Australia made it four wins from four in the second round of World Cup qualifying as Adam Taggart secured a 1-0 win away to Jordan.

The Suwon Bluewings striker scored the only goal of the game after 13 minutes in Amman to put the Socceroos five points clear at the top of Group B.

Graham Arnold's men were given a scare in the second half, most notably when Tareq Khattab headed wide from close range, but they held firm to take a significant step towards claiming the automatic qualifying spot for round three.

Australia went ahead from their first shot of the match, with Taggart running on to Jackson Irvine's throughball and finishing past the onrushing Amer Shafi.

Irvine spurned a good chance for a second when he side-footed over the bar after Aaron Mooy's corner was flicked on at the right-hand post.

The Socceroos were fairly comfortable until the break but suddenly came under pressure early in the second half, with Mousa Suleiman shooting narrowly wide and Mat Ryan making a good block to deny Yaseen Al Bakhit from a tight angle.

Khattab then spurned a glorious chance to equalise, heading wide of the left-hand post when left completely unmarked by a static Australia defence.

Ryan produced a brilliant save to keep out Hamza Al-Dardoor's header before Al Bakhit shot straight at the keeper in injury time, as Jordan suffered their first Group B defeat and missed out on the chance to leapfrog Australia at the top.

What does it mean? Socceroos bounding clear

Victory puts Australia five points clear of Jordan at the top of Group B, with a perfect 12-point return.

They are firmly on course to secure a place in the next phase of qualifying ahead of their meeting with Kuwait in March.

Clinical Taggart the difference

This was far from the free-scoring Australia that dismantled Chinese Taipei 7-1 last month, but Taggart made no mistake with his one goalscoring opportunity, and he completed all four of his attempted passes before being taken off 20 minutes from time.

Khattab miss costly

Khattab was caught out for the goal by Irvine's fine throughball and missed the best of Jordan's chances to equalise in the second half..

What's next?

Australia's next scheduled outing is a home qualifier against Kuwait on March 25. Jordan are in action on November 19 at home to Chinese Taipei.

Timo Werner acknowledges he has little hope of outscoring Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga this season, as the Bayern Munich forward's form can only be matched by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

RB Leipzig striker Werner has scored an impressive 11 league goals so far in 2019-20, yet he lags behind the remarkable Lewandowski.

The Bayern and Poland superstar has struck 16 times in the Bundesliga and leads the way among players in Europe's top leagues this season, with 23 goals in 18 games in all competitions – including in each top-flight and Champions League match.

Indeed, Werner believes only all-time greats Messi and Ronaldo can reach the extraordinary standards set by Lewandowski.

"It's hard [to be top-scorer]," Werner told a news conference on Thursday.

"When you score two goals against Hertha Berlin and then watch the game evening game, having scored four or three goals less than Robert Lewandowski this season, and he scores twice against Borussia Dortmund...

"Against whom is he not going to score? That's very hard.

"How he is playing at the moment, maybe only one or two players on the planet are on this level. That's the category of Messi and Ronaldo."

Werner was speaking alongside Germany team-mate Joshua Kimmich on international duty.

The duo each came through the Stuttgart academy before moving on to Leipzig, but Werner claimed he was not discussing a next move with Bayern's Kimmich, despite repeated talk of him switching to the Allianz Arena.

"We don't really talk about it at all," he said. "It was also a coincidence that I came to Leipzig when he was there. I don't imitate everything that Joshua Kimmich does.

"If he goes to Real Madrid, I'm not going to Real Madrid also. Leipzig was the perfect step for me as well as for him.

"He took the step to Bayern Munich relatively early, which was also a good step. Now I'm still a player at Leipzig. That was the right step for me.

"I don't know what the future will bring. But I won't imitate Joshua and go wherever he is."

RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban has been ruled out until 2020 due to a knee injury, the Bundesliga club have confirmed.

The 27-year-old has undergone an arthroscopy to correct a problem and will be sidelined until after the mid-season break.

Orban is set to miss the league matches with Cologne, Paderborn, Hoffenheim, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Borussia Dortmund and Augsburg.

He will also be unavailable for the Champions League games against Benfica and Lyon, with Leipzig top of Group G on nine points from four matches.

The Hungary defender has made 14 appearances in all competitions for Julian Nagelsmann's side this season, scoring once.

Leipzig, who are four points behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach in the table, begin the second half of the Bundesliga campaign at home to Union Berlin on January 18.

Bayern Munich youngster Jann-Fiete Arp has been diagnosed with another injury just two days after returning to full training with the Bundesliga champions.

