Dani Carvajal defends sacked Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui

first_imgReal Madrid defender Dani Carvajal has come out in support of sacked coach Julen Lopetegui.Lopetegui was sacked last week after less than five months in charge of Real Madrid, following a hefty Clasico defeat by Barcelona and a dire run of form in which they sunk to ninth in La Liga.Carvajal says Lopetegui is the best manager he has worked under.The coach has endured a nightmare year after being sacked by Spain on the eve of the World Cup after agreeing to take the Real Madrid job.However, Carvajal, who won three Champions League titles with Real under Zinedine Zidane, is standing by Lopetegui.”For me, he’s the best coach that I have had,” Carvajal told TVE. “Unfortunately, he lacked the bit of luck necessary to continue with us. His way of seeing football, his way of managing the group, of being with the players, is something I share.”I said it before he arrived at Real Madrid, I’m still saying it now he’s gone, and I will keep saying it until I have a coach that’s better than him.”Lopetegui’s replacement, interim coach Santiago Solari, has two wins from his two matches in charge, although Carvajal has not featured due to a calf injury.The right back is not available for Real’s trip to the Czech Republic to face Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

NCAA Solidifies December Date for Early Enrollees

first_imgWhile 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. We already looked at how a few of the proposed new rule changes for college football and recruiting either help or hurt Oklahoma State, but it’s worth revisiting today because the NCAA set in stone an early signing period for college football. It goes into effect later this year (as do the other changes).Monday, the Collegiate Commissioners Association officially approved a three-day signing period for high school seniors. The 72-hour window will begin Dec. 20 and end Dec. 22. Seniors who are settled on their college choice can sign a National Letter of Intent in that timeframe. Any player who doesn’t sign in the early-signing period will have to wait until National Signing Day on Feb. 7, 2018 to sign with a school. [Yahoo]This may or may not be significant to Oklahoma State, but I think it probably helps them as a program. On a case-by-case basis, nobody knows whether a recruit will want to lock down a commitment early or wait until the end, but generally Oklahoma State seems to be good at evaluating talent up front.What this means is that you might be able to get a player or two to sign early that would have flipped in January before the traditional February signing day to Texas or OU. You won’t get this every year, to be sure. Some players won’t sign in December and will still flip in January. Many players who will sign in December wouldn’t have flipped anyway.But this drops a feather on the OSU end of the scale if the other side is the Ohio States and Texas A&Ms — recruiting behemoths who often swipe stars at the end of the road. One other thing we haven’t discussed is that a December signing period doesn’t allow for the Bamas and Clemsons to win their titles and make a victory lap on the recruiting trail. That’s a good thing for smaller schools like Oklahoma State. Plus a lot of players are just ready for the recruiting hoopla to be over at that point.It will be impossible to determine the true effect on OSU, but I think over the course of, say, five years, you’re going to see a really good player or two sign in December and be thankful you didn’t have to insulate them all the way until February.last_img read more

Report: Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2

first_imgBournemouth 2 Newcastle United 2: Hosts in thrilling fightback after Gayle double Nicholas McGee Last updated 1 year ago 00:56 25/2/2018 GayleCook-Cropped Getty Images A Dwight Gayle double was cancelled out by a late Bournemouth comeback as the hosts drew with relegation rivals Newcastle United. Dan Gosling completed a dramatic late comeback as Bournemouth came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw with relegation rivals Newcastle United.Rafael Benitez’s side travelled to the Vitality Stadium after a shock 1-0 victory over Manchester United last time out, and looked like making it back-to-back Premier League wins after Dwight Gayle twice pounced on poor goalkeeping from Asmir Begovic.After allowing Gayle to beat him to a low delivery for the 17th-minute opener, Begovic enabled the former Crystal Palace striker to double his tally on the stroke of half-time as he let another cross slip under him. 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 Bournemouth pushed to find a way back into the game, and a lifeline arrived courtesy of a fantastic long-range effort from Adam Smith 10 minutes from time.And parity was restored in the 89th minute as former Newcastle midfielder Gosling turned home from Nathan Ake’s ball into the box.Newcastle did cling on for a draw but missed a chance to go four points clear of the drop. The Magpies are two clear of the bottom three with Bournemouth three further ahead of them, a run of just one defeat in eight top-flight games cold comfort for Benitez after the late setback.A point apiece, as the Cherries come back from 2-0 down… #BOUNEW | #afcb pic.twitter.com/RHoVdoQo8S— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) February 24, 2018It took 10 minutes for either goalkeeper to be forced into a save as Martin Dubravka, coming off an impressive debut against Jose Mourinho’s men, sprung to his left to parry Callum Wilson’s effort on the turn.But, after Kenedy had fired over with a pair of long-range efforts, Newcastle took the lead with a well-worked move.Jonjo Shelvey played a brilliant ball down the right for Matt Ritchie, whose low cross eventually fell to Gayle as he won a challenge with Begovic before nonchalantly backheeling the ball into the empty net.Ritchie then curled wide from 25 yards out as Newcastle continued in the ascendancy.Junior Stanislas and Gosling both lashed volleys over before Newcastle, having struggled to retain possession in the closing stages of the first half, doubled their advantage against the run of play.Paul Dummett’s cross to the far post was met by Ayoze Perez, the Spaniard’s pull back going through the legs of Begovic and finding Gayle, who was presented with another tap-in.28 – Dwight Gayle has now netted 28 league goals since the start of last season, more than twice as many as any other player for Newcastle (Matt Ritchie next on 13). Sharp. pic.twitter.com/BVQ59TxqwN — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 24, 2018 Bournemouth had a penalty claim waved away by Roger East in the opening stages of the second half after Jamaal Lascelles collided with Ryan Fraser.Perez and Shelvey spurned gilt-edged chances to make it three either side of a fine Dubravka save from Steve Cook, and those wasted opportunities ultimately proved costly as Smith fired a stunning strike in off the bar before Gosling struck with a confident side-foot finish as a previously composed Newcastle defence crumbled.There was still time for Bournemouth to pull off a remarkable turnaround but Newcastle did at least save a point, yet they still have plenty of work to do to preserve their top-flight status.Key Opta Stats:- Bournemouth have picked up 13 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, a joint-high along with Everton.- Newcastle failed to win a Premier League game after being two goals up at half-time for the first time since February 2012 (2-2 v Wolves).- Bournemouth have gone eight Premier League home games without a clean sheet, their longest-ever run without a shutout at the Vitality Stadium in the competition.- Newcastle bagged two first-half goals away from home for the first time in the Premier League since March 2014 against Hull.- Dwight Gayle ended a run of 11 Premier League appearances without a goal, via his first Premier League double since May 2016. read morelast_img read more

