Scotland announce squad for November friendly with USA

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In case you forgot, there is in fact another international week fast approaching and the USMNT are in action twice against European opposition in friendlies this month.

On November 15 Jurgen Klinsmann’s side travel to Hampden Park to take on Scotland, and four days later they head to Vienna to take on Austria.

ON Monday the USMNT’s first opponents Scotland have announced their 23-man squad for the clash in Glasgow, with plenty of Premier League talent standing in the USA’s way. David Marshall, who has impressed in goal for Cardiff City, is in between the sticks, while Norwich City duo Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker and Aston Villa’s Alan Hutton are included in defense.

Midfield is looking like a particularly strong area for Gordon Strachan, as Stoke’s Charlie Adam, Celtic’s Scott Brown and James Forrest, Robert Snodgrass of Norwich and James Morrison of West Brom are all established internationals these days. Plenty of strength in-depth there for Klinsmann to worry about overcoming.

Up top, Steven Fletcher is the main man for the Scots as the Sunderland striker is one of the most lethal predators in the Premier League. Plus he will be fighting for bragging rights with Black Cats teammate Jozy Altidore who’s more than likely to feature for the USA.

It’s sure to be a lively game and a great atmosphere at one of world soccer’s most historic venues, as the Tartan Army will cheer on their resurgent side against the USA later this month.

Adult tickets are less than $20 for the game…. fancy a jaunt over to ‘Bonnie Scotland’ to see the Yanks in action? You’re tempted… aren’t you?

Scotland squad to face the USMNT (Nov. 15) and Norway (Nov. 19)

Goalkeepers
Scott Fox (Partick Thistle), Matt Gilks (Blackpool), David Marshall (Cardiff City)

Defenders
Christophe Berra (Ipswich Town), Gordon Greer (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Lee Wallace (Rangers), Steven Whittaker (Norwich City)

Midfielders
Charlie Adam (Stoke City), Ikechi Anya (Watford), Barry Bannan (Crystal Palace), Scott Brown (Celtic), Craig Bryson (Derby County), Chris Burke (Birmingham City), James Forrest (Celtic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), James McArthur (Wigan Athletic), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City)

Forwards
Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Steven Naismith (Everton), Matt Phillips (Queens Park Rangers), Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)

Group C wide open as Denmark, Australia settle for draw

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Denmark and Australia settled for a 1-1 draw on Thursday, as this exciting Group C affair had nothing to separate the two nations at the end of 90 minutes.

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As it stands, the Danes lead the group with four points, while Australia earned its first point of the World Cup.

France will meet Peru later on Thursday, with Les Bleus having won its first match and Peru having suffered defeat to Denmark.

The Danes broke through after seven minutes when Nicolai Jørgensen picked out a perfect back-heel pass to Christian Eriksen at the top of the box, before the Tottenham Hotspur attacker volleyed home for a 1-0 lead.

Jørgensen nearly doubled the Denmark advantage in the 24th minute when the 27-year-old had an open header from close range that skewed just wide of the target.

Australia worked its way into the match following the opener, and were awarded a penalty kick in the 37th minute after VAR Mark Geiger altered an initial decision for a handball inside the box.

Mile Jedinak converted the spot kick to level the match at 1-1, giving the Socceroos life.

A dangerous free kick four minutes later almost gave Denmark the lead once again, however, Eriksen couldn’t get a crucial touch on the ball to knock it over the goal line before Ryan collected.

The second half continued with lightning pace from both sides, and Aaron Mooy‘s 71st minute blast came inches away from giving Australia an improbable lead.

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The two nations will conclude Group C play on June 26, as Denmark faces France and Australia takes on CONMEBOL side Peru.

Video: VAR awards Australia penalty, before Jedinak converts

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The Socceroos battled admirably in the latter stages of the first half, and Australia was rewarded for their efforts.

Australia has leveled the match at 1-1 after a Mile Jedinak penalty kick cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning opener in the seventh minute.

After an initial decision to play on by the head referee, VAR Mark Geiger opted to award a penalty kick to the Aussies after Yussuf Poulsen was caught with his hand away from his body on a Mathew Leckie header.

Poulsen was also shown a yellow card for the infraction, which rules him out for Denmark’s group-stage finale against France.

Video: Eriksen volley has Denmark ahead inside 10 minutes

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Denmark is well on its way to another three points on Thursday, and this time it’s Christian Eriksen who has finally broken through at the World Cup.

 MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Eriksen put the Danes in front in the seventh minute after a tremendous volley that gave Australia goalkeeper Maty Ryan no chance at keeping it out.

After a sloppy turnover in their own half, Australia could only watch as the ball fell to Nicolai Jørgensen, who cleverly back-heeled to Eriksen at the top of the box.

The Danes pulled off a 1-0 victory in their first Group C match against Peru, while Australia fell 2-1 to France.

Croatia coach says “we have nothing to lose” against Argentina

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Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic chose his words wisely when discussing their final Group D opponent, Argentina, but his side won’t be backing down when they take on Lionel Messi and Co.

[ MORE: Spain gets win after Iran equalizer called off by replay ]

With three points already in the bag for the European nation, Croatia currently sits atop their group, however, Dalic recognizes the task that lies in front of him and his team on Thursday.

“I didn’t say that Argentina was the easiest opponent,” Dalic said. “I said that this was the easiest game for us. We have nothing to lose. We are playing against one of the best.”

Croatia does have the benefit of having won its first match in group play, which has given the side a decided enthusiasm heading into the meeting.

For Ivan Rakitic — who plays at Barcelona with Messi — he believes there isn’t much he or anyone on his team can say or do to further prepare themselves for the Albiceleste.

“What can I tell them that they don’t know?” Rakitic said. “The world knows. Messi is one of the best players in the world. He will have his moments, clearly. It is up to us to stop him, to play the right way against him, and to enjoy the match and play our best.

“It’s a beautiful thing to play against one of the best teams in the world. We are especially motivated.”

In four all-time meetings, Argentina leads 2-1-1 against Croatia, including a 1-0 victory during the 1998 World Cup in France.

The two teams last met in 2014 following Argentina’s World Cup final defeat to Germany, with Messi and Co. earning a 2-1 victory over Croatia.