International football


Japan: Kashima Antlers To Turn Team Of Ex-Players Into Zombies For Special ‘Escape Event’ Hosted At Their Stadium (Video)

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In what surely must be a first, Japanese side Kashima Antlers are preparing to host a special eventnext month that will see their stadium turned into the ground zeroof a zombie apocalypse.

In collaboration with video game developers Taito, the J. League champions will stage a "zombieescape" experience at Kashima Stadium in which paying customers will be tasked with.

Energy FC: It’s Not Everyday You See A Bicycle Kick Goal With A ‘Flip Thrown-In’ Assist (Video)

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Having failed to score in his first three games for OKC Energy FC, forward Miguel Gonzalez opened his account with gusto against Sacramento Republic in the United Soccer League on Tuesday evening.

Indeed, Gonzalez's outrageous effort proved to be the only goal of the game and featured the ultra rare combination of a flip throw-in assist and an acrobatic bicycle kick finish.

Emmanuel Adebayor Scores Hat-Trick As Basaksehir Wallop Galatasaray 4-0 In Turkish Super Lig (Video)

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While Arsenal were busy labouring to a dire defeat against Crystal Palace on Monday evening, one of their old boys was running riot over in the Turkish Super Lig.

Indeed, Emmanuel Adebayor helped himself to a hat-trick as hisBasaksehir side stuffed Galatasaray by four goals to zip.

The slew began with an 11th-minute tap-in before a couple of powerful headers either side of half-time saw the Togolese target man take his tally to five goals in five appearances for his new side.

Impact Sub: Napoli’s Dries Mertens Scores Roughly Eight Seconds After Coming On As Substitute Against Juventus (Video)

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Juventus just about squeaked through to the Coppa Italia final by edging out Napoli on aggregate come the end ofWednesday evening's semi-final second leg.

Carrying over a 3-1 lead from the first leg, Juvefell to a 3-2 defeat at the Stadio San Paolo two goals from popular Napoli old boy Gonzalo Higuain ensuringanoverall victory for the Old Lady.

‘Our Boys Were A Bit Starstruck!’ – James McClean Turns Out To Play Against Team Of Local Kids With Down’s Syndrome (Photos)

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Photo: Kevin Morrison/Facebook

Formed in 2015, the Oxford Bulls from Derry have spent the last two years training hard and honing their technique.

However, the football team, comprised of young boyswith Down Syndrome, have routinely struggled to find opposition to pit themselves against in competitive matches.

World Cup Qualifying: Jermain Defoe On Target As England Ease To Victory v Lithuania (Photos &

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Jermain Defoe justified his re-call to the England side with a goal against Lithuania on Sunday, with the Three Lions cruising to a 2-0 win against a mediocre opposition.

Defoe has been one bright spot in Sunderland's dismal Premier League campaign, with the 34-year-old scoring 14 goals for the Black Cats this season.

Greek Tweak: Belgium Forward Dries Mertens Picks Up Weirdest Yellow Card Of The International Break (Video)

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Saturday night's World Cup qualifier between Belgium and Greece was a feisty old affair, with the away side ultimately finishing the night with nine men on the pitch.

The game also saw a blizzard of yellow cards administered throughout, though you'll have to go some way to find an infringement weirder than the one that landed Dries Mertens in the book.

World Cup Qualifying: Seamus Coleman Broken Leg Overshadows Dour Encounter As Rep Of Ireland Draw With Wales (Photos & Video)

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The Republic of Ireland and Wales played out a dismal draw at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night, with the goalless game overshadowed by an horrific injury sustained by Seamus Coleman.

The hosts provided little attacking threat, instead dropping deep to stifle the likes of Gareth Bale.

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Real Madrid star did go close on a couple of occasions, but overallWales themselves struggled to create enough decent chances in a dour encounter.

Blizzard: Icelandic Cup Match Abandoned After Being Engulfed By Snow Storm Of Biblical Proportions (Photo & Video)

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Photo: @blikar_is/Twitter

The Icelandic League Cup match between Fram andBreidablik had to be abandoned with 20 minutes left to play when ahuge snowstorm engulfed the game.

Breidablik live-tweeted updates as the weather began to turn, including this snippetof their substitutes looking just a little bit cold around the edges.

Xherdan Shaqiri Scores Several Stonking Volleys During Switzerland Training Session (Video)

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Having not featured for Stoke since January, Xherdan Shaqiri was keen to remind folks of his existence and as such posted a couple of highlights mustered during yesterday's Switzerland training session.

With a qualifier against Latvia to limber up for, Shaqiri pulled a fewstunners out of the bag, lashing home threestonking acrobatic volleys over the course of the afternoon.

