Daily Archives: October 7, 2016

Italy draws against Spain after last minute penalty

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Italy salvaged a point from their World Cup qualifier match against Spain after Daniele de Rossi scored a last minute penalty to end the match at 1-1.

La Roja had complete control of the game in the first half, dominating possession by 72.4% but failed to score.

The deadlock was finally broken after 55 minutes when Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon rushed out of his area as Vitolo broke clear but completely mistimed his tackle, allowing the forward to go round him and put the ball into an empty net in the 55th minute.

The Spaniards also came close to adding to their tally when Andres Iniesta played a one-two with David Silva only to see a weakly struck left-footed shot saved before Gerard Pique sent a close-range header straight at Buffon.

As for Italy, the 2006 World Champions rarely threatened the Spanish half. However, substitute Ciro Immobile brought some much-needed energy and threat to the home attack. Then, at 82 minutes, Sergio Ramos tripped Eder in the box with a rash tackle, and De Rossi equalized with the ensuing penalty.

The draw also extends his country’s unbeaten run in qualifiers to 52 games – the last time the Azzurri lost a World Cup or European qualifier was in September 2006 when they were beaten 3-1 by France on their road to Euro 2008.

The result left both teams s with four points from two games behind Albania in Group G. The Albanians now sit on top of the group with six points after their 2-0 away win against Liechtenstein thanks to a Peter Jehle own goal and a Bekim Balaj goal.

Israel won 2-1 in Macedonia in the same group, although Macedonia had a penalty saved in injury time after Eitan Tibi was sent off for a foul. Tomer Hemed and Tal Ben-Haim scored for Israel before Ilja Nestorovski pulled a goal back.

Spirited Austria earns draw against Wales

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A spirited Austrian team equalized on two occasions to draw 2-2 against Wales in their World Cup qualifying match.

Joe Allen’s long-ranged half-volley put Wales ahead in Vienna but sloppy defending allowed Marko Arnautovic to equalize with a header.

Wales regained their lead through Kevin Wimmer’s own goal, only to squander their lead once more after Arnautovic once again exploited sloppy defending to bring the home team level.

Wales, who were semi-finalists at the European Championships, were forced to endure heavy Austrian pressure as well as a vociferous Viennese crowd inside a packed Ernst Happel Stadion.

The team will also have to contend with another hamstring injury to Allen, which will make the midfielder a doubt for Sunday’s match at home to Georgia.

This also meant that the team has now lost two of their most creative midfielders, the other being Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, who is also down from a hamstring problem.

The draw meant that Wales are now level on points with Austria, Serbia and the Republic of Ireland – who beat Georgia 1-0 – but retains their place on top of Group D thanks to their superior goal difference.

Brazil thrashes Bolivia despite Neymar injury

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Brazil easily defeated Bolivia by 5-0 in their CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier despite losing star player Neymar Jr later on in the game.

Neymar, 24, began the scorefest for the five-time World Cup winners at the 11th minute. With a defender behind him, he traded passes with Gabriel Jesus before tapping in to an unguarded net.

Liverpool’s Phiippe Coutinho added Brazil’s second 15 minutes later, sweeping into the far corner after a wonderful solo run and layoff from Giuliano.

The Selecao claimed their third in the 39th minute through Filipe Luis. Neymar played him in on goal before the Atletico Madrid player smashed past Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe at the near post.

Brazil then completed their dominating half with a dazzling counter-attack just before the break, with Gabriel Jesus lifting his left-footed shot into the roof of Lempe’s net after receiving another well-weighted pass from Neymar behind the Bolivia defence.

As Brazil slowed down after the break, Neymar went to ground after being accidentally elbowed during a one-on-one encounter with a Bolivian defender near the touchline. His face streaming with blood from a gash, he was substituted by Willian at the 69-minute mark.

However, it would not have affect the chances for the Barcelona forward to be in Brazil’s next match – he had already received a 36th-minute yellow card that will rule him out of next Tuesday’s qualifier against Venezuela.

Brazilian substitute Roberto Firmino, who came on for Gabriel Jesus, proceeded to finish the dismantling of Bolivia 15 minutes from time with an uncontested header.