Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 16th 2016 Contents A49
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---England players celebrated
taking a 2-0 lead over Spain by contribut-
ing to the mannequin challenge but then
froze on the field, conceding two late
goals to allow the visitors to snatch a 2-
2 draw yesterday.
England felt so relaxed with a two-goal
cushion after Jamie Vardy s 48th-minute
goal at Wembley Stadium that the striker
performed the latest internet craze, where
people freeze in dramatic poses, along with
The video will spread online, but England
won t want to see the end of the friendly
Iago Aspas marked his Spain debut by
curling in an 89th-minute strike and Isco
slipped the ball under substitute goalkeeper
Tom Heaton in the sixth minute of stoppage
time. It ensured Julen Lopetegui maintained
his unbeaten start as Spain coach, since
replacing Vicente del Bosque after the
team s European title defense ended in the
round of 16 in June.
England also made a managerial change
after going out at the same stage in France,
embarrassingly to Iceland. England began
to rebuild under Sam Allardyce but he was
ditched after only one game over unguarded
comments to undercover reporters.
Gareth Southgate has steadied England
with four games unbeaten, including two
wins and a draw in World Cup qualifying,
and he is now likely to be handed the job
on a permanent basis.
But England conceding late goals to a
second-string Spain side will be a blot on
his record. (AP)
MILAN---Four months proved to be a
long time in international football as
Italy drew 0-0 against Germany yester-
day in a match which bore little resem-
blance to their enthralling encounter at
the European Championship.
The teams on a cold night in Milan
were very different from those which
faced each other in the quarterfinals in
Bordeaux on July 2---a match won by Ger-
many on penalties after it finished 1-1.
Both teams lined up with just four play-
ers who had started for them in France,
while Italy also had a new coach in Gian
Yannick Gerhardt made his international
debut in a youthful Germany side.
Andrea Belotti has scored three goals
in his past two Italy matches and he went
closest to breaking the deadlock, eight
minutes from time. The 22-year-old
Belotti carved out space for himself on
the right of the area but his effort crashed
off the inside of the left upright.
There was an unsporting moment
before kickoff as the German national
anthem was booed by a loud number of
home fans but Italy captain Gianluigi Buf-
fon led the rest of the crowd in applauding
to drown out the jeers.
Nice forward Mario Balotelli, who has
not been selected for Italy since the 2014
World Cup, was in the stands to watch
Belotti has been having an impressive
month, with four goals in his last two
matches for club and country. And the
Torino forward almost gave Italy an early
lead but spooned his effort over the bar.
Germany s first real chance came in
the 12th minute following a delightful
pass from Ilkay Gundogan to Leon Goret-
zka but Buffon did well to block with his
Moments later Bernd Leno was tested
at the other end as the Germany goal-
keeper fingertipped Daniele Rugani s snap
shot over the bar.
Italy went closest in the 25th as Ciro
Immobile beat the offside trap to run onto
Daniele De Rossi s chipped ball over the
top but the former Borussia Dortmund
striker fired wide of the right post.
Teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Don-
narumma replaced Buffon at halftime, to
loud cheers from the fans in the stadium
in which his club AC Milan plays its home
The fans roared even louder 10 minutes
later as they clamoured for a penalty when
Belotti went down in the area between
two defenders but the referee awarded a
Donnarumma made a rare mistake
shortly after the hour when he allowed
substitute Kevin Volland s effort to squirm
under his body but the goal was ruled out
on a marginal offside decision, to the 17-
year-old s relief.
BANGKOK---Marcello Lippi s first game as
China coach ended in a 0-0 draw with Qatar
in the third round of qualification for the
2018 World Cup yesterday.
The draw in Kunming leaves China with
just two points after five games, making it
almost certain that it will not qualify for the
finals in Russia.
Lippi, who won the World Cup with Italy
in 2006, was appointed in October following
the resignation of Gao Hongbo.
China, looking to return to the World Cup
for the first time since 2002, was close to
scoring on a number of occasions but just
could not find a way through.
