Showing posts with label soccer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soccer. Show all posts

Monday, March 12, 2012

Messi reaches 50 goals in Barca win

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has now scored seven goals this week
(CNN) -- Two more goals from Lionel Messi, taking him to 50 goals in all competitions in a remarkable season, saw Barcelona win 2-0 at Racing Santander on Sunday to close the gap on Spanish leaders Real Madrid back to 10 points.

Fresh from bagging an astonishing five goals in the 7-1 Champions League rout of Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, the Argentine maestro again proved the catalyst for another Barcelona win as the defending Spanish champions kept within range of Jose Mourinho's side, who beat Real Betis 3-2 on Saturday.

Racing appointed Alvaro Cervera as their new coach last weekend in an attempt to arrest a slide that has seen them drop into the relegation zone after going eight matches without a victory.

Messi hits record five in Barcelona rout

However, they always looked second best against a Barca side, who went ahead in the 29th minute when Messi slid home to score from close range after being set up by Cesc Fabregas on the right.

And Fabregas also played a hand in the second goal -- the former Arsenal midfielder earning a 56th minute penalty after being fouled by Domingo Cisma, with Messi making no mistake from the spot.

Barca wasted further chances to extend their advantage, but Messi missed a one-on-one opportunity for his hat-trick, while Juan Cuenca struck the post.

Of his 50 goals this season, Messi has scored 30 in the Primera Liga, meaning he still trails Cristiano Ronaldo by two goals in the Spanish golden boot standings.

Pep Guardiola's side are now a massive 24 points clear of third-placed Valencia, who squandered a two-goal lead before being held 2-2 by Real Mallorca.

Valencia, who have won just one of their last four matches, went ahead through Tino Costa's deflected shot and doubled their advantage early in the second half when a mistake from Mallorca goalkeeper Dudu Aouate allowed Aritz Aduriz to score.

But Emilio Nsue and Victor Casadesus turned things around for the visitors and Valencia ended the match with 10 men after Costa was dismissed for a two-footed challenge.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Nigeria international Kalu Uche scored a hat-trick as Espanyol crushed Rayo Vallecano 5-1, while Atletico beat Granada 2-0.

Atletico and Espanyol lie eighth and ninth in the table respectively, a point behind seventh-placed Athletico Bilbao -- who slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Osasuna.

Bilbao failed to kick on from Thursday's impressive 3-2 Europa League victory at Manchester United.

Osasuna took the lead when Ander Iturraspe headed a free-kick into his own goal after nine minutes and Raul Garcia doubled the lead before Spain striker Fernando Llorente pulled a goal back for the visitors.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Football legend Eusebio in hospital with pneumonia

(CNN) -- Portuguese football legend Eusebio is in a stable condition after being admitted to hospital with bronchial pneumonia on Wednesday, his former club Benfica reported.

The 69-year-old, known affectionately as the "Black Panther" and one of the most talented players of his generation, is being kept at the Hospital da Luz in Lisbon as the illness has affected both lungs.

"He spent the night as well, and he is stable. From the clinical point of view (his condition) is stationary," the hospital's medical director Jose Roquette told reporters in quotes carried by Benfica's website.

"There was no significant improvement in inflammatory parameters, analytical or radiological findings. So we continue with appropriate therapy and we hope this is resolved quickly."

Roquette said Eusebio, who was the top scorer at the 1966 World Cup when Portugal finished third, would likely remain in hospital over the festive period after coming out of intensive care.

"This is not a situation that one can guarantee how long will it take to evolution, but admit it will take some time. We will give more information in due course. Most likely it will extend beyond Christmas, "he said.

Roquette said Eusebio's wife and daughters had come to the hospital, but other visitors had been restricted.

In 2007, he had surgery to unblock arteries which carry blood to the brain.

Eusebio played for three North American Soccer League teams in the twilight of his career, but is best known for his exploits in 15 years at Benfica where he scored 638 goals in 614 appearances up until 1975.

"We wish a speedy recovery to Eusebio and also to express that the whole Portuguese football family is behind him," the Portuguese Football Federation said in a statement.

"Eusebio is a symbol of Portuguese football. It will take a lot of strength to overcome this difficulty, but he has honored Portugal for many years with his distinguished presence, including as ambassador of the national team."

Born in Mozambique, which was then a Portuguese territory, he scored 41 goals in 64 appearances for his adopted country.

At the 1966 World Cup he scored two goals as Portugal eliminated defending champions Brazil at the group stage, then netted four times in an incredible quarterfinal comeback against North Korea as his side rallied from 3-0 down to win 5-3 in one of the tournament's most famous matches.

Eusebio scored again in the semifinal against England, but the hosts won 2-1 before beating Germany in the final.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Togo Bus Crash: Soccer Players Killed After Vehicle Plunges Into Ravine

togo bus crash
Soccer Player
LOME, Togo — At least six topflight Togolese soccer players were killed and another 28 people critically injured on Saturday after a bus carrying their team plunged into a ravine and caught fire.

In a statement read on national television, the Togo government said President Faure Gnassingbe had ordered that those injured from the Etoile Filante club be taken to the military wing of the Lome Central Hospital to receive urgent medical attention.

A delegation, led by sports minister Christophe Tchao, traveled to the accident site with an ambulance to evacuate the injured.

The accident happened near the city of Atakpame, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Lome, as Etoile Filante was on its way to Togo's second largest city of Sokode for Sunday's league game against Semassi.

A tire is believed to have burst, causing the bus to topple over and plunge down a ravine. Some of the victims reportedly burnt to death. Eyewitness accounts said the bus flipped over several times as it crashed into the ravine.

"We do not know how we managed to get out of the accident," said one of the survivors, goalkeeper Mama Souleyman.

Images on Togo national television showed the smoldering wreckage of the bus, which was almost completely burnt to ashes.

Lome-based Etoile Filante is a seven-time Togo national league champion and was runner-up in Africa's continental club competition in 1968.

Last year, two Togo national team officials were killed and several players hurt after a gun attack on the team's bus as it traveled to the African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola.

In 2007, Togo sports minister Richard Attipoe was among 22 people who died when a helicopter carrying Togolese soccer fans and officials crashed in Sierra Leone after an African Cup qualifying match.

News by Huffingtonpost