GENEVA (AP):The fastest goal in World Cup history capped a night of 6-0 routs and The Netherlands’ further fall in European qualifying yesterday.Seven seconds ticked by when Belgium forward Christian Benteke’s shot finished his surging run through the Gibraltar defence, which kicked off but coughed up the ball.Benteke beat the 8.3 seconds that FIFA timed Davide Gaultieri taking to score for San Marino against England in 1993 and set the tone for the visiting Belgians’ 6-0 win.Portugal also won 6-0, but needed only a single excellent goal from Cristiano Ronaldo to dominate the Faeroe Islands.Instead, 20-year-old Andre Silva stepped up with a first-half hat-trick in just his fourth international match perhaps finally pairing Ronaldo with a true penalty-area predator for the freshly crowned European champion.Dutch decline has been steep since it followed runner-up and third-place finishes at the last two World Cups with failure to qualify for an expanded Euro 2016.A 1-0 loss at home to France was the latest setback, sealed by Paul Pogba’s powerful shot from 30 yards in the first half.Belgium and France top their groups, though Portugal trail Switzerland, which won their third straight qualifier, 2-1 at lowly Andorra.Only the nine European group winners advance directly to play in Russia and four runners-up will qualify through a play-off round.
As the clock winds down on the third annual Limacol Knockout Football competition, it seems that the heat continues to rise. After a gruelling group stage and a highly competitive quarterfinal round, the competition is in its penultimate stage with four teams remaining.The four remaining teams, namely: Police, Santos, Riddim Squad and Pouderoyen, are without a doubt four of the best teams in the competition, having advanced thus far; and luck had nothing to do with it.The semifinal games being played at the Ministry of Education Ground, Carifesta Avenue, will see two matches beginning at 18hrs. The first will feature Police coming up against Riddim Squad, while Pouderoyen and Santos will play after that for their shot at the final.Other than watching the other compete in the group matches, neither Police nor Riddim Squad have seen much of their opponent, since this will be the first time that they are facing each other.Nevertheless, the youthful Riddim Squad will bring pace and attack to the playing field, as will the Police. Riddim Squad will be keen to better their defence as the game winds down, since Police are known for their last-minute connection with the goal.It is no secret that the law enforcement team is a disciplined one, and Riddim Squad will look to take a page out of their book. The match-up will prove to be quite entertaining, as both teams possess strong determination.The later encounter, which will pit Pouderoyen and Santos against each other, should seem familiar to loyal spectators, as the teams have played against the other before.Hailing out of the same group, their first encounter went Santos’ way. Their striker, Keith Cains, had handed them the advantage by the 18th minute with a goal, and then repeated the feat in the 38th minute. Although Pouderoyen finally replied in the 80th minute on the part of Ashley Harding, it was too late for the West Bank team, who played valiantly till the last whistle was blown.If the semifinal encounter is to be anything like their first encounter, Pouderoyen will look to better their attack and complete plays which can be rewarding in the form of goals.On the other hand, Santos may be focused on their defence, as in the first game.The first whistle will sound off at 18hrs, with the second match expected to begin at 20hrs. There will be an affordable entrance fee charged for the semifinal and final games at the Ministry of Education Ground, Carifesta Avenue.