14
Wednesday
November 2018
6:54 AM IST
News Headlines
Preparing for Australia tour by watching videos: Shami        India invites Swedish companies to explore investment opportunities        Govt cancels ED officer Rajeshwar Singh's leave        175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak        Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena        Delhi pollution: Task forces conducts meetings on WhatsApp for urgent decisions        PM slams Rahul, Sonia for questioning note ban; need no certificate from those on bail        70 per cent turnout in first phase of Chhattisgarh polls: EC        Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha attacks NDA ally Nitish Kumar amid reports of RLSP MLA joining JD(U)        Mining Baron Janardhana Reddy Remanded in Custody Till November 24 for 'Shielding' Ponzi Scam Accused Father-Son        Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California        "Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side        3rd T20: Dhawan, Pant take Ind to victory, series win        FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters 3-1 in ISL        One killed, several injured in stabbing attack in Melbourne: Police        Journalists beware: After Bloomberg bots, AI news presenter debuts in China        Harmanpreet Kaur’s record century headlines India’s big win over NZ in opener        Mumbai City end NorthEast United’s unbeaten run        Chelsea beat BATE 1-0 in Europa League        Srikanth enters pre-quarterfinals of China Open        
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Sports News
Tick, Tock: Time running out for Messi to deliver
 
Nizhny Novgorod, Jun 19 (AFP) Time is running out for Lionel Messi to bring Argentina a World Cup, which would give him the one thing that's missing from a career that ranks among the greatest.

He turns 31 on Sunday, which means this World Cup could be his last chance. It also means that Thursday's match against Croatia is momentous. He has delivered for his club Barcelona - four Champions League titles, and nine La Liga championships in Spain - but still no major title for Argentina.

Messi missed a penalty - it was saved - in a disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland in the opening group match. Argentina needs to beat Croatia to clear its path from the three-game group stage to the knock-out round of 16.

"We have to look at what we need to correct from the Iceland match, but we can't dwell on it," Argentina defender Gabriel Mercado said.

"We have to look forward and win the next match against Croatia." The Croatians opened with a 2-0 win over Nigeria, putting them in a better spot in Group D than Argentina when the teams meet on the banks of the Volga in Nizhny Novgorod.

Jorge Sampaoli hasn't used the same lineup twice in the 12 games he's been in charge for Argentina. He's juggling again, this time likely to start 22-year-old Boca Juniors forward Cristian Pavon up front with Messi. Pavon is quick and can play on the right or left and is likely to replace Angel di Maria.

As with all the Argentina coaches before him, Sampaoli has searched for the right partnership with Messi, who has often carried Argentina by himself and is always compared with Maradona, who brought Argentina its last World Cup title in 1986.

"I think that Jorge is looking at every position. We'll see what happens and what he decides on the day," Pavon said. "I feel confident and luckily things are going well for me, but I don't know yet if I'll be a starter."

25-YEAR TITLE DROUGHT

It's hard to believe, but Argentina has not won a major title since taking the Copa America - the South American championship - in 1993. That's 25 years ago; a quarter century of drought for a country that sees itself as soccer royalty.

What two-time champion Argentina has felt recently is only bitter defeat: the losing finalist against Germany in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and two more runner-up finishes in the 2015 and 2016 at the Copa America - both times against Chile.

SENT PACKING

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has sent home striker Nikola Kalinic because he wouldn't come off the bench as a substitute against Nigeria. Kalinic, who plays for AC Milan, says he has a back injury although news reports in Croatia say he is unhappy being a substitute.

Dalic said of Kalinic, "I need players who are ready." Croatia now has 22 players on the World Cup roster.

OTHER ARGENTINA CHANGES

Sampaoli experimented after the Iceland draw with using three defenders with Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi and Nicolas Tagliafico. Mercado would replace Marcos Rojo, who was sub-par against Iceland.

Lucas Biglia is also likely to be dropped from midfield and replaced by Marcos Acuna. Giovani Lo Celso, Ever Banega and Enzo Perez are also possibilities.


Preparing for Australia tour by watching videos: Shami
3rd T20: Dhawan, Pant take Ind to victory, series win
FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters 3-1 in ISL
Harmanpreet Kaur’s record century headlines India’s big win over NZ in opener
Mumbai City end NorthEast United’s unbeaten run
Chelsea beat BATE 1-0 in Europa League
Srikanth enters pre-quarterfinals of China Open
Kohli's 'leave India' response to cricket enthusiast creates controversy
Luck assists Bengaluru FC in 2-1 win over Kerala Blasters FC
'Unsettled' Dhawan moves to Daredevils from Sunrisers
Cool Karthik, crafty Pandya secure India's nervy 5-wicket win against Windies
Unseeded Khachanov stuns Djokovic to win Paris Masters
Former India U-19 Bowler Saurabh Netravalkar to Captain United States National Team
Virat Kohli solidifies top spot after reaching 10,000 club; Yuzvendra Chahal enters top-10 among bowlers
Djokovic books place in Paris Masters quarterfinals
Dream start: Real Kashmir stun holders Minerva Punjab in I-League
Indian boxers to get central contracts in 6 months: BFI President
Khaleel Ahmed gets official warning for provocative action
Lopetegui sacked as Madrid manager
India crush West Indies by 224 runs in the fourth ODI
KERALA NEWS
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
 Thiruvananthapuram, OCT 27: As the number of people arrested for allegedly being involved in violent  
Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge
Sabarimala row: Protests against SC verdict continue
Balabhaskar's wife Lakshmi shifted to ICU
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak
 Lagos, Nov 12 (AFP) Suspected cholera cases have jumped in northeast Nigeria where Boko Haram violen
Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena
Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California
"Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side
NATIONAL NEWS
Delhi pollution: Task forces conducts meetings on WhatsApp for urgent decisions
 New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) What happens when air pollution levels in the national capital are 'severe'
PM slams Rahul, Sonia for questioning note ban; need no certificate from those on bail
Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha attacks NDA ally Nitish Kumar amid reports of RLSP MLA joining JD(U)
Mining Baron Janardhana Reddy Remanded in Custody Till November 24 for 'Shielding' Ponzi Scam Accused Father-Son
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