Napoli take first winter title since Maradona’s days

first_imgROME (AP): Napoli are halfway to their first Serie A title since Diego Maradona led the club to the 1990 championship. Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as Napoli routed promoted Frosinone 5-1 yesterday to earn the southern team the Italian league’s symbolic “winter title”. Through 19 rounds of the 38-match season, Napoli hold a two-point lead over Inter Milan, who were beaten 1-0 by Sassuolo earlier with a last-minute penalty to surrender the lead. The winter champions have gone on to win Serie A nearly seven out of every 10 seasons. “We’re still not sure what we’re capable of,” Napoli’s first-year manager Maurizio Sarri said. The last time Napoli earned the mid-term honor came in 1990. “Being winter champion means nothing. It means something when you’re champion in May,” Higuain said. “We’ve got to stay calm now because there are still five months to go and we want to continue this way.” Fiorentina are third, three points behind, after losing 3-1 to Lazio on Saturday. Also yesterday, it was: Atalanta 0, Genoa 2; Bologna 0, Chievo Verona 1; Torino 0, Empoli 1; and Hellas Verona 0, Palermo 1. In an entertaining match at the San Siro, both Inter and Sassuolo produced numerous chances and goalkeepers Samir Handanovic and Andrea Consigli were superb. Inter threatened early with Mauro Icardi and Adem Ljajic, then Simone Missiroli and Nicola Sansone were dangerous for Sassuolo. Handanovic tipped a free-kick from Sansone over the bar and Consigli made an extraordinary diving save to swat away a shot from Ljajic before the break. Inter substitute Rodrigo Palacio had a clear look in the 79th, but his effort was cleared off the line by defender Federico Peluso. Miranda’s decisive foul came after an error by fellow center back Jeison Murillo. Berardi then calmly beat Handanovic, improving to a perfect 6-for-6 on penalties this season. Having been beaten by Lazio before the holiday break, Inter has now lost two consecutive home matches in Serie A for the first time since May 2013. Sassuolo are sixth, 10 points behind Napoli.last_img read more

Bailey sees positives at Tennis Jamaica

first_imgTennis Jamaica’s president John Bailey has urged members of his association to move forward in a positive way after he was re-elected unopposed at a rescheduled annual general meeting on Thursday evening at Campion College. “We really want to focus on moving forward and not looking back,” Bailey told The Gleaner yesterday. “We can spend a lot of time talking about what went on in the past, but it is not going to help us. It’s just time to move on.” At last November’s AGM, where Bailey was challenged by John Azar, a disparity in numbers between ballots and eligible voters forced the association to declare the elections null and void. Aswad Morgan was returned as first vice-president, Llockett McGregor; second vice-president and Marcus James, the third vice-president. The treasurer is Charles Pennicook, while Leroy Brown remains the secretary of the association. The regional directors are Pierre Battaglia and James Samson, while the directors are Micola Bicknell, Paula Harris, Charmaine Chin-Loy, Nigel Casserly, Yussuf Migoko, and Steven Shirley. Bailey also revealed that plans to develop the sport include a new playing facility in St Ann, which he hopes will get off the ground in a few months. “The exciting thing is that we are looking to open a new facility in St Ann, Drax Hall in particular, and hopefully, in the next few months, that will start,” he stated. Bailey, who is in his second term as president,, reiterated that the main players in the tennis fraternity are turning their attention to the development of the sport. “The mood in the fraternity is very positive. We will press on and continue to develop the sport and look to Jamaica being on top in the region again in the next few years. So we are back on track, absolutely,” he insisted.last_img read more

