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December 4, 2021
SPORTS

Own goal helps Dutch to 2-0 win over Denmark

A freak own goal by Simon Poulsen at the start of the second half and a late strike by Dirk Kuyt handed Netherlands a 2-0 win over Denmark in their opening Group E World Cup match on Monday.


Poulsen headed a cross by Dutch striker Robin van Persie against fellow-Danish defender Daniel Agger and into the net in the 46th minute. Kuyt made it two five minutes from time when he tapped in a rebound after Eljero Elia’s shot hit the post. The Dutch, for whom left back and captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst was winning his 100th cap, had the better of the game without really showing the exciting, attacking play for which they are renowned.


Germans rip Australia apart in opener


Germany began their quest for a fourth World Cup in devastating style on Sunday with a thumping 4-0 victory over Australia in their opening Group D match.


With a fluent performance fitting for the first match of the tournament at the magnificent Moses Mabhida stadium, the youngest German World Cup squad for three quarters of a century put down their marker as serious title contenders. Forwards Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose (photo) gave their side a 2-0 halftime lead to vindicate coach Joachim Loew’s faith in them despite a recent lack of goals, with winger Thomas Mueller and substitute Cacau finding the net after the break. Australia, who started both halves brightly and battled gamely throughout, played the last 34 minutes with 10 men after Tim Cahill was dismissed for clattering into Bastian Schweinsteiger.


Germany lead Group D from Ghana, who beat Serbia 1-0 in Sunday’s earlier match in Pretoria.


“It was very important that we won because we gained a lot of self confidence,” said Loew, whose team face the Serbians next on June 18.


“We can now hope to make the last 16 with just one more win. All players were very, very focused. We did many things right but this is just the start.”


“It was not the day for us,” said Australia coach Pim Verbeek.


Ghana enjoy a truly african win


An 85th minute penalty by Asamoah Gyan gave Ghana a 1-0 win over Serbia and Africa its first victory of this World Cup finals on Sunday in a match which brought a true flavour of the continent to the tournament.


A stadium more usually home to Springboks rugby matches was transformed into an authentic arena for Africa’s unique way of enjoying football – very noisy and very colourful. Ghana fans, decked out in their striking national colours of green, yellow and red, danced in the stands throughout and even formed jigging groups on the pitch level concourse – something stewards would prevent in most continents.


Local South African fans gave their backing with vuvuzelas used in a coordinated rhythmic fashion, rather than the drone that has been heard at some of the earlier games and there was no doubt they were supporting their fellow Africans.


Police fire teargas at World Cup workers


South African police fired teargas and rubber bullets late on Sunday to chase hundreds of protesting World Cup workers out of a stadium in the coastal city of Durban, Reuters witnesses said.


Riot police armed with shotguns and riot shields chased the workers, who were deployed as stewards in the ground and were protesting over wages, out of the stadium where Germany had earlier beaten Australia 4-0. At least one woman was injured when she was hit by a rubber bullet, a Reuters witness said.


“We were mounting a peaceful protest because they were not paying us what we expected and we were surprised that the police started charging at us. They fired teargas at us,” said one of the workers, Sydney Nzoli. The around 500 workers later dispersed after police gave them a 10-minute deadline and said their grievances had to be discussed with their employers.


Nani says will recover from injury in a week


Portugal winger Nani on Sunday said he will take just week to recover from the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the World Cup, raising questions why he did not stay in South Africa for the tournament. “I will be fine in a week,” a straight-faced Nani told the SIC TV station at Lisbon airport when asked how long he would take to recover from the injury that forced him to fly home early.

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