Club stays at the bottom of the group with four points.

Al-Ahly failed to achieve their ninth title at the competition as they lost the last two Champions League Finals to Wydad Casablanca and Esperence, respectively. ]]>
2/13/2019 1:30:23 PM
<![CDATA[Toulan reveals his secret weapon to defeat Al Hilal ]]>
“Al Hilal is a great team with many experienced players but I trust my players and I will motivate them to defeat the Saudi Arabian team.” Toulan told press.

The competition's quarter finals draw put Al-Ittihad against Al-Hilal and the winner will face the winner between Saudi Arabian club, Al-Ahli, and Emirati Club, Al-Wasl.

Al-Ittihad Alexandria became the only Egyptian team at the tournament after Al-Ahly, Zamalek and Ismaily were knocked out of the competition from round of 16.

Toulan added” We will face Al Hilal on February 16 then we will face Ismaily at the Egyptian Cup on February 21 and we will play the second leg against Al Hilal four days later. We are the only Egyptian team at the competition and we want to reschedule the game against Ismaily to focus on Al Hilal clash.”

Al-Ittihad has had an amazing run at the tournament and they knocked out CAF Champions League winners, Espérance, at round of 32 before knocking out Egyptian League leaders, Zamalek, at the second round.

The champion will win $6 million, while the runners-up will win $2.5 million. ]]>
2/13/2019 1:17:38 PM
<![CDATA[Solskjaer admits PSG showed United another level]]>
The capacity 74,000 crowd at Old Trafford was in full voice, United were attacking Paris St Germain down the flanks with speed and aggression and their opponents looked shaky.

That feeling lasted until the French champions began to get a grip on the game and by the end of the night, a 2-0 defeat in the last 16, first-leg clash served to highlight the gulf that remains between this United team and the European elite.

"That's the level we want to get to" United's caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told reporters. "We've been talking about top four (in the Premier League), that's one thing but we want to be at the top and Man United should be at the top.

"This is a top, top team we played against. Our players today, are disappointed, of course, but I also think they know we need to step up our level to get to the level we want to get to," added the Norwegian after suffeiong his first defeat since taking over 12 games ago in December.

United lost forwards Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard to muscle injuries midway through the match and replacements Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata failed to provide the necessary spark.

PSG had to cope without the injured Neymar and Edison Cavani, two thirds of their attack, yet remained a real threat in the final third with Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria causing United problems.

That is the kind of strength in depth United will need to build if they are to return to being the kind of force in Europe that they were under Alex Ferguson.

REALITY CHECK

"It's a reality check, you can see the strength they have when they put those players in as you talk about but that's the level we want to get to," added Solskjaer.

"And we are looking to strengthen the squad and then again we have so many young players to take a step up for next season."

The Norwegian insisted, however, that his first loss won't wreck the momentum United have built up in the Premier League.

"No, not at all because at this club we have to bounce back and we are in a tournament, the Champions League, where it's always going to be difficult, but our bread and butter is the (domestic) league so (I'm) not afraid of that.

"The reaction in the dressing room was disappointment and when we go to Paris we'll give it a go. It is a difficult mountain to climb but not impossible".

Only once since the 2010-11 season have United won a Champions League knockout stage game and, with key midfielder Paul Pogba suspended after his late red card, the odds are stacked against that changing in Paris on March 6. ]]>
2/13/2019 12:50:54 PM
<![CDATA[Roma and Zaniolo give Mancini cause for optimism]]>
On Tuesday, Mancini was among the crowd at the Stadio Olimpico as all three played in Roma's 2-1 Champions League win over Porto and may have left feeling far more optimistic about the national team's future.

In all, Roma fielded seven Italians in their starting line-up for the last 16 match, the first team to do so in the Champions League since Juventus against FC Copenhagen in 2013.

The highlight was undoubtedly provided by 19-year-old Zaniolo who scored both Roma goals, showing once again why he is one of the most exciting young players Italy has produced for several years.

The midfielder, signed by Roma in the close season from Inter Milan where he did not play a senior match, was included by Mancini in Italy's squad last September, before he had even made his Serie A debut.

"A good player like him has to play," said Mancini at the time, saying he based his decision on Zaniolo's performances for Italy's under-19 team. "In the past, players of his age were already playing for big clubs and that ought to be the case today. It happens abroad."

Shortly afterwards, Zaniolo was thrown in at the deep end as Roma gave him his debut in a Champions League match at Real Madrid and he has not looked back.

His first Serie A goal, against Sassuolo in December was a brilliant solo effort which showed all his potential. After being released down the touchline in the 59th minute, Zaniolo cut inside a defender who was left on the ground and chipped the ball cheekily over goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.

He also scored a remarkable improvised goal against Torino last month, managing to gather the rebound from his own attempt while on the ground in a crowded box before pivoting and firing a shot into the roof of the net.

Tuesday's goals were his first in the Champions League, taking his tally to five in all competitions this season, and earned him praise from his captain Daniele De Rossi, a notoriously tough taskmaster.

"It's another small milestone, perhaps not even a small one, that adds to what he is showing game after game and even training session after training session," said the grizzled 35-year-old.

"He has an incredible natural physique for someone who is only 19 and also has great technical quality. In my opinion, as perhaps with everyone now, he is already a very good player – and can become a great one." ]]>
2/13/2019 12:48:08 PM
<![CDATA[Bayern Chairman trusts Alaba to stop Salah ]]>
Rummenigge believes that Bayern left back, David Alaba, will be able to stop the Egyptian winger when they meet at CAF Champions League round of 16.

“He is a brilliant player on the right side, but we have David Alaba as a left-back, who is also extremely fast. We have complete confidence in David who is one of the best defenders in the world.” Rummenigge told Sportbild.

The Champions League draw put Liverpool against Bayern Munich; the first game is scheduled on February 19 in Liverpool and the second leg will be played two weeks later in Germany.

Rummenigge added “The important thing is to score and not just think about defending. This could be the cornerstone for the quarter-finals. Liverpool has shown weakness away from home.”

Liverpool failed to achieve any victory away from home at UEFA Champions League this season as they lost to Napoli, Red Star Belgrade and PSG during the group stage. ]]>
2/13/2019 12:45:21 PM
<![CDATA[LaLiga’s rising stars: Samuel Chukwueze]]>
Ikwuano-born Chukwueze came a long way very fast following his LaLiga debut against Levante on 4th November 2018, having scored his first senior goal for club from Spain’s eastern coast in a Copa del Rey tie against Almeria a few days previously.

A first LaLiga goal arrived on November 11th, when he drove into the area and dribbled past two defenders before firing low through the legs of Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski.

A second league strike came the following weekend, when Chukwueze received a back-heel from teammate Santi Cazorla and showed composure and technique to fire the ball low into the bottom corner for the winning goal against Real Betis at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

The huge moments kept coming, with the teenager completing the 90 minutes in a narrow defeat at Barcelona’s Camp Nou, and hitting his first Europa League goal in a 2-0 victory against Spartak Moscow to confirm Villarreal’s progress as group winners to that competition’s last 32.

All that seemed a long way away when Chukwueze was born back on 22nd May 1999 in Abia State, Nigeria. He began playing football aged just five, and although his parents originally wanted him to concentrate on his studies, his natural talent and dedication soon shone through.

While honing his skills at the famed Diamond Football Academy, Chukwueze came to international attention with his thrilling performances as Nigeria won the 2015 Under-17 World Cup trophy. Three goals in the competition, including a strike after just 25 seconds in a 5-1 win against hosts Chile, secured him the competition’s Bronze Boot prize.

After joining Villarreal’s youth system in 2017, he quickly settled and was first promoted to the C team before rising into the B reserve side playing in Spain’s third tier. Having impressed his coaches in training with the senior side, a first-team chance soon arrived and was taken with both hands.

A fast, direct winger who likes to cut inside and shoot, Chukwueze has been compared to former Real Madrid star Arjen Robben. Current Nigeria international Ikechukwu Uche, who played for Villarreal between 2011 and 2015, is a close follower of his compatriot’s career.

His immediate impact on LaLiga has raised hopes that Chukwueze could emulate another Nigerian, Christopher Ohen. The former Real Madrid youth teamer scored 48 goals in 117 top flight games for SD Compostela in the 1990s, making him the third-highest African scorer in LaLiga history.

Already a senior international with his country, following a debut in a 0-0 draw with Uganda last November, Chukwueze is currently focusing on maintaining his fast start with Villarreal. In what has been a difficult 2018/19 season so far for the Yellow Submarine, their emerging Nigerian star is a rising star to keep their spirits high!]]>
2/13/2019 12:34:49 PM
<![CDATA[Gordon Banks dies aged 81 ]]>
Banks is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the history of the game and he was among the English national team that won 1966 World Cup at home.

Banks started his career with football in Chesterfield before joining Leicester City in 1959 where he stayed for 8 years and then he went to play for Stoke City where he retired from the game in 1973.

Banks returned to the game in 1977 to play one year for American Club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, where he won the NASL Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Banks’ best achievement was winning 1966 World Cup title, the only World Cup title in the nation’s history.

The highlight of his career was his historic save of Pele’s powerful header during their game at 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Despite losing the game, Banks’ save is considered the best in the World Cup history.
]]>
2/12/2019 8:55:54 PM
<![CDATA[Aguero’s form puts Salah under pressure ]]>
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool and Sergio Aguero of Manchester City also have their own battle to win the Premier League top goal scorer award.

Liverpool Egyptian star, Salah, who won the award last year, has had a better form since the start of the season and he was battling with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspurs, while Aguero was suffering to score goals.

However, Aguero regained his form and scored six goals, two hat-tricks over Arsenal and Chelsea, to reach 17 goals and match Salah’s scoring record.

Aguero is the historic goal scorer of his club, Man City, and he won the top goal scorer award once in 2015.

Both players’ form will play a great part in deciding the fate of the title at the end of the season.

Liverpool and Manchester City come at the top of the Premier League's table but Manchester City played a game more than Liverpool.
]]>
2/12/2019 8:35:45 PM
<![CDATA[ Al-Ahly loses to Simba at CAF Champions League ]]>
Al-Ahly suffered their first loss at the group stage after two victories at home over Vita Club and Simba and a draw in Algeria against JS Saoura.

Al-Ahly manager, Martin Lasarte, counted on Ramdan Sobhi, Junior Ajayi and Hussein el-Shahat at the attacking line but the trio failed to break the hosts’ defense.

Simba’s winning goal came after 66 minutes by the team striker, Meddie kagere, after a defensive mistake from the Egyptian side.

Ajayi had a chance to equalize minutes before the final whistle after he received a cross from Shahat but he failed to score and the game ended with a victory for the hosts.

Al-Ahly is set to play two games at the group against Vita Club in Angola and JS Saoura in Egypt.

Despite the loss, Al-Ahly is leading the group with seven points, one point ahead of Simba and three points ahead of Vita Club who will face JS Saoura in Algeria on Tuesday night.

Al-Ahly failed to achieve their ninth title at the competition as they lost the last two Champions League Finals to Wydad Casablanca and Esperence, respectively.
]]>
2/12/2019 5:50:10 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian Squash player 'number one player' in PSA World Rankings]]>
The "Wadi Degla SC" player is now the new world number one player in the March rankings for the first time in his career.

Wadi Degla Clubs celebrated the PSA World Rankings announcement of the prominent Wadi Degla Clubs Squash player Ali Farag in a press conference attended by Head of the Squash Federation, Assem Khalifa, Captain Karim Darwish, Head of Wadi Degla Darwish Squash Academy, and Mr. Hassan El Mestikawy, Wadi Degla Clubs Chairman.


WhatsApp Image 2019-02-12 at 3.43.58 PM
Wadi Degla SC Ali Farag ranked world number one player in March PSA World Rankings - press photo
]]>
2/12/2019 4:04:02 PM
<![CDATA[Man United must take game to PSG at Old Trafford, says Solskjaer]]>
United are unbeaten in all competitions since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December and their improvement is down to the Norwegian's insistence on an attacking style of play, as opposed to the defensive fare served up by his predecessor.

"We've got to rediscover the Manchester United way of playing, and I don't think many teams enjoy their nights at Old Trafford when we're on song," Solskjaer, who has 10 wins and a draw so far, told the UEFA website https://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=2590091.html.

"It's about taking the game to the opposition, always believing in yourself. If you asked other managers who played against Sir Alex (Ferguson)'s teams, the pace and the tempo going forward was key.

"I have three good forwards myself. As well as (Marcus) Rashford, (Anthony) Martial, (Romelu) Lukaku, we have (Alexis) Sanchez and (Jesse) Lingard. They can challenge PSG's defence."

Solskjaer's managerial record in domestic competitions with United speaks for itself, but Tuesday's match will be his first test against elite European competition.

Progress for United in the Champions League would reinforce the case for Solskjaer to be named United's permanent manager and the 45-year-old has fond memories of the tournament.

"The biggest nights of my career have been Champions League nights," said Solskjaer, who scored the winner for United in the 1999 final which helped the club complete a treble, including the Premier League and FA Cup titles.

"When you get to this stage of the tournament, with the floodlights on, these are the games that you really look forward to." ]]>
2/12/2019 1:40:00 PM
<![CDATA[Chelsea rout just another three points, says City's Sterling]]>
City moved top of the standings, though Liverpool have played a game less, after Pep Guardiola's side tore Chelsea apart at the Etihad Stadium.

Sterling opened the scoring in the fourth minute against Chelsea, who had handed City their first league defeat of the season in the reverse fixture in December.

"It was just a win and another three points. The most important thing is to get three points," Sterling told City's website.

"It was a terrific performance from the team, the manager set us up and got us ready for the game."

Sergio Aguero scored his third hat-trick of the season to equal Alan Shearer's record of 11 in the Premier League, and Sterling said he was a player City should "cherish".

"Sergio is a player we depend on," Sterling said of the Argentine, who moved to the top of the league's goal scoring charts with 17. "You saw with his first strike putting the ball in the top corner, you have to cherish players like that."

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri did not shake hands with Guardiola after the match, walking straight down the tunnel instead, but both managers sought to play down the incident.

"I didn't see him at that moment," Sarri told reporters. "I will see him afterwards, it was by chance."

Guardiola was keen to give his opposite number the benefit of the doubt, stressing that the two managers shared a "good relationship".

Chelsea and City meet later this month in the League Cup final at Wembley on Feb. 24. ]]>
2/12/2019 10:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Scholes named Oldham manager]]>
British media reported that Scholes was cleared to take up the position last week when the English Football League decided the 44-year-old's 10 percent stake in fifth-tier Salford City would not represent a conflict of interest.

Scholes, a lifelong Oldham fan who spent his entire playing career at United, won 11 Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two Champions League crowns before hanging up his boots in 2013.

"Paul has won everything there is to win in football," Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam said in a statement.

"He is a man who will bring a lot of footballing knowledge and his hunger to succeed in management will be there for everyone to see.

"It's no secret how much he has wanted this job in the past and how much he loves this club, so I’m very happy to bring him into our family at Oldham Athletic."

Scholes has limited coaching experience, including four matches alongside Ryan Giggs when his former team mate took caretaker charge of United following David Moyes's sacking in 2014.

The former England international has worked as a television pundit for BT Sport in recent years.

Oldham sacked Frankie Bunn in December and academy coach Pete Wild was put in temporary charge of the team.

A 3-0 victory at Crawley Town on Saturday was Oldham's first in the league since New Year's Day and they are 14th in the table - nine points off the playoff spots.]]>
2/12/2019 6:50:00 AM
<![CDATA[Kahraba, Nagguez and Ibrahim return to Zamalek training sessions]]>
Kahraba had a rest from Al-Negoum’s match in the Egyptian league, which ended by a 1-0 victory for Zamalek, as he played too many matches lately.

Naguezz also returned after suffering an injury in his foot. He and Mohamed Ibrahim didn’t participate in Al-Negoum’s match due to injury.

d81ef1a2167c66455c62689822fbd535


Zamalek’s coaching staff subjected the players to some training exercises and special programs to overcome the pressure of matches and not to be stressed.

The White team prepares for their match against Algerian side, NA Hussein, on Wednesday which will be in the second round of CAF Confederation Cup group stage.

Gor Mahia roared to a 4-2 victory over the White Knights of Egypt in the opening match of Group D February 3.

Zamalek SC was drawn in Group D of the CAF Confederations Cup alongside Kenyan Champions Gor Mahia, Algerian side NA Hussein and Angolan outfit Petro Atletico.

]]>
2/11/2019 6:22:42 PM
<![CDATA[Walid Salah believes in Al-Ittihad's chance to defeat Al-Hilal ]]>
The competition's quarter finals draw put Al-Ittihad against Al-Hilal and the winner will face the winner between Saudi Arabian club, Al-Ahli, and Emirati Club, Al-Wasl.

“It will be a tough game but nothing is impossible in football. They are a big team with many experienced players but we believe in our chances,” Walid told press on Monday.

Al-Ittihad Alexandria became the only Egyptian team at the tournament after Al-Ahly, Zamalek and Ismaily were knocked out of the competition from round of 16.

Walid added, “We will watch Al- Hilal game against Al-Qadsia at the Saudi Arabian League on Tuesday to be well prepared for the game.”

Al-Ittihad has had an amazing run at the tournament and they knocked out CAF Champions League winners, Espérance, at round of 32 before knocking out Egyptian League leaders, Zamalek, at the second round.

The champion will win $6 million, while the runners-up will win $2.5 million. ]]>
2/11/2019 3:18:18 PM
<![CDATA[Australia's Barty savours 'best feeling' after downing US]]>
The world number 13, who reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final at her home Australian Open last month, beat Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin in the singles before teaming up with Priscilla Hon in the decisive doubles tie to seal a tense 3-2 win in Asheville, North Carolina.

"It's the best feeling in the world, to be honest," Barty told reporters.

"No matter what the crowd is like, when you're playing with Australia written on your back, wearing the green and gold, it's the best feeling, regardless if you're home or away."

Seven-times champions Australia, bidding for their first title since 1974, sealed their first semi-finals berth since 2014 and will meet Belarus at home in April.

Third seed Belarus, with twice Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka playing her first tie in three years, thrashed Germany 4-0, while Romania stunned defending champions Czech Republic 3-2 and will take on France in the other semi-final.

Belarus would present a "very challenging tie", Australian number three Daria Gavrilova said.

"They actually have a really young team, as well," said the world number 47.

"(Aryna) Sabalenka is probably playing her best tennis right now. (Aliaksandra) Sasnovich is right behind her. She's been pretty consistent. They've got Azarenka. She brings the experience to the team.

"But we'll have the home advantage. Hopefully we can get to the finals."]]>
2/11/2019 3:12:49 PM
<![CDATA[Lasarte expects a tough game against Simba ]]>
“It is a different game and it will not be easy despite our victory in Alexandria,” Lasarte told press on Monday.

Al-Ahly is leading the group with seven points from two victories at home and a draw against JS Saoura in Algeria.

Lasarte added, "Our strategy is to gain as many points as we can to reach the next round.”

Al-Ahly midfielder, Hesham Mohamed, spoke during the press conference about the difficult circumstances that face the team, saying “We are playing every three days but it is our destiny because we play in many competitions.”

Al-Ahly played on Friday against Haras El-Hodoud at the League and travelled on Sunday to Tanzania to face Simba at the CAF Champions League.

Mohamed added, “We hope to win and secure qualification to the next round.”

The game is scheduled for Tuesday at 3 p.m. (C.L.T) ]]>
2/11/2019 2:35:33 PM
<![CDATA[Disqualified Ismaily reinstated in Champions League]]>
Ismaily supporters threw stones and water bottles towards the field, which forced Cameroon referee Neant Alioum to order the teams into the changing rooms in stoppage time with the visitors leading 2-1.

CAF's appeal board ruled in favour of Ismaily on Sunday saying there had been no invasion of the playing area nor evidence it was directed at the visiting team and therefore no grounds for disqualification.

The appeal board made no recommendation on the outcome of the match against Club Africain.

Ismaily had already lost their opening game in Group C at TP Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Egypt were named as hosts of the 2019 African Nations Cup last month despite a number of incidents involving unruly fans in recent years that forced local officials to limit the number of spectators at domestic fixtures to 5,000.]]>
2/11/2019 1:31:45 PM
<![CDATA[Ajax’s De Jong doubtful for Real Madrid game]]>
The 21-year-old, who is heading to Barcelona in an 86-million euro ($97.2 million) deal at the end of the season, was forced off the pitch 10 minutes from time as Ajax lost to Heracles Almelo in the Dutch league on Saturday.

He had been struggling before the game with injury but was passed fit to play.

Ajax also have concerns over the fitness of Nicolas Tagliafico, who completed Saturday’s match but has been battling with a knee complaint, local media reported.

The return leg is in Madrid on March 5.]]>
2/11/2019 1:29:19 PM
<![CDATA[Iwobi, Lacazette lead Arsenal to win at Huddersfield]]>
Arsenal had suffered four defeats in their last nine league games, including a 3-1 loss at Manchester City last week, but Alex Iwobi put them ahead in the 16th minute with a deflected shot.

Huddersfield pressed and harried but rarely troubled the Arsenal goal in the first half, with the difference in quality showing as the visitors doubled their advantage through Alexandre Lacazette's 10th league goal of the season a minute before halftime.

Adama Diakhaby had two good chances to get Huddersfield -- who had drawn once and lost 11 of their previous 12 league games -- back into the match, but failed to really test Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal.

Sead Kolasinac put through his own net in stoppage time to give Huddersfield late hope, scoring Huddersfield's first goal in over nine hours of football in all competitions, but the visitors held on for the win.

Victory moved Arsenal level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea, who play Manchester City on Sunday, while Huddersfield stayed bottom, 13 points from safety. ]]>
2/10/2019 10:17:00 AM
<![CDATA[Real back in title fight after Madrid derby victory]]>
Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale's strikes inflicted Atletico's first home defeat of the season across all competitions and moved the European champions up to second, within five points of leaders Barcelona, as their revival under Santiago Solari continued.

Antoine Griezmann equalised for Atletico after Casemiro's overhead kick sent Real ahead, but Ramos slammed home from the penalty spot before halftime to silence the home fans.

Atletico's Alvaro Morata netted a brilliant lob against his former side but it was ruled out for offside before Bale drilled in the visitors' third to secure the points for Real Madrid.

Thomas Partey was dismissed after getting his second yellow card at the end of a disappointing afternoon for Diego Simeone's side, who dropped to third after losing for the second weekend in a row.]]>
2/10/2019 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Napoli captain Hamsik's China move back on]]>
Napoli had suspended the deal because of a problem with agreed "payment methods" with the Chinese club which is coached by German Bernd Schuster.

Dalian had wanted to pay the 20 million euro ($22.6 million) transfer fee to the Italian club in instalments.

But Gazzetta Dello Sport reported that under the renegotiated deal the fee will be paid in two instalments of five million euros and 15 million euros.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has also demanded additional bank guarantees from the Chinese club.

The 31-year-old midfielder is back in Slovakia and will undergo a medical in Madrid early next week, Sky Sports Italia reported.

Hamsik, capped 111 times for Slovakia, has played for Napoli since 2007. He has scored 121 goals in 520 appearances and last season overtook legend Diego Maradona (115) as the club's record goalscorer.

The three-year deal will reportedly earn him an annual salary of nine million euro ($10.2 million) -- three times what he earns in Italy.

Hamsik joined Napoli from Italian club Brescia in 2007, but coach Carlo Ancelotti revealed last week the player wanted a change.

"Napoli have a lot of respect for Hamsik, as he wrote history, but if he wants to have another experience, we tend to want to make him happy," said Ancelotti.

"When you want you can return, Napoli is always your home," De Laurentiis told Hamsik, who helped the club win two Coppa Italia titles, in 2012 and 2014, and the 2014 Supercoppa Italiana.

Napoli -- who last won Serie A in 1990 -- are second in Serie A nine points adrift leaders Juventus.]]>
2/10/2019 8:05:00 AM
<![CDATA[Pochettino adamant Tottenham shift to new stadium this season]]>
Tottenham's north London derby against Arsenal in March will be played at Wembley Stadium as the club still awaits safety certificates on its new ground.

The London club will have only five home fixtures after the Arsenal clash to host a game in their new 62,000-seater ground and Pochettino is adamant they should not wait until next season to move.

"My opinion is move... I take the risk and move. I am brave," Pochettino told a news conference ahead of Sunday's league clash with Leicester City at Wembley.

"If we can play one or five games, I want to move. If the club or (chairman) Daniel (Levy) ask me on the final decision, my final decision is to move to play there. Today they know I want to move.

"But today is only an opinion. If the moment arrives to make the final decision, it's not a problem. I am going to say yes to move and be responsible and get the blame, it's not a problem."

Pochettino said that opposition clubs preferred to play against his team at Wembley, where attendances have dipped in some matches this season.

"When you have the capacity of 90,000 and you play in front of 30,000 I think it's a massive advantage for the opponent," Pochettino added.

"If you remember the last season at White Hart Lane and compare it to last season, Wembley, our record is not as good. I always prefer to play at home and in my stadium and my house."

Tottenham, third in the league, have used Wembley for league games since last season after the historic White Hart Lane ground was demolished at the end of the 2016-17 campaign. ]]>
2/10/2019 5:47:00 AM
<![CDATA[Chelsea's Hazard relishing partnership with Higuain]]>
Chelsea signed Higuain on loan from Juventus last month and the Argentina striker scored twice in last week's 5-0 thumping of the Premier League's bottom club Huddersfield Town.

Hazard, who also scored two goals in that game at Stamford Bridge, said he was already enjoying playing alongside the former Real Madrid and Napoli striker.