The 19-year-old, who joined from Hamburg in July, was welcomed back to a team session at Sabener Strasse on Tuesday for the first time since having surgery on a broken left wrist in September.

However, the forward is now expected to be sidelined for a time after damaging his left forearm.

Bayern confirmed on Thursday that scans showed Arp had suffered "minor damage to the radial bone in his left forearm during training", adding that he will need to wear a cast.

The Germany youth international has yet to make a competitive senior appearance for Bayern, although he was an unused substitute for the 1-1 league draw with RB Leipzig in September and the DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund in August.

 

Bayern Munich youngster Jann-Fiete Arp has been diagnosed with another injury just two days after returning to full training with the Bundesliga champions.

The 19-year-old, who joined from Hamburg in July, was welcomed back to a team session at Sabener Strasse on Tuesday for the first time since having surgery on a broken left wrist in September.

However, the forward is now expected to be sidelined for a time after damaging his left forearm.

Bayern confirmed on Thursday that scans showed Fiete Arp had suffered "minor damage to the radial bone in his left forearm during training", adding that he will need to wear a cast.

The Germany youth international has yet to make a competitive senior appearance for Bayern, although he was an unused substitute for the 1-1 league draw with RB Leipzig in September and the DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund in August.

 

Thierry Henry has been named the new head coach of MLS side Montreal Impact.

The former Arsenal and France star has signed an initial two-year deal, with the option of a third.

It is Henry's first coaching job since a troubled 20 games in charge of former club Monaco in Ligue 1 last season.

"We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game," said Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore via the club's website.

"Henry will bring a new energy to our club. He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field. He is a competitor and a leader who has proven himself at the highest level throughout his career. He now brings these qualities with him to Montreal, a place he wants to be."

Henry, 42, said: "It's an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS.

"It's a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments. To be in Quebec, in Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it's extraordinary. I've always kept an eye on the club and now I'm here."

Henry spent four years with New York Red Bulls after leaving Barcelona in 2010, winning the Supporters' Shield in 2013 after helping his side finish top of the Eastern Conference.

After taking a coaching role with the Arsenal academy following his retirement in 2014, Henry then enjoyed a successful two-year spell as assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium.

He took charge of Monaco in October 2018 after the dismissal of Leonardo Jardim, but he was sacked in January this year after managing only four wins in his brief tenure.

Impact, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019.

Joshua Kimmich says he would not be against the return of Pep Guardiola to Bayern Munich.

The Manchester City manager is being linked with a possible return to the Allianz Arena at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Guardiola, who was a rumoured target for Juventus before they appointed Maurizio Sarri, is said to be one of Bayern's top candidates as a permanent successor to Niko Kovac, who left in the wake of the 5-1 Bundesliga defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Although Hansi Flick appears likely to stay on as interim boss for the time being, and perhaps until the end of the season, Kimmich would not be averse to Guardiola's return next year.

Speaking at a news conference while on Germany duty, the Bayern full-back said: "Regarding Pep Guardiola. I have no idea what Bayern's plan is with Hansi Flick.

"At first you thought that we would get a new coach after the international break. Now, we won both games with Flick and it sounds like he will stay until winter or even the entire season. What happens then is the business of the club – we players have nothing to do with it.

"But of course, I know [Guardiola] and have a lot to thank him for. He took me from the second division and let me play in the Bundesliga. We won the double together and after that season I became a player for Germany. So, of course, I won't be against him coming back."

Kimmich joined from RB Leipzig ahead of 2015-16, Guardiola's final season in charge of Bayern, and won the domestic double.

In total, Guardiola guided Bayern to three Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup in his three years in charge.

He could not deliver the Champions League, though, losing to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the semi-final stage in each of his three seasons in Germany.

Thierry Henry believes Kylian Mbappe can beat his France goalscoring record and set the benchmark "very, very high" for generations to come.

Arsenal great Henry scored 51 goals for his country, the most of any France player, in a career that saw triumphs at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

However, Mbappe, still just 20, has already tallied 13 international goals, also winning a World Cup in Russia in 2018.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has quickly established himself as one of world football's outstanding talents and appears set to dominate for years to come.

Henry certainly believes that will be the case, explaining when asked by Omnisport if Mbappe could break his record: "With Kylian, we say he's young because of his age but he's not really young anymore because of what he does, because of the amount of games he has played, because of his game IQ.

