Dhaka, Sept 12 (UNB) – Middle East nation Bahrain arrived here on Wednesday morning as the first foreign team to play the Group F matches of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship beginning on September 15 at Bir Shreshta Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.
Vietnam will play the United Arab Emirates in the opening match on September 15 at 11:30 am while Lebanon will face Bahrain at 3:30 pm in the other opening day’s fixture.
Hosts Bangladesh, which were placed in Group F of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship along with the UAE, Vietnam, Bahrain and Lebanon, will play their first match against Bahrain on September 17 at 3:30 pm, meet Lebanon on September 19 at 11:30 am, the UAE on September 21 at 3:30 pm and face Vietnam in the last group match on September 23 at 3:30 pm.
The AFC made some changes this time in their previous format. Six group champion teams along with two best group runners-up will play in the eight-team 2nd round in two groups.
Later, four top teams of the 2nd round will play in the eight-team title deciding final round in Bangkok alongside North Korea, South Korea, Japan and hosts Thailand.
East Rutherford, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) — With Lionel Messi not on Argentina's roster, a crowd of just 35,624 turned out at MetLife Stadium to watch a 0-0 draw between La Albiceleste and Colombia on Tuesday night.
With Messi, Argentina drew three large crowds to MetLife: 78,936 for a friendly against the United States in 2011, 81,994 for an exhibition against Brazil the following year and 82,026 for the 2016 Copa America final against Chile.
Just 32,469 attended Brazil's 2-0 exhibition win last week over the United States, down from 77,223 at a 2010 U.S.-Brazil game there shortly after the venue opened. MetLife Stadium is a possible site of the 2026 World Cup final.
Madrid, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) — Luis Enrique couldn't have asked for a much better start as coach of Spain's national team. Two matches, two convincing wins against top opponents in the UEFA Nations League.
Spain followed its gritty 2-1 win against England at Wembley Stadium last week with a 6-0 rout of World Cup runner-up Croatia on Tuesday, keeping Enrique perfect since taking over as La Roja's coach.
It was the biggest defeat ever for Croatia, which was playing its first competitive game since reaching the World Cup final in Russia.
The victory left Spain comfortably ahead in Group 4 of the top-tiered League A in Europe's newest soccer competition, in good position to reach the tournament's final four in June.
In the other League A match on Tuesday, Belgium won 3-0 at Iceland in its Nations League debut.
England followed the loss to Spain with a 1-0 win in a friendly against Switzerland, which had routed Iceland 6-0 in the Nations League. Marcus Rashford scored England's winner in Leicester.
The Nations League gives UEFA's 55 member countries competitive games and eliminates often meaningless friendlies.
Luka Modric's Croatia threatened early in the southeastern Spanish city of Elche, but Spain took control of the match by scoring three goals in 11 first-half minutes.
"They had chances in the beginning but after that we were clearly superior," Enrique said. "It's difficult to find anything to criticize after a match played at this level. Our attitude has been commendable."
Saul Niguez, who is becoming an undisputable starter in Enrique's team, headed in a cross by Dani Carvajal in the 24th minute, then Marco Asensio hit two remarkable long-range shots in the 33rd and 35th to give La Roja a comfortable lead before halftime. His second strike bounced off the post and the back of goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic, who was awarded an own goal.
Asensio, who was not among the starters against England, also set up Rodrigo's goal early in the second half with a perfect through ball behind the defense.
Sergio Ramos, one of the remaining members of Spain's golden generation, added the fifth goal with a header off a corner kick in the 57th minute, and Isco closed the scoring in the 70th after another set up by Asensio.
Croatia, which lost the World Cup final to France, fell apart after defender Sime Vrsaljko had to be substituted due to an injury just minutes before Spain's first goal.
"We were very good in the first 20 minutes, we had three clear chances, but after that and Vrsaljko's injury, we vanished from the pitch," Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said. "We were not even a shadow of the team from before."
Croatia's biggest defeat had been a 5-1 away loss against England at Wembley in 2009.
The Croats were making their Nations League debut after playing European champion Portugal to a 1-1 draw in a friendly last week.
Enrique took over Spain after the team's elimination against Russia in the round of 16 of the World Cup. Spain was coached by Fernando Hierro in Russia after Julen Lopetegui was fired two days before the tournament.
Asensio was one of the few changes Enrique made to the team that beat England on Saturday. The former Barcelona coach also added defender Jose Luis Gaya and midfielder Dani Ceballos to the starting lineup. They replaced Marcos Alonso, Thiago Alcantara and Iago Aspas.
Just like it did against England, Spain was aggressive without the ball on Tuesday, pressing high and playing a more direct game that takes the focus away from short passes, something that has become a characteristic of Enrique's team.
Belgium earned a comfortable win over Iceland thanks to a pair of goals by Romelu Lukaku and one from Eden Hazard.
Lukaku and Hazard, whose goal came off a penalty kick, were two of Belgium's top players in its third-place campaign at the World Cup.
Belgium had defeated Scotland 4-0 in a friendly last week in Glasgow.
In the second-tiered League B, Bosnia-Herzegovina followed its opening win at Northern Ireland with a 1-0 home victory against Austria, thanks to a 78th-minute goal by Edin Dzeko.
In League C, Finland edged Estonia 1-0 at home on Teemu Pukki's early goal for its second straight win. Hungary, which lost its opener to Finland, defeated Greece 2-1 in Budapest.
