Africa Cup of Nations: Trezeguet edges Mohamed Salah and Egypt past Zimbabwe

Press Association Sport 10:05 22/06/2019
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Trezeguet scored the only goal as hosts Egypt opened their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe in Cairo.

The winger curled home four minutes before the interval to reward the Pharaohs for a dominant first-half display.

Zimbabwe did threaten late on after Egypt failed to capitalise on further chances but the home side held on.

There had been reports Zimbabwe’s players could boycott the Group A encounter amid a pay dispute but that did not materialise.

Yet Zimbabwe soon looked like the outsiders they had been billed as. Mohamed Salah, Marwan Mohsen and Abdallah El-Said all forced good saves from Edmore Sibanda early on.

Liverpool forward Salah also fired over and wriggled through a series of challenges before shooting at Sibanda again.

Knowledge Musona had a shot blocked on a rare Zimbabwe attack before Trezeguet struck by cutting in from the left and bending a fine effort around Sibanda.

Egypt maintained the pressure after the break but Trezeguet and Salah both missed the target. Salah also tested Sibanda, who later went off injured, after being played through by Trezeguet.

Egypt tired late on and were almost caught out as Zimbabwe’s Ovidy Karuru shot at Mohamed El-Shenawy from 30 yards.

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Copa America: Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho says Brazil possess 'a lot of motivation'

Press Association Sport 09:52 22/06/2019
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Philippe Coutinho has stressed Brazil will be highly motivated as they look to secure a Copa America quarter-final place with victory over Peru.

Hosts Brazil need at least a draw in their final Group A match to be certain of a place in the last eight after being held to a frustrating goalless draw by Venezuela in midweek.

But victory at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo would see them go through as group winners and, after being booed off by their own fans last time out, Coutinho is determined to deliver.

The Barcelona playmaker said on the Brazil website, www.cbf.com.br: “We have a lot of motivation for this game, a very important game.

“It is certainly a very difficult game, against a very strong opponent, as everyone in the Copa America is.

“We have one more day of work and (the coaches) will be passing on to us all the information so that we are aware of everything.”

The draw with Venezuela has increased the pressure on Brazil manager Tite in the home tournament.

The side were also criticised for a lacklustre performance in their opener against Bolivia, despite winning 3-0.

Yet with Peru enjoying similar results – beating Bolivia and drawing against Venezuela – the two sides are level at the top of the group.

With two third-placed sides qualifying for the last eight, Brazil could go through even with a loss but Tite needs a more convincing performance.

Without Neymar in this tournament, his key selection decisions concern his forwards.

David Neres, Richarlison and Roberto Firmino have all failed to score in the opening games and there have been calls for Everton, who came off the bench to strike against Bolivia, or Gabriel Jesus to start.

The other match in the group sees Venezuela, looking to put pressure on the sides above them, take on Bolivia in Belo Horizonte.

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Copa America: Man United flop Alexis Sanchez sends Chile into the quarter-finals

Press Association Sport 09:32 22/06/2019
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Alexis Sanchez scored the winner as Chile moved into the Copa America quarter-finals with a 2-1 victory over Ecuador.

The Manchester United forward netted six minutes into the second half for his second goal of the tournament, moving the two-time defending champions on to six points and the lead in Group C.

Jose Pedro Fuenzalida opened the scoring after just seven minutes as Chile made a perfect start to the match in Salvador, but that lead was cancelled out when Enner Valencia converted from the spot in the 26th minute.

Goalkeeper Gabriel Arias took down Jhegson Mendez to concede the penalty and Valencia struck straight down the middle to put Ecuador back into the game.

Chile reclaimed the lead early after the break, however, as Sanchez beat the keeper off a cross from Charles Aranguiz in the 51st minute.

Erick Pulgar had a chance in the 64th minute as Chile managed to control the late stages of the match and put themselves in a commanding position with one game still to play.

Ecuador finished with 10 men when Gabriel Achilier was shown a red card in the 89th minute, with the game seeing a total of nine yellow cards.

In their final game, Chile will face Uruguay in a decider for the group top spot, while Ecuador, who are yet to earn a point, will take on Japan.

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