Mane scores on return to action with Senegal

Senegal's Sadio Mane (R) fights for the ball with Mozambique's Prins Tjiueza during their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (CHAN) Group L qualifier at Stade Me Abdoulaye Wade in Dakar on Friday. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 25 March 2023

Mane scores on return to action with Senegal

  • Mohamed Salah netted Egypt’s opener in a 2-0 win over Malawi

CAPE TOWN, South Africa: Sadio Mane put his World Cup disappointment behind him by scoring on his return to international action as Senegal swept past Mozambique 5-1 in African Cup of Nations qualifying on Friday.

Mane darted behind the defense to poke home a pass by Youssouf Sabaly with his left foot for the reigning African champion’s second goal in Dakar.

Mohamed Salah netted Egypt’s opener in a 2-0 win over Malawi.

And there was also a successful return for Ivory Coast striker Sebastien Haller, who scored to help his country beat Comoros 3-1 in his first international since his comeback after receiving treatment for testicular cancer.

Mane smiled as he celebrated his goal with teammates, who had to do without their star player at the World Cup last year after he was injured just before the tournament.

Without Mane, Senegal was knocked out by England in the round of 16 at the World Cup. But the convincing win over Mozambique, Mane’s first game for Senegal since before the World Cup, kept the Cup of Nations titleholder at the top of Group L with three wins from three and on course to qualify for the continental championship next year in Ivory Coast.

Sabaly scored the first goal in the ninth minute, Mane made it two in the 16th, and Iliman Ndiaye and Boulaye Dia ensured Senegal led 4-0 at halftime. Habib Diallo sent a diving header in for the fifth with two minutes to go.

Gildo Vilanculos got Mozambique’s only goal when he headed a parry by Alfred Gomis straight back past the Senegal goalkeeper to make it 4-1 early in the second half.

Senegal didn’t allow that to threaten its dominance and controlled the rest of the game, with Mane at one point urging his team not to settle for 4-1 and go forward in search of more goals. Diallo eventually delivered one.

Salah took his goal with a first-time shot from a cross in the 20th minute to give Egypt the lead against Malawi in Cairo. Omar Marmoush was credited with the second but his low shot took a wicked deflection off a Malawi defender and looped over goalkeeper Charles Thom.

Egypt had 21 shots to Malawi’s five and 75 percent possession, and the win revived the record seven-time African champion’s qualifying campaign after it lost to Ethiopia in the last round to slip to the bottom of Group D on goal difference.

Earlier Friday, Nigeria struggled to a 1-0 loss at home to Guinea-Bissau, ending the Super Eagles’ winning start to qualifying and seeing Guinea-Bissau take top spot in Group A. Nigeria aare still in position to qualify for the African Cup as the top two teams from each group qualify.

South Africa cruised to a 2-0 lead over Liberia with a double by striker Lyle Foster, but Liberia fought back for a draw with Mohammed Sangare’s equalizer coming in injury time at Soccer City in Soweto. That hurt South Africa’s hopes of qualifying and deeply frustrated coach Hugo Broos, who walked out of a news conference after telling reporters he wouldn’t answer any of their questions.

“There is too much disappointment, too much frustration, too much anger in my body,” Broos said. “If I should say now what I think, it would not be nice.”
 


Brazil court seeks arrest of LA Galaxy’s Costa for failing to pay child support

Updated 31 May 2023

Brazil court seeks arrest of LA Galaxy’s Costa for failing to pay child support

  • The 32-year-old Costa cannot be arrested outside Brazil, according to the court’s ruling

SAO PAULO: A Brazilian court is seeking the arrest of L.A. Galaxy striker Douglas Costa for failing to pay for child support.
An attorney for the Brazilian striker said on Tuesday in a statement that he trusts the decision by a judge in the city of Porto Alegre will be reversed. Details of the case are sealed.
The 32-year-old Costa cannot be arrested outside Brazil, according to the court’s ruling, which was issued on Friday.
Costa has played for Brazil, Bayern Munich and Juventus. He signed a deal with the Major League Soccer team in February 2022, and it runs to December.


