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Brussels metro blares French World Cup anthem after defeat

Sleep-deprived Belgians were not having a bad dream Wednesday morning: Brussels metros resounded with a French football anthem after Les Bleus qualified for the final of the World Cup. The STIB transport network in Brussels had lost a bet against its Paris counterpart, the RATP, agreeing to play a 2002 song by French rock hero Johnny Hallyday called "Tous Ensemble", if Belgium lost to France in Tuesday's semi-final. With its chorus "We are champions, we are all together, go the Blues", and the recognizable voice of Hallyday, the anthem was played twice across the metro system during rush hour, said Francoise Ledune, spokeswoman for STIB. Belgium's road to humiliation began M...Keep on reading: Brussels metro blares French World Cup anthem after defeat.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerJul 12th, 2018

5 dead in vehicle, knife attack at British Parliament – The Japan News

A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage in the heart of Britain’s seat of power Wednesday, plowing a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Five people were killed, including the assailant, and 40 others were injured in what Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as a “sick and depraved terrorist attack.” Lawmakers, lords, staff and visitors were locked down after the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament, just meters from entrances to the building itself and in the shadow of the iconic Big Ben clock tower. He died, as did three pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer. A doctor who treated the wounded from the bridge said some had “catastrophic” injuries. Three police officers, several French teenagers on a school trip, two Romanian tourists and five South Korean visitors were among the injured. Police said they were treating the attack as terrorism. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley said police believed there was only one attacker, “but it would be foolish to be overconfident early on.” He said an unarmed policeman, three civilians and the attacker died. Forty others, including three police officers, were injured. Islamic extremism was suspected in the attack, Rowley said, adding that authorities believe they know the assailant’s identity but would not reveal it while the investigation was ongoing. The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe, meaning an attack was “highly likely.” Speaking outside 10 Downing St. after chairing a meeting of government’s emergency committee, COBRA, May said that level would not change. She said attempts to defeat British values of democracy and freedom through terrorism would fail. “Tomorrow morning, Parliament will meet as normal,” she said. Londoners and visitors “will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.” U.S. President Donald Trump was among world leaders offering condolences, and in Paris, the lights of the Eiffel Tower were to be dimmed in solidarity with London. London has been a target for terrorism many times over past decades. Just this weekend, hundreds of armed police took part in an exercise simulating a “marauding” terrorist attack on the River Thames. Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people last year, and the latest events echoed recent vehicle attacks in Berlin and Nice, France. In the House of Commons, legislators were holding a series of votes on pensions when deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle announced that the sitting was being suspended and told lawmakers not to leave. Parliament was locked down for several hours, and the adjoining Westminster subway station was shuttered. Conservative lawmaker Tobias Ellwood, whose brother was killed in the Bali terror attack in 2002, performed first aid on the wounded police officer, who later died. About 10 yards away lay the assailant. “I tried to stem the flow of blood and give mouth to mouth while waiting for the medics to arrive but I think he had lost too much blood,” Ellwood said. “He had multiple wounds, under the arm and in the back.” The attack began early Wednesday afternoon as a driver in a gray SUV slammed into pedestrians on the bridge linking Parliament to the south bank of the River Thames. Former Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski was in a car crossing the bridge when he heard “something like a car hitting metal sheet” and then saw people lying on the pavement. “I saw one person who gave no signs of life. One man was bleeding from his head. I saw five people who were at least seriously injured,” Sikorski told Poland’s TVN24. Ambulances arrived within minutes to treat people who lay scattered along the length of the bridge. One bloodied woman lay surrounded by a scattering of postcards. Police said one injured woman was pulled from the river. The car crashed into railings on the north side of the bridge, less than 200 meters from the entrance to Parliament. As people scattered in panic, witnesses saw a man holding a knife run toward the building. “The whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben,” said witness Rick Longley. “A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman. I have never seen anything like that. I just can’t believe what I just saw.” The attacker managed to get past a gate into Parliament’s fenced-in New Palace Yard, a cobbled courtyard in the shadow of the Big Ben clock tower. Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts said a man in black attacked the police officer before being shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the building. “As this attacker was running towards the entrance two plain-clothed guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell,” Letts told the BBC. The attacker fell to the cobbles just yards from the entrance to 1,000-year-old Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the parliamentary complex, busy with visitors and school groups. Beyond that, a corridor leads to the building’s Central Lobby, flanked by House of Commons and House of [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2017