"I've only played two games with Higuain and I know we can do something great together, not only with him but also with the other strikers, the other winger," Hazard told The Times ahead of Sunday's league meeting with Manchester City.

"Chelsea is not about Higuain and Hazard, it is about 25 players. But Higuain is a fantastic striker."

Victory over Huddersfield followed league defeats by Arsenal and Bournemouth where midfielder Jorginho was man-marked to nullify the Italy international's influence.

"If one guy is marking him all the time, we need to adapt also. Jorginho is always trying to be free to take the ball to create something. He's a fantastic player," Hazard said.

Manager Maurizio Sarri has also faced questions about his insistence on playing N'Golo Kante on the right side of midfield instead of in his natural holding role, but Hazard believes the Frenchman has to adapt.

"N'Golo's a clever guy, one of the best in his position, maybe the best in the world. N'Golo now plays six months in the different position. He needs to adapt," Hazard said.

"When we win, everyone will say, 'yes, he plays in his (best) position, and if we lose everyone will say, 'no, he needs to go a bit behind'. Depends only on the result."

Hazard said Chelsea still need time to adapt to Sarri's possession-based style of play, which contrasts to the counter-attacking football of previous managers Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho.

"Sometimes we keep possession, and I understand the fans want us to go forward (more directly), but it is part of the football," Hazard said.

"We are still learning about his concept. We are doing well. I like this kind of football."]]>
2/10/2019 5:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Dortmund waste three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Hoffenheim]]>
The league leaders have only themselves to blame after Jadon Sancho, in the absence of Dortmund captain Marco Reus, took control of Dortmund's game in the first half, firing in for the lead and slicing through the hapless Hoffenheim defence at will.

The England international then set up Mario Goetze for Dortmund's second goal before combining with Goetze to set up Rapahel Guerreiro for an easy tap-in in the 66th.

Sancho almost got a second goal in the 75th but his low shot hit the post and bounced clear before the hosts stepped off the gas, allowing Ishak Belfodil to cut the deficit in the 75th.

Pavel Kaderabek then rose over his marker to head in with seven minutes left and set up a nervous finale.

The visitors' memorable comeback was complete when Belfodil headed in a free kick in the 87th.

With champions Bayern Munich in second place on 42 and in action against Schalke 04 later on Saturday, Dortmund, who face Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League Round of 16 later this month, are top on 50 points.

Borussia Moenchengladbach, dropped to third place on goal difference behind Bayern after their 3-0 loss to Hertha Berlin.]]>
2/10/2019 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Guardiola hails Aguero's big-game mentality ahead of Chelsea clash]]>
Guardiola pointed to Aguero's 40th-minute opener in last month's 2-1 win over fellow title challengers Liverpool as the perfect example to illustrate his point.

That victory helped City cut then table-toppers Liverpool's lead to four points and Guardiola's side have since gone ahead of the Merseyside club on goal difference in a compelling race.

"That goal against Liverpool summed up what he is about. Sometimes the best tennis players on a point to save the break, they make an ace," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Sunday's league clash against fourth-placed Chelsea.

"In the big moments, always the big athletes come there, the big finals, the big moments. Sometimes some players hide in the scary moments.

"The other ones step forward and say, 'I'm the boss, I'm here and I'm going to win the game'. Big clubs need these kinds of players. It's ­simple."

Aguero has scored 14 league goals in 22 matches this season and Guardiola hoped the club's all-time record scorer can find the target again on Sunday.

"Hopefully, he can ­continue to do it. In the big games, we need the ­important players... this game belongs to the players and the important games belong to the special players," Guardiola added.

City have 62 points from 26 matches while Chelsea are 12 points behind them having played a game fewer. ]]>
2/10/2019 3:45:00 AM
<![CDATA[Beckham to be honoured with statue in LA]]>
In 2007, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder became the first big European name to join the MLS, where he won back-to-back championships in 2011 and 2012 during his six years and 98 appearances with the Galaxy.

Beckham's MLS stint helped give the American league credibility and paved the way for other top European players to make the leap in subsequent years.

The 43-year-old is currently the owner of expansion side Inter Miami CF, which is set to join the MLS in 2020.]]>
2/10/2019 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Manchester United into top four with 3-0 win at Fulham]]>
Paul Pogba fired United ahead from an impossibly tight angle in the 14th minute, springing in behind the defence and onto a pass from Anthony Martial on the left, turning and shooting first time between keeper Sergio Rico and the near post.

Martial doubled the lead nine minutes later in style, collecting the ball on the halfway line, jinking past Denis Odoi and racing all the way into the area before stroking his shot beyond the reach of Rico.

Fulham had begun the game brightly, creating four shots in the first five minutes, but their chances petered out and they seemed to lose confidence as United controlled the ball for long periods.

Their best chance was in the opening minute when Andre Schurrle broke forward and floated the ball across the area and down into the path of Luciano Vietto. The Argentine, however, sent his shot just wide of the far post.

United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku had an anonymous first half, outshone by his two French team mates. But he helped create the penalty that led to the third goal when he charged forward to pass to Juan Mata, who was bundled over inside the area by Fulham's Maxime Le Marchand.

Pogba converted from the spot to put the game beyond Fulham's reach, and was then substituted, most likely to keep him fit ahead of a tough schedule in the coming weeks.

United face French champions Paris St Germain in a Champions League last-16 tie, Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round, and host arch-rivals Liverpool all within the month.

The win at Fulham lifts United into fourth place in the league, ahead of Chelsea's visit to Manchester City on Sunday.

Pogba appeared happy with the result but remained focused on his side's busy schedule ahead.

"The good atmosphere helps the team, and for me, being more in the box gives me more chances to score... There's still a long way to go and we have a lot of big games coming up," he told BBC.

Fulham remain in relegation territory in 19th place, and they too have a tough schedule ahead. Yet to win away from home this season, their next three visitors at Craven Cottage are all powerhouses - Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Schurrle came off near the start of the second half, giving way to Cyrus Christie as the Cottagers looked for ways to get themselves back in the game.

But luck was not on their side at all, with Ryan Babel somehow managing to miss a golden opportunity from barely two feet out in the closing minutes, sending Joe Bryan's cross onto the post and out.

The crowd, unimpressed at the Schurrle substitution and the very late introduction of promotion heroes Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney, booed Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri off at the end of the match. ]]>
2/10/2019 1:31:00 AM
<![CDATA[Liverpool back on top after 3-0 win over Bournemouth]]>
The win moves Juergen Klopps's side three points above second-placed Manchester City who face Chelsea on Sunday and would return to the top on goal difference with a victory.

After consecutive draws, the pressure was on Liverpool to dispel any talk of nerves setting in and after surviving an early scare when keeper Alisson Becker had to parry out a Ryan Fraser shot in the second minute, Klopp's side looked close to their best again.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a well-placed header from a James Milner cross - the Senegalese forward's fourth straight league match with a goal.

Ten minute later, Georginio Wijnaldum, whose return to the midfield after injury made a noticeable difference, doubled the lead with a gloriously executed lob over Artur Boruc after collecting a lofted pass from Andy Robertson.

Three minutes after the interval, Mohamed Salah, who had wasted two good opportunities in the first half, made no mistake after being played in by a clever back-heel from Roberto Firmino.

The pair combined again in the 76th minute, this time Salah striking the bar with a well-struck left-foot effort.]]>
2/9/2019 7:14:46 PM
<![CDATA[Flamengo fire victims were all aged between 14 and 17]]>
The fire struck early on Friday. Initially the authorities thought the victims included members of staff, but on Saturday several Brazilian newspapers ran photos of the dead youngsters, smiling, proudly sporting the club's red and black jersey or holding trophies.

Three young players were also hurt during the fire, including one with burns on more than 30 percent of his body.

Preliminary investigations, reported by local media, suggest the fire could have been caused by a short circuit in the air conditioning in the prefabricated building housing the players.

The fire brigade said in a statement that the training center "was in the process of being brought into line with (fire) regulations" and that it did not yet have their certificate of approval.

Of the 10 teenagers who died, only three were from the state of Rio de Janeiro, where the Ninho de Urubu (the Nest of the Vulture after the club's nickname) training centre is located. Four were from neighboring states, two from Santa Catarina to the south and one from Sergipe in the north.

Two were goalkeepers, including 15-year-old Christian Esmerio who had been in the national under-15 and under-17 squads. Photos on social media show him with Brazil manager Tite.

Four were defenders including Pablo Henrique da Silva Matos, 14, who was the cousin of Werley, a veteran center back at another Rio club Vasco da Gama, who identified the body.

The other four were a midfielder and three forwards.]]>
2/9/2019 7:11:04 PM
<![CDATA[Arsenal must improve away form for top-four finish, says Emery]]>
Sixth-placed Arsenal, three points off a Champions League spot, have not won in six away league games since a 2-1 victory at Bournemouth in November.

They have, however, racked up six consecutive home wins to stay in touch with the leaders.

"We're strong at home but I think we need to do better away. We started very well, changing our mentality to get more points away," Emery told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to bottom side Huddersfield Town.

"My first critic is myself. We can make the top four, but we know it's not easy. For us away, each match is a new challenge but it is a big possibility to take the three points."

Arsenal are the only Premier League team yet to keep a clean sheet in an away game this season and Emery has experimented with different combinations at the back.

"We know defensively we need to do better. We tried to play with three and two centre-backs," he added. "(We need to) be passionate, be calm but above all work."

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi and attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan are back in full training after injuries and the latter could return to the side after a seven-week absence.

"After six weeks being injured, we thought he (Mkhitaryan) was not fit enough to play against Manchester City. But this week it's the first time I can think of him with us," Emery said.]]>
2/9/2019 10:19:00 AM
<![CDATA[Fit-again Arnautovic ready for West Ham's trip to Palace]]>
Austrian forward Arnautovic, who signed a contract extension last month after interest from Chinese clubs, has recovered from a foot injury sustained in the 3-0 league defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers last week.

"Marko worked the complete week. It is good news, of course. He is a player who makes a difference and important for our team," Pellegrini told a news conference on Thursday.

"He needs to recover his best form after not playing and his last injury and I hope he will be an important player for the remainder of the season."

An injury crisis meant West Ham were left with only 15 first-team players at the end of January but that has changed this month as Pellegrini continues to receive positive news from the treatment room.

The Chilean manager has pencilled in Lanzini for a return against Fulham on Feb. 22, which could be the Argentina playmaker's first appearance since rupturing a knee ligament during a training session with the national team last June.

"I hope that Manu Lanzini will be ready for Fulham, at least to go to the bench, if he continues improving over the next two weeks," Pellegrini added.

"Ryan Fredericks is OK working with us and Fabian Balbuena will be ready in a couple of weeks. So, for the last weeks of the season, those are the players who must make the difference."

Frenchman Samir Nasri is still struggling with the calf injury that has kept him out of the last three matches, while fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere will begin rehabilitation following ankle surgery next week.]]>
2/9/2019 9:18:00 AM
<![CDATA[Fulham need soldiers against United, says Ranieri]]>
The Italian took charge in November with Fulham in deep trouble having struggled under Slavisa Jokanovic and he has been unable to lead a sustained recovery.

They have won three times in the league since, compared to once in the first 12 games of the season, but remain second from bottom with 17 points, seven behind Burnley who are one place above the relegation zone.

Fulham have lost four of their last five league games and on Saturday host a Manchester United side who have won seven and drawn one since Ole Gunnar Solkskjaer was appointed interim manager following Jose Mourinho's sacking.

"We know where we are, we know it's very tough and we need soldiers who fight until the end," Ranieri told reporters on Thursday.

"We are ready to fight. I have to motivate them and give my positivity to our players. It's much better to play at home than away. It's very important to achieve points against this team."

United face Paris St Germain the following week in the Champions League, but Ranieri is not expecting them to take their eye off the ball at Craven Cottage.

"Big teams are used to playing match by match. I think they (Man United) will be very focused on Saturday, before thinking about PSG," he said.

"They have so many good players. We must concentrate, be strong and show our personality during the match."

United, who are unbeaten in 10 league games against Fulham, can climb into the top four with victory.

Midfielder Andre Schuerrle is available again for Fulham after missing the 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace due to injury. ]]>
2/9/2019 8:17:00 AM
<![CDATA[New TV technology to take fans "inside the game"]]>
Technology giant Intel has partnered with champions City, Liverpool and Arsenal to introduce its state-of-the-art True View system to the Etihad, Anfield and Emirates stadiums.

True View, used in TV coverage of Sunday's Super Bowl and also to bring fans courtside in NBA, will allow 360-degree replays of all the key moments.

The cutting-edge technology will also allow viewers to experience winning goals, flying saves or last-ditch tackles from the perspective of the players on the pitch.

Using 38 5K ultra-high-definition cameras to capture vast quantities of "volumetric data" -- or three dimensional pixels -- Intel's servers then crunch it all down to provide incredible 3D replays from every conceivable angle.

In 2018 technology investments into sports reached nearly $1 billion -- much of it to satisfy a seemingly insatiable demand for content across traditional TV platforms and social media.

True View, according to James Carwana, vice president and general manager of Intel Sports, is a step further than anything Premier League fans will have experienced before, whether watching host broadcaster coverage or through club websites.

"Immersive media experiences continue to create more opportunities for sports teams and leagues to put the fan experience first," Carwana said at the London launch.

Billy Hogan, Liverpool's chief commercial officer, said True View would offer fans a completely new experience.

"We have seen some similar types of examples where they use more of a video-game looking feel, but this is the real match in a way where fans can see what the player is seeing on the ball," Hogan told Reuters.

"The ability to feel like you are actually on the pitch is something really exciting for the broadcast experience.

"It's deeply engaging from a fans perspective and from our perspective it's 24-7, 365-day interaction with our supporters whether they are nearby or on the other side of the world."

Only three Premier League clubs have so far joined with Intel with True View set to be rolled out "later this year".

Six La Liga clubs already have it installed.

Manchester City's senior vice president of Partnerships Damian Willoughby said True View fits into the club's ethos for innovation which saw it offer free stadium wifi on matchdays and "tunnel cam" which offers fans a peek "behind the scenes".

"It's about how we enhance the fans' experience and give our global audience a deeper experience of the content around the game," he said. "For us this is a natural extension of us being the cutting edge of fan engagement.

"We're possibly just scratching the surface of what's possible."]]>
2/9/2019 6:17:00 AM
<![CDATA[With City back on top, Liverpool face test of nerves]]>
The taunt of "Juergen's cracking up" directed at Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp was perhaps a reference to the slightly tetchy television interviews the German had given after his team's 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Monday.

It was, of course, banter of the kind football fans love to engage in but the feeling that Liverpool are nervously feeling the pressure of the title race is growing widely.

Liverpool have not won the domestic league title for 29 years, a period that has included a lengthy spell of domination from their bitterest rivals Manchester United.

That run should have ended in 2014 when Brendan Rodgers's team featuring Luis Suarez in attack found themselves five points clear with three games remaining.

But defeat at home by Chelsea and a 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace saw Manchester City, who won their last five games, grab the title on the final day.

It was an agonising and crushing end to the season and while Klopp has since transformed the team, taking them to the Champions League final last season, the memory remains for the supporters and some of the player.

Now with City above Liverpool for the first time since Dec. 8, the pressure is firmly on Klopp's team, who host Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday.

After successive draws - at home to Leicester and at West Ham - Liverpool sorely need to pick up three points.

Liverpool have not gone two home matches without a win since December, 2017 and have only ever lost once to the Cherries -- a 4-3 defeat in Bournemouth in 2016.

Klopp's side have won the last three meetings by a total of 11 goals to none.

City get a chance to respond to whatever happens at Anfield when they face Chelsea on Sunday, a match their manager Pep Guardiola describes as an "incredible test".

Third-placed Tottenham are only five points behind the leaders and are coping well with the absence of captain Harry Kane, having won the last three league games without him.

Spurs host Leicester, without a win in their last five Premier League games, on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino's team have gone a Premier League record 29 matches without a draw. The last top-flight team to have a longer run were Portsmouth between March 1928 and February 1929, with 38 matches.

Manchester United, unbeaten since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho in December, kick off the weekend on Saturday at next to bottom Fulham and a win would see them, temporarily at least, go above Chelsea into fourth place.]]>
2/9/2019 4:09:00 AM
<![CDATA[Lingard says 'old school' Man Utd back under Solskjaer]]>
Jose Mourinho's December sacking was followed by the surprise appointment of Solskjaer until the end of the campaign.

The Norwegian has won nine of his 10 matches in charge in all competitions, with that unbeaten start to life in the dugout seeing United close the gap on the top four and excite the fans.

"Solskjaer and (assistant) Mike Phelan have brought back the old school Manchester United," the England midfielder told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.

"They know the league and the club inside out, so to pass that on and get us playing how we are has been perfect. Solskjaer is doing very well, nobody can fault him.

"He got the players backing him straight away. He told us there are big expectations and pressure at this club but we have to deal with it and play like a real United team."

Lingard said United, currently two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for Champions League places, were setting their sights higher for next season.

"We will challenge for the title next season if we carry on how we are now," said the 26-year-old. "We're back to basics and winning games by grinding out results or scoring a lot of goals.

"As long as we're winning games, that's all that matters."]]>
2/9/2019 3:22:00 AM
<![CDATA[Spotlight on 'mentally fragile' Morata in Madrid derby]]>
Morata has made only 85 top-flight starts in eight years since his professional debut, scoring 56 league goals in a stop-start journey which has taken him from Real to Juventus, back to Real and then to Chelsea, joining Atletico on loan last month.

Morata has been tasked with sharing the goalscoring burden with Antoine Griezmann to strengthen Atletico's title battle with La Liga leaders Barcelona, but he got off to a miserable start with last week's 1-0 defeat at Real Betis.

Spain international Morata struggled to combine with Griezmann and offered little threat as his side slumped to a first league defeat in five months, falling six points behind Barca who visit Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Atletico have also ceded ground to Real, who have won their last four league fixtures and will leapfrog their neighbours should they come out winners in the derby.

The game is not just a chance for Morata to prove a point to his former employers, who sold him to Juventus in 2014 for 18 million euros then brought him back to Spain for 36 million, only to offload him to Chelsea for 80 million a year later.

He also needs to win over Atletico fans who seem reluctant to embrace him due to his years with Real, with some chanting their disapproval about his signing in their last home fixture.

Morata also has work to do to convince the world of his talents after a difficult final months at Chelsea, where coach Maurizio Sarri claimed he was "mentally fragile" and assistant Gianfranco Zola said he had to remind the striker that he was representing Chelsea, not Brighton or Southampton.

Questions about Morata's mentality also cropped up at Juventus, with Gianluigi Buffon saying he once told the striker "if he stopped feeling sorry for himself he could be a match winner".

It will be fascinating to see how Atletico coach Diego Simeone, regarded as a macho, uncompromising figure, attempts to restore Morata's confidence.

Whether or not the Argentine can get the striker firing again will determine whether Atletico can overhaul Barca and a resurgent Real in the title race.

Morata's progress could also define their path in the Champions League, with Juventus awaiting them in the last 16, and with the final taking place at their Wanda Metropolitano stadium.]]>
2/9/2019 2:07:00 AM
<![CDATA[West Ham hand evidence to police in Mohamed Salah abuse investigation]]>
The incident occurred during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium.

Egyptian soccer superstar Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner.

The footage, taken by a fellow fan, shows expletives directed at Salah, including about his religion.

"The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a statement.

"West Ham can confirm that it has handed evidence to the Metropolitan Police."

The user who posted the video on Twitter said, "I was disgusted by what I was hearing. People like this deserve no place in our society let alone football matches."
]]>
2/8/2019 8:20:04 PM
<![CDATA[Solari's Madrid show clear improvement in Clasico draw]]>
Julen Lopetegui's short-lived spell in charge was brought to an end in October with a humiliating capitulation to Barca and Solari was appointed the next day on an interim basis.

He took the role full time a fortnight later and has since helped to drag the European champions out of crisis.

The Argentine coach has made some brave decisions, like dropping playmaker Isco to the bench and installing Vinicius Junior as a regular on the left flank, and it has reinvigorated a side which was sinking rapidly.

Madrid had the better of the first half against Barcelona on Wednesday, breaking the deadlock through Lucas Vazquez, before Malcom equalised after the break.

Gareth Bale missed a good chance in the final stages and Gerard Pique blocked Toni Kroos’s goal-bound shot.

"The result is unfair, we did more in attack to win the game," said Vazquez. "Maybe we did let Barcelona off lightly in the first half.

"We made clear chances, we didn’t know how to put them away and ended up drawing.

"The draw leaves the tie open and the second leg will be very tough and well fought. What we want is to win the game at the Santiago Bernabeu, in front of our fans."

Vazquez is another of the players that Solari has relied upon and did not start against Barcelona in the 5-1 defeat.

Solari was pleased with his team’s performance and thought they might have snatched a victory.

"It’s hard to talk about justice in football,” said Solari. "We had chances to score, in the first and second half, but what will stick with me is that it was a precise game, very entertaining."

After their last Clasico was traumatic, Wednesday's performance was a distinct improvement and shows just how far Madrid have come in a little over three months.]]>
2/8/2019 9:22:00 AM
<![CDATA[Napoli say Hamsik's move to China delayed over payment issue]]>
Napoli did not name the club or say how long the move would be held up for, although they still have time to complete a deal with the transfer window in China open until Feb. 28.

"The club has decided to delay Marek Hamsik's move to China because the payment methods proposed for the agreed sum fail to adhere to what was previously agreed," Napoli said in a brief statement on their website http://www.sscnapoli.it/static/news/SSC-Napoli-statement-16890.aspx.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti had confirmed last week that the 31-year-old, who joined Napoli from Slovan Bratislava, was in talks to leave the club after 12 seasons. Media reports linked him with a move to Dalian Yifang.

The Slovakian became the club's all-time leading scorer in December 2017 when he overtook Diego Maradona's mark of 115 goals and he overhauled Giuseppe Bruscolotti's total of 511 appearances in November.

Hamsik, who has 121 goals for Napoli in all competitions, made his 520th appearance for the club in Saturday's 3-0 win over Sampdoria.]]>
2/8/2019 9:19:00 AM
<![CDATA[Tottenham confirm north London derby to be played at Wembley]]>
In January the club said all its February home fixtures would be staged at their adopted Wembley home owing to continued delays to their new 62,000-seater ground which is costing close to one billion pounds ($1.3 billion).

That left open the possibility of christening the new stadium with a home clash against Arsenal, but that was ruled out by club chairman Daniel Levy on Thursday.

"Once again, thank you all for bearing with us and for the great support we have received from so many different quarters. These next few weeks are pivotal," Levy said in a message to fans on the club's website.

The delays have chiefly been caused by remedial work being carried out on wiring and safety systems.

"The success of this testing is critical to our ability to obtain a safety certificate and open the stadium," the club said in a statement.

Tottenham, third in the Premier League, have used Wembley for league games since the beginning of last season after the historic White Hart Lane ground was demolished at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.]]>
2/8/2019 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Re-elected UEFA head Ceferin wants competitions overhaul]]>
Voted in during the annual UEFA Congress at a luxury hotel in Rome, Ceferin said the new-look tournaments, to be introduced from 2024, would bring a "new dimension" to European football.

Without giving details of how they would work, he did stress that they would be open to all clubs and that teams would qualify via results rather than by invitation.

"We will work hand-in-hand with our partner, the European Club Association, to design the club competitions of the future," Ceferin told delegates after securing a four-year term.

"Club competitions that are in keeping with the times, full of excitement and intensity and open, which will bring a new dimension to European football."

Before the confirmation of his second term, Ceferin recalled that ahead of his 2016 election there were reports Europe's top clubs planned a breakaway league, yet that had been averted through "honest, direct and uncompromising" talks with clubs.

He said there would be no Super League while he was president of UEFA and Andrea Agnelli head of the European Club Association. "It's not a promise, it's a fact," he added.

European club competitions run in three-year cycles with the current one ending in 2021.

The format for the following 2021-24 cycle was decided last year with the addition of a new third-tier competition in addition to the Champions League and the Europa League.

Ceferin said UEFA would do "everything possible" to bring the 2030 World Cup to Europe and that European football's break- even rule known as Financial Fair Play (FFP) would be updated.

"We will make football fairer, we will adapt the FFP rules to establish a new European balance: the initial objectives of FFP have been achieved ... finances are healthier than ever."

Under UEFA statutes, Ceferin, as the only candidate, was voted in by acclamation -- a round of applause -- from the delegates of the 55 member associations.

He was first elected in September 2016 to replace Michel Platini after the former France midfielder was banned by FIFA for ethics violations. Platini denied any wrongdoing.]]>
2/8/2019 6:12:00 AM
<![CDATA[Former Czech defender Repka sentenced to 15 months for fraud]]>
Repka is appealing the court decision, the latest legal problem for the 45-year-old former player who received a six-month sentence last year for advertising sexual services on the Internet in the name of his ex-wife.

A court later changed that to community service but his fraud conviction could land him in jail. In the latest ruling, a court for a district of Prague found that Repka had rented a luxury car and sold it to a woman for 1 million crowns. ($43,917.44)

He promised to return the money if the sale was not completed. But he never returned the money and the woman never received a car, the court found.]]>
2/8/2019 5:05:00 AM
<![CDATA[Verbeek quits Oman post and heads into retirement]]>
The 62-year-old took charge of the Oman national team in 2016 and guided them to a Gulf Cup triumph the following year and to the last 16 of the Asian Cup for the first time last month.

Oman FA chief Salem bin Saeed Al Wahaibi called an emergency board meeting on Wednesday and accepted Verbeek's resignation even though his contract ran until next June.

Verbeek, who began his coaching career in 1981 and has managed a number of clubs including Dutch giants Feyenoord, will be replaced by assistant Muhanna bin Said Al-Adawi as Oman begin their hunt for a new coach.

