Ivory Coast FA elections: Asamoah Gyan backs Didier Drogba RelatedPosts West Ham and Aston Villa can both overtake Bournemouth with victories later on Saturday, which would see Eddie Howe’s men finish 2019 inside the bottom three.Brighton, on the other hand, overcame more VAR controversy to end a four-match winless streak.After Jahanbakhsh’s bullet put the hosts in front on three minutes, Dan Burn thought he doubled the lead in the second half. Source: Talk Sports Mooy grabbed a delightful second-half goal Tags: BournemouthBrighton and Hove Albion ‘We want to play in big competitions’ – Jordan Ayew targets European spot with Crystal Palace Jahanbakhsh celebrates with his teammates Bournemouth is staring at the very real threat of relegation following a 2-0 defeat at Brighton.Two beautiful goals, from Alireza Jahanbakhsh and then Aaron Mooy, condemned the Cherries to their seventh defeat in nine games, leaving them just two points above the drop zone. ‘I’m happy at Crystal Palace’ – Jordan Ayew says amid transfer speculation However, the goal was ruled out for offside following a VAR review, and while there have been many marginal calls this season, surely none have been tighter than this.It mattered not, though, as the magnificent Mooy scored a stunning goal to give the Seagulls the two-goal lead which had been cruelly taken from them.They move up to 13th, five points clear of the relegation places, ahead of Chelsea’s visit to the Amex on New Years Day.
Cranes team prepare to pray at the final whistle.By Jacobs O. Seaman in KigaliRWANDA–Uganda Cranes had to withstand two unnerving early stings from Amavabi Stars to book their ticket to next year’s African Cup of Nations Championships in Nairobi Kenya.The Cranes arrived in Kigali brimming with confidence after a convincing 3-0 first leg win over the ‘Wasps’ in Kampala seven days earlier feeling that overturning the deficit on aggregate would be more uphill at a task for Rwanda than climbing all the a thousand hills in the country in one day.But Antoine Hey had other ideas and his script was to be delivered by hook or crook. The Amavabi head coach had arrived in Kampala last week confident that his side could return to Kigali with a result only to be outwitted and outplayed by Moses Basena’s stooges.Seething with frustration having already sourly complained of the ‘cattle pitch’ that St Mary’s Kitende turf appeared to him, Hey promised to avenge that defeat.And avenge he did, but it just wasn’t enough. Or would have, maybe, if the Amavubi had played the same manner they did in the first half but that will forever be a ‘maybe.’Amavubi fans watching from the comfort of their living rooms or in bars might have felt a tinge of regret at not stomping the hilly Nyamirambo for the match proper when midfielder Yannick Mukunzi struck home inside eight minutes and his compatriot Thierry Manzi nodded home a second seven minutes later to set Kigali Regional Stadium alight.The stadium was half empty, with Cranes fans, many of whom had travelled the 504 kilometres from Kampala, the majority and the two goals shushed their rousing cheers and set the tone for a nervous 75 minutes–although this would not be the case proper.For all the shaky first 15 minutes, Basena and his assistant Fred Kajoba had to earn their collar from this moment on. The signs that overturning the deficit was after all possible were as bright as the scores on the giant stadium display screen.Pacing up and down, the two tacticians set out to instill possession discipline, especially in the Cranes midfield where Paul Musamali, Benard Muwanga and Milton Karisa were dropping more balls than a pregnant cloud does raindrops.Clearly, Amavubi midfield pairing of Eric Iradukunda and Yannick Mukunzi were having early dinner and had to be contained.Cranes soon settled in and Muzamir Mutyaba–whose two goals made the big difference in Kampala–and Shafik Kagimu were able to test the gloves of goalkeeper Eric Ndayishimye.Amavubi continued the onslaught and that came with dosage of simulation as the host players sought for easy calls and bookings, but Cranes held their nerves for the break.Basena no doubt had his tongue busy and might have foamed in the corners of the mouth inside the dressing room. A punter betting on the Cranes tactician throwing a sink, literally, at his players at the final whistle if they played the manner they did in the opening quarter an hour wouldn’t have been too wide of the mark.The Cranes returned for the second half with one carbon copy of their first half bad showing: struggling to put the ball down on the bumpy albeit neat artificial surface of Kigali Regional Stadium. But they were more confident in their approach to the game and reduced the Amavubi to punting long balls high in the area for striker Abeddy Biramahire to gamble with.Biramahire was one tireless