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Football Extras: Villa scores first goal in Japan

March 02, 2019 16:34 IST

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

David Villa

IMAGE: David Villa celebrates. Photograph: Vissel Kobe/Twitter

David Villa scored his first goal since moving to Japan on Saturday as his side Vissel Kobe defeated Fernando Torres' Sagan Tosu.

Former Barcelona and Spain forward Villa, who moved from New York City FC ahead of the season in Japan, took advantage of some sloppy defending from Sagan Tosu to score the only goal in a 1-0 win.


Kobe, who also boast World Cup winners Andres Iniesta and Lukas Podolski in the side, came into the season as favourites but lost the first game of the season last week.

Sagan Tosu, who narrowly avoided relegation from the J.League last season, lost their first match of the season 4-0 and look set for another season of struggle.

Nagoya Grampus and Yokohama F. Marinos have started the season with two wins.

Ji strikes twice as Augsburg shock Dortmund

Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund slumped to a shock 2-1 loss at Augsburg on Friday as forward Ji Dong-won scored twice to give champions Bayern Munich the chance to draw level at the top.

Dortmund, whose captain and top scorer Marco Reus returned after a month out through injury, are on 54 points, three ahead of Bayern who travel to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

Dortmund had led the standings by seven points and their second league loss of the season came before next week's Champions League round of 16 second leg against Tottenham Hotspur following their 3-0 defeat in London last month.

The Ruhr valley club, who beat Bayer Leverkusen last week to end a five-game winless run in all competitions, struggled to reach the Augsburg box and the hard-working hosts took control.

South Korea international Ji, who had signed for Dortmund back in 2014 but left months later after failing to break into the senior team, stunned the visitors in the 24th minute when he shook off two defenders to fire in a cross after Dortmund defender Dan-Axel Zagadou had slipped.

Dortmund, who had two chances late in the first half, were toothless for much of the second period and went 2-0 down when Ji pounced on Achraf Hakimi's mistake and beautifully chipped the ball past keeper Roman Buerki in the 68th minute.

"We should have won the game today. The opponents rarely had shots on goal but we still lost," Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said.

"I do not want to talk about the individual mistakes I will have to watch the game again. It was an unnecessary defeat."

Dortmund substitute Paco Alcacer notched his 13th league goal in the 81st to cut the deficit but despite late pressure they could not find an equaliser as 15th-placed Augsburg held firm to move further away from the relegation zone.

Canadian Sinclair closes in on all-time goals record

Canada striker Christine Sinclair moved to within five goals of tying retired-American Abby Wambach's international record of 184 goals when she converted a penalty late in a 1-0 win over Scotland at the Algarve Cup on Friday.

Canada were heading for a second consecutive goalless draw to open the tournament in Portugal until Sinclair slotted home from the spot in the 81st minute after team mate Ashley Lawrence had been fouled in the area.

The goal was the 179th of the Canadian captain's career, which ranks second on the all-time list including female and male soccer players.

"I saw the 'keeper move early and had half the net to shoot at — and hopefully I won't miss that," said Sinclair.

"What gives me confidence is knowing that I'm prepared. I practise penalty shots at the end of every training session, so in the moment you know you've done everything you can to be ready."

Sinclair has been the backbone of the Canadian team since making her debut as a 16-year-old at the 2000 Algarve Cup where she also scored her first international goal.

Since then, she has established herself as one of the best players in the women's game and has competed at two Olympics, including in 2012 where she was the tournament's leading scorer with six of Canada's 12 goals.

The 35-year-old will next be in action on Wednesday to determine final ranking in the Algarve Cup, a 12-team event that includes seven nations who have qualified for the June 7-July 7 World Cup in France.

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