USA happy for opportunity to play for medals

first_imgHowever, they were happy to have another opportunity for the medals this Saturday in the third and fourth playoffs.USA coach Michelle French commended Korea DPR for making it through to the finals saying it is a huge success for the Korea DPR team and for their country for making it through to the finals.“I thought for the first 90 minutes we did well enough to be in the game but it’s just extremely disappointing right now for our players who have used excessive amount of energy and every piece of their heart to get us back in the game,” French said.“We started the match in defense, but found ourselves pushed and putting our body on the line to do everything we can to save the game in the final minutes in an attempt to gain an equaliser.“We are obviously disappointed but we left everything out there on the field. We continued to put fight like we did in the last games against Ghana and Mexico but unfortunately we lost the fight tonight (Tuesday night).”Coach French describes the tournament as an awesome challenge that each game showed them something different with what they had to handle through their games.We kept showing that fight in each game but we have nothing to lose after displaying a stunning football after tonight.“There is a disappointing feeling now that we stand here empty-handed, but now we need to look ahead for the opportunity for the medal,” French concluded.  USA will now take on Japan to fight for the third spot on Saturday in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016.last_img read more

Gov’t gives cash incentives for Team PNG

first_imgVice Minister for Sports, Wesley Raminai said gold medallists will receive K100, 000, silver medallists with K50 000 and bronze medal winners K25, 000.“The O’Neill/Abel government recognizes the importance that sports plays in nation building.”He finished by thanking corporate sponsors who despite economic times continue to support sports through their community programs.“We really do not want to put anybody under any pressure, but we would also like to remind every member of Team PNG that our country is very passionate about sports as you all know.“Therefore, the 7 million people of this country will be expecting nothing but the best.last_img

Djokovic bumped up to two in Wimbledon seedings

first_imgThree-time champion Novak Djokovic has been bumped up to second seed for next week’s Wimbledon championship despite slipping to fourth in the ATP world rankings while seven-times champion Roger Federer has also benefitted.The seedings, released by the All England Club on Wednesday, have defending champion Andy Murray number one in the men’s singles with Germany’s Angelique Kerber the women’s top seed.Wimbledon differs from the other grand slams, in the men’s singles at least, with previous form on grass in the previous two years coming into play to re-order the top 32 in the world rankings – a system agreed by the ATP.Spaniard Rafa Nadal, who won a 10th French Open last month, is second in the ATP rankings but will be seeded fourth at Wimbledon after a mediocre record there in recent years.Despite winning the title twice, the 31-year-old has not been past the fourth round since 2011.Favourite Federer, fifth in the ATP rankings, is seeded third which means he will avoid one of his biggest rivals for the title until the semi-finals.Fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka, runner-up at the French, drops to fifth seed, from his world ranking of three.Other beneficiaries of the system include Luxembourg’s grass court expert Gilles Muller who is seeded 16th compared to an ATP ranking of 26. Muller won the recent Den Bosch tournament and reached the semi-final at Queen’s Club last week.Queen’s Club champion Feliciano Lopez, ranked 25, is seeded 19th.The women’s seeds stick strictly with the current WTA rankings. Romania’s Simon Halep, who could take over the top spot this week if she wins the Eastbourne title, is seeded twolast_img read more

Man City’s potential under Guardiola is ‘amazing’