Barrett, Taylor, Lambert named as Courtney Walsh Award nominees

first_imgWest Indies female cricket star Stafanie Taylor; former Jamaica cricket captain, Tamar Lambert; and former Jamaican goalkeeper, Warren Barrett are the three names shortlisted for this year’s Courtney Walsh Award for excellence, which is set for Thursday, October 13, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. Taylor became the first West Indian to win the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2011. Her outstanding achievements enabled her to win the One-Day International Cricketer of the Year a year later. She then completed a sweep of all ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year awards when she won the T20 Cricketer of the Year in 2015. A right-handed batsman who bowls off spin, Taylor is the only cricketer, male or female, to top both the ICC batting and bowling rankings in ODI cricket. She became the first Jamaican to lead the West Indies women cricketers to a global championship at the ICC World Cup T20 tournament in India. Cricketer Tamar Lambert has represented Jamaica at every level. To this day, he remains Jamaica’s most successful cricket captain ever. An all-rounder who bats right-handed and bowls right-arm offspin, Lambert’s greatest successes came while leading Jamaica’s senior cricket team from 2008-2012. He led Jamaica to an unprecedented five consecutive triumphs in the regional four-day championship. Lambert also led Jamaica to two regional Super50 titles, in 2007 and 2011, plus two play-off shields. The other nominee is Warren Barrett, a retired national goalkeeper and current national goalkeeping coach. Barrett made his debut for the Jamaica national football team in 1990 against Barbados and played his final international in 2000 against Honduras in the Gold Cup. He was Jamaica’s main man in goal when the Reggae Boyz qualified for France ’98. He was the goalkeeping coach of the Jamaican squad that finished as runners-up in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The criteria on which the nominees will be considered to receive this award are: a history of outstanding achievement in their chosen sport; a spirit of sportsmanship and goodwill reflected by truthfulness, courtesy, and respect when dealing with other players/competitors and administrators; strong national pride; appropriate leadership skills; appropriate deportment; high level of discipline and integrity both inside and outside of the sports; as well as humility even in the face of victory.last_img read more

Nets’ Lin expected to miss season with right knee injury

first_img“Jeremy worked really hard to get back from injury, so we hope everything’s OK,” Atkinson said after the game. “You never want to see somebody go down, especially someone who worked so hard to come back.”Lin was hurt in the fifth game last season and missed more than a month. He aggravated the injury about two weeks after returning and didn’t play again until after the All-Star break.He had come to Brooklyn with a three-year, $36 million deal, returning to the city where he was a breakout star with the New York Knicks during his run of Linsanity in 2012. That lasted just 35 games before a season-ending knee injury.“I think the things we’re going to miss are his competitiveness. He really sets the standard with his competitiveness,” said Atkinson, whose relationship with Lin goes back to their days with the Knicks.“How much he improved as a defensive player from the time he was with the Knicks up to now is amazing — and then just his leadership by example, his understanding of what the staff wants, what the coaching staff wants. We’ve got to call it what it is, it’s a big blow.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Beijing forms ‘snow affairs work team’ for 2022 Olympics Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin looks to pass the ball during the first half of the team’s preseason NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK— Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin is expected to miss the rest of the season after rupturing the patella tendon in his right knee.Lin was hurt midway through the fourth quarter of the Nets’ 140-131 loss Wednesday night in the season opener at Indiana. He landed hard behind the baseline after a drive and was in tears as he clutched at his knee.ADVERTISEMENT Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The former Harvard guard was hoping for a stronger second season with the Nets. He was limited to 36 games last season, mostly because of a left hamstring injury, while Brooklyn finished with the NBA’s worst record.READ: ‘I’m done, I’m done’: Lin bursts into tears after injuring knee in Nets loss FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“Jeremy worked tremendously hard during the offseason and in training camp and was excited for the prospects of the team this season,” general manager Sean Marks said Thursday in a statement. “We feel awful that the injury will cost him the season, however our entire organization will be there to support Jeremy in every way possible throughout his recovery. Jeremy remains an important part of this team and will continue to contribute in a leadership role.”Lin scored 18 points before he was hurt while starting alongside fellow point guard D’Angelo Russell, theformer No. 2 pick acquired from the Lakers in an offseason trade. Coach Kenny Atkinson had planned to start games with both players, then split the playing time, so he had one of them on the floor as much as possible. LATEST STORIES Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene To have zero injuries, DOH wants a total fireworks ban PLAY LIST 02:24To have zero injuries, DOH wants a total fireworks ban03:10Injuries from fireworks down by 35% this year, DoH say00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio 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 respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ MOST READ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set View commentslast_img read more

