Barcelona, Nov 9 (AP/UNB) — When Real Madrid visits Celta Vigo on Sunday, interim coach Santiago Solari may have his last chance to convince the club that he should stay on the job.
Solari has steered Madrid to three wins since he was promoted from reserve team last week to replace Julen Lopetegui with the team in slump and coming off a 5-1 rout by Barcelona.
By indicating Solari was taking over "provisionally", Madrid made it clear that it was still searching for a permanent replacement. Media speculation placed Antonio Conte, Roberto Martinez, Mauricio Pochettino, and even former Madrid coach Jose Mourinho on the list of high-profile candidates for the coveted job.
Next week's international break could offer a new coach a window to adjust to the job. Madrid will have 12 days between matches. It returns with a game at Eibar before it visits Roma in a match that will likely decide who wins their Champions League group.
If Solari gets a win at Celta, the former Madrid midfielder would present a strong case that the right move is for the club is to do nothing at all.
"The only thing I can do is focus on our next game and that's fine with me. I can only see as far as the next link in the chain," Solari said after Wednesday's 5-0 win at Viktoria Plzen. "Soccer is all about the here and now and the most important thing is your next game. We've come through this one with flying colors and we now have to think about our next match and focus all of our efforts and energy on it."
Some of Madrid's most important players have backed him.
"We are doing well with him, he should stay until the end of the season," Madrid striker Karim Benzema said. "He is a great coach. We are playing with more confidence."
Casemiro added: "People can talk about what he is, if someone else is coming, but we are treating him with a lot of respect, like the coach of Madrid. If things go well, why not give him the chance?"
At a glance, it seems Solari has completely turned around a team that when he inherited it had won only one of its previous seven matches. With the Argentine directing the team, Madrid has outscored its three adversaries 11-0.
But a closer look shows that Solari may still have work to do to win the trust of club president Florentino Perez.
A 4-0 win at third-division club Melilla is nothing to brag about considering the abyss separating the clubs in terms of talent.
The final score of a 2-0 home victory over Valladolid is deceptive since Valladolid twice hit the crossbar with the score 0-0 before Madrid finally broke through with less than 10 minutes to play.
And the rout of Czech side Viktoria Plzen comes against the only team Madrid was able to beat in its final agonizing weeks under Lopetegui.
So on Sunday, Solari needs his team to avoid a repeat of its shaky performance against Valladolid and get a convincing win against a quality opponent. If not, the progress the team has made under him will be seriously questioned and the pressure will again be on the club to bring in an experienced coach.
Madrid heads to northwestern Spain to face Celta in sixth place in the Spanish league standings, seven points behind leader Barcelona.
Celta has had an irregular campaign and sits in 11th place, three points behind Madrid.
However, Celta has only lost three times in 11 matches and is led by Iago Aspas. The Spain striker has scored eight goals this season, second only to Barcelona forward Luis Suarez with nine.
Celta also recovered striker Maxi Gomez from injury in time for him to score twice in a 3-3 draw with Real Betis last week.
Last year, Celta held Madrid to a 2-2 draw at Balaidos Stadium.
"It will be a difficult match," Aspas said. "They have gone through several changes ... but they are still Real Madrid and have the best players in the world."
London, Nov 9 (AP/UNB) — Giving England's record scorer Wayne Rooney a farewell appearance is coach Gareth Southgate's attempt to better celebrate the contribution of the country's soccer stars.
The 33-year-old Rooney will feature for a 120th England appearance during next Thursday's friendly against the United States at Wembley Stadium, despite retiring from international duty in August 2017.
"Those discussions started 12 months ago. We have an opportunity with the game at Wembley to pay tribute," Southgate said. "We have brought former players back to speak and present shirts. I think all the players respect Wayne's contribution and that he deserves the best possible send-off."
Rooney was one of 28 players selected Thursday by Southgate but the former captain will not play on Nov. 18 against Croatia in England's final UEFA Nations League game.
