Belgian First Division: Lierse 0 Standard Liege 0

4 August 2012 01:10

Lierse played out a 0-0 draw at home against Standard Liege in the Belgian First Division on Friday.

Both sides headed to the Herman Vanderpoortenstadion on the back of opening-round defeats and Liege looked the more eager to open their account as an early free-kick from Astrit Ajdarevic almost put them ahead.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men on 26 minutes when Jelle Van Damme was brought down in his own penalty area, with Cofie Bekoe dismissed for dangerous play.

Liege upped the tempo after the break and were unlucky not to go ahead with Maor Bar Buzaglo’s volley from the edge of the area well saved by Lierse goalkeeper Matz Sels.

Lierse had to make the most of set pieces and almost did with 14 minutes left to play, Ahmed Samir Farag’s free kick narrowly missing the target.

With 10 minutes left Liege had a golden chance to claim the three points when the ball fell to the feet of Venezuelan international Luis Manuel Seijas but he sliced his shot wide of the mark.

Lierse held on for the scoreless draw despite their one man deficit to seal their first point of the campaign.

Canada, Japan stun heavyweights to advance

4 August 2012 00:39

Great Britain’s medal hopes in the women’s Olympic football ended after their side’s 2-0 defeat to Canada in the quarter-finals.

The Canadians scored twice in the first half with a 12th minute goal from Jonelle Filigno and a strike into the far corner from captain Christine Sinclair on 26 minutes setting up the win.

Canada will face the United States in their semi-final after Abbey Wamback and Sydney Leroux scored in the Americans’ 2-0 victory over New Zealand.

The other semi final match-up will be between France and Japan after both won their respective quarter-finals.

Japan stunned medal favourites Brazil 2-0 despite having just 33 per cent possession and being outplayed by the South Americans.

The fast-paced Japanese were led by Yuki Ogimi who ran on to a free kick from Homare Sawa to score in the 27th minute, before setting up Shinobu Ohno, who chipped over the goalkeeper in the 73rd.

For France, two goals from defenders Laura Georges and Wendie Renard sealed their semi-final berth after a 2-1 win over Sweden.

Captain Nilla Fischer gave the Swedes the lead on 18 minutes, but a header to equalise from Georges in the 29th minute and a close-range finish from Renard in the 39th saw the French through.

Premier League U21 competition announced

4 August 2012 00:13

The Premier League have confirmed a new Under-21 competition for this season that will bridge the gap between academies and first teams.

Teams from 17 Premier League clubs and six Championship teams will be divided into three groups. From January onwards, they will be divided into another three groups based on their performance, which will lead to a knockout stage and final.

The national competition will launch on August 17 with Manchester City visiting Chelsea, and West Ham hosting Reading.

Each team will be allowed to field three outfield players over the age of 21 as well as an overage goalkeeper, in a similar style to Olympic football but with a lower age barrier.

“Each stage of a player’s development is tailored to ensuring they have the best possible chance of progressing,” Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said in a statement.

“The new Barclays Under-21 Premier League addresses one of the most critical points – the transition from academy football to the highest standards in the first team.

“We believe this competitive environment, where fans can also come along to watch the next generation of Premier League and international players, will help deliver more talented home grown boys to that next level.”

Bolton secure Arsenal prospect on loan

3 August 2012 22:54

Championship side Bolton Wanderers have secured young Arsenal striker Benik Afobe on a season-long loan.

The 19-year-old represented England at this year’s Under-19 European Championship and featured in all three of the Gunners’ pre-season games in Asia.

The Emirates academy graduate is yet to make a competitive appearance for Arsenal but scored eight goals in 32 appearances at Huddersfiled two seasons ago before playing three times for Championship winners Reading last season.

Afobe scored twice in England’s youth campaign and has seven goals in 10 appearances at Under-19 level.

Arsenal have a long-standing relationship with Bolton, who have taken both Jack Wilshere and Rio Miyaichi on loan in recent seasons.

Liedson joins Flamengo

3 August 2012 22:41

Flamengo have completed the signing of Corinthians striker Liedson, the agency which represents the striker has revealed.

The Portugal international, 34, has signed a contract with the Rio de Janeiro-based club until the end of 2013 following the expiry of his deal with Corinthians, whom he joined in January 2011.

Flamengo are yet to confirm the deal as they are reportedly waiting to receive the green light from the club’s medical department before announcing the player.

Liedson has struggled for fitness and form since undergoing knee surgery last year, scoring four goals in 28 appearances this season after an impressive start to his second spell at Corinthians.

The former Sporting Lisbon striker is expected to be officially unveiled by Flamengo on Friday if he passes a medical.