Heskey made 62 caps for his country and will be most remembered for scoring England’s fifth goal at Munich in their thrilling 5 – 1 win over Germany in the World Cup Qualification campaign under manager Sven Goran Eriksson.
But his retirement comes as Three Lions boss Fabio Capello looks very likely to introduce many young players into his team.
The Aston Villa striker said: “I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and have worn the shirt with pride. I would like to thank every manager I have played under, everyone at the FA and the fans for all their support over the years.
“I wish the management team and the playing squad all the best for the future.”
As well as this summer’s campaign, Heskey was involved in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the European Championships of 2000 and 2004.
Though only scoring seven goals for England, his ability to create goals and link up well with his striking partners made him a good choice for England managers and caused headache’s for many international defenders.
Also announcing his international retirement today was French footballer and former Arsenal ace Thierry Henry. His departure from the France team comes only a day after he signed a multi-million pound year contract with the New York Red Bulls.]]>
The Angels star, who famously quit the band back in 1995, has recorded a new album with his old pals Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange – which will be released in November.
It is the first time the five stars have worked together since Robbie left the group, now nearly 15 years ago.
In September, The Daily Dust reported that Williams and Take That were meeting in record studios in New York and speculation started that the solo singer was making a dramatic comeback into the group.
Williams said it felt like returning home: “I get embarrassingly excited when the five of us are in a room. It feels like coming home.”
Band member Mark Owen said: “Getting the five of us to be in a room together, although always a dream, never actually seemed like becoming a reality. Now the reality of the five of us making a record together feels like a dream. It’s been an absolute delight spending time with Rob again. But I’m still a better footballer.”
It has also been announced that the original five-piece group will tour together at the end of this year or in 2011. Tickets for that tour will no doubt be expected to hit the roof with Robbie back in the mix and at the heart of Take That.
Below is Take That’s video of hit song Could It Be Magic – a record where Williams sings most of the lyrics.]]>
Premier League newcomers Newcastle United have boosted their defence ahead of the new season with the signing of James Perch from Nottingham Forest.
The Magpies have secured the services of the 24-year-old on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
Perch impressed last season for Nottingham Forest, who finished in third place but lost to Blackpool in the play-off semi-final, which ended their chances of promotion.
The opportunity of playing Premier League football proved to be too good to turn down for the Mansfield-born star, who can play anywhere at the back or central midfield.
Nottingham Forest chief-executive Mark Arthur said: “James has been a marvellous servant for us. He made it clear that the propect of a move into the Premier League with Newcastle appealed to him and we couldn’t stand in his way.”]]>
The Football Association have confirmed that Fabio Capello will stay on as England manager despite their recent humiliating World Cup exit in South Africa.
Less than a week after England’s dreadful 4 – 1 loss to Germany in Bloemfontein, the FA have responded in favour of the Italian.
Sir David Richards, chairman of Club England said: “We remain convinced that Fabio is the best man for the job.”
Capello, reportedly on a deal worth £6m a year, knows himself he has a tough job in winning back the supporters ahead of the Euro 2012 qualification campaign.
The former Juventus and Real Madrid boss said: “I can assure the fans I am now fully focussed on our European qualifying fixtures, starting with the friendly against Hungary in August.
“We will look to introduce new players to give the team new energy and I will use all my experience to take England forward. I am determined to succeed.”
With this in mind, current key players including the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard could be given the chop as Capello looks to freshen a battered and bruised England.]]>
Manchester City have made a second big signing within a week after Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure sealed a move to the Premier League club.
The Ivory Coast star has been purchased from the La Liga champions in a deal reportedly worth £24m and will join his younger brother and central defender Kolo Toure at Eastlands.
Yaya, who recently represented his country in the World Cup, was told by Barcelona that he was surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini was delighted to capture the midfielder’s signature.
He said: “This is another fantastic signing for Manchester City. Everyone knows Yaya is a player we have admired for a long time.
“He has played at the top level with Barcelona and I am sure his experience and ability will be very important for us.”
The news comes just days after the club announced the signing of Spanish winger David Silva from Valencia.
