While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Let’s take a look at some news around the league from this week. Reforming the BearsTram highlighted some positive news coming out of Waco on Monday.They want governmental involvement. They want to tear back the shroud that accompanies private schools. That shows the seriousness with which some Baylor supporters view the scandal.That’s a very good thing.The Baylor group staged town hall meetings in February, urging support for reforms.“The root of all this is lack of leadership, and we believe there needs to be major changes to leadership,” Williams, whose group organized in November, said in February. “I will say I’m encouraging those on the board who feel the way that we do to stand up to the rest of the people on the board and say, ‘It’s time to have full transparency and accountability and not to have this attitude of coverup and dribbling out facts on a narrow basis.’”This Baylor group offers hope that reform will come to Baylor, and that the culture will change. [NewsOK]Private universities are allowed to operate under a shroud of secrecy because they don’t receive (as much) public funding as state schools do. Now the fact that they do receive some funding for scholarships and such leaves them in a gray area, where taxpayer insight is fair to ask for.Here is an example of a Baylor alum and leader (the playing surface in McLane Stadium is named after him) stumping for public oversight to avoid covering up the truth in the future. Not for the demise of the school but for truth to come out so that victims can be vindicated, miscreants to bear the full weight and for the university to rebuild and move on.Stuck DoorsThe Sooners could use the excuse that the Big 12’s perception is holding them back but good luck doing anything about it.President David Boren has taken his shots at the Big 12 at different times. But exiting a power conference isn’t easy. There’s the granting of rights that runs through 2024-25 and coincides with the Big 12’s TV contracts with Fox and ESPN. Challenging a grant of rights could be expensive and time consuming legally. Does Oklahoma want out badly enough to force the issue? And what about Oklahoma State, which has been viewed as partner with OU in any realignment? [SportsDay]Porter had some great thoughts on the topic, namely the long-term unstable environment that is media deals and in turn, how the green on the other side of the fence may not be that color forever. As a fan of a non-helmet school, the idea of landing somewhere sooner than later seems ideal but the question for all involved is when can they get there.Until the grant of rights is broken (or the mid 2020s), this flying-the-coop business is just off-season fodder.Free Agent SigningsGundy provided some good thoughts on graduate transfers in college football.If signing day is college football’s version of the draft, the grad transfer practice has become its free agency.“These young men who come in, they know everything,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “They’re smart. They’re college graduates. They know this is their last year and are looking for somewhere where they can fit in.”The grad transfer rule, adopted in 2006, allows players — already physically developed and usually rather seasoned — who earn their undergraduate degree before completing their eligibility to transfer without having to sit out. Quarterback Russell Wilson became the cover boy for grad transfers when he left North Carolina State in 2011 to play his final season at Wisconsin, and led the Badgers to a Big Ten championship.The movement has since ballooned.“It’s changed in the last couple of years,” Gundy said. “It’s become so popular now.” [ESPN]The Pokes have had a defensive player per grad transfer since 2013 (Tyler Patmon from KU, Josh Furman from Michigan, Michael Hunter from Indiana, Lenzy Pipkins from UL-Monroe and this year’s Adrian Baker from Clemson) to go with Barry J. Sanders and Aaron Cochran, a boon for the Cowboys.Other teams in the league have benefitted as well: OU has had a receivers (Kentucky’s Jeff Badet this year, Penn State’s Geno Lewis) and Texas recently made a play for LSU quarterback Brandon Harris as a grad transfer. We have yet to see a Russell Wilson-to-Wisconsin magnitude of transfer in the Big 12 but it’s a trend to watch.The Right QuestionBerry Tramel gets to the heart of the issue of what’s ailing the Big 12: recruiting.All of the Big 12’s recruiting has suffered since the conference was raided by other leagues. In the six drafts from 2006-11, Texas had 32 draft picks, but just the 13 since. OU had six first-round picks, with just Lane Johnson since.Television money has been the driving force of conference realignment. But when the Big 12’s talent doesn’t trump the American Conference’s talent, when the dregs of the SEC are recruiting better than some of the Big 12’s better programs, when Texas is getting lapped by Texas A&M in recruits’ homes, when OU is getting outrecruited not just by Alabama and LSU, but by Ole Miss and Florida and Florida State, the football people jump on the bean-counters’ bandwagon.Recent NFL drafts tell us the sobering truth that Big 12 recruiting must pick up, or the conference is doomed. [NewsOK]Berry discerned that the right question is how in the world the Big 12 is remaining so competitive with so little NFL production. Reading the absurd but true facts that Western Michigan tied Big 12 draftees in the first two rounds this year and that the American had more players drafted than the Big 12 makes you really wonder.The bitterest pill to swallow is that there’s hardly a positive conclusion to come to – just do what you can with what you can get.
