Bleeding forehead NATAL, Brazil (AP): Brazil maintained its momentum in South America’s World Cup qualifiers by thrashing Bolivia 5-0 on Thursday, staying a point behind Uruguay, which stayed on top after defeating Venezuela. Elsewhere, Copa America champions Chile sank even lower after losing 3-0 to Ecuador, while Colombia managed to beat Paraguay away 1-0 with a goal in the dying minutes. An Argentina team missing star Lionel Messi managed a draw at Peru. “Ole, ole, ole, ole … Tite! Tite!” It had been ages since a Brazil coach had the pleasure of being hailed as a hero by fans. But that happened on Thursday to Adenor Bacchi, universally known as Tite, only three games after getting the job and winning his third consecutive match for Brazil. Nearly all 30,000 supporters at the Arena das Dunas in sunny Natal, in the country’s Northeast, sounded excited about the 55-year-old from the beginning to the end of the hammering of the Bolivians. The goals were scored by Neymar (10), Philippe Coutinho (25), Filipe Luis (38), Gabriel Jesus (44) and Roberto Firmino (75). Brazil’s goalkeeper, Alison barely touched the ball during the entire game. Asked about the reaction of fans in the post-match press conference, Tite held the tears and looked above as he repeated “thank you”. After victories over Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, Brazil is second in the table with 18 points, one behind leaders Uruguay. Bolivia is ninth with seven points. “We feel that the atmosphere here has changed for the better,” right-back Dani Alves said at the end of the match, without mentioning Tite’s predecessor, Dunga. Barcelona star Neymar delivered a great performance in the 65 minutes he was on the pitch before he left with a bleeding forehead caused by a Bolivian elbow. He scored the opening goal, repeatedly dribbled through Bolivia’s defense, irritated the opposition but also picked his third yellow card, which suspends him from Tuesday’s clash against Venezuela, in Merida. Neymar’s goal was the 300th of his career, according with the Brazilian Football Confederation. These figures include all those he scored for Brazil, Santos and Barcelona as a professional since 2009. He also surpassed midfielder Zico as the 4th top goalscorer in Brazil’s history. Now Neymar only trails Romario (56), Ronaldo (67) and Pele (95). The Barcelona star is 24 years-old. No Lionel Messi meant no party for Argentina at Peru. After leading twice, Argentina conceded a late goal to the hosts, which resulted in a draw. New coach Edgardo Bauza struggled to make his midfield more fluent and Manchester City’s striker Sergio Aguero failed to lead the team in Messi’s absence. Argentina’s goals were scored by Funes Mori (15) and Gonzalo Higuain (77). Peru initially equalised through Paolo Guerrero (58) and again with a penalty converted by Christian Cueva. Now Argentina is 5th in the standings with 16 points, the same as Ecuador and Colombia. South American qualifying leader Uruguay was not surprised by last-place Venezuela in Montevideo and won 3-0 in convincing fashion.
The Atleti frontman has been lethal in Russia Getty 2 Diego Costa didn’t take long to make his mark on the 2018 World Cup.The Atletico Madrid frontman was in on the act from the first game, netting twice against Portugal and is hoping to fire Spain to their first final since winning the trophy in 2010. Granted Spanish citizenship in 2013, the SFA moved fast to try and switch the Brazilian’s allegiance.Costa wrote a letter in which he expressed a desire to play for Spain – which was received badly by then-Brazil boss Luis Scholari.He said: “A Brazilian player who refuses to wear the shirt of the Brazilian national team and compete in a World Cup in your country is automatically withdrawn.“He is turning his back on a dream of millions, to represent our national team, the five-time champions in a World Cup in Brazil.”As a result of his appeal, Costa’s application was accepted and he made his debut for Spain on March 5, 2014.Has he ever played for Brazil?Yes, Costa has two caps for Brazil.He picked up the two appearances in 2013 against Italy and Russia, but failed to score.Both of these games were friendlies, so he was able to switch his allegiance under Fifa rules.talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Why does Diego Costa play for Spain?Costa was born in Logarto, Brazil in 1988.He tried a number of local clubs but was unsuccessful at trials – before being spotted by super-agent Jorge Mendes.That chance meeting resulted in a move to Europe, where Costa joined Portuguese side Braga.The forward moved around clubs in Portugal and then Spain, before bursting onto the scene at Atletico Madrid – which led to his eventual Premier League stint with Chelsea. 2 Getty Costa made his debut for Spain in 2014
New Delhi: Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang has requested the Election Commission to waive off his disqualification from contesting polls, sources said on Monday. Tamang, whose Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party won in the recently held assembly elections, took over as chief minister on May 27 but he cannot contest elections as he was convicted in a corruption case and stands disqualified. He has to contest assembly polls within six months of becoming the chief minister to hold the office. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ In a letter, Tamang has requested the poll panel to use Section 11 of the Representation of the People Act to waive off his disqualification, the sources said. He was convicted in a corruption case in the 1990s and was in jail for one year beginning 2017 and was released in August 2018. Under the provisions, the EC can reduce or remove a person’s disqualification. The section states, “The Election Commission may, for reasons to be recorded, remove any disqualification under this Chapter 1(except under section 8A) or reduce the period of any such disqualification.” As per the Representation of the People Act, Tamang cannot contest elections for seven years, this includes one year of jail term and six more years after it. An EC official said the matter is under consideration and no decision has been taken as yet.