"I am still able to look to the future with the squad we've picked," Southgate said.
After a career on home soil at Manchester United and Everton, Rooney is now in Major League Soccer with D.C. United. Southgate was inspired to give the striker a significant tribute after seeing how Germany honored Lukas Podolski around a 2017 game against England.
"We were all struck by the fact that it was a good way to recognize someone who's had a fantastic career for his country," Southgate said. "We've not been brilliant at that over the years."
As Rooney bids farewell to England, Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson has been called up for the first time after scoring six goals this season in the Premier League.
Midfielders Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard return after being ruled out of last month's Nations League games against Spain and Croatia through injury, with Mason Mount and James Maddison dropping out.
A draw with Croatia followed by a victory over Spain leaves England waiting on the result of the meeting between their League A Group Four rivals before Southgate knows what is at stake in his final Nations League game.
Relegation to League B or progression into the finals of the inaugural competition both remain possibilities for England, which lost to Croatia in its first World Cup semifinal in 28 years in July.
Goalkeepers: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jack Butland (Stoke), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Harry Winks (Tottenham)
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (D.C. United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
Olivier Giroud ended his drought by scoring the only goal to lead Chelsea to a 1-0 win at BATE Borisov on Thursday that clinched a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League with two group games to spare.
Giroud had not scored for Chelsea for six months but he knows what it's like to net against BATE. Last season, the France forward was on target in both games against the Belarusian champion when he played for London rival Arsenal in Europe's second tier competition.
Arsenal also made it through after a 0-0 home draw against Sporting marred by Danny Welbeck's injury. The England striker was carried off on a stretcher after appearing to sustain a serious ankle problem. He needed to receive oxygen before he was taken to hospital.
Zurich reached the next stage, together with Bayer Leverkusen, after the German side won their encounter 1-0. Eintracht Frankfurt beat Apollon Limassol 3-2 to advance, while Lazio beat Marseille 2-1 to march into the next round and eliminate last year's runner-up.
Dinamo Zagreb was another team to progress to the knockout phase after the fourth round of matches. Ten-man Sevilla won 3-2 at Akhisar thanks to a late penalty, but Anderlecht's hopes of going through are over.
Here's a look at Thursday's action:
Emerson Palmieri crossed from the left in the 53rd minute and Giroud stooped to head in for Chelsea. The France striker was playing against BATE instead of Alvaro Morata, who was rested.
'I'm pleased for him," manager Maurizio Sarri said of Giroud. "He's a very important player for us, very useful for the team, but I know very well that strikers want to score, and so for his confidence it's very important.
"BATE played very well. They were unlucky and could have drawn the match."
The win extended Chelsea's unbeaten streak this season to 17 games, but the London club was given several scares as BATE hit the woodwork three times.
Chelsea tops Group L with a maximum 12 points. Hungary's Vidi is second on six points after a 1-0 victory over PAOK .
Arsenal was held to a 0-0 home draw by Sporting, which had Jeremy Mathieu sent off for a professional foul on substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang three minutes from the end.
Aubameyang, who replaced the injured Welbeck in the 30th minute, missed a string of scoring chances.
"Danny's looked like a serious injury, which is not nice to see," Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech said. "Our thoughts are with him."
Arsenal tops Group E with 10 points, three ahead of Sporting. Qarabag joined Vorskla on three points after winning their match 1-0.
BETIS ON TOP
Spanish midfielder Suso curled in a free kick to salvage a 1-1 draw for seven-time European champion AC Milan at Real Betis, which had taken the lead in the 12th minute through Giovani Lo Celso.
Betis tops Group F on eight points, one ahead of Milan and Olympiacos, which thrashed Dudelange 5-1.
Ever Banega converted a penalty three minutes from time against Akhisar as he grabbed the winner for Sevilla, the most successful club in Europa League history.
