Woodburn helps Liverpool reach League Cup semis
Football mourns Brazilian players killed in air crash
Liverpool reached the League Cup semi-finals after 17-year-old Ben Woodburn enjoyed a night to remember by becoming the club’s youngest ever goalscorer when he wrapped up a 2-0 victory over Leeds United on Tuesday.
The youngster volleyed powerfully into the net from close range in front of the Kop in the 81st minute to double Liverpool’s lead and simultaneously erase former England striker Michael Owen from the club’s record books.
At 17 years and 45 days, Woodburn was 98 days younger than Owen, when he found the net for the first time in 1997.
It had been a testing evening for Liverpool, who were frustrated for the majority of the tie at Anfield and were outplayed at times by their second-tier opponents, with Leeds pegging them back and striking the woodwork in the second half. However, the hosts’ Divock Origi slid home the opening goal after 76 minutes before Woodburn struck four minutes later agains the Anfield side’s old rivals.
“We all know how young Woodburn is, but it doesn’t look like this in training sessions,” Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp told Sky Sports. “It’s a nice story and all the boys are really happy for him. Everybody is smiling in the dressing room.” Liverpool will be joined in the last four by Hull City, who got past Championship (secondtier) leaders Newcastle United as the visitors missed three penalties in a 3-1 shootout defeat after the match had finished 1-1 at the end of extra time.
With a host of injuries to deal with and a congested festive fixture schedule looming, Liverpool coach Klopp rang made eight changes from the side that beat Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday and gave several youngsters an opportunity to shine.
There was a makeshift feel to the way Liverpool played in the first half as Leeds enjoyed the best chances with Hadi Sacko forcing a superb early save from Simon Mignolet and Kemar Roofe curling a beautiful effort against the post after the break.
It was not until later in the second period that the hosts began to find some rhythm, with Georginio Wijnaldum striking the post minutes before Origi slid in to poke a brilliant cross from another youngster, Trent Alexander-Arnold, in at the near post.
Woodburn’s moment arrived five minutes later with Origi’s cross to the far post finding the young striker unmarked. He smashed the ball high into the net and wheeled away in celebration in front of a jubilant Kop.
A drab encounter that finished 0-0 after 90 minutes at Hull sprang to life in extra time as Newcastle took the lead when Mohamed Diame prodded home in the 98th against his former club. The advantage lasted just a minute, however, with Robert Snodgrass equalising for Hull, who played with 10 men in extra time after striker Dieumerci Mbokani was sent off in the 89th.
Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic was the shootout hero, saving from Jonjo Shelvey and Yoan Gouffran, while their Newcastle team mate Dwight Gayle hit the crossbar.
Arsenal host Southampton and Manchester United welcome West Ham United in the two remaining ties later. —Reuters
Emotional tributes were paid yesterday to the Brazilian football team Chapecoense Real that was virtually wiped out in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains that killed 71 people. The charter plane, a British Aerospace 146, reported electrical problems just before the crash as it arrived in Medellin where Chapecoense were to play in the Copa Sudamericana final.
But a Colombian military source said the airliner may have run out of fuel. “It is very suspicious that despite the impact there was no explosion. That reinforces the theory of the lack of fuel,” the source told AFP.
The weather at the time of the disaster was bad. Six people miraculously survived the crash Monday night. Three of the survivors were footballers, but goalkeeper Jackson Follmann had his right leg amputated, said the San Vicente Foundation Hospital outside Medellin. Two flight crew and a journalist following Chapecoense for the game against Medellin also escaped.
Brazil ordered three days of national mourning for the team. Fans flocked to the Chapecoense stadium in Brazil to mourn the team, who have emerged from nowhere over the past two years to take South American football by storm.
Other Brazilian clubs have offered them players so they can carry on competing. Special funds have also been set up.
Football legends Pele and Maradona and current superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo led tributes to the Chapecoense team. Ronaldo joined Real Madrid teammates in a minute’s silence for the Brazilian team.
BLACK BOXES FOUND
“The pain is terrible. Just as we had made it, I will not say to the top, but to have national prominence, a tragedy like this happens,” club vice-president Ivan Tozzo told Globo SporTV.
“It is very difficult, a very great tragedy.”
The plane went down about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Medellin, in a remote mountain area called Cerro Gordo.
Chapecoense were on their way to play Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final. The two black box recorders have been found but no immediate details were given. The dead included most of the team and 20 Brazilian journalists traveling to cover the match.
Four people did not turn up for the flight including a journalist and two politicians. “It’s one of those things in life. Only God knows why I ended up staying behind,” said Luciano Buligon, the mayor of Chapeco in southern Brazil. Crying, Plinio Filho, the head of the club’s advisory council, recalled the players telling him they were off to “chase a dream” as they left. “The group was like a family. It was a group of friends, where everyone laughed a lot, even in defeat,” he said.
Footage of the club on the plane before take-off aired on TV channel Gigavision in Bolivia, where the team departed from the city of Santa Cruz after taking a commercial flight from Brazil. The same plane was used two weeks ago to fly the Argentine national team with Messi on board to San Juan, Argentina for a World Cup qualifying match, specialist websites said. Chapecoense coach Mauro Stumpf told Gigavision he hoped the plane would “bring (us) luck” like it did when the team flew with the same company to a quarter-final match last month.
The British Aerospace 146 airliner entered into operation in 1999 and previously belonged to two other airlines, a spokesman for the manufacturer told AFP. Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it was sending experts along with representatives of the plane’s manufacturer BAE Systems to Colombia to help the investigation.—AFP
CHAPECO: People attend a mass in memoriam of the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense Real killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, in Chapeco, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, on Tuesday. —AFP