Vicente del Bosque

About that Spain-Equatorial Guinea match: Spain won, 2-1 — but that’s not what everyone wants to know


For the record, Spain defeated Equatorial Guinea, 2-1.

If you think the reigning world champion and reigning European champion, one so embarrassingly blessed with talent and know-how, should be clobbering the world’s 119th-ranked team by a sum greater than one measly goal, well, get in line.

And yet, that’s not the strange part. It’s not what everyone wants to know about Saturday’s friendly in Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo. The presiding sentiment all along, before and after kickoff was always … “Huh?”

The whole thing, in a word, is just weird.

What Spain could possibly get out of this one, in terms of prep and polish for its coming World Cup defense, only the leaders of soccer in land of tapas and serious paella can say. In fact, the president of Spain’s federation wouldn’t say. Senor, why are you there again?

“I won’t answer this question,” Spanish federation president Angel Maria Villar said last week, according to the Associated Press. “’Ask anything else, but I won’t respond to this one.” Well … nothing suspicious there, eh? So let’s just move on.

Equatorial Guinea is a former Spanish colony. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is a controversial and polarizing figure to say the least. He has been accused of everything from ill use of his nation’s oil revenues – enriching himself while his people starve, essentially – to sanctioning kidnappings and torture.

Perhaps we should cut the guy some slack. He’s still getting things sorted out after that military coup. In 1979.

Well … Santi Cazorla and Juanfran Torres scored for coach Vicente del Bosque (pictured above from a training on Friday) and his Spanish team. Midfielder Xabi Alonso was injured and had to come off.

VIDEO: Henrikh Mkhitaryan scores beauty for Man United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United controls the ball under pressure from Aaron Cresswell of West Ham United during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 30, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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Here he comes.

When Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Manchester United in the summer big things were expected.

It’s taken him a while to settle but now the Armenian playmaker has scored his first goal for United with a stunning superb solo effort against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.

Watch the video below to see Mkhitaryan put United 1-0 up.

What a goal.

VIDEO: Is this the worst open goal miss in history?

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My goodness.

You truly have to see this a few times to believe it is possible.

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Stunning footage from a game between National Vatera and Makedonikos Kozanis in Greece’s four-tier last weekend has emerged as Kozanis striker Thanasis Takidis goes clean through on goal, gets one yard out but then somehow delays his shot and is blocked on the line by a defender, then the ball gets away from him.

Watch the clip above to see probably the worst miss you will ever see.

I mean, come on man…

Kashima beats Auckland City 2-1 in opener of Club World Cup

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - DECEMBER 08:  Daigo Nishi of Kashima Antlers heads the ball over Angel Berlanga of Auckland City during the FIFA Club World Cup Play-off for Quarter Final match between Kashima Antlers and Auckland City at International Stadium Yokohama on December 8, 2016 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
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YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) Japanese champion Kashima Antlers beat Auckland City of New Zealand 2-1 in the opening game of the Club World Cup on Thursday.

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Kim Dae-wook headed Auckland ahead five minutes after half time, but substitute Shuhei Akasaki equalized for the J-League champions in the 67th minute.

Fellow sub Mu Kanazaki then completed the comeback in the 88th, heading home from close range after Shoma Doi nodded a deep Shuto Yamamoto cross from the left back.

Kashima advanced to a quarterfinal against African champion Mamelodi Sundowns in Osaka on Sunday.

The winner of that game will face Copa Libertadores winner Atletico Nacional in the semifinal Wednesday. European powerhouse Real Madrid also enters the tournament from the semifinal stage.

The use of video replays was available during the match but there were no official reviews. The technology is there to be used only for correcting clear errors in game-changing decisions.

Previews of all 10 Premier League games – Week 15

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 10:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur (10) reacts after a challenge during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on April 10, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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Week 15 of the Premier League season has arrived with Manchester United hosting Tottenham, Liverpool welcoming West Ham and Leicester City and Manchester City clashing at the King Power Stadium.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live, here ] 

With some intense relegation battles between Swansea City and Sunderland and Hull City and Crystal Palace, there is plenty on the line as the festive season really starts to heat up.

Below are previews, score predictions and everything else you need to know about all 10 games this weekend.

Chelsea vs. West Brom

Leicester City vs. Manchester City

Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool vs. West Ham

Arsenal vs. Stoke City

Southampton vs. Middlesbrough

Swansea City vs. Sunderland

Watford vs. Everton

Hull vs. Crystal Palace

Burnley vs. Bournemouth