Vinícius scores twice in 4-2 win at Osasuna as Madrid take another step toward title

Vinícius scores twice in 4-2 win at Osasuna as Madrid take another step toward title
Real Madrid's Spanish forward Brahim Diaz celebrates scoring his team's third goal, with Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior, during their Spanish league match against CA Osasuna at El Sadar stadium in Pamplona on Mar. 16, 2024. (AFP)
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Updated 16 March 2024
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Vinícius scores twice in 4-2 win at Osasuna as Madrid take another step toward title

Vinícius scores twice in 4-2 win at Osasuna as Madrid take another step toward title
  • The Brazil forward was unfazed on the field in Pamplona, scoring Madrid’s fourth-minute opener and adding a fourth goal to complete the rout
  • Vinícius has scored six goals in a four-game scoring streak across all competitions

BARCELONA, Spain: Days after being targeted by racist taunts before games not even involving his team, Vinícius Júnior scored twice to lead Spanish league leader Real Madrid to a dominant 4-2 win at Osasuna on Saturday.
Vinícius, who is Black, has endured racist insults during away games especially over the last two seasons. This week he was subjected to racist chants by groups of fans gathered outside the stadiums of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona before Champions League games. Atletico played Inter Milan, and Barcelona played Napoli.
Vinícius asked on social media for the acts to not go unpunished, adding “It’s a sad reality that happens even in games where I’m not present!”
The Brazil forward was unfazed on the field in Pamplona, scoring Madrid’s fourth-minute opener and adding a fourth goal to complete the rout. Dani Carvajal and Brahim Díaz also scored for the visitors, which picked apart Osasuna’s high defensive line.
Vinícius has scored six goals in a four-game scoring streak across all competitions. He is playing his best just as Madrid are preparing to face Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals next month.
Madrid moved 10 points ahead of Girona, which play at Getafe later.
Vinícius will miss next round’s home game against Athletic Bilbao as he serves a one-game suspension for picking up a fifth yellow card for protesting a decision by the referee.
Madrid were without Jude Bellingham, who leads the league with 16 goals, as he completed a two-game suspension.
Osasuna striker Ante Budimir had an early equalizer to briefly make it 1-1. It was the Croat’s 15th league goal of the season. Substitute Iker Muñoz added the hosts’ second goal in stoppage time.


Hungary coach Rossi blasts ‘passive’ flops after Euro defeat to Switzerland

Hungary coach Rossi blasts ‘passive’ flops after Euro defeat to Switzerland
Updated 15 June 2024
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Hungary coach Rossi blasts ‘passive’ flops after Euro defeat to Switzerland

Hungary coach Rossi blasts ‘passive’ flops after Euro defeat to Switzerland
  • Rossi’s side failed to live up to their pre-tournament billing as dark horses with a lacklustre display in Cologne
  • “We had a tactical misunderstanding. We didn’t cope and have time to press them. The first half was very bad. We were too passive,” Rossi said

COLOGNE, Germany: Marco Rossi slammed his Hungary flops after their Euro 2024 campaign started with a dismal 3-1 defeat against Switzerland on Saturday, warning it may be “impossible” to defeat hosts Germany in their next match.
Rossi’s side failed to live up to their pre-tournament billing as dark horses with a lacklustre display in Cologne.
They were rocked by first half strikes from Kwadwo Duah and Michel Aebischer, who both netted their maiden international goals.
Barnabas Varga’s second-half header gave Hungary hope, but Breel Embolo came off the bench to net in stoppage-time in his first international appearance since 2022.
“We had a tactical misunderstanding. We didn’t cope and have time to press them. The first half was very bad. We were too passive,” Rossi said.
“Switzerland are very experienced, with quality players all over the pitch. Against teams at this level, you run the risk of doing bad things. They made the most of our mistakes.”
Taking his share of the blame, as well as lambasting his players, Rossi said: “I’m not looking for guilty people. I’m the coach and need to take my responsibility.
“We had some short-comings in individual performances. There aren’t many strategies to stop individual mistakes.
“It’s hard to say anyone did well apart from two or three performances.”
Hungary’s defeat leaves them three points behind title contenders Germany and second placed Switzerland in Group A.
A loss against Germany on Wednesday would be a hammer blow to Hungary’s hopes of making the last 16, and Rossi admitted he is not confident of upsetting the odds.
“We play Germany in four days. I dare anybody to bet one Hungarian forint on us. As of today that looks impossible,” he said.
“Germany are a different team than the last Euros, they proved it against Scotland. In my opinion they are the biggest favorite of the European Championship.”
Switzerland have only lost one of their last 15 matches in all competitions and a win against Scotland in their next game on Wednesday would send them into the last 16.
There were 22 passes in the build up to Duah’s opener, the third-longest passing sequence leading to a goal at the Euros since 1980.
It was a welcome result for Swiss boss Murat Yakin, who had been under pressure after a rift with his players over tactical issues during the qualifying campaign.
“I trust myself. I have a strong team which is fundamental. We need mutual trust, so it is a satisfaction when we get a result like that. We can reach important goals,” Yakin said.
“We have prepared for three weeks and the players have the right spirit. I have a role in creating this atmosphere.
“I like to play chess. Yesterday I had a victim who lost twice to me. I like to compare football to chess and we got our tactics right.
“We used that formation for a particular reason. We surprised Marco Rossi at the beginning maybe. You have to make the most of our qualities.”
Scotland will be fighting to stay in the tournament when they face the Swiss and Yakin urged his team not to underestimate Steve Clarke’s men.
“It is a completely different game next Wednesday. It will bring more confidence to our game but we have to play better against Scotland,” he said.
“We have a lot to improve. The second half of the match didn’t go very well. We conceded too many chances.”


