Messi banned, fined for Copa America red card

By Sports Desk July 23, 2019

Lionel Messi has been handed a ban and fine after his red card during Argentina's Copa America win over Chile in the third-place play-off.

Messi, 32, will serve a one-match suspension after his altercation with Gary Medel, also sent off, during Argentina's 2-1 victory earlier this month.

In a statement on Tuesday, CONMEBOL also confirmed the Barcelona star had been fined $1,500, with no appeal possible.

The single judge of the disciplinary tribunal confirmed "the automatic suspension imposed on the player Lionel Andres Messi, not agreeing on any additional suspension" while imposing the $1,500 fine.

Messi, controversially sent off, railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" following his red card.

His statements angered the governing body, which hit back at what it felt were "unfounded accusations".

Related items

  • Germany 6-1 Northern Ireland: Gnabry scores stunning hat-trick Germany 6-1 Northern Ireland: Gnabry scores stunning hat-trick

    Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick as Germany rallied to humble Northern Ireland 6-1 in Euro 2020 qualifying and secure top spot in Group C.

    Michael Smith had given Northern Ireland a shock early lead on Tuesday, however Germany hit back in emphatic fashion with Leon Goretzka also grabbing a brace for the hosts before Julian Brandt's injury-time strike.

    Gnabry's treble took his tally for 2019-20 to 14 goals for club and country as his fine start to the campaign continued with another clinical display. 

    Having finished third in the group, Northern Ireland - on whom the result was harsh - must now wait for Friday's draw to discover who they will face in the Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs.

    Germany were stunned in the seventh minute when Toni Kroos could only head George Saville's cross to the edge of his own area and Smith unleashed a stunning low strike into the bottom-left corner beyond the reach of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

    Germany were almost level five minutes later after Ilkay Gundogan struck the post and soon they had their goal as Gnabry controlled Jonas Hector's cross from the left before swivelling and firing clinically into the far corner from 12 yards out.

    Hector was again the provider two minutes before the interval as Germany turned the contest on its head. 

    His cross somehow evaded a crowd of bodies before the onrushing Goretzka made sufficient contact to send the ball agonisingly past Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and in off the post.

    Within two minutes of the restart, Germany had a third as Lukas Klostermann found Gnabry, who again rifled home in clinical fashion.

    Gnabry was celebrating his hat-trick just on the hour when he held off Tom Flanagan before drilling a low shot inside the far post. 

    Germany added further gloss, with Goretzka firing in from the edge of the area in the 72nd minute before Brandt struck from the left side of the box in added time.

     

    What does it mean? Germany starting to look their old selves

    For Germany, it is starting to look a case of 'Crisis? What crisis?'. Seven wins from a possible eight and top spot in a group including Netherlands, and things appear to be starting to click together again for Joachim Low and his team after last year's World Cup disappointment. There was no shame in this defeat for Northern Ireland. They have every reason to go into the play-offs in buoyant mood after giving the big boys a run for their money.

    Gnabry continues deadly form 

    In his previous outing against British opponents – when club Bayern Munich faced Tottenham in the Champions League last month – Gnabry scored four times. On this occasion it was three. The former Arsenal man is a player reborn in the Bundesliga and looks one of Europe's hottest properties right now.

    Smith's brilliant strike a silver lining for Irish

    This was a night the Hearts defender will never forget after scoring the goal which put his team ahead against one of Europe's giants. What a goal it was as he demonstrated textbook technique to send a rasping low drive beyond Germany goalkeeper Ter Stegen. 

    What's next?

    The play-offs await Northern Ireland in March – they will discover their opponents in Friday's draw in Nyon. Boss Michael O'Neill will be in charge for those matches despite his appointment at Championship outfit Stoke City, yet the search for his successor begins now for the Irish Football Association (IFA). With their place already booked, Germany can now look forward to next year's showpiece tournament.

  • Scotland 3-1 Kazakhstan: McGinn at the double in comeback win Scotland 3-1 Kazakhstan: McGinn at the double in comeback win

    Scotland capped off their Euro 2020 qualifying Group I campaign with a 3-1 win over Kazakhstan as John McGinn and Steven Naismith completed a second-half comeback at Hampden Park.

    A drab first-half display saw Scotland - who have been guaranteed a play-off place throughout qualification thanks to their performances in the UEFA Nations League - fall behind to Baktiyor Zainutdinov's 34th-minute stunner.

    However, McGinn's deflected free-kick restored parity within three minutes of the restart and the turnaround was complete when captain Naismith bundled home.

    A third straight win was sealed in stoppage time - McGinn sweeping home from a low cross to add gloss to a fine second-half display from Steve Clarke's side.

    Clarke made no changes from the side that claimed a 2-1 win over Cyprus on Saturday, but despite dominating possession through the first half, a low effort from Ryan Christie was the closest the hosts came to an opener.

