Blind calls for focus

first_img The 25-year-old Dutchman, who has played a significant role in United’s run of six consecutive wins, accepted rivals would have taken note of the 4-2 derby win over Manchester City on Sunday. He insisted, however, that although United could win the title next year, they had to focus on securing a Champions League place – starting against Chelsea on Saturday. Blind said: “I think Manchester United is always a club that is fighting for the title. “Of course other teams are watching us, but we have to watch ourselves this season, our own games, focus on that and then we will see where it ends “We don’t have to watch for Chelsea. We have to watch for our own games, we have to look at ourselves. Every game is a final to the end and we have to believe in ourselves.” Blind credited a pre-match team talk from skipper Wayne Rooney about ending their run of four successive losses against City with giving the United players an extra edge on Sunday. He added: “It was a thing that was always in our minds. It was going through the team. Everyone knew how important this game was, not only because it’s a rat race in the last games, but also because of the history of the last four games. “Wayne Rooney mentioned that in the dressing room before the game to all the players and it is something that you have in mind when you go on to the pitch. You saw how everyone was fighting for each other. “Maybe after the first five minutes we were a bit like, ‘What is happening here?’ but after that we picked it up again and we did very well. And with the crowd behind us, it was amazing.” Press Associationcenter_img Daley Blind has warned that Manchester United need to focus on the end of this season rather than thinking about challenging for the Premier League title next year. last_img read more

Poland v Republic of Ireland: Talking Points

first_img On the evidence of the 47 minutes he played in Thursday night’s remarkable 1-0 victory over Germany, yes he is. The 28-year-old West Ham goalkeeper looks to be the man in possession despite having played just 61 minutes of senior football for his country before this week after veteran Shay Given pulled out through injury. But he made vital saves from Jerome Boateng and Ilkay Gundogan and provided the assist for fellow substitute Shane Long’s decisive goal to demonstrate his readiness to do a job. WILL SEAMUS COLEMAN COME BACK INTO THE TEAM? If he is anywhere near match-fit after working hard to recover from the hamstring injury which ruled him out of the Germany game, Everton full-back Coleman will return at right-back. That is no reflection on Derby’s Cyrus Christie, who performed admirably in the face of a German onslaught, but Coleman in one of the class acts in Martin O’Neill’s squad and he will want the player on the pitch if at all possible. WILL MARTIN O’NEILL GO FOR IT? O’Neill by nature is not a risk-taker, and he will set up his team to make life difficult for the Poles, while at the same time giving it a basis from which to attack. A similar ploy worked to perfection on Thursday evening, although with the prize for victory – a high-scoring draw would also put Ireland through – so alluring, it may be difficult to curb the adventure of players desperate to reach the finals, particularly as the game wears on. CAN THE REPUBLIC KEEP ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI AT BAY? If they can, they may just be in business. Poland are far from a one-man team, but if that one man is allowed time and space, he will deliver as Wolfsburg, Mainz, Dinamo Zagreb, Borussia Dortmund and Scotland have discovered to their cost in recent weeks. Lewandowski has 14 goals in his last 405 minutes of football, famously including five in just nine minutes as a substitute against Wolfsburg on a night when Ireland’s Sunderland defender John O’Shea was being given the run-around by Manchester City in the Capital One Cup. WILL ROBBIE KEANE HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY? Undoubtedly, and particularly off the pitch. Keane’s 142 caps and 67 international goals no longer guarantee him a place in the starting line-up at 35 years of age, but he remains the man most likely to find half a yard of space and put the ball in the back of the net. His involvement on the pitch may be more limited these days, but his experience of big occasions could improve invaluable in the dressing room. And could the script be written for him to equal German great Gerd Muller’s tally of 68 goals just when his country might need it most? The Republic of Ireland face Poland in Warsaw on Sunday evening knowing qualification for the Euro 2016 finals could be just 90 minutes away. Here, Press Association Sport’s Damian Spellman takes a look at the main talking points in the build-up to the game. IS DARREN RANDOLPH READY TO MAKE HIS FIRST START FOR IRELAND? center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

