Juventus, Benfica in defiant mood ahead of Europa semi-final

first_imgBy Brian HomewoodJuventus and Benfica are both in defiant mood ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash where a single goal for the Serie A side would take them to their first European final for 11 years.Juventus coach Antonio Conte took another swipe at his critics after a 3-1 win at Sassuolo on Monday left his side needing one victory in three games to clinch a third successive Serie A title.Benfica, who have wrapped up the Portuguese league and are on course for a domestic treble after two backs-to-the-wall cup semi-final wins over Porto, are also in feisty mood having bouncing back from last season’s disappointment when they finished runners-up in three competitions.Benfica, sunk by a last-gasp Chelsea goal in last season’s final and beaten semi-finalists in 2010-11, take a 2-1 lead to Turin for the semi-final second leg.Juventus will play the final at their own stadium if they qualify and Conte has taken exception to suggestions that the Europa League is a mere consolation after they were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage.“Anything Juventus do becomes almost expected,” he told reporters.“If we win the Europa League, it will be considered a worthless trophy. If we lose, then people will say that Juventus aren’t ready for Europe.”Conte, fiercely competitive, has rebuilt Juventus into the dominant force in Italian football in his three years as coach, collecting plenty of rivalries on the way.In the last few weeks, he has become involved in angry exchanges with Russia coach Fabio Capello, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, Napoli’s Rafael Benitez and AS Roma boss Rudi Garcia who suggested on Monday that Conte was “nervous.”“What excites me is these three years in charge of Juventus. This has been a truly incredible journey,” said Conte, dismissing Garcia’s comment.Benfica have shown great resilience this season, reaching both the Portuguese Cup and Portuguese League Cup finals with dramatic semi-final wins over rivals Porto after playing for an hour with 10 men in both games.“It’s been a very gratifying season, we are in both finals in Portugal and still in the fight for the Europa League,” said temperamental Benfica coach Jorge Jesus, who clung on to his job after last season’s disappointments.Juventus are unbeaten at home in Europe this season, but have kept only one clean sheet in those games, while Benfica have won their last four away fixtures in European competition.It is only the third time the two sides have met in Europe with one win for Benfica in the European Cup semi-finals in 1968 and one for Juventus in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1993.Conte said he believed that Juve’s fans could be decisive as they attempt to reach their first European final since theChampions League in 2003.“I reiterate that I want the supporters to create a fiery cauldron in the stadium on Thursday, just as Benfica’s fans did in Lisbon,” he said.“We want to play with 12 men.”In the other semi-final, Valencia will take inspiration from their comeback win over Basel in the last round as they bid to reach the final by overhauling a 2-0 first-leg loss to Sevilla.last_img read more


first_img Matchup History Preview Fourth-year right side hitter Alina Dormann led all players with 15.5 points as the University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team defeated the Nipissing Lakers 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-22) on Friday night (Nov. 23) in North Bay, Ont. Next Match: at York University 11/25/2018 | 1:00 p.m. TORONTO STATS: Dormann notched 14 kills, one ace and one assisted block, while adding a team-high nine digs on the night. Veteran outside hitter Brianna Patrick added 11 points off of 10 kills and one ace, while middle Anna Licht had seven points and six digs.center_img Watch Live Full Schedule Roster Rookie setter Hayley Goodwin tallied 31 assists and five digs in the win. UP NEXT: The Blues wrap up the fall semester this Sunday, November 25 as they head to York to take on the Lions. Opening serve is scheduled for 1 p.m.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit www.varsityblues.ca. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Emphatic Simbas hit Tunisia with century

