Soldado keen to break Real duck

18 August 2012 16:35

Valencia forward Roberto Soldado says it is high time he scored against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 27-year-old striker spent six years with Real, appearing in just 16 games for the first team and scoring two goals.

But Soldado has conceded he has fond memories of his time in Madrid and would like to get one more by claiming a victory over his former club on Sunday.

“I have not scored at the Bernabeu for four years, and that is too long. But we are working not to only get a goal, but to win as well,” Soldado told AS.

“I am always looking to improve year after year. I know my performances are judged on goals, and I want to exceed what I got last season.

“I grew as a player and as a person there (in Madrid), and will always be grateful. Real Madrid is a club that gave me a lot.

“Now, though, I come as captain of Valencia and will do everything possible to beat them.

“We must approach the game seriously, be strong defensively and work together. We know how difficult it’s going to be against (Jose) Mourinho’s team because not only do they attack well, but they also defend brilliantly.”

J.League wrap: Sanfrecce consolidate

18 August 2012 16:02

J.League leaders Sanfrecce Hiroshima consolidated their grip on first place with a 2-0 away win at struggling Albirex Niigata.

Hisato Sato put the away side ahead in the 26th minute with his 17th strike of the season, with Naoki Ishihara doubling their advantage 10 minutes after the interval to seal victory.

The win leaves Sanfrecce four points clear at the summit of the Japanese top flight as second-placed Vegalta Sendai lost ground with a 0-0 draw at home to fourth-placed Kashiwa Reysol.

Nagoya Grampus were soundly beaten 5-0 at home to Gamba Osaka.

Nagoya were forced to play the whole second half with 10 men thanks to a red card to defender Takahiro Masukawa in the 42nd minute, with Gamba able to take full advantage of their numerical superiority.

Urawa Red Diamonds held on to third spot with a 2-1 win over Kashima Antlers. Two first-half goals Tomoya Ugajin and Genki Haraguchi were enough to seal the win for the home side.

Yokohama F. Marinos were unable to make it three wins in a row after playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Kawasaki Frontale.

Yokohama looked to be heading towards all three points after a first half double from Brazilian Marquinhos before Kawasaki’s Yusuke Tanaka scored a double of his own in the second half to leave both sides with a point.

Jubilo Iwata and Cerezo Osaka played out the match of the day with an exciting 4-3 win. Cerezo were leading 3-2 with eight minutes to play before Ryoichi Maeda scored two goals in three minutes to hand Jubilo a memorable victory.

In other results, Consadole Sapporo were beaten 4-2 at home by Vissel Kobe, while Tokyo suffered a 1-0 loss to lowly Omiya Ardija.

Elsewhere, second placed Vegalta Sendai drew with fourth-placed Kashiwa Reysol 0-0 and Shimizu S-Pulse recorded a 1-0 away win over Sagan Tosu.

Ocampos: No pressure on me

18 August 2012 15:54

New Monaco signing Lucas Ocampos says he feels ‘no pressure’ to live up to his 15 million euro-price tag after moving from River Plate.

The 18-year-old left Argentina to join the Ligue 2 side, despite a host of top European clubs expressing an interest in the youngster.

But the Argentine under-17 international believes he has made the right choice in signing for Monaco.

“No (there is no pressure on me),” he told France Football. “I have come here to play. I have taken no interest in the transfer fee. I want to show the fans my talent.

“I know I’m going to be compared to the greats of this club, but that should not influence me on the pitch.

“Monaco is a beautiful city and the club are one of the biggest in Europe. My dream has always been to come and play in Europe.

“It is not a regression for me to come and play in Ligue 2. I played in the Argentine second division last season with River.

“This is an opportunity to continue my development and get the club back in Ligue 1.”

K-League wrap: Suwon pounce on Ulsan slip

18 August 2012 15:52

Suwon Bluewings climbed to third in the K-League standings after stunning league leaders Seoul, while Ulsan lost to Incheon United.

Suwon took the lead at the Seoul World Cup stadium thanks to a Dzenan Radonic penalty in the ninth minute and sealed victory when the Montenegrin striker completed his brace eight minutes from full-time.

The result was just the fourth defeat of Seoul’s league campaign.

Suwon usurped Ulsan in the league table after Incheon stunned Kim Ho-Gun’s side 1-0 at Big Crown stadium.

Ki-Hyeon Seol scored the winner for the visitors in the eighth minute.

Busan l’Park also won on the road on Saturday, disposing of Gangwon 2-1 at Gangneung Stadium.

Seung-Hwan Bang gave the visitors the lead on 10 minutes before Weslley found a reply for Gangwon shortly after half-time.

Australian international Matt McKay was the hero for the victors, coming on as a substitute to net a winner in the second minute of injury time.

Daejon Citizen completed a day of victories for travelling teams, as first-half goals from Dong-Hee Kim and Alex Terra set up a 2-1 win at Gwangju’s Guus Hiddink Stadium.

Gi-Dong Park pulled one back for the hosts in the 63rd minute but Daejon held on to move in to 13th place on the table.

Report: Marquinhos set to join Roma

18 August 2012 15:47

Marquinhos is edging closer to a move to Roma as the Serie A side have reached an agreement with Corinthians over a switch, according to reports.

Roma are looking to add some fresh blood to their defence following the departure of players such as Simon Kjaer, Gabriel Heinze and Juan and they see the 18-year-old Brazilian as a good addition.

According to Corriere dello Sport, Roma will pay Corinthians 1.5 million euros to loan the centre-back until the end of the 2012/13 campaign, with the obligation to make the move permanent for an additional 3.5 million euros next year.

Marquinhos is expected to travel to the Italian capital to undergo a medical and will ink a five-year deal upon completion of his physical tests.

Both clubs have yet to confirm the imminent move, but an official statement is expected to be released in the coming days.