Coach Mike Gundy signed five tight ends in the 2008 recruiting class. He signed zero the following three years.“It’s turned a full circle,” Gundy said at Big 12 Media Days. “Years ago, you never saw an offense without one. Then nobody was using one.”Oklahoma State included.Over the next few years, Zac Veatch moved from fullback/tight end to offensive lineman and back again, and Keenen Brown went from receiver to cowboy back. It wasn’t until 2015 that cowboy back even became a recruited position.Coach Jason McEndoo was pulled on board from Montana State, where he ran the offensive line, and was told to get creative.AdChoices广告Over the three-plus years the cowboy back position has been in existence, players as short as 5-foot-10 Luke Hupp or as tall as 6-foot-5 Baron Odom have been raked onto the roster. This outlines a challenge OSU faces in attempting to bring players to be successful at a position that doesn’t exist anywhere in high school football.As of the 2017 roster, only four of the eight cowboy backs were offered a formal scholarship out of high school, and two of them were in the most recent class.“It’s really kinda of hard to find ’em and come up with enough to recruit,” Gundy said.True and false. There are invariably fewer fullbacks and tight ends than almost every other position out there. But when you look at only the states OSU has pulled these types of players from, there are still 24 uncommitted players of at least a two-star rating, according to 247 Sports. That includes recent decommit Nic McTear from Frisco Heritage and his could-be replacement James Palmer out of Westmoore.That’s not a massive pool, but it’s probably enough. One reason it’s not huge though is because of the allure of the position — or lack thereof.“There’s not a lot of guys who are fired up about playing fullback or tight end in high school,” Gundy said. “If they have the body structure, they’d rather go over and play defensive end.”Case and point: Cole Walterscheid. Tight end was Walterscheid’s primary position at Muenster High School, mostly because he only weighed about 210 pounds at 6-5.That happens a lot and it rarely goes the other way.“James Castleman, of course he was bigger,” Gundy said. “When we recruited him, he was 245 pounds. He ended up being 300, but he was that type of body structure. We didn’t know he was gonna be 300 pounds.”It didn’t matter anyway.Poor No. 9.Gundy said current defensive end Jarrell Owens is that same body structure. He played running back in high school but hasn’t ran a snap of offense, unless you count the one on defense.Wild play alert courtesy of @CowboyFB defense.#Big12FB on FS1 https://t.co/9wNohKypWe— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) October 22, 2016As for those who will own the position this season, Gundy still believes the cowboy back, on its face, brings an entirely new facet to the offense other positions cannot.“You have the ability to run a seven-man running play and a five-man passing play with that guy in the game,” Gundy said. “Part of the success with our running game was because of Justice (Hill), but the other part of it was because of our cowboy backs.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Real Madrid ‘In the big moments he is there’ – Villas-Boas tips ‘amazing’ Ronaldo to keep shining Jamie Smith 02:04 27/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Getty Images Real Madrid UEFA Champions League Neymar Cristiano Ronaldo PSG Ligue 1 PSG v Real Madrid The former Chelsea and Tottenham manager believes Real Madrid’s pace and their star forward will be too much for PSG in the Champions League Andre Villas-Boas has warned Paris Saint-Germain that Cristiano Ronaldo could make the difference for Real Madrid when the two sides meet in the Champions League.PSG led in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu through Adrien Rabiot’s goal, but Ronaldo struck a brace before Marcelo wrapped up a 3-1 first leg victory for Madrid to give Zinedine Zidane’s men a two-goal lead to take to the French capital.Ronaldo has returned to form in spectacular fashion in 2018, scoring 12 goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions, and Villas-Boas believes the Portugal superstar is returning to his best form. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “For his age , what he has achieved and what he continues to achieve, it’s amazing,” Villas-Boas added.”I think not only this moment but also Real Madrid have changed recently, particularly after that first leg against Paris Saint-Germain, they’re really picking up results and they look solid and strong now.”As a consequence, Ronaldo is a bit more confident and looking forward to the second leg. I think he can become influential again. In the big moments he is there, he is there for the team and I expect him to be back at this level, for sure.”Neymar is an injury doubt for the March 6 return match after the Brazilian sustained an injury to his right ankle during a Ligue 1 win over PSG’s rivals Marseille on Sunday, although coach Unai Emery is optimistic the world’s most expensive player will be passed fit.Cristiano Ronaldo had the chance to score his 50th career hat-trick and 300th Liga goal… but he let Karim Benzema take the penalty to complete Real Madrid’s 4-0 win against Alavés.Classy #UCL pic.twitter.com/GyhtXpsfq7— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 24, 2018Regardless of whether Neymar is able to play, former Chelsea, Tottenham and Zenit coach Villas-Boas thinks the pace of Madrid on the break will make it hard for PSG to overturn a two-goal deficit.”The difficult thing is to live with the strength of Real Madrid in the counter-attack, which