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Rejuvenated Dutch strike late, into Nations League s Final 4

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press The Netherlands' recovery from one of the lowest ebbs in its history continued with a last-gasp qualification for the Final Four of the inaugural UEFA Nations League on Monday. Virgil van Dijk volleyed home a 90th-minute equalizer to seal a dramatic Dutch comeback in a 2-2 draw in Germany, allowing Ronald Koeman's rejuvenated side to top its qualifying group on goal difference ahead of France, and join fellow group winners Portugal, England and Switzerland in a five-day finals competition in June. So instead of seeing Kylian Mbappe, France's new wonderkid and star of the team's World Cup triumph in Russia in July, vying for another piece of international silverware, soccer fans will get to see if the Netherlands truly has turned the corner. The slump of the Dutch has been profound since they finished third at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. They failed to qualify for an enlarged European Championship in 2016 and also didn't make it to the World Cup this year. Three coaches — Guus Hiddink, Danny Blind, and Dick Advocaat — came and went. And with Dutch soccer at club level also in strife, debate swirled as to how one of the long-time heavyweights of the world game could recover. Under Koeman, though, the future of the Oranje looks bright. Youngsters like center midfielder Frenkie de Jong and center back Matthijs de Ligt are regarded as two of the most promising players in the world; Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum have returned to their best form over the last 18 months; and, in Van Dijk, the Netherlands has one of the best defenders around. A rock for Liverpool this season and last, Van Dijk — soccer's most expensive defender following his $99 million move from Southampton in January — sidefooted in a cross from the left to follow up an 84th-minute goal from Quincy Promes that gave the Dutch a glimmer of hope in Gelsenkirchen. The Germans had gone 2-0 up after 19 minutes thanks to Timo Werner's dipping shot from 25 meters and Leroy Sane's deflected effort from just inside the area. They couldn't hold on, though, and finished group play with no wins, just two points, and in something of a crisis. They didn't get out of their group in Russia in a dismal defense of their World Cup title, while relegation to League B of the Nations League — featuring Europe's second-tier teams — had already been confirmed after failing to win any of their first three group games. Germany coach Joachim Loew opted to stay in the job after the World Cup, but is now under mounting pressure. The Nations League, a new competition devised by UEFA to replace unpopular international friendlies with competitive matches between teams of a similar level, appears to have won over the skeptics, and the lineup for the Final Four is intriguing if hardly a marketer's dream. Portugal, which will be playing on home soil, has a superstar in Cristiano Ronaldo who should be back in the team after an extended absence from international soccer since the World Cup. England has Harry Kane, the top scorer at the World Cup, and a talented, dynamic group of young players under forward-thinking coach Gareth Southgate. Switzerland, which hasn't reached a quarterfinal of an international tournament since 1954, will be the outsider. The Netherlands, at No. 15, will be the lowest-ranked team in the competition but should not be discounted. This victory came three days after the team produced one of its best performances in years to beat France 2-0, while it beat Portugal 3-0 in March and Germany by the same score at home in the Nations League. The draw for the Final Four, which comprises of two semifinals and then a third-place playoff and final, will take place in Dublin on Dec. 3. Some other loose ends were tied up in the Nations League, which offers teams a second chance to qualify for the European Championship in 2020. The 16 group winners in Leagues A, B, C and D — or the next best-placed teams who have not already qualified via the European qualifiers starting in March — will progress to the Nations League playoffs and compete for the last four qualifying places for Euro 2020. NORWAY, MACEDONIA PROMOTED Norway was promoted to the second-tier League B after finishing top of Group C3 with a 2-0 win at Cyprus. The Norwegians started the final round of group play tied for points with Bulgaria, which could only draw at home to Slovenia 1-1. Macedonia went up to League C after beating Gibraltar 4-0 to top Group D4. Armenia, the only team that could have finished above Macedonia, ended up second after drawing at Liechtenstein 2-2. SLOVAKIA RELEGATED Slovakia was relegated to League C after losing at neighbor Czech Republic 1-0, with Patrik Schick scoring the winner in the first half with a deft lob over the goalkeeper on a counterattack. Denmark was already guaranteed promotion to the top tier and Ireland was sure of being relegated before they drew 0-0 in Aarhus......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports18 hr. 45 min. ago Related News