Paris renames six train stations to honor France’s World Cup stars

Six Paris metro stations were temporarily renamed in honor of France's World Cup winning champions after their 4-2 rollercoaster victory against Croatia. Among the changes, station Victor Hugo became "Victor Hugo Lloris", named after the team's captain and goalkeeper, whose second half mistake gave Croatia faint hopes of a late comeback. The metro stop at Bercy has become "Bercy les Bleus", a play on words to thank the team. The station Avron has taken the name "Nous Avron Gagne", a play on the French to mean "We have won". Charles de Gaulle-Etoile was turned into "On a 2 Etoiles", meaning "We have two stars" -- referring to the country's first World Cup win on home soil in 1998...Keep on reading: Paris renames six train stations to honor France’s World Cup stars.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

With flags, song, pride, French celebrate unifying victory

By Elaine Ganley, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — It was a victory for all of France and the home crowd did it justice, pouring into Paris' Champs-Elysees Avenue by the tens of thousands to celebrate in an explosion of joy. France's 4-2 win over Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday marked the second time in 20 years that France has won the World Cup, and came at a time when the people feel needy. "It represents enormous things," said Goffrey Hamsik, dressed in a hat resembling a rooster — the French national symbol — and a shirt with the No. 10 for Kylian Mpappe, the 19-year-old breakout star who hails from the Paris suburb of Bondy. "We've had lots of problems in France these past years," he said, recalling deadly terror attacks. "This is good for the morale ... Here, we are all united. We mix. There is no religion, there is nothing, and that's what feels good." Troublemakers marred some of the festivities at the top of the Champs-Elysees, breaking the window of a major store, throwing bottles, temporary barriers and even a bicycle at riot police as the celebrations wound down close to midnight. Police responded with water cannon and tear gas. BFM-TV reported that the store was pillaged. Earlier, people wrapped in flags and dressed in crazy hats, and one man spotted totally nude except for the Tricolor, marched down the avenue where France displayed its military might a day earlier for Bastille Day. Revelers set off smoke bombs in the national colors — blue, white and red — obscuring Napoleon's triumphal arch. People climbed atop every newspaper kiosk and bus stop in the area to wave flags and lead the crowds below in cheers. The national anthem, the Marseillaise, rang out, cars honked horns and cherry bombs cracks. A young man sprayed a fire extinguisher on the crowd on a late hot afternoon. Hundreds of police in riot gear were discretely lined up on side streets to monitor revelers. Typically, celebrations in France end up with some broken shop windows and other destruction, and Sunday was no exception. Tear gas was lobbed at one point on the Champs-Elysees. About 4,000 police watched over the fan zone — packed to its 90,000 capacity — during the match, then moved to the Champs-Elysees and neighboring streets. As night fell, The Eiffel Tower flashed 1998-2018 to mark France's two World Cup titles. The Arc de Triomph was awash in the national colors, lit with the rooster, the faces of the winning team and the words "Proud to be Blue," or French. The celebrations were spread across the nation. For all the crazy antics — and some revelers who got out of control — a sense of patriotism and unity was almost visceral. Antoine Griezmann, the France striker who scored one of the goal's Sunday, told a news conference two days before the final, televised on BFM TV, that pride in country is in short supply. "We say it so little ... We should be proud to be French," Griezmann said. Mahmoud Bourassi was among those taking a longer-term view and he had some sobering thoughts about France's run to the title and the festivities it has sparked. Bourassi runs a youth center in Bondy — Mbappe's home that was among those scarred by riots in 2005 that exposed the fissures of France that have yet to heal — and he knows the teenage star of the tournament. "All this euphoria and effervescence, it's positive but it's emotional and ephemeral," he said ahead of France's win. Bourassi said sports is a "catalyst to bring people and nations together." But, he added, it must be built on. "What we're seeing is magic, exceptional. But what are we going to do with it tomorrow?" That is a question for President Emmanuel Macron, who was in Moscow celebrating with the team on victory night, and will receive the squad more formally on Monday at the presidential Elysee Palace. Revelers celebrated the moment. "We're happy. It took 20 years ... It's the pride of the nation. It unites everyone. It federates," Frederique Pourquet said as she and her friend left the Champs-Elysees. The win "shows that the French people are consolidated and the work of all France," said Omar Bzi. Hajar Maghnaoui, of Asnieres, north of Paris, said "It's a way to bring the French people together, and also the world." ___ John Leicester in Moscow contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

