Hazard: Monaco-linked Henry will be ‘top manager’

first_imgEden Hazard has given Thierry Henry’s managerial credentials a ringing endorsement after the Frenchman was linked with the vacancy at his former club Monaco.Current Belgium assistant Henry began his professional career at Ligue 1 club Monaco, who are seeking a new boss after sacking Leonardo Jardim on Thursday due to a poor start to the campaign.Henry, 41, has previously expressed his desire to move into management and Chelsea playmaker Hazard has given a coach he works with at international level a glowing reference. Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “He was a fantastic player,” Hazard said at a press conference.”As a manager he doesn’t have a lot of experience, but he will learn. If he leaves the Belgium team we will be sad, but I think for him maybe it’s a good time to go.”He wants to be a manager, so he will be a top manager, for sure.”1/3 Over the last 4 years I have had some extremely rewarding coaching experiences in football. These experiences have only made me more determined to fulfil my long term ambition to become a football manager. pic.twitter.com/NOQZzuif4m— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) July 16, 2018Belgium boss Roberto Martinez had previously stated Henry is ready to make the leap into management, though he expects him to be on his staff on Friday when the World Cup semi-finalists meet Switzerland in the Nations League.”I think it’s nothing new for us – every time there is a vacancy, there is a report on Thierry going,” Martinez added.”Nothing changes apart from that Monaco is one of those clubs that he has a link [with] – Thierry started at Monaco. I can guarantee you he’ll be on the bench tomorrow.”last_img read more