Pierce joins Celtics legends as team retires his No. 34

first_imgMOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track “It starts at home. It starts where you come from,” Pierce said.He later cried when acknowledging his wife, Julie, and their three children.Pierce sat next to the 2008 championship trophy as the team showered him with tributes.Along with having his number retired, Pierce also received a framed replica of the banner that his No. 34 will be added to, a Rolex watch, a piece of the Celtics’ parquet floor and a stained-glass backboard adorned with his number.A weekend of festivities in honor of Pierce began with a private dinner hosted by the Celtics on Saturday night. Parish attended along with several of Pierce’s former teammates, including Antoine Walker, Walter McCarty, Brian Scalabrine and Leon Powe.Pierce said the honors reminded him of how much he sacrificed during his career. He said being a Celtic was “meant to be.”During the game, the Celtics showed video segments that highlighted Pierce’s basketball journey. The clips went as far back as his Inglewood High School days and included interviews with friends, family and former teammates.There were also surprise recorded tributes from NBA greats Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. Pierce smiled as Bryant said in his message that Pierce made “all the Celtics legends proud.”Pierce sat courtside with his family and Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck. Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers and teammates Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo — all part of the 2008 title run — sat together nearby.Rivers told the crowd about conversations he and Pierce used to have about the day his number would be retired. He said the 2008 championship solidified Pierce’s status as an all-time great in Boston. “This is just a special day,” Pierce said afterward. “If I never make the Hall of Fame or anything, to go up in the rafters as a retired number for the Celtics — that’s just enough. That’s enough for me. … When you’re forever with the Celtics, you’re forever.”The 40-year-old Pierce retired after last season. He tops the Celtics’ all-time lists in 3-pointers made (1,823), free throws (6,434) and steals (1,583).He is Boston’s second all-time leading scorer with 24,021 points, trailing only John Havlicek. His 15 seasons also trail only Havlicek’s 16 for the longest stint with the team.Current Celtics players gathered to watch the ceremony, and legends including Robert Parish, Cedric Maxwell and Tom “Satch” Sanders sat on the court.Pierce credited his mother, Lorraine Hosey, and brothers Jamal and Steve Hosey, for inspiring him.ADVERTISEMENT “I just think it always cements it. When you win a title you become a main man, and that made Paul,” Rivers said. “He would have had this night regardless of winning the title, but winning the title makes this day pretty special.”A touching moment came near the end of Pierce’s speech when his son, Prince, placed a No. 34 cap atop the 2008 trophy.“I did the trifecta,” Pierce said. “I left a legacy. I had my high school jersey retired. My college jersey retired. But there’s no greater honor than having your NBA jersey retired for the Boston Celtics.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Former Boston Celtics Paul Pierce holds the NBA championship trophy that he won with the team during a ceremony to retire his number following a basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Boston, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)BOSTON — Paul Pierce used to walk onto the court at TD Garden and imagine seeing his number hanging from the rafters.“The Truth” doesn’t have to dream about that day anymore.ADVERTISEMENT Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio 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 respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardcenter_img Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases The Celtics retired Pierce’s No. 34 on Sunday following the Celtics’ 121-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He became the 23rd person in franchise history to have his number or name enshrined by the Celtics organization.The honor capped a 19-year career for Pierce, who was named NBA Finals MVP in 2008 when the Celtics captured their 17th championship.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkAfter the game, Pierce, clad in a green plaid blazer, entered the court via the newly named Paul Pierce Players’ Tunnel. The team said the tunnel, featuring Pierce’s signature, will serve as a reminder to current and future players of what “being a Celtic” means.When his jersey was raised, Pierce was serenaded with chants of “Thank You, Paul Pierce!” LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rusty Serena defeated on long-awaited return View commentslast_img read more

