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USA

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PAKISTAN

Sada-E-Watan

Pervez Saleem (Producer/Director)

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Pulisic sinks Iran as US advance in World Cup duel

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP

DOHA: Christian Pulisic fired the United States into the last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday as the Americans downed Iran 1-0 in their politically charged grudge match.

Chelsea star Pulisic bundled home the do-or-die Group B game’s only goal on 38 minutes to set up a second round clash with Group A winners the Netherlands on Saturday.

“The first half we showed what we can do, soccer wise, the second half we showed what we could do determination wise,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said after the win.

“The guys grinded, gave every single ounce and we are undefeated going into the next round.”

Pulisic left the field at half-time after sustaining a heavy knock while scoring his match-winning goal.

“I can’t say enough positive things about Christian,” Berhalter said. “With this new injury it’s stressful. I think I have less hair on my head now. But we’ll take it and move on and go battle against Holland.”

The victory was no less than Berhalter’s youthful side deserved in what was only the third international football clash between the bitter ideological rivals.

The build-up to a pulsating showdown had been marked by steadily escalating tension, with Iran’s Football Federation on Sunday demanding FIFA sanction US Soccer for posting a modified version of their country’s flag on social media.

But despite an electrifying atmosphere at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium, the game played out without controversy as the US avenged their 1998 World Cup defeat to Iran to send the Asian qualifiers crashing out of the tournament.

Iran’s fans had roared their team onto the field at the start of the game amid a deafening cacophony of air-horns and cheers from the crowd of 42,127.

But despite the intimidating reception it was the Americans who looked more comfortable.

US captain Tyler Adams and Juventus’ Weston McKennie controlled proceedings in midfield to leave Iran struggling to gain foothold.

Attacking ambition

The US signalled their attacking ambition after only two minutes, Pulisic surging forward menacingly before being dispossessed.

That was a shape of things to come as they laid siege to the Iranian goal.

Valencia midfielder Yunus Musah shot over the bar and Pulisic just failed to get enough power on a header after a cross from Antonee Robinson.

Fullback Sergino Dest was a constant threat down the right flank for the Americans, whipping a cross over in the 17th minute that Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand could only parry.

After sustained US pressure, the breakthrough finally came in the 38th minute.

A brilliant crossfield pass from McKennie picked out Dest down the right.

The AC Milan defender headed back across goal and Pulisic was on hand to bravely finish.

There was alarm for US fans with Pulisic needing sustained treatment after a heavy collision with Beiranvand but it was the Iranians and their noisy fans who were left winded by the goal.

The crowd instantly became more subdued and the US twice came close to doubling their lead before half-time.

Josh Sargent and Tim Weah combined well with a dazzling counter-attack but the final ball went astray.

Then in injury time McKennie’s sublime pass found Weah who finished brilliantly past Beiranvand only to be ruled just offside.

Knowing that an equaliser would send them into the second round, the Iranians stepped up the pressure in the second half.

But substitute Saman Ghoddos squandered two gilt-edged chances to get his team into the match, heading over from close range before blazing a shot over the bar on the 65th minute with the whole goal to aim at.

Saeid Ezatolahi curled a long-range shot over the bar soon afterwards as the Americans continued to live dangerously.

Iran threatened again inside the final 10 minutes when Ali Karimi just failed to get on the end of a teasing cross by Ezatolahi.

A diving header from Morteza Pouraliganji whistled just wide in injury time and then Mehdi Taremi had calls for a penalty after a tangle with Cameron Carter Vickers waved away as to leave American nerves jangling before their team hung on for a famous win.

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP DOHA: Christian Pulisic fired the United States into the last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday as the Americans downed Iran 1-0 in their politically charged grudge match. Chelsea star Pulisic bundled home the do-or-die Group B game’s only goal on 38 minutes to set up a second round clash with Group A winners the Netherlands on Saturday. “The first half we showed what we can do, soccer wise, the second half we showed what we could do determination wise,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said after the win. “The guys grinded, gave every single ounce and we are undefeated going into the next round.” Pulisic left the field at half-time after sustaining a heavy knock while scoring his match-winning goal.
Shahid Afridi warmly welcomes England, thanks Ben Stokes for flood donation

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

Pakistan’s former skipper Shahid Afridi Monday extended a warm welcome to England’s cricket team on their arrival to Pakistan to play a Test series after 17 years.

The Englishmen have not faced Pakistan in a Test series since 2005.

Afridi took to his Twitter handle to welcome the English squad, particularly their skipper Ben Stokes, who announced to donate his match fees from the three-match Test series against Pakistan to the country’s flood appeal.

