Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 12th 2013 Contents A59
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Deschamps has urged his France
team to play without fear and think
only of getting a victory away to
Ukraine in the first match of their
World Cup qualifier on Friday.
France fumbled its way through
the playoffs four years ago, edging
past Ireland after a nerve-shredding
game at Stade de France was settled
by a controversial goal as Thierry
Henry handled the ball before cross-
ing it to scorer William Gallas.
Deschamps wants a far more pos-
itive approach this time around and
has no intention of settling for a
"There s no place for doubt or
uncertainty," Deschamps said yes-
terday at France s training camp.
"We ll go there with the intention
of getting the best result possible.
It s important to score away, given
the fact we re at home for the return
match. They re not an easy team to
move about, but I hope we force
them to defend."
The message has been received
loud and clear.
"We can t go over there and play
timidly, or tell ourselves there s a
second match to come," winger
Franck Ribery said. "We ve got the
team to go and get a result there.
I m not scared of anything."
In a bid to stamp out complacency
or over-confidence, Deschamps
refuted the notion that his team had
been given an easy draw by avoiding
Cristiano Ronaldo s Portugal team
or Zlatan Ibrahimovic s Sweden side.
"We could have drawn a team
that s stronger on paper. But we re
not up against a team of tourists.
They re on a good run of form, and
they concede few goals," Deschamps
He wants a full-blooded commit-
ted performance against a team that
has ten players who risk missing the
return match in Paris four days later
if they pick up a yellow card.
France has a difficult relationship
with its fans, particularly when it
plays at home, where the notoriously
hard-to-please Parisian crowd often
jeers the players, but Deschamps is
confident of their full backing this
"There ll be many fans in Ukraine
from what I ve heard and the Stade
de France will be full," he said. "We
could have filled more than the
80,000 places. We ll need their sup-
France will stick with one centre
forward, with the No 9 jersey going
to either Olivier Giroud or Karim
Giroud s form has dipped slightly
recently, he was not at his best in
Arsenal s 1--0 defeat to Manchester
United on Sunday, while Benzema s
has picked up and he is scoring and
creating goals for Real Madrid. (AP)
Deschamps urges France to be fearless in Ukraine
MADRID---Brazilian-born Diego Costa will have
to wait a little longer before playing his first game
for Spain, after pulling out of two upcoming friend-
lies with an injury.
The Atletico Madrid striker, a naturalised Spanish
citizen, has a muscle injury in his right leg, the
Spanish federation said on Monday.
"Diego is not in conditions to be called up for
these games," Spain team doctor Oscar Luis Celada
said. "It s a pity."
Atletico confirmed the news on its Web site, saying
Costa had finished Sunday s 1--1 draw at Villarreal
with discomfort in his leg.
Juventus striker Fernando Llorente, who was part
of Spain s 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Cham-
pionship winning squads, will take Costa s spot.
Spain travels to Equatorial Guinea for a game on
Saturday before playing South Africa next week.
Costa had been embroiled in a trans-Atlantic,
national team tug-of-war between World Cup cham-
pion Spain and host Brazil before choosing to play
for the defending champions in the buildup to next
year s tournament.
While Costa did feature in a friendly for Brazil, he
never played a competitive match for his native coun-
try so he remains eligible to play for the European
and world champions. Costa s next chance to impress
coach Vicente del Bosque would be in March when
Spain plays Italy in a friendly. (AP)
out of Spain's friendlies
MEXICO CITY---Mexico last missed the World Cup
in 1990. It now could happen again, unless the
team overcomes New Zealand in a two-game playoff
that opens tomorrow at Azteca stadium in Mexico
Mexico needed almost a miracle just to reach this
stage, as the United States scored two late goals to
beat Panama and send the Mexicans through to the
playoff. Otherwise, Panama would have advanced
and Mexico would be out already.
Mexico played poorly in qualifying, where it strug-
gled to score goals and finished behind the United
States, Costa Rica and Honduras, who earned the
automatic berths from the Concacaf region.
Mexico must find a way to score goals, and it
should have an overwhelming advantage at home.
The altitude in Mexico City is 2,240 meters (7,350
feet), where the thin air always hurts visiting teams.
And the home crowd at the 100,000-capacity stadium
is usually intimidating for opponents.
"We ll do it here," Herrera said. "I m sure that
Mexico will get the advantage so we can relax in
Wellington and finish the job. This is the idea. To
take care of business at home."
Mexico is expected to start Oribe Peralta up front,
and team him with Aldo de Nigris or Rual Jimenez.
overcome NZ to
avoid missing WCup
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