Kane’s record goal earns Tottenham 1-0 win over Man City

Harry Kane became Tottenham’s record goal scorer on Sunday when he netted his 267th goal for the club against Manchester City. (Reuters)
Harry Kane became Tottenham’s record goal scorer on Sunday when he netted his 267th goal for the club against Manchester City. (Reuters)
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Updated 05 February 2023

Kane’s record goal earns Tottenham 1-0 win over Man City

Kane’s record goal earns Tottenham 1-0 win over Man City
  • The 29-year-old is now also just the third player to net 200 Premier League goals, after Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208)

LONDON: Harry Kane’s record-breaking goal pushed Tottenham to a 1-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday to further dent the champions’ hopes of retaining the Premier League title.
Kane slotted home after 15 minutes and moved past the late Jimmy Greaves as Spurs’ all-time leading scorer on 267 goals.
It proved enough to keep up Tottenham’s excellent recent home record against City, which could have moved two points behind first-place Arsenal following its defeat at Everton on Saturday.
Fifth-place Spurs instead claimed a third victory from their last four matches against Pep Guardiola’s team — despite Cristian Romero’s late sending-off for a second yellow card — to aid the recovery of absent manager Antonio Conte, who is still in Italy after having his gallbladder removed on Wednesday.
Despite Conte recovering from surgery, he was involved in team selection and deadline-day signing Pedro Porro was only on the bench for Spurs with City surprisingly naming Kevin De Bruyne among the substitutes, too.
The visitors had seen Arsenal drop points a day earlier and signaled their intentions with Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez having shots blocked in the opening exchanges.
City was dominating possession but soon felt the familiar feeling of trailing to Tottenham — and it proved a record-breaking goal.
Eric Dier urged his teammates to press higher and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg stole in ahead of Rico Lewis outside the away penalty area to intercept Rodri’s pass and slip the ball into the path of Kane, who scuffed an effort beyond goalkeeper Ederson and into the corner.
The screens inside the stadium acknowledged Kane’s achievement before the striker waved to his family in the West Stand.
Bookings followed with Rodrigo Bentancur and Romero cautioned in quick succession, the latter for clattering into the ineffective Erling Haaland.
Tottenham assistant coach Cristian Stellini, filling in for Conte, was attempting to match the animated presence of his fellow Italian on the touchline but saw his team enjoy a slice of luck before the break.
After Rodri and Jack Grealish failed to find the net with curled efforts late in the half, Mahrez sent a stinging half-volley crashing against the crossbar from 12 yards (meters) that bounced away to safety to ensure Spurs were ahead at the break for the first time at home since Oct. 12.
Ben Davies headed wide for the hosts at the start of the second period before Guardiola turned to De Bruyne with 57 minutes played.
De Bruyne’s first real involvement saw his short free kick find Alvarez, who saw a low shot diverted over by Dier’s thigh.
It sparked a frantic spell with Romero blocking Manuel Akanji’s shot and, seconds later, Ivan Perisic’s cross agonizingly evaded the Argentina defender and Kane at the back post.
Kane was in the thick of the action minutes later, sending one effort wide before Ederson denied him after the striker surged between Kyle Walker and Akanji.
More drama was to follow with referee Andrew Madley showing Romero a second yellow card for a foul on Grealish before five minutes of stoppage time was added on.
Despite plenty of City possession, Tottenham held firm to move a point off the top four and do rivals Arsenal a big favor in the title race.

Saudi football coming to terms with Herve Renard exit

Saudi football coming to terms with Herve Renard exit
Updated 29 March 2023

Saudi football coming to terms with Herve Renard exit

Saudi football coming to terms with Herve Renard exit
  • Frenchman leaves to take over his country’s women’s national team ahead of this summer’s World Cup

Saudi Arabia’s fans, players and football officials are today coming to terms with the news that Herve Renard has left his position as head coach of the national team to take charge of the women’s team of France.

Rumors of his exit have been circulating for over a week, and following his last two international matches in charge of the Green Falcons, 2-1 friendly losses to Venezuela and, last night, Bolivia, they became a reality.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation confirmed Renard’s departure with a statement posted on its Twitter account.

“The Saudi Arabian Football Federation Board of Directors has agreed on the contract termination of the Head Coach of the Saudi National Team Mr. Herve Renard upon his request,” said the statement.