Crystal Palace v Arsenal team news: Ozil returns

first_imgArsenal are looking to secure their 12th successive win in all competitions when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.There was understandable concern at the start of the season as fans pondered how the team would cope in the post-Arsene Wenger era given the struggles some of their rivals endured following the departure of an established manager.Those concerns only increased after two successive defeats to open the season, but Unai Emery’s side have won every game since to raise hopes of a successful campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Another win on Sunday would be the first time Arsenal have won 12th successive games since 2007 and could lift the Gunners as high as third.The feel-good factor at the Emirates Stadium is in sharp contrast to the mood at Crystal Palace, who go into this game on the back of three successive defeats.The Eagles have won just twice in the Premier League this season – both away from home – to sit 15th in the table and just two points outside the relegation zone. Game Crystal Palace v Arsenal Date Sunday, October 28 Time 1.30pm GMT / 9.30am ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream NBCSN fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on Sky Sports Premier League & Sky Sports Main Event. It can be streamed live online using Sky Go. UK TV channel Online stream Sky Sports Main Event & Premier League Sky Go Squads & Team News Position Crystal Palace players Goalkeepers Speroni, Hennessey, Guaita Defenders Ward, Van Aanholt, Tomkins, Dann, Sakho, Schlupp, Souare, Wan-Bissaka, Jach, Kelly Midfielders Milivojevic, Meyer, Kouyate, Townsend, McArthur, Williams, Kaikai, Puncheon, Reidewald Forwards Sorloth, Ayew, Benteke, Wickham. Crystal Palace have midfielder Max Meyer and forward Alexander Sorloth available after both players missed last weekend’s defeat against Everton. Connor Wickham is also available after making his injury comeback as a late substitute at Goodison Park. Christian Benteke and Joel Ward are both still out.Crystal Palace XI: Hennessey, Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Townsend, Ayew, Zaha.Subs: Guaita, Kelly, Schlupp, Riedewald, Puncheon, Meyer, Sorloth. Position Arsenal players Goalkeepers Cech, Leno, Martinez Defenders Bellerin, Koscielny, Holding, Montreal, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Sokratis Midfielders Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreria, Guendouzi, Smith-Rowe Forwards Lacazette, Aubameyang, Welbeck, Nketiah Petr Cech is on the bench, with the former Chelsea goalkeeper having recovered from a hamstring injury.Laurent Koscielny is back in training after an Achilles injury but isn’t yet ready for a return.Arsenal XI: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Xhaka, Torreira, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette.Subs: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Ramsey, Smith Rowe, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck.Betting & Match Odds Arsenal are priced at odds of 3/4 to win according to bet 365 , while a draw is available at 16/5. A win for Crystal Palace is priced at 18/5.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2018-19Unai Emery insists he isn’t thinking about records as his Arsenal side seek a 12th successive victory against Crystal Palace.The Gunners are on their best winning run for 11 years and three more victories will equal the club record of 14 set by George Graham’s side between September and November 1987.“Three matches… that’s a lot of matches. We are only thinking of the next match against Crystal Palace. We are also enjoying each moment with our supporters,” said Emery.“They have a high demand for us because every match is not easy for us. Historically, this has been very difficult for us and I know this. We are thinking about three points at Crystal Palace but we know that it’s very difficult to win there. For us, continuing to win is what we want but we know it’s not easy and we can lose.“We’re only thinking about the best performance for us. We want to continue winning and we also want to continue to improve things. Each match is a big opportunity for every player to show us they can take big responsibility with this personality to play like we want. We need every player.”Mesut Ozil is likely to be recalled to the starting line-up after being rested for Thursday’s Europa League win in Lisbon.The German put in a man-of-the-match performance against Leicester on Monday, having a hand in all three goals, and appears to be enjoying his football again under Emery’s stewardship.It’s quite a revival in fortunes for the former Real Madrid man, who endured a miserable World Cup with Germany over the summer before retiring from international football following a disagreement with the German FA (DFB).Like Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have also been thriving under Emery’s leadership. The duo have scored 13 goals between them already this season while only Manchester City have scored more Premier League goals than the Gunners.How Roy Hodgson would dearly love that kind of firepower at Selhurst Park.Crystal Palace have the best defensive record in the bottom half, but only Huddersfield have scored fewer than the Eagles’ five goals so far – with none of those coming at Selhurst Park.They have won just once since the opening day of the season and go into this game on the back of three successive defeats.With Christian Benteke still sidelined there is an overreliance on Wilfried Zaha to both create and score chances. Hodgson will hope the return to fitness of Alexander Sorloth and Connor Wickham will ease the burden on the Ivory Coast international.Things certainly won’t get any easier for Palace in the coming weeks, with Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United lying in wait after Sunday’s game. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Matic explains reasons behind not wearing a poppy

first_imgManchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has explained his reasons for declining to wear a poppy on his shirt. The 30-year-old opened up on social media about his experiences as a child in his native Serbia ahead of the Manchester Derby on Remembrance Sunday.Matic explained that, while he has worn the poppy in the past, he has changed his mind upon reflection, but was keen to avoid offence. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “I recognise fully why people wear poppies, I totally respect everyone’s right to do so and I have total sympathy for anyone who has lost loved ones due to conflict,” he wrote on Instagram.”However, for me, it is only a reminder of an attack that I felt personally as a young, frightened 12-year old boy living in Vrelo, as my country was devastated by the bombing of Serbia in 1999.”Whilst I have done so previously, on reflection, I now don’t feel it is right for me to wear the poppy on my shirt.”I do not want to undermine the poppy as a symbol of pride within Britain or offend anyone, however, we are all a product of our own upbringing and this is a personal choice for the reasons outlined.”I hope everyone understands my reasons now that I have explained them and I can concentrate on helping the team in the games that lie ahead.”Matic’s admission comes amid the backdrop of Stoke City winger’s James McClean’s decision to again not have a poppy adorn his shirt.Despite the Republic of Ireland international releasing a statement to explain his reasoning behind requesting the symbol not be placed on his shirt, he has continued to receive criticism from football fans around the country.That bubbled over on Saturday as the Potters hosted Middlesbrough, with footage showing a number of fans hailing abuse at McClean as he left the field.McClean responded on social media, calling the individuals involved “uneducated cavemen”, though the Football Association are now reportedly set to open an investigation into his remarks.Matic and United, meanwhile, face a trip to Juventus on Wednesday as the Red Devils seek three consecutive wins in all competitions.last_img read more

