Del Piero sizzles in Sydney’s biggest win

Updated 19 January 2013
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Del Piero sizzles in Sydney’s biggest win

SYDNEY: Former Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero’s four-goal masterclass inspired Sydney FC to a record 7-1 victory over the Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
The 38-year-old former Juventus stalwart was involved in all six goals before he was substituted after thoroughly entertaining more than 12,500 fans at the Allianz Stadium.
“I felt free in my mind today, for sure,” Del Piero said after helping his team to jump to sixth place in the 10-team league with their biggest A-League triumph.
“It’s a day from the heavens because when you score four, for sure it’s a great day.
“I’m really happy, not only for the four goals but because we played very good from the first minute.” New signing Joel Griffiths latched on to a Del Piero lob to open the account in the 11th minute before the former Italy great himself made it on to the scoresheet.
His back to the goal, Del Piero received a low cross and swiveled to bury the ball into the top left corner. He got his second within a minute, converting from the penalty spot after Jason Culina was brought down inside the box.
In no mood to relax, Del Piero released Ali Abbas down the flank before the ball reached Culina who slotted home in the 25th minute.
Del Piero completed his hat-trick with a powerful, curling shot from the top of the box as Sydney went into the break with a 5-0 lead.
Del Piero scored his fourth goal in the 70th minute before going off the pitch to a standing ovation.
Ben Sigmund scored a consolation goal for the visitors before Yairo Yao struck to complete the rout.


Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

Updated 19 June 2018
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Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

ST. PETERSBURG: Russia scored three goals in a 15-minute span early in the second half to set up a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday, moving the host nation to the brink of the World Cup’s knockout stage.
Mohamed Salah won and converted a penalty for a consolation goal on his return from injury but Egypt’s first World Cup in 28 years could be over in barely five days following a second straight loss.
Ahmed Fathi poked the ball into his own net — the fifth own-goal of the tournament — to put Russia ahead in the 47th minute. Then Denis Cheryshev and Artyom Dzyuba scored in quick succession to leave Russia on course for a victory that followed up a 5-0 opening-night win over Saudi Arabia.
It was Cheryshev’s third goal of the World Cup, putting him tied with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring chart.
Russia’s place in the round of 16 will be assured if Uruguay wins or draws against the Saudis on Wednesday. Those two scenarios would also eliminate Egypt, which started with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.
The hopes of 100 million Egyptians were raised when Salah was selected in the starting lineup, the Liverpool forward making his comeback after 3 1/2 weeks out with damaged ligaments in his left shoulder after a tangle with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final.
Salah trotted out for his pre-match warmup to roars from Egypt fans, who at times appeared to outnumber their Russian counterparts. They shouted every time Salah’s face flashed up on the big screen and when his name was announced before kickoff.
Yet from the start, it was clear that Salah was staying out of anything too physical and there was no concerted effort from his Egypt teammates to pick him out each time. He didn’t touch the ball until the seventh minute.
He did win the penalty — confirmed by the video assistant referee after Salah was pulled down by Roman Zobnin. He converted it in the 73rd minute, but it wasn’t enough. Egypt is still without a victory in six World Cup matches.
Russia is nearly assured of advancing from the group stage for the first time since the Soviet era.
Cheryshev, who entered the World Cup as a fringe player, is proving lethal in front of goal, with his latest a side-footed effort from close range from Mario Fernandes’ cross in the 59th. Dzyuba’s goal was more direct, the striker chesting down a long ball from defender Ilya Kutepov, beating his marker and curling home a low finish.