Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2014 Contents A76
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, September 5, 2014
Ibrahimovic sets Sweden record
STOCKHOLM---Zlatan Ibrahimovic's two goals in
the first half of a friendly against Estonia made him
Sweden's all-time top-scorer yesterday.
Ibrahimovic's double put him at 50 goals for Swe-
den, surpassing the 49 by Sven Rydell from 1923-
The Paris Saint-Germain striker scored after a cor-
ner kick in the third minute, and again in the 24th
with a deft back-heel touch on Sebastian Larsson's
After the second goal he pulled off his national
team jersey to show text on his undershirt saying
"50+" on the back and "You made it possible" on the
Sweden won the match 2--0.
Man U defender Rojo gets visa
MANCHESTER---Argentina defender Marcos Rojo
is eligible to make his Manchester United debut after
being granted a British visa.
The 24-year-old Rojo, who played for Argentina in
the World Cup final loss to Germany in July, moved to
United last month from Sporting Lisbon for 20 million
euros ($27 million).
But United said yesterday that the UK Border
Agency has only now granted Rojo a visa allowing
him to work in Britain.
The Premier League club said on Twitter that Rojo
is now available to play against Queens Park Rangers
in the next match on September 14.
FA chief unconcerned over inquiry
BARI---The Italian football federation's new presi-
dent is unconcerned about an investigation by UEFA
over his alleged racist comment.
Speaking to RAI state TV at halftime of an Italy-
Netherlands friendly yesterday, Carlo Tavecchio says,
"I'm serene, because I was cleared in Italy. But if I'm
summoned I'll defend myself and show that I'm inno-
Tavecchio, a long-standing executive in Italian foot-
ball, was elected last month despite causing a stir
over a reference to bananas when discussing the
presence of foreign players in Italy.
While the Italian federation's internal prosecutor
dropped his inquiry over the comment ten days ago,
UEFA is expected to issue a ruling in the coming days.
Legia Warsaw fined $103K
WARSAW---Legia Warsaw says it was fined
80,000 euros ($103,500) for fans displaying a banner
The Polish champion says on its Web site that
UEFA's disciplinary panel imposed the sanction after a
Legia fans protested the club's disputed exit from
the Champions League at a Europa League playoff
against Aktobe of Kazakhstan last week.
The banner, surrounded by lit flares, showed a large
pig imposed on a UEFA badge and the slogan "Be-
cause Football Doesn't Matter, Money Does."
Legia was eliminated from the Champions League
third qualifying round after fielding a suspended
player against Celtic during a 6--1 aggregate win.
UEFA awarded the Scottish side a 3--0 second-leg
win that saw it advance. Legia is seeking compensa-
tion from UEFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Germany calls up forward Sam
BERLIN---Germany coach Joachim Loew has called
up Schalke forward Sidney Sam for a European
Championship qualifying match against Scotland.
Loew called up Sam after Germany lost to Ar-
gentina 4--2 in a friendly on Wednesday.
Germany will be without Schalke midfielder Julian
Draxler as well as Mats Hummels and Mesut Ozil for
Sunday's qualifier against Scotland in Dortmund. The
German football federation says the three players will
stay with the national team for treatment.
The 26-year-old Sam, who joined Schalke from
Bayer Leverkusen in the offseason, has made five ap-
pearances for Germany but wasn't on Loew's World
PARIS---Spain s rebuilding
following its shambolic World
Cup got off to a bad start as
France was barely tested on the
way to a 1--0 win in their
France had an effort from
Karim Benzema ruled out for
offside early in the second half
and scored in the 72nd minute
when winger Mathieu Valbuena
set up substitute Loic Remy for
his sixth international goal.
With all-time leading scorer
David Villa among the big names
to have retired from international
football, Spain looked tame in
attack against World Cup quar-
terfinalist France, which fielded
a strong side.
Spain didn t muster a shot of
any menace until the 83rd as
David Silva s shot drifted just
wide, but otherwise failed to hit
the target once.
Breaking into Spain during a
sustained period of success
which saw it win two European
Championships and a World
Cup from 2008-2012 was a task
in itself, and it is paying the price
for heavy reliance on core play-
ers.This was underlined by Raul
Garcia making his international
debut in midfield at the ripe age
of 28, and Athletic Bilbao centre
half Mikel San Jose making his
at 25. Altogether, five Spaniards
made their debuts at Stade de
France, including Athletic Bilbao
defensive midfielder Ander Itur-
raspe and Valencia forward Paco
Alcacer in the second half.