hound on the loose chasing down at everything, including shadows of Cranes defenders, but they (Cranes defenders) had the antidote for this style of play.At the other end, goalkeeper Ismael Watenga engaged in his own time-wasting antics, that, although legal, were a tad displeasing to many in the stadium. The homes fans jeered and the home players complained bitterly from time to time.Sudanese referee Alamen Hafiz Abdelghani wasn’t impressed either and appeared to have lost his patience in the 68th minute when Watenga collected a loose ball and rolled like a doll in the wind before lolling in foetal position like he had broken an ankle and a knee pad.As the Amavubi players complained, Abdelghani signaled for the team doctors and stooped over Watenga, a yellow card in hand.The referee would moments later redeem and again tarnish himself when, first, he ignored Abeddy Biramahire’s attempt to win a foul with defender Isaac Muleme the last man. A foul would go with matching orders. Abdelghani was well-positioned and saw through the simulation and ignored it.The Rwandan striker again tried to get Muleme on the referee’s wrong side when he went down holding his face but he was the one in the wrong and a freekick to Cranes and ignoring him was all the ref could do.However, at the other end of the pitch, substitute Paul Mucureezi’s darting run into the area was more than enough to win a penalty in the dying minutes when he was brought down. Only the centre referee didn’t think it was deserving of that call.By then the travelling party was boisterous. The Black, Gold and Red flag waived in the open stands as the fans blew their vuvuzelas and sang.As Abdelghani brought the match to an end, Rwanda had done all they could to win, but not enough to qualify for the final of the nations tournament that is open to only players featuring in domestic leagues.Uganda joined that likes of Cameroon, Zambia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sudan, Angola, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Libya, Mauritania and host Kenya in booking their tickets to January’s final in Nairobi.Uganda have made it to the CHAN finals for the fourth straight time and Basena and Kajoba have completed their first assignment and will be dusting themselves ahead of the World Cup 2018 double header qualifier against Egypt in the next two weeks.The Pharaohs will be in Kampala for the August 31 Group E first leg before a return date in Port Alexandria on September 5.Other CHAN qualifier resultsCameroon 2-0 Sao Tome and Principe (4-0)Zambia 2-0 South Africa (4-2)Rwanda 2-0 Uganda (2-3)DR Congo 1-1 Congo (1-1)Nigeria 2-0 Benin (2-1)Angola 1-0 Madagascar (1-0)Ivory Coast* 1-0 Niger (2-2 *Ivory Coast qualify on away goals rule)Mali 0-1 Mauritania (2-3) Cranes lineupIsmail Watenga, Nicholas Wadada, Isaac Muleme, Paul Musamali, Timothy Awany, Bernard Muwanga, Moses Waiswa (Martin Kizza) Muzamir Mutyaba (Paul Mucureezi) Derrick Nsibambi Milton Karisa (Erisa Sekisambu) Shafik Kagimu. 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Australia’s best youth Touch Football talent will be on display at Sunshine Coast Stadium from Wednesday, 17 September until Saturday, 20 September 2014 when they compete in the 2014 National Youth Championships. 34 teams from across Australia, including four from New Zealand, will take part in the event, competing in the 18’s Boys and Girls divisions. Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) will be hopeful of claiming their third consecutive 18’s Girls title in 2014, following their wins over New South Wales Combined High Schools (NSWCHS) in the 2012 and 2013 events. NSWCHS will be looking to claim back-to-back 18’s Boys titles after their thrilling win over QSST in last year’s final. It is the third time that the NYC event has been held at the Sunshine Coast, following the 2010, 2011 and 2013 events being held at the Stockland Park venue. Round games will be played from Wednesday through to Friday, with semi finals and finals to be played on Saturday. The event will run in conjunction with the 2014 State of Origin Series, which will be played on Friday, 19 September and Saturday, 20 September. For more information on the State of Origin Series, please visit the State of Origin website: www.soo.mytouchfooty.comTo keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2014 National Youth Championships, please visit the event website – www.nyc.mytouchfooty.com. There are plenty of ways to keep up-to-date with all of the latest results, news and information from the 2014 National Youth Championships (NYC). The Touch Football Australia and NYC websites will be updated regularly throughout the event with all of the latest information and can be found by clicking on the links below:www.nyc.mytouchfooty.com www.touchfootball.com.auAll of Touch Football Australia’s social media pages will be regularly updated throughout the NYC event, so be sure to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ us by clicking on the links below. Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #nationalyouthchamps)Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia (be sure to use the hashtag #nationalyouthchamps)The TFA YouTube channel will also have highlights and game live streamed throughout the event. Please click on the link below to be taken to the channel, and be sure to become a subscriber to the channel – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausRelated LinksNational Youth Champs
