Madrid, Nov 14 (AP/UNB) — Real Madrid is done searching for a new coach.
The club said Tuesday it is sticking with Santiago Solari, giving him a permanent contract until June 2021.
Solari was appointed as the interim coach about two weeks ago to replace the fired Julen Lopetegui and was rewarded with a long-term deal after leading the team to four straight victories, putting it back on track in the Spanish league and the Champions League.
The 42-year-old Solari is a former Argentina international who played for Real Madrid in the early 2000s. He had previously coached Madrid's "B'' team.
There had been speculation about Antonio Conte and Roberto Martinez as possible replacements for Lopetegui, but Solari gained the club's confidence — and the approval of fans and players — with his impressive start in charge of the main squad.
Madrid outscored its opponents 15-2 in the four matches under Solari. It had lost five of its last seven games with Lopetegui in command, being outscored 13-4.
Solari was virtually unknown outside of Spain and few saw him as a front-runner for the Madrid job, but he has always been well-regarded within the club.
He got the demanding Madrid fans on his side by making some popular choices early in his stint, including giving more playing time to Vinicius Junior, the young Brazilian who arrived amid high expectations but had been relegated to the "B'' team under Lopetegui. The 18-year-old forward played well every time Solari put him in, showing he was indeed ready to be with the main squad.
Players who had been struggling under Lopetegui also began thriving after Solari took over. Karim Benzema was one of them, scoring four goals in the four victories under Solari. The French striker had scored only once in the last 10 matches before Lopetegui was fired.
The club had registered Solari as its permanent coach on Monday because local regulations prohibit teams from having an interim coach for more than two weeks.
Madrid officials had been praising Solari but had not said they stopped looking for a full-time replacement for Lopetegui, the former Spain coach who was fired following a 5-1 loss to Barcelona at Camp Nou Stadium.
The club said the decision to keep Solari was made after a meeting of the board of directors on Tuesday.
The coach helped Madrid move from ninth to sixth in the Spanish league, four points behind Barcelona. He also put the three-time defending European champions back at the top of its group in the Champions League, tied on points with Roma.
Solari helped Madrid win the 2002 Champions League as a player as was involved in the build-up that led to Zinedine Zidane's superb winner in the final.
The former midfielder also played for River Plate, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan.
He had been coaching Real Madrid's "B'' team since 2016, taking over not long after Zidane left to coach the main squad.
Madrid's next match is at Eibar in the Spanish league on Nov. 24, after the international break.
Dhaka, Nov 12 (UNB) – Bangladesh Women’s team completed their Group C Asian Qualifiers campaign of the Women’s Olympic Football Tokyo 2020 playing a consolation 1-1 draw with Himalayan nation Nepal in their 3rd and last match at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on Tuesday.
With the day’s face-saving draw after two humiliating defeats against Myanmar and India, Bangladesh team opened the account with one point from all the three group outings while Nepal finished 3rd with unbeaten run in the four-nation group securing three points from three matches, playing draw in all the matches.
Niru Thapa put Nepal ahead in the 17th minute while Akhi Khatun levelled the margin for Bangladesh in the 2nd minute of the stoppage time (92nd minute).
The Bangladesh Women’s team, with an average age of 18 years, made a frustrating start losing to hosts and upper-ranked Myanmar by 0-5 goals in the first match and confirmed their elimination from the meet after a shocking 1-7 goals defeat against their well-known rivals India in the 2nd on Sunday.
Two top teams of the Group C -- India and Myanmar -- which already assured the 2nd round berth from the group securing four points each from two matches were scheduled to meet each other in the last group match in the evening to deicide the group champions.
On completion of two group matches, India dominated the list securing four points with six plus goals while Myanmar followed the leader neck and neck, also with four points, with five plus goals.
Nepal have also chance to each the 2nd round if they can end as 2nd two best third-placed team of the four groups.
Standing of Group C before India-Myanmar last group match Tuesday evening (Tabulating under match played, win, draw, loss, goal for, goal against, goal difference and points.
Team M W D L GF GA GD Pts
India 2 1 1 0 8 2 +6 4
Myanmar 2 1 1 0 6 1 +5 4
Nepal 3 0 3 0 3 3 0 3
Bangladesh 3 0 1 2 2 13 -11 1
Dhaka, Nov 13 (AP/UNB) - It has plunged Germany into renewed crisis, provoked scenes of jubilation in Kosovo and Gibraltar, and set up what could be an exciting week of international soccer in a summer usually bereft of competition for European countries.
The UEFA Nations League might not have been welcomed by some clubs across the continent — Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp called it "the most senseless competition in the world of football" — but it has generated plenty of intriguing story lines to pique interest in its inaugural year.
The competition has reached its final set of qualifying matches, and results over the next week will determine which teams will feature in a Final Four mini-tournament in June — when the first Nations League champion will be crowned. Currently, France, Belgium, Portugal and Spain are favorites to be the finalists.
The upcoming matches will also establish which of the lower-ranked teams qualify for the Nations League playoffs, from which one place at the 2020 European Championship will be awarded.