first_imgManchester City manager Pep Guardiola is off and running and his English trophy collection could go on to compare with his hauls at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the club’s midfielder Kevin de Bruyne said after they won the League Cup on Sunday.The Spaniard’s first season at the City helm was a false start as he ended up without any silverware for the first time in a managerial career which included 11 major trophies with Barcelona and seven at Bayern.Sunday’s 3-0 crushing victory at Wembley over a dismal Arsenal side will almost certainly be followed by the Premier League title in coming weeks, while City are also virtually assured of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.City’s display against Arsenal proved that their shock FA Cup defeat by third-tier Wigan Athletic on Monday was a blip.“We have had a good season already, and now we need to keep going,” Belgian De Bruyne said.“We have this one in the bag and now we have to maintain the same focus in the Premier League and the Champions League.“The potential for this club is amazing, and the way we play is probably one of the best in the world.”PERFECT RESPONSERight back Kyle Walker, whose 50 million pounds ($69.88 million) signing from Tottenham Hotspur in the close season showed City’s financial muscle, claimed his first silverware having featured on the losing side in a final for Tottenham.“We didn’t have the best of seasons last year, so it was important for us to get this trophy under our belts,” he said.City did not even have to be at their best on Sunday.Sergio Aguero’s goal, his fifth in five consecutive games against Arsenal, divided the sides at the end of a scrappy first half, before City stepped on the gas and pulled away with skipper Vincent Kompany and David Silva both on target.It was the perfect response to the FA Cup fifth round defeat by Wigan which ended talk of quardruples.“It was so important to win this one, because we played 10 v 11 for 45 minutes (against Wigan) so it wasn’t easy,” Guardiola said. “Now we concentrate on the Premier League. We will try to win the rest of our games, and the Champions League, too.”City can restore a 16-point lead at the top of the domestic standings if they beat Arsenal at The Emirates next week.“Now we have to focus on the next game away at Arsenal on Thursday and to think about the Premier League,” Aguero said.last_img read more

Salah scores again as Liverpool go second

first_imgMohamed Salah continued his remarkable scoring run as Liverpool beat Newcastle to go second in the Premier League, two points above Manchester United, who they visit next Saturday.United, however, have the chance to restore the status quo by winning at Crystal Palace on Monday.When Egyptian international Salah gave Liverpool the lead after 40 minutes it was his 32nd goal of the season in all competitions for Liverpool and the seventh game in succession that he had found the net.Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius had to make a fine save from Mohamed Diame, but Sadio Mane finished off a fine move early in the second half for the second goal of a one-sided game.last_img

Le Tissier backs Hughes as perfect choice for Saints

first_imgMark Hughes’ vast Premier League experience and connection with Southampton makes him the perfect choice to rescue the team from the threat of relegation, former club captain Matthew Le Tissier said.Southampton appointed Hughes on Wednesday as a replacement for Argentine Mauricio Pellegrino, who was sacked as manager earlier this week with the south-coast club fourth from bottom in the standings, a point and a place above the drop zone.“The situation we are in is not a great one and we don’t need a manager coming in who doesn’t know the players, doesn’t know the league. So Mark would seem to be with the club’s way of thinking,” Le Tissier, who scored 209 goals for Southampton during his 16 years at the club, told Sky Sports.Hughes, who spent two seasons at Southampton late in his playing career, was sacked by relegation-threatened Stoke City in January after an FA Cup third round defeat by League Two (fourth tier) Coventry City.The former striker had previously guided the Potters to three successive top-10 finishes from the 2013-04 campaign.“He obviously did not have a great season at Stoke this year but as far as I can remember I think it was the first time he had a team really struggling against relegation,” Le Tissier added of the former Manchester City and Blackburn manager.“He’s managed some big teams. He has a wealth of experience of the game… but I’ll keep my fingers crossed he can keep us up this season first and foremost, then get us to kick on again next season.”last_img read more

What next for England after World Cup semi-final defeat?

