Australia Reach World Cup 16 and Send Denmark Home

Australia won a tense 1-0 victory over Denmark on Wednesday, to move to the World Cup’s round of 16.

Graham Arnold’s team advanced as Group D runners-up despite Tunisia’s unexpected victory against France, owing to Mathew Leckie’s game-winning goal at the Al Janoub Stadium.

The Socceroos will now face the Group C winners after qualifying for the World Cup’s knockout stage for the second time in their six tournament appearances.

The current Australia team do not have the stars of yesteryear but they make up for it with spirit and hard work, and showed flashes of quality in a strangely subdued encounter.

“I am just so proud of the players’ work ethic, their commitment, their fight,” said Arnold, who was assistant to Guus Hiddink during Australia’s run to the last 16 in Germany in 2006.

“We had some moments there (against Denmark) but defensively we were outstanding tonight.”

The 59-year-old, whose side were thumped 4-1 by France at the start of the tournament, added: “I truly believe that the Socceroos are the team that unite the nation.”

“Maybe we are talking about a new ‘golden generation’ now,” he added, in a nod to the stars of 16 years ago.

Kouliblay Sinks Ecuador to Fire Senegal into World Cup Knock Outs.

Kalidou Koulibaly sent Senegal into the World Cup knockouts for just the second time in their history with the winner in Tuesday’s dramatic 2-1 win over Ecuador.

The Netherlands’ dominant victory over Qatar meant only a win would see Senegal through to the knockouts from Group A, while Ecuador would have progressed with a draw.

Senegal opened the scoring through Ismaila Sarr’s penalty late in the first half, but despite managing to keep Ecuador captain Enner Valencia quiet throughout, Brighton’s Moises Caicedo levelled in the 67th minute before Koulibaly sent his team through and Ecuador home.

Senegal manager Aliou Cisse promised before the game his experienced side “would not overthink” the occasion and it was the Africans who opened the game furiously, with Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye lashing the ball just wide of an open goal after only three minutes.

Less than a minute later, Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez needed to bail out his side’s high backline, sliding in to stifle a counter well outside his box.

Fifa Lifts Ban on Kenya Football Federation after Nine Months

FIFA has lifted a ban on Kenya’s national football federation, following the government’s decision to reinstate the body after disbanding it over corruption allegations, the country’s sports minister Ababu Namwamba  said.

 

FIFA notified the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on Monday the decision was made following the reinstatement of Football Kenya Federation’s (FKF) executive committee by Kenya’s new sports minister.

The ban took effect on February 24 after the sports ministry disbanded the FKF over alleged misappropriation of funds and appointed a caretaker committee.

On Monday, Kenya’s new Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba told reporters in Nairobi that he had met with FIFA officials in Qatar to review Kenya’s suspension.

“I would like to express my delight for Kenya to return back to international football,” he said, announcing the lifting of the ban.

“I am happy that FIFA has made it clear that certain issues of integrity, accountability and good governance in football will be sorted out and investigations into judicial matters remain alive,” he added.

Lewandowski Scores First World Cup Match as Poland Beat Saudi Arabia.

Robert Lewandowski   scored the first world cup  match  after netting in Poland’s 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The Barcelona striker, 34, ended a run of four World Cup games without making the scoresheet by scoring Poland’s decisive second goal at Education City Stadium.

Visibly emotional, Lewandowski held his head in his hands and pointed to the heavens while his jubilant team-mates surrounded him.

“I’m aware that this may be my last World Cup,” Lewandowski said afterwards. “Already during the anthem, singing the national anthem, I felt the emotions inside me.

Lewandowski played a key role in Poland’s opener against the run of play in the 39th minute, pulling back for Zielinski to finish after nearly clipping home his first World Cup goal.

Szczesny then stepped up to save his team minutes later after referee Wilton Sampaio awarded a soft penalty, when Saleh Al-Shehri went down heavily under pressure from Krystian Bielik.

The Juventus goalkeeper did well to bat away Dawsari’s nervy spot-kick but the ball fell to Mohammed Al-Burayk, who was denied on the rebound by a sensational stop.

Szczesny was again Poland’s saviour nine minutes after the break when he charged off his line to keep out Dawsari following a chaotic passage of play that ended with the ball being ballooned over the bar.

Poland were again close to buckling under intense Saudi pressure but should have been further ahead midway in through the second half when Arkadiusz Milik and Lewandowski both struck the woodwork in the space of three minutes.

Malki then scuffed wide from the edge of the box and it was his mistake that allowed Lewandowski to seal the points.

Nothing looked on when Malki received a pass on the edge of his own area but he let the ball slip past him and right into Lewandowski’s feet, allowing him to roll in a simple finish and end his hoodoo.

Cristiano Ronaldo to Leave Manchester United with Immediate Effect

Cristiano Ronaldo  to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect.

The club thanked him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wished him and his family well for the future.

This comes after Cristiano Ronaldo  said he felt betrayed and criticised  the club saying that he got no respect for  Erik ten Hag.

Ronaldo released his own statement after conversations with Manchester United saying  they have mutually agreed to end the contract early.

‘I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge,”Ronaldo said.

“I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future.”

Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.

First World Cup Match to be Aired Live on Twitter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the football fans across the world will be able to enjoy the much-awaited opening match of the FIFA World Cup as it will be aired live on Twitter.

