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Lionel Messi surpasses Pele's goalscoring record, leads Argentina to win in World Cup qualifiers

  • Sep 10, 2021
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Lionel Messi broke Brazil great Pele's South American goal scoring record with a hat-trick that helped Argentina beat Bolivia 3-0 in the World Cup qualifiers on Thursday. Messi became the best scorer in South American football history The 34-year-old scored 79 goals for Argentina, overtaking Pele's tally of 77. The Argentine captain opened the way for his team at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires in front of 20,000 lucky fans in the 14th minute. He moved the ball between the legs of a Bolivian defender and shot from outside the penalty area to the right of the goalkeeper Carlos Lampe. Once again he showed his technique to score the second in the 64th minute. Messi and forward Lautaro Martinez exchanged four quick passes to put the six-time Ballon D'Or winner in a magnificent position. He still had time to dribble past one defender before scoring. Messi completed his hat-trick in the 88th minute from close range after getting a rebound from Lampe. Also Read- LaLiga will not be weakened by Lionel Messi's exit, says ex-Real Madrid player Fernando MorientesArgentina now have 18 points in second place. Bolivia remains in ninth place with six. Brazil and Argentina will have one less competitive match after this international window since the Super Classic was suspended on Sunday. FIFA has yet to decide what will happen will the match, as it was stopped in a shocking way after Brazilian health officials tried to remove four Argentinian players for allegedly providing false information to authorities. The top four teams from the South American qualifiers earn direct spots in the World Cup finals in Qatar next year, and the fifth-place team will go into an intercontinental playoff. Previously, Uruguay beat Ecuador by 1-0 to move to third place in the table. Uruguay managed to get a last-minute home win against Ecuador, which was key to their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup. The header by Gaston Pereiro in stoppage time allowed Uruguay to add 15 points and take Ecuador third on the table. The Ecuadorians still with 13 points, are in fourth place and they are also well positioned to go to Qatar next year. Colombia also clinched an important 3-1 home win over Chile in a magnificent performance from forward Miguel Borja. He scored the first from the spot in the 19th minute and added another one minute later. Chile reduced the gap in the 56th minute with Jean Menezes, but Luis Diaz added Colombia's last goal in the 74th minute. Also on Thursday, Paraguay beat Venezuela 2-1. The hosts scored with David Martínez and Alejandro Romero in the 7th and 46th minutes. The visitors scored their only goal in the 90th minute with John Chancellor. He posted on social media after the game: "I dreamed a lot about this day and thank God it came. "I have no words to thank you for all the love received. What a beautiful night, I really enjoyed it. Unforgettable."View this post on InstagramA post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)Also Read- Lionel Messi signs two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain after leaving BarcelonaAlso Read- Cristiano Ronaldo becomes all-time highest goalscorer in international football with brace against Ireland

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LaLiga will not be weakened by Lionel Messi's exit, says ex-Real Madrid player Fernando Morientes

  • Sep 08, 2021
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La Liga may be shorn of its biggest name in Lionel Messi who left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain but former Real Madrid player Fernando Morientes feels the Spanish league would not be "weakened" by the exit of the Argentine maestro.Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain's club last month is not the only high-profile exit from La Liga. In the last five seasons, players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Sergio Ramos have left Real Madrid or Barcelona."La Liga throughout its history has lost players, just like any other league... It is nothing new. Cristiano left, Neymar left, Messi and Ramos have also left," Morientes, who is also the La Liga ambassador, said during a virtual media interaction."Footballers will eventually leave, but clubs will stay. La Liga doesn't sell itself through a single player. La Liga is never going to have a problem to sell itself as a competition"."La Liga has done a spectacular job attempting to attract the best players to make it as competitive as always been."Morientes said it's an opportunity for the Spanish clubs to prove themselves at the marquee Champions League.“I would like to see a Spanish final in fact, because there are many people who think that Messi's departure has weakened the league. We have to show that this is not the case.Also Read- Lionel Messi signs two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain after leaving Barcelona"In the last 10-15 years, La Liga teams have always been very competitive in all European competitions. And I'm convinced this coming season the Spanish teams will demonstrate their true potential in this competition," said the former Spanish center-forward.The 45-year-old said it was the responsibility of the clubs to change, adapt and sign great players."La Liga will continue to be a really attractive league that will bring in new players and I'm sure there are great players who will want to play here," said Morientes, who played 183 games for Real Madrid between 1997 and 2005."The Spanish league is strong enough to be attractive to everyone. I am convinced that you in India will continue to follow the league and continue to follow our teams as fans and not just as individual players."On the prospect of 'El Clasico' without Messi and Ronaldo, he said: "Real Madrid and Barcelona at the end of the day are much more than just two players. It's true that both Cristiano and Messi have made history in Spanish football."Obviously we would like to have players of this level. But we must remember that the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona goes back many years, and Messi and Ronaldo are not always at the club." Also Read- Cristiano Ronaldo becomes all-time highest goalscorer in international football with brace against Ireland

