<![CDATA[rss-Sports]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Sports]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Abdel Hafiz is happy with Moamen’s return ]]>
Al-Ahly achieved their fourth consecutive victory at the league and their fifth in a row in all competitions.

Abdel Hafiz also revealed his happiness with Moamen’s return to the team after he was sidelined for a while under the team's former manager, Patrice Carteron.



“I am so happy with Moamen’s return to the team. He scored the second goal that secured the victory and celebrated it heavily because of the tough time he faced,” Abdel Hafiz told press after the game.

Moamen was sidelined as rumors linked him with a move out of the club but he started to return to the team squad after he renewed his contract with the team.

Moamen revealed how Abdel Hafiz supported him during the tough time, saying “I have a great relation with him. He called me after he was appointed and told me that I will stay with the team because they need me.”

Al-Ahly reached 23 points from 11 games to stay at the fifth position; they are 12 points behind Zamalek who played three more games. ]]>
12/18/2018 9:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Emirates FA Cup’s global fan base to enjoy Goals Galore]]>
Based upon audience insight, fans outside of the UK in over 10 worldwide markets including Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be able to register to receive in-game clips via a Twitter direct message (DM) bot from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur fixtures, from the Third Round of the competition onwards. They can select their preferred language during the registration process (from 5 languages – English, Spanish, French, Arabic & Portuguese).

As part of a revolutionary new approach to in-game highlights distribution, users will receive an @mention notification within minutes of the action taking place. Highlights clips will be a maximum of 30 seconds in length, with users receiving up to four clips per half. Further two minute highlights clips of the game will delivered from midnight, followed up by an extended 10 minute package from midday, the day after.

The service will be promoted via a DM card on users timelines in the local language and when the user engages with the DM, the DM bot is launched and the supporters in the selected countries [Africa, Americas, Asia and the Middle East] will be able to select their favourite team[s] and share their registration and in-game clips with friends, and manage their subscription. If their preferred team is knocked out, fans are given the opportunity to re-subscribe to receive clips from another of the available teams still in the competition.

The breadth of teams and international markets is expected to increase in the second season.

The partnership follows the growing international popularity of the competition and the new six-year overseas broadcast deal which commenced at the start of this season and sees the Cup now broadcast in over 150 territories worldwide. It is hoped that the increased provision of content will continue to build awareness and audiences in the selected markets, including the United States, India, Thailand, Brazil, Egypt and Nigeria.

Outside of the registered Twitter service, clips of the biggest in-game moments and highlights packages, such as Goal of the Round, which will be promoted on the @EmiratesFACup Twitter feed and in relevant markets to push content to a broader audience. Tasked with clipping and delivering the match-action across both projects is the competition’s broadcast production partner, Input Media and content media agency, Social Chain.

Georgina Lewis, Head of Marketing at The Football Association said: “Worldwide interest in The Emirates FA Cup is greater than ever. The partnership with Twitter is vital to ensure the competition remains at the forefront of fan engagement and ensures that fans across the world have live access to some of the biggest fixtures, regardless of their daily schedule or location. This approach fits within our overriding strategy to be innovative in delivering experiences in line with how modern fans are consuming sports media and want to engage with the competition in the future.”

Bruna Zanin-Juresic, Sports Partnerships at Twitter UK, said: “We are thrilled that fans around the world will have a new way to follow the Emirates FA Cup this season, directly through Twitter. The Football Association have always been incredibly innovative in their use of the platform, so it felt like a natural fit to partner with them to give fans unprecedented access to one of the most prestigious knockout competitions in global football.”

]]>
12/18/2018 7:54:24 PM
<![CDATA[Shahat starts for Al-Ain's clash against River Plate ]]>
Al-Ain's Egyptian winger, Hussein el-Shahat, is leading the team's attacking line alongside Brazilian winger, Caio Fernandez, and veteran Swedish striker, Marcus Berg.

Al-Ain has had an amazing run at the tournament as they defeated New Zealand’s Team Wellington at the first round by penalty shoot-outs.

After 40 minutes from the start, Wellington were leading 3-0 but Al-Ain players scored three goals to equalize the score and took the game to penalty shoot-outs.

Their second game was against CAF Champions League winners, Espérance, and everyone was expecting an easy victory for the experienced Tunisian team.

However, Al-Ain players destroyed their opponent and had a fantastic game that made their fans believe in the team’s ability to reach the final.



Al-Ain defeated Espérance 3-0 and Shahat scored his team’s second goal in the game.

Mamić’s chosen starting line-up for the game consists of: Khalid Eisa, Ismail Ahmed, Tongo Doumbia, Ahmed Barman, Mohammed Fayez, Mohamed Abdulrahman, Mohamed Ahmed, Tsukasa Shiotani, Caio, Berg and Shahat.

Al-Ain opponents, River Plate, qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup as Copa Libertadores champions. ]]>
12/18/2018 6:28:09 PM
<![CDATA[Salah gives his father credit for his success as a footballer ]]>
“'I would complain that I didn't want to travel [the four hours] to training, but he stood by me and told me that all great players go through this. The price for him was very high, and I'll never forget the role he played in my career,” Salah said on Tuesday during an interview with GQ Middle East.

When he was young, Salah had to leave his hometown, Nigrig, and travel for four hours, five days a week to attend his training in the Arab Contractors club in Cairo.

Salah signed his first professional contract with the Arab Contractors when he was 17 and he started to gain more minutes with the first team in 2011 to quickly establish himself as a promising talent in the Egyptian League.



“It was an opportunity I wasn't going to waste. That was one of my first big decisions: Don't let this slip from your hands,” Salah added.

Two years later, he started his journey in Europe where he played for FC Basel, Chelsea, Fiorentina, Roma and Liverpool.]]>
12/18/2018 6:05:35 PM
<![CDATA[FIFA bans Gambia football head for four years for corruption]]>
Kinteh was also hit with a US$200,000 fine for violating FIFA's code of ethics regarding bribery and corruption, and the offering and accepting of gifts and other benefits.

Kinteh was named in a 2014 investigation by FIFA's ethics prosecutor at the time, Michael Garcia, as having received cash gifts from former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar.

Bin Hammam had sought to oust Sepp Blatter as the head of FIFA in 2011, but he was banned from running just before the elections after being accused of offering incentives to voters. ]]>
12/18/2018 5:24:00 PM
<![CDATA[With deal finally official, Ariza joins Wizards]]>
An ill-fated, three-way trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns fell apart on Friday before the Wizards and Phoenix Suns engaged to pull off the deal involving Kelly Oubre and Ariza, who passed his team physical in Washington on Monday.

"Trevor has been one of the most effective, efficient and versatile players at his position for over a decade," said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. "We are obviously very familiar with the leadership and experience he brings as one of the league's most respected professionals and look forward to welcoming him back to the team."

Ariza has 102 games of playoff experience and is back with Washington for his second stint with the team (2012-14), which included a playoff run into the second round.

The 15-year veteran is a career .353 shooter from 3-point range in 968 career games (667 starts), including stops with Phoenix, Houston, Washington, New Orleans, the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando and New York.

Ariza averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 26 games (all starts) with the Suns this season.

Oubre, 23, was the 15th overall pick in 2015 after one season at Kansas. He is averaging a career-high 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 29 games, including seven starts, this season.

In addition, the Suns acquired Austin Rivers, 26. However, ESPN reported late Monday night that Phoenix will waive the point guard, allowing him to pursue a chance to catch on with a playoff contender.

The well-traveled former 10th overall pick out of Duke has played for the Pelicans, Clippers and Wizards. Rivers, who is in his seventh NBA season, is averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 29 games with the Wizards this season.

A deal with the Grizzlies disintegrated Friday night over miscommunication about whether Dillon Brooks -- or MarShon Brooks -- would be involved in the trade. The Suns wanted Dillon Brooks, not MarShon Brooks, while the Grizzlies did not intend to part with Dillon Brooks.]]>
12/18/2018 5:20:26 PM
<![CDATA[CONMEBOL doubles Copa Libertadores prize money]]>
Clubs competing in South America's premier club competition will share $161.9 million in 2019, up 56 percent from $103.85m this year, with the champions expected to bank at least $20.4 million, CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez said.

"Our administration is keeping its promise to generate more value for South American football and reinvesting it in development," Dominguez said at the draw for the 2019 tournament in Paraguay.

By comparison, UEFA will distribute 1.94 billion Euros ($2.20 billion) to the clubs that qualified for the Champions League group stage in 2018/19.

This season's Copa Libertadores ended in turmoil in late November after riotous scenes outside the second leg of the all-Argentine final between River Plate and Boca Juniors forced the match to be postponed.

The match eventually took place in Madrid two weeks later with River beating their arch rivals 3-1 to lift the title for the fourth time.

The holders were drawn in a group alongside Internacional (Brazil), Alianza Lima (Peru), and another qualifier when the draw was made for the 2019 tournament on Monday.

Boca play Athletico Paranaense (Brazil), Jorge Wilsterman (Bolivia), and Colombian side Tolima.

Some 47 teams will take part in the competition, which kicks off on Jan. 22 and ends in Santiago on Nov. 23.

This year marks the first time in history that the final will take place in a one-off match at a neutral venue. ]]>
12/18/2018 3:07:28 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ittihad to face Saudi giants, Al Hilal, at Arab Championship ]]>
The quarter final games are expected to be played after the end of the Asian Cup hosted by the UAE from January 5 until the end of the month.

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.

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 draw resulted in two tough clashes as Raja Casablanca from Morocco will face Etoile Du Sahel from Tunisia, while Sudan’s Al-Merrikh will face Algerian club, Mouloudia.

The champion will win $6 million, while the runners-up will win $2.5 million. ]]>
12/18/2018 2:21:35 PM
<![CDATA[Mourinho leaves United after poor start to season]]>
"Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect," United said in a statement.

https://www.manutd.com/en/news/detail/official-Manchester-United-statement-on-Jose-Mourinho?utm_campaign=ManUtd&utm_medium=post&utm_source=twitter.

"The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.

"A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager."

United are sixth in the table with 26 points from 17 matches.]]>
12/18/2018 12:09:47 PM
<![CDATA[Salah’s record against German teams ]]>
The draw put Liverpool against the five-time Champions League winners, Bayern Munich.

Liverpool fans put all their hopes to reach the quarter finals on the shoulder of their Egyptian winger who played a crucial role in their qualification to this round as he scored their only goal against Napoli at their last group stage game.

Salah has a satisfying record against German teams as he scored two goals and provided an assist during his six games against German clubs.

Salah’s first clash against Germans was in 2013 when his club, FC Basel, met Germany’s FC Schalke in UEFA Champions League. Salah’s team lost both games 1-0 and 2-0 and the Egyptian failed to save his team from losing the games.
Salah left Basel in 2014 to join Chelsea and then he went to play for Fiorentina in Italy before his departure to the Capital to represent their ginats, Roma.

During his time in Roma, his team faced Germany’s Bayer 04 Leverkusen at 2016 the UEFA Champions' League Group stage.

The first game in Germany ended with a 4-4 draw; Salah played 62 minutes and he failed to find the back of the net.

At the second game in Italy, Salah led his team to a 3-2 victory over the Germans as he opened the score after two minutes from the start.



Salah left Roma to join the English giants, Liverpool, in summer 2017 and his team faced Germany’s 1899 Hoffenheim at the play-off round.

The first leg in Germany ended with a 2-1 victory for Liverpool but Salah failed to score for his club. Salah’s goal came at the second leg when his goal led his team to a 4-2 victory over the Germans.



Salah and his teammates, who started the competition from the play-off round, reached the final and lost 3-1 to Real Madrid.



Salah faced Bayern Munich twice but in friendly games; the first game was in 2013 when he was playing for Basel and his team lost 3-0 and the second game was in 2017 after he joined Liverpool and his team won 3-1, with Salah scoring the second goal.]]>
12/17/2018 8:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Hegazi’s agent denies his Egyptian League return ]]>
“Hegazi did not receive any offer from Egypt recently and if it happens, the club will reject it. The club received an offer before from a Premier League side to sign him and they rejected it,” Emile told FILGOAL on Monday.

Since he joined the club in 2017, Hegazi has been a key player at the team and he represented the club at 38 Premier League games last season.

Despite his amazing performance with his team, Hegazi and his teammates could not avoid relegation to the championship.

“Hegazi’s target is to win promotion with West Bromwich and lead the team to the Premier League,” Emile added.

Rumors linked Hegazi with a return to the Egyptian League to play for his former club, Al-Ahly’s arch rivals, Zamalek.

West Bromwich are doing well at the championship this season and they are third at the table with 39 points, six points behind the league leaders, Leeds United.



Hegazi participated at 20 games with his club this season and his only goal came at their 2-1 victory over Swansea City. ]]>
12/17/2018 6:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Champions League draw put Liverpool against Bayern ]]>
“At this stage it doesn’t matter who you get, it’s going to be a difficult game. Our first game at home, we’ve got to try to take advantage. The atmosphere’s going to be incredible at Anfield, I just hope that can help us as well.” Liverpool’s legend, Ian Rush, commented on the draw.

The first leg will be played in February in Liverpool and two weeks later the second leg will be played in Germany.

Manchester City fans are the happiest in England as the draw put them against Schalke which is suffering in the domestic League.

The other two English teams are facing tough tests as Manchester United will face the title contenders, Paris Saint Germain while Tottenham Hotspurs will meet Borussia Dortmund, which is the German League leader.

Barcelona and Real Madrid were lucky as the draw put the Catalan giants against Lyon who never achieved any victory over Barcelona, while the defending champions, Real Madrid will face Ajax.

Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Spain once again as his team, Juventus, will face Atletico Madrid while Roma and Porto will challenge each other for a spot at the quarter finals.




]]>
12/17/2018 5:21:54 PM
<![CDATA[I came here to win, Lasarte ]]>
“Al-Ahly is one of the greatest teams in Africa with a giant history and big dreams. I came here to win and we have everything that will help us achieve titles,” Lasarte told press.

Lasarte's career was full of achievements, especially in South America, as he led Nacional de Monteviedo to two consecutive national championships in 2005 and 2006.

Lasarte added, "I used to work under pressure. I managed Nacional de Monteviedo and it is one of the biggest teams in the world. It is a coincidence that Nacional in Spanish means Al-Ahly in Arabic."

During his time at Nacional, Lasarte discovered Uruguayan striker, Luis Suarez, who spent two years at the club before leaving to play in Europe and he is now the starting striker for FC Barcelona.

He also managed Real Sociedead from 2009 to 2012 and achieved the Chilean Primera Division, Copa Chile and Super Copa de Chile with Universidad Chile.

Asked about the difficulties he expects in his first experience as a manager in Africa, Lasarte said “Previously, I faced the challenge to manage a top team for the first time and the challenge to work in Europe for the first time. here's a first time for everything.”

Lasarte is set to attend Al-Ahly's match against El-Negoum on Sunday, December 17, 2018 at 7 p.m. CLT. ]]>
12/17/2018 4:58:29 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool loss highlights problems for Man Utd brand]]>
For after Sunday's 3-1 defeat at Liverpool, they must surely be aware that there is only so much failure a brand can endure before it begins to be seriously tarnished.

The rivalry with Liverpool runs deep at United, resonating far beyond England's north-west. These matches are occasions which connect with the club's history, where passion and pride take centre stage.

Yet United looked a mediocre, mid-table side as they were quite outclassed. Now, they are 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, the Merseysiders' biggest advantage over United after 17 games of a top-flight season.

But the numbers, while alarming enough for United supporters, do not paint the full picture of the vast gulf between the two teams.

Under Juergen Klopp, last season's Champions League finallists Liverpool are playing a thrilling brand of high-speed, entertaining, positive football, executed by some of the game's most exciting talents. Like the United of old, indeed.

Jose Mourinho's prosaic, sixth-placed United, in contrast, are 11 points adrift of fourth place so that even qualification for next season's Champions League looks an outside chance at best.

They have not even been close to winning the title since their last triumph in 2013 and few of the club's fans disagree with former captain Gary Neville's verdict that the club need a "reset".

So, when do the Glazer family, the club's American owners, press that reset button? And how exactly will they then attempt to turn around the fortunes of the record 20-times English champions.

After Sunday's game, Mourinho effectively conceded his team lacked the qualities, particularly the "physicality", needed to compete with Liverpool.

Roy Keane, another former captain from United's dazzling years under Alex Ferguson, told Sky Sports: "Obviously we look at the badges, we look at the history ... but some of these players just aren't good enough for Man United."

Is that true, though? Some United players, after all, have proved themselves with other clubs and on the international stage.

Like Paul Pogba, an outstanding World Cup winner with France, who was on the bench at Anfield on Sunday -- the third straight game that Mourinho has sidelined him.

Pogba's form this season may justify Mourinho's decision but the midfield replacements can hardly claim to have pushed him out by the quality of their own performances.

"I can't get over United's central midfield. If you're Paul Pogba watching (Nemanja) Matic, (Ander) Herrera, (Marouane) Fellaini, Fred, who played the other night ... not one of them can pass a football," said Neville.

"None of them can actually receive the ball and pass the ball. I just find it absolutely staggering."

Added to that lack of midfield creativity and class, United have problems at the back, an area where Mourinho teams have traditionally been strong.

The manager has bemoaned the failure of United's chief executive Ed Woodward to sign a central defender in the summer but Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly, the unconvincing pair on duty at Anfield, were both Mourinho signings.

Which raises the key question of whether the board will trust Mourinho to carry out any 'reset'.

Major signings Pogba and Alexis Sanchez have failed to live up to expectations while £75 million ($94.64 million) forward Romelu Lukaku has been underwhelming.

A new spine for United, with a top central defender, midfield playmaker and quality striker, would cost at least £200 million.

A full clear-out of those players Keane describes as not up to scratch and their replacement with superior talent could at least double that outlay, although there would be revenue to be gained from selling.

Yet this is work, not for the notoriously difficult January transfer window but for intense, close-season dealing. The issue is whether Mourinho will make it that far.]]>
12/17/2018 4:27:00 PM
<![CDATA[Murray gets hot late as Nuggets hold off Raptors]]>
Nikola Jokic finished with 26 points and nine rebounds for Denver, which won the matchup of conference leaders.

Kawhi Leonard had a game-high 29 points and added 14 rebounds, Delon Wright scored 15 and Serge Ibaka had 14 points for short-handed Toronto.

The Raptors played without four rotation players and only 10 available bodies. Guards Kyle Lowry (thigh bruise) and Fred VanVleet (low back soreness), forward Pascal Siakam (back stiffness) and center Jose Valanciunas (dislocated left thumb).

Toronto scored just 14 points in the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets were without forward Paul Millsap (broken toe), guard Gary Harris (hip) and guard Will Barton (core muscle surgery). Barton is expected back in the next two weeks.

Toronto won the early battle of the injured teams with a 16-0 run spanning the second and third quarters. Denver led 39-36 with 3:15 left in the first half but Leonard had six points and Ibaka five to give the Raptors a 52-39 lead early in the third quarter.

The Nuggets got within four, but Leonard's first 3-pointer made it 70-57 with 3:55 left in the third quarter, but the Raptors went cold from the field. Denver closed out the period on an 11-2 run, then scored the first 12 points of the fourth to go ahead 80-72.

Murray hit his first four shots of the period, including two 3-pointers, while Toronto missed nine straight shots and two free throws in that stretch. The Raptors didn't hit a field goal for 6:20, a drought that was broken on Leonard's dunk with 7:42 left.

Denver pushed the lead to nine, but Toronto scored six straight to make it 86-83 with 3:28 left. Mason Plumlee hit a layup, Murray scored on a finger roll and Jokic's 6-foot floater made it 92-85 with 1:41 left.

The Raptors called a timeout, but Ibaka fouled out on a moving screen to end any comeback hopes.]]>
12/17/2018 3:25:31 PM
<![CDATA[Messi hat-trick adorns Barca's 5-0 romp at Levante]]>
Messi, at his mesmeric best, notched the 31st La Liga hat-trick of his career for Barca while also setting up goals for Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique.

"Suarez and Messi are the best striking partnership in the world. Luis has goals in his veins -- and everything has already been said about Leo," said defender Pique, paying tribute to Barca's prolific South American double act.

Argentine Messi, who on Monday will collect for a record fifth time the Golden Shoe trophy that is awarded annually to the leading marksman in the top divisions of Europe's soccer leagues, looks on a mission to repeat his 2017-18 success.

His treble took him to 14 league goals for the season, two more than any other striker in Europe's 'big five' leagues.

His masterclass began as he carved his way through the home side's defence before producing an outrageous no-look pass for Suarez to open the scoring in the 35th minute, shortly after mid-table Levante had hit the underside of the crossbar.

Messi struck his first goal of the night two minutes before the interval, latching on to a defence-splitting pass from Sergio Busquets and racing clear to knock the ball through the legs of Levante's goalkeeper with his weaker right foot.

The Barca captain, following up his two mesmeric goals from free kicks against Espanyol last week, seemed intent on making further mockery of his recent fifth-place ranking in the Ballon d'Or voting by striking again soon after the interval.

He dispatched Jordi Alba's low cross into the bottom corner with a first-time finish, before going on to complete his treble on the hour mark from close range.

Not yet sated, he then laid on the 88th minute pass for Pique to complete the rout which took leaders Barca on to 34 points after 16 games, three points clear of both second-placed Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, in third.

Levante were the only team to beat Barca in the league last season, stunning them at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium with a 5-4 win in the penultimate game of the campaign.

Perhaps with that game in mind, Barca coach Ernesto Valverde lined up with an unorthodox 3-5-2 formation, playing French forward Ousmane Dembele as a right wing back and Jordi Alba on the left.

Barca took their time to adapt to the formation and nearly fell behind when Emanuel Boateng rattled the bar. All changed though with Messi's dazzling run across the pitch in the build-up to Suarez's opener, and Barca never looked back.

"Last year they put five goals past us so I'm especially pleased to have won the game," said Valverde.]]>
12/17/2018 1:59:34 PM
<![CDATA[Khawaja, Paine ride luck to extend Australia lead to 233]]>
At lunch on the fourth day, the home side were 190 for four in their second innings, an overall advantage of 233 runs as they look to post a match-winning lead and square the four-Test series.

Khawaja was not out 67 and captain Paine, who was involved in a verbal exchange with Indian counterpart Virat Kohli at the end of the third day's play, was on 37.

Against some probing bowling from the Indian pace attack on a lively pitch offering variable bounce, the Australians didn't find batting easy and played and missed regularly during a tense morning.

It was old school Test cricket and scoring was slow with just 58 runs in the session, but more importantly for Australia they did not lose a wicket and the overnight pair have added 70 vital runs for the fifth wicket.

Khawaja had a definite slice of luck on 42, when replays showed he would have been run out by a direct hit by Jasprit Bumrah.

The Australian batsman dropped the ball into the on-side and scurried through for a quick single, but Bumrah gathered on his follow through, spun round and threw at the bowler's end.

Having looked completely out of form in his three previous innings in the series, the left-hander was rewarded for his perseverance when he finally reached his half-century from the 155th ball he faced, pushing Ishant Sharma through midwicket for three.

The batsmen survived a handful of strong lbw appeals, and Khawaja edged one ball just short of second slip from the bowling of Mohammed Shami.

There was good news for the Australians when opener Aaron Finch cleared to return to the crease later in the innings.

Finch retired hurt having made 25 on Sunday after being hit on the right index finger by a Shami delivery.

Scans confirmed there was no fracture and he batted in the nets on Monday morning without any major discomfort.]]>
12/17/2018 11:55:18 AM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahly appoints Martin Lasarte as their manager till 2020]]>
Al-Ahly's president, Mahmoud el-Khatib, and football's director, Sayed Abdel Hafiz, had a meeting, In Al-Ahly's Head quarter, with the veteran coach to finalize all the financial and administrative terms.

Lasarte reached an agreement with Al-Ahly a monthly salary of $125,000 in addition to two assistants in his coaching staff.

The 57-years coach visited Al-Ahly's club in Al-Gezira and checked the players' room and Mokthar el-Titch stadium. He is set to succeed Mohamed Youssef who remained as Al-Ahly's coach for 32 days after the dismissal of Patrice Carteron, Al-Ahly's former coach.

Lasarte's career was full of achievements, especially in South America, as he led Nacional de Monteviedo to two consecutive national championships in 2005 and 2006. He managed Real Sociedead from 2009 to 2012. He achieved the Chilean Primera Division, Copa Chile and Supercopa de Chile with Universidad Chile.

Lasarte is set to attend Al-Ahly's match against El-Negoum on Sunday, December 17, 2018 at 07 p.m. CLT.]]>
12/16/2018 2:39:58 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt wins two medals at WKF tournament]]>
Said ranked first in the +76 kg category in the Karate 1-Youth League, the final of the WKF series.

Said's fellow Amr Eweis scored the -55kg competition bronze.]]>
12/16/2018 12:44:57 PM
<![CDATA[Salah named BBC African Player of the year for 2nd time]]>
Salah is the second African player to win the award twice in a row following Nigeria’s Jay-Jay Okocha who won the award in 2003 and 2004.

“It's a great feeling to win again. I'm happy and I would like to win it also next year!" Salah told BBC.

Salah was shortlisted alongside his Senegalese teammate in Liverpool Sadio Mane, Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia, Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey.

“I try to push myself every day to help the team win something,” Salah added.

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

The Egyptian scored 44 goals last 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 ten goals at the league for Liverpool after 16 games leading his team to Premier League leadership.

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


]]>
12/14/2018 8:19:30 PM
<![CDATA[Bayern star Mueller apologises for horror kick on Ajax defender]]>
"No, no - of course I didn't mean to do it," the 29-year-old told reporters over the first straight red card of his career in 462 appearances for Bayern in the thrilling 3-3 draw as both teams progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Mueller said he went to the hosts' changing room to apologise to Tagliafico after the match, but the defender, who scored the home side's 95th-minute equaliser, had already left.

Instead, Mueller wrote "@tagliafico3 - I am very sorry for that what happened yesterday! Was not intentionally (sic). Get well soon" on his Instagram account.

Mueller was sent off 15 minutes from time after trying to control the ball with his out-stretched boot, but succeeded only in kicking the head of Tagliafico, who needed treatment, in a bad-tempered game.

Both Mueller's team-mates and coach said the foul warranted a straight red card.

"Thomas didn't see him," said Bayern boss Niko Kovac, "but it was a clear red - he should have been aware of the opponent."

Earlier in the fixture Ajax had Maximilian Woeber sent off for horror foul on Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka, who witnessed Mueller's head-high tackle on Tagliafico at close quarters.

"I saw the scene as it happened. You only have to see how the lad looked afterwards - it wasn't good," said Goretzka.

"As I saw it, it was a clear red card."

It was a bitter end to the night for Mueller, who made his 105th Champions League appearance, putting him level with ex-Bayern captain Philipp Lahm, who skippered Germany to the 2014 World Cup title.

Mueller will be banned for the first leg of Bayern's last 16 tie in the new year with the draw to be made in Nyon on Monday (1100 GMT).

The Bavarians claimed the point they needed to finish as Group E winners in an action packed second-half which saw five goals, two penalties and a pair of red cards with Ajax also through to the last 16 as runners-up.]]>
12/14/2018 9:12:00 AM
<![CDATA[Curry says moon landing conspiracy comments a joke]]>
"Obviously, I was joking when I was talking on the podcast," Curry told ESPN on Wednesday, after his causal comments on the "Winging It" podcast sparked stratospheric reactions.

"I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, 'Oh my God, he's a fake-moon-landing truther' whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada," Curry said.

While Curry professed surprise that anyone took his conspiracy theory comments seriously, the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player said he will be happy to accept an invitation from NASA to tour the agency's facilities, including the lunar lab at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"One thousand percent," he said of accepting the offer. "I am definitely going to take (NASA) up on their offer. I am going to educate myself first hand on everything that NASA has done and shine a light on their tremendous work over the years.

"And hopefully people understand that education is power, informing yourself is power. For kids out there that hang on every word that we say, understand that you should not believe something just because somebody says it. You should do your homework and understand what you actually believe."

Curry said he was surprised by the reaction to his remarks, made in casual conversation with teammate Andre Iguodala, Atlanta Hawks player Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore and co-host Annie Finberg -- the topics ranging from dinosaurs to golf clubs.

"We ever been to the moon?" Curry asked, with several fellow guests answering "no".

"They're going to come get us, I don't think so either," Curry said, then added: "Sorry, I don't want to start conspiracies."]]>
12/14/2018 7:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[Djokovic and Halep named 2018 ITF world champions]]>
World number one Djokovic receives the honour from the International Tennis Federation for the sixth time, while it is the first year that Romania's top-ranked Halep has been recognised.

"I am very honoured to be named ITF world champion again," said Serbia's Djokovic, who stormed back to the top of the rankings after injury, winning Wimbledon and the US Open.

"I am particularly proud of this achievement after all that I've been through physically this year, but part of me always believed I could make it back to the top. It is very satisfying to join Pete Sampras by winning my sixth award."

Halep also enjoyed Grand Slam success in 2018, claiming her maiden major title at Roland Garros and reaching the final at the Australian Open.

"It's a great honour to be named as ITF world champion for the first time," she said. "I had an incredible year, winning my first Grand Slam at Roland Garros and finishing the year as world number one."

US pair Mike Bryan and Jack Sock won the men's doubles award while the women's doubles world champions are Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

The ITF uses an objective system that considers all results during the year but gives special weight to the Grand Slam tournaments and two ITF international team competitions, the Davis Cup and Fed Cup.

"Congratulations to our 2018 ITF world champions who have demonstrated immense skill, talent and dedication on their way to achieving great success on the court," said ITF president David Haggerty.

"They are a credit to our sport and have all contributed to another memorable year for tennis."]]>
12/14/2018 6:59:00 AM
<![CDATA[Inter welcome rejected Juventus CEO Marotta]]>
Marotta was recently ousted by Juventus following an eight-year spell as CEO in which he oversaw many of the club's recruitment operations in a spell which reaped seven Serie A titles, four Italian Cups and two runners-up finishes in the Champions League.

Inter announced on their website: "FC Internazionale Milano announce the appointment of Giuseppe Marotta as Chief Executive Officer Sport. The highly experienced executive begins his role immediately and will be responsible for the entire sports area of the club.

"FC Internazionale Milano will adopt a co-CEO model, in which Marotta will work alongside Alessandro Antonello, who becomes Chief Executive Officer Corporate in charge of all corporate activities."

Chinese-owned Inter's president, Steven Zhang, said: "This is an important change for the club in line with our objective of becoming a winning football club and a successful company.

"As Inter, we want to win, entertain, inspire and connect people through football. Beppe is one of the best executives in the football industry and will help us to achieve our goals."

Marotta said: "I am happy and proud to be beginning a new professional challenge at a prestigious club such as Inter.

"President Steven Zhang has an ambitious project and I am looking forward to becoming an active part of that.]]>
12/14/2018 4:55:00 AM
<![CDATA[Former France star Giresse named Tunisia coach]]>
Giresse, a renowned playmaker in his 1970-1980s heyday, signed an 18-month deal which sees the 66-year-old replace Tunisian Faouzi Benzarti.

Tunisia have been without a head coach since Benzarti was sacked at the end of October following only three months in charge.

Giresse, who earned 47 caps for France, has worked as a coach primarily with African sides.

He was previously the coach of Gabon (2006-2010), Mali (2010-2012) and Senegal (2013-2015).

Giresse returned to coach Mali between 2015 and 2017 but resigned when the Africans failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Tunisia's poor showing in Russia means fans will be expecting more from the Eagles of Carthage in the upcoming CAN tournament.

The hosts have still to be announced after Cameroon was stripped of the right due to delays in preparing for the continental showpiece.]]>
12/14/2018 3:54:00 AM
<![CDATA['Majority' back 48-team Qatar World Cup, says Infantino]]>
Speaking at a press conference after a three-day FIFA summit in the Qatari capital, Infantino said the idea had widespread backing from associations across the globe.

"We will see," he said. "So far, of course the majority is in favour because 16 more teams to participate, not only means 16 more countries with World Cup fever but also 15 or 16 more countries being able to dream.

"Is it feasible or not, that's the question?"

FIFA has said it will make its final decision in March after the completion of a feasibility study.

He said that is open to the idea of a 48-team World Cup.

Any decision to extend the tournament would be faced by logistical and political problems.

The 2022 World Cup, the first in the Middle East, will take place over 28 days not the usual 32, as in Russia earlier this year.

Infantino confirmed that changing the number of days is not a possibility in Qatar, so one option would be to host tournament games across the region.

But that is complicated by Qatar being at the centre of the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf in years.

Since June 2017, it has been politically and economically isolated by neighbouring former allies, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

They accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran.

Doha says its rivals are seeking regime change in Qatar.

Asked if he had held specific conversations with Qatari organisers or political leaders about holding some games in Saudi Arabia, Infantino said: "We discuss about everything but we didn't decide on anything concrete yet."]]>
12/14/2018 2:51:00 AM
<![CDATA[Real hoping to avoid another Copa upset after drawing Leganes]]>
The small side from southern Madrid caused a huge upset as they knocked Real out of the competition at the quarter-final stage last season, winning 2-1 at the Bernabeu -- their first ever victory at the stadium -- to advance on away goals after the first leg had finished 1-0 to Real.

Elsewhere Atletico Madrid will face Girona, a side coach Diego Simeone has never beaten, drawing all three meetings with the Catalans in his seven years at the helm.

Holders Barcelona will face Levante, while Athletic Bilbao take on Sevilla in the pick of the round.

The draw in full: Real Madrid v Leganes, Getafe v Valladolid, Betis v Real Sociedad, Levante v Barcelona, Athletic v Sevilla, Sporting v Valencia, Girona v Atletico Madrid, Villarreal v Espanyol.

The first legs will be played on 9 January and the returns a week later on 16th.]]>
12/14/2018 1:48:00 AM
<![CDATA[Pochettino wants Champions League last-16 tie at new stadium]]>
A 1-1 draw in Barcelona on Tuesday meant Tottenham finished second in Group B to progress to the first knockout round where Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Paris St Germain are all possible opponents.

A series of delays to the north London club's 62,000-seater new ground have meant Tottenham have been forced to continue playing home matches at Wembley this season and this week they announced that their game against Manchester United on Jan. 13 would also take place at the national stadium.

After next Monday's draw the Champions League resumes with the last-16 first legs in mid February.

Governing body UEFA said a decision would be taken "before February" on where Tottenham will play the home leg of their last 16 tie.

Pochettino believes that playing in the new stadium would be a huge advantage for his team.

"I hope and I wish to play the first leg in the new stadium," he told a news conference on Thursday ahead of Saturday's home clash against Burnley.

"It would be a massive boost for players and staff to play at the new stadium but the motivation will be there too if we play at Wembley.

"We need to have the belief we can beat any opponents but of course it is going to be tough."

Tottenham bounced back from a recent defeat by Arsenal in the league and consecutive wins have lifted them into third place in the Premier League behind only Manchester City and Liverpool.

Saturday's match against struggling Burnley gives them the opportunity to cut the gap on leaders Liverpool to three points while next Wednesday they face Arsenal again in the quarter-final of the League Cup.

"We are playing for three very important points, to be in the Premier League top four, for me it is a massive motivation and it is going to be a tough game," Pochettino said.

