Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yesterday in brief

  • Serbia's highly-strung Euro 2016 clash with Albania lasted 41 minutes after an Albanian drone (!) flying the nation's flag entered the stadium. Serbian defender Stefan Markovic grabbed the flag precipitating a brawl involving players and supporters. The two nations remain in dispute over Kosovo, a historically Serbian territory now populated by people of largely Albanian origin. Belgrade police arrested the brother of Albania's Prime Minister for allegedly organising the drone stunt. Georgia and Russia were previously banned from being drawn against each other while Armenia & Azerbaijan and Spain & Gibraltar are still kept apart by UEFA.
  • Neymar scored four as Brazil beat Japan 4-0. Dunga has a 100% record over four games since taking over from Felipe Scolari after the World Cup.
  • World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez scored the only goal as Colombia won 1-0 in Canada.
  • Argentina walloped Hong Kong 7-0 while 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar beat Australia 1-0. China beat Paraguay 1-0 but South Korea lost 3-1 at home to Costa Rica.
  • In their first game since Landon Donovan retired, the USA drew 1-1 with Honduras in Boca Raton, Florida.
  • World Champions Germany slipped up again by conceding a last-gasp equalizer to Eire in their Euro 2014 qualifier in Gelsenkirchen. John O'Shea levelled on the occasion of his 100th cap. The Mannschaft are equal third in Group D.
  • In the same group, Gibraltar got their best competitive result yet - a 3-0 loss at home to Georgia following two 7-0 defeats, while Poland and Scotland battled to a 2-2 draw in Warsaw.
  • In Group E, Switzerland won their first points at the third attempt by winning 4-0 in San Marino.
  • Northern Ireland are the unlikely leaders of Group F after winning 2-0 in Greece.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo got Portugal on the board in Group I with a last-minute winner against Denmark in Copenhagen.
  • Italy, Sweden, Denmark, England, Portugal, Germany and Serbia booked their places in the UEFA U21 Championship in the Czech Republic next summer, but holders Spain, France and the Netherlands are among those who miss out.
  • English football continues to be unaffordable according to a BBC study, with average ticket prices rising at double the rate of the cost of living since 2011. Arsenal have the dearest season ticket at over £2,000 and the most expensive individual ticket price at £97.

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