Forwards Nkunku, Dembélé recalled by France for Euro qualifiers

Updated 31 May 2023

Forwards Nkunku, Dembélé recalled by France for Euro qualifiers

  • The two strikers were included in coach Didier Deschamps’ squad for upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Gibraltar and Greece
  • France top the Group B standings in qualifying after back-to-back wins against the Netherlands and Ireland

PARIS: Christopher Nkunku and Ousmane Dembélé were recalled Wednesday to France’s national team.
The two strikers were included in coach Didier Deschamps’ squad for upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Gibraltar and Greece after missing Les Bleus’ previous games due to injury.
France top the Group B standings in qualifying after back-to-back wins against the Netherlands and Ireland. The two-time world champions take on Gibraltar in Portugal on June 16, then host Greece three days later at the Stade de France.
Nkunku, who plays for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga, has been sidelined for months due to a knee injury while Barcelona’s Dembele missed a series of games due to a hamstring problem.
Deschamps will be without the injured Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, with William Saliba also missing because of a back injury.
France squad:
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Brice Samba (Lens)
Defenders: Axel Disasi (Monaco), Wesley Fofana (Chelsea), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Ibrahima Konaté (Liverpool), Jules Koundé (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurélien Tchouaméni (Real Madrid),
Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach).


Hudson quits as US men’s football team interim coach, is replaced by Callaghan

Updated 31 May 2023

Hudson quits as US men’s football team interim coach, is replaced by Callaghan

  • Hudson was appointed interim coach on Jan. 4, four days after Berhalter’s contract expired
  • Callaghan figures to have the full player pool available for the CONCACAF Nations League final four

NEW YORK: Anthony Hudson quit as interim head coach of the US men’s football team on Tuesday, just two weeks before he was to lead the Americans in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals.

He was replaced by B.J. Callaghan, another holdover from former coach Gregg Berhalter’s staff.

Hudson’s departure was announced just six days after the US Soccer Federation said he was remaining as coach of the Americans through the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. The USSF said Hudson was taking a job with a club but did not identify the team or the role.

The USSF said the decision to elevate Callaghan, a 41-year-old from Ventnor, New Jersey, was made by Matt Crocker, who is leaving relegated Southampton to become USSF sporting director on Aug. 2. Crocker is leading the search for a permanent coach to guide the team through the 2026 World Cup, which the Americans will co-host.

Neither Callaghan nor Crocker was made available to media by the USSF to discuss the change.

Hudson was appointed interim coach on Jan. 4, four days after Berhalter’s contract expired. Hudson led the Americans to two wins, one loss and two draws. His five games were the fewest for a US coach since John Kowalski led the team against Canada and Mexico in March 1991 between the terms of Bob Gansler and Bora Milutinovic.

Callaghan figures to have the full player pool available for the CONCACAF Nations League final four. The defending champion Americans play Mexico on June 15 and Canada or Panama three days later.

Most Europe-based players are expected to skip the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts June 24 and runs through July 16.

Callaghan played at Ursinus and spent six seasons at Villanova, becoming associate head coach. He worked in the youth academy of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, then became an assistant coach in 2014.

He was hired by the USSF as strategy analyst and assistant coach in January 2019, a month after Berhalter became head coach. He had been an assistant to Hudson this year.

Notes: The USSF also announced exhibitions on Oct. 14 against Germany at East Hartford, Connecticut, and on Oct. 17 against Ghana at Geodis Park in Nashville, Tennessee. The games are on FIFA fixture dates, meaning Europe-based players will be available.


Sevilla, Roma’s Mourinho put perfect European records on line in Europa League final

Updated 31 May 2023

Sevilla, Roma’s Mourinho put perfect European records on line in Europa League final

  • Sevilla have played six and won six finals of the Europa League since their first in 2006
  • The Roma coach can make more history by becoming the first coach to win the Europa League with three different clubs

BUDAPEST, Hungary: A remarkable perfect record in European soccer must fall when Sevilla face Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Sevilla have played six and won six finals of the Europa League since their first in 2006, when the second-tier competition was still called the UEFA Cup.

“For them to play the final is a normal thing, for us it is an extraordinary event,” Mourinho said on Tuesday, though adding: “History does not play.”

Still, history also has something to say about Mourinho. The former Porto, Inter Milan and Manchester United coach has a 5-0 career mark in finals of the three major European club competitions, dating to 2003 and Porto’s UEFA Cup triumph.

Mourinho actually has more European title wins than Sevilla coach Jose Luis Mendilibar has total games managed in those same competitions. The 62-year-old Mendilibar’s career is peaking since joining then-struggling Sevilla just two months ago.

