APOEL out to prove a point in Champions League

first_imgBy Andreas VouAPOEL travel to Denmark to take on FC Midtjylland in Champions League third-round qualifying on Tuesday (8pm), a week after an unconvincing performance which almost saw the Cyprus champions prematurely knocked out of the competition. Due to recent successful campaigns in the Champions League, a fair amount of expectation now rests on the shoulders of the APOEL squad and they therefore need to make amends for their poor showing in the previous tie.Last week’s second leg against Macedonia’s FK Vardar saw APOEL need a second half-strike from Tomas De Vincenti to get them through on the away goals rule after an injury-time leveller from the home side set Cypriot nerves racing. Despite progressing, a fair amount of skepticism looms over some of the new recruits and the manager after the two matches against Vardar.The trip to Midtjylland will prove a stern test for APOEL with the Danish side going into the tie in good form. Jess Thorup’s men have won their last five competitive matches in a row, including a hard fought 2-1 away win over Sønderjyske on Friday in the domestic league.APOEL press officer Nektarios Petevinos feels that Tuesday’s opponents are a largely inexperienced outfit on the continent but stressed that they are nevertheless a force to be reckoned with.“It is a young team lacking European experience. What APOEL must take into account is that they are up against the Danish champions. They compete in a tough league. Playing away from home, we want to achieve a result which will give us a good marker to qualify.”APOEL manager Domingos Paciencia was keen to reiterate to the media that the APOEL squad had been together for less than a month, and that the group still needed time to gel. The former Europa League finalist with Braga arranged a friendly with Ermis last Thursday in order for the team to get more match practice and to try and experiment with some new tactics.APOEL will be without full-back Marios Antoniades due to injury; Paciencia has ex-Manchester United youngster Nicholas Ioannou and long-serving Nektarios Alexandrou to choose from. Midfield linchpin Nuno Morais will return to his favoured position after filling in for the injured Carlao last week, with the Brazilian returning to fitness and expected to feature from the start on Tuesday.The danger men that the APOEL defenders will have to be on their toes for are 20-year-old Pione Sisto and the experienced Morten Rasmussen. The Ugandan-born youngster, Sisto, has made quite a name for himself in Danish football since breaking onto the scene, being voted the league’s best player in 2014 and recently earning his first international caps with his adopted nation, scoring four in his first four games, attracting interest from a number of top European clubs as a result.Thirty-year-old Rasmussen is a reliable centre-forward with a knack for popping up with important goals, demonstrated both in the second-round first leg against Lincoln Red Imps where he scored the game’s only goal as well last Friday’s late winner against Sønderjyske.APOEL have positive recent memories of facing Danish opposition. Just under 12 months ago they took on Aalborg in the Champions League playoff round, first drawing 1-1 away before a resounding 4-1 win in Nicosia to seal their passage into the group stages.However, Tuesday’s task bears new and unique challenges for an APOEL team that have a point to prove following a poor showing in the previous round, and a positive result will be of the highest order.last_img read more

Spain out to reverse recent results against Italy

first_imgSpain must overcome their recent struggles against Italy when they host the Azzurri in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Madrid on Saturday, a game where the victor will take a giant step towards sealing their place in next year’s tournament in Russia.The two old rivals are locked on 16 points at the top of Group G with four games remaining, winning every game so far aside from their 1-1 draw in Turin last October, although Spain lead the group due to their superior goal difference.Victory at the Santiago Bernabeu would put the 2010 World Cup winners two further wins from guaranteeing top spot in the group and an automatic place in Russia. Defeat would likely see them finish runners up, which means being placed in the November play-offs, with France and Portugal as potential opponents.Spain enjoyed an impressive run of results against Italy between 2008 and 2014, including penalty shoot-out wins in Euro 2008 and the 2013 Confederations Cup and a resounding 4-0 thrashing in the Euro 2012 final, but have failed to win their last three meetings.Spain were overpowered by Antonio Conte’s tactics in their 2-0 defeat in the last 16 of Euro 2016, while a late Daniele de Rossi penalty denied them victory in October’s qualifier, ensuring a 1-1 draw despite long periods of Spain domination.History is on Spain’s side, however, as they have never lost a World Cup qualifier on home soil, winning 46 and drawing nine of all their qualifiers.Julen Lopetegui is without top scorer Diego Costa against Italy and Tuesday’s trip to Liechtenstein as the Chelsea striker has not trained with his club since last season and the coach took a surprise decision in recalling 36-year-old David Villa.Villa is Spain’s all-time top scorer with 49 goals but he retired from international football in 2014 and has spent the last three years playing for Major League Soccer side New York City FC.Vitolo, who scored Spain’s goal against Italy in October is injured.If there is uncertainty about how Villa may fare after so long away from the team, there is tangible excitement about Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio, 21, who has made a flying start to the season in scoring four sensational goals in as many games and is set for his first competitive start for Spain.“This is a huge game due to quality, tradition and recent history. Spain-Italy has become a classic game in the last 10 years, with all types of results and special battles,” Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.“This will be even more special because of its timing and significance. Like Italy, we want to qualify for the World Cup automatically, we want to avoid the play-offs, where anything can happen.”After facing Italy Spain travel to Liechtenstein, who they blitzed 8-0 in Lopetegui’s first competitive game in charge.last_img read more