"(Playing) every three days is always tough but we need to try to find the way to approach the game in the best condition."

Pochettino will assess the fitness levels of few players in training before selecting his squad for the weekend.

The club confirmed defenders Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth (both hamstring) have both entered the late stages of conditioning work, while full back Kieran Trippier (groin) continues his individual rehabilitation programme.

Burnley travel to Wembley seeking their first away win against Spurs in any competition since 1983. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Martyn Herman)]]>
12/13/2018 6:38:12 PM
<![CDATA[Al Ain hit back from three behind, win on penalties]]>
Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Eisa saved two penalties in the shootout to earn his team a second round tie against African champions Esperance, of Tunisia, on Saturday.

Team Wellington, the Oceania champions, got off to a flying start when Mario Barcia scored with a dipping long-range shot in the 11th minute and Aaron Clapham finished off an incisive passing move for the second four minutes later.

Al Ain had a 36th-minute goal disallowed by VAR for a foul in the buildup and things went from bad to worse for Al Ain as Mario Ilich added a third for the semi-professionals in the 44th minute, tapping in unmarked at the post from a corner.

But the New Zealanders allowed the hosts to get a morale-boosting goal on the stroke of halftime, Tsukasa Shiotani slotting home after the defence had failed to clear.

Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic said that proved the turning point.

"It was really hard to come back, thank God we scored in the first half. That goal gave us some spirit and some chance to come back in the second half."

Tongo Doubmia further reduced the deficit when he turned in a cross at the far post four minutes after halftime and Al Ain, who qualified as champions of the host nation, took control.

Al Ain, playing at their home Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, dominated the second half as Wellington appeared to run out of steam and Marcus Berg headed over from an inviting position but made amends as the Swedish international hooked in the equaliser in the 85th minute.

Al Ain's Mohamed Abdulrahman was sent off just before the end of extra time after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Wellington's Taylor Schrijvers.

Berg missed Al Ain's second penalty in the shootout, firing wildly over, but his blushes were spared when Eisa saved Angus Kilkolly's next attempt for the New Zealanders and also parried Justin Gulley's final kick to seal victory.

Despite the heartbreaking defeat Wellington coach Jose Figueira said he was proud of his team.

"As amateur players so far away from home and in an atmosphere which is very different to what we are used to, to put on a performance like this is almost beyond expectation."

The winners of Saturday's clash between Al Ain and Esperance will face South American champions River Plate in next Tuesday's semi-final.

The second semi-final will be between favourites Real Madrid and the winners of Saturday's other second-round tie between Asia's Kashima Antlers and Mexican side Guadalajara, the champions of CONCACAF. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Martyn Herman)]]>
12/13/2018 6:36:49 PM
<![CDATA[Officially, Egypt enters the race to host 2019 AFCON finals next June]]>
“We’ve sent an official letter to the CAF after Morocco’s decision not to bid,” Magdy Abdel Ghany, EFA member said.

egypt


“Egypt is capable of hosting the African tournament; but sending the request doesn’t mean that we will host the championship,” Abdel Ghany added.

EFA’s official account on Twitter announced the decision right after Magdy Abdel Ghany’s talks.




According to Egypt Today sources, Egypt will bid for hosting AFCON with six stadiums which will be, Cairo, Air Defense, Borg el-Arab, Suez, Ismailia and Aswan.

Youth and Sports minister, Ashraf Sobhy, earlier assured that Egypt is ready to host the 2019 AFCON but before any decision, EFA shall reach an agreement with CAF.

CAF has announced the withdrawal of the African Nations Cup from Cameroon, because of the lack of preparations including check security, infrastructure, stadiums and accommodation.

Egypt (1)


CAF will announce the hosting country next January during the CAF Best Player ceremony.

AFCON starts on June 15 and lasts till July 13; it includes 24 teams divided on six groups for the first time in history.

Egypt hosted AFCON four times before in 1957, 1974, 1986 and 2006.


]]>
12/13/2018 5:59:47 PM
<![CDATA[Ismaily accepts Vieira’s resignation ]]>
Vieira, who was appointed as Ismaily's manager in October, resigned after Ismaily was knocked out of the Arab Club Championship, losing to Morocco’s Raja Casablanca on Tuesday night by Penalty shoot-outs.

The first leg in Ismailia ended with a 0-0 draw;the second leg in Morocco ended with the same result andthe game was sent to the Penalty shoot-outs.

Ismaily goalkeeper, Mohamed Fawzy, saved Raja’s first penalty but Hosni AbdRaboh and TarekTaha missed Ismaily’s first two penalties.

Fawzy failed to stop Raja’s remaining penalties and the Moroccan team qualified to the quarter finals.



Mark Wotte, the former manager of Ismaily and current Morocco U 23 team's manager, met Ismaily’s delegation at the airport before their return to Egypt.

“Ismaily has a special place inmy heart and my best days as a manager was in Ismailia,” Wotte told press on Wednesday.

Wotte managed Ismaily in two spells, the first one was in 2006 and the second was fouryears later.

“They have a great team with many young talented players and I think they deserved to reach the quarter finals,” Wotte 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.
]]>
12/13/2018 12:14:26 PM
<![CDATA[Lyon clinch Champions League last-16 place as Bayern top group]]>
Bruno Genesio's Lyon needed to avoid defeat against Shakhtar to progress from Group F with Manchester City, and a fifth successive draw in the competition achieved that aim.

"It was hard in difficult conditions. We gave ourselves a fright and it's a pity we didn't kill off the game in the first half," Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar told RMC Sport. "The main thing is that we've qualified."

Shakhtar forged ahead midway through the opening period with what proved their only shot of the first half, just seconds after Lyon forward Bertrand Traore had been denied by Andriy Pyatov when clean through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

The Burkina Faso international was made to pay for his profligacy, as Junior Moraes slotted home after being picked out by Ismaily.

Lyon continued to dominate, though, and finally equalised in the 65th minute as Nabil Fekir hammered a left-footed strike into the top corner following excellent play by Memphis Depay.

Man City wrapped up top spot in the group by coming from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Andrej Kramaric gave Hoffenheim a surprise 16th-minute lead from the penalty spot, although Leroy Sane levelled on the stroke of half-time with a magnificent free-kick.

City wasted a host of chances, with away goalkeeper Oliver Baumann in inspired form, but Sane grabbed his second just after the hour mark to complete the turnaround.

Thrilling draw keeps Bayern top

Bayern Munich went into their game at Ajax just needing a point to beat their opponents to first place in Group E, and Niko Kovac's men did just that in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

The game burst into life in the second half when Dusan Tadic equalised Robert Lewandowski's early opener just after the hour mark, with Ajax defender Maximilian Woeber sent off in the 67th minute for a dangerous lunge on Leon Goretzka.

But Bayern were also reduced to 10 men only eight minutes later, as Thomas Mueller was given his marching orders for planting his studs into the head of Nicolas Tagliafico.

Ajax briefly moved top of the live standings when Jerome Boateng carelessly conceded a penalty, which was dispatched emphatically into the roof of the net by Tadic.

But Tagliafico brought down Thiago Alcantara, with Lewandowski slotting in the spot-kick, before Kingsley Coman looked to have settled matters with a wonderful 90th-minute strike.

Tagliafico went up the other end to equalise again, but Ajax failed to find a winner as Bayern just about held on.

"That was an advert for football," smiled Kovac. "The most important thing was to finish top of the group and with 14 from 18 points we are happy."

Juventus finished at the Group H summit ahead of Manchester United despite slumping to a 2-1 defeat by Young Boys in Bern, as Jose Mourinho's Premier League giants lost at Valencia.

United had to beat Valencia and hope Juve failed to win in Switzerland, but Carlos Soler and a comical Phil Jones own goal did the damage for the visitors, with Marcus Rashford scoring a late consolation.

"I didn't learn anything at all," Mourinho said. "Nothing surprised me at all."

Guillaume Hoarau netted twice to help Young Boys end their European campaign on a high note.

Real suffer record-breaking loss

CSKA Moscow stunned a much-changed Real Madrid with a 3-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, but still finished bottom of Group G as Viktoria Plzen beat Roma.

The Russian side, who also downed Real 1-0 in the reverse fixture, had to better Plzen's result to finish third and qualify for the Europa League.

But Plzen edged out Roma 2-1 in the Czech Republic to render CSKA's famous victory ultimately meaningless, despite inflicting the heaviest ever European home loss on the record 13-time champions.

"It's sad to say the least to beat Real Madrid, earn seven points, but finish bottom and get eliminated from Europe," said CSKA coach Viktor Goncharenko.

Holders Real had already progressed to the last 16 as group winners, with Roma through in second place.

Home coach Santiago Solari boosted CSKA's hopes before kick-off by making seven changes to his starting XI, and goals from Fedor Chalov, Georgiy Schennikov and Arnor Sigurdsson gave CSKA a comprehensive win.]]>
12/13/2018 11:48:22 AM
<![CDATA[Injury rules Hamasa out of Egypt's provisional World Cup squad ]]>
Smouha’s Abol Fotoh Ahmed commonly known as Hamasa was ruled out of the squad as he is suffering from a muscle injury and he will not be fit to participate with the team in the World Cup.

On the other hand, Zamalek veteran, Ahmed el-Ahmar, will be part of the squad alongside Eslam Hassan, Ibrahim el-Masry and Mohamed Mamdouh Hashem.

Davis’ preliminary squad consists of:

Goalkeepers: Karim Hindawy, Mohamed Essam, Mohamed Aly, and Mohamed Gamal.

Left Back:: Karim Ayman, Omar el-Wakil, and Ahmed Moamen.

Left Wing: Aly Zein, Aly Hesham, Yehia el-Darea, Omar Haggag, and Abdel Rahman Faisal.

Right Back: Mohamed Sanad, Akram Youssry, and Omar Samy.

Right Wing: Mamdouh Taha, Baher Bdrawy, Yehia Khaled, and Ahmed el-Ahmar.

Playmakers: Eslam Hassan, Mohamed Hesham, and Ahmed Khairy.

Pivot: Wesam Samy, Mohamed Gamal, Ahmed Adel, Khaled Walid, Ibrahim el-Masry and Mohamed Mamdouh Hashem.

The squad is set to be cut down to the 16 players who will travel to Copenhagen where the national team will play their group stage games.

The World Cup draw put Egypt in Group D alongside Sweden, Qatar, Hungary, Argentina and Angola. ]]>
12/12/2018 7:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Nurse coaches Raptors to win after mother's death]]>
Marcella Nurse died Monday at age 94 in Carroll, Iowa, Nick Nurse's hometown.

"I'm here because my mother wouldn't want it any other way," Nurse said before the game at Staples Center. "I'll coach the game, and then I'll coach the next one tomorrow, and then we'll go back and take care of business."

The Raptors, the top team in the Eastern Conference at 22-7, play the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Wednesday in Oakland, Calif. Toronto's road trip then continues with games Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers and Sunday against the Denver Nuggets.

Nurse said of his mother, "She had a big impact because she had nine of us and I was the last one. Lots of games -- 94 years, nine kids and about 80,000 games watched are her final stats."

Nurse, 51, is in his first season as an NBA head coach. He was an assistant under Dwane Casey from 2013-14 through last season, then ascended to the top job when the Raptors fired Casey after getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Before joining the Toronto staff, Nurse coached several teams in Europe and several in the NBA D League, now known as the G League. He led the Iowa Energy to a D League title in 2011, when he picked up Coach of the Year honors. Nurse subsequently guided the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to the D League crown in 2013.]]>
12/12/2018 5:18:22 PM
<![CDATA[West Ham extend captain Noble's contract to 2021]]>
Since making his first-team debut in 2004, Noble has made 446 appearances for West Ham, scoring 51 times.

"I've been at this club all my life -- I've always said I wanted to be at this club and I think we're moving in the right direction, so it was the right time to do it," Noble said of exercising the option to extend his contract.

The 31-year-old midfielder has made 11 appearances for the club this season, helping them to three wins from their last three Premier League games.

Noble is looking to end his playing career as a one-club man and wants to contribute at the east London club in some capacity even after his deal expires.

"To be honest, I haven't done my coaching badges," he said in a statement. "I'd love to be involved somewhere though."]]>
12/12/2018 5:09:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt fails to reach Beach Soccer World Cup ]]>
Egypt needed to reach the final to appear for the first time at the World Cup as only the winner and the runners-up will represent Africa at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay.

Nigeria, who reached the semi-finals as runners-up in their group, had a great start in the game and scored two goals by Azeez Abu and Victor Tale but Egypt decreased the gap by Mostafa Sasa’s goal seconds before the end of the first period.

At the second period, Haitham Costa equalized for Egypt but minutes later Emeka Ogbonna and Abu added two goals to make the score 4-2 for Nigeria. Mostafa Samir scored the third goal for Egypt to make the score 4-3.

At the third period, Abu added the fifth goal for Nigeria to make Egypt’s mission harder but two goals from Mostafa Samir and Mohamed Abdelnaby made the score 5-5.

Two minutes later, Abu added the sixth goal for Nigeria and his own fourth in the game but Egypt’s Abdel Naby equalized from a penalty.

Everyone was expecting the game to go to the additional time but a late goal from Ogbonna sent Nigeria to the final and secured their spot at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

Nigeria will face the winner between Senegal and Morocco at the final, while Egypt will face the loser to decide the third place winner.

Egypt hosts the championship at a stadium designed especially for this tournament from December 8 to 14. ]]>
12/12/2018 5:04:36 PM
<![CDATA[Milner praises ‘world class’ Salah ]]>
“Mo's goal is a match winner. He is a world -class player and he's done it for us again," Liverpool captain, James Milner, told press after the game.

Liverpool played a "win or die" game against Napoli as they needed to achieve victory over the Italian team to stay at the competition and Salah’s goal led them to a 1-0 victory at Anfield.



Milner added “It was always going to be a tough game; they're a good team. I thought it was a really good performance; we knew we had to defend well and we defended really well from front to back.”

Liverpool hopes to keep their fine form when they travel to face Manchester United on Sunday afternoon at the North West Derby at the Premier League.

Liverpool is leading the league's table, one point ahead of the defending champions, Manchester City. ]]>
12/12/2018 4:38:44 PM
<![CDATA[Pochettino hails Spurs' 'mission impossible' ]]>
Spurs were beaten 2-1 by Inter Milan in their first game, lost 4-2 to Barcelona in their second and threw away the lead to draw 2-2 at PSV Eindhoven in their third to leave them with only one point at the halfway stage of the group.

Narrow home wins over the Dutch side and the Italians gave them a chance of going through, but their plight again looked bleak when Ousmane Dembele's sensational individual goal put them on the back foot in the decisive game at the Nou Camp.

Yet Spurs seized their place in the next round thanks to Lucas Moura's late leveller, sneaking above Inter, who could only draw 1-1 at home to PSV, due to a better head-to-head record.

"I'm so happy, so proud, I remember that after PSV no one believed in us, it was mission impossible, but we are here, we're in the next round," Pochettino told reporters.

"It's a massive achievement for the club, we're happy for the fans here and around the world, it's a massive boost for the club and to be able to play in the knockout rounds next year in the new stadium is a massive motivation for us."

Tottenham's hopes of staying in Europe's elite competition looked doomed when news filtered through of Mauro Icardi's leveller for Inter.

Pochettino said he and his players were caught in two minds about whether to try to hold on for the draw or seek a winner in case Inter got another goal in their game.

"It was difficult to manage the last 10 minutes. The players knew the result (score) of Inter but it is difficult to translate what to do to the field," he said.

"You have to score to win but if you concede and lose the game, maybe you talk in a different way afterwards."

The coach also said reaching the last-16 from a group containing two giants of the competition was among his greatest achievements with Spurs since taking over the club in 2014.

"It was so difficult to manage everything inside but we made a fantastic effort. To see and celebrate with everyone after four years and a half was great, it was the first time I felt something really special," he said.]]>
12/12/2018 3:00:21 PM
<![CDATA[Klopp hails 'lifesaving' Alisson as Salah fine form continues]]>
The slender victory was enough for Liverpool to progress at the expense of Napoli, who started the day top of Group C but crashed out on goals scored after the clubs finished tied on nine points with the same head-to-head record.

Klopp, along with a nervous Anfield crowd, watched Liverpool hang on at the death, with relief palpable all around as Brazilian Alisson rushed from his line to deny Arkadiusz Milik in almost the last act of the match.

"The save Ali made -- I have no words for that," Klopp said. "That was a lifesaver tonight.

"It wasn't just one save -- he had a lot of things to do and did it so coolly and calmly. Still he did it, incredible, unbelievable, never saw anything like it."

Klopp's praise for match-winner Salah was altogether more concise.

"The goal Mo scored, what a goal, unbelievable," Klopp said.

After all that Salah has achieved in such a short space of time at Liverpool, even someone as articulate as Klopp might be forgiven for running out of words with which to praise the Egyptian.

His 44 goals in all competitions in his first campaign at Anfield exceeded all expectations so seven goals in Liverpool's first 15 league matches this season, plus two in five Champions League starts, looked meagre by comparison.

In the space of a week, though, Salah has confirmed his importance to Klopp's team with two telling contributions.

A hat-trick at Bournemouth helped steer Liverpool to the top of the Premier League before his superb solo strike on Tuesday edged Liverpool into the last 16 of Europe's elite competition.

With Salah now back in something like last season's groove, and a defence that has conceded just six Premier League goals all season, Liverpool look like they are hitting top gear just at the right time.

Having qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League in such tense circumstances, however, it was too early for Klopp to start thinking about the teams that stand between the five-times European champions and another title.

"Until 7.55 tonight I wasn't sure we would even be in the draw," Klopp said.]]>
12/12/2018 2:57:43 PM
<![CDATA[Kohli engineered Kumble's exit, leaked email suggests]]>
Former coach Anil Kumble quit over a rift with Kohli in June 2017, saying his relationship with the skipper was "untenable".

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has denied any division in the Indian camp.

But in a leaked email seen by AFP, a senior BCCI official wrote to board administrator Vinod Rai that Kohli "frequently sent SMSs to the CEO on which you acted and there was a change in the coach".

"Mr Kumble a legend in his own right was subjected to loss of face and made to look like a villain," added senior administrator Diana Edulji.

"He was gracious enough to move on for which I respect him. There also, rules were broken and I had raised objections back then."

Edulji's email originated from a separate controversy in the women's national team, where former coach Ramesh Powar fell out with one-day captain Mithali Raj.

As men's national team coach, Kumble helped India reclaim the number-one Test ranking and maintained an unblemished record in five Test series.

But he resigned after his one-year term ended with a humiliating defeat to Pakistan in the 50-over Champions Trophy in June 2017, prompting a fallout with Kohli who reportedly didn't like the coach's training techniques.

He was replaced by Ravi Shastri. Shastri was always the frontrunner for the job with pundits pointing to his time as India's team director from 2014-16 and warm relationship with Kohli.

Kohli, currently on tour in Australia, was yet to comment publicly on the leaked email.]]>
12/12/2018 2:33:12 PM
<![CDATA[Chelsea fan denies Sterling abuse was racist]]>
A police investigation was launched after a video posted online showed the 24-year-old England international being shouted at by fans as he went to collect the ball during City's 2-0 Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge.

One of the supporters identified said that he had directed insults at Sterling but that they were not racist in nature.

"I'm deeply ashamed by my own behaviour and I feel really bad," Colin Wing, 60, was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Wing said he used an expletive along with the word "Manc" rather than "black".

"I've been going to Chelsea for 50 years now and, because of where I sit, I'm picked up on the camera most weeks. If I had a history of saying this sort of thing I would've been caught by now," he added.

The supporter offered his apologies to the player and said he had lost his season ticket and his job.

"Even if it wasn't racist, it's not right what I said. Even the swearing is bad -- but I got carried away," he added.

A Chelsea statement on Monday said that four people had been banned while the investgation continues and that the club "will also fully support any criminal prosecutions".

A spokesperson from the club told Reuters they would not be commenting any further at this stage.

No arrests were made after Saturday's match but the Metropolitan Police said they would review footage to determine whether any racist abuse took place.

Sterling had posted a statement on Instagram on Sunday in which he said that newspapers were fuelling racism in football due to their negative portrayal of young black players in comparison to their white counterparts.

His comments were echoed by the Professional Footballers' Association and former players such as John Barnes.]]>
12/11/2018 7:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Ronaldo wants Messi to resume their rivalry in Italy]]>
Ronaldo moved to Serie A champions Juventus in July for 100 million euros ($113.76 million) after spending nine trophy-laden seasons at Real Madrid.

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the global football landscape for a decade, each winning the Ballon d'Or five times before Croatia international midfielder Luka Modric broke their stranglehold by claiming the coveted award this year.

"I'd like (Messi) to come to Italy one day," Ronaldo told reporters. "I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he's happy there then I respect that."

Asked if he missed his rivalry with Messi, Ronaldo suggested it might be the other way round.

"No, maybe it's him who misses me," he said. "I've played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he's still in Spain. Maybe he needs me more."]]>
12/11/2018 6:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt face Nigeria at BSAFCON semis ]]>
Nigeria gained six points from two victories over Tanzania and Libya and their only loss came against Senegal at the group opening by penalty-shootouts.

On the other hand, Egypt have achieved three victories over Morocco, Madagascar and Ivory Coast to reach the second round as group leaders with 9 points.

The third African Beach Soccer Cup of Nations kicked off on Saturday, Dec.8 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Egypt participated at the last two editions and their best result came in 2016 when they achieved the third position.

Egypt hosts the championship at a stadium designed especially for this tournament from Saturday, December 8 to Friday, December 14.

The winner and the runners-up will represent Africa at 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay.]]>
12/11/2018 5:03:12 PM
<![CDATA[It is an honour to play at FIFA Club World Cup, El-Shahat ]]>
"Since the beginning of the season, we are waiting the World Cup kick off. It is an hnour to participate in the competition and I hope to acheive a good result." El Shahat told the club official wesbite.

Al Ain, who qualified to the tournament as the host nation League winner, will open their participation against Oceania Champions League winner, Team Wellington, on Wednesday night at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain.

El Shahat added" I joined the club last January and since then I have won the domestic League and the domestic Cup and I will participate at the World Cup which is great."

Tunisian giants, Espérance de Tunis, will face the winner between Al Ain and Team Wellington at the second round.

El Shahat has been linked with a return to Al-Ahly in January but his team announced earlier that he will stay in the club. ]]>
12/11/2018 5:01:56 PM
<![CDATA[La Liga remains hopeful of overseas games despite Barca setback]]>
Following a board meeting on Monday, Barcelona withdrew from the game "after seeing the lack of consensus surrounding the proposal", ending a protracted saga since La Liga applied to move the game from Catalonia to Florida in September.

The league's organising body accepted that the game, set to take place on Jan. 26, could not be played abroad but pledged to continue its legal battle with the Spanish football federation (RFEF), the most vocal opponent of the plan.

"We regret to disappoint our fans in the U.S. and will work to, in the shortest possible time, stage an official La Liga game in the U.S., just like the major American leagues stage games outside their borders," a La Liga statement said.

"La Liga will continue the planned action, so an official league game can be played outside of Spain. La Liga is convinced that the RFEF is not acting in accordance with the law."

The league also said Barca's withdrawal did not affect its 15-year agreement with entertainment firm Relevent to promote Spanish football in North America.

Last month, La Liga filed a lawsuit in a Spanish court against the federation, which turned down its application to have the game moved and whose president Luis Rubiales has loudly protested the league's plans.

La Liga president Javier Tebas told reporters on Tuesday that he understood Barca's decision, while adding the league would not relent on its future plans.

"I don't see Barca's decision as a betrayal. Of course I'd have liked to have played on Jan. 26 but I have to congratulate the clubs for allowing us to get to this point as it will help us in the future," he said.

"This is not a victory for Rubiales, because all that has happened is this request has been withdrawn, but the demand to play a game outside of Spain is still there."

Girona, meanwhile, said it accepted Barca's withdrawal but continued to support the idea of playing games overseas.

Barca's withdrawal came a day after the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors was moved from Buenos Aires to Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium after fan violence in Argentina saw the initial game postponed.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino, however, who has opposed La Liga's plans, has stated that the South American championship tie was moved due to exceptional circumstances and that it would not usher in other finals being played in different territories.]]>
12/11/2018 4:38:19 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool to face Napoli in a 'win or die' game]]>
The English side is three points behind the leaders, Napoli, and two points behind the second placed, Paris Saint Germain, and only victory can secure their qualification to the next round.

“There is an opportunity to qualify and we are not badly placed. The results of away games did not go as expected, but destiny is in our hands and at Anfield, we have always been good,” Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, told press ahead of the game.

Liverpool’s six points in the group came from two victories over PSG and Red Star Belgrade at home but the team failed to gain any points from their away games.

Klopp will count on the great form of his Egyptian winger, Mohamed Salah, who has had a great weekend scoring three goals against Bournemouth.

However, Napoli's goalkeeper, David Ospina, believes that the team is more than just a player, saying “I know that he scored three goals on Saturday. He is a great player, but we have to watch out for the whole team. Liverpool proved to be a great team, and it's not just one player.”

The game starts on 10 p.m. (CLT).]]>
12/11/2018 4:25:16 PM
<![CDATA[Aduriz strike gives Bilbao first league win since August]]>
Bilbao's former goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz had an inspired night for the visitors and it looked like the struggling Basque outfit, who parted company with coach Eduardo Berrizo last week, would go a 14th league game without a victory.

However there was late drama when Bilbao substitute Iker Muniain was felled in the box and VAR confirmed it was a penalty. Aduriz, 37, kept his cool to score with a Panenka-style chip down the middle to send San Mames stadium into raptures.

It was the perfect start for Garitano, who has been promoted from managing the club's 'B' team, with Bilbao still in the final relegation place but now on 14 points from 15 games and only below Villarreal on their head-to-head record.

They are the only team besides Real Madrid and Barcelona never to be relegated from Spain's top flight. ]]>
12/11/2018 3:43:59 PM
<![CDATA[AbdelHafiz denies rumors of Coulibaly’s departure ]]>
“It is just a rumor. I met with Salif and told him that he will have an essential role in the team in the coming period,” AbdelHafiz told press on Monday.

Coulibaly joined Al-Ahly last July and since then he established himself as a key player at Al-Ahly squad.

The defender played a great role in Al-Ahly’s run at the CAF Champions League and scored two goals at the group stage against Township Rollers and Kampala City.

Al-Ahly fans blamed the team’s defense of Coulibaly and Saad Samir for the CAF Champions League title loss against Esperance.
Al-Ahly achieved a 3-1 victory at the first leg in Alexandria but they suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at the second leg in Tunisia to lose the final for the second consecutive year.

Al-Ahly players reconciled their fans after their poor results in November as they achieved their third victory in a row at the league.



Al-Ahly defeated Al-Gaish 2-0 on Sunday night thanks to two goals from their striker, Marwan Mohsen.
]]>
12/11/2018 11:08:05 AM
<![CDATA[Gallardo wins second Libertadores and Europe beckons]]>
"He will go to Europe at some point, but right now he's at his home and it's hard for him to leave," team captain Leonardo Ponzio told reporters after River's 3-1 win over arch rivals Boca Juniors.

"It's important that he has told us for now he wants to stay. But, of course, like everyone else one day he will go to Europe."

Gallardo, a cultured midfielder who played part of his career at Monaco and Paris St-Germain, is well aware that Argentine talent inevitably heads to Europe and he will also be aware that his compatriots are currently in vogue as coaches.

Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs, Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds and Diego Simeone and Santiago Solari in Madrid are among the Argentines making a name for themselves far from home.

Gallardo's success will surely lead to offers and his colleagues say there is every reason to believe he can repeat his success at the highest level.

"There are three words that define him: quality, determination and effort," said his assistant Matias Biscay.

"He has so much determination to improve and to get others to improve. He demands a lot of himself and of others, he tries to get the best out of every player."

Gallardo was christened "El Muneco" (The Doll) by the older players at River Plate when he joined the club as a 16-year old but the nickname does not reflect his underlying mental strength and willingness to win. Gallardo watched Sunday's final from the stands as he served a touchline ban imposed after the semi-final against holder Gremio.

He had been banned from the dressing room for a previous infraction but with his team 1-0 down and heading out, he ignored the ban and gave a team talk that inspired his side to a 2-1 win and a place in the final.

He was then banned from entering the stadium for the final's first leg on Nov. 11 and forced to watch the second leg at the Bernabeu from the stands.

His mentality, however, has transferred over to his players.

"Muneco has a very clear message and he's convinced about what he does," Ponzio said.

"The group manifests itself in his image."]]>
12/11/2018 8:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Harsh media treatment of Sterling fuels racism - PFA]]>
Sterling said on Sunday that newspapers were "unacceptable" in their portrayal of young black players.

The 24-year-old's comments came a day after he faced alleged racist abuse from a supporter during City's 2-0 Premier League defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The PFA, the trade union for footballers in England, strongly condemned reports of racist abuse which they say has increased from last season.

"We commend Raheem for his professionalism during the incident and the statement he made via Instagram on Sunday," the PFA said in a statement.

"We stand with him in calling for the press to consider the coverage of all footballers carefully, and to end their imbalanced coverage aimed at young, black players.

"We have been aware for a few months of the targeting Raheem faces in the press, it is evident that he is often singled out and treated more harshly than his colleagues. As such, these stories are fuelling racism within the game, as reports of racist abuse continue to rise."

No arrests were made after Saturday's league game but the Metropolitan Police and Chelsea said they would review footage to determine whether any racist abuse took place.

Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out last month released figures that showed reports of discriminatory abuse within football were up 11 percent from last season. Of the 520 reported incidents, 53 percent were racism related.

"While it may be true that no racial slurs have been used in the press coverage received by Raheem and others, we are in no doubt that the negative narrative influences public opinion and emboldens racist rhetoric," the PFA added.

Former professional John Barnes, who like Sterling played for England and Liverpool and faced abuse in his career, said the issues of race went beyond the pitch.

"More often than not the media influences society... The only way we can change racism is if we change the perception of the average black person in the street and then you will have many more average black people being given what they deserve," the 55-year-old told the BBC.

"It's a very long-term process, we're talking about hundreds of years of indoctrination ensuring that there are certain groups of people who are more worthy than others."]]>
12/10/2018 7:30:00 PM
<![CDATA[Everton's Silva backs Richarlison to keep finding the net]]>
Everton host Silva and Richarlison's former club Watford in the Premier League later on Monday looking for their first win of December after a defeat at Liverpool and last week's draw with Newcastle United.

Richarlison, who made the switch from Watford in July, is Everton's top scorer in the league with seven goals despite serving a three-match ban after being shown a straight red card against Bournemouth in August.

"I'm happy with him but I still think he can do better in terms of goals, he certainly has the quality," said Silva.

The 21-year-old scored his first goal in four matches to rescue a point at home for Everton against Newcastle and Silva lamented their wasteful in front of goal.

"I agree we should probably take more of our chances," the manager added. "We created enough in the first half against Newcastle to have won the game, but points in the Premier League are not always easy to come by."]]>
12/10/2018 7:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Karim Abdel Gawad wins Black Ball Squash championship ]]>
Abdel Gawad deprived his opponent from clinching the world ranking top as Farag needed to win the competition to become the new World No.1 for the first time in his career.

“Karim had a great game and he deserved to win.” Farag told ONSport after the game.

Abdel Gawad has had an amazing run in the tournament defeating World No.1, Mohamed El Shorbagy and World No. 4, Tarek Moamen at quarter finals and semi finals respectively.



Abdel Gawad told press after winning the title“It was a tough game against a great player. I had a difficult time earlier this season but I trained so hard to regain my form and it paid off.”

Black ball tournament is one of the major squash competitions with prizes worth $180,000.

A total of 48 players battled for the title including 17 Egyptian players and many Squash stars like Germany’s Simon Rösner, Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez and New Zealand's Paul Coll who come among the top 10 players in the world.

Black ball Squash Women’s Tournament is set to take place in March and is expected to be among the biggest tournaments in the world. ]]>
12/10/2018 4:11:38 PM
<![CDATA[LaLiga’s rising stars: Vinicius Jr]]>
This series will answer all these questions, and more, by telling the inside stories of the latest generation of LaLiga stars about to burst onto the scene and become globally-renowned names.


Stories of talent, academies and grass root

Despite their tender years, many of these youngsters have already overcome many hurdles and challengers to get where they are today.

There is no one path to success in LaLiga. Every individual must carve out their own unique identity on and off the field.Each of these emerging talents has been carefully nurtured and developed within LaLiga’s world-renowned youth academies, receiving top class coaching and education at some of the most modern and advanced training facilities in world football.

REAL MADRID’S RISING STAR VINICIUS JR SHINING IN DREAM DEBUT LALIGA SEASON

The first player born in the 21st century to play in LaLiga for Real Madrid, Brazilian starlet Vinicius Junior has arrived impressively to the top level in recent months, with the still just 18-year-old dealing admirably with all the pressure and attention which comes with coming so far so fast.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in July 2000, Vinicius Jose Paixao de Oliveira Junior joined his city’s Club de Regatas do Flamengo as a 10-year-old and was soon being well known locally for his dazzling skills and ball control.

The youngster then first came on the radar of many international observers when finishing as top scorer as Brazil won the 2015 South American U-15 championship in December 2015, and then completing the same double as his national team won the continental Under-17 championship in March 2017.

A senior club debut with Flamengo in Brazil’s Serie A soon arrived, and within a few months a deal was agreed to take him to Madrid as soon as FIFA rules for the transfer of young players allowed.

That move was completed when he turned 18 in July 2018, and he joined up with the Bernabeu outfit for pre-season training last summer along with galacticos like Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos.

Vinicius 4

“This is the best opportunity a football player can have,” Vinicius said at July’s presentation event at the Bernabeu. “I will sacrifice a lot to show I deserve this opportunity. But sacrifice is not something new for me, I come from a very simple family, and am very proud of all they did for me, and the values they have taught me. Now I am the peak of world football, at Real Madrid.”

ESP_Rising Stars_Vinicius

A first game in a Los Blancos shirt followed in a pre-season International Champions Cup game against Manchester United in Miami, when he immediately filled the left-sided attacking role previously held by Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Vinicius 6

Vinicius then began the regular season training daily with Madrid’s seniors but playing with their Castilla youth side. He settled in impressively quickly to football in Spain’s third tier, with four goals and one assist in his first five games. A perfectly flighted free kick at Celta Vigo B especially stood out, as Castilla coach Santi Solari was repaid for the confidence shown. Then Madrid first team coach Julen Lopetegui saw enough to give Vinicius his senior LaLiga debut as substitute in September’s huge ‘derbi’ against neighbours Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Vinicius 3

A first start for Madrid's first team came in Solari’s first game after replacing Lopetegui as Blancos first team boss in October, a 4-0 Copa del Rey last 32 first leg victory at third-tier Melilla. The display included the expected skills and pace, but also impressive maturity and game intelligence. He played vital roles in two Madrid goals, and almost got on the scoresheet himself with 16 yard drive which rattled the crossbar.

Vinicius 7

The following weekend Vinicius was in action again back at the Bernabeu, entering from the bench with a LaLiga game against Valladolid locked at 0-0. Within minutes he had showed impressive confidence and positivity with a run and shot which was deflected to the net to break the deadlock. Another assist soon followed during a dazzling substitute cameo in a 5-0 Champions League victory against Viktoria Plzen.

