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Portugal regret 'unfair' elimination from UEFA Nations League

Portugal manager Fernando Santos has claimed that his team's elimination from UEFA Nations League A was unfair. At the Municipal Stadium in Braga, visitors Spain upset Portugal 1-0 with Alvaro Morata's 88th-minute strike to top Group 2 with 11 points. Portugal finished second with 10 points. "It is true that in the first half Spain had more possession without creating major problems. We lacked some patience, we played with a lot of long passes, but at passing the ball the team did well and got there," the coach explained. According to Santos, Portugal created goal situations, while Spain did nothing but try to stay more in possession, reports Xinhua. "We tried to correct that at half-time, and we were pushing hard at the restart. We had a great opportunity, but we didn't take it, and then Spain started to have more ball; and we had more difficulty, lowering the lines without being able to connect the game," he said. The coach regretted that he "wanted to be in the finals" of the UEFA Nations League and that he "worked for it with the conviction that he was going to make it." Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves said that he had expected a difficult match against a qualified opponent, but that they needed to win because they were at home. "In the first 15 minutes we gave Spain too much space to have the ball, although they didn't create great scoring opportunities," he argued. "Then we adjusted our pressure, we controlled the game well and we had some opportunities in the first half. In the second we started well, we had more ball; we created clear goal-scoring opportunities again, but unfortunately, we couldn't score," he lamented. According to him, it was a "distraction move" that allowed a cross to come out into the area, and that ended up resulting in a goal. "It had happened to us once and we made the same mistake again. Now there is no room to think more about this competition," he concluded. Meanwhile, Spain coach Luis Enrique celebrated with rare euphoria after his team's qualification for the semifinals of the UEFA Nations League A. After beating hosts Portugal 1-0 in Braga, Enrique stressed that there is still "one step to go to the final and win the trophy" after Spain finished runners-up last year. "We had one objective in this challenge: to take the ball out of Portugal's possession. We achieved that goal in the first part, but without depth, without creating danger," he explained. "In the second half we corrected, we improved, and with the arrival of the rested players, with a better physical level, we generated a continuous approach to the goal until we scored, near the end. It was decisive," said a visibly moved Enrique. The coach also noted that it was "important not to forget the work of those who were already on the field from the beginning, which tired the opponents." He explained the substitution of defender Hugo Guillamon to make way for Sergio Busquets at half-time, saying Guillamon's "yellow card could have made it easy for Portugal, who have great strikers." "Both teams played their game. Portugal played in the transitions and defended well, as a block. Spain deserved to win? Football is sometimes unfair, the Portuguese may think they had enough chances to win, but we scored. The result is what matters in the end," he added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 September,2022 10:34 AM IST | Lisbon | IANS
England captain and striker Harry Kane celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the Nations League match against Germany. Pic/AFP

Harry Kane: We’re in a good place

England captain Harry Kane said the Three Lions are in a good place heading into the World Cup after a 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday despite going to Qatar on a six-game winless run.  Kane looked to have completed a famous fightback for Gareth Southgate’s men as they came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 at Wembley before Kai Havertz salvaged a point for the visitors. “The mentality and fight of the team were shown out there today,” said Kane, who moved to within two goals of matching Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 goals for England.  “We didn’t get the win, but we can be proud of what we did and it puts us in a good place ahead of the World Cup.”  Ilkay Gundogan slotted home the opener from the penalty spot after Maguire had gifted possession to Jamal Musiala and then chopped down the Bayern midfielder.  Two goals in three minutes Kai Havertz then curled brilliantly into the top corner after Maguire was dispossed in the German half. England had failed to score from open play in any of their opening five games in Group A3. But two goals in three minutes completely changed the atmosphere around Wembley and the scrutiny on Southgate’s position heading to Qatar. Despite leading England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and a first major tournament final for 55 years at Euro 2020, Southgate was under the spotlight after his side were relegated from the top tier of the Nations League with a game to spare.  England had not scored a goal from open play in their opening five games in Group A3, but Kane is confident they will respond to the heightened pressure of a major tournament in two months’ time.  “Major football tournament is different to any other football you play for England. The pressure is high and the concentration has to be high and I feel like we respond well to that,” he added.  “We’ve upped our game as we’ve gone along in the last two major tournaments. “We dust ourselves down, we know we have to improve but there isn’t that much time now with England before that first game. We’ll go away with our clubs and hopefully everyone goes away fit, strong and is ready to come back in November.” Also Read: Gareth Southgate: Really difficult to pinpoint why we’re not scoring  Relief for Southgate  Despite the disappointment of a late equaliser, there was relief for Southgate that England’s attack finally came to life after accusations that his conservative tactics were to blame for a lack of goals. “The whole experience has been what we needed,” said Southgate, who had been booed by England fans after a 1-0 defeat to Italy on Friday. “The players reacted in the right way—we showed character.” This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 September,2022 08:13 AM IST | London | AFP
Apostolic Carmel’s Ummkulthum Kader (right) tries to tackle  Kamya Haldankar of JBCN International at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Kamya, Navishtha help JBCN beat Apostolic Carmel

