Agony for Lionel Messi and Argentina as Chile win Copa America

first_img La Pulga was stifled by another impressionable Argentine coach this time in Jorge Sampaoli, the mastermind of Chile’s first ever Copa America triumph. Messi barely had a shot on goal here, and was unable to combine effectively with Javier Pastore or Angel Di Maria as he did in the 6-1 thumping of Paraguay in the semi-final.  Messi was the only Argentina player to score from the spot, burying his penalty in the bottom corner. His strike partner Higuain showed no such nerve, ballooning over the bar, and then Claudio Bravo easily stopped Banega’s side footed shot, allowing Sanchez to end Chile’s almost-century of hurt. Di Maria’s hamstring injury after just half an hour certainly had a huge impact on the game’s outcome. The Manchester United winger’s untimely departure deprived his side of a dangerous outlet on the counter, as his replacement Ezequiel Lavezzi lacked the same quick thinking on the ball, evidenced by his poor cross to Higuain in the last minute of normal time. The Napolo striker should have scored anyway, missing a clear chance in a second major final in 12 months, but he was not helped by Lavezzi’s overhit pass, and Argentina, for the second year in a row, were left wondering what might have been had Di Maria been able to stay fit. He and his country did not deserve victory here; this triumph belonged to Chile and that reflected their performance as both the best side in the final at the Estadio Nacional and throughout the tournament. Richard Martin and Rik Sharma 05/07/2015 Argentina are enduring a drought of their own – on this very day in 1993 they beat Mexico to win the Copa America and haven’t won an important trophy since. Messi will still be hoping to win a trophy with Argentina, though the opportunities are slimming, but if he does, it will be through his own brilliance, not the luck of a penalty shoot-out – though he did score from the spot while Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega missed.center_img Upd. on 22/11/2016 at 03:06 CET Chile made sure that wasn’t the case here, even though they needed penalties to do it. His troubled performance brought back memories of his strife under his national team coach Gerardo Martino two seasons ago in the six games against Atletico Madrid, when he was caught too deep in midfield, smothered by Diego Simeone’s workhorse midfield.  When Lionel Messi finally wins an international tournament with Argentina it is unlikely to be on penalties.  Various factors made this easier for them, from the kind group they were placed in and the tournament structure, but Alexis Sanchez and Co. merited the glory they received after ending a 99-year wait for the trophy. This was an evening to forget for Messi, whose family were insulted and had objects thrown at them by Chile fans at the start of the game, forcing them to watch the second half from a television cabin. But take nothing away from Chile. They were bolder than Argentina throughout the game, especially in extra-time, and came close to settling the tie before penalties, with Sanchez coming to within inches of scoring from two separate occasions, the latter coming after a slip by Javier Mascherano.last_img read more

Valencia 2-1 Athletic: Basque side controversially progress on away goals

first_img That goal pulled the Basque side back within a goal of Valencia on the night at Mestalla, but handed them a crucial away goal advantage after they prevailed in the first leg at San Mames in torrid conditions by a solitary goal last week.  Gomes should have added a third, before Athletic at last showed some attacking intentions. Ryan, though, was on hand to deny Susaeta and then Aymeric Laporte.  CET Aritz Aduriz’s second half goal sent Athletic Club through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League at the expense of Valencia, whose manager Gary Neville was sent to the stands as a result.  It wasn’t to prove enough, though, as Aduriz’s 31st goal of the season carried Ernesto Valverde’s men into the next round. It leaves Neville in a kind of wilderness, out of the Copa del Rey, out of Europe and languishing in the bottom half of La Liga, unlikely to be pulled into the relegation zone, but not troubling the European spots.  The English coach was furious at the manner of Aduriz’s strike, adamant Markel Susaeta had handled in the build up. The referee didn’t agree, though, and play went on, with Oscar De Marcos’ cross sensationally, if not necessary intentionally, flicked into the path or Euro 2016 contender Aduriz. Neville was then removed from his dugout for his protests.   And while Valencia will lament and complain about the Basque side’s eventual equaliser, they also have to ask themselves why they didn’t finish the game off. Valencia, roared on by their home fans and to the backdrop of the Fallas festival in the city, had taken a two goal lead, steering themselves clear in the tie. Santi Mina had opened the scoring with a poacher’s finish and Aderlan Santos added the second with a spectacular header.  That goal took a bit of the sting out of Neville’s men, but they rose again. Andre Gomes had already come close when Santos rose highest to head home a fantastic Gaya centre just after the half hour mark.  Sam Marsden 17/03/2016 Upd. at 22:08 He’s likely to remain in charge until the end of the season, which is when his six month deal expires, but it’s not as likely he’ll be the manager of the football club by the end of the summer – even if he has began laying foundations, such as the pre-season schedule, for next season.  Negredo headed over before the break and after it another Gaya cross was deflected towards goal by the same player, but Herrerin remained big. The Athletic goalkeeper was rooted to his spot moment later, but Gaya’s shot sailed over the bar after good work from Rodrigo Moreno.  Jose Luis Gaya, who had an outstanding opening 45 minutes at left-back, was the creator of both Valencia goals. His 14th minute cross was stabbed towards goal by Negredo and Mina was alive to jump on the rebound after Iago Herrerin had saved the initial effort.  It always felt like this would be a special night. The atmosphere was electric in Mestalla and Alvaro Negredo came close with an early free-kick. Aduriz then shot straight at Mat Ryan after cutting in from the right wing, but the first half largely consisted of one way traffic.  Then came Aduriz’s controversial goal. Valencia huffed and puffed in search of another of their own, but it never came. Herrerin got in the way of Paco Alcacer’s header and Sofiane Feghouli fluffed the second chance. In stoppage time, Dani Parejo was handed a free-kick just out side the area, but his effort flew a whiske wide, Valencia’s Europa League hopes and Neville’s long-term job prospects flying with it.last_img read more