Vinicius 1

Such displays have lead to Vinicius' nomination for the 2018 Golden Boy Award, a prestigious prize previously won by his club mate Isco in 2012, and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in 2005. This is unlikely to be the last individual recognition for one of LaLiga's most impressive rising stars.]]>
12/10/2018 3:26:27 PM
<![CDATA[Salah hat-trick surprised his manager ]]>
“What Mo (Salah) did around his two goals in the second half was just exceptional. I don’t know in the moment a lot of players who would have scored these two goals,” Klopp told press after the game.

Salah opened the score for his team minutes before half time after he followed the ball dropping from the opponent’s goalkeeper.
The Egyptian added another two goals at the second half to secure his team’s victory that allowed them to top the league's table as Manchester City lost 2-0 to Chelsea later on Saturday.

Klopp added “Whatever you do in a football game, you need somebody to finish it off.”

The Egyptian winger became the first Liverpool player to score three goals in an away game since Luis Suarez who scored a hat-trick against Cardiff City away in 2014.



Liverpool are preparing to face Napoli on Tuesday night at the UEFA Champions League; the game is a win or die for the English side to secure a place at the Champions League's second round. ]]>
12/10/2018 1:46:49 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahly signs Mahmoud Wahid from Misr Al Makssah]]>
The negotiations continued between Al-Ahly’s contracting department and Adly al-Ke’yi, the board's consultant on one side, and Al-Makassah’s officials on the other. The negotiations ended with the completion of all the financial procedures for the transfer of the player to the Red Giant.

Mahmoud Wahid, 24, signed his four and a half year contract starting from this January. It’s reported that Al-Ahly reached an agreement with Misr Al-Makssah to sign their left-back for LE15 million.

Wahid featured in 16 games this season; scored once and provided five assists.

This is the second signing for Al-Ahly in less than a month after including Mohamed Mahmoud, Wadi Degla's midfielder.

Mohamed Mahmoud, 20, shined with Degla this season scoring two goals at four games and he joined the national team under Mexican manager, Javier Aguirre.]]>
12/10/2018 1:45:17 PM
<![CDATA[Beni Ebeid celebrates 10th anniversary of defeating Zamalek ]]>
“It is a historic game for us and we had a stunning game against the Cairo giants,” Beni Ebeid President, Hermas Radwan, told Sada El-Balad.

In 2008, amateur players of Beni Ebeid, a then third division club, defeated Zamalek’s international players at El-Mansoura Stadium thanks to a goal by El-Sayed el-Mandouh.

Mandouh, who was a part time footballer, became an icon in his city following the historic goal he scored.



“We want to honor the golden generation of our team and we will invite other football clubs to attend the celebration including Zamalek,” Hermas added.

Beni Ebeid’s journey at the cup in 2008 ended at the round of 16 when they lost to their local rival, El-Mansoura.

The celebration is scheduled to take place on December 26. ]]>
12/10/2018 1:41:09 PM
<![CDATA[A great Saturday for ‘exceptional’ Salah ]]>
The day started at Vitality Stadium where Liverpool faced the hosts, Bournemouth who had an amazing season so far and competed for winning a position to play in European competitions.

Salah was the hero for his team scoring three goals and leading them to win the game 4-0.

The Egyptian winger became the first Liverpool player to score three goals in an away game since Luis Suarez who scored a hat-trick against Cardiff City away in 2014.



Salah put an end to the criticism he faced after his poor performance last Sunday at the derby against Everton and he became the Premier League top goal scorer alongside Arsenal’s
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 10 goals each.

Unsurprisingly, Salah won Man of the Match award for his amazing performance but he gave it away to his teammate, James Milner, who participated at his 500th Premier League game on Saturday.

“I have to congratulate him for his amazing career. He deserves it today and I hope we are going to win something this season together,” Salah said after refusing to receive the award.

Salah's former teammates in Chelsea granted him and Liverpool the Premier League leadership as Chelsea defeated Manchester City 2-0 to stop City’s unbeaten run at the League.

Liverpool stays at the top of the table with 42 points, one point ahead of the defending champions, Manchester City.]]>
12/10/2018 1:39:15 PM
<![CDATA[Rebooted Libertadores final a treat for Madrid soured by regret]]>
There have been refusals, complaints and threats to go to court, but the players of Boca and River, Argentina's two greatest football rivals, landed in Madrid and all indications are the second leg will be played.

Both teams trained on Thursday, Boca at the Spanish national team's base at Las Rozas and River at Real Madrid's Valdebebas, with the players appearing in good spirits, laughing and joking, jumping on each other's backs.

There was even a smattering of fans waiting outside, some holding flags or notebooks open for autographs, even if it was a world away from the rocking Bombonera, packed out for an open training session before the original fixture was due last month.

That game had to be postponed, three times, after River fans injured Boca players during an attack on their team's bus. It could have been cancelled, or awarded to Boca, but CONMEBOL, the South American football federation, chose to relocate to Spain.

A final at the Santiago Bernabeu should be something to savour, particularly when it is the Copa Libertadores at stake on Sunday, the most prestigious prize in South American club football.
Instead, as players finished training and spoke to journalists, the sense of regret became clear. "It is a weird final," said Carlos Tevez, once of Manchester United and Manchester City, and now a striker for Boca. "To play a match between Boca and River in Madrid, it's weird."
River goalkeeper Franco Armani said: "We would have liked to play the game at home, on our pitch, in front of our fans, who deserve it, but the decision is made. We have to make the best of it."
- 'Lost importance' -
CONMEBOL pointed to Madrid as a "neutral" host city, with the largest Argentinian community outside Argentina, and a long and successful tradition of football. It will host the Champions League final in June too.
For many, however, this was the most important match in Argentina's history and its removal a national embarrassment. After all, the Copa Libertadores was named after those that secured independence from countries like Spain in the early nineteenth century.

"Unfortunately for me, this match has lost importance in my heart," said Real Madrid's Argentinian coach Santiago Solari on Wednesday.

Boca and River had initially refused. Boca believe River should have forfeited the trophy and have said they will take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Depending on the result this weekend, they still might.

River, meanwhile, have lost the home advantage enjoyed by Boca in the first leg, which finished 2-2, not to mention economic benefits, despite CONMEBOL pledging to compensate them for any revenue missed.

"It was the security system that failed, absolutely and totally," River's club president Rodolfo D'Onofrio told El Pais on Friday. "River are the victims."

Most deprived, however, are perhaps the thousands of fans let down and then left at home in Argentina. Some have travelled, including Agustin Giacone, one Boca supporter who arrived in Madrid on Wednesday. "It's going to be a great party," he said.

"Argentinians don't want to spoil the name of Argentina anymore."
Boca coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto believes restoration will take longer. "We need time," he said on Friday. "We need matches of this quality played in Argentina or South America to show that we have matured."

- Tickets still available -

For each club, the 20,000 tickets allocated to fans in Spain and elsewhere sold out within hours but some of the 5,000 for residents in Argentina remain available. The cost, and short notice, is likely to have put them off.

Inside the stadium, a vacant block of seats will act as a buffer between the two sets of supporters. Outside, the Paseo de la Castellana, the road that runs from the city centre to the stadium, will be closed off from 9am local time, as police seek to keep them separate. Around 2,500 police officers are expected to attend.

If the match goes off peacefully, CONMEBOL will claim success, not least as broadcasters all over the world will have shown the fixture they paid for.

For Spain, there would be a boost to their 2030 World Cup bid, at the direct expense of the Uruguay-Argentina-Paraguay ticket, another lead contender. La Liga, intent on staging matches in the United States, will feel its cause has greater precedent.

For River and Boca, the winner will hoist the cup and then join their hosts, Real Madrid, at the World Club Cup in the United Arab Emirates later this month. River would also qualify for next year's Copa Libertadores.

But any joy will be tinged with regret, for the final that could have been. "Today we should be talking about how River and Boca made Argentina proud," Schelotto said. "Again, we have lost to violence."
]]>
12/9/2018 1:50:06 PM
<![CDATA['Sloppy, careless', says Spalletti as Inter's Serie A title hopes fade]]>
Chinese-owned Inter, who finished fourth last season, had looked a serious rival to reigning seven-time champions Juventus with summer signings such as Radja Nainggolan, Matteo Politano, Sime Vrsjalko and Keita Balde.

But despite their spending spree Spalletti's side proved to be no match for Juventus, even with Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo not as omnipresent as usual on the night for the Turin giants.

Inter sit third, but are now 14 points behind Juventus, and risk losing ground on second-placed Napoli, who are three points ahead of Spalletti's side, and play lowly Frosinone Saturday.

City rivals AC Milan, just behind in fourth, could also close the gap when they host Torino.

Mario Mandzukic's diving header after 66 minutes was enough to settle the Derby d'Italia with Inter's Roberto Gagliardini missing a golden chance after 30 minutes to help Inter to their first win in Turin since November 2012.

"We managed the game in the right way for long spells, but we're still too careless at times and sloppy," said Spalletti.

"It would have made a world of difference had we taken the lead, but we misplaced too many passes, we made too many banal and cheap errors.

"There were situations where we didn't interpret or read them property while Juventus didn't do anything wrong," said Spalletti.

"Unfortunately, Juve are smart and we are naive. They have a way of wasting five minutes after a foul."
- 'Effective and clinical' -

Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini was imperious in defence denying Inter striker Mauro Icardi a single shot on goal as the Argentine hitman tried to add to his eight-goal tally in Serie A.

But Spalletti defended the Inter captain.

"Icardi had the game that he needed to have, he did some great work in dropping to help the team," said the former Roma and Zenit Saint Petersburg boss.

"We were only on the back foot at the end of the first half and missed two big chances – you can't miss chances like this against Juventus."

After a stuttering start to the season Spalletti's side won seven consecutive games but have now taken just four points from their last four matches, and will host Napoli on December 26.

"We go home having not got any points, but we know that we're capable of getting a lot of points. We'll see where we are in March or April," said Spalletti.

Next up is Tuesday's crucial Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven at the San Siro as they look to seal their place in the knockout rounds.

Inter returned to the elite European competition this season after an eight-year absence since Jose Mourinho's reign when they completed the first treble of Serie A, domestic Cup and Champions League in Italian history in 2010.

Since those days it has been lean times for the 18-time Italian and three-time European champions, with the only title of any sort a 2011 Italian Cup crown.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri praised his team for being "effective and clinical" as they remain unbeaten this season.

Juventus also equalled the best ever start to a campaign in the top five European leagues set by Paris Saint-Germain this season with 43 points from 15 rounds.

"It's an important three points today because it means we're one win closer to achieving our goal in the league," said Allegri.

]]>
12/9/2018 1:45:14 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt hosts African Beach Soccer Cup of Nations]]>
Egypt hosts the championship at a stadium designed especially for this tournament from Saturday, December 8 toFriday, December 14.

Eight countries are participatingin this edition; Côte d’ivoire, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Libya, Madagascar, Tanzania andthe host, Egypt.

The title winners and the runners-up qualify to the World Cup which has never witnessed the participation of Egypt.

Egypt isin Group A with Morocco, Côte d'Ivoire and Madagascar, while Nigeria, Senegal, Libya and Tanzania are in the second group.

Egypt hosts the tournament for the first time as the last time was organized by Nigeria in 2016.
Paraguay hosts the 2019 World Cup with 16 teams participating in the tournament including two African teams.
]]>
12/9/2018 11:49:34 AM
<![CDATA[Atlanta beat Portland to seize MLS Cup crown in second season]]>
Atlanta's MLS Most Valuable Player Josef Martinez led the way in front of a league-record crowd of 73,019 at Mercedes Benz Stadium, opening the scoring in the 39th minute with his 35th goal of the 2018 campaign.

Argentine defender Franco Escobar doubled the score in the 54th minute as Atlanta made coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino's last match at the helm a victory before he departs to take over as coach of Mexico.

Atlanta pressed from the beginning. Martinez was sent tumbling by a challenge from Larrys Mabiala in the penalty area but play was waved on and VAR backed up the call.

Atlanta's Miguel Almiron had a clear chance in the 29th minute from a cross from Greg Garza but Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella dived right to swat the shot away.

Ten minutes later Atlanta seized the lead as a sliding Michael Parkhurst sent the ball toward the penalty area and Martinez beat Liam Ridgewell at the top of the box then rounded Attinella to slot the ball into an empty net.

Four minutes later Atlanta keeper Brad Guzan denied Portland's first real chance, set up by Sebastian Blanco's cross to Jeremy Ebobisse. Ebobisse's close-range header was pushed away by Guzan to keep it 1-0 at the interval.

The Timbers pushed forward early in the seocnd half, but found themselves 2-0 down after 54 minutes.

Martinez won a free kick, then appeared at the near post to flick on Almiron's service into the path of Franco Escobar, who fired into the bottom corner.

The contest boasted a distinctly South American flavor. Martino's opposite number at Portland was former Venezuelan international Giovanni Savarese.

Atlanta's squad featured eight players from South American and Portland's nine.

Atlanta, who finished second in the Eastern Conference in the regular season -- denied the Supporter's Shield by Eastern rivals New York Red Bulls -- eliminated New York City FC in the quarter-finals and the Red Bulls in the conference final to reach the championship match.

The club created by billionaire Arthur Blank, co-founder of the Home Depot DIY chain and owner of the Atlanta Falcons NFL team, succeeds Toronto as MLS champions.]]>
12/9/2018 11:29:01 AM
<![CDATA[American Chen wins gold at Grand Prix Final]]>
Chen, who was also first after Thursday's short programme, picked up earlier grand prix wins at Skate America and Internationaux de France.

Despite a less than perfect free skate himself, Chen posted a total score of 282.42 points to beat out runner-up Uno who finished with 275.10 at the UBC Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver, Canada.

"I made some mistakes but was able to get back on track after the mistakes," he said. "I definitely need to bump this up to the next level."

South Korea's Cha Jun-hwan finished third with 263.49 points. Czech Michal Brezina (255.26) was fourth and crowd favourite Keegan Messing (236.05) of Canada rounded out the top five.

Chen earned $25,000 for finishing first while Uno collected $18,000.

Chen bounced back from a disappointing fifth-place finish at the PyeongChang Olympics to win the world title by the largest margin in history.

Chen's solid programme on Friday to 'Land of All' by Woodkid, included a series of quadruple jumps and a difficult Lutz.

"This is the first (skate) of the long season I have done with more than three quads," he said. "I mostly wanted to improve on what I already had in the last competition whether it be adding a new jump or cleaning things up."

Skating to 'Moonlight Sonata' by Vladimir Ashkenazy, Uno slipped up badly on his Salchow, but managed to land a quad flip.

"I can definitely say it was not a good performance," said the world silver medallist Uno. "It did not go well."

China's Jin Yang and Peng Cheng lead after the pairs short programme and American's Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue placed first in the Rhythm Dance on Friday.

The competition runs till Sunday and features 24 skaters and couples who have qualified from the half dozen competitions of the ISU grand prix series, comprising Skate America in Everett, Washington; Skate Canada in Laval, Quebec; Grand Prix Helsinki in Finland; NHK Trophy in Hiroshima, Japan; Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia, and Internationaux de France in Grenoble.]]>
12/8/2018 3:01:48 PM
<![CDATA[Mandzukic scores as Juve beat Inter to go 11 points clear]]>
Luciano Spalletti's third-placed Inter fall 14 points adrift of the leaders with the Derby d'Italia defeat a grave blow to their hopes of challenging for a first title since 2010.

Unbeaten Juventus have 43 points from 15 games -- 11 points ahead of second-placed Napoli who host lowly Frosinone on Sunday -- with their only points dropped coming in a home draw against Genoa.

World Cup runner-up Mandzukic's diving header after 66 minutes off a cross from former Inter player Joao Cancelo was enough to decide the outcome at the Allianz Stadium.

"Mandzukic is one of those players who even on an off day can bring his physicality to the game and that can make the difference," said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

"We knew the championship wouldn't end today, but we still absolutely had to avoid defeat.

"I asked the lads to be efficient and effective. We were only half that in the first period, but then we started to hold the ball with greater patience, were more organised and solid.

"After that, the quality of the players inevitably emerges."

- 'Juve smart, Inter naive' -

The seven-time reigning champions proved yet again they were a class above their rivals even with Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo not as omnipresent as he has been in previous games, failing to add to his ten league goals.

Inter captain Mauro Icardi also failed to muster a single shot on goal, but the visitors did have chances in the first half with Roberto Gagliardini rattling the post just before the half-hour mark.

"We played well enough but we weren't consistent, there were situations where we didn't interpret or read them property while Juventus did not do anything wrong," said Spalletti.

"If someone takes the lead, of course it makes the difference, but we made too many banal and cheap errors," continued the Inter coach.

"Unfortunately, Juve are smart and we are naive. They have a way of wasting five minutes after a foul."

Argentine Paulo Dybala threatened early for Juventus, nodding over a Ronaldo cross with Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic tipping over in the first ten minutes.

Icardi and Matteo Politano set up Gagliardini but his shot bounced off the post just before the half-hour mark.

Mandzukic got his head to Rodrigo Bentancur's cross although failed to control the finish with Marcelo Brozovic deflecting wide and Handanovic getting his hand to a searing Giorgio Chiellini header before the break.

Inter winger Politano missed a chance to break the deadlock just after the break as Leonardo Bonucci produced a vital block.

A Ronaldo strike from distance flew narrowly over the crossbar just before the hour mark, before Mandzukic's stooping header gave him his seventh goal this season.

Inter desperately tried to salvage a point but were closed down by a Juventus defence well-organised by veteran Chiellini, with Lautaro Martinez volleying wide in a last desperate attempt for the visitors.

Inter stay four points ahead of AC Milan, who host Torino, with Lazio a further point back in fifth before their game against Sampdoria.

Spalletti's side now turn to their crucial Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven at the San Siro on Tuesday.

Juventus are already through to the Champions League knock-out rounds before next week's trip to Young Boys in Switzerland.]]>
12/8/2018 12:17:15 PM
<![CDATA[Argentine hooligan denied entry to Spain for River-Boca final]]>
Spanish police said "one of the most significant" hooligans, with a long criminal record, was spotted at Madrid's international airport on Wednesday night ahead of the South American club final showdown between the Argentine arch-rivals.

"This person has been returned to Argentina. There is no place for violence in football," they added via Twitter.

The second leg of the final was scheduled for Nov. 24 in Argentina but was postponed, then moved to Madrid, after several Boca players sustained injuries when rocks were thrown at their team bus as it arrived at River's Monumental stadium.

Spanish police are calling the security operation for Sunday's match the biggest ever for a game in Madrid.

More than 2,500 officers are expected to be on duty for the match, known as the 'Superclasico' and regarded as one of the world's fiercest football rivalries.

The first leg, played at Boca's Bombonera stadium, ended 2-2.]]>
12/7/2018 10:56:00 AM
<![CDATA[No talks to share World Cup with other countries, says Qatar]]>
Despite coming under pressure from FIFA president Gianni Infantino to expand the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams -- which could mean some matches being played elsewhere in the Middle East -- Nasser al-Khater said no such negotiations had taken place.

"We haven't had any discussions of sharing," said the assistant secretary general of Qatar's World Cup organising body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

Governing body FIFA is currently carrying out a feasibility study to see if the first World Cup in the region could be expanded.

Infantino has said that if any tournament enlargement is agreed, it would likely mean matches being played in neighbouring countries, as it would increase the total number of tournament games from 64 to 80.

He has even suggested that could help Middle East peace, at a time when Qatar is at the centre of the worst Gulf diplomatic crisis in years.

For the past 18 months Doha has been isolated by countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, states which could potentially benefit from any World Cup expansion, in a bitter regional power struggle.

Qatar is accused by its rivals of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran, charges which it refutes.

Khater said that whatever FIFA decides, any changes would have to be agreed by Qatar.

"There will be nothing that is forced upon anybody," he said.

"It's a feasibility study, then a consultation process. And based on the feasibility study and based on the discussions an agreement will be made.

"There will be nothing that will be decided unilaterally."

The country is being transformed in readiness for the World Cup and is spending some $500 million each week on major infrastructure projects for football's biggest tournament.]]>
12/7/2018 10:15:00 AM
<![CDATA[Woods keen to be playing captain at Presidents Cup]]>
Woods will captain the US in the 2019 edition of the matchplay team event at the Royal Melbourne -- Australia's oldest golf club -- with Ernie Els captaining the Internationals.

The former world number one made a successful return to golf this year after missing most of the previous two seasons through injury.

It has propelled him to 14 in the world from outside the top 500 and he wants to ensure he is among the eight top-ranked Americans who will gain automatic selections for next year. If not, he could still play as one of four wildcard picks made by himself in consultation with his vice-captains.

"I'm part of the team either way, okay. We'll have our top eight guys, and hopefully I'll be part of the top eight," he said in Melbourne where he is scouting out the course layout.

"If not, then myself and my vice-captains are going to have to figure out as well as the other top eight players who are the next four guys that will be best served to be part of this team."

But he made clear he wanted to play at an event he has been part of for 20 years. "I want to compete. I want to play," he said.

"Being a vice-captain the last couple years, you realise you really don't control the play.

"You have to sit back and watch. And as a player and as a competitor, you want to always be in control and be able to compete and play."

Woods was initially picked by captain Jim Furyk to be a vice-captain at this year's Ryder Cup, but he dropped out of the role after forcing his way into the team as a player.

But he said the early preparation for being a vice-captain would bode well for his potential dual role in Melbourne.

"I had a lot of prep about being a vice-captain and being a player, and I was part of a lot of those conversations about who should be part of the team, all the group texts that we were trying to figure out," he said.

"Now fast forward to next year, I'll be a captain, so I'm going to have to defer a lot of information to my vice-captains and get a lot of their opinions and also my team, whether or not I can play and do both roles."

Woods added that he was tossing around a few names to be his vice-captains, and he would make a decision "shortly".

The US team won the last Presidents Cup in Jersey City in 2017 by 19-11, their seventh straight triumph.

The only win by the Internationals in the biennial event's 25-year history was in Melbourne in 1998, when Woods was on the losing side.]]>
12/7/2018 8:13:00 AM
<![CDATA[Juventus shares to be added to Italy's FTSE-Mib index]]>
Rumours about the move pushed Serie A champions Juventus up by around 10 percent on Wednesday before the bourse announcement was made in the late evening.

The stock will be included in the index, which groups 40 top shares in all, from December 27, it said.

Juventus first listed in December 2001 and remained little traded until the arrival of Ronaldo from Real Madrid for this season.

The shares were around 0.64 euros mid-year and jumped as high as 1.80 in September only to fall back.

At Wednesday's close, the stock was quoted at 1.2 euros, giving the iconic club a market capitalisation of around 1.1 billion euros ($1.25 billion).]]>
12/7/2018 6:11:00 AM
<![CDATA[Reading sack manager Paul Clement]]>
The Royals are outside the relegation zone on goal difference after winning just four of their 20 league games so far this season.

"Reading Football Club can announce that Paul Clement has left his position as manager of the club with immediate effect," said a club statement.

"Clement was appointed towards the end of March and earned two victories and a final day draw in Cardiff which proved enough to secure the club its Championship status at the end of a challenging 2017/18 campaign.

"However, following five wins in the first 22 league and cup matches of 2018/19, owners Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai have made the difficult decision that the time is now right to make a change."

Former Derby and Swansea manager Clement, 46, signed a three-year deal when he replaced Jaap Stam in March.]]>
12/7/2018 5:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Pavard keeps mum amid Bayern, Liverpool and Napoli rumours]]>
Pavard's status skyrocketed in the summer when he scored a superb goal in a 4-3 last-16 win over Argentina that set France on their way to World Cup glory in Russia.

The 22-year-old defender has been at VfB Stuttgart since 2016 but seems unlikely to remain at the struggling side beyond this season, with a big-money move to Bayern among other "concrete offers" on the table.

"I haven't made promises to any clubs," Pavard told Sky Germany on Thursday.

"Maybe I will go (to Bayern) but I don't know what the future has in store for me.

"I've never hidden the fact that my ambition is to play in the Champions League."

Despite reports linking the centre-back to English giants Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Napoli, Pavard's love affair with all things German could see him remain in the Bundesliga.

"I might just stay in Germany, but for the moment I want to focus on Stuttgart. I'm still here, we're in a difficult situation and I want to help us get out of it," he added.

"I like the people here and I fit in well...the mentality and the commitment, even at training, we never let up.

"That's how I like it. My mentality is German, I like this country a lot."

Stuttgart are currently third-bottom in the Bundesliga having won just three of their 13 games.]]>
12/7/2018 4:09:00 AM
<![CDATA[Odds stacked against Inter in Derby d'Italia]]>
Juventus have opened an eight-point lead at the top and dropped only two points in their first 14 games. Bolstered by the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, their progress has been relentless and the second half of the season threatens to turn into a one-horse race.

Inter Milan were seen as possible challengers to Juve's dominance at the start of the season but, despite at one point winning seven games in a row, have paid dearly for their inconsistency and are 11 points behind in third.

Even at this stage of the season, it seems their only hope is give a helping hand to second-placed Napoli by taking points off Juve.

Inter’s recent record in the fixture is equally demoralising, with only two wins in the 16 league meetings since winning their last Serie A title in 2010 under Jose Mourinho.

Inter are still smarting from their last meeting in April when they led 2-1 at San Siro with five minutes left, only to lose 3-2. That win practically sealed last season’s title for Juventus.

But in the previous match, Inter coach Luciano Spalletti could claim a moral victory as he outsmarted rival Massimiliano Allegri in a 0-0 draw at the Juventus stadium.

The duels between the pair are invariably close and fascinating and their nine previous meetings on the touchline have produced fours wins for Allegri, three for Spalletti and two draws.

When they first crossed paths in 2008, Allegri was still an inexperienced coach with Cagliari and Spalletti had already established himself at Roma.

They met again in 2012 in the Champions League when Allegri was in charge of AC Milan and Spalletti was at Zenit St Petersburg.

There have been five more meetings since 2016, three of those with Spalletti at AS Roma, plus the two last season following his move to Inter.

There is a mutual admiration between the pair with Spalletti admitting that he voted for Allegri in the recent Italian coach of the year award, which Allegri won.

"I voted for him because he is a great coach, it is difficult to find someone who stays on the same bench for so many years and wins everything he has won," said Spalletti.

"It's a difficult match, a fascinating and wonderful one against a great side with a lot of technical quality," said Allegri.

"We are facing a team with great technical value. It’s the game of the year because it’s the Derby d’Italia and that’s always one of the toughest there is -- it's five out of five on the difficulty scale." (Reporting by Brian Homewood Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)]]>
12/7/2018 2:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trezeguet to Saudi Arabia? ]]>
Sporx and Yenicag, Turkish newspapers, revealed that the Saudi club, Al-Shabab, is interested in signing the Egyptian player.

Reports added that Al Shabab will offer Kasimpasa, Trezeguet's current club, an offer with €7 million in addition to a big salary for the 24-years-old.

Treze 2

Trezeguet's desire will decide his future; whether he prefers moving to Europe or stepping back to the Arabian leagues.

Al-Ahly's product shined for the second season in Turkey with Kasimpasa as he played 14 games this season; scoring five goals and providing 5 assists.

Al Shabab is placed 6th in the Saudi Pro league after playing 11 games; winning 4 games, drew in 5 games and losing 2 games.

Trezeguet was close to leave the Turkish club to Inter Milan or Slavia Prague but he preferred to play another year in Turkey.

Former Anderlecht player played with the Egyptian national team in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He has 33 international games generally with all the national teams; scoring 4 goals.




]]>
12/6/2018 4:08:25 PM
<![CDATA[Zamalek vs Al Masry, Who will bring joy to their fans? ]]>
Zamalek and Al Masry seek bringing joy back to their fans as both clubs were knocked out from a tournament in the past week.

Zamalek was knocked out from the Arabian Championship after suffering a defeat against Ittihad Alexanderia in the 16th round. While, Al Masry club waved bye to Egypt's Cup against Geziret Matrouh.

The White Knights are dominating the Egyptian league as they are leaders with 32 points while Al Masry places 10th with 16 points.

Zamalek fans are looking forward to see Tarek Hamed beside Ferjani Sassi in the midfield and Mostafa Fathy in the attacking line.

Mostafa Younes, Al Masry's coach, admitted that it's a difficult match against the League's winners favorites especially after losing the Arabian championship.

Al Masry only won three games this season in 12 matches.
]]>
12/6/2018 3:51:34 PM
<![CDATA[Admired by Guardiola, Rubi leads Espanyol revival]]>
Victory for seventh-placed Espanyol would move them to within four points of leaders Barca and further enhance the reputation of their coach, who spent a season at the Nou Camp working as an assistant.

Rubi began his coaching career in the lower leagues of Spanish football, with sides such as Hospitalet and Espanyol's reserve team, winning promotion to the third tier of Spanish football with the latter.

He stood out in these typically gritty surroundings for having an attacking outlook and insisting that his teams dominate possession.

His success and reputation led to him striking up a friendship with Tito Vilanova, who was assistant to Pep Guardiola during his trophy-laden period as boss of Barca.

Guardiola is reported to have asked Rubi to join his staff at Bayern Munich when he began working with the Germans in 2013.

Yet it was Vilanova, Guardiola's successor at Barca, who convinced him to temporarily abandon his career as a head coach and join his staff at the Nou Camp in 2013. Rubi's working relationship with Vilanova would only last a month, though, cruelly cut short when the latter was forced to leave the job as his battle with throat cancer intensified. Vilanova died in April 2014.

Rubi remained at the club under Argentine coach Gerardo Martino, but soon returned to management, taking over Valladolid, Levante and Sporting Gijon with varying degrees of success.

He then stormed to a first ever top flight promotion with tiny Huesca.

Yet instead of leading Huesca into their first season in La Liga, he returned to Espanyol, where he had spent his early years as a coach in charge of the reserve team.

He was immediately endorsed by Guardiola, who said: "I have great references of him, he did great work with Huesca and I see him as a very brave coach. I'm convinced he will do very well at Espanyol."

Guardiola's inkling proved correct. Espanyol had become used to finishing in the lower half of La Liga but Rubi has overseen their best start to a season since 2010, when Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was at the helm.

An excellent run of home form, winning five of six games, has taken them into seventh place, sparking hopes of a push for European football next season.

"Espanyol are demanding respect again and everyone knows they are a powerful team," said former player Luis Garcia of the team's revival under Rubi.

Victory over Barca, who they have not beaten in the league since 2009, would take them to within touching distance of their more glamorous rivals, who reclaimed top spot from Sevilla in La Liga last week.

Barca will be boosted by the return of Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo and striker Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for Saturday's encounter. (Reporting by Richard Martin Editing by Toby Davis)]]>
12/6/2018 3:05:45 PM
<![CDATA[St Etienne/Marseille latest soccer match cancelled over French protests]]>
France's Ligue 1 body said on Thursday that the match had been cancelled at the request of local police.

The cancellation of the St Etienne/Marseille match follows similar decisions to scrap Monaco's local derby versus Nice and Saturday's Paris St Germain's match.

There was no immediate response from the French football federation on whether further matches, or the entire weekend's games, could be called off. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Luke Baker)]]>
12/6/2018 3:00:01 PM
<![CDATA[Serie A to stage Supercoppa match in Saudi Arabia]]>
Serie A said the annual fixture would take place at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah on Jan. 16.

The match between the Serie A and Coppa Italia winners has been played abroad several times with the United States, China and Qatar the previous foreign venues.

Juve won the double last season so Milan qualified for the showpiece match as Coppa Italia runners-up. (Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Ken Ferris)]]>
12/6/2018 2:57:54 PM
<![CDATA[Boca land in Madrid amid tight security for Libertadores]]>
A noisy caravan of around 5,000 Boca supporters accompanied the team bus in the early hours of the morning as it headed from their Bombonera stadium to Buenos Aires airport.

An estimated 10,000 fans in total from both teams are expected to travel from Argentina for the twice postponed and then relocated game now being played on Sunday at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium during a holiday weekend in Spain's capital.

With the potential arrival of tens of thousands more Argentines living in Europe, Spanish police have described it as the highest risk match in Madrid's history.

More than 2,500 officers are expected to be on duty for the 'Superclasico', one of the world's fiercest soccer rivalries. Police have also asked for support from Argentine security.

River Plate will leave Argentina at 1700 GMT and are set to land early on Thursday morning in Madrid.

BUS ATTACKED

The teams drew 2-2 in the first leg at Boca's ground but the second leg, originally scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires on Nov. 24, was twice postponed after River supporters attacked Boca's team bus outside the Monumental Stadium.

Boca players sustained injuries after rocks were thrown and at the bus and pepper spray was used. The South American soccer confederation (CONMEBOL) switched the match to Madrid after initially arranging for it to take place at River one day later.

Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana, one of the city's main roads, will be cut off from 9am local time (0800 GMT) on Sunday as police divide the two groups of fans to prevent violence.

Supporters will arrive on club specific flights and be taken on buses to their respective fan zones after they arrive at Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas airport.

Although each of the finalists will get 25,000 tickets for the game, they are only permitted to sell 5,000 to supporters living in Argentina in a bid to stop the notoriously violent 'barra brava' ultras from travelling to the game.

Police have arrested one of the fans they said took part in the Nov. 24 attack and others have been identified and are being sought, Argentine law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.

River said they had suspended the man, who is a club member, and would seek to ban him from future matches. (Additional reporting by Ramiro Scandalo in Buenos Aires; Editing by Ken Ferris)]]>
12/6/2018 2:56:33 PM
<![CDATA[United battle to draw with Arsenal, Liverpool march on]]>
Liverpool also fell behind but stormed back to beat Burnley 3-1 and cut the gap on leaders Manchester City to two points.

Tottenham Hotspur climbed to third with a 3-1 win over Southampton while Chelsea hung on to fourth spot, above Arsenal on goal difference, despite a 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers who ended a run of six games without a win.

Storm clouds have been gathering over Jose Mourinho's misfiring United side and on a wet night in the north west they again looked well short of being contenders for the top four.

It was the first United v Arsenal clash since 1986 not featuring either Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger in the dugout.

On this occasion it was Wenger's successor Unai Emery who would had more to be satisfied as his Arsenal side stretched their unbeaten run to 20 matches -- although United boss Jose Mourinho also took comfort from a result that left his side 18 points behind leaders Manchester City.

"This is a performance of big soul and heart," Mourinho said. "But even from our bench you could feel the little panic when the ball comes to our defensive third."

Mourinho, who left Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku out of his starting lineup, said his side "scored all four goals".

He could not have expected keeper David de Gea to suffer the sort of panic that keeps undermining his side.

De Gea should have comfortably held Shkodran Mustafi's 26th-minute downward header but merely juggled it over his head and over the line.

Anthony Martial levelled six minutes later from close range, Ander Herrera pulling the ball back after Marcos Rojo's free kick was well-saved by Bernd Leno.

Rojo forced Leno into a fine save but it was Arsenal who led again in the 68th minute when Alexandre Lacazette got the final touch but the advantage lasted less than a minute as Arsenal's defence allowed Jesse Lingard to steal in and slide a shot under Leno.

De Gea made crucial late saves to deny Arsenal a first league win at Old Trafford since 2006.

