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Ronaldo speaks after nasty injury scare

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has played down any fears that he could be a doubt for next weekend’s derby against Manchester City after suffering an injury to his face while on international duty with Portugal.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who scored his first goal of the season in United’s 2-0 win over Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League just over a week ago, was left with blood streaming from his nose after clashing with goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik during Portugal’s 4-0 win over the Czech Republic in Prague on Saturday evening.

With just 13 minutes on the clock, Ronaldo, who later provided the assist for Diogo Jota to net Portugal’s fourth goal, collided with Vaclik, with the Czech Republic goalkeeper slamming into the United ace’s face with his arms. It was a purely accidental collision but it left Ronaldo requiring medical attention.

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Fortunately for him, Portugal and United, he was able to continue and completed the full duration of the match. And taking to social media in the aftermath of the 4-0 victory, the 37-year-old made no comment in relation to his injury, suggesting that he has suffered no lasting damage and is fine to feature in Portugal’s huge clash with Spain on Tuesday evening.

Taking to his Instagram page, Ronaldo wrote: “Great game, important team win! We stay focused on our goal. Thanks to the Portuguese audience for the fantastic support.”

Ronaldo, who also suffered a blow to his ankle during the contest, will be hoping to help fire Portugal to the finals of the Nations League when they face Spain in their final Group A2 clash on Tuesday. The 2016 European Championship winners will require just a point in Braga to seal top spot.

Spain, however, could leapfrog them and secure top spot with a win, meaning the contest has plenty riding on it. Meanwhile, the win over the Czechs was inspired by goals from United duo Diogo Dalot (2) and Bruno Fernandes.

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Germany Exit Qatar Despite 4 – 2 Win Over Costa Rica

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The Germans have been knocked out of the World Cup in the group stage for a second consecutive time despite a 4-2 win over Costa Rica on Thursday.

This was after the four-times champions were consigned to third place in the Group E following Japan’s victory over Spain.

Costa Rica deployed a five-man backline but Germany still found a way through in the 10th minute when David Raum made a cross that was headed home by Serge Gnabry.

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This restarted the game quickly fearing goal difference being a factor.

But after learning that Japan were leading Spain in the other group game, Germany appeared to have  let their guard down with Costa Rica scoring  twice with Yeltsin Tejeda arriving late to score the first before Juan Pablo Vargas bundled a second over the line.

Germany’s Kai Havertz grabbed a brace after coming on as a substitute to seal the three points before Niclas Fuellkrug added a fourth late in the game but the final results left Japan at the top of the group while Spain finished second having scored more goals than Germany.

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Ronaldo Misses Portugal Training Ahead Of South Korea Clash

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo did not train with his Portugal teammates on Wednesday ahead of their final World Cup group game against South Korea.

The Portuguese striker, 37, was doing “specific recovery work” according to a source from the Portuguese football federation.

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Ronaldo, without a club since leaving Manchester United during the tournament, scored a penalty in his country’s opening win over Ghana.

Portugal beat Uruguay 2-0 in their second match to qualify for the last 16, with Ronaldo appearing to claim a goal but he did not touch the ball and it was awarded to teammate Bruno Fernandes.

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Mexico exit World Cup despite beating Saudi Arabia

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Mexico suffered an agonising exit from the World Cup on goal difference on Wednesday despite beating Saudi Arabia 2-1 in a dramatic finale to Group C.

Second-half goals from Henry Martin and Luis Chavez secured victory for Mexico but they finished third behind Poland after Salem Al-Dawsari’s late strike.

Mexico desperately pushed for a third goal in an effort to improve their goal difference as they faced elimination on FIFA fair play rules.

Saudi Arabia’s win over Argentina in their opening match was one of the World Cup’s great upsets, but they crashed back down to earth with a 2-0 loss to Poland in their second game.

Coach Herve Renard urged his players to show that was no flash in the pan and write themselves into Saudi football history by reaching knockout rounds for the first time since 1994.

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Having failed to win either of their first two group games for the first time in 44 years, Mexico knew victory was essential if they were to stand a chance of reaching the last 16 at an eighth successive World Cup.

Mexico boss Gerardo Martino ditched the back five he used in the 2-0 loss to Argentina and brought in Martin to lead the attack.

It almost reaped immediate rewards but Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais raced out to block Alexis Vega after he was slipped in behind the defence by Hirving Lozano.

Al-Owais, one of the heroes of the 2-1 win over Argentina, tentatively palmed away a bouncing cross ahead of a lunging Martin and held weak attempts by Chavez and Orbelin Pineda.

Mohamed Kanno whipped a free-kick just over for Saudi Arabia, who saw defender Ali Al-Bulayhi forced off with injury — adding to their mounting casualty list.

Mexico continued to attack without success and Ali Al-Hassan nearly sent the bulk of the largely Saudi crowd wild late in the first half with a diving header that flashed wide of the far post.

Chavez tested Al-Owais right after the interval and Martin soon broke the deadlock as he turned in from close range following Cesar Montes’ clever flick-on at a corner.

Mexico’s second goal arrived just five minutes later when Chavez sensationally curled a free-kick into the top corner from 30 metres.

Keeping an eye on the score between Argentina and Poland, Mexico pushed relentlessly for a third goal, with Lozano’s effort ruled out for a tight offside.

Martin blazed over when he had a glorious chance and Chavez had another free-kick turned away by Al-Owais, who also sprawled to his right to claw out a drive from Lozano.

Uriel Antuna then had another goal disallowed for offside before Al-Dawsari’s late strike put an end to the drama.

AFP

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