JBCN International (Borivli) dished out a fighting performance to put it across Apostolic Carmel (Bandra) by a clear 2-0 margin in a girls’ U-12 league match of the MSSA inter-school football tournament at the Schools Sports Centre, Azad Maidan, on Tuesday.  The Borivli girls started on a positive note and rocked the Apostolic Carmel goal when Kamya Haldankar scored the first goal in the very second minute.  Also Read: MSSA: Don Bosco boys win the U-16 Division-I final Apostolic Carmel girls tried to fight back but they were unable to find the net and all their efforts went in vain. JBCN International continued to work hard and they were rewarded with another goal with Navishtha Khalind hitting the target in the 25th minute to secure their win. In another girls match, Dhirubhai Ambani International (BKC) brushed aside a spirited challenge from Arya Vidya Mandir (Bandra) by pulling off a tense 1-0 win.  The Ambani side managed to capitalise on an early opening with Mahika Praveen shooting home the only goal of the match in the ninth minute. 

28 September,2022 08:07 AM IST | Mumbai | Gordon D’Costa
Italy’s Federico Dimarco after scoring against Hungary. Pic/AFP

Italy beat Hungary for consolation semis spot

Italy, who will miss a second consecutive World Cup, again found consolation in Europe as they won 2-0 in Budapest on Monday to edge Hungary for first place in their Nations League group.  Giacomo Raspadori, who scored the winner against England on Friday, poked the ball home after Wilfried Gnonto had pounced on a poor Hungarian back pass to give Italy the lead in the 27th minute. “We needed these matches to restore enthusiasm, even if the World Cup remains an open wound and we can not go back,” said Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. “We have to start again, we have to do it for all of Italy.”  Also Read: Football news: Brazil, Argentina claim victories in international friendlies Hungary, who started the final round of games top of Group A3, fought hard but Donnarumma made two miraculous saves in quick succession in the 50th minute from Loic Nego and Adam Szalai.  Two minutes later, Federico Dimarco met a Bryan Cristante cross at the back post to smash in his first international goal and Italy’s 1,500th. Donnarumma produced another outstanding to keep out a header from Callum Styles (55th). Italy held on to follow the Netherlands and Croatia into the Nations League final four scheduled for June 2023.  “We were excellent for 70 minutes, the last 20 I didn’t like too much,” said Italy coach Roberto Mancini. “We’re happy, it’s important to have reached the Nations League final four for the second time.”  Also Read: French football federation, Kylian Mbappe tone down image rights dispute Spain or Portugal meet on Tuesday to decide the last ticket for a chance to succeed France as champion. Italy, who fell to a low point in March, less than a year after their Euro 2020 title, when they failed to qualify for the World Cup, have a another European final tournament to look forward to. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 September,2022 08:02 AM IST | Budapest | AFP
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri dribbles during the Hung Thinh friendly football tournament match between India and Vietnam, at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Pic/PTI

Hung Thinh Friendly Football Tournament: India go down to Vietnam 0-3

India suffered a 0-3 thrashing at the hands of a higher-ranked Vietnam in the second and final match of the Hung Thinh Friendly Football Tournament here on Tuesday. It was a reality check for the 104th ranked Indians after three convincing wins in June in the Asian Cup qualifiers and a 1-1 draw against Singapore in this tournament on Saturday as they were literally outplayed by the 97th ranked Vietnam in the second half. Phan Van Duc (10th), Nguyen Van Toan (49th) and Nguyen Van Quyet (70th) scored for Vietnam to no reply from the Indians whose defenders had a mediocre outing, especially in the second half. Also Read: Igor Stimac wants India to be more focussed against Vietnam The Indians, however, were on equal terms in the first half only to be blown away in the second session. Vietnam won the tournament with two wins. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 September,2022 08:00 AM IST | Ho Chi Minh City | PTI
During the UEFA Nations League group A3 football match between England and Germany at Wembley stadium in north London on September 26, 2022. Pic/AFP

