Advertisements


Argentina has big weaknesses to address before facing France

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press ST. PETERSBURG, France (AP) — After the euphoria of scraping through to the last 16 of the World Cup, Argentina now must address its glaring weaknesses. Argentina has little time to prepare for Saturday's match against France, which is considered among the tournament favorites, yet has much to work on. Particularly on defense. Argentina's feeble defense was exposed in 3-0 defeat to Croatia last week and once again in Tuesday's 2-1 must-win game against Nigeria. Argentina won with an 86th-minute goal from defender Marcos Rojo, but during the second half the team looked on the verge of another capitulation at the back. Here is a look at some of the key issues facing Jorge Sampaoli's team before taking on France in Kazan: MASCHERANO MISERY If Javier Mascherano is supposed to be protecting the defense, he's not doing a very good job. With 146 international appearances, the 34-year-old Mascherano should be a rock for Sampaoli's team. But instead of offering the protective screen in front of the back four, Mascherano is often proving to be a weak link. As his bloodied face on Tuesday showed, there is no doubting his commitment. But his judgment, especially for someone with so much experience, is lacking. Two horribly misplaced passes gave Nigeria dangerous positions to attack from, while it was Mascherano's clumsy challenge that led to Nigeria's equalizing goal from the penalty spot. In his defense, there may be mitigating circumstances. Although a holding midfielder by trade, Mascherano dropped deeper when deployed as a center half for Barcelona over the past few years. Now back in his traditional position, he often appears caught in two minds as to whether to push up as a midfielder does, or stay back more sensibly like a defender. While it does not excuse his poor passing, it may explain some of his confused judgment. FALLEN STARS Angel Di Maria's failure to control a simple pass during a promising counterattack against Nigeria was a sad sight for such a fine talent. As the ball flew off his foot and went out of play, a helpless look formed on Di Maria's face. Long considered one of the world's best wingers, the 30-year-old Paris Saint-Germain player is not living up to his reputation in Russia. He looked despondent when he was taken off against Nigeria with 20 minutes left, his self-confidence glaringly absent. But it is feasible he is still affected by what happened during the season with PSG. Di Maria was PSG's most in-form player heading into the first leg of its Champions League last-16 game against Real Madrid on Feb. 14, but was surprisingly left out entirely by PSG coach Unai Emery. "I was boiling (inside) because I felt I should have played, or at least have come on," Di Maria said. Perhaps his fragile confidence has not been repaired. But Mascherano and Di Maria are not the only big-name players performing well below their best. So is Gonzalo Higuain. The burly striker looked nervous and heavy-legged against Nigeria, blazing a great chance high and wide with the score 1-1 with 10 minutes left. In the end, he was reprieved by Rojo's late winner, but it was not the finish expected of a forward with a combined 267 goals for Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus. He has 31 for Argentina, too, but tellingly he has not scored in his past eight games for his country. WHERE IS DYBALA? Fans hoping to see Paulo Dybala, one of the brightest attacking talents in soccer, playing in Russia may not get their wish. The 24-year-old forward regularly impresses Juventus fans with his trickery and spectacular goals — scoring 26 times in 46 appearances last season — but for whatever reason, Sampaoli does not seem to need him. With time running out against Nigeria, the coach still did not bring him on, even though Dybala has the skill and imagination to unlock defenses. He has only played once for Argentina all year, and with Sampaoli in charge this does not look like it will change. FRENCH THREAT Although France has yet to find its top form , Argentina's creaking defense will be under threat from its highly rated forwards. Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele are two of the fastest players in the world, while Antoine Griezmann was top scorer at the European Championship two years ago. Imposing striker Olivier Giroud is one of the best headers of the ball around, which gives Sampaoli's back four even more to worry about from crosses, corners and free kicks......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 28th, 2018