Deschamps joins Zagallo, Beckenbauer as champ player, coach

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Didier Deschamps walked into the interview room in the bowels of Luzhniki Stadium and prepared to answer questions for the first time as coach of a World Cup champion. A noise to his right caused him to turn, and his players rushed in. A bare-chested Benjamin Mendy jumped onto the table in front of Deschamps, and Florian Thauvin leaped up, too. Olivier Giroud and probably a dozen more giddy buddies sprayed their boss with bubbly, beer, cola and water. "This is third time I got changed, and I still smell just as bad," Deschamps said through a translator. He lifted the trophy as his nation's captain following the first title at Stade de France in 1998, and now he watched Hugo Lloris raise it in a Russian downpour following Sunday's 4-2 win over Croatia. The 49-year-old joined Brazil's Mario Zagallo (1958-62 as a player, 1970 as a manager) and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer (1974, 1990) as the only men to play and coach a world champion. "Well, I don't really like to talk about myself, but I'm going to be forced to do so a little bit, of course," Deschamps said. "I had the immense pleasure and immense privilege to live through this as a player 20 years ago, and it was in France, so of course it will be marked in my memory forever. But what the players did today is just as beautiful, is just as strong." His players had to be brawny. They lifted Deschamps after the match and flung him into the air, over and over. "They've always been a little bit mad, my players," he said. Deschamps was a defensive midfielder for Nantes, Marseille, Bordeaux, Juventus, Chelsea and Valencia from 1985-2001, winning the Champions League with Juve in 1996 and the 2000 European Championship with France in addition to the World Cup. He coached Monaco, Juventus and Marseille before taking over France in 2012. His national team coaching career included a quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Germany at the 2014 World Cup and a 1-0 defeat to underdog Portugal in the Euro 2016 final. It seemed like film noir — he said there's an upcoming documentary coming out. "Two years ago, it was so, so painful to get past this opportunity of being European champions," Deschamps recalled. "But maybe if we had been European champions, then we would not have been world champions today. I did learn a lot myself through this final." Now the story arc includes happiness. He posed for photos on the field with wife Claude and Dylan, cradled one of the hardest trophies to win in sports. He hugged son Dylan as the 22-year-old waved a French tricolor. "When we were world champions, he was too young to understand," Deschamps said. "And today there are young people who are maybe 15, 16 years old, and they've lived through that. They had this happiness, to be able to live this event with us — of course maybe to be crazy and a little bit mad." Based on the losing experience of 2016, he revamped the team's routine ahead of the final. Player relaxation was at the forefront. And it worked. "They had to get that star, that shining star," Deschamps said, referring to the symbol that goes above a national team's crest to indicate a World Cup won. "I'm proud for them, and I'm also proud of myself — with all the humility, of course.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

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:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018