Elon Musk took to Twitter on Saturday, announcing that the first match between the event’s hosts Qatar and Ecuador would be broadcasted live on the social application.

He went on to note that the match would also have a live commentary.

“First World Cup match on Sunday! Watch on Twitter for best coverage & real-time commentary,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

Although Musk did not disclose any links or hashtags to use, the move will be momentous for soccer fanatics who are either relying on a few of the free-to-air channels on set-top boxes for coverage.

In Kenya, only KBC TV which is a free-to-air channel has already publicized plans to cover about 28 of the total matches.

The event which kicks off on Sunday, November 20th will run through to December 18 will have a total of 32 teams compete in eight groups.

Manchester United Players and Manager Disappointed with the Behaviour of Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United players were disappointed with Cristiano Ronaldo on how he  behaved in an  interview.

 

Ronaldo’s interview with TalkTV, which was published  on Sunday evening, saw the 37-year-old criticise the club and manager Erik ten Hag saying  he has no respect for the manager .

 

Ronaldo said  he feels betrayed by Manchester United for trying to force him out of the club.

He also claimed that United have not made any progress  since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Speaking in an interview,Manchester United Manager, Erik Ten Hag said he doesn’t demand any respect from Ronaldo.

 

“I don’t want to talk about what Ronaldo said but I know that a wise man faces his problems Head-on. I don’t demand respect from him or anyone.”

“We gave him options to leave in the summer but unfortunately we couldn’t get anyone who was willing to take him. We tried with Chelsea but they refused. AC Milan also could not sign him. We also gave Ronaldo an option of looking for a club but he couldn’t find any. So what respect is he talking about?”

Ten Hag said that United  team has had good players in the past but have never been disappointing.

“United has had very good players in the past but they have never been this disappointing. Ronaldo must calm down and understand that even lions get old and it reaches a time when they can’t even feed themselves,”he added.

Erik Ten Hag noted  that problems with Ronaldo began when he started thinking that is big and better than the club.

Ten Hag stated that as long as is the manager of the team Manchester United will remain to to be bigger than individuals.

“The problems began when he started to think he’s bigger and better than the club. I am sorry, as long as I am here Manchester United will always remain bigger than individuals,”Erik Ten Hag said.

 

Saudi Arabia Drops Doping Player from the Squad.

Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that they have dropped Fahad Al-Muwallad from their World Cup squad as a “precautionary measure” after the winger was initially included despite failing a doping test earlier this year.

The 28-year-old, who plays for Saudi club side Al-Shabab, tested positive in February for the banned drug furosemide, which can be used as a masking agent to prevent the detection of anabolic steroids.

Al-Muwallad was banned for 18 months by Saudi anti-doping authorities but, according to Saudi media reports, that ban was subsequently reduced, clearing him to participate in the World Cup in Qatar.

It is understood that decision was referred by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with CAS yet to make a ruling.

“After reviewing the latest developments in the WADA appeal and following consultations with Saudi lawyers, coach Herve Renard had decided to exclude Al-Muwallad as a precautionary measure,”the Saudi team wrote on Twitter.

Renard has brought in midfielder Nawaf Al-Abed, who also plays for Al-Shabab, as a replacement for Al-Muwallad, who was also suspended in 2019 over a previous doping case.

Saudi Arabia open their World Cup campaign against Argentina on November 22.

US Becomes First World Cup Team to Arrive in Qatar..

US players on Thursday became the first from a World Cup team to arrive in Qatar, ten days before the tournament starts.

The United States are playing in the finals for the first time in eight years and will be in one of the most politically-charged games when they take on Iran on November 29.

An unknown number of players were on a Qatar Airways jet from New York that was among the first flights to use a new part of Hamad international airport that opened Thursday, an AFP photographer at the airport said.

Many in the 26-man squad, including captain Christian Pulisic, are based in Europe and still have domestic league games to play this weekend.

Team USA start Group B against Wales on November 21, followed by England on November 25 and then a crunch match against Iran, which has become one of the hot tickets in Doha because of the political rivalries between the two countries.

The American team, coached by Gregg Berhalter, are staying at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski on the Pearl, an artificial island north of Doha favoured by expatriates.

They will train at the Al Gharafa club ground about 15 kilometers (nine miles) away.

The United States have played in 11 World Cups. They were third at the first tournament in 1930, famously beat England 1-0 at the 1950 World Cup and reached the quarter-finals in 2002.

Arsenal Football Player Pablo Mari Undergoes Successful Surgery after he was Stabbed.

Arsenal football player  Pablo Mari underwent successful surgery on Friday after being stabbed during a deadly knife attack in an Italian supermarket, his Serie A club Monza said.

 

The 29-year-old Spanish arsenal defender  was loaned to Monza this summer.

“everything is OK”Monza confrimed.

Mari’s surgery was done at Milan’s Niguarda hospital after being wounded in the back while shopping with his wife and son on Thursday.

Monza said he would remain in hospital for two to three daysdays for him to recover fully before he gets discharged.

Mari was one of several people attacked in a Carrefour supermarket in Assago, on the outskirts of Milan in northern Italy, by a man apparently suffering from psychological problems who killed one man after grabbing a knife from a shelf.