Ebola Spread Attributed to Poor Health Facilities, Bad Sanitation Management

first_imgAlthough the U.S. Government is conscious of the current Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and willing to help to contain it, President Barack Obama has attributed the rapid spread of the disease to lack of improved health facilities in the affected countries.Making the observation recently in Washington, DC at a press conference following the U.S-Africa Summit, President Obama intoned that Ebola now and of the past can b controlled when there is a strong public health infrastructure in place.“Well, I think we’ve got to let the science guide us.  And I don’t think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful.  What we do know is that the Ebola virus, both currently and in the past, is controllable if you have a strong public health infrastructure in place.”He said because health facilities in these countries are overwhelmed that cases of the disease were not identified and isolated, it (disease) is rapidly spreading and killing people.“And the countries that have been affected are the first to admit that what’s happened here is that their public health systems have been overwhelmed.  They weren’t able to identify and then isolate cases quickly enough.  You did not have a strong trust relationship between some of the communities that were affected and public health workers.  As a consequence, it spread more rapidly than has been typical with the periodic Ebola outbreaks that have occurred previously.”Addressing Journalists following a question about whether U.S may help to provide some medication if medicine used to treat those Americans flown to USA works, President Obama cautioned that the disease is not airborne and can be controlled and contained if the right protocols are followed.“But despite obviously the extraordinary pain and hardship of the families and persons who’ve been affected, and despite the fact that we have to take this very seriously, it is important to remind ourselves this is not an airborne disease; this is one that can be controlled and contained very effectively if we use the right protocols.”However, the President assured that the U.S. Government was working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and European partners to help address the worsening Ebola crisis in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.“So what we’ve done is to make sure that we’re surging not just U.S. resources, but we’ve reached out to European partners and partners from other countries, working with the WHO.  Let’s get all the health workers that we need on the ground.  Let’s help to bolster the systems that they already have in place. Let’s nip as early as possible any additional outbreaks of the disease.  And then during the course of that process, I think it’s entirely appropriate for us to see if there are additional drugs or medical treatments that can improve the survivability of what is a very deadly and obviously brutal disease.”The President also indicated that U.S. is focusing on the public health approach and will seek information about what they are learning with respect to the drugs scientists are studying to use as medication for Ebola. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Kailondo Offers US$5,000 Reward for Info on Journalist Browne’s Killers

first_imgGeorge B. Kailondo, the owner of Super FM has offered US$5,000 to anyone who will provide information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the assailant (s) responsible for the murder of journalist Tyron Browne.Browne, who worked for Super FM, was found dead Monday morning (about 3 a.m.) on Duport Road.An eye-witness claimed that Browne’s body was dumped from a black jeep.Mr. Kailondo said while he believes in the ability of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to find the culprit, he will play his part to ensure that whoever committed the act is found and prosecuted.He said he is hiring former police investigators to support LNP investigators but did not say how many private investigators he would hire.Mr. Kailondo called on President George Weah to condemn the death of journalist Tyron Browne. “I have always believed that Liberia will be a peaceful country under a George Weah led-administration.“I have US$5,000 for anyone who will provide clear information leading to the arrest of those involved in the death of journalist Browne. Again, I am appealing to the LNP investigators to begin work to find those who caused Browne’s murder,” he said.He added “Today it is journalist Browne, tomorrow would be Kailondo or any other journalist in Liberia. We all need to live here peacefully as we experienced under former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration.”Mr. Kailondo said it was unfortunate for members of the Fourth-Estate, and who are watchdogs of society, to be living in fear.“I was seriously shocked when the information reached me on Monday. I can’t believe that Tyron Browne,” he said.Mr. Kailondo said he believes that a national condemnation from President Weah on the death of journalist Browne will send a strong message that the President is a man of peace and humanity.“Because we did not support the presidential bid of President Weah in the just ended elections, we continue to receive calls from unknown numbers with threatening statements,” he claimed.Today, he said, “We have a journalist who has left Liberia, due to fear of losing his life. I believe this is not the country that Liberians envisage with George M. Weah being President for which many Liberians risked their lives.”According to him, when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the elections in 2005 and 2011, no one was chased from Liberia, because of their membership of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

