VAR came to Robbie Fowler's rescue on his A-League coaching debut as Brisbane Roar snatched a dramatic 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at HBF Park.

Roy O'Donovan prodded home an Aaron Amadi-Holloway knock-down in the 95th minute and a review showed the striker to be onside after the assistant's flag was initially raised.

Chris Ikonomidis had side-footed hosts Perth ahead in the 34th minute of their first A-League outing since losing to Sydney FC in last season's Grand Final.

But the reigning Premiers wilted at the death as Liverpool legend Fowler celebrated his first point in charge of Brisbane.

There was more beginner's luck earlier on Sunday for newcomers Western United, who nabbed a 1-0 win away to Wellington Phoenix.

Mark Rudan was jeered on his return to Westpac Stadium but the former Phoenix boss had the last laugh thanks to the A-League's all-time leading goalscorer.

Besart Berisha, in his first match back in Australia following a spell in Japan, opened the new club's account with a close-range volley in the first half.

The result left Rudan's men level on three points with Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers at the end of the opening round.

Gareth Southgate will consider returning to the three-man defence England used at the World Cup in the wake of Friday's loss to the Czech Republic.

Frailties were exposed in a 2-1 defeat that prevented the Three Lions from booking their place at Euro 2020 as Michael Keane in particular struggled behind a midfield pairing of Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson.

The poor showing in Prague has forced manager Southgate to rethink his move away from the formation that served him well in Russia.

Harry Maguire, John Stones and Kyle Walker, now dropped from the squad, formed a reliable back three en route to the semi-finals.

"It's certainly something we've considered and I don't think we can dismiss," Southgate said.

"I think we are in a difficult situation in terms of the players that have played international football with us in that area of the pitch and who are playing regularly with their clubs.

"That's part of the reason we didn't [play a three-man defence against the Czech Republic].

"I'm not sure, ahead of Monday, if that's the right thing to do but we're very aware and assessing those things."

Amendments to the midfield shape are more likely for Monday's game against Bulgaria after Rice and Henderson failed to convince in the engine room of a new-look 4-2-3-1.

Tottenham's Harry Winks could win a promotion to the starting XI in Sofia.

Southgate said: "He has to be in consideration, and we've got to assess one or two injuries as well.

"We've got some good players in the squad and the performance in Prague certainly wasn't at the level we needed.

"So of course we've got to think about where we might want to make those changes."

Either through injuries or dips in form, Luis Suarez has started to show signs of regression at Barcelona and they are planning for a future without him.

The Uruguayan striker has been a remarkable player for Barca, but at 32 he is approaching the twilight of his career and the Blaugrana have been considering who they might want to replace him with when the time comes.

Meanwhile, one player recently heavily linked with Barca could be signing a new contract with his current employers.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA DRAW UP STRIKERS SHORTLIST

Barca have significantly strengthened several areas of their team in recent transfer windows, with Antoine Griezmann, Junior Firpo, Frenkie de Jong and Neto bolstering their options.

They are now beginning to turn their attentions to the central striker role, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The publication reports Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is the ideal target, though Barca are said to be hopeful of getting him on a cut-price deal in 2021 after he has entered the final year of his contract, assuming he does not sign an extension in the meantime.

England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane is also said to be high up their list, despite their being acknowledgement that his wages would be more of an issue than the transfer fee.

The other two reportedly being considered are Marcus Rashford of Manchester United and Inter's Lautaro Martinez.

 

ROUND-UP

Barca missed out on securing the return of Neymar in the most recent transfer window and, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, PSG are now planning to offer the Brazilian a new bumper contract.

- The LaLiga champions are also looking at midfield reinforcements with potential. Napoli's Fabian RuizEduardo Camavinga of Rennes and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz are all being considered, though Mundo Deportivo say Real Madrid are also tracking the trio with intent.

Christian Eriksen's future has been a hot topic for the last few months, with the Tottenham midfielder's contract ending next year. Sport1 in Germany claim Bayern Munich have already been in touch with him.

Liverpool are hoping to sign Brighton and Hove Albion-owned centre-back Ben White, 21, according to the Sun. The defender is impressing on loan at Leeds United and the Reds see him as a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who is said to be eager for a move to get first-team football.

- Despite languishing 12th in the Premier League after a wretched start to the season, the Daily Mail say Manchester United will not be splashing the cash in the January transfer window.