"I think we controlled the game, the second half better than the first," Emery said. "We could have won this match in certain moments, but they equalised very quickly after both our goals."

BEST START

After Manchester City beat Watford on Tuesday to go five points clear, Liverpool responded well as their best start to a top-flight season continued after falling behind at Turf Moor.

2018-12-05T212855Z_306526160_RC1BCBEB42D0_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-ENGLAND-BUR-LIV

James Milner levelled for the Reds after Jack Cork's surprise opener and substitute Roberto Firmino set Liverpool on course for a 12th win in 15 league games with his first touch before Xherdan Shaqiri rounded things off.

"I was really happy we could just adjust a few tactical things (at halftime)," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said after his side's 12th in 15 games.

"I shouted a lot in the first half but I wasn't angry."

His only concern was a nasty-looking ankle injury sustained by Joe Gomez in the first half.

Tottenham Hotspur shook off their north London derby defeat by Arsenal with Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min all on target for Mauricio Pochettino's side at Wembley where new Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl watched from the stands.

Tottenham have 33 points, six behind Liverpool, and two more than Chelsea and Arsenal.

Chelsea took the lead early through Ruben Loftus-Cheek but Wolves replied with quickfire goals by Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota as Chelsea lost for the second time in three games.

"We played very well for 55 minutes and then suddenly we were another team," Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said.

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri welcomed his old club Leicester City to Craven Cottage and shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw while Everton were held 1-1 at home by Newcastle United.

Southampton, Burnley and Fulham occupy the three relegation spots with nine points each. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

]]>
12/6/2018 2:53:42 PM
<![CDATA[Paine hopes Australia can earn victory as well as respect]]>
For Tim Paine's team, however, Thursday's opening delivery of the first test against India marks the start of a long summer job to win back the hearts of a sceptical public.

Nine months on from the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, fans will turn up to Adelaide Oval as always, some having ducked out early from their workplaces in a city that loves the sport like few others.

Many will be curious about what to expect.

Some will nurse a rare feeling of apprehension having read reports about the country's worst ever batting lineup set to take on an Indian team with a rare surfeit of quality pacemen.

Others will feel Australia are barely recognisable from their last visit, when Steve Smith's side hammered England by 120 runs on the way to an eventual 4-0 Ashes triumph.

With Smith and David Warner serving bans for ball-tampering, Paine's team have had little to celebrate and even less inclination to indulge in chest-thumping aggression.

Defeat does little to lift the spirits, and Australia have lost a string of series across formats since the Newlands scandal.

A barrage of cultural reviews linking the team's past belligerence with a descent into cheating has hardly helped the mood.

Fears abound that Australia have lost their mean streak, as if a sneer and a nasty remark on the field could trump skill with bat and ball.

Former captain Michael Clarke lamented that Australia would not win a game without re-embracing their anger.

Paine has drawn criticism for pledging Australia will be better behaved but has steadfastly argued that winning and good sportsmanship are not mutually exclusive.

"We play test cricket to win, there's no doubt about that," he told reporters at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

"And clearly we've realised that we needed to do some work in some areas and gaining the respect of our country and our fans is as high a priority as is winning."

CRICKET KRYPTONITE

Regaining respect is not something Virat Kohli need worry about, with the captain and his number one-ranked team idolised in the cricket-mad nation.

Kohli has plenty of respect Down Under, too, having plundered Clarke's side for 692 runs during the 2014/15 series.

But Australia and its unforgiving pitches have been kryptonite to Indian cricket, and Kohli's starring role in the last series was in a losing cause.

Pundits have nonetheless backed Kohli's side to do what no other Asian team has done and win a test series in Australia, though for that to happen the skipper will need his team mates to chip in with more runs than they did in series defeats in South Africa and England.

"I personally don’t think any Australian side is vulnerable at home," Kohli told reporters at Adelaide Oval.

"They still have the skill to dominate at home. We're not taking anything for granted."

Australia's 2-0 win over India in 2014/15 was marked by a string of conduct violations, with Kohli one of the chief antagonists in a heated series.

Scorching weather forecast for the opening days could see tempers fray quickly in the field.

Kohli said the series might be played in a better spirit than the last tour but there was always a place for chatter.

"Yeah, at times when situations are difficult you do find ways to upset the batsmen's rhythm," he said.

"I think a bit of banter there is not harmful at all."]]>
12/5/2018 8:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Preview: Al-Ahly vs El-Gouna ]]>
Al-Ahly suffered a tough period as they lost the CAF Champions League and were knocked out from the 16th round of the Arab Club Championship in two weeks; these results cost French manager, Patrice Carteron, his job.
Carteron was succeeded by his assistant, Mohamed Youssef.

Changes inside the team started to pay off as the club returned to the right track and defeated Petrojet 1-0 at the league thanks to Ahmed el-Sheikh's goal.

“It will be a tough game against El-Gouna and I have much respect for them. However, we should not lose more points at the upcoming games,” Youssef stated.

Al-Ahly defenders, Salif Coulibally and Mohamed Hany, returned to the team squad after they missed Petrojet's game for injury but Youssef is expected to keep Karim Nedved and Ahmed Alaa who replaced them against Petrojet.

Al-Ahly’s expected squad against El-Gouna clash consists of:

Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy

Defenders: Ahmed Alaa, Karim Nedved, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf

Midfielders: Hesham Mohamed, Amr el-Solia , Walid Soliman, Ahmed el-Sheikh, Nasser Maher

Forwards: Walid Azaro

The game will start at 8:00 p.m. (CLT). ]]>
12/5/2018 5:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Jazz crush Spurs with record-setting 3-point spree]]>
Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Kyle Korver added 15 points off the bench in his first home game since Utah reacquired the veteran guard in a trade. The Jazz won for the third time in four games since dealing for Korver.

Jakob Poeltl contributed a career-best 20 points and seven rebounds off the bench for San Antonio, which lost for the third time in four games. DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points and dished out seven assists, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points.

The Jazz lit up the perimeter early and often starting in the first half. They went 10 of 17 from outside over the first two quarters and opened up a 63-47 lead by halftime. Overall, Utah hit 20 of 33 3-point attempts.

Mitchell set the tone with back-to-back 3-pointers early in the first quarter. Utah took its first double-digit lead at 23-13 on a 3-pointer from Ricky Rubio. The Jazz kept rolling and eventually carved out a 40-22 lead in the first minute of the second quarter on back-to-back outside baskets from Mitchell and Korver.

Utah led by as many as 24 points in the second quarter, going up 52-28 when Gobert threw down a dunk and hit two free throws on back-to-back possessions midway through the quarter.

The Spurs cut the deficit in half and pulled with 54-41 after DeRozan capped a 13-2 run with a step-back jumper and a pair of free throws. That was as good as it got for San Antonio.

Utah ripped off a 17-6 run, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Joe Ingles and Mitchell, and took an 84-59 lead with 6:29 left in the third quarter.]]>
12/5/2018 4:05:12 PM
<![CDATA[Klopp defends Salah against criticism ]]>
“It’s all good. I think he has scored seven so far in the league. He could have scored more with the chances he’s had, but there is nothing else to say,” Klopp added.

Salah has been criticized for failing to regain his last season’s form when he scored 44 goals for his team, including 32 goals at the league, which got him the Premier League Golden Boot Award.

Klopp sent a message to the Egyptian winger, saying “Just try and get yourself ready for the next game, try to do your best and then after the season you will get judged, not during the season. You can do that, but for us that’s not really important.”

Liverpool defeated their arch rivals, Everton, on Sunday night at the Premier League thanks to a late goal from their Belgian striker, Divock Origi.

Liverpool comes at the second position at the Premier League, five points behind the leaders, Manchester City, who played one game more than Liverpool. ]]>
12/5/2018 4:02:09 PM
<![CDATA[ESLSCA Egypt signs partnership with LaLiga ]]>
“It is a great chance for Egypt to have partnerships with LaLiga. Everyone supports them and we hope to get the best from their experience,” Egyptian Football Federation member, Karam Kordy, told Egypt Today.

LaLiga ambassador to Egypt, Juan Fuentes, announced during the press conference that they will hold seminars with the federation to share their experience in VAR (Video Assistant Referee) which has been used in LaLiga this season.

“Laliga is a model to follow and we want to share with you what we did and how we did it,” LaLiga business school director, Jose Moya, told Egypt Today.

ESLSCA announced that their first project with LaLiga will be a sports-marketing course set to be held in March 2019, where LaLiga experts will provide lectures in sports management and marketing for the participants.

The course will grant the participants the chance to attend LaLiga week in Madrid, where they can attend LaLiga meetings and meet officials from different Spanish clubs.

Founded in 1949, ESLSCA opened their branch in Egypt in 1998 and since then they have been offering accelerated, rigorous and innovative programs that allow students to move forward in a successful career.
]]>
12/5/2018 2:16:20 PM
<![CDATA[City edge Watford to extend lead, Bournemouth up to sixth]]>
The defending champions, who are unbeaten in the league, were again without Argentine striker Sergio Aguero but close-season signing Riyad Mahrez showed his worth by setting up Leroy Sane for the first goal before scoring himself.

Bournemouth moved up to sixth with a 2-1 home win over lowly Huddersfield Town, while there were comfortable wins for West Ham United and 10-man Brighton & Hove Albion.

City were having trouble finding a way past Watford keeper Ben Foster at Vicarage Road but the Englishman will not want to see the replay of him being beaten by the chest of Sane five minutes before the break after a Mahrez cross.

Algerian Mahrez then fired home himself shortly after halftime to set Pep Guardiola's marauding side on the way to what looked like an easy victory.

Watford did not give up though and Abdoulaye Doucoure fired in from close range five minutes from time. The hosts, without a win since October, pushed City deep into their half but could not stop them claiming a 13th win in 15 league games this term.

Spectators have been accustomed to seeing City blowing teams away, particularly last season when they won the title with a record 100 points and scored a record number of goals.

It is not often that City resort to clearing the ball high and away from their defence as they did near the end at Watford, but Guardiola said the result was the most important thing.

"For five minutes they were better than us. It is not about breaking records, it's winning games. You cannot win easily for 38 games, that is impossible," the Spanish coach said.

The focus on Wednesday switches to second-placed Liverpool who visit Burnley looking to cut the gap back to two points.

BOURNEMOUTH RESURGENT

Bournemouth's Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser notched a goal and an assist each to snap the south-coast side's four-game losing streak with a 2-1 home win over Huddersfield Town.

Wilson gave the hosts the lead after five minutes with a superb header from a free kick that Fraser whipped in. Wilson returned the favour 17 minutes later by passing to the unmarked Fraser who slotted the ball past keeper Jonas Lossl.

Terence Kongolo pulled one back for the visitors seven minutes before halftime with a header butut it was not enough to stop Eddie Howe's side moving up to sixth spot.

Brighton were reduced to 10 men in the 'M23 derby' against Crystal Palace but still ran out comfortable 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Glenn Murray, Leon Balogun and Florin Andone.

Murray converted a 24th minute spot kick for his ninth goal of the season before Shane Duffy was sent off for a clash with Patrick van Aanholt after a penalty appeal was turned down.

The hosts doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark through substitute Balogun before Andone scored the third in first-half stoppage time.

Luka Milivojevic converted a late penalty for Palace after a foul on Wilfried Zaha but it was too late for Roy Hodgson's side who slipped to 15th, three points above the relegation zone.

Three is the magic number for West Ham with the 3-1 victory over Cardiff City at the London Stadium being their second successive win and they have scored three goals in each.

Lucas Perez came off the bench to score twice shortly after halftime before Michail Antonio headed home a third.

Cardiff's Josh Murphy bundled in a consolation but, with the bottom three playing on Wednesday, Neil Warnock's side could be in the drop zone by the time they host Southampton on Saturday.]]>
12/5/2018 1:10:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian teams’ benefits from World Cup revealed ]]>
The European giants, Manchester City FC, Real Madrid CF, Tottenham Hotspur FC, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC, Club Atlético de Madrid, Juventus FC, and AS Monaco will receive the biggest share of money as they contributed with the highest number of players in the national teams’ squads.

Al-Ahly will receive the biggest shares from the African continent; Al-Ahly’s shares will reach $1.7 million as seven players from Al-Ahly participated in the World Cup.

Saad Samir, Ahmed Fathy, Marwan Mohsen, Sherif Ekramy, Ayman Ashraf and Mohamed el-Shenawy were among Egypt's squad at the tournament, beside Al-Ahly defender, Ali Maaloul, who represented Tunisia at the competition.

“It is FIFA’s responsibility to redistribute the revenues of the competition among the entire football community and clubs that deserve to share in this success as they were key contributors,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino stated on Tuesday.

Beside Al Ahly, Zamalek, Smouha and Wadi Degla are the Egyptian teams to receive shares from their players’ participation in the competition.

]]>
12/5/2018 11:55:16 AM
<![CDATA[Big names return to Ismaily ahead of Le Messager clash ]]>
Ismaily players hope to reconcile their fans after their poor results at the domestic League as they are at the league bottom with 13 points after 13 games.

Ismaily missed the three players at the first leg in Burundi that ended with a 1-0 victory for the Egyptian side thanks to a goal from Tarek Taha.

Ismaily needs just a draw to secure their qualification to the next round.

The winner between Ismaily and Le Messager will face the winner between Cameroon’s Coton Sport and Burkina Faso’s Bobo Dioulasso; the first leg in Burkina Faso ended with a 3-1 victory for the home team.

Ismaily participates at the competition for the first time since 2010 when they were knocked out at the group stage.

Named African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1969, Ismaily is the first Egyptian team to achieve CAF Champions League title after defeating TP Englebert in the final 5-3 on aggregate.
]]>
12/5/2018 11:52:52 AM
<![CDATA[Mourinho says fresh Arsenal pose big challenge for United]]>
Arsenal climbed to fourth after an impressive 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday but Mourinho was quick to point out that the Gunners had been able to keep key players fresh for big games by rotating their squad in the Europa League.

"Yes it's different... and a difficult match for us. We're going to play a good team in a good moment without accumulation of matches because they're playing Europa League," Mourinho told a news conference.

"When you play Europa League, you normally play with second choices and give good rest to the players. We have to play to the max and there is an accumulation of matches," added Mourinho, whose side have been playing in the Champions League.

"Then you arrive in this moment in December and many teams pay the price of that. That is not the motivation you want as a team but to develop players fresher is a good way to do it."

United clawed their way back to draw 2-2 draw at Southampton in their last game but have not won in the league since beating Bournemouth 2-1 in November.

They are seventh with 22 points but Mourinho backed his side to leapfrog Everton and secure a top-six finish.

"United should never be in seventh place... the investment Everton made was phenomenal and obviously there was a great improvement in that team from last season," Mourinho added.

"I don't think Everton will be in front of United at the end of the season. There are six teams that should stay in the first six positions, season after season. Two are outside the top four. Last season, it was Arsenal and Chelsea.

"At the end of the season the top six will be done by the six teams we all know have that responsibility to finish in the top six."

Midfielder Ashley Young is suspended for the game while defenders Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are doubtful with injury problems. ]]>
12/4/2018 9:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Bilbao sack Berizzo after dire form, appoint Garitano]]>
Bilbao fell to a 3-0 defeat at Levante on Monday, continuing a dreadful spell that has seen them fail to win a league game since the opening day of the season.

The only La Liga side besides giants Real Madrid and Barcelona never to be relegated from Spain's top flight, Athletic are now three points from safety with 11 points from 14 games.

"Athletic Club has decided to end the contract with coach Eduardo Berizzo," the club tweeted.

"From Wednesday December 5 Gaizka Garitano will be in charge of the first team."

The 49-year-old Berizzo was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2017 while coaching Sevilla.

The coach overcame his battle with the disease but was sacked in December because of a bad run of form, taking over at Athletic in May 2018.

His replacement Garitano took Eibar to top-flight promotion for the first time in their history in 2014, although he resigned after they were relegated in 2015, despite the club being reinstated following Elche's demotion.

Garitano was sacked by Valladolid in 2015 and Deportivo La Coruna in 2017 before taking over at Bilbao Athletic, the club's reserve side.]]>
12/4/2018 5:36:48 PM
<![CDATA[Scolari says Colombia have offered him coach's job]]>
Scolari, who led Palmeiras to Brazil's Serie A title last month, said he was mulling over the offer to replace Jose Pekerman, who resigned after Colombia were knocked out the World Cup by England in the second round.

"There has been an approach, yes [by Colombia]," Scolari said in an interview with ESPN Brasil. "It is a role which, now that the season is over, we can think about more clearly."

The successful coach appeared reticent about the offer and pledged to consider both his family situation and that of Palmeiras, where he has enjoyed several spells in charge and formed a special bond with fans.

"Over the past 20, 25 years, I have spent 80 percent of my time outside Brazil. So I need to think about certain family aspects," said the man known as Felipao, or Big Phil.

"I also have another family: the Palmeiras family. The way in which they respected me, received me, the connection between Palmeiras fans, I need to think.

"You need to know that, when you are in a place where you are respected, it is worth more than other values and situations you have thought about."

Scolari famously led Brazil to their 2002 World Cup triumph in Japan but is also remembered as the man in charge when they suffered their most embarrassing defeat, a 7-1 drubbing by Germany at home in the 2014 World Cup semi-final.

He also took Portugal to the World Cup semi-final in 2006 and has won titles in China and Uzbekistan, but enjoyed a less successful spell at English Premier League club Chelsea that ended after just eight months in charge in 2009.]]>
12/4/2018 5:35:07 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool's Mane faces fitness test before Burnley game]]>
Senegal international Mane suffered a cut that required several stitches during Sunday's 1-0 victory over Everton in the Merseyside derby but Klopp refused to rule out the 26-year-old.

"Sadio really had an awful cut on his foot. It needed to be stitched. He is okay but walking around here now in flip-flops -- and you don't play in flip-flops," Klopp told reporters.

"That means in this moment he is not ready, but we will see later."

Liverpool could also be without defender Andy Robertson who suffered a dead leg.

"With Robbo it is not that serious as with Sadio, but we need to have a look."

Klopp also said he had accepted a Football Association charge of misconduct for his wild celebration after Divock Origi scored a 96th-minute winner at Anfield against Everton.

Klopp had been given until Thursday to respond but the German said he would pay the fine.

"I couldn't avoid it obviously... if there was no rule we as managers would do it every week. That's what rules are for and if you break rules you have to be fined for it," Klopp added.

"I don't think anyone thought it was massively wrong. It happened, a fine, I'll pay it, no problem."

Klopp was asked about the form of forward Roberto Firmino, who has gone off the boil this season, scoring just three goals in 14 league appearances.

"It's completely normal. It's not that he's playing his best football in every second. You have moments when you fly and moments when you have to work and come again," Klopp said.

"Nothing to worry about, it's a normal football season... we all have to go through this and everything will be fine."

Liverpool are second in the league with 36 points from 14 games while Burnley are second from bottom with nine points.]]>
12/4/2018 5:32:29 PM
<![CDATA[Azpilicueta extends Chelsea stay with new four-year deal]]>
Azpilicueta has made 298 appearances for Chelsea since he signed from French side Marseille in 2012 and is on course to become only the seventh overseas player to feature in 300 matches for the club.

The 29-year-old, who has won the Europa League, two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup with Chelsea, has captained the team in the league this season.

"I'm happy to extend my stay here at Chelsea. Since I came, I felt the joy and responsibility to play for this club, these fans, and every time I go on the pitch I try do my best," the Spain international told the club's website

https://www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2018/12/4/new-azpilicueta-contract-announced.

"Hopefully there is a lot to come and we can keep Chelsea where it belongs."

Chelsea, who are third in the league with 31 points from 14 games, travel to promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.]]>
12/4/2018 3:29:38 PM
<![CDATA[Salah finishes 6th at Ballon d’Or race ]]>
Salah is the first Egyptian player ever to be nominated for the award.

Salah won the nomination after an amazing season with his club, Liverpool, having scored 44 goals, including 32 goals in the league to be the Premier League's top goal scorer.

He also led Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League final for the first time since 2007 but he was injured during the first half and watched his team lose the final 3-1 to Real Madrid.

Additionally, Salah led the Egyptian national team to the 2018 World Cup in Russia for the first time since 1990 in Italy but the shoulder injury he picked at the UEFA Champions League final affected his performance at the tournament.

Salah came ahead of many top players like Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane who finished seventh, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard who finished eighth and PSG’s Neymar Jr Da Silva who finished at the 12th place. ]]>
12/4/2018 3:22:59 PM
<![CDATA[Salah wins FSF Men’s Player of the Year award ]]>
Salah has been nominated for the award alongside his teammate in Liverpool Virgil Van Dijk, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Harry Maguire of Leicester City.

“Usually I share any awards with my teammates and all the staff at Liverpool, but on this occasion I would also like to dedicate it to the Liverpool fans for their incredible support. Thank you,” Salah told the press.

The award has been presented since 2013 and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was the first player to win it.

During his first season with Liverpool, Salah was phenomenal and had a magnificent season at the Premier League and Champions League, scoring 44 goals in all competitions, 32 of which were scored in the PL, which made him lead the top scorers’ list.



He also led Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League final for the first time since 2007 but he was injured during the first half and watched his team lose the final 3-1 to Real Madrid. ]]>
12/4/2018 2:16:17 PM
<![CDATA[Modric wins 2018 Ballon d'Or, breaks Messi-Ronaldo dominance]]>
Juventus forward and 2017 winner Ronaldo came second, while Atletico Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann came third.

Paris St Germain's France forward Kylian Mbappe, who also collected the Kopa award for the best under-21 player, was fourth, with Barca forward Messi finishing fifth.

Olympique Lyonnais' Norway striker Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural Ballon d'Or for women's football, having led her side to the Women's Champions League title, scoring in extra time in the 4-1 win over Vfl Wolfsburg in the final.

Modric, 33, helped Real Madrid win a third successive Champions League title in May and also captained Croatia to their first World Cup final, being named player of the tournament despite his side losing 4-2 to France.

"It's a unique feeling. I'm happy proud and honoured, I have a lot of emotions right now, it's hard to describe in words," said Modric, wearing a tuxedo as he collected the award from presenter and former France forward David Ginola after a glamorous ceremony at the Grand Palais in Paris.

"It’s a big pleasure to be here among all these players. I am still trying to realise that I have become part of a group of exceptional players to win the Ballon d’Or throughout history."

DIFFICULT START

Modric, who joined Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012 for a reported 40 million euros ($45.40 million), was criticised in his debut season at the Bernabeu and named the worst signing of the year in a poll by newspaper Marca.

But the diminutive playmaker began to demonstrate the quality he had shown at Spurs when Jose Mourinho deployed him in a deep lying role in Real's midfield rather than the attacking role he had been given at the start of that campaign.

Modric said the positional change, which was first suggested to him by Harry Redknapp at Tottenham, transformed his form.

“The change of position helped me a lot in my career. I used to play more offensively. When I dropped back, I was able to read the game better and show my creativity," added Modric.

He is the first Croatian to win the Ballon d'Or and also picked up FIFA's 'The Best' award in October.

The Ballon d'or, voted for by journalists and organised by French magazine France Football, has been dominated by Barcelona's Messi and Ronaldo, first when he was at Manchester United and subsequently with Real Madrid, since 2008.

The last player to lift the award apart from the Argentine and Portuguese, who have won it a joint-record five times each, was Kaka in 2007 when the Brazilian played for AC Milan.

The Ballon d’Or was first presented in 1956 and partnered with soccer's world governing body FIFA as 'The Best' award from 2010 to 2015, until becoming its own entity again.]]>
12/4/2018 12:52:57 PM
<![CDATA[Ben Amor about to join Al-Ahly ]]>
“Negotiations between Al-Ahly and the player started a week ago. Ben Omar wants to play for Al-Ahly and his team will not stand against the deal,” Taktok told Sada El-Balad on Sunday.

Ben Amor, born in Sousse, joined their local club, Etoile Du Sahel, at 18 and since then he became a key player at the club and the national team.

The midfielder was among Etoile’s golden generation that achieved the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup, 2016 Tunisian League title and the domestic Cup twice in 2014 and 2015.

“The player has also received many offers to play in Europe,” Taktok added.

Ben Amor is a starting player at Tunisia national team; he represented his nation at the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Ben Amor’s only participation at the World Cup came against England at the opening game when he replaced Naïm Sliti at the last 15 minutes. ]]>
12/3/2018 6:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Black ball Squash Men's Tournament kicks off in Cairo ]]>
Black ball tournament is one of the major squash competitions with prizes worth $180,000.

A total of 17 Egyptian players will participate at the competition including Mohamed el-Shorbagy who is currently ranked world No. 1 in men's singles squash.

Shorbagy is the main contender for the title but he is expected to find a tough competition from his fellow Egyptians, Ali Farag, Tarek Moamen, Karim Abdel Gawad and Mohamed Abol Ghar, while Ramy Ashour and Marwan el-Shorbagy are ruled out of the competition for injury.

A total of 48 players will battle for the title including Germany’s Simon Rösner, Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez and New Zealand's Paul Coll who come among the top 10 players in the world.

Black ball Squash Women’s Tournament is set to take place in March and is expected to be among the biggest tournaments in the world.

The tournament runs from Dec. 3-9.

]]>
12/3/2018 4:35:34 PM
<![CDATA[We are still on the league title race, Youssef ]]>
“We are still on the league title race but we should not lose more points at the upcoming games. We are a big team and we will overcome the challenges we faced last period,” Youssef told press on Monday.

Youssef was appointed as Al-Ahly caretaker manager after the club sacked their French manager, Patrice Carteron, as Al-Ahly was knocked out from the 16th round of the Arab Club Championship and lost the CAF Champions League final to Esperance.

The Egyptian manager led Al-Ahly to return to the right track as they defeated Petrojet 1-0 at the league thanks to Ahmed el-Sheikh's goal.



Al-Ahly is preparing to face El-Gouna at the league on Wednesday night at Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo.

“It will be a tough game against El-Gouna and I have much respect for them,” Youssef added.

Asked about the injured players’ return date, Youssef said” Ahmed Fathy is about to return to the team and Hossam Ashour will be out for one week.”

Ashour suffered an injury during Petrojet game and left the pitch after 40 minutes; he was replaced by Amr el-Solia. ]]>
12/3/2018 3:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[UEFA approve new European club competition from 2021]]>
At their meeting in Dublin, UEFA's Executive Committee finalised plans to introduce the event, with the working title 'UEL2' and featuring 32 teams in the group stage, in the 2021 to 2024 competition cycle.

The Europa League group stage, meanwhile, will be reduced from 48 teams to 32.

UEFA said that the Champions League would remain unaltered, meaning that the four top-ranked leagues -- currently Spain, England, Germany and Italy -- would each keep four guaranteed places in the group stage.

"No changes will be made to the format and access list of the UEFA Champions League," said UEFA.

The umbrella organisation representing Europe's domestic leagues had asked UEFA to reduce the number of places guaranteed to teams from the top leagues, reversing changes made for the current cycle.

UEFA said the new setup would ensure that at least 34 countries would be represented in the group stages of UEFA club competitions, compared to today's total of 26.

"The new UEFA club competition makes UEFA's club competitions more inclusive than ever before," UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said.

"There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages. This competition was borne out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association."

The format will see eight groups of four teams, followed by the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. Like the Europa League, matches will be played on Thursdays.

As with the established competitions, there will also be four rounds of qualifying matches played in July and August.

An additional knockout round will be played before the round of 16 between teams ranked second in their groups and the third-ranked teams in the groups of the Europa League, which will run concurrently.

Similarly, the teams finishing second in the Europa League groups will play in a knockout round against teams ranked third in the Champions League groups for a place in the Europa League round of 16.

The seventh-placed teams in Europe's four top-ranked leagues will qualify directly for the final qualifying round of the new competition.

Teams entering the early qualifying rounds of the new competition will be mainly those finishing second, third and fourth in Europe's smaller leagues.

Teams eliminated in the Europa League qualifiers will also drop down to the new competition.

The new competition will feature 141 matches over 15 match weeks, exactly like the Europa League. The winners of the new competition will be entitled to participate in the Europa League in the following season.]]>
12/3/2018 2:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Southampton sack Hughes after eight months in charge]]>
Hughes, 55, arrived at his former club in March on a short-term contract and helped the south-coast club narrowly avoid the drop last season by finishing 17th in the table.

The Welshman was rewarded with a three-year contract in May but has struggled to improve the team's form this campaign.

"Southampton Football Club can today confirm it has parted company with First Team Manager Mark Hughes," they said in a statement.

Hughes's assistant Mark Bowen and first-team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki have also left the club.

Southampton are 18th in the standings having lost seven out of their 14 matches and they squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Manchester United on Saturday to take their winless run to 10 games.

In eight months at Southampton, former Wales, Manchester City and Stoke City boss Hughes managed only five victories in 27 games in all competitions.

Their only league win this season came against Crystal Palace in September.

Before Saturday's draw with United, Southampton had lost 3-2 at fellow relegation-threatened side Fulham and had been knocked out of the League Cup by Leicester City on penalties.

First-team assistant coach Kelvin Davis will lead the team for Wednesday's match against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

Southampton said they had begun the search for a new manager, with Hughes's successor set to be the club's fourth boss in two years.

Since Ronald Koeman left to join Everton in 2016 Southampton have also fired Claude Puel and Mauricio Pellegrino.]]>
12/3/2018 1:22:36 PM
<![CDATA[Inside Espanyol: a giant history and bright future ]]>
The club, based in Barcelona, has been living in the shadow of the city giants, Barcelona that has had much more success on domestic, continental and international levels.

However, Espanyol fans have shown loyalty to their team despite their struggles in the recent years while their arch rivals, Barcelona, has been dominating not only the city but the whole nation.

Espanyol, established in 1900, by a student in Barcelona University called Ángel Rodríguez Ruiz and the club was initially named the Sociedad Española de Football and they are the first team in Spain to be established by Spaniards.

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The club home games are hosted by the 40,500 seated Estadi Cornellà-El Prat where the club fans gather week in week out to support their team.

The stadium includes one of the most decorated VIP stands where fans can enjoy watching the game in their comfortable seats.

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One of the most beautiful halls in the stadium is ESPAI MEMORIAL of RCD Espanyol in which the fans can recall memories of the club's historic players during their visit.

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About 20km away from the stadium, you can visit the headquarters of the club which includes 13 training pitches for the first team training sessions, also hosting the games of the academy and women teams.

“We have one of the best football academies in the world that provides our first team with players. Our target is that our first team will be fully formed of academy players by 2021,” academy Chairman, Alber Saas, told Egypt Today.

Half of Espanyol’s first team players are from the academy and more than 35 players playing at the top level have been graduated from the club's academy.

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Saas added “We are in a tough race with the other team in the city, Barcelona, and many European teams who believe that Catalonia is one of the best regions to discover football players.”

Espanyol’s count on their academy started to pay off as the club established themselves as one of the main contenders for the league title and they are only seven points behind the leaders, Barcelona.

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12/3/2018 12:39:02 PM
<![CDATA[Sevilla surrender La Liga lead to Barca after Alaves draw]]>
Alaves' winger Jony slammed the ball into the roof of the net from close range to give them the lead in the 37th minute, despite protests from Sevilla that Jonathan Calleri was in an offside position when he provided the cross for the goal.

Home goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco made a fine save to prevent Franco Vazquez equalising soon after the break but could not stop Wissam Ben Yedder's 78th minute equaliser, as the Frenchman nipped in behind the defence to turn in Pablo Sarabia's cross.

It meant Alaves, who beat European champions Real Madrid 1-0 at their Mendizorrotza stadium earlier in the campaign, and Atletico Madrid remain the only teams yet to lose at home in the league this season.

The Basque side resisted Sevilla's attempts to grab a late winner with some ease and almost won themselves when Darko Brasanac headed against the post and keeper Tomas Vaclik nearly pushed the ball over the line before finally grabbing hold.

Sevilla slid down to second place in the standings on 27 points after 14 games, one behind leaders Barca. Atletico Madrid are third on 25, while Alaves are fourth with 24, one point above fifth-placed Real Madrid. ]]>
12/3/2018 12:14:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt fails to reach FIBA World Cup ]]>
Egyptian fans were hoping to see their team playing at the World Cup after their amazing performance at the qualifiers but losing to Cameroon put an end to all these hopes.

Egypt was the better side at the first quarter and they finished it leading the game 25-22, but they lost the other three quarters 23-14, 21-12 and 14-9, respectively to lose the game 80-60.

That loss sent Egypt to the fourth position at the group, while Cameroon reached the third place behind Tunisia and Angola.

The top two teams from each group will win direct qualification to the World Cup, while the third placed teams will play against each other at a play-off game to decide the fifth African country reaching the World Cup.

Tunisia and Angola have won a direct qualification to the World Cup, while Cameroon will wait for the other group results to know their situation.]]>
12/3/2018 12:10:28 PM
<![CDATA[Jordan helps Mavericks top Clippers]]>
Jordan was pivotal in the victory with a late tip-in and then tipping and stealing a Lou Williams pass attempt with 19 seconds to go and Dallas trying to hold onto a 111-110 lead.

After Dallas went ahead 112-110, the Clippers called timeout and went inside to Tobias Harris. But Smith blocked the shot and then made two free throws at the other end to seal the victory.

Smith came back quickly after Patrick Beverley's elbow caught his jaw and knocked out his tooth during a scrum on the floor for a loose ball early in the third quarter.

While Smith returned quickly, Beverley was soon forced to leave when he was ejected for deliberately throwing the ball into the stands.

Smith's gritty performance included nine points, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

Dallas got huge contributions from Harrison Barnes, who finished with a game-high 30 points and nine rebounds, and reserve guard J.J. Barea finished with a season-high 24 points, four assists and five rebounds.

Dallas needed it from Barea with rookie of the year candidate Luka Doncic missing his first game of the season with a strained right hip.

The Clippers tied this wild, back-and-forth game at 107-107 with about a minute to go and then Williams, who finished with 21 points and eight assists, gave L.A. a 110-109 lead with a 3-pointer with 46 seconds left.

But Dorian Finney-Smith gave Dallas the lead back for good with a tip-in for a 111-110 lead.

Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 23 points, Danilo Gallinari finished with 21, Harris had 15 and Avery Bradley had 12.]]>
12/3/2018 6:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[10k fans to attend Al-Masry's opening game at Confederation Cup ]]>
Al-Masry qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup after achieving the third place at the league last season and they will represent the nation at the competition alongside 2017–18 Egypt's Cup winners, Zamalek.

Al-Masry will face the winner between Guinea’s Wakriya AC and Burkina Faso’s Salimata et Taséré FC; the first leg in Burkina Faso ended with a 2-0 victory for the hosts.

On the other hand, Zamalek will face the winner between Chad’s AS Coton and Togo’s Gomido.

Al-Masry had an amazing run at the competition last season and they reached the semi finals under their former manager, Hossam Hassan, but they lost to Congo’s Vita Club 4-0.

In the same context, Burundi’s Le Messager FC de Ngozi delegation is set to arrive in Ismailia on Sunday night to face Ismaily at the CAF Champions League Preliminary round's second leg.

Ismaily needs a draw to secure their qualification to the next round as they achieved a 1-0 victory at the first leg in Burundi.
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12/2/2018 4:02:53 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahly signs Mohamed Mahmoud ]]>
Mahmoud, 20, shined with Degla this season scoring two goals at four games and he joined the national team under Mexican manager, Javier Aguirre.