Gundy: ‘The Program Is On as Good a Ground as It’s Ever Been on Here’

first_imgSTILLWATER — Mike Gundy isn’t ready to sound any alarms after his team’s 4-3 start.Oklahoma State is coming off a 45-27 loss to an unbeaten Baylor team. Spencer Sanders, the Cowboys redshirt freshman quarterback, has turned the ball over 10 times in the Cowboys’ three losses, but at his media luncheon Monday, Gundy said he can see the potential his squad has.“The youth on this team right now,” Gundy said, “the development, the classes that we have redshirted, the players we have, the overall attitude, there’s nothing to worry about.“… I have been cornered before, but I don’t feel that way now. I’m good. I’m excited. I like the potential. I like the youth. I like the direction we’re going. I see where we’re at. I see what we’re doing.”Of OSU’s 22 starters from the Baylor game Saturday, only four are seniors: Johnny Wilson, Marcus Keyes, Jordan McCray and A.J. Green. Eleven of those 22 starters are underclassmen. With Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace in their third years of eligibility, they could leave for the NFL Draft after this season. So, it’s likely at least 17 guys return.For this season, though, the Cowboys record might look quite different if it wasn’t for the turnovers. The Cowboys lost the turnover battle 5-0 in Lubbock a few weekends ago and almost miraculously lost by only 10 points.On Saturday, the Cowboys led 27-24 in the fourth quarter before the Bears scored 21 unanswered points to win the game, including a fumble recovery-turned-touchdown.OSU also had a chance to take a 20-10 lead into the half against Baylor before Sanders threw a jump ball short for Jordan McCray in the end zone that was intercepted. Sanders and McCray connected on an identical play for the Cowboys’ first score on the game.Gundy said Sanders’ demeanor between possessions was that of a “seasoned veteran” Saturday. Sanders’ demeanor has been tested at times this seasons, particularly in the first half of the Tulsa game and the Texas Tech loss. But Gundy said this is part of his young quarterback’s growth.“Forget the throw at the end of the first half,” Gundy said. “If he doesn’t drop the ball, and they don’t pick it up and run it in for a touchdown, we’re not really having this discussion.“He had proved that he had gotten better. He will get better each week. I guarantee you. The guy coaching him knows what he’s doing. He will get him better. And Spencer is a very prideful young man. The only issue he has to work on is thinking he can play a perfect game. He’ll accept responsibility. He’ll tell you he’s wrong. He’ll tell you it’s his fault. In a game, he wants to play a perfect game. That’s not gonna happen.”This makes for consecutive 4-3 starts for a program that is used to finishing near the top of the Big 12. Gundy said he can understand people’s frustration, but this isn’t something that can’t be fixed.“The program is on as good a ground as it’s ever been on here,” Gundy said. “We just gotta correct a few mistakes. That’s just life. It’s kinda the way it is. What people have to understand is this, I think most everybody knows me now. It’s not like I don’t get frustrated either. I go home, I take double ambien. Didn’t work. I woke up at 3:17 (a.m.). I came to work at 3:45 Sunday morning. That’s just the way it is. It’s not like I don’t know this, and it’s not like I don’t understand people’s frustration.“But, we also live in a society today where people want to b—- and complain about everything instead of putting their pants on and go fix it. We’re gonna fix it. Nobody around here’s gonna b—- and complain, from me to a coach to a player to anybody that works in that building over there. That’s the way it works. That’s the way that we’ll get better.” 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.last_img read more