PSG start title defense with win, fans vent fury at Neymar

first_imgParis Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe is congratulated by Paris Saint-Germain’s Italian midfielder Marco Verratti (R) after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Nimes Olympique on August 11, 2019 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)Paris Saint-Germain brushed off the ongoing Neymar transfer saga by kicking off their Ligue 1 title defense with a straightforward 3-0 victory over Nimes on Sunday.The 27-year-old Neymar was left out of the squad the day after PSG sporting director Leonardo said talks about a possible sale of the Brazilian were “more advanced than before”.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PSG sit level with Lyon, who beat Monaco 3-0 on Friday, at the top of the fledgling table, and will be hoping to occupy that position for the rest of the season.Former Barcelona forward Neymar’s two years in the French capital since PSG made him the world’s most expensive player have been plagued by injuries and controversies.Home fans unfurled a banner before kick-off translating to “Neymar. Get out”.Other banners slammed his recent comment that his fondest memory in football was inspiring Barcelona’s stunning 2017 Champions League comeback against PSG, while one called Neymar “heartless”.Neymar has been linked with a return to Barca or a move to their arch rivals Real Madrid.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off on Targaryens may premiere in 2022 On Sunday, coach Thomas Tuchel told Canal+ he had “no news” on Neymar’s future and that he would have to “find solutions without” him.Edinson Cavani’s controversial VAR penalty in the 24th minute set PSG on their way at the Parc des Princes, after supporters had made their negative feelings towards the absent Neymar clear.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsA fine second-half display from Kylian Mbappe — with a goal and an assist for Angel Di Maria — showed Tuchel the obvious solution to Neymar’s impending exit, and gave the capital club a perfect start to their bid for a third straight French title and ninth in total.“We are not going to lie. We will see what happens with Neymar — but it’s not the same team,” said Mbappe. LATEST STORIES DENR suspends entrance fee collection to Bohol’s man-made forest Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted TECO donates $100,000 to typhoon-stricken Sorsogon With the rise of e-commerce, is it also the end for our beloved CD-R King? MOST READ Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite PLAY LIST 02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? View comments Tuchel handed Ligue 1 debuts to centre-back Abdou Diallo, signed from Borussia Dortmund in the close-season, and midfielder Pablo Sarabia, who joined from Sevilla.The champions monopolised the ball from the off, with Mbappe shooting straight at visiting goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni after jinking through the massed Nimes defence.VAR controversyThey were awarded a penalty by VAR midway through the first half, as a corner struck Nimes defender Pablo Martinez on the arm after Diallo ducked under the ball while standing right in front of him.Cavani slammed the spot-kick into the net, before Nimes coach Bernard Blaquart was booked for his protestations.A pedestrian affair, with Nimes happy to almost exclusively keep all 11 men behind the ball, had to wait until the 57th minute for a second goal when Mbappe slotted in to open his league account for the campaign.Di Maria came off the bench and drilled into the bottom corner after an excellent pass from Mbappe with 20 minutes remaining, and PSG played out the most comfortable of wins — finishing with 74 percent of possession as goalkeeper Alphonse Areola did not face a shot on target.Earlier on Sunday, new signing Victor Osimhen marked his Ligue 1 debut with two goals as last year’s runners-up Lille kicked off their new campaign with a 2-1 victory over Nantes.Christophe Galtier’s hosts, who finished 16 points behind PSG last term, were indebted to Nigerian Osimhen, who scored a fabulous 80th-minute winner at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.“When I have opportunities, I don’t want to miss them,” said the 20-year-old. “I’m not yet 100 percent but I’m training hard and I know that with time I’ll be in top shape physically.” Americans protest on medals stand at Pan Am Games Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher after US-China deallast_img read more

