Injury woes plague Portugal and Belgium, Algeria out to attack

first_imgKompany a worry for Belgium ahead of Russian testBelgium head into today’s World Cup Group H clash with Russia at the Maracana stadium with a worry over the fitness of skipper Vincent Kompany.Kompany missed training for the second straight day on Friday while he gets attention to a groin strain picked up late in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Algeria.“Vincent felt something in the final few minutes and was not able to sprint 100 per cent,” said Belgium coach Marc Wilmots.“He hoped that resting it overnight would resolve the problem, but it wasn’t the case and on Wednesday morning he still had pain in the left groin.“We decided he would work alone from the rest of the squad for two days with the physiotherapist Lieven Maesschalk and the medical staff. All being well, he will be back training with the rest of the squad on Saturday.”Kompany’s importance to the team goes well beyond his accomplished performances at centre half, given he is the well-established leader and defensive organiser.Should the Manchester City defender not make it then Wilmots would have to turn to Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Ciman or Nicolas Lombaerts as cover.Russia drew 1-1 with South Korea in their opening game and coach Fabio Capello is likely to stick with goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev despite his blunder in that game.Akinfeev let a long range Lee Keun-ho shot slip through his body to gift the lead to the Koreans.“Just like some players can miss penalties it can happen that a keeper makes a mistake as well,” said Capello.“You can accept a mistake from a great keeper like Akinfeev. It turned out fine as we were able to make up the difference. I’m very happy with Akinfeev,” he said.Capello, who turned 68 on Wednesday, said he hoped to see his side pick up where they left off with their second half performance against the Koreans.“The way our team played at the end of the second half was the best possible birthday present they could have given me. Ronaldo key to Portugal recovery as US challenge loomsA wounded Portugal, still smarting from a 4-0 defeat by Germany, are fervently hoping that talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo is fit when they take on the United States in their second World Cup Group G game today.The thrashing was the biggest ever loss the Portuguese have suffered at a World Cup and their misery deepened as central defender Pepe was sent off while Ronaldo struggled for form as he battled a knee injury.The world player of the year will need to be back to his best for the clash with the Americans, who surprisingly beat Ghana 2-1 in their opening game.Rumours about Ronaldo’s condition have been swirling across the internet and officials were forced to deny reports that his personal doctor had advised him to quit the tournament.A few days’ rest seem to have helped and his team mate Miguel Veloso said the player appeared to be in good shape.“I’m not a doctor but from what I see, Ronaldo is fine,” Veloso told reporters after a training session in Campinas.“He is training, he is jumping and he is shooting. There is not much else to say.”Ronaldo, who was suffering from tendinosis in his left knee several weeks before the 32-nation tournament, was photographed walking out of Wednesday’s training session early with an ice pack on his left knee.Also of concern to coach Paolo Bento is the need to find the right replacements for the suspended Pepe and injured left back Fabio Coentrao whose involvement in the tournament is over.Goalkeeper Rui Patricio and striker Hugo Almeida were also nursing knocks but have been ruled fit to play, although the latter could be dropped for Helder Postiga after a lacklustre performance against Germany.The United States will hope to reproduce the inspired display from the 2002 World Cup when they beat Portugal 3-2 in the group stage, a win which helped them advance to the last 16 at the expense of their rivals.Coach Juergen Klinsmann, who was in charge of his native Germany when they beat Portugal 3-1 in the 2006 tournament’s third-place match, said he expected Ronaldo to fire on all cylinders in the hot and humid city of Manaus.Klinsmann also hopes that his walking wounded recover, in particular Clint Dempsey who broke his nose after taking a boot to the face against Ghana shortly after scoring inside a minute.“Now (Portugal) are going to come into Manaus pretty angry and I don’t know how Ronaldo is going to perform when he is angry. We need to show Portugal how good we are,” he said. Algeria ready to turn goal trickle into floodAlgeria scored their first World Cup goal in 28 years in their opener and will hope the offensive floodgates have opened in a crucial Group H match against a leaky South Korea today.With dark horse Belgium sitting atop the group standings and Russia and Korea joint second after an opening 1-1 draw, Algeria will be fighting for their World Cup lives on Sunday at Porto Alegre’s Beira Rio stadium.Back in the World Cup for the fourth time, the ‘Desert Foxes’ have never made it past the first round and will need a result against the Koreans if they are to extend their stay in Brazil.The only Arab nation present at the tournament, the Algerians arrive at this gritty port city believing a place in the last 16 is within their reach after going down 2-1 to highly rated Belgium.Confidence and mood, however, will not be as high in the South Korean camp after sloppy play in their back end cost them a victory against Russia.After yielding 11 goals in five World Cup warm-ups, the Koreans again looked vulnerable at the back in their opener and Algeria’s coach Vahid Halilhodzic will be plotting to add to their woes.When Sofiane Feghouli converted a spot kick to give Algeria a 1-0 lead over Belgium, the Arab nation celebrated their World Cup finals goal since 1986 and were on course for a famous upset until the Europeans struck twice in the last 20 minutes.“We could have won,” lamented Halilhodzic. “We were heroic in the first half. At half-time I was sure we would make it. We’ve missed a major opportunity. But I don’t want to blame anyone. You can say I am the one to be blamed, as usual.“Belgium is one of the best teams in Europe. My team gave as much as they could in the present time.”South Korea, fourth place finishers in 2002 on home soil, also see the contest as a must-win with group favourites Belgium looming on the horizon.“We have to defeat them to get to the round of 16,” said Korean midfielder Koo Ja-cheol. “We’ll concentrate on doing whatever it takes to win.”last_img read more