10 commandments of communications

first_imgTo wrap up the week, I offer some last words from Luntz. Here are his 10 commandments of messaging. Bottom line: be able to explain what you do in one visual, compelling, intriguing sentence or phrase.1. Simplicity is key. What one word or phrase captures your work?2. Brevity: Keep it short, always.3. Credibility matters more than ever.4. Consistency is vital – stick to your message, and make your message sticky.5. Novelty: be fresh and use fresh language and stories.6. Sound and texture matter.7. Speak aspirationally.8. Be visual. Have one great picture that tells your story.9. Ask a question. Start conversations, not monologues.10. Provide context. Explain why your mission matters to your audience.last_img

Neymar & Brazil stars given rough treatment by Swiss

first_imgWorld Cup Switzerland give Neymar the rough treatment to frustrate Brazil Stefan Coerts Rostov on Don Last updated 1 year ago 03:55 6/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(19) Neymar Brazil Switzerland World Cup 2018 170618 Getty World Cup Brazil Neymar Philippe Coutinho Brazil v Switzerland Switzerland The PSG attacker was unable to make much of an impact as he got little space to create something at the Rostov Arena The name on everybody’s lips heading into Brazil’s World Cup opener against Switzerland on Sunday was an unsurprising one: Neymar.The Paris Saint-Germain star was a doubt for the tournament in Russia not too long ago after fracturing his metatarsal in the Ligue 1 encounter with Marseille back in February and only recently returned to full training.Neymar’s injury problems did not stop him from scoring both in his return to action against Croatia as well as against Austria, but Brazil boss Tite admitted during his pre-match news conference that the 26-year-old was not in peak condition yet. 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 “Neymar is not 100 per cent,” he stated at the Rostov Arena. “But he is very privileged physically, his sprinting capacity and his speed is really impressive, he hasn’t lost that. He’s not 100 per cent yet, but he’s good enough to play very well.”Both parts of Tite’s message had clearly registered with the Swiss as they did everything within their power to keep the PSG man quiet.Valon Behrami needed a mere four minutes for his first foul on Neymar, only to repeat the trick 10 minutes later, much to the annoyance of the Brazil No.10.Referee Cesar Ramos took action at the half-hour mark when Stephan Lichtsteiner brought down Neymar on the edge of the box, but Switzerland continued to bully the former Barcelona man at every opportunity, with Fabian Schar and Behrami both going into the match official’s book too.Neymar Valon Behrami Brazil Switzerland World Cup 2018Vladimir Petkovic’s men’s focus on Neymar – who was fouled 10 times across 96 minutes – allowed his team-mates a bit of extra space and Philippe Coutinho took the opportunity to show what he is capable of in what was his World Cup debut.The ex-Liverpool man was involved in Brazil’s first moment of danger when he set up Neymar down the left, with Paulinho eventually scuffing a shot wide from a close range.Coutinho then decided to take matters into his own hand midway through the first half. The 26-year-old picked up a loose ball 25 yards out and beat goalkeeper Yann Sommer with a stunning curler into the top corner.10 – The last player to be fouled more in a #WorldCup game than Neymar v Switzerland (10) was Alan Shearer in 1998 (11 v Tunesia). Down. pic.twitter.com/5uE51q1Irx— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 17, 2018His attacking influence was not Coutinho’s only contribution on the evening, however, as he happily tracked back when needed, often finding himself in a deeper position than Barcelona team-mate Paulinho. But the 26-year-old’s strike eventually was not enough as some unconvincing defending from Miranda allowed Steven Zuber to level the scoring early in the second half after a Ricardo Rodriguez corner.Coutinho came close to restoring Brazil’s lead when he chested down a long ball from the left before blasting a volley toward the far post, but he was unfortunate to see his attempt sail wide.Brazil thus had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their opening game, with Sommer pulling off a superb save late on to save Switzerland, as they got their campaign off to an underwhelming start, much like fellow favourites Spain, Argentina and Germany.Costa Rica now await on matchday two, before they lock horns with Serbia in their final game of the group stages on June 27 as they continue the chase for their sixth-ever world title.last_img read more

