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Schmeichel, Poulsen at center of Denmark 1-0 Peru

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  • Denmark goal: Poulsen (59′)
  • Peru misses penalty
  • Next: Denmark-Australia, Peru-France

Yussuf Yurary Poulsen scored a second half goal and Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel made several critical saves as Denmark smashed and grabbed a 1-0 World Cup win in Saransk on Saturday.

Peru found seemingly every manner of way to miss the goal in a dominant performance.

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Both teams played with an adrenalized tempo in the first 10 minutes, with Yoshimar Yotun whipping a shot to Kasper Schmeichel in the eighth.

Peru was all over Denmark as the match moved on, with Schmeichel very active against Los Incos.

Denmark captain Simon Kjaer made a terrific block on Andre Carrillo in the 29th minute to keep it scoreless.

Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made a terrific stop on Jens Stryger Larsen after Christian Eriksen‘s free kick was blocked by the wall.

The CONMEBOL side was given a penalty kick upon Video Assistant Referee review after Christian Cueva saw his ankle caught by Yussuf Poulsen.

But Cueva made a stuttering, disjointed run-up before blazing his effort over the bar.

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Peru bungled chance to take a 57th lead when Cueva cut a rug through the 18 and laid off for Carrillo, whose shot wasn’t good enough to trouble the net.

They’d regret the miss, as RB Leipzig striker Poulsen raced down the left wing and into the box to carve a shot around Gallese.

Peru nearly equalized off the restart, but Schmeichel made an outstanding save. And Jefferson Farfan couldn’t get on the end of a terrific free kick headed back across the Denmark defense in the 69th.

Poulsen was a defensive hero two minutes later, nodding a cross out of play with Paolo Guerrero lurking at the back post. And Schmeichel stopped Luis Advincula a minute after that.

Guerrero nearly spun a backheel effort inside the far post in the 79th. Peru deserved an equalizer, but would it find one. Schmeichel denied Farfan again in the 84th.

A mostly quiet Eriksen was stymied by Gallese soon after the Schmeichel stop. We say mostly…

Who voted for who at the FIFA awards?

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This is always one of the best parts about the morning after the night before when it comes to the annual FIFA awards.

Who voted for who?

With the national team coach, captain and one media member from all of FIFA’s member associations getting to vote for the three best players on the planet, Luka Modric came out on top with Cristiano Ronaldo second and Mohamed Salah third.

In terms of voting, a player received five points every time he was selected in top spot, while they received three points for a second place on the ballot and one point for being selected third.

The U.S. men’s national team interim head coach Dave Sarachan went for a Messi, Ronaldo, Modric top three, while current captain Wil Trapp went for Modric, Ronaldo then Messi.

And while Messi voted for Ronaldo as his third choice, Ronaldo didn’t include a single Barcelona player in his top three and instead selected two of his former Real Madrid teammates.

Below we take a look at some of the big name voters and who they selected to win the top individual prize on the planet.

While you can find the full list of voting for the FIFA male player of the year award right here.


Dave Sarachan – USMNT coach: Lionel Messi (1st), Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd), Luka Modric (3rd)

Wil Trapp – USMNT captain: Luka Modric (1st), Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd), Lionel Messi (3rd)

Lionel Messi – Argentina captain: Luka Modric (1st) Kylian Mbappe (2nd) Cristiano Ronaldo (3rd)

Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal captain: Raphael Varane (1st) Luka Modric (2nd) Antoine Griezmann (3rd)

Luka Modric – Croatia captain: Raphael Varane (1st) Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd) Antoine Griezmann

Harry Kane – England captain: Cristiano Ronaldo (1st) Lionel Messi (2nd) Kevin De Bruyne (3rd)

Hugo Loris – France captain: Raphael Varane (1st) Antoine Griezmann (2nd) Kylian Mbappe (3rd)

Manuel Neuer – Germany captain: Eden Hazard (1st) Luka Modric (2nd) Raphael Varane (3rd)

Virgil Van Dijk – Netherlands captain: Mohamed Salah (1st) Kevin De Bruyne (2nd) Kylian Mbappe (3rd)

Sergio Ramos – Spain captain: Luka Modric (1st) Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd) Lionel Messi (3rd)

Explaining Ronaldo, Messi no show for FIFA awards

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For the last decade either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo have been crowned the best player on the planet, winning the coveted award five times each and finish second on the other five occasions.

On Monday in London, FIFA’s TheBest award went to Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric at the glitzy award evening in London, with Ronaldo finishing second and Mohamed Salah third. Messi wasn’t even nominated among the top three despite an incredible last 12 months, and that was one of several bizarre decisions as votes were counted by national team coaches, captains and selected journalists and officials from around the world.

Neither Messi nor Ronaldo were present to applaud Modric, as they both decided not to attend the event with Messi citing “personal reasons” on the morning of the event and he remained in Spain ahead of Barcelona’s trip to Leganes on Wednesday. While Ronaldo pulled out due to Juventus’ busy schedule as they have a Serie A game on Wednesday.

