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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Indian football team gains two places in FIFA rankings

Football Briefs: Indian football team gains two places in FIFA rankings

Last updated on: October 16, 2017 21:00 IST

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 India's Sandesh Jhinghan and Macau's Nicholas vie for the ball during the AFC Asian Cup qualifier match at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday

IMAGE: India's Sandesh Jhinghan and Macau's Nicholas vie for the ball during the AFC Asian Cup qualifier match at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI

The Indian football team on Monday received a boost in the FIFA rankings, a week after qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, by moving up two places to be at the 105th spot.

 

The 'Blue Tigers', who were ranked 107 last month, climbed two places courtesy their win over Macau in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers last week.

With 328 ranking points, India are just a rung below Zimbabwe and one spot above Niger.

Among the Asian Football Confederation countries, India are in the 14th spot.

The 4-1 win over Macau on October 11 saw India qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the UAE.

France join top seeds for World Cup draw

France will be among the top seeds for next month's World Cup draw after they climbed to seventh in the FIFA rankings published on Monday.

The draw for next year's finals will be held in Moscow on December 1 when the 32 eventual finalists will be divided into four pots according to their position in the rankings announced on Monday.

The seven top-ranked teams plus hosts Russia go into in pot one, the next eight ranked teams in pot two and so on.

Each of the eight four-team first-round groups will consist of one team drawn from each pot.

The top seven teams on Monday were Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France -- all among the 23 teams who have so far guaranteed their places in Russia.

Spain will be in pot two, where they will be joined by England, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. Peru, Switzerland and Italy, who all face playoffs in November, will also go into pot two if they qualify.

Peru, who face New Zealand in November as they attempt to end a 36-year absence from the World Cup, climbed into the top 10 for the first time.

The rankings also confirmed that Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark will be the seeded teams for the European playoffs, which will be drawn on Tuesday and played over two legs in November.

Northern Ireland, Ireland, Greece and Sweden are the other teams involved.

Icardi's last-gasp penalty gives Inter 3-2 derby win

Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi celebrates scoring their first goal against AC Milan during their Serie A derby at San Siro in Milan on Sunday

IMAGE: Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi celebrates scoring their first goal against AC Milan during their Serie A derby at San Siro in Milan on Sunday. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

Inter Milan snatched a dramatic 3-2 win over AC Milan in Sunday's derby thanks to a last-minute penalty from Mauro Icardi, who completed his hat-trick and condemned their gallant opponents to a third successive league defeat.

Milan twice hit back to equalise but were sent tail-spinning towards a crisis after defender Ricardo Rodriguez hauled down Danilo D'Ambrosio at a corner in an off-the-ball incident and Icardi converted his ninth league goal of the season.

Inter's win kept them second and unbeaten in Serie A with 22 points from eight games, two behind leaders Napoli who have a 100 percent record following their win at AS Roma on Saturday.

Milan, on the other hand, have dropped to tenth with four wins and four defeats - far below the level expected of a side who spent more than 200 million euros ($236.3 million) in the close season.

Angry Milan coach Vincenzo Montella disagreed with the penalty decision.

"Ricardo didn't pull him down and D'Ambrosio has been very clever," he said.

"It makes me angry to lose like that. I hope we got a penalty like that in our next game. But I'm optimistic -- for me, the glass is half full."

Inter went ahead in the 28th minute when Antonio Candreva, who had already hit the crossbar, delivered an inviting low cross from the right and Icardi got between Milan's two central defenders to steer the ball into the net.

Suso equalised in the 56th minute, curling a left-foot shot into the bottom corner from 20 metres.

They were level for only seven minutes until Icardi robbed Lucas Biglia of the ball in midfield and fed Ivan Perisic, who got to the byline and pulled it back to the middle where the Inter captain managed to guide it into the net.

Milan levelled for the second time with nine minutes left after Samir Handanovic parried Giacomo Bonaventura's shot onto to post and the ball rebounded back onto the Slovenian goalkeeper and into the net.