President to meet GECOM Chair, Commissioners today

first_imgPresident Granger and his ministers at a previous Cabinet meeting…GECOM should be guided by the primary law of our country – Opposition Leader…”President, Cabinet will not resign” – HarmonMinistry of the Presidency Director General Joseph Harmon has ruled out the President and Cabinet resigning in accordance with what the Constitution of Guyana says and the calls that have been made by the parliamentary Opposition.Harmon revealed during a post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday that President David Granger, instead of heeding calls to dissolve Parliament and set a date for elections, is waiting on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to advise him.“In general terms, what the information is…the President has advised the Leader of the Opposition that he, nor his Cabinet, will not be resigning, and that the Constitution provides for the President and Government to remain in office until the new Government and the new President is sworn in,” Harmon said, in answer to questions about whether there will be any resignations.Pertaining to the question of the dissolving of Parliament, Harmon said this is a matter which rests with the President. He added that the present dissolution of Parliament has to, of course, do with advice which he receives from GECOM about their readiness to conduct elections. “So a question of a date for elections and dissolution of Parliament is based primarily on the readiness of GECOM. Once that is given to the President, he will make a decision with respect to a date and dissolving Parliament”.The new GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, is expected to meet with Granger today along with all the GECOM Commissioners.“I am glad that the entire Commission is meeting with the President. As a holder of the constitutional office of Leader of the opposition, I intend to request a meeting with the Commission. I expect the Chairperson and commissioners will want to hear our views too. As regards the President naming a date in mid-December for elections (as reported by local news entity Demerara Waves) would mean that the President will be acting in flagrant disregard of the CCJ’s ruling and in violation of article 106 of our Constitution. If this is true it would seem that it is designed to influence the use of what we know would be flawed list emerging from a rushed, unscrutinized house to house registration that will deregister tens of thousands of Guyanese voters. This will result in chaos in Guyana. Gecom should be guided not by the unilateral action or unconstitutional desire of the President but by the primary law of our country,” Opposition Leader, Bharrat JagdeoResponse to Opposition LeaderOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo recently wrote to President David Granger demanding his resignation. In the letter, Jagdeo reminded the President that since July 12, 2019, the CCJ delivered its consequential orders on the matters of Zulkficar Mustapha versus the AG and others, Christopher Ram versus the AG and others, Bharrat Jagdeo versus the AG and others and Charrandas Persaud versus Compton Reid and others.Jagdeo had listed several conditions for the President to accede to, including that the President and his Cabinet immediately resign and that the President issue a proclamation dissolving Parliament.He had also called for the President to fix a date for the next General and Regional Elections, not beyond September 18, 2019. The President, however, responded to the Opposition Leader on Wednesday, saying that he will not resign nor dissolve Parliament, since the Caribbean Court of Justice did not issue orders to that effect.It was only recently that Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, who is also a lawyer by profession, described Articles 106 (6) and (7) of the Guyana Constitution as “legal fiction” when he was called out by PPP Member of Parliament Juan Edghill for not complying with its provisions, that is, for the Government to resign and have elections within three months.“We’re not going to resign! We are not going to resign because we are still… there’s absolutely nothing in the Constitution that indicates a formal resignation. That was gone through by the CCJ and it was even gone through by the High Court”.Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence”.Meanwhile, Article 106 (7) states: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election”.A No-Confidence Motion (NCM) was passed against the Government on December 21 of last year. However, elections were not held and there was no resignation. Instead, Government went to court unsuccessfully arguing that the NCM was not validly passed.The case reached the CCJ, where the regional court ruled against the Government, but stopped short of issuing an order fixing an election date. Instead, CCJ President Justice Adrian Saunders had said that when the NCM was passed on December 21, 2018, Article 106 of the Constitution had immediately been activated.At present, GECOM is before the courts after a challenge from accountant Christopher Ram, who is seeking an injunction on the House-to-House Registration exercise. The Court is slated to rule on this matter on August 14, with a meeting between new GECOM Chair Retired Justice Claudette Singh and her commissioners reportedly scheduled for the next day.last_img read more

