De Futebol Uruguay wins 1-0! On to the next round

Uruguay is on the round of sixteen with a less than convincing 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

The Daily Mail:” Luis Suarez scored on his 100th international appearance to send Uruguay through to the knockout stage along with hosts Russia as Saudi Arabia and Egypt were eliminated from Group A.

The Barcelona star became the first Uruguayan to score at three different World Cup finals when he prospered from another Saudi blunder midway through the first half in sweltering Rostov.

It was just as well too because it was a second flat performance at this tournament from a team boasting the likes of Suarez and Edinson Cavani following an unconvincing win over Egypt in their opener.

For the Saudis, there was at least a measure of redemption in the wake of their horror show against the Russians. They remain on a 12-game winless streak at the World Cup going back 24 years, and will be hoping to sign off with a win against Egypt in what is now a dead rubber.

They had endured a miserable start to the tournament following that embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Russia in Moscow. Even their team flight to Rostov had gone badly after one of the engines caught fire.

The nation’s sports authority chief Turki al-Sheikh had to apologise to Saudi heir Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after admitting that the team gave ‘less than five per cent effort’ in their Group A opener.

Football federation chief Adel Ezzat went one step further by naming and shaming three of the players – goalkeeper Abdullah Almuaiouf, striker Mohammed Alsahlawi and defender Omar Hawsawi – while vowing they would face a ‘penalty’ by a state not known for its leniency.

Being dropped is the very least they could have expected, and it was no surprise to see coach Juan Antonio Pizzi name all three on the bench as he made a total of four changes.

On the other hand, Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez made just two as the inclusion of Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez meant that the South Americans started with seven players over the age of 31.

If there was any hope for Saudi Arabia, it was Uruguay’s difficulty in breaking down Egypt in their opening game before winning with a late goal. It was a similar story here for the first quarter before the favourites capitalised on more kamikaze defending from their opponents to take the lead.

Replacement goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais, winning just his second cap, rushed out to meet a corner in the 23rd minute but ended up flapping at thin air under pressure from Diego Godin. Suarez was waiting unmarked to meet the ball with a side-footed volley from close range.

At that stage, you feared another Saudi collapse but they actually rallied to create two chances before half-time.

Both efforts came from Hatan Bahbri who cut inside from the right after 26 minutes and unleashed a fine effort that forced Fernando Muslera to tip the ball over his bar.

Bahbri should have done better three minutes later when Godin lost track of Yasser Alshahrani’s cross from the left. The ball fell at the No.9’s feet and he seemed to be caught by surprise as he steered his effort over.

Saudi had to make a change before the interval when Taiseer Aljassam pulled a hamstring as he overstretched for the ball, but was rather bizarrely retrieved from the tunnel and thrust back into the action for a few moments before Hussain Almoqahwi was ready to come on as a replacement.

However, they continued to match their highly-rated opponents whose slender lead was looking increasingly precarious as the second half progressed.

Tabarez sent Lucas Torreira and Diego Laxalt in an attempt to raise his team, and they almost added a second just after the hour mark when Cavani’s excellent cross picked out Carlos Sanchez but his header flew well over the bar.

Cavani also went close on two occasions but, ultimately, Suarez’s strike was enough to send Uruguay and Russia through. However, the South Americans will need to raise their game in the second stage if they are to justify their tag as dark horses to win the World Cup.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5866003/Uruguay-1-0-Saudi-Arabia-Luis-Suarez-knocks-Egypt-World-Cup.html

De Futebol Uruguay Wins their Opener with a Hard Fought 1-0 win over Egypt

It sure looked like Uruguay would tie with Egypt. Luis Suarez and company were frustrated with the Egyptian defense. A tie was in the cards until Jose Maria Gimenez noddled home the rock past the helpless keeper in the 89th minute to secure a hard fought 1-0 over Egypt.

Luis Suarez’s perfect corner kick into the box set up the match winner for the Uruguayans.