Ronaldo knew it was unlikely he would win the award after Modric was handed the best player award by UEFA and won the Golden Ball as the best player at the World Cup this summer, while Messi’s goal was in the running for the Puskas award but lost out to Mo Salah’s striker against Everton.

At many of the previous events it has been too close to call between Messi and Ronaldo as to who will win the best player on the planet. But this was the first time in a decade the award was destined to go elsewhere.

But should they have shown up on Monday?

Both Messi and Ronaldo were included in the FIFPro World 11 and the other nine players included in that team turned up. Granted, it was easier for the three Premier League players (Eden Hazard, N'Golo Kante and David De Gea) to make it, but four Real Madrid players still showed up, plus Kylian Mbappe and Dani Alves from elsewhere in Europe. Real Madrid play on Wednesday, so too do PSG and Chelsea and Man United, but their players turned up.

Can we really criticize Messi and Ronaldo for not showing up in London?

Both players have given us so much joy over the years and this is only one awards ceremony (and a slightly confusing and long-winded one at that), but what does their inability to show up when they haven’t won the main award suggest?

Are they simply so trophy orientated that they can’t bear the thought of being in a room full of the greatest players and coaches on the planet and not winning the top prize? Or did scheduling issues really stop them from turning up?

It could be as simple as the latter but it leaves a slightly sour taste in the mouth to think that Messi and/or Ronaldo believe they don’t have time to waste to attend an awards ceremony celebrating not only their greatness but that of others, when they don’t have a chance of winning the main award.

Giuseppe Rossi faces one-year ban for doping case in Italy

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ROME (AP) Former Italy forward Giuseppe Rossi’s injury-plagued career has taken another negative turn with a positive doping test.

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Italy’s anti-doping agency Nado Italia announced on Tuesday that Rossi will stand trial next week after testing positive for an eye drug that can be used as a masking agent.

The anti-doping prosecutor is seeking a one-year ban.

The test was taken in May while Rossi played for Genoa at the end of the last Serie A season.

Rossi is currently out of contract.

Dorzolamide, the substance that Rossi tested positive for, is not banned when administered with eye drops but Rossi told anti-doping authorities that he did not use eye drops when he was questioned twice, in June and July.

Rossi had no immediate comment.

The 31-year-old Rossi was born in the United States but played for Italy from 2008-14. His career has been slowed by a series of knee injuries.

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Players’ union reiterates disapproval of league match in US

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MADRID (AP) The Spanish players’ association remains against the league’s plan to play a regular-season match in the United States despite receiving more detailed information.

The association was not convinced by the league’s update and said on Monday it still disapproved of the Girona-Barcelona game planned for suburban Miami in January. It said the league still lacks the necessary approvals from other stakeholders, and it can’t guarantee the union contract won’t be breached.

The association doesn’t have a final say on whether the game actually happens, although players recently did not rule out a strike if their demands are not considered. They complained about not being consulted by the league before the idea was presented.

The association’s latest announcement came three days after the Spanish soccer federation refused to approve the match, putting the plan in serious doubt. The federation requested more documentation from the league after saying it failed to show the overseas match would comply with Spanish and international regulations and TV broadcast contracts, and that it would not harm the other 18 league clubs and the fans of Girona and Barcelona.

The match would also need to be approved by the U.S. soccer federation, plus continental bodies UEFA and CONCACAF. FIFA’s permission is not mandatory but president Gianni Infantino recently expressed his doubts about the game.

Spanish league president Javier Tebas again defended the match, saying football needs to catch up to what other sports have been doing to try to keep growing internationally.

“If we don’t keep working to try to grow, other competitions and other sports will leave us behind. We have to be different,” Tebas said on Monday at a soccer conference in Madrid.

“In the sports industry we have to try to copy what others are doing well. Why does the NBA and the NFL take a match abroad and we can’t? Why can’t we keep growing? This is our greatest responsibility, to grow, because this is an industry.”

Tebas said he was surprised by the amount of negative reaction to the proposal.

“It looks like we want to play the entire league in Miami. It’s just one match,” he said. “We want to play one match, for strategic reasons, to try to grow the league.”

Earlier Monday, European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli, Juventus’ president, said he “take(s) his hat off” to Tebas for taking the initiative and working to expand the Spanish league globally.

“That’s something that should be looked at,” Agnelli said. “If you want to have a global audience, you need to be closer to (that audience).”

The league plan to play games in the U.S. is part of a new 15-year partnership with sports and entertainment group Relevent, which operates the International Champions Cup, a tournament of club friendlies during the European offseason in July and August around the world.

The Spanish federation held its season-opening Super Cup abroad for the first time in August, with Barcelona beating Sevilla in Tangier, Morocco.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said on Sunday his team would not play the game abroad in the future, saying he was “vehemently against it.”

The league has said it will not force clubs to play in the overseas match.

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