Germany looking good to defend World Cup title

em>By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press /em> BERLIN (AP) — With a European record of 43 goals scored, Germany is on its way to defend its World Cup title next year in Russia. The Germans completed their qualifying campaign with a 5-1 win over Azerbaijan on Sunday, but coach Joachim Loew expects bigger challenges ahead. 'It's a mistake to take this qualification campaign as a yardstick. Sure, it was good, it was a clear achievement,' Loew said of beating Spain's qualifying record for South Africa in 2010 by goal difference. 'But another other level awaits at the World Cup. 'That's why we need to keep the ball on the ground, there's still a lot to do. I want to achieve something really remarkable in a few months. It will be difficult enough to be world champion two times in a row.' Spain went on to win the title in 2010 after setting the previous record in qualifying, but Brazil was the last World Cup champion to defend its title in 1962 and Loew is eager to highlight the difficulty of the task at hand. 'Only we as world champion have something to lose. Everyone else can only win,' Loew said. Still, anything less than a second straight World Cup title would be a disappointment for Germany. Here are some of the areas Loew will need to address before next year's tournament: ___ strong>SQUAD SELECTION /strong> Arguably Loew's biggest headache is the sheer number of talented players he has at his disposal. Altogether, he played 37 different players in the 10 qualifying games. Only 23 can be selected for Russia. The Bundesliga website identified four separate teams that Loew can send out while remaining competitive. Injuries permitting, Loew would like to keep faith in the backbone of the team that won the 2014 title, with Manuel Neuer (currently out injured) in goal behind Bayern Munich teammates Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, with Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira in midfield. Timo Werner is likely to keep his place up front despite Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner making the most of his chance to impress with five goals in five qualifiers. Much will depend on the availability and form of Marco Reus, Mario Goetze and Ilkay Gundogan - all have faced or are facing long injury layoffs. 'The door is open of course,' Loew said after Sunday's game. 'Every individual player's performances will be observed. Sometimes you have one or another coming through that you weren't expecting.' Maximilian Philipp, who didn't participate in qualifying, is another who could yet play his way into the coach's plans if he maintains his strong start to the season for Borussia Dortmund. ___ strong>CONCENTRATION /strong> Such is Germany's dominance at times that complacency can be a problem, especially against smaller opponents. After taking an early lead against Azerbaijan, the Germans conceded an equalizer in a lackluster first-half performance. 'We put ourselves under pressure because we didn't have the options going forward quickly when we were playing from the back,' Loew said. 'That's what we wanted. It wasn't optimal in the first half.' ___ strong>TEAMWORK /strong> One effect of so many changes in qualifying is that teamwork can suffer among unfamiliar teammates, as evidenced in the first-half display against Azerbaijan. 'You could see that we had never played in that formation before,' Loew said. 'We didn't play the game at tempo, we made minor technical mistakes. You also have to acknowledge that some young players are going through various stages of development. Not everything works out.' The Germany coach will hope to iron out any issues in the now customary pre-tournament training camp in South Tyrol, northern Italy. ___ strong>TOP OPPONENTS /strong> Loew wasn't being arrogant when he said that qualifying opponents Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic and Norway were not at the same level as the teams that will be challenging for the World Cup title. 'The real work only starts when the qualifying is over,' said Loew, who has steered Germany to the semifinals or better in every major tournament since he took over the top position after the 2006 World Cup. To help fine-tune for Russia, Germany has November friendlies lined up against England at Wembley Stadium, then most likely France in Cologne, before it hosts Spain and Brazil for friendlies in Duesseldorf and Berlin next March. 'We have a good basis,' Loew said. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 10th, 2017

