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Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Saturday, 29 May 2010 15:49 UK

Saturday's World Cup round-up

Cacau of Germany poses in front of a giant replica World Cup ball
Cacau of Germany poses in front of a giant replica World Cup ball

Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini says the World Cup ball is a "disaster, both for goalkeepers and attackers."

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar has also called the Adidas ball "horrible" and "terrible".

Pazzini said: "It moves so much and makes it difficult to control. You jump up to head a cross and suddenly the ball will move and you miss it. It is especially bad for the goalkeepers if it means they concede a goal because they can't judge the trajectory. It is like one of those balls you buy at the supermarket."

Substitute Fernando Llorente rescued Spain with an injury-time winner to beat Saudi Arabia 3-2 in their World Cup warm-up match at Innsbruck.

Osama Hawsawi gave Saudi Arabia a shock lead and, despite goals by David Villa and Xabi Alonso, the strong Spanish line-up were held 2-2 in the final stages after Mohammed Al-Sahlawi's 74th-minute goal appeared to have denied the European champions.

But Athletic Bilbao striker Llorente netted a minute into time added on to save the blushes of Vicente Del Bosque and his team.

Germany's Brazilian-born striker Cacau scored his third goal in two games to seal his side's 3-0 win over Hungary in Budapest.

Cacau, who only qualified to play for Germany last year, came off the bench to add to the two goals he scored in the 3-0 win over Malta to strengthen his World Cup claims.

Lukas Podolski opened the scoring with a penalty after four minutes but Germany had to wait until the 69th minute when Mario Gomez added a second and three mninutes later Cacau netted a third to clinch a convincing victory.

Fulham's Clint Dempsey hit the winner to give the United States a 2-1 victory over Turkey.

The US, who face England in their opening World Cup game on 12 June, struggled in the first half and fell behind to Arda Turan's breakaway goal in the 27th minute.

But Jozy Altidore equalised after 58 minutes with Dempsey netting the winner in the 75th minute, taking a perfect past from Landon Donovan and beating a defender before scoring past Turkish keeper Volkan Demirel.

Fifa says that 100,000 World Cup tickets have been sold in less than two days as local fans make a late push to attend the tournament.

Fifa said 14 matches were sold out, including the final, semi-finals and South Africa's group games. An extra 90,000 tickets, mainly returns from Fifa's sponsors, were added to the pool on Friday leaving organizers with 160,000 to sell just two weeks ahead of the 11 June kick-off.

Midfielder Eyong Enoh scored in the 83rd minute to give Cameroon a 1-1 draw with Slovakia in a friendly between the two World Cup teams.

Kamil Kopunek gave Slovakia an early lead with a shot from 20m in the sixth minute. Cameroon were still without key striker Samuel Eto'o, who has threatened to walk out of the World Cup after criticism by former player Roger Milla.

Slovak midfielder Miroslav Karhan has been ruled out of the World Cup because of a recurring Achilles tendon injury.

"There's a little tear which means I can't take part in the tournament," said the 33-year-old, who plays for Bundesliga club Mainz 05.

Striker Shane Smeltz scored in the first half to give New Zealand a 1-0 win over Serbia in a warm-up match in Klagenfurt, Austria, on Saturday.

Smeltz rounded off a quick counter-attack in the 23th minute with a low shot past Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic for his 16th goal in 29 appearances for New Zealand.

Ghana defender John Mensah and goalkeeper Richard Kingson both say they are recovering from injuries and expect to be fit for the World Cup.

Mensah injured his left calf playing for Sunderland in the Premier League. He said on Saturday he now feels fine and no longer has pain, although Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac still intends not to play him in pre-World Cup friendlies.

Thousands of Argentines cheered on the national team as they departed for South Africa on their quest to win the country's third World Cup. The send-off marked the latest sign of growing confidence in coach Diego Maradona, who has had a turbulent tenure since taking over the team more than 18 months ago.

"We're all with Diego," said fan Martin Bertaina."Maybe a few months ago we weren't, but Argentines are like that. One day we love you, the next we don't. But Maradona is special."

Former Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura is facing a battle to be fit for Japan's World Cup warm-up match against England, reports said on Saturday. The 31-year-old midfielder has been struggling with a left ankle problem.

Brazil coach Dunga is yet to officially announce who will be Julio Cesar's main understudy in South Africa, but Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes looks to have an edge over Roma's Doni after a remarkable season in England.

Gomez, who made some crucial saves in the last few games of the season as Spurs reached the Champions League qualifiers for the first time, said: "To be chosen as one of the best in the Premier League was incredible and that helped me earn a place in the national team at the World Cup, which is something I didn't even dream about when I started playing."

France coach Raymond Domenech will equal Euro 1984 boss Michel Hidalgo's record of being in charge of Les Bleus when they face Tunisia in Sunday's friendly. The 58-year-old, who guided France to a penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the 2006 World Cup final, will be in the dugout for the 75th time since replacing Jacques Santini after Euro 2004. Domenech, who is standing down after France's campaign in South Africa, has been in charge since 12 July 2004 and is the first French coach to take the team to three successive major championships.

The German Football Federation insist they have had the green light to move into their South African World Cup base on 7 June, despite the hotel still not receiving an operating permit. German newspaper reports claimed the hotel has yet to receive approval from local authorities, who deemed it both illegal and unsafe. But the Germany team logistics chief George Behlau said: "We have now received documents from Fifa stating we can move in." Germany have booked the hotel until 12 July, the day after the World Cup final.

North Korea have asked for their friendly against the Democratic Republic of Congo to be cancelled because of an injury crisis. The game was scheduled to be played in Tyrol, Austria on Saturday, in preparation for their campaign in South Africa in which they have been drawn in one of the toughest pools, alongside Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal in Group G.



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see also
Friday's World Cup round-up
28 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Thursday's World Cup round-up
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
South Africa extend unbeaten run
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010


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