The Dutchman had spoken optimistically about the future of football in Oman after they were beaten 2-0 by regional heavyweights Iran to exit the Asian Cup.

"We had a fantastic tournament and we should not be ashamed that we lost to a team such as Iran," he said.

"The team has a future as, even though we are a small country, we have talent."

Verbeek was an assistant to Guus Hiddink when South Korea reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2002 and worked under Dick Advocaat with the Taeguk Warriors at the 2006 finals.

His three years as Socceroos coach ended after the 2010 World Cup finals, where Australia went out at the group stage after losing 4-0 to Germany in their opening match.]]>
2/8/2019 3:03:00 AM
<![CDATA[Madrid midfield anchor Llorente hit with second injury in quick succession]]>
Madrid's medical report on Thursday did not state how long Llorente would be missing for, although reports in the Spanish media said he would be out for almost a month.

That means the Spaniard would miss Saturday's La Liga derby against Atletico Madrid and the Champions League last 16 first leg at Ajax Amsterdam.

Llorente had only recently returned from a hamstring injury which had kept him sidelined for three weeks and he was chosen ahead of Brazil midfielder Casemiro in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at the Nou Camp.

The 24-year-old faces a battle to be fit for the return leg of the cup 'Clasico' on Feb. 27 and the La Liga fixture at home to Barca on March 2, and is almost certain to miss league games against Levante and Girona before then.]]>
2/8/2019 2:15:00 AM
<![CDATA[Newport hope bobbly pitch will help them against Man City]]>
The fourth-tier Welsh club set up a dream fifth round meeting with Premier League champions and five-times FA Cup winners City when they stunned Championship side Middlesbrough 2-0 in a fourth-round replay on Tuesday.

Having beaten Leicester City in the third round, County are gunning for a third upset and Amond said their uneven pitch, which the club shares with a rugby club, could come to their aid when they take on Pep Guardiola's team on Feb. 16.

"We have to use all the advantages we can get, the bobbly pitch - we have to use that," said Irishman Amond, who scored County's second goal against Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

"I think we should try and get a couple (of rugby fixtures) on there. We might get a rugby game on to make it interesting."

Newport will also take heart from their encouraging home showing against Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round last season, when Amond put his side ahead in the first half.

England skipper Harry Kane's 82nd minute equaliser forced a replay at Wembley, which the London side won 2-0 to advance.

"It's going to be tough for (City)," Amond added.

"They won't be used to it. It's a different challenge, even for the best players in the world." ]]>
2/8/2019 2:01:00 AM
<![CDATA[Youth minister launches torch of declaring Aswan as capital for African youth]]>
In a press conference on Thursday, the minister said that Egypt, thanks to president Sisi's efforts, managed to restore its pioneering role in the African continent.

The decision to declare Aswan as the capital for African youth coincides with Egypt's presidency of the African Union for 2019 and Egypt's interest in youth activities.]]>
2/7/2019 4:19:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt ranked 57th in FIFA rankings for January]]>
Belgium maintained its position on the top of the rankings while Senegal also continued its domination on the top of the African team.

Senegal is in the 24th place before Tunisia, Africa’s second, which is in the 26th place.

Morocco, Africa’s third place, is in the 43rd place, Nigeria 46, DR Congo 51, Ghana 52, Cameroon 56 and Egypt 57.

All the 10 countries on the top of the rankings maintained their positions; Belgium, France, Brazil, Croatia, England, Portugal, Uruguay, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark.

FIFA depends on the rankings to classify the countries in the World Cup qualification and Finals draw.


On the other hand, The Ministry of Youth and Sports announced a football match between Egypt and Africa team on February 20 during the Aswan, the capital of African youth.
]]>
2/7/2019 4:08:26 PM
<![CDATA[Schalke talent Kutucu offers hope ahead of Bayern trip]]>
Kutucu scored once and breathed new life into a dormant Schalke attack as they crushed Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-1 in the German Cup. It marked the 18-year-old Turkey youth international's first start for the senior team since joining Schalke seven years earlier.

The mood ahead of the game had been sombre as home fans mourned the death of Assauer, who became the face of the Ruhr valley club and celebrated the UEFA Cup win in 1997 as well as two German Cups. He passed away after a long illness.

After the game, fans were celebrating teenager Kutucu, whose speed, power and drive towards goal are just what coach Domenico Tedesco needs as his team, last season's runners-up, prepares to face the champions in Munich.

They then take on Manchester City in the Champions League last 16 later this month.

Schalke are languishing in 12th place, seven points above the relegation zone, having scored 24 goals in 22 matches, less than half of leaders Borussia Dortmund's 51.

Kutucu scored in the league against VfB Stuttgart late last year after coming on as a substitute.

"But this is a completely different feeling than against Stuttgart," he told reporters. "I have been here since the age of 12 and scoring in front of a home crowd was always my goal.

"When the fans went crazy after the goal I even had a few tears in my eyes."

It would not be a complete surprise to see Kutucu in the starting lineup again on Saturday, a fresh option for Tedesco's struggling attack.

But Bayern also look to have shaken off last week's 3-1 league loss to Bayer Leverkusen. They beat Hertha Berlin 3-2 in extra time to advance to the German Cup last eight, though they remained vulnerable at the back.

With Bayern in complete control, a Mats Hummels defensive error gifted Hertha an equaliser to take the game into extra time at 2-2.

"We have to stop making these mistakes," Bayern coach Niko Kovac said. "This is the main point of criticism this season. We make too many game-deciding mistakes. If we manage to stop these mistakes then we will start winning games easier."

Bayern are on 42 points in third place, seven behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who host Hoffenheim. Second-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, who are also on 42, entertain Hertha.]]>
2/7/2019 2:59:51 PM
<![CDATA[Body recovered from wreckage of plane carrying footballer Sala -UK investigator]]>
The agency did not disclose the identity of the body.

Sala, 28, had been en route from Nantes in western France on Jan. 21 to make his debut for Premier League team Cardiff City when the plane disappeared over the English Channel.

The wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search. Two seat cushions were discovered on the French coast that likely belonged to the aircraft.

A body was visible inside when the wreckage was on the seabed near Guernsey, air accident investigators had said on Monday.

The body was "successfully recovered" but attempts to recover the aircraft wreckage were unsuccessful, the AAIB said in a statement on Wednesday. The overall operation was brought to an end due to "poor weather conditions," the agency said.

Sala had agreed to join Welsh club Cardiff for a club-record fee of 15 million pounds ($19.63 million) from French Ligue 1 club Nantes. He and the pilot are believed to have died as the single-engined Piper Malibu aircraft crashed into the sea.

On Saturday at Cardiff's home Premier League match against Bournemouth, the Cardiff players held up a T-shirt bearing the image of Sala, who never played a game for the club, after the team scored in the fifth minute.

Fans were handed daffodils as they entered the Cardiff City Stadium. In the 28th minute, a round of applause swelled around the stadium as fans sang Sala's name.

On Jan. 30, Nantes payed tribute to their former player. Referee Frank Schneider stopped play in the Ligue 1 match against St Etienne for a minute of applause during which Nantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic was in tears.]]>
2/7/2019 2:57:26 PM
<![CDATA[Coman grabs extra-time winner as Bayern beat Hertha]]>
The French winger, surrounded by three Hertha players, headed in from close range in the 98th minute, handing victory to Bayern who had dominated the encounter but somehow failed to win in normal time.

Hertha took a third-minute lead with their first effort on goal through Maximilian Mittelstadt but it was all Bayern after that as the visitors bossed the ball with 75 percent possession.

Serge Gnabry fired in the equaliser four minutes later and then scored again four minutes after the break to put the Bayern ahead.

Yet a blunder by defender Mats Hummels, who headed the ball into the path of substitute Davie Selke, allowed Hertha to equalise with only their second shot on goal.

Coman then came to the rescue in the first half of extra time to save Bayern's blushes.

The Bavarians, who lost 3-1 to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday to drop to third in the Bundesliga, also play Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16 later this month.

Dortmund were knocked out of the German Cup on Tuesday, losing on penalties to Werder Bremen.]]>
2/7/2019 2:55:17 PM
<![CDATA[Man City go top of the Premier League with win at Everton]]>
Aymeric Laporte headed the opener just before the interval and substitute Gabriel Jesus sealed the victory deep in stoppage time for City, who returned to the league's summit for the first time since Dec. 8.

Both City and Liverpool have 62 points, but Pep Guardiola's side have played one game more than the Merseysiders, who have drawn their last two encounters and host Bournemouth on Saturday.

With Tottenham Hotspur on 57 points, the title race has turned into a genuine three-way tussle and while City rarely sparkled against Everton, it was a key win in a busy week in which they had already beaten Arsenal and host Chelsea on Sunday.

"Four or five days ago we could have been seven points behind, it is a lesson to never give up," said Guardiola.

"Now we have an incredible test on Sunday against Chelsea. I don't know how far we will get, maybe we will die in the road, but we are trying.

"We have played one more game than Liverpool, it's good to be top but Liverpool (still) has a game at Old Trafford," he added, referring to Liverpool's match at Manchester United on Feb. 24.

The game against Everton was a re-arranged fixture caused by City's advance to the League Cup final and highlighted the difficulties to come for a side still involved in four competitions as there were some signs of weariness in their display.

Everton manager Marco Silva left two of his main creative players, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison, on the bench and opted for three central midfielders -- a tactic that worked well as his side closed down City and limited their control of possession.

Yet after all that good work, it was Everton's sloppiness at set-pieces which cost them yet again.

David Silva curled in a free kick from the left and Laporte was somehow left unattended to head home from close-range.

The goal was the 17th conceded by Everton from a set-piece in all competitions this season -- prompting further questions about Silva's insistence on zonal marking.

After the break ninth-placed Everton, who had been well beaten at home by Wolves on Saturday, stuck at their task well, but for all their graft they rarely threatened City's lead.

The home side did get a sniff of an opening when Kyle Walker, deep in his own half, gave the ball away to substitute Richarlison, but the Brazilian's pass towards Cenk Tosun was over-hit and the danger passed.

It was a sign of City's strength in depth that their substitutes combined for the second goal deep in stoppage time with Kevin De Bruyne playing Jesus in on goal.

Although the Brazilian's shot was blocked by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford, he reacted quickly to head home the loose ball.

"Everyone (helped) win the game," said Jesus.

"We know that it is going to be difficult. We want to play well in every game and at the end of the season we want the title," he said.]]>
2/7/2019 2:50:50 PM
<![CDATA[Malcom rescues draw for Barcelona in cup semi against Real]]>
Brazilian Malcom, who started in place of Lionel Messi, curled home in the 58th minute to pull Barcelona level after Lucas Vazquez had fired Real Madrid ahead early on.

Vazquez struck after just six minutes to silence the Nou Camp at the end of a slick team move, with Santiago Solari’s side impressing in the opening stages.

However, Ivan Rakitic clipped the crossbar with a header as Barcelona fought for an equaliser and Malcom eventually found it when Luis Suarez’s shot rebounded to him off the post.

Messi, who suffered a thigh injury at the weekend against Valencia, appeared for the final half hour but could not help champions Barcelona find a late winner.

"Speaking generally, the draw was fair," said Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets.

"It was very even, everything will be decided in the second leg. There were chances for both sides to win the game. It's 50-50, even though they're at home.

"The goal will give (Malcom) a lot in terms of confidence, we hope that everyone in the squad can help us."

Malcom has struggled for game time since joining from Bordeaux last July as he is behind Messi, Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho in the pecking order.

However, Messi's injury gave him the chance to impress and the 21-year-old was Barcelona's liveliest player, always probing at Madrid's defence.

Wednesday's result would also have gone some way towards healing Real's wounded pride as their last visit to the Nou Camp ended in a 5-1 La Liga thrashing last October in what turned out to be Julen Lopetegui's final game in charge.

"Both sides have the chance to go through," said Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who made good saves from Suarez and Malcom.

"It was a good game. Everyone on the team worked hard when we needed to and we played well too."

The second leg takes place on Feb. 27 at the Santiago Bernabeu.]]>
2/7/2019 2:46:20 PM
<![CDATA[Barcelona fans hope to see Messi in clash against Real Madrid ]]>
Barcelona fans hope to see their biggest star on the pitch but the injury he suffered during the last game against Valencia could rule him out of the game.

Messi also missed the last clash against Real Madrid at the league for injury. However, Barcelona managed to destroy their arch rivals, 5-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Luis Suarez.

Barcelona hopes to achieve a comfortable result before the second leg two weeks later in Madrid.

Barcelona, who achieved the last four cup titles, enters the game as favorites as they are in good form and leading the league table with six points.

On the other hand, Real Madrid hopes to surprise the hosts with the counter attacks of Vinicus Jr and Karim Benzema.

The game will start on 10 p.m.
]]>
2/6/2019 6:03:14 PM
<![CDATA[Rice reveals West Ham’s plan that stopped Salah]]>
Liverpool Egyptian winger, Mohamed Salah, and Liverpool's attacking line failed to shine during the game and they were frustrated by West Ham's defense.

“I think you could see that Firmino and Salah were frustrated because they couldn’t go through the middle,” West Ham defender, Declan Rice, said.

Sadio Mane opened the score at the game after 22 minutes when he met James Milner’s cross while Michail Antonio equalized six minutes later.

Rice added, “They kept going wide and they obviously haven’t got a target man to play up to, so we frustrated their game-plan and we got out with a point.”

Salah has been a victim to racist chants during the game and West Ham club decided to take an action to identify the individual involved.

Salah won Premier League Golden Boot last season and he is the main contender to win it again this season as he is leading the race for Golden Boot award with 16 goals.

Liverpool is leading the Premier League table with 62 points, three points ahead of the second placed, Manchester City.

]]>
2/6/2019 5:58:28 PM
<![CDATA[West Ham investigates racist chants against Salah ]]>
A video, posted on a West Ham fan's Twitter account insulting the religious background of the Egyptian player as he took a corner, went viral and West Ham club decided to take an action to identify the individual involved.

“At West Ham United, we have a zero tolerance policy to any form of violent or abusive behavior,” West Ham United spokesman said on Wednesday.

Salah won Premier League Golden Boot last season and he is the main contender to win it again this season as he is leading the race for Golden Boot award with 16 goals.

“We are aware of a video in which it appears racial abuse is being directed at a player at a West Ham vs Liverpool game. No arrests have been made and enquiries continue,” London Police stated.

Liverpool is leading the Premier League table with 62 points, three points ahead of the second placed, Manchester City.
]]>
2/6/2019 5:48:43 PM
<![CDATA[Aguirre to rule Salah out of March camp ]]>
The national team will play two games in March; the first one against Niger at the last round of the African Cup of Nations’ qualifiers and the second one will be a friendly game against Nigeria.

Aguirre is keen to rest other foreign based players like Mahmoud Hassan known as Trezeguet who plays at Kasımpaşa and Ahmed Hegazi who plays for West Bromwich Albion at the English championship.

“The clash against Nigeria will be a good chance for many players to prove their abilities and wear the national team's jersey. Aguirre is following all the games at the domestic league to add many players to the national team's squad,” EhabLehita, director of the Egyptian national team, told ON Sport on Tuesday.

The national team is preparing for the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt and they hope to achieve the title after losing the final in 2017 to Cameroon.]]>
2/6/2019 12:59:32 PM
<![CDATA[Vonn skips world downhill training]]>
The 34-year-old, whose last race of her illustrious career is slated to be Sunday's downhill, crashed in Tuesday's super-G.

After receiving treatment on sliding with force into the safety netting, Vonn was able to ski down unassisted.

Speaking afterwards, she complained of a bruised eye, sore neck and ribs, but insisted her suspect knees were unaffected.

"When I said I wanted to make memories in my final races this wasn't exactly what I had in mind," Vonn said.

"Thankful that nothing worse happened: just a black eye, sore ribs and stiff neck. Thankful I had my airbag on!!"

Vonn added: "Still one more chance on Sunday in the downhill, my final race. Knocked down 999 times, stand up 1,000."

Also missing from the blue riband event, and hence training, will be Vonn's teammate Mikaela Shiffrin, who claimed gold in the super-G, two-hundredths of a second ahead of Italy's reigning Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia.]]>
2/6/2019 12:53:49 PM
<![CDATA[West Ham did not scare us, says defiant Klopp after dropped points]]>
Klopp’s side missed the chance to stretch their lead over Manchester City at the top to five points as Michail Antonio cancelled out Sadio Mane’s 22nd-minute opener at the London Stadium.

Liverpool were off the pace and West Ham, who had conceded 16 goals in their last four league games against Klopp’s side, would not have been flattered had they won.

“We scared them, I’m just gutted we didn’t come away with the three points,” Noble, who wasted 12th-placed West Ham’s best chance after the break, said.

Told of Noble’s comments in his post-match news conference, Klopp said: "I wish for all West Ham fans that Mark Noble and his team would scare more teams really, not only us tonight.

"I don’t know him very well, I don’t know why he speaks of us like that after a game. They didn’t scare us, they defended well. It was a normal away game and other away games have been worse than tonight. They have quality and I don’t know why they don’t have more results."

Having drawn at home to Leicester City last week, when they also took the lead, Liverpool have dropped four points in two games which has allowed closest challengers Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur to close the gap.

Should City beat Everton on Wednesday they will knock Liverpool off the top for the first time since early December.

Klopp, who said both James Milner and Virgil van Dijk had played despite being ill this week, played down talk of Liverpool feeling the pressure as they try to win their first league title since 1989-90.

“We have to fight, it is not about pressure -- it’s about enjoying the situation you are in,” Klopp told reporters.

"We have 62 points, have lost one game in the league season so far which is very positive, but I see your faces already you feel a bit sorry for us.

"You don’t have to. We are fine. We are fine and everything is good, but of course tonight was a tough game. If you have a day like that, then you get a point at West Ham, for me that’s absolutely fine."

There was clearly no love lost between Klopp and West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini at the end with some strong words seemingly exchanged about Liverpool’s goal, after Milner appeared to be clearly offside in the build-up.

“Klopp is used to offside, he scored against me with Borussia Dortmund against Malaga, with a goal that was seven metres offside. He cannot complain about anything,” said Pellegrini. ]]>
2/5/2019 7:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Next week critical for Man. City title hopes - Silva]]>
City have 59 points from 25 games to sit three points behind league leaders Liverpool who were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Monday and Silva stressed the need for his team to capitalise when they meet Everton on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola's side, who could go top of the table for the first time since early December with a victory at Goodison Park, then host fourth-placed Chelsea on Sunday.

"We have two difficult games against Everton and Chelsea which we want to win. If we don't, it'll start getting difficult to fight for this Premier League," Silva told reporters.

City beat Arsenal 3-1 on Sunday in a strong response to last week's defeat by Newcastle United but Silva said there was plenty of room for improvement.

"We know we have to improve... sometimes we don't play as well as we want to. We have to improve that, to see which mistakes we are making," the Portuguese playmaker added.

"The atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic, everybody is trying to help each other... so we want to be better players game by game, to try to be a better team and to try win some titles at the end of the season." ]]>
2/5/2019 6:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Heskey discusses Liverpool stars’ future ]]>
Following a draw at home against Leicester City, the team lost another two points on Monday night in London against West Ham United.

Beside this, former Liverpool striker, Emile Heskey, revealed that the team stars, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, could leave if the team failed to achieve League title.

“There’s always that risk. The relationship between the players and the Liverpool fans is such that they always want to give the league another go.” Heskey told Express on Tuesday.

Despite recent setbacks, Liverpool are still leading the Premier League table with 62 points, 3 points ahead of the defending champions, Manchester City.

Heskey added “When you look at years gone by Liverpool lost games like the Leicester one, but they’ve got a stronger mentality now where they can claim points when they’re not particularly playing great.”

Liverpool hosts Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon at the Premier League. ]]>
2/5/2019 2:35:28 PM
<![CDATA[Man U rebound makes Solskjaer favourite for hot seat - McClaren]]>
Having replaced Jose Mourinho in December, Solskjaer has collected seven wins and a draw in the Premier League to guide a rejuvenated United to within two points of the top four.

United will appoint a new permanent manager at the end of the season and McClaren, who coached Solskjaer during United's treble-winning campaign as Alex Ferguson's assistant in 1999, said the Norwegian has exceeded expectations under pressure.

"I think everyone was astonished at the appointment," McClaren, who is currently in charge of Queens Park Rangers, told Sky Sports.

"(But) I know Ole well. He's a thinker and he's intelligent.

"They've played exciting, attacking, Manchester United old traditional football. And if it continues to work, I think Manchester United will have an easy decision to make at the end of the season."

After starting with a relatively comfortable run of fixtures, Solskjaer's United showed tactical maturity in away wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, as well a commanding FA Cup fourth round win away at Arsenal.

Solskjaer's former team mate Jordi Cruyff said the former Cardiff manager has revived United by "unblocking the minds of the players".

"His work has been more mental, talking to the players and pressing the right buttons to get the best out of them," Cruyff told the BBC.

"The quality is there. They are good players. From the outside, he has touched their minds and put an arm around their shoulder.

"They really needed someone to stabilise things and give positive messages, outside and inside the club."]]>
2/5/2019 2:11:56 PM
<![CDATA[Sobhy returns to Al-Ahly against Enppi]]>
The team’s winger, Ramadan Sobhy, returned to the team squad after he missed the last game against Tanzania’s Simba at the CAF Champions League for injury.

Al-Ahly defender, RamyRabia, who returned to the team from a long term injury and participated in15 minutes against Simba was excluded from the squad beside SalehGomaa.

Lasarte’s squad for the game consists of:

Goalkeepers:
SherifEkramy, AlyLotfi, Mohamed el-Shenawi,

Defenders:
Ali Maaloul, Ayman Ashraf, Mohamed Hany, Mahmoud Wahid, KarimNedved, Saad Samir, Bassem Aly

Midfielders:
Ahmed Hamoudi, Hesham Mohamed, Amrel-Solia, Ramadan Sobhy, Geraldo, Nasser Maher, Hussein el-Shahat, HossamAshour

Striker:
Junior Ajayi, Salah Mohsen

Al-Ahly fans have had a great night as their team destroyed Tanzania’s Simba 5-0 on Sunday night at the CAF Champions League'sgroup stage.

Al-Ahly regained their form under their new manager, Lasarte, and they achieved five victories from seven games under Lasarte’s command.]]>
2/5/2019 2:08:17 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Nour El Tayeb wins Cleveland Classic Squash]]>
Tayeb notched up victory over Wales' Tesni Evans by an 11-5, 11-7, 9-11 and 11/9 scoreline in 55 minutes.]]>
2/5/2019 11:51:16 AM
<![CDATA[Zamalek SC team back home from Kenya]]>
Gor Mahia roared to a 4-2 victory over the White Knights of Egypt in the opening match of Group D on Sunday.

Zamalek SC was drawn in Group D of the CAF Confederations Cup alongside Kenyan Champions Gor Mahia, Algerian side NA Hussein and Angolan outfit Petro Atletico.]]>
2/5/2019 11:48:58 AM
<![CDATA[Salah wins PFA Player of the Month]]>
Salah, 26, won the award for the second consecutive time this season as he won the award in December.

Salah scored three goals for Liverpool in January, the first granted Liverpool the victory over Brighton and Hove Albion while the other two goals were against Crystal Palace.

The Egyptian winger was nominated for the award alongside David De Gea, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba of Manchester United, Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and Troy Deeney of Watford.

Salah and his teammates will face West Ham United in London at the Premier League on Monday night.

The visitors aim to gain the three points to return to the right track after losing two points at home against Leicester City last week.

Salah is leading the race for Premier League Top Scorer as he scored 16 goals, one goal ahead of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored 15.

Liverpool is leading the Premier League table with 61 points, two points ahead of the defending champions, Manchester City.
]]>
2/4/2019 3:47:46 PM
<![CDATA[Heavy snowfall also forces cancellation of Garmisch's giant slalom]]>
Organisers say they had no choice but to cancel a planned second day of racing afer 30cms of new snow fell overnight.

"It is supposed to snow until midday, when we have so much to clear away, it would damage the piste. Unfortunately, we have no chance," said race director Markus Waldner glumly.

"We have to accept it, our sport takes place outside."

With the world alpine championships starting on Tuesday in Are, Sweden, it is unclear when the cancelled men's downhill and giant slalom races will be added to the World Cup calendar later in the season.

The men's downhill in Garmisch was cancelled on Saturday morning due to heavy snow at the top of course and rain at the finish area.]]>
2/4/2019 8:42:00 AM
<![CDATA[Johnson outduels Li to clinch Saudi title]]>
The 34-year-old American closed with a three-under par 67 to finish on 19-under par 261, two better than China’s Li Haotong, who made a birdie on the last to take solo second place with a 69.

England’s Tom Lewis (65) made a spirited charge, but after making five birdies in his first five holes, he ran out of steam and finished third at 264.

Australia’s Min Woo Lee, younger brother of LPGA Tour star Minjee Lee, shot a second successive round of seven-under par 63 in only his second start as a professional to finish solo fourth, one shot behind Lewis. Frenchman Alex Levy (65) was fifth on 266.

Playing in the final group after starting the day tied on 16-under par, Johnson and Li were neck and neck after eight holes with one birdie to show in their rounds. But Li moved ahead with a chipped-in birdie from a difficult position on the ninth to take a one-shot lead into the back nine.

It took a lipped-out par putt from less than two feet on the par-4 10th hole to finally wake up Johnson. He hit a brilliant tee shot on the par-3 11th to tap-in distance to catch up with Li, and then made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 12th to edge ahead by a shot.

The advantage doubled on the long and tough par-4 13th hole when Li made a bogey from the greenside bunker and followed it up with another on the 14th hole.

