Algeria, Nigeria carry Africa’s hopes in Brazil

first_img27 June 2014Four years on from the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the first ever held in Africa, the continent’s representatives have so far put in a strong showing at Brazil 2014, with two out of five teams progressing to the round of 16 after the conclusion of the group stage of the 2014 Fifa World Cup on Thursday.In South Africa in 2010, Ghana were the only African team to move on to the round of 16, where it took a hand-ball by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez to prevent them from becoming the first African team to qualify for the semi-finals of a football World Cup.Nigeria: second in Group FNigeria, who claimed the Africa Cup of Nations title in South Africa in February, improved from finishing bottom of their group in 2010 to taking second place in Group F in 2014, and moving on to a round of 16 showdown with Group E winners France in Brasilia on Monday.The Super Eagles finished behind Argentina, but above Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran. Their results included a crucial 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, a goalless draw with Iran and a thrilling 2-3 defeat to Argentina.It was in their loss to the Argentinians that Nigeria made the biggest impact. After Lionel Messi had given the South Americans the lead in the third minute, the Super Eagles struck back a minute later through Ahmed Musa.Then, after Messi had put his side back in front just before the break, Nigeria struck back with two minutes of the restart, again through Musa, who finished with aplomb for the second time.Marcos Rojo scored what proved to be the winning goal not long after that, but the Nigerians had made a strong statement, even in defeat. It came in their attitude as much as it came in the closeness of the result. When Argentina scored, there was no slumping of the shoulders or even the slightest indication of the inevitability of the outcome of the contest. Instead, Stephen Keshi’s charges roared back into the game twice with excellent goals.In some people’s minds, African football is regarded as being inferior. However, in the minds of the Nigerian players, it is clearly not inferior and they are not intimidated by any teams, even those loaded with star players.Algeria: second in Group HThe biggest and best surprise so far among Africa’s contenders in Brazil has been provided by Algeria, whose group stage performances exhibited discipline, flair and pace. In their first match they pushed highly-rated Belgium all the way before a late goal earned the European side a 2-1 win.Responding superbly to that setback, they became the first African team to score four goals in a World Cup finals match when they outplayed South Korea, a round of 16 team four years earlier, by four goals to two. The Atlas Lions led 3-0 at half-time.A pulsating 1-1 draw with Russia in their final group game was enough for the Desert Foxes to get second place in Group H, securing their place in the round of 16. They will meet Group G winners Germany in Porto Alegre on Monday.Ivory Coast: third in Group CIn 2010, Ivory Coast was drawn in a very tough pool, which included Brazil, Portugal and North Korea. They finished third and failed to advance to the round of 16.This time around, although there were suspicions before the finals that the Elephants might be a bit long in the tooth, another third-place finish was a bit of a disappointment.Contesting Group C, they finished behind Colombia and Greece and above Japan. A controversial 1-2 loss to the Greeks proved to be the critical result. In their other outings they beat Japan 2-1 and lost 1-2 to Colombia, who progressed with a perfect three wins in three starts.Ghana: fourth in Group GGhana, the darlings of Africa four years ago, when they narrowly missed out on the semi-finals – thanks to a cynical hand-ball on the goal line by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez – were drawn in a tough group with Germany, Portugal and the United States.In their first game, against an under-rated USA (even though the Americans are ranked 13th in the world), the Black Stars went down 1-2 to a late goal by Anthony Brooks.They showed their mettle second time out when, after falling a goal behind Germany, they took a 2-1 lead before having to settle for a 2-2 draw after Miroslav Klose netted his World Cup finals record-equalling 15th goal.Like Nigeria and Algeria, Ghana showed in that match that they feared no team and that they could match any side blow for blow.However, in the end they undermined themselves with in-fighting and payment disputes ahead of their final game against Portugal, losing 2-1 to end fourth a disappointing 4th in Group G.Cameroon: fourth in Group ABut it was Cameroon that was the biggest let-down for African fans – and arguably the most disappointing side of the 2014 Fifa World Cup. Their preparation for the tournament had been overshadowed by a row over bonuses, and their performances on the field clearly showed a divided team.This divide was made clear for all to see when Benoit Assou-Ekotto aimed a headbutt at team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo in the side’s disappointing 0-4 loss to Croatia in their second outing.They also went down 0-1 to Mexico and 1-4 to Brazil to finish with three losses in three matches for the second World Cup finals in succession.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

NADA slams BCCI for ‘non-cooperation’

first_imgThe National Anti-Doping Agency today lashed out at the BCCI for its “non-cooperation” and asked the Cricket board to make sure that their players fall in line with the WADA code.NADA Director General Rahul Bhatnagar said it was baffling to see BCCI rope in a Swedish company to conduct dope tests for cricketers while the national anti-doping body could have done the same job at a lesser cost or even for free.”The BCCI never sought the assistance of NADA to conduct dope tests. They have engaged a company — International Doping and Test Management (Sweden) — at a heavy cost to conduct dope samples, which NADA could have done at much lesser cost or free of cost,” Bhatnagar said.”It is surprising why BCCI is maintaining such a no-cooperation attitude with NADA,” he added.NADA is the national agency for conducting dope tests, collecting samples and results management of athletes and Bhatnagar said the body wants the cricketers to fully comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) codes, along with the ‘whereabouts clause’ against which the cricketers are up in arms.”NADA is strongly of the view that Cricketers must fully comply with all Anti Doping Regulations of WADA and NADA as all other sportspersons do. They are no exception and the rules apply to them equally. BCCI should ensure such compliance,” he said.Even though the International Cricket Council (ICC) is a signatory to the WADA Code, BCCI is spearheading an opposition to the vexed “whereabouts clause” which requires a player to inform, three months in advance, their availability for dope tests.advertisementWADA has already issued an ultimatum to the ICC saying they have to ensure that BCCI accepts the WADA Code in totality, failing which the world cricket governing body would be branded non-compliant.last_img read more