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt: TV, stream & preview

first_imgWorld Cup Saudi Arabia vs Egypt: Live blog, text commentary, line-ups, stream & TV channel Goal Last updated 1 year ago 21:00 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mohamed Salah Egypt Russia World Cup 2018 Getty World Cup Saudi Arabia v Egypt Saudi Arabia Egypt Powerade Saudi Arabia and Egypt will bow out with a final Group A fixture after the two sides lost both their previous matches What a mad finish to the game! Salah opened the scoring with a lovely lob, but Saudi Arabia scored the second of two first-half penalties – with record-breaking goalkeeper El Hadary saving the first in style – and snatching a winner with the last kick of the game to send Egypt home in floods of tears, bottom of the group with no points. FULL-TIME: SAUDI ARABIA 2-1 EGYPT90+5 mins: GOAL!!!! SAUDI ARABIA HAVE WON IT! It’s 2-1 now as Al Dawsari drills the ball into the far left corner, staying just onside as the ball is worked inside from the right in what is surely the last kick of the game!  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 Otayf plays the ball first time for Al Dawsari, who hits it straight into the bottom corner to seal third place in the group and break Egyptian hearts. 90+1 mins: Egypt haven’t won any of their previous six World Cup matches (D2 L4). Were they to fail to win again here, they would be just two games off Honduras’ unwanted record of nine games in the competition without ever recording a victory.90 mins: There will be FOUR minutes of added time here. Can either side grab a winner? 89 mins: Egypt counter-attack at pace, with Warda racing down the right, before linking up with Salah just inside the box. He lays it off for Elneny, who tries to spread it wide on the left, but Sobhi gets in his way and the attack breaks down! 87 mins: MISS! The initial delivery is poor, but the second ball back into the box finds Al-Mogahwi, who tries an acrobatic effort that lands on the roof of the net! However, he looked to be offside, so it wouldn’t have counted. 86 mins: Fathy picks up a yellow card, giving away a free-kick out on the flank. 85 mins: OFFSIDE! Salah looks to have curved his run to perfection as he drives in on goal from the right, but the flag goes up for offside! 84 mins: CHANCE! Kahraba bears down on goal with a Saudi defender for company, and can only smack his shot straight at the goalkeeper, who palms it out! He, too, ignored the run of an open team-mate, although he was offside anyway, so it wouldn’t have counted.83 mins: Salah tries to wriggle through a wall of green shirts, but has the ball pinched at the last second. He had Sobhi to his left, and perhaps should have played him in. 81 mins: Kahraba replaces Trezeguet in Egypt’s third and final change. 80 mins: Saudi Arabia have another dangerous-looking free-kick, but it’s off the wall and doesn’t cause any problems. 79 mins: Al Muwallad, who missed the first of two Saudi Arabian penalties, is replaced now by Al Shehri.78 mins: Warda’s corner is woeful, and it’s cleared away, but Hegazi lofts it back into the area to earn another. However, the substitute’s second attempt at the delivery is equally poor. 77 mins:  BLOCK! Warda lashes an effort at goal that takes a wicked deflection, but bobbles behind for a corner!76 mins:  Al Shahrani wins a header well at left-back and sparks an attack down the left. He’s shown good energy today. 74 mins:  Al Faraj’s free-kick lacks quality, and he hits it straight over the bar. That was a very poor effort. 73 mins : Egypt give the ball away cheaply in midfield, and Fathi is forced to commit a foul 25 yards or so from goal to quell a dangerous-looking move. 70 mins: MISS! Salah throws a lovely dummy in so Elneny can receive the ball on the edge of the box, but the Arsenal midfielder can only curl wide of the top-left corner! Mo Salah69 mins:  SAVES! A lovely, dinked ball in behind is headed powerfully at goal, but El Hadary is equal to it, tipping it over the bar, before having to make another reflex stop from the resulting corner! He’s clearly still got it! 67 mins:  Egypt finally get hold of the ball and push forward in possession. They’ve hardly created an attack this half from passages of short passing. 65 mins:  Bahebri, whose end product has been woeful today, is replaced by Aseri out wide. 64 mins:  MISS! Al-Mogahwi latches onto a half-clearance from a dinked Al Shahrani cross and volleys off-target. A few too many spectacular finishes attempted in this game. Mohsen is replaced by the skillful Sobhi, giving Egypt a more fluid look up front in the absence of a traditional striker. 62 mins:  Gabr produces a brilliant last-dicth tackel to deny Saudi Arabia in the box, who had produced some lovely one-touch football to get in behind.60 mins:  Bahebri spoons a shot so high over the bar that it almost ends up nestling in the second tier of the stands. That was miles too high. 59 mins:  Otayf lunges in very late with both feet off the ground, but escapes without even a booking! He’s very lucky there.57 mins:  MISS! Trezeguet towers about Motaz Hawsawi to power a header just wide of the far post! Outstanding leap from the winger there. 