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Odegaard: Norway lucky to have Bournemouth striker Kingby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Sociedad midfielder Martin Odegaard has sung the praises of Norway teammate Joshua King.The Bournemouth striker is now a first-choice for the national team.And Odegaard admits he enjoys playing with the forward.”He is extreme and we are lucky to have him on the team. We just have to enjoy it and feed him with as many balls as possible,” he said.With 16 goals in 44 games, King has the opportunity to become one of the highest scorers for Norway. By comparison, John Carew has 24 goals, while Tore André Flo and Ole Gunnar Solskjær stand at 23. At the very top is Jørgen Juve with 33 goals.
AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 10: Running back Fozzy Whittaker #2 and safety Nate Boyer #37 of the Texas Longhorns carry the American flags as the team takes the field before the NCAA football game against the BYU Cougars on September 10, 2011 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas defeated BYU 17-16. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)This week, a University of Texas football fan named Trevor Thomas put together a hype video illustrating why top high school prospects should choose to play for Texas. Included in the background narration for the video was an excerpt of Longhorn defensive coordinator Vance Bedford speaking about the program.It looks like Thomas’ effort did not go unnoticed by Vance Bedford, who shouted him out earlier today.To the fan who put together the recruiting video, the longhorn nation thanks you. Write me back— Vance Bedford (@CoachBedfordUT) January 31, 2015Not sure if Thomas ever did get back to Bedford, but it’s cool that the coach gave him some recognition. Texas has been on a recruiting roll lately and will look to ride that momentum into National Signing Day on Wednesday.
CALGARY — The Salvation Army in Calgary says it has had to cancel volunteer shifts and close a warehouse because the agency hasn’t received enough Christmas toys for workers to sort.There are 7,000 children under the age of 14 registered for the agency’s toy program in the city.Officials say 18,000 toys have been received so far, but about 40,000 are needed.Spokeswoman Karen Livick says that in the past the agency has sometimes seen fewer toys donated in some age groups than in others.But this year donations are down generally.Livick says the organization is aware that buying a toy may not be in everyone’s budget.“I think it’s a direct result of the economic crisis that we’re seeing and … starting to feel again in Calgary,” Livick said. “We’ve started to feel it for a couple of years, but this year … people are a little unsure about their job situation and what’s going to happen in the new year.“They’re finding themselves … not being able to buy that extra toy to donate.”There is uncertainty in the oilpatch right now because the price for Alberta oil is low and Premier Rachel Notley is bringing in production cuts in the new year.People can drop off new, unwrapped toys until Dec. 15 at various locations around the city. Livick points out that the Salvation Army also accepts monetary donations.(CTV Calgary, The Canadian Press)The Canadian Press
Team TypeNO. teamsPrev. SeasonApril, current seasonRest-of-season Wins vs. Exp. All others134.447.591-0.1 That difference is just on the border of statistical significance, but if it holds true for the Braves, it would imply that they’re due to win more than expected based on their pessimistic win projections at FanGraphs and in our Elo interactive — and those extra wins could be enough to elevate them from a mid-80s win tally (sketchy territory, playoffs-wise) to a number closer to 90 wins (a much safer bet for making the postseason).That could be a huge step for an Atlanta club still trying to fill seats in its shiny new suburban stadium. These aren’t the old Greg Maddux/Tom Glavine/John Smoltz Braves, of course, but there’s real potential building in Atlanta right now. We’ll have to see where it takes the team — and how long it takes before the sabermetric indicators pick up on it. Top 10 in age and