first_imgWith the fans chanting ‘100! 100!’ in the dying minutes of the match with the scores at 93-10, Jacob Ojee who had scored the game’s first try dotted down and Kenny Andola converted as Kenya hit the magic three figure.Tunisia who last weekend lost out 53-7 to Namibia in their opening match left the pitch clutched up together, tears rolling down their eyes as the humiliating defeat sunk down in their minds.“First of all, I must say thank you to the Kenyan fans who clapped for us as we got off the pitch. That shows great sportsmanship. But the loss today is not an embarrassment to us. It is an embarrassment to those players who refused to come down here and play this game,” Tunisia’s Saif Bousaada said after the match.Fans cheer on Kenya during a Rugby Africa Gold Cup match against Tunisia played at the RFUEA Ground on July 8, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya“This team is like the second team for Tunisia made up of players of 2 or 21 years all of who play in the Tunisian league which is not very strong,” Bousaada added.A number of Tunisia’s first team players, most of who play in the French leagues turned down call ups to the team, leaving head coach Hedi Mohamedali with no choice but to field a squad mostly made up of home based players.Nonetheless, Kenya took in the victory with a lot of ease with head coach Jerome Paarwater only complaining they shouldn’t have conceded the two tries that Tunisia ran in.“I must confess that I didn’t expect the scores to be this big. I am very happy with how we played today. The only concern is that we were a bit shaky with the kick off and our defense also had some issues,” Paarwater stated after the match.Skipper Wilson Kopondo, who made a return to the team after missing the last two games with injury, said the team was impressed with the result, but has cautioned his teammates not to let the result get into their heads.Ojee broke the deadlock with a quick try after picking out a fraction of space between the Tunisia defense and Mukidza added in the extras Kenya going 7-0 up. Mukidza then struck home a penalty to take the scores to 10-0.Kenya 15’s deputy captain Darwin Mukida prepares to make a conversion during a Rugby Africa Gold Cup match against Tunisia played at the RFUEA Ground on July 8, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaKenya had started the match with high pace, keeping to the pre-match plans that would see them capitalize on the Nairobi attitude by tiring off the opponents early.Fullback Mukidza then extended Kenya’s score to 17-10 from a well executed try.The deputy skipper picked the ball in the middle of the pack, sprayed out wide to Ojee who used his superb pace to beat off his markers and just as the last man was approaching for a tackle, laid out to Mukidza who dotted down.Ojee was in the thick of things once again with another burst of pace on the left, offloading to David Ambunya who dotted down and Mukidza converted for a 24-0 score.Erick Kerre joined the party with the fourth try of the match, picking up the ball from skipper Kopondo who had used his strong arms to fend off the Tunisians before spotting Kerre’s run and beautifully laying up. Mukidza’s attempt with the conversion was wide.The North Africans made an immediate response with Houcem Khalfi touching down on the eight, but Kenya cancelled out through Samson Onsomu from a Leo Sejje offload.Joshua Chisanga’s immense power saw Kenya pick up their sixth try of the match after the Newcastle Falcons man pushed away his markers before offloading for Ojee who dotted down his second try of the match and the fourth in the Gold Cup to stretch the scores to 41-5.Tunisia pulled one back almost immediately, Ashraf Dif dotting down after push and shove on the left.Kenya though went to the break 46-10 up with Chisanga getting a try of his own with another of his trademark powerful runs.Davies Chenge, Tony Onyango, Sejje, Martin Owila, Steve ‘Security’ Otieno, Kerre and Sejje all dotted down to stretch Kenya’s dominance to 93 points. With the crowd charged for a converted try to make it to a century, Kenya camped in Tunisia’s half but the visitors were determined not to cave in.Ultimately, Ojee delivered what the fans had been crying out for, powering through on the left to dot down and Andola converted.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Kenya 15’s Youngster Steve ‘Security’ Otieno powers past Tunisia’s Ashraf Dhif during a Rugby Africa Gold Cup match played at the RFUEA Ground on July 8, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 8- The Kenya Rugby 15s team made an emphatic statement after their below-par performance in their Rugby Africa Gold Cup opener against Uganda a fortnight ago, hitting a century past a hapless Tunisia at the RFUEA Ground on Saturday evening to record their first win of the tourney.The Simbas ran in 15 tries to win 100-10 as they dazzled the North Africans with a pacey approach to the match, leading on to what might easily turn out to be the biggest victory on home soil in a competitive match.last_img read more

Video: January transfer window shopping – Does this striker take your fancy Spurs fans?