is where they can create a lot of damage,” Villas-Boas told Omnisport.”Paris Saint-Germain will try to look for goals, on the counter is the strongest part of Real Madrid so it’s really a tricky one. If it was only a one-goal advantage it would be a bit easier but with two goals it can be quite tricky.”The pressure that Real Madrid would have to withstand if Paris Saint-Germain score can be quite high. Let’s see what happens but Real Madrid look very, very strong on the counter-attack so they can create damage as well.”The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016@CRISTIANO RONALDO CONGRATULATIONS!!! #TheBest #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/bycEsmWFDg— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) January 9, 2017Villas-Boas was speaking as part of the Laureus Sport for Good project that aims to combat social challenges facing children and young people.”They have more than 100 projects running around the world. For sportsmen it’s important to give them a hand so I’ve been an ambassador since 2011, with great honour,” Villas-Boas said. “I can’t praise enough the work they do in social projects, particularly because they are through sports. With sports you learn courage, responsibility, you become healthy and for kids involved in crime, gang violence and social exclusion, it’s important to bring them in and teach them values.”I value a lot the work that they do, hopefully with my contribution we can take their name higher and with the media exposure, we need a lot of you guys so their name can go higher and higher.”Yeah, just having fun with the kids. The kids were shivering, you don’t expect snow here. It was great fun, spent a little bit of time with them, get to know them and promote a little bit Play International as the new collaboration with Laureus.”
Champions League MLS has banner day in CCL but must get results next week to keep flag flying high Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 14:29 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Dan Hamilton Champions League MLS Toronto v Tigres UANL Seattle Sounders v Guadalajara Guadalajara Toronto Tigres UANL Seattle Sounders Liga MX Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders topped their Liga MX visitors but have work to do to make the semifinals of the tournament It is a banner day for MLS.All three teams remaining in the CONCACAF Champions League beat their Liga MX opponents in the first legs with Toronto FC topping Tigres 2-1 and the Seattle Sounders getting a 1-0 result over Chivas. The New York Red Bulls did it on the road, withstanding a furious effort from Tijuana to escape Estadio Caliente with a 2-0 victory on Tuesday. MLS fans have been waiting for this moment. Well, not exactly this one. They’ve been waiting to have this moment, but next week. After the second legs. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp These advantages are nice, but the celebration will become embarrassment if, say, the Red Bulls slip up at Red Bull Arena or Tigres flex their muscle at home and roll into an all-Mexican semifinal.Fans with long memories will recall both feelings – that MLS is finally going to break through and the crushing disappointment of another failure in Mexico. The 2013-14 CCL quarterfinals saw all three MLS teams get results against Liga MX opposition. Then, Cruz Azul beat Sporting Kansas City 5-1 in Mexico City, Tijuana topped the LA Galaxy 4-2 at the Caliente and Toluca beat the San Jose Earthquakes in a penalty shootout.Things are different this time around, though. MLS really has grown and done so in ways that make the league more competitive in international club competition. Some of the main issues that were keeping MLS teams from having any chance at regularly getting past Mexican competition have become less significant.TAM, the latest method permitting teams to spend more on individual player salaries and spend on the team in general, has been flowing – especially with the teams at the top. Toronto FC is the most expensive MLS team in history. It shows. Not only does TFC boast stars like Wednesday’s Man of the Match Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco, it also can afford to bring in a player like Gregory van der Wiel to defend Tigres’ left side even with other former European club players like Javier Aquino and Eduardo Vargas included.The other issue has been depth. The money helps there, too. More relevant, though, is that MLS teams are beginning to see fruits of the seeds planted years ago. Jonathan Osorio, whose spinning backheel winner should be put on a lenticular postage stamp if TFC wins the CCL, is a TFC youth product. Marco Delgado, who set up Jozy Altidore’s equalizer, is a Chivas USA refugee.The Sounders also had a mix of stars, like scorer Clint Dempsey, and youth products who coach Brian Schmetzer felt comfortable tossing into the mix against Chivas (the Mexican one, which still exists). Handwalla Bwana, who joined the Sounders Academy in 2015, didn’t look out of place at all going at the Chivas defense while it was homegrown Henry Wingo who set Dempsey up for the tally.The gap is closing between MLS and Liga MX. That’s been true, though, regardless of results in a tournament. The true test will be results over time. For now, that still heavily favors Liga MX.This matchday, though, gave fans in the U.S. and Canada positive evidence that things are changing, that their sides won’t be steamrolled every time. The Red Bulls, TFC and the Sounders can have hope that they’ll keep the MLS flag flying high throughout the CCL. Instead of another entry in the book like the 2013-14 tournament, 2018 may be a new chapter.
