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Italy held by Switzerland in World Cup qualifier******
ROME, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Italy should have sealed a win on Friday but only settled for a 1-1 tie against Switzerland in a FIFA World Cup European qualifier, as Jorginho missed a late penalty.。
It was a head-to-head for the top place of Group C as the two sides were tied in the standings with 14 points ahead of the final match-day as the Azzurri ranked first by virtue of a superior goal difference. The top finisher will advance to Qatar 2022 directly, while the second enter play-offs.。
Both sides entered the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with a long list of absentees as Italy lost Giorgio Chiellini, Ciro Immobile and Marco Verratti to injury, while Switzerland were without Granit Xhaka and Haris Seferovic.。
The away side had a more aggressive start and went ahead in the 11th minute as Noah Okafor sprinted down the left and squared for Silvan Widmer to hit in a first-time screamer out of the box.。
Italy managed to weather the early siege, and once the tempo and intensity of the opponents dropped, the game was transformed.。
The winner of the 2020 Euro Championship earned a genuine opportunity in the 22nd minute as Emerson broke into the box and pulled back for Jorginho, whose attempt was blocked and Nicolo Barella's follow-up from a close range was denied by Yann Sommer.。
Italy got back on level terms through a well-designed free kick as Lorenzo Insigne's dummy allowed his cross to find Giovanni Di Lorenzo who scored a header.。
The Azzurri was utterly dominant after the break to create a string of chances, and it won a golden opportunity in the dying minutes when Domenico Berardi was pushed down in the box. The referee Anthony Taylor waved play on before checking the VAR to award a penalty.。
Jorginho, who missed the spot-kick in the two sides' first meeting in September, stepped up again, but the Chelsea midfielder surprisingly blasted it over.。
The situation is unchanged as the two teams in the group are still separated by just two goals. Their fortunes will be decided in the final group games three days later when Italy visit Northern Ireland, and Switzerland host Bulgaria. Enditem。
Huang/Zheng overpower Thai duo to reach Denmark Open final******
ODENSE, Denmark, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shuttlers Huang Dongping and Zheng Yu overpowered fifth-seeded Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai from Thailand here on Saturday to reach the Denmark Open women's doubles final.
The newly paired Chinese duo took a straight win of 21-10, 21-15, and will meet second-seeded Lee So-hee/Shin Seung-chan from South Korea in the final.
"We defeated the Tokyo Olympic champion yesterday and it has given us much confidence to play strong since the very beginning today. And my partner gave many great smashes," said Huang. "Honestly, we did not expect to go as far as the final. Each match is a big surprise for us."
However, Huang did not make the mixed doubles final spot paired with her Olympic mixed doubles winning partner Wang Yilyu. Fourth-seeded Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino from Japan took revenge on the Chinese top seed 16-21, 21-17, 21-17 in the mixed doubles semifinal.
As the Tokyo Olympic bronze medalists, the Japanese duo had lost the Olympic semifinal to the Chinese pair.
The 27-year-old Wang was not satisfied with the results and his own performance, although he had made many great saves.
"Huang has done well enough, but I'm not so determined to push myself. I should have done more for my partner because she is also playing the women's doubles. Maybe I was not well prepared mentally," said Wang.
"It's not a bad thing for us to lose this game. It'll tell us how to improve ourselves," said Huang, "we need to cover each other in key rally."
In the women's singles semifinal, sixth-seeded He Bingjiao from China was edged 23-21, 22-20 by second seed Akane Yamaguchi who had defeated Tokyo Olympic champion Chen Yufei twice in Sudirman Cup and Uber Cup.
"I was never thinking about giving up, even when I was falling behind in both sets. I tried to overturn the game, but it seemed that I just need a little bit more luck," said 24-year-old He.
He told Xinhua that Yamaguchi is her good friend and they have been playing against each other since the junior tournaments.
"Akane has great personality and strong will. She can save all the smashes no matter how difficult the shots are," said He. "She is not an emotional player and always keeps calm. She is very energetic on the pitch. It looks like she is never tired." Enditem
Over 4,700 volunteers get to work for upcoming CIIE******
SHANGHAI, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 4,700 people were sworn in as volunteers on Wednesday and started going about with their duties for the fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE) scheduled from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai, according to local authorities.
The volunteers are university students from Shanghai and more than 80 percent of them were born after 2000, according to the Shanghai municipal committee of the Communist Youth League of China.
The duties of the volunteers include guiding people around the venue, offering epidemic prevention and control information, and handling other related work during the event.
Tens of thousands of volunteers have provided services since the first CIIE in 2018 to ensure the smooth running of the expo. Enditem