Putting Pakenham on the map

first_imgBy Hayley Wildes When you’re a member of a sporting club, there’s always a sense of pride when you’re able…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Financial support for students

first_imgEligible students at Berwick’s Federation University will receive a weekly payment of $300 under a new financial assistance package. Federation…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription. By Mitchell Clarke last_img

Local stars’ selection a feather in state’s cap

first_imgDoug McKenzie After further review Doug McKenzieAfter further review Twenty years ago, there was Jim Dowd, and now there’s James van Riemsdyk. Dowd is a veteran of 14 NHL seasons, who played this past season with the New Jersey Devils after becoming a local hockey legend growing up in Brick in the 1970s and 1980s. Van Riemsdyk is an 18-year-old kid from Middletown, who was selected second in the June 22 NHL draft after playing two glory-filled seasons at Christian Brothers Academy before starring for a pair of U.S. developmental teams in Michigan over the past two years. From now on, the two players will forever be linked in a way that will always be a great source of pride for them both – they both grew up playing for the Brick Hockey Club, and they’ve both helped legitimize the notion that New Jersey is home to plenty of hockey talent. “Jimmy Dowd proved a long time ago that Jersey kids can play,” said Alex DePalma, a longtime coach for the Brick Hockey Club. “There’s real good hockey in New Jersey – it’s just a matter of getting them recognized. You don’t see much college hockey here, other than Princeton, so you don’t see a lot of scouts. You have to go to them.” For Dowd, the recognition came rather easily. As a high school star at Brick Township, he broke the national school record with 375 points (189 goals, 186 assists). In his freshman and sophomore years, Brick Township won the keenly competitive Gordon Cup in the toughest division in the state and lost in the state championship game both years. The following year, the Green Dragons won the state championship but lost in the Gordon Cup finals. In his senior year, his team lost in the Gordon Cup finals and in the state quarterfinals to Delbarton that ended his high school career. Dowd launched his pro career as the eighth-round pick in the 1987 draft by the Devils, their seventh player selected in the draft. He played first with Lake Superior State University where he was an All-American before going to the Devils in 1993-94. Over the past 14 years he’s been a journeyman of sorts, playing for the Devils, Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild. Van Riemsdyk took a different route to becoming one of the most coveted young talents in the world. After his sophomore year at CBA, where he won a state championship, he joined the U.S. developmental program in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he tallied 105 points (59 goals and 46 assists) in 97 games and helped lead a USA team to the gold medal at the Ice Hockey Federation World Under-19 Championships in Sweden. His exploits led to his being picked second in the draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, after the Chicago Blackhawks selected Buffalo, N.Y., native Patrick Kane as the top pick, making Kane and van Riemsdyk the first two American-born players to be drafted first and second in draft history. Van Riemsdyk, who will play at least one season at the University of New Hampshire before pursuing his pro career, is also the third straight New Jersey native to be selected in the first round, joining Bobby Ryan of Collingswood (the second pick in the 2005 draft by Anaheim) and Bobby Sanguinetti of Lawrenceville (the 21st pick by the New York Rangers in the 2006 draft). His selection at No. 2 sent shock waves throughout the Garden State’s hockey community, as he immediately became the latest poster child for hockey enthusiasts who have long been crowing for more respect for Jersey’s top players. “I take a lot of pride in being part of the next wave of hockey players from the U.S., and specifically New Jersey,” van Riemsdyk said. “I think Jersey doesn’t get a lot of respect, but that should start to change pretty quick with the three of us getting drafted so high.” The Middletown native has been doing his part to promote New Jersey hockey for a number of years now, playing on select travel teams out of the Brick Hockey Club that enjoyed tremendous success in out-of-state tournaments. DePalma said that the success of those teams is a source of pride for local players and coaches alike. “It says a lot for New Jersey hockey,” he said. “For years we’ve been taking our kids up to Massachusetts to play in tournaments and have done very well. In 2004, we went up there and faced five of the top-ranked teams in the nation and won the tournament.” And van Riemsdyk’s ability to thrive as a member of the national teams only strengthened the argument that Jersey’s best players can play with anyone. “I think the high-end players in New Jersey can stack up with the high-end player anywhere,” he said. “It’s really just a matter of depth. You know when you’re playing a team from Minnesota there’s going to be more good players, because there are so many more kids playing the sport.” However, with more and more youth and high-school-level hockey programs popping up in communities all over the state, New Jersey is producing more talented players every year, something CBA coach Mike Reynolds said will only turn more eyes to the Garden State when evaluating potential prospects. “Even Jimmy Dowd said this is something special,” Reynolds said. “This is phenomenal for New Jersey hockey.” Which is exactly what they were saying when Dowd became a New Jersey Devil 20 years ago.last_img read more