Earlier this summer, the club confirmed they had signed Germany defender Jerome Boateng, who currently has put in impressive performances for Germany in their World Cup campaign in South Africa.]]>
Firstly, let’s set the scene. You are on a date with someone you really like and you want to have a really good time together. It then gets to the point where you both have to decide who is going to pay.
Is it the responsibility of the man to pay the bill altogether and treat the lady? Or is splitting the cost the best way of handling the tricky situation?
Well surprisingly in a recent survey most men said they would split the bill with their dating partner rather than paying the full amount themselves.
The survey was conducted by UK-based dating agency Elect Club and out of 525 men asked, 52 per cent said they would pay by halves, while 45 per cent claimed they would pay the bill alone.
Even the remaining 3 per cent of males said women should pay all of the cost on the first date – what do you think of that ladies?
Elect Club also asked 980 females for their views. The results showed a massive 77 per cent of women surveyed thought the man should pay on a first date, while 20 per cent were happy to split the payment with the fella.
Like the men, 3 per cent of ladies claimed they would foot the bill themselves.
How do you readers go on about paying on a first a date? Please tell us your first-date stories.]]>
He joins the Merseyside club after a successful spell in charge at Fulham where he recently guided the West London club to runners-up of the UEFA Europa Cup.
Yesterday, The Daily Dust reported the Swiss coach was close to signing up a deal with the Anfield club after both Liverpool and Fulham reportedly had agreed a compensation fee for his services.
Hodgson takes over the hot seat from Rafael Benitez who left the club last month by mutual consent and since that time has been appointed the new boss of European cup winners Inter Milan.
The former Fulham, Blackburn and Switzerland coach told the club’s website: “This is the biggest job in club football and I am honoured to be taking on the role of manager of Britain’s most successful football club.
“I look forward to meeting the players and the supporters and getting down to work at Melwood.”
Liverpool club skipper Steven Gerrard welcomed Hodgson’s appointment and is excited about the change.
He said: “I think it’s been worth the wait and I’m sure now he’s just keen on get on with it and start to quickly put in place his plans for the new season.”
Fulham say they look to appoint a new manager for at least the middle of July after Hodgson’s exit.]]>
Andy Murray came back from a set down to clinch an impressive victory against Jo Wilfried Tsonga in their quarter-final encounter at Wimbledon.
The Scot’s four set win, 6 – 7 (5 – 7), 7 – 6 (7 – 5), 6 – 2, 6 – 2, now means he has repeated last year’s performance at the Grand Slam and will take on world-number-one Rafael Nadal on Friday for a place in the final.
But things did not go according to plan for Murray when the powerful and tough-to-break-down Tsonga won the first set on a tiebreak after all 12 games went with the serve.
It was the first time in the competition that Murray had lost a set and he was an annoyed man as the Frenchman dominated at Centre Court.
But the British ace found his form again when he broke Tsonga’s serve for the first time to take a 2 – 0 lead early in the second set.
However Murray failed to capitalise on this advantage and at 3 – 1 ahead, the Frenchman broke Murray back to restore parity. Both players held their serve for the rest of the set so it went into another tiebreak. It was a set that Murray could not afford to lose with the chance of going 2 – 0 down.
At 5 – 5 in the tiebreak, the Frenchman made a huge error leaving the ball when it actually dropped on the baseline to gift Murray a set point on serve. He made no mistake when Tsonga hit the ball long and the match was level.
It was a vital situatiuon in the match and you could see Murray’s joy after clinching that second set, he was shouting and jumping for joy and getting the crowd right behind him. If he had lost that tiebreak, then at two sets down he could have been down and out.
With the momentum back in the Scot’s corner, the rest of the match then went all his way as Tsonga was tiring and seemed to be nursing some kind of thumb injury.
An epic game lasting nearly ten minutes at 1 – 1 showed Tsong’s tiredness and Murray finally broke serve after missing out on four previous occasions in the game. The Scot’s confidence increased and another break of serve later gifted him the third set.
The fourth set proved much the same as the last as Tsonga knew his time at this year’s All England Championship was coming to an end. Murray broke him twice to sail to a rampant 4 – 0 lead and then held his serve to seal the four-set win.