High Rollers vs Amazings will be a classic!

first_imgIN less than three days, a new champion will be crowned in the Guinness ‘Greatest of the Streets’ Linden Championship, when first-time finalists High Rollers and Amazings face-off at the Mackenzie Market tarmac.High Rollers earned their place to the championship match, after dethroning defending champions Silver Bullets in the semi-final round via penalty kicks.This occurred after High Rollers secured another unlikely 2-1 victory against Swag Entertainment in the earlier quarter-final round.On the other hand, the dogged Amazings outfit clinched a semi-final win against Capital, compliments of a 2-1 penalty shoot-out victory. In their earlier quarter-final match, Amazings once again required penalty kicks to survive a dangerous Coomacka outfit.According to an official release from the tournament coordinators, “The anticipation is in the air for what promises to be a great final between two teams who are desperate to secure the coveted championship and the bragging rights for their region and the right to represent the zone at the National Championship.”The release further said, “The fact that we have two first-time finalists is an indication of the overall improvement in quality of the tournament. Neither of the teams was expected to challenge or formed part of the group of possible contenders when the tournament commenced, so it is refreshing that first-time champions will be crowned. Even the third-place match features a first-time semi-finalist.”“It also highlights that teams have been preparing better and want to etch their name on the trophy and put their respective communities on the map by securing the title. This occurrence will serve as an inspiration for the other teams and bodes well for the continued improvement in quality of the tournament,” the release concluded.Meanwhile the third-place playoff will pit former two-time champions Silver Bullets against Capital Storm.last_img read more

Obaseki Seeks More Local Participation in Okpekpe Race

first_imgEdo sate governor Godwin Obaseki wants increased participation of runners from Edo state and other adjoining states in the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Bronze Label Okpekpe international 10km road race.‘The Okpekpe race has come to stay and we are happy to be associated with It is an event that has put Edo state on the map of the world as a destination for world class sporting event and we are grateful for this.I will however like to have more local participation in the event. I want runners from all over Edo state and other nearby states (Delta,Ondo,Ogun and Anambra) to be part of what has become an annual celebration of athletics excellence, ‘said the governor who has signed on as the first celebrity runner at the race.Obaseki is confident the race, already in its fifth edition will continue to grow bigger.‘If a race has gone on for five years I think we should commend the organisers and praise their commitment towards the success of the race.’Meanwhile spokesman for the race Dare Esan said organisers of the race are delighted with the massive support they are getting from Governor Obaseki.‘The Governor has been a strong part of the race right from its inception and we are grateful for his continued support,’said Esan who revealed that the race has been witnessing increased participation from runners across the nooks and crannies of Edo state and its environs.‘It is because of this that we instituted prizes for Edo state runners. This was designed to get more athletes from the state to participate in their own event. Last year we had the chairman and chief executive officer of Channels Television, John Momoh Institute monetary awards for indigenes of North Ibie comprising Okpekpe clan and the three Ibie Clans of Imiegba, Imiakebu and Itsukwi of Etasko East Local Government Area of Edo State.‘This is meant to pave the way for these communities that are of the same historical background besides their common Ibie language to also benefit from the empowerment that the race has become for the area ‘said Esan.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

WLAX : Despite daunting schedule, Syracuse soars up rankings to become national threat