first_imgEngland’s 2018 World Cup dream ended with defeat in the semi-finals against Croatia, and thoughts now turn towards what is next for Gareth Southgate’s young squad.Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the future issues for the Three Lions to tackle when they return from Russia.On the pitchEngland will have one official match left at the 2018 World Cup, the third-place play-off against Belgium in St Petersburg on Saturday. Following some time for reflection, the Three Lions will return to action for the start of the new UEFA Nations League campaign against Spain at Wembley on September 8 and then a friendly with Switzerland in Leicester three days later. England will not have long to wait for a rematch against Croatia, with an away fixture set for October 12 before travelling to Spain. A home friendly against the United States on November 15 will be swiftly followed by the visit of Croatia to Wembley for the last of the round-robin Nations League group fixtures.Room for improvementFor the best part of an hour, England looked in total control against Croatia, before the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic started to master the midfield. Given the calibre of the European club sides they play for, that should have come as no surprise to Southgate, the coaching staff or indeed the England players. However, there seemed to be no clear adjustment in approach, when perhaps a reshuffle was needed to weather the storm – something which will come with experience both on the field and in the dugout.Young Lions still to roarAt an average of just over 26, England headed to the World Cup with one of the youngest squads. Southgate felt his players had “come of age” in Russia – but there are a few who are probably not going to be involved again should England make it Qatar 2022, such as wing-back Ashley Young who turned 33 ahead of the semi-final. Several players, though, will be aiming to make their senior breakthrough for the next cycle – including the likes of Manchester City’s 18-year-old midfielder Phil Foden, a star of the successful 2017 Under-17 World Cup squad, where he was named player of the tournament in India, and Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster, who scored successive hat-tricks on the way to the final win over Spain. Fellow Reds striker Dominic Solanke, 20, is expected to gain more senior caps after making his debut against Brazil at Wembley in November 2017. He was part of the side which won the Under-20 World Cup last summer.It’s coming home (no, it really is this time!)England’s next major tournament – should they qualify – will be Euro 2020. The finals will be played across 12 countries to mark the 60th anniversary of the tournament. Wembley is set to host seven games, including a last-16 fixture, both semi-finals and the final. Maybe, just maybe, football will come in 2020.last_img read more

Koscielny to make Arsenal return against Qarabag

first_imgUnai Emery has confirmed Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny will make his long-awaited comeback against Qarabag on Thursday night – with Mesut Ozil also set to feature in the Europa League dead rubber.Koscielny, 33, has yet to play under Emery having ruptured his Achilles in the Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid in May.The defender missed France’s World Cup success as he battled back to fitness and featured for 85 minutes in a Checkatrade Trophy clash with Portsmouth last week.Koscielny is now set to start against Azerbaijani minnows Qarabag as Emery tests his fitness ahead of a Premier League return.The Gunners have a defensive crisis on their hands ahead of Sunday’s trip to Southampton with Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos injured, Shkodran Mustafi struggling with a hamstring problem and Sokratis Papastathopoulos suspended.That could mean Koscielny will be asked to play twice in four days as Emery prepares to welcome back his skipper.“Our first aim in this competition, we have done, which was to be first in the group,” the Spaniard said when asked about his team selection with progression as group winners already assured.“But we respect this competition and we respect Qarabag and tomorrow our objective is to win and we are going to give players chances tomorrow to take responsibility, take rhythm and take confidence.“Also, because we are going to play a lot of matches, in the next 10 days we play four matches – each of them very important…it is in our planning to start with Laurent Koscielny.“We are going to decide after tomorrow’s match, as it’s the first match with us that Laurent Koscielny will play. We are going to look also if he can play 90 minutes or less minutes in this game.“We can use another player in this position, someone like Nacho Monreal, who is also with us and in his career he played in this position.“We are going to decide but the first is to think about the match tomorrow because we need to receive information on how he can feel tomorrow.”Meanwhile, Ozil has missed the last five games in all competitions having initially dropped out of the side at Bournemouth before being ruled out with a back injury.He could also be in line to play against Qarabag having lost his place in Emery’s Premier League side.“I don’t know,” Emery replied when asked if Ozil would feature.“Tomorrow he is in the group, there are 18 players in the squad for this match and I am going to decide if he plays tomorrow from the beginning or during the match in the 90 minutes.”last_img read more