PSG loses its 1st league game this season

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain's 20-game unbeaten run in the French league this season ended with a 2-1 defeat at Lyon on Sunday. PSG has lost three times this season, including away to Liverpool in the Champions League and at home to Guingamp in the League Cup, but this was its first Ligue 1 loss since a 2-0 home defeat to Rennes in the penultimate game of last season. Despite the setback, PSG leads second-placed Lille by 10 points, having played two games less. Yet it was a huge boost for Lyon in the quest to finish second and qualify automatically for next season's Champions League. Lyon is three points behind Lille, with 15 matches remaining. Both goalkeepers stood out in a great advert for the French league. Rarely tested in the top tier in France, PSG's defense ultimately fell short under the watchful eye of Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was present at the game. A resurgent United side hosts PSG in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 game on Feb. 12. Solskjaer will have noticed glaring deficiencies at the back, which meant PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola had to make six saves in a pulsating first half. France forward Nabil Fekir won it for Lyon when he coolly slotted in a 49th-minute penalty, after center half Thiago Silva impeded striker Moussa Dembele as he burst into the area. Dembele's towering header from a pinpoint Leo Dubois cross drew Lyon level in the 33rd after Angel Di Maria silenced the home crowd with an opening goal after seven minutes. Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar clumsily lost possession dribbling out of his own half, and Julian Draxler took the ball off him before feeding Di Maria inside the left of the penalty area. The Argentina winger advanced and finished with a low strike across the body of Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, before provocatively dancing in front of home fans. PSG then weathered a barrage of Lyon pressure. Preferred to Gianluigi Buffon for this game, in an ongoing goalkeeper rotation by coach Thomas Tuchel, Areola was inspired. Midway through the first half, he made a double stop to first thwart Bertrand Traore and then surged off the ground to palm away Memphis Depay's follow-up effort from close range. But then Areola stumbled coming out to meet a cross from Dubois, and Dembele rose superbly to level at 1-1. The action, at both ends, was unrelenting. Di Maria almost grabbed his second goal late in the first half, only for center half Jason Denayer to deny him with a spectacular diving header near his line. Silva was adjudged to have obstructed Dembele as PSG conceded its 11th penalty this season — a statistic Solskjaer will doubtless know. But he will also have seen that PSG has immense firepower, and Lopes needed to be at his best on Sunday. He made three saves in quick succession, including a stunning finger-tip save with his left hand to keep out a stinging drive from Kylian Mbappe — who was again denied by Lopes with 20 minutes left. "It's difficult to say, we had chances as well," PSG's Draxler said when asked if Lyon deserved to win. "But they played very well in the first half. We knew beforehand that Lyon is a classy team." Lyon faces Barcelona in the last-16 of the Champions League, having beaten Manchester City away and drawn with City at home during the group stage. DELORT EARNS DRAW Striker Andy Delort's well-taken goal earned Montpellier a 1-1 draw at southern rival Nimes and moved the team up to fifth place. Nimes and Montpellier are roughly one hour apart by car and they have a fierce rivalry. Nimes opened the scoring after two minutes when defender Loick Landre headed in from a corner. Delort latched onto strike partner Gaetan Laborde's pass in the 73rd minute, and coolly lobbed the goalkeeper. Montpellier is one point behind fourth-placed Saint-Etienne, while promoted Nimes is in 11th place......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2019

Anton Del Rosario s 7’s Football League kicks off new season; Super Eagles, Tondo FC, Ghana FC, Matu Deportivo, Delimondo-LFC and H& J All-Stars draw first blood in the opener

