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Ceres Negros downs Shan United to move on to AFC Champions League Preliminary Round 2

Filipino football club Ceres Negros FC survived Myanmar-based club Shan United FC 3-2, Tuesday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium to advance to the Preliminary Round 2 of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group Stage. It didn’t take long for the Pinoy side to take control of the match, as Robert Lopez Mendy put the Busmen ahead in just the 5th minute.  Star striker Bienve Marañon doubled the Ceres Negros lead with in the 41st minute.  The visitors tried to make things interesting in the second half, as Shan United pulled one back courtesy of a Zin Min Tun header in the 73rd minute.  OJ Porteria responded by restoring the home side’s two-goal advantage with a conversion inside the box in the 79th minute.   Things began to get a bit tense in the final ten minutes of the match as Shan United, playing with a heightened sense of urgency, began to get a little too physical.  The aggression paid off for Shan United, as Djawa Maximin scored easily in the 87th minute to make it 3-2 and once again put the pressure on Ceres Negros.  With four minutes of added time, Shan United desperately searched for the equalizer, but Ceres Negros was able to hold on for the win.  With the victory, Ceres Negros moves on to face Thailand’s Port FC on January 21st at the PAT Stadium in Bangkok. The winner of that match advances to the Playoff Round to face FC Tokyo at the Ajinomoto Stadium......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 14th, 2020

Ceres Negros advances in AFC Champions League

Ceres Negros FC marched into the second round of the AFC Champions League preliminary stage after overcoming Myanmar counterpart Shan United, 3-2, last Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 16th, 2020

Ceres edges Shan, advances to 2nd round

National team player OJ Porteria sparkled with a goal and an assist as PFL champion Ceres-Negros turned back Shan United of Myanmar, 3-2, last Wednesday night to advance to the second round of the AFC Champions League preliminary round at Rizal Memorial Stadium. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

Ceres rolls to AFC Champions League qualifiers 2nd round over Shan United

  MANILA, Philippines – Ceres-Negros FC cleared the first stage of the AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs with a 3-2 escape win over Shan United FC on Tuesday, January 14, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. The Bacolod-based squad will face Thai League 1 team Port FC, which is reinforced by former ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

Ceres Negros escapes Shan United in AFC Champions League

The Busmen needed to grind out the victory, with Shan United scoring two goals in the second half to put the Filipino booters on their heels......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

