Premier League

Van Wolfswinkel to join Canaries

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Sat, 23 Mar 2013 11:14:00

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey has apologised after being sent off late on during the 2-1 win over Scotland.

Ramsey was shown a second yellow card following a foul on James McArthur in stoppage-time after he had made a hash of a quick free-kick.

He will now miss Wales' World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Tuesday and he acknowledged he needs to learn from the incident after saying sorry to coach Chris Coleman.

"It was very disappointing - it's something I need to learn from," said Ramsey.

"I should have looked up at the clock and let the goalkeeper take the free-kick. I had to (foul McArthur) in the end.

"It's disappointing to do what I've done after a great performance.

"I said sorry (to the manager) for letting the boys down. I'm missing the next game so I apologised."

Meanwhile, Ramsey believes the victory over Scotland proves that Wales are not just a one-man team after Gareth Bale was forced off at half-time with his team trailing 1-0.

A Ramsey penalty and Hal Robson-Kanu header earned Wales a second qualifying success and the Arsenal midfielder was pleased with the second-half response.

He added: "We have some very good players who can do things, great things, and are comfortable on the ball. We proved that in the second half.

"Gareth Bale can do something out of the ordinary and that is what teams are wary of. But we showed we have a lot more to offer than just him."

Heavy overnight snow resulted in poor weather conditions in the area and the referee made the decision to call the game off with the safety of the supporters and players in mind.

No new date has yet been arranged.

The win kept Jose Pekerman's second-placed side within four points of Argentina, who saw off Venezuela 4-0 and have played one game more than the Colombians.

The Cafeteros controlled the match from the first whistle but had to wait until the 20th minute to open the scoring, Macnelly Torres tapping home from Guillermo Cuadrado's cross.

The floodgates opened after the interval in Barranquilla.

Carlos Valdes took advantage of a kind rebound following a corner to double his team's lead four minutes into the second half, with Teifilo Gutierrez swiftly adding a third on the counter-attack.

The misery was not over for Xabier Azkagorta's side, though.

Four minutes from time, Radamel Falcao latched onto Pablo Armero's pass and notched a fourth goal and then, deep into stoppage time, substitute Armero made no mistake when one on one with goalkeeper Sergio Galarza.

In Montevideo, fourth-placed Uruguay lost ground in the qualification race as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Paraguay.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez looked to have won it for Uruguay when he broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute with a superb volley, but four minutes later Edgar Benitez capitalised on a Diego Lugano error to restore parity.

Finally, man of the match Jefferson Farfan grabbed the game's only goal three minutes from the end to earn Peru a 1-0 triumph over Chile in Lima.

The vicious anti-Ferdinand chants during Friday night's 8-0 World Cup qualifying win over San Marino will surely make it impossible for Hodgson to consider the Manchester United defender, even if his "intricate and pre-planned" fitness regime allows.

For if the fans who made their way to this tiny corner of the FIFA family felt it necessary to bellow such nasty taunts, how would a full Wembley react to the appearance of a player who preferred to commentate on his country rather than actually turn out for them?

"Of course I heard it," Hodgson said. "I'm not deaf. "But I've absolutely no comment to make on it."

Hodgson can afford to take such a detached stance as public sentiment is now overwhelmingly on his side - although that might turn against him if England get beaten in Podgorica on Tuesday by a side that needed a late goal to overcome Moldova in Chisinau last night.

"It would be a great lift to win on Tuesday, but if we don't get it I won't be getting the spade out to dig a grave for the team," Hodgson said.

"There are 15 points to play for and the team is capable of getting a large number of those points to see us through.

"Beating Brazil gave us confidence and most people will look at the football we played tonight and revel in the fact there were exceptional moves and goals in there."

England remain two points adrift of Montenegro despite recording their biggest win since 1987, and their largest victory in World Cup combat ever.

Jermain Defoe was the only man to score more than once, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ashley Young, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge adding to the Tottenham striker's brace and an early Alessandro Della Valle own goal.

Hodgson was able to rest key men, including Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole, with Tuesday in mind, although he will definitely be without Gary Cahill and Theo Walcott due to injury.

"We did have some forlorn hope that Gary Cahill might recover," Hodgson said.

"But I was warned it was extremely unlikely, and he's not trained yet so there's no chance of him joining us.

"And right at the start of training yesterday, Theo Walcott was crossing a ball. The pitch was slippy, he followed up the cross and immediately felt a twinge in his pelvic area.

"We took him for a scan and there's a slight tear in a very unusual area.

"He's going back home, but hopefully he won't be out for too long."

The Barclays Premier League club confirmed the deal on their website on Ftiday evening, adding that the deal was subject to the relevant paperwork being completed.

The 24-year-old has scored 82 goals in 188 appearances for Vitesse Arnhem, FC Utrecht and Sporting and has won one senior cap for Holland.

Norwich manager Chris Hughton told the club's official website: "Ricky's profile is a perfect fit for us - he's young, ambitious and a proven goalscorer.

"He has an excellent goalscoring pedigree and he's a young man very keen to continue his personal progression and to play in England. He's already an exciting talent but he still has more development as a player ahead of him.

"I'm delighted we've been able to agree a deal with Sporting Lisbon and with Ricky and we look forward to welcoming him to the squad in July, once all of the paperwork gets sorted out."

Van Wolfswinkel started his career with Vitesse, joining the Arnhem club's youth academy in 1999 at the age of 10.

He made his senior debut in 2008 and went on to net eight goals in 35 appearances before switching to Utrecht the following year.

Thirty-five goals over two campaigns for Utrecht earned the 6ft 2in forward a 5.1million euros move in June 2011 to Sporting, where he notched 25 times last term and so far has 14 to his name this season.

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