England avenges Croatia WCup loss to get shot at new trophy

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

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 19th, 2018Related News

Food security depends on Pinoy farmers

It’s more than two decades already since the Philippines became one of the “founding members” of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Jan. 1,1995. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), an intergovernmental organization founded in 1948 whose rules created the modern multilateral trading system......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsNov 18th, 2018Related News

Veteran war crimes prosecutor urges reform of disappointing United Nations

GENEVA, Switzerland – Former war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte, who for years was part of a UN commission probing rights abuses in Syria, is calling for reform of the UN "talk shop." She also argued that the upholding of human rights had reached a low point, questioning if they still ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 18th, 2018Related News

Top Pinoy tennis bets Pantino and Eala clinch semis berths

Filipino top bets Arthur Craig Pantino and Alex Eala went through different routes in getting into the semifinals Friday in the Phinma-PSC International Junior Tennis Championships Week 1 at Manila Polo Club clay courts. The 17-year-old Pantino, ranked 113th in the world, crushed New Zealand’s Corban Crowther, 6-2, 6-1, to book a place in the Final Four against third seed Fumiya Yoshino of Japan. Eala, the 13-year-old tennis wonder, displayed toughness of character beyond her years as she subdued Lu Yu-yun of Chinese Taipei, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, to also advance in the meet sponsored by Philippine Tennis Association, Philippine Sports Commission, Phinma and Tecnifibre. Pantino also place a foothold in the boys doubles after he and compatriot Justin Suarez barged into the finals. Pantino is back-to-back doubles champion last year aside from making the singles final in Week 1 and capturing the singles title in Week 2. They defeated Crowther and Marcus del Rosario of the Philippines, 6-2, 6-4, to arrange a final duel against top seeds Tom Evans of Australia and Yoshino. Evans and Yoshino bested third seeds Jean Marc Malkowski of Switzerland and Zsombor Velcz of Hungary, 6-4, 1-6, (13-11). Eala will battle Fang WeiNing of China, who moved after pulling off an upset over second seed Saki Oyama, 7-6 (4), 6-2. Top-seeded Janice Then of Indonesia marched to the semis as well with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Tian Fangran of China, 7-5, 6-4. Yoshino advanced after beating Lin Nan-Hsun of Chinese Taipei, 6-3, 6-2; Boys No. 1 ranked Mann Shah of India also rolled into the final four with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 triumph over Taiwanese Lo Yi-Jui. He will take on Evans who booted out Japanese Kokoro Isomura, 6-3, 6-2.    .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 16th, 2018Related News

[OPINION] Why Imelda Marcos should go to jail

The wife of the former dictator has been convicted of 7 counts of graft , all of which took place when she was a public official from 1968 to 1986. The cases were all related to private foundations in Switzerland . They were used to open bank accounts through which ill-gotten wealth ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 16th, 2018Related News

Batshuayi double helps Belgium beat Iceland 2-0

BRUSSELS (AP) — Michy Batshuayi proved a more than capable replacement for the injured Romelu Lukaku on Thursday when he scored twice as Belgium beat Iceland 2-0 to maintain its 100 percent record in the inaugural UEFA Nations League. After 65 minutes of pounding the Iceland defense, captain Eden Hazard found Thomas Meunier on the right and the Paris Saint-Germain winger crossed for Batshuayi to slot the ball home. The second goal was even easier for the on-loan Valencia striker, as he tapped the ball into the net after Hans Vanaken's shot had rebounded to him. Belgium has nine points from three games in Group 2 of League A, three ahead of Switzerland. A draw against the Swiss on Sunday will be enough to take Belgium through to the Final Four in June. Iceland lost all 4 matches and is relegated. Belgium and Iceland were without several first-choice players on Thursday, but the home team showed it has a lot more strength in depth and dominated throughout at an increasingly foggy King Baudouin Stadium. Axel Witsel also became only the third Belgian to win 100 caps......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 15th, 2018Related News

Switzerland seeks more clarity on gold trade amid rights concerns

GENEVA --- Switzerland's executive is calling for greater transparency and information about imports of gold into the rich Alpine country, warning that the industry has been linked to human rights violations and other wrongs like environmental damage. The Federal Council issued a report on Wednesday about the implications of the gold market on human rights violations in a country that prides itself on respecting human rights and whose refineries can churn up to 40 percent of the world gold-smelting capacity. Switzerland has imported 65 billion-109 billion Swiss francs (dollars) of gold per year over the last five years from 92 different countries, it said. The report warned of the i...Keep on reading: Switzerland seeks more clarity on gold trade amid rights concerns.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 14th, 2018Related News

