Indomitable Lions fall to National Elephants

African champions Cameroon suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat against Guinea in a friendly played at the Edmond Machtens-Stadion in Brussels on Tuesday.

All three goals came in the first half, with both keepers at fault for the allowing the National Elephants and Indomitable Lions to get on the scoresheet respectively.

Guinea took the lead through Demba Camara in the 21st minute, but they would be pegged back 10 minutes later as Karl Toko Ekambi found the equaliser.

Francois Kamano put Lappe Bangoura's side back in front on the stroke of half-time and they held on to claim the scalp of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winners.

The Central Africans dominated proceedings in Belgium as they had more possession and created the better chances, but they would fall behind midway through the first half following a mistake from keeper Jules Goda.

Camara cut in from the left to make space for a shot inside the area and Goda appeared to have it covered, but the ball squirmed under his body to cross the line, much to his embarrassment.

However, Abdoulaye Sylla also made a blunder 10 minutes later, which led to the equaliser for Hugo Broos' men as the gloveman spilled a shot on the edge of the box from Jacques Zoua, and Ekambi reacted quickest to lash the ball home at the back post.

The West African nation then restored their lead in first-half stoppage time when Camara turned provider to square the ball to Ekambi, who steered a side-footed volley into the back of the net from six yards out.

Cameroon tried to get back into the contest after the break but they failed to carve out many chances as Guinea held on to secure victory.

Ireland fall to Iceland in Dublin

Iceland produced something of a minor upset when they beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in Tuesday's international friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

  • Republic of Ireland 0 Iceland 1
  • Finnbogason gets brought down by Egan
  • Magnusson slots home the free-kick
  • O'Dowda goes closest to an equaliser

Match Summary

In a rather drab encounter, it would be Iceland who would hit the front when Horour Bjorgvin Magnusson whipped home a terrific free-kick after Alfreo Finnbogason was fouled on the edge of the box.

The Irish rarely threatened the goal in the entire 90 minutes although substitute Callum O'Dowda was perhaps unfortunate not to grab an equaliser after a good run in the 77th minute.

Match Report

It was quiet opening 20 minutes with neither team offering any real threat on goal in what was a low-key friendly. However, out of nothing Iceland would go ahead in the 21st minute after marginally looking better in possession.

After Finnbogason was brought down by John Egan outside the right-hand side of the penalty area, Magnusson whipped a superb free-kick over the wall to give the visitors the lead.

It was a first period to forget for The Boys in Green as they failed to really test Ogmundur Kristinsson in the visiting goal. After the interval, Ireland came out with more urgency as James McClean made a couple of surging runs down the left flank without being able to find a telling cross.

The hosts' approach appeared to be about getting into wide positions and then delivering crosses more in hope than with any sense of belief. With time running out, Martin O'Neill threw on Shane Long alongside Kevin Doyle to try and beef up the attack.

O'Dowda would nearly find a way through the resolute Icelandic defence in the 77th minute. After a mazy run in which he skipped past a tackle, the Bristol City winger saw his shot deflected wide for a corner from just outside the box.

There were no further alarms in the final stages of the game as Iceland showed their proven resilience to record a relatively comfortable victory in the Irish capital.

Tuesday's international friendly round-up

Russia shared the spoils with Belgium in Tuesday's friendly action, while Sweden clinched a dramatic win against Portugal and Spain beat France.

World Cup hosts Russia continued their build-up to next year's finals by clinching a dramatic 3-3 against Belgium at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.

The hosts got off to a flying start when Viktor Vasin gave them the lead after just three minutes, but the Red Devils were back on level terms 14 minutes later through Kevin Mirallas' penalty.

Roberto Martinez's side would go into the break 3-1 up courtesy of a quick-fire brace from Romelu Lukaku (42', 45'), although the Bears hit back in the second half with Aleksey Miranchuk (74') pulling one back before Alexander Bukharov equalised in stoppage time.

Croatia suffered a surprise 3-0 defeat to Estonia at the Albert Le Coq Arena, as Siim Luts opened the scoring in the first minute before late goals from Konstantin Vassiljev (81') and Sergei Zenjov (84') wrapped up the win for the hosts.

Bosnia-Herzegovina recorded a 2-1 win over Bulkan rivals Albania at the Elbasan Arena, thanks to first-half goals from Edin Dzeko (7' pen) and Senad Lulic (42'), with Bekim Balaj halving the deficit on 68 minutes.

Georgia romped to a 5-0 victory over Latvia at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, where goals from Jano Ananidze (18' pen, 77'), Giorgi Kvilitaia (32', 68') and Giorgi Arabidze (90') secured a big win for the hosts.

A second-half double from Goran Pandev helped Macedonia to a 3-0 win over Belarus at the Nacionalna Arena Filip II Makedonski.

Stefan Spirovski's 40th-minute opener gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at the break before Pandev (61', 69') struck twice in the space of eight second-half minutes to seal victory.

