Gelsenkirchen, Nov 20 (AP/UNB)— A dramatic comeback sent the Netherlands to the UEFA Nations League finals after ending Germany's nightmare year with yet more disappointment in a 2-2 draw on Monday.
The comeback meant the Dutch — who missed the last European Championship and World Cup — qualified ahead of world champion France to join England, Switzerland, and Portugal in next year's inaugural Final Four.
At 2-0 down to Germany in the 85th minute, Dutch hopes of reaching the Nations League finals looked long gone.
But Quincy Promes curled a shot past Manuel Neuer, and defender Virgil van Dijk — playing as a makeshift striker — volleyed in a second for the point the Netherlands needed. For all the talk of their young players, the Netherlands' more experienced personnel made the difference.
After failing to qualify for two consecutive major tournaments, the Netherlands was widely considered the favorite for relegation in the Nations League when drawn against Germany and France in January.
With Ronald Koeman in his first year as coach and Ajax's Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong giving the team a shot of youthful energy, the Netherlands' campaign proved it once again belonged with the continent's big names. At home, the Dutch beat Germany 3-0 and new world champion France 2-0, but struggled to maintain the same form away until the last five minutes of Monday's game.
Germany had already been relegated to League B, capping a year coach Joachim Loew called "a slap in the face" after a group-stage exit at the World Cup. Some in the stands called for Loew to step down after 12 years in charge, though his team dominated most of the game against the Dutch before the sudden late collapse.
The Germans showed sublime skill for Timo Werner's ninth-minute opening goal, Serge Gnabry flicking the ball for the striker to head on before unleashing a powerful low shot from long range.
One of the Netherlands' much-heralded young talents, defender de Ligt, was at fault for the second goal. Faced with Leroy Sane struggling to control the ball, de Ligt mistimed his challenged entirely, leaving Sane to hit a shot which took a deflection off Kenny Tete.
Germany couldn't find a third goal to finish off the Netherlands, though Gnabry went close with a header in the 40th and Werner dragged a shot wide in the 63rd.
The Dutch sprang to life in the dying minutes.
In the 85th, Germany failed to clear the ball and ignored Promes lurking on the edge of the penalty area. When the ball finally reached him, he had plenty of time to send a curling shot to the top-right corner past Neuer's outstretched arm.
With nothing to lose, defender and captain Van Dijk went up front as a makeshift forward, using his height and strength in the buildup to his dramatic leveler. Tonny Vilhena picked up the ball on the right flank and sent in a cross which glanced off a German head for Van Dijk to volley past the exasperated Neuer.
Madrid, Nov 20 (AP/UNB) — Spain wants Morocco to join a three-country bid with Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup.
A government spokeswoman says Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez conveyed the offer to Moroccan counterpart Saad Eddine El Othmani during a brief visit to the north African country. The spokeswoman, as is custom, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
There was no immediate response from the government in Rabat.
According to Spanish media, a World Cup bid spanning two continents had been floated in September when Sanchez met in Madrid with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
South American soccer leaders are already promoting a three-way centenary bid by Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. Uruguay hosted the first World Cup in 1930. There is already European interest from England, which is exploring bidding with its neighbors.
Spain hosted the 1982 World Cup and bid with Portugal for the 2018 competition, which went to Russia.
Bangkok, Nov 20 (AP/UNB) — In the ring, the two boxers spar furiously with blows delivered by fists, elbows, knees and feet to virtually any part of the opponent's body. Those in the crowd furiously make wagers with each other as the battle rages.
The Muay Thai — or Thai kickboxing — competitors are as young as 8 years old.
But the tragic death of 13-year-old Anucha Tasako after being knocked out in a match earlier this month has brought into focus whether youngsters should be taking and giving such brutal punishment in the name of sports.
Anucha, who fought an incredible 174 bouts in a career that started at age 8, died of a brain hemorrhage two days after his Nov. 10 fight.
Hardcore Muay Thai fans say his death was a fluke. They say that the referee did not stop the fight soon enough and that a doctor was not on hand, flouting the usual procedures.
But even before Anucha's death, moves were afoot to regulate the sport. Thai lawmakers recently tabled legislation to bar children under 12 from competitive boxing.
Last month, a five-year study by Dr. Witaya Sungkarat of Bangkok's Ramathibodi Hospital was published that compared brain development between young boxers and children not involved with the sport.