Zapata cautious in Singida United approach

first_img“There is no pressure at all. This is a party that we need to enjoy. We are Leopards, the biggest team in this country and we need to go in to the pitch and represent our supporters well,’ the Argentine tactician said.AFC are facing a Singida side which did not perform as well as they should have expected in the recently concluded season, finishing fifth in the standings with 44 points, a massive 25 behind champions Simba SC.They have won only two of their last 10 matches, losing four and drawing a similar number. Both their wins were against Njombe Mji and Maji Maji who were both relegated after finishing in the bottom two slots.Despite the poor record, Rodolfo is not taking the match lightly.AFC Leopards striker Marvin Omondi leads team-mates in celebration during a past Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya“This is an international competition and it’s different from the league. I expect them to come very tough because of the prize that is there at the end of the day. For us, we have prepared very well and I am happy that the players have responded to my coaching,” the tactician said.“Since I took over the team we are unbeaten and we need to keep working in this way. This is a good opportunity to show our skills and what we can do,” added the tactician who took charge of the team at the beginning of last month.At the same time, Zapata has rued the absence of skipper Duncan Otieno who is away with the national team at the four-nation Heroes InterContinental Cup in India while Ezekiel Odera has been rued out with illness.“It is sad to miss the two because they are very important players for us especially Duncan with the leadership he brings to the team. We are a small team with young players and when such key figures miss, it is sad. But it is no excuse, we will go there and do our best,” Zapata affirmed.AFC come into the tie fresh from a 2-1 win over Shabana in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield in Kisumu and the argentine coach hopes the team can maintain the winning streak against the Tanzanians and edge closer to the final.Zanzibar head coach Suleiman Hemed Morocco applauds before a previous CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup match. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMeanwhile, Singida will be coming into the tie under the tutelage of former Zanzibar national team coach Suleiman Hemed who comes back to the country after considerable success at the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup last year leading the islanders to the final.Hemed, nicknamed Morocco takes over from Dutchman Hans van der Pluijm who ditched Singida for moneybags Azam FC at the end of the season. This will be his first game in charge.“I just took charge of the team three days ago when I signed the contract. My first training session with them has been here in Kenya and so I can’t say much about the team. Also, I don’t know much about Leopards so that makes this a very hard game for us,” Hemed told Capital Sport.Also, among the familiar faces that will be on Singida’s line up will be Shafik Batambuze, a former Tusker FC title winning player. His last meeting with AFC was in Tusker’s penultimate game of the 2016 season where he scored the lone goal that handed the brewers the title.The winner of this tie will face Gor Mahia in Thursday evening’s semi-final.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Radolfo Zapata reacts during a past Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAKURU, Kenya, Jun 5- Last year’s Super Cup losing finalists AFC Leopards will be eager to start their campaign this year with a bang and progress all the way up for a consecutive time when they take on Tanzanian side Singida United in the last quarter final on Tuesday at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium. AFC tactician Rodolfo Zapata is confident that the team has the ability to move all the way to the final and has called on his charges to give their all against Singida and inch closer to their target.last_img read more

