Cape Verde shock Tunisia in World Cup

first_imgCape Verde Islands shocked Tunisia 2-0 in Rades Saturday to reach the Africa zone play-offs in the 2014 World Cup qualifying competition.Platini and Nhuck – two of many Cape Verdean footballers who use nicknames – scored in the first half to trigger celebrations in the islands state of 500,000 inhabitants.Victory lifted the ‘Blue Sharks’ to 12 points, one more than four-time World Cup qualifiers Tunisia, and completed a remarkable Group B comeback. The surprise 2013 Africa Cup quarter-finalists were pointless after three rounds, then FIFA changed a loss in Malabo to a 3-0 win because of an ineligible Equatorial Guinea player. Home victories against the Equatoguineans and Sierra Leone brought the Cape Verdeans back into contention — but they had to win in Tunisia.The ‘Carthage Eagles’ were favoured to qualify for the play-off series as they had home advantage and the confidence boost of a 2-1 win in Praia. But goals from Cyprus-based Platini and Portugal-based Nhuck rocked the Tunisians, whose second-half pressure went unrewarded.Tunisia were not the only ‘big name’ to fall — 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa bit the dust despite a 4-1 win over Botswana in Durban.Bottom Group A seeds Ethiopia came from behind to edge Central African Republic 2-1 in Congo and finish two points ahead of Bafana Bafana . Burkina Faso completed an amazing Group E comeback by defeating Gabon 1-0 in Ouagadougou and pipping Congo Brazzaville. The ‘Stallions’ trailed the ‘Red Devils’ by six points with three rounds to go, but three consecutive victories squeezed them through.Nigeria were another country to progress, scoring late in the first half and early in the second in Group F to defeat 10-man Malawi 2-0 in Calabar.Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Nigeria joined Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast and Ghana in the final elimination round. The winner of the match between Cameroon and Libya Sunday will complete the 10-nation line-up after Senegal beat Uganda 1-0 late on Saturday in a match played in Marrakech, Morocco.A seeded September 16 draw in Cairo, based on FIFA rankings to be released Thursday, will create five two-leg ties with the winners going to the finals in Brazil.Ethiopia recovered from conceding a mid-first half goal with Salahdin Ahmed levelling soon after the break and Minyahel Teshome the match-winner. Success was particularly sweet for Teshome as he cost Ethiopia three points by playing in an away victory over Botswana when suspended.South Africa dominated neighbours Botswana almost throughout and a late brace from Bernard Parker completed what proved a futile win. Prejuce Nakoulma was the toast of 2013 Africa Cup runners-up Burkina Faso, scoring nine minutes into the second half.Congo needed a win in Niger to stay top, but trailed twice to goals from Mahamane Cisse and Daouda Kamilou and had to settle for a 2-2 draw. Emmanuel Emenike put Nigeria ahead in first-half stoppage time and Victor Moses doubled the lead from a 51st-minute penalty.Any hope Malawi had of clawing back into the game vanished soon after when Limbikani Mzava was red carded following a second caution. Ivory Coast and Morocco drew 1-1, Gambia beat Tanzania 2-0, Sierra Leone edged Equatorial Guinea 3-2 and Angola whipped Liberia 4-1 in other games.last_img read more

Alonso sinks Arsenal as Chelsea go top of the Premier League

first_imgArsenal should have pulled level moments later, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang skied his shot over the ball – much to the delight of opposition fans.Almost instantly, Chelsea went up the other end and doubled the lead thanks to Alvaro Morata, who turned Shkodran Mustafi inside out before firing past former Blue Petr Cech.Determined not to succumb to a rout, the Gunners pulled a goal back through the impressive Henrikh Mkhitaryan, before he turned provider for an unlikely equaliser Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won REVEALED gameday REVEALED Morata was overjoyed to finally score in the Premier League Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes smart causal NEW ERA Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener possible standings Alonso celebrates scoring the winner for the home side silverware How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Premier League news Marcos Alonso secured all three points for Chelsea as they defeated an extremely open Arsenal side.With 20 shots on target in the first half alone, both side threw caution to the wind as the London derby fizzed into life. 2 Goals from Pedro and Alvaro Morata put the home side into a comfortable lead at Stamford Bridge, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi pulled the Gunners level.But with less than ten minutes left on the clock, Alonso was allowed to stride into the Arsenal box to tap home Eden Hazard’s cross.The game was played at break neck speed right from the off, with Jorginho playing in Alonzo with less then ten minutes on the clock.The former Bolton Wanderers defender slid the ball across to fellow countryman Pedro to sweep home. England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade ALTERED 2 How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures .The home side completely switched off as a simple ball was rolled into the box by the Armenia international and converted by Alex Iwobi.Both sides were far more conservative in the second half, but the introduction of Eden Hazard changed the game completely – putting Arsenal on the back foot.Alexandre Lacazette inexplicably gave the ball away in his own half, before allowing Hazard to skip past him and find the rampaging Alonso who coolly slotted past Cech.More to follow…last_img read more