Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Torres Nets

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Torres Nets

Article excerpt

Fernando torres struck an injury-time winner as Spain concluded their World Cup build-up with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against fellow qualifiers Croatia in Geneva.

The Atletico Madrid star made amends after missing an earlier penalty by netting a fine individual effort with time almost up.

Croatia took the lead in the 14th minute when Spain defender Pablo headed Niko Kranjcar's right-wing cross into his own net, despite being under no pressure.

Mariano Pernia, a late call-up to the World Cup party as a replacement for the injured Asier Del Horno, equalised shortly after the hour mark with a left-footed free-kick which curled around the wall and into the net.

Torres then burst through a packed Croatia defence to slot home from 12 yards in the 90th minute.

Late show

AUSTRALIA needed two late goals to beat minnows Liech-tenstein in their final World Cup warm-up game.

The Socceroos fell behind after eight minutes in Ulm when Blackburn defender Lucas Neill misdirected a clearing header and only succeeded in putting it past his own goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac.

Mile Sterjovski equalised 12 minutes later but it took the Aussies until 15 minutes from full-time to confirm their superiority when substitute Josh Kennedy headed home.

Former Coventry and Portsmouth striker John Aloisi made it 3-1 after 82 minutes by tapping in from close range.

Liverpool winger Harry Kewell played the first hour in a bid to prove his fitness ahead of the Aussies' first World Cup Group F encounter against Japan on Monday.

This is No 1

USA defender Steve Cherundolo believes the World Cup dwarfs any sporting event in his homeland.

Despite the relative ambivalence of Americans to the sport, Cherundolo recognises 'soccer' has a much wider impact than merely a spectator sport.

And he hopes his country will soon catch up to the rest of their world in their appreciation.

He said: "It dwarfs any sporting event in America, whether it's the Super Bowl, basketball championship or even the World Series.

"It dwarfs that and I hope the Americans catch on to it and can understand it on the level that the rest of the world understands it. …

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