first_imgCheck out all the best skills and goals from Colombia forward Jackson Martinez, who has been linked with a January move to Tottenham in recent weeks.Spurs fans – with Roberto Soldado still failing to cut the mustard, would you like to see the Porto captain at White Hart Lane?last_img

Bristol City sign Wolves midfielder on loan

first_imgBristol City have boosted their League One title hopes with the loan signing of Wolves midfielder George Saville.City, currently second in the table behind west country rivals Swindon, have persuaded Wolves to allow Saville to join them for a 93-day stint.The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Brentford from Chelsea and was instrumental in the Bees’ promotion to the Championship, scoring four goals in 40 league appearances.And now City are hoping he can bring them similar luck this term as they bid to climb into England’s second tier. George Saville in action for Brentford 1last_img read more

WATCH: Ex Chelsea and Liverpool playmaker lays on classy assist for Tampa Bay

first_imgJoe Cole doing Joe Cole things… Check out his assist on last night’s game-winning goal. pic.twitter.com/Z39JFrb5Dx— Tampa Bay Rowdies (@TampaBayRowdies) June 5, 2016 1 Joe Cole rolled back the years on Saturday when he laid on a classy assist for his new side Tampa Bay Rowdies.The North American Soccer League (NASL) outfit beat Ottawa Fury 2-1 on Cole’s fourth game since arriving from Coventry City at the end of the Sky Bet Football League season. Cole failed to help his side to victory in his first two appearances, but they now have back-to-back wins with Cole notching a total of two assists and one goal in those matches.Check out his latest assist, below.The 34-year-old takes the ball down on the halfway line with a deft touch before turning and darting towards the opposition box.He cuts across his first marker, dropping a shoulder and skipping past the next before putting Georgi Hristov through on goal, duly netting his second of the game and the match winner.center_img Joe Cole played a key role in Tampa Bay’s second goal last_img read more

It is Formula One against Formula Three – Mourinho on Man United’s friendly loss

first_img1 Jose Mourinho watches Manchester United in action Jose Mourinho was unconcerned by Manchester United’s heavy loss to Borussia Dortmund, pointing to the high-profile absentees and the “crucial” midfielder they have yet to sign.On a hot and humid night in Shanghai, the recently-appointed United manager’s first real test ended in a comprehensive defeat to Thomas Tuchel’s men.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele scored in-between a Gonzalo Castro brace, with former Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan netting a consolation goal as United’s tour of China started with a 4-1 loss.An intriguing clash with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City now awaits in Beijing on Monday – a match Mourinho approaches relaxed despite the loss at a half-empty Shanghai Stadium.“I think it is a combination of factors but, to be fair, I don’t think I can analyse them with this difference of power,” the Portuguese said, underlining how much further Dortmund are in their pre-season.“In this moment the engines are completely different – it is Formula One against Formula Three.“At this moment they are much, much, much sharper and you can see that easily, so it is difficult to judge my players.“But even in these circumstances it is quite easy to get three or four or five of them that you can see, even under difficult circumstances, the quality is there, the mentality is there, the personality is there to play.“But 10 days of work, people are really tired, matches against high quality opposition that, I repeat, are in a much advanced stage of their preparation.“It would be unfair to make any decision but, day by day, they start winning my trust, they start winning their position in the squad, in the team.“But the reality is even in this situation I think we have six players that stayed in Europe, plus (Chris) Smalling and (Wayne) Rooney (who are in China training but not playing).“You are speaking about eight players that are not yet involved.“Obviously there are some players here with us who are not going to stay in the squad, so the squad will be different to it what it is in this moment.”A number of the 25-man squad brought to China will be moved onto pastures new in the coming weeks, while United are working hard to make a final acquisition.Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is attempting to bring Juventus’ Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford, while there are two alternatives lined up should that move falter.“We are completely convinced of our market,” Mourinho said.“I said at the first press conference at Old Trafford our market has a fundamental part and that fundamental part is four players: one central defender, one midfielder, one striker and one creative player.“When we finish that fundamental market, we are balanced.“Maybe today you don’t feel it but no (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, no (Marouane) Fellaini, no (Anthony) Martial, no (Morgan) Schneiderlin, so lots of them that are not here yet.“Then the market will be open until the 31st of August and sometimes things happen you are not expecting for and you have to react.“But our fundamental market is 75 per cent done and when we sign one midfield player the crucial work will all be done.”United’s next friendly is in Beijing against Manchester City, who then travel onto Shenzhen to face Dortmund – a match Tuchel’s side approach in fine fettle.“I am very happy about the result,” Borussia coach Tuchel said. “It is only pre-season so there’s a long way to go and lots to achieve in the future.“We only arrived in Shanghai yesterday. Hopefully we will continue to play very well.”last_img read more