“A legal settlement has been (completed) to end the contract between the two parties. The President and the Board of Directors of SAFF wish Mr. Renard every success in his future career.”



Meanwhile, Renard released his own farewell message in a three-tweet thread following the loss to Bolivia.

“Having been the coach of (the) National team of Saudi Arabia is a great pride for me. Since August 2019, I had the chance to be an integral part of the life of this beautiful country. I have seen this team grow alongside me and achieve a fabulous World Cup,” he posted.



“This fantastic and unforgettable win against Argentina. Very proud to have been able to show to the world the progress and a good image of the Saudi football. It’s time for me to fly to another horizon but with this memories engraved in me,” he added.

He also thanked the minister of sport, the head of SAFF and everyone at the national team. “Special thanks to @AbdulazizTF @Yalmisehal @SaudiNT and to all the players, the staff, and all the fans for their incredible support,” the final tweet said.

The official account of the Saudi national team also followed up with a video message from Renard.



The Frenchman has presided over a period of success during his four years in Riyadh and while that has been welcomed in the Kingdom, it has also been noticed elsewhere, not least in his home nation.

His move to France will come as a blow to the Saudi Arabia Football Federation who looked like they had a respected coach who loved the job and was in it for the long haul. After taking over in 2019, he signed a contract extension in 2022 that would have taken him to 2027.

Renard has improved the team, established a style and, most importantly, delivered on the pitch.

All of Asia was impressed during qualification for the 2022 World Cup when the Green Falcons finished above Japan and Australia in a tough group. Placed in a difficult group in Qatar, Saudi Arabia more than held their own.

The world watched in awe as Renard’s men defeated eventual champions Argentina 2-1 in their opening group game. It was not only a come-from-behind victory, and not only achieved courtesy of fine goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari but, most importantly, it was deserved. Once they took the lead, Argentina quickly ran out of ideas in the face of determined and organized defending.

It was immediately hailed as one of the best results in the history of the World Cup and it certainly sparked the 2022 tournament into life. In the end, Saudi Arabia could not quite make the second round but returned home with heads held high and reputations enhanced.

Renard’s next task was to prepare for next January’s Asian Cup. It started with friendly games at the end of March against Venezuela and Bolivia but now it has ended, and somebody else will have to continue that journey.

It could be that Renard would not have left a job he seemed to enjoy for any other nation except his homeland. The 54-year-old takes over a troubled women’s team, however.

In early March, Corinne Diacre was sacked as head coach following a revolt from players. After six years in charge, a number of senior stars said that they would not play at this summer’s World Cup as they were dissatisfied with the standard of the coaching setup. The French Football Federation had little choice but to make the change, acknowledging that changes needed to be made. It was rumored that they wanted Thierry Henry but the former French international striker is said to be interested in the US women’s national team.

It is no surprise that the FFF have turned to Renard. He has shown that he can win tournaments, leading Ivory Coast and Zambia to the African Cup of Nations titles. He impressed at the 2018 World Cup with Morocco and did the same four years later with Saudi Arabia. With just four months before the World Cup starts in Australia and New Zealand, there is not much time but Renard has demonstrated in the past that he can turn teams around and achieve success.

The Frenchman is giving up plenty, however. Not just the chance to lead Saudi Arabia at the Asian Cup next January but there is the 2026 World Cup — and with the expanded tournament, it would be a surprise if the boys from Riyadh do not make it — as well as the 2027 Asian Cup that will be held in Saudi Arabia.

The Frenchman has swapped all that for the chance to take his home nation to a World Cup that will be held this summer and one that France, grouped with Brazil, Jamaica and Panama, have the potential to win.

While fans in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and elsewhere will perhaps have a passing interest in how France performs Down Under, now the focus is on finding the right person to lead Saudi Arabia forward.

After the World Cup and the improved reputation of football in the country, there should be plenty of interested parties.