Rare conservation win: Mountain gorilla population ticks up

WASHINGTON --- There are more gorillas in the mist --- a rare conservation success story, scientists said, because after facing near-extinction, mountain gorillas are slowly rebounding. On Wednesday, the Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature updated mountain gorillas' status from "critically endangered" to "endangered," a more promising, if still precarious, designation. There are now just over 1,000 of the animals in the wild. "In the context of crashing populations of wildlife around the world, this is a remarkable conservation success," said Tara Stoinski, president and chief scientist of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. The Atlanta-based nonprofit is name...Keep on reading: Rare conservation win: Mountain gorilla population ticks up.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 14th, 2018Related News

Eala, Zoleta sizzle in Phinma-PSC Int’l Juniors Championships

The Philippines’ most promising tennis talents Alex Eala and Amanda Gabrielle Zoleta barreled through the second round of girls singles Wednesday in the Phinma-PSC International Juniors Championships Week 1 at the Manila Polo Club in Makati. The 14-year-old Eala spearheaded the local girls’ campaign with an easy 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of Hsuan Huang of Chinese Taipei in this tough ITF Grade 4 tournament sponsored by the Philippine Tennis Association, Phinma, Philippine Sports Commission and Tecnifibre. Immediately after, wild card Zoleta stunned Skia Kung of Chinese Taipei, 6-2, 6-2, to book a place in the next round. Their victory followed up the rousing start of the Filipino boys led by last year’s Week 2 champion in singles Arthur Craig Pantino. Seeded second here, Pantino clobbered Japan’s Ryotaro Koshiba, 6-0, 6-2 during Tuesday’s first round in boys singles. Pantino tagged along compatriots Justin Suarez, Matthew Garcia and Aljon Talatayod to the next round of the tourney played on clay indoor courts. Suarez crushed Jerail Yasin of Indonesia, 6-2, 6-2; Garcia defeated Kun Liu of Chinese Taipei, 6-4, 6-2; while Talatayod outlasted Chen Yan-cheng also of Chinese Taipei, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5. Top seed in boys singles, Mann Shah of India also got through, trouble-free, to the second round after a 6-3, 6-0 triumph over Japan’s Noritaka Koizumi. Unfortunately, seven other Filipino boys fell on the wayside with Sebastien Lhuillier losing to Jean Marc Malkowski of Switzerland (6-2, 6-1), Loucas Julian Fernandez falling to Lo Yi-jui of Chinese Taipei (2-6, 6-4, 6-2), Marcus de Rosario yielding to Kokoro Isomura of Japan (6-4, 6-3). Jose Antonio Tria also lost to Hungarian fifth seed Zsombor Velcz (6-4, 6-3), Vince EJ Tugade dropped to Thai Patom Hanchaikul (6-2, 6-0), Jude Miguel Hidalgo bowed to Lin Nan-hsun of Chinese Taipei (6-0, 6-0), and Mark Nicole Suson fell to Corban Crowther of New Zealand (6-4, 7-6 (3).  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 14th, 2018Related News

Young Pinoy booters cherish FC Barcelona experience

Ten lucky kid footballers took part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience of training in Barcelona, Spain under the tutelage of esteemed FC Barcelona Youth Academy coaches. The kids returned to Manila recently after their global training camp that ran from November 4 to 12 and happily shared their memorable experiences, meeting other young athletes from around the world and ultimately watching their football heroes play live. “We’ve made a lot of friends there and learned a lot of things from our coaches. It was a memorable experience for us,” said Jelena Loren Soon of Singapore School Cebu and a member of the USPC Panthers and Cebu Elite Girls Team, who was the only girl in the batch that flew to Spain through the joint initiative of FC Barcelona and Milo. Soon was joined by Lien Dale Manuel, Alexander David Villarosa, Breindel Medina, Heaven Andrei Teodosio, Tristan Ybanez, Juan Pablo Unlay, Dylan Wong, Carlo Bongocan and Daniel Cagaanan  in the press conference held for the kids on Wednesday.   The Pinoy booters were carefully chosen by an expert panel from Milo, Cebu Football Association and FCB Academy in Cebu from almost 240 participants in Cebu last September.   The junior booters were immersed in a series of training sessions both on the pitch of Ciutat Esportivo, the home of La Maisa, FCB’s youth academy, and in the classroom at Camp Nou. The Filipinos joined other young delegates from Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. There, coaches instilled to the young booters the Barca methodology of creative passing and attacking while underscoring the importance of positive values. The Filipinos also played a friendly match against young players of Fundacion Marcet Football Academy. The game was played in four quarters with the Pinoy representatives winning the final frame, 4-0.      But the ultimate experience for these young athletes was their exclusive training with former Brazil and Barca player and legend, Juliano Belleti, capped by watching Lionel Messi and Barca play live against Betis in their La Liga duel.       As an added treat, the kids were given a chance to visit the FC Barcelona locker room – a unique and unforgettable experience. “Milo hopes that these young delegates will continue to work hard and aspire to be the best version of themselves,” said Milo Philippines Consumer Marketing Manager. “We also hope that these kids can share their experience and learnings to help uplift Philippine football and build ambition for others to reach their dreams.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 14th, 2018Related News