Austria and Finland played out to a 1-1 draw at the Tivoli Stadion, as Fredrik Jensen (76') cancelled out Marko Arnautovic's 62nd-minute opener for the hosts.

Netherlands squandered an early lead as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Italy at the Amsterdam ArenA.

The Oranje, who parted ways with Danny Blind on Sunday, took a 10th-minute lead when Alessio Romagnoli put past his own keeper, but the Azzurri responded swiftly to draw level a minute later through Eder Martins and Leonardo Bonucci completed the turnaround on 32 minutes.

Sweden claimed a last-gasp 3-2 victory against Portugal at Estadio dos Barreiros as they came from two goals down.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 18th minute before an own-goal from Andreas Granqvist (34') gave the hosts a 2-0 lead at the break.

However, the Swedes turned things around in the second half as a brace from Viktor Claesson (57', 76') levelled matters and a stoppage-time own-goal from Joao Cancelo handed them the comeback win.

The clash of the day pitted France against fellow heavy-weights Spain, who emerged 2-0 victors at Stade de France.

After a goalless first half, David Silva opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 68 minutes before Gerard Deulofeu sealed the win for La Furia Roja nine minutes later.

Tuesday's results in full:

Russia 3-3 Belgium

Estonia 3-0 Croatia

Albania 1-2 Bosnia-Herzegovina

Georgia 5-0 Latvia

Macedonia 3-0 Belarus

Austria 1-1 Finland

Netherlands 1-2 Italy

Republic of Ireland 0-1 Iceland

Portugal 2-3 Sweden

France 0-2 Spain

Watzke explains Schurrle's limited role

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke alluded to Andre Schurrle's recent lack of game-time, suggesting entry into the Germany national team is easier than at the club.

The World Cup winner has been used sparingly by BVB head coach Thomas Tuchel, with his last start coming in the 3-0 drubbing of Wolfsburg.

But Watzke ensured that there is place for Schurrle in a star-studded Dortmund side, telling Bild: "With his quality, Andre would start in nearly every other team in the world.

"But with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Christian] Pulisic, [Marco] Reus and [Ousmane] Dembele, we have five top players for three positions right now, and that's why it hasn't been easy for Andre lately.

"It will certainly change again soon. Basically, it's easier to win minutes for Germany than it is for, say, Bayern or Dortmund."

Bafana and Angola share the spoils

South Africa extended their unbeaten run to 17 games as they played out to a goalless draw with Angola in a friendly at the Buffalo City Stadium on Tuesday.

  • South Africa 0 Angola 0
  • Keet denies Yano just before HT
  • Manguxi goes close from distance
  • Dolly effort kept out by Neblu
  • Coetzee header tipped over late on

Match Summary

The east London crowd were in fine spirits as they came out in their numbers to cheer on Bafana Bafana, but they witnessed a resilient defensive display from the sable Antelopes, who kept the home team at bay.

Darren Keet made the best save of the match in the closing stages of the first half as he pulled off a diving save to his left to deny Herenilson, with the Southern African rivals sharing the spoils in the end.

Full Report

Both teams showing plenty of attacking intent in the first half, with the Sable Antelopes favouring the left flank while Bafana Bafana moved the ball down the right more often than not.

However, there were few clear-cut chances at either end as the visitors were limited to long-range efforts and Owen Da Gama's side struggled in the final third.

The first shot in anger came after just three minutes when Manguxi tried his luck from distance, but a deflection took the sting out of his strike and Darren Keet gathered easily.

The hosts threatened for the first time on the half-hour mark as Percy Tau brought a long ball under control before flicking an attempt towards goal, but Nary was well placed to clear the danger.

Yano went for goal two minutes later at the other end but once again Keet made a comfortable save to keep out his effort from outside the are on the left.

Angola finished the half strongly as they looked for the opener, with Dudu slicing his shot wide of the right post from range in the 37th minute, while Herenilson dragged an effort wide of the left post from 22 yards out moments later before forcing Keet into a fine save on 39 minutes with a firm strike from 20 yards out.

The introduction of Keagan Dolly at the start of the second half gave Bafana some impetus and he looked to release Tau with a delightful long ball from the left on 49 minutes, but Adilson Neblu raced out of his goal to clear the danger.

Ary Papel then got on the end of a cross from the right to send a weak header straight at Keet four minutes later, while Manguxi was inches away from breaking the deadlock soon afterwards with a venomous shot from distance that just cleared the crossbar.

Neblu made his first real save of the match in the 58th minute as Dolly let rip from 25 yards out, and he then played a short free-kick to Tebogo Langerman, whose effort was deflected wide of the left post on 63 minutes.

The two teams continued to search for a potential winner as the second half wore on, with Bastos steering a header wide of the left post from a corner on 77 minutes, while the hosts almost won the game in stoppage time when Rivaldo Coetzee forced Neblu to palm his header over the bar from Kermit Erasmus' free-kick from the left.