England's Nations League tie with Germany ends in 3-3 draw

England's final game at UEFA Nations League before FIFA World Cup in Qatar ended in a heartbreaking 3-3 draw at Wembley Stadium due to an error by goalkeeper Nick Pope late in the game. England's first-half performance was an improvement over their efforts against Italy on Friday but still, there was plenty of nervousness.  Though there were some good tackles and counter-attacking moves, England's game still had poor passes, poor touches and snatched finishes. The first half was a goalless affair. In the second half, things started to look bad for England.  An error from Harry Maguire gave Germany a penalty, which Ilkay Gundogan converted into a goal in the 52nd minute of the match. Suddenly, the fourth loss in six games seemed pretty likely for hosts England. In the 67th minute, Kai Havertz produced a beauty from 25 yards to double the advantage for Germany. England's confidence was shaken, but yet, they were not completely down and out. A cross from Reece James found Luke Shaw, dropped by Manchester United and he squeezed the ball past keeper Ter Stegen's legs to open his side's goal tally in the 71st minute. In the 75th minute, Mason Mount made things even as a fine play from Bukayo Saka was swept inside the nets. A tackle gave England an opportunity to take the upper hand and Harry Kane surely made it count as he converted a penalty from 12 yards, sending Wembley into a frenzy. It seemed that momentum was with England, but Havertz levelled the score with an 87th-minute strike to dampen the spirits of English players and hosts.  Southgate's side has already been relegated to Nations League Group A3 and has failed to win for six games in a row for the first time since 29 years. But this fightback will be a huge positive for England heading into the World Cup, with their campaign set to kick off on November 21. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

27 September,2022 11:49 AM IST | London | ANI
Kabir Ashar at Azad Maidan.  Pic/Sameer Markande

Kabir Ashar nets winner as Cathedral beat St Anne’s

Cathedral & John Connon (Fort) made a positive start by snatching a narrow 1-0 win against St Anne’s HS (Malad) in an opening and interesting boys’ U-12 league match of the MSSA inter-schools football tournament, played at the Schools Sports Centre, Azad Maidan on Monday. The star player of Cathedral’s win was striker Kabir Ashar, who netted the decisive goal in the 20th minute to seal the win for his school. In another match, St Mary’s SSC (Mazgaon) also launched their campaign on a bright winning note defeating Don Bosco HS (Borivli) 2-0. Vivaankumar Gupta and Hanzalah Khan were on target with a goal each to help St Mary’s secure the win. Also Read: SKY loving the challenges of batting at No.4 for Team India Earlier, Bombay Scottish ‘A’ (Mahim) proved too strong for Don Bosco International School (Matunga), registering a convincing 3-0 win. Daksh Garg struck a fine brace for Scottish while teammate Armaan Agarwal netted one to round off the tally. Meanwhile, St Stanislaus (Bandra) and Utpal Shanghvi Global School (Juhu) shared honours as they played out a 1-1 draw. Craigen D’Mello scored for the Bandra lads while the Juhu boys scored through Ayaansh Mathur. Also Read: Rohit Sharma: It was an exceptional innings  

27 September,2022 09:31 AM IST | Mumbai | Gordon D’Costa
France’s star striker Kylian Mbappe (third from right) during Sunday’s defeat to Denmark. Pics/Getty Images

‘Dose of reality’