“It is a great step for me and I will do everything I can to help the team achieve titles,” Mahmoud told press after signing his contract.

Saturday night was a great night for Al-Ahly fans who watched their team defeat Petrojet 1-0 at the league thanks to Ahmed el-Sheikh's goal, and later they knew that their team added one of the best talents at the league to their squad.

“We had many chances to score more goals but at the end we achieved victory which is the most important thing at this stage after the tough time we had,” Al-Ahly caretaker manager, Mohamed Youssef, told press after the game.

On the other hand, Al-Ahly players started their preparations for El-Gouna clash at the league set to take place on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
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12/2/2018 3:59:26 PM
<![CDATA[Liverpool to host Everton at Merseyside derby ]]>
The reds hope to reconcile their fans after their 2-1 loss at the UEFA Champions League against Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday night.

Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, counts on the team’s attacking line of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah who failed to impress against PSG.

The blue side of the city, Everton, has had a good run at the league this season under their manager, Marco Silva, and they hope to put an end to their poor record at Anfield as their last victory over Liverpool there was in September 1999.

“It should be normal that it is very difficult for other teams to play you in your own stadium,” Klopp commented on Everton’s poor record at Anfield.

On the other hand, Silva believes that defeating Liverpool will have a great impact on the team, saying “Derbies are always special, special games and moments for the city, and a good result for us could boost our confidence to a high, high level.”

The game starts at 4:15 p.m. (CLT).
]]>
12/2/2018 2:35:49 PM
<![CDATA[Sports min. stresses Sisi's interest in youths]]>
He made the remarks during a meeting Saturday with youths of the Upper Egypt governorate of Minya in the presence of Governor Qasem Hussein.

The minister congratulated Minya for ranking no 1 during the innovation festival of youth centers.

He said youth centers play a key role in social development.

Meanwhile, the Minya governor welcomed the minister's visit which came at an invitation from the governorate.

Hussein called for channeling more funds for developing youth centers in the governorate.]]>
12/2/2018 11:27:16 AM
<![CDATA[Liverpool face Everton test as Spurs play Arsenal on derby day]]>
Jurgen Klopp's team lost 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, meaning their bid to reach the knockout stages in Europe will go to the last game against Napoli, while Spurs face the daunting task of beating Barcelona to progress.

But both clubs will have to put their continental ambitions to one side as they attempt to stay on the coat-tails of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the Premier League.

Chelsea take on Fulham and one of their former managers in another London derby but Claudio Ranieri's side will travel the short distance to Stamford Bridge with new-found confidence after arresting a run of six Premier League defeats.

Jose Mourinho's misfiring Manchester United play Southampton away after edging past Swiss side Young Boys into the Champions League knockout phase.

AFP Sports picks out some of the main talking points ahead of the weekend fixtures in the Premier League.

'Perfect' time to play Arsenal

Third-placed Spurs head to the Emirates stadium buoyed by last week's 3-1 victory against Chelsea and their 1-0 win against Inter Milan in midweek, which keeps alive their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockouts.

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AFP / Glyn KIRK


Midfielder Harry Winks, who came agonisingly close to scoring against Inter at Wembley when he hit the bar from distance, said it was the "perfect" time to play Arsenal after six straight wins in all competitions.

"It is going to be another difficult game, so we have to get right and physically prepared for it, because it is going to be another battle," said the England international.

"It is a game the fans want to win and one that we want to win. Three games in a week is going to be tough, but confidence is high."

Everton derby pain

Everton have a shocking record against city rivals Liverpool, not tasting victory in the derby since 2010 and failing to win at Anfield since 1999.

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AFP/File / Paul ELLIS


Marco Silva's task looks daunting on Sunday but Everton travel in hope after a solid start to the season that sees them in sixth, 11 points behind Klopp's team.

Liverpool, second in the table, come into the match smarting after their disappointing defeat in Paris and Klopp is expecting a tougher test from Everton than in previous seasons.

"This game is isolated from the season," he said. "It's a derby, it's at home. Everton are doing really well this season, they're a completely different cup of tea, I would say, to the last few years so it will be a tough one."

Time running out for misfiring United

Jose Mourinho appears to be flailing around for answers to his side's lack of fluency but getting nowhere despite a changing cast of characters.

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AFP/File / Oli SCARFF

He demoted Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to the substitutes' bench for the match against Young Boys and Alexis Sanchez was missing from the squad entirely but United still failed to find any rhythm.

United are already seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and show no sign of putting together a run to haul themselves into contention to qualify next season's Champions League.

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who scored the late winner against Young Boys, said the mood in the camp was upbeat following the 1-0 win, despite United's patchy form this season.

"Criticism is part of football but we have to work," he said. "We are a team, we are together, and give everything too. Together we have to move forward and take the points."

Fixtures (1500 GMT unless stated)

Friday

Cardiff v Wolves (2000)

Saturday

Crystal Palace v Burnley, Huddersfield v Brighton, Leicester v Watford, Manchester City v Bournemouth, Newcastle v West Ham, Southampton v Manchester United (1730)

Sunday

Chelsea v Fulham (1200), Arsenal v Tottenham (1405), Liverpool v Everton (1615)
]]>
12/1/2018 10:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Five Olympic Boxing greats]]>
The so-called "Sport of Kings" has a proud Olympic history and can chart its involvement back to the Ancient Games in 688 B.C.

Many giants of the sport began their careers as amateurs in the Olympic ring. AFP recalls five of the best:

- Muhammad Ali: The Greatest -

In 1960 in Rome, a relatively unknown lightweight 18-year-old called Cassius Clay made his Olympic debut. He would go on to become Muhammad Ali, widely considered the greatest boxer of all time -- and perhaps the greatest sportsman.

Clay didn't have it all his own way in his final against a southpaw from Poland, Zbigniew Pietrzykowski, who caused him difficulties in the early exchanges.

But the five judges eventually gave him an unanimous 5-0 decision, handing him a gold medal that the future World Heavyweight Champion wore "everywhere he went," according to biographer Jonathan Eig.

After a glittering career, Ali then returned to the Olympic stage at Atlanta in 1996, where his trembling lighting of the Olympic flame spotlighted his battle with Parkinson's and provided one of the most emotional moments in Olympic history.

- 'Fabulous' Sugar Ray Leonard -

After failing to win selection for the US team in 1972, Sugar Ray Leonard headed to Montreal in 1976 to take part in what has been hailed the greatest competition in Olympic history, packed with stars.

In the end, the 21-year-old cruised through the tournament, winning every bout 5-0 and dispatching the mighty Cuban Andres Aldama in the gold medal bout, also by a 5-0 decision.

The 1976 gold medal served as a springboard for an impressive professional career that saw Leonard considered as one of the "fantastic four" that kept boxing popular after Ali's retirement.

In 1980, he would return to the same venue for a bout dubbed the "Brawl in Montreal", losing to "Hands of Stone" Roberto Duran from Panama.

- 'Big George' Foreman -

American George Foreman arrived at the 1968 Games in Mexico City as a 19-year-old novice with only 18 bouts to his name.

He left a superstar of the sport, winning three out of four of his bouts by knock-out or stoppage, including stopping tough Soviet fighter Jonas Cepulis in the second round in the final.

Foreman turned professional immediately after the Games and within five years was World Heavyweight Champion after knocking out Joe Frazier, who had himself won gold in 1964.

He later became famous for a stunning comeback from retirement, winning back the Heavyweight Championship at the age of 45.

- 'Money' Mayweather -

Floyd Mayweather will forever be known for the 2015 "Fight of the Century" against Filipino Manny Pacquiao -- the highest grossing bout of all time -- but his Olympic career was shrouded in controversy as he won only a bronze medal.

Mayweather fought as a precociously talented teenaged featherweight in the 1996 Atlanta Games and progressed to the semi-final against Bulgaria's Serafim Todorov.

The judges scored the fight 10-9 to Todorov, confounding even the referee who raised aloft Mayweather's arm, convinced the American had done enough to win.

The controversial decision sparked an official protest from the US team, which claimed Mayweather landed punches that were not counted. "I got ripped off," Mayweather was quoted as saying at the time.

- Neon lights for Spinks -

Leon "Neon" Spinks is best known for becoming World Heavyweight Champion after defeating Ali in 1978 in a split decision considered one of the sport's most controversial.

But he too cut his teeth in the Olympic ring, winning gold in Montreal in the light-heavyweight division while his brother Michael also picked up gold as a middleweight.

In the final, he pulled off what was seen as a shock result against the Cuban Sixto Soria and turned professional the year afterwards -- another fighter who launched his career via the Olympic ring.]]>
12/1/2018 8:43:00 AM
<![CDATA[Mourinho confident de Gea will sign new contract]]>
The 28-year-old de Gea's long-term future at the club has been shrouded in uncertainty, although the club this week did activate an option to extend his current contract by a year, meaning he is now signed up until June 2020.

Had that extension not been triggered, De Gea would have been free to talk to clubs outside England from January 1 and possibly sign a pre-contract agreement.

Mourinho said after Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win over Young Boys he wanted De Gea to stay, and he remains optimistic an agreement on the player's will be reached.

"He wants to stay, and I want him to stay of course," Mourinho said at Friday's press conference.

"He's the level of player Manchester United needs.

"Manchester United needs the best players in the world.

"The manager wants him to stay, the board wants him to stay, David wants to stay, and his agent (Jorge Mendes) wants the player to do what he thinks is right."

Mourinho said Mendes -- who is also his agent -- unlike other players' representatives lets his client have genuine input into the contract talks.

"He is not the kind of agent who is manipulative like others," said Mourinho.

"His agent lets him think and decide by himself so the point is to agree the contract and that's just my feeling, they are going to finish well."

De Gea joined United in 2011 and has won the fans' player of the year award in four of the past five seasons.

For all of United's well-publicised troubles with high-profile stars such as Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, the form of De Gea has been magnificent for the club.

However, reports have resurfaced suggesting he could be set for a move away from Old Trafford, with Juventus emerging as rumoured suitors for his services.

De Gea, who is reportedly on a contract worth £200,000 ($255,000) a week, is aware that Sanchez agreed a deal worth well more than double that amount when he signed on a free transfer from Arsenal at the start of the year.

United's current indifferent form, and broader underlying problems, will hardly have helped convince him to pledge the peak years of his career to the club, especially given the disparity in pay.]]>
12/1/2018 7:41:00 AM
<![CDATA[Argentina ask coach Scaloni to stay for 2019 Copa America]]>
Scaloni, who was appointed to succeed Jorge Sampaoli after a disappointing World Cup in Russia where the South Americans win only one game and were knocked out in last 16 by France, has not formally responded to the offer but is expected to accept.

"We've seen Scaloni's work and as a result we are offering him the chance to continue until the Copa America," AFA president Claudio Tapia told reporters.

"The project is evolving and the national team is gaining an identity and that's what we want."

The Copa America takes place in Brazil next June and July and after losing the last two finals of the competition on penalties Argentina will be looking to win their first major title since they lifted the same trophy in 1993.

Although he has little experience as a top coach, the 40-year-old Scaloni has lost only one of his six friendlies in charge, a 1-0 reverse against Brazil in Saudi Arabia.

Argentina conceded only one goal in the six games, winning four and drawing one.]]>
12/1/2018 6:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Postponed Libertadores final to be played in Madrid]]>
The match, originally scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires last Saturday but postponed after Boca players were hurt when River supporters attacked their coach, will take place in the Spanish capital on Sunday Dec. 9 at 8:30pm (1930 GMT).

"The decision is that this game is going to be played in front of fans from both clubs in Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium," CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez said.

"(Madrid) is not only one of the safest cities in the world, the Santiago Bernabeu is an elite stadium that offers the highest standards of security and comfort for an encounter of this magnitude."

This year was the first time that Argentina's two biggest teams had met in the final of South America's equivalent of the Champions League and as usual away supporters were banned from both legs because of recurring fan violence.

The clubs drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca's ground in Buenos Aires and were due to play the second match across town at River's Monumental stadium last Saturday.

Boca players sustained injuries, however, when River fans attacked their coach as it approached the stadium and the game was first delayed until Sunday before being postponed indefinitely. [nL2N1Y00 67]

A CONMEBOL tribunal on Thursday also ruled against Boca's appeal to be awarded the match because of the violence but River were fined $400,000 and ordered to play their next two matches in continental competition behind closed doors.

Boca Juniors said it rejected the tribunal's decision and would appeal.

The violent incidents outside the Monumental were beamed around the world, embarrassing Argentina days before this weekend's G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

The task will now fall on Spanish authorities to ensure the game between two of the bitterest rivals in sport goes ahead peacefully at the 81,044-capacity Bernabeu.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Twitter that his government were ready to host the match and were already working with law enforcement authorities to ensure security for the event.

Qatar, Miami, and stadiums in Brazil and Colombia were among the other possible venues discussed for the biggest game in the 58-year history of the Libertadores Cup.

Spain's position as a footballing hotbed with excellent flight connections to Latin America swung the decision in Madrid's favour, however.

"The world is asking for an example of chivalry, sportsmanship and sporting values," Dominguez said.

"Football is not about violence."

The winners of the final will have little time to celebrate before representing CONMEBOL in the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The tournament kicks off three days after the rescheduled second leg on Dec. 12 with the South American champions due to play their first match on Dec. 18. (Writing by Andrew Downie, additional reporting by Ingrid Melander, Editing by Ed Osmond and Nick Mulvenney)]]>
12/1/2018 5:39:00 AM
<![CDATA[United's Sanchez facing long time out with hamstring injury]]>
The Chile forward has not had a scan to determine the full extent of the damage, but Mourinho described the problem as an "aggressive muscular injury" that left the 29-year-old screaming in pain.

"No scans yet. But the player is experienced, the player knows what the injury is," Mourinho told a news conference ahead of his team's trip to face Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

"Also, from the top of my experience, just the painful scream and the way the injury happened, I know it's going to be for a long time."

Mourinho said Sanchez's injury was more severe than the hamstring problem sustained by centre back Victor Lindelof against Crystal Palace on Saturday, which is expected to keep the Sweden international out of action until Christmas.

"It's not the little muscular injury that in one week or 10 days the player is ready, for me and also for Alexis, the feeling before the scans is that the grade is different than the (Victor) Lindelof one and the Lindelof one was not an easy one.

"I think Alexis has what I used to call an aggressive muscular injury... I don't want to risk by saying for how long he will be out but from my experience I would say he will not play this year."

Sanchez has struggled at United this season, scoring one goal in 12 appearances in all competitions so far.

He last started in their Champions League victory at Juventus on Nov. 7 and came off the bench in subsequent league games against Manchester City and Crystal Palace before being dropped from the squad for Tuesday's Champions League win over Young Boys.

United are seventh in the Premier League with 21 points from 13 games ahead of the trip to Southampton's St Mary's Stadium and Mourinho says his side need more consistency if they are to close the gap to the top four.

"We want to improve our position in the table, we want to close the gap to the top four, we want to be smelling these positions, if not there then just behind then just smelling for the second part of the season," he added. (Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis)]]>
12/1/2018 2:34:00 AM
<![CDATA[Neymar steps up as Tuchel gets it right with PSG]]>
The world's most expensive player scored what proved to be the winning goal as PSG beat last season's runners-up 2-1 to step back from the brink of an unthinkable group-stage exit.

His 14th goal of the season came at the end of a move he had initiated with his blinding pace. Neymar celebrated by performing a dance by the corner flag with Kylian Mbappe and posing for the cameras.

But Neymar's evening was about so much more than that.

Shortly after Juan Bernat's opening goal, Neymar rushed across to the touchline in front of the dugout to make a challenge and then waved his arms in a frenzy to whip up the crowd.

He spent much of the second half running his socks off to help PSG defend their lead, and he also upset Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for being supposedly "clever" in winning fouls and buying time.

"For us it was all or nothing. We suffered quite a bit but we are relieved that we won, played well and showed the strength of our squad," Neymar said.

"We need to celebrate that. After the game we were shouting, jumping around, dancing, so we are happy."

PSG could have been eliminated with a defeat, but are now above Liverpool in Group C and head to Red Star Belgrade in their final game in a fortnight with qualification for the last 16 in their hands.

It was a big night personally for Neymar, in PSG's most important Champions League game since the last 16, second leg against Real Madrid last season, which the Brazilian missed due to injury.

- 'Monster' Silva -

This was probably the French club's most significant result in the competition since they beat Barcelona 4-0 in the last 16 two seasons ago. Neymar was far from the only man responsible.

There were big performances throughout, with Marco Verratti impressive in midfield, even if he was lucky not to be sent off for a dangerous tackle on Joe Gomez in the first half.

Thiago Silva towered over everyone in central defence, the 34-year-old Brazilian living up to his nickname of "The Monster" by helping shut out Liverpool's front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Yet it was telling that Silva was so keen to praise his coach at the end of the game, as he described Thomas Tuchel as "fantastic".

- Tuchel gets better of Klopp -

The German has won all 14 games in Ligue 1 this season since being appointed, but he desperately needed a signature European performance.

Tuchel made some big decisions, none more so than selecting defender Marquinhos in midfield rather than Adrien Rabiot.

Marquinhos was particularly impressive, playing in a holding midfield role without the ball and dropping into a three-man defence in possession.

Tuchel therefore won the tactical battle against his compatriot Klopp and crucially seems to have won over his players.

"The attitude was extraordinary. I am very proud that all the supporters in the ground saw the efforts of a team," said Tuchel.

The question now is whether this result can act as a trigger for PSG to go on to the latter stages of the competition.

"I hope so. It is very important to go through this experience together to create a special atmosphere for the weeks ahead," Tuchel added.]]>
11/30/2018 10:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Schalke fans boo and jeer their team into last 16 in Europe]]>
German fans celebrated before kick-off in the Portuguese city on Wednesday when Lokomotiv Moscow's 2-0 win over Galatasary meant both Schalke and Porto were through to the last 16 from Group D.

However, the mood soured after Schalke were well beaten by Porto as the Germans only had a late Nabil Bentaleb penalty to show and their fans voiced their disappointment over a dismal away display.

"It's hard for us when the fans are upset, but we need to understand their reasons," said defensive midfielder Omar Mascarell.

Schalke were floored as Porto netted two second-half goals in quick succession, as Brazilian defender Eder Militao struck in the 52nd minute and Jesus Corona three minutes later. Moussa Marega hit a third late for the hosts in added time.

The German fans whistled and booed their team off the pitch and sports director Christian Heidel was surprised given their passage into the last 16.

"You always have the right to express resentment, but we have qualified for the last 16 - I just don't get it," he said.

The mood of the disgruntled fans was made worse as the team did not acknowledge the travelling support after the final whistle.

"They came a long way to get here," said midfielder Alessandro Schoepf.

"One could have gone to thank them in the stands, that is all about respect."

Schalke's injury-hit attack failed to manage a single shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes while Porto ripped the Royal Blues defence apart after the break.

Only good saves by Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann kept the visitors in the game.

However, Schalke deserve some sympathy in the face of a crippling injury list with five forwards injured.

Guido Burgstaller was missing in Porto with an Achilles tendon problem, then right winger Steven Skrzybski had to be replaced at half-time with a shoulder injury while Mark Uth, Breel Embolo and Cedric Teuchert are all sidelined long term.

"I have never heard of a Bundesliga team having five forwards injured at the same time," grumbled Heidel, who hopes to have Burgstaller and Skrzybski back from injury before Saturday's away match at Hoffenheim.

Schalke have lost only one of their five games so far in Europe, but are just four points clear of the bottom three in the Bundesliga after seven defeats in 12 games.]]>
11/30/2018 9:07:00 AM
<![CDATA[Delayed Libertadores final could take place in Qatar]]>
"Qatar is a possibility," the source said, with Dec. 8 the most likely date.

CONMEBOL are expected to make an official announcement later on Thursday at their headquarters in Paraguay.

The organisation's independent Disciplinary Tribunal is also due to hear Boca's appeal this Thursday to award them the game because of violence by River fans, throwing the future of the match into further confusion.

Argentina's two biggest teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca's ground on Nov. 11 and were due to play the decisive second match at River's Monumental stadium last Saturday.

However, Boca's players were hurt when River fans attacked their team coach as it approached the stadium and the game was first delayed until Sunday and then postponed indefinitely.

The violence was an embarrassment for Argentina just days before this weekend's G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Qatar has been mooted as a possible venue after CONMEBOL ruled out holding the match in Argentina due to security concerns.

The winner of the Libertadores, South America's equivalent of the Champions League, will represent CONMEBOL in the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates just days later.

The tournament kicks off on Dec. 12 with the South Americans playing their first match on Dec. 18.

]]>
11/30/2018 7:04:00 AM
<![CDATA[Isco's future on the agenda for Real ahead of Valencia visit]]>
Real sit sixth in the table, behind the likes of Espanyol and Alaves, six points off league leaders Sevilla, while Saturday's opponents Valencia are 11th.

Isco, who captained his country earlier this month, did not start last weekend’s 3-0 humbling at Eibar, and was left out of the squad completely for Tuesday’s Champions League victory at AS Roma.

The defeat to Eibar was Madrid’s fifth in 13 La Liga matches this season, just one fewer than they suffered in the whole of the last campaign.

Local media have reported that Isco has fallen out with new coach Santiago Solari, who has not named him in the starting lineup for any of his six matches in charge at the Bernabeu.

The situation surrounding the talented playmaker, who has previously been linked with moves to Manchester City, Barcelona and a host of Europe’s top clubs, has caused consternation among the club’s fans.

It remains to be seen whether or not he is involved this weekend when Valencia visit the capital.

“They’re decisions you take in the moment for certain situations. We’re here to make those decisions and that’s that,” Solari said when quizzed on Isco’s absence in Rome.

“Decisions are almost always sporting, except in exceptional circumstances -- which is not the case here.

“Starting or being on the bench is a problem that doesn’t exist. We’re here to give our all, 100 percent and to get picked that way. I’ve always seen it like that and I’m not giving it more importance. We’ve a squad of 24 players.”

Valencia, where Isco started his career but failed to nail down a first-team spot before moving to Malaga, come to the Bernabeu on the back of Champions League elimination.

They are, however, returning to form in the league, winning their last two games after picking up just one victory in their first 11.

Games between the two clubs are notoriously tight, with Real needing a late goal to secure a 2-2 draw in the corresponding fixture last season.

Barcelona, who lost top spot to Sevilla last weekend after drawing away at Atletico, host Villarreal on Sunday before the league leaders visit fourth-placed Alaves, who could go top themselves if they win and other results go their way. (Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli Editing by Toby Davis)]]>
11/30/2018 6:02:00 AM
<![CDATA[Liverpool's Robertson frustrated by Neymar 'playacting']]>
The Parc des Princes contest was marked by a number of interruptions with last season's finalists Liverpool committing 20 fouls and picking up six yellow cards, but Robertson said the French side had indulged in gamesmanship.

"I suppose they were in the lead and they were looking to waste time. You can use gamesmanship, playacting, you can use it all really," Robertson told Sky Sports.

"I would like to know how much time they wasted... it was frustrating. But when you play against PSG you know it's something you're going to come up against especially with him (Neymar). It wasn't something we quite dealt with tonight.

"It's frustrating when he is falling like he is. It's all part and parcel of his game and we needed to deal with that. We didn't quite control our aggression."

Defeat left the English club's hopes of reaching the last 16 hanging in the balance.

Liverpool are third in Group C on six points, two behind PSG and three behind Napoli, who they face at Anfield in the final round of matches on Dec. 11.

Juergen Klopp's side need a 1-0 win, or a victory by a two-goal margin or more, to progress.

"It is at Anfield. I am sure we will have another special night, the fans can create a special atmosphere and hopefully get the result that we need," Robertson said. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)]]>
11/30/2018 4:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[D-day for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon]]>
The executive committee meets in the Ghanaian capital Accra on the sidelines of the Africa Women's Cup of Nations tournament, an official of the Cairo-based told AFP.

A report of the last two inspection visits to central African state Cameroon will be made during the meeting.

CAF inspectors recently travelled to the country, which last hosted the tournament in 1972, to check security, infrastructure, stadiums and accommodation.

After the executive committee meeting, a decision whether Cameroon should continue as hosts of the June 15-July 13 African football showpiece is set to be made.

If Cameroon are rejected, CAF will have to launch a new application procedure to designate another host country for the biennial tournament first staged in Sudan 61 years ago.

Morocco, who lost out to a United States/Mexico/Canada bid to host the 2026 World Cup, have regularly been reported as possible replacements for Cameroon.

At a September executive committee meeting in Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh, CAF noted "a significant delay in the realisation of the infrastructures" necessary for holding the Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

No plan B

However, CAF president Ahmad Ahmad declared the following month during a visit to Cameroon that his organisation "did not have a plan B.

"CAF has never thought about withdrawing from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon... it depends on Cameroon," he stressed after talks with head of state Paul Biya.

In Sharm el-Sheikh, Cameroon Football Federation head Happi Dieudonne assured executives that "Cameroon would be ready" to organise the Cup of Nations.

Cameroon is experiencing a tense security situation with persistent attacks by Boko Haram jihadists in the north and a conflict between the army and separatists in the two English-speaking regions.

The 2019 Cup of Nations will be the first to feature 24 teams -- up from 16 at the 2017 edition in Gabon.

It will also be the first Cup of Nations played during June and July after the last CAF president, Issa Hayatou, refused to budge from the traditional January/February timetable.

The January kick-off meant many Africans with clubs in the leading European leagues had to leave their clubs in the middle of the season for up to six weeks.

Cameroon, as hosts, and 12 other countries, including record seven-time champions Egypt, have qualified for the 2019 tournament.

The other 11 places will be decided during the final qualifiers in March.]]>
11/30/2018 3:08:00 AM
<![CDATA[Qatar's Hassan named Asia's best player]]>
The left back received the award at a ceremony in the Omani capital Muscat after playing a key role in club side Al Sadd reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League this season.

"I am very glad and proud to achieve this award," said Hassan, who becomes the second Qatari to secure the award after 2006 winner Khalfan Ibrahim.

"Every player in Asia dreams of winning such an award and this is a great testament to Qatar football. It is a great honour to be the second Qatari to win this award.

"Of course, I have to thank my team mates and I thank everyone who supported me in my career.

"Personally I did not expect to win, but this is a great source of pride for me and I am very thankful. I am still just 25 years old, I have a long way to go, and I hope to build on this success."

Midfielder Wang Shuang claimed the women's award to become the third Chinese player to pick up the trophy, following in the footsteps of Ma Xiaoxu and Bai Jie.

"I would like to thank the AFC for this remarkable award," she said.

"It really means a lot to win this. I want to thank my country, the Chinese Football Association and my national teammates for putting their faith in me and always encouraging me to dream big."

Makoto Hasebe, who captained Japan to the knockout rounds of the World Cup in Russia over the summer, was named the International Player of the Year while Go Oiwa won the men's coach of the year title after steering Kashima Antlers to their first Asian Champions League title.

Japan's Asako Takakura, meanwhile, won the women's coach of the year award for a sixth time. (Reporting by Michael Church, editing by Nick Mulvenney)]]>
11/30/2018 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Warriors' injured star Curry to return in Detroit: coach]]>
Kerr ruled Curry out of the two-time defending champions' marquee matchup against the league-leading Raptors in Toronto on Thursday, despite the fact that Curry himself is "dying to play".

He said Curry, recovering from a left groin strain suffered in a loss to Milwaukee on November 8, had "looked great" in practice over the last two days.

But the team decided to proceed with caution in the early going of the season.

"If this were a playoff game, he would absolutely be playing," Kerr said. "But it's November. Caution is the word of the day."

Kerr said Curry was particularly disappointed to miss the game in Toronto, not only because the Raptors currently own the best record in the NBA but also because he has fond memories of the Canadian city from the time his father, Dell Curry, played there from 1999-2002.

Curry a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, got off to a strong start this season as the Warriors launched their bid for a third straight NBA title. He was averaging 29.5 points, 6.1 assists and five rebounds and shooting 49.2 percent from three-point range before he was hurt.

In the 10 games that Curry has missed the Warriors are 5-5. That includes a rare four-game losing streak, although they have bounced back with three straight victories.]]>
11/30/2018 1:05:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi gives Squash women team First Class Medals]]>CAIRO –29 November 2018: Squash Egyptian player and World's No. 1, Raneem El-Welily, expressed her happiness after President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi gave First Class Sports Medal to the squash women team this morning.

"Thanks God. A great honour for me to get the third "Medal of Sports of the first class" while honouring us today and the team of the Egyptian squash women team. We were honoured by the President of the Egypt." Raneem El-Welily tweeted this morning.




President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi awarded the Squash Women's Team the First Class Sports Medal after the recent World Cup in China, which Egypt won it.

The Egyptian Squash Federation president, Assem Khalifa, and board of directors member, Hany Hamouda, Dr. Ashraf Subhi, Minister of Youth and Sports, Amr Shabana, the team's coach, Nour Al-Sherbini, Raneem Al-Walyli, Nour Al-Tayeb and Noran Gohar, attended the ceremony.
]]>
11/29/2018 6:45:39 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Khatib and Abdel-Hafiz end Al-Ahly's new coach file ]]>
Al-Ahly board, led by Khatib, sacked Carteron on Thursday after the team was eliminated from the Arab club champions cup round of 16 following a 1-1 draw to Emirati club, Al-Wasl.


The team earlier lost the CAF Champions League title after a 3-0 loss to Tunisian giants, Esperance, despite achieving a 3-1 victory at the first leg.

Al-Khatib and Abdel-hafiz are set to reach an agreement with the new coach in the expected meeting in Germany and finalize all the terms. The new coach is set to arrive after Petrojet game in the Egyptian league scheduled on Saturday.

Al-Ahly officials were negotiating a number of coaches, although they settled on three names, including the German Felix Magath and the Uruguayan Cariniu.
]]>
11/29/2018 6:30:09 PM
<![CDATA[Villa draw 5-5 with Forest in remarkable Championship clash]]>
Tammy Abraham scored four goals for Villa, who trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in a remarkable first half that ended 3-3.

Lewis Grabban and Joao Carvalho put Forest two goals ahead before Abraham dragged the hosts back into the match, levelling the scores at 2-2 and then 3-3 after Matthew Cash put Forest back in front.

Joe Lolley's long-range effort restored Forest's lead shortly after the break but they were soon down to 10 men when Tobias Figueiredo was shown a red card.

Abraham capitalised three minutes later, heading in from Jack Grealish's free kick to make it 4-4.

Villa took the lead for the first time through Anwar El Ghazi but Grabban's near-post finish with eight minutes remaining earned Forest a point.

Both clubs were European champions in the early 1980s but Forest are now sixth in the Championship on 31 points, two places and three points above Villa.

(Reporting by Toby Davis, editing by Nick Mulvenney)]]>
11/29/2018 5:56:24 PM
<![CDATA[Winning in Nou Camp not mission impossible, says Pochettino]]>
Christian Eriksen's 80th-minute winner gave Tottenham a deserved 1-0 victory over Inter Milan on Wednesday -- a result that lifted them above the Italians into second place in Group B by virtue of their better head-to-head record.

But they must match Inter's result in the final round of group games and with Luciano Spalletti's side hosting bottom club PSV Eindhoven that means victory in Spain will almost certainly be required by Spurs on their first visit to the Nou Camp since losing 1-0 in the 1982 Cup Winners Cup semi-final.

"All is possible. I never say it is mission impossible, in football all can happen, you need to believe," Pochettino said after a nervy night at Wembley.

"It will be tough (to win at Barcelona) but the belief is so important. To arrive in Barcelona and compete at our best we need to have fresh legs, fresh minds, no injuries.

"We have big respect for Barcelona. Barcelona is one of the best teams in Europe, and of course they have unbelievable players. It will be tough. But we have belief we can win."

Barcelona's last three games at home to English clubs resulted in 3-0, 4-0 and 3-1 wins against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal respectively.

Liverpool were the last English team to win there in the Champions League last 16 in 2007.

Inter coach Spalletti can only hope that Barca, who have already won the group, maintain their dominant home form in Europe.

Bayern Munich were the last side to win away in the Champions League against Barcelona, in April 2013, since when they are 28 matches unbeaten at home in the competition.

"I'm sure Barcelona will not give anything easy to Tottenham even if they are already qualified," Spalletti, whose side would have qualified for the last 16 if they had held out for a draw, told reporters.

"Players like Messi, like Pique. I don't even dare have a shadow of a doubt. I'm sure they always give their best and play to win every game they play."

Tottenham had the better chances on a tense night at Wembley. Harry Winks curled against the crossbar in the first half and Jan Vertonghen headed wastefully wide late on before Eriksen blasted home to seal three vital points.

"The performance was very good. We fully deserved the victory," Pochettino said. "Inter Milan showed a great level.

"They're a team that are so difficult to beat. The players deserve credit because the performance was very good.

"We dominated and created the best chances. Now we are in a position that depends on us." (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Toby Davis)]]>
11/29/2018 5:54:53 PM
<![CDATA[Bale hopes Roma display will galvanise 'turbulent' season]]>
The 29-year-old has failed to score in his last nine league appearances and came in for scathing criticism following Saturday's stunning 3-0 loss at Eibar, the three-times defending European champions fifth league defeat of the season.

He gave the ball away 20 times against the Basque side and registered just one shot on goal, with an online survey by Spanish newspaper Marca revealing Real fans did not want him to start in the Italian capital.

Rather like his team, though, he rose to the occasion in the Champions League and after a mixed first-half display, Bale broke the deadlock with his third goal in four European outings, later helping set up Lucas Vazquez to seal victory.

"The manager told us at halftime we needed to keep playing the way we know. And in the second half, we played very well, played the ball like we normally do. We got some confidence back and need to build on that now," Bale told reporters.

"We know obviously the start of the season was not exactly as we would like. We need to keep working hard together as a team to get the performances and get the results... and get back up the table in the league."

Bale has largely failed to fill the huge void left by Cristiano Ronaldo as Real have toiled domestically, sitting sixth in the La Liga and registering their worst goal difference after 13 league games in 18 years, scoring 20 and conceding 19.

He admitted to feeling disappointed with how the season has gone since the Portuguese talisman left to join Juventus.

"It has been a bit of a turbulent start to the season but we have to keep fighting every game no matter what position we are in. That is football, it can be frustrating sometimes when things are not quite coming off," he added.

"But I know from experience you just have to keep working hard, together as a team, and we did that today." (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by John O'Brien)]]>
11/29/2018 5:52:07 PM
<![CDATA[Klopp relishing Anfield 'final' against Napoli after PSG loss]]>
Group C leaders Napoli, who travel to Liverpool on Dec. 11, are three points clear of the Premier League side, but a 1-0 win, or a victory by a two-goal margin or more, will see Klopp's men reach the last 16 of the Champions League once more.

"Now we have to use Anfield one more time. We are calling Anfield right now, and we will see what happens," Klopp said.

"We need to create an atmosphere that is really special, Napoli are a very good side. We have to make a special night -- 11th December we have a proper final at Anfield."

Goals from Juan Bernat and Neymar set PSG on their way to a crucial victory that revives their own Champions League campaign, meaning they will reach the knockout stages with three points against Red Star Belgrade in their final match.

Liverpool rallied after James Milner's penalty got them back in the contest, but an equaliser eluded them in the second half.

