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SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Neymar showed why he is carrying Brazils hopes at the World Cup, scoring twice on Thursday to help the und

in Share With Other Members Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:29 am
by jokergreen0220 • 480 Posts

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Neymar showed why he is carrying Brazils hopes at the World Cup, scoring twice on Thursday to help the underwhelming hosts escape a disappointing start to the tournament. Cheap Nike Shoes . With Brazil struggling and down a goal against a spirited Croatian team, Neymar came through to lead his team to a 3-1 win in the opening match, scoring once in each half. The killer goal to make the score 2-1 was a hotly contested penalty awarded by Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura. "Things werent going well," he said. "The first match is always difficult, we were anxious, we were nervous. Im glad I was able to get the goals we needed at the time we needed them." "He is a special player and we know that," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "And he needs to know that we know that." Brazil got off to a slow start in its home tournament. Defender Marcelo found his own net while trying to clear a low cross by Ivica Olic in the 11th minute, stunning the crowd of more than 62,100 packing the Itaquerao Stadium. But Neymar equalized in the 29th, firing a perfectly placed low shot that went in off the post. He said he didnt hit the ball perfectly, "but it went in, its all that matters." "Its important to start these tournaments on the right foot, with a victory," said Neymar. "Im happy that I got to score, but the entire team deserves credit. We maintained our calm and showed we could battle back." The game turned on a controversial penalty awarded by Nishimura in the second half after striker Fred went down inside the area under minimal contact from defender Dejan Lovren. Neymar scored from the spot in the 71st minute, getting his 33rd goal with Brazil. Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa nearly saved Neymars shot, but it was struck hard enough to deflect into the net. The Croatians were furious. "If that was a penalty, we should be playing basketball. Those kinds of fouls are penalized there," Croatia coach Niko Kovac said. "That is shameful, this is not a World Cup referee. He had one kind of criteria for them and another for us. The rules were not the same," Kovac said. As Croatia searched desperately for an equalizer, Oscar added to the lead in the first minute of injury time with a toe poke from just outside the penalty area. A draw would have been a huge disappointment for Brazil, which had won its opening match the last eight times and is overwhelming favourite to win the competition. "The team didnt give up," Brazil defender David Luiz said "We knew it would be hard but we played well and got that first goal and then the victory." The tournament finally got underway as planned after months of talk about the preparation problems that plagued Brazil since it was picked as host seven years ago. The troubled Itaquerao, which wasnt fully finished for the opener, held up without major setbacks to fans or the match itself, although part of the lights atop the pitch went out a few times for brief periods in the first half. ------ Lineups: Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho (Hernanes, 63), Oscar, Neymar (Ramires, 88), Hulk (Bernard, 68), Fred. Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa, Sime Vrsaljko, Darijo Srna, Dejan Lovren, Vedran Corluka, Ivan Rakitic, Nikica Jelavic (Ante Rebic, 78), Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, Ivica Olic, Mateo Kovacic (Marcelo Brozovic, 61). Cheap Nike Shoes Free Shipping . Ferguson told Uniteds in-house TV channel on Saturday that he has no immediate plans to walk away from the game, and that he still hungers for more trophies even after 25 years in charge of the club. Cheap Nike Shoes From China . The 25-year-old native of Milford, Conn., has 18 points in 41 games this season. The five-foot-eight 166-pound centre also has 28 points (10-18) in 15 games with AHL Oklahoma City. https://www.wholesalenikeshoesauthentic.com/ . -- Downcast before the final game of what had been a difficult road trip, the Ottawa Senators found a way to dig out a little momentum in the desert before heading home.Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - World No. 1 great and 18-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams had to shake off a slow start before dispatching Vera Zvonareva in Thursdays second-round action at the Australian Open. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova also reached the round of 32, while a battle of former world No. 1s saw Victoria Azarenka upset Caroline Wozniacki. The five-time Aussie Open and reigning U.S. Open chap Williams trailed late in the first set before ultimately taking a 7-5, 6-0 win over the unseeded Zvonareva of Russia. It marked a rematch of the 2010 Wimbledon final between the two, a match also captured by the American. Williams said Zvonareva, a two-time Grand Slam finalist who played only five tournaments in 2014, started out aggressive and I was a little too passive. So she told herself: You know Serena, youve done so well here, you have nothing to lose. Zvonareva won only eight points in the lopsided second set. Up next for Williams will be Ukrainian Elina Svitolina. The fourth-seeded Kvitova, fresh off her title in Sydney last week, took care of German Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-4, while sixth-seeded former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska dispatched Swede Johanna Larsson 6-0, 6-1 on another hot day at Melbourne Park. Up next for the two-time Wimbledon champ Kvitova will be rising American Madison Keys, while Radwanska will take on American Varvara Lepchenko. Keys pulled off a minor upset of 29th-seeded Aussie Casey Dellacqua, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. In the marquee match of the day, the unseeded two-time Aussie Open champ Azarenka vanquished the eighth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2. Wozniacki said shes feels cursed at the Aussie Open. She also said while losing sucks she felt her good friend Azarenka was back to her best already after missing plenty of action last year due to injuries. Her level, its high, Wozniacki said. I think shes at the level that she left when she stopped playing. Azarenka and Wozniacki have now split eight career meetings. Wozniacki got the better of Azarenka in the third round at the 2008 U.S. Open in their lone previous Grand Slam matchup. Azarenka titled in Melbourne back-to-back in 2012 and 2013 before being slowed by a foot injury last year. I knew that Im unseeded so I can play anybody. I just accept whoever is on the opposite side (and)) Im happy with the way I stayed consistent throughout the whole match, she said. Discount Nike Shoes. I think theres always things you can improve, but its a great progress from one match to another. Azarenkas third-round opponent will be Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Serenas 18th-seeded sister, Venus, who was the 2003 Aussie runner-up to her sibling, defeated fellow American Lauren Davis 6-2, 6-3. Venus has yet to lose this year, going 7-0, including a title in Auckland, where she upset Wozniacki in the final. Venus will face Italian Camila Giorgi this weekend. Eleventh-seeded Slovak and last years Aussie runner-up Dominika Cibulkova moved on by downing Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-0, while American Coco Vandeweghe upended 20th-seeded former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-4. Stosur has never reached a quarterfinal at her home major, where shes competed every year since 2005, with the exception of 2008. Cibulkova was last years Aussie runner-up to the since-retired Li Na. Meanwhile, 19th-seeded Alize Cornet defeated Denisa Allertova 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2; 24th-seeded Garbine Muguruza dropped Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 1-6, 6-0; a 25th-seeded Zahlavova Strycova moved past Kai-Chen Chang 6-1, 7-5; the No. 26 seed Svitolina worked past Nicole Gibbs 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (8-6); and a 30th-seeded Lepchenko defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 7-6 (7-1). Lepchenko will face Radwanska on Saturday. Additional second-round results saw Giorgi ease past Tereza Smitkova 6-1, 6-4, Swiss Timea Bacsinszky beat Anna Tatishvili 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-2, and American Madison Brengle cruise past compatriot Irina Falconi 6-1, 6-3. Brengle reached her first-ever WTA final in Hobart last week and will meet another fellow American, Vandeweghe, in the round of 32. In some third-round action on Friday, second-seeded Maria Sharapova will face 31st-seeded Kazakhstani Zarina Diyas; third-seeded French Open runner-up Simona Halep will meet American Bethanie Mattek-Sands; seventh-seeded Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard will be opposed by Frances Caroline Garcia; and 10th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova will battle 22nd-seeded rising Czech Karolina Pliskova, last weeks Sydney runner-up to Kvitova. The former No. 1 and reigning French Open champion Sharapova was the Aussie champ in 2008 and runner-up in 2007 and 2012. ' ' '

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