Belgium, team of tomorrow, hopes to finally win now

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Belgium is the team of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. De Rode Duivels, as the Red Devils are known, have been playing for 114 years and remain in search of their first major title. A polyglot known for waffles, chocolate and beer, the nation of 11 million hopes for soccer to join the national identity, boosted by a golden generation that includes Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bryune. Belief is growing. Philippe, King of the Belgians, was on hand wearing a bright red tie and team scarf. "Belgium is a small country, you know? So we're very happy that we have this kind of talent," defender Toby Alderweireld said after Saturday's 5-2 rout of Tunisia all but clinched a round-of-16 World Cup berth. "Hopefully we can do something special." Lukaku tied Cristiano Ronaldo for the tournament lead with four goals, becoming the first with consecutive two-goal games in the World Cup since Diego Maradona and Gary Lineker in 1986. Hazard also scored twice , and Michy Batshuayi added a 90th-minute goal after failing to convert a trio of prime chances. Belgium opened with a 3-0 victory over Panama and has an 8-2 goal difference. Ranked third in the world behind defending champion Germany and Brazil, the Red Devils have become a chic choice to join the exclusive club of eight World Cup winners: Brazil (five), Germany and Italy (four), Argentina and Uruguay (two), and England, France and Spain (one). "Belgium was not the favorite because of the history of the country — and especially the history of the other countries," said former Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf, now a Fox analyst. "They're growing. Also, they're playing with important team spirit. So for me, it's not really a big surprise what they're doing at the moment." Training is conducted in English under Spanish coach Roberto Martinez, who spent a decade managing in England. Postgame interviews sound like a corridor at European Union headquarters in Brussels, with players alternating among English, French, Dutch and Spanish. Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has picked up a Scouse accent after five seasons with Liverpool. Seventeen of the 23 players were on Champions League clubs last season, a glamorous group that includes Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. "That gives them the confidence and the experience to play at the highest level. That is what a World Cup is about," Mignolet said. "For us, it's now the third tournament in a row where we play, which gives you the experience, so nobody's really fussed about the occasion anymore. Maybe the two tournaments were a bit different where we arrived and we were thinking about what was going to happen. Everything was new." After completing the group stage against England on Thursday, Belgium would face Colombia, Poland, Senegal or Japan in the second round, and then could have a possible quarterfinal against Germany, Brazil or Mexico. Since losing their first match under Martinez to Spain two years ago, Belgium is unbeaten in 21 games (16 wins) and has outscored opponents 72-17 during the run. But while outscoring Panama and Tunisia by 8-2, the defense and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois looked like they could be exploited by better opposition. "Today what I saw is a team that it was prepared to suffer, prepared to work for each other, and we look well-balanced in that respect," Martinez said. "So when you've got that, then the individuals can show their talent." Lukaku has 15 goals in his last 10 international matches but left in the 59th minute after injuring an ankle ligament. Hazard came off nine minutes later with a calf problem, and forward Dries Mertens came out in the 86th after an ankle issue. Belgium came closest to a title at the 1980 European Championship, losing 2-1 to a German team that got a pair of goals from Horst Hrubesch. It has reached semifinals twice at major events, losing 2-1 to West Germany at the 1972 Euros and to Maradona's Argentina at the 1986 World Cup. After missing two straight World Cups, the Red Devils returned four years ago, beat the U.S. in extra time in the round of 16, then lost to Argentina in the quarters. At the 2016 Euros, they wasted an early lead in a 3-1 quarterfinal loss to Wales. Given the past and the sound and fury that would follow any misstep, Martinez wants to manage expectations. "To be a favorite in a World Cup, you need to have the know-how of winning a World Cup," he said. "The World Cup is something that probably gives you an advantage psychologically when you've won it before.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018

