Soccer Digest

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 September, 2012, 3:11am

Deschamps first match in charge is a winning one

Didier Deschamps encouraged France's players to enjoy the taste of victory after seeing his side overcome Belarus 3-1. Second-half goals from Etienne Capoue, Christophe Jallet and Franck Ribery sent France to the top of group I ahead of their October 16 showdown with world and European champions Spain in Madrid. Deschamps was overseeing his first game as national coach at Stade de France, where he led Les Bleus to victory as captain at the 1998 World Cup, and was pleased to have marked his return with victory. "It's always a very good evening when you win," said Deschamps. "And it's becoming rarer and rarer to score three goals at the highest level, so you have to savour it." AFP


Germany must play better to qualify for Brazil in 2014, manager says

Germany will need to raise their game if they want to make it to Brazil in 2014, the manager warned, despite securing another three points against Austria in a 2-1 victory to stay top of their qualifying group. Goals in each half from Marco Reus and Mesut Ozil ensured Germany stayed ahead of Ireland and Sweden in group C. "I'm very happy with the result because we got three points away in Austria against a strong team," Germany coach Joachim Loew said after the match. "With the game itself, I'm only marginally happy … all the Austrian chances came from errors on our part. After [leading] 2-1, we should have controlled the game. AFP


Robin van Persie taken off with thigh injury

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie was taken off during the Netherlands' 4-1 World Cup qualifying win in Hungary with a thigh injury, but coach Louis van Gaal played down fears by claiming the substitution was a "precautionary measure". "It does not seem to be too serious, but we did not want to take any risks," he said. Van Persie, 29, has scored four goals in three matches since joining United from Arsenal. United's Shinji Kagawa missed Japan's match against Iraq but also played his injury down. He said: "It's not a serious injury and I don't think it will keep me out for long. I can walk without any problem but if I put strain on it it still hurts. I felt a twinge and didn't want to take the risk." Reuters


Gomez goal takes US nearer Conacaf final

Herculez Gomez scored a second-half free-kick as the United States got their campaign back on track with a 1-0 win over Jamaica. Meanwhile Mexico became the first team through to the next regional stage of qualifying after Javier Hernandez scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Costa Rica. "It wasn't very pretty, but we did very well," Gomez said. The US, Jamaica and Guatemala all have seven points at the top of group A in the semi-final round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean. The top two teams from each group will advance to the final phase of qualifying next year. Guatemala and the US hold the edge over Jamaica with a superior goal difference. AFP