Last year, Britain’s number one lost out to American Andy Roddick in the last four, this time he will hope to go one better against Nadal and make his first ever Wimbledon final.
But the Spaniard will have other ideas and it is likely to be a cracking match – one not to be missed on Friday.
Elsewhere, the shock of the day saw six-time Wimbledon winner and defending champion Roger Federer lose in four sets to the Czech Republic’s Thomas Berdych.
It is the first time Federer has a lost a match before the final here at SW19 since 2002.]]>
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is set to be announced as the new Liverpool head coach – according to reports.
The Swiss legend was voted League Managers Association (LMA) manager of the year last season after guiding the London club to the UEFA Europa League final.
Liverpool were granted permission to speak to the 62-year-old two weeks ago and it seems a deal has or is very close to being reached.
However, a stumbling block could rise with Hodgson likely to be a main contender for the England position – should the FA decide to sack current boss Fabio Capello after their dismal World Cup campaign in South Africa.
If the former Switzerland and Inter Milan boss were to accept the switch to Liverpool, he would be the replacement of Rafael Benitez, who left the club last month after a disappointing season in which the club significantly underacheived.
Reports claim the two clubs (Liverpool and Fulham) have agreed a compensation fee of around £2.5m, so if England want Hodgson they must act now before it is too late.
If he is announced as new boss, his first job will be to persuade the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay at the Anfield club, who may feel like moving elsewhere in a bid to win silverware.]]>
Nigel Pearson has left his position at Leicester City to become the new manager of Hull City.
The 46-year-old, takes over from caretaker boss Iain Dowie, who was not given an extended contract after the club were relegated from the Premier League last season.
While at Leicester, Pearson secured promotion back into the Championship and in their first season back in the second tier of English football they surprised the whole division by reaching the play-offs and a top five finish.
But a cruel penalty shoot out loss to Cardiff City ended any hopes of returning to the Premier League.
Hull City’s head of football operatons Adam Pearson was pleased to capture the Leicester manager on a three-year deal.
He said: “We are delighted to welcome a manager of Nigel’s experience and calibre to the club.
“We feel it is a real coup for Hull City and that Nigel is the best man to mould the existing squad into a competitive Championship squad.”
The deal now means Leicester City are now searching for a new manager with former Hull boss Phil Brown being heavily linked to the position.]]>
With England now out of the World Cup, you would have thought the national interest in the tournament will have soon faded out – especially with the females.
But that appears not to be the case, according to the results of a national survey - which showed that the majority of UK women were still intending to follow the remaining matches taking place in South Africa.
Conducted by comparison website, Gaming Supermarket, the survey resulted in a massive 72 per cent of women claiming they would watch the tournament further despite England’s quick exit.
The results also showed that just 5 per cent of women surveyed said they would not follow the tournament at all – meaning 95 per cent of the female generation were intending to follow one of sport’s biggest tournaments.
Whoever said football is just a gentleman’s sport?]]>
WARNING: This article contains storyline information that TV fans may want to avoid.
Please scroll down the page, if you want to see this news story.
Coronation Street’s Molly Dobbs is to be killed off in a sensational storyline this Christmas – according to reports.
The character, who is currently pregnant has just broken off an affair with married and father-of-two Kevin Webster and gone back to her unaware husband Tyrone, who believes he is the father of Molly’s child.
However, an article in The Sun today claims Molly, played by actress Vicky Binns, will die and Kevin and his wife Sally will be left looking after and raising up the newborn baby.
The news comes after Binns last month announced she was leaving the famous soap after five years.
This winter also sees the ITV show reach it’s 50th anniversary and big storylines have been expected to celebrate the milestone.
Executive producer, Phil Collinson wrote on the soap’s website: “I don’t want to give too much away, but there is going to be a dead body on Coronation Street.
“It is going to be a death that will affect a couple of our most significant characters in a way that will hopefully be really surprising and exciting.”]]>
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has apologised to the Football Association for Frank Lampard’s ruled out effort against Germany in the crucial last 16 World Cup tie.