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England vs India: Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja script historic win for India over England

  • Sep 07, 2021
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Virat Kohli-led India stormed to a 157-run win over England on the final day of the fourth Test to register only their second Test win at the Oval and take a 2-1 unbeatable lead in the five-match series on Monday. Innings defeat in Leeds seems like a distant memory now, as Jasprit Bumrah inspired India to put on an energetic performance and reclaim the series lead with a convincing 157-run win over England on the final day of the Oval Test. England was bowled out for 210 in pursuit of a target of 368 on the final day, succumbing to the constant pressure built up by the Indian bowlers. The visitors recorded only their 2-test win at the Oval and the first after the historic victory in 1971 under Ajit Wadekar.Chasing a daunting victory target of 368, the hosts made a good start with a century opening partnership before India advanced and restricted England's scoring rate with some disciplined bowling. Shardul Thakur made India's first breakthrough by eliminating Rory Burns (50), a ball after hitting half a century and brought up 100-run partnership for the first wicketThe momentum of the match turned to India's way when Dawid Malan was run out for 5 with about 30 minutes before the morning session, trying to make a quick single with Haseeb Hamid. Hamid (63), who got a reprieve on 56 when Mohammed Siraj dropped catch, was the next batsman to go after Jadeja hit the rough patch as the ball spun past his bat to hit the off-stump.Also Read- England vs India, 2nd Test: India Win Thriller At Lord's To Take 1-0 Series Lead vs England Bumrah produced a sensational spell in the 2nd session Jasprit Bumrah removed Olli Pop (2) and Jonny Bairstow (0) in back-to-back overs to turn match in India's favor. Bumrah came up with inswinging delivery to breach Pop's defense and became the 23rd Indian bowler to reach 100 Test wicket landmark. In his next over, he produced a reverse-swinging Yorker at 142 kph that crashing into the base of Bairstow's. Jadeja dismissed Moeen Ali (0) as the ball pitched on the rough patch and took the edge of the bat for an easy catch at short-leg. Root-Woakes delay India's victory Joe Root and Chris Woakes, the last English batting player, played some shots during a 35-run seventh-wicket stand to delay India's victory before the England captain dragged a innocuous delivery of Thakur to his stumps to go for 36 and end his team's faint hopes of an unlikely win. THIS. IS. IT! Take a bow, #TeamIndia! What a fantastic come-from-behind victory this is at The Oval! We head to Manchester with a 2-1 lead! #ENGvIND Scorecard https://t.co/OOZebP60Bk pic.twitter.com/zhGtErWhbs— BCCI (@BCCI) September 6, 2021Umesh Yadav dismissed Woakes (18), Craig Overton (10) and James Anderson (2) to seal India's assured victory at the Kennington Oval. For India, Yadav got 3 for 60, while spinner Jadeja and seamer Bumrah and Thakur took 2 wickets apiece.Also Read- England vs India, 4th Test Day 1: Shardul Thakur breaks Ian Botham's record, hits fastest Test fifty in EnglandAlso Read- Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis resign as Pakistans head coach and bowling coach ahead of T20 World Cup

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England vs India, 4th Test Day 1: Shardul Thakur breaks Ian Botham's record, hits fastest Test fifty in England