Klopp was particularly frustrated with what he thought was gamesmanship tactics by PSG in the Parc des Princes and also said home midfielder Marco Verratti was fortunate to escape a red card for a challenge on Joe Gomez in the first half.

"The little hurdle was the 5000 interruptions tonight, but the referee still thinks he did everything right," Klopp added. "I think two or three times we have been the fairest team (disciplinary record) in England, but tonight we looked like butchers.

"They were constantly down, which made the boys aggressive, which does not help. You could say it was smart (from PSG), but the referee let that happen. How many yellow cards did we have? Five or six? That is crazy.

"It's a red card (Verratti), yes. But it is only a story if I say it, and then I look like a bad loser." (Reporting by Peter Hall Editing by Toby Davis)]]>
11/29/2018 5:48:40 PM
<![CDATA[Burgess blames egos for England's 2015 World Cup exit]]>
Burgess was a high-profile recruit for England ahead of the tournament and shouldered much of the blame when Stuart Lancaster's men became the first host nation to exit in the group stages.

Critics said the league convert's fast-track into international rugby disrupted team unity, while supporters said he was a convenient scapegoat for England's many failings.

Burgess, who returned to the 13-a-side code with South Sydney Rabbitohs soon after England's elimination, was silent on the issue until this week, when he responded to goading on social media.

"If people actually re-watched the games I participated in, you will see I added to the team," he tweeted.

"What cost us an early exit was individual egos and selfish players not following our leader, which essentially cost the coach and other great men their jobs."

Lancaster and his assistants -- including defence guru Andy Farrell, who is set to take over as Ireland coach next year -- were sacked after the 2015 failure.

But Burgess said they were let down by some members of the England playing group, who he did not name.

"Tournaments are not won by the coaching staff or one player," he said. "It takes a commitment from the full group. I guarantee you this, I was committed but others had their own agendas."

He added "one day I will tell my side of the story", saying he had enjoyed his time in rugby union and was looking forward to watching England at next year's World Cup in Japan.

Former union teammates Richard Wigglesworth and Luther Burrell expressed support for Burgess on social media.

"Wouldn't even bother replying to any of that shit pal. The right people know!" Wigglesworth tweeted.]]>
11/28/2018 11:11:52 AM
<![CDATA[Ronaldo hits 100 Champions League wins as Juventus soar into last 16]]>
"Ronaldo gives us a sense of security and confidence," said Allegri of the beaten finalists in two of the last four editions of the elite European competition.

"The team is essentially the same as last season. We've grown, become faster in playing the ball, but then of course, there is Cristiano Ronaldo.

"This team is constantly improving ? they're passing and putting play together more quickly."

Ronaldo -- who joined Juventus last summer from Real Madrid -- is targeting a sixth Champions League title to add to his four with the Spanish team and one with Manchester United.

The Italian team are looking for their third European title and first since 1995.

Last season they exited in the quarter-finals to Ronaldo's Real Madrid.

The 33-year-old played a key role against Valencia providing the assist on 59 minutes which Croatian Mario Mandzukic tapped in for his third goal in as many matches.

Juventus had needed just a point to ensure qualification.

Their win combined with Manchester United's late 1-0 win over Young Boys at Old Trafford means Valencia crash out of the competition.

Allegri's side will now have to wait to see whether they top Group H when they play their final group game mid-December in Bern against Young Boys.

- 'Great spirit' -

Ronaldo came out firing on all cylinders after his controversial red card during his first Champions League game for Juventus in Valencia back in September, which Allegri's side still won 2-0.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner had two chances within the first three minutes to add to his record tally of 121 Champions League goals.

Valencia had their best chance before the break when Mouctar Diakhaby's header off a corner was punched out with one hand by Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Just before the hour mark, Ronaldo broke free of Valencia defender Gabriel and with some fancy footwork fired low across the face of the goal leaving Mandzukic to finish off.

Valencia thought they had scored the equaliser two minutes later but Diakhaby's header was ruled to have come off his hand.

Valenica goalkeeper Neto kept out a late goal-bound header from Ronaldo, who rose to meet Paulo Dybala's out-swinging corner.

"You can see how united we are including the forwards," said Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini.

"All three of them ? Ronaldo, Mandzukic and Dybala, really put themselves about today. If we scrap like that, with the skill we have in the side, it makes everything much easier.

"We have to turn the page now ? we'll start thinking about the Champions League again in February. We must focus on Serie A because we have a tough month ahead," added the defender as the league leaders target an eighth consecutive domestic title.

"The match was decided by great play by Cristiano," said Valencia coach Marcelino Garcia, "but out team gave everything, showing great spirit against one of the best teams in Europe."]]>
11/28/2018 11:10:36 AM
<![CDATA[Durant scores 49 as Warriors overtake Magic]]>
Durant connected on 16 of his 33 shots, four of his 10 3-point attempts and all 13 of his free throws en route to the fifth-highest scoring game of his career. The total of 49 points was his high since he poured in 51 for Oklahoma City at Toronto in March 2014.

The Warriors trailed by as many as 18 points before chipping away in the third and fourth quarters, finally taking a 102-100 lead on a 3-pointer by Klay Thompson with 5:26 to go.

After Orlando gathered itself to go back up by three, another 3-pointer by Thompson drew the Warriors even at 107-all with 1:45 left before Durant took over.

He put the Warriors up by three with a three-point play with 1:19 to go, then boosted the lead to four with a 3-pointer after Terrence Ross had pulled the Magic back within 110-109 on a dunk with 1:11 left.

Durant completed his game-ending flurry with a pair of clinching free throws, delivering Golden State its third win in four days after it had lost four in a row.

Thompson backed Durant with 29 points, as Golden State's two healthy All-Stars combined for 78 points while their teammates combined for 38.

Nikola Vucevic had 30 points and Ross 28 for the Magic, who had won in Los Angeles against the Lakers on Sunday afternoon.

Vucevic completed a double-double with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Jonathan Isaac (15) an Mo Bamba (11) also scored in double figures for Orlando, which lost its 11th straight to Golden State.

The Magic led 39-36 in the fifth minute of the second quarter before exploding into an 18-point lead on the strength of a 19-4 burst. Ross had a four-point play and another 3-pointer to cap the run.]]>
11/27/2018 8:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahly miss Azaro against Arab Contractors ]]>
The club announced that the player is not fit for the game and he will miss the game alongside Moamen Zakaria, Ali Maaloul, Ahmed Fathi, Mohamed Hany, Amr El Solia and Mohamed El Shenawy.

Al-Ahly caretaker manager, Mohamed Youusef, will lead the team for the first time after the club sacked their former French manager, Patrice Carteron.

Youssef added Al-Ahly wingers, Ahmed El Sheikh and Nasser Maher, to the squad after they have been sidelined since September.

Youssef's announced squad for the game consists of:

GOAL KEEPERS : Sherif Ekramy, Aly Lotfy

DEFENDERS: Ayman Ashraf, Salif Coulibaly, Saad Samir, Sabry Raheel and Bassem Ali.

MIDFIELDERS : Hesham Mohamed, Hossam Ashour, Ahmed Hamoudy, Karim Nedved, Walid Soliman, Mido Gaber, Islam Mohareb, Ahmed El Sheikh, Nasser Maher, Akram Tawfik and Mohamed Sherif.

FORWARDS : Salah Mohsen, Marwan Mohsen

Al-Ahly stays at the League bottom with 11 points but they have 9 postponed games because of their participation at CAF Champions League. ]]>
11/27/2018 4:10:00 PM
<![CDATA[Genoa offers to host Libertadores final]]>
The second leg of the final was called off twice at the weekend after the bus carrying the Boca team was attacked by rival fans outside River's Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires on Saturday, injuring several players.

The kickoff was initially delayed before the game was postponed from Saturday to Sunday. On Sunday, it was postponed again, hours before kickoff, after Boca said they were not in a fit state to play.

The South American football confederation CONMEBOL is due to meet both clubs on Tuesday to discuss rescheduling and the venue. The first leg at Boca's stadium ended 2-2.

The Genoa city government confirmed in a statement on Monday that it had written to the clubs offering to host the game.

The Libertadores is South America's equivalent of Europe's Champions League and it is the first time two teams from the same city had reached the final.

"Deep, in fact, are the bonds that unite the two Argentine football clubs - both founded by Genoese immigrants at the beginning of the twentieth century - with the Ligurian capital," Genoa's government said.

The city's sports director Stefano Anzalone added: "We would be very proud to host important clubs like Boca and River in our city by welcoming them in what, in some ways, is also their first home.

"It would also be a further opportunity to give international visibility in Genoa at this time of difficulty and to renew the profound sense of friendship that historically unites us with those societies."

The city is still recovering from the accident in August when a motorway bridge collapsed, killing 43 people.

Boca are generally more closely associated with the city and are nicknamed the "Xeneizes", the local dialect's word for "Genoese".

River Plate's connections with the city are less well known although some versions of their history say the club adopted red and white as their colours because they are the same as Genoa's flag. ]]>
11/27/2018 1:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Salah tweets in favor of animal rights ]]>
The winger posted a photo with his two cats and commented "Cats and dogs will not be exported ... It will not happen and it cannot happen."




Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson, Hamed AbdelDayem, denied on Monday the claims and said that Egypt only applies measures on pets that come to or leave Egypt.

The Egyptian winger always supports animal rights and has posted many photos before with his cats.

Salah has been named as Liverpool's player of the month of October for the first time this season.

The winger led his team to defeat Watford 3-0 on Saturday as he opened the score for his team at the second half.

Salah and his team have a decisive game on Wednesday night against Paris Saint Germain at the UEFA Champions League.


]]>
11/27/2018 1:14:08 PM
<![CDATA[Croats dance as Davis Cup victors come home]]>
Top-ranked Marin Cilic and other players boarded a special bus straight from the airport, drove into the heart of the capital and climbed onto a stage in Ban Jelacic Square to greet their fans.

As footage of their best moments played out on a video wall behind them, the players sang and danced along with the flag-waving crowd.

"We're extremely happy to bring this trophy to Croatia and to show everyone that we are the best," Cilic said from the stage as he held up the prize.

Croatia's 3-1 defeat of France over the weekend was the second time it has won the trophy, after beating Slovakia in 2005.

It was also Croatia's second major sporting clash with France this year - the first was Croatia's 4-2 defeat in the World Cup soccer final in Moscow in July.

"We are proud of our guys. They struck back after the defeat of our soccer team," one of the revellers in Zagreb said.]]>
11/27/2018 12:00:00 PM
<![CDATA["Unstoppable" Zamalek defeats El Gouna ]]>
El Gouna were the better side at the first half and they were close from opening the score by a shot from their winger, Ahmed Magdy, but Zamalek goalkeeper, Mahmoud Gennesh, saved it to keep the score 0-0.

Both teams failed to open the score at the first half to go to the half time with a goalless draw.

Zamalek had a better start at the second half and they opened the score after two minutes by their Tunisian midfielder, Fergani Sassi, who received a wonderful cross from Abdallah Gomaa.

Zamalek manager, Christian Gross, decided to replace Kasongo Kabongo by Omar El Said who just needed three minutes to double the score for Zamalek.

Three minutes later, Mahmoud Kahraba added the third goal after he received an amazing pass from Hamdy Niguez, that put him one on one with El Gouna goalkeeper.



Zamalek goalkeeper, Gennesh, saved a penalty from Ahmed Magdy 10 minutes before the final whistle to lead the team to win the game with a clean sheet.

Zamalek achieved their 10th victory at the League and the sixth in a row to keep their position at the top of the table with 32 points after 13 games. ]]>
11/27/2018 11:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Argentina pushes anti soccer hooligan bill after Boca-River melee]]>
President Mauricio Macri wants a law that would more severely punish the kind of violence that over the weekend shut down the second leg of the Copa Libertadores soccer final between River Plate and Boca Juniors.

The riot was especially embarrassing to the country as it prepares to host a summit of the G20 bloc of nations on Friday.

A visibly angry Macri went on television to denounce criminal soccer fan organizations, called 'Barras Bravas', that are known for dealing drugs, extorting rank-and-file fans and demanding protection money from small businesses located near stadiums.

"We reject the mafias that are often behind this type of violence," Macri said. "I hope that after this embarrassment, we can get a law passed in extra sessions of Congress."

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said the law would stiffen penalties against violence related to soccer matches.

Later on Monday, the security minister for the city of Buenos Aires, Martin Ocampo, resigned over the fiasco.

The decisive leg of the tournament had been set to be played on Saturday, but was suspended until Sunday after Boca players were injured when their bus was attacked by River fans outside Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires.

Some of Boca's players had not sufficiently recovered by Sunday, so the game was again postponed. The heads of both clubs were expected to meet on Tuesday to decide when to reschedule.

Macri said the incident was particularly "sad and frustrating" because it happened five days ahead of a meeting of the G20 bloc of industrialized nations in Buenos Aires, which he has touted as part of the country's effort at attracting foreign investment despite its high rate of inflation and recession.

He also said he was incensed that the 23 people arrested in Saturday's melee had already been set free.

"I don't understand in the name of all Argentines," Macri said in a raised voice. "I don't understand the reaction of the justice system."

The Copa Libertadores is South America's equivalent of Europe's Champion's League. This year marked the first time Argentina's two biggest clubs had met for the title.

The cross town showdown had been billed as the greatest final in the competition's 58-year history.]]>
11/27/2018 9:29:23 AM
<![CDATA[Suarez out for two weeks ]]>
The player will miss the team trip to Netherlands to face PSV Eindhoven this week at UEFA Champions League and the club hopes the striker to be fit for the Catalan derby against Espanyol at the League on December 8.

"The Uruguayan will undergo stem cell treatment on an injury to his right knee, and will be out for two weeks." The club statement said.

Suarez joined Arthur Melo and Jasper Cillesen who will not be available for PSV clash.

On the other hand, Rafael Alcântara known as Rafinha, will undergo surgery to treat a ruptured left anterior cruciate ligament that will keep the player sidelined for the rest of the season.

Barcelona lost their League leadership after a draw against Atletico Madrid while Sevilla achieved a 1-0 victory at home to Real Valladolid on Sunday, moving one point clear of Barcelona. ]]>
11/27/2018 8:06:05 AM
<![CDATA[Mendis leads Sri Lanka fightback against England in Colombo]]>
Chasing an imposing 327 with a series whitewash looming over them, the hosts soon lost nightwatchman Lakshan Sandakan but Mendis' 82-run stand with Roshen Silva for the fifth wicket suggests Sri Lanka are not ready to throw in the towel.

Mendis was batting on 77 at the break, hitting seven boundaries and a six in his knock. Silva, meanwhile, was on 37 with Sri Lanka, who resumed on 53-4, still 163 short of their target.

Half an hour into the penultimate day of play, Jack Leach angled one into the leg stump and Sandakan could only edge it to Ben Stokes at slip to depart after making seven.

Mendis took a single off Adil Rashid to bring up his 50 from 55 balls, while Silva also kept fighting, despite his occasional discomfort against all-rounder Stokes' awkward bounce.

England captured the series opener in Galle to end a long winless streak in away tests before triumphing in Pallekele to take an unassailable 2-0 lead and claim a first test series victory in Sri Lanka since 2001. ]]>
11/26/2018 9:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Atlanta close in on MLS Cup place after win over Red Bulls]]>
In the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City battled to a 0-0 draw in their opening leg.

Josef Martinez, who set an MLS record with 31 regular season goals, put Atlanta ahead in the 32nd minute before second-half goals from Franco Escobar and Hector Villalba gave them a comfortable lead to take to New York for Thursday's return leg.

The Red Bulls had a goal by Bradley Wright-Phillips disallowed early in the second half after a video review determined Alex Muyl was offside.

The Red Bulls or United will host the MLS Cup on Dec. 8 as both teams had more points in the regular season than the two Western Conference semi-finalists.

The Timbers, looking to reach the Cup final for the second time in four years, were disappointed not to take advantage of their home ground on Sunday but were confident of getting a result in Kansas City.

"Definitely we wanted to get a win at home, but also they didn't get any goals,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese told the Oregonian.

“Now, we have to go there, make sure that we prepare with the days that we have and give everything we have to try to go through.”]]>
11/26/2018 7:40:00 PM
<![CDATA[Hadary to leave Ismaily]]>
The illness of Hadary's mother forced him to miss the team's trip to Burundi to face Le Messager FC de Ngozi at the CAF Champions League preliminary round.

"Hadary is an outstanding goalkeeper and he has his reasons to leave the club; we do not have a problem with his decision as long as we sign another goalkeeper," a source linked to Ismaily told Kooora.

Hadary joined Ismaily last summer and since then he has been the club's starting goalkeeper but the team's poor results at the league werethe main reason behind his decision to leave the club.



The source added: "We arenegotiatingwith many goalkeepers to sign one of them at the winter market."

Hadary, 46, is the historic goalkeeper of Egypt's national team.He became the oldest player to participate atthe FIFA World Cup when he took part in Egypt's 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia, Egypt’s last World Cup game.

]]>
11/26/2018 12:11:41 PM
<![CDATA[Said scores, secures Ahli Jeddah's derby victory ]]>
The Egyptian fans watched the game to enjoy the performance of Egyptian national team players, Mohamed Abdel Shafi and Abdallahel-Said, who represented Ahli Jeddah.

Abdel Shafi was among the starting line-up and captained his team at the game, while Said started the game on bench.

Al-Ittihad opened the score after six minutes from the start by Fahad Al-Muwallad who received a wonderful assist from Karimel-Ahmadi that put him one on one with the goalkeeper to openthe score for his team.

Al-Ahli equalized after 15 minutes by a header from their Syrian striker, Omar el-Souma.

Said was his team's first substitution in the game; he replaced Jorge Djaniny who suffered an injury 5minutes before half time.

Al-Ahli took the lead in the game 4 minutes after half time by AbdelFattah Asiri who refused to celebrate the goal against his former team.

Said added the third goal for his team 15 minutes before the final whistle to secure his team's victory at the derby.



Al-Ahli's victory sent the team to the third position with 22 points, while Al-Ittihad stayed at the bottom with two points.

]]>
11/26/2018 11:54:39 AM
<![CDATA[Kid diagnosed with alopecia scores for beloved, Al-Ittihad]]>
The kid received massive applause from the team players and the fans who designed a banner for him saying "Mostafa ...You give us hope in Life."

"We were at the training center watching the team's training session and once Mostafa saw the players, he rantoward them.They started playing with him and taking photos which went viral," Mostafa's father toldfilgoal.



The team took permission from the football federation to allow Mostafa to play the kick off for the game and the federation gave them the permission.

"Mostafa is happy after what happened in the game and the love he received from the players and the fans. I want to thank them all for their support," Mostafa's father added.

Mostafa watched Khaled Amar opening the score for Al-Ittihad after 6 minutes but Mostafa Mohamed equalized for El-Gaish at the second half to end the game with a draw.
]]>
11/26/2018 11:53:15 AM
<![CDATA[Carteron's agent reveals his recommendations to Khatib]]>
"Carteron handed Khatib a list of seven players that he believes are not good enough for the team during a meeting after the CAF Champions League loss," Carteron's agent, Omar Nabil, told LTC on Monday.

Al-Ahly board, led by Khatib, sacked Carteron on Thursday after the team was eliminated from the Arab club champions cup round of 16 following a 1-1 draw to Emirati club, Al-Wasl.

The team earlier lost the CAF Champions League title after a 3-0 loss to Tunisian giants, Esperance, despite achieving a 3-1 victory at the first leg.



Nabil added "the manager did everything he can to adapt with the team's difficult situation and was waiting forthe winter market to sign many players to strengthen the squad."

Rumors linked Carteron with coaching different teams in Egypt like El-Masry and Enppi. Nabil commented on these rumors, saying "Carteron does not prefer to manage another team in Egypt but we arenegotiating with the Tunisian Football Federation to lead their national team"

]]>
11/26/2018 11:51:51 AM
<![CDATA[Scolari's Palmeiras win Brazil title with match to spare]]>
Scolari, Brazil coach when they won their fifth World Cup in 2002 and also in charge of the side humiliated 7-1 at home by Germany on home soil in 2014, took over in July with Palmeiras lying seventh, eight points behind the leaders.

Under the leadership of the man who also took Portugal to the European Championship final in 2004 during his long, distinguished career, Palmeiras won 16 of their next 22 league matches and drew six, conceding just nine goals.

Deyverson scored the winner in the 71st minute of Sunday's match at Sao Januario after he turned in Willian's pass from close range, leaving Palmeiras on 77 points, five clear of Flamengo, who won 2-0 at Cruzeiro.]]>
11/26/2018 9:12:25 AM
<![CDATA[Sevilla top La Liga after scrappy win over Valladolid]]>
Pablo Machin's side knew a win would take them top after Barca drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid on Saturday and they seized an unconvincing success thanks to a close-range header from Portuguese forward Andre Silva on the half-hour mark.

Sevilla prevailed after the visitors' Turkish forward Enes Unal had two goals ruled out for offside in the second half.

It also took a flying save from home goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik to prevent substitute Unal equalising in stoppage time.

Sevilla now lead the standings on 26 points after 13 games, jumping ahead of Barca, who have 25.

Atletico are third on 24, with stuttering European champions Real Madrid sitting sixth on 20 after Saturday's humiliating 3-0 defeat at Eibar.

Sevilla coach Machin told reporters: "I wouldn't call it an epic victory, there were moments of uncertainty, but thanks to our defensive work and to Tomas, overall we deserved to win.

"You have to suffer to some degree in every victory and that's why we love football so much."

Espanyol missed the chance to move back into the top four as they were beaten 3-1 at home in a Catalan derby by Girona, whose former Espanyol striker Cristhian Stuani netted twice to move ahead of Lionel Messi as top scorer in La Liga with 10 goals.

Villarreal's veteran midfielder Santi Cazorla inspired them to a badly-needed 2-1 win over Real Betis with two assists, ending a six-game spell without a league win and taking them three points clear of the relegation zone into 16th place.

Cazorla laid on passes for Gerard Moreno and Samuel Chukwueze to score in the space of two minutes early in the second half against Betis, who had earned a stunning 4-3 win over Barcelona at the Nou Camp the previous week.

The visitors replied with a goal in stoppage time from Giovani Lo Celso.

Athletic Bilbao, meanwhile, are still searching for their first win since the opening day of the season after drawing 1-1 at home to Getafe, which means the Basque side, who have never been relegated, remain in the drop zone on 11 points.]]>
11/26/2018 9:10:12 AM
<![CDATA[Cilic beats Pouille to win Davis Cup for Croatia]]>
The powerful world number seven was relentless as he snuffed out any hope of a famous French fightback -- giving Pouille little chance of sending the showpiece into a fifth rubber.

Pouille, 24, did not have a single break point and despite pushing Cilic hard in the first set, he lost the last four points of the tiebreak and never threatened a comeback.

Cilic wasted four set points when Pouille battled back from 0-40 down at 2-5 in the second set but with his own serve rock-solid he calmly moved into a two-set lead.

The mainly French 22,000 crowd kept roaring their support for Pouille, but it was the Croatia contingent, decked out in their distinctive red and white, who would soon be celebrating.

Cilic broke for a 3-2 lead in the third set and then closed in for the kill when Pouille served at 3-5.

The Frenchman saved two match points from 0-40 but Cilic would not be denied and finished it off with a lob.

Immediately the 30-year-old former U.S. Open champion was swamped by a swarm of his team mates as Croatia could begin the party after emulating their triumph of 2005.

Croatia's sports-mad President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was among the fans at courtside to savour a landmark title which offered some consolation after France beat Croatia in this year's soccer World Cup final.

"It's not every day that you become a world champion," Cilic, draped in a Croatian flag, said on court.

"For us it's a dream come true, for this nation. You can see the fans are so passionate and they are here enjoying themselves. In Croatia it's going to be incredible too."

Croatia will enter the history books as winners of the last final played in the traditional format before the 118-year-old team competition gets a major revamp.

Next November a new format will see 18 teams assemble in Madrid for a World Cup-style event to decide the champions.

Hosts and defending champions France had begun the day still holding out hope of becoming the first team to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the final since Australia beat the U.S. in 1939.

But there was to be no fairytale ending for French captain Yannick Noah in his last match in charge of Les Bleus.]]>
11/26/2018 4:14:00 AM
<![CDATA[Aubameyang goal gives Arsenal 2-1 win at Bournemouth]]>
The home team's record signing Jefferson Lerma, who cost 25 million pounds ($32 million) in August, scored a spectacular own goal to give Arsenal the lead but Norwegian international Josh King, back in the Bournemouth side after injury, equalised just before halftime.

That meant Unai Emery's team have still never led at the halfway stage of a league game since he joined in the close-season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slid in the Gunners' second goal in the 68th minute and their three-man back line held out, although Lerma hit a post.

Arsenal can make up ground on their big local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who are still three points ahead of them, by winning the north London derby next weekend.

Bournemouth stayed eighth after a third successive defeat in a testing period, with fixtures against leaders Manchester City and second-placed Liverpool to come in the first eight days of December.

They felt unfortunate in having an early effort by David Brooks controversially disallowed for offside, but tended to cause their own problems by losing possession too easily.

Arsenal's Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira took advantage following the Brooks incident and shot against a post.

Soon afterwards, however, the ball was lost again and there was no reprieve as Lerma volleyed a cutback from Sead Kolasinac into his own net.

It was a turnaround of fortune for the Colombia international, who scored his first goal for the club in the previous game at Newcastle United.

Arsenal were denied a rare halftime lead when Callum Wilson and Brooks broke to feed King for a fine finish.

Another mistake by Lerma gave Aubameyang a good chance but he shot carelessly high, before scoring his eighth league goal of the season following a short free kick. Alex Iwobi fed Kolasinac for another assist from the left flank.

"We knew it would be a tough game," Aubameyang said.

"We spoke at halftime and knew we had to come back with intensity and aggression."]]>
11/26/2018 2:12:00 AM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahly to announce new coach with 10 days]]>
“We’ll announce the new coach within 10 days,” Mohamed Morgan, Executive Director of Al Ahly SC, said in a radio interview with the pundit, Ahmed Shobeir.

“Mahmoud el-Khatib, Al-Ahly’s president, follows up the assigning of new coach despite undergoing a surgery in Germany,” he added.

Al-Ahly witnessed a tough week as they recently knocked out from the 16th round of the Arab club championship on Thursday after they ended their game against Emirati club, Al-Wasl, with a 1-1 draw to say bye to the Arabian tournament.

Carteron also failed in the final game of the CAF Champions League as Al-Ahly lost 0-3 against ES Tunis at Rades stadium.

The French coach has been on Al-Ahly's bench for only five months. He managed to play 21 games; won 12, lost 3 and 6 games ended with a draw.

Sayed Abdelhafiz, Al-Ahly's director of football, fined Hossam Ashour and Moamen Zakaraia after he had clashed with the Moroccan referee, Nour eddine Jaafari, after the end of the Reds and Al Wasl match in which he was sent-off and saw Al Ahly’s exit from the 16th Round of the Arabian tournament.

Youssef declared that he repeated the fine over Al-Ahly's players for the second time in just a week after the African failure.

Al-Ahly prepares for the next game against Al-Mokawlon Al-Arab in the 16th round of the Egyptian league next Tuesday.
]]>
11/25/2018 6:11:51 PM
<![CDATA[Barca´s Rafinha set for long absence after rupturing cruciate ligament]]>
Rafinha played on until the end of Barca's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Saturday, despite appearing to feel discomfort shortly after coming off the bench in the 46th minute.

Sergi Roberto had been the player replaced, with Barcelona also confirming on Sunday he has a hamstring injury and is expected to be out for three to four weeks.

Barcelona did not offer a timescale for Rafinha's recovery but anterior cruciate ligament injuries often take several months to heal.

A club statement said: "Rafinha has a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee. In the next few days we will proceed with surgical treatment."

Sergi is likely to miss Barca's remaining Champions League group games against PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham, as well as La Liga fixtures at home to Villarreal and away to Espanyol.

On Sergi, the club added: "Sergi Roberto will be out for between three to four weeks with a rupture of the hamstring in his left leg."

Unlike Sergi, Rafinha has not been a regular in Barcelona's line-up this season, but the Brazilian enjoyed a run in the side while Lionel Messi was injured last month.

He started against both Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in the league, as well as at home against Inter Milan in the Champions League, scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 win.]]>
11/25/2018 6:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[El-Shorbagy reaps Hong Kong title for the fourth time]]>
El-Shorbagy beat his compatriot Ali Farag 3-0 in a 39-minutes game, 11/6, 11/7 and 11/7.

The Egyptian champion equalized other Egyptian legend, Amr Shabana, record of winning the Asian tournament.

On the other hand, Raneem el-Welily lost the Women’s final for the fourth time in her career and the second in a row.

El-Welily lost to New Zealand’s Joelle King in a 50-minutes game, 0-3.

The Egyptian girl guaranteed her leadership in the World’s squash best players list for December's ranking.

El-Shorbagy spoke to PSA official website expressing his happiness after winning the title for the fourth time.

“I’m really pleased to be able to come here and play my best squash,” said ElShorbagy.

“It’s always great when it all comes together. I’m really proud of my performance but not to take anything away from Ali, I have nothing but respect for him. He came to the tour later than all of us and came up the rankings very fast. Very few people can do what he did and he’s coming after me, but I’m trying to hold him a little bit.

“We’ve played twice already this season, he beat me once and now I’ve beaten him. I’m sure we will have many more battles and compete in more finals.”
]]>
11/25/2018 5:36:17 PM
<![CDATA[Bivol beats Pascal to retain WBA light-lightweight belt]]>
The 27-year-old Bivol cruised to victory in the third defense of his title as he won almost every round against the heavy underdog Pascal. Two judges scored it 119-109 and the other had it 117-111 in favor of Bivol.

Bivol landed a hard right hand in the fourth round to the side of Pascal's head which wobbled the challenger. Bivol kept up the attack throughout and landed a total of 217 punches to just 60 for Pascal.

He had Pascal backpedaling through most of the fight and the only thing he didn't do was get the knockout.

"Every time you shoot for the knockout but sometimes you can't. But I showed my boxing skills," said Bivol who improved to 15-0 with 11 KOs.

The 36-year-old Pascal has been in the ring with some of the best in his 13-year boxing career.

But he looked rusty in his first serious fight since losing a decision to Canelo Alvarez in June 2017.

In his most recent fight in July he knocked out a former minor league hockey player, Steve Bosse, in the eighth round of a novelty bout.]]>
11/25/2018 5:03:31 PM
<![CDATA[Sane salutes 'unbelievable' Sterling]]>
Sterling was unstoppable at the London Stadium as Premier League leaders City racked up their eighth successive win in all competitions.

He set up the opening goal for David Silva and tapped in the second himself with a cool finish from Sane's cross.

Germany international Sane netted after being set up by another Sterling assist as City raced into a 3-0 lead before half-time.

It was a ruthless display from the champions and all the more impressive coming off the back of a two-week international break.

Sane, who scored his second in stoppage time, admitted Sterling was the key to the latest swaggering show from Pep Guardiola's side.

"We are all happy that we won here, especially away and after an international break," Sane told CityTV.

"Before my first goal we did a lot of passes. Raheem had an eye for me in the middle.

"Raheem is unbelievable. A great guy, how he has played this season he has improved a lot. It's really exciting to play with him.

"He has the hunger to score more goals. I'm really happy for him. Everyone can see we are really motivated to win the games."]]>
11/25/2018 5:01:04 PM
<![CDATA[Pochettino lauds Son's impact]]>
Son's brilliant solo strike fired Tottenham into a three-goal lead in Saturday's impressive 3-1 win over their London rivals at Wembley.

After Dele Alli and Harry Kane netted for Tottenham, the South Korea winger's 50th goal for the club ensured that Spurs ended Chelsea's unbeaten league start to the season.

Chelsea's defence were unable to cope with Son's speed and his influential display was welcomed by Tottenham boss Pochettino after the Korean's struggles earlier this term.

Having been at the World Cup with South Korea in the summer, Son returned to international duty with his country in August in a bid to earn exemption from military service by winning the Asian Games.

He achieved that feat but a gruelling schedule took its toll on the 26-year-old and he had been a shadow of his usual self in the wake of those international exertions.

Spurs' reward for allowing Son to go to the Asian Games was the promise he would not be called up for the most recent international break and Pochettino reckons that was a good bit of business.

"You can see on the pitch, Son's performance was fantastic and you can see he deserved it because the summer for him was very difficult," he said.

"In the last international break he was here, training hard. It is one of the reasons that he showed he is fresh, his physical condition is much better and I think it is going to help him for the rest of the season."

Son could have already had four goals by the time he finally beat Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the second half.

"It was fantastic, everyone that saw the game was in love with the action," Pochettino said.

"It was fantastic action, talent. It was a fantastic capacity to make what he made, it was an outstanding action for a very good player like him."]]>
11/25/2018 4:59:23 PM
<![CDATA[PSG win 14th straight game, Henry grabs first Monaco win]]>
Second-last in the table having drawn two and lost four under former French international Henry, Monaco were desperate for a change of fortune -- and Colombian forward Radamel Falcao provided it with a superb dipping free kick in the 54th minute.

Monaco rode their luck late on and had the video assistant referee (VAR) to thank for keeping their lead intact as Malik Tchokounte's late effort was ruled out for offside following a lengthy review.

Earlier, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani notched his ninth league goal of the season for PSG with a close-range finish after just nine minutes to earn the champions a 14th straight league win as they maintained their 100 percent league record.

Even though their much-vaunted attack misfired for much of the rest of the match, they were able to move on to a perfect 42 points, 15 ahead of second-placed Olympique Lyonnais.

At the foot of the table, Monaco remain 19th but moved three points clear of bottom club Guingamp, who lost 2-1 at Reims despite having been given late hope when Marcus Thuram scored from the penalty spot.

With attacking duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe both sidelined after picking up knocks on international duty last week, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel started with Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria up front alongside Cavani for the visit of lowly Toulouse.

Yet despite starting the day two points above the drop zone, Toulouse showed no fear of a PSG side that has been averaging over three goals a game at home, and their strong defending provided a springboard for plenty of attacks of their own.

Substitute Jimmy Durmaz was the driving force behind several promising second-half counter-attacks for the visitors, but the PSG backline, marshalled by Gianluigi Buffon in goal, managed to hold firm.

Brazilian defender Dani Alves came on as a second-half substitute for PSG to end a six-month spell on the sidelines with a knee injury that caused him to miss the World Cup in Russia.

Neymar and Mbappe are also scheduled to return when PSG meet Liverpool in a crucial Champions League Group C tie in Paris on Tuesday.

In Saturday's other games, a brilliant late goal by Majeed Waris gave Nantes a 1-1 draw at home to Angers, while a powerful downward header from a corner by Herve Lybohy secured a 1-0 win for Nimes away at 10-man Strasbourg.

Dijon remain third from bottom on 12 points after their gritty scoreless draw at home to Bordeaux.

Third-placed Lille are away to Nice on Sunday, while Montpellier, in fourth, host Rennes, and Amiens are at home to Olympique Marseille. (Reporting by Philip O'Connor Editing by Ian Chadband)]]>
11/25/2018 4:55:14 PM
<![CDATA[Dembele salvages Barcelona late draw at Atletico]]>
The French winger came on as a substitute and drove in a low shot that deflected past Jan Oblak.