Martial example a warning for Mbappe

Monaco's teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe has been warned about the perils of moving abroad at a young age by former France international Youri Djorkaeff.

The 1998 World Cup winner cited the example of compatriot Anthony Martial, whose career has stagnated somewhat since swapping the Stade Louis II for Old Trafford in 2015.

Martial became the world's most expensive teenager when the Red Devils completed a £36 million deal for the former Lyon youngster in September 2015, and initially hit the Premier League by storm.

He was United's top scorer in his debut season in the Premier League, but the subsequent emergence of Marcus Rashford and the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has limited Martial's game time so far this term. 

After scoring 11 goals in 31 appearances last time round, Martial has found the back of the net on three occasions in 16 games, albeit mostly from the left wing.

Mbappe, meanwhile, has become the new darling of French football after a series of scintillating performances for the Principality outfit, sparking widespread interest in the 18-year-old's signature.

Speaking to French newspaper Le Figaro, Djorkaeff has urged Mbappe to consider all his options before deciding on his next club.

"If I were the president of PSG, I would sign him, but I would not be the only one [in for him]," Djorkaeff said. "He has tremendous potential, but he must be in the right conditions.

"He astonishes everyone in his maturity of play and understanding. It is very rare for a youth to have an understanding of the game and what is happening. Normally, it comes with experience. He already has this facet.

"Look at [Anthony] Martial, when you go to a big club, you have to adapt and discover something else. Mbappe must pay attention to all this."

Lallana ruled out of Merseyside derby

Liverpool winger Adam Lallana will miss the Merseyside derby against Everton on Saturday with a thigh injury that could keep him out of action for a month.

The 28-year-old underwent scans on Tuesday which saw him sit out training at Melwood, after suffering the injury in England's 2-0 win over Lithuania on Sunday.

It is the second time this season that Lallana has returned to Anfield injured after representing the Three Lions, although he was only unavailable for two Premier League games then.

The Southampton youth product, who has scored seven goals in 27 league appearances for the Reds during the current campaign, could be absent for up to six top-flight matches this time around.

However, there is a chance that club captain Jordan Henderson could be back for the visit of the Toffees this weekend, but Daniel Sturridge remains absent with a hip problem.

Calderon: Chelsea can't stop Hazard from leaving

Chelsea won't be able to stop Eden Hazard from leaving Stamford Bridge if Real Madrid came calling, according to former Los Blancos president Ramon Calderon.

The Belgian is contracted with the Premier League leaders until 2020, but Madrid's interest has been widely reported.

During an interview with talkSPORT, Calderon claims that the decision-makers at the Blues would ultimately be powerless if Hazard has set his sights on moving to the Spanish capital, even if a world record fee would be required to push through the move.

"Chelsea aren't a selling club, so it wouldn't be easy, but as always it would depend on the wishes of the player," he said.

"If he wants to leave, he will leave - that's always the point. It's all about the player. The player must say 'I want to leave and go to Real Madrid' and that will be the moment they start negotiating.

"Chelsea will ask for a lot of money, I think that's what the situation will be at the end of the season.

"Chelsea knows quite well how much has been paid in the market over the last few years, with [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Gareth] Bale and [Paul] Pogba - £100 million is now the bar.

"That bar has been set by those transfers, so I think that's how much a club like Chelsea would be asking for and the economy at Real Madrid is healthy - I don't think that wouldn't be a problem for them."

Dzeko: Roma want at least second

Roma striker Edin Dzeko has admitted they are unlikely to catch Juventus, but are targeting at least a second-placed finish in Serie A.

The Giallorossi trail the Bianconeri by eight points with only seven games left to play, while also being chased by third-placed Napoli, who are two points adrift.

Dzeko knows it is difficult to compete with the team Juve have assembled, but remains positive about the Rome club's future and what they aim to achieve this season.

"The Champions League? We hope so, it's an objective Roma can achieve. It's hard to compete with Juventus, they've invested €150m in new players and unfortunately we didn't," he told Croatian outlet Dnevnik Nove TV.

"I think our current results are positive though, we aim to play in the Champions League next season. We're second now, and we hope to finish the season in second place at the very least."

Lucas: PSG determined to win everything

Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura has assured fans that the team remains motivated to win absolutely every competition they are involved in.

The Parisians are preparing to take on Monaco in the Coupe de la Ligue final on Saturday, while chasing them in Ligue 1 where the Red and Whites enjoy a three-point lead.

Lucas has stated that PSG remain determined to not only claim the French cup but also overtake Monaco in the league.

"We hear a lot of things said and written about us and we know it won't be easy to win everything, but we can do it," he told the club's official website.

"You never know what can happen in a season, but nothing is ever decided in advance. We are very motivated. We know what we want to do.

"We have won a lot of titles in recent seasons, but we still want to keep winning. We are competitors, we want to win everything, like we did the last two years.

"We want to keep writing club history and to do that, we need to win all our remaining matches. It won't be easy, but that's why we're working hard."