Texans grab AFC South lead with 24-21 victory over Titans

By The Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Houston Texans grabbed control of the AFC South by beating the Tennessee Titans 24-21 Sunday. The defending division champs are looking for Houston's fourth AFC South title in six years under coach Bill O'Brien. The Titans haven't won this division since 2008, and Mike Vrabel is Tennessee's third coach since then. Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked a 29-yard field goal with 3:26 left for the winning points. The Texans (9-5) nearly blew a 14-0 halftime lead. Deshaun Watson threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns, but Tennessee also intercepted him twice inside the Titans 1. The Titans (8-6) snapped a four-game win streak with only their second loss in seven games. Now they will need help in the final two games to earn their second playoff berth in three seasons. When the Titans tied it at 14 early in the fourth quarter, the Texans scored 10 straight points. Carlos Hyde ran for a 10-yard TD, then Fairbairn's field goal finished Houston's scoring. Ryan Tannehill hit Dion Lewis with an 11-yard TD pass with 2:04 left to pull Tennessee within 24-21. But the Titans used backup kicker Ryan Santoso on the onside kick, and the ball only went 7 yards before being smothered by Texans safety Justin Reid. BILLS 17, STEELERS 10 PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Allen threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Kroft with 7:55 to play and Buffalo clinched a playoff spot, beating Pittsburgh. The Bills secured their second playoff berth in three seasons under coach Sean McDermott. Buffalo trailed 10-7, but scored on two possessions in the fourth quarter, as Allen rallied the Bills for a comeback win for the fifth time this season. Consecutive interceptions by Jordan Poyer and Levi Wallace on Pittsburgh’s last two possessions sealed the victory. The surging Steelers had an opportunity to leapfrog the Bills for the top AFC wild card spot, but Buffalo snapped Pittsburgh’s three-game win streak. Buffalo won for the fourth time in five games and recorded its first 10-win season since 1999. The Bills also beat the Steelers for the second time ever in Pittsburgh. Allen completed 13 of 25 passes for 139 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Allen, who also rushed for a score, has only lost consecutive games once in his career. Kroft scored his first touchdown since 2017 when he played for Cincinnati. Devin Singletary rushed for 87 yards and John Brown caught seven passes for 99 yards. He became Buffalo’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 2015. Devlin Hodges completed 23 of 38 passes for 202 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. PACKERS 21, BEARS 13 GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Jones ran for two scores, Davante Adams caught another in the 200th edition of he NFL's oldest rivalry. With the win, the Packers (11-3) clinched a playoff spot and swept the regular-season series between the teams for the 15th time in the last 26 seasons and the seventh time in the last 11 seasons. Green Bay defeated Chicago 10-3 in the season opener. Green Bay now leads the all-time series 99-95-6. The Bears (7-7) saw their three-game win streak end. The Packers improved to 19-5 against their NFC North rival with Rodgers as the starting quarterback. Rodgers completed just 16 of 33 passes for a pedestrian 203 yards but did enough to secure the victory. The two-time MVP entered the day with a 103.2 career passer rating against the Bears, the highest in league history of quarterbacks with at least 250 passes against Chicago. He had a 78.2 rating on Sunday. Mitchell Trubisky completed his first five pass attempts for the Bears but for only 18 yards. Chicago's offense opened the game with three straight punts and a turnover on downs. Trubisky finished 28 of 53 for 321 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. PATRIOTS 34, BENGALS 13 CINCINNATI (AP) — Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes to move within one of the NFL career record, Stephon Gilmore returned one of his two interceptions 64 yards for a score, and the Patriots clinched a playoff berth. A week that started with intrigue — a Patriots crew videotaping the Bengals' sideline in Cleveland — concluded with more New England history. The Patriots have made the playoffs 11 consecutive seasons, extending their NFL record. Brady had touchdown passes of 23 and 7 yards that left him with 538 for his career, one shy of Peyton Manning's record. The Patriots (11-3) haven't been as overwhelming in this playoff push, getting just enough out of the 42-year-old Brady and more than enough out of the league's top-ranked defense. Thousands of Patriots fans filled the stadium and chanted Brady's name as the minutes ran off. Brady was 15 of 29 for 128 yards and a pair of sacks. The Patriots broke a two-game losing streak with four interceptions in the second half. Gilmore picked off Andy Dalton twice in the third quarter, with his second pick-6 of the season putting New England in control. The Patriots pushed their league-leading interception total to 25. The Bengals (1-13) got a touchdown pass from Dalton that ended a streak of 20 straight games without reaching the end zone on their opening drive. All they managed the rest of the way was a pair of field goals. CHIEFS 23, BRONCOS 3 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, and Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were on the receiving end of many of his biggest throws, as the AFC West champions romped to remain in the hunt for the No. 2 playoff seed and a potential first-round bye. Like a bunch of kids getting a snow day from school, the Chiefs enjoyed every minute of it. Hill caught five passes for 67 yards and both scores, and Kelce hauled in 11 catches for 142 yards to become the first tight end in NFL history with four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, helping the Chiefs (10-4) beat the Broncos for the ninth straight time. Denver (5-9) hasn't won in Kansas City since Sept. 17, 2015. The Chiefs outscored their longtime division rival 53-9 this season. Whether it was the snowy weather or the suddenly stout Chiefs defense, the Broncos were so inept offensively that Kelce had more yards receiving at the start of the fourth quarter than they had total offense (139 yards). Phillip Lindsay was bottled up on the ground, and former Missouri standout Drew Lock — who grew up in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Missouri — spent most of the day seeing red jerseys bearing down on him. The rookie quarterback was 18 of 40 for 208 yards and an egregious interception in the end zone. COWBOYS 44, RAMS 21 ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and Ezekiel Elliott ran for two scores. The Cowboys (7-7) ended their second three-game losing streak of the season, and the defending NFC East champions stayed even with Philadelphia atop the division with a showdown looming next week. The defending NFC champion Rams (8-6), who already needed help to get into the playoffs, didn't help themselves with another poor showing a week after their most impressive game of the season in a win over Seattle. Their loss clinched playoff berths for Seattle, San Francisco and Green Bay. After rushing for a franchise playoff-record 273 yards in a 30-22 divisional win over the Cowboys last January, the Rams were held to 22 while Dallas churned out a season-high 263. Todd Gurley had 11 carries for 20 yards. Coming off two of his better games of the season, Rams quarterback Jared Goff had a rough outing that looked better because of his fourth-quarter numbers with the outcome decided. He finished 33 of 51 for 284 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The Cowboys' No. 1-ranked offense kept rolling with a season high in points to go with 475 yards, including scoring drives of 90 and 97 yards. FALCONS 29, 49ERS 20 SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Matt Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on a 5-yard pass that was ruled a touchdown after a replay reversal with 2 seconds left. Jones was called short of the goal line with the Falcons (5-9) trailing 22-17. But a replay showed the ball breaking the plane with the Jones in the air while being tackled by Jimmie Ward. When things couldn't get crazier, they did: On the final kickoff, Atlanta scored another touchdown when Olamide Zaccheaus came up with the ball as the 49ers were tossing it around in desperation. The 49ers (11-3) still clinched their first playoff berth since a 2013 run to the NFC championship game with the Rams' loss at Dallas. In an afternoon when Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense hardly shined, San Francisco's other units did their best to hold off Ryan until the quarterback exhibited the poise of a former MVP in a dramatic final minute — or, make that 12 seconds. Facing his former team and now in his third year as 49ers coach, Kyle Shanahan's high-powered offense fizzled much of the day. Shanahan spent two seasons as offensive coordinator in Atlanta coaching Ryan during his 2016 MVP year when the Falcons set a franchise record by scoring 540 points and Ryan had career bests in yards passing (4,944), TD passes (38) and passer rating (117.1). Then the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead on New England in the Super Bowl and Shanahan left for the Bay Area shortly after. VIKINGS 39, CHARGERS 10 CARSON, Calif, (AP) — Dan Bailey kicked four field goals and Ifeadi Odenigbo scored Minnesota's second defensive touchdown in three games. Los Angeles led 10-9 midway through the second quarter before Minnesota scored 30 unanswered points. The Chargers (5-9), who have dropped four of their last five, committed seven turnovers, their most since having seven against the Giants in 1986. The seven turnovers resulted in 20 Minnesota points. Mike Boone ran for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and Kirk Cousins threw for 207 yards and a TD for the Vikings (10-4), who have won four of their last five to remain in possession of the NFC's last playoff spot. Melvin Gordon fumbled twice and Philip Rivers threw three interceptions. Rivers, who threw for 307 yards, has been picked off 10 times in the past five games. LA appeared to be in field goal range at the Vikings 26. But on second-and-2, Rivers fumbled when he was sacked by Danielle Hunter. Austin Ekeler recovered it at the 38 and tried to make a play but also fumbled. Odenigbo then scooped up the loose ball and went 56 yards for a touchdown to give Minnesota a 19-10 lead. Boone, who had 49 yards on 13 attempts, had most of his carries in the second half after Dalvin Cook was injured. He had touchdown runs of 8 and 2 yards in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. SEAHAWKS 30, PANTHERS 24 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, Chris Carson ran for 133 yards and two scores. The Seahawks (11-3) wrapped up a postseason berth for the seventh time in the last eight seasons with a Rams loss at Dallas. They also tied San Francisco for the NFC West lead. It was the 100th regular season win for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Seattle scored on its first three possessions as Wilson completed 8 of 10 passes for 175 yards, with 19-yard touchdown passes to DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett for a perfect 153.8 QB rating. Chris Carson added a 16-yard TD run as the Seahawks built a 20-7 lead at halftime. But Seattle had to hold on after nearly surrendering a 30-10 lead with 7:28 left in the game as Carolina (5-9) got two touchdowns. Christian McCaffrey scored on a 15-yard run and Kyle Allen found Curtis Samuel for a 5-yard score to make it a one-possession game with 3:19 left. But the Seahawks overcame two holding penalties and Wilson connected on a 14-yard pass to Lockett on a third-and-11 to help the Seahawks run out the clock. EAGLES 37, REDSKINS 27 LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Carson Wentz recovered from a late fumble by leading a 75-yard, go-ahead scoring drive and throwing his third touchdown pass of the day to keep the Eagles' NFC East hopes on track. Wentz threw TD passes to running back Miles Sanders, tight end Zach Ertz and receiver Greg Ward and was 30 of 43 for 266 yards. The 4-yard pass from Wentz to Ward with 26 seconds left put Philadelphia up for good and electrified a stadium full of green-clad Eagles fans. Wentz's ability to bounce back from some accuracy issues and a turnover means the Eagles (7-7) are tied with Dallas in the division race with a game against the Cowboys coming next week. Of course, Wentz didn't do it by himself. Sanders rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 50 yards. The Eagles defense that struggled to stop Washington's Dwayne Haskins most of the afternoon got him to fumble for a touchdown return by Nigel Bradham on the game's final play. Coming off an overtime victory against Eli Manning and the New York Giants, a loss to Washington (3-11) could've had the Eagles facing elimination next week. CARDINALS 38, BROWNS 24 GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kenyan Drake ran for four touchdowns, Kyler Murray threw for 219 yards and a score and the Cardinals snapped a six-game losing streak. Murray got the best of a much-anticipated showdown with Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield. The two were teammates in college at Oklahoma and both won Heisman Trophies before being selected with the No. 1 overall picks by their respective teams in back-to-back years. Murray completed 19 of 25 passes and also ran for 58 yards. Drake, acquired midseason in a trade with the Dolphins, ran for a season-high 137 yards and scored a touchdown in every quarter. He's the first Cardinals player to score four rushing touchdowns in a game since 1993. Arizona pushed ahead 28-17 late in the third quarter when Drake scored his third touchdown on a 1-yard run, one play after the Cardinals won a pivotal challenge. Cleveland's Damarious Randall was called for defensive pass interference after a review, reversing the no-call on the field. Cleveland's Nick Chubb — who came in as the NFL's leading rusher — finished with 127 yards on the ground. Mayfield completed 30 of 43 passes for 247 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. JAGUARS 20, RAIDERS 16 OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Gardner Minshew threw two TD passes to Chris Conley in the final 5:15 of the game and the Jaguars spoiled the final scheduled game at the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders (6-8) broke out to a 16-3 lead and appeared comfortably ahead before falling apart in the closing minutes to put a damper on an already somber day in Oakland. The Jaguars (5-9) drove 79 yards to draw within 16-13 on Minshew's 6-yard TD pass to Conley. The Raiders tried to run out the clock and got a pair of first-down runs from Josh Jacobs and another from Derek Carr. But Carr was ruled out of bounds with 2:05 to play after sliding down, sparing the Jaguars from using a timeout. Oakland then got a delay of game in the confusion and Tyrell Williams dropped a third-down pass. Daniel Carlson then missed a 50-yard field goal, only to get another chance after Parry Nickerson was called for running into the kicker. Carlson missed again from 45 yards and the Jaguars took over at the 35 with 1:44 to go. Minshew moved them downfield and connected with Conley on the 4-yard score with 31 seconds left. GIANTS 36, DOLPHINS 20 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw two touchdowns in what might have been his final home start for the Giants and New York snapped a franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak. Saquon Barkley ran for 112 yards and scored two walk-in touchdowns and New York's much-maligned defense added a safety as the Giants (3-11) handed the Dolphins (3-11) their second loss in as many weeks at MetLife Stadium. Manning, who lost his starting job to first-round draft pick Daniel Jones in Week 3 and got it back last week when the rookie sprained an ankle, threw a 51-yard scoring pass to Golden Tate in the second quarter. He threw a go-ahead 5-yarder to Darius Slayton on the opening series of the second half. The 38-year-old also threw three interceptions, two of which set up by field goals by Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders. With 1:50 left, Manning (20 of 28 for 283 yards) was taken out by coach Pat Shurmur and replaced by Alex Tanney, drawing his second standing ovation from those left in the crowd. He walked to the sideline and was congratulated by teammates while the crowd chanted "Eli Manning.'' He even smiled. Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose game slipped after taking a big hit on a third-quarter scramble, threw two touchdowns to DaVante Parker, the second one with the game out of reach. BUCCANEERS 38, LIONS 17 DETROIT (AP) — Jameis Winston became the first player in NFL history to throw for 450 yards in consecutive games. Winston threw three touchdowns in the first half — four overall — and a career-high 458 yards one week after throwing for 456 yards. The Buccaneers (7-7) have won four straight and five of six, but their surge started too late for them to get in the playoffs race. Detroit (3-10-1) has dropped seven games in a row and 10 of 11, increasing the scrutiny of embattled coach Matt Patricia. The Lions looked like they were still competing for their coach, and themselves, after falling behind 21-0 in the first half. Running back Wes Hills, signed Saturday, ran for a second TD early in the fourth quarter to cut Tampa Bay's lead to 24-17. The comeback hopes ended with a thud. Sean Murphy-Bunting returned an interception 70 yards for a score and a 14-point lead. Winston followed with his fourth TD pass, connecting with Breshad Perriman for a third time......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2019