Maradona’s Dorados into Ascenso MX semifinals

first_imgDiego Maradona’s Dorados are into the Ascenso MX semifinals after topping Mineros de Zacatecas on Saturday night.A goal from Vinicio Angulo in the 65th minute was enough for Maradona’s side, who picked up a 1-0 second leg win following a 0-0 draw in the opening leg.Dorado’s push was aided by a red card just moments after Angulo’s goal as Eder Cruz was sent off for Mineros to ease the thoughts of a comeback.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! As a result, Maradona’s side are into the semifinal after being closer to relegation than contender when the Argentinian legend took over in September.Under Maradona, Dorados have lost just once in nine matches against Ascenso MX opposition after losing three and drawing the other three games prior to his arrival. 🔥 ¡Explotó el vestidor Dorado y vamos #ConElPezPorLaFinal! 💛 pic.twitter.com/Jp2On50jiC— #ConElPezEnLaLiguilla (@Dorados) November 18, 2018Dorados, who entered the playoffs as the seventh seed, will need to win either the Apertura or next year’s Clausura to qualify for the playoff to decide which team will be promoted to Liga MX in May. Prior to managing Dorados, Maradona’s most recent job was as manager of United Arab Emirates club Fujairah.Dorados will play the winner of Atlante’s clash with Oaxaca in the semifinal round with first legs set for November 21 or 22 and second legs scheduled for November 24 and 25.Both Atlanta and Oaxaca topped Dorados during the season with both sides picking up 1-0 wins over Maradona’s team.last_img read more

MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh need to work out themselves if they have the motivation to continue: Adam Gilchrist to India Today

first_imgFormer Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist suggests India should go talent hunting now that the Champions trophy is over, like the rest of the cricket world to find the right balance for the World Cup, which is only two years away.His view comes on the back of Rahul Dravid’s opinion where he suggested the selectors needed to take a call if there was space for both veterans Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and whether they needed to continue exploring fresh faces.In an interview with India Today, Gilchrist says it will soon be decision time for the Indian selectors.”India like the rest of the nations will have the challenge of working out what the right balance will be. Guys like Dhoni and Yuvi need to work out themselves if they have the motivation to continue that long. They need to be in conversation with the captain, the selectors and the board. I don’t think they need to make these decisions right now but they will be talking about them in the next couple of months to work out what the best direction is,” he said.Gilchrist falls short of calling whether Dhoni and Yuvraj need to stay or go but says the players will know when its time.”I am not going to tell them what to do. They will know. I have been through it myself and you know as a player if you have it in your heart, the desire to continue on and that’s the discussion they will be able to have (with selectors),” he said.advertisementBut Australia’s greatest wicket-keeping all-rounder does opine, it eventually has to be the selectors’ call.”It’s the selectors who pick the team. Unless the players pull out themselves. Who knows MS and Yuvi may do that,” he said.last_img read more

Wimbledon 2017: Johanna Konta makes history by beating Simona Halep in quarter-final epic

first_imgJohanna Konta sealed a Wimbledon semi-final spot on Tuesday in a feast of tension-filled tennis, powering past Simona Halep 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4 to become the first British woman to reach the last four in almost 40 years.The second-seeded Romanian shaded the early Centre Court exchanges, pouncing on errors and breaking serve to lead 3-0, as the Briton struggled to keep her searing groundstrokes in court.But with cheers and cries of “C’mon Jo” echoing around the roofed-in arena, sixth seed Konta fought back, cranking up her serve and winning eight straight points to draw level at 4-4.Halep won the first set on a tiebreak with Konta, having squandered a clutch of break points, returning the favour in the second.The intensity moved up a notch in the third set as the Briton hit harder and the Romanian tightened her defence, before Konta broke in the fifth game and held her nerve to serve the match out.Virginia Wade was the last British woman to reach the semi-finals in 1978.last_img read more