Besiktas 1 Bayern Munich 3 (1-8 agg): Heynckes’ men cruise into quarter-finals Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 02:47 15/3/2018 Twitter/@FCBayern Bayern Munich remain on track for another treble under Jupp Heynckes after easily coming through a Champions League tie with Besiktas. Thiago Alcantara scored but was substituted due to injury as Bayern Munich won 3-1 at Besiktas to cruise into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.A 5-0 victory in last month’s first leg in Munich had put Bayern in a commanding position and there was never any sign of a miraculous comeback in Istanbul on Wednesday.Thiago finished from a Thomas Muller cross to extend Bayern’s advantage and score their 100th goal of the season, but the Spain international was withdrawn before the break, coach Jupp Heynckes perhaps wishing he had rested more key names after picking a strong side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Gokhan Gonul’s own goal in the first minute of the second half appeared to settle the tie for good, before Vagner Love scrambled home his first Champions League strike since 2011 to spark Besiktas’ best period of the tie.Sandro Wagner, though, restored Bayern’s two-goal cushion with his first strike in the competition in the 84th minute.Heynckes’ men could claim the Bundesliga title at the weekend if results go their way and they remain on track for another treble, the veteran coach having won the Champions League among three trophies before departing Bayern at the end of his third spell in 2013.Bayern, who have reached the Champions League semi-finals in six of the last eight seasons, will find out their quarter-final opponents in Friday’s draw.Despite their massive first-leg lead Bayern made a bright start, Arturo Vidal heading wide.Thomas Muller scored twice in last month’s game and he should have opened the scoring in the 10th minute, blasting over the rebound after Tolga Zengin parried David Alaba’s free-kick.@Thiago6 celebrates @FCBayern’s 100th goal of the season in all comps. #UCL pic.twitter.com/MxjzHrZYRz— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 14, 2018But Muller created a fine goal for Thiago to get Bayern up and running, the midfielder timing his run into the box perfectly to tuck away a first-time finish from a pinpoint right-wing cross.Thiago limped off before half-time, giving Bayern an injury concern for the rest of the season.Besiktas had played reasonably well in the first period but the Turkish champions gifted Bayern their second moments after the restart.An innocuous right-wing cross from Rafinha should have been easy to clear, but Gonul poked the ball past Zengin under no pressure whatsoever.Referee Michael Oliver then had to briefly pause the game as a cat invaded the pitch.Miau. Miau. #BJKFCB pic.twitter.com/yPqg6Hzu89— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) March 14, 2018Besiktas gave their fans something to cheer in the 59th minute, Alaba losing the ball in his own half, with Gonul setting up Love to squeeze the ball past Jerome Boateng on the line.Mustafa Pektemek forced a save from Sven Ulreich as Besiktas tried to level the game on the night, Bayern understandably lacking energy given their comfortable position.Bayern made sure of their win, though, substitute Wagner chesting home from close range with six minutes to go after Alaba’s cross deflected up perfectly for him. Key Opta Facts:- Bayern Munich have now reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the seventh successive season.- Jupp Heynckes is the first manager in Champions League history to win 11 consecutive games.- Bayern have now won six Champions League matches in a row, their best-ever run in a single campaign in the competition.- The last time Bayern won at least six consecutive games in a single European campaign was back in the 1995-96 UEFA Cup, when they won seven on the bounce on the way to lifting the trophy. – The German side are responsible for four of the seven biggest aggregate victories in Champions League knockout stage history (12-1 vs Sporting Lisbon 2008-09, 10-2 vs Arsenal 2016-17, 7-0 vs Shakhtar Donetsk 2014-15 and 8-1 vs Besiktas 2017-18).- All seven of Bayern Munich’s away goals in this season’s Champions League have been scored by different players (Lewandowski, Martinez, Coman, Tolisso, Thiago, Wagner and a Gokhan Gonul own goal).- Besiktas have now lost all four of their Champions League matches against Bayern, losing by an aggregate score of 1-12. read more