He said the study clearly shows that boxing causes irreparable damage to a young child's developing brain, and the longer each young boxer had been fighting, the worse his condition became.
The sport's defenders say outsiders just don't understand that Muay Thai is an integral part of Thai culture. Beginning to fight at a tender age puts the youngsters on the path to a successful professional career, with the opportunity to lift their poor families up the ladder of economic success, they say.
Dhaka, Nov 19 (UNB) – A brilliant hat-trick by Nigerian booter Sunday Chizuba guided holders Dhaka Abahani Limited to the final of the Walton Federation Cup Football eliminating three times champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club by 4-2 goals in the first semifinal at floodlit Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Monday.
After a barren first half, all the six goals came in the 2nd half in a span of 34 minutes.
The sky-blue popular Dhanmondi outfit, Abahani Ltd, will play the final on Thursday (Nov 22) at 5 pm against the winners of star-studded Bashundhara Kings and Sheikh Russel KC, which will meet each other in the 2nd semifinal on Tuesday (Nov 20) at 5 pm at the same venue.
Sunday Chizuba, a well-known face in the Dhaka League, made the hat-trick scoring three goals in a row in the 65th (penalty, 82nd and 86th minute while Afghan footballer Masih Saighari netted the other goal for Abahani in the 56th minute. Didarul netted both the goals for Sheikh Jamal in the 79th and 84th minute.
With the day’s feat, 10th times champions Dhaka Abahani Limited need just a win to celebrate their hat-trick championship eliminating Sheikh Jamal DC in the 2nd successive semifinal of the Federation Cup Football.
In the day’s crucial semifinal, Masih opened the floodgate for Abahani in the 56th minute off a corner of Rubel Miah (1-0).
Abahani got the spot kick when Sheikh Jamal defender Shymol Miah fouled on rushing Sunday in the danger zone and Sunday did no mistake to convert the penalty (2-0).
Didarul Alam made the match exciting reducing the margin in the 79th minute (2-1).
Sunday Chizuba further widened the Abahani margin by a good header, capitalising on a free kick of Waly Faisal (3-1) in the 82nd minute.
Didarul again brought Sheikh Jamal in the match scoring his 2nd goal in the 84th minute utilising a lapse of Abahani custodian Shahidul Alam Sohel (3-2) while Sunday sealed the fate of the match scoring his 3rd goal in the 86th minute by a long range shot to complete the 3rd hat-trick of the tournament (4-2).
Later, Sunday Chizuba was adjudged smart player of the match.
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club booked a seat for the semifinals with unbeaten runs beating Nofel SC 2-1, drew 1-1 with Bashundhara Kings and Dhaka Mohammedan SC in group matches and eliminated Saif SC 2-1 in the quarterfinal.
On the way to the semifinals, Dhaka Abahani beat Muktijoddha SKC 1-0 and conceded 0-1 defeat against Sheikh Russel KC in group affairs and beat Arambagh KS 3-2 in the quarterfinal.
Dhaka, Nov 19 (UNB) – The Teer 2nd National Youth Archery Championships Under the “Teer Go For Goal” project of Bangladesh Archery Federation’ began on Monday at the Archery Training Centre of Shaheed Ahsanullah Master Stadium in Tongi with famed archers Tamimul Islam and Ibrahim Sk Rezwan in the top qualifiers.
The sponsor of the meet and executive director of City Group Shoeb Mohammad Asaduzzaman inaugurated the two-day youth archery meet in the afternoon.
General Secretary of Bangladesh Archery Federation (BAF) Kazi Razibuddin Ahmed Chapal and tournament convener Abdur Rashid Serniabad were also present on the occasion.
In the qualification round of U-20 Junior group, Mohammad Tamimul Islam of BKSP finished first in the boys Recurve singles scoring 650 while Borsha Khatun of Teerondaj Sangsad clinched the top slot in the girls Recurve singles scoring 588 on the opening day.
In the Cadet Category of U-17 group, Ibrahim Sheikh Rezwan of Teerondaj Sangsad clinched top slot in the boys’ singles scoring 662 while Diya Siddiqui of BKSP finished top in the girls’ singles making 634.
Thirty boy and 17 girl archers from five teams are taking part in the two-day competition in 12 Recurve and Compound events—six for boys and six for girls.
Bangladesh Archery Federation (BAF) arranged the 2nd version of the national youth competition under the sponsorship of City Group, eyeing on medals from the Tokyo Olympics 2020.