But there was more drama to come. Johnson hit his tee shot into the Red Sea on the picturesque par-3 16th hole. He did manage to make a 15-foot putt to avoid a double bogey and the lead was down to one shot going into the final two holes.

Johnson managed to birdie both, while Li could not convert his on the 17th after hitting a wild tee shot.]]>
2/4/2019 6:37:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hazard backs new signing Higuain to succeed in England]]>
Chelsea signed Higuain in January and bounced back from a disappointing 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth in midweek with a rampant performance against Town, with both Hazard and Higuain netting two goals each.

"We all needed that," Belgium international Hazard told Chelsea's TV channel. "We did well, so just happy with the result, the way we played today, especially after the game on Wednesday.

"It was hard but I think the manager wanted us to respond and we did."

Higuain worked under Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri at Napoli, scoring 38 times in their final season together at the Italian side in 2015-16.

Hazard said he had benefited from training with Higuain for the past 10 days and backed his new team mate to be a success in England.

"We've improved together," he said. "We've trained together now for 10 days. He's a great striker... he can hold the ball, he can play one touch, he's intelligent. In the box he's unbelievable, so he will score more goals, I think."

Next up for Chelsea is an away game against Manchester City, who host Arsenal in the league later on Sunday.

Hazard believes his team have a good chance of beating defending champions City for the second time this season.

Chelsea won the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge 2-0 at the start of December.

"We need to be focused," Hazard added. "It's going to be a different game than two or three months ago. I think they will have the ball, because it's City, they have these sort of players to play together.

"But we will defend well and then we will score one goal or two." ]]>
2/4/2019 6:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Dominant New Zealand take Sydney Sevens men's and women's crowns]]>
The All Blacks Sevens claimed their second title in the fourth leg of the season, comfortably beating the USA 21-5 in the men's final.

Earlier, the Black Ferns Sevens stamped their dominance in the women's competition when they beat arch-rivals Australia 34-10 in the final to extend their record 48-match unbeaten run.

The Americans were looking to win their first men's gold medal this season after three silvers in the first three rounds, but were only able to score one try against the injury-hit Kiwis' three.

Two tries from Regan Ware and Sam Dickson -- later awarded player of the final -- took New Zealand to a 14-0 lead at half-time, with Tone Ng Shiu adding a third just after the break.

The Eagles finally got on the scoreboard through Brett Thompson, but they were not able to overcome the deficit as New Zealand comfortably hung on for the victory.

England secured third place after defeating Fiji 19-17.

The All Blacks Sevens' win means they are now joint leaders of the World Series standings with the USA on 76 points with six rounds to go.

The women were just as commanding in their final, with their win a sweet revenge after they were crushed 31-0 by the Australians in the Sydney final last year.

World Rugby women's sevens player of the year Michaela Blyde scored a hat-trick while Stacey Waaka put away two tries.

Australia suffered a blow in the first-half when skipper Sharni Williams was yellow-carded, leaving the Kiwis to take advantage of their superior numbers and go into the break 17-5 after two tries.

Despite the loss, Australia's women climbed to joint-third on the overall standings behind New Zealand, the USA and Canada.]]>
2/4/2019 4:35:00 AM
<![CDATA[Napoli record scorer Hamsik set to leave the club]]>
The Slovakian midfielder, who has scored 121 goals for Napoli during 12 seasons in all competitions, made his 520th appearance in Saturday's 3-0 win over Sampdoria.

"There are talks in progress and we are weighing it up together with the player," Ancelotti told reporters after the match.

"This club has great respect for this player, he has made history here, and if we wants a new experience, we are inclined to make it happen."

Hamsik, 31, joined Napoli from Slovan Bratislava in 2007.

He became the club's all-time leading scorer in December 2017 when he overtook Diego Maradona's record of 115 goals and he overhauled Giuseppe Bruscolotti's total of 511 appearances in November.

Hamsik was moved to a new position in front of the defence when Ancelotti replaced Maurizio Sarri as coach during the summer and has spent several matches on the bench this season as the squad has been rotated.

"Hamsik does not have a substitute in the squad but we have other players who interpret the role with different characteristics," said Ancelotti.]]>
2/4/2019 3:33:00 AM
<![CDATA[Ticketing will be electronically in the 2019 AFCON: Youth & Sports min.]]>
“We are thinking about the stage of organizing the tournament at the highest level, it is one of the most important sports events in the World and it’s hosted by Egypt,” Sobhy said as he attended a seminar at Cairo International Book Fair.

Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

The 2019 African Cup of Nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.

“All the focus now is on the development of stadiums as its lighting and pitches need renovation,” Sobhy added.

Egypt Football Association president, Hany Abo Rida, revealed the Egyptian cities that will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt which is: Port Said, Suez and Ismailia will host the tournament alongside Cairo and Alexandria.

"We are making a lot of efforts in terms of the game ticket system, which will be launched electronically. The Egyptian fans should be keen to show Egypt's civilized form to the world through ideal encouragement," Ashraf Sobhy concluded.

Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the competition as Egypt has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010.


Egypt hosted four African Cup of Nations tournaments in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974.
]]>
2/4/2019 2:29:00 AM
<![CDATA[Walker scores 37 as Hornets beat Bulls]]>
Walker scored nine consecutive Hornets points down the stretch and triggered a 15-0 run that turned a 100-99 deficit into a 114-100 lead. The Hornets were never threatened from there.

The win moved the Hornets (26-26) back to the .500 mark for the first time since Dec. 31.

Walker was 10 of 23 from the field and 13 of 14 from the free-throw line. The Hornets also got 18 points from Malik Monk, 16 from Nicolas Batum and 13 each from Jeremy Lamb, Marvin Williams and Miles Bridges.

Charlotte shot 52.4 percent from the field and was 14 of 32 from 3-point range.

The Bulls have now lost 15 of their past 17 games.

Chicago's Bobby Portis put on a show in the first half with 28 points, and he finished with 33 points and nine rebounds. Lauri Markkanen did most of the Bulls' scoring down the stretch and finished with 30. Zach LaVine scored 18, and Shaquille Harrison had 10.

The Hornets led 27-26 after one quarter, but then Portis came off the bench and went to work, and the Bulls took control. Their biggest lead came at 60-45 before the Hornets scored the last six points of the half to trail 60-51 at intermission.

The Hornets then chipped away in the third quarter and wound up leading 88-86 going into the fourth quarter. Walker's 3-pointer gave the Hornets the lead for good at 102-100 with 7:14 remaining, and then he hit two free throws and a layup shortly after.

This was the third and final game between the teams this season. They split the first two, with the Bulls winning 112-110 in Chicago on Oct. 24 and the Hornets winning 135-106 in Charlotte two nights later.

The Hornets will close out a three-game homestand on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Bulls will return home to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.]]>
2/3/2019 3:56:36 PM
<![CDATA[Molde owners will support me if I stay at United-Solskjaer]]>
Solskjaer, an ex-United striker who played under former manager Alex Ferguson, has revitalised the team since taking over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in December, sparking a seven-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

United were 11 points off the top four when Solskjaer was appointed, but have since narrowed that gap to five points ahead of their trip to Leicester City later on Sunday, making the Norwegian a strong candidate to be given the job permanently.

Solskjaer, who was loaned to United by Molde until the end of the season, said that the Norwegian club's owners, businessmen Kjell Inge Rokke and Bjorn Rune Gjelsten, would support him if he stayed at United.

"When I rang the owner and said United had called and that he always knew that this had been my dream, he said: 'Go over, enjoy yourself - and please don't come back'," Solskjaer told British media ahead of Sunday's match.

"Both owners wished me all the best because they knew this is something I dreamed about. To get the backing from them was fantastic. If I go back to Molde, I will do my best for them - but it depends when I go back."

Solskjaer added that he would be happy to keep advising United's hierarchy on matters such as player transfers even if he did not become permanent manager, saying his knowledge of the club's culture gave him a useful perspective.

"I am always in the position to tell United who they should look at, and that will continue after the summer if I'm not still here," he said. "I will always advise the club, especially if they ask me."]]>
2/3/2019 3:51:51 PM
<![CDATA[Palace boss sings Batshuayi's praises after Fulham assist]]>
Batshuayi joined Palace on loan from Chelsea minutes before the transfer window closed on Thursday, and Hodgson was rewarded for throwing the 25-year-old Belgian on as a substitute.

Minutes after coming on, Batshuayi showed good skill in the area before firing a shot that Fulham keeper Sergio Rico parried to Jeffrey Schlupp, who turned the ball home to secure a 2-0 victory and three valuable points for Palace.

"He's only just been at the club for 24 hours... so it was an incredible impact," Hodgson said. "He has a record of scoring in almost every debut he's had for other teams, so that was in my mind and he almost kept that record going.

"He got the assist as the goalkeeper couldn't take the shot and Jeff did ever so well to follow it up and tap it in, but it was strong of him to come in at such short notice and do what he did."

The former England coach backed Batshuayi to help Palace avoid relegation this season after watching his team climb above Newcastle United into 14th place in the table, four points clear of the drop zone.

"We think we've signed a player who will be of enormous value to us in our attempts to stay in this league," Hodgson said. "I think the squad without him was good, but he... will make us stronger and we need that." ]]>
2/3/2019 3:43:30 PM
<![CDATA[It's difficult but not impossible, West Ham’s Diop on stopping Salah]]>
West Ham hosts Liverpool on Monday night and the visitors aim to gain the three points to return to the right track after losing two points at home against Leicester City last week.

“We know Salah is a big player but, for me, I will prepare the same and play the game the same way.” Diop told press ahead of the game.

Salah is the main threat to West Ham defense as he scored twice at his last visit to West Ham’s ground, London Stadium, and led Liverpool to defeat the hosts 4-1 last season.

Diop added “Before every game, I watch clips of all the strikers I am going to face so we know what they like and don’t like, but a big player like him can do anything, so he is difficult to stop, but it is not impossible!”

Liverpool are leading the Premier League table with 61 points, five points ahead of the defending champions, Manchester City. ]]>
2/3/2019 3:39:10 PM
<![CDATA[We are not champions yet, Lasarte ]]>
However, Al-Ahly Uruguayan manager, Martin Lasarte, believes that it is not the time to be happy because they did not achieve their target yet.

“It is a great victory but we are not the champions yet and we still have many games at the competition.” Lasarte told press after the game.

Al-Ahly achieved their second victory at the group and they are leading the group table with seven points.

Lasarte added” The first goal was decisive and Simba suffered after that and gave us the chance to score more goals. It was a fantastic first half.”

Al-Ahly opened the score after 3 minutes from the start by Amr El Solia and scored another four goals at the first half by Ali Maaloul, Junior Ajayi and Karim Nedved who scored twice.

Al-Ahly regained their form under their new manager, Lasarte, and they achieved their fifth victory from seven games under Lasarte’s command. ]]>
2/3/2019 3:23:41 PM
<![CDATA[Messi rescues draw for Barca in thrilling comeback against Valencia]]>
Valencia, who hit the woodwork in the second minute, went ahead in the 24th with a well-taken finish from French forward Kevin Gameiro and doubled their lead with a powerful penalty from Dani Parejo in the 32nd.

Messi halved the deficit seven minutes later by scoring for the ninth consecutive game in all competitions, converting from the spot after having a goal chalked off as the referee had already blown his whistle to award the penalty.

Barca's insatiable captain equalised in the 64th with an unstoppable curling strike from outside the area, averting a first league loss for the league leaders since November and taking them on to 50 points from 22 games.

Messi had to be treated on the sidelines shortly after scoring his second goal but was able to come back on and finish the game.

Coach Ernesto Valverde said the Argentinian had a light muscle strain, throwing his availability for next Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against Real Madrid into doubt.

"We have to wait until he does tests, I don't know what he has, he is feeling some discomfort; I don't think he's very bad but I can't give any information," Valverde said.

Valverde's side are six points ahead of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid, who visit Real Betis on Sunday, and 11 clear of third-placed Real Madrid, who host Alaves on Sunday.

Both teams had enjoyed remarkable comebacks during the week to reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals, with Barca thrashing Sevilla 6-1 to win 8-3 on aggregate and Valencia seeing off Getafe 3-1 for a 3-2 aggregate win with two goals in stoppage time.

Valverde, who had warned of the dangers of exhaustion at this stage of the season, started without Jordi Alba and was missing Sergio Busquets through suspension and Ousmane Dembele through injury.

Valencia, who began the season in the Champions League but have had a haphazard campaign and are seventh in the standings, looked to be on their way to a third league win in six visits to the Nou Camp after making a flying start.

ORGANISATION AND DISCIPLINE

Marcelino's side's strategy of intense pressing and rapid counter-attacks paid off with their two goals while their organisation and discipline prevented Barca from hitting top gear, even through Sergi Roberto almost equalised before the interval when his shot hit the post.

"We did not play well in the first half but then we showed our character and we dominated," said Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

"We put in a massive effort, it's not easy to play against Valencia who were feeling more confident after their recent results."

Valverde threw on Alba at the start of the second half and his side immediately looked more dangerous yet once again their fate rested on the brilliance of their all-time top scorer Messi, who struck his 21st league goal of the season to level the game.

"There was one moment when I didn't suffer, and that's when Messi was on the sidelines being treated," said Valencia coach Marcelino.

"He is so decisive, he conditions the opponent completely. We are talking about an extraordinary player." ]]>
2/3/2019 3:08:43 PM
<![CDATA[Bolt lights up Super Bowl with sizzling sprint]]>
Wearing sweatpants and sneakers, the 100 and 200 metres world record holder showed he still has speed to burn when he matched the time set by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross at the 2017 NFL combine, where potential draft picks are put through a number of drills such as sprinting, lifting weights and how high they can jump.

Bolt, who retired from competitive sprinting following the 2017 world championships, has been looking for ways to use his speed dabbling in several sports.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist has tried cricket and last year had a tryout with the Central Coast Mariners of Australia's top flight soccer league but could not agree on a contract.

Several sprinters have made the jump to the NFL, including Bob Hayes who won the 100m gold medal for the United States at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, but Bolt has never indicated any interest in the sport.

The 32-year-old Jamaican joined the party in Atlanta as the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams prepared to meet in the Super Bowl on Sunday.]]>
2/3/2019 3:07:03 PM
<![CDATA[Suarez gives us attacking flexibility, says Emery]]>
Suarez can play centrally and on the wing, making him a viable option to replace the injured Henrikh Mkhitaryan or inconsistent Mesut Ozil.

Emery has worked with the 25-year-old, who has made few appearances for Barcelona this season, during a loan spell at Spanish side Sevilla.

"We are very happy that Denis Suarez is joining us. He is a player we know well and I have worked with him at Sevilla," Emery said in a statement.

"He brings us quality and options in different attacking positions, so he'll be able to help the team."

Suarez has experience of English football as he spent two seasons with Manchester City as a teenager. ]]>
2/2/2019 9:27:00 AM
<![CDATA[Wolves sign Otto on permanent deal from Atletico]]>
Wolves did not disclosed the fee but Sky Sports reported the club paid 18 million pounds ($24 million) for the 24-year-old, equalling the fee they paid Middlesbrough for winger Adama Traore last year.

Otto has agreed a permanent deal at Molineux until 2023, having spent the first half of the season on loan from the Spanish La Liga club.

"We've had conversations for a while, but everything has been very fast," Otto told the club website

"The clubs reached an agreement and asked me what I thought and really from the first moment I said yes to Wolves because the truth is that I am very happy to be here.

Otto, who has made 20 Premier League appearances this season, can play as full back or wing back on either side of the pitch, allowing manager Nuno Espirito Santo to use him in a variety of formations.

He earned a first Spain cap against Wales in October. ]]>
2/2/2019 8:32:00 AM
<![CDATA[Former Chelsea boss Conte keen to return to coaching]]>
The Italian was sacked by Chelsea in July, despite leading the club to the FA Cup, with compatriot Maurizio Sarri taking over.

"I miss the pitch, but I had decided to have a year of rest and I'm very calm while I wait to know my new destination. I don't know what it will be," the 49-year-old told Sky Sports Italia.

"I did not receive any offer from Italy.

"I'm in Milan because I went to see the Atalanta-Juventus (Coppa Italia) game."

Conte, who had one year remaining on his Chelsea deal when he left the club, is reported to have a clause which prevents him from coaching another English side until the summer.

Chelsea fell to a 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Wednesday.

"Did they? I didn't know about it. I was watching the Atalanta game," said Conte.

"Anyway, Chelsea is a matter of the past for me."

Former Italian international midfielder Conte spent most of his senior career with Juventus, winning 13 trophies.

He returned to coach the club to three consecutive Serie A titles, and after two years with the Italian national team, moved to Chelsea in 2016, winning the Premier League title in his first season.]]>
2/2/2019 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Barca bank on rejuvenated Coutinho for Valencia test]]>
He joined Barca to much fanfare for a club record 142 million pounds from Liverpool and was hailed as the long-term replacement for former Spain international Andres Iniesta.

But Coutinho has often failed to replicate his Premier League performance levels at the Nou Camp, playing second fiddle to fellow big-money arrival Ousmane Dembele.

With the Frenchman injured, however, pressure has grown on Coutinho to up his game and he is finally showing glimpses of his true potential.

A starring role with two goals in the 6-1 Copa del Rey second-leg win over Sevilla in midweek was his best performance in a Barca shirt and fans will be hoping for more of the same when fellow Cup semi-finalists Valencia visit on Saturday.

“He’s a brave player who always tries things and takes risks,” coach Ernesto Valverde said of his number seven.

“Hopefully, this performance is something that can give him more confidence.

“We’ve now got a game against a side who also had a really intense Copa match and there’s little time to recover. I’ll have to pick a side to get the three points and we know that next week we’ll have another game, too.”

Valencia endured a disappointing first half of the season but four wins from five matches in all competitions, including a stoppage-time Copa victory over Getafe, has lifted them to seventh in the La Liga standings.

Third-placed Real Madrid, who sit 10 points behind leaders Barca, host fifth-placed Alaves on Sunday. Gareth Bale returned from his latest injury setback last weekend and is set to reclaim his place in the frontline alongside Karim Benzema.

Doubts remain, however, over the futures of midfielder Isco and full back Marcelo, with both struggling for game time at the Bernabeu since the Argentine took over.

Elsewhere, former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata looks set to make his Atletico Madrid debut when they visit Betis on Sunday, while Real Sociedad host Athletic Bilbao in the Basque derby on Saturday.]]>
2/2/2019 4:25:00 AM
<![CDATA[Martial extends Manchester United deal to 2024]]>
France international Martial has made 162 appearances in all competitions for United and scored 46 goals since joining them from French Ligue 1 side Monaco in 2015.

United have the option to extend the deal by a further year.

"I'm loving my time at this club," Martial said in a statement.

"From the day I joined I have been made to feel part of the United family and I have been incredibly humbled and overwhelmed by the warmth and love of our fans, who continue to amaze me with their support."

Martial has scored eight goals in 18 league matches this season and interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed the player to continue his good form.

"Anthony is one of those naturally gifted players that any coach would love to work with," Solskjaer said.

"For a young man, he has a good footballing brain. When coupled with his exceptional talent, that makes for a player with an exciting future ahead of him."]]>
2/2/2019 3:24:00 AM
<![CDATA[No safety-first as Saints eye win at Burnley]]>
Southampton have no certainly intention of shutting up shop or adopting a safety-first approach, with defender Matt Targett insisting the Saints will be heading to Turf Moor looking for the full three points.

"We'll be going there for the win, obviously," Targett said. "It's a big couple of weeks coming up, and we've got to be ready to extend the gap to the bottom three so there's no chance for teams to catch us up."

Southampton have been transformed under new manager Ralph Hasenhuettl, and have crawled out of the relegation zone with eight points from their four league games in January.

Saints sit 16th with 23 points from their 24 matches, above 17th-placed Burnley only on goal difference.

Both sides are four points clear of 18th-placed Cardiff, the Welsh club Southampton play next.

After a poor start to the season, Burnley have turned things around and are unbeaten in five matches.

"We know it's going to be a very difficult test, with a lot of long balls," Targett added. "So we've got to be ready for the fight."

Targett, born a few miles up the road from Southampton's St Mary's Stadium, was sent out on loan last year to Fulham in the second-tier Championship, and impressed as the Cottagers won promotion to the Premier League.

Clearly the 23-year-old has impressed the new Saints boss and he has started eight of the nine league games since Hasenhuettl took the reins from Mark Hughes last month.

"He's been great – a breath of fresh air with new ideas and he's so passionate on what he wants," Targett said of the former RB Leipzig manager. "It's been great for everyone.

"I'm still learning, but I'm enjoying my spell in the team and hopefully it continues to the end of the season." ]]>
2/2/2019 2:17:00 AM
<![CDATA[Scotland hand debut to Sam Johnson for Six Nations opener]]>
Newcastle flanker Gary Graham, previously called up by England coach Eddie Jones, and Leicester hooker Jake Kerr could also win their first caps if they appear off the bench.

Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn will start on the left wing as the Dark Blues welcome an Azzurri side who have lost their last 17 Six Nations matches against all opponents to Murrayfield.

With Edinburgh resurgent under Richard Cockerill this season, Townsend has chosen to go with the capital outfit's tight five. Hooker Stuart McInally will pack down between props Allan Dell and WP Nel, with Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist forming the second row.

Exeter lock Sam Skinner will slot into the back row after showing he can fill in at flanker during his impressive introduction to the national team set-up during the autumn, with Ryan Wilson and Jamie Ritchie completing the back row.

Skipper Greig Laidlaw will partner Racing 92 star Finn Russell at half-back, while Australia-born Johnson, qualified on residency grounds after signing for Glasgow in 2015, lining up alongside Huw Jones in midfield.

Stuart Hogg will again provide an attacking threat from full-back as he slots in beside Kinghorn, deputising for the injured Sean Maitland, and Tommy Seymour in the back three.

"Italy have made life tough for Scotland in every Test match we've played," said Townsend.

"I remember that as a player, as a supporter and as a coach -- and they were better than us in most of last season's contest in Rome," he added, while recalling a narrow 29-27 victory at the Stadio Olimpico.

"They played with pace, were physical and we had to play really, really well in the final quarter to win.

"Our challenge is to win the physical battle, which is a strength of Italian rugby.

"We will also have to bring energy and accuracy in order to get our campaign off to a winning start."

Scotland (15-1)

Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Sam Johnson, Blair Kinghorn; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Ryan Wilson, Jamie Ritchie, Sam Skinner; Grant Gilchrist, Ben Toolis; Willem Nel, Stuart McInally, Allan Dell

Replacements: Jake Kerr, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan, Gary Graham, Josh Strauss, Ali Price, Adam Hastings, Chris Harris]]>
2/2/2019 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[City begin crunch title race week with Gunners challenge]]>
City's shock 2-1 defeat at struggling Newcastle on Tuesday offered Liverpool the chance to open up a seven-point lead but Juergen Klopp's side could only manage a point with a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester.

That leaves the Merseysiders five points clear but that advantage would be cut to just two points before they play West Ham on Monday, provided City can take care of business against Unai Emery's Gunners.

That is the first of three key matches in seven days for the defending champions who travel to Everton on Wednesday for a re-arranged fixture and then host Chelsea on Sunday.

"The next week or so will be tough with Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea. I know the challenge is big. If we want to go up as a club we have to accept that challenge," said manager Pep Guardiola.

While Liverpool have the upper hand in the race, 14 games remain and as the midweek round of fixtures showed, the unpredictability of the league means there could be many twists and turns to come.

"We are in January and we are behind the leaders but there are a lot of titles and points to play for. We have many games left - we are not in April or May and a lot can happen. We need to be there in every game and not give up," said Guardiola.

West Ham, who Liverpool face at the London Stadium on Monday, are in a poor run of form after losing 3-0 to Wolves on Tuesday following their FA Cup exit to third-tier (League One) AFC Wimbledon.

Liverpool laboured at times against Leicester with their high-speed attack unable to get into top gear but skipper Jordan Henderson, who filled in at right-back, knows there is no time to dwell on that result.

"We know we can play much better and we need to improve in the next game," he said.

"We need to bounce back quickly. We’ve got another few days to recover and then prepare for the West Ham game so we need to be ready because it’s another tough game in the Premier League."

It is an intense stage of the campaign for both the frontrunners who are back in European action next month with round-of-16 matches in the Champions League adding to their workload.

Tottenham are only two points behind City and will still believe they can yet pull off a surprise with a late season tilt towards the title.

Spurs could move ahead of City into second, for 24 hours at least, if they can beat Newcastle at home on Saturday.

It is no less tight at the bottom where 16th place Southampton visit Burnley, a place below them on Saturday.

Crystal Palace, who are level on points with both those teams, host next to bottom Fulham, whose fight against the drop has been given a boost by Tuesday's 4-2 win over Brighton.]]>
2/2/2019 1:28:00 AM
<![CDATA[Commemorating Port Said Stadium massacre]]>
Hundreds of Al Ahly fans left their homes to go to the Mediterranean city of Port Said (North East of Egypt) to support their beloved team in what was a decisive game in the league title race. Although the enthusiasm was drawn on their faces, the game’s circumstances became a dark night in Egyptian history.

On that ominous day, Egyptian fans expected a great football night as Al Ahly, in second place, prepared to face El Masry at 5:00 pm, while Zamalek, in third place, would host Ismaily at 7:00 pm at the Cairo stadium on the same day.

Al Ahly has a historic rivalry with the city giants, El Masry; their games, especially at Port Said, have been a joy to watch for football fans nationwide.

However, “there was an incomprehensible tense atmosphere ahead of the game. At one point, I had a feeling that the game must be postponed. No one can play football at such circumstances,” Hossamedin Bedier who followed the Egyptian sports channels pre match coverage narrated to Egypt Today.

