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Soccer Extras: Benfica continue winning streak in ICC

July 29, 2019 12:06 IST

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

Benfica players celebrate a goal against AC Milan on Sunday 

IMAGE: Benfica players celebrate a goal against AC Milan on Sunday. Photograph: SL Benfica/Twitter

A deflected strike from Adel Taarabt was enough to ensure Benfica beat AC Milan 1-0 to finish their International Champions Cup campaign with a 100 per cent record on Sunday.

Milan dominated the first half in Foxborough without making their pressure count, with their Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek missing the best of the openings.

After the break it was all Benfica, and the pressure told in the 70th minute as a corner came out to Taarabt, which he drilled for goal only for the ball to take a huge deflection on its way past Pepe Reina.

Milan pressed for an equaliser but again came up short, as they finish the United States leg of the pre-season event with two defeats from two.

Despite losing star youngster Joao Felix who was transferred to Atletico Madrid at the start of the summer, Benfica completed a clean sweep of victories in the Massachusetts sunshine.

Jiangsu sign Santini to end Bale transfer hopes

Chinese Super League (CSL) side Jiangsu Suning have signed Croatian striker Ivan Santini whose arrival is expected to bring to an end the club's pursuit of Real Madrid's Gareth Bale.

The signing of Santini from Anderlecht, which was announced by Jiangsu on their social media outlets on Monday morning, alongside the recruitment of Brazilian defender Miranda from Inter Milan late last week means the club now have five foreign players on their books.

CSL rules allows clubs to have four overseas-born players included in their official squads at any one time and, with Italian defender Gabriel Paletta expected to depart soon, Jiangsu's quota has been filled with the signing of Santini.

Jiangsu had been expected to sign Bale before the closure of the Chinese Super League's transfer window on Wednesday with claims the Wales international would be paid around £1 million ($1.24 million) a week to become the latest big name arrival in Chinese football.

But reports on Sunday said Bale’s proposed move to Jiangsu had collapsed after Real's board refused to approve his departure, with the Chinese club wanting to acquire the 30-year-old on a free transfer.

The signing of Santini means Jiangsu would have to move out either Alex Teixeira or Eder Martins to accommodate Bale but, with both integral members of coach Cosmin Olaroiu's side, that looks unlikely.

Kompany's Anderlecht player-manager debut ends in defeat

Vincent Kompany's debut as player-coach of Anderlecht ended in a shock 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Oostende in the Belgian league on Sunday, emphasising the tough task the former ManchesterCity captain faces in his new managerial role.

The 33-year-old international defender was welcomed back to his first club by two massive banners and a chorus of adoring chanting as he put himsef in the starting line-up.

Yet after a bright start in his first competitive match for his boyhood club in 13 years, Kompany's youthful side spent most of the game looking like the visiting team and were met by a chorus of jeers at the end of the match.

New Dutch signing Michel Vlap handed Kompany the ideal start with a 13th minute goal and soon after had a second effort ruled out by VAR.

Yet Oostende equalised through Ronald Vargas, who then could have put the hosts ahead before halftime had it not been for a save by Anderlecht goalkeeper Thomas Didillon.

Oostende substitute Fashion Sakala netted the 75th minute winner.

A powerful header from Kompany himself at a set piece near the end of the game saw Anderlecht came close to an equaliser but the danger was cleared by the Oostende defence.

Kompany brought on his former ManchesterCity teammate Sami Nasri as a 61st minute substitute but the former France international made little impact in his first appearance in Belgian football.

After a magnificent 11-year spell with Manchester City ended with Kompany captaining them to a domestic treble, he has signed a three-year deal as he seeks to revitalise Belgium's most successful club who finished last of six in the championship playoffs last season.

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