- But the Daily Express report United have reached a "verbal agreement" with Mario Mandzukic of Juventus, who are said to be demanding £10million for the Croatian forward.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz struggled to an unimpressive 2-0 win over Aruba, ranked at number 195 in the world, in the their Group C Concacaf Nations League Group C fixture at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

The victory, however, stretched Jamaica’s perfect record to three straight victories and kept them atop of the group with maximum nine points.

The Reggae Boyz, who are ranked at number 47 in the world, had previously crushed Antigua and Barbuda 6-0 at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, before beating Guyana 4-0 away.

The defeat kept Aruba at the bottom of the four-team standing without a point.

The Reggae Boyz looked on course for another big victory after Devon Williams handed them a 13th-minute lead. However, that was not the case as the Reggae Boyz, watched by 4,500 spectators at the venue, could only increase the lead on the stroke of full time after Shamar Nicholson was set up by a Lamar Walker’s through pass.

Nicholson, who had kicked a penalty very high over the crossbar in the 75th minute, spared his blushes in the dying moments of the match to wrap up the victory.

The penalty kick earlier was awarded following a challenge on substitute Javon East inside the box.

The teams will meet again in Curacao on Tuesday at 6:00 pm (Jamaica time), in the home-and-away tie.

 

David Beckham hailed record-breaking Sergio Ramos after the Spain captain broke the country's appearance record.

Ramos surpassed Iker Casillas' record by earning his 168th cap in Spain's 1-1 draw with Norway in Euro 2020 qualifying on Saturday.

The 33-year-old defender, who debuted in 2005, equalled the record last month before making his landmark appearance away to Norway.

Former Real Madrid team-mate Beckham congratulated Ramos in an Instagram video, which said: "My friend, mi amigo.

"This is an incredible moment for you. I just wanted to send you a message because you've played 168 games for your country.

"You must be very proud. Your family must be very proud. It's an incredible moment, passing Iker.

"So, I'm very happy for you and your family. Congratulations my friend, a kiss for you. Enjoy the night.

"Lots of love my friend and congratulations."

Argentina captain Lionel Messi will make his return from suspension in November, insists head coach Lionel Scaloni.

Messi was handed a three-month ban from international football in August for accusing South America's governing body CONMEBOL of "corruption" during the Copa America.

After being controversially sent off in Argentina's third-place play-off win over Chile in July, Messi did not appear to collect his medal and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner later explained that he did not want to "be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa".

Messi also blasted the officiating at the competition following Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil, before then suggesting referees and the VAR would favour Tite's men against Peru in the final, which the Selecao won 3-1.

The Argentina skipper has missed friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany, and he will sit out Sunday's clash with Ecuador ahead of next month's return.

Asked about Messi, Scaloni told reporters: "Messi is not here due to suspension.

"Sergio Aguero is not here because he's been carrying a problem and has not been training 100 per cent with his club.

"Surely both will be here next month."

Argentina are coming off a 2-2 draw away to Germany on Wednesday – a game in which Scaloni's men overturned a two-goal deficit in the second half.

Scaloni has already named his line-up for the match against Ecuador, with Agustin Marchesin, Juan Foyth, German Pezzella, Walter Kannemann, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Gonzalez, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Lucas Ocampos, Lucas Alario and Lautaro Martinez starting.

"The idea is to play with attacking players. With players that get to the penalty area," Scaloni said.

"We believe that this is the right way. We take decisions thinking about what is best for the team."

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma paid tribute to Azzurri coach Roberto Mancini after Saturday's 2-0 win over Greece secured their place at Euro 2020 with three matches to spare.

Italy went into the match at Rome's Stadio Olimpico having won each of their first six Group J matches and knew another victory would confirm their participation in next year's tournament.

It was by no means plain-sailing against a Greece side who set up to frustrate Italy, with Mancini's side barely troubling the visitors' defence in the first half.

But Andreas Bouchalakis blocked a Lorenzo Insigne shot with his arm just past the hour and Jorginho dispatched the penalty, before Federico Bernardeschi's late strike wrapped the win up.

And Donnarumma applauded the impact of Mancini, who has restored pride to Italy after they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

"He is a great coach, we listen to him," Donnarumma told Rai Sport. "He has good principles.

"We all listen to him and we must do that also during the Euros because he will surely lead us on the right track."

Victory over Greece was Mancini's eighth successive win, meaning he could equal Italy's all-time record of consecutive triumphs against Liechtenstein on Tuesday.