With England traling 2 – 1, the midfielder’s looping shot fell back off the crossbar and TV replays quickly showed the ball had crossed the line by approximately a foot. But the officials did not give the ‘goal’ and play continued with Germany in possession.
That incredible moment was to be a big turning point as Joachim Loew’s side cruised to a 4 – 1 win in Bloemfontein last Sunday. Had Lampard’s strike been given, the game at 2 – 2 would have been nicely in the balance going into the second half.
Instead England were still chasing the game after half-time but despite early pressure Germany made them suffer on the counter attack to reach the Quarter-Finals.
Blatter, today, has reacted for the first time since the incident and has promised to raise up the debate about goal-line technology being used in the modern game.
The FIFA president has also apologised to the Mexico, who were outraged when an ‘offside’ Carlos Tevez gave Argentina the lead against them in their second round encounter.
He said: “The only thing I can do is yesterday I have spoken to the two federations directly concerned by refereeing mistakes.
“I have expressed to them apologies and I understand they are not happy and that people are criticising.
“It is obvious that after the experiences so far at this World Cup it would be a nonsense not to re-open the file on goal-line technology.
“We will naturally take on board the discussion on technology and have the first opportunity in July at the business meeting.”]]>
Wesley Sneijder’s powerful driven shot was enough for Holland to clinch victory over Japan on Saturday.
The Dutch’s second win in as many matches puts them on the brink of reaching the last 16 and they remain top of Group E.
This was a lively game between two sides who had won their opening games, but Holland were the better team and the result was a fair one on the balance of play.
Sneijder’s stunning effort on the 52nd minute gave Holland the lead after a tight first half between the sides.
Japan’s best chance to level the game came in the very late moments when substitute Shinji Okazaki was left unmarked but could only head over the bar.
Holland can win the group if they avoid defeat to Cameroon on Thursday.]]>
Ten-man Australia managed to hold on for a draw against Ghana on Saturday after Harry Kewell was sent off in the Group D encounter.
Australia had taken an early lead when Brett Holman took advantage of Ghana keeper Richard Kingston’s fumble from a Mark Bresciano free kick.
But Ghana responded well soon afterwards and deservedly got their equalizer after Harry Kewell handled the ball on the goal-line from a shot by John Mensah. The referee gave the penalty and had no option but to show the former Liverpool and Leeds United man with a red card.
Asamoah Gyan, just like against Serbia in their opening match, made no mistake with the spot-kick as the game drew level 1 – 1.
But to Ghana’s frustration, they could not get a winning goal against ten men. They seemed to lack in ideas and creativity to open up a determined Australian defence, who were desperate to improve after their 4 – 0 hammering to Germany last week.
And in-fact it was the Socceroos who had the best chance to win the game when Luke Wilkshire ran clean through on goal only to see his effort saved by Kingston in goal.
With four points on the board, Ghana now must avoid defeat against Germany on Wednesday to seal their place in the last 16.
Australia will have to beat Serbia in their next match and hope the other result goes their way in-order to qualify.
How It Stands – Group D
England are in serious danger of being knocked out of South Africa 2010 in the opening stages after a poor goalless draw with Algeria in Cape Town.
In a flat and dour game, Fabio Capello’s men rarely threatened the Algerian goal and were booed off the field at the final whistle.
After the game, striker Wayne Rooney was seen saying to the camera: “Nice to see your own fans booing you.”
The England manager decided to drop keeper Rob Green for his costly error against the USA, in place of David James.
But England did not come out of the blocks firing at all and throughout the match played at the same slowish tempo which Algeria could handle with relative ease.
Their passing was often misplaced and striker Wayne Rooney looked off the pace and no way the same player who scored more than 30 goals in the season for Manchester United.
But full credit must go to Algeria, who despite rarely threatening, defended resilliently and worked very hard for their point. But bizarrely, a team of England’s quality failed to put them under any real pressure.
With two draws out of two games, England must beat Slovenia on Wednesday to qualify to the next stage and to avoid a humiliating and embarrasing exit. An exit that would put huge pressure on boss Fabio Capello’s future as manager.