Parking project postponed

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los Angeles160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College officials once characterized new parking for the hilltop campus as one of the most “pressing issues” facing the community college.Now they view building new parking spaces as something that can wait until after 2012.In a 3-2 vote Wednesday, trustees decided not to place building a new parking structure among their list of first-phase projects to be constructed with money from Measure A, a $245 million bond measure passed by voters in 2004 for campus improvements.Instead, the board listed the structure among its “priority two” projects, meaning its construction will now wait until other, more-pressing improvements are completed, said Trustee Andre Quintero.“The question we voted on was whether it was to be in priority one,” Quintero said Monday. “I didn’t think it should be. It’s more important to get better lighting to improve security and safety, academic buildings, dealing with infrastructure, improving the walkway from the bottom, etc.”Quintero said trustees relied on numerous studies of the college’s parking demands, which have found that Rio Hondo has plenty of parking spaces.“The parking we have will meet our needs through 2012,” Quintero said. “There’s no urgency for it.“This [vote] does not preclude ever building a parking structure. It’s just not in priority one,” he added.However, a new parking facility was one of the goals cited by administrators and board members when they first proposed the bond measure, said Trustee Gary Mendez, who voted to keep the parking facility as a priority.“We campaigned on that issue,” Mendez said. “I was surprised that a majority of the board voted not to build it. They said it takes away classroom space. I wish they’d just come out and say it’s not going to be built.”Trustee Maria Elena Martinez echoed Quintero’s assurance that the facility would get built but that “educational improvements” were more important.“[The parking structure] is not lost, it will come back,” Martinez said. “There’s plenty of parking, but people want to park at top. We didn’t close the doors on it, but we need to shore up the parking we have now.”Steve Lohr, director of facilities for the college, said Monday the school plans to improve parking accessibility by fixing sidewalks, stairwells and ramps and offering carpool and transit incentives to students until the new parking structure is built.But Mendez fears that by pushing the parking facility farther down on the priority list for construction, the bond money will be spent on other things.“Everything in priority one already exceeds the bond measure in fact we’re short some money,” Mendez said. “Basically, if it doesn’t get into priority one, it’s not going to happen. “That’s the most honest way to convey this to the taxpayers,” he added.pam.wight@sgvn.com(562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029last_img read more

Windsor symphony coming to Chatham

first_imgThe Windsor Symphony Orchestra will visit the Chatham Armoury Dec. 6 with a performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah.Music director Robert Franz will conduct the performance that features the full orchestra, four soloists and the 75-voice Windsor Symphony Orchestra Chorus conducted by chorus master Bruce Kotowich.The soloists include soprano Katy Clark, mezzo-soprano Sophie Roland, tenor Matt Chittick and bass Christopher Dunham.The concert is hosted by St. Andrew’s United Church. The church has brought the symphony to Chatham several times but has never held the performance at the Chatham Armoury.“Messiah, written as an oratorio for Easter and Lent, is now closely associated with Christmas,” the news release said. “The work has become the most performed and recorded choral piece in North America. The program includes ‘Ev’ry valley shall be exalted,’ ‘For unto us a child is born,’ the famous ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, and more.”Tickets are available at St. Andrew’s Monday to Friday during the weeks of Nov. 25 and Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Students are free. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and a cash bar is available.The symphony will also perform in Chatham on Feb. 14 and April 24. Tickets for all three concerts can be purchased for $75 before Dec. 6.last_img read more