Messi scores 100th Argentina goal in Curacao romp

Messi scores 100th Argentina goal in Curacao romp
Updated 29 March 2023

Messi scores 100th Argentina goal in Curacao romp

Messi scores 100th Argentina goal in Curacao romp
  • Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner opened the scoring against Curacao on 20 minutes
  • Lionel Messi came into the game as his country’s all-time record goalscorer

SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, Argentina: Argentina captain Lionel Messi on Tuesday scored his 100th international goal for the reigning world champions as they romped to a 7-0 friendly win over outclassed Curacao.
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi opened the scoring against the Caribbean island minnows on 20 minutes in Santiago del Estero.
It came 17 years after he opened his Argentina account in a 3-2 defeat to Croatia in March 2006.
The 35-year-old soon added another just after the half-hour mark to make it 3-0, and then completed his hat-trick on 37 minutes with the fifth as Argentina toyed with their overmatched opponents.
It was his seventh hat-trick for the national team.
“You cannot describe Messi in words,” said fellow goalscorer Nicolas Gonzalez.
“He’s the best in the world and he shows it match after match, day after day. Every time he touches the ball, he makes you smile.”
Messi came into the game not just as his country’s all-time record goalscorer, but with more goals than the next two top marksmen — Gabriel Batistuta on 56 and Sergio Aguero with 41 — put together.
This was Argentina’s second match since winning the World Cup in dramatic style against France in Qatar in December — triumphing 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw — and it was always going to be about Messi reaching 100 goals.
Now with 102, he remains third in the all-time list, behind great rival Cristiano Ronaldo (122) of Portugal and Iran’s Ali Daei (109).
Messi had come up short on Thursday last week when he notched his 99th goal for the Albiceleste as Argentina toiled in their homecoming celebration match against Panama.
The Central Americans had held out until the 78th minute before 21-year-old MLS sensation Thiago Almada broke their resistance.
Messi then scored direct from a free-kick a minute from time — his 800th goal in professional football — in front of 83,000 delirious fans in Buenos Aires.
Curacao, ranked 86th by world governing body FIFA, could only hold out for 20 minutes before Messi took a pass from Giovanni Lo Ceslo, cut inside his marker onto his weaker right foot and fired a low shot into the bottom corner.
The referee was then seen on live television throwing the ball to someone on the side of the pitch as DirecTV commentators speculated that it was heading “straight to the museum.”
Three minutes later Gonzalez outjumped goalkeeper Eloy Room to head home from four yards.
Gonzalez turned provider as Messi scored the first of three goals in four minutes, this time with his left foot.
He then laid off the ball for Enzo Fernandez to make it four with a shot from distance before Lo Celso released Messi behind the defense to notch his treble.
Argentina took their foot off the gas in the second half, with only a generously-awarded Angel Di Maria penalty and close-range finish from Gonzalo Montiel adding to the score.
But the 42,000 fans present remained in party mood throughout, waiting for their heroes to lift the World Cup trophy in front of them.

McTominay stars as Scotland down Spain, Croatia see off Turkey

McTominay stars as Scotland down Spain, Croatia see off Turkey
Updated 29 March 2023

McTominay stars as Scotland down Spain, Croatia see off Turkey

McTominay stars as Scotland down Spain, Croatia see off Turkey
  • Manchester United midfielder McTominay gave the hosts a dream start by slotting home Andrew Robertson's cutback in the seventh minute
  • Switzerland made it two wins from two games in Group I with a comfortable 3-0 success against Israel

PARIS: Scott McTominay scored twice as Scotland claimed a famous 2-0 victory over Spain at Hampden Park in Euro 2024 qualifying on Tuesday, while Croatia won in Turkey.

Steve Clarke's Scotland won their opening match in Group A 3-0 against Cyprus on Saturday but usurped that result with a stunning performance against three-time European champions Spain.

It was their first victory over Spain since 1984 and probably their best result since beating France in 2007.

"The manager said before getting on the bus for the stadium: 'This is your chance to create a legacy as a Scotland player'," said McTominay.

"These are the sort of nights in 20-30 years you remember as a player. When you watch back the game you say I was there. It's what the game is about."

Manchester United midfielder McTominay gave the hosts a dream start by slotting home Andrew Robertson's cutback in the seventh minute.

Ryan Christie went close to a second before Joselu, who scored twice on his debut against Norway at the weekend, hit the crossbar for Spain.

Lyndon Dykes missed a golden chance to double the Scots' advantage in first-half added time, but dinked the ball over the bar after racing through on goal.