My frolleagues (friends/colleagues) Jocelyn and Qui generously have shared the following presentation which answers the eternal existential question: “To blog or not to blog?” Enjoy.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 4, 2009November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Launching the Maternal Health Task Force: Reaching Consensus on the Draft Terms of Reference, February 17 & 18, Washington, DC I am pleased to report that the launch phase of the Maternal Health Task Force is complete and its work is now underway. You can now download a report of our launch meeting(PDF, 60kb) held two weeks ago in Washington, D.C. and the participant list (PDF, 28kb). More information will come soon as the Terms of Reference are finalized, our team is recruited, the website is constructed, and projects are activated. We look forward to working with you to improve the health of women, families and communities around the world. Again, many thanks.– AnaShare this:
Mexico Vela & Layun start for Mexico as Low picks Draxler over Reus in Germany attack Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author Mexico Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 22:17 6/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mexico World Cup Germany v Mexico Germany The attacker is in the XI after being left on the bench last time El Tri faced Joachim Low’s side, while the Sevilla man is starting in the midfield Juan Carlos Osorio is hoping to learn from his mistakes. After leaving attacker Carlos Vela on the bench against Germany in last year’s 4-1 Confederations Cup defeat, he’s handing a start to the LAFC forward in Sunday’s World Cup match against the reigning champion.Vela is joined in attack by Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer, and Hirving Lozano, who enjoyed a breakout season with PSV this year.Miguel Layun is set to start in the middle. The Veracruz native traditionally lines up as a fullback, but both his club and Osorio have tried him out in midfield in the past few months and enjoyed the results. Sevilla has played Layun in a more attacking role than Osorio did with Layun playing as one of the two ‘interior midfielders’ in the 4-3-3. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar With Layun in the midfield, Jesus Gallardo is set to make his World Cup debut at left back. Gallardo, who moved from Pumas to Monterrey after the season, is himself a converted winger.Andres Guardado and Hector Herrera start with Layun in the midfield, as two of the most frequent players in Osorio’s lineups. The job of central midfielder likely will fall to Herrera, who has played the spot several times even with Osorio expressing a wish to have him freed up to attack more often.Gallardo is joined in defense Hector Moreno at left center back, Hugo Ayala to his right and Carlos Salcedo starting at right back.Germany begins with Manuel Neuer in goal after concerns about whether the goalkeeper would be fit for the tournament. Mesut Ozil is fit to start as well and starts over Marco Reus in midfield. Julian Draxler, Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira make up the rest of the unit. Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng anchor the defense with Joshua Kimmich on the right and Marvin Plattenhardt on the left. Plattenhardt has just six caps but comes in for Jonas Hector, who’s reportedly ill with flu.Up top, Timo Werner gets the nod with Thomas Muller starting on the right and looking to add to his impressive World Cup goal tally.After Sunday’s opener, Mexico takes on South Korea and Sweden to close out group play. Those two countries meet Monday in the other Group F match.Mexico XI: Ochoa; Salcedo, Ayala, Moreno, Gallardo; Layun, Herrera, Guardado; Vela, Chicharito, LozanoGermany XI: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Plattenhardt; Khedira, Kroos; Muller, Draxler, Ozil; Werner
Colombia 1 Japan 2: Sanchez red spoils Pekerman’s plans Stephen Creek Last updated 1 year ago 21:53 6/19/18 Getty Images Colombia got off to a nightmare start when Carlos Sanchez was sent off after less than three minutes of their 2-1 defeat to Japan. Carlos Sanchez was shown the second-fastest red card in World Cup history as Colombia slipped to a 2-1 defeat in their World Cup opener against Japan in Mordovia.The Group H favourites suffered a nightmarish start to their campaign when Sanchez blocked Shinji Kagawa’s shot with his arm after just two minutes and 56 seconds, prompting the referee to brandish the first straight red card for handball at a World Cup since Luis Suarez was sent off against Ghana in 2010.Kagawa then put Japan ahead from the penalty spot but even with 10 men Jose