Only three prominent players
from Spain s glory era started:
Midfielders Cesc Fabregas and
Sergio Busquets, and centre half
Sergio Ramos---meaning Spain
looked fragile. Fabregas did some
damage, particularly when run-
ning at the heart of France s
defense, but lacked support.
With veteran goalkeeper Iker
Casillas in the reserves, David
de Gea made only his third
appearance despite having
played for Atletico and Man-
chester United for five years.
The defence was generally
well organised on crosses and
high balls, but France got behind
both fullbacks easily.
One of the biggest challenges
facing coach Vicente Del Bosque
is filling the midfield void left
by the retirements of Xavi Her-
nandez and Xabi Alonso, who
combined for nearly 250 caps.
Spain passed with its usual
crispness and there was the
occasional intricate move once
so commonplace, but largely the
approach play lacked penetra-
tion, and midfielder Santi
Cazorla was a peripheral figure
wide on the left. Garcia played
high up to give striker Diego
Costa support but made little
impression, while Busquets had
to sit very deep to protect his
De Gea was finally beaten
when Remy curled a powerful
shot into the left corner from
about 12 yards out. De Gea then
denied Benzema with a smart
stop in injury time.
Del Bosque must get his
newlook side up to speed quick-
ly, as Spain opens its 2016 Euro-
pean Championship qualifying
campaign against Macedonia at
home on Monday.
BARI---Italy scored twice in the
opening ten minutes and Antonio
Conte got the better of Guus Hiddink
in their coaching debuts as a ten-man
Netherlands was beaten 2--0 in a
Ciro Immobile scored his first inter-
national goal three minutes in, and
Daniele De Rossi added a penalty in
The opening goal was set up by a
long, vertical pass from defender
Leonardo Bonucci, which Immobile
controlled expertly then dribbled around
goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen before slot-
ting into an empty net.
The penalty was awarded after Bruno
Martins Indi was sent off for pushing
down Simone Zaza, and De Rossi con-
verted a soft shot into the left corner
as Cillessen dove the other way.
The Netherlands rarely threatened
at San Nicola Stadium.
Conte replaced Cesare Prandelli, who
resigned immediately after Italy s first-
round elimination from the World Cup.
The well-travelled Hiddink began his
second stint in charge of the Nether-
lands, building on the work of Louis
van Gaal, who steered the Dutch to
third in Brazil.
Both sides were missing key players.
Conte caused a stir when he left out
star striker Mario Balotelli from his
squad. Also, Andrea Pirlo was out
injured and Gianluigi Buffon was rest-
ed.However, Immobile, who led Serie
A with 22 goals for Torino last season
before transferring to Borussia Dort-
mund, and Zaza, who plays for unsung
Sassuolo, made it so Balotelli was not
The Dutch had Arjen Robben, Klaas
Jan Huntelaar, Rafael van der Vaart,
Jordy Clasie and Ron Vlaar out injured.
It marked the first time in 16 years
that an Italy coach won on debut. After
Dino Zoff guided the Azzurri to a 2--0
win over Wales in 1998, Giovanni Tra-
pattoni, Marcello Lippi, Roberto Don-
adoni and Prandelli each failed to start
with a victory.
Conte led Juventus to three consec-
utive Serie A titles and is known as a
Zaza nearly made it 3--0 in the 20th
but failed to take advantage of a 3-on-
1 opportunity when he couldn t get his
shot past Cillessen after Immobile
passed to him unselfishly.
The Netherlands didn t produce a
chance until Robin van Persie shot wide
from a sharp angle in the 49th.
On Tuesday, Italy opens European
Championship qualifying at Norway,
and the Netherlands visits the Czech
off to bad start
Conte tops Hiddink as Italy beats Dutch
France's Moussa Sissoko, left, battles with Spain's Sergio Ramos
during their international friendly soccer match at the Stade de
France in Saint Denis, outside Paris, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Italy's Ciro Immobile, centre, celebrates after scoring
during a friendly soccer match between Italy and The
Netherlands in Bari, Italy, yesterday. AP PHOTO
France 1, Spain 0
Italy 2, Holland 0
Belgium 2, Australia 0
Sweden 2, Estonia 0
Croatia 2, Cyprus 0
China 3, Kuwait 0
Iraq 0, Peru 2
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