Air traffic at CJIA to be disrupted

first_imgThe management of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport has announced that aircraft operations will be interrupted during the last two weeks of October, to facilitate consolidation of the existing main runway with the new Taxiway Kilo.The runway is being extended from 7500 feet to 10,800 feet. In light of this exercise, the aerodrome will be closed between 18:00h and 06:00h on specific days between October 13 and 31. As such, no aircraft will be permitted to land.Guyana Times understands that the days earmarked for the consolidationCJIA CEO Ramesh Ghirexercises are Tuesday and Thursday. However, all flights scheduled to land in the evenings of the days will be brought forward.This decision was made following several rounds of meetings and consultations with airline officials and other aviation stakeholders.Chief Executive Officer of CJIA, Ramesh Ghir stated that they are eagerly looking forward for the new phase of the expansion work where a new taxiway will be constructed to connect with the new remote parking apron to the main runway.“The project team is working zealously to ensure that this task is completed in a timely manner so as to minimise the impact on aircraft flight operations,” he added.Meanwhile, upon completion of the US$150 million expansion, the facilities at Timehri will be transformed by the inclusion of a new Arrivals Terminal Building; two boarding bridges, with the provision to install an additional two at a later stage; increased duty-free shops and parking facilities; and a renovated Departures Terminal.last_img read more

Blow for West Ham? President rules out manager departure

first_img1 Real Sociedad have quashed speculation that David Moyes will leave the club this summer and return to coaching in England.The Scot has been linked with a move to Sunderland and West Ham this summer, after both Premier League sides lost their managers.Moyes, the former manager of Everton and Manchester United, took the helm of Real Sociedad in November with the club just above the drop zone and steered them to a 12th-placed finish.And Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay is unaware of any offers for the 52-year-old, who is under contract with the Primera Division club until June 2016.Aperribay said on his club’s official website: “Moyes has never spoken to us about this.“If anything, we have heard these rumours from the media. He has never suggested the possibility to go back to England.“We made an important structural decision by bringing in David Moyes last year. He has been planning for next season since the month of January.” Real Sociedad manager David Moyes last_img read more

Appleby wins another Mercedes

first_img “This one was the hardest,” said Appleby, who went from a two-shot lead to a two-shot deficit before making birdies on two of the last four holes for a 2-under 71. Two groups ahead of him, Singh surged into the lead with a 7-under 66, the best score of the tournament and nine shots better than the average score in the final round. But in the playoff, Singh’s approach caught a soft bounce and stayed short of the green, and his 100-foot eagle putt stopped 9 feet short of the hole. Stuart Appleby had to go an extra hole to make it three in a row Sunday at the Mercedes Championships, making a birdie on the par-5 18th to force a playoff against Vijay Singh, then winning on the same hole with a bunker shot that nearly went in. Appleby joined Gene Littler in 1955-57 as the only players to win the winners-only tournament three straight times, and none of them was easy. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Appleby hit 3-iron through the green into the back bunker, then blasted out and watched the ball tickle over the rim of the cup before settling 2 feet away. Singh’s birdie putt stayed right the whole way, and Appleby holed his short putt for what is becoming a familiar finish at this tournament. “I had to do something special coming in. I didn’t do it, so I had to do it in the playoff,” Appleby said. “Winning the Mercedes is awesome. Winning three times is a dream come true.” Both players finished at 8-under 284, the highest score to win in the eight years the season-opening tournament has been played on the Plantation course in Kapalua, Hawaii. Royal Trophy: Europe won the inaugural Royal Trophy team tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, holding off Asia 9-7 behind the strong play of Graeme McDowell, Paul McGinley and Henrik Stenson. center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Toure’s agent: African fans will quit Man City for UNITED because of Guardiola