UAAP: UP can field in Ricafort, but face risks if TRO ‘invalid’

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWhile Rob Ricafort can finally play for University of the Philippines after securing a temporary restraining order, the Maroons face the risk of forfeiture.Commissioner Atty. Rebo Saguisag said the league will abide by the court ruling and won’t stop the wingman from playing if UP decides to field him.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors LATEST STORIES Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Goran Dragic back with Heat after summer title for Slovenia MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ But with TRO set to lapse on October 21, Ricafort’s fate this Season 80 is not yet set in stone.“Should the TRO be invalid and void, there will be a possibility that the games [Ricafort played in] will be forfeited,” said Saguisag in a press conference Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“As the commissioner, I will not restrain him from playing. But they assume the risk depending on how the court will decide. After 20 days, we don’t know what will happen. It’s the team’s option.”The UAAP eligibility committee initially ruled Ricafort ineligible to play this season as he will exceed the maximum age limit of 25. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View comments ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Ricafort will turn 25 on January 2018, after the basketball season is over. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Dinwiddie basket in last second, Nets beat Pistons

first_img“I think the key was the way we started,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “That was big, and it is what you need to do to win games like this.”Drummond picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, sending him back to the bench. Brooklyn quickly moved the lead to 11 as Detroit struggled to get open shots.Detroit trailed by nine going into the fourth quarter. Smith’s 3-pointer with 2:58 left tied it at 92.“This was huge,” said Joe Harris, who had 12 points for Brooklyn. “We’re getting into these games and we’re finally starting to finish them.”TIP-INSNets: D’Angelo Russell played 14 minutes in his second game back from a knee injury, finishing with three points and one assist. … The win ended Brooklyn’s four-game losing streak in Detroit.Pistons: Johnson played his second game after missing three with a recurring hip problem, finishing with a season-high 18 points in 26 minutes. “I though Stanley was really good defensively, and he played well on the offensive end, too,” Van Gundy said. After a basket by Andre Drummond put the Pistons ahead with 4.7 seconds left, Dinwiddie took the inbounds pass, drove to 14 feet and drained a jumper against his former teammates.The Pistons picked Dinwiddie in the second round of the 2014 draft, despite a knee injury, and he played 46 games for them over two seasons.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting“That was a heck of a shot,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I’m happy for Spencer, because he was here, obviously, but I’m happier for the team. I wasn’t sure we had the poise and understanding to get a win like this.”Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy blamed himself for the final basket, where Ish Smith, generously listed as six feet tall, was covering the 6-foot-6 Dinwiddie. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “Ish did a great job of guarding him, but I probably should have had more size out there against him,” Van Gundy said. “Ish gave him a tough look, but Spencer was able to get above him and make a great shot.”Dinwiddie finished with 22 points. Tobias Harris led the Pistons with 20.Caris LeVert split a pair of free throws with 13.7 seconds left, giving the Nets a 99-98 edge. It was the second time he missed a free throw in the final 42 seconds.Langston Galloway misplayed the ensuing inbounds pass, but was able to knock the ball to Drummond. Detroit’s center nearly traveled in a rare drive from outside the 3-point arc, and flipped in a go-ahead shot.“I felt like we were focused and locked in tonight,” said Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Nets. “We were playing a really good team on their floor, but we trusted Spencer to make that last play.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Dutertecenter_img LATEST STORIES PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Lakers run past Knicks late for 6th win in 8 NEW ARENA, BETTER RESULTSThe Nets are now 1-0 at Little Caesars Arena after going 8-44 in Detroit during the 29 seasons that the Pistons played at the Palace of Auburn Hills.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH On Jan. 10, the Pistons routed Brooklyn 114-80 behind 22 points and 20 rebounds from Drummond. That was Detroit’s last victory, with three of the five defeats coming at Little Caesars Arena.“We don’t play again until Wednesday, so I have some time to think about how to fix this,” Van Gundy said. “We just don’t play hard on a consistent basis. We’ve fallen behind early, but even when we had a great start on Friday (against Washington), we didn’t keep it going.”The Nets led 53-48 at halftime. The Pistons had one offensive rebound in the half, slowed by Drummond’s three fouls. Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives on Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit. APDETROIT — Spencer Dinwiddie hit the big shot against a familiar foe.Dinwiddie’s jumper with 0.9 seconds left lifted the Brooklyn Nets over Detroit 101-100 Sunday (Monday Manila time), the Pistons’ fifth straight loss.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more