56 mins:  Salah curls a low ball from a free-kick on the right that is headed away at the near post. Not his best cross. 54 mins:  MISS! A dangerous cross into the box sees Hegazi half-clear the ball with El Hadary waiting to catch, and Bahebri smashes a powerful volley over the bar! He caught it well, but couldn’t keep it down. 53 mins:  Salah pinches the ball from Osama Hawsawi and races down the line. He tries to cut back onto his left and play the ball into the danger area, but the defender recovers superbly to block. 51 mins:  Saudi Arabia have completely dominated the ball so far in the second half, with Egypt penned back into their own penalty area. 50 mins:  NO PENALTY! Following a Saudi corner, Motaz Hawsawi goes over in the box as the ball bobbles around, but the referee dismisses their appeals for a third penalty. 48 mins:  Saudi Arabia surge forward down the right, but Fabri and Al Muwallad get in each other’s way somewhat, and a tame shot rolls into the hands of El Hadary at the near post. 46 mins:  And we’re back underway! What a crazy first half! Salah scored a wonderful lob and missed a sitter, before Saudi Arabia scored and missed two penalties, one given by VAR! Both sides clearly pushing for a win to finish here.EgyptEgypt look the stronger side, however, and if Salah can replicate even a fraction of the form he’s shown this season, Egypt look favourites to win. Saudi Arabia have hardly looked threatening aside from the penalties. HALF-TIME: SAUDI ARABIA 1-1 EGYPT 45+7 mins:  El Said, who produced that delightful long ball forward for Salah, has to be replaced before the break, with Warda coming on in his place.45+6 mins:  GOAL! Al Faraj sends the keeper the wrong way, slotting into the back of the net as El Hadary can’t come up with a second stunning penalty save.45+5 mins : PENALTY! Gabr has been booked as the referee makes up his mind following the VAR check!45+2 mins:  Saudi Arabia have another penalty!! Gabr and Al Muwallad have a hold of each other inside the box, and the latter goes down, causing the referee to award a second spot-kick! However, the referee goes to the side of the pitch to check with VAR. 45 mins:  There will be three added minutes at the end of this first half. 43 mins:  El Hadary is down, and it looks like he’s hurt himself in saving that penalty. After receiving some treatment, it looks like he will be able to continue. 42 mins:  CHANCE! The ball goes into the box and El Hadary can only flap at it, but somehow Egypt smuggle the ball away amidst the chaos inisde their penalty area. 41 mins: SAVE! El Hadary – the oldest-ever player to play at a World Cup – comes up with a great save, tipping the strike onto the bar and back out with a firm hand! Al Muwallad can’t believe it. He put plenty of power into the strike, but it wasn’t right in the corner, and the veteran goalkeeper has a moment to remember, showing plenty of strength and agility to keep it out! 39 mins: PENALTY! Saudi Arabia have a penalty! Al Shahrani crosses from the left and the ball strikes Fathi’s trailing arm just inside the box! Al Muwallad will take here.   37 mins:  BLOCK! Outstanding block by Hegazi, who deflects a shot wide from Al Faraj, who struck a cut-back fiercely towards goal from just inside the area. That was Saudi Arabia’s best chance of the game so far. 34 mins:  MISS! Trezeguet is at it again, cutting in from the left and trying to hit a curling shot into the far corner, but once again it’s just wide! 33 mins:  MISS! Egypt break quickly and to great effect. Salah receives the ball on the edge of the box and casually flicks it in behind for Trezeguet, whose vicious, curling half-volley is inches wide of the far post! 32 mins:  Saudi Arabia win a corner, and retrieve the ball following the initial clearance, but the ball back into the box is awful, and sails straight out of play. 30 mins:  MISS! Al Shahrani cuts inside from left-back and strikes a shot at goal with his right foot, but it’s always rising and flies over the bar. 29 mins:  It’s a very poor delivery, but Al-Mousailem chooses to punch instead of making what should have been a comfortable catch. Saudi Arabia win a free-kick, however, and the pressure is relieved. 28 mins:  Egypt win a free-kick on the edge of the box in a dangerous position. El Said stands over it. 25 mins:  El Hadary is called into action, but it’s comfortable again as he holds an ambitious low drive from outside the box. 24 mins: MISS! Unbelievable!! Salah is played in behind and is one-on-one with the goalkeeper all on his own! He looks certain to score, but somehow chips it well wide of the target!! Mo Salah,  Motaz Hawsawi Saudi Arabia vs Egypt22 mins:  GOAL!! SALAH SCORES! Egypt are 1-0 up! El Said pings a long ball over the top for Salah’s run, which has split the two centre-backs, and the Egyptian wing-wizard controls perfectly with his first touch, and nonchalantly lofts it over the onrushing goalkeeper with his second! Lovely goal!El Said won the ball well on the halfway line and went direct over the top to Salah, who took his opportunity effortlessly. 