Atletico striker Diego Costa's 77th-minute header from Antoine Griezmann's corner was the first effort on target in a dour clash and appeared to have sent the Madrid side top of the standings.

But Dembele's late contribution stopped Barcelona from falling to a second consecutive defeat and kept them one point ahead of their opponents at the summit.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde brought Samuel Umtiti back into the side after nearly a two-month injury absence, and started with Dembele on the bench after defending the player on Friday following media reports of unprofessional behaviour.

Atletico set the pace in a miserable first half. Diego Simeone’s side were typically cautious, reluctant to give Barcelona’s top players much space to move into.

Sergio Busquets was booked on his 500th appearance for Barcelona, the seventh player to reach that milestone, while Atletico's Lucas Hernandez also had his name taken for a foul on Lionel Messi.

The Argentine forward curled the free kick over the bar and it was as close as either side came before the break in a half with no shots on target, the first time that has happened in La Liga this season.

Costa went close to breaking the deadlock when he slid in for Griezmann's cross but Barca defender Gerard Pique got a touch to divert the ball out of the striker's path.

Atletico appealed for a penalty after Arturo Vidal headed the ball against his own hand but VAR did not require referee Jesus Gil Manzano to watch a replay of the incident.

Costa broke the deadlock, ending a personal 18-match goal drought in La Liga and scoring against Barca for the first time, and Valverde sent Dembele on to try to rescue a point.

The World Cup winner obliged at the death, taking Messi's pass, cutting inside and firing in a shot that deflected off Oblak past Lucas on the line. (Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Ed Osmond)]]>
11/25/2018 4:48:39 PM
<![CDATA[Libertadores final postponed after Boca bus attacked, players hurt]]>
The all-Buenos Aires clash, the first time Argentina's two biggest clubs had met for the title, was billed as the greatest final in the competition's 58-year history but will instead be remembered for the violence that left players bleeding and almost all the windows on one side of the Boca bus shattered.

South American football's governing body (CONMEBOL) twice rescheduled the kick-off in the hope of getting the game played but with a capacity 62,000 crowd waiting for the players to emerge they eventually decided to postpone the final.

"One can't play in these conditions," CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez told reporters.

The final of the competition, South America's equivalent of Europe's Champions League, was rescheduled for Sunday at 5 p.m. local time (2000 GMT).

However, later on Saturday the city government ordered River's Monumental stadium closed for exceeding capacity limits and failing to keep exits clear, casting doubt on whether the second leg will go ahead on Sunday.

Ricardo Pedace, head of the government's safety agency, told local television they were taking steps to determine whether the game could be played.

"I have asked the inspectors to act quickly, to make it possible for the game to be played," he said.

CONMEBOL did not make an official statement about the postponement. There was also no information on whether fans who had tickets for game would get access on Sunday, or whether CONMEBOL would begin proceedings to punish River for the violence.

The decision to reschedule the game was taken more than two hours after the original start time. Boca players were angry that officials had even tried to get the game underway.

"We're in no condition (to play)," Boca forward Carlos Tevez told reporters shortly before the match was postponed. "They are forcing us to play the game."

Photos showed Boca captain Pablo Perez with his eye bandaged after being taken to hospital and other players suffered cuts to the face, arms, legs and chest.

Local media reported some players were exposed to tear gas after police clashed with the River fans who were throwing stones and missiles at the Boca bus.

Argentine news website Clarin said six players had vomited in the dressing room.

"They were throwing pepper gas, stones, everything," Clarin quoted Juan Carlos Crespi, a member of the Boca delegation, as saying.

The first leg at Boca's ground on Nov. 11 ended 2-2 and the second leg was taking place at River's home in front of their own fans. Away supporters are banned from football matches in Argentina due to recurring violence in and around the grounds.

Saturday's trouble comes three years after a Libertadores last-16 tie between the same teams was abandoned at halftime after Boca fans attacked River players with pepper spray in the tunnel.

River were given a bye into the quarter-finals and Boca were kicked out the competition.]]>
11/25/2018 4:40:28 PM
<![CDATA[Jones confident England heading in right direction]]>
Victory meant England had won three of their four November internationals, with the lone loss an agonising 16-15 defeat by world champions New Zealand.

In January, Jones had his England contract extended until 2021 -- two years after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

But the experienced coach had his position called into question by a run of five straight defeats that spanned the Six Nations and the start of England's tour of South Africa in June.

England stopped the rot, however, with a 25-10 win over South Africa in the third and final Test, although the Springboks won the series 2-1.

"I think we took steps forward in South Africa," said Jones.

"We'd had a tough Six Nations. We'd got some things wrong in planning, some things wrong in terms of where we were going as a team and we needed to regroup and we did that," he added after Saturday's win over the Wallabies at Twickenham.

"This (November) series was a step forward and the 2019 Six Nations will be another step forward again."

England's next international will be the toughest assignment European rugby has to offer -- a Six Nations opener away to defending Grand Slam champions Ireland, who this month succeeded where Jones' side failed by beating the All Blacks 16-9.

Asked if he felt confident ahead of the Dublin clash on February 2, Jones replied: "Yeah, 100 percent."

Jones, with England missing several injured players, was also enthused by the depth of talent at his disposal.

"We've got great competition. Consider today, we played without Mako (Vunipola), (Ellis) Genge, (Joe) Launchbury, (George) Kruis, Billy (Vunipola), (Chris) Robshaw, (Anthony) Watson, (Jonathan) Joseph, (Jack) Nowell, (Chris) Ashton. That's for starters.

"To be the best in the world you've got to push hard."

England wing Jonny May opened the scoring with a try in just the second minute on Saturday.

But Australia fought back to level the match at 13-13 come half-time, with the Wallabies unfortunate not to be leading at the break after South Africa referee Jaco Peyper controversially awarded a penalty rather than a penalty try following a 'no-arms' challenge by England co-captain Owen Farrell on lock Izack Rodda.

England, however, pulled clear in the second half by scoring 24 unanswered points, including converted tries from fullback Elliot Daly, wing Joe Cokanasiga and Farrell.

Fly-half Farrell converted all four of England's tries and also kicked three penalties in a match haul of 22 points.

This was just Cokanasiga's second Test and Jones jokingly said: "He's still got his training pants on. Wait until he gets proper pants. He'll be able to play a bit."

Reflecting on England's improved showing after the interval, the coach added: "First half, we had opportunities to get a bit further ahead than we were, missed those and allowed them back into the game.

"Second half, we were able to regroup, play in a real English way and I was really pleased with that."

- 'Love English players' -

Saturday's result meant England had won all six of their Tests against Australia since Jones was appointed after the Wallabies condemned them to a first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup with a 33-13 victory at Twickenham.

But Jones, in a week that marked the 15th anniversary of the Australia side he coached losing the 2003 World Cup final to England, was unconcerned.

"It's not about playing against Australia. It's about us. I love coaching England and love English players," he insisted.

"It's about us getting better as a team. It wouldn't matter if we were playing Argentina or Afghanistan, all we want to do is play good rugby.

"I've got no interest in just beating Australia or having a good record against Australia."]]>
11/25/2018 11:30:13 AM
<![CDATA[Kante signs new five-year deal with Chelsea]]>
Kante, who joined Chelsea in 2016, helped them win the title in his first season at Stamford Bridge and was rewarded for his consistent play by being named player of the year by the Professional Footballers' Association and Football Writers' Association.

"I'm happy to extend my time with Chelsea. It has been two beautiful years and I wish for more to come," the 27-year-old two-time Premier League winner said in a statement.

"Since I came, I completely improved as a player, challenged myself and got some awards I never thought about. I like the city, I like the club and I am happy to be here for more time."

Kante tasted his first Premier League title triumph with Leicester City in the 2015-16 season and also started all seven matches for France as they lifted the World Cup in Russia earlier this year.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was pleased that the club had tied down the influential Kante to a new long term deal.

"I'm very happy with the new contract. I am pleased for him and it's important news... He's important defensively, but he can score more and he can improve in the final 25 metres of the pitch," Sarri told a news conference.

Asked if there was any progress in a new deal for playmaker Eden Hazard, Sarri added: "I don't know the movement of the contract. He's doing well... I hope we can do (a new contract)."

Unbeaten Chelsea, who are third in the table, face fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

"They're playing good football. They are a strong team, are competitive and will fight for a Champions League position for sure. We have to make sure we don't lose the ball in our half; they are dangerous in those situations."]]>
11/24/2018 10:20:00 AM
<![CDATA[Solari 'grateful and excited' to coach Real Madrid but rejects comparison with Zidane]]>
Solari's successful stint in temporary charge has earned him a permanent contract until 2021, with the Argentinian stepping up from his role leading Castilla, the club's B team.

Zidane had also coached Castilla and, like Solari, took over the first team after representing Real as a player. But Solari insists the comparisons end there with the Frenchman, who led Madrid to three consecutive Champions League titles.

"Zidane is absolutely incomparable with anyone, he is a legend of this club," Solari said on Friday.

"He was a fantastic footballer, with an exquisite game, which I was lucky to see first-hand, when we played and fought together.

"As a coach, I don't know the statistics, but he's probably the most successful in the history of Real Madrid. I admire him as a man too and a human being. For me it is not necessary to compare him with anyone, only to admire his greatness."

Solari was put in charge on a temporary basis following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui last month but four wins out of four, and 15 goals scored, convinced club president Florentino Perez he deserved the job long-term.

A contract until June 2021, rather than the end of the season, represented an additional show of faith in Solari's capabilities.

"I am very grateful and excited, it is an enormous and beautiful responsibility," Solari said.

"For me nothing changes with respect to my previous 11 years spent at this club. The important thing is the players, and the commitment I have to working day by day.

"After that, we are all here in life temporarily, and even more so in this position at Real Madrid."

Madrid travel to Eibar in La Liga on Saturday as they look to close a four point gap on leaders Barcelona, who face Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Raphael Varane, Marcelo and Dani Carvajal all trained under Solari on Friday morning, after the three defenders recovered from injury. Mariano Diaz was also with the group at Valdebebas.

Carvajal faces a fight to reclaim his place from Alvaro Odriozola at right-back but Varane and Marcelo are likely to return at Ipurua, with Nacho and Sergio Reguilon both struggling for fitness. Casemiro and Keylor Navas were also missing from Friday's session.]]>
11/24/2018 7:41:00 AM
<![CDATA[AC Milan's Higuain loses appeal against two-match ban]]>
The Argentina international was sent off for dissent during a 2-0 league defeat to his parent club Juventus at the San Siro before the international break.

Higuain was furious when he was booked for a challenge on Medhi Benatia with seven minutes remaining and his protests earned him a second yellow card, before he left the pitch in tears.

Milan appealed the decision, hoping to see the ban reduced to one match, but the Federal Court of Appeal in Rome ruled on Friday that the original punishment would stand.

The 30-year-old is Milan’s top scorer this season with seven goals in all competitions, having joined the club on loan from Juventus during the close season.

Milan are fifth in Serie A on 21 points, a point behind Lazio in fourth ahead of the two teams’ meeting at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. (Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie. Editing by Patrick Johnston and Toby Davis)]]>
11/24/2018 7:13:00 AM
<![CDATA[United can break into top four this year, says Mourinho]]>
United face Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday with Mourinho having an almost full-strength squad to pick from.

"I know it’s a big gap but I also know until the end of December if I’m not wrong we have eight Premier League matches to play, and with eight Premier League matches we are speaking about 24 points.

"24 points for us to fight for, the other ones in the top four to fight too, but I believe we are going to be there," said the United boss.

Mourinho's side face some tough tests before the end of the year, however, with Arsenal visiting Old Trafford on Dec. 5 and United travelling to Anfield to take on Liverpool on Dec. 16.

United's last outing, before the international break, was the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City and since then Mourinho says some of the injuries in his squad have healed.

"Anthony Martial stayed with us, he didn’t go to the national team, the national team was aware of his problems and with permission he stayed, he worked really hard on that," Mourinho said, referring to the French forward's muscle problems.

"He was in a pre-injury situation, he worked really hard, he’s ready for tomorrow, he plays for tomorrow. Is he ready to play three in a row in the same week? I don’t know, but the most important match is the next," he said.

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini also skipped national-team duty and is fit to face Palace and Mourino said there was good news on other concerns.

"The boys in the national teams, (Marcus) Rashford came with a little problem but is ready, (Romelu) Lukaku is ready, I would say ready with a little bit of a risk, but ready and Paul (Pogba) we knew with this break he would recover from that small muscular injury, so we don’t have players I can say are out of the game tomorrow. We have a huge group of 23 to choose from for tomorrow."]]>
11/24/2018 6:12:00 AM
<![CDATA[Xavi plans to retire but insists Barca coaching return not close]]>
Xavi has played for Qatari club Al Sadd since 2015 but is best known for his glittering career at Barca, where he won eight La Liga and four Champions League titles.

"It's going to be my last year, in January I'll turn 39 and I think it's time to say goodbye," Xavi said in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Thursday night.

Xavi was also instrumental in Spain's unprecedented period of success between 2008 and 2012, when La Roja won the World Cup and the European Championships twice.

Regularly linked with a return to Barcelona as coach, Xavi has made no secret of his ambition to lead his former club in the future.

He insists, however, he first wants to gain experience in Qatar.

"The idea is to start here in Qatar to get experience, to prove myself, it's a new stage where I start from scratch," Xavi added.

"Coaching Barca is a big deal, you have to be very prepared and honestly, I still do not feel I am ready."]]>
11/24/2018 5:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[Barca too big a club for Dembele - Schuster]]>
Frenchman Dembele has struggled to make an impact since joining Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017 for a fee that could rise to 147 million euros ($169 million). He has also been criticised for turning up late for training and faced accusations of unprofessionalism in other areas.

"There are some players who are good enough for Barcelona and some who are not, and you find that out from the start - it doesn't take three seasons," said Schuster, who went on to coach Real Madrid and is currently in charge of Chinese side Dalian Yifang.

"Barcelona is too big for Dembele. At Dortmund he had some great matches, but not that many."]]>
11/24/2018 4:11:00 AM
<![CDATA[Spain striker Alcacer signs long-term deal with Dortmund]]>
"We have informed DC Barcelona today that we will apply the buy option," Dortmund's sport director Michael Zorc said in a statement on the club website.

"Paco is wholeheartedly with us, he has quickly integrated and has become an integral part of our squad.

"He is a real scorer of high footballing quality and has already won some important games for us. We look forward to many more goals and assists from Paco in the coming years."

The 25-year-old Spanish international joined Dortmund from Barcelona on a one-year loan deal in the summer and has made an immediate impression with nine goals in just eight appearances, including the winner against Bayern Munich two weeks ago.

"I am very happy in Dortmund ... in this wonderful team," said Alcacer in the Dortmund statement.

"Borussia Dortmund was and is exactly the right decision for me. I will do everything I can to say thank you for your trust!"

Alcacer has agreed a contract that will run until June 30, 2023.

Dortmund have not released details of the transfer fee but it is estimated by German media outlets Bild and Kicker at between 21 and 23 million euros.

That could rise by a further five million euros in bonuses.]]>
11/24/2018 2:39:00 AM
<![CDATA[Juve boss Allegri says Ronaldo deserves Ballon D’Or]]>
The Portugal international has won the prize, run by French magazine France Football and awarded to the world’s best player annually, five times and finished as runner-up five times since 2007.

Yet Italian and French media have reported that the podium for this year’s prize will be made up of Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric and Raphael Varane of Real Madrid.

The winner will be named at a ceremony in Paris on Dec. 3.

“He is doing well and yesterday he trained well. For what he has done, as I’ve said several times, he would deserve the Ballon D’Or,” Allegri said.

Allegri shot down suggestions that his side are facing an injury crisis in midfield ahead of the visit of SPAL in Serie A on Saturday.

Sami Khedira and Emre Can are sidelined with injuries, but their absences do not overly concern the coach.

“We will need to play with who we have,” he said.

“(Blaise) Matuidi returned today because he needed a few days of rest. We have (Miralem) Pjanic and (Rodrigo) Bentancur available, we will find a solution with who we’ve got. We are not in an emergency.”

Allegri confirmed that Mattia Perin will start in goal and Ronaldo will line up alongside Mario Mandzukic in attack.

Paulo Dybala is likely to be rested, having only returned from international duty on Thursday, but the Juventus coach is encouraged by the forward’s development after he scored his first goal for Argentina against Mexico on Tuesday.

“It’s a step forward for him,” said Allegri.

“He is constantly growing, this year he has started very well and he is in a great physical and mental state.

“His development must not stop, it depends on how much he wants it.”

Juventus hold a six-point advantage over second-placed Napoli at the top of Serie A and remain unbeaten this season with 11 wins and a draw from 12 games, while SPAL are in 15th with 13 points.]]>
11/24/2018 2:09:00 AM
<![CDATA[Man City defender Mendy 'could be out for 12 weeks']]>
The France defender suffered the problem after City’s 3-1 victory over neighbours Manchester United on November 11 and travelled to Barcelona last week for an operation.

Mendy has not suffered a repeat of the cruciate ligament damage in his right knee that forced him to miss much of last season and threatened his participation at the World Cup with France.

This time, the left-back has suffered an injury to his meniscus in his left knee, although Guardiola says he does not expect the full-back to play again before late February.

"It’s 10 to 12 weeks," said Guardiola, who also confirmed that Bernardo Silva would not be fit to play in Saturday's Premier League match at West Ham.

The playmaker picked up a knock on international duty with Portugal. He may also miss City's Champions League clash at Lyon next week.

"He (Silva) cannot play this weekend. It's not too big but I don't know if, next Tuesday, he's ready," said Guardiola.

Saturday's fixture at the London Stadium will see league leaders City face their former manager Manuel Pellegrini, who won the league for City in 2014 and made way for Guardiola two years later.

Both managers know each other well from their La Liga days, as Pellegrini managed Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga during Guardiola's four years in charge at Barcelona.

Guardiola said: "His career speaks for itself in terms of quality. When you see the teams of Manuel Pellegrini, even you are a blind guy you recognise his style.

"His start was incredible in Villarreal and put this team at another level. It was a small, small city and the way they play and the way they create their own style was impressive.

"After he went to Madrid and make a very good league (campaign) with 96 points but at Barcelona we did 99.

"Here he won the league and helped this club be where we are right now. And he did Malaga as well and he is going to do well at West Ham."

Guardiola has hinted at the possibility that he could stay at City beyond the end of his contract in 2021, while playing down the idea that he may eventually move into international management.

"I said many times that I extended the contract and I don't deny too if it is going well, that I could stay more years here," he said.

"Everybody has dreams and when I was a little boy I had dreams and sometimes they are accomplished and sometimes not.

"I said maybe in the future I would like (international management). Maybe I will change my mind later but I am fully convinced in my mind here."]]>
11/24/2018 1:39:00 AM
<![CDATA[Man City defender Mendy 'could be out for 12 weeks']]>
The France defender suffered the problem after City’s 3-1 victory over neighbours Manchester United on November 11 and travelled to Barcelona last week for an operation.

Mendy has not suffered a repeat of the cruciate ligament damage in his right knee that forced him to miss much of last season and threatened his participation at the World Cup with France.

This time, the left-back has suffered an injury to his meniscus in his left knee, although Guardiola says he does not expect the full-back to play again before late February.

"It’s 10 to 12 weeks," said Guardiola, who also confirmed that Bernardo Silva would not be fit to play in Saturday's Premier League match at West Ham.

The playmaker picked up a knock on international duty with Portugal. He may also miss City's Champions League clash at Lyon next week.

"He (Silva) cannot play this weekend. It's not too big but I don't know if, next Tuesday, he's ready," said Guardiola.

Saturday's fixture at the London Stadium will see league leaders City face their former manager Manuel Pellegrini, who won the league for City in 2014 and made way for Guardiola two years later.

Both managers know each other well from their La Liga days, as Pellegrini managed Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga during Guardiola's four years in charge at Barcelona.

Guardiola said: "His career speaks for itself in terms of quality. When you see the teams of Manuel Pellegrini, even you are a blind guy you recognise his style.

"His start was incredible in Villarreal and put this team at another level. It was a small, small city and the way they play and the way they create their own style was impressive.

"After he went to Madrid and make a very good league (campaign) with 96 points but at Barcelona we did 99.

"Here he won the league and helped this club be where we are right now. And he did Malaga as well and he is going to do well at West Ham."

Guardiola has hinted at the possibility that he could stay at City beyond the end of his contract in 2021, while playing down the idea that he may eventually move into international management.

"I said many times that I extended the contract and I don't deny too if it is going well, that I could stay more years here," he said.

"Everybody has dreams and when I was a little boy I had dreams and sometimes they are accomplished and sometimes not.

"I said maybe in the future I would like (international management). Maybe I will change my mind later but I am fully convinced in my mind here."]]>
11/24/2018 1:39:00 AM
<![CDATA[I'm looking to the 100th goal with Liverpool: Salah]]>
Salah has been name as Liverpool's player of the month (October) for the first time this season.
“It was not a bad month [for me], but I’m already looking forward to the next game,” he said after receiving the award at Melwood on Thursday.
“I’m happy with the results so far - with the team’s results firstly and my goals second; to score a goal to help the team is always something I like to try to do.

Salah scored decisive goals for Liverpool last October; he led the team to win against Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City and Fulham by scoring one goal against each.
He provided two assists against Cardiff City before scoring a brace against Red Star Belgrad.
“We’ve started the season very well. All the players have put in great performances, so we have to carry on like this.”



“I’ve said before in interviews, it’s always a good feeling to play and score at Anfield,” Salah said. “The record I have at home is great and I really enjoy playing at Anfield a lot.

Salah earned the prize for seven times last season to be a record in the history of Liverpool.

“I’m looking forward to reaching 100 goals for Liverpool! Let’s see what happens, but there are many targets to try to aim for before then - first to try to win something for the club, to achieve something and continue winning games.

“Those things are more important than 100 goals.”
]]>
11/23/2018 6:44:45 PM
<![CDATA[LaLiga’s rising stars: Lee Kang-in ]]>
This series will answer all these questions, and more, by telling the inside stories of the latest generation of LaLiga stars about to burst onto the scene and become globally-renowned names.


Stories of talent, academies and grassroot

Despite their tender years, many of these youngsters have already overcome many hurdles and challengers to get where they are today.

There is no one path to success in LaLiga. Every individual must carve out their own unique identity on and off the field.Each of these emerging talents has been carefully nurtured and developed within LaLiga’s world-renowned youth academies, receiving top class coaching and education at some of the most modern and advanced training facilities in world football.

VALENCIA'S KOREAN STARLET LEE KANG-IN SET FOR SENIOR BREAKOUT

“He’s got ambition and talent. It’s hard to find a player with talent that still works so hard but that’s Kang-in. Those of us that know him have no doubt that he’ll go all the way.”
- Miguel Grau (Valencia Mestalla coach)

Already rated at €80 million by LaLiga side Valencia, 17-year-old South Korean Lee Kang-in is on his way to becoming a big star for club and country.

Recent months have seen the left-footed forward or attacking midfielder step up towards the adult ranks, with a senior LaLiga debut – and lots more global attention – likely in 2018/19.

From Incheon to Valencia

Incheon-born Lee had an early start in football celebrity, achieving national prominence in Korea after starring in reality TV football show Shoot Dori at the age of just six. Valencia brought him to Spain in 2011 to join the youth set-up at the LaLiga club’s Paterna facility. Lee settled quickly in his new country, impressing as Valencia’s Alevines [U-12] side reached the final of prestigious youth tournaments with a direct free kick that helped defeat Borussia Dortmund sowing the seeds of international attention.

The seemingly laid-back kid moved seamlessly up through the age-groups, making his debut for the Valencia Mestalla B team aged just 16 in December 2017. Eased into the adult set-up by coach Miguel Grau, he featured in a further 10 Segunda B (third tier) games last term, scoring his first senior level goal in a 2-0 win versus Sabadell. His impressive performances led Valencia first team coach Marcelino Garcia Toral to regularly invite Lee to train with the senior squad through the final months of the campaign.

An international star in the making

48182246_1436654616467793_4288714794279632896_n

Through this time Lee has also been progressing at international level, making his debut for the South Korea Under-18 team in 2017. Last May he was fast-tracked into the Under-20 set up for the prestigious Toulon Tournament where ex-LaLiga stars Thierry Henry and James Rodriguez, and current Valencia frontman Kevin Gameiro first came to global prominence. Although South Korea exited at the group stage, superb long-range goals against Scotland and Togo saw Lee named to the official team of the tournament despite being considerably younger than most opponents and teammates. This brought further fame back in his home country, where many of his 60k Instagram followers live.

The €80 million man

Growing excitement around such an emerging star led Valencia president Anil Murthy to offer Lee a senior contract in July 2018 including an eye-opening €80 million release clause. Pre-season then saw Lee become the first Asian player to wear a Valencia shirt in a senior game, as he made his debut against Swiss Super League side Lausanne, and feature in warm-up matches versus European heavyweights PSV Eindhoven, Everton and Leicester. He went on to score in his very first senor game at Mestalla, a fine strike in a 3-0 victory over Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen in Valencia’s traditional ‘Trofeo Naranja’ curtain raiser.

ENG_Lee Kang-in

Through the opening stages of 2018/19, Lee has mixed training with the seniors with representing the club’s youth sides. Left footed, with an eye for a pass and a nose for goal, Lee is best positioned as an attacking midfielder or second striker. These skills were on show when he made his UEFA Youth League debut in September, hitting the crossbar twice in a narrow defeat to Juventus.

With Marcelino having brought the likes of Carlos Soler and Ferran Torres, both homegrown talents, through into the first team, it’s perhaps only a matter of time before Lee makes his LaLiga, Copa del Rey or Champions League bow.

Lee is already being celebrated in both Valencia and South Korea. LaLiga fans worldwide will soon know his name too.
]]>
11/23/2018 6:08:27 PM
<![CDATA[He can say whatever he wants: Klopp on Aguirre]]>
This is how Egypt's coach, Javier Aguirre, believes concerning Salah's future with the English club. But Aguirre's talks didn't please Liverpool's manager, Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp commented on Aguirre's talks, in the interview with ON Sport channel, in the press conference of Watford's game on Saturday.

"So I try to be nice, eh?" Klopp joked. "If he [Aguirre] doesn't win a title in the next two years he has to move for sure," Klopp said.

"I don't know why people say that, but it's the world of media, someone in Egypt writes it and I get confronted with it," Klopp added.

"I don't agree but it's a free world and he can say whatever he wants. I shouldn't have made any comments on it so maybe we can delete what I said a minute ago?" Klopp concluded.

Salah has been name as Liverpool's player of the month (October) for the first time this season.

He also decided Egypt's game against Tunisia in the 2019 AFCON Qualifer when he scored a last minute goal to give Egypt three points.

]]>
11/23/2018 5:57:00 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahly dismissed Carteron, appoint Mohamed Youssef]]>
Al-Ahly also dismissed Michael Lindman, fitness coach, and appoint Sayed Abdelhafiz as a football director.

Al-Ahly witnessed a tough week as they recently knocked out from the 16th round of the Arab club championship on Thursday after they ended their game against Emirati club, Al-Wasl, with a 1-1 draw to say bye to the Arabian tournament.

Carteron also failed in the final game of the CAF Champions League as Al-Ahly lost 0-3 against ES Tunis at Rades stadium.

The French coach has been on Al-Ahly's bench for only five months. He managed to play 21 games; won 12, lost 3 and 6 games ended with a draw.

Mohamed Youssef, Al-Ahly's temporary coach, fined each player EGP 100,000 after they got knocked out of the Arabian tournament.

Youssef declared that he repeated the fine over Al-Ahly's players for the second time in just a week after the African failure.

Al-Ahly prepares for the next game against Al-Mokawlon Al-Arab in the 16th round of the Egyptian league next Tuesday.
]]>
11/23/2018 4:45:01 PM
<![CDATA[PSG's Neymar and Mbappe expected to be fit to face Liverpool]]>
Neymar tweaked his groin in Brazil's 1-0 win over Cameroon on Tuesday and Mbappe hurt his shoulder in France's 1-0 victory against Uruguay the same night.

But Tuchel said medical reports were encouraging, especially for Neymar, and that he hoped both will be fit by Wednesday.

"We will not take any chances with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe tomorrow (against Toulouse), they will not be present," French newspaper L'Equipe quoted him telling reporters on Friday.

"The possibility exists that they will play against Liverpool. Today, after talking to the doctor, for me Neymar can play on Wednesday."

The Liverpool tie is a crunch one for the French club. PSG sit third in Group C, a point behind joint leaders Liverpool and Napoli with two games remaining.

The Champions League is the main focus for the ambitious club this season, with the French league already looking a formality as they sit 13 points clear at the top of the table with 13 wins out of 13.

Winger Julian Draxler, meanwhile, was quoted by an ESPN reporter as saying the Paris club are ready to step up against a Liverpool side who won 3-2 in their previous encounter at Anfield in September.

"We are not afraid of Liverpool," Draxler said. "We do not fear elimination. We know this is a mini-final and we will have to play better than the first leg. We have a great team for it."]]>
11/23/2018 4:24:29 PM
<![CDATA[Mane extends Liverpool contract]]>
The Senegal international, 26, joined Liverpool from Southampton in 2016 for 34 million pounds ($43.8 million) and has scored 40 goals in 89 games for the Anfield club.

“I am very happy, very happy to extend my time at Liverpool,” Mane told the Liverpool website.

“It is a great day for me and now I am looking forward to everything – to helping the team, to helping the club achieve our dreams and, especially, to win trophies."

Mane helped Liverpool reach last season's Champions League final and they are second in the Premier League table, two points behind Manchester City.

“I’ve always said, when I knew I had a chance to come here I didn’t have to think twice," Mane said. "The right club in the right moment and with the right coach as well.]]>
11/23/2018 4:22:12 PM
<![CDATA[At Boca-River Superclasico, fans take centre stage]]>
While Europe has the Champions League with money, glamour, and organisation, the Copa Libertadores played in South America is all about grit, passion and unpredictability.

Saturday's match between Argentina's two biggest clubs - known as the Superclasico - is almost as much about the fans as the players. The threat of chaos, both on and off the field, is omnipresent.

The two teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca's hallowed Bombonera ground in Buenos Aires on Nov. 11. The decisive second leg takes place this Saturday at River Plate's Monumental stadium on the other side of town.

For the most passionate of followings, it is all or nothing.

"This is a very important match, we cannot lose," said Vicente Zucala, a 29-year old blind fan of River Plate. "If we lose, we're done, it will all be over."

Boca have won the Libertadores six times and River have won it three, but this is the first time in the competition's 58-year they have met in the final.

Both matches were sold out, with people coming from all over the world just to soak up the atmosphere.

"River Plate for me is my life, my passion," said Byron Stuardo Alquijay, a 33-year old who came from Guatemala. "I had to sell my car to come here. I might buy another car in the future but this match will never be repeated."

Unlike in the past, when rival fans could occupy either end of the stadium praying for a chance to taunt their opponents, only home fans have tickets for the final's two matches.

Away fans have been banned from Argentine derby matches because of recurring trouble between competing sets of barras bravas, the name given to the organised fan groups who roar their support from the terraces.

"The Superclasico between Boca and River is so important because the fans are so passionate," said Cayetano Milon, a 51-year old Boca fan who runs a shop next to the Bombonera.

That rawness is what appeals to many old-school fans and what makes the Libertadores so different from the Champions League and European football in general.

FOOTBALL UNREFINED

On the field it is unpredictable - 18 different sides have made it to the last 10 Libertadores finals, compared to just 10 in the Champions League.

Off the field, there is a different level of commitment, even for those used to Kop at Liverpool, the Yellow Wall at Borussia Dortmund, or fireworks and fervour in the Balkans.

Grounds such as La Bombonera are steeped in history, even though many are ramshackle and run down and often lacking proper seats, proper cover and even proper toilets.

Many of the stadiums are part of the community and remain in the same place they were built decades ago, still hemmed in by houses and shops.

The fans are separated from the players by moats, running tracks or chain-link fences. Sometimes the corners are fitted with perspex to stop drinks and bodily fluids raining down on opposition players.

In the Libertadores, pitches are not always pristine, tackles from behind are common, and it is normal to see the matches end with officials surrounded by riot police, their shields protecting them from fans and players.

The South American Football Confederation wants to make the competition more like the Champions League - a tough task given their prize money is only one-tenth of their European counterparts.

One of the big changes is to end the home-and-away format for the final and make it a one-off event in a neutral venue.

The change will take effect next year and has infuriated fans who say the distances and costs involved will rob ordinary supporters of the chance to see their team in the biggest match of the season, and perhaps of their lives.

It also means this Boca-River showdown is the last of its kind. This weekend therefore carries a special poignancy for fans of both teams.

"Personally, I don't like the River-Boca matches," said River fan Maria Fe Diaz, whose father once had a heart attack during a derby match. "They are too stressful for me. I didn't want this match to happen. I don't know how I'm going to make it until Saturday."]]>
11/23/2018 4:20:47 PM
<![CDATA[Azaro joins Al-Ahly squad in UAE ]]>
The player missed the team's trip on Tuesday because he was playing a friendly game with his national team against Tunisia on Tuesday night.

Azaro started the game on bench and watched Youssef En-Nesyri scoring Morocco’s only goal at the final minutes before half time. The striker participated in the second half of the game.

“I had an agreement with Al-Ahly manager, Patrice Carteron, to let Azaro play only 45 minutes because he will play on Thursday night against Al-Wasl,” Morocco national team manager, Herve Renard, told press after the game.

Azaro was named in Morocco's preliminary squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but was later omitted from the final squad.

The first leg ended in Egypt with a 2-2 draw and Al-Ahly needs to achieve victory or a draw with more than two goals to reach the second round.
]]>
11/22/2018 3:04:57 PM
<![CDATA[Korea on 'right path' as Asian Cup looms - coach Bento]]>
Four different players scored for South Korea as they crushed the White Wolves 4-0 in Brisbane on Tuesday, to improve their record to six games without a defeat since Bento took over from Shin Tae-yong in August.

"I think we're going in the right direction," the Portuguese manager told reporters. "We still have room for improvement, but I believe we're on the right path. I want to make sure all the players understand where the national team is trying to go.

"Overall, we dominated the match today. Even with a 2-0 lead after the first half, we didn't lose our focus in the second half, and that led to a good result."

Bento has unearthed a plethora of options based in South Korea and Japan for the latest international break, which also saw the Taeguk Warriors concede a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Australia in Brisbane.

The coach omitted Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min and Newcastle United's Ki Sung-yueng from the squad, giving him a chance to assess newcomers ahead of the Asian Cup, which kicks off in the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 5.

"The primary objective is to stick to our philosophy and style of play," Bento added. "I'll try to adjust our plans based on opponents without changing our principles."

The two-times Asian champions have been drawn in Group C at the 24-team tournament and will open against the Philippines in Dubai on Jan.7. China and Kyrgyzstan are the other teams in the pool. ]]>
11/21/2018 5:19:53 PM
<![CDATA[Ireland part company with O'Neill and Keane]]>
Their last game in charge was a turgid 0-0 draw with Denmark in the UEFA Nations League on Monday.

"I would like to thank Martin, Roy, and the management team for the impact that they had with the Ireland team," said FAI Chief Executive John Delaney.