  • Sep 03, 2021
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Shardul Thakur came on the counterattack on Thursday as he helped India advance to a respectable first innings total on Day 1 of 4 Test against England at the Oval. Shardul hit 57 of just 36 balls while stitching up 63 runs on just 48 balls with tail-ender Umesh Yadav after the top Indian batsman failed to make runs. Shardul Thakur reached fifty with his 3rd six, pulling Chris Woakes to the mid-wicket stand. Shardul celebrated his second test with a lot of swagger as he waved his bat to the dressing room and players stood up to applaud his brave effort. 50 runs in 31 balls, Shardul Thakur broke Ian Botham's record for the fastest fifty in England. Botham had reached the historic milestone with 32 balls in 1986 at the Oval. Notably, this was also India's second fastest 50 in a test match. Kapil Dev holds the record for the fastest fifty by an Indian batsman. He had hit 30 balls 50 against Pakistan in Karachi in 1982.7 boundaries and 3 sixes! Shardul Thakur went after everyone after the tea break and was hitting them hard. He made England pacers feel unsure of their length, as he drove with ease and go on back foot to punish shorter deliveries. Thakur hit 7 boundaries and 3 sixes while attacking England pacemakers. He made fun of the midfielder because he constantly kept finding the boundaries after clearing the player into the ring. Joe Root cut a frustrated figure as Shardul and Umesh expand the total of the India's first innings.India are bowled out for 191.Chris Woakes finishes with a four-for.#WTC23 | #ENGvIND | https://t.co/zRhnFiKhzZ pic.twitter.com/T8eP4jp8EB— ICC (@ICC) September 2, 2021Also Read- England vs India, 2nd Test: India Win Thriller At Lord's To Take 1-0 Series Lead vs England Also Read- Afghanistan cricket get green signal to play their 1st Test since Taliban's takeover, to face Australia in November

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Cristiano Ronaldo becomes all-time highest goalscorer in international football with brace against Ireland

  • Sep 02, 2021
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Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty but nevertheless broke the men's international scoring record before scoring the second goal as Portugal's 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Ireland on Wednesday. Ronaldo scored his 110th goal in the 89th minute to move ahead of former Iran striker Ali Daei. Six minutes into stoppage time, Ronaldo scored the 111th goal in 180 games to break the hearts of the Irish after defender John Egan gave his nation the lead in the 45th minute. "I'm very happy, not only because I beat the record but for the special moments that we had," Ronaldo said. "Two goals at the end of the game is so tough, but I have to appreciate what the team did. We believed until the end." But Ronaldo, who has rejoined Manchester United, is still 76 goals behind the most productive international scorer in the game. Christine Sinclair 38 years old, scored her 187th goal for Canada last month at the Tokyo Olympics. Ronaldo's night was frustrating until the late heroics. His 15th-minute spot kick was well saved by goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, who was just two years old when Ronaldo scored his first goal for Portugal as a skinny winger at European championship in 2004. Ronaldo's only title came with Portugal at Euro 2016. Although he was the top scorer at this year's Euro Cup with five goals in four games, his team's title defense ended in the round of 16. On that note, here are the best Twitter reactions after Ronaldo's historic goalscoring feat. He's done it! @Cristiano (110) Ali Daei (109) A phenomenal run of 49 goals in his last 47 Portugal appearances makes the monster from Madeira the outright leading scorer in men's international history. Take a bow, legend ‍ pic.twitter.com/WFO7XbuKr8— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) September 1, 2021BREAKING: @cristiano scores twice for Portugal and becomes the greatest goalscorer in international football history. He is, indisputably, the pic.twitter.com/tLXXVHwApx— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 1, 2021Congratulations @Cristiano https://t.co/MYMvPPJiqO— Guinness World Records (@GWR) September 1, 2021Man Utd's @Cristiano Ronaldo makes history!He nets twice for Portugal to break the men's international goalscoring record pic.twitter.com/ZSqfptGXWJ— Premier League (@premierleague) September 1, 2021Also Read- Taliban will never change, they treat women like zeroes: Former Afghanistan footballer Fanoos Basir

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US Open 2021: Naomi Osaka kicks off title defence with straight sets win over Marie Bouzkova

  • Aug 31, 2021
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Naomi Osaka overcame her slow start with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Czech Marie Bouzkova on Monday as the world number three defended her US Open title defense is underway in front of a large crowd. Unseeded Bouzkova held her ground for most of the first set but was unable to seize four break opportunities against the four-time Grand Slam winner of Japan. Osaka, who scored 21 wins but made 13 unforced errors in the first set, broke Bozkova 5-4 to win the opening match and never looked back, winning the first five matches of the second despite struggling with her first serve. The match ended with a winning forehand, she smiles and wave to the stands that were empty a year ago."It feels kind of crazy to play in front of everyone again," Osaka said. "Last year when we didn't have a crowd, I know I felt lonely." The evening was a reassuring comeback for Osaka, who was eliminated by the third round of the Tokyo Olympics and the Western & Southern Open. She said she felt at home at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where she won her first major title three years ago. "I think it might be the court where I've played the most matches in my career," said Osaka. "I'm just glad I won."Also Read- Shooter Avani Lekhara First Indian Woman To Win Gold At Paralympics