Pekerman was able to make his side competitive and Juan Fernando Quintero levelled with a free-kick six minutes before half-time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Pekerman brought on 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez in the second half but the Bayern Munich star, not fully recovered from a calf injury, was not allowed much of the ball by a disciplined, energetic Japan side.Akira Nishino’s men came into the tournament as one of the lowest ranked teams but they defied their position by making good use of their man advantage and fully deserved to have their lead restored when FC Koln forward Yuya Osako headed the winner in the 73rd minute.Victory over Colombia will give Japan hope of progressing beyond the group stage for the first time since 2010, while Pekerman will hope that James can return to full fitness in time for their forthcoming clash with Poland.02:56 – Carlos Sanchez’s red card after two minutes and 56 seconds is the second fastest shown in World Cup history, after Jose Alberto Batista for Uruguay vs Scotland in 1986 (54 seconds). Handed. #COL #COLJPN #WorldCup— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2018The game was less than three minutes old when Sanchez blocked Kagawa’s 20-yard shot with his arm and the referee pointed to the penalty spot before showing the midfielder a straight red card.After lengthy protests, Sanchez eventually left the field and Kagawa was allowed to slot the penalty clinically into the bottom right corner of the net and Colombia’s game plan was in tatters.Despite the double setback, the South Americans attacked and Radamel Falcao got a toe to Quintero’s looping pass into the penalty area but could only poke the ball into the arms of veteran Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.Jose Pekerman shuffled his pack on the half-hour mark, replacing Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado with Boca Juniors midfielder Wilmar Barrios, and an equaliser arrived nine minutes later.Falcao won a dubious free-kick after a challenge with Makoto Hasebe and Quintero’s ensuing free-kick was driven low into the bottom left corner of the net where Kawashima arrived just too late to stop it from crossing the line.After a frantic first half, the game slowed in the second but Osako burst into the Colombia box and drew a save from David Ospina with a tricky close-range shot that the Arsenal goalkeeper parried away.Ospina was called into action again moments later, diving full length to his left to push Takashi Inui’s curling 20-yard shot away from danger, before Pekerman sent on James as he sought a way to turn the tide back in favour of his side.But Japan were dominating possession and their pressure told when substitute Keisuke Honda’s corner found Osako, who outjumped his marker and headed the ball into the far corner of the net, beyond Ospina’s reach.James had a sight of goal with 13 minutes remaining but his first-time shot from inside the penalty area was turned over the crossbar by the outstretched leg of Osako, and he will hope to regain full fitness in time to inspire Colombia to better results against Poland and Senegal.Key Opta Stats:- Japan have become the first Asian side to defeat South American opposition at the World Cup (P18 W1 D3 L14).- This is the first World Cup tournament in which as many as four South American teams have failed to win their opening game since 1974.- None of Colombia’s 19 games at the World Cup have ended goalless. The only nations that have played more games in the competition without recording a 0-0 are USA (33) and Austria (29).- Keisuke Honda is the first player from an Asian nation to provide an assist in three different World Cup tournaments since 1966.- There have been more direct free-kick goals scored in just 15 games at World Cup 2018 (4) than there were in the entire 2014 edition (3), with Colombia’s Juan Fernando Quintero netting the fourth.- Quintero became the first player to score in two different World Cup tournaments for Colombia (2014 and 2018). – Eiji Kawashima (35 years, 91 days) became the oldest player to appear for Japan in a World Cup finals match. read more
World Cup Hungary 9-0 Korea & the biggest wins in World Cup history Goal Last updated 1 year ago 00:20 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty World Cup Germany Nigeria Serbia Costa Rica Iran Portugal France Australia Iceland Argentina Denmark Peru Mexico Croatia Russia Morocco Spain Saudi Arabia Uruguay Egypt As we near ever closer to the finals in Russia, Goal takes a look at the biggest wins in the tournament’s history