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Broos rues Ghana loss as Bafana exit World Cup qualifiers

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Bafana Bafana have failed to qualify for the next stage of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, losing 1-0 in Ghana to a disputed first-half penalty.

Coach Hugo Broos reflects on the match in Cape Coast and what went wrong for his side, who will now look to qualify for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Your immediate reaction to the result?

“I congratulate Ghana for qualification for the next round but I also have to congratulate my team also because we played a very difficult game in very difficult circumstances. We played against an opponent who was very aggressive and the referee allowed them to play like that, so it was very difficult for us to get a good result here today but, again, when you see what we did in the last three months, I’m very proud about my team.

How disappointed are you about the result?

“First of all, sure I’m disappointed today because we were very close. And as you see that the elimination was one goal difference … one goal difference. So that is a second disappointment. We’ve done very good work the last three months. If you asked anybody in South Africa before the qualifiers, how we would do, nobody predicted that we would be top of the group going into the last game. From that perspective, I think we did a very good job. And there is a team again in South Africa. And that’s very important. And again, I’m not happy, really not happy with the way the referee handled the game today. He let Ghana play in an aggressive way. I’ve nothing against that, but it has to be for both sides. And that was not the case today.

How do you think Ghana will do in the playoffs?

“They’re a very good team. We knew that. It’s a team that regularly plays in the World Cups. So that means that it’s one of the best teams of Africa. They have good players, players who play in Europe with very good experience. We will see what the draw is and who they will play against in the next round. But yes, they will have a big chance to again be at the World Cup next year.

Did you come to play for a draw?

“Look, we came here to try to play a good game, to play a draw or maybe win. When you are so close, and you’re in the position we were in, we tried to do it. But again, we played against a very strong team, and the team with 10 times more experience than we have, at the moment. We are a new team, so you cannot blame South Africa not to be qualified for the next round. Not at all, but you can be sure that there is a team again in South Africa, and that will try to qualify for the next Africa Cup of Nations finals (in Ivory Coast in 2023).

Was it the 1-0 win over Zimbabwe last Thursday that cost you, when you should have scored more goals?

“It was the only game that we didn’t play at our level. And it’s a pity, because I think that if we played like we did in the first four group games, then we should have won with maybe two or three goals … and then we would have been through to the next round. So, this was true but it happened and we don’t know the reason for that. Also the players. Okay, it was not a good game and we were not on our normal level. And that’s a pity, because in that game, we could have scored maybe two or three times and then it was impossible for Ghana to eliminate us in the qualifying.

After beating Zimbabwe last week, you said that Ghana had to beat South Africa by three goals, which was not the case, it was only one. Did you not understand the rules?

“For me, the most important thing was the position in the table and the points tally. So I went to the press conference five minutes after the game and I didn’t have time to look at what was the situation and what we would have to do against Ghana. So I just make a count but that was the mistake. I know it. But yes, I didn’t have the time to look at the situation clearly. And I corrected it afterwards. I knew what the situation like it was today.”

Broos calls for calm ahead of crucial Zimbabwe game

Read Also: WCQ: Mancini says Italy must overcome anxiety

What did you make of the penalty decision for Ghana?

“It was very difficult to see from the bench. It was a corner, I think, and I don’t know what happened there. I don’t know. I couldn’t see it. Whether something happened or not I don’t know. But I saw my players were surprised that the referee awarded the penalty.”

So what went wrong today?

“Not much. Ghana had a penalty and scored. That was it, 1-0, finished.”

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Michael Carrick departs Man United after Arsenal win

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Manchester United confirmed Michael Carrick is leaving the club as first-team coach just minutes after he oversaw their 3-2 win over Arsenal.

Carrick took caretaker charge of United for three games, presiding over a 2-0 win against Villarreal, a 1-1 draw at Chelsea and the comeback triumph against Arsenal.

Minutes after the final whistle of the uplifting 3-2 victory against Arsenal, United issued a statement confirming Carrick’s departure now Ralf Rangnick is the official interim manager.

Carrick said: “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career. When I first signed over 15 years ago, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined winning so many trophies and I will certainly never forget the fantastic memories both as a player and as a member of the coaching team.

“However, after a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave the club. I want to place on record my thanks to all of the players and a special mention goes to the backroom staff, working long hours with such a great group of people has been a real pleasure and I have made some long-lasting friendships.

“I am, and will always be, a Manchester United fan and will come to as many matches as possible. I would like to wish Ralf, the staff, the players and the fans all the best for the future and I look forward to being in the stands and supporting the boys as a fan.”

The United football director John Murtough added: “Michael leaves with the sincerest thanks and best wishes of everyone at Manchester United after 15 years of exceptional service to the club as a player and as a coach. While we are sad to see him go, we respect and understand Michael’s decision.

Read Also: EPL: Ronaldo hits 800 career goals as Man United recover to beat Arsenal

“He will always be known as one of the finest midfielders in the history of Manchester United, and, more recently, as an excellent coach who has worked tirelessly under two managers to help develop the strong squad which Ralf will now take charge of.

“We are grateful for the steady leadership Michael has shown through this period of managerial transition, and, while he is now stepping away from day-to-day involvement, he will always be welcome back as a legend of the club.”

Carrick joined United from Tottenham for £18.6million in 2006 and won five Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cups, the Champions League, the Europa League and the Club World Cup.

The 40-year-old was promoted to the United coaching staff by Jose Mourinho in 2018.

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EPL: Ronaldo hits 800 career goals as Man United recover to beat Arsenal

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice – including the 800th goal of his career – as new interim boss Ralf Rangnick watched Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-2 in an incident-packed encounter at Old Trafford.

The Gunners got their reward for a lively opening but it came in strange circumstances as Emile Smith Rowe volleyed into an open goal on 13 minutes with David de Gea lying prone in the United six-yard area.

The Spanish stopper received treatment for a minor knock after a coming together with his own team-mate, Fred, and after a lengthy delay referee Martin Atkinson had no choice but to award the goal as there was no obvious infringement involving a visiting player.

United were furious but improved as the half wore on and Bruno Fernandes marked his 100th appearance for the club with a smart first-time finish following a neat move down the left.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates

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The hosts suddenly looked far more threatening and stole in front on 52 minutes when Ronaldo grabbed a landmark goal with a lethal first-time finish. However, the lead only lasted a couple of minutes as Martin Odegaard swept a similar effort into the far corner to drag Mikel Arteta’s men level.

United refused to be denied though and Ronaldo stepped up to convert a penalty 20 minutes from time to ensure caretaker boss Michael Carrick signed off undefeated.

The result means United move up to seventh while Arsenal stay fifth and miss the chance to break into the top four.
Next up, United host Crystal Palace on Sunday while Arsenal visit Everton on Monday night.

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EPL: Ronaldo nets brace as Man United bets Arsenal in five-goal thriller

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