“Warm welcome to @englandcricket on their arrival to [Pakistan] after 17 long years. Much respect to Ben Stokes for this gesture for flood victims, you are a true ambassador of our sport, May others be inspired through this,” Pakistan’s veteran cricketer wrote quote-tweeting Stokes’ tweet.

Afridi added that he is looking forward to “good cricket” during the upcoming Test series between the two nations.

Shahid Afridi@SAfridiOfficial
Warm welcome to @englandcricket on their arrival to after 17 long years. Much respect to @benstokes38 for this gesture for flood victims, you are a true ambassador of our sport, May others be inspired through this. Looking forward to good cricket during #PakvsEng all the best

after 17 long years. Much respect to @benstokes38 for this gesture for flood victims, you are a true ambassador of our sport, May others be inspired through this. Looking forward to good cricket during #PakvsEng all the best.

Ben Stokes@benstokes38
I’m donating my match fees from this Test series to the Pakistan Flood appeal.
Image
The Test series is scheduled to start on December 1 and will conclude on December 21.The first Test will be played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Later, the second Test will be hosted in Multan while the last Test will be played in Karachi.Taking to Twitter, Stokes said that he felt great to be in Pakistan for the first time for this “historic series”.
“I’m donating my match fees from this Test series to the Pakistan Flood appeal,” said the skipper.
Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters Pakistan’s former skipper Shahid Afridi Monday extended a warm welcome to England’s cricket team on their arrival to Pakistan to play a Test series after 17 years. The Englishmen have not faced Pakistan in a Test series since 2005. Afridi took to his Twitter handle to welcome the English squad, particularly their skipper Ben Stokes, who announced to donate his match fees from the three-match Test series against Pakistan to the country’s flood appeal. “Warm welcome to @englandcricket on their arrival to [Pakistan] after 17 long years. Much respect to Ben Stokes for this gesture for flood victims, you are a true ambassador of our sport, May others be inspired through this,” Pakistan’s veteran cricketer wrote quote-tweeting Stokes’ tweet. Afridi added that he is looking forward
Casemiro strike sends Brazil into last 16

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

  • Brazil beat Switzerland 1-0 in the World Cup fixture.  
  • Casemiro fires Brazil into the knockout stages of World Cup.
  • Tens of thousands of yellow shirts had painted the inside of this quirky stadium bright yellow in a frieze of canary.

DOHA: Doha’s Stadium 974 thrummed to the samba beat on Monday night as Brazilian fans brought Latin American swagger to this patch of Qatar and Casemiro fired Brazil into the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup finals with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland.

The midfielder’s spectacular 83rd-minute goal sent Brazil through with a game to spare and lit a touch paper to a contest that up to then had struggled to smoulder.

But the sea of Brazilian fans won’t care about any of that as 80 or so minutes of sloppy passing and directionless play was forgotten in the hysteria of the final minutes.

Tens of thousands of yellow shirts had painted the inside of this quirky stadium bright yellow in a frieze of canary, broken up only by small pockets of local fans in traditional white robes and a smattering of red Swiss shirts.

It was hard to believe this was a match being played on the Arabian Peninsula, for it had every setting of a home game for the Brazilians – from the thunderous roars accompanying every fancy move to the rhythmic beat drummed out throughout.

But if the supporters had planned for a party, the student of soccer might well have suspected otherwise. The two previous World Cup meetings between these two sides had ended in draws – 2-2 in 1950, and 1-1 in 2018.

The Brazilians had only won three of their nine match-ups with Switzerland in total, with four drawn and two losses.

This Monday night clash looked to be heading for another stalemate before Casemiro’s moment of pure magic.

With Brazil increasingly desperate, half-time substitute Rodrygo played a first time ball to Casemiro who struck it with the outside of his foot and it glided – in time-honoured Brazilian fashion – past Yann Sommer in goal, the Swiss watching in horror as it bulged the side of the inside of his goal.

While Rodrygo provided the assist, Casemiro and Brazil owe a huge debt of gratitude to Vinicius Jr for the goal – Brazil’s newest superstar had drawn three increasingly desperate defenders onto him which created space for the goal.

Winded by a cruel moment of Brazilian brilliance, the Swiss slumped and the match could well have ended two or 3-0, but that would have been unduly harsh on the Europeans who, for the most part, blunted their opponents.

The Swiss, though, can take heart from their performance and a win against Serbia in their final group match will send them through along with Brazil, and a draw could even be enough.

