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Aug 4, 2015

Rapid Vienna knock out Ajax with dramatic win

ZURICH (Reuters) – Four-times European champions Ajax Amsterdam were knocked out of the Champions League in the third qualifying round on Tuesday after a dramatic 3-2 defeat at home to unsung Rapid Vienna.

Ajax, with a 2-2 draw in the bag from the first leg in Vienna, trailed 2-0 at halftime, then hit back to equalise only for Rapid to score again almost immediately to complete a 5-4 aggregate win.

Aug 4, 2015

Soccer-Rapid Vienna knock out Ajax with dramatic win

ZURICH, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Four-times European champions Ajax Amsterdam were knocked out of the Champions League in the third qualifying round on Tuesday after a dramatic 3-2 defeat at home to unsung Rapid Vienna.

Ajax, with a 2-2 draw in the bag from the first leg in Vienna, trailed 2-0 at halftime, then hit back to equalise only for Rapid to score again almost immediately to complete a 5-4 aggregate win.

Jul 29, 2015

Ajax squander two-goal lead against 10-man Rapid Vienna

BERNE (Reuters) – Ajax Amsterdam, returning to the stadium where they last won the Champions League 20 years ago, squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against 10-man Rapid Vienna on Wednesday.

The Austrians fought back despite having Stefan Schwab sent off for a shocking two-footed lunge at Jairo Riedewald in the 59th minute of the third qualifying round first-leg tie.

Jul 29, 2015

Soccer-Ajax squander two-goal lead against 10-man Rapid Vienna

BERNE, July 29 (Reuters) – Ajax Amsterdam, returning to the stadium where they last won the Champions League 20 years ago, squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against 10-man Rapid Vienna on Wednesday.

The Austrians fought back despite having Stefan Schwab sent off for a shocking two-footed lunge at Jairo Riedewald in the 59th minute of the third qualifying round first-leg tie.

Jul 29, 2015

Platini announces FIFA presidency bid

BERNE (Reuters) – UEFA president Michel Platini ended weeks of uncertainty on Wednesday when he announced that he would stand for the presidency of FIFA in place of outgoing Sepp Blatter.

The former French international, who has been UEFA president since 2007 and a FIFA executive committee member since 2002, said he wanted to “to give FIFA back the dignity and the position it deserves.”

Jul 29, 2015

Platini, romantic or pragmatist?

BERNE (Reuters) – One of the most exquisitely gifted soccer players of his generation, FIFA presidential candidate Michel Platini likes to portray himself as an old-fashioned romantic with a mission to maintain the game’s purity.

“There are times in life when you have to take your destiny into your own hands,” he said on Wednesday, announcing his bid to replace Sepp Blatter at the helm of the beleaguered world soccer body.

Jul 29, 2015

Soccer-Platini announces FIFA presidency bid

BERNE, July 29 (Reuters) – UEFA president Michel Platini ended weeks of uncertainty on Wednesday when he announced that he would stand for the presidency of FIFA in place of outgoing Sepp Blatter.

The former French international, who has been UEFA president since 2007 and a FIFA executive committee member since 2002, said he wanted to “to give FIFA back the dignity and the position it deserves.”

Jul 25, 2015

FIFA as opulent as ever at World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – When it boils down to it, making a draw for a major soccer tournament involves little more than pulling balls out of plastic pots. But, around that apparently simple act, FIFA has managed to build a two-day event featuring a banquet in a palace, a high-level security operation and a glitzy extravaganza.

Saturday’s draw in St Petersburg, two hours long and featuring various musical interludes, was typical of the opulence that soccer’s governing body and its leaders have been increasingly criticized for.

Jul 25, 2015

Soccer-FIFA as opulent as ever at World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG, July 25 (Reuters) – When it boils down to it, making a draw for a major soccer tournament involves little more than pulling balls out of plastic pots.

But, around that apparently simple act, FIFA has managed to build a two-day event featuring a banquet in a palace, a high-level security operation and a glitzy extravaganza.

Jul 25, 2015

South America the toughest group, says Pekerman

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – South America is still the most difficult continent to qualify for the World Cup from, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said after draw on Saturday.

Teams face long journeys and must play in heat, cold and high altitude during the marathon 18-match, two-year campaign but Pekerman said it was also the quality of the opposition which made qualifying from South America such a challenge.