farm25.450.605+2.7 Win share *Team age is ranked from youngest to oldest, so a top-10 team would be among the 10 youngest rosters. Excludes the strike-shortened 1994 and 1995 seasons.Sources: baseball America, retrosheet Young, talented teams tend to build on hot April startsActual vs. expected rest-of-season wins (based on Elo) for teams who were below .500 in previous season but above .500 in April, by average age and farm-system ranking,* 1984-2017 The Atlanta Braves are, as they say, “ahead of schedule.” Going into the season, we commended their young talent base but gave them just a 15 percent shot at making the playoffs, figuring that they’d need another year of rebuilding before truly making the leap toward contention. Fast-forward a month, however, and Atlanta is blowing away those expectations: Against a difficult schedule, the Braves are 19-11 and occupy first place in the NL East — one and a half games clear of the New York Mets, who they just swept in a three-game series. So far, at least, the Braves’ future appears to be now.Even so, statistical algorithms such as FanGraphs’ rest-of-season projections and our own Elo system aren’t fully convinced. The former only has the Braves winning at the majors’ 21st-best clip over the rest of the season, while the latter is barely more optimistic, with Atlanta ranked 14th in the big leagues in terms of Elo. The stats are optimized for prediction, of course — but they have blind spots, too. So, a couple of days into May, is it too soon to call this a breakout year for Atlanta?Certainly Atlanta has played at an elite level over the first month of the season. On top of its impressive record (a 103-win pace over 162 games), the Braves rank1This and all following 2018 stats are up-to-date through Wednesday’s games. fifth in the league in Pythagorean winning percentage2Essentially, the winning percentage we’d expect the team to have based on its runs scored and allowed. and third in wins above replacement per game.3Averaging together the WAR metrics found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. This isn’t merely a case of an outclassed team getting lucky by squeaking out close wins and moving up the standings; the Braves have come to their record honestly.Although Atlanta’s pitching (12th in WAR) has been more or less average — which actually represents a big improvement over last season’s 24th-ranked showing — the highlight of the 2018 Braves season thus far is a lineup that’s generating 5.6 runs per game, easily the most in the National League. First baseman Freddie Freeman ranks as one of the best hitters in baseball after a month of play, while 21-year-old second baseman Ozzie Albies has been a revelation. Albies was already way ahead of the curve as a rookie last season (he had a 112 OPS+, one of the best marks ever by a 20-year-old rookie), and he’s made major strides as a power hitter, upping his slugging percentage from .456 last year to .603 this season. (Granted, his elevated rate of homers per fly ball is sure to regress — but his hard-hit ball rate is up, too.)With all the attention on prospect Ronald Acuña Jr. going into the season, Albies was the one who got off to the red-hot start while Acuña was toiling in the minors (thanks to some service-time chicanery by the Atlanta front office). Now that Acuña and Albies are both in the majors together, the Braves have one of the most exciting young position-player duos we’ve seen in a long time. Not only were Acuña and Albies the two youngest players in MLB at the time Acuña was called up,4In the couple weeks since, yet another Brave has joined the majors and sandwiched himself between them in the youngest-player rankings: Pitcher Mike Soroka. That’s right: Atlanta has each of the three youngest players in baseball right now. but the duo also became the youngest pair of teammates to homer in the same game since 1978 when each went yard against the Reds on April 26.5Oddly, the last time it happened also featured two Braves (Glenn Hubbard and Bob Horner) going deep against the Reds. Go figure.Throw in a renaissance year from veteran right fielder Nick Markakis (151 OPS+), much-improved hitting from former top prospect Dansby Swanson and the late-career blossoming of 34-year-old catcher Kurt Suzuki at the plate (133 OPS+ over the past two seasons), and it’s no surprise the Braves’ scoring is up more than a full run per game compared to a year ago. The only question is how much of the team’s sudden improvement will persist for the remaining five months of the regular season. And that’s where the advanced metrics’ lack of faith in Atlanta’s breakout gets especially complicated.According to research by myself and others, it takes about 70 games before observed results from a season in progress reach even a 50-50 balance with preseason expectations, in terms of how much weight