 

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters Brazil beat Switzerland 1-0 in the World Cup fixture.   Casemiro fires Brazil into the knockout stages of World Cup. Tens of thousands of yellow shirts had painted the inside of this quirky stadium bright yellow in a frieze of canary. DOHA: Doha’s Stadium 974 thrummed to the samba beat on Monday night as Brazilian fans brought Latin American swagger to this patch of Qatar and Casemiro fired Brazil into the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup finals with a 1-0 victory over Switzerland. The midfielder’s spectacular 83rd-minute goal sent Brazil through with a game to spare and lit a touch paper to a contest that up to then had struggled to smoulder. But the sea of Brazilian fans won’t care about any of that
Fernandes double sends Portugal into World Cup knock-outs

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

  • Portugal beat Uruguay 2-0 in the World Cup fixture. 
  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s side cruised into knock-out stage.
  • Uruguay must win match against Ghana to advance to the next round.

DOHA: Bruno Fernandes scored twice to give Portugal a 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Monday and send them into the knock-out stages of the World Cup alongside France and Brazil.

The Manchester United midfielder scored a cross-cum-shot nine minutes into the second half and then added an injury-time penalty following a handball by Jose Maria Gimenez.

The match at Doha’s spectacular 89,000-capacity Lusail Stadium also featured the first pitch invader of the Qatar tournament — the man carried messages of support for Ukraine and Iranian women and had a rainbow flag.

With Portugal already through, Uruguay must now beat Ghana in their final Group H match to stand any chance of also progressing.

Both sides made three changes from their opening matches, with Portugal bringing in veteran Pepe for the injured Danilo Pereira, who suffered cracked ribs in training.

Pepe became the third-oldest outfield player in World Cup history.

Portugal dominated the first half, hogging the ball and creating several chances, but without ever testing Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.

Uruguay’s forwards, Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez were starved of the ball but the South Americans still had the best opportunity of the first period.

Rodrigo Bentancur picked the ball up in his own half and surged forwards, slipping between two defenders to find himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who spread himself well to save the midfielder’s shot.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was largely anonymous in the first 45 minutes but did delight fans with a shoulder pass to pick out William Carvalho, who volleyed over.

Pitch invader

The main drama came after the break.

Moments after a pitch invader ran onto the pitch carrying an LGBTQ rainbow flag and with a message supporting Ukraine and Iranian women on his T-shirt, only to be spectacularly tackled by security, Portugal went in front.

Fernandes created space for himself on the left and curled an inswinging cross into the mixer, with Ronaldo breaking the offside trap to attempt a glancing header.

As the ball nestled in the goal, Ronaldo wheeled away in celebration but FIFA decided he had not touched the ball, thus denying him a ninth World Cup goal, which would have put him level with Portuguese great Eusebio.

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso threw on forwards Maxi Gomez and Luis Suarez as the South Americans belatedly began to exert some pressure, and both came close to an equaliser.

Gomez’s rasping drive from 20 yards came back off the post with Costa beaten, while Suarez hit the side netting from close range.

With the 90 minutes almost up, Fernandes nutmegged Gimenez, whose trailing hand diverted the ball away from the midfielder and prevented him from finding himself one-on-one with Rochet.

Iranian referee Alireza Faghani awarded the spot-kick after a VAR check and Fernandes sent Rochet the wrong way after his signature hop, skip run-up.

He then almost completed a hat-trick but hit the post from 20 yards.

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters Portugal beat Uruguay 2-0 in the World Cup fixture.  Cristiano Ronaldo’s side cruised into knock-out stage. Uruguay must win match against Ghana to advance to the next round. DOHA: Bruno Fernandes scored twice to give Portugal a 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Monday and send them into the knock-out stages of the World Cup alongside France and Brazil. The Manchester United midfielder scored a cross-cum-shot nine minutes into the second half and then added an injury-time penalty following a handball by Jose Maria Gimenez. The match at Doha’s spectacular 89,000-capacity Lusail Stadium also featured the first pitch invader of the Qatar tournament — the man carried messages of support for Ukraine and Iranian women and had a rainbow flag. With Portugal already through, Uruguay
FIFA World Cup 2022: In another upset, Morocco beat Belgium 2-0 courtesy Sabiri, Aboukhlal goals

Courtesy: Dawn News

Substitutes Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal earned Morocco their first World Cup victory in 24 years as they upset a hugely disappointing Belgium side 2-0 in World Cup Group ‘F’ on Sunday.

Abdelhamid Sabiri had been on the pitch for a mere five minutes when Morocco won a free kick wide on the left, pretty close to the corner flag, against Belgium here at the Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The goal was at the acutest of angles but no one was stopping him from having a go.

Sabiri wrapped his right foot around the ball, curling it at pace and catching Thibaut Courtois out of surprise. The Belgium goalkeeper saw the shot go under him and into the back of the net. Sabiri’s teammates gathered around him and sank to the ground in prostration, the largely pro-Moroccan at the 44,000-capacity venue, its circular design reflecting the traditional woven cap worn by Arab men and boys, wild with joy.

