Portugal Stumbles, France Shines in Warm-ups

first_imgWORLD CUP BUILD UPEuropean champions Portugal spurned a two-goal lead against Tunisia, stumbling to a 2-2 draw, while France, one of the World Cup favourites, flexed their muscles with a comfortable 2-0 win over Ireland in warm-up friendlies late Monday night.Portugal played without her talismanic captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, after he won the Champions League with Real Madrid on Saturday. Tunisia however exposed defensive frailties in Fernando Santos’ side which Group B opponents Spain, Morocco and Iran will try to exploit.Andre Silva and Joao Mario fired Portugal ahead in Braga but Tunisia’s speed on the counter-attack was a problem for the hosts.Anice Badri and Fakhreddine Ben Youssef pulled the African side level, proving that they will be no pushovers for group G favourites Belgium and England, as well as Panama.France put in a strong performance in Paris, with goals from Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir not telling the complete story of their dominance against Ireland.Impressive surges from full backs Benjamin Mendy and Djibril Sidibe showed Les Bleus have attacking power outside their collection of talented forwards and Didier Deschamps’ team selection highlighted their squad depth.Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante did not start but Giroud, Fekir and Corentin Tolisso impressed in their absence.Coach Roberto Mancini began his Italy reign with a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia and his former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli opened the scoring on his return to the national team for the first time since 2014.Italy failed to reach the World Cup but began a new era with Andrea Belotti adding a second goal, but Saudi Arabia hit back thanks to Yahya Al Sheri and could have grabbed a late equaliser.Their revival gives them hope of competing well in World Cup group A, where hosts Russia, Uruguay and Egypt await.Iran suffered a blow to her confidence, losing 2-1 in Istanbul against Turkey, who did not qualify for the finals, Cenk Tosun scoring both goals for the home team early in each half.Ashkan Dejagah netted from the penalty spot in the 92nd minute to give the visitors a consolation.Iran, appearing in their fifth World Cup, will go to Russia hoping to advance for the first time to the knockout phase from group B.Forward Son Heung-min lashed home from distance as South Korea beat Honduras 2-0 in Daegu, getting their preparations for Russia off to a good start.Former Barcelona B midfielder Lee Seung-woo, now at Hellas Verona, impressed on his debut and pushed his claims to be included in coach Shin Tae-yong’s final 23-man squad.South Korea is the underdog in Group F, where it will face Germany, Mexico and Sweden.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Peace River North Teachers Association pleased with strike vote

first_imgPeace River North Teachers Association President, Michelle Wiebe emphasizes that there will not be immediate school closures, disruptions for students and parents, and teachers are not being asked to stop taking part in extracurricular activities and does not affect report card writing or communication with parents.Wiebe adds that it is very important that the community understands that.The province has offered teachers a 6.5 per cent wage increase over six years, followed by indexed increases, but the B-C Teachers’ Federation has brushed off the proposal. – Advertisement –last_img read more