Thirty clubs swallow up nearly half of European revenue

first_imgEurope’s 710 top-tier football clubs pulled in a record 20.11 billion euros in revenues between them in the 2017 financial year although almost half of that amount went to 30 of them, according to an annual UEFA report.The Club Licensing Benchmarking report also revealed that gambling and betting firms are the most common source of shirt sponsorship in 10 European leagues and that Paris St Germain is the most expensive place to watch football in Europe.The report showed that total revenues increased by more than 1.6 billion euros in 2017 although wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few.The top 30 clubs’ combined revenues increased by 7 percent to reach 9.7 billion euros, 49 percent of the total, the report said.UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in his introduction that recent issues of the report had brought competitive balance into the spotlight “illustrating how financial gaps are augmented by globalisation and technological change.”“It is more essential than ever that stakeholders work together to keep football strong up and down the pyramid,” he said.Manchester United were the highest earners with 676 million euros although that was down 13 million euros from 2016 and left them only one million ahead of Real Madrid.Real were followed by Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Paris St Germain, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Juventus, who all had revenues above 400 million euros.England’s 20 Premier League clubs snapped up more than one quarter of the total revenue, totalling 5.3 billion euros.This put them comfortably ahead of La Liga (2.9 billion euros), the German Bundesliga (2.8 billion euros), Serie A (2.2 billion euros) and Ligue 1 (1.6 billion euros).Sports betting and gambling companies sponsor shirts in 26 out of the 54 domestic leagues.“In ten of those leagues… they are the most common type of shirt sponsor,” said the report. The highest concentration was in Bulgaria (10 out of 14 teams) and England (nine out of 20), the report said.Paris St Germain displaced Arsenal as the club to make the most money out of their supporters with an average “yield” of 86.9 euros per spectator.They were closely followed by Chelsea (86.7 euros), Arsenal (85.1 euros), Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur.Borussia Dortmund had the highest average home attendance at 79,496 followed by Bayern Munich (75,000) and Manchester United (74,976).Manchester United had the highest aggregate attendance at 1.42 million, thanks to the Premier League having 20 teams compared to the Bundesliga’s 18, followed by Borussia Dortmund (1.35 million) and Tottenham Hotspur (1.29 million).Germany’s Bundesliga had the highest average league attendance (44,511), ahead of England (38,310), Spain (27,068), Italy (24,706) and France (22,548).last_img read more

