• WC 2018: Carlos Queiroz names provisional Iran squad

    TEHRAN – Carlos Queiroz has named a 35-man provisional Iran squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

    Iran have been drawn in Group B of the 2018 World Cup along with Morocco, Spain and Portugal.

    The Iran national football team will open the campaign with a match against Morocco at Saint Petersburg on June 15.

    Team Melli, meanwhile, face Spain in Kazan on 20 June before meeting Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Saransk five days later.

    The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums.

    Goalkeepers:

    Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis / Iran)

    Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal / Iran)

    Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan / Iran)

    Amir Abedzadeh (Marítimo / Liga NOS)

    Defenders:

    Ramin Rezaeian (KV Oostende / Belgian First Division A)

    Voria Ghafouri (Esteghlal / Iran)

    Steven Beitashour (Los Angeles FC / MLS)

    Seyed Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis / Iran)

    Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh / Iran)

    Morteza Pouraliganji (Al Saad / Qatar stars League)

    Mohammad Ansari (Persepolis / Iran)

    Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal / Iran)

    Seyed Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal / Iran)

    Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny / Russian Premier League)

    Nour Omid Bevel (Esteghlal / Iran)

    Saeid Aghaei (Sepahan / Iran)

    Roozbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal / Iran)

    Midfielders:

    Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm / Russian Premier League)

    Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athenes / Superleague Greece)

    Ahmad Abdolahzadeh (Foolad / Iran)

    Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds FK / Allsvenskan)

    Mehdi Torabi (Saipa / Iran)

    Ashkan Dejagah (Notthingham Forest / Championship)

    Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal / Iran)

    Ehsan Hajsafi (Olympiakos / Superleague Greece)

    Ali Karimi (Sepahan / Iran)

    Soroush Rafiei (Al-Khor / Qatar stars League)

    Ali Gholizadeh (Saipa / Iran)

    Vahid Amiri (Persepolis / Iran)

    Strikers:

    Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ / Eredivisie)

    Karim Ansarifard (Olympiakos / Superleague Greece)

    Mahdi Taremi (Al-Gharafa Sports Club / Qatar Stars League)

    Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan / Russian Premier League)

    Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen / Eredivisie)

    Kaveh Rezaei (Charleroi / Belgian First Division A)

    http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/423545/Carlos-Queiroz-names-provisional-Iran-squad

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  • Botola Pro: Ittihad Tanger claim Moroccan title for the first time

    (Xinhua) -- Morocco's Ittihad Tanger won on Saturday the Moroccan league title for the first time in their history.

    This historical achievement was made after beating Moghreb Tetouan 2-1 in the northern city of Tangier.

    In a disappointing first half, the champions conceded a goal at the 28th minute through Senegalese player Mourtada Fall.

    In the second half, Tanger entered more determined to return in the score, equalizing after only three minutes through Ahmed Chentouf before taking the lead at the 76th minute after Tetouan's Hamza Moussaoui scored against his own goal.

    With a game still to spare, Tanger lifted to 52 points, four more than second-placed Hassania Agadir and Wydad Casablanca.

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  • Transfers: Liverpool and Tottenham battling for Ajax's Hakim Ziyech

    Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly keen on Hakim Ziyech.

    According to Calciomercato, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur both hold an interest in signing Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech in this summer's transfer window.

    Ziyech, 25, has been a star in the Netherlands for many years now, having impressed with Heerenveen and Twente before heading to Ajax in 2016.

    The Moroccan international – primed to star at this summer's World Cup in Russia – has been sensational for Ajax, hitting nine goals and 15 assists last season as well as the exact same tally this term.

    Ziyech is by far the most talented player in the Eredivisie right now, and Ajax appear to be resigned to losing him this summer, with mounting interest from the Premier League according to new reports.

    Hakim Ziyech of Ajax in action during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord at Amsterdam ArenA on January 21, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Calciomercato report that Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have now joined West Ham United in the race for Ziyech, with teams queueing up to sign him this summer.

    Liverpool will be in the market for another playmaker this summer having sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January, and Ziyech would fit the bill having not only played as a number 10 but also in a deeper role suitable for Jurgen Klopp's 4-3-3.

    Meanwhile, Tottenham have a great relationship with Ajax having signed Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen from the Dutch giants in the last six years.

    Spurs may subsequently look to strike another deal with the Amsterdam side, with Ziyech another creative option in midfield to take some pressure off Christian Eriksen, though whether he would start regularly is another matter.

    http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2018/05/10/report-liverpool-and-tottenham-battling-for-ajaxs-hakim-ziyech/

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  • Juventus 4-0 AC Milan: Medhi Benatia hits brace

    Medhi Benatia hit a brace as Juventus thrashed AC Milan 4-0 at the Stadio Olimpico to win the Coppa Italia for the fourth year in a row.

    AC Milan initially withstood the Juventus pressure, but Benatia scored in the 56th minute and then the floodgates opened, with Douglas Costa also getting on the scoresheet following an error from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

    The Milan shot-stopper was also at fault for Juventus' third goal as Benatia scored again and then an own goal from Nikola Kalinic compounded the misery for Gennaro Gattuso's team.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5711119/Juventus-4-0-AC-Milan-Benatia-hits-brace-Allegris-win-Coppa-Italia-again.html#ixzz5F2YxOle7

    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Youssouf Hadji hangs up his boots

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Former Morocco international and AS Nancy forward Youssouf Hadji (38) hangs his boots at the end of this Ligue 2 season.

