Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 17th 2015 Contents A53
Thursday, December 17, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
chances of playing in the Club
World Cup appeared to improve
yesterday, as he trained for the
first time since Barcelona arrived
However, coach Luis Enrique
refused to reveal whether Neymar,
or fellow strikers Lionel Messi and
Luis Suarez, would play in the
semi-final against Guangzhou
Neymar did some running in
front of the media at the start of
practice at the match venue, Nis-
He didn t train on Monday and
Tuesday after hurting his groin
in Germany last week before a
Champions League match with
"Of course, you want to know
if I will pick my star players,"
Enrique said at a news conference.
"We have to think about how we
will play tomorrow and, of course,
we will look to play our best play-
ers. The players are 100 percent
recovered, and prepared for
tomorrow s match."
Enrique insisted the tourna-
ment, which Barcelona has won
in 2009 and 2011, was high on
the club s priorities, given it had
to win the Champions League to
earn its place in Japan.
"To play in the Club World Cup
gives the players opportunity for
growth," he said.
"We came through a lot of
hardship to get here. It s a very
important title for the manager,
the players, and the club presi-
He singled out 31-year-old
striker Robinho as a weapon in
Guangzhou s attack, adding the
Chinese club s five Brazilian play-
ers in general would need atten-
"Robinho still has a lot of years
left in his career and is probably
in the best stage of his career,"
Enrique said. "Perhaps he will
only play for one half. One way
or another, he s a player of top
Barcelona center-half Gerard
Pique stressed the unique chal-
lenges of the competition meant
that although his club was favorite
to lift the trophy, the players would
need to adapt.
"Barcelona is a club that is
always expected to win," Pique
said. "During this tournament we
play against some teams we don t
normally play against. In that
sense, we are in a very competitive
environment. It s a different foot-
balling culture, so as a player these
are very precious experiences."
Guangzhou is on a 28-match
unbeaten run stretching to May,
shortly before Luiz Felipe Scolari
took charge. (AP)
Aubameyang scored again to
help Borussia Dortmund
advance to the German Cup
quarterfinals with a 2-0 win at
Aubameyang, the Bundesliga s
top-scorer with 18 goals in 16
games, broke the deadlock in
the 61st with a quick shot into
the left corner after Lukasz
Piszczek blocked Ji Dong-won s
Henrikh Mkhitaryan sealed
the result five minutes later, his
shot taking a deflection to give
Augsburg keeper Marwin Hitz
Dortmund keeper Roman
Buerki denied Ji with a good
block late on.
Dortmund, which routed
Paderborn 7-1 in the previous
round, last won the cup in 2012
and is bidding to reach its third
Bochum won 2-0 at second-
division rival 1860 Munich.
Earlier, Hertha Berlin and
Stuttgart advanced with victories
over second-division sides
Nuremberg and Eintracht
American defender John
Anthony Brooks sealed Hertha s
2-0 win at Nuremberg with a
fine header following Vladimir
Darida s corner in the 65th
Darida opened the scoring the
32nd, which the visiting fans
celebrated with flares, causing
a brief hold-up in play.
Bosnia defender Toni Sunjic
scored two minutes from the
end of extra time for Stuttgart s
in a 3-2 win over Braunschweig.
Joseph Baffo fired Braun-
schweig into an early lead, only
for Georg Niedermeier to equal-
ize in the 21st. Goalkeeper Rafal
Gikiewicz prevented Stuttgart
taking the lead when he saved
Alexandru Maxim s weak penal-
ty in the 35th.
Timo Werner thought he d
won it when he scored in the
ninth minute of extra time for
Stuttgart, but Orhan Ademi
drew the sides level again before
Sunjic clinched it with a head-
er.Bundesliga sides Bayern
Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and
Werder Bremen, and second-
division Heidenheim reached
the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Neymar finally trains
before Club WCup semi
Blatter: Madrid, Atletico
probed over transfers
Roma crashes out of Cup
to 2nd-division Spezia
Dortmund, Hertha Berlin,
Stuttgart advance in German Cup
Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, right, celebrates after scoring
his side's opening goal during the German football cup (DFB Pokal) match
against FC Augsburg at the WWK Arena stadium in Augsburg, Germany,
yesterday. Dortmund won 2-0. AP PHOTO
MADRID---Valencia beat third-tier club
Barakaldo 2-0 for Gary Neville s first
win as a head coach yesterday, advancing
to the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey
5-1 on aggregate.