3rd Test: Honours even on Day 1 as Shikhar Dhawan hundred takes India to 329/6 vs Sri Lanka

first_imgShikhar Dhawan smashed his sixth hundred and added 188 in an opening partnership with KL Rahul before Sri Lanka’s spinners fought back to halt the touring side’s progress in the third and final Test on Saturday.India reached the close of play on 329/6, after losing no wickets in the first session, with Wriddhiman Saha unbeaten on 13 and Hardik Pandya not out on one at stumps.After winning the toss and opting to bat, India captain Virat Kohli could not have asked for a better start as his side began their bid to complete a series whitewash over the hosts.Following wins inside four days in Galle and Colombo, the world’s top-ranked side have opened an unassailable 2-0 lead and the injury-hit hosts face another stiff task against Kohli’s men in the finale.On a surface ideal for batting, India’s openers picked up boundaries at will and made Sri Lanka pay for their profligacy with Dhawan given a reprieve on one, his edge flying through the slip cordon off left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando.The left-handed batsman went on to hit 17 fours in his 123-ball knock before he was out for 119, hitting a sweep shot off left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara straight to Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal at square leg.Pushpakumara had also provided Sri Lanka a breakthrough in his first over when he dismissed Rahul for 85. The 30-year-old, playing only his second test, later bowled an out-of-sorts Ajinkya Rahane for 17, to end the day with figures of 3/40.A century once again eluded Rahul, who was dropped twice during his innings, as he was caught at mid-on trying to hit a lofted shot. It was his seventh consecutive score of 50 or more.advertisementLeft-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan then got Cheteshwar Pujara (eight) to edge one to slip as Sri Lanka continued to fight back.The 26-year-old, replacing the injured Rangana Herath, also removed the dangerous Kohli with the right-handed batsman out for 42 after getting an edge to slip.Ravichandran Ashwin (31) was the only wicket to fall to the faster bowlers when he edged Fernando to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella after the hosts had taken the second new ball.Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the only change for the touring side, called up as a replacement for suspended left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.The hosts have been hurt by injuries throughout the series and will be missing both spin spearhead Herath and paceman Nuwan Pradeep. Middle-order batsman Dhananjaya de Silva was dropped after scores of nought and 17 in Colombo.last_img read more

Badminton greats to converge at Legends Vision World Tour

first_imgMumbai, Oct 26 (PTI) International legends, including multiple times Olympic and World Championship medallists Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, will be sharing the stage with Indian greats Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand during next months Legends Vision Yonex World Tour here.For the first time ever, India will witness the coming together of badminton world legends Dan, Chong Wei, Peter Gade, Taufik Hidayat, Lee Yong Dae on November 4 at the Dome at The National Sports Club of India (NSCI).Supported by Yonex, The Legends Vision Yonex World Tour is a global initiative and was launched in 2015 by some of badmintons greats with an aim to increase awareness and participation in the sport across the globe.Being the first mens singles player to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals, five World Championships and six All England titles, Lin Dan, 34, is still a force to reckon with on the international circuit standing at World No. 3 today.At 35 years of age and being one of the most experienced players on the circuit, three-time silver medallist Chong Wei bounced back to become World No. 1 after being close to retirement at one point of time.Famous for his trick shots and with 22 Grand Prix titles under his name and other victories in the All England and European Championships, Peter Gade is now the head coach of the French National squad.Former World and Olympic champion, Taufiks powerful stroke making made him one of the most difficult player to face on circuit.Having won 43 Super Series titles and been World Number 1 with 4 different partners, Lee Yong Dae held the number 1 spot for 104 weeks in mens doubles.advertisement”With Indian badminton evolving over the years, the Legends Vision World Tour will be a great motivator and boost for upcoming badminton players to get up close and personal with their idols,” Chief National Coach, Pullela Gopichand said.”With the likes of Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal making the country proud on the International stage, today we can see India becoming a force to reckon worldwide.”Indias top shutters such as Srikanth, Sindhu and Saina will also be a part of this mega event. PTI ATK ATKlast_img read more

