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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Extras: Ronaldo brace helps Juve overcome Empoli

Football Extras: Ronaldo brace helps Juve overcome Empoli

Last updated on: October 28, 2018 00:42 IST

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal with Federico Bernardeschi and teammates during their Serie A match against Empoli on Saturday

IMAGE: Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal with Federico Bernardeschi and teammates during their Serie A match against Empoli on Saturday. Photograph: Jennifer Lorenzini/Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, the first a penalty and the second a booming long-range shot, to give Juventus a 2-1 win at Empoli in Serie A on Saturday after their lowly opponents took a shock first-half lead.

Promoted Empoli, with one win all season and 18th in the 20-team table, stunned the visitors with a Francesco Caputo goal -- the first time Juve had trailed at halftime this season.

 

But the champions turned the match around after the break as Ronaldo took his league tally to seven and left his side top with 28 points out of a possible 30, seven points clear of second-placed Napoli who play on Sunday.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, who was named in the starting lineup, suffered a problem in the warm-up and was replaced by Daniele Rugani.

Empoli played some enterprising football which belied their lowly position and took a shock lead in the 28th minute.

Afriyie Acquah ran half the length of the pitch and his pass was deflected by Juve's Rodrigo Bentancur into the path of Caputo, who curled his shot past Wojciech Szczesny.

Miralem Pjanic fired against the post as Juventus came roaring back in the second half and it was no surprise when they equalised in the 54th minute.

Empoli's Ismael Bennacer lost possession in the box to Paulo Dybala, both players went to ground, the referee awarded a penalty amid Empoli protests and Ronaldo fired a low spot kick past Ivan Provedel.

Sixteen minutes later, the Portuguese forward collected a pass outside the area and fired a dipping, swerving shot past Provedel from 25 metres.

Late Kalou penalty earns Hertha a point at Dortmund, Bayern win

Hertha Berlin's Salomon Kalou scored twice, including a stoppage-time penalty, to earn a last-gasp 2-2 draw at Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

The Ivorian had cancelled out the first of teenager Jadon Sancho's two goals, scored in the 27th minute, with a strike before the break and equalised again with a late spot kick after the England forward's second just past the hour.

The result ends Dortmund's four-game league winning streak and sees them drop their first points at home this season.

They are still top, with 21 points, two ahead of champions Bayern Munich, who won 2-1 at Mainz 05. Hertha are fifth on 16.

Champions Bayern Munich cut the gap to leaders Borussia Dortmund but were far from impressive in their 2-1 victory at Mainz 05 on Saturday as they made it three wins in three matches in all competitions following their early-season dip in form.

Leon Goretzka put the visitors ahead in the 39th minute after an earlier effort by Thiago Alcantara was ruled out following the use of the video assistant referee.

But Mainz did not have to wait long for an equaliser, with Jean-Paul Boetius slipping into the box to drill in a cross after being left completely unmarked.

Spaniard Thiago got his goal in the 62nd minute and Javi Martinez hit the woodwork a little later as Bayern hung on to their slim lead and the three points.

Bayern are now on 19 points in second place, two behind Borussia Dortmund, who drew 2-2 against Hertha Berlin

It started well for Dortmund with Mario Goetze, making his first league start this season, setting up Sancho for the lead.

The hosts looked a for a quick second goal and had a total of eight shots on target in the first half, despite missing injured top striker Paco Alcacer.

Kalou's equaliser did little to stop Dortmund and 18-year-old Sancho, the league's top provider, grabbed his first career double just past the hour.

But a clumsy challenge by Dan-Axel Zagadou on Davie Selke earned Hertha a late penalty, which Kalou converted coolly.

Indian Football round-up: Delhi Dynamos lose 0-2 against Mumbai City

Delhi Dynamos missed chances galore to suffer their second defeat of the Indian Super League Season 5, going down 0-2 to Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Saturday.

Goals from striker ModouSougou and Arnold Issoko handed the hosts all three points.

The Dynamos now hosts North East United at home on October 30.

Gokulam Kerala FC share spoils with Mohun Bagan

In front of a noisy 28,400 strong home crowd, Gokulam Kerala FC held heavyweights Mohun Bagan 1-1 in their opening 12th Hero I-League fixture at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode on Saturday.

Lalchhawnkima's own goal in the second half cancelled out Ugandan striker Henry Kisekka's header for Mohun Bagan in the 41st minute.

Esqueda double helps East Bengal beat Neroca

The visiting East Bengal notched a comfortable 2-0 win over Neroca FC in the I-League here Saturday, with Mexican recruit Enrique Esqueda scoring both the goals.

The match saw the home side dominate possession but their opponents always looked in control, particularly following Esqueda's early strike in the 10th minute.

Esqueda doubled the lead through a penalty in early second-half to seal the deal for the Kolkata giants at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium. 

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