"I often talk about that because we talk about his speed, his dribbles, his goals, and I think we'll talk about it for 20 more years. It's [a long time], I hope for him, but yes maybe 15, 16 years, 20 years if he can.

"Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] is still playing [at 38]. If [Mbappe] has no injuries, he'll be called up [to] the national team, of course he will.

"So yes, I think he will set the bar very, very high."

Henry is similarly optimistic France can follow up their World Cup triumph from last year with further success at Euro 2020.

He points out Didier Deschamps' men came close at the last European Championship, losing to Portugal in the final on home soil, before excelling further on the world stage - aided by Mbappe's emergence.

"It's very hard [to win consecutive tournaments] because everybody's waiting for you," Henry said.

"It's not easy to do it again, especially at that level.

"Spain did it three times in a row [from 2008 to 2012]. That French generation could have done the back-to-back [in 2016] but sadly [Portugal goalscorer] Eder decided otherwise, so it could have been three in a row.

"What is remarkable with that generation - and especially with Deschamps, who's there to guide them because he lived it as a player - is that people forget that they reached the final of Euro 2016, and then they won the World Cup.

"Now everybody's waiting for the confirmation. That team has talent, they proved it, they played two finals in a row, one lost, one won.

"What this generation is doing is extraordinary and it's good for French football. But yes they can do it [win again]."

HEINEKEN has announced it will become ‘Official Beer Partner of UEFA EURO 2020™’, and in a separate agreement has extended its UEFA Champions League partnership by another three years, from 2021-24. The new UEFA EURO 2020™ agreement means that Heineken® will be a partner of Europe’s most prestigious club and international football tournaments. Heineken®’s global ambassador Thierry Henry, has previously won both the EURO Championships with France in 2000 and the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in the 2008/09 season.

Diego Costa has been diagnosed with a cervical disc herniation in a fresh blow to goal-shy Atletico Madrid.

Scans undertaken in recent days identified the issue, which relates to the spine, but a rehabilitation programme has not yet been formulated.

Atletico said the 31-year-old requires special neurosurgery assessment before the full scale of the injury can be established.

"The medical services of the club have conducted radiological tests of Diego Costa to assess the cervical discomfort suffered in recent days," read an Atletico statement.

"These tests have determined that the forward suffers a cervical disc herniation.

"In the next few days he will be evaluated by specialists in neurosurgery to establish the definitive treatment."

Former Chelsea striker Costa trained earlier this week after appearing for the final 10 minutes of Atletico's 3-1 win over Espanyol on Sunday.

Prior to that match, Diego Simeone's men had managed 12 goals in as many LaLiga games in a lean start to the new season.

Costa has found the net twice from 15 appearances in all competitions this term.

Gareth Southgate vowed to help Jadon Sancho through a difficult period in his Borussia Dortmund career following a lengthy discussion with the young winger.

Sancho was dropped from Dortmund's squad for a Bundesliga fixture last month and suffered the indignity of being withdrawn before half-time of the club's 4-0 Der Klassiker defeat to Bayern Munich.

Fresh transfer rumours are now linking the England international with a move away from Signal Iduna Park amid suggestions he has become unsettled.

"Any young player is going to have ups and downs," Three Lions boss Southgate said.

"Jadon has played a lot of football. A couple of games lately he's gone into physically fatigued. His club have taken the decision to keep playing him because he is a highly important player.

"It was a bit of a mixed bag recently. He was very good against Inter, he had a difficult game against Bayern, but the whole team did.

"I know what has gone on. He came to me at the beginning of the week and we had 25 minutes chatting about everything.

"We have a duty of care, almost, to him, to help him to progress and to develop as much as we can."

Sancho is in his third season in Germany after leaving Manchester City in 2017.

"It's an enormous challenge that Jadon has taken on, to go to another country," Southgate added. "There's the football of course, but he's also adapting to life and the language.

"He's done incredibly well, and it's inevitable that there are going to be games where he's maybe not as effective. 

"But he still has a high level of assists, a high level of goals. He's a great talent and part of our job is to help him to succeed."

With Raheem Sterling not considered for selection, Sancho could start Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is another option.

The 19-year-old has impressed since returning from an Achilles injury, having spurned interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern in favour of signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

"I wasn't saying I was definitely going to sign or I wasn't going to sign," Hudson-Odoi told reporters. "It was just because of times last year where I felt a bit of frustration or times when I wanted to play more because I love the game.

"I made the right decision to stay at Chelsea."

England's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro is attracting massive media attention due to a bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez, but it is also an historic occasion for the Three Lions as it will be their 1,000th international match.