Serbs angrier at World Cup ref than at nationalist gestures

By Mike Corder, Associated Press KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — Serbs appeared angrier Saturday at the referee who officiated their country's 2-1 World Cup defeat than at two Swiss players who provocatively flashed Albanian nationalist gestures after scoring. Years of simmering Balkan tensions surfaced at the World Cup on Friday night as Switzerland beat Serbia in Kaliningrad. The two Swiss goals came from ethnic Albanians Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, both of whom celebrated with a hand signal of the double-headed eagle on the Albanian flag. "The Swiss Provocation," wrote Serb nationalist daily newspaper Vecernje Novosti alongside photographs of the gestures and a picture of Shaqiri's boots, which have the Kosovo flag on one heel and the Swiss flag on the other. FIFA's disciplinary committee opened proceedings against the two for the politically charged goal celebrations. FIFA also said Saturday it has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Serbian Football Association for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans. FIFA also is reviewing statements that Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic made after the match. The families of both goal scorers hail from Kosovo , the former Serb province whose 2008 declaration of independence is not recognized by Serbia and remains a source of friction between the Balkan neighbors. Thousands of Kosovo Albanians trekked across Europe in the 1990s, fleeing rising ethnic tensions that culminated in a bloody 1998-99 war of independence between ethnic Albanians and Serb forces that left about 10,000 people dead. Many settled in Switzerland, but still have strong feelings for their homeland — Xhaka's brother plays for the Albanian national team. Serbian football officials complained to FIFA, soccer's governing body, about the gestures, but appeared far angrier about the failure of German referee Felix Brych to use a video review when two Swiss defenders manhandled Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to the ground in the second half. Brych ignored Serbian players' penalty appeals. FIFA had no comment Saturday about the video decision. Serbian football association Vice President Savo Milosevic reacted angrily after the match. "I understand maybe the referee didn't see it, but that's why we put VAR (video assisted review) on," Milosevic said. "What are (those) guys doing up there?" Serbian newspapers gave more space to the VAR spat than to the nationalist gestures. In the Kosovo capital, Pristina, fans set off flares when the Swiss players scored . Fans in the Albanian capital, Tirana, cheered as they watched the match on outdoor screens. Kosovo's president Hashim Thaci wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to goalscorers Xhaka, Shaqiri and entire #Switzerland on a well deserved win! Proud of you." He finished his tweet: "Kosova ju don!" — an Albanian phrase meaning "Kosovo loves you!" Thaci is due to meet his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels on Sunday for European Union-brokered talks on their countries' strained relationship. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama posted on his Facebook page photos of Shaqiri and Xhaka with their hands crossed in the two-headed eagle symbol and wrote: "Photo of the day." Meanwhile in Kaliningrad the day after the match, fans of both sides were not impressed by the gestures. "Politics shouldn't be mixed in with sports," said Stefan Gabrilovic, a Serbia supporter who lives in Australia. "I mean, it's not right, it's not right at all." Switzerland fan Mannie Affolter agreed. "I think it's not necessary but I cannot stop them," Affolter said. "For me it's too political, they should concentrate on sports. I don't like it either." Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic, who was born in Bosnia, another Balkan nation that fought a war of independence as Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s, didn't approve, either. "You should never mix politics and football. You should always show respect," he said after the match. "It's a wonderful atmosphere and a positive experience and that's what football should be about." ____ Associated Press writers Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade and Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018

Lukaku, Hazard on target as Belgium beats Egypt 3-0

By Mike Corder, Associated Press BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium showed flashes of its attacking prowess Wednesday, beating Egypt 3-0 in a World Cup warmup with the help of goals from Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard in a dominant first half. Substitute Marouane Fellaini swept home from close range in injury time to complete the scoring. Egypt, held goalless for the second time in three matches, showed how much it misses the injured Mohamed Salah. Driven forward by the speed and insight of Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium was up 2-0 at halftime before losing some fluency amid a flurry of substitutions after the break. "I don't think our performance was perfect, far from it," said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez. "There are many aspects that we need to improve. But what I like is that when we make mistakes we've got the togetherness to try to overcome them and I don't think we had that before and that's very pleasing." Salah, Egypt's great scoring hope for the World Cup, is still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final as Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid. The Premier League's top scorer has been named in Egypt's squad for the tournament in Russia and coach Hector Cuper badly needs him. "Mo Salah is not just a good player, he's an outstanding footballer, he's a world class footballer after what he's done this season," Martinez said. "So any team is going to miss the goal scoring threat of Mo Salah. We all wish him a speedy recovery and we want to see him in the World Cup." Egypt should have taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Mohamed Abdelshafy swung in an enticing cross from the left, but Marwan Mohsen, unmarked in the middle, headed wide a chance Salah likely would have scored. The move didn't only highlight the Liverpool forward's absence for Egypt; the space Mohsen found also underscored how Belgium could miss center back Vincent Kompany if he is not fit to play in Russia. Kompany injured his groin on Saturday during Belgium's lackluster 0-0 draw with Portugal. Coach Roberto Martinez named Los Angeles FC defender Laurent Ciman as a replacement if Kompany is not fit to play in Russia. If Lukaku and Hazard are in top form in Russia, Belgium might not miss Kompany too badly. Hazard drove a low shot in the 27th minute that Egypt goalkeeper Essam el-Hadary couldn't hold and Lukaku pounced on the rebound to fire in from close range. Hazard added his name to the score sheet in the 38th minute, blasting a shot high and hard past el-Hadary after Yannick Carrasco had cut back the ball from the left. Martinez rested Lukaku and Hazard for the second half, giving Michy Batshuayi and Adnan Januzaj a chance to play themselves into favor. Batshuayi set up Fellaini's goal by beating an Egypt defender and cutting back the ball. The defeat was Egypt's final warmup before Russia, while Belgium plays Costa Rica on Monday. One positive for Egypt coach Cuper was that Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny returned from injury and lasted the full 90 minutes. Martinez said his team needs the final tune-up. "I don't think we are physically, tactically and mentally ready ... and that's why the Costa Rica game will be important," he said. Egypt opens its World Cup campaign in Russia against Uruguay on June 15, Belgium's first Group G match is against Panama on June 18......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Svitolina emerges as French Open favorite with sweep of Halep in Rome