They will go into that crucial match against Slovenia without the services of defender Jamie Carragher, who picked up his second yellow card of the tournament during the match.
How It Stands – Group C
USA came back from two goals down to earn a dramatic draw against Group C leaders Slovenia last Friday.
It seemed Slovenia were going to make it two wins out of two, following their first match win against Algeria, after taking control in Johannesburg.
Valta Birser gave Slovenia the lead after 13 minutes when his stunning 20-yard curling strike found the back of the net.
Then just before half-time, Slovenia doubled their lead when Zlatan Ljubijankic finished off a lovely and slick move to make it 2 – 0.
But as the USA proved against England last week, they are a decent side and are not to be written off given the talent in their side.
They were handed a lifeline when Landon Donovan fired home just after the break to make it 2 – 1.
And with just eight minutes left on the clock, midfielder Michael Bradley (pictured) smashed the ball into the net after chasing down a clever flicked on header from Jozy Altidore.
The United States thought they won it just three minutes later when Edu’s volley from a free kick was ruled out because of pulling in the penalty area.
In the end, USA had to settle for a point, a great achievement after coming back from 2 – 0 down and for Slovenia it was a case of dropping two points.
The draw keeps Group C well open for the final matches taking place on Wednesday.]]>
Serbia shocked the footballing world last Friday with a stunning 1 – 0 win over Germany in Port Elizabeth to throw Group D wide open.
Germany, 4 – 0 winners overs Australia last Sunday, were sent back down to earth with this defeat after Milan Jovanovich’s (pictured) goal proved more than enough for Serbia to win the game.
Joachim Lowe’s side were not helped when striker Miroslav Klose was dismissed for two yellow card offences on the 37th minute, which brought their opponents right into the game.
And just moments later after the red card, Jovanovic netted from close range to give Serbia a surprise lead against the World Cup contenders.
In the second half, Serbia’s defence went deeper and deeper in a bid to keep their lead, which led Germany to control possession and have numerous chances – despite being down to ten men.
Sami Khedira smashed the bar from just inside the penalty area but Germany’s best chance to level the match came with a penalty after Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic needlessly handled the ball on the 59th minute.
But Lukas Podolski’s penalty kick was a poor one and was duly saved by Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovich.
Germany kept the pressure on but could not find that crucial and much-needed equalizer and Serbia held their nerve to claim the three points.]]>
France’s World Cup winning dreams were left in complete tatters last Thursday after a 2 – 0 defeat to Mexico in Polokwane.
The performance from the French was poor and and the South American side deserved their three points for being the better side on the night.
Like their goalless draw with Uruguay on the tournament’s opening day, Raymond Domenech’s (pictured) side were lethargic, flat and rarely threatening in front of goal, as Mexico looked the better outfit throughout but struggled to get that opening goal.
But the breakthrough came midway through the second half, when new Manchester United signing Javier Hernandez broke the offside trap and raced through one- on-one with France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, rounded him and simply stroked the ball home into an open net.
Mexico then sealed the contest and put France well and truly out of their misery, when they were awarded a penalty kick after defender Eric Abidal fouled Pablo Barrera in the box. Cuauhtemoc Blanco made no mistake with the spot-kick and sealed the nation’s first ever win against the French.
Remarkably, France have not scored a goal as yet in the competition.
This defeat leaves France in a massive hole in Group A with just one point from their two games. France must now beat hosts South Africa on Tuesday and have to rely on the result of the match between Uruguay and Mexico.
If the outcome of that match is a draw, France will definitely be out, no matter their result against South Africa.
How It Stands – Group A
Greece came back from a goal down to clinch a vital 2 – 1 win over Nigeria to keep them in tournament and a chance to go through in Group B.
With both sides losing the their first games, it was imperative for either team to get three points on the board. Defeat would mean elimination and sadly for Nigeria, that is what happened to them.
However, it was the African nation who had control of the game when Kala Uche’s free kick went straight in and gave his team the lead after 16 minutes.
But a moment of madness from Sani Kaita, was to cost them the match and their future World Cup campaign, when he was shown a red card for foolishly kicking out at Greece’s Vasileios Torosidis (pictured) on the 33rd minute.
