Cup

Heckingbottom calls for Hibs improvement despite comfortable cup win

Hibs will top the group with victory over Elgin on Friday. Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom insists his team still need to improve ahead of the start of the league campaign, despite overcoming Arbroath 3-0 in Tuesday’s Betfred Cup clash. Flo Kamberi and Scott Allan scored at either end of the first half before substitute Fraser Murray struck the third in the 87th minute. Victory at Elgin City in Friday’s televised clash will see Hibs progress in the competition as Group C winners. However, Heckingbottom admits the outing against Arbroath was not flawless. He said: “There were lots of things we did well, lots of things we didn’t do so well and which need to be better. “The big difference was getting an early goal. We could’ve scored umpteen and they h...

Result: St Mirren out of Betfred Cup despite penalty win

The Premiership side were held to a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes. St Mirren were knocked out of the Betfred Cup after failing to beat League Two side Albion Rovers in 90 minutes. Jim Goodwin’s side failed to score a goal from open play for a third successive game and a 4-3 success on penalties was not enough to keep the Ladbrokes Premiership side in the competition. The result means Saints are now unable to finish top of Group H and fixtures still to be played elsewhere means they can not be one of the four best runners-up. Saints made one change from the side that had drawn at Lowland League side East Kilbride the weekend, with captain Stephen McGinn replaced by Cody Cooke. They were forced into another early switch when Cammy MacPherson injured his shoulder, with Nicholas McAllister hand...

Result: Ross County maintain perfect record in Betfred Cup

Billy McKay was at the double against St Johnstone. Billy McKay hit a double to earn a 2-1 win over St Johnstone and continue Ross County’s perfect Betfred Cup record. Scott Tanser gave the hosts an early lead from the penalty spot but their second defeat means they will crash out of the tournament before the knockout fixtures begin. Saints had six players back from injury following their midweek defeat by Montrose and Callum Hendry shook off a knock to start on the bench. They started well and Tom Grivosti conceded a penalty with a foul on Chris Kane. Tanser confidently converted in the eighth minute. The hosts continued to press. Danny Swanson shot over from Murray Davidson’s cutback and Michael O’Halloran hit the post from a tight angle with Keith Watson guarding the net after beating R...

Result: Algeria crowned Africa Cup of Nations champions for the second time

Algeria win the Africa Cup of Nations for just the second time in their history courtesy of a 1-0 win over Senegal. Algeria have won the Africa Cup of Nations for just the second time in their history courtesy of a 1-0 win over Senegal in the final of the competition in Cairo on Friday night. The Greens last won the tournament on home soil in 1990, but have now secured another trophy by beating a Senegal side that were looking for their first ever AFCON title. © Reuters Algeria made the breakthrough in the second minute of the contest when Baghdad Bounedjah saw his strike from the edge of the Senegal box hit defender Salif Sane before dropping into the back of the net. It was somewhat of a freak goal with the ball initially looking to be heading over the crossbar, but it was the perfect st...

Result: Late Djorkaeff penalty sees St Mirren edge out Edinburgh City in Betfred Cup

Saints needed to bounce back after suffering defeat to Dunfermline in their previous tie. Oan Djorkaeff scored his first St Mirren goal to spare Jim Goodwin’s team another embarrassing Betfred Cup slip-up against Edinburgh City. The son of French World Cup winner Youri struck tucked home a late penalty to seal a 1-0 win over James McDonaugh’s League Two minnows. And it keeps Saints’ faint hopes of topping Group H alive as they bounced back from their opening defeat to Dunfermline. Goodwin’s Paisley homecoming on Sunday was wrecked by the Pars’ 3-2 triumph – leaving the new boss to admit his squad was shy of five quality players. No new faces had arrived by the time of the Citizens’ visit to Paisley and again the top-flight side looked lost for ideas against lower league opposition. Apart f...

Alex Iwobi: ‘Nigeria can learn from Africa Cup of Nations heartbreak’

The Super Eagles saw their hopes dashed by Riyad Mahrez’s stoppage-time free-kick. Alex Iwobi believes Nigeria can learn from the heartbreak of their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final defeat to go on and secure third place in the tournament. The Super Eagles were beaten 2-1 by Algeria when Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez scored a free-kick deep into stoppage time. With hopes of a third Africa Cup of Nations title dashed, Gernot Rohr‘s side must now lift themselves to face Tunisia, who were knocked out by Senegal after extra-time. “We always take lessons from our mistakes,” Arsenal winger Iwobi told a press conference. “Even though we lost the semi-final, of course it hurts, there is no better place to put it right than in the third-fourth place play-off...

