Author: AFP

Five reasons why Germany are struggling so badly

Berlin (AFP) – Germany’s 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands on Saturday left them bottom of their Nations League group ahead of Tuesday’s away match against world champions France. Three months after the World Cup debacle, head coach Joachim Loew is desperate for a win at the Stade de France to ease the pressure as a sixth defeat of 2018 would be a new record for a senior Germany team. Here are five reasons for Germany’s dismal form: Loew stuck in rut Despite the woeful World Cup displays in Russia, where Germany crashed out after finishing bottom of their group, Loew ... Read more

Bale withdraws from Wales squad to rest groin injury

London (AFP) – Gareth Bale will miss Wales’ Nations League clash against the Republic of Ireland after the Real Madrid star returned to Spain to continue his recovery from a groin injury. Bale was sidelined for Wales’ 4-1 friendly defeat against Spain in Cardiff on Thursday after aggravating the groin injury while playing for Real against Alaves a week ago. The 29-year-old had hoped to recover for his country’s trip to Dublin on Tuesday, but Wales manager Ryan Giggs had already admitted he didn’t expect the forward to be back in time. A post on the national team’s Twitter account ... Read more

Germany defender Boateng ruled out of France clash

Berlin (AFP) – Germany defender Jerome Boateng has been ruled out of Tuesday’s away Nations League match against France in Paris with the under-fire Germans eager to avoid a record sixth defeat in a calendar year. Boateng picked up a calf injury in Amsterdam as the Germans were hammered 3-0 by the Netherlands on Saturday to leave them bottom of their Nations League group. The 30-year-old centre-back was injured with 20 minutes left, but finished the match as Germany coach Joachim Loew had already used his three substitutions with the Germans chasing the game at 1-0 down before the Dutch ... Read more

Henry has ‘everything’ to become good coach – Deschamps

Paris (AFP) – Thierry Henry has “everything” needed to become a good manager, France coach and former international teammate Didier Deschamps said of the newly-named Monaco coach. “Thierry’s ready,” Deschamps told TF1. “He has everything” to be a good coach. “He’s throwing himself into an exciting, exhilarating project where he’ll have to take responsibility. It’ll be up to him to take the reins.” Former Arsenal star Henry was named Monaco coach on Saturday, his first job in club management after leaving his position with the Belgian national team. The 41-year-old French World Cup winner, who had been working as an ... Read more

German press hammer Loew after Dutch mauling

Berlin (AFP) – The German press turned on Joachim Loew after the hammering by the Netherlands left the future of Germany’s head coach in doubt with world champions France looming on Tuesday. “Not at the moment,” Loew replied in the post match press conference when asked if he can still decide his future following the 3-0 drubbing – Germany’s heaviest defeat to the Dutch. Dutch captain Virgil Van Dijk gave the hosts a first-half lead before late goals by Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum capped a golden night for the Oranje in Amsterdam. “That was a brutal and disappointing defeat, ... Read more

Canouse goal lifts D.C. United to win, MLS playoff position

Washington (AFP) – Russell Canouse’s 86th-minute header lifted D.C. United to a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas Saturday and into MLS Cup playoff position with three matches remaining. D.C. United stretched their unbeaten streak to seven matches and moved a point ahead of Montreal into sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They have a game in hand over the Impact. Dallas remained atop the tight Western Conference despite seeing their six game unbeaten run end. Dallas lead second-place Los Angeles FC by one point, and both teams will play third-placed Sporting Kansas City over their final two games. Wayne ... Read more

Dutch defeat piles pressure on Loew and misfiring Germany

Amsterdam (AFP) – Joachim Loew is facing the biggest crisis of his 12-year tenure as Germany’s head coach after their embarrassing 3-0 defeat away to the Netherlands.  Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk gave the Dutch a first-half lead before late goals by Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum capped a golden night for the Oranje at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff Arena. These are dark days for the Germans in the wake of their dismal World Cup display when they crashed out after finishing bottom of their group. They are now bottom of Nations League Group One and Loew must avoid defeat against ... Read more

Ighalo hat-trick for Nigeria, Fajr rescues Morocco

Johannesburg (AFP) – Nigerian Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick, Moroccan Faycal Fajr spared blushes and Zimbabwean Knowledge Musona was a hero and villain in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying Saturday. China-based Ighalo bagged a matchday 3 treble as Nigeria crushed Libya 4-0 in Uyo to continue a Group E recovery after starting with a shock home defeat by South Africa. Fajr converted a penalty seven minutes into stoppage time as Morocco sneaked a 1-0 Group B win in Casablanca over the Comoros, ranked 104 places below them in the world.    Captain Musona scored and was sent off within five ... Read more