Jeddah, Jan 17 (AP/UNB) — Amid a background of protests and political outrage, Juventus beat 10-man AC Milan 1-0 in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to win the Italian Super Cup for a record eighth time.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the match to win his first trophy with the Italian team.
"I'm very happy, it was what I wanted, I'm very happy to have won my first title with Juventus," Ronaldo said.
It was Ronaldo's fourth goal in his past four matches as he shows little sign of being affected — on the pitch at least — by a case of alleged rape involving an American woman.
Ronaldo has been asked by police to provide a DNA sample in an investigation of the allegation by Kathryn Mayorga, a former model and schoolteacher, that he raped her in his Las Vegas hotel penthouse in 2009 and paid her to keep quiet. Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing.
Juventus, which has won the league the past seven seasons, leads Serie A by nine points and is in the quarterfinal of the Italian Cup as well as the last 16 of the Champions League.
"We have to take it step by step," Ronaldo continued. "The aim was to start well this year and we have done and now we have to continue to work for our other objectives."
Italian politicians and human rights activists had objected to the game being played in Saudi Arabia, citing the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
But the match went ahead at a sold-out King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah in front of more than 61,000 fans, including many women who were only allowed into Saudi sports stadiums a year ago for the first time to watch soccer matches.
Last June, the Italian league announced it agreed to a deal with Saudi Arabia's General Sports Authority for three of the next five Super Cups to be played in the kingdom. The deal will provide more than 20 million euros ($23 million) to Serie A and 3.5 million euros to participating clubs.
"I'm very respectful of all the opinions," Lega Serie A President Gaetano Micciche said. "We've talked about it and we'll talk again. I think it has been useful to open this dialogue, we'll talk about it all civilly and everyone will understand everyone else's positions."
Gonzalo Higuain, who is on loan at Milan from Juventus, had also been a focus of the buildup to the match ahead of a potential move to Chelsea, but the Argentina forward was named on the bench against his parent club, with Milan saying he had had a fever.
Blaise Matuidi had a goal for Juventus disallowed for offside while Ronaldo saw an acrobatic effort bounce narrowly over the crossbar in an even first half which also saw Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny pull off a good save to deny Hakan Calhanoglu.
Milan almost took the lead immediately after halftime but Patrick Cutrone's effort came off the crossbar.
The Rossoneri were left to rue that missed opportunity as Ronaldo broke the deadlock in the 61st minute.
Miralem Pjanic floated a ball over the top and Ronaldo headed it past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Juventus had another goal disallowed for offside but any chance Milan had of getting back into the match all but evaporated after midfielder Franck Kessie was sent off in the 74th following a poor tackle on Emre Can, which saw him stamp on the Juventus midfielder.
Referee Luca Banti initially showed Kessie only a yellow card but changed it to a red after seeing the late tackle again on video review.
Milan was infuriated after VAR was not used on what it felt was a penalty after Can appeared to clatter into the back of Andrea Conti.
Higuain, who had come on for the final 20 minutes, had to be dragged away by his former teammates.
Bogota, Jan 16 (AP/UNB) — Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is in talks about taking over Colombia's national team after the Asian Cup.
Alvaro Gonzalez, who is vice president of the Colombian football federation, told a local radio station on Monday that an agreement with Queiroz is close and could be wrapped up by the end of the week.
The Portuguese coach has been in charge of Iran since 2011 and is currently at the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, where his team faces Iraq on Wednesday. He managed Real Madrid in 2003-04 after Vicente del Bosque left.
Gonzalez said "we have met him twice (in Lisbon and Madrid) and he gave me a very good impression."
"I was thinking of a Colombian, but those we had (Juan Carlos Osorio and Reinaldo Rueda) were not available. I think this will be decided by Friday," Gonzalez.
Newspaper El Tiempo reported Tuesday that Colombian soccer executives will travel to the UAE on Wednesday to sign Queiroz.
London, Jan 16 (AP/UNB) — Tottenham striker Harry Kane was ruled out for around two months on Tuesday because of ligament damage in his left ankle, dealing a huge blow to the English team's chances of winning a first piece of silverware under Mauricio Pochettino.
The England captain was not expected to return to training until early March, Tottenham said , after getting injured in the last seconds of the 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday.
That rules Kane out of at least seven Premier League games, and probably both legs of Tottenham's Champions League last-16 match against Borussia Dortmund.
Kane also is sure to miss the second leg of Tottenham's English League Cup semifinal against Chelsea, as well as the Feb. 24 final should his team advance. Tottenham has a 1-0 lead from the first leg, courtesy of a penalty from Kane.
That was one of his 21 goals for club and country this season, with Kane continuing his remarkable scoring form since bursting into Tottenham's senior team in the 2014-15 campaign.
