Monday, June 15, 2009

Top favourite Brazil stutter to victory against plucky Pharaohs

Brazil had to rely on a late penalty to earn a 4-3 victory over Egypt in a thrilling Confederations Cup game played at the Vodacom Park Stadium in Bloemfontein on Monday afternoon.

The South American side were on top for the first half, taking a 3-1 lead into the break, but a revitalised Egyptian side did the African continent proud with a breathtaking second half display, levelling the scores at 3-3 before a late penalty from Kaka finally secured the three points for Brazil.

Egypt started the game minus two of their biggest stars – striker Amr Zaki missed the game through injury, while fellow marksman Mido’s absence is explained by his failure to see eye to eye with coach Hassan Shehata.

It didn’t however take long for the South American champions to regain the advantage – in the 11th minute Luis Fabiano ran out to meet Elano’s free kick, before flicking a sublime header into the far bottom corner of the net.

Following the goal, Brazil remained in charge, although Egypt looked by no means over-awed and constantly posed a threat on the counter-attack.

Brazil could however have added a third goal in the 24th minute, but defender Juan, presented with a free header from a corner, was unable to find the target.

There were also a couple of free kicks from Elano and Dani Alves which kept El Hadary on his toes.

There was not much however that the Pharaohs number one could do in the 36th minute when Elano fired in a dangerous corner which again picked out Juan, this time the big centre back made no mistake as he powered his header into the net: 3-1 Brazil.

The Egyptians nearly pulled a goal back just before the break when Sayed Moawad’s scintillating run down the left culminated in an inch-perfect cross to Hosny Rabo, whose thunderous header flew inches over the bar.

Early stages of the second half saw Egypt showing signs that they were not going down without a fight.

Looking a rejuvenated side, the Pharaohs did indeed pull a goal back in he 54th minute when pressure down the left flank resulted in the ball being pulled back for Mohamed Shawky, whose cleanly hit right-footed shot from 20-yards out whistled past Brazil keeper Julio Cesar and into the bottom corner of the net.

The Pharaohs remained the more purposeful side in attack, although it was Brazil who came close to scoring in the 77th minute when Kaka’s volley dipped inches over the bar.

But Egypt soon upped the tempo again, taking on, and beating Brazil at their own game as they passed the ball around masterfully, nearly scoring the winner when Ahmed Fathi rifled a cracking drive narrowly over the bar in the 85th minute.

But the South Americans were offered a life-line when Lucio’s shot struck Ahmed Al-Muhammadi on the arm, leading referee Howard Webb to sending him off and awarding a penalty.

Kaka made no mistake, slotting home the winner which Egyptian fans would no doubt feel was undeserved.

Result: 04-03

Egypt: El Hadary; Fathi, A.Said, H.Said, Gomaa; Shawky, Moawad, Hasan (Eid 51’), Rabbou (Al-Muhammadi 75’); Aboutrika, Zidan

Goals: 09. Mohamed Zidan (9') 11. Mohamed Shawky (54') 09. Mohamed Zidan (55')

Brazil: Cesar; Alves, Lucio, Juan, Kleber (Santos 83’); Elano (Ramires 63’), Melo, Gilberto Silva, Kaka; Robinho (Pato 63’), Fabiano

10. Kaka (5') 09. Luis Fabiano (12') 04. Juan (37') 10. Kaka (90')


Two New Mexico football players arrested in Albuquerque

University of New Mexico head football coach Mike Locksley said Sunday two players have been suspended indefinitely from all football-related activities after being arrested.
Locksley says offensive tackle Byron Bell and wide receiver Quintell Solomon were suspended following their arrests in downtown Albuquerque overnight.
The two players face disorderly conduct and other charges after being arrested at a downtown bar. They posted bond Sunday and were released.
An Albuquerque police spokeswoman says she doesn't have information about the arrests.
Locksley says the two players won't participate in UNM's football program until university officials obtain more information. Then, officials will determine appropriate disciplinary action.
One supporter says, The double standard for football players should be dropped. This is a small time subject that can only hurt people. Unless, of course you want to report all college towns with students in the clinker. Summer is a tough time on campus. It's even tougher with "pariah" stamped on your back by national press. Stop it already!!


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