McTominay made no such mistake six minutes after the restart, though, drilling home a fine left-footed volley after excellent work from Kieran Tierney.

Spain piled on late pressure but failed to create many clear-cut chances as Scotland held on to the delight of a raucous crowd in Glasgow.

The loss is a serious early setback for new Spain coach Luis de la Fuente who took over from Luis Enrique following a World Cup last-16 exit to Morocco.

"It's clear that the two chances they had they put away and we tried, we hit the woodwork twice, we had a lot of chances, above all in the first half," Spain midfielder Rodri told Teledeporte.

"We have to improve these lapses, and these things that cost us against these teams."

Scotland are top of a difficult Group A that also includes Erling Haaland's Norway and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia's Georgia.

The Georgians played out a 1-1 draw with Norway in the other Group A game in Batumi.

The Scandinavians took the lead through Alexander Sorloth, playing in place of the injured Haaland, in the 15th minute.

But Metz forward Georges Mikautadze equalised on the hour mark to ensure Georgia did not start their bid to qualify for a first major tournament with a defeat.

"It would have been worse if we had stood here and not created chances. We had some incredible chances today. That's life," said Norway coach Stale Solbakken.

World Cup semifinalists Croatia eased to an impressive 2-0 win in Turkey to kickstart their Group D campaign after an opening draw with Wales.

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic netted a first-half double with both goals coming from Mario Pasalic assists.

Croatia are level on four points with Wales after Rob Page's side beat Latvia 1-0 for their first win since the retirement of Gareth Bale.

Striker Kieffer Moore headed home the winning goal for a dominant Wales in the 41st minute.

Switzerland made it two wins from two games in Group I with a comfortable 3-0 success against Israel.

Goals from Ruben Vargas, Zeki Amdouni and Silvan Widmer helped the Swiss follow up a 5-0 thrashing of Belarus in style.

Romania also boast a 100 percent record in the group after edging out Belarus 2-1, while Kosovo have two points from as many matches after a 1-1 draw with Andorra.

Farewell: Herve Renard signs off as Saudi Green Falcons head coach

Farewell: Herve Renard signs off as Saudi Green Falcons head coach
Updated 29 March 2023

Farewell: Herve Renard signs off as Saudi Green Falcons head coach

Farewell: Herve Renard signs off as Saudi Green Falcons head coach
  • Perhaps the most enduring image from the game was the warm hug Salem Al-Dawsari gave the coach after equalizing just before half time
  • By then, French media had confirmed that Renard had agreed a deal to fill the vacant position as manager of the French women’s team

Herve Renard’s four-year reign as manager of the Saudi national team ended on Tuesday with a whimper as his team fell to a 2-1 friendly defeat in Jeddah at the hands of Bolivia.

The lasting image from a disappointing game, from the Saudi perspective, was perhaps the moment when Salem Al-Dawsari, who has shone during Renard’s time in charge, hugged the coach warmly after he equalized just before the break.

It was a touching moment that, even at that stage of the game, looked like a fond farewell to a tactician who was leaving to coach the French national women’s team.



That deal was reported by French media during the game as being done, and confirmed by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation a few minutes after the final whistle.

The visitors grabbed the winning goal in the second half to make it four wins in Asia for South American teams in the space of a day, after South Korea, Japan and Australia had all lost at home.

Few Saudi fans will have cared much about that. They left the game disappointed, especially with the porous defense that was on display. The Green Falcons have made progress under Renard but while there will be plenty for his successor to work with, there is also plenty still to do.

There were warning signs early on; in the seventh minute, Mohammed Al-Owais struggled to deal with a back-pass but recovered in time to make the save.

But then, after some promising moves from the hosts, the South Americans took the lead. Jaime Arrascaita’s low cross from the left should probably have been dealt with by Abdulelah Al-Amri but the Al-Nassr centre-back failed to clear and Marcelo Moreno was waiting to take advantage and poke the ball home from close range.


Saudi Arabia tried to push forward but, as was the case during their 2-1 loss to Venezuela on Friday, they struggled to carve out any clear openings. That began to change in the last 10 minutes of the first half, however. Their best chance up to that point came in the 35th minute when a free-kick fell to Al-Amri in the area but his shot on the turn went straight into the arms of goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra.