German police shoot to death an Afghan man who killed a compatriot, then attacked soccer fans

German police shoot to death an Afghan man who killed a compatriot, then attacked soccer fans
Updated 15 June 2024
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German police shoot to death an Afghan man who killed a compatriot, then attacked soccer fans

German police shoot to death an Afghan man who killed a compatriot, then attacked soccer fans
  • The 27-year-old Afghan citizen first attacked a 23-year-old compatriot with a “knife-like object”
  • The man later attacked a group of people watching the soccer game between Germany and Scotland

BERLIN: German police shot to death an Afghan man after he fatally attacked a compatriot and later wounded three people watching the televised opening game of the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in eastern Germany, police said Saturday.
The 27-year-old Afghan citizen first attacked a 23-year-old compatriot with a “knife-like object” in Wolmirstedt, a small town about 130 kilometers (80 miles) west of Berlin, on Friday evening, police said. The victim later died of his wounds.
The man later attacked a group of people watching the soccer game between Germany and Scotland in the yard of private house, injuring three German men, two of them seriously, police said.
Police said the assailant, still armed with the same object, also attacked officers called to the scene. Two of the officers shot and wounded the man, who died soon after in a hospital.
Police said the motive for the attacks was unclear. The Interior Ministry in Saxony-Anhalt state, which includes Wolmirstedt, said police had increased their presence across the state. The soccer tournament is taking place in cities across Germany and runs through July 14.


Former Arsenal and Everton striker Campbell dies at 54

Former Arsenal and Everton striker Campbell dies at 54
Updated 15 June 2024
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Former Arsenal and Everton striker Campbell dies at 54

Former Arsenal and Everton striker Campbell dies at 54
  • Campbell, who died after a short illness, holds the record for most Premier League goals, 83, by a player never to win an international cap
  • “Everyone at Arsenal Football is devastated to hear of the death of our much-loved former player Kevin Campbell,” said Arsenal

LONDON: Ex-Premier League striker Kevin Campbell has died aged 54, his former clubs Arsenal and Everton announced on Saturday.
Campbell, who died after a short illness, holds the record for most Premier League goals, 83, by a player never to win an international cap.
“Everyone at Arsenal Football is devastated to hear of the death of our much-loved former player Kevin Campbell,” said Arsenal.
Campbell joined the Gunners as a schoolboy in 1985, making his first-team debut in 1988. He went on to play 228 times for Arsenal scoring 59 goals and winning a league title, an FA Cup, a European Cup Winners Cup and a League Cup.
“To actually play for the team I supported was a dream come true,” he said.
In 164 games for Everton he scored 51 goals, including nine in five games which saved them from relegation in 1999.
“Everyone at Everton Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the Club’s most popular and much-loved former strikers, Kevin Campbell,” they said on their website.
Campbell, who also played for Leicester, Leyton Orient, Nottingham Forest, Trabzonspor, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff, said one of his favorite memories in football was scoring the winner in the 2000 Merseyside derby, Everton’s last victory at Anfield for 22 years.
“It was at the Kop End and my view, which will live with me until the day I die, is the Blues in the Kop going crazy,” he said.
In January 2001, manager Walter Smith made Campbell Everton’s first black captain.
“He made me the first black captain of Everton, which is something that I’m so proud of,” Campbell said.
Campbell moved to West Brom in January 2005 and was part of their “great escape,” as they became the first club bottom of the Premier League at Christmas to survive.
His son, Tyrese Campbell, is a striker who has just been released by Championship side Stoke City after seven seasons at the club.
“The pain of this is indescribable and as a son you look at your dad as invincible,” said Tyrese Campbell in a message released on his behalf by journalist Alan Myers.
“He is my idol, the one I wanted to be when I grew up...I’ll miss you dad.”