It was a stupid sending off and did wonders for at the time a very poor Greece side to get back into the match.
The 2004 European Championship winners drew level just before the interval with Dimitrios Salpingidis’ deflected strike finding the back of the net.
Playing against ten men and back level, made Greece the favourites and Torosidis, involved in the match changing sending off, got his team a vital winning goal with 18 minutes left to play - burying in a parry from the keeper after Alexandros Tziolis’ shot.
Greece will meet group leaders Argentina later this week in their final game, where South Korea take on Nigeria, who must win to have the slightest chance of qualifying.
How It Stands – Group B
A hat-trick from striker Gonzalo Higuain guided Argentina to a thumping 4 – 1 win over South Korea last Thursday, which sealed their place in the last 16.
It was a wonderful attacking performance from Diego Maradona’s side, which again showcased their credentials to be possible winners.
Argentina’s bright start was rewarded early on when Lionel Messi’s well whipped-in free kick resulted in Park Chu-Young converting the ball into his own net after 16 minutes.
The early lead sparkled the South American side even more and it was no surprise to see them double their lead just after the half-hour mark. After a short free kick, Maxi Rodriguez’s neat cross was flicked on by Nicolas Burdisso for Real Madrid front-man Higuain to head home at the back post.
But with half time approaching, South Korea, out of the blue, got right back into the match when a mistake from defender Dimichelis hesitated to clear the ball and striker Lee Chung-Yong nipped in to make it 2 – 1.
With the score at 2 – 1, the game seemed very different with South Korea back into the match. The turning point was to come midway through the second half when Yeom Ki-Hun missed a golden chance through one-on-one with the keeper, only to see his shot go wide.
It was a great chance to level the match and not taking proved costly. Throughout the match Argentina looked so dangerous with their attacking style with Messi, Carlos Teves and Higuain regularly threatening the South Korea defence.
Argentina sealed the contest when Messi’s advancing run in the penalty area saw his shot saved by keeper Jung Sung-Ryong, the ball came back to the dangerous forward who then hit the post, with Higuain simply tapping home the rebound into an open net for his second goal.
Higuain then became the first player to get a hat-trick in this year’s World Cup, on the 80th minute. Messi again weas involved in an Argentinian attack, his chip pass found Sergio Aguero, whose tidy cross was headed home by the inform striker.
The win takes Argentina through to the next stage, South Korea, who beat Greece in their first game, will need to beat Nigeria in their next match to have a chance of progressing through.]]>
Liverpool’s new manager is set for a tough start to his reign with a home match against Arsenal on the opening weekend of the Premier League 2010/11 season.
The news comes as next season’s fixtures were published at 9am this morning and revealed some interesting opening day encounters – taking place weekend commencing August 14 2010.
Champions Chelsea will kick off their title defence at home to Premier League newcomers West Bromwich Albion – a match which will see their boss Roberto Di Matteo manage against his former club as a player.
Manchester United play Newcastle at home with Chris Hughton’s side hoping to avoid relegation back into the Championship.
Elsewhere, Ian Holloway’s Blackpool will have home advantage when they entertain Wigan Athletic for their first top flight fixture in 40 years after last month’s epic 3 – 2 play-off final win against Cardiff City.
Another interesting games sees Tottenham at home to Manchester City. Both teams were engaged in a pulsating and lively battle for that crucial fourth place Champions League last season - which Harry Redknapp’s side sealed with a massive victory at Eastlands towards the back end of the campaign.
Avram Grant’s first competitive game in charge as West Ham manager is an away trip to Aston Villa.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will be up against his former club Birmingham City on the opening weekend at The Stadium of Light.
Premier League Fixtures - Saturday August 14
(Fixtures dates may change due to television coverage)]]>
Hosts South Africa’s chances of making it further in their own tournament were dealt a devastating blow last night - losing 3 – 0 to Uruguay.
Former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan (pictured) was in great form scoring two goals with Alvaro Perriera adding a third in stoppage time in the crucial Group A clash.
With both teams drawing their first game, the winner of this contest would be in for a great chance of making the final 16, and sadly for the hosts South Africa it was not to be.
