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Kashima take management in Asian climax

Japan's Kashima Antlers took a big step in direction of clinching their first ever AFC Champions League title after sealing a 2-Zero win over Persepo...


Japan’s Kashima Antlers took a big step in direction of clinching their first ever AFC Champions League title after sealing a 2-Zero win over Persepolis of Iran within the first-leg of the continental remaining.

Second-half objectives from Silva and Serginho noticed them put themselves in pole place to achieve the FIFA Membership World Cup UAE 2018, having loved a brave run to the ultimate in 2016 on dwelling soil as Japanese champions.

Each side had been having fun with their first style of a Champions League remaining and Persepolis began this encounter the brighter, nonetheless, spurning a gilt-edged likelihood inside 5 minutes. Ali Alipour discovered himself on their own in entrance of aim eight yards out. Nonetheless, a heroic sliding block from Jung Seunghyun prevented the house crowd from an early set-back, as Kashima weathered an early storm.

Antlers grew into the sport, nevertheless it wasn’t till after the break after they broke the impasse. A pleasant change between Leo Silva and Doi Shoma noticed the Brazilian curl into the underside nook from the sting of the field fantastically.

The vocal help had a lot extra to shout about 12 minutes later as a second Brazilian discovered his manner onto the scoresheeet within the form of Serginho. After Persepolis did not clear a nook sufficiently, Kento Misao flicked the ball again into the field for the midfielder to select the identical nook from an acute angle.

“All of us labored collectively and did all the pieces we would have liked to right now, however now we’ve got to verify we proceed to maintain our focus and be sure that ultimately we take the title,” Silva mirrored after the sport. “Our goal is to win the Champions League so to be able to obtain that now all of us have to provide all our power to verify we do this within the away leg.”

The edges will meet once more in every week on 10 November as Persepolis will look to show the tie on its head and forestall Kashima’s return to the Membership World Cup.

Messi finds the right management, contact and end


The Best FIFA Football Awards™

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Make no mistake, Lionel Messi and Argentina were staring into the abyss when they walked out to face Nigeria in their final Group D match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, in Saint Petersburg on 26 June.

In order to avoid their first group-phase exit since Korea/Japan 2002 and only their fourth in the 88-year history of the world finals, Argentina simply had to win and hope the result of the other match in the group went their way. No Albiceleste player was under more pressure than their No10. Having missed a penalty in their group opener against Iceland and been a shadow of himself against Croatia, he had now gone six World Cup matches without scoring a goal.

There were 14 minutes on the clock when Ever Banega picked up possession near the halfway line, with Nigeria centre-half Kenneth Omeruo blissfully unaware of what he was about to face. Spotting Messi in space and Banega lining up a pass to him, Omeruo rushed forward a couple of paces in a bid to snuff out the danger. In the process, he gave his two opponents all they space they needed.

How the goal happened in images

In the blink of an eye, Messi surged into the gap behind Omeruo, while Banega spotted the opening and sent the ball flying over the head of the bewildered central defender. With his side standing on the brink of elimination, Messi then did what only legends can do.

Running at full speed, Messi skipped into the air and cushioned Banega’s precision 35-metre pass on his left thigh. Another touch with the top of his left foot before allowed the ball to hit the ground and spring off the turf in front of him. Messi then powered away from Omeruo, now back-tracking in vain, and took six strides before letting fly with a fizzing cross-shot.

Despite standing at 6’5 (196 cm), Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho could do nothing to stop the ball from hitting the back of the net, as the diminutive Messi wheeled away and made for the corner flag, where he sank to his knees in a cathartic blend of relief and triumph. Though Marcos Rojo scored a late winner for Argentina following Nigeria’s equaliser, it was Messi’s wonder goal that paved the way to their place in the last 16. Will it also be good enough to earn him his first ever FIFA Puskás Award?

See also

FIFA Puskás Award: Vote now!

What they said

“It was a huge weight off our shoulders because we’ve had a tough few days, what with our previous results and all the things that came out [in the press].”
Lionel Messi.

“Welcome to Russia 2018, Lionel Messi.”
Gary Lineker, former England international

“It’s a fantastic goal because of Banega’s pass and the two touches Leo takes, first with the thigh and then with the top of the boot. It’s a piece of perfection.”
Mario Kempes, FIFA World Cup winner at Argentina 1978

“The run and two touches before the exquisite finish was what the World Cup needs to be blessed with.”
Rio Ferdinand, former England international