TAGUIG - The third season of the 7s Football League, founded by former Azkal Anton del Rosario was unveiled at the McKinley Hill Stadium today starting off with the games for the youth level. The youth teams lined up as the program commenced, with del Rosario leading the athletes’ oath to mark the kick-off of the first four games to be played. It is the first time that the league organized a youth division - with 4 teams playing at the pitch at the same time. The big clubs that are playing at the Philippine Premiere League; Ceres-Negros FC and Kaya-Iloilo FC sent their youth teams to participate in the league. FC Loyola-Youth, Socceroos and Bohemians Sporting Club were also among the teams that are participating at the youth level. Different food stalls like Café France, Delimondo and Bagwings were installed outside the Stadium for the fans, players, and staffs who would like food options other than the free Jollibee meals and Gatorade that were given away. More or less 30 games were played for the youth division for the opening day which was divided into age groups – U9, U13, U11, and U15. PPL Clubs; Ceres FC and Stallions FC also sent teams to compete at the Seniors Division on which saw action for the first the opener. Ceres FC took on Tondo FC for the first game which also featured the inaugural and defending champions Super Eagles, as they played against the Jason de Jong backed-Bohemian Sporting Club on the other pitch. Debuting Stallions FC, on the other hand, faced the Nico Bolzico-backed Matu Deportivo alongside the fixture between Ghana and Super Bad. Completing the games for the opening day of the league are H&J All-Stars playing against Futbol Fanatics and Real Amigos going up Anton del Rosario’s Delimondo LFC. The Senior Division games were action-packed as the defending champions, Super Eagles edged newcomers, Bohemian FC; 5-2. “We have already expected that the teams would go after us as we are the defending champions for two seasons already. But we treat every game as if it were our final game of the season.” Super Eagles Head Coach Danny Cross says. For Bohemians player Daniel Matsunaga, being able to play for the 7s Football League is like a homecoming since he was also able to play in the UFL before it transitioned into becoming the Philippines Football League and then eventually rebooted in the upcoming Philippine Premiere League. “They [Super Eagles] were the better team, perhaps they played well against us but that didn’t pressure me to play against them, not at all.” He says when asked if he felt pressured that he and his team will be playing against the defending champions for their first game of the season. Over at the other game, Tondo FC clinches their first win against Ceres FC; 2-1, despite facing the difficulty of putting the team together for training. “We do individual trainings as most of us are no longer full-time football players. Ayun yung challenge for us kasi yung makakalaban namin is a much younger and a fresh team na may full-time training. Siguro ang edge na lang namin sa kanila is yung kami, matagal na kami magkakakilala, magkakapitbahay lang kami.” Tondo FC Head Coach Dennis Balbon narrated. The second set of games for the opener also gave a show for the fans that flocked the stadium. Ghana FC had an almost flawless win over Super Bad; 9-1. “We lost in the championship last season via penalties so we really prepared for this game. We conceded one goal in because I think my players relaxed a bit after scoring 9 goals straight and that we have to swap some players to get them ready for the next game. All the teams had prepared for this season, Laro FC got the Japanese guys and Misagh Bahadoran, then Bohemians for sure will bounce back after their loss against Super Eagles, Stallion and Matu are also two competitive teams so it is very difficult to say right on that we are here to avenge our championship loss from last season. We cannot tell as of the moment but we are ready to face any team.” says the Ghana FC coach Ayi Biyombo. Meanwhile, Matu Deportivo displayed class against another 7s football newcomer, Stallions FC; 5-2 at the final whistle. Both teams were inseparable at halftime as they settled for a draw. However, coming from the break, Matu Deportivo saw a chance to outscore their opponent. “Stallions used their first team and they were very good, they passed the ball a lot, they made us run a lot. I think that was a very even game, it was very fun. We saw that at the end of the first half, Stallion was losing intensity and we thought that we need to be more compact, we need to create less space in the middle because our opponent passes the ball a lot and is very good at moving without the ball. We needed to play smarter, run a bit less but be more organized.” Says Matu Deportivo player-coach, Nico Bolzico The last set of games that were scheduled for the opening day also did great with H&J All-Stars winning against Futbol Fanatics; 3-2 in an intensely close match. On the other game, Delimondo-Laro FC clinched a victory over Real Amigos, 3-0. The game also featured the debut of Azkal Misagh Bahadoran in the league however he sustained an injury just before halftime and was not able to continue on. “It was a great win for us considering that we were not able to practice for the game. I was pretty confident that the guys can turn it on, we were born athletes and we were born to play this game as we have been playing this since we were young. I look forward to the intensity of every match. Every game is action packed and it’s similar with basketball, something that the Filipinos can relate on to. 7 a-side is more action-packed compared to 11 a-side, on which you have to wait and observe. This kind of football will be of great awareness to the Filipinos, the intensity and the back to back scoring are very relatable in a way for those who know basketball.”   Complete game results are as follows:   U9: G8 vs. Bohemian Sporting Club (1-4) Ceres vs. Forza (0-0) Malaya vs. Ceres (0-0) G8 vs. Kaya (3-2) Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Loyola (9-0) Futbol Fanatics vs. Sugod (1-1) Kaya vs. Loyola (2-1) Futbol Fanatics B vs. Futbol Fanatics A (0-0)   U11: G8 vs. Bohemian Sporting Club (8-0) Socceroo vs. Malaya (0-5) Kaya vs. G8 (0-0) Futbol Fanatics vs. Malaya (0-0) Socceroo vs. Loyola (0-0) Kaya vs. Loyola (3-2)   U13: Ceres vs. Stallion (0-1) Kaya vs. G8 (3-1) Futbol Fanatics vs. Ceres (1-2) G8 vs. Bohemian Sporting Club (1-2) Socceroo vs. Futbol Fanatics (2-0) Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Loyola (3-0) Kaya vs. Loyola (3-2)   U15: G8 vs. Futbol Fanatics (0-2) Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Malaya (2-1) Kaya vs. Malaya (1-2) Bohemian Sporting Club vs. G8 (0-3) Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Kaya B (0-1) Loyola A vs. Kaya A  (2-1) Bohemian Sporting Club vs. Loyola (1-0)   Seniors Division: Tondo FC vs. Ceres FC (2-1) Super Eagles vs. Bohemian Sporting Club (5-2) Ghana FC vs. Super Bad (9-1) Matu Deportivo vs. Stallions FC (5-2) H&J All Stars vs. Futbol Fanatics (3-2) Delimondo LFC vs Real Amigos (3-0).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2019