Friendly: Scotland Labour To Embarrassing Draw At Home To Canada (Photos & Video)

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Easter Road played host to another underwhelmingperformance from Scotland on Wednesday night, with Gordon Strachan's men only managing a draw against minnows Canada.

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Fraser Aird scored the opener for the visitors, who are ranked 117th in the world, with the Falkirk man capitalising on some appalling defending to fire home on 11 minutes.

Friendly: England Narrowly Beaten By Germany In Lukas Podolski’s International Swansong (Photos & Video)

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England were narrowly pipped by Germany in what ultimately transmogrified into a glorified international testimonial for Lukas Podolski.

Indeed, kick-off in Dortmund was delayed by several minutes while the man of the hour entertained the crowd with a dramatic reading of his farewell poem.

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On the occasion of his 130th and final appearance for Die Mannshaft,Podolskisigned off by scoring the only goal of the game a 69th-minute dazzler that rocketed into Joe Hart's left-hand top corner.

‘I Call My Daughter My Girlfriend’ – Mohammed Anas Successfully Explains Post-Match Interview Blunder

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Image: SuperSport

Move over Gordon Banks, for your acrobatic denial ofPele at the 1970 World Cup has been usurped as the greatest last-gasp save of all time.

Mohammed Anas now claims that title, after conjuring up the mother of all excuses for thanking both his wife and his girlfriend during a recent post-match interview.

Andy Townsend Recalls Moment He Attempted To Console Gareth Southgate After Euro ’96 Penalty Miss, Only To Be Upstaged By Liam Gallagher (Video)

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With England set to take on Germany on Wednesday night, the chatter in the BBC 5Live studio inevitably turned to manager Gareth Southgate's most well-trodden previous dalliancewith Die Mannshaft.

We are of course talking about the semi-finals of Euro '96, wherein Southgate fluffedthe crucial penalty to send the Germans through to the final.

Chip Off The Old Block: Dirk Kuyt’s Five-Year-Old Son Scores Skillful Solo Goal For Dutch Youth Side (Video)

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Following in his old man's footsteps, Dirk Kuyt's young son is currently on the books atQuick Boys Katwijk the very same youth team Kuyt Senior represented as a nipper.

With relentlessstamina and a shock of blonde hair,little Aidan Kuyt certainly looks to be a chip off the old block, and he's already fairly decent with his feet too.

Fenerbache: Martin Skrtel Scores Impressive Solo Goal After Dribbling From Inside His Own Half (Video)

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Hardly what you might call his stock-in-trade, Martin Skrtel scored a superb solo effort in Fenerbahce's Friday night Super Lig outing against Konyaspor.

Picking the ball up in his own half, the ex-Liverpool centre-back embarked on a powerful chargeup-field, bursting past two or threedefenders before lashing a shot past the goalkeeper from 20 yards.

Pies Classics: St Patrick’s Day Special – 10 English-Born Footballers Who Played For Republic Of Ireland

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As a doff of the wax cap to it beingSt Patrick's Day and all, Piesthought we'd have a little look-see at those gentlemen who, despite being born upon the sceptred shores of Albion, decided to represent the Republic of Ireland with pride at international level much like old Saint Paddy himself.


Danish Superliga: Copenhagen Player Pelted With Dead Rats During Feisty Brondby Derby Match (Photos)

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Monday'slively Danish Superliga derby between rivals Brondby and FC Copenhagen was interrupted momentarilywhen a rather gruesomevolley of projectiles was flung onto the pitch.

As Copenhagen left-back Ludwig Augustinsson (awesome name) was shaping up to take an 85th-minute corner kick, a couple of dead rats were hurled in his general direction.

Shakhtar Donetsk Have Ukrainian Cup Quarter-Final Cancelled After Opponents Provide Truly Abysmal Pitch (Photo)

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Photo: @FC_Shakhtar/Twitter

Shakhtar Donetsk saw their Ukrainian Cup quarter-final tie against FC Poltava cancelled entirely due to the truly appalling state of the latter's home pitch.

The fixture was due to take place on Wednesday evening until Shakhtar caught sight of Poltava's barren, grass-less monstrosity for the first time and flat-out refused to play on it.

Norway: Tromsdalen Play First Match Of Season With 20ft High Wall Of Snow Encircling Their Pitch (Photos)

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Photo: Obos Ligaen

The 2017Norwegian Division 1 campaignkicked off in earnest of the weekend, withTromsdalen playing host to Asanein their very first match of the new season.