"There have been many highlights during Martin's reign – none more so than Euro 2016 in France, which will live long in the memory of all Irish supporters."

Former Leicester City and Celtic manager O'Neill was appointed in November 2013 and had 55 games in charge.

When O'Neill was appointed to replace experienced Italian Giovanni Trapattoni, and former Manchester United midfielder and Ireland international Keane joined him, it was seen as a "dream team" to revive Ireland's fortunes after they missed out on the 2014 World Cup.

The early signs were encouraging with Ireland qualifying for the Euro 2016 Championship after beating Bosnia in a playoff. Ireland then progressed to the last 16 after a group stage win over Italy.

Their run was ended by a 2-1 defeat at the hands of hosts France after having taken an early lead.

Ireland reached a playoff for this year's World Cup finals in Russia but were thrashed 5-1 at home by Denmark, having drawn the first leg 0-0 in Copenhagen.

Since then, however, results have been disappointing and they finished bottom of their Nations League group, losing home and away to Wales and drawing 0-0 twice with Denmark.

They failed to win a competitive match in 2018 or to score in O'Neill's last four games in charge, yet the 66-year-old remained bullish earlier this week.

"The players are getting used to each other. When it comes to the big games I think we'll be ready," O'Neill said after the draw with Denmark. "We've been very very strong when it comes to the games that matter."

Former Manchester United midfielder Keane won 67 caps for Ireland and had been O'Neill's right-hand man for five years.

Goalkeeping coach Seamus McDonagh and assistant coach Steve Guppy have also left the Ireland team.

The FAI said its board would meet promptly to discuss the process of recruiting a new manager. Ideally they would like to have one in place before their Euro 2020 qualifying stage draw in Dublin on Dec. 2.

Former Ireland defender and manager Mick McCarthy is available and one of the favourites to replace O'Neill. ]]>
11/21/2018 5:01:38 PM
<![CDATA[McCollum's big fourth quarter lifts Blazers over Knicks]]>
Damian Lillard added 29 points as Portland came back from a 10-point deficit and outscored the Knicks 53-39 in the final 19:15.

McCollum made 13 of 23 shots and posted his third game of at least 30 points this season as Portland won for the sixth time in eight games.

Meyers Leonard added 15 points off the bench and Jusuf Nurkic contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds as Portland shot 47.4 percent.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 32 points but his third straight game of at least 30 points was not enough for the Knicks, who dropped their sixth straight despite shooting 50.6 percent.

Reserve Trey Burke added 19 points, while Emmanuel Mudiay contributed 16 for New York.

McCollum scored 10 points in the opening minutes of the fourth after Portland closed out the third with a 24-10 run. He expanded an 89-85 lead to 104-93 by hitting two 3-pointers, a 22-footer and a layup but Portland had to sweat out the ending.

New York answered with a 10-2 run to get within 106-103, and it was 111-109 when Hardaway banked in a layup with 2:07 left. McCollum answered with a 3-pointer on the next possession, but Hardaway sank three foul shots.

After Nurkic missed a jumper from above the foul line, Hardaway seized the rebound but Noah Vonleh missed two free throws with 73 seconds left and Lillard hit a 13-foot step-back jumper from the left wing over Burke with 44 seconds left.

Two free throws by Hardaway made it 116-114 with 33 seconds left, but Portland clinched it when Evan Turner moved around a maze of bodies in the low post and converted the put-back of Lillard's missed 14-footer with nine seconds left.

Hardaway scored 14 points as New York shot 59.1 percent and made six 3-pointers to take a 35-33 lead in the opening quarter, which ended with Nik Stauskas banking in a 39-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer.

New York continued shooting well and held a 60-58 lead at halftime after Lillard stripped Burke and dunked with two seconds left.

New York took a 10-point lead at 75-65 on a 3-pointer by Mudiay with 7:15 remaining in the third.]]>
11/21/2018 4:58:26 PM
<![CDATA[Aguirre praises Marwan Mohsen ]]>
“We scored three goals against Tunisia which is not easy. We do not have any problem at the striker position," Aguirre saidduring an interview with ONSPORT.

Egypt defeated Tunisia 3-2 on Friday at the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. Egypt's left winger, Mahmoud Hassan known as Trezeguet, scored the first goal; the team defender, BaherMohmad, scored the second; and the right winger, Mohamed Salah, scored the third goal.

The Mexican added “At the World Cup, Marwan Mohsen had an extraordinary tournament and was one of the best players in the team. He is the best striker in Egypt.”

Mohsen played Egypt’s three games at the World Cup but he failed to score for the team.

Aguirre led the national team to reach the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon after achieving four consecutive victories over Niger at home, eSwatini at home, eSwatini away and Tunisia at home. ]]>
11/21/2018 4:44:10 PM
<![CDATA[Aguirre hopes to lead Egypt to World Cup ]]>
“I am here to reach the World Cup with the team and participate at the competition for the fifth time after I participated twice as a player and twice as a manager,” Aguirre said during an interview with ONSPORT.

Aguirre represented the Mexican national team between 1983 and 1992 and led them to the 2002 and 2010 World Cup tournaments as a manager.

Aguirre added “negotiations with the EgyptianFederation did not take much time. Imade the decision to accept their offer in only two minutes. HanyRamzy and my friends provided me with information I needed in a short time.”

Aguirre led the national team to reach the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon after achieving four consecutive victories at the group over Niger at home, eSwatini at home, eSwatini away and Tunisia at home. ]]>
11/21/2018 4:42:38 PM
<![CDATA[Carteron trusts Al-Ahly fans’ support to the team ]]>
“Our fans will keep supporting the team to achieve titles and I will do everything I can to achieve that goal,” Carteron told press on Tuesday.

Al-Ahly will face Emirati club, Al-Wasl, at the Arab Club Championship round of 16 second leg.

“We are going through a difficult moment but we have a great desire to reach the next stage. I really respect Al-Wasl team that has many amazing players but we always play to achieve victory,” Al-Ahly assistant coach, Mohamed Youssif, added.

The first leg ended in Egypt with a 2-2 draw and Al-Ahly needs to achieve victory or a draw with more than two goals to reach the second round.

Carteron’s announced squad for the game consists of:
Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed el-Shennawy, and Ali Lotfi.

Defenders: Ahmed Alaa, Salif Coulibaly, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf, and Sabry Rahil.

Midfielders: Hossam Ashour, Hesham Mohamed, Akram Tawfik, Karim Nedved, Islam Mohareb, Ahmed Hamoudi, Walid Soliman, Mohamed Sherif, Ahmed el-Sheikh, and Nasser Maher.

Forwards: Salah Mohsen, Marwan Mohsen, and Walid Azaro.

Meanwhile, Amr el-Solia, Mido Gaber, Ahmed Fathi, Ali Maaloul, Mohamed Hany and Junior Ajayi were ruled out of the squad for injury. ]]>
11/21/2018 1:31:38 PM
<![CDATA[Brazil's Neymar says injury not serious]]>
The Paris St-Germain player was substituted after tweaking his groin as he shot at goal with seven minutes gone in the international match at Milton Keynes in England.

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told reporters that while a scan was needed to confirm the exact diagnosis, he did not think the injury to Neymar's adductor muscle would keep him out long and Neymar confirmed that early diagnosis.

"Thanks to everyone who sent me messages wishing me a quick recovery, I don't think it's anything serious," Neymar wrote on Instagram.

Brazil went on to win the match with Neymar's replacement Richarlison scoring the only goal of the game a minute before halftime.

It took Brazil's record since the World Cup to six wins in six games with six clean sheets.

"We ended the year happy with the work we've done up until now, these last games were important to help us recover after the setback that was the World Cup," Neymar added.

"We remain strong, focused and looking to always get better."

Neymar's injury was not the only concern for PSG on Tuesday with his club strike partner Kylian Mbappe also withdrawn before halftime in France's 1-0 friendly win against Uruguay.

The forward fell awkwardly on his right shoulder after a challenge from Uruguay goalkeeper Marin Campana.]]>
11/21/2018 1:24:17 PM
<![CDATA[Welbeck injury could force Arsenal into January spending]]>
Welbeck, often used as a backup striker by manager Unai Emery, underwent two operations after suffering a broken ankle against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League earlier this month.

While Sanllehi agreed that Welbeck's latest setback could give youngster Eddie Nketiah a chance to establish himself in the squad, he did not rule out the idea of venturing into the transfer market.

"This is absolutely something unplanned," Sanllehí told The Independent. "I am not saying that is a green light to go to the market because we have some very good players who may now get further opportunities, such as Eddie Nketiah.

"So we need to see. We are in November so it is a good time to start analysing what options we have in the market."

No time frame has been set for Welbeck's return to action, although the England international could be out until the end of the campaign, when his contract expires at the Emirates.

"We are sad for Danny and he knows he has all the support from the club," Sanllehi added.

The former Manchester United striker has been restricted to 126 appearances since moving to Arsenal in 2014, most notably through two long-term knee injuries. ]]>
11/21/2018 1:18:58 PM
<![CDATA[Bayern Munich 2017-18 turnover up slightly to 657 million euros]]>
Bayern won their sixth successive league title last season but European success eluded them again as they crashed out of the Champions League in the semi-finals, losing twice to eventual winners Real Madrid.

Turnover was up from 640 million euros the previous season while EBITDA stood at 136.5 million, down from 149 million in 2016-17. Net profit was also down to 29 million euros from 39 million.

"Bayern Munich can be very satisfied with the financial results for 2017-18," club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.

"Apart from the sporting success with victory of the German league title and the good run in the Champions League, these results are proof that Bayern also had a good year in financial terms."

The Bavarians have not had the best start to their current domestic campaign, lying in fifth place in the Bundesliga, seven points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund. However, they are all but through to the Champions League knockout stage, top of Group E with two matches remaining. ]]>
11/20/2018 2:18:24 PM
<![CDATA[Hield, Kings spoil Westbrook's return to Thunder]]>
Hield's late treys helped the Kings overcome a strong finish from the Thunder's Russell Westbrook, who scored 13 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter.

It was Westbrook's first game since Nov. 5, when he sprained his left ankle late in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Westbrook missed six consecutive games, for both the injury and the birth of his twin daughters over the weekend.

Westbrook hit four 3-pointers at Sacramento, the first time he sank multiple 3-pointers in a game this season.

After the Kings let an early 19-point lead slip away in the second half, Sacramento took the lead for good with just more than seven minutes remaining on Bogdan Bogdanovic's 3-pointer that broke a 91-91 tie.

With less than five minutes remaining, Hield started his hot streak that ultimately put Sacramento up 107-98 with 3:36 to go.

Iman Shumpert added 23 points for the Kings, with all of his scoring coming in the first half. Shumpert missed all three of his second-half shots -- all 3-point tries -- after going 9 of 15 from the floor before half.

Bogdanovic scored 16 points, and Marvin Bagley Jr. had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Sacramento.

Westbrook also grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out seven assists. Paul George added 27 points, Hamidou Diallo scored 18, and Steven Adams had 11 points and 15 rebounds for Oklahoma City.

It was just the Thunder's second loss in the past 12 games.

About four minutes into the second half, Westbrook and Willie Cauley-Stein got into a bit of a shoving match after Westbrook's hard foul on Cauley-Stein under the basket.

Cauley-Stein and Adams were both assessed technical fouls on the play after a lengthy review.

Sacramento dominated early, scoring the game's first 10 points and leading 27-8 just 6:05 into the game.

Shumpert scored 13 of his points in that initial push before the Thunder started cutting into the lead.

Oklahoma City was without both Alex Abrines and Terrance Ferguson for the second consecutive game.]]>
11/20/2018 1:49:59 PM
<![CDATA[Late goals earn Dutch spot in Nations League finals]]>
Virgil van Dijk struck a superb close-range volley in stoppage time to equalise for the visitors after Quincy Promes had cut the deficit in the 85th minute with the Germans having led through early goals from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane.

Switzerland, England and hosts Portugal had already qualified for the four-team finals in June.

The Dutch, on the road to recovery under new manager Ronald Koeman after failing to qualify for the last two major tournaments, topped League A Group 1 despite finishing level on seven points with France due to a better head-to-head record.

"This is the reward for our hard work," central defender Van Dijk told reporters. "It was good to get the equaliser and qualify. After a moderate first half we wanted to come out stronger after the break. We showed character tonight."

The Germans, who suffered a shock first-round exit at the World Cup in June and lost a German record six times this year, finished in last place with just two points after what has become a familiar lack of focus this year.

However, their quick young frontline, nicknamed 'the moped gang', looked promising and lived up to their tag as 22-year-olds Werner and Sane, plus Serge Gnabry, 23, frightened the Dutch defence with their speed, especially in the first half.

They had already shown their potential in a 3-0 friendly win over Russia on Thursday as coach Joachim Loew made changes after Germany's World Cup flop and Nations League relegation.

"I am a bit disappointed by the result but overall I saw more positives than negatives," Loew told reporters. "We played a very good first half and should have scored a third in the second half to finish the game.

"But this kind of thing seems to be the story of our entire year," he said, in reference to his side's disappointing season.

The Germans took the lead after nine minutes when Werner controlled a pass with his head and then fired a precise low shot into the corner of the net from 20 metres.

Sane finished an almost identical move in the 20th, latching onto a deep Toni Kroos pass and drilling in the second goal of the evening with a deflected shot from the edge of the box.

Gnabry almost got a third with a glancing header in the 40th and Werner outsprinted his marker only to fire wide on the hour as the Dutch struggled to contain their opponents and remained toothless up front until Promes got them back in the game.

They then earned a last-gasp equaliser through Van Dijk to book their spot in the new competition's finals in Portugal.]]>
11/20/2018 1:43:57 PM
<![CDATA[Juventus head Agnelli denies Super League involvement]]>
Earlier this month, German magazine Der Spiegel reported that plans for a European Super League were back on the agenda after several previous discussions came to nothing.

Der Spiegel and European Investigative Collaborations, a network of international media, citing leaked documents, reported that a fresh plan had recently been drafted by Spanish company Key Capital Partners for Real Madrid.

The plan foresees 11 top European clubs creating a Super League in 2021 when the current agreement on the Champions League format and revenue sharing ends.

Juventus were named as one of 11 prospective founders for the closed breakaway league but Agnelli told the BBC that the Italian club had not been involved.

Agnelli, who is also chairman of the European Club Association, which represents more than 200 European clubs, said: "I can confirm we have never seen, never discussed, never been involved in the creation of this document.

"We are fully engaged with UEFA in shaping the game going forward," he added.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told the BBC that European soccer's governing body continued to look at new ideas for its club competitions but that a Super League was ruled out.

"The Super League will not happen. It is in a way a fiction now or a dream," said Ceferin.

"We have some ideas. All I can say is that any Super League is out of the question. Participation stays. And everybody will have an opportunity to compete in every European competition," he added.

EMERGING MARKETS

UEFA currently runs Europe's elite Champions League club competition and the second-tier Europa League, while it is expected to vote for a new third competition next month.

Ceferin said UEFA needed to make sure that emerging football markets were able to tap in to their tournaments.

"We have to think about Poland with 60 million people. We have to think about (countries like) Turkey, we have to think about Russia," added the Slovenian.

"Fans can rest assured that if we put our hands to making a new product it's because we want to make sure that fans across Europe engage."

Agnelli said that any expansion of European football, in terms of a new structure for the Champions League, could see less domestic football.

"Evidently if you want to have an overall rebalancing of European football and more international (European-wide) football all that would have to go hand in hand with a reduction of domestic games," said the Juventus chairman.

"There's a whole system of anomalies that have to be addressed. It might mean in certain leagues increasing the amount of games. It's not just about reducing, it's about making it a level playing field, which is very important." ]]>
11/20/2018 1:40:34 PM
<![CDATA[Al-Ahly squad for Al-Wasl clash revealed ]]>
Ahmed el-Sheikh returned to the squad beside Nasser Maher, Mohamed Sherif and defender, Ahmed Alaa.

Carteron’s announced squad for the game consists of:
Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed el-Shennawy, Ali Lotfi
Defenders: Ahmed Alaa, Salif Coulibaly, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf, Sabry Rahil
Midfielders: Hossam Ashour, Hesham Mohamed, Akram Tawfik, Karim Nedved, Islam Mohareb, Ahmed Hamoudi, Walid Soliman, Mohamed Sherif, Ahmed el-Sheikh, Nasser Maher
Forwards: Salah Mohsen, Marwan Mohsen, Walid Azaro

Meanwhile, Amr el-Solia, Mido Gaber, Ahmed Fathi, Ali Maaloul, Mohamed Hany and Junior Ajayi were ruled out of the squad for injury.

The first leg ended in Egypt with a 2-2 draw and Al-Ahly needs to achieve victory or a draw with more than two goals to reach the second round.

Al-Ahly players hope to make it up for their fans after they lost the CAF Champions League final to Tunisian giants, Esperance.

]]>
11/20/2018 11:52:57 AM
<![CDATA[Salah hopes to follow Okocha's steps ]]>
Salah was shortlisted alongside his Senegalese teammate in Liverpool Sadio Mane, Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia, Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey.

Salah clinched the award last season and he could be the second player in history to win it twice in a row following Nigeria’s Jay-Jay Okocha who won the award in 2003 and 2004.

Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu and Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure also won it twice but not in consecutive years.

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

The Egyptian scored 44 goals last 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 six goals at the league for Liverpool.

]]>
11/20/2018 11:50:39 AM
<![CDATA[Aguirre wants team to play 3 friendly games ahead of AFCON ]]>
The manager also asked for the team to play three friendly games in that period, including a game against one of the continent's giants like Ghana, Nigeria or Ivory Coast.

Egypt defeated Tunisia 3-2 on Friday night at the African Cup of Nations qualifiers thanks to a late goal from Mohamed Salah. This victory allowed Egypt to share the top position of their group alongside Tunisia, with 12 points each.

Egypt still has one game to play at the qualifiers when they travel to Niger to face their national team in March.

Aguirre was appointed as national team manager in August after the Egyptian Football Association decided to put an end to the era of national team manager Hector Cuper following the poor performance of the team at the World Cup.

Aguirre has won the hearts of Egyptian football fans after the national team's amazing results at the qualifiers.
]]>
11/20/2018 11:48:35 AM
<![CDATA[S. Korean judoka suspended over military service claim]]>
Nearly every able-bodied South Korean man aged 18 to 28 owes 21 months of military service by law, but Olympic medal winners and Asian Games champions are granted special exemptions.

However they are still required to complete basic military training of up to 60 days, as well as 544 hours of sports-related community service.

An Ba-ul, who won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, submitted documents purporting to show he had completed 300 hours of community service between November 2016 and July this year.

But South Korea's YTN news channel reported discrepancies: An said he carried out community service at a school on the same day he attended an open training session at the national training centre.

The Korea Judo Association (KJA) said it had expelled An from the centre and barred him from representing South Korea at a Grand Slam event in Osaka, Japan this week.

"We still need to review the case for further measures," a KJA official told AFP.

An has yet to comment on the issue.

Earlier this month, South Korean footballer Jang Hyun-soo was banned from the national team for life by the Korea Football Association for submitting false documents for his military exemption.

South Korea has recently hinted at a possible reform of its controversial military service exemption programme, which critics say unfairly rewards athletes and artists for their one-off achievements.]]>
11/19/2018 11:06:11 AM
<![CDATA[Short goodbye: Cahill's Socceroos swansong limited to five minutes]]>
Cahill, 38, will earn his 108th and final cap in Tuesday's friendly against Lebanon in Sydney, but coach Graham Arnold has thornier matters at hand ahead of Australia's Asian Cup defence in January in the United Arab Emirates.

Arnold said on Monday that Cahill, the former Everton forward, would be restricted to a five-minute cameo as the Socceroos aim to make the most of valuable match practice.

"The first 85 minutes is all about our performance," Arnold told Fox Sports, ahead of Australia's final outing before regrouping in late December for their Asian Cup preparations.

"There (are) no friendly games -- the last five minutes can be for Timmy."

The move echoes last week's somewhat controversial goodbye for England's record scorer Wayne Rooney, who came out of international retirement to make his final appearance as a substitute against USA.

While England have come on leaps and bounds without Rooney, reaching this year's World Cup semi-finals, Australia haven't found Cahill so easy to replace.

The talismanic Cahill, known for his prodigious leap and knack of scoring important goals, has hit the net 50 times for his country, playing in four World Cups.

New-look Australia's lack of goals was apparent in Saturday's 1-1 stalemate against South Korea, when the hosts dominated but had to wait until stoppage time for Massimo Luongo's equaliser.

Arnold, who took charge after this year's disappointing World Cup campaign, said the problem was so acute that he had ordered his forwards to do extra "finishing practice" at their clubs.

"We will set the players' programmes after this game, especially the strikers, that when they go back to club-land where we can't control what they do at their clubs, that they work on a lot of finishing practice," Arnold said.

"Goal-scoring becomes a habit. It is about not only putting the ball in the back of the net, but it's also about having the confidence and the belief to score goals. It's also something that becomes natural for a player."

Among the starters is set to be South Sudanese refugee Awer Mabil, who plies his trade with Denmark's Midtjylland.

The winger shone for the Socceroos off the bench against Korea, and Arnold hinted strongly the 23-year-old could be in the starting line-up.]]>
11/19/2018 11:04:25 AM
<![CDATA[Four more countries qualify for African Nations Cup finals]]>JOHANNESBURG – 18 November 2018: Morocco and Nigeria added their names to the list of African Nations Cup qualifiers after Saturday's preliminaries, with Mali and Uganda also booking their place at next year's finals.


Nigeria made sure of the point they needed by drawing 1-1 away against South Africa in Johannesburg while Morocco qualified without kicking a ball as Malawi lost in the Comoros Islands.


Uganda secured top place in Group L with a 1-0 home win over the Cape Verde Islands while Mali are sure of a top two finish in Group C as they beat Gabon 1-0 away with an early goal from French-based striker Moussa Doumbia.


The top two teams in the 12 groups qualify except Group B which includes already-qualified tournament hosts Cameroon, so only one other team will go through.


Morocco were confirmed in that place after Malawi, the only team who could catch them, were beaten 2-1 in Moroni.


South Africa defender Buhle Mkhwanazi put the ball into his own net to give Nigeria the lead after nine minutes at Soccer City. However, South Africa responded with an equaliser from Strasbourg forward Lebo Mothiba in the 24th minute, his fourth goal in five internationals.


Nigeria have 10 points from five games at the top of Group E, with South Africa second on eight points, two ahead of Libya with one fixture remaining.


The South Africans face Libya in March knowing should they avoid defeat, they will seal their place at the finals next June.


Libya defeated Seychelles 8-1 in the other group match earlier on Saturday.


Namibia and Guinea Bissau played out a goalless draw in Windhoek to keep the outcome in Group K still in suspense while in Group A, already qualified Senegal won 1-0 away in Equatorial Guinea thanks to an own goal.


Egypt, Madagascar and Tunisia also qualified last month and Sunday's batch of fixtures could see several more teams added to the expanded 24-squad field.

]]>
11/18/2018 6:47:03 PM
<![CDATA[Young Turk storms to Valencia GP victory]]>
The ecstatic winner is so young that he was not allowed to celebrate with champagne on the winner's podium and was instead showered with it by the runner up Jorge Martin and third placed Briton John McPhee.

"It's incredible. I have no idea what is going on," said the long-haired Oncu.

"I hope this will get me back here next year," said Oncu, whose team manager may have raised an eye-brow when Oncu pulled a huge, high speed 'wheelie' to cross the line.]]>
11/18/2018 2:38:58 PM
<![CDATA[Hasan double keeps Zealand to 133-4 in first Test]]>
The right-arm bowler dismissed Ross Taylor for 19 with the first ball of his eighth over and then had opener Jeet Raval for 46 to bring Pakistan back in the match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

At the break BJ Watling was 15 not out and Henry Nicholls was unbeaten on 13 with New Zealand 60 runs ahead with six wickets intact after conceding a 74-run lead in the first innings.

Hasan, who had opener Tom Latham yesterday, trapped a dangerous looking Taylor leg-before with a sharp incoming delivery and then had Raval caught behind with a ball that left the batsman and caught the edge to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

Hasan has figures of 3-21.

Raval had added 86 for the second wicket with Kane Williamson who made 37. Raval hit five boundaries in his 120-ball knock.

Resuming at 56-1 New Zealand had pinned hopes on their skipper Williamson. But it was Raval who smashed two boundaries and then took a single off Mohammad Abbas to take New Zealand into the lead.

But just 12 runs into the lead Williamson was bowled by leg-spinner Yasir Shah to a ball that beat the batsman's push and removed the bail.]]>
11/18/2018 11:57:10 AM
<![CDATA[Ranieri wants Fulham to fight like pirates to stay up]]>
The 67-year-old Italian, who took rank outsiders Leicester City to a famous 2016 title, said the immediate focus had to be plugging the West Londoners' leaky defence and securing safety.

Fulham are last in the league with five points from 12 games and a goal difference of minus 20, with 31 conceded. Only Macclesfield, bottom of League Two, have a worse goal difference in English soccer's top four divisions.

Ranieri, who has called West London home since he was Chelsea manager from 2000-04, said he watched Fulham play well but lose 2-0 to Crystal Palace in the first home game of the season.

"When I watched some matches I said this team has enough quality to be saved. Now I repeat: I need fighting spirit," he told reporters. "Quality with the fighting spirit (and) we can do a good job.

"If there is only quality, without organisation, defensive tactics, it’s difficult to help the players to maintain the clean sheet.

"For me it’s important to put in the brain of my players this philosophy. Play football, play well, but when you lose the ball I want to see you like pirates," he added, biting on his fingers for emphasis.

Ranieri, who was appointed on Wednesday after Fulham sacked Slavisa Jokanovic, said it was important to forget the past and focus on the future.

He expressed sympathy for Jokanovic, who played for him when Ranieri was Chelsea manager, but said change was needed when things went badly -- as happened to him also at Leicester in 2017.

At Leicester Ranieri promised the players pizza when they kept clean sheets, one of many memorable soundbites during his tenure, but on Friday he said Fulham needed something more substantial -- maybe burgers.

"That was a bonus, a fairytale. Forget it. Now it is important to not think about miracles," he said of his title-winning exploits at Leicester.

Ranieri recalled how he took over Parma when they were in a similar position in Serie A at the end of February 2007 and kept them up.

"Fulham conceded a lot of goals, and I am an Italian manager, and for us Italians it’s important to maintain the clean sheet," he said. "When you play the defensive way, from the strikers, it’s important everyone is involved." (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)]]>
11/17/2018 8:07:00 AM
<![CDATA[Rockets thrash 'banged up' Warriors, Nuggets bounce back]]>
The Rockets took full advantage of the absence of Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry, who missed his fourth straight game with a groin injury.

They posted their sixth victory in eight games after a 1-5 start and climbed to .500 at 7-7 in the still young season.

Draymond Green returned for the Warriors after serving a one-game suspension meted out by Golden State after his confrontation with teammate Kevin Durant.

The Rockets coped with their own upheaval as shortly before the game general manager Daryl Morey confirmed they parting ways with 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who had played in just 10 games since arriving as a free agent prior to the season.

Whether Curry's absence or continuing tension between teammates played a role, the Warriors endured a horrendous shooting night, connecting on 42.1 percent of their shots from the field and just 22.2 percent from three-point range.

Not a single Warriors starter made a three-pointer -- a first since March of 2013. The Rockets, up 47-41 at halftime, pulled away relentlessly -- putting the game out of reach with a 21-2 scoring run to open the fourth quarter.

"We're banged up a little physically and we're banged up spiritually -- there's no getting around that," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We've got to fill up our cup, get our spirit back, get our energy back, and we're going to. It's a long season."

Green, Durant and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 0-for-9 from beyond the arc while neither Andre Iguodala nor Damian Jones attempted a three-pointer.

Durant led the Warriors with 20 points and Thompson added 10 -- not enough as Iguodala and Jones combined for 10. Green came away with zero points, but Kerr liked what he saw from him.

"Draymond may not have had his best night tonight, but I liked his approach," Kerr said. "He was genuine out there. He was competing.

"Now the rest of the team we've got to all lift our spirits up and get back on the saddle."

James Harden led Houston with 27 points. James Ennis added 10 while Chris Paul and Clint Capela chipped in 10 apiece, Paul adding five rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

"I just thought our guys right from the start were locked in defensively," said Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni. "They did a great job.

"You don't beat these guys like this unless everybody plays well."

- Nuggets dominate -

In Denver, the Nuggets halted a four-game skid in decisive style, routing the Atlanta Hawks 138-93.

Juancho Hernangomez scored a season-high 25 points and Paul Millsap and Gary Harris scored 18 each as seven Denver players scored in double figures.

It was a welcome return to form for a Nuggets team that was off to its best start in four decades before hitting the skids with four straight defeats.

"We needed the win," said Hernangomez after the Nuggets' most lopsided victory of the season. "We were just playing with freedom. Everybody played hard. Everybody matched up on defense. Off of our defense, it was easy to run get back to who we are."

The Los Angeles Clippers held off the determined San Antonio Spurs 116-111 to notch a third straight win.

Lou Williams's 23 points off the bench for Los Angeles included a go-ahead three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining as the Clippers followed up overtime wins over Milwaukee and Golden State with another close victory.

The Clippers led by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter, but San Antonio knotted it at 107-107 with 1:13 to play on two free throws by LaMarcus Aldridge.

Williams responded with his three-pointer that gave Los Angeles the lead for good, Danilo Gallinari producing four clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds to help seal the win.

Despite 34 points from DeMar DeRozan, the Spurs lost their third straight.]]>
11/17/2018 8:06:00 AM
<![CDATA[Japan promoter says Mayweather bout with kickboxer back on]]>
The bout between Mayweather and Tenshin Nasukawa, first announced earlier this month, was abruptly scrapped by the American boxer shortly after he revealed his plans to take on the kickboxer.

But on Friday, the CEO of mixed martial arts promotor RIZIN said the fight planned for New Year's Eve was back on.

"Misunderstanding with Floyd Mayweather has been resolved," Nobuyuki Sakakibara tweeted on his account.

"He will face off against Tenshin Nasukawa on December 31, New Year's Eve."

"I will talk about the details at a press conference when I return to Japan," he added, alongside a picture of himself, Mayweather, and a third man.

The tweet comes after Mayweather told the US website TMZ Sports on Wednesday in California that the fight would go ahead.

"We're going to make it happen," he reportedly told the site.

"It's a no-brainer."

When the fight was first announced, it was unclear what rules would govern the match-up between the retired welterweight boxer and Nasukawa, an unbeaten kickboxer.

But Mayweather told TMZ Sport the face-off would involve "no kicking."

"Rules? It's going to be a little boxing exhibition," he said.

"I'm moving around with the guy for nine minutes, and of course it's going be the highest paid exhibition ever," he added.

The unbeaten 41-year-old, who won world titles in five different weight divisions, made headlines earlier this month when he announced on his Instagram page that he was coming out of retirement for the fight.

"I want to give the people what they want -- blood, sweat and tears," he told a news conference in Tokyo afterwards.

But just two days later he posted a lengthy statement on his social media accounts saying he had been "blindsided" by organisers of the bout and had "never agreed" to the fight.]]>
11/17/2018 6:57:00 AM
<![CDATA[Juventus apologise for China 'suicide' condolence message]]>
The Serie A giants issued a message of condolence on China's Twitter-like Weibo in response to a post on the platform claiming that a fanatical supporter had committed suicide following a row online about striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, it transpired that Weibo user "Juventus changing room cleaning lady" -- whose real name has not been reported -- was alive and unharmed after Chinese media and police tracked her down.

The case has drawn about 40 million views and generated thousands of comments in recent days on Weibo, where many European football clubs and players connect with their Chinese followers.

Juventus's post to its 725,000 followers mourning the supposed suicide triggered several days of criticism and shrill calls for the club to apologise.

In a statement to AFP, the club said: "The agency in charge of Juventus social media accounts on Chinese digital platforms did a mistake by believing in what has then been revealed to be fake news, and we apologise for this."

The apology is unlikely to placate everyone.

"Yes, you were also fooled," wrote one Weibo user, hitting out at the Italian club.

"But if you have this title ("Juventus"), at least understand that every word you say represents the image of the club."]]>
11/17/2018 5:56:00 AM
<![CDATA[Trophies will define Liverpool's season, not stats - Wijnaldum]]>
The Merseyside club are second in the league after 12 matches with 30 points, two behind defending champions Manchester City.

It is Liverpool's joint best start to a league season since the inception of the Premier League in 1992 and their unbeaten run has been built on solid foundations at the back.

The team has conceded five league goals -- the joint-best defensive record in the competition alongside Manchester City.

Wijnaldum, however, wants Liverpool, who have not won the league title since 1990 and whose last silverware came when they lifted the League Cup in 2012, to convert these milestones into tangible success.

"It is good to hear, of course, but we are not playing for statistics -- we are playing to win games and at the end of the season, we hope we can win something," he told the club website https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/first-team/325448-georginio-wijnaldum-liverpool-interview.

"Of course it is something good when you don't concede goals because that makes it easier to win games and also suggests that we have defended well but I think you also need a little bit of luck.

"Of course, those figures say something about our defensive qualities, particularly at home, but we have to make sure that we continue that now and go on a new run."

Wijnaldum has hailed fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk for marshalling the defensive unit, which has kept seven clean sheets this season.

"I think Virgil has made a difference in the last line because he is a good defender, a big defender. He is an extra man who can defend set-pieces as well," he said.

"He is a leader in the last line who not only helps himself with his quality but also the players next to him and so he really helps the team." (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis)]]>
11/17/2018 4:55:00 AM
<![CDATA[Pressure mounts on Spain's De Gea as Kepa waits in the wings]]>
De Gea has been Spain's number one since Euro 2016 but he has struggled to consistently replicate his impressive Manchester United club form and was criticised for not closing down Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric, who scored the opener in Zagreb.

"The Croat did what most people who have taken a shot at De Gea have done in the past year: found the back of the net," Spanish soccer journalist Diego Torres wrote in El Pais.

Tomas Roncero of sports daily AS has been critical of De Gea since Spain's disappointing last 16 exit at the World Cup in July and said it was time for a change.

"We all saw what happened at the World Cup and nothing's changed," Roncero wrote.

"He just stands there, he doesn’t come out of his goal for their first two – this is a guy who is two metres tall! He could have even pushed the ball away for a corner for the third instead of straight to their player."

De Gea, 28, has been named in the Premier League Team of the Year for the last four seasons by his peers and is United's reining player of the season but he, like others in the red half of Manchester, have struggled this season.

United are eighth in the table on 20 points, 12 behind leaders and rivals Manchester City, having conceded 21 goals in 12 Premier League games so far. Last season, De Gea conceded 28 times in 37 league appearances.

The dip in form comes as his international backup Kepa Arrizabalaga has made a strong start to his Chelsea career following a 80 million Euro ($90 million) transfer from Athletico Bilbao - a world record fee for a goalkeeper.

Kepa has conceding eight times in his first 12 Premier League appearances as Chelsea remain unbeaten in the league.

The 24-year-old has made two appearances for Spain, the last coming in a 4-1 win over Wales last month. Spain host Bosnia in a friendly on Sunday.]]>
11/17/2018 2:53:00 AM