each deserves when assessing a team. The Braves have played less than half that many games so far this year, which probably goes a long way toward explaining why the statistical projections haven’t budged much off of Atlanta’s relatively bearish spring-training predictions. The past data says you can’t read too much into a month’s worth of results.However, that premise was designed to hold true for all teams as a group. What happens when we look at a smaller group of teams, especially just the ones that have as much breakout potential as the Braves? Atlanta went into the season with Baseball America’s top-ranked farm system and currently has the eighth-youngest roster in baseball (if we weight each player’s age by their wins contributed this season.6For this metric, I couldn’t use straight-up WAR, since the averages would be skewed for teams like the Marlins and Orioles, who barely have any WAR across their entire roster. Instead, I added back in the replacement-level wins generated by each player’s raw playing time to get an estimate of total wins created, then weighted every team’s age by that number.)To get a sense for whether this matters, I looked at all teams since 19847The earliest season for which I have data about farm-system rankings. who were coming off a sub-.500 season but had a better-than-.500 record in April. Over the rest of the season, teams in that group who were both among MLB’s 10 youngest and went into the year with a top-10 farm system (again, according to Baseball America) ended up winning 2.7 more games over the rest of the season than Elo would predict.8Using the same rest-of-season projection method I used here. By comparison, all other teams won roughly as many games as Elo thought they would.9Specifically, they won 0.1 fewer games than expected.
AS Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi has hailed Eusebio Di Francesco’s tactical changes in their shock 3-0 win over Barcelona and insists that they were “tactically a step above” their opponentsAfter a 4-1 defeat at the Nou Camp during their first leg clash, Roma were heavily expected to be eliminated on Tuesday night against a Barcelona side that have gone an incredible 38 games unbeaten in La Liga.Yet, the Giallorossi left the Catalan giants stunned at the Stadio Olimpico with a new 3-4-1-2 formation proving to be a deadly move on Barcelona with Edin Dzeko, Daniele de Rossi and Kostas Manolas goals securing a 3-0 win for the hosts.“To be honest, we never really felt it was at risk tonight, as Barcelona did nothing to cause us problems. We put in the perfect performance,” Florenzi told Mediaset Premium (via Football-Italia).“Tactically, we were a step above them. If Barcelona don’t get to play the ball to feet and pass it around comfortably, they really struggle.”Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.The defender remained evasive in regards to the new formation being used in future matches.“The Coach will decide, but what we saw tonight should increase this man’s credibility. We players never doubted him, but some in the media and the stands…” said the 27 year-old.“At half-time, he told us to stay calm, as we knew that we could achieve this miracle. We brought home an historic result. Roma hadn’t been in a semi-final for 34 years.“I really like having three defenders, as it gives me more security to go forward and put crosses in, but it’s up to the Coach to decide.“It was wonderful to see the Olimpico packed. I expect to see this many fans in the Derby against Lazio too.”
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes they deserved to win after their hard-fought 1-0 victory over Burnley at Wembley on Saturday.Christian Eriksen came on as a substitute to score a 91st winner for Spurs and hand Pochettino his 100th Premier League win in 169 matches.100 – Mauricio Pochettino has won his 100th Premier League game as Spurs manager in his 169th game – 10 games quicker than it took Arsene Wenger to reach the figure at Arsenal. Centurion. #TOTBUR— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 15, 2018Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“We fully deserved the victory. Sometimes you don’t get the reward, but we did everything to win,” Pochettino told Sky Sports.“If you work hard, have patience, and try and try, you get the reward. I’m so happy for the three very important points after qualifying in the Champions League. It’s a massive week for us.“Sometimes you accept football is like this, it’s not easy, it was a very difficult afternoon. It was a tough opening and they did everything to try and stop us.“They didn’t have a shot on target. They came here to try and stop us, with a draw they would have been happy.“Football is about 90 plus injury time, and if you believe and keep pushing, you can be rewarded. These type of victories are so important.”