The game was played to completion as the home side ran out 2-0 winners this despite there beinga 20-foot high wall of snow around the entire pitch.

Ivory Coast-Senegal Friendly Abandoned In 88th Minute After Pitch Invader Rugby Tackles Player (Photos)

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Nice trousers

Monday night's friendly between Senegal and the Ivory Coast had to be scuttled before full-time when a group of lairy fans invaded the pitch.

The match, being played at the Charlety Stadium in Paris, was abandoned in the 88th minute when several pockets of crowd trouble began to develop in the terraces.

Marcus Rashford The Poster Boy As England Launch Startlingly Dull New Away Kit (Photos)

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England have press-ganged Marcus Rashford into modelling their new away kit, which is to be worn for the first time against Germany duringWednesday night's friendly in Dortmund.

It's another largely plain, fairly dull, two-tone offering from Nike, this time in navy blue sorry, "midnight".

Kits & fashion

Aberdeen-Based Youth Team Lose Football In River Dee, Washes Up 1,000 Miles Away On Remote Norwegian Island (Photo)

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Photo: BBC North East Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

When a waywardshotwas sent soaringover the fenceand into the River Dee, aptly-named Scottish football club Banks o' Dee FC simply resigned themselves to losingthat football forever.

However, the Aberdeen-based Under-19s team have since been reunited with the ball after it was discovered washed up on the other side of both the North and the Norwegian Sea.

Hugo Lloris Sends Signed Jersey And Personal Message To Luxembourg ‘Keeper Who Suffered ACL Injury Against France (Photo)

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After psyching himself up for a big night out, Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris lasted just 20 minutes of his side's World Cup qualifieragainst France last weekend after rupturinghis knee ligaments in the early knockings of the match.

Indeed Moris, who plays for Belgian club side Mechelen, has since been ruled out for the next eight months, such was the severity of his injury.

‘Even Jesus Couldn’t Please Everyone’ – Portuguese Sculptor Responsible For Cristiano Ronaldo Bust Defends His Wonky Handiwork

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While it may have attracted derisionfrom nigh-on everybody who has laid their eyes upon it, the artist responsible for the wonky bronze bust of Cristiano Ronaldo unveiled outside Madeira airport yesterday has defended his work.

As soon as the cover came off, the statue was being instantly mocked the world over as disbelieving onlookers wryly questioned why Madeira were paying tribute to Niall Quinn/Raoul Moat/John-Arne Riise/Brock Lesnar/the door knockers from Labyrinth, etc, etc.

Argentina Fan Gets Tattoo Tribute To Infamous Sliding Tackle That Split Javier Mascherano’s Anus In Twain (Photo)

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Javier Mascherano was forced to relive painful memories over the weekend when he came face to face with a tattoo tribute to his goal-denying sliding tackle at the 2014 World Cup.

With the score locked at 0-0 and mere seconds of normal time left to play in Argentina's drab semi-final against the Netherlands, Mascherano made up several metres on Arjen Robben to slam the door shut in dramatic fashion.


‘My Desire Shouldn’t Be Questioned’ – Wilfried Zaha Releases Statement To Clarify How And Why He Chose Ivory Coast Over England

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As you may recall, Wilfried Zaha found himself at the centre of a mini-furore yesterday when Danny Mills had the temerity to heckle him for pledging his international allegiance toIvory Coast rather than England.

Mills accused Zaha of "taking the easy option" after Gareth Southgate revealed he'd attempted to persuade the Crystal Palace winger to opt for England, only to be rebuffed.

‘He’s Taken The Easy Option’ – Danny Mills Accuses Wilfried Zaha Of Tossing Off His Entire International Future By Snubbing England

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Noted dimwit Danny Mills has basically accused Wilfried Zaha of chucking away his entire international future by choosing to represent Ivory Coast instead of jolly oldEngland.

Zaha won two non-competitive capsunder Roy Hodgson but found his participation limited so instead opted to pursue an international career with the country of his parents' birth.

Want To Feel Old? Shaun Wright-Phillips’ Son Has Just Received His First England Youth Call-Up

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Hey you. Yeah, you. Want to feel older than the mountainsall of a sudden? Then get your head around this...

Shaun Wright-Phillips' son son! has just received his first England call-up.

Yep. D'Margio Wright-Phillips, a mere foetus with studs, has just been called up to the England Under-16 squad for the first time.

‘F**king Brilliant’ – Lukas Podolski Reveals What Joe Hart Said To Him After Scoring Only Goal In Germany’s Win Over England

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Lukas Podolski brought a formal end to his international career last night in what panned out like a scripted evening of light entertainment.