Ashes 2017: Umpires told James Anderson ‘You should be able to handle short balls at Test level’

first_imgEngland pacer James Anderson is not expecting any freebies or much of good length deliveries in the next two Tests at Melbourne and Sydney from the Australians.Jimmy was struck on the side of his helmet in the Perth Test as the hosts rampaged their way to a 3-0 lead in the five-match Test series to regain the Ashes. He was later seen talking to the umpires and it looks like they advised the veteran pacer to expect this in Test match level.”I have actually chatted to the umpires about it during this series and they say ‘ at Test level you should be able to handle short balls’. That is a clear message to get in the nets and practice against bouncers,” Anderson wrote in his column for the Telegraph.”I was not quizzing the umpires or asking them to stop it happening. I was just interested in their opinion. I guess we just need to get better at playing them. I have no problem with that. It is part and parcel of the game,” he added.Earlier, Former England captain Michael Atherton urged the umpires to invoke cricket’s laws and protect England batsmen from Australia’s relentless “bodyline” bowling. But Anderson didn’t walk down those lines and said that he is completely okay with it as they have done the same before to other teams.”We have bounced tailenders in this series and at other teams. The only time I think umpires should step in is if it is clear that a player cannot cope with them. Then the umpires should step in more,” said the 35-year-old.advertisementAustralia captain Steve Smith and paceman Pat Cummins have defended their team’s strategy and warned that the bouncer barrage will continue in the final two Tests at Melbourne and Sydney.”We know it will not stop in this series and playing the short ball better is one challenge for the final two Tests when we need to show some pride and prove to people we are not a walkover as a team,” Anderson added.England will expect some relief after Australia’s pace spearhead Mitchell Starc was ruled out of the Melbourne Test with a heel injury. (With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur return to India squad for ODI series vs South Africa

first_imgIndia have included fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur in the ODI squad for the series against South Africa starting February 1.Shami and Thakur are the new additions in the 17-member team which recently beat Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series earlier this month.Shami last played in the 50-over format for India in the ODI series against Australia in September this year. Shardul played two matches in the ODI series in Sri Lanka in August-September.Washington Sundar and Siddharth Kaul have been left out of the team.Vice-captain Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane will be the three openers for the team.Batsmen Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik retained their places, however, young KL Rahul, who has performed well in the ongoing T20I series against Sri Lanka, has not been picked.Meanwhile, Kedar Jadhav, who had missed the ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka due to a hamstring injury in early December, has also been picked.India has played 28 ODIs against South Africa in South Africa, won five and lost 21.India will play a series of three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is against South Africa starting with the longest format from January 5.The All India Senior Selection Committee met in Mumbai to select the Indian team for the 6-match ODI series against South Africa #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/szbbC6l3MU- BCCI (@BCCI) December 23, 2017The Indian squad will fly to South Africa from Mumbai on December 27 after attending captain Virat Kohli’s wedding reception with Bollywood superstar Anushka Sharma on December 26.advertisementKohli will return to lead the side after his break from cricket, with the Test series being his first assignment after marriage.India also clinched the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka after winning the second match by 88 runs in Indore on Friday.last_img read more