Earlier, Nolito and Luis Muriel gave the Spanish club a 2-0 lead, but Elvis Manu started a comeback for Akhisar in the 52nd, four minutes before Sergi Gomez was sent off. Onur Ayik then equalized for the Turkish side after 78.
Sevilla is tied atop Group J on nine points with Russia's Krasnodar, which beat Standard Liege 2-1.
Takumi Minamino's hat trick inspired Salzburg to a 5-2 win at Rosenborg, its fourth straight victory in Group B. Celtic beat Leipzig 2-1 to join the German side on six points.
In Group H, Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Mijat Gacinovic scored as Eintracht made it four wins from four games. Emilio Zelaya netted twice for Apollon, the second time from the penalty spot.
Marco Parolo headed the opening goal for Lazio in first-half injury time and Joaquin Correa beat goalkeeper Yohann Pele 10 minutes into the second before Marseille got one back through Florian Thauvin.
Eintracht has 12 points followed by Lazio on nine. Marseille and Apollon, both on one point, are out.
In Group G, Spartak Moscow beat Rangers 4-3 in a thriller after the Scottish club had led 3-2. Villarreal leads the section with six points after drawing 0-0 at Rapid Vienna. Rangers and Spartak are one point behind.
Anderlecht's campaign came to an end after a 2-0 defeat at Group D rival Fenerbahce. Zagreb advanced from that section after a 3-1 victory over Spartak Trnava.
Dhaka, Nov 8 (UNB) - A last minute goal by Kervens Belfort enabled holders Dhaka Abahani Limited to reach the semifinals of the Walton Federation Cup Football Tournament as the first team eliminating Arambagh KS by 3-2 goals in the first quarterfinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Thursday.
This was a sweet revenge for Dhaka Abahani of their 0-3 goals defeat against Arambagh KC in the quarterfinal of the last Independence Cup Football.
When the day’s match was heading for a 2-2 draw in the regulation period, Haitian forward Kervens Belfort scored the match-winner for Dhaka Abahani in the stoppage time of the last half (93rd minute) off a Jibon free kick which it came his way from a Topu Barman header.
Arambagh officials and ball boys manhandled the match referee and assistant referee soon after the match in the presence of law enforcers claiming the goal an offside.
Earlier, Shahriar Bappy scored the first goal of the match for Arambagh in the 7th minute by a ground shot (1-0) while Sunday Chizoba levelled the margin for Dhaka Abahani in the 30th minute by his 2nd attempt when the first attempt of Belfort came his way from opponent custodian (1-1).
Uzbek booter Boboxonov Iqbaljon put Arambagh ahead in the 33rd minute from a penalty (2-1). Arambagh got spot kick when Abahani custodian Sohel fouled Arambagh forward Bappy in the danger zone.
Sohel Rana made the equaliser for Abahani in the 44th minute by a powerful shot from outside the box to lock match 2-2 in the first half.
Finally, Kervens Belfort scored the winner for the popular sky-blue Dhanmondi outfit in the stoppage time of the last half (93rd minute).
Dhaka, Nov 8 (UNB)– Bangladesh Women’s Football Team made a dismal start in Group C Round-1 Asian Qualifiers for the Women’s Olympics Football Tokyo’2020 losing to hosts Myanmar by 0-5 goals at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon on Thursday.
Win Theingi Tun and Le Le HLaing scored two goals each while Khin Moe Wai netted the remaining goal for Myanmar, which dominated the first half by 2-0 goals.
Bangladesh team, which were placed in Asian Group C for the Olympics Qualifiers with three other upper ranked team -- hosts Myanmar (Ranking 44th), India (59th) and Nepal (109), will play India on Sunday (Nov 11) at 3 pm and meet Nepal on Tuesday (Nov 13) also at 3 pm at the same venue.
In the day’s other match, India played to a 1-1 draw with Nepal at the same venue in the afternoon.
Niru Thapa put Nepal ahead in the 11th minute while Kamala Devi restored the parity for India in the 37th minute to share one point each.