Brazil 2014: 7 Days to go
A number of friendlies on Wednesday for teams off to Brazil next week.
England drew with Group E side Ecuador 2-2. Enner Valencia headed Ecuador in front after some sloppy defending by Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw. Wayne Rooney equalised and Rickie Lambert brilliantly put England ahead, but England had to settle for a 2-2 draw thanks to Michael Arroyo’s long-range strike. Raheem Sterling and Antonio Valencia were sent off, Sterling for a bad tackle, and Valencia for his reaction to that tackle. Worryingly for England is the knee injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
England’s opponents in Group D, Italy, were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by Luxembourg.
Group C side Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) under the captaincy of Dider Drogba beat El Salvador 2-1. Goals coming from Gervinho and Drogba.
Chile completed their World Cup preparations with victory over Northern Ireland after two late goals in Valparaiso. Chile are in Group B with Spain, Holland and Australia.
Argentina stepped up World Cup preparation with a comfortable 3-0 home win against Trinidad and Tobago at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires.
Spain striker David Villa has announced he plans to retire from international football after the World Cup. He is his country’s all-time leading scorer with 56 goals saying:-
I don’t like to say farewell, but obviously this World Cup will be my last games for Spain. Given my age, my level of performance, and everything I have given the team, it is time.
Now I want to enjoy it from the first day, have a great World Cup, and why not try to get another title?
Hyundai, an official partner of the World Cup, have delivered 1,021 vehicles for the event’s ground transportation. The Korean brand also unveiled the world cup livery of the 32 buses that will ferry the teams in an official handover ceremony held at the Arena de Sao Paulo.
Handed over were the Hyundai Universe Express Noble right-hand drive luxury coaches that were specially manufactured for the games. Besides the players, the vehicles will transport FIFA officials, members of the organising committee, referees and media representatives throughout the tournament.
Bosnia and Herzegovina have announced their squad to go to Brazil, which includes Stoke’s keeper Begovic and the Man City striker Dzeko.
Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka), Jasmin Fejzic (VFR Aalen)
Defenders: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke 04), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Toni Sunjic (Zarya Lugansk), Avdija Vrsajevic (Hajduk Split), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg)
Midfielders: Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhou Renhe), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Miralem Pjanic (AS Roma), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyesspor), Tino Sven Susic (Hajduk Split), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz)
Strikers: Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Vedad Ibisevic (VfB Stuttgart), Edin Visca (Istanbul BB)