DOCUMENT: Full decision convicting Imelda Marcos over illegal Swiss foundations

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan 5th Division decided the graft charges against former first lady Imelda Marcos after 26 years, and convicted her for 7 counts of graft for illegally creating and maintaining private foundations in Switzerland during the entire rule of her husband, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The verdict shows the ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 13th, 2018Related News

Fuel marking seen to curb smuggling starting 2019

Oil smuggling is expected to decline after the government signed the contract with the joint venture of SGS Philippines Inc. and Switzerland-based SICPA SA for the rollout of the fuel marking program beginning 2019.   The Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service (DBM-PS) has issued the notice to proceed to the two firms, allowing them to start the establishment and operation of a fuel marking and field testing system for the Bureau of Customs (BOC) starting last Oct. 30.   Fuel marking will cost P0.06884 a liter, DBM-PS executive director Bingle B. Gutierrez said. It was the proposed contract price of SGS and SICPA, the lone bidder.   As ...Keep on reading: Fuel marking seen to curb smuggling starting 2019.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 10th, 2018Related News

Guilty: The case of Imelda Marcos and her illegal Swiss-based organizations

Former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos was found guilty by the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division of seven counts of graft in relation to the organizations she illegally created in Switzerland while sitting in public office. She would be imprisoned for six years and one month to 11 years for each graft count, making […] The post Guilty: The case of Imelda Marcos and her illegal Swiss-based organizations appeared first on Interaksyon......»»

Source: Interaksyon InteraksyonCategory: TopNov 9th, 2018Related News

U.N. to double food aid to Yemen

GENEVA, Switzerland – The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) said Thursday, November 8, it will nearly double food aid to Yemen to reach 14 million people a month – almost half the war-ravaged country's population. Yemen is in the grip of the world's worst hunger crisis as government ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 9th, 2018Related News

China rights record in spotlight at U.N. review

GENEVA, Switzerland – China's mass detainment of ethnic Uighurs and its crackdown on civil liberties will likely figure high on the agenda Tuesday, November 6, when countries meet at the UN in Geneva to review Beijing's rights record. As many as one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 6th, 2018Related News

Unsolicited advice for new customs chief

Days before the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, the Department of Finance and the World Bank awarded a five-year contract to Socit Gnrale de Surveillance (SGS) of Switzerland for the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) after holding a competitive bidding. The contract included preshipment inspections of cargo at their ports of origin prior to departure for Manila. The SGS was responsible for the valuation, classification and clearance functions for all imports. This way, smuggling was minimized and the "tara system" all but disappeared as customs officials were purely ministerial in function. From 1987 to 1998, SGS-CISS increased customs...Keep on reading: Unsolicited advice for new customs chief.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Nov 5th, 2018Related News

Duterte comparison with Brazil& rsquo;s new leader noted

Duterte comparison with Brazil’s new leader noted Source link link: Duterte comparison with Brazil’s new leader noted.....»»

Source: Manilainformer ManilainformerCategory: Nov 3rd, 2018Related News

Right wing nationalist leaders

The recent election of Jair Bolsonaro as the next president of Brazil indicates a global trend where the electorate are more and more inclined to choose right wing nationalist candidates sometimes described as “disruptors of politics as usual.”.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsNov 3rd, 2018Related News

Duterte comparison with Brazil& rsquo;s new leader noted

Duterte comparison with Brazil& rsquo;s new leader noted.....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: NewsNov 3rd, 2018Related News