Landover, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) — Neymar converted a penalty kick for the second straight game, assisted on three goals and was given a yellow card for diving as Brazil routed El Salvador 5-0 on Tuesday night in an exhibition in front of just 28,511.
The crowd was less than half the 67,619 who attended the Selecao's previous appearance at FedEx Field, against the U.S. in 2012.
Jair Marrufo, one of the American referees at this year's World Cup, gave Neymar the yellow card in the 44th after the forward attempted to dribble past defender Bryan Tamacas.
Richarlison got his first two international goals, and Phillipe Coutinho also scored for Brazil.
Neymar converted a penalty kick in the fourth minute after Richarlison was taken down. With 59 goals in 92 international appearances, he is third in Brazilian history behind Pele (77) and Ronaldo (62).
Neymar dribbled past two defenders in the 16th minute before laying off a pass to Richarlison, who one-timed a shot from the edge of a penalty area in his second international appearance.
Neymar hit the crossbar in the 22nd minute, Coutinho scored from Neymar's squaring pass in the 30th minute and Richarlison got his second goal in the 50th when he pounced on a loose ball. Neymar's corner kick in the 90th minute was headed in by Marquinhos.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – The seven-nation 12th SAFF Suzuki Cup’2018 has been heated up with the India-Pakistan rivalry in the 2nd semifinal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium at 7pm on Wednesday.
Nepal will take on the Maldives in the first semifinal at 4:00 pm at the same venue and same day.
Indian coach Stephen Contantine watched almost all of his players in the two group matches and is set to pitch the perfect combination for the crunch match.
The cool and composed approach of Indian team may have more to present. Ashique Kuruniyan, Farukh Haji Kasam Choudhary, Manvir Singh, Nikhil Chandrashekhar, Sumeet Pasi all have returned the faith of the coach with good shows in the field.
The Brazilian coach of Pakistan Jose Antonio Nogueira has combined his players into a total unit with skipper Saddam Hossain leading the team with distinction.
His men -- upfront Muhammad Ali and Saadullah -- have roamed the opposition defence with efficiency.
As per the head-to-head record between India and Pakistan, the 7th times champion India have the upper hand. Out of the 23 battles between the two sides, India won 14, Pakistan won three and the rest six games ended in draw.
The two teams locked last time five years back in the 2013 SAFF Championship where India emerged as the victor with the solitary goal win in the match.
However, it will be hard to make any prediction for the upcoming match as it promises to be an evenly-contested one.
The other semifinal between Nepal and Maldives may prove the anticipation wrong as luck favoured the Maldives can turn the wheel around. Nepal returned to form with a 4-0 thrashing of Bhutan and a formidable 2-0 win over hosts Bangladesh.
The formidable attackers Sunil Bal, Bharat Khawas, Bimal Gharti Magar and Nawjug Shreshta carry the Nepalese flag.
The Maldives who stormed into the semifinal winning the toss eliminating Sri Lanka are yet to score a goal in two matches losing 2-0 to India and playing a goalless draw against Sri Lanka.
Himalayan country Nepal will lock horns with Islanders Maldives in the first semifinal on Wednesday at 4 pm with an inspiration of winning last two semifinals against the Maldives in four goal thrillers.
Nepal beat the Maldives by 4-3 goals in the semifinal of the last SA Games in India in 2016 and again beat them by 4-1 goals in the semifinal of the Bangabandhu Cup in Dhaka.
Interestingly, Nepal forward Nawjug Shreshta slammed hat-ticks on both the occasions. In-form Nawjug also scored in the crunch 2-0 victory over hosts Bangladesh in the last group match here on Saturday.
But record favoured the Maldives as they won seven matches, conceded defeat in four and the remaining four matches ended in draw in the last 15 meetings between the two teams.
Nepalese Coach Bal Gopal Mahrajan has rotated his players in a neat way conserving the energy and also avoiding injury.
Nepalese team have an ability to create affective movements with short and long build ups. Ananta Tamang, Sunil Bal and Bimal Gharti Magar has led the defense, midfield and offence respectively.
The Maldives recruited four forwards --Ali Fasir, Hamza Mohammad, Hasan Naiz and Ibrahim Hasan Waheed--to demonstrate their attacking intentions against Sri Lanka but still remained in the bay.
Culiacan, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona said Monday he has left his off-the-pitch issues behind as he was formally introduced as the new coach of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa.
Visibly jovial during a news conference at a luxury hotel in the Sinaloa state capital, Culiacan, Maradona assured Dorados fans that he didn't come to Mexico for a vacation.
"We are all judged and we think we have the word of truth, but how many people are there here who do worse things than us and don't end up in any newspaper?" Maradona said. "I came here to work, and I came to give my heart."
Maradona surprised the international soccer world last week by signing a deal to manage Dorados, which is in the lower half of Mexico's second division. The 57-year-old has publicly struggled in the past with drug and alcohol addiction, and analysts criticized his choice of club in a city considered the heart of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico's most powerful drug smuggling gangs.
But Maradona said his partying days are in the past.
"Emotionally I feel that I'm in the best moment of my life. I am well with my children and only a minor problem with an ex," he said, laughing.
"I want to give Dorados what I lost when I was sick. ... I have been for about 14 years, and today I want to see the sun and I want to go to sleep at night," Maradona continued. "Before, I didn't go to sleep and I didn't even know what a pillow was. That's why I accepted the offer from Dorados."