France were shocked 0-2 by Denmark but saved from relegation by Croatia beating Austria 3-1 in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday. Croatia and the Netherlands, who beat Belgium 1-0, booked their places in the last four. France manager Didier Deschamps will be hoping to have a number of key men back from injury by the time their defence of the World Cup begins against Australia on November 22.  Inexperienced young team “It was a young French team, which for the most part, does not yet have experience of the highest level. Tonight is a dose of reality and what will be waiting for us in two months,” said Deschamps.  Didier Deschamps France will also come up against the Danes in the group stage in Qatar and the Euro 2020 semi-finalists showed they are more than capable of causing more trouble in two months’ time.  Also Read: Igor Stimac wants India to be more focussed against Vietnam Both goals came before half-time as Kasper Dolberg stretched to turn home Mikkel Damsgaard’s cross before Andreas Skov Olsen volleyed in from the edge of the area. France were without Hugo Lloris, Jules Kounde, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Ousmane Dembele and Karim Benzema through injury. But the star trio of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe failed to find a way back into the game.  Denmark’s win meant Croatia needed to get all three points in Austria to top the group. Luka Modric got the 2018 World Cup finalists off to a flying start, but they were quickly pegged back by Christoph Baumgartner’s header. Two goals in three second-half minutes proved decisive as Marko Livaja and Dejan Lovren headed in at the far post.  ‘Austria made our lives hard’ “Austria made our lives very hard, but in the end, the win was deserved. I am very happy that we are in the top four,” said Modric. Defeat relegated Austria to League B.  Meanwhile, the Netherlands made sure of top spot in Group A with a 1-0 win over Belgium thanks to Virgil van Dijk’s header 17 minutes from time. The Dutch just needed to avoid defeat by a three-goal margin after winning 4-1 in Brussels earlier in the group.  Van Dijk settled the game when he was left completely unmarked to head in a corner inside the six-yard box.  Also Read: Germany boss Flick disappointed after home defeat to Hungary This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

27 September,2022 09:22 AM IST | Mumbai | AFP
Igor Stimac

Igor Stimac wants India to be more focussed against Vietnam

The Indian men’s football team will have its task cut out when it takes on Vietnam in the Hung Thinh Friendly Football tournament here on Tuesday. In their opener last Saturday, India were held to a 1-1 draw by lower-ranked Singapore. Up against a confident Vietnan, who blanked Singapore 4-0 in their first match, the Blue Tigers will have to be extremely focussed. “It will be a very different game against a much stronger opponent, so our approach will also change accordingly,” said India head coach Igor Stimac said on the eve of the match.  Also Read: Denmark upset France; Netherlands and Croatia win in Nations League “We need to be more focused, especially on vertical football and quick transition. At the same time, we must maintain focus on our defence as well. They pose a real threat from long range shots, and from their crosses, and we need to be able to deal with that,” said Stimac. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

27 September,2022 09:05 AM IST | Mumbai | PTI
Cristiano Ronaldo with Georgina Rodriguez

Baby boy’s death was worst moment of my life: Georgina Rodriguez

Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez has revealed how she was left shattered after the tragic death of baby boy.  The couple announced the death of one of their twins during childbirth in April. According to The Sun, Rodriguez will reveal how her family helped her overcome the sorrow in the second series of her hit reality show, I Am Georgina. Netflix Spain’s Director of Entertainment, Alvaro Diaz said the tragedy Rodriguez and Ronaldo suffered will be a main part of the docu series. Also Read: Wanda Nara: Painful to live this moment “Life has gifted me so much in such a short space of time. This year I’ve experienced the best and the worst moment of my life in an instant. A big piece of my heart shattered and I asked myself how I could carry on. I had the answer nearer than I thought. I looked into the eyes of my children and there I saw the only way of doing it, being all together,” she spoke about the loss during a Spanish TV and radio film festival recently.  

27 September,2022 08:38 AM IST | Mumbai | A Correspondent
Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara

Wanda Nara: Painful to live this moment

Wanda Nara, 35, has confirmed her split from Argentina football star Mauro Icardi, 29, but does not reveal the reason behind ending her marriage. This is not the first time the couple have parted ways. Reportedly, the issues in their relationship started last October when they had split Icardi flew from Paris to Milan to patch up. Also Read: Red Alert for PV Sindhu Nara confirmed their split during  a recent Instagram chat.  When asked how long she was married to Icardi, Nara replied: “We were [married for] nine years. It [split] is very painful for me to live this moment. But given my exposure and the things that are transcending and the media speculation, it is preferable that they know about it from me. I have nothing more to clarify and I am not going to give any kind of detail about this separation. Please, I ask that you understand not only for me, but also for our children.” The couple have two children together—Francesca, seven and Isabella, five.

26 September,2022 10:46 AM IST | Mumbai | A Correspondent
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