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Gary Gait’s first attempt failed.Frontloading his team’s schedule last season, the Syracuse head coach hoped to prepare the Orange, which entered 2011 ranked No. 5 in the nation, for a deep postseason run. But Syracuse stumbled through the early part of its slate. It lost five of its first seven games and eventually failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament.This season, Gait tried it again. This time it worked.‘We’re more athletic. We’re deeper,’ Gait said. ‘I think we have players that fit in our system from top to bottom, and I think that’s a big difference.’The Orange (4-2) has pushed through the daunting schedule to a remarkable start and the No. 2 ranking in the nation. After entering the season slotted No. 12 in the preseason poll, Syracuse has averaged 13.2 goals per game, defeated two top-five opponents and took national powerhouse No. 1 Northwestern into overtime.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd SU has done that despite losing All-American goaltender Liz Hogan and leading goal-scorer Tee Ladouceur to graduation.‘Last year we tried numerous times finding the right mix of players that could finish games,’ Gait said. ‘We kept trying different people throughout the entire season, and this year we had a group with some subs that we knew were going to be the contributors right from fall ball on.’Senior defender Janelle Stegeland sees the same fluency. But she also sees a new approach – one that every member of the 2012 Orange is buying into.She said the team is focused solely on each game rather than looking at the big picture, a common occurrence last season.‘This year we really have gone in with the mindset that against those teams, we have nothing to lose,’ Stegeland said. ‘We weren’t expected to win those games, so I think going into them we all came in together with a ton of energy – more energy than we’ve ever had.’The Orange showcased that energy in its season-opening 23-12 victory over then-No. 8 Boston College. Sophomore Alyssa Murray led the scoring attack, setting a program record with eight goals.But the Orange has won close contests, too. Two of its four victories have come by one goal. Even in losses, the team has fought hard until the final whistle.Trailing the top-ranked Wildcats 9-8 with less than a minute left in regulation, junior attack Michelle Tumolo wrapped around the net and launched the game-tying goal. It completed a three-score comeback in the final five minutes.‘I think that’s what we lacked last year. We were a one-half team,’ Tumolo said. ‘This year we’re a whole-game team. Coming out strong, we’ve been beating teams 6-2 in halves and then continuing it in the second half.’And Syracuse has carried that energy into overtime, too. SU defeated No. 4 Florida in double overtime March 3 and followed up with a 10-9 victory over No. 5 Maryland a week later.While Tumolo has led the charge offensively – pacing the team with 15 goals and 12 assists – the junior attack said the Orange’s success can be attributed to superb play from a slew of contributors.Seven players have scored at least five times. Freshman Kailah Kempney, one of those seven, leads the team with 20 draw controls. And between the pipes, sophomore Alyssa Costantino and freshman Kelsey Richardson have played well despite entering the season inexperienced.Costantino has started every game and allows less than 10 goals per game, but Richardson has made the most of her opportunities as well.Playing the second half against Towson on March 13, she allowed only three goals while making eight saves.‘Even in practice, they’re stuffing us left and right,’ Tumolo said.This year, Syracuse is a legitimate contender for the national championship.The Orange passed its early-season tests and is no longer an underdog. The SU players know their remarkable performance has placed a target squarely on their backs, and they will likely be favored in every game for the rest of their regular season.But Tumolo said there will be no let-up in intensity. The team’s goals are far loftier than a quick start and national recognition.‘Coming in we didn’t have anything to lose,’ Tumolo said. ‘Now that we’ve beaten them, we’ve got a lot to lose.‘… Every game is a big game, no matter who we play, ranked or not. We’re just going into each game knowing that we’re a huge component and everyone’s out to get us.’sebail01@syr.educenter_img Published on March 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1last_img read more