Saleh Al-Shehri went closer five minutes later from a Mohammed Kanno cross but the striker’s shot from close range was blocked by Jairo Quinteros — illegally so according to the referee after he consulted the pitch-side monitor.

Up stepped Al-Dawsari, calmly sending Viscarra the wrong way and the ball into the bottom right-hand corner. It was his sixth successful penalty kick since missing one against Poland in the second game of the Qatar World Cup.

There was plenty of energy on display after the break. Abdul Aziz Al-Bishi, recalled to the side, chested the ball too hard when through on goal just before the hour, and seconds later Abdullah Al-Hamdan was perhaps relieved to see the offside flag raised as he shot straight at the goalkeeper while unmarked in the area. In the 65th minute, Al-Amri had the ball in the net but Al-Hamdan was offside.

Then Bolivia were back in front and it was another poor goal to concede. Al-Owais parried a low cross back into the area, Diego Medina fed the ball to Carmelo Algaranaz and the substitute had the luxury of time to juggle the ball, turn and fire a low shot into the bottom corner.

Saudi Arabia tried to get back on level terms but were unable to get the breakthrough they needed. All thoughts turned to Renard when the final whistle sounded, signaling the end of what will be remembered as a successful era, despite recent results. 

Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso qualify as Namibia shock Cameroon

Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso qualify as Namibia shock Cameroon
Updated 29 March 2023

Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso qualify as Namibia shock Cameroon

Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso qualify as Namibia shock Cameroon
  • Burkina Faso needed one point from a visit to Togo to qualify and they drew 1-1 

JOHANNESBURG: Defending champions Senegal, South Africa and Burkina Faso qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in matchday four on Tuesday while Namibia are close to joining them after a shock win over Cameroon.

Reigning African Footballer of the Year Sadio Mane set up Boulaye Dia to score in the first half and give Senegal a 1-0 win over Mozambique in Maputo and an eight-point Group L lead.

Mihlali Mayambela pounced on a loose ball to score the winner as South Africa defeated Liberia 2-1 in Monrovia and join shock 2022 World Cup semifinalists Morocco as the Group K qualifiers.

Burkina Faso needed one point from a visit to Togo to qualify and they drew 1-1 with Dango Ouattara giving the visiting side an early lead that Kodjo Laba canceled out in Lome.

Captain Peter Shalulile opened the scoring for Namibia, who replaced Cameroon as Group C table-toppers by winning 2-1 in Soweto near Johannesburg.

Senegal, whose penalty shootout victory over Egypt last year brought the Cup of Nations trophy to Dakar for the first time, stretched a perfect group record to four wins.

But it was a much closer contest against Mozambique than last week when the Teranga Lions romped to a 5-1 victory at home.

Mozambique remain second, but will be overtaken if Rwanda win at home to Benin in Kigali on Wednesday.

South Africa ground out a win as Zakhele Lepasa put them ahead, although William Jebor levelled for Liberia before half-time after a blunder by captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

Another goalkeeping howler, this time by Liberian Thomas Songo, gifted Mayambela the crucial goal eight minutes into the second half.

“It was difficult, but 90 minutes of perseverance got us through,” said South Africa coach Hugo Broos.

“Coping with the physicality of the Liberians was a real challenge. Fortunately, we chose the right players in the right positions and coped.”

Morocco, the first African or Arab nation to reach the World Cup semifinals, did not play because scheduled opponents Zimbabwe were barred due to government interference in the sport.

Cameroon football boss and former star Samuel Eto’o looked on from the stand as a team lacking injured forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Karl Toko Ekambi came off second best.

Shalulile and Absalom Iimbondi scored in the second half for the Brave Warriors before Vincent Aboubakar snatched an added-time consolation goal for the Indomitable Lions.

Namibia have five points and Cameroon four, and both must face Burundi, who have only one point but are not out of the running for a top-two finish.

Algeria clinched qualification from Group F on Monday, but who accompanies them as runners-up is wide open after Uganda upset Tanzania 1-0 in Dar es Salaam through a late Rogers Mato goal.

Tanzania and Uganda have four points each and Niger two with two rounds to come, in June and September.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah netted as Egypt hammered Malawi 4-0 in Lilongwe to join Guinea at the top of Group D.