Armenia starts 2011 season with defeat

Review of February 3-10 sport events.

Football: Armenia dropped 2 places in FIFA world ranking, appearing 62nd in the list with 512 points. Armenia’s rivals in European Championship Group stage are listed as follows: Russia climbed to 12th position, Slovakia retained 20th position; Ireland came 35th; Andorra - 202nd. Top three are Spain, Netherlands and Germany with 1887, 1723 and 1485 points respectively.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenia suffered a 1:2 defeat in a friendly with Georgia. The goals were scored by Alexander Iashvili and David Siradze (Georgia), as well as Edgar Manucharyan (Armenia). The two teams rivaled for the fifth time. Armenia celebrated victory in one match, suffered a defeat in three games, and another match ended in a draw.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Reza Khalatbari scored a late winner as Iran shocked Russia 1-0 in an international friendly. Russia dominated the game in the neutral venue in Abu Dhabi and placed Iran under plenty of pressure, but rarely threatened goalkeeper Mehdi Rahmati. However, they did have some good chances to score but Dick Advocaat's men failed to hit the target.

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On the threshold on the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier between Armenia and Russia, Dick Advocaat, Russia chief coach, briefed on his team plans and match with Armenia in the UEFA EURO-2012 qualification group. “Berezutski and Bilyaletdinov may play as defenders in the match vs. Armenia,” he said. “There cannot be any secrets in the match with Iran before the game with Armenia. The best will win in Yerevan.”

Russia and Stuttgart FC forward Pavel Pogrebnyak said that the match with Iran is important and Russia needs to taste victory prior to the match vs. Armenia.

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Nyon, Switzerland, hosted the draw for the group stage of qualifying for the 2011-13 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. According to the draw, Armenia is in Group C to rival the Czech Republic, Wales, Montenegro and Andorra.

Chess: Armenia’s Lilit Galoyan finished 7th at Moscow Open chess tournament. Galoyan gained 3,5 points, ending 5 games in a draw, losing 3 matches and winning 1. Alexandra Kostenyuk won the tournament with 7 points, followed by Batkhuyag Munguntuul.

Tennis: Argentine Armenian David Nalbandian has confirmed participation in 2011 Copa Claro to be held in Buenos Aires from February 14 to 20. Nalbandian is training and will do his best to win the title, his website said. This year, Nalbandian climbed the 19th place in ATP rankings thanks to reaching the final of Heineken Open in Auckland.

Judo2009 World Championship bronze winner Hovhannes Davtyan (60kg) and 2010 World Cup winner Armen Nazaryan (66kg) won silver medals at Judo Grand Slam Paris 2011. Davtyan and Nazaryan were defeated in the finals by Rishod Sobirov and Junpei Morishita respectively.

Boxing: Ulli Wegner, the trainer for both super middleweight Arthur Abraham (31-2, 25 KOs) and cruiserweight Yoan Pablo Hernandez (23-1, 12 KOs), says both of his boxers are in excellent shape. According to the German coach, both fighters worked very hard for their fights on Saturday in Mulheim. Abraham will face Croatian boxer Stjepan Bozic, while Hernandez will take on WBA interim-champion Steve Herelius. "Hernandez worked hard. We know the bout with Herelius will be the fight of his life. Arthur is at a different stage in his career, but he also did not spare anything during training. Abraham must not only win, but he must do it in style. I am convinced that he will not disappoint his fans," Wegner said.

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Arthur Abraham said that the year 2010 is over for him. “I’m not talking any more about the defeats. I’m only looking forward,” he said three days before his comeback fight against WBA #9 Stjepan Bozic on Saturday at the RWE-Sporthalle in Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany. He added that he doesn’t underestimate any opponent and plans to make 2011 his year. “I have two Super Six fights. First the semi-final, then the final. In the fight against Bozic, I will satisfy my fans again,” Abraham said.

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A press conference was held in Los Angeles to announce that Joseph King Kong Agbeko will defend his IBF bantamweight world championship against undefeated rising star Abner Mares, who defends his WBC Silver bantamweight championship in the eagerly awaited finals of The Bantamweight Tournament: Winner Takes All on Saturday, April 23 LIVE on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. In what will be a hotly contested co-feature, former two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan and former IBF bantamweight world champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez will clash in the tournament consolation bout. Commenting on his bout, Vic Darchinyan said that he is a pure fighter. “I will beat Perez by knockout and show that I am much stronger. I am looking forward to this fight and will be in great shape. I will have no excuses and will prevail,” he said.

Gohar Nalbandyan, Hasmik Babayan / PanARMENIAN News
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