End of the Messi-Ronaldo era? Football rings changes in 2018

PARIS, France – One of the enduring images from 2018 will remain Kylian Mbappe consoling Lionel Messi in the Russian city of Kazan, just after the final whistle in France's 4-3 win over Argentina in the last 16 of the World Cup. This was to a large extent Mbappe's year, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 25th, 2018

The end of the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo era? Football rings the changes in 2018

Paris,France|AFP|Monday 12/24/2018 - 19:42 UTC+8|668 words by Andy SCOTT One of the enduring images from 2018 will remain Kylian Mbappe consoling Lionel Messi in the Russian city of Kazan, just after the final whistle in France's 4-3 win over Argentina in the last 16 of the World Cup. This was to a large extent Mbappe's year, as the teenage superstar exploded on the world stage by scoring twice in that game, the first World Cup brace by a teenager since Pele in 1958. Still just 19 at the time, Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe also became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele as France won the trophy for the second time by beating Lu...Keep on reading: The end of the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo era? Football rings the changes in 2018.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018

FIFA research says 3.5 billion people viewed some World Cup action

GENEVA --- More than 3.5 billion people viewed some of the 2018 World Cup action, with 1.12 billion watching at least one minute of France beating Croatia 4-2 in the final, according to FIFA. AFIFA-commissioned review of World Cup viewingpublished Friday said the television audience for the final was 516.6 million by the traditional measure of "global average in-home audience." More watched on digital devices and out-of-home screenings in public spaces, bars and restaurants. Changing viewing habits --- and no South American team in the final --- help explain a drop from the 545-million average TV audience for the Germany-Argentina final in 2014. In comparison, the 2016 Eur...Keep on reading: FIFA research says 3.5 billion people viewed some World Cup action.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2018

FIFA research says 3.5B people viewed some World Cup action

GENEVA --- More than 3.5 billion people viewed some of the 2018 World Cup action, with 1.12 billion watching at least one minute of France beating Croatia 4-2 in the final, according to FIFA. A FIFA-commissioned review of World Cup viewing published Friday said the television audience for the final was 516.6 million by the traditional measure of "global average in-home audience." More watched on digital devices and out-of-home screenings in public spaces, bars and restaurants. Changing viewing habits --- and no South American team in the final --- help explain a drop from the 545-million average TV audience for the Germany-Argentina final in 2014. In comparison, the 2016 Eur...Keep on reading: FIFA research says 3.5B people viewed some World Cup action.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 21st, 2018

EU drifts toward rocks on populist tide

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Union faces fresh existential doubts as 2018 comes to a close, with Germany and France gripped by leadership uncertainty and the bloc they anchor facing a rising populist tide. Britain leaves the 28-nation EU on March 29, either in a bitter but orderly divorce or ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 18th, 2018

‘Yellow vest’ protests lose steam

PARIS, France — Groups of defiant “yellow vest” demonstrators faced off with tens of thousands of police around France on Saturday, but the protest movement appeared to have lost momentum on a fifth and decisive weekend. President Emmanuel Macron, facing the biggest crisis of his presidency, announced a series of concessions on Monday to defuse […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 16th, 2018

France s yellow vest protests decline on decisive weekend

PARIS, France – Groups of defiant "yellow vest" demonstrators faced off with tens of thousands of police around France on Saturday, December 15, but their numbers appeared lower on a fifth and decisive weekend for the anti-government movement . President Emmanuel Macron, facing the biggest crisis of his presidency, announced a series of concessions ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

Titans clash

BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, France­ — England and Scotland will meet each other in their opening game at the 2019 women’s World Cup in France after being placed in the same group in Saturday’s draw alongside former winners Japan and Argentina. The ceremony at La Seine Musicale in this city just outside Paris also set reigning champion United […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsDec 9th, 2018

