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Germany blows past Armenia in the World Cup qualifiers

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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Serge Gnabry’s early first-half brace helped Germany relentlessly demolish helpless Armenia 6-0 in front of a home crowd in a World Cup Group J qualifier on Sunday.

The Germans got off to a flying start in Stuttgart, with Leon Goretzka’s defense-splitting chip into the area finding Gnabry, who hammered the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle in the sixth minute. The visitors got off to the worst possible start, as Gnabry was on fire and made it two nine minutes later, knocking home Marco Reus’ cutback pass into the area.

After Leroy Sane struck the crossbar with a long-range shot in the 22nd minute, Germany dominated possession and gathered momentum. Armenia was stranded in its own zone, while Germany maintained its lead, making it three with 35 minutes remaining when Marco Reus capitalized on Timo Werner’s lay-up to punch in from nine meters.

Hansi Flick’s team showed no mercy, as Werner added his name to the scoreboards right before halftime, finishing off Goretzka’s square pass for a 4-0 lead.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stayed on the bench in the first half and continued to be so after the break as the hosts added another goal to their lead seven minutes into the second half when Jonas Hofmann smashed home a deflected corner kick.

The Germans were a threat on rapid breakaway but lacked accuracy as the game progressed, with neither Gnabry nor Hofmann able to extend the lead despite excellent opportunities.

However, the hosts were not done scoring and increased their lead to six as youngster Karim Adeyemi exchanged passes with Florian Wirtz before slotting home his debut goal in the final seconds of the game.

Germany leads Group J with 12 points, followed by Armenia (10), Romania (9), North Macedonia (8), Iceland (4), and Liechtenstein (0).

“We performed admirably. I am pleased with the performance, but we have another game on Wednesday and must continue to play as well as we did tonight. We have a lot of quality, but when it comes down to it, we have to deliver “Hansi Flick, Germany’s head coach, stated.

Germany will play Iceland in the next World Cup qualifier, while Armenia will host Liechtenstein.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

 

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SAFF championship’s amended timetable with changes has been announced.

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The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), football tournament SAFF championship’s first match between Maldives and Nepal has been rescheduled to go on at night time, after the opening ceremony.

The schedule for the championship has been changed twice before as well. When the schedule has first released the dates given were from 1st-13th. But after review, the schedule was changed to abide by FIFA match day policies, giving enough days in between for the players to rest.

The government’s senior employees will be attending the opening ceremony event. The Maldives has previously won twice in this competition, which was in 2008 playing in Sri Lanka and in 2018 playing in Bangladesh. Both tournaments were won playing against India. The Maldives remains to be the competition defending champions, so the slogan for this year’s championship is “Thinvanah faharu miee ey faharu” which translates to “Third time is our chance”, aiming to win the championship cup for the third time.

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Bank of Maldives has renewed their sponsorship given to Maldives National Football Team.

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Bank of Maldives (BML) has renewed their official sponsorship agreement given to Maldives national football teams.

BML has informed that just as before, the agreement will state that BML is the exclusive sponsor for National Senior men’s football team, National Senior women’s football team, and the National Youth football team.

BML’s CEO and managing director Tim Soya shared his joy in renewing the partnership during a time where the love of football and the excitement for the sports is increasing. Tim further stated that BML gives utmost importance to be a part of the successes that the national football teams gain in international competitions and wants to spread the skill of playing football to generations of Maldivians. Tim stated that he has high hopes that Maldives will win in the upcoming SAFF Championship.

Football Association of Maldives’s (FAM) president Bassam stated that he is very proud that BML has extended the agreement and renewed it. Since 2017, BML has been the official sponsor of Maldivian national football teams.  And they will remain to be the official exclusive sponsor in the upcoming SAFF championship 2021 as well.

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Pele is no longer in intensive care

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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Pele, the legendary Brazilian footballer, has been transferred out of intensive care 10 days after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor from his colon, according to the hospital where he is being treated.

According to a statement made by Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital, the 80-year-old will continue his recovery in a general room. It didn’t specify when he might be released.

Pele took to social media to thank supporters for their support and assure them that he is “ready to play 90 minutes.”

“Don’t believe for a second that I haven’t seen the thousands of beautiful comments I’ve received around here,” the three-time World Cup champion posted on Instagram.

“Thank you so much to everyone who took a minute out of their day to send me happy vibes. Love, love, and more love!”

Pele has struggled with a number of health issues in recent years, including complications after hip replacement surgery, as well as kidney and prostate issues.

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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