Indeed, the 31-year-old signed off by scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over England an absolute cannon from 25 yards that left Joe Hart with no chance.


Sparta Prague: Tomas Rosicky Ruled Out For Rest Of Season After Managing Just 19 Minutes Of Football Since His Return

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Photo: ACSparta_CZ/Twitter

In news that shouldn't come as much of a shock, Sparta Prague have gone ahead and sidelinedTomas Rosicky out for the rest of the season.

In a statement issued on their club website, Sparta confirmed that Rosicky's ongoing Achilles tendon issueisn't showing any signs of improvement and have therefore ruledthe 36-year-old midfielder out indefinitely after he elected to undergo further surgery.

Shane Long Used Pregnancy Breathing Techniques To Help Calm Seamus Coleman After Gruesome Double Leg Break

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Itwas quite possibly the tenderest scene Pies have ever witnessed on a football pitch the sight of Shane Long rushing to cradle teammate Seamus Coleman after the latter suffered a grim double leg break in the Republic of Ireland's recent 0-0 draw against Wales.

It's since been revealed that, in an attempt to keep Coleman as relaxedas possible in the immediate aftermath, Long actually implemented soothingbreathing techniques he'd learned while assisting his wife Kayleah with her pregnancy.

Seamus Coleman Suffers Double Leg Break, Expected To Be Out For At Least Six Months

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It has been reportedtoday that poor Seamus Coleman suffered a double leg break in Republic of Ireland's goalless draw against Wales on Friday evening.

Colemanwas nobbled by a dreadful reckless lunge from Neil Taylor that left the Irish defender writhing in agony on the turf and his Welsh counterpart on the receiving end of a straight red card.

The Rest

Brazilian Supreme Court Settle 30-Year Dispute By Finally Awarding 1987 Championship Title To Sport Recife

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(Photo: @sportrecife/Twitter)

It's taken almost 30 years, but today a court ruling has resolvedthe bitter dispute over just who won the 1987 Brazilian footballchampionship.

Both Sport do Recife and Flamengo claim to be the true champions of 1987, but the Supreme Court has now ruled in favour of the former.

Shanghai Shenhua Fans Peeved After Carlos Tevez Misses Match Through ‘Injury’ Only To Be Spotted At Disneyland (Photo)

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It's largely fair to say that Shanghai Shenhua aren't really getting their money's worth out of Carlos Tevez at the moment, four months into his Chinese Super League sojourn.

The 33-year-old striker has made just four appearances Shenhua since joining in late December, scoring one goal a penalty in a 4-0 win over Jiangsu Suning last month.

Phoenix Rising FC: Didier Drogba Joins Star-Studded USL Franchise As Player/Co-Owner

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Didier Drogba has signed on for United Soccer League (USL) side Phoenix Rising as both a player and a co-owner.

Phoenix have just begun their fourth season in the USL, the second tier of the US league system, but are currently bidding against 12 other clubs for one of two available MLS franchise expansion berths.

Uncanny: New Cristiano Ronaldo Bronze Bust Unveiled At Madeira Airport Is Laughably Awful (Photos)

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The good people of Madeira have paid homage to the Portuguese island's most famous son by renaming their international airport in honour of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Indeed, Ronaldo himselfreturned home to accept the tribute in person from Portugal president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who also unveiled a magnificent bust of the Real Madrid superstar on the concourse outside.

‘I’ll Headbutt Somebody On The Pitch Like Zidane’ – Gianluigi Buffon Plans To Retire In Style As And When The Time Comes

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Having already been on this Earth for 39 wholeyears, Gianluigi Buffon has reluctantly acknowledged that he might notactually be able to play on forever.

Indeed, Buffon is all set to makethe 1,000th appearanceof his career when Italy play Albania on Friday evening 220 for Parma, 612 for Juventus and 168 for the Azzurri.

Nothern Ireland: Ballymena United Ball-Boy Sent Off For Celebrating Too Raucously In Front Of Opposition Dugout (Photo)

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Image: NIFL Premiership

Tuesday night saw Ballymena United take on rivals Coleraine in an eventful derby clash over in theNorthern Ireland Premiership.

As always, it fellto the official Ballymena United Twitter account to keep their fansabreast of the action in live-text form.

League Of Ireland: Derry City In Shock After Sudden Death Of 27-Year-Old Club Captain Ryan McBride

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Derry City are a club in shock this morning after their captain Ryan McBride passed away suddenly on Sunday at the heart-breakingly young age of just 27.

The League of Ireland Premier Division side said they were "devastated" to confirm that McBride died the day after leading his team to a 4-0 win over Drogheda United.