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Saudi Stun Argentina …In Biggest World Cup Upset

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Saudi Stun Argentina …In Biggest World Cup Upset, GlitzEmpire

 

Lionel Messi’s Argentina suffered one of the World Cup’s greatest shocks as Saudi Arabia came from behind to win 2-1 at Lusail Stadium yesterday in front of a 88,012 crowd.

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Messi gave Argentina, one of the favourites to win the tournament, a 10th-minute lead from the penalty spot with a coolly taken spot kick.

But two goals early in the second-half, including an outstanding strike from Salem Al-Dawsari, turned the game on its head and left the Albiceleste with little margin for error against Mexico and Poland in their other Group C fixtures.

Argentina came into the game overwhelmingly expected to win and were on course to match Italy’s record 37-match unbeaten run when they went ahead early on thanks to Messi’s penalty, which came about following a VAR check for pushing and shoving in the box.

Messi, playing in his fifth World Cup, beat Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais on a breakaway but that goal and two others by Lautaro Martinez were ruled offside as Saudi Arabia’s high defensive line held firm.

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Saleh Al-Shehri squeezed in a low shot in the 48th minute while Al-Dawsari curled in a scorching strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 53rd minute to leave Argentina looking on in disbelief.

Despite plenty of possession after that, Argentina were unable to break down Saudi Arabia, who were competing in their sixth World Cup but had never previously won an opening game.

Al-Owais saved well at point-blank range to deny Argentina when Lisandro Martinez’s shot deflected off Nicolas Tagliafico, but Lionel Scaloni’s side, who have four players older than 34 in their starting XI, looked tired in the final 30 minutes.

Saudi Arabia fans, meanwhile, chanted “Where is Messi? We beat him!” as they celebrated their shock lead.

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As Saudi Arabia, who at 51st are the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament, closed in on a famous victory, the game was delayed after a nasty collision between Al-Owais and Yasir Al Shahrani that resulted in the defender leaving the pitch on a stretcher.

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Gold Fields Pledge Support To PGA

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Gold Fields Pledge Support To PGA, GlitzEmpire

 

Executive Vice President for Golf Fields and Head of West Africa, Joshua Motorti, has assured Professional Golfers’ Association of Ghana (PGA) of his outfits continued support to the sport of golf and sports in general.

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Speaking at the closing ceremony of the ninth edition of Gold Fields PGA Championship held at Wasa Damang in the Western Region, he said Gold Fields will continue to back golf and other sport in Ghana because it is one of the company’s core values.

“The reason why we support golf is that we believe that safety is the same as health, and health is the same as sport, that’s why Gold Fields support sports.

“We will continue to support sports. So this will not be the last one because we believe that a healthy person, makes a safe person, and makes a productive person of human resource,” he disclosed.

Kojo Barni won the ninth edition of the Gold Fields PGA tournament with gross total score of 286.

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He showed a masterclass performance to get better off the course in a solid four-day performance.

With gross total of 286, same as second placed Vincent Torgah, the former champion got the better off the latter after breaking the second tie with a shot.

The win means it is Barni’s third streak, having won it in 2017, 2018 and 2022.

“The Tournament Director, Akwesi Prempeh, pushed me to work hard, so big thank you to him,” Barni said.

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Emos Koblah came third with gross total of 291, Owusu Bonsua placed fourth with 292, and 295 positioned Yaw Barry fifth.

In the senior category, Robert Degbe won with SSS 223,

Brave Mensah came second with SSS 224, Akwesi Prempeh placed third with 238, Duada Mahama and James Larry came fourth and fifth with SSS 240 and SSS 244 respectively.

The tournament, which started last Wednesday, featured 32 regular professional golfers and 16 senior golfers.

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Past winners of the Gold Fields PGA Tournament comprise of Vincent Torgah, who won it in 2014, 2016 and 2021.

Emos Korblah won in 2015, while Lucky Ayisah won in 2020. Christopher Francis from Nigeria won in 2019, the only foreigner to have won the tournament.

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Uruguay Coach ‘Weep’ Over World Cup Exit

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Uruguay Coach ‘Weep’ Over World Cup Exit, GlitzEmpire

Diego Alonso

 

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After being eliminated from the World Cup despite a 2-0 win against Ghana last Friday, Uruguay coach Diego Alonso blamed his country’s failure to get out of the group stage on an officiating error in the team’s previous game against Portugal.

“We are out because of Portugal’s penalty and goal difference,” Alonso said through a FIFA translator. “It’s not the point [from a 0-0 draw against South Korea], rather to the contrary. We are not out because of that point. It’s because of the penalty that was awarded in extra time that, according to FIFA, was not a penalty.”

The penalty in question came on a play in the 89th minute when Portugal were leading 1-0. Uruguayan defender Jose Maria Gimenez made a sliding challenge in the penalty box and the ball grazed his hand while he was extending it to brace himself as he fell backward.

Referee Alireza Faghani of Iran initially did not call for a penalty, but was advised to consult a VAR review, which led to the decision. Bruno Fernandes converted the penalty to make the score 2-0.

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Alonso has a legitimate gripe in the wake of the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) clarification of the handball rule in 2021, when it said the penalty shouldn’t be called when “arm position is for support when falling or when getting up from the ground.”

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