MBB : Noel to officially select future team on ESPNU

first_img Comments Published on April 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: mcooperj@syr.edu | @mark_cooperjr Three weeks ago, Nerlens Noel narrowed his list of schools to Syracuse, Kentucky and Georgetown.Noel, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2012, will make his decision Wednesday.The 6-foot-10, 205-pound center from Tilton School in Tilton, N.H., will choose where he will attend school and play basketball next season at 7:30 p.m. in a live telecast on ESPNU.Shabazz Muhammad, a small forward who is the No. 2 player in next year’s freshman class, will also make his decision during the telecast. Muhammad is deciding between Kentucky, Duke and UCLA, according to an article published by ESPN on Tuesday.Noel, who was compared to Anthony Davis, Kentucky center and NCAA Player of the Year this past season, is known most for his shot-blocking ability. He was originally a member of the Class of 2013, but reclassified in February to reach college next year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange has the No. 11 recruiting Class for 2012, according to Scout.com. Noel would be the third player in Syracuse’s incoming freshman class. Center DaJuan Coleman, of DeWitt, and power forward Jeremi Grant, from Hyattsville, Md., committed to SU in the fall. Coleman is ranked as the No. 6 center and Grant the No. 7 power forward in the class, according to Scout.comAlthough the Orange does have Coleman coming in next season, Noel would help fill the void left at center by Fab Melo, who declared for the NBA Draft on April 5.mcooperj@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

McIntyre, Syracuse players reflect on best season in program history

first_imgJordan Vale unleashed a shot from well outside the box early in the second half against Colgate back in early September.Syracuse had already scored four goals in the game, including three in the previous five minutes and one less than 45 seconds before.Vale watched as the ball swooped into the top right corner of the net. Syracuse went on to punish Colgate 6-0, the first of many statement wins for the Orange on the season.That was when senior Mark Brode knew this team had something special. He knew this year would be a considerable improvement from his previous three seasons at Syracuse.Little did Brode know, though, that the Orange would go on to finish second in the Red division, host the first postseason game in school history and win two NCAA tournament games. Syracuse shattered preseason expectations and ended up constructing the most accomplished season in school history.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The past couple years, it goes unsaid that we didn’t do too well,” Brode said. “I think basically that would have been the normal thing — for us to finish in last place again — but we just wanted to prove something this year.”That was exactly what they did.“Ultimately we had a desire to be better than last year,” SU defender Chris Makowski said. “None of us liked that feeling. We wanted to prove people wrong.”As the mindset of the team evolved, nightmarishly brutal losses never manifested like they did last year. Instead, painful defeats transformed into exhilarating wins, and the fan base continued to grow as the team piled on win after win.“We realized we had a close-knit, hard-working group that brought everything they had day in, day out,” McIntyre said. “When that came together it translated to results on the pitch.”After a close loss to NCAA tournament-bound Niagara, Syracuse outscored its opponents 15-0 over the next three games, including the lopsided win over Colgate.Shifting into Big East mode with a mission to flip the script entirely, the Orange finished the year 5-3 in conference.In Brode’s three-year stint prior to the 2012 campaign, the team won three total Big East games. Chemistry rose to an all-time high, as Vale emerged to become a prolific goal-scorer and became opponents’ worst nightmare.Ted Cribley, Tony Asante and freshman goalie Alex Bono continued to shine, as the Orange continued to win.After monumental wins over South Florida and Villanova, Syracuse earned a spot in the Big East tournament for the first time since 2005.SU lost 4-2 to eventual No. 1-seed Notre Dame and anxiously awaited its fate as the selection show continued to get closer.Syracuse players sat inside the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center on Nov. 12 — their destiny moments away from being revealed.They made it. Just barely.“I think we deserved to be in the tournament, but we kind of squeaked in,” Brode said. “I heard we were one of the bubble teams. We were kind of nervous. We thought it was 50-50 — pretty much a flip of a coin.”Once the Orange qualified for the tournament, the players knew they didn’t want the journey to stop abruptly. They wanted to embark on a run they’d never forget.“Coming into the tournament we were all really excited,” Makowski said. “Even though we were underdogs and no one expected anything from us, we went out and proved we deserved to be there.”The Orange knocked off favored Cornell 1-0, winning the first NCAA tournament game in school history. Then, just three days later, Syracuse came back from a 2-0 hole against No. 14-seed Virginia Commonwealth, capped by a dagger by Louis Clark in the 108th minute.“Louis’ goal was great,” Brode said. “I think that was one of my favorite moments here at Syracuse. When he scored we all just sprinted on the field.”Syracuse’s incredible run came to an end with a gut-wrenching loss to Georgetown in penalty kicks, but McIntyre said his players shouldn’t dwell on the loss.He knows his players are devastated at the moment, but he said when they look back down the road and reflect, they’ll realize this season was truly one for the ages.“It was just continuing to push forward, and for that I’m extremely proud of this group,” McIntyre said. “When they finally take a big breath, I think the guys will take a lot of pride in what they’ve accomplished this year.” Comments Published on November 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm Contact Trevor: tbhass@syr.edu | @TrevorHass Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