Morocco have won just twice at the World Cup; their last victory came in 1998.

Leading 1-0, they now had 16 minutes to close out a famous win against a Belgium side, ranked second only to Brazil in the world. Belgium had opened their campaign in Qatar with a barely-deserved 1-0 win over Canada and knew a victory would take them through. Now they were fighting for a draw.

Roberto Martinez summoned Romelu Lukaku from his bench to turn the tide in his side’s favour. Instead, it was Morocco who scored to seal a historic win for their side in the second minute of time added on.

A long ball from goalkeeper Monir Mohamedi caught out the Belgians and found its way to Hakim Ziyech. Ziyech ran into the space on the right before squaring it for Zakaria Aboukhlal, who had come onto the pitch just before the first goal. Aboukhlal had timed his run perfectly and shot it the first time into the roof of the net.

Morocco had opened with a goalless draw against Croatia and the 2-0 win here sent them top of Group ‘F’, a point ahead of Belgium. A draw against Canada will take them through to the last 16 for the first time since 1986. This win, though, will live long in the memory.

Belgium had dominated possession for most of the first half. But they were largely sterile, the well-organised Moroccans closing down the avenues for the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard to influence the game.

Morocco and Ziyech had thought their moment had arrived right before half-time.

The Chelsea winger hadn’t been part of the Morocco side that had secured qualification for the World Cup. His recall came after Vahid Halilhodzic, the coach who had led them to Qatar, had been fired by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation over differences in preparations for the tournament, most notably for sidelining Ziyech due to a lack of discipline.

The incoming Walid Regragui, a former Morocco international, had restored Ziyech and here he was standing over a free-kick on the right, preparing to curl his left foot around it.

The shot was pinpoint, hitting the midriff of Courtois before nestling into the back of the net. Ziyech raised his arms to celebrate, his team-mate Achraf Hakimi running to embrace him. But the Belgians were protesting. Courtois seemed to have been unsighted by the onrushing Romain Saiss and the VAR found that the Moroccan captain was fractionally offside.

It only served to intensify the atmosphere and a stirring second half was in store with the game opening up for both sides. First Hazard weaved into the box and saw a rasping shot saved by Monir Mohamedi while at the other end, Soufiane Boufal cut inside from the left and shot narrowly wide. Dries Mertens, brought on to give Belgium more bite, saw a shot saved by Mohamedi.

But then came the goal that changed the game.

Courtesy: Dawn News Substitutes Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal earned Morocco their first World Cup victory in 24 years as they upset a hugely disappointing Belgium side 2-0 in World Cup Group ‘F’ on Sunday. Abdelhamid Sabiri had been on the pitch for a mere five minutes when Morocco won a free kick wide on the left, pretty close to the corner flag, against Belgium here at the Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The goal was at the acutest of angles but no one was stopping him from having a go. Sabiri wrapped his right foot around the ball, curling it at pace and catching Thibaut Courtois out of surprise. The Belgium goalkeeper saw the shot go under him and into the back
Messi magic keeps Argentina alive

Courtesy: Dawn News

DOHA: In the 51st minute of a tense, cagey game against Mexico, Argentina received a free-kick in prime Lionel Messi territory.

Needing a win to keep their hopes alive, Argentina were looking to their talisman to provide them with a moment of magic at the Lusail Stadium packed with 88,966 spectators.

This wasn’t it. Messi blazed over, and the moment hordes of Argentina fans were waiting for came 12 minutes later.

Messi was found on the edge of the box by Angel Maria and the 35-year-old took a touch before unleashing a left-foot shot that went into the back of the net.

This was priceless; a lifeline to hang onto especially after Argentina had been stunned in their Group ‘C’ opener by Saudi Arabia at this very venue.

Mexico had shown good value for a win in the first half but Argentina had all the momentum now and sealed a 2-0 win when Enzo Fernandez curled in an inch-perfect finish three minutes from time.

It means Argentina head into their last group game against Poland, where a win would definitely see them progress to the last 16, but a draw may also be enough.­

Courtesy: Dawn News DOHA: In the 51st minute of a tense, cagey game against Mexico, Argentina received a free-kick in prime Lionel Messi territory. Needing a win to keep their hopes alive, Argentina were looking to their talisman to provide them with a moment of magic at the Lusail Stadium packed with 88,966 spectators. This wasn’t it. Messi blazed over, and the moment hordes of Argentina fans were waiting for came 12 minutes later. Messi was found on the edge of the box by Angel Maria and the 35-year-old took a touch before unleashing a left-foot shot that went into the back of the net. This was priceless; a lifeline to hang onto especially after Argentina had been stunned in their Group ‘C’ opener