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FILE- Police react as chaos erupts at a soccer stadium in Port Said city – Reuters

Mohamed Amer, a diehard Zamalek fan who was following the game hoping for an Al Ahly loss, said, “at this time, we had a great team and we were seeking for the league title. I followed the game and I saw a flame thrown towards Al Ahly players at the warm up, but I never expected what happened at the end of the game.”

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FILE- Police react as chaos erupts at a soccer stadium in Port Said city – Reuters

Despite this tension, the game started as Al Ahly opened the score after 10 minutes through a header from their Brazilian striker, Fabio Junior. They dominated the first half after the goal and ended the first half leading 1-0.

The danger signs started at half-time, when groups of El Masry fans started throwing flames onto the pitch while some invaded the pitch and ran towards Al Ahly fans. However, the stadium’s security officers succeeded to return them to their places before the second half.

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FILE- An Egyptian policeman helps an injured football fan- Reuters

Everything changed in the second half; El Masry were the better side and created many chances to score. After 15 minutes, Al Ahly manager Manuel Jose asked the referee to stop the game after El Masry fans started to attack Al Ahly bench and again threw flames onto the pitch.

The game stopped for ten minutes and the camera displayed an El Masry fans inciting the other fans to continue their acts.

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FILE- A soccer fan flees from the Port Said Stadium - Reuters

The game started again and El Masry equalized the score minutes later through Moamen Zakari, who doubled the score seven minutes from the final whistle.

The second goal celebration for El Masry was another dangerous sign, as their fans invaded the pitch to celebrate the goal with their players and they stayed on the pitch. Meanwhile, the security failed to control them.

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FILE- Egyptian fans celebrate their team's win before rushing into the field - Reuters

El Masry striker Abdaalah Cisse scored the third goal that secured the victory for his team. After that, the pitch became chaotic with hundreds of El Masry fans invading to attack Al Ahly fans.

The security forces quickly escorted the players out of the stadium, but they let the fans to go to Al Ahly stands and the tragedy began.

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FILE- Al Ahli soccer players try to leave the stadium as chaos erupts at a soccer stadium - Reuters

“I cannot forget Cisse dancing after his goal and El Masry fans celebrations with their manager, Hossam Hassan, while Al Ahly fans were killed by the thugs,“ Bedier told Egypt Today.

Mohamed Said, an Ismaily fan (a club with a fierce rivalry against Al-Ahly ) who was happy after Al Ahly lost, said “after the game I was happy and I shared my feelings with my friends on Facebook who told me to delete the post because there were victims.”






The Port Said Stadium was not the only arena that witnessed a state of clashes; the Cairo Stadium saw a big wave of protests from Zamalek fans, reacting to the Al Ahly victims. Zamalek fans burnt their banners before the half time when they knew that Al Ahly fans had been killed.

Mohamed Amer turned his TV quickly towards the Zamalek clash against Ismaily, saying, “I was watching the Zamalek game when I heard that Al Ahly fans have been attacked but I thought it was regular clashes. But after 20 minutes, I started to feel that it is something different and I started to hear about victims at Port Said.”

Mohamed Abbas’ illness prevented him from attending the game at Cairo stadium to support his beloved team, Zamalek, so he watched the game on a café. Recalling the day, he said, “Al Ahly’s loss is always a great joy for me. I was happy with the result and I started watching Zamalek game, but I could not concentrate anymore when I knew that there were victims.”


“The silence dominated the café and the news started to come with the number of victims, which was increasing minute by minute. It was one of the hardest days in my life,” Abbass added.

The camera showed Al Ahly’s dressing room with Al Ahly fans ran to protect their players from the assault, and Al Ahly medical staff started to help the injured fans.




At Port Said, an attempt was started by the city residents to save Al Ahly fans. Ahmed Bakr, a Port Said resident told Egypt Today, “the Locals in Port Said took Al Ahly fans from the stadium to the train station, and the ambulances transported the victims to the hospitals…blood donations continued till the end of the night. Everyone in Port Said was angry and felt that they would be blamed and forever held accountable for killing Al Ahly fans.”


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FILE- An injured man is carried after arriving from Port Said at a train station in Cairo - Reuters

In Cairo, the victims’ families and other fans of al-Ahly rushed to the city’s train station at Ramses in Downtown to receive the fans returning from Port Said.

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FILE- An injured man is carried after arriving from Port Said at a train station in Cairo - Reuters

“I could not follow Football in Egypt since that day. It was a hard day in my life as a football fan,” Abbass told Egypt Today.

Port Said was once recognized in the hearts of Egyptians for its rich history. Few would have expected that a city known for its resistance to the occupation during the early to mid-twentieth century would become a place of tragedy.


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FILE- A blood-stained piece of cotton wool is seen on the ground one day - Reuters

Seven years later, football audiences still remember their feelings on the day when young, passionate fans brutally met their fate.


The 72 victims are:

Mahmoud Ghandour, Mahmoud Soliman, Karim Junior, Eslam Elwan, Ahmed Youssef, Mostafa Essam, Sayed Gouda, Mohamed Roshdy, Mohamed Samir, Mohamed Mahmoud, Ahmed Esmail, Mohamed Khater, Ahmed Zakaria, Ahmed Taha, Ahmed Soliman, Ahmed Osama, Ahmed Ezzat, Ahmed Fawzi, Ahmed Waggih, Osama Mostafa, Eslam Ahmed, Anas Mohy, Ayman Mohamed, Hamed Fathy, Hossam El Sayed, Hassan Fahmy, Hussein Mohamed, Khaled Omar, Khairy Fathy, Soliman Ahmed, Abdel Rahman Fathy, Omar Aly, Omar Adam, Amr Steve, Karim Ahmed, Karim Khozzam, Mohamed Gamal, Mohamed Khaled, Mohamed Samir, Mohamed Sayed, Mohamed Serry, Mohamed Abdallah, Mohamed Mahrous, Mohamed Mostafa, Mohamed Nasser, Mahmoud Sabber, Mostafa Gamal, Mostafa Metwally, Mostafa Nasr, Mostafa Aboud, Mohab Ahmed, Youssef Hamada, Mamdouh Mohamed, Mahmoud Salama, Mohamed Fargaly, Karim El Meligy, Alaa Morsi, Said Mohamed, Amgad El Sayed, Mostafa Mohamed, Ahmed El Shaboury, Said Gamal, Mohamed Ashraf, Ahmed Saleh, Mostafa Mohamed, Omar Gamal, Mohamed Hussein, Ibrahim Helmy, Al Araby Kamel, Bassem El Dosouky, Mohamed Ali and Eslam Hassan.

]]>
2/1/2019 11:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Five things we learned from the Premier League]]>
Chelsea suffered their worst defeat for 23 years, while Mesut Ozil came in from the cold at Arsenal.

Here are five things we learned from the Premier League's action-packed midweek programme:

Liverpool suffer power failure

With the destiny of the title race in Liverpool's hands after Manchester City's shock loss at Newcastle 24 hours earlier, there was a mounting feeling of celebration around Anfield when Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the third minute against Leicester.

A Liverpool win would have moved them seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City and put the Reds well on course for their first English title since 1990.

But, as Jurgen Klopp's side lost their way in the first half, that warm sense of imminent success melted away like the snow that dusted the Anfield pitch.

Poor marking from Virgil van Dijk allowed Harry Maguire to equalise for Leicester and it could have been even worse in a patchy second half.

Klopp felt Liverpool should have had a penalty, but in the end they had to settle for moving five points ahead of City, who now have renewed hope of catching the leaders.

'Fergie time' not enough for United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's winning run since taking over as caretaker manager of Manchester United has brought memories flooding back of Alex Ferguson's golden years in charge at Old Trafford when the Norwegian was a player.

To add to the daring, attacking brand of football, United's current crop have now also shown the ability to fight back at the death that characterised Ferguson's title-winning sides, most notably when Solskjaer scored the second of two goals in stoppage time to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the 1999 Champions League final.

Yet, even two goals in the final minutes were not enough for a ninth straight victory under Solskjaer in a 2-2 draw with Burnley on Tuesday, although Chelsea's 4-0 thrashing at Bournemouth means United are now just two points off a top-four place.

Is complacency costing City?

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Pep Guardiola vehemently insisted the champions had not underestimated Newcastle in a shock 2-1 defeat, but just as they did in similarly surprising December losses to Crystal Palace and Leicester, City took their foot off the gas after going 1-0 up early on.

Ahead inside 24 seconds at St James' Park, Guardiola did concede his side played with nowhere near enough aggression or urgency to kill the game off before Newcastle staged a second-half fightback.

Just as worrying for the Catalan coach will be the lack of a response to falling behind in each of those three defeats and in losing 2-0 to Chelsea.

Not once have City come from behind to win a game in the Premier League this season and have picked up just one point from a losing position in a 1-1 draw at Wolves in August.

Son answers Pochettino's call

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Tottenham were staring down the barrel with 10 minutes left of their match against Watford, trailing 1-0 after a miserable week in which they crashed out of two cup competitions.

They dominated possession at Wembley but badly missed the cutting edge of the injured Harry Kane and Dele Alli's creative input.

But Son Heung-min, back from Asian Cup duty, looked sharp throughout and got his reward in the 80th minute, driving home the equaliser before Fernando Llorente struck the winner in a 2-1 victory.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino badly needs Son to keep firing as Tottenham strive to keep Arsenal and Manchester United at bay in the race for Champions League qualification, while also keeping the pressure on Man City and Liverpool at the top.

Ozil comes in from the cold

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On a freezing night in north London, Mesut Ozil's winter exile came to an end as the Arsenal midfielder was recalled by Unai Emery for their 2-1 win over Cardiff.

Ozil has been put into cold storage by Gunners boss Emery for much of the season after he grew frustrated by the German's failure to respond to his demands for a high-tempo style of play.

Although Ozil is Arsenal's highest-paid player, there has been talk he might be sold amid reports of a training ground bust-up.

Against that backdrop, it was intriguing to see Ozil start a game for the first time since December 26, with Emery handing him the captain's armband.

Ozil lasted for 76 minutes, and even earned rare praise from Emery. "He worked like we wanted. It was good," he said.



]]>
2/1/2019 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Newcastle complete Almiron signing, Barreca loan]]>
British media reported Newcastle had paid around 21 million pounds ($27.52 million) for the 24-year-old, surpassing the 16 million pounds they paid Real Madrid for Michael Owen in 2005.

"The league is competitive, this is a historic club, and (Newcastle manager) Rafa Benitez himself were the main reasons why I am here now," Almiron said in a statement.

"I think it is a great responsibility, something beautiful for me, and I will try to offer the best I can to repay the trust the club put in me."

Paraguay international Almiron, who has 13 caps, scored 13 goals and provided 13 assists to help Atlanta win the MLS Cup last year.

"We were following Almiron for a while, and we saw a player with some pace in attack, who can play behind the striker. We have someone who can score goals and give assists," Benitez said.

Earlier, Newcastle signed left back Antonio Barreca from Monaco on loan until the end of the season with the option to buy the player.

"I am happy to be here. I have accepted this challenge with a great deal of enthusiasm and I can't wait to start," Barreca said in a statement.

Barreca came through the ranks at Italian side Torino where he became an established starter before heading to the French Ligue 1 with Monaco last summer.

"The left back/left wing back position is one we've been looking to strengthen for a while and he's an Italy Under-21 international who we know has quality, good delivery and is good going forward," Benitez said.

Newcastle, who are 14th in the league standings, visit Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.]]>
2/1/2019 7:22:00 AM
<![CDATA[Angry Sarri repeats claim he cannot motivate Chelsea players]]>
His side, with Gonzalo Higuain given a Premier League debut but then substituted, had controlled the first half.

But they were picked off after the break as Joshua King scored twice, either side of a goal for David Brooks. Charlie Daniels completed the rout in stoppage time.

It was Chelsea's worst league defeat since 1996 and the heat will be on Italian Sarri whose side have now lost consecutive league games without scoring a goal.

After a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal, the former Napoli boss slammed the mentality of his players.

After the latest setback, he locked them in the changing room for nearly an hour, having told the rest of the coaching staff, including Chelsea great Gianfranco Zola, to leave.

"In that moment I wanted to talk to them alone, without anybody," Sarri, who replaced Antonio Conte before the start of the season, told reporters.

"I needed to understand, it was so different in the first and second half.

"In the first half we could never see that the second half would be a disaster. We stopped playing. We didn't play like a team. It's difficult to understand why.

"I'm not able to motivate these players. We need to play with a different mentality."

Chelsea's fans looked on in shock as their team crumbled and when loanee Higuain was hauled off they sang: "You don't know what you're doing" to Sarri.

Daniels' goal in stoppage time meant Arsenal moved above Chelsea into fourth spot by virtue of more goals scored.

Asked if his squad was good enough to finish in the top four, he said: "I think so, maybe we are not at the top of the table. But we cannot lose 4-0 to Bournemouth.

"Maybe it is my fault that I am not able to motivate them." ]]>
2/1/2019 6:14:00 AM
<![CDATA[Allegri praises referee who sent him off]]>
Allegri was dismissed in the first half of Wednesday's Coppa Italia quarter-final for throwing his coat onto the pitch after his side fell 2-0 behind.

"It was right to remove me from the pitch, I was agitated and the officials were impeccable throughout. Compliments to the referee," he told reporters.

Juventus were unbeaten in 22 previous league and cup matches this season, their only two defeats coming in the Champions League, but Allegri said they had to lose at some time. It also ended their run of four successive league and cup doubles.

"It was in the air," he said. "You get bad nights in football. I think we were probably a bit tired mentally."

"It’s nothing to get dramatic about, as it was just an off day. It’s disappointing for us to go out, but it was crazy to think Juventus could have won every single match this season."

Allegri said the most important thing was to learn from what went wrong.

"As I’ve said, that’s football. If you react to them in the right way, these nights can do you good and help you to raise your level of focus."]]>
2/1/2019 6:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Roma coach not contemplating quitting after Fiorentina loss]]>
"Resignation? Let's leave that sort of talk aside, the thought has never entered my mind," he told reporters after Wednesday's game.

"I think any sort of comment would be superfluous, whether it be technical or tactical. All I can do is apologise. It was a terrible performance from every point of view."

The defeat came three days after Roma squandered a three-goal lead in a 3-3 draw at Atalanta in Serie A and missed a chance to move back into the top four of the standings.

"I want to get inside the lads' heads and understand what is going on," said Di Francesco, whose team have suffered embarrassing league defeats to Bologna, SPAL and Udinese this season.

"A few games back people thought the squad had bounced back, and instead we collapsed again too easily," he said.

"The main thing is the mentality, that ability to keep battling away in games even when things are going wrong – to stay together when things are going badly, not having the wrong attitude during the game," he said.

"You lose and you win together. This is what hurts most right after this game." ]]>
2/1/2019 2:09:00 AM
<![CDATA[Nantes pay emotional tribute to Sala]]>
Referee Frank Schneider stopped play in the Ligue 1 match against St Etienne at La Beaujoire in the ninth minute -- in a possible reference to Sala's shirt number -- for a minute of applause during which Nantes coach Vahid Halilhodzic was in tears.

The game ended in a 1-1 draw after Nantes' Majeed Waris cancelled out Remy Cabella's second-half opener for St Etienne.

St Etienne are fourth in the table on 37 points from 22 games, while Nantes lie 14th on 24 points.

Fans unveiled banners for Sala, most notably a giant Argentinian flag, and all of Nantes' players had Sala's name on the back of their shirt.

A portrait of Sala was unfolded in the centre circle as the players stepped onto the pitch with fans chanting their former striker's name.

The Nantes players wore t-shirts saying 'On t'aime Emi' (We love you Emi), which they showed to the crowd after Waris scored in the 70th minute, and the St Etienne players had t-shirts saying 'Pray for Sala'.

Several former Nantes players were in the stands, including Caen striker Yacine Bammou, who was pictured in tears.

A few fans from Cardiff City, for whom Sala had just signed when he went missing, were at the stadium unveiling a banner that said: 'We never saw you play and never saw you score, but Emiliano our beautiful Bluebird we will love you forever more.'

Sala scored 48 goals from 133 appearances for Nantes.

Earlier on Wednesday, investigators searching for the lost plane carrying Sala said an underwater search would begin after they found two seat cushions on the French coast that likely belonged to the aircraft.

The 28-year-old had been en route from Nantes with pilot David Ibbotson to make his debut for Cardiff City when the plane disappeared over the English Channel on Jan. 21.]]>
2/1/2019 1:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[Atalanta's Zapata sends holders Juventus crashing out of Coppa]]>
Timothy Castagne and Zapata struck in the 37th and 39th minutes to stun the record 13-times winners, with Colombia striker Zapata netting another late on to set up a semi-final clash with Fiorentina.

Atalanta, who earned a 2-2 draw against Serie A leaders Juventus at Bergamo in December, pulled off another surprise result, ensuring Juve would not win the competition for a fifth season running.

Castagne caught out Joao Cancelo and drilled home from the edge of the box to put the hosts ahead, with Zapata lashing in the second moments later.

Furious Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was sent off after throwing his jacket onto the pitch after the second goal. The Old Lady were not stirred into action, however, and failed to record a single shot on target in the first half.

Zapata pounced for his second in the final stages, taking his tally to 17 goals in his last 10 games across all competitions. ]]>
1/31/2019 4:58:58 PM
<![CDATA[Barcelona demolish Sevilla with spectacular 6-1 cup comeback]]>
After a 2-0 defeat in Seville last week in which they rested key players, the Catalans broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when Coutinho slotted home from the penalty spot following Quincy Promes's foul on Lionel Messi.

Messi handed Coutinho the ball and the Brazilian playmaker converted the spot kick, ending a run of poor form.

Sevilla nearly equalised but Jasper Cillessen produced a brilliant save from Andre Silva's backheel, before the Dutch goalkeeper palmed away Ever Banega's penalty.

Gerard Pique fouled Roque Mesa and after a long delay while the incident was checked by VAR, Argentina midfielder Banega fired to the goalkeeper's left, but Cillessen flew across to keep the ball out.

Barcelona pulled the game level on aggregate in the 32nd minute when Ivan Rakitic nudged the ball past Juan Soriano with the faintest of touches after a sensational pass from Arthur.

Two goals in a two-minute spell after the break helped Barcelona race ahead, with Coutinho heading in from Luis Suarez's cross and Sergi Roberto tucking home a ball from Messi.

Guilherme Arana pulled a goal back for Sevilla with a powerful drive after the otherwise impressive Cillessen gave the ball away, but Pablo Machin's side were finally sunk when Suarez struck on the break and Messi added a late sixth.

Earlier Real Betis, whose Benito Villamarin stadium will host the final in May, beat Espanyol 3-1 at home after extra-time to progress 4-1 on aggregate.

Leo Baptistao headed Espanyol in front after 33 minutes but Giovani Lo Celso equalised in the 76th minute before Marc Roca was dismissed for the visitors.

Betis capitalised on their numerical advantage in extra-time, with Sergio Leon and Aissa Mandi's strikes earning them a semi-final spot. ]]>
1/31/2019 4:56:04 PM
<![CDATA[Chelsea collapse to 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth]]>
Despite Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain making his Premier League debut, Chelsea failed to make their overwhelming first-half possession count and the second half was a horror show.

Bournemouth proved more clinical as Joshua King scored twice, either side of a goal for David Brooks, and Charlie Daniels completed the rout in stoppage time.

It was only the second time since the start of the Premier League in 1992 that Chelsea had lost by a four-goal margin -- the other was a 5-1 loss to Liverpool in 1996.

Italian Sarri, who accused his team of being "hard to motivate" after a 2-0 loss at Arsenal in their last league game, spent 45 minutes locked in the changing room with his players.

Daniels's late goal meant Chelsea's goal difference is the same as Arsenal's but they have scored less goals.

Both clubs have 47 points, seven behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, and only two ahead of Manchester United.

For all their possession, the closest Chelsea came to scoring in the opening period was Mateo Kovacic's header which was touched onto the bar by Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc.

Boruc made several other stops but Chelsea's lack of punch in the attacking third -- a thorn in their side all season -- was clear to see again as they suffered a second heavy loss to Bournemouth in consecutive seasons having been beaten 3-0 at Stamford Bridge a year ago.

"I think we played better football in that game last season," Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said.

"This game we rode our luck early but counter-attacked superbly. That is a feature I'll remember from this game."

Bournemouth gradually grew into the game and were a threat on the break with Brooks and Junior Stanislas both denied by Spanish keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea fell behind two minutes after the break when Brooks's astute reverse pass released King to fire high past Arrizabalaga and things went from bad to worse as King's pass over the top left released Brooks who stepped inside David Luiz's half-hearted tackle and fired home.

Bournemouth were rampant and Stanislas set up King for his second after a flowing move in the 74th minute.

Daniels came off the bench to head home in stoppage time.]]>
1/31/2019 4:53:31 PM
<![CDATA[Four Egyptian players in Motor City Open Squash quarter-finals]]>
World No.1 Marwan El Shorbagy booked a place in the tournament's quarter-finals after he beat his compatriot Mazen Hisham 3-1 in a 46-minute match, ending 11/4, 7/11, 13/11 and 11/7.

Omar Mosaad defeated Chris Hanson of the United States by an 11/4, 7/11, 13/11, 8/11 and 11/9 scoreline in 72 minutes.

While Egypt’s World No.3 Mohamed Abou El-Ghar notched up victory over the United States No.1 Todd Harrity in a 56-minute game by a 3/11, 11/6, 11/13 and 12/10 scoreline.

Finally, Zahed Salem defeated Nicolas Mueller of Switzerland by a 3/11, 13/11, 11/9, 8/11 and 11/5 scoreline in a 56-minute match.

The Motor City Open is an annual international squash championship held in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The tournament is hosted and organized by the Birmingham Athletic Club, a private club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and has been held each year since 1999, with the exception of 2008.]]>
1/31/2019 10:46:42 AM
<![CDATA[Son and Llorente strike late as Spurs beat Watford]]>
Spurs had struggled to shine on a freezing night after going out of the League Cup and FA Cup last week but Son provided a ray of sunshine when he blasted home 10 minutes from time and Llorente got the winner with a trademark header in the 87th.

The win moves Tottenham within two points of second-placed Manchester City and seven ahead of London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea in the battle for a top-four finish.

Watford took the lead when Craig Cathcart got his head to the ball in a crowded penalty area from a corner and bundled it home via a deflection off Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris stranded inside the six-yard box.

Spurs should have been level seven minutes after the break when Llorente managed to put the ball over the bar and spurned another chance in the 64th when he headed wide. Danny Rose and Harry Winks also went close for the hosts.

Just as the home fans were losing faith South Korean Son, who has just returned from the Asian Cup, fired the equaliser and Spaniard Llorente made amends for his earlier misses by heading the winner to delight the fans who braved the cold. ]]>
1/31/2019 12:38:27 AM
<![CDATA[Leaders Liverpool stumble, Chelsea collapse]]>
Juergen Klopp's side had a gilt-edged opportunity to open up a seven-point lead over City with 14 games left but despite taking an early lead through Sadio Mane they ran out of steam.

Harry Maguire equalised just before halftime and Liverpool, inspired so often this season, failed to raise their game after the break as Leicester claimed a deserved draw.

Klopp's side have 61 points from 24 games with champions City, beaten at Newcastle United on Tuesday, on 56.

Chelsea dropped to fifth place after a 4-0 drubbing at mid-table Bournemouth -- Joshua King scoring twice as the hosts netted all four goals in the second half.

In a week that saw Manchester United held at home by Burnley, third-placed Tottenham Hotspur looked as though they were also about to stumble but came from behind to beat Watford with late goals for Son Heung-min and Fernando Llorente at a sparsely-populated Wembley Stadium.

After going out of two cup competitions in quick succession, Tottenham have put themselves back in the title race as they are seven points behind Liverpool and two behind Manchester City.

They have 54 points, seven ahead of Arsenal who moved above Chelsea by virtue of scoring more goals.

Southampton and Crystal Palace remain too close to the relegation zone for comfort after a 1-1 draw at St Mary's in which Palace had goalscorer Wilfried Zaha sent off.

James Ward-Prowse secured a point for Southampton with a 77th-minute equaliser. ]]>
1/31/2019 12:28:44 AM
<![CDATA[Alaa equals Fathallah’s record ]]>
Alaa kept on his amazing form and scored 12 goals to become the highest scoring defender at the history of the league alongside Mahmoud Fathallah who scored 12 goals for El-Entag El-Harby.

Alaa has the chance to break the record as he still has 16 games at the league.

The defender joined Zamalek in summer 2017 from Wadi Degla and since then he established himself as the starting defender for his team.

Alaa is the leading top goal scorer at the league with 12 goals including a hat-trick against El-Gaish.



Zamalek is leading the league table with 45 points after 18 games; they are six points ahead of Pyramids who played 20 games and 12 points ahead of Al-Ahly who played 16 games.]]>
1/30/2019 2:27:19 PM
<![CDATA[Zamalek defeats El-Makkasa]]>
For the first time in history, Zamalek defeated El-Makkasa at both halves of the league, as they won 1-0 at the first half of the season.

Mahmoud Alaa scored twice at the last minutes of the first half and Zamalek’s Tunisian midfielder, Ferjani Sassi, scored another two goals at the second half, while Paulinvoavy scored El-Makkasa’s only goal at the game.

The referee sent out Zamalek’s defender, Hazem Imam, five minutes before the final whistle.

Zamalek's new signing, Khalid Boutayeb, earned his debut with Zamalek when he replaced Omar el-Said after 60 minutes.

“We had fantastic 40 minutes but then we conceded two goals at the last minutes of the first half that killed the game and made it difficult for us to return at the second half,” El-Makkasa manager, MounirEkila, said after the game.



