Category Archives: International Friendly

Sergio Aguero cleared after fainting in Argentina dressing room

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Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero had been cleared to fly home after he was taken to a hospital for checks following a fainting incident during half-time of Argentina’s 4-2 friendly defeat to Nigeria.

The Argentine Football Association said on its Twitter account that the Aguero “had a blackout and was taken [to hospital] so routine examinations were made only as a precaution” after the player passed out in the dressing room.

While AFA gave no further details on the incident, which occurred after the 29-year-old had scored in the first half, the media later published pictures of Aguero walking out of the stadium.

His club Manchester City later said that Aguero had been cleared by doctors to return to England as planned after he suffered what they called “a dizzy spell”.

“Sergio never lost consciousness, and was taken to hospital for precautionary medical checks,” City released a statement on their official website that contradicts that of AFA’s. “He will be assessed by the club’s medical team ahead of this weekend’s Premier League trip to Leicester City.”

Meanwhile, the Argentine side without Lionel Messi squandered the two-goal lead Aguero helped secured in the first-half and slipped to a shock defeat.

Ever Banega and Aguero had gave Argentina the lead, with Kelechi Iheanacho pulling a goal back for Nigeria just before half-time with a free-kick.

However, Alex Iwobi then scored twice and Brian Idowu also found the net for Nigeria in the second half.

The Argentina defender Javier Mascherano said: “Playing against a team of such physical strength you pay the price. They walked all over us … and when we tried to get back on the match we couldn’t.”

Los Albiceleste had only secured their spot at the World Cup in the last round of CONMEBOL qualifiers thanks to Messi and have never delivered convincing performances without the Barcelona star.

Russia and Spain fights out thrilling draw at St Petersburg

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Russia rallied from two goals down to draw 3-3 with Spain in an international friendly encounter at St Petersburg, with Sergio Ramos converting two penalties.

The hosts found themselves trailing just after 30 minutes, with Jordi Alba turning in a cross from Marco Asensio to put the visitors ahead after nine minutes before Ramos doubled the lead from the spot after Daler Kuzyaev’s handball.

An exciting first half with plenty of offensive maneuvers from both sides then saw Russia halving Spain’s lead. At the 41st minute, Fedor Smolov emphatically finished as he shaped to shoot and fooled a defender before smashing a left-footed effort into the bottom-right corner from 18 yards.

The World Cup hosts then equalised five minutes into the second half thanks to Aleksey Miranchuk, who puts the ball past David de Gea from close range after good work on the left by Yuri Zhirkov.

However, his team were not level for long — it was just three minutes after their equalizer that poor defending quickly saw Ramos winning another penalty and subsequently converting it with aplomb.

Russia chose to bring more men forward and it rewarded them as they found their second equalizer 20 minutes from time, as Smolov sent a fierce long-range effort into the top-left corner to set up a tantalising finish that ultimately saw the teams end on level terms.

Smolov could have had a hat-trick for the impressive hosts but both him and Aleksandr Kokorin were denied near the end by David de Gea.

A nasty collision between Rodrigo and Andrey Lunev resulted in the Russian goalkeeper being withdrawn late on, forcing Denis Glushakov to go in goal for the final moments due to all of their substitutions being made, but Spain failed to capitalise and the hosts held out for a draw.

Still, the result extended Spain’s unbeaten run this year to 10 games — although this was the first time they conceded more than two goals since they lost 5-1 to the Netherlands in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup.

Gareth Bale: forward’s return delayed with fresh injury

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Gareth Bale’s return is delayed once more after suffering a fresh thigh injury just days after returning to training after more than a month out with a calf injury and is likely to be out for the rest of the year.

The Real Madrid and Wales International forward will be having 19th layoff during his four years at the Bernabeu after joining Real from Tottenham for a then world-record transfer fee of £85.

Thus far, Bale has missed 40 of Real Madrid’s last 60 matches while also being absent for Wales in crucial World Cup qualifiers against Serbia, Georgia and the Republic of Ireland.

Wales manager Chris Coleman received the news of Bale’s fresh injury at the Stade de France ahead of a friendly against France — a game his side lost 2-0.

His team, who were denied a place in the World Cup finals, will also play Panama at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday.

“I don’t know the full extent of it,” Coleman said. “He’ll be devastated. We haven’t had dialogue with Real Madrid, but we’ll speak with Gareth in the next few days and find out exactly what it is. It’s bad luck, bad news, and he’ll be gutted.”

“The harder you try to get back you get a setback and sometimes you have to go through that. He’ll get over and he’ll be back. He just needs to get settled again and get his fitness. He needs to take his time and not rush himself back.”

“Some players as they get older they change their schedule,” Coleman added. “That’s up to him and Real Madrid. When he’s with us all our players have different programmes at different times of the week because we know what they do with their clubs. We have to make sure we taper that in with the way we work.”

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool boss tells media to be calm over friendlies

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Jurgen Klopp has called on the media not to get carried away with England’s showing in their forthcoming friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

England, led Gareth Southgate will face the world’s two highest-ranking nations at Wembley on Friday and next Tuesday respectively as they begin their build-up to next summer’s World Cup.

There is anticipation in those exhibition games both due to the calibre of opposition and the fresh and youthful nature of Southgate’s squad, after the head coach has dropped seven players from England’s previous call-up in addition to bringing in uncapped players.

However, Klopp has called for caution and even suggested that the Football Association may be mistaken in choosing two such strong opponents.

“If you want to play a friendly you should choose another team than Germany. And Brazil is the second one, that’s really funny,” said the Liverpool manager. “All the journalists need to cool down and don’t expect too much. It’s not that they [England] cannot win, of course, but you make it too big if they win, too big if they lose.”

“When qualification was over, people said now the problems start because the tournament is coming up. So England has a bunch of fantastic young players, that’s how it is. I’m not sure how Germany will line up but it’s a very good game for sure but I would not say it should be a sign for the future.”

Klopp also feels England’s prospects lies in their youth group who won the under-17s’ recent World Cup triumph following on the back of the under-19s winning the European Championship and the under-20s also being crowned world champions.

“The sign for the future was the Under-17 and the Under-20 World Cup successes,” Klopp said. “We have to make sure they are coming through.”