Portugal, Mar 24 (AP/UNB) — Brazil was held by Panama to 1-1 in a friendly played in Portugal on Saturday.
Lucas Paqueta opened the scoring for Brazil in the 32nd minute from a pass by Casemiro, only for Panama's Adolfo Machado to equalize with a header four minutes later at FC Porto's Dragao stadium.
Brazil midfielder Casemiro hit the crossbar midway through the second half.
Brazil will play the Czech Republic in Prague on Tuesday in another friendly.
Star striker Neymar is not on Brazil's squad as he recovers from foot surgery.
The matches form part of Brazil's preparation for the Copa America it will stage in June.
New York. Mar 24 (AP/UNB) - The former European champions started their campaigns to qualify for Euro 2020 with wins over Scandinavian visitors on Saturday — but in different fashion.
While a misfiring Spain turned to captain Sergio Ramos to edge Norway 2-1, Italians Nicolo Barella and Moise Kean scored their first international goals to beat Finland 2-0.
The pressure is on Italy to recover from last year's embarrassing failure to not reach the World Cup. Spain likewise wants to use the European qualifying campaign to restore its status as one of the continent's best teams after losing to a less talented Russia in the World Cup last 16.
"When you start from zero there is always excitement," Ramos said. "We have a dream, this goal to do something big. A new quest starts, a new objective, and there is no better way to do so than this."
Spain dominated the first half at Valencia's Mestalla Stadium but only Rodrigo Moreno could convert his scoring chance.
Norway equalized in the 65th minute when forward Joshua King netted a penalty kick after substitute Bjorn Johnsen was fouled by Inigo Martinez in the area.
But Ramos soon got his turn at the spot when Alvaro Morata poached a poor back pass by Harvard Nordtveit and was cut down in the box by goalkeeper Rune Jarstein.
Ramos, making his 162nd appearance for Spain, got the winner when he converted a spot kick in the "panenka" style — waiting for the goalie to move before chipping the ball down the middle — in the 71st.
Also in Group F, Sweden beat Romania 2-1 thanks to goals by Robin Quaison and Viktor Claesson. Substitute Claudiu Keseru pulled one back for Romania.
Malta edged the Faroe Islands 2-1 in the matchup of the group's minnows.
Three-time champion Spain is the favorite to win the qualifying group.
Barella, a 22-year-old midfielder with Cagliari, scored seven minutes in for Italy with a long, deflected shot from a rebound following a free kick from Marco Verratti.
Kean, aged 19, then took advantage of an excellent throughball from Ciro Immobile to find the target from the center of the area in the 74th. He became the second youngest scorer for Italy after Bruno Nicole in 1958.
"He's skillful," Italy coach Roberto Mancini said of Kean. "But he still has a lot of work to do. He's got a huge margin for improvement."
It marked the first time the Azzurri scored more than one goal in a competitive match in nearly two years.
Also in Group J, Greece won at Liechtenstein 2-0 from goals by Kostas Fortounis and Anastasios Donis.
Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Armenia 2-1 as Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko celebrated his 100th appearance.
Switzerland got second-half goals from Steven Zuber and Denis Zakaria to win at Georgia 2-0, ending the hosts' run of seven unbeaten games at home.
Switzerland will play Group D favorite Denmark in Basel on Tuesday.
Ireland's Jeff Hendrick scored to help beat Gibraltar 1-0.
Dhaka, Mar 23 (UNB) - The 13-team Metropolis 2nd Division Football League begins on Sunday at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Shipahi Mohammad Mustafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur here.
State Minister for Youth and Sports M Zahid Ahsan Russell will inaugurate the meet in the afternoon.
Tongi Krira Chakra will play Gouripur Sporting Club in the lone opening day match at 3:45pm.
On the following day (Monday), Purbachal Parishad will face Khilgaon Football Academy at 9am.
Secretary of the league committee Mohidur Rahman Miraj disclosed this at a press conference at the BFF House on Saturday.
The champion team will be promoted to senior division league while bottom team will be relegated to the 3rd division league.
The participating teams are Tongi Krira Chakra, Purbachal Parishad, Azampur Football Club (Uttara), Little Friends Club, City Club, Mugda Samaj Kallayan & Krira Sangsad, East End Club, BG Press SRC, Shantinagar Club, Dilkusha SC, BKSP, Khilgaon Football Academy and Gouripur Sporting Club.
Dhaka, March 23 (UNB) — Bangladesh Youth team will play stronger Palestine in their 2nd Group B match of the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers on Sunday (March 24) at 7 pm Bangladesh Time at Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town, Bahrain.
Bangladesh (FIFA ranking 192) could never manage a win against Palestine (FIFA ranking 100) since their first meeting in AFC Challenge Cup in Dhaka in 2006.