UEFA puts future Champions League ideas to league officials

By Graham Dunbar, Associated Press NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has included promotion and relegation, plus places for more teams, in its future vision for the Champions League and other club competitions. European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson told reporters that UEFA leaders proposed the ideas in a meeting Wednesday. It was part of year-long talks about changing competition formats and prize money distribution models that would take effect in 2024. The leagues are competing for influence with the European Club Association, whose own plans are reflected in UEFA's opening proposal. "There are ideas about promotion and relegation. It's a different system to the one we have today," Olsson said at UEFA headquarters. "The total picture is that there would be more clubs involved." Olsson said there was "not a big difference" between UEFA's presentation Wednesday and the ECA's confidential proposal at UEFA in March that has since been reported. He declined to give more details before UEFA updates its 55 member federations on May 17 in Budapest, Hungary. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who hosted the 2 ½-hour meeting, said talks currently involve "only ideas and opinions" and are more transparent than the previous round in 2016 before he was elected. Decisions then favored clubs from Europe's wealthiest leagues. "Our aim is to find a solution that reflects the changes in the game, preserves the position of UEFA's competitions as the most attractive and exciting in the world, while providing significant solidarity funding across European football," Ceferin said in a statement. UEFA expects to announce any changes next year after further rounds of meetings with clubs, leagues and other stakeholders including broadcasters worldwide. "This is the first meeting of several," said Olsson, suggesting the 29-nation European Leagues group could agree a counter proposal at an October assembly in London. The leagues want Champions League entries to be decided only on the merit of domestic league placings and winning a UEFA competition. That has been a basic principle since the European Cup kicked off in 1955 with only national league champions playing. Club leaders want placings in Champions League groups, possibly doubled in size to eight teams, to secure some entries for the next season's edition. Bigger groups also would satisfy elite clubs who want more games against each other and prize money increases funded by new broadcasting rights deals. The ECA's move toward a closed league system is seen as protecting the elite group from new challengers. It follows Juventus and Real Madrid — whose officials hold the top two positions in the ECA — being eliminated in the Champions League by Ajax. Though Ajax is a four-time European champion, it had to advance through three preliminary rounds last August as runner-up in the mid-ranked Netherlands league last season. Olsson welcomed Ajax's return to the top 24 years after last winning the Champions League. "Competitions (themselves) are more important than individual clubs. There will always be clubs to play (in them)," he said. It is unclear if possible extra places in UEFA competitions from 2024 would be added in larger group stages or only in expanded preliminary rounds. Starting in September 2021, and for three seasons until 2024, there will be 32 teams in the group stages of each of the Champions League, Europa League and a new third-tier competition. The round-robin groups have four teams each playing six games. The leagues have pushed for a fairer distribution of more than $2 billion in annual Champions League prize money to help close a widening wealth gap between clubs. UEFA said it would share around €240 million ($268 million) in solidarity payments this season to clubs across Europe......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 9th, 2019

Ceres-Negros climbs AFC club ranking, tops ASEAN

CERES-NEGROS FC climbed up to the AFC Club rankings after its recent win over Shan United which increased its points tally to 15 in this year’s edition of the competition. Stats website footyrankings.com updated its real-time tracking of the rankings after matchday five where the Filipino giants eclipsed Thai Champions Buriram United after the former’s […] The post Ceres-Negros climbs AFC club ranking, tops ASEAN appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsMay 6th, 2019