Russia blew out Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the 2018 World Cup held in Russia.

Russia and Uruguay each have three points however Russia is the top dog on goal difference over Uruguay in Group A. The Russians are plus five while the Uruguayan’s are plus one.

The Guardians Jonathan Wilson:” Slowly, slowly, it had been coming. After 80 minutes in which almost nothing had happened, other than the non-appearance of Mohamed Salah, Uruguay in the final minutes had just begun to increase the pressure. There was a volley from Edinson Cavani pawed away by Mohamed El Shrawy then a free-kick smacked against the post by the same player and then, finally, with a minute to go, José Giménez rose to meet a right-wing corner with a powerful header and Uruguay, for the first time since 1970, had won their opening game at a World Cup.

But much of the game had seemed to conform to the stereotype of modern international football. The better teams can defend and can hold their shape, and very few sides have the cohesion to attack with the pace or precision to break them down. That was exacerbated here by a pitch that seemed to have been insufficiently watered. As in the early stages of the opening game, before Saudi Arabia’s implosion, there was a sense that the ball was sticking, reducing further the pace of attacks.

The result is slightly scrappy, underwhelming football, short of fluidity or goalmouth action – and, correspondingly, a premium on the sort if dynamic attacking player who can transform games. And the brightest of those this season, was missing. After all the excitement of Thursday, and the overblown response to one line from Héctor Cúper in a press conference that was replete with equivocation, Mohammed Salah did not start. He had seemed tentative performing some basic windmill exercises in training and his only involvement here was to elicit a great roar from the Egyptian fans as he trotted out to warm-up and then another cheer – and a chorus of Happy Birthday (he turned 26 on Friday) – when he was shown on big screens midway through the first half.

But much of the game had seemed to conform to the stereotype of modern international football. The better teams can defend and can hold their shape, and very few sides have the cohesion to attack with the pace or precision to break them down. That was exacerbated here by a pitch that seemed to have been insufficiently watered. As in the early stages of the opening game, before Saudi Arabia’s implosion, there was a sense that the ball was sticking, reducing further the pace of attacks.

The result is slightly scrappy, underwhelming football, short of fluidity or goalmouth action – and, correspondingly, a premium on the sort if dynamic attacking player who can transform games. And the brightest of those this season, was missing. After all the excitement of Thursday, and the overblown response to one line from Héctor Cúper in a press conference that was replete with equivocation, Mohammed Salah did not start. He had seemed tentative performing some basic windmill exercises in training and his only involvement here was to elicit a great roar from the Egyptian fans as he trotted out to warm-up and then another cheer – and a chorus of Happy Birthday (he turned 26 on Friday) – when he was shown on big screens midway through the first half.

When a corner did drop to Suárez on the edge of the six-yard box after 24 minutes, he mystifyingly dragged his shot wide. There were other chances, one kept out by the right boot of Mohamed El Shenawy and a one on one in which the keeper dived at his feet. But slowly the chances began to mount up and in the end, Egypt cracked, the first goal they had conceded at a World Cup since Mark Wright’s header in 1990.

It was not pretty from Uruguay, but it was enough.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/15/egypt-uruguay-world-cup-group-a-match-report

De Futebol Brasil wins and Chile is out of the 2018 World Cup

Brasil blows out Chile 3-0. The loss killed Chile’s shot a 2018 World Cup spot. The loss drops the Chileans into sixth place with 26 points. Peru has 26 points tambem. Peru is a plus one while Chile is a minus one.

Chile is out and Peru is on to the playoff round of the 2018 World Cup.

The Daily Mail:” Alexis Sanchez and Chile will have to watch the World Cup from home after being dumped out of qualifying on a night of high drama in South America.

With all eyes on Lionel Messi and Argentina, who faced the real prospect of missing out on the tournament but ultimately made it through after coming from behind to beat Ecuador, Paulinho and Gabriel Jesus struck for a Brazil side long assured of their place to ensure Chile were the major casualties as they missed out on a play-off on goal difference as they were pipped by Peru.