Zamalek is leading the league's table with 45 points after 18 games; they are six points ahead of Pyramids who played 20 games and 12 points ahead of Al-Ahly who played 16 games.]]>
1/30/2019 2:24:52 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool's Klopp slams Salah critics over diving claims]]>
Salah, who has been involved in four penalty decisions in Liverpool's last five league games, was pulled up for falling over in the box in their win over Crystal Palace where referee Jonathan Moss refused to award a foul.

"All the others can do it from time to time and nobody really talks about it, that's all fine," Klopp told reporters ahead of Liverpool's Premier League match against Leicester City on Wednesday.

"There are other situations that are much more obvious and nobody is talking about that because it's not City, it's not United, it's not Liverpool, it's not Arsenal or it's not Chelsea."

Klopp questioned why Leicester striker Jamie Vardy escaped censure after he fell over looking to win a penalty against Southampton earlier this month.

"Did anyone talk to Jamie Vardy? He jumped then," Klopp added. "Is Jamie a bad person because of that? I don't say now he is a diver, that is another situation."]]>
1/30/2019 10:42:16 AM
<![CDATA[Trophies more important for Man United than top four - Solskjaer]]>
Sixth-placed United have won all six league games since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho to close the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea from 11 points to three, while they are still in the FA Cup and Champions League contentions.

"For Man Utd you should always aim to win the league," he told reporters ahead of Tuesday's league clash against Burnley.

"We can't do that this year, but we have to get back to the challenge. We've got the Champions League, we've got the FA Cup, we can't just say we've got top four and that is it."

United's last trophy - the Europa League - came in 2017 but they have not won the Premier League since former coach Alex Ferguson's final season at Old Trafford in 2012-13.

Although Solskjaer admits a league title challenge is unrealistic this season, he backs the squad to catch Tottenham Hotspur, who are seven points ahead in third place.

"We are sixth at the moment, so we are a way off the top teams. We are challenging to be top three at the moment," the Norwegian added.

"It's about reorganising and just starting next season to be ready to challenge and get more points."

United will play defending champions Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round on Feb. 16, four days after they take on French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last 16. ]]>
1/29/2019 3:18:36 PM
<![CDATA[UAE eyes glory in Asian Cup ]]>
UAE hopes to reach the Asian Cup Final for the second time in the history as they appeared in 1996 Asian Cup Final and lost the title at home to Saudi Arabia.

“We are going to face a very strong opponent. They reach the semi-final in a tournament like this; it means they have a lot of strength. It is a very difficult team to defeat.” Qatar national team manager, Felix Sanchez, told press ahead of the game.

Qatar appears at the Asian Cup semi-finals for the first time in the history.

“The performance in the last game was very good. I'm very much aware of the difficulties of the game against Qatar, but I’m confident we will be able to win the game with a very good performance of our players.” UAE manager, Alberto Zaccheroni, told press on Monday.

The winner will face Japan who defeated Iran on Monday 3-0. ]]>
1/29/2019 3:12:18 PM
<![CDATA[Fowler defends Salah against diving allegations ]]>
Fowler believes that Salah has been targeted for where he comes from.

“We have to be very careful as football fans. We need to stop and think about whether Salah is being targeted for where he comes from and who he is.” Fowler wrote for The Mirror.

Salah joined Liverpool in 2017 summer from AS Roma and since then he has been a key player at Liverpool squad.

Fowler added “Why it’s been much worse than that aimed at Harry Kane this season.”

Salah won three of Liverpool’s last four penalties and converted all of them to goals after he became Liverpool’s first choice penalty taker.
Salah also tried to win a penalty during Liverpool’s 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace and the referee denied it.

Liverpool are leading the Premier League table with 57 points, four points ahead of the second placed and the defending champions, Manchester City.]]>
1/29/2019 2:46:41 PM
<![CDATA[Bournemouth's Wilson doubtful for Chelsea clash]]>
England international Wilson, the club's top scorer this season with 10 league goals, was hurt in the win over West Ham last week.

"Callum is going to be a doubt for the game, he has a knee problem. We're going to have to wait and see how he progresses between now and the game," Howe told reporters on Tuesday.

Reserve striker Dominic Solanke, who was signed this month, will return to action in February as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

"Dominic Solanke is progressing well on the training ground," Howe said. "Our initial estimations were that we would see him back fit at some point in February, and we're hoping that'll be the case."

New centre back Chris Mepham is expected to make his club debut on Wednesday but defender Tyrone Mings, who has made only five starts this season, could leave the club.

"We'll wait and see on what happens with Tyrone," Howe added. "He's been unlucky since he signed for the club, so there's a possibility he could be an outgoing."

Bournemouth, 12th in the table, are bidding to secure back-to-back league wins for the first time since early October. ]]>
1/29/2019 2:20:24 PM
<![CDATA[Kompany's Man City future uncertain, says Guardiola]]>
Kompany, whose contract ends this season, has missed numerous games due to muscle injuries in the past few seasons and Guardiola said a contract extension is something the club will have to discuss with the player and his agent.

"He's incredible, but the reality is in the last five years he's played few, really few," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Tuesday's league trip to Newcastle United.

"We don't have any doubts about his quality, we miss him when he is not able to play. He's important, he is our captain and on the field he gives us extra that few central defenders around the world can give us.

"That is the situation we have to put on the table and the club will discuss it with his agent and make the best decision for both."

Kompany has been at the club since 2008 and has won seven major trophies, including three league titles, but Guardiola said any decision to extend the Belgium defender's contract should not be made on sentiment alone.

"The club knows the sentimental issue is so important," Guardiola added. "It's not important for making decisions, but they have to feel, especially for the players who have been here a long time and helped us to build what we are right now.

"At the same time, there is a moment when it's over for everybody." ]]>
1/29/2019 1:44:12 PM
<![CDATA[FA to probe discriminatory chanting at Millwall]]>
British media reported that a video had emerged on social media following the fourth-round game, showing supporters of the second-tier club making the alleged racist comments.

"The FA can confirm that we are aware of a video posted on social media after The Emirates FA Cup match between Millwall and Everton," an FA spokesperson said.

"Discriminatory behaviour and chanting has no place in football and we will be investigating the matter."

Everton had twice led with goals by Richarlison and Cenk Tosun but Millwall hit back on both occasions before Murray Wallace struck in stoppage time to seal a surprise victory, which was ultimately soured.

Anti-discrimination group Kick it Out called for firm action to be taken against those guilty.

"The racist chanting heard from some Millwall supporters is disgusting and typical of mass discriminatory chants that continue to go unpunished," the body said in a statement.

"Kick It Out wants to see the relevant authorities take swift, firm and decisive action against the perpetrators."

Millwall said they would cooperate with the investigations and issue life bans to the offenders.]]>
1/29/2019 11:45:55 AM
<![CDATA[Sobhy on receiving 2021 World Cup flag: It is a moment of pride ]]>CAIRO – 28 January 2019: Egyptian Youth and Sports Minister, Ashraf Sobhy, and Egyptian Handball Federation President, Hesham Nasr, represented Egypt during the 2019 IHF World Cup Final.

Egypt received the flag of the 2021 IHF World Cup from head of the International Handball Federation, Hassan Mostafa, on Sunday night.
“It is a moment of pride for me and all Egyptians. Denmark and Germany co-hosted the World Cup and we are ready to host the next edition alone,” Sobhy told Sada El Balad on Sunday.

For the first time in history, 32 teams will participate at the IHF World Cup in 2021 instead of 24 teams that have participated in the tournament since 1995 World Cup in Iceland.

Sobhy added, "We are among the best teams in the world. It is our best achievement since 2001 and I have a dream to see our national team at the semi-finals in 2021 at home.”

The Egyptian team has done a massive achievement at the 2019 IHF World Cup and finished the tournament among the best eight teams in the world.

The World Cup draw put Egypt in Group D alongside Sweden, Hungary, Qatar, Argentina and Angola.
The Egyptian team lost their first two games to Sweden and Qatar but they bounced back with two victories over Argentina and Angola; they ended their game against Hungary with a draw to finish third and reach the second round.

Egypt managed to reach the second round for the first time since their best ever achievement when they won the fourth place in 2001.

At the second round, Egypt lost to Norway and Denmark and defeated Arab rivals, Tunisia, to end the second round group at the fourth position; Egypt faced Spain to decide the seventh placed and lost 36-31 to end the competition at the eighth place.

]]>
1/28/2019 5:32:19 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt receives 2021 IHF World Cup flag ]]>
Egypt will host the 2021 Handball World Cup for the second time in the history of the competition as Egypt hosted the tournament in 1999.

The Egyptian delegation received the flag at Jyske Bank Boxen, Herning after the World Cup final which ended with a massive victory for Denmark over Norway.

The Egyptian team has done a massive achievement at the 2019 IHF World Cup and finished the tournament among the best eight teams in the world.

The World Cup draw put Egypt in Group D alongside Sweden, Hungary, Qatar, Argentina and Angola.
The Egyptian team lost their first two games to Sweden and Qatar but they bounced back with two victories over Argentina and Angola; they ended their game against Hungary with a draw to finish third and reach the second round.

Egypt managed to reach the second round for the first time since their best ever achievement when they won the fourth place in 2001.

At the second round, Egypt lost to Norway and Denmark and defeated Arab rivals, Tunisia, to end the second round group at the fourth position; Egypt faced Spain to decide the seventh placed and lost 36-31 to end the competition at the eighth place.
]]>
1/28/2019 5:26:45 PM
<![CDATA[CAF delays 2019 AFCON launch date ]]>
The competition was scheduled to start on June 14 but a number of North African countries asked CAF to delay the competition for a week.

The CAF Executive Committee announced on Tuesday, January 8, that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches.
Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.
The 2019 African Cup of Nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.

Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the competition as Egypt has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010.
Egypt hosted four African Cup of Nations tournaments in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974.

]]>
1/28/2019 9:28:30 AM
<![CDATA[Eissa hopes to reach semis in 2021 ]]>
Eissa and his teammates have done a massive achievement and finished the tournament among the best eight teams in the world.

“We are the only non European team among the top eight teams in the world. It is a great achievement for us which I did not expect,” Eissa told Filgoal on Sunday.

The World Cup draw put Egypt in Group D alongside Sweden, Hungary, Qatar, Argentina and Angola.
The Egyptian team lost their first two games to Sweden and Qatar but they bounced back with two victories over Argentina and Angola; they ended their game against Hungary with a draw to finish third and reach the second round.

Egypt managed to reach the second round for the first time since their best ever achievement when they won the fourth place in 2001.

At the second round, Egypt lost to Norway and Denmark and defeated Arab rivals, Tunisia, to end the second round group at the fourth position; the team faced Spain to decide the seventh placed and lost 36-31 to end the competition at the eighth place.

Eissa added, “It is a massive step for us and I hope to achieve an advanced position at 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and reach the semi final in 2021 World Cup at home.”

Egypt will host the 2021 IHF World Cup for the second time after 1999 when Egypt finished sixth.
]]>
1/28/2019 9:26:19 AM
<![CDATA[ 'It is more than football,' Awad on featuring in 2019 AFCON]]>
Awad, who plays for Saudi Arabian Al-Wehda, believes that playing at the competition at home makes it much more important.
“It is an unrepeatable chance to play at the competition at home. I was young when we hosted the competition in 2006 and it is a great feeling to wear the national team's jersey at home,” Awad told ON Sport on Sunday.

Awad, 26, is in battle with Al-Ahly’s Mohamed el-Shenawy and Zamalek’s Mahmoud Gennesh to be Egypt’s starting goalkeeper at the tournament.

Awad added, “We will fight to win the title at home and make our fans happy. It is more than football; it is our duty towards our nation.”

Awad was named in Egypt’s preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia but he was excluded from the final squad.

Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the competition as Egypt has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010.
Egypt hosted four African Cup of Nations tournaments in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974.




]]>
1/28/2019 9:24:37 AM
<![CDATA[Fiji take NZ Sevens crown in six-try rout of USA]]>
The winners walked away from Hamilton with back-to-back titles in both New Zealand and the world circuit, once again depriving the US of a tournament win despite making the finals of all three dates in the 2018-19 series so far.

Fiji were never seriously challenged from the time Jerry Tuwai opened the scoring from a lineout steal in the second minute.

Waisea Nacuqu and Aminiasi Tuimaba also scored in the first half for the defending New Zealand champions to lead 17-0 at the turn.

Alosio Naduva notched two tries in the second half and Tuwai bagged his second while the US were left scoreless.

Fiji came through Sunday's knockout matches with a 31-7 win over Canada in the quarter-finals before beating South Africa 29-7 in the semis.

The US team, which is shaping up as an emerging power in Sevens rugby, had a 19-14 win over Scotland in the quarters.

They then came from behind to beat hosts New Zealand 17-7 on the back of a one-man advantage after Regan Ware was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle.

Fiji and the US now lead the overall standings with 57 points -- one ahead of hosts New Zealand, who beat South Africa 29-7 in the bronze medal match.

Sunday's runners-up lost to New Zealand in the season opener final in Dubai and went down to Fiji 29-15 in Cape Town.

England started the weekend from fourth in the series standings but failed to qualify for the play-offs.

They later recovered to beat Kenya 36-7 in the Challenger Trophy final to be fifth overall in the series, six points behind fourth-placed South Africa.]]>
1/27/2019 3:45:58 PM
<![CDATA[Osaka embraces pressure, eyes 'Naomi Slam']]>
The bubbly 21-year-old laughed off suggestions her meteoric rise had put her under pressure, saying she was relishing the big time after rising from 72 in the world to number one in the past 12 months.

Japan's Osaka becomes the first Asian to hold the top ranking after downing Czech Petra Kvitova in a tight final on Saturday night and adding the Australian crown to the US Open title she won last year.

"This feels more like I'm used to it now," she told reporters as she posed with the trophy at a Melbourne beach on Sunday,

"I know that sounds a bit strange because this is only the second one but the first time I won it definitely felt a bit more unreal."

While her maiden Grand Slam was marred by losing finalist Serena Williams' umpire-baiting histrionics and boos from the Flushing Meadows crowd, Osaka was allowing her follow-up success in Melbourne to soak in.

"It means a lot. I think moments like this are what you train for as a little kid to play the Grand Slams," she said. "To win another one is definitely a dream come true."

The rising star said she was hungry for more Slam titles.

"The way the tennis world is, there's always the next tournament, the next Slam, and we all just want to keep training hard and winning more," she said.

"So, I'm not really sure if I'm satisfied."

- 'Go with the flow' -

Osaka became the first woman to win successive majors since Serena Williams in 2015 and the youngest since Martina Hingis in 1998.

Williams went on to complete her second "Serena Slam" -- holding all four majors in the same 12 month period -- and Osaka was excited about the prospect of claiming the French Open and Wimbledon for a "Naomi Slam".

"I'm not going to lie and say that thought hasn't crossed my mind," Osaka said. "But I don't know.

"For me, I just have to take it one tournament at a time, especially Indian Wells is coming up and I won that tournament last year. I feel like I have to think about that."

Osaka was unfazed by the attention she was receiving, saying she was in the spotlight even when her ranking was languishing in the 70s.

She said it was misleading to view her rise as an overnight success.

"I guess looking from the outside, from your guys' view, it does," Osaka said.

"For me, every practice and every match that I've played, it feels like the year is short and long at the same time.

"I'm aware of all the work that I put in. I know all the sacrifices that every player does to stay at this level.

"In my opinion, it didn't feel fast. It felt kind of long."

Osaka said she had learned about resilience at the Australian Open after completing three three-setters on her way to the title, likening herself to "a robot" in the final set against Kvitova.

Quizzed about off-court pressure that accompany life as a tennis superstar, Osaka said she preferred to concentrate on her game.

"I feel like I'm going with the flow. That's sort of been my motto my whole life," she said.]]>
1/27/2019 11:42:05 AM
<![CDATA[Handball World Cup: Egypt faces Spain to decide the Seventh place]]>
The Egyptian team enters the game with a great confidence after the strong performance presented in the World Cup which let the Pharaohs to be placed among the Top Eight teams for the first time since 2001.

Egypt's Spanish coach, David Davis, put hopes on great players like Ahmed El Ahmar, Islam Hassan, Mohamed Mamdouh Hashem, Yahya Khaled and Yahya El Derea.

Egypt's journey in the first stage of the World Cup witnessed two losses against Sweden, Qatar; two victories against Argentine and Angola; and one draw against Hungary.

In the second stage, Egypt lost against Norway 32-29; against Denmark 30-26; before defeating Tunisia 30-23.

The seventh place is important as it qualifies to the qualification stage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. ]]>
1/26/2019 3:18:03 PM
<![CDATA[Pyramids FC sack Hossan Hassan, sign Ramon Diaz]]>
Hossam Hassan's sacking move was taken right after the thrilling 3-3 draw against Zamalek in the Egyptian League.

Pyramids FC owner, Turk Al Sheikh, believes that Pyramids is stronger than any team in Egypt especially after including skillful players. And as he wanted more competitiveness so he signed the Argentinean coach.




"We have signed the great coach, namely Ramon Diaz, and a full team includes eight members; they will be from the attendants of Al Dakhliya's match in the Egyptian league," Pyramids FC account on Social network platforms stated.

Diaz is set to be the fourth coach for Pyramids FC this season after the Brazilaian, Alberto Valntim, the Mexican Ricardo Lafolpe and the Egyptian Hossam Hassan.

Diaz had a bright era with the Saudi club, Al Hilal, as he led the Saudi team to win the league, the cup and reached the AFC Champions League's final.
]]>
1/26/2019 2:31:30 PM
<![CDATA[Cardiff plan Sala tribute at Arsenal game]]>
Sala, Cardiff's new signing from Nantes, went missing on Monday when the plane he was travelling in disappeared over the English Channel and rescuers have ended their three-day search for the forward and pilot David Ibbotson.

"We're going to plan a tribute on Tuesday at the Arsenal game for the fans to join in, and again at the home match against Bournemouth on Feb. 2," Choo told Sky Sports.

"We're still planning the details and we'll speak to the family as well. We'll announce details in the next day or two."

Although the search for Sala's plane was called off, the Argentine government formally appealed to their French and British counterparts to keep looking for the 28-year old striker.

"President Mauricio Marci has instructed the foreign minister Jorge Faurie to make a formal request to the governments of Great Britain and France to ask that they maintain their search efforts," a statement from the Argentine presidency said.

The Premier League confirmed there would be a moment of silence during all matches next week as a mark of respect for Sala and Ibbotson.

"I just want to say, the Premier League and Arsenal have been incredibly supportive of our club and this situation," Choo added.

Sala was en route to Cardiff for his first training session with the club after being signed from the French Ligue 1 side for a reported 17 million euros ($19.25 million) last week.
]]>
1/26/2019 1:57:34 PM
<![CDATA[Struggling Monaco sack Henry, bring back Jardim as coach]]>
Jardim was himself fired by the principality club last October and replaced by Henry, who was suspended from his duties on Thursday pending a final decision on his future.

Monaco, Ligue 1 runners-up last season, are second-bottom of the table just one point clear of basement side Guingamp and three points adrift of the safety zone.

They have won only three of their 21 top flight games this term and conceded eight goals in their last two matches, a 5-1 home defeat by Strasbourg in the league and a 3-1 home defeat in the French Cup to second division Metz.

"Leonardo Jardim has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Club and, together with his technical staff, will take up his duties as of Sunday," Monaco said in a short statement.

Portuguese coach Jardim, 44, led Monaco to the Ligue 1 title in 2017 when they reached the Champions League semi-finals, before being sacked after a poor start to this season.

Henry's assistant Franck Passi will be in charge of Monaco for Saturday's game at Dijon, who are one place and two points above them in 18th position.

Friday's sacking marked the end of a turbulent few months for Henry, who had no experience of coaching until 2016.

The Frenchman, who started out playing for Monaco and went on to enjoy a stellar club career with Arsenal and Barcelona, worked as assistant coach for Belgium for two years until 2018 but had never been in charge of a team in his own right.

The 41-year-old 1998 World Cup winner played for Monaco for five seasons, winning the league title in 1997.
]]>
1/26/2019 1:52:17 PM
<![CDATA[United's Sanchez returns to haunt Arsenal in Cup win]]>
In his first appearance back at the Emirates Stadium since swapping north London for Old Trafford a year ago, Sanchez silenced the inevitable boos to help continue Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's remarkable start as United's interim manager.

Sanchez and Jesse Lingard scored within two minutes of each other in the first half but Pierre-EmerickAubameyang replied just before halftime to set up an engrossing second half.

Arsenal suffered injury blows, with defenders Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny both being forced off, although they pushed hard for an equaliser in the second period.

But United, who are second behind Arsenal in all-time FA Cup wins with 12, absorbed the pressure and sealed an eighth successive win for Solskjaer in the 82nd minute when substitute Anthony Martial tapped home after a counter-attack.

A feisty tie threatened to boil over late on with United substitute Marcus Rashford and Arsenal's SeadKolasinac squaring up near the touchline to spark a melee in which a coin was thrown from the crowd towards Lingard.

Rashford and Kolasinac were both booked with six yellow cards handed out in total by referee Craig Pawson.

United's former Norwegian hitmanSolskjaer arrived as a stop-gap with United at a low ebb after a rancorous few months under the sacked Jose Mourinho, but has transformed the mood at the club and appears to be unable to do any wrong.

"It's fantastic to go through in the cup. It's one of the hardest games you can get," Solskjaer, whose start has eclipsed that of the great Matt Busby, said.

"Today we looked more like a proper team. We looked more structured. Today was a big step forward.

"It's easy to get excited and talk about the future but we need to just keep working and think about the next game."

CONFIDENT UNITED

United arrived brimming with confidence, especially after their Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur a fortnight ago.

Solskjaer said Friday's display was a step up on that display at Wembley and his decision to start with two players who have struggled for form, proved inspirational.
Sanchez, who scored 60 league goals for Arsenal in 4-1/2 seasons, revelled in a rare start in front of the fans who used to sing his name, while Belgian striker RomeluLukaku produced one of his best performances in a United shirt.
Arsenal began brightly and United back-up Sergio Romero was the busier of the two keepers.

But Unai Emery's side were rocked in the 31st minute when Lukaku's superb reverse pass put Sanchez in and he calmly rounded keeper PetrCech before clipping in from a tight angle.

Two minutes later an Arsenal attack broke down, Luke Shaw set Lukaku away down the right and the Belgian rolled the ball across for the unmarked Lingard to sidefoot past Cech.

Arsenal got a lifeline just before the break when the excellent Aaron Ramsey's cut-back saw AlexandreLacazette make a hash of his attempt but the ball arrived at the feet of Aubameyang who could not miss.

A hectic finish to an absorbing first half ended with ShkodranMustafi heading just wide and straight after the interval Romero's reflex save stopped a Koscielny header.

Koscielny's involvement came to an abrupt end when the Arsenal skipper was accidentally caught in the face by Lukaku's trailing leg -- the Frenchman receiving lengthy treatment before groggily going off to be replaced by MatteoGuendouzi.

Out-of-favourMesutOzil also came off the bench, replacing Alex Iwobi, but Arsenal's hopes of rescuing the tie were over when Paul Pogba surged clear and his shot was parried by Cech into the path of Martial who sent the United fans wild.

In the night's other fourth-round clash Bristol City beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1.

]]>
1/26/2019 1:50:28 PM
<![CDATA[New Zealand, Fiji shine as England crash out of sevens]]>
South Africa and series leaders USA also went through pool play unbeaten with the Americans ensuring Samoa qualified when they beat England in the crucial final match of pool B.

New Zealand, who won the opening leg in Dubai, amassed 125 points from their three games after beating Japan 52-0, Canada 49-10 and Spain 24-0.

The win over Japan was the first meeting between the two sides since Japan produced a shock 14-12 win in pool play at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Fiji, the defending champions in New Zealand and who won the last round in South Africa, also notched a half-century of points when they beat Wales 54-7 in their opener.

But they were held to 33-24 against Argentina and only a late try by Mesulame Kunavula gave them a clean sweep for the day when they beat Australia 26-19.

Samoa, wearing black armbands in memory of former under 20 flanker Faiva Tagatauli, who died this week following a head injury in a club game, produced the biggest upset when they beat England 12-10.

It left England needing to beat the USA in their final match to get through but they could not stay with the Americans who pulled off a 19-7 victory without prolific try scorer Perry Baker who suffered a suspected broken jaw in their opening match against Tonga.

South Africa, who lie fifth in the series after two rounds had wins over Kenya, France and Scotland, to emerge from pool B unbeaten and which will ensure they overtake England in the overall standings.

In Sunday's quarter-finals, Fiji play Canada, New Zealand are against Australia, South Africa play Samoa and USA play Scotland.]]>
1/26/2019 12:08:17 PM
<![CDATA[Bale close to Real return from injury, says Solari]]>
Bale has not played since injuring his calf against Villarreal on January 3 but the Welshman has resumed light training this week.

"Toni Kroos, Marcos Llorente, Mariano Diaz, Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale are close to coming back, Keylor Navas too," Solari said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"They are all important players for the squad so we are happy."

Madrid play Girona on Thursday in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals before facing Espanyol in La Liga on Sunday.

Solari will hope to have Bale at full fitness again for the city derby against Atletico Madrid on February 9, with a Champions League tie against Ajax to come four days later.

Real delivered one of the best performances of the season to beat Sevilla last weekend, a result that moved them up to third in the table. They remain, however, 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.

Solari has not been afraid to leave out key players in a bid to improve the team's form. Isco is yet to start a league game under the Argentinian while Marcelo has been dropped for the last two.