But Mancini dismissed the importance of that, highlighting the coach who set the record – Vittorio Pozzo – has an altogether more impressive legacy.

"Pozzo is a legend because he won two World Cups, the rest does not count," Mancini added.

"We hope the magical nights return and that in June it's even more beautiful."

Sergio Ramos was hailed as an "incredible" servant to Spain by coach Robert Moreno after becoming the most-capped player in the team's history.

Ramos made his 168th international appearance in a 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifier away to Norway on Saturday, edging ahead of his former Real Madrid and international team-mate Iker Casillas.

The defender has won two European Championship titles and a World Cup with Spain and has indicated he wants to play at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, while he previously set reaching 200 caps as a target.

While the Olympics starts less than two weeks after Euro 2020 ends, complicating Ramos' potential schedule for next year, Moreno praised the Spain skipper for his continued desire.

"Ramos' record is incredible," Moreno told a news conference. "And he still wants to compete, win titles.

"I want to congratulate him publicly and hopefully he can give us joy for much longer."

Among the celebrations for Ramos there was disappointment for Spain at Ullevaal Stadion, though, as Joshua King's second-half stoppage-time penalty prevented La Roja from sealing a spot at the finals with three games still to play.

Bournemouth striker King struck from the spot after Kepa Arrizabalaga's clumsy challenge on Omar Elabdellaoui saw referee Michael Oliver point to the spot.

"I'm left with a bad feeling because when you concede an equaliser at the end it is not good," Moreno added. "We tried to have the ball and control, and in the last minutes we had to kill the game.

"I liked the attitude of the team, but not the first half. In the second half we have tightened up more, we generated opportunities to score the second goal ... but in the end the control has been lost."

Spain will have another chance to secure qualification when they travel to play Sweden on Tuesday.

Moreno said: "We are going to try to win in Sweden, and we are going to try to score 28 points [in the group campaign] since we will not be able to get 30. Norway have been very strong, and played with the ambition of a team that still has options [to qualify].

"They go crazy when there is a team that has nothing to lose, and that's what happened to Norway."

Spain's line-up to face Norway included players from 11 different clubs, with Moreno accepting it might be beneficial were clubs such as LaLiga giants Barcelona or Real Madrid providing more talent to his squad.

"We have many players from many teams," he added. "I would love to have seven players from the same team, who will play together every week ... but that is not the case.

"It is a statistic that I did not know, but it means we have many good players in many good teams."

Sergio Ramos says he would not turn down the chance to play for Spain at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Reports this week suggested Spain's skipper, who has already won the World Cup and European Championship titles, was keen to represent his country in Tokyo.

Taking part in the tournament could be complicated for Ramos given the Olympics begin less than two weeks after the Euro 2020 final is played at Wembley.

Real Madrid defender Ramos, however, indicated he is willing to balance a busy schedule for the chance to add another international honour to his record.

"It is early to talk about the Olympic Games," he said on Saturday. "But anyone who had the chance and was called to play in the Games would not say no.

"It is something you cannot refuse. There is a lot of the season left and it is a very nice idea."

Ramos was speaking after Spain's 1-1 draw away to Norway in a Euro 2020 qualifier, the captain making his 168th international appearance.

That moved him above former club and country team-mate Iker Casillas as Spain's most-capped player but Ramos said he would have swapped the milestone for a victory, which would have secured La Roja's place at Euro 2020.

"The personal is secondary," he added. "I would have changed the record for the victory.

"It is a pride to be the Spaniard who has worn this shirt more times, which I still hope to wear much more.

"It was a shame we drew. Norway have taken advantage of the last minutes, and in one play they tied us.

"I'm sad, because we would have liked to achieve the qualification."

Italy clinched a place at Euro 2020 as Jorginho and Federico Bernardeschi scored in Saturday's 2-0 win over Greece.

Roberto Mancini's men were far from at their fluent best at Stadio Olimpico, appearing devoid of craft against an often-packed Greece defence, but a pair of second-half goals ensured they did enough to make sure of a top-two finish in Group J.

The victory extended their strong qualification campaign, giving Italy a seventh successive victory.

Unsurprisingly, Greece set up to frustrate Italy and they certainly achieved that goal in the first half, with the Azzurri crafting few notable opportunities in a dour opening 45 minutes.

But a combination of Italy's determination and a defensive blunder from Andreas Bouchalakis in the second period allowed Jorginho to convert a penalty and substitute Bernardeschi wrapped the win up late on.