Paulinho profited from an error by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to poke home the first before Manchester City man Jesus found an open net just two minutes later following a stunning piece of skill from Neymar.

Chile could find no answer as they desperately searched for a route to Russia, with Bravo sent up in search of a goal, but as play broke down Brazil cleared to Jesus who beat the Chilean goalkeeper in a foot race to find an empty net.

The back-to-back Copa America winners sunk to their knees and lay flat out on the turf at the final whistle, with the team ranked ninth in the world facing up to the prospect of having to watch next summer’s football festival from home.

The hosts went into the game as the only South American side to have punched their ticket and had the better of the opening exchanges in Sao Paulo and spent the majority of the half on the front foot, but only really tested Claudio Bravo in the Chile goal when Neymar scrambled through and forced the Manchester City goalkeeper to get down well to save at his near post.

Lionel Messi’s first-half rescue act for Argentina, which saw the Barcelona man strike twice to turn things around and give them the lead in Ecuador after conceding early, left Chile in a precarious position as they slipped to fourth, knowing falling behind would see them down to fifth and facing the prospect of a play-off against New Zealand.

But they stood firm heading into half-time and managed some late pressure on the Brazil back-line without ever forcing Ederson into action in the Brazil goal.

Chile, though were in serious trouble as the hour mark approached, with Brazil scoring twice to cast major doubts over their place in Russia. First, Paulinho profited after Claudio Bravo spilled a Dani Alves free-kick into his path, before Gabriel Jesus found an open goal when slotted in by Neymar just minutes later.

As it stood Chile were missing out completely, but the picture changed again when Colombia took the lead against Peru, which saw Sanchez and Co jump back into the play-off place.

That place was again lost with 10 minutes to play as Peru grabbed an equaliser against Colombia and, with Chile desperately looking for a leveler, Jesus slotted the second as he beat Bravo in a foot race after the visiting goalkeeper had been sent forward for a corner.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4968360/Brazil-3-0-Chile-Alexis-Sanchez-dumped-World-Cup.html#ixzz4vAADL0jE

De Futebol Messi’s hat trick leads Argentina to a berth in the 2018 World Cup

Lionel Messi led the way with a hat trick to lead Argentina’s destruction of Ecuador 3-1. Couple this win with Brasil’s shut out 3-0 win over Chile and Peru and Colombia tied one all gave Argentinos third place and a spot in the 2018 World Cup.

Peru earns a playoff spot with their one all tie against Colombia.

Brasil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Colombia have their tickets punched for the World Cup.

The Guardian wrote on the Argentina win:” Argentina conceded after just 37 seconds in their must-win game against Ecuador, but Lionel Messi came to the rescue as his side booked their place at next summer’s World Cup.

The No10 hit a brace in the first half in Quito and capped off a stellar performance as he completed his hat-trick with a stunning chip over keeper Maximo Banguera just after the hour mark.

Romario Ibarra stunned the away fans – and perhaps all of South America – as he nodded on a ball lofted high into the danger area and sloppy defence from Argentina allowed the Ecuadorian space to slot it in past Sergio Romero in the opening minute.

But Messi, who is now the all-time leading goalscorer in South American qualifying, played a deft one-two with Angel di Maria to level things up after 12 minutes and then put his side in front eight minutes later with a strike from just inside the box.

Ecuador continued to press in search of an equaliser as Argentina failed to kill the game off, allowing the home side to attack well into the second half.

It was a moment of brilliance which proved to be the difference. The Argentina talisman took the ball in space about 40 yards out from goal, weaved his way to the edge of the box and was able to lob Banguera – six yards off his line – as he lost his balance and fell to the floor.

Argentina were looking in danger of not making the 2018 World Cup in Russia going into the final group games, following a torrid campaign in which they had only scored 16 goals in 17 games.