Host Germany give Euro 2024 liftoff by outclassing 10-man Scotland 5-1

Host Germany give Euro 2024 liftoff by outclassing 10-man Scotland 5-1
Updated 15 June 2024
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Host Germany give Euro 2024 liftoff by outclassing 10-man Scotland 5-1

Host Germany give Euro 2024 liftoff by outclassing 10-man Scotland 5-1
  • Pre-tournament title expectations of the Germans were underwhelming after they crashed out of their last three major tournaments
  • They’ve opened with their biggest victory in Euros history

MUNICH: Host Germany could hardly have wished for a better start to the European Championship.
Goals from Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala in an imperious first half set Germany on the way to a confidence-boosting 5-1 win over 10-man Scotland in the Euro 2024 curtainraiser on Friday.
While Germany didn’t really have to break sweat against a sub-par Scotland at Allianz Arena, it was the ideal result to launch their tournament and ramp up excitement in the country.
“Yes, that’s exactly the way we wanted to start and, to be honest, we needed a start just like that,” Germany captain İlkay Gündoğan told German broadcaster ZDF. “I had a good feeling before the game already, to be honest, and it came true, thank God.
“But exactly this atmosphere, the euphoria in the stadium now with our own fans, that’s exactly what we need in order to go far.”
Pre-tournament title expectations of the Germans were underwhelming after they crashed out of their last three major tournaments. But they’ve opened with their biggest victory in Euros history.
They dominated the first half, which ended in the worst possible way for Scotland when defender Ryan Porteous was sent off and Kai Havertz converted the resulting penalty kick. Substitutes Niclas Füllkrug and Emre Can piled on to Scotland’s misery after the break.
“The first 20 minutes were very impressive. The first goals were very good,” Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann said. “It’s very valuable that many players performed well early on.
“It was only the first step but a very good one and we can build on this one. We’re very happy.”
Scotland, which hadn’t had a shot on goal all match, managed to give their raucous fans something to celebrate late on when the ball was bundled into the back of the net off Germany defender Antonio Rüdiger for an own goal.
Steve Clarke’s side will have to do better against Hungary and Switzerland if they are to get out of Group A and reach the knockout stage for the first time.
“Difficult night. We didn’t play to our standard. The German team were excellent,” Clarke said.
“We feel as though we’ve let ourselves down. We’re better than that. Hopefully we can show that the next two games.”
Scotland’s Tartan Army of supporters started the match in fine voice, but they were swiftly quietened when Wirtz scored in the 10th.
Toni Kroos picked out Joshua Kimmich with a brilliant crossfield lob and he rolled it across for Wirtz to fire in.
Wirtz became Germany’s youngest Euros goal-scorer at 21. Musiala, 67 days older than Wirtz, doubled Germany’s tally nine minutes later after combining well with Havertz.
Right on halftime, Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn only parried a header from Gündoğan, but just when the captain appeared set to tuck home the rebound he was upended by a thunderous challenge from Porteous.
Referee Clément Turpin showed Porteous a straight red card and awarded Germany a penalty, which Havertz converted.
Scotland managed to hold out in the second half until an attempted exchange between Musiala and Gündoğan fell kindly for Füllkrug. The substitute, who came on only five minutes earlier, unleashed a thunderbolt into the top right corner.
Scotland’s late consolation came when Kieran McKenna’s header from a free kick went in off Rüdiger.
Still, Scotland conceded five goals for the first time in 12 years when Can, who was brought into the squad only two days ago as a late replacement for the ill Aleksandar Pavlovic, curled in in stoppage time.
“A great feeling and a crazy story ... I was on vacation two days ago” Can told ZDF. “Then the call came on Wednesday, and on Wednesday evening I met up with the team, trained once yesterday, came in today (off the bench), scored a goal. I’m thankful to Julian (Nagelsmann) and the whole coaching staff that they put their trust in me.”
Late German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer was honored before the match, and the capacity crowd included German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Scotland First Minister John Swinney, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Hungary are next in Germany’s sights on Wednesday, when Scotland play Switzerland.


Berlin fan zone reaches capacity amid Euro fever

Berlin fan zone reaches capacity amid Euro fever
Updated 14 June 2024
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Berlin fan zone reaches capacity amid Euro fever

Berlin fan zone reaches capacity amid Euro fever
  • Hundreds of thousands of Berliners flocked to the iconic gate in downtown Berlin to watch the match
  • Berlin police said an hour before kick-off “the fan zone at Brandenburg Gate has reached its capacity”

BERLIN: A fan zone at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate was filled to capacity ahead of the Euro 2024 opening game between Germany and Scotland on Friday, with police saying the venue could hold no more people and the local underground station was also closed.
Hundreds of thousands of Berliners flocked to the iconic gate in downtown Berlin to watch the match on big screens and 90 minutes before kick-off fans could be seen running and jostling with stewards and security personnel as they tried to enter.
Berlin police announced on social media site X around an hour before kick-off that “the fan zone at Brandenburg Gate has reached its capacity. No more fans will be allowed in.”
Police later said on X that the nearby train station was also closed, though trains would continue to run through it.
Earlier in the evening, an area at a nearby fan zone near the German parliament was cordoned off due to a suspect device.