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Jul 17, 2014

Nations Cup qualifiers take up World Cup slack

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Less than a week after the World Cup final, international football resumes across Africa this weekend with qualifiers for next year’s African Nations Cup finals, maintaining the treadmill of world competition.

Sierra Leone, who this week suspended four players on suspicion of involvement in match fixing seven years ago, may be distracted as they face the Seychelles in Freetown on Saturday in one of seven second round, first leg qualifiers.

Jul 17, 2014

Soccer-Nations Cup qualifiers take up World Cup slack

CAPE TOWN, July 17 (Reuters) – Less than a week after the World Cup final, international football resumes across Africa this weekend with qualifiers for next year’s African Nations Cup finals, maintaining the treadmill of world competition.

Sierra Leone, who this week suspended four players on suspicion of involvement in match fixing seven years ago, may be distracted as they face the Seychelles in Freetown on Saturday in one of seven second round, first leg qualifiers.

Jul 15, 2014

Van Gaal can renew United challenge, says Robson

By Mark Gleeson

(Reuters) – New manager Louis van Gaal can propel Manchester United back into Premier League contention after their dismal form of last season and excite the players again, former United skipper Bryan Robson said on Tuesday.

Robson, speaking a day before the Netherlands’ World Cup coach Van Gaal arrives in Manchester to take up his new post, also said that the lack of European football at Old Trafford could help the team back to the top.

Jul 15, 2014

Soccer-Van Gaal can renew United challenge, says Robson

July 15 (Reuters) – New manager Louis van Gaal can propel Manchester United back into Premier League contention after their dismal form of last season and excite the players again, former United skipper Bryan Robson said on Tuesday.

Robson, speaking a day before the Netherlands’ World Cup coach Van Gaal arrives in Manchester to take up his new post, also said that the lack of European football at Old Trafford could help the team back to the top.

Jul 15, 2014

Soccer-Van Gaal arrives on the crest of a wave of expectation

July 15 (Reuters) – Louis van Gaal arrives for his new job at Manchester United on Wednesday on a wave of expectation following the World Cup finals in Brazil where his reputation was greatly enhanced.

The achievement of the 62-year-old coach in taking the Netherlands to third place at the tournament highlighted the meticulous nature of his preparations and a single-minded self-belief.

Jul 6, 2014

Cillessen sorry for outburst after being subbed

SALVADOR, Brazil, (Reuters) – Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen apologized to his Netherlands team mates and coaching staff for his petulant outburst after he was substituted before the end of Saturday’s dramatic World Cup quarter-final win over Costa Rica, Dutch media reported on Sunday.

Cillessen had been caught by surprise by the decision to replace him with Tim Krul just minutes from the end of extra time as coach Louis van Gaal reckoned Krul would be the better goalkeeper for the shootout.

Jul 6, 2014

Soccer-Cillessen sorry for outburst after being subbed

SALVADOR, Brazil, July 6 (Reuters) – Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen apologised to his Netherlands team mates and coaching staff for his petulant outburst after he was substituted before the end of Saturday’s dramatic World Cup quarter-final win over Costa Rica, Dutch media reported on Sunday.

Cillessen had been caught by surprise by the decision to replace him with Tim Krul just minutes from the end of extra time as coach Louis van Gaal reckoned Krul would be the better goalkeeper for the shootout.

Jul 6, 2014

Dutch can’t keep relying on Van Gaal’s bag of tricks

SALVADOR, Brazil, (Reuters) – Louis van Gaal’s tactical masterstroke got them out of a sticky situation again in the quarter-final on Saturday but the Netherlands will know they cannot continue relying on their coach to conjure up tricks if they are to go further at the World Cup.

Van Gaal‘s reputation as a meticulous tactician was enhanced when he substituted his goalkeeper and Tim Krul went on to make two penalty shootout saves and take the Dutch past Costa Rica in a dramatic finish to their goalless draw.

Jul 6, 2014

Soccer-Dutch can’t keep relying on Van Gaal’s bag of tricks

SALVADOR, Brazil, July 6 (Reuters) – Louis van Gaal’s tactical masterstroke got them out of a sticky situation again in the quarter-final on Saturday but the Netherlands will know they cannot continue relying on their coach to conjure up tricks if they are to go further at the World Cup.

Van Gaal’s reputation as a meticulous tactician was enhanced when he substituted his goalkeeper and Tim Krul went on to make two penalty shootout saves and take the Dutch past Costa Rica in a dramatic finish to their goalless draw.

Jul 6, 2014

Nigerian federation voted out of office as FIFA ban looms

SALVADOR Brazil (Reuters) – Nigeria’s football federation were voted out of office on Saturday after being accused of botching up the country’s World Cup campaign but it is unlikely FIFA will recognise the hastily-arranged elections as anything more than a coup d’etat.

An extraordinary general assembly of the federation went ahead in Abuja on Saturday despite FIFA’s warning of a possible suspension for the African nation if it did not restore the old leadership to power.