Low points were numerous, and a 2-0 loss to Bolivia in March saw the end of Edgardo Bauza’s short stint as boss as Jorge Sampaoli took the reins.

Since then, three draws put Argentina on the brink of not making the World Cup for the first time since 1970. They then travelled to Quito – a place where they have not won since 2001 – but bagged all three points to guarantee a trip to Russia.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/11/lionel-messi-hat-trick-secures-argentinas-passage-to-world-cup

De Futebol Chile is a step closer to making the 2018 World Cup

Chile scored a late goal to beat Ecuador 2-1. Alexis Sanchez nailed the match winner in the 86th minute.

The Daily Mail:” Chile survived a late scare to beat Ecuador 2-1 on Thursday and keep alive their hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia as they moved into third-place in the 10-team South American qualifying group.

The top four teams qualify automatically for Russia with the fifth-placed side facing Oceania champions New Zealand in a two-legged play-off.

With just one game remaining, Brazil are the only South American side to have guaranteed their spot, with Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Peru all dependent on results in Tuesday’s final round of matches.

Copa America champions Chile have perhaps the toughest task in their final match, against Brazil in Sao Paulo.

The five-times world champions have never lost a World Cup qualifier at home.

Chile have failed to sparkle this year, losing three of their last four qualifiers before Thursday.

However, Tigres striker Eduardo Vargas helped them back to their winning ways with a goal after 22 minutes.

Alexis Sanchez stole the ball on the edge of the box and fed midfielder Jorge Valdivia and his pass left Vargas in space 12 yards out to crash the ball past keeper Maximo Banguera.

Romario Ibarra equalised for Ecuador with eight minutes remaining but Sanchez was on hand three minutes later when Banguera could only parry a shot on the edge of the six-yard box.

Sanchez then had the simplest of tasks slipping the ball home for the winner.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4954198/Chile-2-1-Ecuador-Alexis-Sanchez-nets-late-winner.html#ixzz4ugpJJTOQ

De Futebol-Argentina in danger of not making the 2018 World Cup

Argentina and Peru tied nil-nil.

The Daily Mail:” Argentina and Lionel Messi are on the verge of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1970, stumbling to a 0-0 draw against Peru before a capacity crowd in Buenos Aires.

Only one round of qualifying remains in South America.

Argentina, the runner-up to Germany in the World Cup three years ago in Brazil, plays on Tuesday against Ecuador in the thin air of Quito in the Andes.

The Argentines are in sixth place, with the top four teams advancing automatically. The fifth-place team can advance by winning a playoff against New Zealand.

Brazil has already qualified, and drew 0-0 against Bolivia on Thursday. Brazil has 38 points, followed by: Uruguay (28), Chile (26), Colombia (26), Peru (25), Argentina (25) and Paraguay (24).

Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia are eliminated.

It’s too close to call. But Uruguay is expected to get through the final round on Tuesday. After that, four teams are chasing the two automatic spots.

That will leave two teams trying to reach the playoff, which looks like Argentina’s only route. It must win at 9,350 feet in Quito and get some help.

Argentine will require all the luck they can get after a disappointing night in front of their home supporters.

Their players, led by Messi, all trudged off the pitch at full-time. Every single of them appeared disappointed with the outcome and know their destiny is now out of their hands heading into next week and the crucial match against Ecuador.

It is a game they really must win if they are to stand any realistic chance of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4954122/Argentina-drop-World-Cup-qualification-contention.html#ixzz4uizvrYcI

De Futebol Brasil-Bolivia tie nil-nil

Brasil and Bolivia tied nil-nil in the high altitude of La Paz. Brasileiros are the top dog with 38 points.

Globo Esportes wrote:” com a Bolívia na altitude de La Paz, nesta quinta-feira, pela penúltima rodada das Eliminatórias da Copa, em um duelo que teve o goleiro Lampe como grande destaque. O atacante Gabriel Jesus, que viu três finalizações suas pararem no boliviano, deu parabéns ao rival após a partida. Apesar do placar igual, o jogador do Manchester City disse que a seleção brasileira mostrou mais uma vez seu comprometimento mesmo já classificada para a Copa.