Italy generally dominated a largely forgettable first half in Rome, though their control of possession was not reflected in the number of chances forged, as Alexandros Paschalakis in the Greece goal was little more than a spectator.

While Gianluigi Donnarumma was by no means busy at the other end, his reflex save to palm away Dimitris Limnios' effort in the 12th minute was vital.

Italy then suffered the blow of losing Federico Chiesa to an apparent muscle injury just before the interval.

But the hosts' first attempt on target came from a cross courtesy of Chiesa's replacement, as Bernardeschi's delivery found Ciro Immobile and his header was tipped around the post by Paschalakis.

The goalkeeper was helpless just past the hour, however – Jorginho dispatching a penalty with typical composure after Bouchalakis blatantly blocked Lorenzo Insigne's shot with his arm.

Bernardeschi ended Greece's hopes of a late fightback, finding the bottom-left corner from distance with 12 minutes to go.

What does it mean? Italy back in the big-time

After missing out on a place at the 2018 World Cup, Italy were not going to accept failure in this qualification campaign, so they put their money where their mouth was and hired a reputable coach in Mancini.

While there was nothing vintage about the performance on Saturday and their group always looked like being simple, at least on this occasion they have met expectations by securing a place in next year's tournament and with three matches to spare.

 

Verratti adds a touch of class

In a match often lacking quality, Marco Verratti was a standout performer. Hassled and harried by Greece's dogged midfield, the Paris Saint-Germain star routinely played his way out of trouble with ease, even inside his own penalty area in the first period.

 

A day to forget for Bouchalakis

Until the bizarre decision to block a shot with his arm in the penalty area, Bouchalakis and his defensive colleagues had put up a decent fight. In that moment their chances disappeared, as they did not look much of a threat at the other end.

 

What's next?

Italy return to action on Tuesday away to Liechtenstein, while Greece host Bosnia-Herzegovina on the same day.

Joshua King scored a 94th-minute penalty to earn Norway a 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifier draw at home to Spain, who would have sealed their place at the finals with victory.

Saul Niguez's goal 62 seconds into the second half looked to have extended Spain's perfect record to seven wins from seven in Group F at Ullevaal Stadion on Saturday.

But Kepa Arrizabalaga's foul on Omar Elabdellaoui in stoppage time handed Norway a golden chance to deny Robert Moreno's men the points they needed.

King stepped up to beat the Chelsea goalkeeper from the spot on the day Spain captain Sergio Ramos broke Iker Casillas' appearance record for La Roja.

Sergio Ramos has become the most-capped player in Spain's history, eclipsing Iker Casillas' record by making his 168th appearance for La Roja.

Ramos was included in Robert Moreno's XI for a Euro 2020 qualifier away to Norway on Saturday, with qualification in their sights.

When he equalled Casillas' record last month, Ramos indicated he has a landmark appearance in mind before following former centre-back partner Gerard Pique into international retirement.

"Records are there to be broken," said the Real Madrid defender, who made his Spain debut in 2005.

"I hope that this momentum, enthusiasm and ambition always accompanies me and that I reach 200 games, which is the objective. You have to make it difficult."

Ramos is reportedly keen to play for Spain at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year in a bid to add to the World Cup and European Championship titles he has won with La Roja.

Asked about the matter this week, Moreno told reporters: "I haven't talked about the Olympic Games with him. That desire defines him as a footballer.

"He has one more motivation to add to his career. It is difficult, when you have won everything, to stay motivated."

Naparima College will go into today’s round of Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division games breathing a little easier after they dispatched main rivals St Anthony’s College on Wednesday at Lewis Street.

Naparima College, starting the day three points ahead of St Anthony’s could have been in trouble at the top of the table but an enthralling 3-2 win for the defending champions meant they go into Saturday’s games with a bit of a buffer.

The defending champions can’t rest on their laurels for too long though, as Presentation College, last year’s runners up have remained steady, earning a 3-1 win over St Augustine which keeps them in touch with Naparima.

Presentation have now taken over second place from St Anthony’s, just four points adrift of the leaders and two points ahead of the team they leapfrogged.

St Anthony’s are now fourth on 17 points while Carpichaima East Secondary are the new third-placed team, after a 4-2 away win over Speyside on Wednesday.

In other games on Wednesday, Queen’s Royal College were big 4-1 winners over Trinity College East, while Malick Secondary abated the bleeding with a 1-1 draw against St Benedict’s High School. They still have not won a game in five rounds, however.