In League D, Luxembourg won 3-0 at San Marino for its second consecutive victory, while Moldova played a scoreless home draw with Belarus.
The Nations League guarantees at least one of Europe's low-ranked League D teams will qualify for Euro 2020 through a playoff.
Dhaka, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) - The chair umpire who penalized Serena Williams a game in the U.S. Open final has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semifinal matches between the United States and Croatia, The Associated Press has learned.
International Tennis Federation spokeswoman Heather Bowles confirmed to the AP on Tuesday that Carlos Ramos was chosen to work at the best-of-five series between the countries that begins Friday and concludes Sunday in Zadar, Croatia.
The U.S. team includes Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Mike Bryan and rookie Frances Tiafoe.
Ramos was in the chair at Flushing Meadows last Saturday when Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam title by beating 23-time major champion Williams 6-2, 6-4. That match descended into chaos — with thousands of spectators booing and both players crying during the trophy ceremony — after Williams confronted Ramos about his rulings.
Williams, a 36-year-old American, was fined a total of $17,000 by the U.S. Open's tournament referee the next day for three code violations.
On Monday, the ITF, which oversees the Davis Cup, issued a statement defending Ramos, saying his "decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules" and that his rulings were "reaffirmed by the U.S. Open's decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offenses."
"Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity," the ITF statement added.
The governing body's support for Ramos came after the WTA, which operates the women's tour, was critical of the way things went between him and Williams in New York.
"The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same," the tour's CEO, Steve Simon, said in a statement. "We do not believe that this was done last night."
Williams was cited by Ramos for getting coaching signals; for breaking her racket, which automatically cost her a point because it was her second code violation of the match; and for calling Ramos a "thief," which cost her a game because it was her third code violation.
London, Sep 12 (AP/UNB) — Although his record-breaking wicket clinched victory for England over India, what meant most to James Anderson was that his retiring teammate Alastair Cook was on the field to witness it.
Anderson became the most successful fast-bowler in test history by claiming the final wicket in England's 118-run fifth test win at the Oval on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old Anderson bowled Mohammed Shami for his 564th career wicket, passing Glenn McGrath for fourth on the all-time list and leaving himself only trailing spin bowlers, as England wrapped up a 4-1 series victory.
McGrath took to social media on Wednesday, saying: "Congratulations on becoming the most successful fast bowler in the history of the game," the retired Australian bowler said on Twitter. "It takes dedication, commitment, work ethic, skill and mental toughness to achieve what you have. Very well deserved mate."
Despite Anderson's moment of glory, it was his long-time teammate Cook — playing in his 161st and final test — who led England from the field, having set up the victory with a second innings century that left India chasing a record 464 to win.
"It was (perfect)," Anderson said. "Happy that Cookie was on the field to see that wicket. It's been a tough week."
Centuries from Lokesh Rahul and Rishabh Pant threatened what looked like a simple victory, but England took five wickets after tea to end No. 1-ranked India's second innings on 345.
Adil Rashid removed both centurions, before Sam Curran struck twice to set the stage for Anderson.
"What Jimmy's achieved and what he's capable of achieving still is astounding really," England captain Joe Root said. "For him to have taken as many wickets as he has, to even be in the same league as McGrath and now chasing the big two spinners is a phenomenal effort."
India made a good start after beginning the day 58-3 before Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari were lost in consecutive overs to leave it facing defeat on 167-5 at lunch.
That was despite Rahul's first test century since December 2016, which was reached with three boundaries in one over against Ben Stokes. It was the first time an Indian opening batsman had gone past 50 in the series.
Rahul's runs at first seemed consolatory but a comeback victory then appeared realistic when Pant, India's 20-year-old wicketkeeper, hit a six off Rashid shortly before tea for his maiden test century.
That left India needing 166 runs in the final session to reach what would have been a record chase of 464.
"We did sort of think about (winning)," India captain Virat Kohli said. "But we knew that these guys had to be in there until the (required) score got below 100 and then we'd probably have a chance and England were waiting for someone to get out and then take the new ball."
Despite already having the new ball available to him, Root persisted with Rashid, who had bowled a wicket-less and costly 10 overs.
He was rewarded when the leg-spinner got the breakthrough with a stunning delivery which turned from outside leg-stump to clip the top of Rahul's off-stump, ending his innings on 149.
"It was a brilliant delivery," Root said. "Rash has that in him. That's why we have him in the side because he has the ability to change games, to turn situations like that on their head and thankfully got us in a position where we could then go on and win the game."
Pant went for another six in the next over but was caught on the boundary at long-off by Moeen Ali, giving Rashid his second wicket in 12 deliveries and turning the match back in England's favor.
Curran then had Ravindra Jadeja (13) and Ishant Sharma (5) caught behind, before Anderson toiled away — in a 14-over spell either side of tea — without reward.
He had been denied Jadeja's wicket when wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow dropped a tough chance to his left, but ultimately the landmark came in the most fitting style.
Anderson uprooted Shami's middle stump to ensure the wait for his wicket — and an England victory — was over.
While it was Cook who led the side off the field, he didn't see that as a reflection of who has been England's most important player during his 12 years playing alongside Anderson.
"I think he's England's greatest cricketer," Cook said of Anderson. "Just the way he's constantly kept going. It's just a phenomenal effort and god knows how many he's going to end up with."