US Advances, 86-63 Over Mexico

first_imgBARCELONA, Spain — Stephen Curry made six 3-pointers and scored 20 points, leading the U.S. national team into the quarterfinals of the Basketball World Cup with an 86-63 victory over Mexico on Sept. 6.The Golden State Warriors All-Star was 7-of-10 from the field and 6-of-9 behind the arc, continuing to move a dismal start to the tournament for one of the game’s best shooters.Warriors teammate Klay Thompson added 15 points for the Americans, who advance to a game Sept.  9 against either Slovenia or Dominican Republic, who they are a combined 3-0 against this summer. The U.S. beat both easily in exhibition play, then handled the Dominicans again during the group stage in Bilbao.Curry was just 4-for-17 overall in his first two games, though shot the ball over the next three. He saved his best performance for Barcelona, where the Americans are used to them.He made consecutive 3s early in the third quarter when the Americans put away the game, the second coming as he was knocked down by a defender who was lucky not to be called for a foul.Gustavo Ayon scored 25 points for Mexico, which won last year’s FIBA Americas tournament to qualify and then advanced as the No. 4 team out of Group D despite a 2-3 record.The 6-foot-9 Ayon played for the Atlanta Hawks last season but had his season cut short by right shoulder surgery in February. He is a free agent and showed enough footwork and shooting touch to warrant a look from someone else.But he couldn’t prevent what ended up as the usual American romp in Barcelona, where the Dream Team crushed the competition in the 1992 Olympics.The Americans averaged 117.3 points and won by 43.8 points a game then at nearby Badalona, but expect things to be a little more difficult here at the Palau Sant Jordi.The U.S. surged to a quick 13-2 lead, and after Mexico answered with seven straight, pushed the lead back up to 23-13 after one. It stayed in double digits for nearly entire second, though Ayon had a 10-point period to keep the Americans from getting too far ahead, and it was 42-27 at halftime.Curry’s consecutive 3s made it 50-27, and had back-to-back baskets again later in the third — including a layup for his only one inside the arc — before DeMarcus Cousins’ bucket made it 57-30.Despite being bordering countries, the teams hadn’t met since the 2007 Olympic qualifying tournament. They hadn’t played in the World Cup since 1967.James Harden finished with 12 points for the U.S.(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Islanders Rebound, Top Devils, 3-1