He has twice finished a season as the Premier League's top scorer, and won the Golden Boot at last year's World Cup in Russia with six goals as England reached the semifinals.
Since Pochettino became Tottenham manager in 2014, Kane has scored 36 percent of the team's league goals, according to data supplier Opta.
"Injuries are part of the game," Kane said in a tweet, "but no one will be working harder to get back fit."
Tottenham's other main source of goals in recent months has been Son Heung-min, but the South Korea forward has just left the club to join up with his national team at the Asian Cup. Son isn't expected back until early February, meaning he will miss at least five games in all competitions.
Tottenham is in third place in the Premier League, nine points behind leader Liverpool. It is also through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, with Pochettino's side away to Crystal Palace on Jan. 27.
In the absence of Kane and Son, Pochettino could turn to either Fernando Llorente, who has mainly been used as a late impact substitute in matches this season, or attacking midfielder Dele Alli as the main striker.
The coach has already said Vincent Jansson, who hasn't played for Tottenham since August 2017 but is still at the club, will not be called on.
Dhaka, Jan 16 (AP/UNB) -Newcastle advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup on Tuesday, though coach Rafa Benitez doesn't seem too keen on making a deep run in the competition.
By beating second-tier Blackburn 4-2 after extra time in a third-round replay, Newcastle earned only a fifth FA Cup victory in the past 11 seasons and set up a home match against fellow top-flight side Watford on Jan. 26.
Benitez might see that as more of a distraction than an opportunity, with Newcastle currently fighting a relegation battle in the Premier League. And he has suggested that, like in both games against Blackburn, he will play his reserves in the FA Cup going forward.
"We have a squad that is trying to get through," Benitez said pointedly, "and if we can do it the same way in the next round we will be pleased with that."
Benitez has acknowledged the FA Cup is not a priority because he feels a heavyweight team with a deeper squad, like Manchester City, Chelsea or Manchester United, will win it. A run in the famous knockout competition clogs up the schedule, in Benitez's opinion, and jeopardizes the top-flight status for a team like Newcastle.
So the sight of two defenders — Ciaran Clark and the player he replaced, Jamaal Lascelles — getting injured at Ewood Park will be a big concern for Benitez days before a much bigger game in his eyes, a home league match against fellow relegation contender Cardiff. Newcastle is in third-to-last place, one spot behind Cardiff.
Spanish forwards Joselu and Ayoze Perez scored extra-time goals to finally push Newcastle past Blackburn, which drew 1-1 at the start of the month to earn a replay.
The visitors had gone 2-0 ahead thanks to goals by 21-year-old local players, with Sean Longstaff scoring off a deflected shot inside the first minute and Callum Roberts adding a second in the 22nd. They were the players' first goals for the club.
Blackburn went into halftime on level terms through goals by Adam Armstrong, a former Newcastle player, and Darragh Lenihan.
Newcastle will look to get beyond the fourth round for the first time since 2006, a year before divisive owner Mike Ashley bought the club.
The northeast team avoided becoming the fifth team — after Fulham, Leicester, Cardiff and Huddersfield — to lose to a side from a lower division in the third round.
In other replays Tuesday, third-tier Shrewsbury scored three goals from the 71st minute to rally to a 3-2 win over second-tier Stoke and set up a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that knocked out Liverpool.
Sheffield Wednesday won 1-0 at Luton and will next play titleholder Chelsea.
There is one more replay on Wednesday, with Southampton hosting second-tier Derby County.
Dhaka, Jan 15 (UNB) – The six-team Bangamata U-19 Women’s International Gold Cup Football under the auspices of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) and sponsored by K-Sports will be held in April next.
Another regular international football tournament -- Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup -- will be hosted in the port city of Chattogram as usual in October this year.
The decision was taken at the 13th executive committee meeting of the Bangladesh Football Federation at the federation board room in the afternoon with BFF and SAFF President Kazi Mohammad Salahuddin in the chair.
The meeting also decided to start the Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) Football 2018-19 from February 5 on completion of the ongoing players’ registration formalities on January 31.
Two top teams of the league will be promoted and two lowly teams will be relegated.
The training camp of Bangladesh U-16 Women’s Football team will continue to achieve good results in the 2nd round matches of the qualifying round of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championships Thailand billed for February 27 to March 3.
Prior to the day’s meeting, Bangladesh Football Federation accorded a reception to its senior vice president Abdus Salam Murshedy, vice president Kazi Nabil Ahmed and former BFF member and general secretary of Chattogram Abahani Ltd Shamsul Haque Chowdhury for being elected MPs.
BFF President Kazi Salahuddin greeted them with bouquets and presented them BFF crests.
Later, the representatives of the leading metropolis football clubs also greeted them.