Group A team news

LONDON - Latest Group A team news ahead of the World Cup in South Africa which starts on June 11:

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Two more friendly matches have been added to South Africa's schedule of warm-up games ahead of the World Cup's opening game on June 11.

The South African Football Association have already fixed home matches against Colombia and Denmark in the final two weeks before the tournament starts but have now added further games on May 24 against Bulgaria and another, against an opponent yet to be announced, on May 16.

The venues for the matches are also to be fixed but will either be at Soccer City or Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld.


Nice striker Loic Remy did his World Cup chances no harm by netting a double in his team's 3-3 draw at Boulogne on Sunday, taking his season Ligue 1 tally to 13. It represents 35 per cent of his team's goals this season.

In the mean time, Thierry Henry was not even on the bench as Barcelona thrahsed Villarreal 4-1 away and Karim Benzema did not show much in his 23 minutes on the pitch when Real Madrid laboured to a 3-2 home win against Osasuna.

Playmaker Yoann Gourcuff sat out of Girondins Bordeaux's 1-0 home victory against Toulouse with a thigh injury but he is expected to be fit for the World Cup.


Coach Javier Aguirre has added 10 European exiles to the 16 home-based players in his provisional squad preparing for a series of warm-up matches:

Defenders: Rafael Marquez (Barcelona), Ricardo Osorio (VfB Stuttgart), Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Salcido (both PSV Eindhoven), Hector Moreno (AZ Alkmaar)

Midfielders: Jonathan Dos Santos (Barcelona), Andres Guardado (Deportivo Coruna)

Forwards: Guillermo Franco (West Ham United), Carlos Vela (Arsenal), Giovani Dos Santos (Galatasaray).


Diego Forlan was the hero for Atletico Madrid, drilling in the goal in a 2-1 semi-final, second-leg defeat at Liverpool that gave the Rojiblancos a place in the Europa League final on the away