Hosts Bangladesh national team (ranked 192) played to a 1-1 in their first match in 2006, suffered 0-2 goals defeat in the FIFA International Friendly in 2011 and conceded 0-1 defeat in the AFC Asia Cup in 2013. Bangladesh U-23 team suffered 0-3 defeat against hosts Palestine in 2017.
Touring Bangladesh conceded a narrow 0-1 goal defeat against upper ranked and hosts Bahrain in one of the two opening day’s matches Friday night (March 22) while Palestine made a flying start in the four-team Group B outplaying Sri Lanka by 9-0 goals Friday afternoon at the same venue.
Captain Mohamed Yusuf Handan scored the match-winner for Bahrain in the 21st minute of the match against Bangladesh.
The youthful Bangladesh team, which put in four-team Group B of the Asian Youth Football with hosts Bahrain, Palestine and Sri Lanka, will play Sri Lanka on Tuesday (March 26) at 10pm (Bangladesh time) in the remaining group match.
Forty-four teams, split into eleven groups, are taking part in the AFC U-23 qualifiers, a qualifying meet of the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Later, 11 group champions with four best group runners-up and hosts Thailand will play in the 16-team final round of the meet slated for January next year. The top three teams will qualify for Tokyo Olympics.
Ahead of the tough match against Palestine, the Head Coach of Bangladesh team Jamie Day said, “Palestine and Bahrain are best teams in the group. So, the match against Palestine will be another tough one (After 0-1 defeat against Bahrain), but we're up for the challenge. We'll give it our best to get something out of the game hopefully.”
“We need to get something from the match after losing yesterday (Friday). It's going to be similar to what we've done before. We want to obviously start the game well. We want to be compact to give ourselves a chance of getting something out of the match. And hopefully we can capitalize on the mistakes they make” Jamie Day added.
“We'll have a discussion tonight (Saturday) and decide which will be the best formation to play tomorrow (against Palestine),” he further said.
Bangladesh goalkeeping coach Dean May said, “The performance of our custodian Zico was good in the last night. He kept the team in the game with some of his saves. He has been trying to implement some of the match related training in the game.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh did not have any training on Saturday apart from a gym and pool session at 11:00am local time. There will be class with all the players for video analysis and match related discussion for tomorrow's game.
Earlier, Bangladesh went to Bahrain with high morale taking 10-day intensive training camp in Qatar, where they beat Al Shahania Club by 1-0 goal and played to a goalless draw with Al Arabi Club in two preparatory matches in the gulf country.
Bangladesh football team, studded with 11 youthful U-23 players, recently beat hosts Cambodia by 1-0 in the FIFA International Friendly in Phnom Penh.
Madrid, Mar 23 (AP/UNB) — Lionel Messi's international return didn't do much to help Argentina regain top form.
Messi was back on Friday for the first time since the 2018 World Cup but couldn't stop his team losing 3-1 to Venezuela in a friendly.
Salomon Rondon, John Murillo and Josef Martinez scored for Venezuela at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, while Lautaro Martinez replied for Argentina.
Messi hadn't played an international since the 4-3 loss to France in the round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia.
"He played a good game" Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said. "The chances we created were thanks to him."
Messi showed his usual deft skills and his long-range shot in the 38th minute was headed for the top corner until Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez Aray tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Messi helped set up Argentina's 58th-minute goal with a pass to Giovani Lo Celso, who eventually fed Martinez inside the area.
Venezuela had opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Rondon ran on to a long pass into the penalty area and sent a right-footed shot beyond goalkeeper Franco Armani.
Murillo made it 2-0 just before halftime by curling the ball away from Armani just inside the far post.
Venezuela's fast counterattacks were a nightmare for Argentina throughout and Martinez sealed victory by converting a 75th-minute penalty.
"It's satisfying to earn a victory against a team like Argentina," Venezuela coach Rafael Dudamel said.
Dudamel surprisingly offered his resignation after the match. He told a news conference he was not happy about the political use of a visit by a government official before Friday's game in Madrid, and said his future would be decided in talks with federation officials in the coming days.
The last time Argentina played at the Metropolitano it lost 6-1 to Spain in a World Cup warmup in 2018.
Argentina will play another friendly on Tuesday against Morocco in Tangier. Scaloni said he hadn't decided whether Messi would play in that game.
Argentina has not won a trophy since the 1993 Copa America. It lost the last two finals of the tournament to Chile, in 2015 and 2016. It also lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany.
The Copa America will be held in Brazil in June.
Venezuela on Monday plays a Catalunya team that is expected to include former Spain players Gerard Pique and Xavi Hernandez.