Santi Mina scored in the eighth minute
and Alvaro Negrodo added in the 31st at
the Mestalla Stadium to give Neville the
victory in his third game in charge of the
Neville was confirmed as head coach
just before Valencia won the first leg 3-
1, but wasn t on the bench during the
game. He also watched from the stands
when his team held Barcelona to a 1-1
home draw in the Spanish league.
The former England and Manchester
United defender debuted with a 2-0 loss
to Lyon in the Champions League, a result
that eliminated Valencia from the com-
petition. His second game was a 1-1 draw
at Eibar in the Spanish league over the
weekend. In other games yesterday, sec-
ond-division club Mirandes upset Malaga
3-1 on aggregate after a 1-0 win in the
second leg, while Eibar advanced 4-3 on
aggregate after routing Ponferradina 4-
0. The deciding goal was an 85th-minute
penalty converted by Mikel Arruabarrena.
Rayo Vallecano eliminated Getafe on
away goals despite a 3-1 loss, while Athletic
Bilbao had six different scorers in a 6-0
rout of Linense to advance 8-0 on aggre-
gate. Las Palmas drew 1-1 at Real Sociedad
to reach the next round 3-2 on aggregate.
Valencia gets success under Neville
Defending champ PSG
edges Saint-Etienne 1-0
MADRID---Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid
have been investigated for similar irregularities
that led to Barcelona s ban on registering new
players, suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter
told Spanish media.
Blatter said in an interview with Spanish news-
paper Mundo Deportivo that FIFA s disciplinary
committee has already concluded the probes, but
he doesn t know their outcome.
"FIFA s disciplinary committee has opened sep-
arate proceedings on Real Madrid and Atletico
Madrid for the same infractions committed by FC
Barcelona," Blatter said in the interview made
available online yesterday. "They have been con-
cluded, but I don t know what the sanctions are
because they are independent commissions and
I m suspended, I can t even walk inside FIFA."
Blatter said both teams will likely be sanctioned
the same way as Barcelona if they are found guilty
of the same irregularities.
Barcelona was handed a one-year ban on signing
new players after FIFA concluded it violated rules
regulating the transfer of underage players at its
lauded soccer academy.
The Catalan club was banned through this year.
It can sign new players but can t register them
until January. FIFA said yesterday that it s "not in
a position to comment on any proceedings that
are ongoing. Blatter also said that "maybe Barca
made a mistake starting a war against FIFA. (AP)
MILAN---Roma s miserable month continued as
it crashed out of the Italian Cup yesterday, losing
4-2 on penalties to second-division Spezia.
Holder Juventus is safely through to the quar-
terfinals after sweeping aside 10-man Torino 4-0
in a derby match.
Napoli crushed Hellas Verona 3-0, while relega-
tion-threatened Carpi pulled off an upset, with
Antonio Di Gaudio scoring the only goal in a 1-0
victory at Fiorentina.
Both Carpi and Fiorentina hit the woodowrk in
the first half, while they each had a player sent off
in stoppages as Gonzalo Rodriguez and Jerry Mbakogu
were dismissed for an off the ball scuffle.
Spezia scored all four of theirs to book a quar-
terfinal tie against third-division giantkiller Alessan-
dria, which has knocked out Palermo and Genoa.
In Turin, Simone Zaza had given Juventus a first-
half lead before Cristian Molinaro was sent off for
a second yellow card, four minutes after the break.
Juventus will face either last year s runner-up
Lazio or Udinese in the quarterfinals. (AP)
PARIS---Winger Angel Di Maria came off the
bench to set up a late winner for striker Edinson
Cavani as defending champion Paris Saint-Ger-
main beat Saint-Etienne 1-0 to reach the League
Cup quarterfinals yesterday.
Apart from hitting the crossbar with a scissor-
kick in the first half, PSG top scorer Zlatan Ibrahi-
movic had a quiet game and was replaced by Di
Maria, who went close with a free-kick in the
With four minutes remaining, Di Maria delivered
a brilliant dipping pass over the defense and Cavani
volleyed expertly past reserve goalkeeper Jessy
Moulin despite being slightly off balance. PSG
hosts Lyon next month.
Lyon needed a late goal from forward Claudio
Beauvue in a 2-1 home win against second-division
Tours, giving beleaguered coach Hubert Fournier
a much-needed win. (AP)
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