Asked if he had spoken to Marcelo, Solari said: "If I have had talks, they are in private. Competition is essential, they all know they can lose their place.

"Marcelo's love for the club, his commitment to training and his behaviour are impeccable. Then it is up to me to pick the team."]]>
1/25/2019 12:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Rui Faria unveiled as coach of Qatar's Al Duhail]]>
The man who was Mourinho's assistant for 17 years at some of the world's biggest clubs was officially unveiled at a press conference as Duhail's new coach on a one-and-a-half year contract.

It is the 43-year-old's first job since leaving Manchester United, as Mourinho's number two, last year.

"No, I didn't seek an opinion from Jose, this was my decision," Faria told reporters.

Faria was assistant for Mourinho at clubs including Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United over 17 years.

He surprisingly called time on their partnership last year at Old Trafford.

Mourinho's troubled spell as the Old Trafford boss ended last month.

Faria would not be drawn on his time at Manchester United, but asked if he would have difficulty motivating himself in the sparsely-attended Qatar Stars League, after working at stadiums such as the Bernabeu and San Siro, Faria, 43, said it would not be a problem.

"Motivation is something that you have or you don't have," he said.

"The reality is that I thought this would be a very good option for me."

He added: "I am 100 per cent motivated to do the best job I can."

Faria replaces Nabil Maaloul, who was the coach of the Tunisian national side at the World Cup last year in Russia.

Maaloul abruptly left the club earlier this month after the team was knocked out of the Asian Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

Khalifa Khamis, Duhail's vice-president said the club's ambition was to win the Champions League.

Duhail, the current champions, stand second in the Qatari league, two points behind Al Sadd with seven games left.]]>
1/25/2019 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Real's Solari calls for clarity on VAR]]>
The implementation of VAR in La Liga has caused controversy on occasion, with decisions questioned by coaches throughout the league, including Solari.

At the weekend, Real's arch-rivals Barcelona were beneficiaries of a VAR decision that ruled forward Luis Suarez had not fouled the Leganes goalkeeper when he made it 2-1, despite replays appearing to show otherwise.

"It's a system that all of football is delighted to have received but now we're all a bit confused by it," Solari told a news conference.

"We all want it to be applied and applied well – the less we talk about VAR and referees, the better. What is confusing is the discretion in its application. It's the first year of it, and we hope that it can all improve and become more clear.

"What we want is clarity and to understand it, nothing more. We were all delighted for the introduction of VAR and now there's confusion. It needs to be perfected and improved."

Real face Girona in Thursday's Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg with a number of players set to miss out through injury, including forward Gareth Bale and midfielder Toni Kroos.

Doubts also remain over the futures of defender Marcelo and midfielder Isco after rumoured rifts with the Argentine coach.

"What happens behind closed doors stays there. If I talk to players, that's where it stays, nothing more," Solari said.

"We have internal competition and it's an essential part of football, that everyone feels that they have the chance to play or lose their spot in the team, this makes that competition stronger."]]>
1/25/2019 7:14:00 AM
<![CDATA[Solskjaer has made Man Utd 'very dangerous': Arsenal's Emery]]>
Emery's side host United in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday and the Spaniard expects a stern test from Solskjaer's revitalised team.

Arsenal drew 2-2 with United at Old Trafford in the Premier League last month, shortly before Mourinho was sacked as manager after a wretched run of results.

Since then, Solskjaer, hired from Molde as interim boss, has overseen seven successive wins in all competitions.

Solskjaer's approach has won over a United squad that grew tired of Mourinho's spikey personality, and Emery is suitably impressed.

"It's a different team. It's the same players but they're playing with a big performance now," Emery told reporters on Wednesday.

"I was watching their last matches and each player has a lot of confidence, with big performances, and now they are very dangerous.

"For us, it's good because it's a very big test for us in this competition."

Arsenal's preparation for the United clash included a team-building paintball trip, but it has been a difficult few days for the club.

It was announced on Monday that head of recruitment Sven Mislintat will leave next month having only been at Arsenal for a little over a year.

A day later, Gunners right-back Hector Bellerin learned he could miss up to nine months after suffering ruptured knee ligaments in the 2-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

Emery was asked about both issues and believes Arsenal should take their time in appointing a successor to Mislintat, with Roma's director of football Monchi linked to a similar role in north London.

Asked if it was important to swiftly find a replacement for Mislintat, Emery replied: "Maybe if you do this recruitment very quickly, maybe you can make a mistake.

"I think it's better to do without that, being calm and also finding the best possible person to do this job like we want.

"I think the club is working on that. It's not my issue. I can say the same: if the club decided to sign one sporting director, then I will agree with them."

Bellerin will undergo surgery and could miss the start of next season given the severity of the damage to his knee.

"We were sad and we are sad now after his injury," Emery added.

"I think this year is very difficult for big injuries like Hector, Rob Holding and (Danny) Welbeck. But football is like that.

"We need to treat these injuries like a normality in football, but we are very sad for that."]]>
1/25/2019 7:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Beckham to take stake with 'Class of '92' in Salford City]]>
Beckham will join Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes alongside businessman Peter Lim who will remain the largest shareholder with the remaining 40 percent.

Salford are currently third in the National League, the fifth-tier division, having been taken over by the former United players in 2014. Gary Neville said the club's aim was to emulate the model of Bournemouth, who rose from the fourth tier to the Premier League on the back of a modest following.

The 43-year-old Beckham was the only member of the famous group of young players, who enjoyed so much success under Alex Ferguson, not to have invested in the team.

"It's a really special club and a special group of people. My early years in Manchester were all spent in Salford. I grew up there in many ways so to be able to finally join the lads and the club today is a great feeling," Beckham said in a club statement.

The former Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder also has a minority ownership stake in future Major League Soccer team Inter Miami.

Beckham must undergo the Football Association's "fit and proper ownership" test after the club submitted documentation on his involvement to the governing body.

"When the lads got involved in Salford we spoke about us all getting involved. Now I'm able to get involved now Miami is set up," he said.

"What I've seen them do with the club and the stadium, it's special. We all have ambitions and goals and we’ve got to have big ones."

Former United captain Gary Neville, now a television pundit, heads the group of players and told a news conference that none of them take a "hands on" role in the club.

Giggs is manager of the Wales national team, Phil Neville is manager of England's women's national side and Butt heads United's academy.

Scholes, also a television pundit, has recently been linked with the manager role at League Two (fourth tier) club Oldham Athletic.

PREMIER LEAGUE DREAM

Gary Neville told a news conference, which Beckham did not attend, that the club aim to get into the Football League.

"The next step is getting into the Football League and we know how difficult that is. It would be a dream to be a Premier League club.

"You look at Bournemouth with 10,000 fans in the Premier League. You look at how they operate, with the manager (Eddie Howe) there a long time. We look at them as an example. But it would be a mistake to look beyond Halifax on Saturday," he said, referring to the upcoming National League game.

"We've grown our fanbase above and beyond where we expected to be. We're risk takers. We're bold. Peter (Lim) gives us that ability to be bold. There is no end game. We want to take this as far as possible.

"We could put our money into many different things but we've chosen to put it into a football club in the north-west of England," he added.]]>
1/25/2019 6:09:00 AM
<![CDATA[Carrillo, Boufal deserve second chance, says Saints chairman]]>
Argentine striker Carrillo joined La Liga outfit Leganes on a season-long loan deal at the start of the season, while Moroccan midfielder Boufal was loaned to Celta Vigo.

Both players fell out of favour under former Southampton manager Mark Hughes, who has since been sacked and replaced by Austrian Ralph Hasenhuettl.

"Ralph's going to take a look at them," Krueger told fans recently. "There's no 100 percent guarantee that they would be sold in the summer or not. They will come back, and we will re-evaluate them.

"Both players deserve that opportunity and when we feel the time is right to sell, we will sell."

Carrillo has scored five goals for Leganes this season, while Boufal has struck two for Celta, who are a point and a place above the relegation zone in Spain.

Hasenhuettl has guided Southampton away from relegation trouble since taking over in December and the club are currently 15th in the table, with four wins and a draw in eight league matches under the Austrian.]]>
1/25/2019 3:01:00 AM
<![CDATA[Balotelli Hoping to bounce back at Marseille]]>
The 28-year-old, who also played for Inter Milan, AC Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool, has yet to score a league goal this season after netting 33 from 51 Ligue 1 games in the two previous seasons.

Marseille are seventh in the standings, level on 31 points with eighth-placed Nice who have played a game more.

"When this happens the striker is responsible for the situation but sometimes there are external factors. I was supposed to leave at the beginning of the season, then I didn't leave," Balotelli told a news conference.

"But I will make up for it."

Asked what his ambitions were, he joked: "My ambition is to finish this news conference, go to training and see if I can play on Friday."

Marseille take on second-placed Lille on Friday, but coach Rudi Garcia said Balotelli would at best come off the bench.

"He hasn't played or trained for a month, it is impossible to see him start on Friday," Garcia told reporters.

"We will have to wait to see how long it takes him to be at 100 percent."]]>
1/25/2019 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Djokovic delight at stroll to semi after Nishikori retires]]>
The world number one eased into a showdown with French 28th seed Lucas Pouille as Nishikori retired after just 51 minutes when behind 6-1, 4-1 in the quarter-final.

"Feels great. This has been my most successful Grand Slam throughout my career, the first one that I won back in 2008," said Djokovic, who is chasing a record seventh Melbourne Park title. "I have a lot of beautiful memories from Rod Laver Arena.

"Yeah, past two years have been a bit tough with the elbow injury and everything. Over the past 10 years, I've had plenty of success here.

"Australia has been really kind to me throughout my career."

Eighth seed Nishikori had endured three five-set epics during 13hr 47min on court before the quarter-final clash and suffered a thigh strain in the first set as his previous exertions took their toll.

After a medical timeout and three minutes of treatment from the physiotherapist, Nishikori emerged for the second set with his right thigh strapped and taped, and courageously attempted to carry on.

He seemed to be moving a little more freely, but the recovery did not last long.

After being broken to go 2-1 down by the Serbian 14-time Grand Slam champion Nishikori became almost immobilised.

When Djokovic broke again to go 4-1 ahead it proved the last straw for Nishikori's brave challenge.

"After third game or fourth game when I was serving, I felt pretty heavy to my right leg," Nishikori told reporters.

"After that I couldn't really bend my knees and couldn't jump up. Yeah, I decided to stop."

Djokovic wished his old foe Nishikori a speedy recovery after beating him for the 16th time in 18 meetings.

"I'm really sorry to see him go through pain. He's had some tough injuries in the last couple of years. I'm sure he's not feeling great about ending the Grand Slam this way," said the Serb.

"But he's had some marathon matches this tournament that probably have taken the toll on his body."

Djokovic was exhausted after his late-night four-set win over Daniil Medvedev on Monday and made no secret of his delight to escape the quarter-final with such a light workout.

"As they say, this is exactly what the doctor ordered for me after the match two nights ago," Djokovic said. "Not to spend too much time on the court.

"I've had plenty of matches so far this year and I am in another semi-final and I will do everything to get ready for that one."

Top seed Djokovic will now meet 28th seed Lucas Pouille on Friday after the Frenchman reached his first Grand Slam semi-final by ousting Milos Raonic in four sets.]]>
1/24/2019 12:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Zamalek's BoTayeb is ready for Pyramids FC]]>
BoTayeb international card arrived to the Egyptian Football Association headquarter; the Moroccan joined Zamalek during this transfer window.

Zamalek's squad didn't include Ayman Hefny, Ahmed Fattouh and Madboly beside Youssef Obama and the goalkeeper, Gennesh, due to suspension.

Zamalek is on the top of the standings with 41 points, three points above Pyramids but three games less.

The Referee's committee has chosen the Italian referee, Gianluca Rocchi, to rule the expected clash.



The 45-years-old ruled three matches in the previous World Cup; Portugal vs Spain, Japan vs Senegal and Brazil vs Mexico in the 16th round.

The Zamalek vs Pyramids game will be difficult inside and outside the stadium due to the events related to it and the psychological state of the two teams.

Pyramids recently announced the signing of Cristian Benavente, Peru international and Royal Charleroi of Belgium, who is nicknamed by "Peruvian Ronaldinho".

During the current winter transfer period, Pyramids signed Amr Marey of Tunisia's ES Sahel, John Sivonetti, Eric Traore of Misr Al Makkasah, Abdullah Al-Saeed of Saudi's Al-Ahly Jeddah, Omar Khreibin of Saudi's Al Hilal, Palestinian Hamed Hamdan.
]]>
1/24/2019 10:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Iran confident ahead of China clash as Lippi ponders legacy]]>
The Italian looks likely to draw the curtain on just over two lucrative years as China coach and head home to retirement if his team is beaten on Thursday.

At 70, he still cuts an impressive, sometimes intimidating, figure and he fired a halftime verbal rocket at his players to spur them past Kyrgyzstan in a group game, while his tactical switch helped them come back to beat Thailand in the last 16.

In the last eight, they meet a far more formidable opponent in Asia's top-ranked team, three-times champions Iran, who have reached the quarter-finals unbeaten without conceding a goal.

"Obviously, Iran are one of top teams in Asia, they played at the World Cup last year," Lippi told reporters on Wednesday.

"They are physically very strong, well organised and have quality players. You can't make any mistakes against them because they are very dangerous.

"We know it's going to be hard but in football you never know. We also have potential and we'll try our best to make something happen."

Of course, most coaches indulge in mind games before matches, flattering the opposition and trying to avoid saying anything that might be used as motivation by their opposite number.

It was only when Lippi was asked what winning the Asian Cup with China would mean to a man who has masterminded a World Cup triumph and Champions League titles on two continents that Lippi perhaps revealed the weakness of his hand.

"You know, sometimes it's not that you always have to win," he said.

"You can also produce good outcomes. Those results can be that you can demonstrate that you have done a good job, that you can see the young generation of players coming through, for example, or the growing of the whole football movement."

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz appears to have spent the last eight years with Iran in almost permanent negotiation over his future in the job, making it impossible to predict whether the Asian Cup might be his swansong.

The former Real Madrid boss ticked all the right boxes for a confident coach on Wednesday -- describing himself as a "student of Mr Lippi" and forthrightly rejecting the favourites tag.

"There are no favourites when you play a game like this," he said.

"We never play the suit of favourites, we play the suit of humbleness and respect. This is like a final, they don't have history, they don't have a past. Statistics and rankings mean nothing."

The Portuguese did not need to talk about his potential legacy on Wednesday because everyone in the room knew that the success of his stint with Iran will be decided by whether he can deliver a first continental title since 1976.]]>
1/24/2019 5:11:00 AM
<![CDATA[Moura return offers timely boost for Tottenham]]>
It is a timely boost for manager Mauricio Pochettino who has lost his three main goalscorers -- Harry Kane and Dele Alli to injury and South Korean Son Heung-min to the Asian Cup -- as the season reaches a critical stage.

Leading scorer Kane's penalty gave Tottenham a 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the first leg but he suffered an ankle injury a few days later against Manchester United in the Premier League and is likely to be out until March.

Alli injured his hamstring in the 2-1 league win at Fulham and is also out until March.

Kane, Alli and Son have scored 27 of Tottenham's 48 Premier League goals this season.

The return of Brazilian forward Moura from a knee injury will at least give Pochettino some attacking options at Stamford Bridge.

"Sissoko and Lucas are back in contention for tomorrow and Wanyama hopefully back for the weekend," Pochettino told a news conference on Wednesday.

Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, who scored an own goal at Fulham, is likely to get another chance at Chelsea, but Dutch forward Vincent Janssen remains out of the picture.

"18 months ago we tried to find a different place for him because it didn't work," Pochettino said. "Sometimes it happens. The relationship between the player and club doesn't work.

"Our relationship is very good. It's not personal, it's professional."

Despite still fighting on four fronts and suffering a succession of injury blows, Pochettino sounded pessimistic about the chances of strengthening his squad before the January transfer window closes.

"It's so clear. I am so open to looking to improve," the Argentine, who is seeking a first trophy as Spurs manager, said.

"I was open in the summer and I am open now, but the reality is the difficulty in bringing in someone who can help or improve us. We'll see what happens." ]]>
1/24/2019 4:06:00 AM
<![CDATA[Fulham's Kamara suspended indefinitely after arrest]]>
"Police were called to a training ground in New Malden, shortly after 17.00hrs on Monday, 21 January to reports of a fight," read a statement from the Metropolitan Police.

"Officers attended. One man, in his 20s, was arrested on suspicion of ABH and criminal damage."

The 23-year-old forward has been involved in a series of unsavoury incidents in recent weeks.

Kamara enraged manager Claudio Ranieri by defying orders to take a penalty, which he missed, in a vital clash in the fight for Premier League survival against Huddersfield last month.

"It is unbelievable, he did not respect me, the club, the team and crowd. I spoke with him, it is not right. I want to kill him," said Ranieri at the time.

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Kamara then reportedly came to blows last week during a yoga session at the club's training ground.

Kamara has not even been included in Ranieri's squad for recent defeats by Burnley and Tottenham.

"The club is grateful for the swift attention and action by the Metropolitan Police immediately following our reporting of the incident on Monday," said Fulham in a statement.

"The subject who was arrested is banned indefinitely from Motspur Park and all club activities.

"We will refrain from further comment but will stress that we will fully cooperate with any new or continuing investigation or legal proceeding in the name of providing everyone a secure and safe working environment."

Signed from French side Amiens in 2017, Kamara scored seven goals to aid Fulham's promotion to the Premier League last season and has five goals in 15 appearances this season.]]>
1/24/2019 3:27:00 AM
<![CDATA[Barcelona to sign Ajax's De Jong in 86 million euros deal]]>
The 21-year-old will sign a five-year contract with the club in a transfer worth an initial 75 million euros with a further 11 million in add-ons, the Catalans confirmed in a statement.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and CEO Oscar Grau personally oversaw the brokering of the deal in Amsterdam.

Spanish media reports said Barcelona had beaten off competition from Paris St Germain to sign De Jong, while Premier League Manchester City had also been linked with a move for the midfielder.

De Jong joined Ajax in 2015 from Willem II and quickly set about securing a place at the base of the club's midfield, playing a pivotal role as they reached the 2017 Europa League final, where they lost to Manchester United.

De Jong is Barca's fourth signing in what is proving to be a busy January after the loan arrivals of Jeison Murillo and Kevin-Prince Boateng.

The club also announced that Jean-Clair Todibo will join from Toulouse in the close season, while Munir El Haddadi left the club to join Sevilla.

De Jong will have a chance to endear himself to Barca fans when Ajax meet Real Madrid - Barca's arch-rivals - in the Champions League next month]]>
1/24/2019 3:23:00 AM
<![CDATA[Higuain nears Chelsea switch but won't face Spurs in Cup-Sarri]]>
Higuain is set to switch to the Premier League club from Juventus for the rest of the season after his year-long loan spell with AC Milan was cut to less than six months.

The 31-year-old did not sign before Wednesday's midday deadline and cannot therefore play against Spurs at Stamford Bridge in a match Chelsea trail 1-0 from the first leg.

"I know they have been trying to sign the contract with him today... they are still a few hours from getting it done," Sarri told reporters on Wednesday. "For tomorrow, I think, it's impossible."

Higuain's spell at Milan started with six goals in seven games but he has only scored once in his last 12 appearances.

Sarri hopes he will rediscover the form that saw him score 38 times in their final season together at Napoli in 2015-16.

"He has had some difficulties recently, but we're hoping we can raise him back to his best form," the Italian coach added.

"He's still scored eight goals in a team that isn't at the same level as Juventus.

"He's a very strong striker. Especially in my first season in Naples. He scored 36 goals in 35 matches in Serie A. For sure, he is one of the best strikers in my career."

Sarri is keen to boost his goalscoring options after dropping misfiring Spain forward Alvaro Morata and deploying playmaker Eden Hazard as a 'false nine' in recent games.

Asked if the arrival of Higuain was a sign that the club are behind him, Sarri said: "I hope so. I think the club agree with me when I told them my opinion about the team.

"The January market is very difficult, especially for a striker. It's very difficult in January to find one of the most important strikers in the world."

Chelsea are in the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot in the Premier League standings, three points ahead of Arsenal who beat them 2-0 on Saturday. ]]>
1/24/2019 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Hopes fade for soccer star Sala as rescuers scour seas]]>
Search teams were reviewing satellite imagery and mobile phone data as four aircraft scoured seas off the channel island of Alderney, where unidentified debris was earlier spotted.

But with Cardiff City-bound Sala and his pilot already missing for 40 hours, rescuers said chances of finding either of them alive were almost vanishingly slim.

"We're up there looking for stuff that we don't expect to find," John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search told Reuters.

"If there was anything on the surface I think we would have found it on the first night because the weather conditions were really good."

The 28-year-old Argentina-born forward was en route from Nantes in western France to Cardiff for his debut with his Premier League club.

In a chilling voice message sent to friends, which Argentina's Clarin newspaper said was authenticated by Sala's father Horacio, the player expressed concerns about the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft he was flying in.

"I'm in the plane and it looks like it's going to fall apart," he said. "Dad, I'm really scared."

Britain's Air Accident Investigations Branch said it had opened an investigation into the disappearance of the U.S. registered aircraft.

Air traffic controllers had guided searchers along the path it took before it disappeared from radar screens at just over 2,000 feet (600 metres), Fitzgerald said.

"R.I.P. Bro"

Sala joined struggling Cardiff from FC Nantes last week for a club record fee of about 17 million euros ($19 million), having scored 12 goals for the French club this season.

Both clubs were fearing the worst.

Cardiff City fans laid tributes outside their stadium to a player they barely knew but had built high hopes around.

"Sala a Bluebird. R.I.P. Bro. Big Love," read one, in reference to the team's nickname.

In Nantes, supporters laid rows of yellow flowers and held club scarves aloft in the city centre late on Tuesday.

Police on Tuesday said the chance of finding survivors was slim and the prospect appeared bleaker a day later, with the water temperature in the Channel barely 10 degrees centigrade (50 degrees fahrenheit).

"There's no chance. You'd have to be really, really fit to survive even four or five hours in the water," Fitzgerald said.

He said the pilot had filed a 'VFR' flight plan, which requires aircraft to avoid bad weather, have sight of the ground, and stay out of certain air corridors.

The plane had been cruising at 5,000 feet (1,525 m) when the pilot requested to descend to a lower altitude on passing Guernsey. It lost radar contact at 2,300 feet, Guernsey police said.

British media on Wednesday cited Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman as saying the club had not organised Sala’s travel plans. "He declined and made his own arrangements."]]>
1/24/2019 1:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Al Ahly announces their 2018/2019 new Kit by Umbro]]>



Al Ahly has issued a contract with Umbro this season till 2022 to be the provider of the club's all teams jerseys.

DxnMFLdWsAArCIT

DxnMFMIXcAA0WcN



It's expected for Al Ahly to feature with the new jersey against Misr Al Makassah on Thursday evening in the Egypt league.



DxnMKFRWkAI0Yh9
]]>
1/23/2019 8:21:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt beats Tunisia 30-23 in the Handball World Cup]]>
Egypt's players shined in the first half to end it with a five-goals gap. Before deciding everything in the second half to extend the gap to seven goals.

Khaled Yahya won the Man of The Match award after the game.

Egypt raised its record of points to three; the pharaohs are waiting for the last game between Norway and Hungary to know their place.

If Norway defeated Hungary with +6 goals; Egypt will be in the fourth place and will play against the fourth from the other group to decide the seventh place.

The seventh place is important as it qualifies to the qualification stage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
]]>
1/23/2019 7:49:02 PM
<![CDATA[Salah deactivates official Twitter account ]]>
Salah tweeted, “2019 Resolution: Time to get in touch, for real.”

A source close to Salah told Filgoal that his tweet is not related to his club or the previous problems he had with the Egyptian Football Federation.

This season, Salah suffered a frustrating start with his team but he regained his form and scored 16 goals at the league, leading his team to Premier League leadership as they are four points ahead of defending champions, Manchester City.

Salah and his teammates are preparing for the clash against Leicester City at home on January 30.

Liverpool has achieved an amazing 4-3 victory at their last Premier League game against Crystal Palace which gave the team a massive motivation to achieve the Premier League title for the first time since 1990.

Salah was crowned African Player of the Year for the second time in a row and he is the first Egyptian player to do so. ]]>
1/23/2019 4:48:25 PM
<![CDATA[After 358 days, Gomaa returns to Al-Ahly squad ]]>
The squad included the team's play maker, Salah Gomaa, who appeared in the team's squad for the first time in Jan. 10, 2018 when Al-Ahly defeated Ismaily 1-0.

Al-Ahly will miss their veteran winger, Walid Soliman, who suffered an injury during the CAF Champions League game against Algerian club, JS Saoura and will be sidelined for two months.

The team will also miss their defender, Ayman Ashraf, who is suspended for accumulation of yellow cards.

Lasarte’s chosen squad for the game consists of:

Goalkeepers:
Sherif Ekramy, Aly Lotfi, Mohamed el-Shenawi,

Defenders:
Ali Maaloul, Ahmed Alaa, Saad Samir, Mohamed Hany, Karim Nedved, Yasser Ibrahim, Mahmoud Wahid

Midfielders:
Ahmed Hamoudi, Hamdy Fathy, Amr el-Solia, Saleh Gomaa, Hussein el-Shahat, Ramadan Sobhy, Nasser Maher, Mohamed Sherif, Mido Gaber
Striker:
Junior Ajayi

The game is scheduled to take place on Thursday at 5 p.m.]]>
1/23/2019 4:43:15 PM
<![CDATA[Cities to host 2019 AFCON revealed ]]>
“Port Said, Suez and Ismailia will host the tournament alongside Cairo and Alexandria,” Abo Rida said.

