Paris, Oct 13 (AP/UNB) — Thierry Henry is back where it all started.
France's all-time leading scorer and an Arsenal great landed his first managerial job on Saturday after Monaco hired him as a replacement for Leonardo Jardim, who was dismissed this week.
The 41-year-old Henry started his professional career at the Riviera club and played in the French league with Monaco from 1994-99.
He's signed on as coach for three seasons, to June 2021. He starts on Monday.
"I thank AS Monaco for giving me the opportunity to coach the team of this club which is so special to me," Henry said in a statement on the club website. "I am very happy to come back to AS Monaco and extremely determined to meet the challenges ahead. I cannot wait to meet the players to start working together."
Henry has no experience as a manager but had been working as an assistant to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez since 2016. He was part of the staff that led the team to third place at the World Cup in Russia.
Henry became the latest member of the France squad that won the 1998 World Cup to fully embrace a coaching career, following Laurent Blanc, Didier Deschamps, Patrick Vieira, and Zinedine Zidane among others.
"Thierry is ready to be head coach in a club," Martinez told L'Equipe newspaper in an interview published this week. "He likes what he does, and enjoying it is an essential part of this job."
Henry turned down an offer from Bordeaux this summer and was in the running at Aston Villa.
At Monaco, which is winless in its past 10 games in all competitions, Henry's first task will be to get the team back in contention in the league. A traditional powerhouse in French football, Monaco secured top-three finishes over the past five seasons and won the 2017 league under Jardim but is currently in 18th place in the standings, and in last place in its Champions League group.
"Thierry is both aware of the task ahead and eager to start his new job," Monaco vice president and CEO Vadim Vasilyev said in a statement. "He can count on our trust and all our support to bring a new dynamic to the team and carry out the mission.
"His knowledge of football, his passion for the game, his high standards and his commitment to our colors make his nomination a reality."
Henry's first-class career was launched in 1994 by Monaco coach Arsene Wenger, who also five years later brought him to Arsenal.
Wenger promoted Henry to Monaco's first team after the fast and technically gifted forward scored more than 30 goals with the under-17s in one year. Aged 17, Henry played his first French league game in August 1994. He ended up playing 141 matches in all competitions with Monaco, winning the 1997 league.
At Arsenal, he joined the pantheon of modern greats. He scored at least 20 league goals in six consecutive seasons and became Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer. He won seven trophies with the Gunners, among them two Premier Leagues, including the unbeaten 2003-04 side.
Henry ended his 20-year playing career four years ago after claiming multiple trophies, including the Champions League and the World Cup. After he retired, he worked as a TV analyst and quit his role as a U.K. Sky Sports pundit in July to focus on his ambition to become a manager.
Henry holds the French record of 51 goals in 123 internationals. He won the 2000 European Championship but finished on a low. In 2009 came the infamous handball in the decisive goal against Ireland in a World Cup playoff. At that World Cup in South Africa, France didn't win a game, and caused a scandal when it refused to train before its final match.
Coach Raymond Domenech arguably played his part in the debacle by dropping the hugely influential Henry from the starting lineup and souring a fragile atmosphere within the squad. It was a sad and humiliating end to Henry's international career when he made his final appearance as a second-half substitute, with his shell-shocked side trailing South Africa 2-0 and heading for the exit gate.
Cairo, Oct 13 (AP/UNB) — Egypt's assistant coach says Mohamed Salah's injury "doesn't look serious" after the Liverpool forward limped off late in an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland.
Salah scored direct from a corner in Egypt's 4-1 win but went down with what appeared to be a leg injury in the 88th minute of Friday's qualifier. He received treatment and tried to shake off the problem but left the field soon after, in injury time.
Egypt had used all three of its substitutes and played the last moments of the match with 10 men.
Assistant coach Hany Ramzy told Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram he thinks "it is only a muscle strain but he will undergo medical scans to determine the length of the injury."