Meeks shoots, and rebounds, and saves day for Tar Heels

first_imgMeeks, the only Tar Heel who could shoot straight Saturday night, grabbed the game-saving offensive rebound in a 77-76 victory over Oregon after ice cold Carolina missed its fourth straight free throw down the stretch.All part of a career night for the North Carolina senior, who was on the bench last year when Villanova devastatingly ended the Tar Heels’ chance at a title with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnIn this one, Meeks was front and center. He finished 11 for 13 to match his career high with 25 points. And he had 14 rebounds, eight on the offensive glass and none more important than the last one, which secured a Monday-night date with Gonzaga in the title game.“If it wasn’t for Kennedy Meeks, we wouldn’t have been in the basketball game,” Carolina coach Roy Williams said. Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely The Tar Heels were happy afterward. But boy did they make it interesting.“I feel very lucky but that’s OK,” Williams said. “We’re one of only two teams playing Monday night.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks celebrates during the second half in a second-round game against Arkansas in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)GLENDALE, Ariz. — North Carolina missed the shots. No surprise there.Kennedy Meeks saved the game. No surprise there, either.ADVERTISEMENT NXT remains glorious as Roode retains title Meeks had plenty to mop up for.The rest of his team shot a brick-a-minute 14 for 55 from the floor (25 percent). Justin Jackson was one of the few to break through. He had 22 points on 6-for-13 shooting and made three 3-pointers and two free throws to help the Heels to a double-digit lead and put them on the verge of a runaway midway through the second half.Given the late lead and Oregon’s own awful shooting (37 percent), losing this one might have felt every bit as bad as the Villanova loss last year for this, a team on a mission with only one acceptable destination.North Carolina (33-6) led the entire second half and appeared poised, time after time, for a knockout of the never-say-die Ducks (32-7).Never happened. And after Keith Smith’s layup pulled Oregon within one with 7 seconds left (should Oregon have pulled it out for a game-tying 3? Maybe so.), it looked like it would come down to free throws.ADVERTISEMENT It did, and it wasn’t pretty.First, Meeks got fouled, stepped to the line and rimmed out two. But Theo Pinson got inside and batted the ball back out to Joel Berry II, who then got fouled with 4 seconds left.Berry missed both, too. But Meeks outmuscled Jordan Bell for that final rebound, threw it outside, and this ugly affair was over.“My main focus was, if Joel missed the second free throw, to hit the offensive glass hard,” Meeks said.That it came down to Carolina winning on the boards was no big surprise. This was the best rebounding team in the country this season, grabbing an average of 13 more boards than their opponents over the course of the season.Against the Ducks, the rebounding battle was even (43 each), though North Carolina got five more on the offensive glass, which resulted in 19 second-chance points, 10 more shots and, eventually, the win.“We talk and work on little things all the time,” Williams said. “You’re trying to tip it out or get a rebound. We do work on those things we do talk about those things.”Not that Oregon was lighting it up, either. The Ducks went 3 for 18 from 3-point range in the second half and had a stretch of nearly six minutes late where they did not make a shot from the floor.Tyler Dorsey, nicknamed Mr. March for his sensational shooting in the tournament, led Oregon with 21 points but scored more from the free-throw line (12) than from 3-point range (nine), where he came in shooting 65 percent in the tournament.Pinson made his first 3 of the tournament and had the first timely offensive rebound. He finished with eight points and eight boards. Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos ‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu LATEST STORIES ‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