Abo Rida denied rumors saying that Ismailia will be excluded because of the fans’ riot during Ismaily's clash against Club African at the CAF Champions League when the match was abandoned.

The president commented, “We will not punish Ismailia and the passionate football fans there because of their actions in one single game.”

Ismailia was one of the cities that hosted the 2006 African Cup of Nations alongside Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said.

Abo Rida added, “We take into acount the high temperature we expect in June and the facilities around the stadium not only the pitch condition.”


The CAF Executive Committee announced on Tuesday, January 8, that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches.

Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

The 2019 African Cup of Nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.
]]>
1/23/2019 11:08:12 AM
<![CDATA[Arsenal's Bellerin out for season with knee injury]]>
Bellerin will have surgery to repair the injury to his left knee in the coming days and the Spain international's rehabilitation is expected to take between six and nine months.

The 23-year-old, who was making his first start after returning from a calf injury, went down clutching his knee while challenging for the ball in the second half and was carried off the pitch on a stretcher.

His injury is another blow to manager Unai Emery, who had already lost defender Rob Holding for the rest of the season to a similar knee problem last month.

The Spanish coach said he had players to fill in for Bellerin and was unlikely to dip into the transfer market to sign a replacement, having previously said he could only take players on loan in the January transfer window.

"We have Ainsley (Maitland-Niles). He can help us by playing like a right back or a right winger. And also, (Stephan) Lichtsteiner is another player," Emery said.

"I don't forget (Carl) Jenkinson... he played some matches and if we need (him), he is okay to help us."

Arsenal next host Manchester United in an FA Cup fourth round tie on Friday, before returning to Premier League action against Cardiff City at home on Jan. 29. ]]>
1/22/2019 7:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Ronaldo accepts fine for tax evasion, avoids jail]]>
Ronaldo, holding hands with his Spanish fiancee Georgina Rodriguez, came out of the court room smiling, pausing to sign autographs before leaving in a black van.

The 33-year-old Juventus forward, who played for Real Madrid from 2009-18, agreed to settle the case by paying an 18.8 million euro fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence.

Under Spanish law, a first offender can serve anything less than a two-year sentence under probation and Ronaldo will not have to go to prison.

His court appearance lasted about 15 minutes as the five-times world footballer of the year only needed to sign off on the previously settled agreement.

The trial of Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team mate Xabi Alonso, also in court on Tuesday over accusations of tax fraud, was suspended, a court magistrate said.

Prosecutors were seeking a five-year jail sentence and a fine of 4 million euros for Spaniard Alonso, who retired as a player in 2017, accusing him of defrauding the Spanish state of some 2 million euros between 2010 and 2012.

Alonso said he was confident he had not committed a crime and would have to wait while the magistrates evaluated his case.

"I'd be worried if I thought I had something to hide or something I didn't do right but as that isn't the case I am carrying on," Alonso told reporters outside the court.

Ronaldo had to enter the courtroom through the front door after his request for special security measures to avoid the spotlight was denied on Monday.

In 2017, Ronaldo denied the accusation that he knowingly used a business structure to hide income generated by his image rights in Spain between 2011 and 2014.

After reaching the deal, he paid a fine of 5.7 million euros, plus interest of about 1 million euros, in July 2018, the prosecutor's office said last week. ]]>
1/22/2019 6:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptians share creative designs for 2019 African Cup of Nations]]>
Shortly after Egypt was handed the responsibility to host the tournament, as it was stripped from Cameroon for delays in preparations, young designers started to produce dozens of creative content, under the slogan "Come to Egypt," probably hoping that one of their designs will be picked.

Egypt Today displays a group of photos published by Mosameminala al-Nasya, a specialized Facebook page serving as a platform for creative designs.

Many designs that were made earlier for national campaigns have been widely criticized before the Egyptian state could modify them, including national team plane's design for the 2018 World Cup and the logo of Egypt's Grand Egyptian Museum.

In this regard, Egyptian designers also issued a number of alternative designs that were welcomed by Egyptian people, but failed to be officially considered.



Earlier in January, The CAF Executive Committee announced that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches. Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

Egypt Football Association president, Hany Abo Rida, said that the organization's committees and the tournament’s official mascot and logo will be revealed soon.

Egypt is believed to be the most successful nation in the history of the competition as it has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010. The country hosted four African Cup of Nations' tournaments in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974.]]>
1/22/2019 5:04:17 PM
<![CDATA[Firmino hails Salah’s gesture ]]>
The winning spirit helps Liverpool players to get closer on and off the pitch and the great relation between the players appeared during Liverpool’s 5-1 victory over Arsenal at the Premier League.

Liverpool were 1-0 down after only 9 minutes but they returned in the game and defeated Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield thanks to a hat-trick from Firmino and two goals from Salah and Sadio Mane.

Salah, Liverpool’s first penalty taker, let Firmino take a penalty to complete his hat-trick despite the fierce race Salah is facing with Harry Kane and Pierre Aubameyang to win the golden boot for the second consecutive year.




“I was really happy with his unselfish act of giving me the ball and once again I thank him for it,”Firmino said.

Salah has formed a great partnership with his teammates, Mane and Firmino, since he joined the club in summer 2017 from AS Roma. The trio is considered the best attacking line in the league. ]]>
1/22/2019 4:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Ruthless Nadal beats Tiafoe to cruise into last four]]>
Nadal's match against Tiafoe, who turned 21 on Sunday, was billed as an intriguing clash of generations after the loss of Roger Federer to Tsitsipas earlier, but the second seed was ruthless as he reached the last four without dropping a set.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion broke Tiafoe's first service game in each set and with a second break in the third set wrapped up the victory in an hour and 47 minutes.

For a place in the final, Nadal will meet 20-year-old Greek sensation Tsitsipas, who earlier on Tuesday became his country's first player to reach the last four at a major with a 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6(2) triumph over Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut. ]]>
1/22/2019 2:27:59 PM
<![CDATA[Exclusive: Abo Rida expects Egypt to reach 2019 AFCON Final ]]>
“We have an experienced team led by Javier Aguirre. We will give the team everything they need to perform at the tournament and I believe that they will reach the final,” Abo Rida told Egypt Today on Monday.

The CAF Executive Committee announced on Tuesday, January 8, that Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches.

Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.

The 2019 African Cup of Nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.

Abo Rida added, " We will reveal the organization committees and the tournament’s official mascot and logo soon."

Egyptian Football Federation boardhad appointed former Egypt International, Mohamed Fadl, as 2019 African Cup of Nations tournament director.

Abo Rida commented on Fadl’s choice, saying “We need to give the qualified people the chance to gain experience. Fadl speaks English and French fluently and he is qualified for the position.”

Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the competition as Egypt has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010.

Egypt hosted four African Cup of Nations' tournaments in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 and they failed to achieve the title only in 1974. ]]>
1/22/2019 1:46:29 PM
<![CDATA[Plane carrying Cardiff City's Sala goes missing over English Channel]]>
British and French coastguards scoured the seas off the island of Guernsey on Tuesday for the single-engine plane after it lost radar contact on its way from Nantes in western France to the Welsh capital.

The 28-year-old Argentine forward joined Premier League strugglers Cardiff City from FC Nantes last week for a club record fee of around 17 million euros ($19 million). He had played in France since 2012.

Local coastguards were alerted by air traffic control at 20:23 GMT that an aircraft with two people on board had gone missing. Lifeboats and helicopters were sent out but the search was suspended four hours later as weather conditions worsened.

Search teams resumed work on Tuesday morning.

"At this time no trace of the missing aircraft had been found," Guernsey police said.

A statement from Cardiff City chairman Mehmet Dalman released on Tuesday morning read: "We are very concerned by the latest news that a light aircraft lost contact over the Channel last night."

FC Nantes officials did not immediately comment.

Sala had scored 12 league goals in 19 appearances for Nantes in France's Ligue 1 this season before agreeing to join Cardiff.

French media reported that the French federation has postponed Nantes's French Cup last-32 game against Entente Sannois-Saint Gratien from Wednesday to Sunday. ($1 = 0.8801 euros) ]]>
1/22/2019 12:37:38 PM
<![CDATA[Balanced draw for Zamalek at CAF Confederation Cup ]]>
Zamalek reached the group stage after they knocked out Morocco’s Ittihad Tanger at the play-off round.



Zamalek will open the group stage in Kenya against Gor Mahia before hosting NA Hussein Dey and Petro de Luanda respectively.

Zamalek will travel to Angola to face Petro de Luanda and they will host Gor Mahia
at the fifth game of the group.

Zamalek will end their group stage games against NA Hussein Dey in Algeria.

Moroccan teams, Hassania Agadir and RS Berkane and Raja, were drawn in Group A alongside AS Otôho of Congo Republic.

The draw also resulted in a Tunisian Clásico between Etoile du Sahel and CS Sfaxien in Group B which also includes Nigeria’s Enugu Rangers and Salitas of Burkina Faso.

Sudan’s Al-Hilal plays in Group C alongside Ghana’s Asante Kotoko and Zambian teams, ZESCO United and Nkana.

]]>
1/22/2019 11:19:42 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to face IHF World Cup hosts, Denmark ]]>
The Egyptian team lost their first game at the second round 32-28 to Norway, the 2017 IHF World Cup runners-up.

The Egyptian team was the better side at the start of the game but the experienced players of Norway managed to return to the game and dominated the play until the end.

Egyptian manager, David Davis, hopes to help his players defeat contenders, Denmark, in front of their fans who are expected to pack Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning.

Denmark achieved six consecutive victories since the start of the tournament and their last victory was on Sunday over Hungary.

Egypt managed to reach the second round for the first time since their best ever achievement when they won the fourth place in 2001.

The World Cup draw put Egypt in Group D alongside Sweden, Hungary, Qatar, Argentina and Angola.

The Egyptian team lost their first two games to Sweden and Qatar but they bounced back with two victories over Argentina and Angola; they ended their game against Hungary with a draw to finish third and reach the second round.
]]>
1/21/2019 2:28:28 PM
<![CDATA[Salah reveals Half Time team talk against Palace ]]>
“We talked to each other [at half-time] that we had to be strong mentally because this is a tough time. We talked together and the manager also gave us information and we played well and we deserved the game,” Salah told press on Sunday.

Andros Townsend opened the score for Palace 10 minutes before half time but two goals from Mohamed Salah and another two goals from Robert Firmino and Sadio Mane secured the victory for Liverpool despite James Tomkins and Max Mayer's goals for Palace.

Salah added, “We expected before the game that the game was going to be very difficult. We conceded three goals; it’s hard a little bit but we have to accept it. This is football and we have to live with that.”

Liverpool is leading the Premier League table with 60 points, four points ahead of the second placed and the defending champions, Manchester City.

]]>
1/21/2019 2:06:55 PM
<![CDATA[Pacquiao batters Broner in lopsided welterweight bout]]>
Pacquiao easily won with an impressive display of superior hand speed and destructive power that landed him a unanimous decision victory over the much younger American at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Filipino star almost knocked Broner down twice in the seventh and ninth rounds and showed that he can still be a force in the highly-competitive division despite turning 40 last month.

"I really don't believe my career is over. I proved it in my last fight against (Lucas) Matthysee," Pacquiao said. "And now I prove it again at the age of 40."

In his 70th fight as a professional, Pacquiao retains the lesser version of the WBA's two welterweight belts and possibly sets the stage for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, who watched the bout from ringside.

Pacquiao improved to 61-7-2 with 39 knockouts, winning on all three judges' scorecards, including by one tally of 117-111. The other two judges also had it one-sided at 116-112.

Pacquiao started the onslaught in the seventh round by hitting the 29-year-old Broner with a left hook then immediately doubling it up.

Broner went into a shell mode, absorbing more blows but managed to hold on to the end of the round.

Pacquiao landed his best punch in the ninth with a blistering left on the chin that sent Broner back peddling towards the ropes. But Broner showed he can take a punch as he stayed on his feet and survived another punishing round.

Pacquiao is now hoping to avenge his 2015 loss to Mayweather which became the richest one-day sporting event in history.

Immediately after the fight Pacquiao called out Mayweather.

"Tell him to come back to the ring and we will fight," Pacquiao said. "I am willing to fight again Floyd Mayweather. If he is willing to come back in boxing."

Mayweather, who helped promote Saturday's boxing card, was non-committal when asked if he would get back in the ring with Pacquiao.

"Right now I am living the happy life," he said.

Mayweather also visited Pacquiao in his dressing room before the fight. "He just said hello. Wished me luck," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao went to work from the opening bell on executing the fight plan he put together after reuniting with his long-time trainer Freddie Roach.

He was the more active of the two boxers and it didn't take long for Broner to get frustrated with Pacquiao's speed as Broner delivered a right forearm shiver to his opponent's jaw at the end of the second round.

- Damaging left hook -

Pacquiao did a good job of setting up solid head and body shots with well-timed head fakes and jabs. His most effective punch in the early rounds was a body shot and then a left hook to the face as Broner ducked down to protect his midsection.

Pacquiao had a good sixth round but got caught at the end with an uppercut and left hook on the chin -- though even that wasn't enough for Broner to win the round.

Pacquiao's best rounds were seven through nine but the only blemish on his night was he couldn't get his second knockout in a row.

"I can still be a greasy fighter and give my best at the age of 40," he said.

"I wanted to be more aggressive but (co-trainer Buboy Fernandez) told me to counter and wait for opportunities."

Broner seemed content to simply flail away for most of the fight with a slapping jab that hardly connected.

Broner said after the fight he was pleased with his performance and disagreed with the scoring.

"You all know I beat that boy," Broner said. "They trying to get that money again with Pacquiao and Floyd but it's cool. I ain't worrying about that."

Mayweather won the 2015 bout with Pacquiao in a contest that generated $600 million in revenue and a record 4.6 million pay per view buys but failed to live up to its "Fight of the Century" hype.

Pacquiao was hampered after suffering a torn right rotator cuff while training for Mayweather.

Mayweather, who turns 42 next month, recently earned $9 million for knocking down a Japanese kick boxer three times in the first round of a New Years Eve spectacle in Japan.

Pacquiao last fought in July, 2018, when he scored his first knockout in six years with a seventh-round stoppage of Argentina's Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur.

It is his first bout in the US since a unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas in November 2016.

Since then, Pacquiao's career had followed an uncertain trajectory, with a shock defeat to Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane in 2017 followed by a year-long absence from the ring.]]>
1/21/2019 12:21:00 PM
<![CDATA[Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to close gap on Liverpool]]>
Danilo's deflected shot gave City the lead in an opening half in which they were not at their sharpest.

That goal took City's goal tally to 100 in all competitions this season -- making them the only club in Europe's top five leagues to reach that total.

Pep Guardiola's side upped the tempo early in the second half and Raheem Sterling headed in their second goal in the 54th minute before Leroy Sane made it 3-0 two minutes later.

It was a poor advert for the Premier League with Huddersfield, who look almost certain to get relegated and who parted company with manager David Wagner this week, offering next to nothing as an attacking force.

City's fourth consecutive win since back-to-back losses over Christmas took them to 56 points from 23 games with Liverpool on 60 after they beat Crystal Palace on Saturday 4-3.

Toothless Huddersfield, who had caretaker boss Mark Hudson in charge for the first time, have only 11 points and are 10 points behind Newcastle United who are 17th.

City had scored 19 goals in their previous three games without reply -- including two Cup romps against lower league opponents -- but they were subdued in Sunday's first half.

"The way we played we didn't deserve more than three goals," Guardiola said. "We will improve in the future. We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it's difficult. They defended deep and man-to-man."

Huddersfield set out their stall from the start, retreating back behind the ball to try to frustrate City.

It worked but City did get ahead in the 18th minute when Danilo let fly from range and the ball flew off the head of defender Christopher Schindler past keeper Jonas Lossl.

Despite their clear superiority, City did not add to their total before halftime and it was not until after the break that they rediscovered the slick passing for which they are known.

An intricate spell of passing ended with the ball being played to Sane inside the area and his cross was met with a diving header from Sterling.

Two minutes later Danilo intercepted a wayward pass and his first-time ball forward was cushioned by the head of Sergio Aguero to Sane who neatly side-footed inside the post.

"This game can teach us and show what we have to do to improve," Guardiola said. "We've scored a lot of goals. So far, so good. One team has been better but we're in January and there's many more games to play.

"You don't win or lose the Premier League in January. We have to focus on what we have to do. If Liverpool win, we have to win. And if Liverpool lose then we also have to win." ]]>
1/21/2019 9:28:00 AM
<![CDATA[Henry furious after VAR 'stops working' in latest Monaco loss]]>
Henry told reporters, "I have a scoop for you" as he entered his post-match press conference after a humiliating defeat which left the principality club second-bottom in the Ligue 1 table and three points from safety.

"There was a foul on (winger) Rony Lopes in the box when it was 2-1," said the 41-year-old. "The fourth official told me: 'I'm really sorry Mr Henry, but VAR isn't working'."

Monaco had been on the wrong end of a controversial VAR decision in midweek, when Nice's Youcef Atal won a penalty despite appearing to take a dive in their 1-1 draw.

"If it was a penalty for Atal, then it was 10,000 times a penalty for Rony Lopes," said Henry.

"So I would like to know why VAR wasn't working for Monaco, and then started working again just after. Bizarre.

"We created a penalty where he (Strasbourg midfielder Jonas Martin) is late. He takes his leg... I need to be told why it wasn't working on a blatant penalty."

Monaco were made to pay for their own mistakes by Strasbourg, with Brazilian defender Naldo sent off in the seventh minute and his fellow new signing Cesc Fabregas gifting the visitors their third goal by losing possession inside his own area.

But Henry insisted that the result was down to the brief lack of VAR.

"Yes (you can put the result down to a refereeing error). At that time, we came back with 10 men against a team that was starting to doubt," the former Arsenal great said.

His Strasbourg counterpart Thierry Laurey confirmed that the officials told the coaches that VAR was briefly not functioning.

"I put myself in Thierry's place, but there are times when technology doesn't work," he said.

"It's already happened in Ligue 1 in one or two matches... That's not why you'll win a match."

It was perhaps the worst day of his short managerial career so far for Henry, with his team, French champions in 2017 and runners-up last term, still winless at home in the league this season.

Several players, led by goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and captain Radamel Falcao, were seen arguing with fans at the Stade Louis II long after the final whistle.]]>
1/21/2019 6:26:00 AM
<![CDATA[Bryan doctor urges Murray to consider 'miraculous' surgery]]>
Former world number one Murray bowed out of the Australian Open on Monday for potentially the last time after saying his longstanding hip pain was too much to bear.

Earlier Murray, 31, had declared he would like to end his career at Wimbledon, where he has won two of his three Grand Slam singles titles, if possible.

Dr Edwin Su operated on Bryan, who then took part at the Australian Open in under six months since his surgery.

Bryan has recommended Su to Murray, although the greater physical demands of singles compared to doubles, mean there is no guarantee the same operation could help the British tennis great to regain a place among the world's top players.

Su, though, told Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper: "I think it would absolutely be able to help him. Ideally, it is with no pain. Most of the time, right away from the time they wake up from the surgery, patients say that the pain is gone.

"It is really miraculous. There is then healing and soft-tissue pain but, once they start feeling better, they are able to do the things they used to do. They can regain their normal life."

- 'Uncharted territory' -

Su, however, added: "What is unknown in elite athletes is whether they can return to sport. There is no guarantee in any medical procedure but, given he has been able to continue his performance at such a high level with a bad hip, I would guess the new hip would function better."

Su forecast that if Murray, also a double Olympic champion, had surgery soon, he could yet return in time for Wimbledon.

"Singles is much more strenuous than doubles," he accepted. "It's uncharted territory.

"No one has done it and returned in singles tennis and it would require more endurance in the muscle to cover the court but, based on the previous operations of sportsmen in basketball and hockey, who also have to move quickly, I think he could do it.

"Murray means a lot to the sport and I think he has got a lot of great tennis left in him.

"We just have to give him a great hip."

Earlier, the 40-year-old Bryan reached out to Murray by saying: "I just represent an option for him. That guy does everything you can possibly do as far as training and rehab.

"He's talked to a million specialists. But I'm really the only guy to be playing on tour with a metal hip."

Meanwhile Leon Smith, the captain of Britain's Davis Cup team, said he would give up the post "instantly" if Murray wanted it.

"He's earned the right for that and he could help British players or he could be involved in training camps," Smith also told BBC Radio on Sunday.

"Whatever it is, we want to use him."]]>
1/21/2019 5:22:00 AM
<![CDATA[Federer, Kerber stunned as Nadal powers into Open quarters]]>
The Swiss master caved in under the energy and pressure of a man 17 years his junior to tumble out 6-7 (11/13), 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) in the last 16 on Rod Laver Arena.

World number two Kerber was also sensationally bundled out by a woman playing the event for the first time, with American Danielle Collins humiliating the Wimbledon champion 6-0, 6-2 in under an hour.

The man Federer beat in last year's final, sixth seed Marin Cilic, was also sent packing by Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, who now plays Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Shaparova was another to fall, but there was no such drama for a rampant Rafael Nadal who powered into the last eight with a straight sets win over Tomas Berdych.

Federer was gunning for a 21st Grand Slam title but had a battle on his hands from off against the 20-year-old, touted among the new generation of young stars as a future champion.

"I'm the happiest man on Earth right now, I cannot describe it," said the 14th seed, who is the first Greek in history to reach the quarter-finals of a Slam.

"I've been idolising him (Federer) since the age of six. It was a dream come true for me just being on Rod Laver facing him. Winning at the end, I can't describe it."

The Swiss great was gracious in defeat, saying "I lost to a better player who was playing very well, who hung in there and stayed calm".

Wimbledon winner and 2016 champion Kerber, the bookies' favourite along with Serena Williams after defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was ousted early, was no match for Collins, ranked 35 in the world.

Collins is little known after playing much of her tennis in the US college system and was making her debut in the main draw at Melbourne Park. She had never won a Grand Slam match before this year.

"I may not have won a Grand Slam match before this but I tell you, it's going to keep happening," said the 25-year-old. "I better have many more of these."

- Chipping away -

Men's second seed Nadal, returning from foot surgery, barrelled past former world number four Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) as he stays on track for an 18th Grand Slam title.

"I always say the same when I am back for injury," said the Spaniard. "I don't expect negative or positive things. I just try to do my work every day and just be with (the) right attitude every single day."

He will play world number 39 Frances Tiafoe for a place in the semi-finals after the young American celebrated his 21st birthday by grinding his way past Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (1/7), 7-5.

Hometown hero Ashleigh Barty also made the last eight after muscling past Sharapova and will next meet Petra Kvitova.

Sharapova claimed her biggest scalp since completing a drugs ban in 2017 when she rolled Wozniacki in round three and looked on track to carry the momentum forward.

The 30th seed won the first set but then fell to pieces, eventually succumbing 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

"I knew I had to keep chipping away -- in a sense, trust the work we've done. I know that I can match it with the best," said Barty, seeded 15.

Next up for the diminutive 22-year-old is Kvitova, who beat Barty in the final of the warm-up Sydney International this month.

The two-time Wimbledon champion beat 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-1 to match her best performance at a major since being slashed in a terrifying attack at her home in late 2016 that left her with lasting nerve damage in her fingers.]]>
1/21/2019 3:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Vietnam beat Jordan on penalties to reach Asian Cup quarters]]>
Jordan's Baha Seif hit the bar and Vietnam goalkeeper Dang Van Lam saved Ahmad Saleh's effort in the shootout to leave substitute Bui Tien Dung to convert his spot kick and send his side through to a meeting with Japan or Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

The match had finished deadlocked after 120 minutes with Jordan's Baha Abdelrahman opening the scoring from an indirect free kick in the first half and Nguyen Cong Phuong equalising with a volley six minutes after the break.

Southeast Asian champions Vietnam poured forward in search of a winner but, for all their possession, neat interplay and stylish touches, they could not quite carve out a goal.

Jordan had beaten reigning champions Australia and Syria to win their group, while Park Hang-seo's youthful Vietnam team had squeaked through to the last 16 by virtue of having a superior disciplinary record to Lebanon.

While there was little to separate the teams over an entertaining contest, Jordan's muscular game ensured they had the best of the first half and they went in front in the 39th minute.

Vietnam had some grounds for grievance, first in that an indirect free kick was awarded inside the box for a high boot and secondly over whether Yousef Al-Rawashdeh actually moved the ball to tee up Abdelrahman.

There could be no complaints about the midfielder's strike, though, as he celebrated his 120th cap by crashing the ball into the roof of the net from the left-hand edge of the area.

Going behind galvanised Vietnam and they peppered Amer Shafi's goal before the break, the Jordan goalkeeper doing particularly well to tip Do Hung Dung's drive over the bar.

The Jordan goal was finally breached for the first time at the tournament in the 51st minute when Nguyen Trong Hoang sent an inviting cross into the area and Phuong got between the central defenders to flick the ball into the net.]]>
1/21/2019 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[IR Tanger thanks Zamalek after qualifying ]]>
Zamalek defeated IR Tanger 3-1 at Borg el-Arab stadium in the second leg of the 32nd round of CAF Confederation Cup on Saturday night.



“We thank everyone in Zamalek for their efforts, hospitality and good treatment for our club during our stay in Egypt,” IR Tanger’s director, Khaddor Abdelkader said.

“The most sincere words of congratulations for your qualification to the group stage; we hope you succeed in your journey in the tournament,”

Zamalek wait for the CAF Confederation Cup draw which will be held on Monday.

Zamalek faces Pyramids FC on Thursday in a critical match; the White club hopes to increase the gap of points with Pyramids in the match which was postponed from the 9th round of the Egyptian league.

Zamalek is on the top of the standings with 41 points, three points above Pyramids but three games less.
]]>
1/20/2019 3:53:24 PM