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Soccer in Brief - Ten-man Ivorians reel in Guinea

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Ivory Coast's defender Kolo Toure challenges Guinea's midfielder Naby Keita

Ivory Coast's defender Kolo Toure challenges Guinea's midfielder Naby Keita

AFP/Getty Images

Ivory Coast's defender Kolo Toure challenges Guinea's midfielder Naby Keita

Tournament favourites Ivory Coast struggled to a 1-1 draw against Guinea in their opening match at the African Cup of Nations after having Gervinho sent off.

Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony set up the equaliser for substitute Seydou Doumbia.

Gervinho saw red after an off-the-ball scuffle with Baissama Sankoh in the 57th minute, when the Ivorians were trailing 1-0 to Mohamed Yattara’s goal.

Cameroon needed a late goal from Ambroise Oyongo to snatch a 1-1 draw with Mali. Sambou Yatabare had given Mali a surprise lead in the 71st minute.

€5 punter collects €17,000 winnings

A punter whose €5 bet netted more than €17,000 on a football accumulator punt has collected his winnings.

The bet was placed in Ladbrokes in Letterkenny on 11 teams to win matches in English soccer games last Saturday.

The bets were on wins for Crystal Palace, Tottenham, Chelsea, Brentford, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Doncaster, Gillingham, Milton Keynes, Port Vale and Southampton.

Defoe aiming for England recall

Jermain Defoe is hoping to use his move to Sunderland as a springboard to relaunch his England career.

The 32-year-old, who has returned to the Premier League after a season in the MLS with Toronto, has spoken of his devastation at being left out of Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad, but has not given up hope of an international recall.

“No. I still think I’ve got a lot to offer,” he said. “I still feel sharp. I still feel like I’ve got a lot of goals left in me. I was disappointed and upset (to be left out of the squad to Brazil) but I still want to score goals for England.”

Gunners closing in on Villarreal’s Paulista

Arsenal are in talks to sign Villarreal centre-back Gabriel Paulista but any deal is likely to hinge on obtaining a work permit for the 24-year-old Brazilian.

Manager Arsène Wenger regards Paulista as a potential short and long-term answer to Arsenal’s shortage of defenders but there are still obstacles to overcome both with regards to a fee and work permit.

Arsenal are understood to be proposing an initial fee of around £6m that could potentially rise beyond £10m while Villarreal are holding out for their release clause of £15.25m) being met.

There is also competing interest from Manchester United but Paulista has indicated that he would be keen on a move to Arsenal.

Online Editors