21 mins:  El Hadary has his first involvement of the game as he comes out to claim a low cross from the right. That was comfortable for the veteran goalkeeper. 20 mins:  OFFSIDE! Salah looks as though he’s been played in behind perfectly, but the flag goes up as he’d just strayed a fraction offside. That was a tight call. 19 mins:  Salah gets a chance to use his pace as he sprints down the right, but Al Shahrani shows incredible speed to match him all the way and cover!17 mins:  Egypt have their foot on the ball now, and push Saudi Arabia back into their own half. There aren’t enough men forward for the Pharaohs, and they are outnumbered, eventually conceding a throw-in. 15 mins:  MISS! Al Dawsari is at it again, driving a long way up the field with the ball, before skipping inside first Hamed, then Hegazi, before unleashing a strike at goal, but it’s over the bar again! He made the chance really well, but couldn’t keep it down. 13 mins:  Mohsen gets into a promising position on the edge of the box for Egypt, but he kicks the ground as he tries to shoot. Waste of a good opportunity there.12 mins:  MISS! Al Dawsari fires the ball up and over the bar from outside the box. Poor effort there, and El Hadary has been completely untroubled so far in the Egypt goal.10 mins:  Saudi Arabia have a spell of possession, playing the ball around in Egypt’s half of the pitch, but there’s no real penetration in their passing. 8 mins:  Saudi Arabia win a corner, which is headed emphatically away by Hegazi. Egypt look to have the superior height from set-pieces. 6 mins:  Neither side have been able to really dominate possession so far, with both looking relatively comfortable up until the final third, where the final ball is lacking. 4 mins : Salah gets forward with the ball at his feet for the first time, cutting back onto his left foot and crossing from the right, but it’s headed away well. Egypt had men forward there, but Salah just couldn’t pick a team-mate out with his cross.3 mins:  Hussain has a go from the edge of the box as Saudi Arabia get forward, but he drags it well wide and it’s a very tame effort. No danger whatsoever. 1 min : And we’re off! Egypt get us underway as both sides look for a win to finish their World Cup campaigns. Here we go… The teams are out, and the national anthems are underway. 20 mins until KO:  Both managers have made changes ahead of this fixture, and Egypt head coach Hector Cuper has given second-choice goalkeeper El-Hadary his place in the record books by handing him a start today, making him the oldest player ever to play at a World Cup at the age of 45. 25 mins until KO:  Saudi Arabia will have their work cut out for them to replicate that scoreline, however, as they are winless in their last 12 World Cup matches (W0 D2 L10), losing their last four games in the competition without scoring. 30 mins until KO:  Both these sides have already been knocked out of the competition, having lost both their first two games against Russia and Uruguay, but they still have pride to play for here, as both bid to go out on a high. This is the first match between these two sides at a World Cup, and it is Egypt’s first-ever World Cup match against an Asian nation. The last tournament match between these two came in 1999 in the Confederations Cup, where Saudi Arabia ran out 5-1 winners as Egypt has three men sent off. 35 mins until KO:  Egypt XI (4-2-3-1): Essam El Hadary; Mohamed Shafy, Ahmed Hegazi, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Fathy; Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny; Trezeguet, Abdallah El Said, Mohamed Salah; Marwan MohsenEgypt substitutes: Amr Warda, Mahmoud Hamdi, Ayman Ashraf, Ramadan Sobhi, Mohamed El-Shenawy, Sam Morsy, Ahmed Elmohamady, Shikabala, Saad Samir, Kahraba, Sherif Ekramy40 mins until KO:  The line-ups have been announced, and we’ll start with Saudi Arabia.Saudi Arabia XI (4-2-3-1): Yasser Al-Mosailem; Yasir Al Shahrani, Motaz Hawsawi, Osama Hawsawi, Mohammed Al-Burayk; Abdullah Otafy, Hussain Al-Mogahwi; Salem Al Dawsari, Salman Al Faraj, Hattan Bahebri; Fahad Al MuwalladSaudi Arabia substitutes: Mohammed Al Sahlawi, Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri, Mohammed Al Owais, Abdullah Al Khaibari, Abdullah Al-Mayoof, Mansour Al-Harbi, Mohammed Kanno, Yahya Al Shehri, Mohannad Aseri45 mins until KO:  Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of the Group A match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Squads & Team News Saudi Arabia starting XI: Al-Mosailem; Al Shahrani, Hawsawi, Hawsawi, Al-Burayk; Otayf, Al-Mogahwi; Al-Dawsari Al Faraj, Bahebri; Al-Muwallad.Egypt starting XI:  El-Hadary; Fathy, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel Shafy; Elneny, Hamed; Warda, El Said, Salah; Mohsen.TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX Sports 1 / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on ITV or streamed live online using the ITV Player. UK TV channel Online stream ITV ITV Playerlast_img read more