‘Sluggish’ Bolt does enough in 100m heats

first_imgJamaican Usain Bolt won his 100 metres heat after what he called a “sluggish” start on Saturday, but looked pained after the race as he prepared to fend off the challenge of American Jason Gatlin for the Olympic crown.Bolt, who turns 30 on the final day of the Games, is aiming high in what he has said will be his final Olympics, bidding to continue his streak of gold in the men’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, the unprecedented “triple-triple”.He qualified in a leisurely 10.07 seconds, picking up the pace after lumbering from the blocks and looking stiff in his warm-up.“It wasn’t the best start, I feel kind of sluggish. I think it’s the fact that it’s the morning. I’m not usually running this early in the morning,” Bolt told reporters after the race which began at 12:42 p.m. local time in warm sunshine.“Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll feel much better,” he added of Sunday’s action when the semis and final take place late in the evening.He batted back questions about his leg, saying he was “good”.Gatlin, 34, produced the fastest time of the morning, 10.01 as the 2004 champion seeks to become the oldest man to win a medal in the 100m and the first to do so after serving two doping bans.“I am just staying focused, I went out there and executed my race in the first round and cruised to finish line,” Gatlin said.Asked if the race felt more special, given that it is likely to be his last Olympics, Gatlin replied: “Every Olympics is special but as you get older you understand the importance of running at Olympics.”Ben Youssef Metie, 29, of the Ivory Coast, notched the morning’s second-fastest time of 10.03, edging U.S. hopeful Trayvon Bromell’s 10.13, which was still fast enough to qualify.Canada’s Andre de Grasse, a 21-year-old who only took up running seriously three years ago after an early focus on basketball, ran 10.04.last_img read more

Premier League not given green light to return yet

first_imgThe Premier League still faces a fight to convince Government officials it is in a position to be able to complete the current season behind closed doors.Despite extensive contingency planning, including for the potential of playing the remaining matches at neutral venues, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden warned the game is yet to get the “green light”.Neutral venues are expected to be discussed in a meeting of Premier League clubs on Monday, while other mooted options for restarting the season have even involved the possibility of playing games abroad.But Dowden told BBC Radio 4: “They’ve not been given the green light.“If we can get a plan that works then I’d like us to be able to go ahead with it because I think it would be good for the nation, it would be good for football as a whole.“I’m really hopeful we can get this up and running but public safety must come first so it’s only if we’re confident of that that we’ll be able to proceed.”Expectations of a minor easing of Government lockdown restrictions from Monday have fuelled hopes that football and other sports may receive a clearer sign of when they can resume.Meanwhile in Germany the Bundesliga announced this week that it will resume matches on May 16, behind closed doors and subject to players being tested for coronavirus.In readiness for a change in circumstances the Premier League has been in talks with the Government and broadcasters about showing some games free-to-air.Dowden, who indicated he will meet with FA, Premier League and English Football League officials again on Thursday, added: “It’s not just the Premier League, it’s the rest of football and indeed other sports that could potentially take place behind closed doors.”Rugby union, cricket and boxing are among the other sports making plans to return behind closed doors, although promoter Eddie Hearn has ruled out staging Anthony Joshua’s next world heavyweight title defence without fans.last_img read more