St Mary’s College have not found a way to slow their slide though, as San Juan North Secondary handed them their hats in a 7-0 affair, while East Mucurapo Secondary are continuing to have a solid season, beating Pleasantville Secondary 3-0 to remain in fifth place on the tables.

Today Malick Secondary take on East Mucurapo Secondary at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Speyside are at home to Naparima College, Presentation College go to Pleasantville, Carpichaima East host San Juan, St Mary’s College do the same against St Anthony’s College, while St Benedict’s visits St Augustine.
In the only other game of the round, Queen’s Royal College play host to Trinity College Moka, while Trinity College East are the team on a bye.

 

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

+-

Pts

1

Naparima College

9

7

2

0

24

10

14

23

2

Presentation College

8

6

1

1

24

6

18

19

3

Carapichaima East Secondary

8

5

3

0

16

9

7

18

4

St Anthony's College

8

5

2

1

22

10

12

17

5

East Mucurapo Secondary

8

4

3

1

17

8

9

15

6

Queen's Royal College

8

4

1

3

14

17

-3

13

7

San Juan North Secondary

8

3

1

4

19

7

12

10

8

Pleasantville Secondary

8

3

1

4

12

13

-1

10

9

Trinity College East

8

2

2

4

12

16

-4

8

10

Speyside Secondary

8

2

2

4

11

23

-12

8

11

St Augustine Secondary

8

1

4

3

15

16

-1

7

12

Malick Secondary

8

2

1

5

13

17

-4

7

13

St Benedict's College

8

2

1

5

8

16

-8

7

14

Trinity College Moka

8

1

1

6

8

25

-17

4

15

St Mary's College

9

1

1

7

5

27

-22

4

 

Colombia and Chile drew 0-0 in a boisterous friendly that saw heavy challenges flying between the South American rivals.

The result in Alicante mirrored the scoreline after 90 minutes of June's Copa America quarter-final, which Chile went on to win 5-4 on penalties, and it was clear neither side wanted to lose face in front of a lively crowd at Estadio Jose Rico Perez.

In the absence of James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, Colombia started with Duvan Zapata up front alongside Luis Muriel and Roger Martinez and looked the more dangerous side throughout.

Juan Cuadrado's 40-yard spring almost produced an early goal but he fired into the legs of Claudio Bravo after 16 minutes.

Colombia dominated the first half but Chile countered dangerously, with Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez combining for a sweeping move that Barcelona man Vidal failed to finish off.

Cuadrado went down clutching his ankle after a scything challenge from Erick Pulgar in the box shortly after half-time but had his claims for a penalty dismissed by the referee.

A member of Carlos Queiroz's coaching staff was shown a red card after tempers spilled over on the Colombia bench, and four yellow cards were shown as the second half turned into a scrap.

One moment of quality from Colombia saw substitute Jefferson Lerma presented with a clear shooting chance from the edge of the box eight minutes from time, but his attempt was at a comfortable height for Bravo, who saved to ensure the scoresheet remained blank at the final whistle.

Serge Gnabry is regarded as an automatic starter by Germany coach Joachim Low and he might have attained that status earlier had a serious knee injury not prevented him from featuring at the 2014 World Cup.

Gnabry was considered a prodigious prospect at Arsenal after signing from Stuttgart as a youngster in 2011, breaking into the Gunners' first-team squad the following year at just 17.

He then featured 14 times across all competitions before suffering a bad injury against future employers Bayern Munich in the Champions League in March 2014, ruling him out of first-team action until the 2015-16 season.

An unsuccessful loan spell at West Brom followed in that campaign, but Gnabry got his career back on track after moving to Werder Bremen, earning a switch to Bayern where he has developed into one of Europe's most exciting wingers.

Gnabry's route to the top has been rather more convoluted than many would have expected during his early days at Arsenal and, according to Low, his 2014 injury robbed him of a place in Germany's World Cup-winning squad in Brazil just before his 19th birthday.

"In spring 2014, I made a couple of trips to London," Low told reporters ahead of Sunday's Euro 2020 qualifier with Estonia.

"He played well in several matches and really impressed me. I wanted to include Serge in the squad for the 2014 World Cup, but he was unfortunately injured.

"He has been very strong in several matches for us recently. I like the way that he moves and how dangerous he is in front of goal.

"He is fortunate to have the chance to play at the very highest level. We need to encourage that and support him.

"Based on his performances over the past nine months, he needs to be on the pitch for us if he's fit and able to play."

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