Getting that golfing look

first_imgTim CohenAs a South African non-golfer, I often wonder whether non-golfers around the world wonder what we put in our water. The recent Masters victory of Trevor Immelman, someone I had never heard of before, underlines the country’s extraordinary golfing tradition.I know of Ernie Els of course. I even know his nickname: it’s “the guy who always comes in second after Tiger – except when he doesn’t come anywhere at all”. Everyone knows that.Newspaper reports on the recent Masters noted that it was the first time in 30 years since a South African had won. I take that as a backhanded compliment. The writers were obviously shocked it hadn’t happened sooner. It was almost as if the underlying thought was, “Well, obviously, they should have won a Masters, but weirdly they didn’t – and look at how long it’s been since that hasn’t happened.”You can understand their surprise. There are an extraordinary number of high-ranking South African golfers on the international ratings. The official world ranking after the Masters now includes three South Africans in the top 15, compared to five Americans – a country equally golf-mad but with a population 40 times larger. Although they do, of course, have Tiger.Immelman is the leading money earner on the 2008 European Tour, one of four in the top 20. The list has the cheek to say British unless otherwise stated. Well, sucks to you, buddy. There are only three Brits on the list. It should say South African unless otherwise stated, thank you very much.Weirdly, Els still comes in third on the official world golf rankings, despite having a bit of a miserable time since coming back from injury. But the remarkable thing about this list is how Tiger Woods dominates. His ranking is now double his nearest competitor’s. Judging by Els’s ranking, even if Woods stopped playing for a dozen years, he would still be the world’s highest ranking player for about a decade. When I ask experts about this, they just say it’s one of those strange things about golf.No its not. It’s completely bonkers.But this is the weird thing about golfers. They seem to have the patience of Buddha and an ability to accept complete travesty as “one of those things”.And the television commentators are always just so nice. They say things like, “Ooh, he is going to have a tricky time negotiating that five foot kikuyu rough from the middle of that swamp.” (Golfers always know what kind of grass it is. Its not “grass”, its “west Appalachian wheat-grass”.) What commentators don’t say is, “What a complete twit that guy is for using a nine-iron off the semi-rough into a headlong gale. Now he’s in the water – again!”When pro golfers, who earn millions for playing the game, miss a complete three-foot sitter on the green, there is normally complete silence. They don’t say the obvious: “You idiot! You’ve really fluffed it now.” It’s all about discretion, consideration, maturity, and being all-knowing and accepting about the unfathomable ways of the world.This is one of the reasons I don’t play golf. I know I would wrap my seven iron around the nearest tree in frustration at least four times a game – but that would be the fun part. What turns me off is the look – that look. It’s that shadow of a thought you can glimpse passing over someone’s face before they get their presentation face back on.When people ask, as they often do in South Africa, whether I play golf, and I say no, I get the look. The say “Oh!” very casually – too casually. But behind the façade they are thinking, “Danger! Danger! Non-golf player, and we all know what that means.”Ironically, I suspect this is probably part of the reason for South African’s disproportionate success at producing great golfers. South Africa has a great culture for golf. It’s not just the outdoorism, or the benign weather, or even the glorious amount of space. It’s not even the fact that South Africa’s high unemployment rate makes it cheap to maintain these enormous and lavish monuments to the pleasure of a few.It’s the look.Playing golf and having a golfing mentality is simply expected. While there are still huge arguments about the racial make-up of South Africa’s cricket and rugby teams, the burgeoning black middle class has taken to golf in a totally natural and unquestioning way. It’s the great middle-class game; a testament to careful, plodding achievement; a tribute to even-handedness and enlightened acceptance; a demonstration of the virtues of single-mindedness and focus; that rewards come to those who plan carefully and follow through. And it’s place to wear your silliest pants.And there is that other thing. If you play golf, you will never get the look.Go to the MediaClub weekly columns home pageTim Cohen is a freelance journalist writing for a variety of South African publications. He is currently contracted as a columnist to Business Day and the Weekender, where he worked for most of his career, and financial website Moneyweb where he writes on business and corporate activity for an associate site called Dealweb. He was the 2004 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year.last_img read more