Elina Svitolina underlined her status as a top favorite for the French Open by sweeping Simona Halep aside 6-0, 6-4 to successfully defend her Italian Open crown on Sunday. In a repeat of last year's final at the Foro Italico, Ukrainian Svitolina, seeded fourth, was up against Halep a day after the Romanian top seed had ousted Russian Maria Sharapova. But Halep's hopes of overturning last year's defeat to her 23-year-old opponent quickly evaporated in a completely one-sided encounter that saw the Romanian fail to produce a real challenge. Svitolina, the world number four, has now successfully defended three career titles, in Baku, Dubai and also Rome; she also won in Brisbane and Du...Keep on reading: Svitolina emerges as French Open favorite with sweep of Halep in Rome.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

Serena loses in exhibition comeback after giving birth

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Serena Williams lost in her return to tennis after giving birth in September, beaten by French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition Saturday and still unsure if she will defend her Australian Open title. Williams called it a "wonderful" match despite the defeat — she took the second set in a score of 6-2, 3-6 and 10-5 in a super tiebreaker. The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam tournament, begins Jan. 15. "I don't know if I am totally ready to come back on the tour yet. I know that when I come back I definitely want to be competing for championships. I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there," Williams said. "I am taking it one day at a time. I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding." The 36-year-old Williams took time off after winning the Australian Open last January while pregnant. She gave birth to her first child, a girl named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on Sept. 1. She married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in November. Williams struggled with her serve in the 67-minute match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. But, after nearly a year away from the game, she did win a set against the world's No. 7 player "I don't think I am going to rate my performance," Williams said. "I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I've never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being. So, in my eyes, I feel it was a wonderful, wonderful match for me." Williams insisted she has a lot more tennis to play. "Knowing that I have won 23 Grand Slam titles and several other titles, I don't think I have anything more left to prove," she said. "But I am not done yet." Williams won her opening game, breaking Ostapenko. But she was nowhere near her best in the first set before fighting back and winning the second. After the initial break, Ostapenko latched onto Williams' weak serves and capitalized on several unforced errors to go up 4-1 with two breaks. Williams again struggled with her serve in the second set. But she went ahead 3-0 with a couple of early breaks and hit with more confidence, including several crowd-pleasing double-handed passing shots. Another break in the ninth game gave her the set. "In the beginning, it felt a little tough. But as the match moved on, I was less afraid. I knew I was not going to fall over and break," she said. "The more I played, the more confident I felt that I would be able to go for shots that I was afraid to go for in the first set." In the super tiebreaker, Ostapenko raced to an 8-2 lead before halting a brief recovery by Williams. "For me, it is all about physical, how I am feeling physically. ... I am just proud being out here and playing in Abu Dhabi and to be able to just compete," Williams said. "I have had a tough few months and I am just excited to be able to play again." It was the first time a women's match had been played in the traditionally men's only exhibition. U.S. Open runner-up Kevin Anderson defeated Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 7-6 (0) in the men's final. The 14th-ranked Anderson immediately broke Bautista Agut and was never in danger of losing serve in the first set. In the second set, Bautista Agut broke in the second game, but the South African broke back immediately. An aggressive Anderson swept the tiebreaker......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