More misery for Tottenham? Italian side set to swoop for Spain starlet

first_img Almeria 1 Tottenham will face stiff competition from Juventus if they want to land Almeria centre-back Antonio Marin in January.According to Spanish newspaper AS, Spurs could be flanked in their interest by Juve for the highly-rated 18-year-old, as the Bianconeri want the defender to strengthen their side as a replacement for the injured Andrea Barzagli.Spurs have struggled defensively this term and Mauricio Pochettino’s men are under pressure after Sunday’s defeat at home to Stoke, which is likely to force the north London club to dip into the transfer market.Sources close to Marin, who is still in the early stages of his development at the La Liga club, have revealed the Spain under-19 international would prefer to learn his trade in Spain.However, if Juve were successful in their pursuit of the teenager, Marin could become the second young Spanish defender to make the move to Turin, following former Barcelona youth star Carlos Blanco Moreno’s switch to the Juventus Stadium last summer.last_img read more

Schiff calls Gonzales’ resignation ‘welcome news’

first_img“Welcome news” was how Rep. Adam Schiff, D- Pasadena, today described the announcement that Alberto Gonzales has resigned as U.S. Attorney General. Schiff, a former assistant U.S. attorney, had authored a House resolution calling for Gonzales to step down. “The attorney general’s resignation is welcome news,” Schiff said in a statement. “After years of drift and mismanagement, I hope this is the beginning of a new chapter for the Justice Department. Schiff said that time has come “to begin the process of rebuilding the department’s independence, reputation for impartial administration of the law, and core competence.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The congressman added that he hoped Bush would nominate a person “of unquestioned integrity, intellect and capability” to succeed the Gonzales, whose honesty and ability were called into question over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys. President Bush, who has supported the embattled Gonzales, accepted his resignation Friday. The resignation takes effect Sept. 17. last_img read more

QPR confirm appointment of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as new manager

first_imgQPR have confirmed the appointment of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as their new manager.The former Leeds and Chelsea striker has left his role at Burton, who are currently top of League One, and signed a rolling contract at Loftus Road.Hasselbaink replaces Chris Ramsey, who was sacked a month ago following Rangers’ unconvincing start to the season.Former Hoops boss Neil Warnock was then appointed interim manager and guided the club to two wins, a draw and a defeat from four games, culminating in Thursday night’s 1-0 victory at Reading.Hasselbaink has enjoyed a hugely impressive start to his managerial career in England, leading Burton to the League Two title in his first season and leaving them challenging for back-to-back promotions.The 43-year-old Dutchman takes over a Rangers side lying 11th in the Championship following last season’s relegation. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 1last_img read more

Fantasy Premier League tips: 10 players you should consider naming your captain

first_img 6. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City (Home to Bournemouth) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – Pep Guardiola has really worked wonders with the England winger since arriving at the Etihad Stadium. Two goals and an assist have been forthcoming in the Premier League so far and he could get more at the weekend. 5. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City (Home to Bournemouth) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – The brilliant Belgian starred in the Manchester derby as City beat United 2-1 and could wreak similar havoc if he starts against the Cherries. 10 10 10 10 10 10 1. Diego Costa – Chelsea (Home to Liverpool) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – The Spain striker is looking back to his beastly best this season and has four goals and one assist to his name. He’ll be coming up against a slightly shaky Liverpool defence and he could easily bully his way to a goal or two. Who is getting the captain’s armband for your Fantasy Premier League team in gameweek 5?You’ve made your changes using our handy tips, but it’s likely you need to make one vital last move.With the captaincy earning your player double points, it’s hugely vital you give it to the right man.So here we’ve got some top tips for who you should name as your skipper.And remember to make your changes before 7pm tonight!Click the right arrow above to see our suggestions… 10 7. Dimitri Payet – West Ham (Away to West Brom) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – The Hammers had nothing to show from a marvellous 33-minute display against Watford, in the end losing 4-2. But Payet did show in that time he’s ready to have another big impact. He could run riot against a dull Baggies side. 4. Jamie Vardy – Leicester City (Home to Burnley) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – He may have drawn a blank in the Champions League this week but that will only make the English forward hungrier in front of goal. The Clarets will have their hands full on Saturday afternoon. 3. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal (Away to Hull City) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – The Gunners will want to grab a morale-boosting win on Saturday after two less than inspiring displays last week. Key to this will be Sanchez and an equalising goal on Tuesday might just be the start of a hot streak for the Chilean. 9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United (Away to Watford) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – We can’t see the Swede being too happy after the Red Devils lost to Feyenoord in the Europa League. We expect a backlash and the Hornets could be on the receiving end. 10 8. Romelu Lukaku – Everton (Home to Middlesbrough) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – Boro face their first big test of the season as they travel to Goodison Park on Saturday. They will not relish the task of stopping Lukaku though and after his hat-trick against Sunderland, he could be set to add to his tally. 10 10 2. Sadio Mane – Liverpool (Away to Chelsea) – Click the arrow above for more captain advice – A dazzling dribbler with pace to burn is the last thing Gary Cahill and David Luiz will want to see on Friday night. Thibaut Courtois could be busy if Mane is on form. 10. Harry Kane – Tottenham (Home to Sunderland) – The Spurs star was well below-par on Wednesday night against Monaco in the Champions League. Something tells us he could well shake off the rust and get himself at least one goal on Sunday.last_img read more

