Grayson tar­gets top flight re­turn

Irish Examiner - Sport - - SOCCER/GOLF - Damian Spellman

Ger­many eased into the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup fi­nal fol­low­ing a com­fort­able 4-1 vic­tory over Mex­ico in Sochi.

Joachim Low’s youth­ful side over­pow­ered Mex­ico as Leon Goret­zka’s early brace and sec­ond-half strikes from Timo Werner and Amin Younes sealed a place in Sun­day’s fi­nal with Chile in St Petersburg.

Marco Fabian scored a fan­tas­tic late con­so­la­tion goal for Mex­ico to briefly make it 3-1, but the world cham­pi­ons were too good.

Ger­many started the match on the front foot and needed only six min­utes to take the lead af­ter they counter-at­tacked to dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect.

A loose header from Hec­tor Moreno was picked up by Go- ret­zka, who in­stantly found the over-lap­ping full-back Ben­jamin Hen­richs on the right wing.

He re­turned the ball to the on-rush­ing Schalke mid­fielder to sweep into the bot­tom cor­ner from 20 yards.

Ger­many did not waste any time in dou­bling their ad­van­tage, with the 22-year-old strik­ing again two min­utes later when he latched on to a Werner through-ball be­fore slid­ing a com­posed fin­ish past Guillermo Ochoa and into the far cor­ner.

Ger­many moved fur­ther ahead in the 59th minute.

A flow­ing move from right to left re­sulted in Goret­zka lay­ing off the ball to Draxler, who threaded a pass to Jonas Hec­tor and his cut­back to Werner left the Leipzig man with a tap in for his third goal of the tour­na­ment.

Ter Ste­gen was fi­nally beaten when Fabian fired in a won­der strike from 30 yards to re­duce the deficit with one minute re­main­ing, but Younes popped up with Ger­many’s fourth goal with a neat fin­ish in added time.

GER­MANY: Ter Ste­gen, Hen­richs, Kim­mich, Gin­ter, Rudi­ger, Hec­tor, Rudy, Goret­zka (Can 67), Stindl (Brandt 78), Draxler (Younes 81), Werner.

MEX­ICO: Ochoa, Araujo, Ala­nis, Moreno, Layun, Gio­vani dos San­tos (Fabian 62), Her­rera, Jonathan dos San­tos (Marquez 67), Aquino (Lozano 46), Jimenez, Javier Her­nan­dez.

Ref:

Nestor Pi­tana (Ar­gentina). Si­mon Grayson has vowed to re­turn Sun­der­land to where they should be af­ter be­ing ap­pointed as the club’s new man­ager.

The 47-year-old has signed a three-year con­tract af­ter the rel­e­gated Black Cats were given per­mis­sion to speak to him yes­ter­day and will meet his play­ers for the first time to­day be­fore fly­ing off to Aus­tria with them for a pre­sea­son train­ing camp.

A club state­ment said: “Sun­der­land AFC is de­lighted to wel­come Si­mon Grayson as the club’s new man­ager. Grayson moves to Wear­side af­ter putting pen to pa­per on a three-year deal with the Black Cats.

“A sea­soned man­ager who has taken charge of over 600 games, Grayson has vast ex­pe­ri­ence of build­ing and im­prov­ing teams he takes charge of. He ar­rives at the Sta­dium of Light af­ter four years at Pre­ston North End, where he took the club from the lower reaches of League One into the Cham­pi­onship.”

Grayson’s ap­point­ment will be watched with in­ter­est in Ire­land, with Daryl Hor­gan, Alan Browne, Eoin Doyle, Greg Cun­ning­ham, and Andy Boyle all ply­ing their trade there, while Cork City striker Seanie Maguire joins the club next month, with City team­mate Kevin O’connor tipped to join him.

More than five weeks af­ter David Moyes’ de­par­ture, Sun­der­land turned to Grayson in some­thing of a whirl­wind af­ter re­veal­ing that takeover talks with a se­ries of in­ter­ested par­ties had ended with no sale agreed, leav­ing cur­rent owner El­lis Short still at the helm.

The new man­ager said: “I am de­lighted to come to Sun­der­land, a club with such won­der­ful his­tory and tra­di­tion.

“I’m ex­cited by the op­por­tu­nity to man­age this club and I want to bring the good times back.

“Sun­der­land is so for­tu­nate to have such tremen­dous sup­port and I want to give these fans a team they can be proud of.

“The Cham­pi­onship is a de­mand­ing league, but with all the at­tributes I have high­lighted, then our aim has to be to get the club back to where it be­longs as quickly as pos­si­ble and I can’t wait to get started.”

The squad Grayson has in­her­ited from Moyes re­turned for pre-sea­son train­ing on yes­ter­day and will travel to Aus­tria to­mor­row, and the man­ager’s ap­point­ment could hardly be more timely.

Striker Jer­main De­foe fol­lowed Jor­dan Pick­ford out of the exit yes­ter­day when he com­pleted his move to Bournemouth while Fabio Borini is clos­ing to seal­ing his switch to AC Mi­lan.

Re-shap­ing the squad will be Grayson’s first fo­cus, although the im­pend­ing de­par­tures of chief foot­ball of­fi­cer Si­mon Wil­son and chief scout Mick Do­herty set to leave in an over­haul of the club’s re­cruit­ment set-up may not help in the short term.

Pic­ture: Franck Fife/afp/getty Images

Mex­ico’s for­ward Hirv­ing Lozano falls af­ter chal­leng­ing Ger­many’s Lars Stindl and Ben­jamin Hen­richs dur­ing the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup semi-fi­nal at the Fisht Sta­dium in Sochi.

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