England bowl out Ireland for 38 to seal victory

first_imgIreland’s dream of pulling off one of the biggest shocks in the history of test cricket by beating England at Lord’s was shattered as they collapsed to 38 all out to lose by 143 runs on Friday.On a murky morning, Ireland made a dream start when Stuart Thompson ended England’s second innings on 303 with the first ball of the day, clean bowling Olly Stone to leave themselves two days to knock off 182 runs.After a rain delay they began the chase in encouraging fashion, reaching 11 without loss, but the wheels fell off in spectacular fashion as they posted the lowest ever test total at Lord’s, capitulating in 15.4 overs.Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad took cruel advantage of optimum bowling conditions to take all the wickets.Woakes put Ireland out of their misery, knocking back Tim Murtagh’s leg stump to finish with the spectacular figures of six wickets for 17 with Broad taking four for 19.It was a sad end to what had been a fantastic effort by William Porterfield’s gallant side in only Ireland’s third test match and first against England.They had bowled England out for 85 before lunch on the opening day of the four-day test on Wednesday and forced another collapse in the home ranks in sweltering heat on Thursday to set themselves up for an unlikely first test victory.In the end, however, the class of Broad and Woakes proved too much as England successfully defended their lowest total since 1998 in Melbourne and their lowest ever at Lord’s.Ireland at least avoided the ignominy of breaking the record for the lowest test score which is still held by New Zealand who were skittled for 26 against England in 1955.“We put ourselves in a position to win the game — that’s why we’re so gutted up there,” Porterfield, whose dismissal signalled the start of the collapse, said.“We knew it was going to be tough with the lights on and drizzle in the air. But we had to dig deep and get through that. Fair play to the two lads to how they bowled — they made it difficult.”England’s left-arm spinner Jack Leach was named man of the match for his 92 in England’s second innings as a nightwatchman.last_img read more

Former England cricket captain Bob Willis dies aged 70

first_imgFormer England captain and cricket pundit Bob Willis has died at the age of 70.The pace bowler played 90 Tests for England and has been a popular figure in broadcasting since his retirement in 1984.Willis’ family, who revealed he had died “after a long illness”, said in a statement: “We are heartbroken to lose our beloved Bob, who was an incredible husband, father, brother and grandfather. He made a huge impact on everybody he knew and we will miss him terribly.“Bob is survived by his wife Lauren, daughter Katie, brother David and sister Ann.“The Willis family has asked for privacy at this time to mourn the passing of a wonderful man and requests that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Prostate Cancer UK.”Willis’ most famous moment as a player came in the 1981 Ashes series as his eight for 43 fired England to a remarkable win in the third Test at Headingley.He is England’s fourth highest wicket-taker of all time with 325 wickets.Willis’ former county Surrey paid tribute on Twitter, saying: “All at Surrey County Cricket Club are devastated to learn of the passing of former Surrey and England bowler Bob Willis.“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”Former England fast bowler Darren Gough said Willis was “hugely admired”.“As a player he had a big heart, he’d run in, nearly 6ft 6ins, and hit the pitch hard. At his peak was one of the best three bowlers in the world,” Gough said on Talksport.“He was hugely admired all around the world. Everybody knew who he was.“If you just saw him on TV people might think he’s a bit straight, but in his company over a glass of wine he would make you laugh all night.”The England and Wales Cricket Board said that “cricket had lost a dear friend”.“The ECB is deeply saddened to say farewell to Bob Willis, a legend of English cricket, at the age of 70,” a statement read.“Bob spearheaded the England bowling attack for more than a decade and took 325 Test wickets.“He will always be remembered for his outstanding cricket career, in particular his eight for 43 in the dramatic Headingley Test victory over Australia in 1981.“In later years as a broadcaster Bob was a perceptive and respected voice at the microphone. We are forever thankful for everything he has done for the game.“Everyone at the ECB sends sincere condolences to his family. Cricket has lost a dear friend.”Known for a long run up, the seamer was last year named in England’s greatest Test XI by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).last_img read more