World Cup winner Mbappe donating bonus of about $350,000

PARIS --- Teenage World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe is giving his bonus to an association that puts sports in the lives of hospitalized children. The head of Premiers de Cordee (First in Line), Sebastien Ruffin, says two weeks before France clinched the World Cup he was informed that Mbappe would give the group his bonus if the team qualified for the quarterfinals. French Football Federation chief Noel Le Graet confirmed in Sunday's Journal du Dimanche that other associations also would benefit from the France forward's largesse --- "about 300,000 euros ($350,000)." Mbappe mentors the kids, and Ruffin said the player has "very good contact" with them: "I sometimes feel he get...Keep on reading: World Cup winner Mbappe donating bonus of about $350,000.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News10 hr. 1 min. ago

Alaphilippe keeps France celebrating with Tour stage win

LE GRAND-BORNAND, France --- France has a new cycling star. Two days after the country's soccer players won the World Cup, Julian Alaphilippe became the first French winner of a stage at this year's Tour de France on Tuesday. Fueled by previous disappointments and thoughts of his ill father watching on TV, Alaphilippe timed his break perfectly and powered to victory on the first day in the mountains, crossing the line alone, and finishing well ahead of his rivals for his first Tour win. "I imagined winning it because it was a huge objective for me, but to win it like that, all alone ...," Alaphilippe said. "I don't know how many kilometers I was alone - phew, it was a b...Keep on reading: Alaphilippe keeps France celebrating with Tour stage win.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News10 hr. 1 min. ago

Usain Bolt poised for surprise trial with Aussie football club

Fifa 98's Usain Bolt is tackled by France 98's defender Bixente Lizarazu during an exhibition football match between France's 1998 World Cup's French football national team and.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated News14 hr. 40 min. ago

The real deal with Alphonse Areola and how he can still switch to Azkals

A Filipino is a World Cup winner but not everyone is celebrating French reserve goalkeeper Alphonse Areola’s chance to hold up the most coveted trophy in the football world. While he is receiving praise from Filipino shores some fans are doubting whether this is the right time for ‘pinoy pride.’ ‘Pinoy pride’ in the World […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated News20 hr. 13 min. ago

Fil-French keeper celebrates World Cup win

Filipinos joined the celebration of France’s triumph in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, taking pride in having a Filipino footballer, reserve goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, reap success with Les Bleus......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 17th, 2018

French celebrate unifying victory

PARIS — It was a victory for all of France and the home crowd did it justice, pouring into Paris’ Champs-Elysees Avenue by the tens of thousands to celebrate in an explosion of joy. France’s 4-2 win over Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday marked the second time in 20 years […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 17th, 2018

EU urges Trump to protect world order, dismisses foe claim

BRUSSELS, Belgium – EU leaders and top diplomats urged US President Donald Trump to protect the world order at his summit on Monday, July 16, with Vladimir Putin and dismissed his assertion that Europe was a US trade foe. Trump triggered fresh concerns from European Council President Donald Tusk at an EU-China ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

World Cup win symbolizes unity, diversity – French Ambassador in PH

MANILA, Philippines – The joyous celebrations did not end after Bastille Day as the French Ambassador in Manila Nicolas Galey witnessed a young and diverse France national team secure the country's second FIFA World Cup title after 20 years.  After going up 2-1 at the half via an own goal from ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

With flags, song, pride, French celebrate unifying victory

The Arc de Triomphe is illuminated with the colors of the French national flag and by fireworks set off by French soccer fans celebrating France's World Cup victory over Croatia, in Paris, Fra.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

With flags, song, pride, French celebrate unifying victory

PARIS — It was a victory for all of France and the home crowd did it justice, pouring into Paris' Champs-Elysees Avenue by the tens of thousands to celebrate in an explosion of joy. France's 4-2 win over Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday marked the second time in 20 years… link: With flags, song, pride, French celebrate unifying victory.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018