Here's a look at what's at stake:
France, the world champion, has won two of its first three group games and will advance to the Final Four with a win over the Netherlands in Rotterdam on Friday. A victory for the Dutch means they can then qualify by beating — or potentially even drawing with — Germany in the group closer in Gelsenkirchen on Monday.
France has seen four players, including Paul Pogba, withdraw from the squad through injury on Monday.
Germany is last in the group, having collected one point from three games, and is on the brink of relegation to League B featuring Europe's second-tier nations. Coming after a World Cup where the team failed to get out of the group stage, coach Germany coach Joachim Loew's decision to stay on in the role is under as much scrutiny as the team's mettle.
Iceland has already been relegated after losing its first three games, leaving Belgium and Switzerland — tied on points — to battle for first place. The Belgians have played a game less, so a home win over Iceland on Thursday will leave them three points clear heading into the group decider in Switzerland on Monday.
Belgium is the world's top-ranked team and will look for revenge for its semifinal loss to France at the World Cup if it does reach the Final Four.
There is an added emphasis on which of Portugal or Italy advances, considering the team that qualifies from this group will host the Final Four in June. Portugal is the favorite after winning its first two games, without needing Cristiano Ronaldo, and needs only a point away to Italy on Saturday to guarantee first place.
If Italy wins, Portugal can still finish top with a home win on Tuesday over Poland, which has already been relegated after picking up just one point from its first three games.
Spain looked on course to qualify comfortably from a group also containing England and World Cup runner-up Croatia after beating both teams in its first two games. Losing to England 3-2 in Sevilla last month, in arguably the standout match of the entire group stage so far, has kept things alive.
If Spain loses to Croatia in Zagreb on Thursday, England can finish first with a win over the Croats at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Spain coach Luis Enrique has called up Barcelona left back Jordi Alba for the first time since taking charge of the team after the World Cup.
Ukraine became the first country to secure promotion to Group A for the second Nations League, in 2020. Bosnia and Russia are well clear in their groups and need one point from their final matches, against Austria and Sweden respectively, to also ensure promotion.
In the other group in League B, Wales and Denmark are fighting for first place. They meet in Cardiff on Friday, when a Welsh win would guarantee them top spot.
The Nations League also offers a second chance to qualify for the European Championship in 2020. The 16 group winners in Leagues A, B, C and D — or the next best-placed teams who have not already qualified via the European qualifiers starting in March — will progress to the playoffs to compete for the last four qualifying places.
It means the so-called minnows of Europe have something tangible to play for.
No teams have won their group so far, though Finland is close after winning its first four games in Group C2 and needs one point from its last two.
In Group C1, Israel and Scotland are batting for first place; in Group C3, Norway and Bulgaria are tied on points with two games left; and in Group C4, there is a three-way fight between Serbia, Montenegro and Romania.
In the league containing Europe's weakest countries, Gibraltar and Kosovo — two of the newest members of UEFA — have claimed their first ever competitive international wins.
Kosovo is top of Group D3, two points clear of Azerbaijan with two games left. Gibraltar is second behind Macedonia in Group D4. Georgia has won Group D1, and Luxembourg and Belarus appear to be fighting for first place in Group D2.
London, Nov 13 (AP/UNB) — Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge could be facing a ban from football after being charged on Monday with breaching rules on betting.
England's Football Association said the alleged breaches took place in January 2018, when Sturridge was on loan from Liverpool at West Bromwich Albion.
Liverpool reacted by saying the 29-year-old Sturridge has "stated categorically that he has never gambled on football."
"Daniel has given his full and unequivocal cooperation throughout this process," Liverpool said in a statement, "and has assured the club he will continue to do so."
In April last year, Premier League player Joey Barton was banned for 18 months for placing more than a thousand bets on football over an 11-year period, including games he played in.
The FA said Sturridge is alleged to have breached two rules. The first relates to bets on matches or any other football matter, and the second involves providing information about football from his privileged position to another person for the purposes of betting.
Sturridge has until Nov. 20 to respond to the charge.
The former Manchester City and Chelsea striker has played 26 times for England, the most recent appearance coming in October 2017. He is back in favor at Liverpool, and has scored four goals as the back-up striker to Roberto Firmino this season.
Leipzig, Nov 13 (AP/UNB) - Schalke forward Mark Uth has been ruled out of Germany's games against Russia and the Netherlands, while Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler will miss the first game.
The German soccer federation said on Monday that Draxler was being given time off due to a family bereavement and it was unclear if he would return for the UEFA Nations League game against the Netherlands in Gelsenkirchen on Nov. 19.
Germany plays Russia on Thursday in a friendly in Leipzig.
Uth, who made his Germany debut in the 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in Amsterdam last month, suffered a hamstring and tendon injury in his left leg in Schalke's 3-0 Bundesliga defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday. It's unclear if he will play again this season.
Loew ruled out any other call-ups.
"It's not planned at the moment. We have 20 outfield players and three goalkeepers. That's enough for the moment," Loew said after the team arrived in Leipzig on Monday.