Liverpool post positive Firmino update as he battles to be ready for Tottenham

first_img shining ADVICE Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Roberto Firmino today trained alongside his teammates following a muscle strain that ruled him out of #LFC’s last three matches.— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 21, 2019The 27-year-old has been working with the club’s medical staff on his rehabilitation and will be carefully managed, with specialised programmes planned over the coming days.Liverpool will be hoping Firmino can battle his way back to full fitness ahead of the Champions League final. LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Roberto Firmino has scored 16 goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season 1 huge blow REPLY center_img REVEALED no dice gameday cracker Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won He missed the final three matches of the season with a muscle strain but the club posted a positive update on Tuesday.The Brazil international took part in Liverpool’s first session of their Marbella training camp as he works his way back to full fitness. He has netted 16 times in 47 games this season as part of the Reds’ attacking front three alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.They take on Tottenham in the final on June 1 in Madrid and the club are hoping to claim their sixth title in the competition. Getty Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Roberto Firmino returned to Liverpool’s first team training ahead of next month’s Champions League final.The forward last featured for the Reds in their 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp in the first leg of their semi-final with Barcelona. Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars tense last_img read more

Incredible photo shows St. Eunan’s Cathedral as you’ve never seen it before

first_img“Only the angels and birds get this view” – a Donegal photographer has captured an amazing image of St. Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny, revealing a perfect cross shape from above.Paul McMenamin took the photo from 400ft using a flying drone camera, and many people who have seen it online are amazed by the new view of the Cathedral.From the outside, the cross shape of the 115-year-old building is not so obvious. With the right lighting and a clear night, Paul was able to capture it in all its glory. Posting it to Instagram, Paul wrote: “The whole site and building is so well illuminated. Only the angels and birds get this view.” Image credit: Incredible photo shows St. Eunan’s Cathedral as you’ve never seen it before was last modified: December 12th, 2016 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click 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 share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Loyal hands Columbus Catholic boys basketball its first loss of season

first_imgDons have 34-game conference win streak snappedBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterLOYAL — The Marshfield Columbus Catholic boys basketball team suffered its first loss of the season — and its first in conference play in two years — losing to Loyal 66-60 in a Cloverbelt Conference East Division matchup Friday night at Loyal High School.Columbus Catholic’s win streaks of 19 in a row to start this season and 34 straight in the Cloverbelt East went by the wayside with Loyal’s victory. The Dons had not lost a conference game since falling at Colby 54-51 on Feb. 3, 2015.Columbus Catholic is now 19-1 overall and 14-1 in the Cloverbelt East, one game ahead of Loyal. The Dons finish their conference schedule Monday at home against Neillsville and with a win would clinch their second-straight outright conference title.Loyal (16-4, 13-2 Cloverbelt East) can still grab a share of the Cloverbelt East crown with a win Monday at Owen-Withee and a Columbus loss.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of read more