Arroyo: France Castro, Satur Ocampo ‘entitled to respectful treatment’

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said lawmakers, like Alliance of Concerned Teachers Representative France Castro and ex-Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, deserve “dignified and respectful treatment” when facing charges. The former president-turned-Pampanga 2nd district congresswoman made the statement on Monday, December 3, days after Castro, Ocampo, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

Macron to hold crisis meeting after anti-government riots

PARIS, France – French President Emmanuel Macron is to hold a crisis meeting on Sunday, December 2, after anti-government protests in Paris that left 133 people injured and a trail of destruction around the capital. Macron is set to fly into Paris late morning after attending a G20 summit in Argentina and ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2018

Talaingod 18: Rep. Castro, Satur Ocampo face charges of trafficking, child abuse, kidnapping

TALAINGOD, Davao del Norte (MindaNews / 29 Nov) — Eighteen members of a national fact-finding mission, among them ACT Teachers party-list Rep.  France Castro and Bayan Muna President Satur Ocampo, are facing charges of trafficking, kidnapping and failure to return a minor after attempting to rescue students of a Lumad school in Barangay Palma Gil from […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Satur Ocampo, France Castro face kidnapping, human trafficking charges

  DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, and over 70 others are facing kidnapping and human trafficking charges over the transport of 14 children from Talaingod town in Davao del Norte, police said on Thursday, November 29. Senior Superintendent Ferlu Silvio, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Israel avoids early elections as coalition is kept intact

JERUSALEM --- Israel avoided early elections after a key coalition partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government said on Monday that he would not withdraw his party, keeping the coalition intact despite a crisis triggered by a violent flare-up with Gaza militants. Education Minister Naftali Bennett said his hard-line, pro-settler Jewish Home party would give Netanyahu another chance to address the security challenges facing Israel, listing off threats from Gaza and Lebanon, among others, which he wanted dealt with more firmly. "I tell the prime minister here: we are withdrawing right now all of our political demands and will stand to help you in this great mission o...Keep on reading: Israel avoids early elections as coalition is kept intact.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 19th, 2018

England avenges Croatia WCup loss to get shot at new trophy

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Harry Kane's goalless streak was only five minutes from extending to eight games when the captain finally found the net again for England. As Ben Chilwell floated a free kick into the penalty area, Kane slid in, stretched out his right foot and nudged the ball into the Croatia net. It came four months too late to secure a place for England in the World Cup final. But the World Cup Golden Boot winner ensured England went some way to avenging the Moscow semifinal loss to Croatia by turning the tables with a 2-1 victory at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. While England advanced to the final four of the inaugural UEFA Nations League, Croatia was relegated to the second tier. Any doubts about what soccer's newest international competition means to England were dispelled in the relief and glee on Kane's face as he darted toward the crowd in celebration before being leapt on by Jesse Lingard as the Wembley crowd roared. Rarely in the 11 years since English soccer's national stadium was rebuilt has there been such tension for an international game. Not, perhaps, since the opening months when England was beaten by Croatia and denied a place at the 2008 European Championship. "I've never seen (Wembley) like this in an England shirt," the 25-year-old Kane said. "We are going to enjoy it so I hope the fans do too." For a competition that only debuted in September — to replace some largely meaningless friendlies — it has been quickly embraced in soccer's often-cynical heartland. The comeback from such a young side demonstrated a fortitude so often missing from a country that hasn't won a major title since the 1966 World Cup. "The most important thing is the connection with the fans," England coach Gareth Southgate said. "The energy that came back to the team in those difficult moments helped us get over the line." Now England has seven months to contemplate just how meaningful winning the Nations League would be in June. Portugal secured the hosting by winning its group on Saturday. Switzerland sealed the third spot on Sunday night by beating Belgium 5-2, before France or the Netherlands complete the lineup on Monday. "It's another semifinal, two wins away from winning a trophy," Kane said. "We showed that we can beat the big teams. Croatia and Spain are two of the very best in the world. So this is kind of our next step after the summer." Croatian players have said since July that they were inspired in the semifinal by what they perceived as arrogant undertones in the "Football's Coming Home" lyric in the "Three Lions" team anthem. Croatia went on to lose to France in the World Cup final. The song was played immediately after the final whistle on Sunday and even cited by Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic to congratulate England. "It's coming home," Dalic said in his only post-match comments in English. "Very soon." Fatigued after going the distance to beat Spain on Thursday, Croatia was unsettled throughout the first half by England's pace. But Croatia found its stride in the second half, taking the lead after 12 minutes after cutting through England down the right. Josip Brekalo played in Nikola Vlasic, who cut the ball across to Andrej Kramaric. Switching the ball between his feet, the midfielder twisted unchallenged before raising a shot into the roof of the net, via a deflection off Eric Dier's thigh. "We let a soft goal in," Southgate said, "and it is a real test of resilience and patience." The game turned on Southgate's double substitution in the 73rd minute that saw Jadon Sancho and Lingard enter. The impact was felt within five minutes and the set pieces that served England so well on the run to its first World Cup semifinal in 28 years proved decisive again. Joe Gomez's long throw-in was headed down by Kane through the legs of Hrvoje Millic and Lingard tapped in from close range for his second goal in two games after scoring in a 3-0 friendly win against the Unites States on Thursday. At the other end, Lingard came to England's rescue. Domagoj Vida's header had beaten goalkeeper Jordan Pickford but Lingard cleared off line. Parity was maintained but England was still facing relegation from Group A4. Only a win would secure top-tier status and with it a place in the semifinals. For the first time since the last-16 World Cup game against Colombia, and after 747 frustrating minutes, Kane found the target in an England shirt again. "Harry is the best goalscorer in the world," Southgate said. "We have huge belief in him. He is so hungry to lead the team on and further.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2018

