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Brazilian-born Emerson given Italy call


South Africa out after Uruguay stalemate

By ESPN Staff

Positive Ferguson targets top spot

Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated a place in the Champions League last 16 and then called on his Manchester United players to secure top spot in Group F by beating Sporting Lisbon in three weeks time. United's 4-0 win over Dynamo Kiev, coupled with Sporting's failure to beat Roma in Portugal, means the Red Devils are through to the knock-out phase with two games to spare. Gerard Pique set the hosts on their way with his first Red Devils goal, with Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo adding the rest to take United's tally to an incredible 22 goals in their last six games. But after maintaining their 100% record, Ferguson now wants his team to complete the job. 'If we beat Sporting, we win the group and we want to try to make sure that happens,' he said. So negative were Kiev, man-of-the-match Rooney suggested it was a `boring' game at times. 'They showed no enthusiasm to play the game,' said the England striker. Ferguson knew what he meant, although 'tedious' was the word he used. 'When a side is in the position we were and they meet a team who are as defensive as that, it can become quite tedious,' said the United boss. 'It can be an effort to try to break them down because basically, they came with the intention not get to embarrassed.' Having opted to make major changes to his side, Ferguson confirmed there were no fresh injuries to Owen Hargreaves, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs, who did not even make the bench. 'The plan with Owen was always to give him a rest after the Arsenal game,' said Ferguson. 'Rio has played every game this season and it was a good opportunity to give Ryan a break as well.' Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar was withdrawn after complaining of pain in a toe injury at half-time, although the veteran Dutchman should be fit for Sunday's clash with high-fliers Blackburn. And there was also some good news surrounding skipper Gary Neville, who suffered a recurrence of a calf injury in training at the weekend. The news of Neville's latest setback sparked fears of another lengthy absence for the defender, who has not played a first-team game since breaking his ankle against Bolton in March. However, Ferguson has claimed the 32-year-old will be back in contention for the trip to Bolton on November 24. 'Gary will be okay next week,' said the Scot. 'He felt a bit of a strain in his calf, so panic immediately sets in with everybody because he has had such a hard time. 'But the projection is that it is more precautionary than treatment requiring, so he will be back in the game after Blackburn.' Rookie Dynamo coach Oleg Luzhny had no excuses for his side's mauling and he faces a major test to ensure they do not end their entire campaign without picking up a point. 'We had no discipline and no organisation,' he admitted. 'We have too many older players in our squad at present and obviously, we need to do better.'