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Headingley Test: Joe Root surpasses Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar with 8th hundred in India vs England Tests

  • Aug 27, 2021
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In form captain Joe Root edged out players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Alastair Cook to become the batsman with the most hundreds in the India vs England Test after scoring the eighth century in the Test against Virat Kohli side during the second match of the series in Leeds on Thursday. Root tops the list of most number of hundred in India vs England Tests with 8 centuries in 41 innings, while Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Alastair Cook are the second seven-ton sets in bilateral series between the two countries. Root also became the first player to score hundreds in 3 consecutive tests twice in the same year. Root hit hundred in each of the last two tests in Nottingham and London. Root also became the player to score more than fifty plus as captain during England vs India in England. Root smashed six fifties while playing against India in England, he equalled MS Dhoni's record.Also Read- India vs England: Wounds of 2014 hurt Virat Kohli again Root scored 139-run in 189-ball with Malan (70 of 128) before the southpaw picked up edge while trying to flick Mohamed Siraj ball. Indian pacers, who wrote a memorable script for the Lords victory, bowled too many boundary balls and the English duo were quick to pick them. The pitch appears to have loosened considerably for the batsman after India collapsed to 78 on the first day. Indian bowlers have not been able to send Root back to the pavilion easily in the series and the skipper scored runs whenever he want to. He seems to be in form and reached his 51 fifty of 57 balls with a impressive back foot punch through the covers.Also Read- IPL 2021: Pandya brothers Kunal and Hardik join Mumbai Indian camp in Abu Dhabi

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ICC T20 World Cup 2021 complete schedule: India to face Pakistan on October 24

  • Aug 17, 2021
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the dates of the T20 World Cup matches on Tuesday, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14. As 8 teams will participate in the qualifying round of which 4 will reach the Super 12 stage, which will start from October 23. The long-awaited India-Pakistan match, will kick off on October 24 in Dubai. Both India and Pakistan are entered in Group Two of the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup, which also includes Afghanistan and New Zealand as other two automatic qualifiers. India plays a total of 4 matches in Dubai and one in Abu Dhabi. None of their Super 12 matches in Sharjah have been scheduled. Meanwhile, Super 12 of first group move begins with two heavyweight battles. South Africa and Australia kick off the Super 12 in Abu Dhabi, which will be followed by the repeat of 2016 T20 World Cup final between England and the West Indies in Dubai on 23 October.India's fixtures at T20 World CupIndia vs Pakistan - October 24 - 6 pm local time in Dubai India vs New Zealand - October 31 - 6 pm local time in Dubai India vs Afghanistan - November 3 - 6 pm local time in Abu Dhabi India vs B1 (qualifier) - November 5 - 6 pm local time in Dubai India vs A2 (qualifier) - November 8 - 6 pm local time in Dubai. Overview of teams for T20 World CupRound 1 (Top 2 teams from each group qualify for Super 12)Group A: Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Namibia Group B: Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland Bangladesh Super 12 (Top 4 teams qualify for semi-final) Group 1: Australia, South Africa, England, West Indies, A 1, B2 Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2, B1 The tournament will kick off with the Group B first round match between hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea at 2:00 p.m. local time on October 17, with Scotland and Bangladesh, the other teams from Group B match start in evening 6pm. Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Namibia, which make up Group A, will play in Abu Dhabi the next day, with first-round matches continuing till October 22. The top two teams in each group will move to the Super12 stage of the tournament, starting on October 23. Top 4 teams from the Super 12 will make it to the semi-final. Reserve days for semi-finals and finalThe first semi-final will take place in Abu Dhabi on November 10 at 6pm local time. Dubai will host the second semi-final on November 11. Both semifinals have backup days. The finalThe final of the tournament will take place in Dubai at 6pm local time on November 14, Sunday, with Monday being the reservation day for the final.Also Read- KL Rahul becomes 10th Indian to hit Test hundred at Lords