FA Cup fights for relevance as EPL gets wealthier

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer br /> LONDON (AP) — Within minutes of lifting the FA Cup in May, Louis van Gaal discovered how little the competition factored into the decision on his Manchester United future. United's approach for Jose Mourinho to succeed Van Gaal emerged as the Dutch coach was facing the media at Wembley Stadium straight after beating Crystal Palace. Two days later, Van Gaal was booted out of United, paying the price for failing to secure Champions League qualification by finishing in the top four. It's clear what the priority is now for English Premier League owners like the Glazers. United and the other 19 Premier League teams enter the FA Cup in the third round this weekend, knowing success in soccer's oldest knockout competition has rarely counted less. What matters is making cash through the Premier League, which has eroded the FA Cup's long-standing cherished place in the English football calendar over the last two decades. Van Gaal is one of several managers to leave their jobs despite reaching an FA Cup final. Alan Pardew, his Palace counterpart in May, was fired in December due to the London club's lowly Premier League position. Going back to 2013, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was turned out of his job two days after losing the final to Wigan, which was relegated in the same season. Martinez did, however, secure a move to Everton after his triumph. Roberto Di Matteo, the 2012 cup winner, was at least given until November after his May triumph before being dumped by Chelsea. Perhaps the only manager the FA Cup has mattered to in recent years was Arsene Wenger, with successes in 2014 and 2015 easing some of the heat he has faced for Arsenal's failure to win the Premier League since 2004. Wenger's last cup final victory came against Aston Villa in May 2015. Given that Villa hadn't won a major trophy since the 1996 League Cup or won the FA Cup since 1957, reaching the final was a proud day for manager Tim Sherwood. Five months later, Sherwood was dismissed and he hasn't found another job. No current manager has more experience of the FA Cup and the debate about its luster than Wenger, who has spent 21 years at Arsenal. 'I have no special solution,' the Frenchman said. 'But as well when April comes and May comes and teams go to Wembley it's something special ... it's a big priority for us. 'We have shown historically that we care about that competition and it's a massive competition for everybody.' Just less so in January. 'After the congested Christmas period it's always a tricky game the third round, and that is why I believe (it's a) mental challenge as well for the Premier League teams to prepare well, not to have a bad surprise, and especially today when you go to a Championship team it's always difficult.' Arsenal travels on Saturday to Preston, which is 11th in the 24-team second-tier League Championship. Preston North End's heyday was in the 19th century, winning the top tier twice and the FA Cup once. The northern English club's last major honor was lifting the FA Cup in 1938. Here is a look at the pick of the third-round fixtures involving Premier League teams against lower-league sides. ___ MAN UNITED-READING United's cup defense begins with a reunion as former defender Jaap Stam returns to Old Trafford. The Dutchman won the cup in United's 1998-99 treble-winning season along with the Premier League and Champions League. 'I'm not going to make a big thing of it because I'm not going to be waving,' Stam said. That's because the next time he returns to United he hopes it is because Reading, currently third in the Championship, is back in the Premier League. TOTTENHAM-ASTON VILLA Steve Bruce, whose Hull side lost the 2014 final to Arsenal, is midway through his first season at Aston Villa. There's little doubt his main task is returning the team to the Premier League but it is a place below Preston in 12th place and seven points from the playoff spots. Tottenham is likely to use the cup on Sunday as a chance to rest the key players behind the five-match league winning run, crowned by the victory over Chelsea on Wednesday that lifted Mauricio Pochettino's side to third. LIVERPOOL-PLYMOUTH It's second in the Premier League versus second in the fourth tier at Anfield on Sunday. And it's Juergen Klopp's first taste of the FA Cup, but the Liverpool manager is likely to use the game to test the depth of his squad and give game time to youngsters. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2017

Valverde questioned after another late collapse by Barcelona

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona had once again played great, led through goals by Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, yet still managed to let it slip away. Barcelona squandered one of its best performances of the season by conceding two late goals to Atlético Madrid, falling 3-2 in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Messi equalized after Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion scored for Atletico, and Griezmann put Barcelona deservedly ahead 2-1. But the goalkeeping of Jan Oblak, Atlético's star this season, kept Barcelona out for the rest of the way while Álvaro Morata leveled with a penalty kick in the 82nd minute and Ángel Correa completed the dramatic turnaround in the 86th. For Barcelona, the chance to add a minor trophy from a mini-tournament played thousands of miles away is not the main worry. The concern is Barcelona’s odd knack of losing control of games that look like a sure victory. Whether it's a question of overconfidence, a lack of fitness or just momentary lapses that cost the team dearly, the pressure is on coach Ernesto Valverde. Messi and other team leaders defended Valverde, whose very good overall record at Barcelona has been blemished by shocking defeats. “It’s normal that when you lose and don’t reach your objectives, and when our fans see that the team is not playing like they would like, that people talk and say things,” Messi said. “We have to be more united than ever, remain a strong group and get through this. “This year we will try to play like we did today (before the late goals) and not commit childish errors like those we committed.” But that didn’t stop the Spanish sports media reporting that Barcelona club officials met with midfield great Xavi Hernández to probe him as a possible replacement for Valverde either now or next season. Xavi left Barcelona in 2015, following 17 trophy-laden seasons, for Qatari club Al-Sadd, where he coaches. The speculation that he could soon be returning home led to Al-Sadd saying no move was imminent. “The issue of Xavi going to Barcelona is normal and expected because he will be at his club and it’s his first home and he must return there in the future, but as of today, Xavi is the coach of Al-Sadd.” Al-Sadd general manager Turki Al-Ali said in a statement on the club website. “Xavi and his team are focusing on tomorrow’s match against Al-Rayyan, and we know that a club with the size and professionalism of Barcelona will take to official channels to speak of such matters,” Al-Ali said. Barcelona’s loss at the King Abdullah Sports City on Thursday came five days after it conceded an 88th-minute equalizer at Espanyol in the Spanish league. The late goal by Wu Lei also came on a desperate counterattack similar to both of Atlético's late attacks that led to goals, when Barcelona’s backline was out of sync and let a pass through to a player with only goalkeeper Neto to beat. Wu’s goal ruined a superb match by Luis Suárez, who had scored with a fine touch and made a difficult pass for an assist. Suárez also backed Valverde on Thursday by taking the blame for the stumble against Atlético. “This loss shows we have room to improve,” the Uruguay striker said. “It shows us that there are mistakes that we can’t make because we were in charge of the game and we let them mount counterattacks … but the coach is not at fault. They were mistakes that we made.” Barcelona has drawn three of its last four league matches, but still lead the competition on goal difference ahead of Real Madrid. The team was leading before finishing 2-2 at Real Sociedad last month; lost 3-1 at Levante after Messi had put them ahead in November; and gave up a goal in the 81st in a 2-2 draw at Osasuna in August. Those setbacks would not be as worrisome for Barcelona if the team had not completely collapsed in the Champions League in recent seasons, most recently a humiliating 4-0 loss at Liverpool after winning the first leg of the semifinals 3-0. Valverde’s job was then in even more jeopardy at the end of last season after Barcelona lost the Copa del Rey final to Valencia, casting a shadow of doubt over the Spanish league champions. Club president Josep Bartomeu, however, has stuck by the former player who is known for his intelligence and unflappable attitude. Valverde is in his third season at Barcelona. He has won back-to-back Spanish league titles and one Copa del Rey final. A European Cup has eluded him. Valverde said he was used to the criticism as part of a job that was never secure. “We coaches always work with the idea of giving it our all to each match,” Valverde said. “We know how soccer is and that there is a permanent instability in teams when you are not getting good results or when you lose. Now that we have lost I suppose people will talk about it, but I remain focused on my job.” Valverde’s next job is to prepare for the visit of Granada on Jan. 19. In the meantime, Atlético will face crosstown rival Real Madrid in the Super Cup final on Sunday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2020

Ceres sets high goal in AFC tourney

Philippine champion Ceres Negros FC sets out to repeat its miracle run in 2018 as it tries to go deep into the coming AFC Champions League qualifiers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020

Ceres-Negros tries to qualify in AFC Champions League group stage

Three-time Philippines Football League champion Ceres-Negros is setting lofty goals this year, starting with qualification to the group stage of the AFC Champions League. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020

