Gold Coast, Sep 13 (AP/UNB) — Argentina coach Mario Ledesma made three changes, tweaking his forward pack and promoting a new halfback, for Saturday's Rugby Championship test against Australia.
The Pumas lost their last match 46-24 to New Zealand last weekend.
One of the changes announced Thursday was forced, with flanker Tomas Lezana ruled out due to a torn hamstring and replaced at No. 6 by Pablo Matera.
Santiago Medrano will also start at prop with Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro moving from tighthead to loosehead.
Meanwhile, Gonzalo Bertranou will wear the No. 9 jersey, bumping Martin Landajo to the bench and former ACT Brumbies halfback Tomas Cubelli out of the squad.
As expected, flanker David Pocock and Israel Folau were named by Australia coach Michael Cheika to make their return to the starting lineup. Pocock had a neck injury and Folau trained strongly after sustaining an ankle injury in the opening Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand.
Folau has been named on the right wing with Dane Haylett-Petty to retain the No. 15 jersey after two strong performances at fullback.
Adam Coleman returned to the Wallabies camp after the birth of his first child in Melbourne on Sunday and will start on the bench against Argentina.
Prop Sekope Kepu is set to earn his 97th test cap on Saturday with the veteran also named among the reserves, after missing the match-day 23 for the Wallabies' 23-18 win over South Africa last weekend.
Argentina is seeking its first win in Australia in 35 years.
Saturday's match will mark the first time Ledesma, the former Australian forwards coach, goes head-to-head against his former colleagues.
Australia: Dane Haylett-Petty, Israel Folau, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (captain), Lukhan Tui, Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio. Reserves: Folau Faingaa, Sekope Kepu, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks.
Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo De La Fuente, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez, Gonzalo Bertranou, Javier Ortega Desio, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Santiago Medrano, Agustin Creevy (captain), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Reserves: Julian Montoya, Santiago Garcia Botta, Juan Pablo Zeiss, Matias Alemanno, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Martin Landajo, Bautista Ezcurra, Juan Cruz Mallia.
Chicago, Sep 13 (AP/UNB) — U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie has a bruised left knee, not a sprain as first announced.
McKennie left the Americans' 1-0 exhibition win over Mexico on Tuesday night in the 40th minute after injuring the knee. The U.S. Soccer Federation originally called the injury a sprain, but said Wednesday he was re-evaluated and has a bruise and no sprain.
McKennie had an MRI and returned to his German club Schalke for additional treatment, according to the USSF, which did not have a timetable for his return.
The 20-year-old Texan has become a regular for Schalke.
London, Sep 13 (AP/UNB) — World Cup-winning France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been fined 50,000 pounds ($65,000) and banned from driving for 20 months for drunk driving.
The Tottenham goalkeeper was pulled by over by police in central London last month when his Porsche was veering toward parked vehicles before going through a red light. Police discovered vomit in the car and Lloris had to be helped out.
Lloris, who was in goal when France beat Croatia in the World Cup final, admitted to the charge of drunk driving during a London court appearance on Wednesday.
David Sonn, the lawyer representing the player in court, says "the spectacular fall from grace is not lost on Mr. Lloris."
Dhaka, Sept 12 (UNB) – Holders India made their 11th final berth of the seven-nation SAFF Suzuki Cup eliminating their arch-rival Pakistan by 3-1 goals in the 2nd semifinal at the floodlit Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Wednesday evening.
The 7th time champions, India, will play the final on Saturday (September 15) at 7pm at the same venue against the Maldives, the champions of 2008 SAAF Cup, which made the final berth shocking spirited Nepal by 3-0 goals in the first semifinal earlier in the day.
After a barren first, Manvir Singh struck twice and Sumeet Passi netted one for the India while Hassan Bashir netted the lone goal for Pakistan.
Both the teams were reduced to 10 men in the 86th minute when Mohsin Ali of Pakistan and Lalianzuala Changte were shown direct red cards for a brawl among themselves. Changte punched Pakistani forward Hasan Basheer after a foul and Mohsin came running from behind to push Changte.
Just three minutes after the resumption, Ashik Kuruniyan darted down the left flank before cutting the ball back to onrushing Manvir Singh who placed the ball past Ijaz Yusuf Butt from handshaking distance (1-0).
The fate of the match was decided in the 69th minute with Manvir adding his second goal. It was a perfect build-up by substitute Laliuazuala Changte who drifted through the midfield, cut a diagonal pass to Vinit Rai who pushed the ball to Manvir who hit the far post net with diagonal drive (2-0).
Photo: UNB/Bayazid Akter
A demoralised Pakistan conceded the third in the 83rd minute when Ashik Kuruniyan used the free space in the right flank and cut a cross for substitute Sumeet Pasi, who headed home (3-0).
Pakistan’s consolation came in the 89th minute with Hassan Bashir slamming home with grounder after Indian defender Sharthak Golui’s headed clearance set him free (3-1).