    Hadji played in 347 matches for Nancy and scoring 85 goals which makes him second best behind Michel Platini.

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  • Transfers: Ajax seal Labyad deal

    According to De Telegraaf, Ajax are set to seal a deal for Utrecht midfielder Zakaria Labyad.

    Labyad has reached an agreement with Ajax over a four-year contract and secretly underwent a medical examination on Tuesday. Ajax will pay up to €7 million plus bonuses to Utrecht.

    The midfielder will join up with his new club after Utrecht’s season is over. They face Heerenveen in the first round of the European playoffs.

    The former PSV, Sporting Lisbon and Vitesse midfielder will be reunited with Erik Ten Hag, who was the man who brought Labyad to Utrecht.

    The 25-year-old has scored 14 goals and contributed 11 assists so far this season.

    He will be their third summer recruit after Hassane Bande and Perr Schuurs. Ajax are still hopeful to sign Southampton’s Dusan Tadic, while Argentinian defender Lisandro Magallan is another target.

    http://www.football-oranje.com/ajax-seal-labyad-deal/

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  • Moroccans Abroad: Mehdi Carcela and Hakim Ziyech win awards

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Mehdi Carcela has been crowned as Belgian Lion for best Maghreb player of the year 2017-18 award while Hakim Ziyech has won the Golden Boot award for best Eredivise player of the year 2018.

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  • CAF Confed Cup: RS Berkane defeat Sudanese Al-Hilal 1-0 in CAF Confederation Cup

    (Xinhua) -- Debutant RS Berkane of Morocco Sunday defeated the Sudanese giants Al-Hilal 1-0 in the CAF Confederation Cup.

    At the Stade Municipal de Berkane, the hosts made a perfect start to the Group B clash by going ahead within only two minutes.

    The precious goal was scored by Togolese Laba Kodjo after a cross from Morocco international striker Ayoub El Kaabi.

    RS Berkane secured their first three points in the CAF Confederation Cup, which they play at its group stage for the first time in their history.

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  • CAF Confed cup: Raja Casablanca and Vita Club settle for draw

    Raja Casablanca were frustrated by AS Vita Club as the two teams drew 0-0 in the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup Group Group A match at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Sunday.

    The draw sees Moroccan outfit Raja and DR Congo giants Vita placed second, and third respectively on the Group A standings after match day one.

    The home side threatened first through DR Congo international Lema Mabida, who was playing against some of his national team team-mates.

    The midfielder unleashed a shot from range which was deflected and Vita goalkeeper Lukong Bongaman made a comfortable save 12 minutes into the game.

    Raja controlled the match and they nearly took the lead in the 22nd minute following a mistake by Bongaman.

    The shot-stopper slipped with Mouhssine Iajour pressing him, but he recovered quickly and got the ball out of play before the Raja attacker could pounce.

    The last chance of the first-half fell for Mahmoud Benhalib in the 42nd minute following some good work by Iajour.

    The young forward placed his effort wide of the target as Vita, who won the CAF Chadmpions League in 1973, survived a scare.

    The score was 0-0 following a first-half which was dominated by Raja.

    Vita looked solid in the early stages of the second-half and they looked dangerous on the counter-attack with Chadrack Lukombe leading their attack.

    Zakaria Hadraf tried to set up Benhalib with a cross in the 69th minute, but Bongaman reacted quickly and he snatched the ball.

    The momentum was with the home side in the dying minutes of the game, but they were very wasteful.

    Second-half substitute Abdelilah Hafidi hit the side-netting from a promising position in the 76th minute.

    The attacker had another chance to grab a late winner for Raja with nine minutes left, but he fired straight at Bongaman, who denied the Raja attacker.

    Eddy Ngoyi, who was introduced in the 89th minute, was sent off in stoppage time for a dangerous challenge and Vita were reduced to 10 men.

    However, Vita were able to defend well until Senegalese match referee Maguette N'Diaye blew the final whistle and the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

    Raja (0) 0

    Vita (0) 0

    Raja: Zniti, Achchakir, Jbira, Boutayeb, Obbadi, Mabidi (El Ouadi 73'), Hadraf (Khaldane 78'), Khadrouf (Hafidi 56'), Lakohal, Iajour, Benhalib.

    Vita: Lukong, Bangala, Munganga, Bompunga, Ngonda, Shabani, Tonombe, Ngoma, Ngudikama (Batezadio 66'), Makusu, Lukombe (Ngoyi 89').

    https://africanfootball.com//news/748125/Raja-Casablanca-and-Vita-Club-settle-for-draw

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  • Ziyech: ”I will decide my future after the World Cup ”

    Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech wants to enjoy the World Cup with Morocco before deciding on his future in Amsterdam.

    The midfielder stated earlier this week that he wants a new challenge and has been widely expected to be departing the Johan Cruijff Stadion this summer.

    Speaking to NOS after the 2-1 win over Excelsior, Ziyech said, ”I am pleased that we have won today.

    ”I have already stated that I will decide my future after the World Cup.

    ”I am pleased that the season is finished because it was a very tough and long season.

    ”I have stated in previous interviews about rumours regarding my future with Ajax and now I just want to look ahead to playing in the World Cup this summer in Russia ”

    http://www.football-oranje.com/ziyech-will-decide-future-world-cup/

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