Runaway leader Liverpool already has soundtrack of champions

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Liverpool fans ended 2019 by chanting “Champions of the world” for the first time at Anfield. “Champions of England" will surely be sung by the Kop in 2020. Sadio Mane ensured Liverpool reached the halfway point with a 13-point lead — with a game in hand — that seems unassailable after clinching a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton on Sunday. And all Wolverhampton fans could forlornly chant was: “Is this football anymore?" That reflected more frustration with the application of VAR in the technology's first Premier League campaign, of course. Even if the calls were ultimately correct by on-field referee Anthony Taylor. Mane's goal was initially ruled out by Taylor for handball but it was actually helped on by teammate Adam Lallana's shoulder. There was a handball by Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk in the buildup but that didn't appear to be factored into the decision. “I just heard there was complaints of handball, I thought it was for Adam," Van Dijk said. "What can we do? They made a decision and the goal stood.” The naked eye would have struggled to see a reason to deny Pedro Neto an equalizer but once the hazy footage had lines inserted over it, offside was the decision from VAR HQ in London. “VAR is killing us," Wolves captain Conor Coady said. “It is constantly against us. I don't know where we are going wrong. It is affecting games. No one likes it.” Liverpool has built a lead more than double the six-point advantage surrendered at this point last season before being overhauled by Manchester City. Pep Guardiola's side is certainly less of a threat this season, still 14 points back after beating Sheffield United 2-0 on Sunday night. Leicester is a point better off to sit as Liverpool's closest but very distant challenger. The cushion looks unassailable for a club that has endured three decades of anguish and near-misses since last winning the English championship in 1990 - three years before the new Premier League trophy was handed out for the first time. Liverpool certainly has the winning habit, bringing the Club World Cup back from Qatar last weekend to join the European titles — the Champions League and Super Cup — collected earlier in 2019. CHELSEA FIGHTS BACK Chelsea was the other English side to lift a European trophy this year, and there was a rematch of the Europa League final at Arsenal on Sunday with a very different complexion. Both teams have brought in former players as managers and neither club is in title contention. In his first home game in charge, Mikel Arteta's Arsenal threw away the lead to lose 2-1 to Frank Lampard's Chelsea. Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno missed an attempt to punch Mason Mount's free kick clear, allowing Jorginho to net in the 83rd minute and cancel out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half opener. Jorginho had been fortunate to still be on the field after avoiding a second yellow card for pulling down Matteo Guendouzi. The winner came after Chelsea launched a counterattack from the edge of its own penalty area, with Tammy Abraham then allowed to race through unchallenged and playing a one-two with Willian before putting the ball through Leno's legs from close range. It leaves Arteta with a point from his first two games since being hired as Unai Emery's full-time successor. But the problems are more deep-set with Arsenal losing four consecutive games in all competitions at home for the first time in 60 years, a spell that covers Freddie Ljungberg's ill-fated interim reign. “I am really disappointed with the result and the way we conceded the goals and the timing of it as well," Arteta said. "I'm pleased with a lot of things that we've trained, and they actually happened in the game and how they are buying into this. But I am disappointed to lose the game obviously. We had to sustain that level for longer periods against a very, very physical team like Chelsea. And yes, we have to move on.” While Arsenal is 12th in the standings, Chelsea is 11 points ahead in the fourth Champions League place after Lampard's side quickly recovered from a home loss to Southampton. “I don't want to sit here and declare we're full of spirit but it's a great sign for us that we won the game, to see the difference in the second half," Lampard said. "Fight, desire. We kept pushing and controlled that second half. Our problem at home has been control. It took a mistake from them to get the goal and then we had the belief.” Lampard took no risks on Christian Pulisic, resting the American due to a slight hamstring issue that isn't a longer-term injury concern. CITY RECOVERY After a damaging 3-2 loss to Wolverhampton on Friday, City took until the second half against Sheffield United to find a breakthrough. Kevin De Bruyne was the creator, picking out Sergio Aguero for a fine finish seven minutes into the second half. De Bruyne was powerfully on target himself in the 82nd after combining with Riyad Mahrez. Sheffield United dropped to eighth over the weekend......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

Liverpool goes 13 points clear of Leicester with 4-0 win

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LEICESTER, England (AP) — First came the Champions League title, then the Club World Cup last week. Now, with a 13-point lead, Liverpool will surely be champions of England again by May. Leicester, the closest challenger, was blown away in a 4-0 victory that pushes Liverpool closer to ending a three-decade title drought. There is half of the season still to play but the gulf was vast on Thursday night, exposed by Trent Alexander-Arnold's repertoire of assists and a goal from the right back. Alexander-Arnold's crosses set up both of Roberto Firmino's goals and another was handled by Leicester Ça?lar Söyüncü which led to James Milner scoring a penalty. Manchester City's title challenge faded long ago, as the defending champion sits a further point back in third. Below that, inconsistent form is rife. Chelsea remains fourth despite losing a seventh game of the season earlier in the day, beaten 2-0 by a struggling Southampton side that lost 9-0 to Leicester two months ago. Tottenham is three points behind Chelsea after recovering from losing to its west London rival by beating Brighton 2-1 on Boxing Day. Sheffield United was behind Tottenham only on goal difference, riding high on its return to the topflight, but it was still held by relegation-threatened Watford to 1-1. After losing to Watford in the previous round, Manchester United came from behind to beat Newcastle 4-1. UNITED COMEBACK It looked like being another miserable day for United against Newcastle when Matty Longstaff netted the opener, having scored the winner when the sides met in October. But Anthony Martial's double, Mason Greenwood's strike, and Marcus Rashford's header turned the match around for the hosts. NEW MANAGERS It was a bleak start as a head coach for Mikel Arteta when Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead in the first half, But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rescued a point for the north London club in the second half with his 12th goal of the league campaign. Carlo Ancelotti, a Premier League title winner with Chelsea, is vastly more experienced than Arteta. And the Italian began his bid to steer Everton away from the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory over Burnley clinched by Dominic Calvert-Lewin's diving header. TOTTENHAM RECOVERY Harry Kane has scored on Boxing Day in each of the last six years apart from 2016, when he did not play. The Tottenham striker canceled out Adam Webster's opener for Brighton then Dele Alli clinched the win to make it five goals in eight games under Jose Mourinho. RELEGATION SCRAP Aston Villa is a point from safety after a 1-0 victory over Norwich, which slumped to last place. Substitute Conor Hourihane swept a shot into the top corner in the 82nd minute after being picked out by Jack Grealish. West Ham is a point above Villa after losing 2-1 at Crystal Palace, which sealed the victory through Jordan Ayew's strike in the 90th. Watford is off the foot of the standings thanks to goalkeeper Ben Foster protecting a 1-1 draw at Sheffield United. Foster made a point-blank range, clawing away John Fleck's shot in the second half at Bramall Lane where Oliver Norwood's penalty canceled out Gerard Deulofeu's opener for Watford......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