    Kazakhstan showed no such wastefulness - Zainutdinov picking out the top-left corner with a sensational, pinpoint strike that left David Marshall rooted to the spot.

    Scotland came out with renewed vigour after the interval, though, and were swiftly on level terms when McGinn's powerful free-kick took a wicked deflection off Bauyrzhan Islamkhan.

    James Forrest seemed set to double Scotland's tally three minutes later, only to slice wide, before Naismith blazed a close-range effort over.

    Naismith made up for his miss in the 64th minute, however, taking advantage of sloppy defending from Aleksandr Marochkin to turn home a deflected cross with his shoulder.

    McGinn then had the final say, getting on the end of Greg Taylor's delivery to wrap up a comfortable triumph.

    What does it mean? Scotland on the up heading into play-offs

    It has been a disappointing campaign for Scotland, but Clarke's side do have the chance to qualify via the play-offs and, after four successive defeats, they have now won their last three Group I matches to at least earn a lift in confidence.

    More international joy for McGinn 

    An ever-reliable performer in the heart of midfield, McGinn has enjoyed a fine run of form in a Scotland shirt and followed up his winner against Cyprus with another goal - albeit a fortuitous one - to haul the home side level.

    The Aston Villa man, who netted a hat-trick against San Marino in October, also scored late on and now has six goals in his last three Scotland appearances.

    Marochkin mistake gifts Scotland the points

    Naismith's ability to sniff out a chance was evidenced by Scotland's second goal, but it was an opportunity he should not have been afforded. Dmytro Nepogodov's goalkeeping was highly unconvincing, but Marochkin should have done far better with his attempted clearance, and was too easily outmuscled by the Hearts forward.

    What's next?

    Scotland will now await Friday's play-off draw, when they will find out their opponents for March's matches.

  • Belgium 6-1 Cyprus: De Bruyne leads latest Red Devils rout Belgium 6-1 Cyprus: De Bruyne leads latest Red Devils rout

    Belgium completed a dominant Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a 10th win in 10, crushing Cyprus 6-1 in Brussels on Tuesday.

    Roberto Martinez's Red Devils signed off from Group I in real style as Kevin De Bruyne and Christian Benteke both scored twice, albeit only after Cyprus had improbably led through Nikolas Ioannou.

    The Belgian response was swift, Benteke and Yannick Carrasco scoring as De Bruyne bagged a brace before the break.

    An own goal and Benteke's second following the restart saw the World Cup semi-finalists end qualifying on a remarkable total of 40 goals, more than any other side in Europe.

    Hans Vanaken should have opened the scoring for Belgium after 10 minutes but incredibly missed the target from six yards following Thorgan Hazard's teasing low cross.

    The hosts were swiftly punished, too, as Ioannou's left boot proved far more clinical, with a low finish sent beyond Simon Mignolet.

    Belgium were behind for less than two minutes, though. Benteke failed to make contact with De Bruyne's right-wing cross but scrambled to prod in when Carrasco returned the ball from the left.

    A string of Neophytos Michael saves initially kept Belgium at bay as they chased another, yet the goalkeeper gifted De Bruyne a goal 10 minutes before half-time, comically fumbling a bobbling volley into the net.

    De Bruyne had his second before the break, firing in with the aid of a slight deflection, before Carrasco volleyed through Michael's legs from Hazard's centre.

    It was more of the same after half-time as Michael spilled De Bruyne's shot and directed Carrasco's rebound onto the post, only to see Kypros Christoforou prod in a tame own goal moments later.

    Yari Verschaeren poked a one-on-one tamely wide, but Benteke - completely out of sorts in the Premier League - was clinical when similarly sent through, dispatching the chance with his left foot.

    Benteke looked destined for a hat-trick until he dallied with an open goal, allowing Christoforou to recover, with the Red Devils settling for six.

    What does it mean? Belgium an attacking force to fear

    Belgium have seen front men Romelu Lukaku, Benteke and Michy Batshuayi each have issues with form at club level during this campaign, while chief creator De Bruyne has dealt with an injury. To still end with such a tally in the goals-for column is staggering. The opponents have been modest and greater tests are to come, but the Red Devils will expect to outscore anyone.

    De Bruyne a class above

    Eden Hazard was similarly involved in much of Belgium's best work, but this was a De Bruyne masterclass. He cut through the Cyprus defence time and again, playing every type of pass to tee up team-mates. The Manchester City man still found time for a pair of goals and looks in fine nick heading into a busy club period.

    Unhelpful contributions

    De Bruyne and Eden Hazard were capable of beating Cyprus without any help but gleefully accepted the unorthodox assistance that came their way. Michael made an awful mess of De Bruyne's shot when the visitors looked like reaching half-time still level, sparking a collapse.

    What's next?

    Martinez will settle in to assess club action over the coming months, hoping De Bruyne and his other key players come through unscathed ahead of Euro 2020. Cyprus will merely be spectators when the tournament kicks off, perhaps grateful to avoid another meeting.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.