Paddler Nayre to open Philippine campaign in the 2018 Youth Olympics

BUENOS AIRES — Jann Mari Nayre will open the Philippine campaign in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games late Sunday at the Table Tennis Arena of the Technopolis here. The 18-year-old takes on Nicolas Ignacio Burgos of Chile in Group B of the men’s singles preliminary stage before facing Maciej Kolodziejczyk of Austria six hours later. Nayre, the first Filipino table tennis player to secure a spot in these Games featuring the best 18-under athletes in the world, will wrap up the elimination round against Khanak Jha of the United States the following day, hoping he could advance to the round of 16 on Tuesday. ``I’m here to give my best, regardless of whom I’m facing,’’ said Nayre, who He made the trip to this Argentinian capital after winning the Rarotonga qualifiers in the Cook Islands in June after failing to medal in the recent Asian Games in Indonesia and the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Argentina president Mauricio Macri declared the beginning of the YOG during the opening ceremony at the Obelisco de Buenos Aires where over 4,000 athletes from 206 countries are set to compete in 32 sports for the next 13 days. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach graced the welcoming rites that featured an impressive display of lights and fireworks. ``You gave your best and this is why you are here,’’ Bach told the athletes. ``Every athlete is different. We all come from different parts of the world but we are united through sports,’’ added the 1976 Montreal Olympics gold medalist in fencing. Golfer Yuka Saso, the country’s Asian Games double-gold medalist, carried the flag during the parade of nations as the third edition of the YOG unfolded in full view of the Argentinian public, the first time in Olympic history that the opening ceremony was held on the streets. Filipino-Norwegian Christian Tio is set to kick off his medal bid in kiteboarding, a new discipline under sailing in the youth Olympics on Oct. 8 (Tuesday in Manila), while fencer Lawrence Everett Tan will begin his campaign in the men’s foil event the following day. Saso and fellow golfer Carl Jano Corpus are due to see action on Oct. 9 at the Hurlingham Club in the women and men’s individual stroke play events that will run for three days. On the same day, Nicole Oliva will swim in the heats of the women’s 100-meter freestyle, one of four events that the Sta. Clara, California-based swimmer will compete in. The 18-year-old said she decided to pull out from the backstroke and butterfly races. Capping the Filipinos’ campaign is archer Nicole Tagle, who will shoot for medals in the women’s recurve individual event and mixed international play, the event where Gab Moreno captured the country’s first gold medal when he paired with China’s Li Jiaman during the 2014 edition in Nanjing, China......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 7th, 2018