Gareth Southgate's England host Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday aiming to secure a place at Euro 2020, though it will be a momentous occasion even if they fail to win.

It has taken England 147 years to rack up 1,000 fixtures and it will be the second successive century milestone reached against Montenegro.

Ahead of the landmark match, we looked at the key Opta data from England's first 999 matches.

Matches

1 – England's first international was against Scotland at Hamilton Crescent on November 30, 1872. The game finished 0-0. Montenegro were also the opponents for the Three Lions' 900th match, sharing a 2-2 draw in Podgorica.

568 – Out of 999 games, England have won 568. The first victory arrived courtesy of a 4-2 triumph over Scotland at Kennington Oval in March 1983.

114 – Scotland have been England's most frequent opponents. They have also never suffered more defeats (41) to a single country, while England have never beaten a nation more often than Wales (67).

13 – England's biggest ever win was a 13-0 victory over Ireland in February 1882. They beat the same opponents 13-2 exactly 17 years later in the Three Lions' most comfortable competitive triumph.

7 – The Three Lions' heaviest defeat was 7-1 away to Hungary in May 1954, coming just six months after getting hammered 6-3 by the Hungarians at Wembley.

Players

1,244 – Ahead of Thursday's match, 1,244 players have represented England. Nine have reached 100 caps, while 356 have just one.

125 – Goalkeeper Peter Shilton holds the record for most caps with 125. Wayne Rooney (120) is the most-capped outfield player in England's history.

17 – Theo Walcott became England's youngest-ever player in May 2006 at the age of 17 years and 75 days. He still holds that record, though Rooney is the team's most junior scorer after his effort against Macedonia in September 2003 (17 years, 317 days).

53 – Rooney is also England's record goal-scorer, having found the net 53 times, four more than Bobby Charlton.

41 – By contrast, Stanley Matthews is the oldest scorer for England, having struck in October 1956 when he was aged 41 years and 248 days.

Managers

1 – Walter Winterbottom was appointed England's first manager in 1946, with the team selection previously made by a committee. He was in charge for a record 16 years.

19 – England have had 19 permanent managers, with Winterbottom (139 matches) overseeing the most games. Sam Allardyce presided over the fewest (one).

2 – Fabio Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson are the only non-British managers to ever take charge of England.

Jadon Sancho could be about to spark a bidding war.

The England international is reportedly ready to leave Borussia Dortmund, a development that will have his numerous European suitors on red alert.

Manchester United have long been linked to Sancho, but could face stiff Premier League competition for his signature.


TOP STORY – SANCHO SEEKING DORTMUND DEPARTURE

Jadon Sancho has become unsettled at Borussia Dortmund and wants to leave, according to the Daily Mail.

The exciting teenage winger is said to have grown dissatisfied with life at Signal Iduna Park after being dropped for a Bundesliga fixture last month for disciplinary reasons.

Head coach Lucien Favre further tested their relationship when he withdrew the Manchester City product before half-time of the heavy Der Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich.

News of Sancho's decision to depart will be noted at Old Trafford, but the report claims Manchester United's bitter Premier League rivals Liverpool are also showing strong interest. 

LaLiga giants Real Madrid appear to be another potential destination for one of the continent's most coveted young stars.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sancho could be heading in the opposite direction to Leroy Sane. The Daily Mirror says Bayern Munich have reignited their interest in the Germany international, who has been sidelined since the start of the season due to a knee injury.

- Granit Xhaka is not the only Arsenal midfielder on AC Milan's radar. According to Calciomercato, the Rossoneri are even more eager to land Lucas Torreira, and will make a move in June after failing to prise him away from north London at the end of last season.

- Chelsea are set for another fight to keep in-form winger Willian as Juventus and Barcelona circle the 31-year-old, the Daily Mirror reports. Frank Lampard wants to keep the Brazilian at Stamford Bridge but Willian's contract is up at the end of the campaign.

- Manchester City captain David Silva could follow in the footsteps of Andres Iniesta, Fernando Torres and David Villa by seeing out his career in Japan. Spanish television programme El Chiringuito says the 33-year-old is in talks to join Vissel Kobe following the completion of his 10-season spell at the Etihad Stadium.

- Leicester City and Aston Villa have been linked to Alfredo Morelos but Rangers are in no rush to sell. That is the assurance of the Scottish side's new sporting director Ross Wilson, who "categorically" stated that an annual loss of £11.3million would not impact the club's determination to keep their Colombian striker.

Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois claimed his status as one of the world's best goalkeepers brought unwarranted criticism in the early part of the new campaign.

Courtois bore a large share of the blame for Madrid's disappointing results at the start of the season, at one stage conceding nine goals in the space of 14 shots on target.

His performances prompted debate over the club's decision to part with Keylor Navas – who moved to Paris Saint-Germain – but the Belgium international has since rediscovered some of his best form.

The former Chelsea man has kept eight successive clean sheets for club and country, restoring his reputation as one of the game's finest keepers.

"I don't read the press, I only pay attention to what the coach or my team-mates say to me," Courtois, who moved to Madrid in 2018, said from Belgium's national team camp ahead of Euro 2020 qualifying.

"If they haven't been a goalkeeper themselves, how can they know how it all works?

"I don't doubt my own ability. I am one of the best goalkeepers in the world and sometimes that's why they criticise me. I'm calm about it because I made some good saves against Celta [Vigo], Sevilla and Atletico [Madrid], and in other games.

"I'm playing at a good level, it's turning out to be a good start to the season and I have to continue this way."

Zinedine Zidane last month substituted Courtois at half-time of the Champions League draw with Club Brugge, leading Madrid to issue a denial of reports which claimed the 27-year-old was dealing with an anxiety problem.

Courtois skipped the following LaLiga match against Granada before returning in a 1-0 loss to Real Mallorca.

"Zidane told me that I'd continue as first-choice, and asked me to keep focused," Courtois said. "He's always had faith in me."

Luis Suarez welcomed Barcelona's search for a new striker despite the threat it could bring to his starting spot.

LaLiga leaders Barca have been linked to Lautaro Martinez, Erling Haaland and Carlos Vela as they seek to strengthen Ernesto Valverde's attacking options.

The club failed to bring Neymar back from Paris Saint-Germain during the close season, leaving the squad light on competition for natural centre-forward Suarez.

The 32-year-old has scored six goals in eight LaLiga starts this season but knows he will not always be able to perform at the highest level.

"There will come a time when my age will not allow me to live up to what Barcelona needs to compete," Suarez told Uruguayan publication Ovacion.

"But as long as I can, as long as I have the strength, giving me competition is much better.

"That they are looking for or want to bring another number nine is nothing strange, it is the reality of football.

"It will be better for me and better for the club, because it will feed competition, and it will be better for the future because the club can prepare a player with the help of all the great players at Barcelona."

Suarez joined Barca from Liverpool in 2014 and is now in his sixth season at Camp Nou.

The former Ajax forward plans to continue his career until at least the 2022 World Cup, which would be his fourth appearance at the tournament.

"I hope so," he said. "I am really convinced of that, yes."

Suarez is part of the Uruguay squad for the upcoming international friendlies against Hungary (November 15) and Argentina (November 18), his first involvement with the national team since the Copa America in June.

Lenworth Hyde, the coach of defending champions Clarendon College is still on course for being the first man to claim the ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup title on back-to-back occasions both as a player and as a coach.

Clarendon College are unbeaten this season and that did not look likely to change when they played against a trying McGrath High School in the semi-final on Wednesday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

Clarendon, the defending champions and favourites, ended winning 3-0 courtesy of a brace from Sheldon Smart and a beauty from Jalen Larmand.

Smart got his goals in the 47th and 69th minutes of play while Larmand would score in the 79th to seal the victory.’

Clarendon College have been known to start quickly this season but were forced to wait until the second half before they would have any joy.

According to Hyde, neither he nor his team were worried by the resistance put up by the opposition’s pluckiness, saying he knew he would be able to make a difference at half time.

“We talked in the changing room and we know that sometimes these things happen and it is how you handle it and I think we handled it well,” said the winning coach.

Situations like the one that faced Clarendon on Wednesday, Hyde explained, required a slightly different outlook on the game.

“We showed patience and we waited until our chances came. We weren’t flustered. We knew our people and we knew what the result would be,” he said.

Clarendon College will face a whole different proposition when they play against Dinthill High School in the DaCosta Cup final, but Hyde, again, isn’t too concerned.

“There isn’t much to work on ahead of the final because we were possessing the ball, we defended well because as you can see this was a clean sheet. That is how the game goes sometimes,” said Hyde.

“We can score in the first five seconds or we can score in the 93rd minute. That’s how this team is. We coach them that way, to be patient and to wait their turn,” he warned.

Dinthill joined Clarendon College in the final after a 2-1 surprise win over more highly fancied opposition in Cornwall College.

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