But they had no reply to Icardi's third goal, the Argentine sending Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way from the spot.

Genoa managed their first league win of the season at the eighth attempt when they took advantage of slack defending to beat Cagliari 3-2.

First-half goals from Andrey Galabinov and Adel Taarabt gave Genoa a 2-0 half-time lead.

Leonardo Pavoletti pulled one back three minutes after the break, but Luca Rigoni restored Genoa's two-goal lead and they held on despite Joao Pedro converting a penalty for the Sardinians which was awarded with the help of the video assistant referee (VAR).

Lorenzo De Silvestri headed in from a corner in the second minute of stoppage time as Torino twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Crotone, leaving them eighth with 13 points.

Sampdoria and Bologna each have 14 points after both sides won, Sampdoria coming back from a goal down at half-time to beat Atalanta 3-1 and Bologna overcoming SPAL 2-1 in the first top flight derby between the pair for 50 years.

Fiorentina striker Cyril Thereau scored twice to give them a 2-1 win over his former club Udinese, while Sassuolo and Chievo drew 0-0.

La Liga: Valencia hit six to move up to second

Valencia continued their excellent start to the Liga season by beating Real Betis 6-3 away from home on Sunday, rising to second in the standings.

Geoffrey Kondogbia headed Marcelino's side into a deserved lead 10 minutes before halftime after the visitors had missed a glut of chances.

Portuguese midfielder Goncalo Guedes stretched their lead on the stroke of half time with a long-range strike, just after Betis had wasted two clear chances to level.

The Andalusians were awarded a penalty early in the second half but Sergio Leon struck straight down the middle and saw his shot repelled by Valencia goalkeeper Neto.

Spain international Rodrigo Moreno headed in the third goal in the 64th minute from a corner while Santi Mina scored 10 minutes later.

Valencia risked throwing away the win when they let in three goals in the space of five minutes but they seized all the points with an 88th-minute strike from top scorer Simone Zaza, who notched up his seventh goal of the campaign.

Manchester United loanee Andreas Perreira thumped in the ninth goal in injury time, closing out the highest scoringgame of the season in Spain's top flight.

Valencia are second in La Liga on 18 points, four behind leaders Barcelona, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Saturday, and one above champions Real Madrid, who beat Getafe 2-1.

"Overall we played really well, we were up against a great team that were unbeaten at home and we played extraordinarily well in the first half," said Valencia coach Marcelino.

"We thought the game was over at 4-0 but we need to erase what happened between the 79th and 84th minute. If we can learn anything from this it's that nothing is certain until the game is over."

Indonesian fans mourn death of keeper in collision with teammate

Indonesian soccer fans are mourning the death of Choirul Huda, the long-term goalkeeper and captain of top flight side Lamongan FC, usually known as Persela, following a collision with a teammate during a weekend match at their stadium in East Java.

Video footage showed Huda slamming into team mate Ramon Rodrigues in the 43rd minute of Sunday's game in the Go-Jek Traveloka league.

Rodrigues' knee had accidentally collided with Huda's chest in the incident, said the club's media officer Andika Hangga Pramana.

The 38-year-old was taken off the pitch on a stretcher after losing consciousness and a medical team at the stadium attempted to resuscitate him, said Doctor Yudistiro Andri Nugroho, head of the emergency Care Unit at the SoegiriHospital, Lamongan.

Huda was taken to the hospital's intensive care unit and given breathing assistance and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but his condition deteriorated and he was pronounced dead at 4.45 pm, Nugroho said a statement.

"We did all we could to restore the vital functions of Choirul Huda's organs," the doctor said.

His fellow players had gone to straight to the hospital after the final whistle following their 2-0 win over Semen Padang and supporters later went to his house with candles, according to local media reports.

On their official Twitter page, Persela carried "farewell cap" above a photo of Huda. According to the team's Instagram page, the club will retire the number one jersey worn by Huda.

Huda leaves behind a wife and two children.

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