Pekerman wary of confident England in last 16

first_imgWorld Cup Colombia’s Pekerman wary of confident England in last 16 Harry West 05:00 6/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) JosePekerman - Cropped Getty Images World Cup Colombia Senegal v Colombia Senegal Colombia v England England Colombia and England will meet in the last 16 of the World Cup and Jose Pekerman knows Gareth Southgate’s side are to be taken seriously. Jose Pekerman has warned Colombia they will face an “in harmony” England side in the World Cup second round.Colombia defeated Senegal 1-0 in Samara on Thursday to secure their qualification as winners of Group H, before a much-changed England, already through, finished second in Group G following their 1-0 loss to Belgium.Those results set up a last-16 meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, from which the victors will advance to a quarter-final with Sweden or Switzerland, in what is perceived to be the easier half of the draw. 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 But Pekerman says there are no straightforward games once the tournament reaches the knockout phase.”I would always answer in the same way. We know any team that reaches the last 16 is good, the 16 best teams in the world,” he said.”Obviously they can have a good day or an even better day but the whole squad operates at a certain level.”England are a young team that is in harmony, very confident, they have excellent individual players and they’ve managed to pass the group stage quite comfortably.”I’m sure now a different type of match is heading our way. These will be to-the-death matches, so these are extreme situations, [you have] to play a great game from the beginning.”England has what it takes and it’s going to be a match in which Colombia will also be confident to get a good result.”Lots of changes. Fewer chances.#BEL finish top & face #JPN on Monday.#COL await #ENG on Tuesday.#ENGBEL pic.twitter.com/773rbZVpGa— FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) June 28, 2018Colombia’s progress spelled the end for Senegal, who finished with an identical record to Japan but were eliminated due to accruing more yellow cards than their rivals.”We all knew when we came to the World Cup that these were the rules,” Pekerman said. “There are clear rules and a clear understanding, you don’t often get teams that are so even and from the beginning you could tell this would be an even group.”It’s incredible to be in this situation, it’s hard for a team to take on.”Had we been in their shoes we would also be quite disappointed because one can sometimes think this is not a part of football but it happens and sometimes you finish a World Cup final on penalties, as in Italy vs Brazil [in 1994].”To lose a World Cup final on penalties is extremely hard and you need to accept the result, somehow you need to find a winner.”But when it comes to cards I guess players will have to start thinking about how important a card can be and as a coach we should also start thinking about this.”last_img read more

Why did Africa’s five fail at 2018 World Cup?