Despite huge support, Forlan’s opening strike on the 24th minute from outside the area silenced the home crowd, as Uruguay’s early domicance was rewarded with a 1 – 0 lead.
Deep into the match, it all went wrong for the hosts when goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was shown a straight red card for a foul on striker Luis Suarez, which got Uruguay a penalty kick and the chance to seal the match.
Forlan emphatically smashed the ball into the roof of the net to seal a match-winning 2 – 0 lead against ten men. The game now was as much as over as a contest.
And it was again the brilliance of Forlan, who set up the third goal just before the final whistle. The in-form striker found his partner Suarez with a beautiful timed pass and he simply laid the ball onto the path of Perriera who finished with ease to make it 3 – 0.
Despite being wonderful hosts for this competition, the result and performance showed how far behind South Africa are in contrast to the other teams in the tournament.
South Africa now face a huge task of making the last 16 stage of the competition – they must beat France in their final group game to have any slim chance of qualification.
Uruguay’s win has not guaranteed them a place as yet in the Second Round but they are now more than likely to go through.]]>
Switzerland stunned the world of football yesterday and created the biggest shock of the competition so far by beating tournament pre-favourites Spain.
Gelson Fernandez scored the scrappy goal for Switzerland on the 52nd minute, which proved to be the decisive strike in the game.
Despite dominating large parts of the match in Durban, Fernando Torres and co could not find a way of breaking down their opponents as they had a hugely frustrating start to their World Cup campaign.
David Villa and Torres looked lively throughout but just could not make their pressure turn into goals – and it was to cost them dear.
Fernandez’s strike came from a long pumped ball into Spain’s penalty area, which fell to striker Eren Derdiyok, who bundled it past outcoming keeper Iker Cassilas for the midfielder to bury the loose ball home – despite the efforts of Gerard Pique trying to clear the danger.
Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso smashed the crossbar with a stunning free kick 25-yards out as Spain’s agony and misery continued.
Switzerland were very close to making 2 – 0 when Derdiyok hit the post from close range as Spain began to pile players forward in search of a much-needed equalizing goal.
But despite late pressure, the goal never came and Switzerland held on to a stunning and historic win, which throws Group H wide open.
The defeat puts huge pressure on Spain for the rest of the tournament. Victory against Honduras on Monday is a must. If they finish runners up (now a very likely possibility after this result) they could face a hugely difficult last 16 tie with Brazil.
For Switzerland is was one of their best days in the history of the sport and another brilliant acheivement for their successful German manager Ottmar Hitzveld.
One thing is for sure, the World Cup has now got very interesting due to this amazing scoreline here in Durban.
How It Stands – Group H
Chile started their World Cup 2010 campaign with a truly deserved three points in a 1 – 0 win over Honduras, as Group H got underway yesterday.
In-fact their victory was their first in a World Cup for 48 years but nobody could argue with the final scoreline.
Chile’s flair, fast tempo and attacking play was too much for Honduras to cope with throughout the 90 minutes and the tight final score does not tell the whole story of the contest in Nelspruit.
Winger Alexis Sanchez had a terrific game regularly causing problems in the Honduras defence with his many tricks on the ball.
And it was Sanchez who played his part in Chile’s inevitable opening goal on the 34th minute, when he neatly linked with Mauricio Isla on the left hand side, who then crossed for Jean Beausejour who had the simple task of putting the ball into the back of the net.
The only surprise about the opening goal is that it took 34 minutes to come. Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares had a great game and it was his hard work and good saves which keep the scoreline down.
Valladares made probably the save of the World Cup so far when he denied a 65th minute header from Waldo Ponce – when it seemed easier to score than miss – with the unmarked defender just six yards out and the goal at his mercy.
Honduras rarely threatened and Ramon Nunez’s 30-yard free kick was the closest they got to scoring when Chile keeper Claudio Bravo tipped it over the bar.
In the end Chile controlled possession late on and denied Honduras with the chance to level up as the game petered to a close.
Honduras will be hoping for a big improvement against Spain in their next game, while Chile take on Switzerland.]]>