Maradona, one of the sport's all-time greats, was suspended by FIFA after testing positive for cocaine in 1991 and also tested positive for doping during the 1994 World Cup. He was later hospitalized in 2000 and in 2004 for heart problems attributed to cocaine use.
His erratic behavior captured headlines this summer at the World Cup in Russia, where he made an obscene gesture with both middle fingers after Argentina scored a late winner to defeat Nigeria 2-1. He was also seen pulling his eyes into slants while gazing at a South Korean fan, and was captured on video in a seemingly inebriated state.
Maradona's contract with Dorados is reportedly worth $150,000 a month, which would make him the second-highest paid coach in the country, despite previous uneven results. He took the Argentine national squad to the quarterfinals at the 2010 World Cup, and later managed Al Wasl and Al-Fujairah clubs in the United Arab Emirates.
"They say I have not won titles, but I have a promotion, man," Maradona said in reference to Al-Fujairah's ascension to the top flight in UAE. "Don't put zeros when you talk about my career as coach."
Maradona resigned from Al-Fujairah in April after failing to earn automatic promotion, which comes with finishing in the top two spots; the club later won a playoff without him on the bench to ascend to the first division.
He accepted a role as honorary president for the Belarus premier team Dinamo Brest in July before promptly departing for Argentina.
"I am going to talk now to the people of Culiacan and tell them that we did not come for fun, we did not come for vacation," Maradona said. "We came to work and to lend a hand to the boys. If the people are with us, and with what I can inject emotionally for the players, it is going to be hard to beat us."
His debut with Dorados comes Sept. 17, at home against Cafetaleros de Tapachula.
Lima, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — Soccer fans clashed with members of an evangelical church Monday in a dispute over who owns a sprawling plaza in front of the main entry to a stadium.
Hundreds of members of The Upper Room church wearing yellow construction helmets arrived in buses early in the day and began painting walls, covering over images of famed players from Alianza Lima, one of Peru's most historic clubs.
Soccer fans soon arrived and the two sides clashed. Police used tear gas to break up the confrontation.
Police Chief Gaston Rodriguez said two of the fans were detained and one of the church members was injured.
The club said in a news release that it has owned the plaza for 40 years. But church attorney Sandro Balbin said the church has been the registered owner of the property since 2016.
The area is now used for concerts, parking and a gathering place for fans. The Upper Room, which has thousands of members across the country, wants to hold worship services there.
Madrid, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — As Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed his time off at the French Riviera, his Portugal teammates were busy handing Italy another disappointing result in the UEFA Nations League.
Portugal did not need Ronaldo — who skipped international duty to recharge after a busy summer — to beat Italy 1-0 in Europe's newest soccer competition.
Elsewhere, Turkey mounted a remarkable comeback from two goals down against Sweden, while Kosovo made history with its first competitive win since being admitted to UEFA in 2016.
The European champions easily outplayed Italy, which had opened its Nations League campaign with a disappointing 1-1 home draw against Poland in its first competitive match under coach Roberto Mancini.
"We must be more effective in attack," Mancini said. "We must find solutions and be able to score goals."
Andre Silva scored on a counterattack early in the second half to give Portugal the Group 3 win in the top-tier League A. The hosts had several chances to extend their lead at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon, while Italy created little and relied mostly on set pieces.
"It was a fair result, we played better throughout the match," said Portugal coach Fernando Santos, who led his team to its ninth straight home win. "Only in the final 10 minutes we slowed our pace a bit and that allowed Italy to grow."
The Nations League gives UEFA's 55 member countries competitive games and eliminates friendlies. The winners of the League A groups — featuring the highest-ranked countries — go into a final-four competition in June.
Santos did not call up Ronaldo after talking to the player and saying he needed more rest following the World Cup and his transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus. Ronaldo also didn't play in the team's 1-1 draw in a friendly against Croatia last week.
Social media photos showed Ronaldo and his family enjoying time off in Monaco in recent days.
It was Italy's second competitive match since last year's World Cup playoff loss to Sweden.
"There is work to do," Italy midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura said. "We wanted to threaten them but we didn't manage it and we're really disappointed."
Two goals five minutes apart early in the second half gave Kosovo a historic 2-0 win over the Faroe Islands in Group 3 of the fourth-tier League D.
Kosovo, the Balkan republic which was accepted by UEFA and FIFA two years ago, had opened with a 0-0 draw at Azerbaijan.
TURKEY BEATS SWEDEN
Turkey bounced back from an opening loss to Russia by coming from two goals down to defeat Sweden 3-2 thanks to two late goals by Emre Akbaba.
Akbaba scored in the 88th minute and two minutes into stoppage time to give Turkey the League B victory.
Sweden, making its Nations League debut following its surprising quarterfinal appearance at the World Cup, had taken a 2-0 lead by the 49th minute at Friends Arena in Stockholm.
It was Turkey's first away win in seven matches.
In the third-tier League C, Scotland ended its run of three straight losses with a 2-0 win over Albania in Group 1.
In Group 4, Serbia and Romania drew 2-2, while Montenegro defeated Lithuania 2-0.
In League D, Andorra and Kazakhstan drew 1-1 in Group 1, while Malta drew with Azerbaijan 1-1 in Group 3.
The Nations League guarantees at least one of Europe's low-ranked League D teams will qualify for Euro 2020 through a playoffs.