first_imgStory Links University of Toronto Varsity Blues volleyball setter Jordan Figueira and hockey goalie Erica Fryer have been named the Varsity Blues male and female athletes of the week for the period ending January 27.First-year goalie Erica Fryer amassed 38 saves in leading the Varsity Blues women’s hockey team to two victories this past weekend.Fryer posted 20 saves, including 10 in the second period, as the Blues topped the Brock Badgers 3-1 on Friday night.The kinesiology major from Amherstburg, Ont., followed that up with an 18-save performance as the Blues defeated Laurier, 2-1, for their eighth consecutive victory. Fryer currently co-leads the OUA with nine wins and ranks third with a 1.35 goals against average.Third-year setter Jordan Figueira totaled 77 assists and 16 digs as the Varsity Blues men’s volleyball team went 1-1 in Kingston, Ont.The commerce major from Oakville, Ont., tallied 42 assists and nine digs as the Blues blanked the RMC Paladins 3-0 on Sunday afternoon.Figueira kicked off the weekend with 35 assists and seven digs in a narrow 3-1 loss at Queen’s. He currently ranks third in the OUA, averaging 9.62 assists per set, after averaging 11 assists per set this weekend.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnaptChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Psychologist helps tearful Brazil

first_img0Shares0000SAO PAULO, July 3- Tears shed by Neymar and his fellow Brazilian stars at the World Cup have shocked some of the country’s football legends and coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has ordered extra coaching with the team psychologist, a report said Wednesday.Sports psychologist Regina Brandao made an “urgent” and unscheduled visit to the Brazil training camp on Tuesday, ahead of Friday’s quarter-final with Colombia, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper said. Some football elders such as Carlos Alberto, captain of the team that won the World Cup in 1970, said today’s Brazilian stars cry too much. While the team have not commented on whether the sessions were “urgent”, Neymar said Wednesday that he was enjoying talking with the psychologist.The special visit came after a jittery Brazil scraped past Chile on penalties in the last 16. Neymar, goalkeeper Julio Cesar, David Luiz and captain Thiago Silva were all seen crying after.Brandao held a meeting with all the players and the technical team, according to Folha. She did not speak individually with players.The psychologist, who has worked with Scolari for more than 20 years, told CBF TV: “The visit formed part of our initial planning. I have classes and I couldn’t be here for long.“I speak constantly with the players. We speak to each other on WhatsApp, we speak on the phone, we communicate by email,” she added.The stark emotions of Brazil’s players have caused much debate and concern over whether they are psychologically equipped to deliver a home World Cup win.Neymar cried during the national anthem at the tournament-opener against Croatia, and tears have never been far away since.“They cry during the national anthem, they cry at the end of extra-time, they cry before and after the penalties,” said technical director Carlos Alberto Parreira.World Cup legend Zico said a lack of self-control could damage Brazil’s chances on the pitch.“There’s a lack of focus during the game, which can hurt Brazil. There are players who get emotional and forget the game. They need to have more control,” he said.Carlos Alberto, Brazil’s World Cup captain in 1970, said the Selecao should save their tears until after they have won the final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.“The team is crying when they’re singing the anthem, when they get hurt, when they shoot penalties! Come on… Stop crying! Enough!” he said.Neymar, the team’s star player with four goals so far, insisted though that the sessions with Brandao have been beneficial.“I had never done anything like it before and I am quite enjoying it,” said the forward.“It is not only us, in football, who are surrounded by emotion every day and need psychologists. I think it could do every person good, to make one more relaxed.“We have a very good relationship with Regina Brandao. She is a great person. I am learning a lot and I hope to continuing doing it.”Carlos Alberto said: “They say it’s the pressure from playing at home. But they should have been prepared for this. They knew they would go through this. Where’s the psychologist?”“This shows the team is not 100 percent ready to face a World Cup. When you are prepared to win, everything happens automatically. When you’re not prepared, you cry when the result is not positive. This is what’s happening now.”Scolari has stressed that Brazil are a young team, while goalkeeper Cesar, who is 34, said he had every right to show his emotions.“I never hid that I am an emotional person. This match proves that if you have a dream you must chase it,” he said, after the shoot-out with Chile.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Mata admits his fears for Manchester United future

first_imgJuan Mata has warned Manchester United they have to start scoring – or risk missing out on the Champions League.The Red Devils suffered their third straight defeat on Saturday when they lost 1-0 to West Brom at Old Trafford, with Robin van Persie missing from the penalty spot.Louis van Gaal’s side has drawn a blank in all three of those defeats, and Mata insists they have to rediscover their killer touch in front of goal if they are to prevent fifth-placed Liverpool from bridging the four-point gap that separates them from their old rivals.“The weekend wasn’t good for several reasons,” the United playmaker wrote on his blog. “Obviously the 0-1 at Old Trafford is a tough score for us and we are forced to win as soon as possible: our rivals ahead keep adding points, and also the teams behind are getting closer.“It’s the tendency of the last few weeks: we have more ball possession than our opponent and create chances but we aren’t able to take them.“We must focus on being effective because we haven’t scored in the last few games and we can’t afford it any longer. On Saturday we tried until the end but their goalkeeper was brilliant.” 1 Juan Mata last_img read more