The top two teams in the two groups will
qualify automatically for the World Cup,
with the two third-placed teams playing to
decide which one advances to the intercon-
JAPAN 2, SAUDI ARABIA 1
A first-half penalty from Hiroshi Kiyotake
helped Japan to a much-needed 2-1 win
over Saudi Arabia in Saitama, Japan.
A handball in the area gave Kiyotake his
opportunity in the 45th minute, and Genki
Haraguchi added a second for Japan with
10 minutes remaining. Omar Othman scored
for Saudi Arabia with a minute left.
The victory moves Japan level with Saudi
Arabia with 10 points after five Group B
games and marks the first loss for Saudi
Arabia, which still holds the top spot on
Russia defies poor
form to beat Romania
GROZNY---Three days after being criticized by
Vladimir Putin, Russia ended a run of poor form
yesterday by beating Romania 1-0.
Magomed Ozdoev grabbed a last-minute winner
in the friendly for the 2018 World Cup host.
Russia had won just one of its last 10 matches,
triggering the Russian president to remark that
"we haven t seen beautiful play from the national
team for a long time."
In the first international game to be played in
the formerly war-torn Russian region of Chechnya,
Russia struggled for much of the 90 minutes due
to poor finishing and good saves from Romanian
goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.
That all changed when Romania struggled to
clear the ball in the final minute of stoppage time.
Some fortunate deflections saw the ball fall to
Ozdoev for an easy finish despite a possible off-
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov is trying to
inject new blood into a team which was among
the oldest at the summer s European Champi-
onship, where it crashed out. He opted Tuesday
for Spartak Moscow s up-and-coming Ilya Kutepov
and Terek Grozny s Andrei Semyonov at center
back. The partnership held up well though rarely
came under sustained pressure from a Romanian
team which also failed to qualify from the group
stage in Euro 2016.
Pantilimon showed good reactions to keep out
Alexander Samedov s effort for Russia early on,
before Dorin Rotariu missed the target when one-
on-one with Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev in
Romania s best opportunity of the game.
Samedov shot wide just before halftime, and
Russia came close again in the 65th when Alexan-
der Kokorin mis-hit a shot straight at the advancing
Pantilimon when a slight lob would have likely
Russia was able to host Romania in Chechnya,
which is ruled by sports-loving and pro-Kremlin
strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, because it was a
friendly rather than a competitive European game.
UEFA has consistently refused to allow games to
be played in Chechnya due to security concerns.
One team at the 2018 World Cup will be based
in Grozny despite occasional incidents of unrest
there, including an attack by militants in December
2014 which left more than 20 people dead.
Player says she was
filmed in shower
MADRID---Atletico Madrid says it is helping
police investigate a complaint made by a player
from a second-division women s team who said
someone tried to film her in the shower at the
club s grounds on Sunday.
The unidentified player for Torrelodones went
to police after noticing that someone tried to
sneak a cell phone through a window while she
took a shower after playing against Atletico at the
team s Ciudad Deportiva complex just outside
Atletico Madrid said yesterday it is doing every-
thing possible to cooperate with authorities inves-
tigating what would be a "very serious" occur-
The club said it also opened an internal inves-
tigation and noted that its employees made them-
selves available to help the player the moment
she raised awareness of the occurrence.
Torrelodones released a statement supporting
the player and condemning the incident, saying
that it is prepared to take all necessary actions
"to defend the dignity of our player" if any images
It also demanded a public apology from Atletico
England's collapse allows
Spain Wembley draw
England's Jordan Henderson, left, fights for the ball with Spain's Isco during the
international friendly soccer match between England and Spain at Wembley stadium in
London, yesterday. AP PHOTO
England 2 vs Spain 2
N Ireland 0 vs Croatia 3
Italy 0 vs Germany 0
France 0 vs Ivory Coast 0
Thailand 2 vs Australia 2
United Arab Emirates 2 vs Iraq 0
South Korea 2 vs Uzbekistan 1
Syria 0 vs Iran 0
Italy, Germany scoreless in Milan
China's dreams still fading despite Lippi
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