DUESSELDORF: Japan goalkeeper Daniel Schmidt attempts to clear the ball under pressure from Ecuador’s Jackson Porozo (L) during their international friendly at the Merkur Spiel Arena on Tuesday. In a disjointed game between the two World Cup qualifiers, Schmidt kept out Ener Valencia’s 82nd minute penalty to earn Hajime Moriyasu’s side a 0-0 draw. Ecuador will open the World Cup finals against hosts Qatar on Nov 20 before taking on the Netherlands and Senegal while Japan have been drawn to meet Germany, Spain and Costa Rica.—AFP

MOEDLING (Austria): Senegal’s Idrissa Gana Gueye controls the ball under pressure from Iran’s Ali Gholizadeh during their international friendly on Tuesday. Iran fought back after conceding an own goal to draw 1-1 with Senegal as both World Cup-bound teams concluded their preparations for the tournament in Qatar. Iran were a goal down after 55 minutes when defender Morteza Pouraliganji steered a cross to his own net but African champions Senegal only managed to hold the lead for nine minutes before Sardar Azmoun equalised with a header.—AFP

SUWON (South Korea): Costa Rica’s Douglas Lopez vies for the ball with Uzbekistan’s Ibrokhimkhalil Yuldashev (L) during their international friendly at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Tuesday. Anthony Hernandez and Kendall Waston both scored in stoppage time as World Cup-bound Costa Rica won 2-1 after Eldor Shomurodov gave Uzbekistan the lead in the 25th minute.—AFP

SEOUL: South Korea’s Son Heung-min (C) vies for the ball with Cameroon’s Collins Fai (L) and Olivier Ntcham during their international friendly at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Tuesday. Son’s first half header earned South Korea a 1-0 win in their last World Cup tune-up. The Tottenham Hotspur striker headed the ball home after a shot from Kim Jin-su was deflected by goalkeeper Andre Onana in the 35th minute. The Koreans, who will be appearing at their 10th consecutive World Cup, will face Ghana, Uruguay and Portugal at the finals in Qatar in November while Cameroon take on Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia.—Reuters

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2022

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