Late Cavani strike gives Napoli win

Updated 28 January 2013
0

Late Cavani strike gives Napoli win

MILAN: Edinson Cavani struck again to give Napoli a late 2-1 win at Parma and breathe new life into their Serie A challenge yesterday while Argentine teenager Mauro Icardi hit four goals in Sampdoria’s 6-0 rout of lowly Pescara.
Cavani had endured a frustrating afternoon until he hit his 18th goal of the season in the 84th minute to end Parma’s unbeaten home record and leave Napoli three points behind leaders Juventus, who drew 1-1 with Genoa on Saturday while Lazio suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to Chievo Verona.
AS Roma lived up to their reputation as Serie A’s most entertaining side in another high-scoring game, this time drawing 3-3 at Bologna.
Eighth-placed Roma, who have the best attacking and second-worst defensive record in the league, twice led in the first half and trailed 3-2 early in the second before Panagiotis Tachtsidis gave them a point.
Stephan El Shaaraway scored his 15th goal of the season to hand AC Milan a 1-0 win at 10-man Atalanta and Thiago Ribeiro scored a 90th minute equalizer for Cagliari in a 1-1 draw at home to Palermo in their relegation battle.
Napoli went ahead in the 20th minute when Marek Hamsik sprang the offside trap to poke the ball past Antonio Mirante.
Uruguay forward Cavani was having little joy as he misplaced a header and then mistimed a run onto a through ball which would have left him with only Mirante to beat just before the break.
Napoli conceded a sloppy equalizer in the 74th minute when Nicola Sansone’s cross deflected off Paolo Cannavaro and found its way between Morgan De Sanctis and the near post.
Cavani wasted another chance when he scuffed a shot after being set free but made amends two minutes later when he broke clear of the Parma defender, easily rounded Mirante and scored into an empty net.
The win took Napoli on to 46 points from 22 games, three behind Juventus and three clear of Lazio.
An Eder penalty opened the floodgates for Sampdoria just after the half hour and Icardi opened his account four minutes before halftime.
Pedro Obiang scored five minutes after the break before Icardi grabbed a 16-minute hat trick, to add to his two goals in the 2-1 win over Juventus earlier in the month.
Alessandro Florenzi side-footed Roma ahead in the ninth minute from Francesco Totti’s pass and former Milan and Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino levelled eight minutes later for Bologna.
Pablo Osvaldo headed Roma back in front with his 11th goal of the season but Manolo Gabbiadini hauled Bologna level again before the half hour.
Bologna, who won 3-2 at Roma earlier in the season, went ahead for the first time nine minutes after the break when Cristian Pasquato took advantage of a mix-up in the Roma defense before Tachtsidis headed in a free kick in the 74th minute.
The action continued until the final whistle with Alessandro Diamanti twice striking the woodwork for Bologna.


Fourth-placed Inter Milan host Torino in the late game.


Juventus frustrated;
Lazio shocked
Former Juve forward Borriello struck in the 68th minute to leave Antonio Conte’s side on 49 points at the top, six clear of Napoli and Lazio who earlier suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by Chievo Verona.
Genoa, playing for the first time under new manager Davide Ballardini, moved up to 18 points but remained third bottom as Chievo climbed to 11th place on 28 points.
The Juve match was marred by controversy over two penalties not given to the champions in the second half and Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic went unpunished for what appeared to be a clear handball in the area.
Luca Antonelli looked to have pulled Vucinic’s shirt as the forward stretched for Emanuele Giaccherini’s 80th-minute cross, while Andreas Granqvist sparked furious protests from Juventus when he kicked the ball on to his hand in stoppage time but referee Marco Guida failed to award a spot kick.
Alberto Paloschi’s seventh goal of the season 61 minutes into an uneventful match for Chievo with second-placed Lazio inflicted Vladimir Petkovic’s side’s first loss since early November.
Lazio were dominant but could not break down a resilient Chievo side and Paloschi tapped home his seventh goal of the season from their only chance of the game after Bojan Jokic’s shot crashed against the bar and fell at the striker’s feet.


Saudi Arabia out to make Kingdom 'proud' and repay faith of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Updated 23 May 2018
0

Saudi Arabia out to make Kingdom 'proud' and repay faith of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

  • Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side are in Zurich on a three-week training camp
  • SAFF have left no stone turned in preparing the team for their first appearance at the finals since 2006

RIYADH: The president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) acknowledges there will be added scrutiny on the Green Falcons when they kick off this summer’s World Cup against hosts Russia in the opening game, but is confident the players can overcome any first-night nerves and rise to the challenge.
Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side are in Zurich on a three-week training camp as they start to fine-tune preparations ahead of the first game on June 14. The Argentine coach has taken 28 players with him, but must whittle the squad down to 23 by June 4.
SAFF have left no stone turned in preparing the team for their first appearance at the finals since 2006, sanctioning five training camps and arranging nine friendlies, several against high-profile opposition. Their final three games are against sides with top 20 FIFA’s rankings, a deliberate strategy to ensure they are not undercooked heading into Group A games against Russia, Uruguay and Egypt.
“We are at a critical stage of our preparations, one that needs concentration and discipline, especially as we face three strong teams in Italy, Peru and Germany,” said president Adel Ezzat in a video on the federation’s Twitter account. “Our objective is to be on form by June 14 when the eyes of the world will be on us in the opening match. We have a bright history in the World Cup and Asian Cup, so it’s our duty to live up to that reputation. I would like to address all Saudi fans, whether they will be watching the games on TV or from the stadiums in Russia: They should pray for the players. The players are our brothers and sons, and we should all love our Saudi national team. I urge the fans and the media to be united around the national team.”
Ezzat said the players have been energised and inspired by a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before they left for Switzerland. The crown prince demonstrated his commitment to the game in the Kingdom by this week vowing to cover all external debts totalling SR1.277 billion (around $340 million) owed by Saudi Pro League clubs.
“We are optimistic after the historic meeting between the players, staff and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” said Ezzat. “The meeting set the tone for the final stage of preparations, and the players are up for the challenge of meeting His Highness’ expectations.
“We are grateful for Prince Mohammed for his constant support and generosity toward Saudi football, be it the national team, clubs or the league. It’s our duty to repay the faith of our leaders. This is something that drives us forward and I’m fully confident in the players’ ability to do us proud in Russia.”