– Três chances que não costumo errar. De cabeça ainda estou treinando, aprimorando, mas não posso errar, eu sei. Fui lá e falei para ele parabéns pelas defesas. A gente sabia que não seria fácil, tivemos chances claras, mas não conseguimos ampliar para gol. Saímos daqui de cabeça erguida, porque a gente batalhou, correu e conseguiu segurar a equipe deles – disse.

Ao todo, a seleção brasileira contou com onze oportunidades de gol, parando ou em Lampe ou sofrendo com a altitude de 3640 metros de La Paz, a capital boliviana. Gabriel Jesus admitiu o cansaço por conta da geografia em sue primeiro duelo em um cenário como este.

– Senti um pouco de cansaço, é normal. Primeira vez que jogo em altura assim. Pega, é normal. Conseguimos jogar, colocar o ritmo. Infelizmente, a bola não entrou hoje. É descansar para que nos próximos jogos conseguimos fazer outro belo jogo e marcar os gols. O físico pega bastante. O domínio da bola é em relação ao campo, que não estava legal, mas não podemos reclamar, é entrar em campo e jogar, enfrentar as dificuldades.

O Brasil fecha as Eliminatórias na última rodada (18ª) diante do Chile, na arena do Palmeiras, em São Paulo, na próxima terça-feira, às 20h30 (de Brasília). Líder isolado e já garantido no Mundial da Rússia, uma vitória confirma a ótima campanha do time comandado por Tite na competição, cujo aproveitando é de 74.5 % até agora, com 38 pontos.

https://sportv.globo.com/site/programas/copa-2018/noticia/gabriel-jesus-parabeniza-goleiro-boliviano-e-elogia-garra-brasileira-na-altitude-de-la-paz.ghtml

De Futebol

Bolivia upset the apple cart with a 1-0 win over Chile.

The Daily Mail:” Chile fell to a 1-0 defeat in Bolivia as their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup suffered a major blow on Tuesday evening.

Juan Carlos Arce scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot just before the hour mark after Chile’s Marcelo Diaz was penalised for a handball in the area.

Substitute Alejandro Chumacero was sent off for the hosts for a second booking in added time but Bolivia held on in the high altitude of La Paz.

The result means Alexis Sanchez’s side sit precariously in the final automatic qualification spot in the South American section – level on points with Argentina who host Venezuela later on Tuesday night.

Bolivia had won their last two home matches and started on the front foot, with Arce firing just wide following Pablo Escobar’s short corner in the sixth minute.

The hosts then failed to take advantage of a Chile error when Marcelo Martins missed the target with a header after Manchester City’s Claudio Bravo blundered in his attempt to clear a corner.

Bravo was called into action to deny Diego Bejarano while Juan Valverde placed a header just wide as Bolivia dominated the first half.

Chile struggled to carve out openings and their first real chance came towards the end of the opening period when Arturo Vidal’s effort was blocked wide from six yards out.

And they fell behind when Diaz blocked Flores’ effort with his arm and the referee awarded a spot-kick – Arce stepped up to drill a powerful effort past Bravo.

Chile had a penalty shout of their own turned down when Jordy Candia appeared to block Esteban Paredes’ header with his arm but the referee rejected appeals.

Bolivia substitute Chumacero was sent off for a second booking in the closing stages after kicking out at Pablo Hernandez but the match ended in a deserving win for the home side.

It’s Chile’s second successive loss and leaves them sitting precariously in fourth position above Argentina on goal difference.

The victory does nothing for Bolivia’s chances however – they have no hope of qualifying for Russia 2018.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4855864/Bolivia-1-0-Chile-Match-report.html#ixzz4rw4uPexC

De Futebol

Argentina is in a world hurt. Argentinos is on the verge of not making it to the 2018 World Cup.