Stewart, Wilson propel US to 100-88 win over China

By Doug Feinberg, Associated Press SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Spain (AP) — After a quiet first half, Breanna Stewart felt she needed to be more assertive on both ends of the court. She certainly made her presence felt in the final 20 minutes. Stewart scored 21 of her 23 points in the second half and A'ja Wilson added 20 points to help the United States beat China 100-88 on Sunday in the second day of the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. "I needed to be more aggressive. There were a few things that I could have done better — defense and rebounding. Focus on that and the offense comes," Stewart said. China trailed only 36-35 midway through the second quarter as the U.S. was still trying to figure out a lineup that worked on offense and defense. The Americans then closed the half on a 12-4 burst. Wilson had six points during the run. Layshia Clarendon, who played a few minutes in the first game, also provided a spark off the bench in the spurt. She had two points, two assists and two rebounds. The Chinese team hung around in the third quarter and trailed 60-54 before Stewart, who played in China the past few winters, took over. She scored nine of the next 11 points and China couldn't get within seven the rest of the way. "She was trailing a lot, and obviously the defense sucked down. The post players did a great job rim running," U.S. coach Dawn Staley said. "That left Stewie wide open at the top of key and she took advantage of them time and again. That's what we come to expect, Stewie like things. We needed her to be that way to give us some separation and widen our lead in the third quarter." The Americans were still missing Brittney Griner, who suffered a slight sprain of her right ankle in practice Friday. Griner said after the win over Senegal she would have played if it was an elimination game. China was able to exploit the lack of Griner with its own 6-foot-9 center Han Xu. Han showed an impressive array of post moves as well as a deft touch from 10 feet. The 18-year-old finished with 20 points and left to a warm ovation from the crowd with 20 seconds left. "Coach encouraged us to play with confidence. The U.S. is a very good team. We just went out and enjoyed ourselves," said China guard Shao Ting, who had 10 points. The Chinese team, which is the youngest in the tournament with the average age 23 years, lost to the U.S. by 43 points in the 2016 Olympics. The U.S. (2-0) hasn't lost to China (1-1) in six meetings in the World Cup. The Americans won the first five meetings by an average of 25.8 points. The victory was the Americans' 18th in a row in the tournament and 43rd in the past 44 games in the World Cup. The only blemish over the past 20 years was a loss to Russia in the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup. Sunday's game came on the 12th anniversary of that loss. CHINA CONNECTION: Many of the U.S. players have competed in China in the offseason. Stewart, Griner, Morgan Tuck, Jewell Loyd and Tina Charles all have spent time there. Wilson will be headed there this year. "You're having some of the top WNBA players going over there to China and showing them the standards of what we put ourselves through," Stewart said. RECOVERING: Elena Delle Donne played only 3 ½ minutes on Sunday. She suffered a bone bruise in the WNBA playoffs and is still recovering. She said that she and Staley would talk before each game to discuss how she was feeling. Delle Donne said after the game the back to back was difficult. SCOREBOARD: It was a great day for Africa with both Senegal and Nigeria winning. It's the first time in the history of the tournament that an African team won a pool play game, let alone two. Senegal beat Latvia 70-69 and Nigeria edged Turkey 74-68. In other games, Canada beat South Korea 82-63; Australia routed Argentina 84-43; Japan edged Belgium 77-75 in OT; France beat Greece 75-71 and Spain topped Puerto Rico 78-53. UP NEXT China: Will face Senegal on Tuesday with second place in the group at stake. U.S.: Will face Latvia on Tuesday looking to continue its dominance......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

Europe’s news agencies blast Google, Facebook for ‘plundering’ content

PARIS, France--- Europe's biggest news agencies accused Google and Facebook of "plundering" news for free on Tuesday in a joint statement that called on the internet giants to share more of their revenues with the media. In a column signed by the CEOs of around 20 agencies including France's Agence France-Presse, Britain's Press Association and Germany's Deutsche Presse-Agentur they called on the European Parliament to update copyright law in the EU to help address a "grotesque imbalance". "The internet giants' plundering of the news media's content and of their advertising revenue poses a threat both to consumers and to democracy," the column said. European Parliament lawmakers...Keep on reading: Europe’s news agencies blast Google, Facebook for ‘plundering’ content.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018