first_img Yaya Toure Yaya Toure’s agent says Pep Guardiola will cost Manchester City millions of supporters in Africa due to his treatment of the midfielder.Guardiola has sidelined the 33-year-old since taking over as City manager this summer.Toure has yet to feature in the Premier League this season and has been left out of the Champions League group stage squad.The Ivorian’s representative, Dimitri Seluk, is unhappy with the way his client is being treated and claims it will have serious ramifications for the club.“They will lose a lot of millions of supporters from Africa because of this decision from Guardiola,” Seluk said, in an interview with the Daily Mail.“Now they will support Manchester United. A lot of people in Africa say they will never see any more matches of City on TV.”Toure is out of contract at City next summer, and Seluk expects his client to have a host of offers on the table.“Yaya in January can sign a pre-contract agreement with clubs abroad,” Seluk said.“He will have many offers from clubs. China and America of course they want him but we will have a lot of offers from England and Europe.“He is in very good shape, very good condition, I think he lost seven kilograms.“Maybe that’s not good enough for Guardiola, but then Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn’t good enough for him (at Barcelona).“In January we will see. It is three months to wait – no problem. Yaya is a very professional guy.” 1last_img read more

Launch of shuttle scrubbed; another try likely Saturday

first_imgCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Low clouds forced NASA to delay the launch of space shuttle Discovery late Thursday, and a forecast for strong winds prompted the space agency to postpone another attempt by at least two days. NASA managers waited until the end of the countdown before deciding to call off the launch scheduled for 9:35 p.m. It would have been the first nighttime launch in four years. “We gave it the best shot and didn’t get clear and convincing evidence that the cloud ceiling had cleared for us,” launch director Mike Leinbach told Discovery’s seven astronauts. Shuttle commander Mark Polansky responded, “Try not to be too disappointed.” Too many clouds prevent the necessary observation of the shuttle during its ascent, and the commander needs visibility if an emergency landing is required. A new launch attempt was set for 8:47 p.m. Saturday, although weather forecasters gave the new time only a 30 percent chance of acceptable weather because of expected strong winds at the launch pad. Each launch scrub costs NASA $500,000. Earlier, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said if the space shuttle did not get off the ground Thursday night, NASA likely would wait until Saturday before trying again. The Friday forecast was even worse than Thursday’s, with only a 10 percent chance of decent weather. The best opportunity for launching over the next several days was Tuesday, shuttle weather forecaster Matt Timmermann said. At the beginning of next week, “we see an improving trend,” he said. “The winds get lighter and it gets drier.” During the 12-day mission, Discovery’s astronauts will rewire the space station, bring up a new 2-ton addition to the space lab and rotate out one of the three crew members at the space station. NASA had required daylight liftoffs for the three launches after the 2003 Columbia accident to make sure the agency could get good daytime photos of the external fuel tank in case debris fell from it during launch. Foam breaking off the tank and striking Columbia’s wing at liftoff caused the damage that led to the disaster that killed seven astronauts. But NASA officials were comfortable with the acceptable levels of foam loss during the last two liftoffs and believe radar will be able to spot pieces falling from Discovery’s tank. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said he felt no pressure to stick to the launch schedule, despite NASA’s desire to go up before Dec. 17 so that Discovery is back on the ground for the new year. Shuttle computers are not designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. The space agency has figured out a solution for the New Year’s Day problem, but managers are reluctant to try it if they don’t have to do so. If Discovery is still grounded by Dec. 18, NASA may decide to keep trying anyway through Dec. 26. “We’ve got days and days, and we’re not even worrying about the clock problem,” Griffin said. “The clock problem is an annoyance, but it’s not a real problem in the sense that we know how to deal with it.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Chelsea vs Leicester: Preview, latest team news and likely line-ups

