Daily Archives: March 27, 2017

Jermain Defoe scores on England return in win over Lithuania

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Jermain Defoe scored on his return to the England international team as the Three Lions cruised to an easy 2-0 win over Lithuania in the World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018.

Before the kick-off for the European Group F qualifier a minute of silence was observed at Wembley for the victims of last week’s London attack. A tribute was also paid to former England manager Graham Taylor, who died in January.

Sunderland forward Defoe then proceeded to justify his international call-up despite being 34 years of age. It was his first England appearance since late 2013, which he summed up with a clinical finish after 21 minutes and a lively performance, suggesting that we could see more of him yet under coach Gareth Southgate as he also becomes the 22nd player to reach the 20-goal mark.

England’s win was then all but assured as Jamie Vardy, coming in for Defoe, also made a clinical finished after Adam Lallana’s delicate touch found him free inside the penalty area.

Lithuania made little effort in going forward, and with defeat all but assured as Vardy’s goal, merely resorted to staying inside in their own half for damage control.

“It was a great moment for him,” Southgate said on Defoe after the match. “He was thrilled to be back involved in the squad and he’s enjoyed his week immensely.”

“He’s been a good senior professional to have around the team, both in terms of the way he’s trained, his professionalism which has been great for the younger players to see and his finishing in training and then today, which we expected really.”

“I would have put my house on him scoring at some stage against Lithuania,” Southgate joked on Defoe’s goal. “He’s had a really positive impact on everybody. We’ve selected him on form. We’ve got really good competition for places. We need to have that.”

Netherlands coach Danny Blind sacked after Bulgaria defeat

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The Netherlands has dismissed national coach Danny Blind in the wake of their shocking 2-0 World Cup qualifier defeat at the hands Bulgaria.

Former defender Blind took charge of the national team from Guus Hiddink in July 2015 but was unable to lead the team to Euro 2016, and now dismissed after 20 months and 18 matches.

Blind was informed of the decision to sack him at a meeting with the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) football director, Jean Paul Decossaux, and technical director, Hans van Breukelen on Sunday.

Two quick goals from Spas Delev left the Netherlands struggling at fourth place in Group A of the European World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018, six points behind leaders France and three behind second-placed Sweden. It was also a dream debut turned nightmare for 17-year-old Matthijs de Ligt, who made two costly defensive mistakes for Delev to score.

Decossaux said the governing body were left with no choice but to dismiss Blind due to poor results, and Netherlands Under-21 coach Fred Grim will take charge of the senior team for Tuesday’s friendly with Italy in Amsterdam as the KNVB begins the search for a new permanent manager.

“Because the sporting results are disappointing and it will now be difficult to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, we feel unfortunately we have to say goodbye to him,” he said in a statement at the official KNVB website.

Blind himself said it was “a pity” his stint in charge of the national team ended in such fashion.

Juventus loses transfer target Lyanco to city rivals Torino

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Juventus are set to miss out on Lyanco as the promising youngster signs a contract with their neighbouring rivals Torino.

Sao Paulo president Carlos Augusto confirmed a few weeks ago that Torino have been in talks to sign the player, and now Lyanco has revealed that Torino want him to move to the club straight away.

The Brazilian defender, whose contract with Sao Paulo expires in June 2018, was also a transfer target of Atletico Madrid before the Colchoneros retired from race a few months ago.

While Juventus had been leading the race to sign Lyanco for very long time but the player’s move to Torino seems to be a done deal as terms were agreed for €6m plus €2m bonuses.

Lyanco also will be flying in to Turin soon for his medical.

There were reports that Juventus wanted to sign Lyanco on a permanent deal but will loaning him out to Sassuolo beforehand to help him gain some Serie A experience, but Sassuolo have decided not to go with it, which in turn helped Torino in the pursuit of the player.

“When Torino knew I would have left Sao Paulo, they have insisted that I should have moved to the club as soon as possible”, Brazillian international Lyanco said. “I will need some time to adapt to a new country, new language and new teammates, but I hope that it’ll be quick so I can help my new squad.”

“It’s true that Juventus wanted me, but then Torino came in. It’ll be fun and important to play against Juve in the derby.”

“I’m sad for leaving and I will be forever grateful to Sao Paulo for what they did for me. Now I am ready to move on and begin a new experience.”