Earlier, in a lively opening first quarter of the hour, Pakistan was the first to open the opponent defence. In the 7th minute Pakistani forward Hasan Basheer cut an angular grounder from the right edge of the box forcing Indian custodian Vishal Kaith to stretch to his limit to grip the ball.
India reacted quickly with two counterattacks with Manvir Singh diving forward to head low cross of Ashik Kuruniyan that went straight to Pakistani goalie Ijaz Yusuf Butt in the eighth minute and Vinit Rai saw his 25 yarder punched for a corner in the following minute.
India, however, were more enterprising in the second quarter of the hour pressing Pakistan back. Ijaz was in his brilliant best in the 24th minute to deny Manvir Singh who placed a cut back to the far post and two minutes later pulled out another acrobatic punch on a rasping drive of Ashik Kuruniyan that earned India the third corner.
Pakistan piling pressure upon their opponents sent a big chill in the 37th minute with forward Mehmood Khan unleashing a fierce right footer that was picked by Vishal Kaith with a quick reaction and Indian forward Farukh Haji Kasam Chowdhury’s volley was punched by Ijkaz Butt in the following minute.
India were fortunate in the first minute of the two minute added time when Hasan Basheer’s head on a cross of Saddam Hossain beat Vishal Kaith in the air but missed the side post.
Dhaka, Sept 12 (UNB) – The Maldives smartly reached the final of the seven-nation 12th SAFF Suzuki Cup’2018 stunning Nepal by 3-0 goals in the rain-marred first semifinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Wednesday.
The former champions, the Maldives, will play final on September 15 at 7 pm against the winner of the second semifinal between India and Pakistan scheduled to be held from 7pm on Wednesday at the same venue.
The day’s first semifinal was stopped for about half an hour due to rain and thundershower in the capital.
Captain Akram Abdul Ghanee scored one goal while Ibrahim Waheed scored two goals in a span of only two minutes for the Maldives, which dominated the first half by a solitary goal.
The Maldives who came to the semifinals riding on the coin in the toss saved their best for the last to outplay Nepal who after falling behind early did all apart from scoring a goal.
Nepal which smartly reached the semifinals as Group champions by virtue of better goal difference denying host Bangladesh again completed the SAFF campaign before reaching the final.
With the drizzling making the pitch a little slippery, the Maldives appeared more attacking in the opening minutes.
Their pressing approach forced Nepal into their own zone. Their penetration paid dividends in the ninth minute as forward Ali Fasir was brought down at the left edge of the Nepalese box and Akram Abhul Ghanee, the Maldives skipper, saw the consequential free kick loop into the far post net (1-0).
Nepal intensified their attack in pursuit of the equaliser and Bharat Khawas tried his luck with a long range drive in the 18th minute and chipped the ball over from a handshaking distance following a goalmouth melee in the 24th minute.
With the game growing hot with attacks and counterattacks, Ali Fasis was ruing his chance in the 25th minute miscuing a right footer from the top of the eight yard box.
The game saw an unusual impede just in the stroke of the half hour when the Match Commissioner stopped the proceedings due to extreme thunders. Both the teams left the pitch before the game resumed after thirty minutes break.
Nepal dominated the post resumption period of fifteen minutes launching a series of attacks but the efforts of Bimal Gharti Magar, Bharat Khawas and Nirajan Khadka all fell short. In the 40th minute, Bharat Khawas’s sliding placement turned into a corner off the gloves of Md Faisal.
Nepalese goalie Kiran Kumar Limbu kept his team in the match saving a rasping drive of Maldives forward Hasan Naiz for a corner in the 49th minute. With the Nepalese defence standing a little up, Ibrahim Hussain paved the way for Naiz with a crisp through pass from the midfield.
Nepal was frustrated again in the 61st minute with Bimal Gharti Magar’s deflected head on a volley of substitute midfielder Anjanj Bjista landed right into the hand Md Faisal and returned to the game.
Nepal kept trying and trying but still remained at the day. Sunil Bal, the hardworking midfielder, ran down the left flank in the 70th minute and unleashed a cracker from the edge of the box but saw the ball whisker past side post.
Nepal coach added Nawajug Shreshta and Bishal Rai further bolstered his attack in the last fifteen minute of the match. However, Nawajug missed to the line of a Sunil Bal cross in the 76th minute with Faisal stranded far post.
But the dying minutes appeared to be a fairytale for the Maldives as forward Ibrahim Waheed extended the lead in the 84th minute when he hit the back of the net after Nepalese defender Dinesh Rajbanshi cleared a Asadulla Abdulla cross in the middle of box and the ball landed into the feet of unmarked Ibrhaim who beat Kiron in the near post (2-0).
Two minutes later, Ibrahim added his second goal off a counterattack placing the ball into the far post (3-0).