Sports

USA Triumphs in Pretoria; Scores last Minute Goal against Algeria

USA scored a dramatic injury-time winner in Pretoria to secure a 1-0 victory that sees them qualify for the Round of 16 as winners of Group C. It looked as if the USA would be going home early after they missed a number of openings with Algerian goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi in stubborn form.

USA were sitting in third place as the 90 minute-mark ticked by but everything changed in the blink of an eye as Landon Donovan led one last attack. Jozy Altidore squared the ball into the danger zone, where M’Bolhi beat it away, but Donovan was able to latch onto the loose ball and passed it into an empty net, before being submerged among a sea of white shirts. It was the least Bob Bradley’s team deserved, having also had a Clint Dempsey effort disallowed for offside, struck a post and seen Jozy Altidore pass up a glorious opening.

Algeria, who also needed to win to allow a chance of going through, made the more positive start with Karim Matmour unleashing an attempt on goal in the opening seconds before Rafik Djebbour aimed a hooked shot against the crossbar. It was a decent attempt from the centre-forward, who took the ball on his chest, but the woodwork came to USA’s rescue.

 

 

South Africa Agog with 2010 FIFA World Cup

The waiting is over. The 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ has begun June 11th 2010 with the tournament hosts taking on Group A rivals Mexico in the magnificent surroundings of Soccer City in Johannesburg, the first match to be staged at this impressive arena.

No host nation has ever lost their opening game in the world finals. Though this is new territory for the South Africans, the Mexicans have had the honor of opening up the competition on four previous occasions (1930, 1950, 1958 and 1970), although they failed to win any of those games

Germany’s most-capped player Lothar Matthaus, the former FIFA World Player of the Year outlined his plans for the future, Germany’s chances at the finals, and what he expects to see at the first FIFA World Cup finals in Africa.


Germany’s most-capped player Lothar Matthaus, the former FIFA World Player of the Year outlined his plans for the future, Germany’s chances at the finals, and what he expects to see at the first FIFA World Cup finals in Africa.


Germany’s most-capped player Lothar Matthaus, the former FIFA World Player of the Year outlined his plans for the future, Germany’s chances at the finals, and what he expects to see at the first FIFA World Cup finals in Africa.

You recently signed up with the biggest Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera Sport as a commentator at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Do you see your future in the media?
Lothar Matthaus:
I’ll always be involved in football, and it’s true I’ve been busier with media projects than the playing side of the game recently. I’ve been travelling a lot, mainly working on international TV projects. I’d still like to get back into coaching, but I have a very specific vision. Everything would have to be right before I took up a new position. A couple of contracts have been put in front of me and just required my signature, but I was never 100 per cent convinced, and I’m not the kind of guy who takes snap decisions. I’m prepared to wait patiently.

Your former club and UEFA Champions League winners Inter Milan have a coaching vacancy right now. How good are your contacts in Milan?
It’s true that I’m still in touch with Inter, although nowhere near as closely as with Bayern Munich. There’s a new board in Milan, and the folks I knew back then have moved on. By the way, I’d just like to take this opportunity to congratulate Inter on winning the Champions League. They deserved it, even if it was a case of split loyalties for me. As for the job as head coach, I’m a realist. I can’t believe my name’s come up. I’ve won a few trophies, but I just don’t have the track record.

On the eve of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, what are you expecting from the tournament?
I’m expecting a festival of football, like the one four years ago in Germany. I think we’re in for a peaceful and magnificent World Cup. The finals are taking place in a country where the people are passionate about football. I think the passion will sweep over the field of play from the stands, and vice-versa.

Maradona Returns to Tackle Nigeria

After 16 years, Diego Armando Maradona makes his return to the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. The Argentinian bowed out of world football’s showpiece in 1994 after Argentina’s match against Nigeria, a team he now faces as head coach tomorrow in the opening match in Group B.

The Africans, meanwhile, will be looking to avenge the defeat in the final of the Olympic Football Tournament 2008 in China, where La Albiceleste triumphed with a number of players who will be present in Johannesburg. They will be hopeful Swedish coach Lars Lagerback, one of the masterminds behind Argentina’s elimination from 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™, will help them settle an old score.

The Match
Argentina-Nigeria, Group B, Johannesburg, Saturday 12 June, 16:00 (local time)

Having come through a difficult qualifying campaign, the Argentinians are ready to start afresh in South Africa and, for the third time in a row, an African side will provide their first test – in 2002, they edged out Nigeria in a 1-0 win, while in 2006 they were 2-1 victors against Côte d’Ivoire. Maradona has at his disposal two of the top goalscorers in Europe this season as they look to secure their third consecutive victory over an African side: Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain, who amassed an astonishing 61 goals between them. Starting hopeful Carlos Tevez, for his part, notched up another 22 for Manchester City.

The Super Eagles also struggled during the qualifying phase, although they will be hopeful head coach Lagerback can help them rediscover their rhythm. They will go into this game anxious to reverse the trend of their previous two FIFA World Cup encounters with the Argentinians, in 1994 and 2002, which saw La Albiceleste run out winners on both occasions. They will look to exploit their ‘home’ advantage, and also build on their recent 3-1 friendly victory over Korea DPR.

LINK TO MATCH SCHEDULE

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