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Extras: Germany waste 2-goal lead, held by Argentina

October 10, 2019 09:45 IST

A round-up Wednesday's football news on and off the field.

Lucas Ocampos celebrates scoring Argentina's second goal in Wednesday's international friendly against Germany in Dortmund.

IMAGE: Lucas Ocampos celebrates scoring Argentina's second goal in Wednesday's international friendly against Germany in Dortmund. Photograph: Leon Kuegeler/Reuters

Injury-decimated Germany squandered a two-goal lead and drew 2-2 with Argentina, thanks to Lucas Ocampos's 85th-minute equaliser in a friendly on Wednesday.

The Germans, missing a dozen players and without a single World champion in the starting line-up for the first time since the 2014 World Cup final, fielded a callow team including newcomers Robin Koch and Luca Waldschmidt.

What they lacked in experience, however, they made up for in enthusiasm in the first half with Serge Gnabry continuing his prolific run with his 10th goal in his 11th international, stabbing the hosts ahead after quarter of an hour.

Gnabry turned provider seven minutes later when he found Kai Havertz in the box to complete a quick move.

Marcel Halstenberg rattled the crossbar with a stunning left-footed free-kick as did Argentina's Rodrigo De Paul with a long-range effort.

Argentina, without suspended World footballer of the year Lionel Messi as well as Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero, cut the deficit in the 66th minute through substitute Lucas Alario who instantly added more pace to their game.

The Germans, who had four players making their debuts, gradually ran out of steam and the visitors completed their comeback when Alario charged into the box to lay off for Ocampos to equalise.

Germany next take on Estonia in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday.

Crystal Palace act after Zaha subjected to racist abuse

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha reacts after wasting a chance during the Premier League match against West Ham United.

IMAGE: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha reacts after wasting a chance during the Premier League match against West Ham United. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Premier League side Crystal Palace said on Wednesday they had taken action after Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Zaha was again subjected to racist abuse on social media.

"We will not tolerate this behaviour being directed at any of our players and will fully support them in dealing with such incidents," the South London club said on their website (www.cpfc.co.uk).

"Any action we can take unilaterally as a club will be taken immediately and we will also seek cooperation from other clubs where relevant, following that we will pursue the matter criminally with the full force of whatever the law allows."

Palace did not say what action they had taken or give further details.

Zaha said earlier this year that he was subjected to racist abuse in "nearly every game".

AC Milan appoint Pioli as new coach on two-year deal

Stefano Pioli

IMAGE: Stefano Pioli has coached several Serie A teams including Lazio, who he led to a third-place finish and the Coppa Italia final in the 2014-15 season, and Inter Milan. Photograph: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

AC Milan appointed Stefano Pioli as their new coach, the Serie A club said on Wednesday, handing him a two-year contract in the hope he will turn around the fortunes of the seven-times European champions.

The Rossoneri sacked their previous coach, Marco Giampaolo, on Tuesday after the team lost four of their first seven Serie A games of the season to sit 13th -- 10 points off leaders Juventus.

AC Milan won the last of their 18 Serie A titles in 2011 and last played in the Champions League in the 2013-14 season.

The club qualified for the Europa League this season after finishing fifth in 2018-19 but voluntarily accepted a one-year ban from all European competitions for breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

"I understand and share the frustration of our fans. Milan has suffered in recent years. We’re on a journey and it's not an easy path," AC Milan Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said in a statement on Wednesday.

Gazidis was appointed at the helm of the storied club last year by U.S. fund Elliott, which took control of AC Milan after Chinese businessman Li Yonghong, who had bought the club from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, failed to make a repayment due to the U.S. fund.

Gazidis said Elliott had inherited a club on the brink of insolvency, adding the U.S. fund is determined to make AC Milan capable of competing at top level in Europe again.

"There is a long way to go and time to turn the ship. With that in mind we have been decisive and brought a capable experienced coach who we believe can improve our performance and develop our young players," he said in response to criticism from disappointed fans.

Pioli has coached several Serie A teams including Lazio, who he led to a third-place finish and the Coppa Italia final in the 2014-15 season, and Inter Milan.

His last job was at Fiorentina, where he was credited with keeping the team together after the sudden death of captain Davide Astori in March 2018 threatened to derail their campaign, eventually finishing eighth.

Pioli left in April this year during his second season, saying Fiorentina had questioned his abilities following a poor run of form after they fell to 10th. The club would eventually finish 16th -- three points above the relegation zone.

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