Cologne had the worst possible start on home soil as Jonas Hector's return pass was intercepted by Kramaric, who kept his cool and nutmegged goalkeeper Timo Horn for the opener with only three minutes gone.
Gilbert and Lu met in the last match of the group both with one win and one draw. The world No. 11 won the final frame to draw 2-2 with Lu but advanced by claiming the highest break of 98.
The 79,000-seat Maracana, which hosted the World Cup deciders in 1950 and 2014, was this month described as having the worst playing surface in Brazil by Flamengo vice-president Marcos Braz.
Bale returns to the club he left to join Madrid in 2013 for a then-world record transfer fee of over 110 million U.S. dollars.
Nishikori needed six match points to seal the win in two hours at the ATP Masters event held behind closed doors at the Foro Italico.
"The area that was replanted a month ago is excellent and responding very well," the Globo newspaper quoted Braga as saying on Monday. "If we repeat the same procedure the next change is going be a success," he added. Enditem
Serginho then turned from hero to villain when he received a second yellow card for scything down Carlos Eduardo two minutes from time.
MADRID, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona coach Ronaldo Koeman said that his side still needs to improve as he addressed the press ahead of their traditional Joan Gamper pre-season friendly game.
"In most operational aspects, FIFA will allow flexibility in relation to the match schedule and venues," read a CONMEBOL statement.
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Veteran goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera has been recalled to Mexico's national squad for the first time in more than two years for friendlies against Costa Rica and the Netherlands, the country's football federation said on Wednesday.
The Israeli club scored the opening goal in a clever team execution of a free kick from 20 meters in the 30th minute. Instead of shooting on goal, Dutch midfielder Tjaronn Chery produced an impressive pass to Australian striker Nikita Rukavytsya, who passed to midfielder Yuval Ashkenazi for an easy goal.