No.10s Messi and Benzema share World Cup limelight

admin   •   June 16, 2014   •   2483

Argentina’s Lionel Messi (R) scores a goal during the 2014 World Cup Group F soccer match against Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro June 15, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/MICHAEL DALDER

 

(Reuters) – Lionel Messi ended an eight-year wait for a World Cup goal on Sunday as Argentina edged past debutants Bosnia at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, while fellow No. 10, France’s Karim Benzema, put two past Honduras in a man-of-the-match display.

The goals continued to rattle in across Brazil. France cruised to a 3-0 victory in Porto Alegre, and in the other Group E match, Switzerland came from behind to beat Ecuador 2-1 with a dramatic, counter-attacking winner in injury time.

The buildup to the fourth day of action at the 2014 World Cup had all been about Messi, the 26-year-old Barcelona forward who has lit up club soccer like few others but has so far failed to repeat those heroics on the biggest stage of all.

His last World Cup goal came on June 16, 2006, the sixth out of six Argentina put past Serbia & Montenegro in Germany.

Messi’s roar of delight after a fine left-foot strike from the edge of the area on Sunday suggested the goal would lift a huge weight from his shoulders.

“It was important to start with a win and to get three points, but we need to improve,” Messi said after also being named man of the match in the 2-1 victory in Group F.

Until that point Messi’s display had been lackluster, but it proved a crucial goal when Bosnia scored late on to set up a tense end to a game many had expected Argentina to win easily.

There was a touch of fortune in the outcome, after Bosnia’s Sead Kolasinac netted the fastest own goal in World Cup history in the third minute.

His side recovered from the shock and began to look the better team, but a lack of composure in front of goal saw several long-distance efforts fly high and wide.

Messi’s successor as World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, expects to start for Portugal against Germany in the pick of Monday’s matches.

The 29-year-old said he was fit for the Group G encounter in Salvador, despite struggling with tendinosis in his left knee.

Asked whether a great World Cup was all that was missing from a glittering career, he replied: “I don’t think I have to show anyone anything. If you look at my statistics and my resume… I have no words for that question.

“I think I do not have to demonstrate anything, not now, before, not after. What I have to do is just continue my career, which has been great so far.”

In the other Group G clash, Ghana meet the United States in Natal, while Iran and Nigeria play in Curitiba in Group F.

FRANCE REUNITED

In Porto Alegre, France survived a bruising encounter with Honduras, but passed the test with aplomb in a game where Benzema grabbed two and goal-line technology was used to confirm the ball had crossed the line for the first time at a World Cup.

Benzema’s shot hit the upright and the ball rolled across the goal, only for Honduras keeper Noel Valladares to divert it over the line by inches.

Honduras were reduced to 10-men after Wilson Palacios charged into French midfielder Paul Pogba seconds before the break in a challenge that earned him a second yellow card.

Benzema stroked home the resulting penalty, and 18 minutes from time he struck again from a narrow angle, earning a rendition of “La Marseillaise” from the red, white and blue clad French fans.

The result will have delighted France coach Didier Deschamps, especially after Les Bleus’ 2010 debacle in South Africa when they failed to win a game amid bitter squabbling that blew up into a national scandal.

SWISS SMASH-AND-GRAB

In arguably the most exciting contest of the day, substitute Haris Seferovic finished off a breathtaking box-to-box counter-attack in stoppage time to give Switzerland a 2-1 win over Ecuador in Brasilia.

A brilliant block tackle by Valon Behrami in his own area instigated the break, which was allowed to continue by an excellent decision from Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov after the midfielder was body-checked.

With more than three goals a game on average, and a surprisingly expansive style of soccer for the early stages of a World Cup, action on the field has grabbed people’s imagination in a country considered by many to be the sport’s spiritual home.

The tournament has gone much more smoothly than many had expected, with protests against the $11 billion spend on new stadiums and infrastructure small compared with mass demonstrations that rocked Brazil a year ago.

On Sunday, police blocked a small group of anti-World Cup protesters who were trying to reach the Maracana stadium before the Argentina-Bosnia game.

About 150 bandanna-clad demonstrators carrying banners that said “FIFA go home” marched towards the stadium, but police on horseback blocked their path, leading to minor scuffles.

A similar-sized march was held ahead of the Switzerland-Ecuador game, but participants simply laid down their banners in front of a police cordon and dispersed when the game started.

(Additional reporting by Mike Collett and Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro, Angus MacSwan in Porto Alegre, Neil Maidment in Salvador and Patrick Johnston in Brasilia; Editing by Ken Ferris)

DA lifts temporary ban on mechanically deboned poultry meat from Brazil

Marje Pelayo   •   September 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced Monday (September 7) that it is partially lifting the temporary importation ban on mechanically deboned poultry meat (MDM) from Brazil.

This, after the agency conducted a review of the measure based on available information provided by Brazilian authorities. 

The Brazilian government submitted documentary requirements ensuring the strict implementation of plans for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prevention, infection control and occupational safety and health relative to the operations of foreign meat establishments. 

Agriculture Secretary William Dar clarified however, that the lifting of the temporary import ban only applies to  foreign meat establishments without a single worker that is COVID-19 positive.

The importation must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate which proves that the meat was handled and processed in facilities with functional food safety management system and where stringent hygiene and sanitation measures are practiced. 

Likewise, the poultry products must carry a safe handling label and all importation must be for the sole use of an accredited meat processor. 

The DA warned that all shipments into the country that do not comply with the above conditions shall be confiscated.

NAIA Customs on alert after DA bans virus-contaminated poultry products from Brazil

Marje Pelayo   •   August 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) heightened its alert status against possible entry of poultry products from Brazil.

This measure followed the recent order by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to temporarily prohibit the entry of such products after shipments of chicken wings from Latin American countries were found positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In pushing with the standing order of Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to strengthen border control in all ports amidst continuing threats of COVID-19 virus, BOC-NAIA personnel are committed 24/7 to guard the country’s primary airport and its warehouses against attempts to import poultry products from Brazil in compliance with the latest advisory.

Since January of this year Port of NAIA has confiscated a total of 775.6 kgs of meat products without permits which arrived from African swine fever (ASF)- affected countries.

BOC-NAIA vows to continue to strengthen vigilance against entry of illegal goods and imports that pose health risks and will ensure safeguards to protect Filipino consumers, said District Collector Carmelita Talusan. 

Brazil’s Bolsonaro seen without face mask as first lady tests positive for COVID-19

UNTV News   •   July 31, 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was seen removing his face mask at a public event after his wife tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday (July 30), and the spread of the novel coronavirus showed no signs of slowing in the country with the world’s second-worst outbreak after the United States.

Just days after her husband said he had overcome the virus with a negative test following weeks in quarantine, Bolsonaro’s wife Michelle has tested positive, the presidential office said in a statement.

“First lady Michelle Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. She is in good health and will follow all established protocols,” it said, referring to the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Their infections are a palpable sign of the scale of the outbreak in Brazil, which set fresh daily records on Wednesday (July 29) for new COVID-19 cases and related fatalities.

The 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 additional deaths reported by the Health Ministry, pushed the country past 2.5 million infections and 90,000 killed.

Pontes made his announcement on Facebook, saying he was quarantining and working remotely. (Reuters)

(Production: Sergio Queiroz, Leandra Camera, Liamar Ramos)

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