first_imgOpinion Why did Africa’s five fail at 2018 World Cup? Solace Chukwu Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 02:25 6/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(8) Nigeria v. Argentina - Ighalo Getty Opinion World Cup African All Stars Not since 1982 has there been a World Cup knockout stage without an African side, but where did it all go wrong for the continent’s quintet? In one of the most superb opening lines in all of literature, Russian writer Leo Tolstoy remarks, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”He may well have been remarking upon Africa’s showing at the World Cup almost 150 years later: Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Senegal all have cause for regret after their tragic group stage exits, but while the misery is the same, the particulars are not.For Egypt, drawn in the weakest group and alongside the weakest seed, and making a first World Cup appearance in 28 years, this tournament represented a great opportunity to make a proper splash. 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 For so long Africa’s dominant side, there has lingered about the Pharaohs the sense of a big fish in a (figuratively) small pond. It is a notion that a sorry campaign has done plenty to dispel: Egypt was one of only two teams to finish the Group Stage without registering a single point.Mohamed Salah Egypt Russia World Cup 19062018The injury to Mohamed Salah was no doubt the headline, but the utter incompetence of the rest of the side in his absence – and subsequent half-presence – poses even more damming questions about the management of the team, as well as Egypt’s football development in general.While the now-departed Hector Cuper’s side embraced ignominy, there was rather more to be proud of, even in elimination, for the rest of the contingent.Senegal and Nigeria went into their final group matches with qualification firmly within their grasps, both requiring draws to progress.Neither managed it, however; their game management, both in failing to score while on top and in seeing out a match from a position of advantage, failing at the most crucial moments.However, both could rightly rue their sloppiness in previous encounters—Nigeria seemed unaware that the World Cup had actually kicked off in their opening loss to Croatia, while Senegal should not have twice blown a lead against Japan.Mane Niang Senegal ColombiaMorocco and Tunisia lost twice on the bounce, but salvaged some pride on the final day.For the Atlas Lions, it was a first World Cup appearance in 20 years, and to their credit they were never outplayed in Russia.Instead, it was a lack of clinical edge upfront that did Herve Renard’s men in: Khalid Boutaib scored against Spain on the final day, but was criminally isolated against Portugal, left alone to battle Pepe and Jose Fonte for Nordin Amrabat’s deliveries.Tunisia were somewhat unfortunate with the order of the fixtures. Had they played Panama first, they perhaps might have gone forward with greater confidence. Instead, they seemed in a strait betwixt two early on, and got punished particularly ruthlessly by Belgium and England.Nabil Maaloul | TunisiaIn amidst their individual agonies, there are however some common threads that tie up this casserole of disappointment quite neatly.On the surface, Africa’s five representatives are drawn from its top seven sides, and so constitute the strongest possible contingent. However, a deeper look reveals an unusual statistic: only Nigeria, of the five, have featured in the last two World Cup tournaments.For Egypt, it was their first since 1990. For Morocco, first since 1998. Tunisia, 2006. Senegal, 2002. It made for novelty, and some great stories, but ultimately Africa rocked up at the global fiesta riddled with inexperience and ignorance of football at the highest level.It may not seem like that big of a deal, but the constantly evolving nature of football demands constant involvement and participation. With nothing to occupy them besides African football, in the form of qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations, it is no surprise that they displayed such startling naivety at times.Aliou CisseThis manifested in a number of ways: a peculiar vulnerability to set-plays (even Senegal, one of the biggest sides at the tournament, were undone by a corner kick); a total lack of nous and composure in seeing out games – Aziz Bouhaddouz vs. Iran, Nigeria dropping as deep as its own six-yard line against Argentina, Tunisia vs. England; as well as temperament – see Senegal getting knocked out on Fair Play points; one could go on and on.This lack of experience also robbed Africa of the chance to build progressively.Aside from lucking onto a Golden Generation, the way to excel at World Cups is to make gains incrementally. Germany went from two straight semi-finals to winning it all in 2014 by mining the lessons gleaned from failure. Ghana swept to the last eight in 2010 by learning from the pain of 2006. It’s a process, as they say.The abrupt shake-up in the African football hierarchy is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, as some of the old guard (Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast) had fallen into a rut precipitated by complacency and awful administration. That said, when viewed in the isolation of this particular cycle, it cost the continent something.What is particularly disappointing is that, while one could argue that experience was lacking, there was not exactly a sense of abandon about the five. Experience, valuable as it is, can often lend itself to caginess. In its absence, there was not even a sense of adventure to compensate.John Obi MikelHad there been a team that truly captured the imagination by playing the expressive, almost joyously puerile football with which the continent is so often stereotyped, there might have been some consolation.Instead, the stodgy, unimaginative fare served up by, in particular, Egypt, Tunisia and Nigeria, made for some rather dull fare with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.Morocco were perhaps the exception, playing an almost Spanish passing game, in keeping with their geographical proximity to the Iberian Peninsula. Senegal were unabashedly themselves, rigidly organized and breaking at pace through their wingers, but crucially lacked a real flourish at the end of their plays, such as their 2002 vintage possessed.That there seemed such a stylistic mismatch between some of the teams and their managers is odd: Egypt, whose last appearance on the world stage – the 2009 Confederations Cup – saw them record a 4-3 loss to Brazil, such is their attacking bent – were coached by the dour Cuper; Nigeria’s expressive, slightly chaotic brand was helmed with Teutonic pragmatism by Gernot Rohr.It felt, at times, almost un-African to be so risk averse, and perhaps the great message of this World Cup to Africa is to embrace and espouse its own style more readily, and play to its own strengths.last_img read more

Ronaldo at Juventus would be just great – Matuidi

first_imgTransfers Ronaldo at Juventus would be just great – Matuidi Peter Hanson Last updated 1 year ago 21:41 7/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Transfers Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Juventus Serie A Primera División The Real Madrid superstar has been heavily linked with a potential move to the Italian giants and the midfielder wants to see it happen Blaise Matuidi would relish the chance to work with “one of the best players in the world” if Cristiano Ronaldo were to join Juventus, but is focusing on France’s World Cup bid.Ronaldo’s future at Real Madrid has been shrouded in doubt ever since Los Blancos defeated Liverpool 3-1 to win a third straight Champions League in May.The Portugal superstar spoke about the club in the past tense after that game when he said: “We will talk in the future. It’s been really beautiful to play for Real Madrid. I’ll give a response in the coming days.” 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 Speculation has mounted this week that Serie A champions Juve are preparing a lucrative €120 million bid (£105m/$139m) for Ronaldo, with a salary package of €30m a year.Matuidi, who was on media duties in Russia on Wednesday ahead of Friday’s quarter-final tie with Uruguay, was quizzed on the possibility of playing with the 33-year-old at the Allianz Stadium next season.”I’m not going to lie it would be just great,” he said. “It would be great to have one of the best players in the world with Juventus in the same club that I am. “It would be great for the club and for the Juventus players. “However, today I’m a player of the French national team and we have bigger fish to fry, no?”Ronaldo enjoyed a successful personal World Cup, scoring four goals as Portugal advanced from the group stages, facing Uruguay in the last 16. He was shackled, however, and failed to score as Uruguay won 2-1.Matuidi, of course, is still competing in the tournament, and will take on Ronaldo’s conquerors after Les Bleus beat Argentina in the last 16.A win over Uruguay would book France a semi-final clash with either Brazil or Belgium, and were they to be successful, they would face one of England, Sweden, Croatia or Russia in the final.last_img read more