“I have had more opportunities to play in European competitions, but Mendilibar is of the same generation as me, with the same white hair,” the 60-year-old Mourinho said. “We are on an equal footing.”

Only one record can survive their meeting at Puskas Arena in Budapest, where the Europa League trophy is just the start of the rewards for the winning club.

Neither Roma nor Sevilla can finish in the top four of their domestic leagues that would have ensured qualifying for the Champions League.

Their only path to the Champions League next season — and the potential tens of millions of euros (dollars) in extra prize money from UEFA — is taking the group-stage place protected for the Europa League winner.

The high value of this Europa League to both clubs is in stark contrast to a Mourinho comment from 10 years ago that became infamous.

“If I win the Europa League it will be a big disappointment for me because I don’t want to play in it,” he said on being re-hired by Chelsea. It was seen as throwing shade on his predecessor Rafa Benitez, who weeks earlier as Chelsea interim coach won the 2013 Europa title.

Mourinho and Benitez are among four coaches who have led two different teams to win the 52-year-old competition.

The Roma coach can make more history by becoming the first coach to win the Europa League with three different clubs, joining his Porto and Man United (2017) teams. And this just one year after the latest team in his storied career won the inaugural Europa Conference League to make Mourinho the first coach with titles in each of the three club competitions.

Mendilibar has a more modest background yet has arguably outcoached Mourinho in his brief spell at Sevilla.

Replacing former Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli in March, Mendilibar became Sevilla’s third coach this season with the team just two points clear of the La Liga relegation zone.

Mendilibar’s Sevilla have lost only two of 11 league games, is one point off seventh place going into the final round this weekend, and is unbeaten in the Europa League after eliminating Man United — despite trailing 2-0 after 83 minutes at Old Trafford in the first leg — and Juventus.

Roma came to Budapest having gone seven Serie A league games without a win, and advancing to the final with a 0-0 draw in the second leg at Bayer Leverkusen, managing just one goal attempt compared to 23 for the Germans.

“I don’t think they need many chances to score and to win,” Mendilibar said of Roma. “I don’t think they worry too much about getting to the opposition goal.”

Mourinho fans can point to that being a classic quality of his teams — doing exactly what was needed to win.


Bayern Munich bring back Rummenigge to supervisory board

Updated 30 May 2023

Bayern Munich bring back Rummenigge to supervisory board

  • “He is one the biggest figures in the history of our club, everyone knows what he has done,” Bayern president Herbert Hainer said
  • Bayern were without a sporting director following the dismissal of Hasan Salihamidžić along with Kahn on Saturday

MUNICH: Former chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is returning to Bayern Munich as a member of the club’s supervisory board.
Bayern said on Tuesday that 67-year-old Rummenigge, a former player and long-time employee of the club before he made way for incoming CEO Oliver Kahn in December 2021, was coming back to ensure its continued success.
“He is one the biggest figures in the history of our club, everyone knows what he has done,” Bayern president Herbert Hainer said. “His experience, his competence and his international network will enormously help Bayern be successful in the future, too.”
Bayern were without a sporting director following the dismissal of Hasan Salihamidžić along with Kahn on Saturday, when they won a record-extending 11th consecutive Bundesliga title.
Bayern presented Jan-Christian Dreesen as Kahn’s replacement on Sunday, when Hainer said he would propose Rummenigge’s return at the club’s shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday.
Rummenigge, a former striker who scored 162 goals in 310 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern, won the European Cup with the club in 1975 and 1976. He also won two Bundesliga and two German Cup titles before leaving for Inter Milan in 1984.
He returned to Bayern in 1991 as vice president and was the club’s chief executive from 2002 until Kahn took over. Bayern won 14 Bundesligas, 10 German Cups and two Champions League trophies in that time and Rummenigge helped the Bavarian powerhouse increase turnover from 176 million euros ($189 million) to 679 million euros ($728 million). The public limited company behind Bayern posted a profit in every financial year during the period, helping to build reserves rarely seen in debt-ridden European soccer.
Bayern’s supervisory board includes Hainer as president, Jan Heinemann from stakeholder Adidas, Markus Duesmann of Audi, Werner Zedelius from Allianz, honorary president Uli Hoeneß, Thorsten Langheim from Deutsche Telekom, Dieter Mayer as vice president, former Bavarian state president Edmund Stoiber, and Rummenigge.