first_imgUNIONDALE, N.Y. — The New York Islanders are brimming with confidence these days, thanks to a standout goalie and a newfound winning attitude.Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves for his ninth straight win, and Cal Clutterbuck scored his third goal of the season as the Islanders earned a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 29.New York (17-7), which had a five-game winning streak snapped Nov. 28 at Washington, has won 12 of 14. This is the fastest the Islanders have gotten to 17 victories.“We’re doing some good things and we believe in ourselves,” Islanders captain John Tavares said. “You can see the poise and composure we have now. We just have to keep that going.”Halak has been a force, going 12-4 in his first season with the Islanders. “I’m not thinking of how many games I’ve won in the past,” said Halak, who made 16 saves in a tense third period, including five during a 5-on-3 Devils’ power play. “I’m only as good as my last game.”Islanders coach Jack Capuano knows how vital Halak has been to the team’s success.“I thought our goaltender was excellent,” Capuano said. “We knew that they would make a push, and we did whatever we could to withstand it. We’ve had a long stretch — six games in nine days — and it showed tonight. But our goalie made the difference.”Casey Cizikas, who scored an empty-net goal to seal it, agreed with his coach. “He’s been unbelievable,” Cizikas said. “He’s kept us in games and he was such a huge part of the win.”The Devils (9-11-4), beaten by Detroit in a shootout on Nov. 28, lost their fourth straight. Damien Brunner scored his first goal since Oct. 24, and Cory Schneider made 25 saves.“We played better in the second and third periods, but we didn’t get the result, and that’s what matters,” said Schneider, who started in goal for the 23rd time in New Jersey’s 24 games. “We gave them everything we had down the stretch. Sometimes, you just don’t get the bounce to tie things up.“We played well, but it’s a results-based business, and we’re not getting the results.”New York took a 2-1 lead 3:32 into the second period when defenseman Calvin de Haan fired a wrist shot that was deflected in by Clutterbuck’s stick. The goal was originally given to de Haan but was changed to Clutterbuck during the second intermission.The Islanders controlled play early, and they grabbed a 1-0 lead on Nikolay Kulemin’s fifth goal.Kyle Okposo took a slap shot that Schneider easily stopped, but he was unaware that the puck trickled through his pads and was inches from the goal line. Kulemin got behind the defense and poked the puck past Schneider.“I thought I had it,” Schneider said. “I didn’t know it got past me.”The Devils tied it 1:47 later on Brunner’s second of the season. Defenseman Adam Larsson fired a shot that was deflected in front by Brunner. “It was a good deflection and got me to the far side,” Halak said. “There’s not much you can do about that.”New Jersey dominated the third period, and held a 16-2 edge in shots, but couldn’t net the tying goal.With nine minutes left, the Devils recorded five straight shots at Halak. The best chance came on a backhanded attempt by Michael Ryder.New Jersey then had a 5-on-3 advantage for nearly a minute toward the end of regulation, but the Islanders killed it.Capuano said that is a sign of his team’s maturity. “When we had to contain, we did,” Capuano said. “We have a different attitude, and it showed. From top to bottom, we know we’re not going to lose.(JIM HAGUE)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares SALT LAKE CITY — Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield squared off in the ring at a charity fight night event in Salt Lake City.Romney, 68, and Holyfield, 52, sparred, if you could call it that, for just two short rounds Friday before Romney ran away from the boxer and threw in the towel, giving up a round early in the lighthearted fight that came amid several other fights by professional boxers and an auction.The two barely threw any punches and largely just danced around, occasionally lightly jabbing each other in the midsection in what was much more of a comedic event than an actual bout.The black-tie affair raised money for the Utah-based organization CharityVision, which helps doctors in developing countries perform surgeries to restore vision in people with curable blindness.Romney’s son Josh Romney, who lives in Utah, serves as a volunteer president for CharityVision.Corporate sponsorships for the event ranged from $25,000 to $250,000. Organizers say they raised at least $1 million.“He said, ‘You know what? You float like a bee and sting like a butterfly,’” Romney said after the fight.Attendees just enjoyed the festive atmosphere and the chance to see Romney in the ring.“Oh, it was great. I was very proud of Mitt,” said Katie Anderson, who attended the event with her husband.“I was happy it went to the second round,” Devin Anderson said.Romney, the most-high profile Mormon in America, is hugely popular in the state, where more than 60 percent of the residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Beyond his religious connections, the former Massachusetts governor is remembered by many for turning around Salt Lake City’s 2002 Winter Olympics after a bribery scandal.Romney has recently built a home in the Salt Lake City area and registered as a Utah voter.BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Presslast_img read more

Nets Stampede Bulls, 105-102

first_imgCHICAGO — Roughly 24 hours after one of their worst performances, the Brooklyn Nets produced one of their best on the night of Dec. 21.Brook Lopez had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Thaddeus Young added 16 points and 13 rebounds and the Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 105-102 to end a five-game losing streak.“We came in focused, we were energetic and our bench did a great job of coming in keeping the energy high and responding to runs,” Lopez said. “We were all there for each other. We were pulling for each other.”It was quite a contrast from Dec. 20 when the Nets suffered a 100-85 home loss to Minnesota.“We just did everything better,” Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins said. “I thought we came out from the start with a lot of fight and purpose.”Jimmy Butler had 24 points, Pau Gasol added 20 points and the Bulls lost their third straight.Butler said before the game that he didn’t regret his critical comments of first-year coach Fred Hoiberg two days earlier following a loss in New York. He was 11 for 20 from the field in this one.Hoiberg was surprised his team didn’t respond with a better effort.“It’s very disappointing,” he said. “This is a tough loss. You have to win your home games. We’ve dropped a couple in a row now. It’s a bad, bad loss.”Brooklyn led by as many as 12 points before taking an 85-78 advantage into the fourth.Chicago opened the final quarter with four quick points to pull within 85-82, but the Nets responded with a 9-2 spurt to make it a double-digit advantage once again.The Bulls rallied again and Gasol hit a pair of free throws with 20.9 seconds left to make it 101-99.With the shot clock off at that point, the Bulls had to foul and Jarrett Jack sank both free throws for a 103-99 edge with 10.6 seconds to go.Lopez then blocked Butler’s shot attempt, grabbed the loose ball and was fouled with 4.8 seconds remaining. He iced the game with a pair of free throws. Butler hit a meaningless 3-pointer with a tenth of a second left.“Butler made some tough shots, obviously, but for the most part we stuck together and clamped down defensively, limiting them to one shot,” Lopez said. “That gives you a lot of confidence when you’re coming down the other end in control of the game.(JOHN JACKSON) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Philly’s Jackie Robinson Apology