Lukaku scores 2 as Inter beats Genoa 4-0 to share lead

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press Romelu Lukaku scored two goals and set up another as Inter Milan beat relegation-threatened Genoa 4-0 on Saturday to move level on points with Juventus at the top of the Serie A table heading into the winter break. Lukaku could have had a hat trick but allowed teenage forward Sebastiano Esposito to take a second-half penalty. The 17-year-old Esposito converted for his first goal on his first Serie A start. Esposito was in tears after the match, when he immediately went up to hug his mother. “It’s been a fantastic week, I can't lie, I didn’t sleep a lot thinking about how this game would go,” Esposito said. "I’d like to thank the team, the coach, the club and Romelu, especially for the goal ... He told me to be sure of myself when I stepped up to strike the ball and to score. “They’re all great people before they’re professionals. I found myself in sync with Romelu right away, he’s a fantastic person who’s always looking to help me, he reassured me a lot by saying that everything would go alright and I’m so happy to have scored." Esposito became Inter's second youngest goalscorer after Mario Corso. He stepped up to the senior ranks this season and had an impressive Champions League debut in October, despite having only previously played 17 minutes for Inter’s first team. “He was practically a child when he arrived at the training camp this summer, but he’s grown massively in the last few months and I had said that at some unexpected point I’d be counting on him in times of need,” Inter coach Antonio Conte said. "He had a big chance today and he certainly made the most of it. He’s got a great future ahead of him, both his family and myself will help him, and if he continues like this then he’ll only improve.” Inter needed the win to spend the festive period joint top of the table after Juventus won at Sampdoria midweek. However, Inter was on a three-match winless streak that had seen it slip to second and crash out of the Champions League, and Lukaku’s strike partner, Lautaro Martínez, was suspended. Genoa was second from bottom and had lost its previous six matches at Inter, scoring just once. Inter broke the deadlock with two goals in quick succession. Lukaku headed in Antonio Candreva’s cross in the 31st minute and turned provider two minutes later for Roberto Gagliardini’s deflected strike. Lukaku could have doubled his tally shortly after the hour mark when Inter was awarded a penalty for Kevin Agudelo’s foul on Gagliardini. But the Belgium forward gave the ball to Esposito, who celebrated wildly after converting. Lukaku did get a second in the 71st, taking his tally to 12 in Serie A since his move from Manchester United in the offseason. SURPRISE LOSS Cagliari’s Champions League bid took a hit as it lost 2-1 at struggling Udinese. Cagliari remains fifth but is six points below Roma and the final qualifying position for Europe’s premier club competition. Udinese moved five points above the relegation zone ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures. The home side led from the 39th as Rodrigo De Paul curled in a magnificent opener. Cagliari thought it had secured a point when Joao Pedro leveled with six minutes remaining but Seko Fofana restored Udinese’s lead less than a minute later. Fabio Pisacane was sent off in injury time for a second yellow card to add to Cagliari’s misery. OFF THE BOTTOM Spal picked up its first victory since the beginning of October as it came from behind to win 2-1 at Torino and move off the bottom of the table. Gabriel Strefezza and Andrea Petagna scored to end Spal's nine-match winless run. Tomas Rincon had given Torino the lead in the fourth minute but the home side had to play 35 minutes with 10 men after defender Bremer was sent off following a second yellow card, with the score at 1-1. Spal moved a point above Genoa and three points from safety......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2019

Busmen play at Rizal in AFC Champs League

Philippine titlist Ceres Negros FC will call Rizal Memorial Stadium its home for its campaign in the AFC Champions League preliminaries......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 19th, 2019

Liverpool extends EPL lead as Leicester draws, Chelsea loses

By Mattias Karen, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Mo Salah and Liverpool are running away with the Premier League. Salah used his blistering pace and a bit of trickery to score both goals in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday — a result that extended the Reds' lead to 10 points in the table as they move closer to a first Premier League title in 30 years. Closest challenger Leicester was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Norwich, while defending champion Manchester City is a full 17 points behind in third place ahead of its game at Arsenal on Sunday. Fourth-place Chelsea, meanwhile, slumped to a fourth loss in five league games with a 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth — giving added hope to the handful of teams chasing the final Champions League spot. No one seems able to keep up with Liverpool, though. Jürgen Klopp's team has won 16 of 17 league games so far, with one draw, and are on course for a record-breaking season. “The most important thing that you have to show in this period of the season is resilience, and that's what we showed again,” Klopp said. SURGING SALAH Salah made it four goals in two games as he followed up his Champions League double with another brace at Anfield. Salah finished off a lightning counterattack to give the host the lead in the 38th minute at Anfield and then made sure of the victory with a cheeky backheel from a tight angle in injury time. It wasn't all so easy for Liverpool, though, even against a Watford that is last in the standings. Only poor finishing prevented the visitors from taking at least a point in Nigel Pearson's first game in charge. Striker Troy Deeney, Will Hughes, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Gerard Deulofeu all missed good chances to score for Watford. Salah was as clinical as ever, though, taking his tally to nine league goals this season. The only negative for Liverpool was when Georginio Wijnaldum was forced off with an apparent hamstring problem, meaning he could miss the upcoming Club World Cup in Qatar. LEICESTER FALTERS Leicester saw its eight-game winning streak in the league ended by Norwich. Jamie Vardy's streak of scoring in eight straight league games also ended after his header from a corner was ruled an own-goal by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, who directed the ball into the net with his hand. That goal equalized for Leicester in the 38th minute after Norwich striker Teemu Pukki had given the visitors a surprising lead in the 26th. Vardy had a chance to score early in the second half when he rounded Krul, but rolled the ball onto the outside of the post from a tight angle. “We weren't quite at our level but we managed to get back and get a point,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. “It was probably the right result, we didn't start so well and our passing was slow.” SLUMPING CHELSEA After surging up the table into the top four, Frank Lampard's Chelsea is in the middle of an alarming slump. Dan Gosling's late goal gave Bournemouth the win, with Chelsea's grip on fourth place suddenly looking shaky. “We need more urgency in our play,” Lampard said. “If you're an attacking player, get at people, do things that are positive, don't play safe. We play generally too safe through the game.” Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers both have a chance to pull within two points of Lampard's team on Sunday. Gosling scored an 84th-minute winner when he flicked the ball over Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the net despite standing with his back to goal, ending Bournemouth's run of five successive league losses. SURPRISING SHEFFIELD John Fleck scored twice as Sheffield United climbed provisionally into fifth place by beating fellow promoted side Aston Villa 2-0. Fleck put the hosts ahead in the 50th minute by steering home an assist by John Lundstram, and added the second in the 73rd. Villa had a chance to get back in the game after VAR awarded a penalty for handball by John Egan, but Jack Grealish belted the resulting spot kick against the crossbar. In a game between midtable teams, Chris Wood scored his seventh goal of the season as Burnley ended a run of three successive losses with a 1-0 win against an injury-hit Newcastle. Wood's 58th-minute header was enough to give Sean Dyche's side its fifth league win at home this season, all without conceding. In the late game, West Ham eased the pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini with a 1-0 win at Southampton. Sebastian Haller put West Ham ahead in the 37th minute by slotting a low shot in off the post for his fifth goal of the season, which was enough to give the Hammers only their second win in 11 league games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2019