Argentina and Venezuela tied one all.

The Daily Mail: “Argentina came from behind to draw 1-1 with Venezuela on Tuesday but their inability to take what should have been an easy three points means the 2014 losing finalists are still a long way from guaranteeing their place in Russia next year.

The home side had won all six of their previous home qualifiers against Venezuela and were expected to do the same against the team that is bottom of the South American group and without a win in 10 games.

Argentina’s failure to take all three points left them fifth in the standings with two matches remaining, out of the top four spots which bring with them direct qualification for the finals.

‘Venezuela started to grow when they realised we couldn’t finish them off,’ Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said after the match.

‘We let a great opportunity escape us. That’s football and it can happen.

‘The important thing is we all push so Argentina can be at the 2018 World Cup.’

Venezuela are well out of the running but got the opening goal just six minutes into the second half.

Jhon Murillo ran onto an incisive through ball and expertly chipped the advancing goalkeeper to give the visitors a surprise lead.

The advantage, though, lasted just four minutes and when Argentina equalized it came from the same left flank where all of their most dangerous attacks originated.

Marcos Acuna, who had replaced the injured Angel Di Maria after 25 minutes, fought off his marker and the cross was knocked into his own goal by Rolf Feltscher.

Mauro Icardi had a good shout for a penalty waved away after an hour but Argentina, with Lionel Messi not at his commanding best, looked lacklustre throughout and were unable to stamp their authority on the match.

Neither they nor Venezuela created many clear-cut chances and the home side trooped off to the boos of their disgruntled fans.

Brazil top the 10-team group and are the only South America side to have so far qualified for Russia 2018.

Uruguay, who won 2-1 away at Paraguay, are in second-place with 27 points, followed by Colombia on 26.

Peru, who have not played in the World Cup Finals since 1982, beat Ecuador 2-1 earlier in the evening to move into fourth place with 24 points, ahead of Argentina on goal difference.

The side finishing fifth go into an intercontinental play-off against New Zealand.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4856398/Argentina-1-1-Venezuela-World-Cup-hopes-balance.html#ixzz4rw02CE3F

De Futebol

Brasil and Colombia tied one all. The guys are still the top dog, the main man, and in catbird seat with 37 points. Brasilerios has qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Globo Esportes: “Foi no apagar das luzes do primeiro tempo, aos 46 minutos, o gol marcado pelo meia Willian que abriu o placar em Barranquilla para o Brasil, que acabou saindo da Colômbia com o empate por 1 a 1, pelas eliminatórias. O resultado quebrou a série de nove vitórias seguidas da Seleção de Tite, mas, ao fim da partida, o jogador não escondeu a felicidade pela beleza do lance, iniciado num lançamento de Daniel Alves para Neymar. O camisa 10 ajeitou para o camisa 19 acertar um lindo chute de primeira. A bomba, a 90km por hora, morreu no ângulo de Ospina.

– Acho que esse foi o gol mais bonito que fiz pela Seleção. Tive a felicidade de pegar bem na bola e fazer o gol. Jogar aqui é difícil. Queríamos a vitória, mas o time jogou bem.

A maior dificuldade, segundo Willian, foi o forte calor em Barranquilla na hora da partida, pouco comum para os brasileiros que atuam na Europa.

– Fazia tempo que eu não jogava nesse horário num lugar quente como a Colômbia. Jogamos na Europa nesse horário, mas é bem diferente. Aqui é muito calor. Na Europa faz frio, é mais tranquilo. Criamos algumas chances, mas aqui é difícil jogar, o campo dificulta, o gramado é seco, a bola quica bastante. Mas pela luta e pelo empenho, estamos de parabéns.

http://sportv.globo.com/site/programas/copa-2018/noticia/para-willian-gol-e-o-mais-bonito-tive-a-felicidade-de-pegar-bem-na-bola.ghtml