Salah is expected to sit out an away game in Swaziland on Tuesday. Liverpool's next game is away to Huddersfield in the Premier League next Saturday.
The win put Egypt level with Tunisia at the top of Group J, although Tunisia has a game in hand.
Salah's goal — a left-footed curler — was his 13th in African Cup of Nations qualifying, a new Egyptian record.
Brussels, Oct 13 (AP/UNB) — Romelu Lukaku scored both goals in Belgium's 2-1 win over Switzerland on Friday, putting the Red Devils in the lead of its group in the UEFA Nations League.
The Swiss defended strongly throughout the match, but Lukaku converted two chances of three to give top-ranked Belgium the victory.
The result left Belgium with six points from two games in Group 2 of the top-tier League A, three points more than Switzerland. Iceland lost its two matches.
Already Belgium's all-time goal scorer, Lukaku reached 45 goals in 78 international appearances.
After a smooth move started by Eden Hazard in the 58th minute, the ball ended up with the Manchester United striker and he hit home from about 12 meters (yards).
Switzerland proved resilient after conceding the goal. In the 76th, Xherdan Shaqiri curled a free kick into the box and substitute Mario Gavranovic easily slotted home from close range after the Belgian defense failed to clear.
It came down to Lukaku to break the deadlock with six minutes left. He kept a cool head in the box and finished low through the center for the decider.
"It was tough," Hazard said. "Two great goals."
Riyadh, Oct 13 (AP/UNB) — Gabriel Jesus and Alex Sandro scored a goal each as Brazil defeated Saudi Arabia 2-0 in a friendly on Friday.
Jesus opened the scoring after a pass by Neymar in the 43rd minute and Alex Sandro sealed the victory with a header near the end of the match at King Saud University Stadium.
Dutch referee Danny Makkelie sent off Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais in the 84th after a video review showed he touched the ball with his hand out of his box.
Brazil, preparing for next year's Copa America at home, will play Argentina in another friendly in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino is expected to replace Jesus in that match.
The Manchester City striker was under criticism at home for not scoring in the World Cup. The last time he found the net was in the friendly against Austria before the tournament in Russia, a 3-0 win by Brazil.
"Everyone trusted me, coach Tite trusted me. What's in the past will stay in the past," Jesus said. "Of course I was upset (after the World Cup). I stayed at my mom's to recover. It was not the World Cup of my dreams. I hope things improve from now on."
Brazil played the entire match in slow motion, as if already looking forward to the South American derby next week.
"We were not convincing," Tite said. "We won because he had creativity up front and that was it. Brazil versus Argentina is never a friendly. We hope to be better for that."
Tite experimented against Saudi Arabia, with Alex Sandro replacing Marcelo and Bordeaux defender Pablo substituting Thiago Silva.
Brazil had already beaten the United States and El Salvador in post-World Cup friendlies.
Dhaka, Oct 12 (UNB) – Palestine for the first time clinched the title of Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament denying Tajikistan with a one goal in a penalty shootout after a goalless play in the stipulated and extra time at Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday.
In the penalty shootout Zorrilla, Iwisat, Al Battat and Al Bahdari converted their shots correctly for Palestine to clinch the 5th edition title of the six-nation tournament. Abdugaforov, Nazarov and Asrorov were successful for Tajikistan while Tursunov and Davlatmir miss fired one shot each.
Palestine reached the final eliminating hosts Bangladesh by 2-0 goals in the hard fought second semifinal at the Birshrestha Ruhul Amin Stadium in Cox’s Bazar while Tajikistan made final berth eliminating the Philippines also by 2-0 goals in the first semifinal at the same venue.
In the group stage, both Palestine and Philippines emerged their respective groups’ champions with all-win records. Palestine defeated Tajikistan 2-0 and holders Nepal 1-0 goals in their Group ‘A’ encounters. Philippines beat Laos 3-1 and Bangladesh 1-0 in their Group ‘B’ matches.
Roll of Honour: Malaysia [1996; 2015], Japan , Nepal  and Palestine .