Man City defense implodes with Liverpool on title charge

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City’s title defense is imploding in a way Pep Guardiola has never experienced before. Losing 2-1 to Manchester United left City with 32 points in the Premier League — Guardiola’s lowest haul after 16 matches in 11 years in top-flight management. Any fading prospect of a hat trick of titles looks to have been extinguished by City’s fiercest foe in a game marred by United players being targeted with racist abuse and objects thrown by home fans. The derby defeat left City 14 points behind Liverpool after the leaders won 3-0 at Bournemouth to nudge toward ending a 30-year championship drought. “It is not realistic to think about catching up,” Guardiola said. Second-place Leicester is now the team to catch for City, but the 2016 champions can move six points ahead with a victory at Aston Villa on Sunday. Chelsea’s grip on fourth place weakened with a 3-1 loss at struggling Everton as Duncan Ferguson started his caretaker command with a signature success. But the goal of the day came at Tottenham where Son Heung-min ran scored a dazzling solo goal after running from one of the field to the other in a 5-0 victory over Burnley for Jose Mourinho’s sixth-place team. UNITED TURNAROUND Chelsea’s collapse helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cap a transformative week with United up to fifth place and only five points from the Champions League spots. Being held at home by Aston Villa last Sunday raised further doubts about Solskjaer’s job prospects, especially with Mauricio Pochettino on the market after being fired by Tottenham. But since then Solskjaer has masterminded victories over two of the biggest names in management: Mourinho — Pochettino’s successor at Tottenham — and Guardiola. "There's more hard times for the doubters out there,” Solskjaer said, “because we'll keep on working the way we're doing and we believe in what we're doing.” United tore apart City in the first half at the Etihad Stadium. Marcus Rashford put United ahead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute after being bundled over by Bernardo Silva. The second goal inside six minutes was created by a slick exchange of passes between Daniel James and Anthony Martial, who applied the final touch past goalkeeper Ederson. City didn’t even manage a shot on target until the 34th when United goalkeeper David de Gea denied David Silva. Although Nicolas Otamendi’s header reduced the deficit in the 85th, City couldn’t prevent United from claiming only a second away win of the season. City’s priority after the game was working with police to identity the fans who racially abused United duo Fred and Jesse Lingard and hurled objects at them as a corner was able to be taken during the second half. “Thank God I have a lot of friends here in the locker room who hugged me, like Lingard,” Fred told ESPN. "I don't want to think about it. I just want to move on.” LIVERPOOL ON MARCH Liverpool’s goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah came in a devastating 19-minute spell either side of halftime to make it 33 league games unbeaten for Juergen Klopp’s side stretching back into last season. “The team performance was just really mature and professional,” Klopp said. “Just what we needed." ‘SONALDO’ Son’s mazy run before scoring Tottenham’s third goal against Burnley reminded Mourinho of a goal scored by Brazil great Ronaldo. "Even before this goal my son calls him ‘Sonaldo,’ and today he was Sonaldo Nazario," Mourinho said. “The only thing that came to my mind was a goal where I had the honor to be sat next to Sir Bobby Robson, in 1996, and Ronaldo Nazario scored a goal against Compostela from behind the halfway line and scored a very similar goal." Harry Kane also scored twice and Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko were on target as Tottenham recovered from losing to United on Wednesday. FERGUSON’S EMOTIONS Ferguson, a former Everton striker, already has the team out of the relegation zone after Marco Silva’s firing. Ferguson was charging down the touchline at Goodison Park celebrating with ball boys after Richarlison's header after five minutes against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. "It was just relief, excitement,” Ferguson said. “But you still know there is a long way to go in the game so you're not getting too carried away, although it didn't feel like that at the time. I'd have hugged the linesman if he was there. It is just emotion. Dominic Calvert-Lewin extended Everton’s lead four minutes into the second half but Mateo Kovacic's first Premier League goal reduced the deficit. Those early wild celebrations by Ferguson were replicated in the 84th when Calvert-Lewin found the target again. WATFORD HALTS SLUMP New manager Nigel Pearson watched from the stands as Watford halted a three-game losing run by drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace. Watford has won only once in the league this season and sits at the bottom of the standings, while Palace is in eighth place......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2019

Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF President

Promising improvements and more support from private companies for the sport, Mariano “Nonong” Araneta was re-elected as president of the Philippine Football Federation last Friday during the 16th PFF Congress at Century Park Hotel in Manila.  A member of the FIFA Executive Council, Araneta, who ran unopposed in 2011 and 2015, prevailed over Negros Occidental Football Association president Ricky Yanson, 23-12. Araneta immediately extended his hand in reconciliation to Yanson after a challenging campaign where the PFF president lamented the attack on his character and integrity. “Rest assured, we will do better and we will move on as one,” said Araneta. “I enjoin everyone to unite for the good of Philippine football. I am extending my hand to my opponent so we can bring football further.” Araneta got solid support from the Mindanao bloc, led by his running mate M’lang Cotabato mayor Joselito Piñol, who was also re-elected as Vice President. Also boosting Araneta’s candidacy was the entry of three Philippines Football League clubs Ceres Negros FC, Kaya Iloilo and Stallion Laguna, which were able to secure voting rights after their membership to the PFF was approved earlier during the PFF Congress.  “The toughest part of the campaign was the vicious attack on my character,” said Araneta. “But most of the members here believe in my ability. They trusted me and for another four-year term." Araneta said his four-year plan for the federation will include more infrastructure with the impending completion of the National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite.  Qatar Airways, upon Araneta’s request, had agreed to a three-year deal as title sponsor of the PFL starting next year.  Yanson had criticized the PFF for a lack of age-group tournaments, something Araneta addressed by announcing more support for competitions from private sponsors. Among those who have already promised their backing to youth football are Vallacar Transit Inc. and Giligans.  Araneta sees the Qatar Airways deal as a game-changer that will once again revitalize the country’s professional league.  “All the money we usually spend for the league will now be plowed back to the development of the youth,” said Araneta. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2019