Robbie Crawford determined to get one over former club Ayr in Betfred Cup

The midfielder made more than 200 appearances for Ayr. Robbie Crawford might be taking stick from his new boss about his Ayr background but the Livingston midfielder is determined to sweep past his former club and embark on a Betfred Cup run. The midfielder made more than 200 appearances for Ayr before being snapped up by Gary Holt this summer. The former Kilmarnock midfielder has been quick to let Crawford know what he thinks of his former club but the pair will be firmly on the same side when Ayr visit the Tony Macaroni Arena on Tuesday. Livi are looking to take control of their Betfred Cup group and Crawford is confident they can go on a run in the tournament after helping Ayr to the last eight last season, where they lost to Rangers. Crawford said: “He (Holt) has been giving me a...

Result: Dylan Bronn own goal sends Senegal into Africa Cup of Nations final

Dylan Bronn’s own goal sent Senegal through. A bizarre own goal in extra time sent Senegal through to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win against Tunisia. A mistake by goalkeeper Mouez Hassen in the 100th minute saw the ball bounce off the head of defender Dylan Bronn and trickle into the net. Hassen came racing towards the penalty spot to try to cut out a cross from the right flank but completely missed the ball, which then hit the unfortunate Bronn. Ferjani Sassi missed a penalty for Tunisia and Henri Saivet did likewise for Senegal but that was not the end of the drama. Tunisia felt aggrieved as they were awarded another spot-kick late on after Salif Sane headed the ball against Idrissa Gueye’s arm, only for that decision to be controversially overturned fo...

Result: Hearts beat Dundee United on penalties in League Cup opener

Hearts earned a Betfred Cup bonus point after prevailing against Dundee United in a penalty shoot-out at Tynecastle. The sides could not be separated in an action-packed 90 minutes and Nicky Clark‘s missed spot-kick proved decisive for Ladbrokes Championship club United. Lawrence Shankland handed the Tangerines a ninth-minute breakthrough before Andrew Irving cancelled it out with his first goal for Hearts, making it 1-1 in the 44th minute. Irving was later sent off, with just six minutes remaining, after appearing to handle on the edge of his own box as he prevented Clark from driving through on goal on the break. And, with open play failing to find a winner, Hearts’ 100 per cent success rate from the spot earned them an extra point. At a rain-lashed Tynecastle it did not take...

St Mirren sign son of French World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff

Oan Djorkaeff has previously played for St Etienne, Evian, Montpellier and Nantes. St Mirren have signed midfielder Oan Djorkaeff on a one-year deal following a successful trial. The son of French World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff could make his debut in Sunday’s Betfred Cup encounter with Dunfermline if his international clearance comes through. The 22-year-old has had spells with St Etienne, Evian, Montpellier and Nantes. He told www.stmirren.com: “I feel very glad to be here and to start a new adventure with this club. “The camp in Spain was amazing and we can see that we are starting to learn how to play with each other. “I’m very excited to play and show the fans what I can do. “I just want to help the team win and whatever I can do to help the team ...

Result: Tunisia end Madagascar run to reach Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals

All three goals came in the second half. Wahbi Khazri inspired Tunisia as they powered their way into the semi-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations by ending Madagascar‘s unlikely dreams of glory. Goals from Ferjani Sassi, skipper Youssef Msakni and substitute Naim Sliti secured a 3-0 quarter-final win in Cairo to set up a showdown with Senegal on Sunday, but it was Khazri who led the way with a fine individual display. Tunisia enjoyed the better of a keenly-contested first half, but were unable to make the pressure count. St-Etienne’s Khazri came closest to breaking the deadlock with a curling 32nd-minute free-kick which Melvin Adrien clawed away, and the Malagasy keeper had to get down well to turn away Ghaylen Chaaleli’s well-struck effort 10 minutes later. Khazri thoug...

Result: Nigeria strike late to book Africa Cup of Nations semi-final spot

William Troost-Ekong‘s late strike sent Nigeria into the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations at the expense of South Africa. The Udinese centre-back struck in the 89th minute to seal a 2-1 win at the Cairo International Stadium. Samuel Chukwueze opened the scoring for Nigeria in the first half only for Bongani Zungu to level in the second half after VAR intervened. The Super Eagles will play Ivory Coast or Algeria in the semi-finals in Cairo on Sunday. Chukwueze opened the scoring after 27 minutes when he linked with Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi to score at the second attempt. Zungu levelled with 20 minutes remaining when he nodded in from a free-kick and it was given after a VAR check showed the ball came off Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo before it fell to an initially offside Zun...

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