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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Brazil win women's Copa America

Football Briefs: Brazil win women's Copa America

April 23, 2018 14:53 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

Brazil

IMAGE: Brazilian women’s team celebratePhotograph: CBF Futebol/Twitter

Brazil beat Colombia 3-0 on the final day of the Women's Copa America on Sunday to win the tournament for the seventh time in eight attempts.

 

Brazil won all seven of their games, scoring 31 goals in the process. Hosts Chile, who beat Argentina 4-0 in their last game of the round robin final stage on Sunday, were second.

The results mean Brazil and Chile qualify for the women's World Cup in France in 2019, while third-placed Argentina go into a playoff with a team from the CONCACAF region of North and Central America, and the Caribbean.

Brazil also qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, while Chile play a team from the African confederation for a place in the 2020 Games.

Atletico held by Betis, Las Palmas down

Atletico Madrid failed to break down Real Betis in a 0-0 draw on Sunday which further reduced their slim chances of catching Barcelona at the top of La Liga, while Las Palmas were relegated after a crushing 4-0 home defeat by Alaves.

Diego Simeone's Atletico moved 11 points behind Barcelona with four games remaining and the unbeaten leaders need one more point to win the title.

With the Europa League semi-final first leg at Arsenal on Thursday in mind, Simeone rotated key players and Betis tried to take advantage.

Javi Garcia missed two excellent chances and Cristian Tello struck the post for the visitors, who extended their club record run of games without conceding a goal to six.

However, Atletico's defensive resilience ended Betis’ run of six wins in a row as they recorded their 11th consecutive home clean sheet.

Aissa Mandi headed a Fernando Torres effort off the line and Saul Niguez struck the bar as Atletico also came close, but neither side could earn a victory.

"The team is heading into Thursday's game really well," Simeone said. "We made important changes and the players responded, I had to rotate to ensure we had fresh players."

In the Canary Islands, Munir El Haddadi struck twice with Alvaro Medran and Ruben Sobrino also netting as four second-half goals from Alaves consigned Las Palmas to relegation in a mostly-empty stadium.

Paco Jemez's side have 21 points from 34 games and are 13 short of Levante in 17th with only four matches left and they will join bottom side Malaga in the second division next season.

Las Palmas have gone 12 matches without a victory and this was their fifth straight defeat.

"Beyond the fact that this is a sad day because we go down to the second division, it's also sad because of the result, we went down in the worst way possible," said Jemez.

"We are as sad as (the fans), we didn't want this moment to arrive but we will keep working because there are still a lot of things to fight for and we must be responsible with the image of the club."

Alaves' triumph confirms their safety, sitting 13th with 41 points from 34 games, an impressive feat masterminded by Abelardo Fernandez who took over in December with the Basque side bottom of the table.

Malaga beat Real Sociedad 2-0 and Espanyol won 2-0 at Girona to damage their Catalan rivals’ dreams of finishing in a Europa League spot. The result left Girona ninth and Espanyol 16th in the standings, 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

Napoli stun Juve with late Koulibaly header

Second-placed Napoli threw the Serie A title race wide open in dramatic style on Sunday when Kalidou Koulibaly scored with a towering header in the last minute to give them a famous 1-0 win at leaders Juventus.

Napoli cut the gap between themselves and the Turin side to one point with four matches to play, setting up a dramatic finale to the Serie A season especially as Juve, chasing a seventh successive title, have to visit Inter Milan and AS Roma.

Napoli dominated the match but seemed to have run out of ideas and energy until the final minute when Jose Callejon's outswinging corner was met by Senegal international Koulibaly with a monstrous header which left Gianlugi Buffon helpless.

Juventus, themselves famed for pulling off wins from similar situations, were left shattered after seeing their 20-match unbeaten league run ended while Napoli's players celebrated a famous win.

"We have always believed in the title and now we believe in it more than ever," Koulibaly said. "We played really well this evening.

"It was one of the most important goals of my career. Juventus are a really strong team but we showed we are up to the challenge. We believe in our football."

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri described it as "a poor match by both sides with only a few shots on goal".

Juventus had to reshuffle their defence after Giorgio Chiellini limped off injured in the 11th minute although they nearly went ahead with a Miralem Pjanic free kick which was deflected on to the post.

As Napoli took control, Marek Hamsik got free and turned his shot across the face of goal, Mario Rui had a cross tipped over by Buffon and Lorenzo Insigne had a goal disallowed for offside.

Napoli continued to dominate after halftime but failed to make much headway against a typically resolute Juve defence.

The game appeared to be petering out into a draw that would have suited Juventus until Lorenzo Insigne's shot was turned around the post by Buffon for the decisive corner.

After all their sophisticated passing, it was an old-fashioned central defender's header which finally broke Juve's resistance.

Juventus lead on 85 points with Napoli on 84 followed by AS Roma and Lazio on 67.

Lo Celso gives PSG opportunist 1-0 win at Bordeaux

French champions Paris St Germain ground out a smash and grab 1-0 win at Girondins Bordeaux after midfielder Giovani Lo Celso struck against the run of play in their lively Ligue 1 clash on Sunday.

Lo Celso drove in a rebound through a forest of legs from the edge of the penalty area in the 76th minute after visiting keeper Alphonse Areola had pulled off a string of superb saves at the other end.

Areola kept out a Lukas Lerager piledriver and a close-range header by centre back Pablo before Lo Celso pounced on a half-cleared corner to give PSG a barely deserved victory.

PSG, who secured their fifth league title in six years last weekend with games to spare after a 7-1 mauling of last season's champions Monaco, looked flat in the second half after missing some good chances in the opening period.

Bordeaux keeper Benoit Costil kept out a rasping Lo Celso volley in the 13th minute and Kylian Mbappe blazed a shot on the turn over the bar, before Javier Pastore fired inches off target.

PSG striker Edinson Cavani had a goal correctly ruled out for offside shortly after the break before Bordeaux pinned back the visitors.

Having scored when the hosts looked more likely to break the deadlock, PSG held on comfortably in the closing stages.

Earlier on Sunday, Nice kept alive their hopes of clinching a Europa League berth after a Pierre Lees-Melou goal gave them a 1-0 win over Montpellier while St Etienne came from behind to beat struggling Troyes 2-1 thanks to a Robert Beric double.

Source:
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