PODCAST: Previewing No. 5 USC’s road matchup against Cal

first_imgAssociate managing editor Eric He and sports editor Ollie Jung preview USC’s game against Cal on Saturday.Intro music: 10K by Joakim Karudyoutube.com/joakimkarud,Intro music: 10K by Joakim Karudyoutube.com/joakimkarudlast_img

Irish interest in finals of AIG Irish Open Tennis Championship

first_imgPhoto: © pixabay There’s Irish interest in the finals of the AIG Irish Open Tennis Championship.Sinead Lohan takes on Britain’s Jodie Anna Burrage in the women’s final from 2pm this afternoon.The men’s decider sees American Peter Kobelt play Adrien Bossel of Switzerland.last_img

Javier gives up 1 hit in 6 innings, Astros beat Mariners 2-1

first_img SUBSCRIBE TO US LIVE TV Associated Press Television News First Published: 16th August, 2020 07:31 IST Last Updated: 16th August, 2020 07:31 IST Javier Gives Up 1 Hit In 6 Innings, Astros Beat Mariners 2-1 Rookie Cristian Javier allowed one hit over six shutout innings, Yuli Gurriel homered and the Houston Astros edged the Seattle Mariners 2-1 Saturday night for their third straight win Rookie Cristian Javier allowed one hit over six shutout innings, Yuli Gurriel homered and the Houston Astros edged the Seattle Mariners 2-1 Saturday night for their third straight win.Javier (2-1) struck out five and walked three. The 23-year-old right-hander rebounded nicely after surrendering five runs in three innings in his last start against Oakland on Aug. 9.Javier retired 10 of the first 12 batters before Kyle Seager walked and a single by Austin Nola accounted for the Mariners’ only hit off the rookie in the fifth. Javier induced a double play from Daniel Vogelbach and struck out Shed Long Jr. to end the inning.Gurriel extended Houston’s lead to 2-0 in the fourth with a solo home run that just made it over the fence, out of the reach of center fielder Kyle Lewis.Jose Altuve gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI groundout, scoring Yordan Alvarez. Altuve was moved to seventh in the lineup and went 1 for 3 with a single in the seventh to bump his batting average up to .181.Evan White cut Houston’s lead to 2-1 with a solo home run in the eighth.Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his second save of the season.Houston has won 23 of their last 25 against the Mariners. Seattle lost its fourth straight game.Nick Margevicius (0-1) allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in six innings.TRAINER’S ROOMMariners: LHP Nestor Cortes was placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow impingement. … Seattle designated RHP Bryan Shaw for assignment. … The Mariners recalled LHP Taylor Guilbeau from their alternate site and selected RHP Llay Newsome from the alternate site.Astros: OF Michael Brantley was placed on the injured list with right quad discomfort. The move was retroactive to Aug. 12. The Astros will announce a corresponding roster move before Sunday’s game. … Houston activated RHP Joe Biagini from the IL and optioned RHP Brandon Bailey to the alternate training site.UP NEXTMariners: LHP Justus Sheffield (1-2, 5.27) is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season on Sunday. He four hits in six scoreless innings on Aug. 9 in a win over Colorado.Astros: RHP Lance McCullers, Jr. (2-1, 6.10) will make his fifth start on Sunday. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing one hit in his last start on Aug. 10 against San Francisco.Image credits: AP center_img COMMENT Written By WATCH US LIVE FOLLOW USlast_img read more