Cristiano Ronaldo called his winner "an important goal", but Zlatan Ibrahimović feels Sweden's fans can turn the play-off tie on Tuesday, saying: "Get behind us and we'll make it."
Sunday, 17 November 2013
When Asamoah Gyan scored in the fifth minute against Egypt last month, the outpouring of emotion and adulation in Kumasi was immense. The crowd, nearly 40,000-strong, burst to life. Ghana’s fans showered praise down on their striker and captain. Gyan’s teammates, even those from the substitutes’ bench, flocked around him.
“It’s a great moment to remember,” Gyan told FIFA.com about his opening goal, a perfect shot from a tight angle that sent the Black Stars on their way to a resounding 6-1 win and put a foot into the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. “You can’t really expect such a massive result against a team like Egypt. We were hoping to get a comfortable win at home, but things just went right for us on the night.
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Melbourne: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told Luis Suarez to think about the fans who have treated him like "a son" after the club's American owner laughed off a bid from Arsenal for the striker's services on Wednesday.
British media reported the north London club had offered 40 million and one pound ($61.47 million) for Suarez prompting Liverpool owner John W. Henry to ask on Twitter: "What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates?"
Arsenal's unusual bid ties in with media reports that an offer of more than 40 million pounds triggers a clause in the Uruguay international's contract that says Liverpool must inform the striker of their Premier League rivals' interest.
"There's no doubt the market these days for top players is very small so Luis will always be linked with top clubs," Rodgers told reporters after Suarez made a cameo appearance in Liverpool's 2-0 win over local club Melbourne Victory.
"But I think the support that he's received from the supporters and the people of the city of Liverpool has been unrivalled.
"In the period of time, he's missed a lot of games for the club through various reasons. And the people have stood by him like a son and really looked after him.
Melbourne: Steven Gerrard sent the 95,000 crowd home happy with a trademark goal in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Australia's Melbourne Victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
The Liverpool skipper scored in the first half and Spaniard striker Iago Aspas got home in injury time off some Luis Suarez trickery, to seal a hard-fought win over the two-times A-League champions.
Despite an emotional rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone" by the capacity red-clad crowd prior to the kickoff, Liverpool struggled to dominate the home side -- even though they were missing all their Socceroo stars playing at the East Asian Cup in South Korea.
Gerrard's goal gave Liverpool the half-time lead, but it took until deep into injury time before they added a second goal after some clever lead-up work from want-away Uruguayan striker Suarez.
New signing Aspas was there to score from close range off Suarez's pass with the last kick of the game.
Every touch made by Gerrard was greeted with a huge roar from the pro-Liverpool capacity crowd.
Gerrard had a long-range shot beaten away by goalkeeper Nathan Coe midway through the opening half, but Victory were comfortable on the ball, passing it around the pitch for long periods and not overawed.
The Victory produced a much stiffer, more composed performance than the A-League All-Stars thrown together and battered by Manchester United 5-1 in Sydney a few days earlier.
London: Liverpool owner John W Henry appeared to ridicule Arsenal's latest bid for Luis Suarez on Wednesday after the Gunners reportedly tabled an offer of just over 40 million pounds ($61.47 million) for the striker.
The unusual offer of 40 million and one pound was intended to trigger a clause in the Uruguayan international's contract that says Liverpool must inform the striker of Arsenal's interest.
Henry said on his verified Twitter account: "What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates?" Arsenal play at Emirates Stadium.
Suarez was due to discuss his future with coach Brendan Rodgers in Melbourne on Wednesday where Liverpool are playing their next pre-season tour match against the Melbourne Victory.
Arsenal have already had one bid for Suarez rejected by Liverpool, who say they are under no obligation to sell the player.
Suarez joined up with Liverpool's squad on Monday. He still has to serve six matches of his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic on April 21, but can play in their pre-season friendlies.
Barcelona's new coach, the talented Argentinian-born Gerardo Martino, says his biggest concern is being able to live up to the challenge that "a club of this size" represents.
"What most keeps me up at night is living up to the circumstances and being a real contribution to the players and the institution," Martino said at a press conference at the headquarter of Newell's Old Boys in Rosario, 300 km north of Buenos Aires Tuesday.
Martino led the Old Boys to win Argentina's Closing Tournament.
Speaking in his characteristically measured way, Martino said, "My challenge is to insert myself into a club of this size (and) be able to do it in the best and fastest way possible."
Martino, 50, stressed "the scale of the team", which features soccer superstars Lionel Messi (who is also from Rosario) and Brazil's Neymar.
The coach hoped "things turn out as best as possible", and made it clear that he expected to adapt to Barcelona's style, and not the other way around.
"I understand what institution I'm coming to, the history it has. I am the one who has to adapt to its ways and see how I can contribute to a team that is already very rich," he said.
Martino said he was pleased to coach "the best soccer player in the world", referring to Messi, and wished "to play a leading role in all the matches the team has to play".
Martino said being contacted to coach the team following the departure of Tito Vilanova was "unexpected", and he thanked Newell, who reached the semifinals in the Libertadores Cup.
Melbourne: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said on Wednesday he believes success is just around the corner for the Merseyside club, and urged the team's owners to keep backing manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Reds have not won the English title for more than 20 years, struggling in recent times to stay in touch with cashed-up Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
But 33-year-old Gerrard, who last week signed a new two-year contract extension with the club, said he was confident the glory days of old were again close for the five-time European champions.
"Is success around the corner... I hope so," the England captain told The Australian newspaper ahead of Liverpool's match against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday evening.
Gerrard, who has been at Liverpool since he was a young boy and has seen managers come and go, said he had nothing but praise for Rodgers, who assumed the role last season and has started to slowly turn around the club's fortunes.
"We have a great relationship," he said.
"He has shown a lot of faith in me both on and off the field. It is early days, but I am sure our relationship will continue to grow.
"We are moving in the right direction. We are playing nice football and hopefully the owners continue to back him and he is able to add to the squad to make it stronger so we can compete for trophies."
Gerrard told the newspaper he has confidence that he and his teammates can deliver. "We have bought well in the off-season and if we can get another two players in key areas then we have a good chance," he said.
Rodgers has already brought in four players since the end of last season -- Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Manchester City defender Kolo Toure, Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas, and Barcelona B midfielder Luis Alberto.
He is still on the lookout for more, although questions remain over the future of Luis Suarez, with reports in the British media overnight that Liverpool has turned down a second, increased bid of £40 million ($61 million) from Arsenal for the Uruguay striker.
Gerrard said he had been talking to Suarez in Melbourne and continued to remind him that there is "a lot of love" for him from the club, the players and the fans.