first_img 3 Eden Hazard once again showed his class against Bournemouth What the managers are sayingMaurizio Sarri (Chelsea): “I’ve never seen Chelsea as a contender for the title because I always say at the moment there are good teams a step ahead of us.”Claude Puel (Leicester): “It will be a good challenge. We need to give our best to get a result. We need to have a collective response.“If we have the same mentality as against Man City, we can hopefully get a result.”Team newsAlvaro Morata is back in training after suffering a knee injury in the Europa League clash with MOL Vidi but is unlikely to start, with Eden Hazard set to operate as a ‘false nine’.Andreas Christensen is out after pulling his hamstring in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Bournemouth.David Luiz, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Marcos Alonso are all expected to return to the starting line-up. Jamie Vardy has recovered from a groin injury heading into Saturday’s game and his return has been confirmed by Claude Puel. Ben Chilwell is also expected to recover from a minor knee complaint, but Wilfred N’Didi remains a doubt.Jonny Evans is back from suspension after missing Tuesday’s penalty defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.Confirmed line-upsChelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Hazard, Pedro, WillianSubs: Caballero, Zappacosta, Cahill, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, GiroudLeicester: Schmeichel, Morgan, Pereira, Maguire, Chilwell, Choudhury, Maddison, Albrighton, Mendy, Ndidi, VardySubs: Gray, Iborra, Ward, Iheanacho, Okazaki, Evans, Fuchs The two sides drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge in January Eden Hazard struck late for Chelsea against Bournemouth center_img An impressive 2-0 win over leaders Manchester City was followed up with a victory at Brighton and then a midweek defeat of Bournemouth secured their place in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.Leicester, meanwhile, will be seeking to avoid three consecutive defeats for the first time since a run of five losses in February 2017.In the reverse fixture last season, Chelsea were held at home by Leicester in a 0-0 draw, despite the Foxes being reduced to 10 men when Ben Chilwell was sent off in the 68th minute. Chelsea can move into the top three of the Premier League if they pick up a win over Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, LIVE on talkSPORT 2.The Blues have bounced back from a recent blip which saw them lose to both Tottenham and Wolverhampton Wanderers. 3 3last_img read more

Partick Thistle 0-5 Celtic: Champions stroll past Jags

first_imgCeltic were at their thrilling best as they thrashed Partick Thistle 5-0 in their Premiership encounter at Firhill.The Hoops came racing out of the traps and striker Leigh Griffiths scored from the spot in the 17th minute and further goals from midfielder Tom Rogic and Patrick Roberts had the game finished before the interval.Brendan Rodgers’ treble-chasing side cruised the second half and Callum McGregor and Roberts added further goals to a put a more realistic complexion on the scoreline.The champions extended their unbeaten domestic run from the start of the season to 45 games to move on to 103 points, equalling the record by the Hoops league-winning team of 2001-02. Cerny tipped a curling shot from Roberts round the post for a corner after Gamboa had headed over from six yards and McGregor missed the target when clean through.Thistle, distressed and dishevelled, were hanging on and survived again when Izaguirre crashed a left-footed shot off the post from 12 yards after being played in by Forrest.However, after Jags defender Callum Booth up-ended the slippery Roberts in the box, referee Andrew Dallas pointed to the spot and Griffiths drove his penalty low past Cerny and into the corner for Celtic’s 100th league goal of the season.The Scotland striker then created the second in fine style in the 26th minute, waltzing into the Thistle box and cutting the ball across for Rogic to bundle the ball in from close range.An old-fashioned thrashing was promised.Moments later, Cerny saved McGregor’s drive and with Celtic in total control, Brown headed a Griffiths corner over the bar.However, with four minutes of the first half remaining Roberts, on loan until the end of the season from Manchester City, sent a wonderful strike from 25 yards high past Cerny.The Jags keeper, injured trying to prevent Rogic’s goal, came off at the interval, as did captain Abdul Osman, replaced by Mark Ridgers and Ryan Edwards respectively.In the 63rd minute Kolo Toure and Scott Sinclair replaced Dedryck Boyata and Griffiths.Celtic’s grip remained tight and in the 81st minute McGregor sent a shot crashing off the bar but the referee and his assistant declared it had crossed the line before it bounced back out, and a couple of minutes later Roberts capped a memorable performance by curling his second in from the edge of the box. Celtic will be presented with the league trophy against Hearts at Parkhead on Sunday before they face Aberdeen in the William Hill Scottish Cup final the following week and on this form, they will take some beating from a Dons side who have failed in five attempts this season.Rodgers made five changes with Scott Brown back from a two-game suspension and Cristian Gamboa, Erik Sviatchenko, Emilio Izaguirre and James Forrest returning to the side.David Amoo, Chris Erskine and Stevie Lawless came into a Thistle side which had to endure a 90-minute chasing.Keeper Tomas Cerny beat away Forrest’s drive from the edge of the box in the third minute and thereafter the visitors dominated.last_img read more