Five things we learned from Mashemeji Derby

first_img0Shares0000An AFC leopards supporter cheers his team on during the Mashemeji Derby at the Kasarani Stadium against Gor Mahia on May 19, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Gor Mahia once again proved dominance over their arch rivals AFC Leopards, thrashing the blue and white side of the divide 3-1 at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on Sunday.This was Gor’s eighth victory over AFC Leopards in their last nine meetings and these are some of the take-aways that Capital Sports picked from the derby attended by close to 12,000 fans. -Derbies can be useful for a good causeGor Mahia and AFC Leopards players hold placards of missing children in a campaign to find missing children during the Mashemeji Derby on May 19, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMuch to the amazement of the sizeable crowd that had attended the derby, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards players walked into the pitch before kick-off, each holding a huge placard of children who have been reported missing and held them high as they lined up before the match.The procession was organized by Missing Child Kenya, a community led portal that works with organizations and individuals in the child protection sector, and the public to help share information on missing children using various media platforms and increase search efforts at no cost.The goal of Missing Child Kenya is to boost search efforts for missing children by sharing photo posters and alerts to as broad an audience and in the fastest of time as possible.The campaign was dubbed #WapiWatotoWetu and with a huge Television crowd adding to the over 12,000 at the venue, the message sure was driven home.“Across the world, footballers are accompanied to the pitch by child mascots and as a way of honoring the role played by these children, AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia players walked to the pitch holding photographs of missing children. The aim was to raise awareness about the alarming rate of missing children in Kenya,” Missing Child Kenya explained.-Derby is no derby without ‘research fights’AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia stewards were in constant fights during the Mashemeji Derby. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluDerbies are interesting and funny at the same time. From players not using the same exit off the pitch to the dressing room before kick off to fights between stewards over ‘research’ and the other divide crossing lines, everything pre-match and during the game was interesting.Stewards from both clubs engaged in fist fights all through before kick-off, one boiling over to the extent that the police had to come in between to separate the very two groups that were supposed to ensure safety in the venue.The reason? One had crossed the locker room entrance before players had passed. This is taboo!At half time, there was another round of fights, this time the AFC group throwing themselves at the Gor side accusing them of hitting their head coach Cassa Mbungo as he went in at half time. Again, The boys in blue had to step in.-Philemon Otieno shows how to shush WereGor Mahia defender Philemon Otieno is warned by referee Israel Mpaima after slashing down AFC Leopards’ Paul Were during the Mashemeji Derby on May 19, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIf there was anyone that would lift AFC spirits and give them hope of victory over K’Ogalo, then it was big game player Paul Were.The winger has scored and assisted in each of his last four games for AFC, save for the away trip to Sony and the midweek loss to KCB which he didn’t play. If you ever needed someone to carry your team on his shoulders, then the sensational winger was the man.But, Were found his match in Gor’s Philemon Otieno, nicknamed Mbish.Not your new-age kind of right back that would maraud the right wing with runs and float in crosses, come back and defend then repeat, but the Harambee Stars man got the job done.He was breathing on Were’s sleeve whether on or off the ball. Infact, his only shots on target came when he vacated the right side of Gor’s defense and skipped to the left, where he could at least manage to run rings around Geoffrey Ochieng.-Cheche should be back at central defenseAFC Leopards defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng organizes his backline during the Mashemeji Derby at the Kasarani Stadium on May 19, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluAFC conceded all their three goals from cheap defensive mistakes, but once head coach Cassa Mbungo made the goal to change his tactical board and drag skipper of the day David Ochieng back to defense, the boat settled in the windy sea.Ochieng threw himself at anything and everything, despite picking up a knee injury early in the first half. His leadership and composure at the back was a welcome relief for AFC.Should he have been played at this position from the time he joined the team? Well perhaps yes because that is his strongest position and he showed exactly that in the final 25 minutes he manned the backline.-No Oliech, no problem. We got Kip!Gor Mahia forward Nicholas Kipkurui celebrates his goal against AFC Leopards during the Mashemeji Derby on May 19, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluComing at a time when Gor Mahia are worried over who plays an assistant’s role to their lead striker Jacques Tuyisenge, Nicholas Kipkurui rose up and showed them not to look any further, especially with the injury to Dennis Oliech.The former Zoo Kericho man stood up to the plate, striking a predator’s brace and played a role in Tuyisenge’s third, his chipped effort pushed to the bar and Tuyisenge headed it home from close range.Kipkurui, signed from Zoo Kericho at the beginning of the season has proved to be a worthy bargain and for his efforts is Gor’s top scorer this season with nine goals.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more