Love at peace, not worried about trade chatter

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Kevin Love knows change could be coming. A couple of years ago, uncertainty might have been something that stressed him out, triggered the sorts of feelings like the ones that manifested themselves in the form of an in-game panic attack in 2017, rendered him unable to compete as efficiently as he wanted. Not this time. Even though he has three full years and about $90 million left on his contract after this season, it’s no secret that Love could be traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Plenty of teams even make sense for such a move — Portland, Dallas, Denver, Miami among others. But going public with the details of his panic attack — and his ongoing involvement in the conversation about the need to take care of mental health — has not left Love feeling vulnerable. He’s more at peace than anything else, and that’s why the rumors that are out there aren’t gnawing at him. “I’m just going to let the chips fall,” Love said. “I know that this is a young team. I think I can help them. I’m going to do right by Cleveland, the organization. This is a league where teams want to rebuild, teams want to go young but certain teams are looking for a piece, a guy who’s played in the finals, a guy who has playoff experience. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think it definitely lessens the burden and the anxiety.” Cleveland is 5-12 and Love missed Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) game against Brooklyn with back issues. Now in his 11th season, the five-time All-Star can still play — he’s averaging 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds, is a 36% shooter from 3-point range and won a ring with the Cavs in 2016. Even with him, the Cavs are likely a long shot for a playoff spot in the East. But Love insists that he isn’t forcing a change. “I’ve been committed to Cleveland since Day 1,” Love said. “I know it’s been a little shaky at some points. It’s been really great at some points. But now I’ve found some semblance of balance in my life, not only on the court but away from it.” Love also doesn’t shy away from the mental health questions. Players like Love and DeMar DeRozan helped bring the conversation into the NBA mainstream by opening up about their own private and personal issues. “I kind of played all my cards and spoke my truth,” Love said. “I just feel like there’s not a lot out there that could really hurt me. I feel like, not only for other people but selfishly for myself, it’s been very therapeutic.” HISTORY LESSON The Spurs are in trouble. Monday’s (Tuesday, PHL time) loss to the Lakers dropped San Antonio to 6-12, and seeing that is all anyone would probably need to realize that the Spurs’ record-tying 22-year streak of postseason appearances is in major jeopardy. But the numbers really hammer the point home. Over the last 14 seasons, not including this one, there have been 103 instances of teams starting 6-12 or worse. Of those, only four have made the postseason — and none of those four came from the Western Conference. And the last time the Spurs were under the .500 mark 18 games into a season was 1995-96, when they started 3-15. That’s the point where they fired Bob Hill for a guy named Gregg Popovich. “They’re going to be OK,” said Charlotte coach James Borrego, a former longtime Spurs assistant, who crossed paths with Popovich in Washington recently. “At the end of the day, he’s coaching his team, I’m coaching my team. I know what they’re going through. But they’ve been in this territory before. I don’t know if they’ve lost as much as they’ve lost this early, but they’ll bounce back. There’s high character there. They know what they’re doing.” The last West team to start 6-12 or worse and get into the playoffs was the 2004-05 Memphis Grizzlies, who began 5-11, went through two different coaches before bringing in Mike Fratello. He fashioned a 40-26 finish, the Grizzlies sneaked into the playoffs at 45-37 and as the eighth seed. They got swept in the first round. The NBA champions that year? San Antonio. KEMBA’S NECK Boston guard Kemba Walker took a scary hit last week when he collided with teammate Semi Ojeleye during the Celtics’ game at Denver. The way Walker fell, and how he had to leave the game on a stretcher, understandably raised plenty of concern. He was diagnosed with a sprained neck, which was probably about the best possible outcome given how bad the play looked in real time. Perhaps overlooked is this: The sprain is Walker’s second neck issue in less than three months. He played some games for USA Basketball at the FIBA World Cup in China in September while dealing with neck pain, which intensified to the point that he sat out the Americans’ finale there — the seventh-place game in Beijing against Poland. MIGHTY MAVS With MVP candidate Luka Doncic leading the way, Dallas is flying. The Mavericks have scored 137 points or more in each of their last three games. Only two teams in league history have gone on longer such streaks — Denver in November 1988 and Portland in November 1990, both of those being four-game runs. The Mavs have reached the 125-point mark five times already this season. That matches their total from all of last season. THE WEEK AHEAD A game to watch each day in the coming week: (PHL times listed) Wednesday, L.A. Clippers at Dallas: Doncic is rolling right now. Here comes a very big test. Thursday, L.A. Lakers at New Orleans: Welcome back to New Orleans, Anthony Davis. Friday, Happy Thanksgiving: It’s one of the days the NBA has no games on the schedule. Saturday, Boston at Brooklyn: A noon start time. Could it be Kyrie Irving versus the Celtics? Sunday, Charlotte at Milwaukee: For some reason, few seem to be talking about the Bucks. Next Monday, Memphis at Minnesota: Through Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant averaged 19 ppg. Next Tuesday, Utah at Philadelphia: A matchup of really good teams that usually put defense first......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 26th, 2019

Jose Mourinho brings passion to task of reviving Tottenham

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Ousted from previous jobs for fomenting friction, Jose Mourinho is returning to coaching trying to show he is rejuvenated with the smile back. Will Tottenham be getting a mellowed manager, rather than the one who stoked internal feuds at Chelsea and Manchester United? Mourinho’s exile from management ended after being appointed on Wednesday by Tottenham within 12 hours of the announcement of Mauricio Pochettino’s firing. “I couldn’t be happier and look forward to the challenge,” Mourinho said in a video released by Tottenham. “What can I promise? Passion, real passion. “Passion for my job, but also passion for my club, that’s the way I have been all my career and I want to try, obviously, everything to bring happiness to everyone who loves the club.” Mourinho has always delivered happiness in the form of trophies and title successes. But several of his stints have also seen the atmosphere around the team sour as his relationship broke down with club officials, players and even fans. There was the “palpable discord” that curtailed Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea in December 2015. A turbulent 2½-year spell followed at Manchester United that ended in December 2018 when the club tired of the volatile coach constantly picking fights and criticizing his own players as the team struggled. But he won three Premier League titles during his two spells at Chelsea, and lifted the Europa League trophy as the highlight of his time in Manchester. He now arrives at a club without a track record of winning titles, with no trophy lifted since the 2008 League Cup. While Pochettino transformed Tottenham, achieving an unprecedented four consecutive Champions League qualifications as the team rose in status, a trophy eluded the Argentine during his 5½-year stint. He led the club to its first Champions League final last season, only to lose to Liverpool. Rather than being a springboard for a sustained challenge in the Premier League to deliver Tottenham’s first championship since 1961, Pochettino sounded increasingly unsettled. Having said on the eve of the Champions League final he could choose to walk away from Tottenham, that decision was taken out of Pochettino ’s hands 173 days later when he was fired on Tuesday night. Tottenham’s improbable run to a first European Cup final masked a drop-off in form in the Premier League that has seen the team win just six of its 24 games since February, straddling the end of last season and the start of this season. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said he turned to Mourinho to bring “energy and belief” back to the club. “He has a wealth of experience,” Levy said, “can inspire teams and is a great tactician.” Mourinho takes charge of Tottenham for the first time on Saturday at West Ham with the team 14th in the Premier League after 12 games, 11 points off the four Champions League qualification positions where Tottenham grew accustomed to finishing under Pochettino. “It’s a privilege when a manager goes to a club and feels that happiness in relation to the squad he is going to have,” said Mourinho, who oversaw his first Tottenham training session on Wednesday. Since leaving Porto for Chelsea in 2004, Mourinho has always worked at clubs with big budgets so Tottenham is not necessarily a natural fit. Pochettino had to battle against the biggest teams in Europe while working with strict financial constraints, particularly as Tottenham prepared to move into its new stadium last season. The club has prioritized developing young talent from within the academy, including striker Harry Kane and midfielder Harry Winks, and Mourinho knows he has to follow the same philosophy. "There is not one manager in the world who does not like to play young players and help young players to evolve,” Mourinho said. “The problem is sometimes you get into clubs and the work that is below you is not good enough to produce these players.” Tottenham’s players will certainly respect Mourinho’s resume, which also includes league titles with Porto in Portugal, Inter Milan in Italy and Real Madrid in Spain. He has won the Champions League with two clubs, Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010. It is Mourinho’s man-management that has mostly been questioned in the latter years of his coaching career, given his penchant for publicly criticizing his own players. The 56-year-old Portuguese is surrounded by a new coaching staff at Tottenham, with Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos joining from Lille. Mourinho signed a contract to the end of the 2022-23 season with Tottenham but has never spent more than 3½ years in a single stint at one club. While Mourinho says Tottenham has “good players that the majority of the big clubs in Europe would be looking for”, the squad needs a revamp after growing stale because of the lack of recent recruitment. He will need to quickly fix Tottenham’s leaky defense and get more out of the team’s underperforming midfielders, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen. The main playmaker, Eriksen appeared to be on his way out of the club as he seeks a new challenge but working under Mourinho might offer that. Mourinho, who still has a house in London, will be back coaching the Champions League next week, too, with Tottenham needing one win from its final two group-stage games to qualify for the knockout stage. The team is out of the English League Cup, having been eliminated by fourth-tier Colchester in one of a number of humiliating results under Pochettino this season. ___ AP Sports Writer Steve Douglas contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019