first_imgPHILADELPHIA — As cities across the country honored Jackie Robinson’s pioneering baseball career, one also apologized for its racist treatment of Major League Baseball’s first black player nearly 70 years ago.When Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodgers played the Philadelphia Phillies in 1947, he was told to “go back to the cotton fields” by the Phillies’ manager, refused service at a local hotel and taunted by players with racial slurs when he came to bat. On April 15, Philadelphia’s City Council publicly acknowledged the incident as a dark chapter in the city’s history.“He faced tremendous racism in our city,” Councilwoman Helen Gym said. “It was something he never forgot … but neither should we.”April 15 is recognized nationally as Jackie Robinson Day, and ballparks around the country are also celebrating the 69th anniversary of the day he broke the league’s color barrier in 1947. Robinson played for the Dodgers until 1956.All MLB players, managers, coaches and umpires wore his No. 42 for games. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, at Yankee Stadium for the Seattle-New York game, said he was in his office earlier in the day and saw Colorado playing the Cubs on television, with everyone wearing the same number.“It’s a constant reminder that today’s different,” Manfred said.Gym presented a resolution , passed by the council last month, before about 100 children, city leaders and Robinson fans — some wearing his No. 42 Dodgers jersey — gathered at the Philadelphia Stars Negro League Memorial Park. Among them was 79-year-old Carolyn Mitchell, who saw Robinson play as a girl.Mitchell, who is black, said the ceremony was “very meaningful” and that passing by the park gave her back fond memories of watching baseball growing up.The youngest of eight children and her parents’ only daughter, Mitchell took to sports early and saw Robinson play in Philadelphia in the early 1950s.“He was unbelievable,” she recalled, smiling. “He could run like crazy. He used to love to steal bases.”In Los Angeles, where the Dodgers played their first game in 1958, Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and daughter Sharon were part of a pregame ceremony at Chavez Ravine – where the club first retired Robinson’s uniform number on June 4, 1972.Rachel Robinson was escorted to the mound by Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first black manager in baseball history.The former Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles slugger threw a ceremonial first pitch to Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts, who this year became the first minority manager in franchise history.In Philadelphia, Robinson’s skill for base stealing is depicted in a mural on the city’s north end painted nearly a decade ago in his honor.Walking near the mural with her 10-year-old daughter Nate, Tikeena Harris explained that blacks and whites didn’t used to play sports together.Tommy Keels, who lived nearby and passes the mural regularly, said Robinson was a ground breaker who represented his race well.“I lived through Jim Crow,” said Keels, 60, who is from Miami. “I was raised in the South. I experienced a lot of things I know he did on a monumental scale.”Jackie Robinson’s teammate and roommate Don Newcombe says his friend deserves all the accolades.“The world owes him whatever they can say about him and do about him that is good, because he was a great man,” the former Brooklyn pitcher told the AP on April 15 while the Dodgers were taking batting practice.“I was with him, I roomed with him, he was my good friend, my good buddy, and I loved him. I still love him today like he was still here,” said Newcombe, who was the first black pitcher to win the Rookie of the Year award in 1949.“I remember Jackie sitting me and Roy Campanella down one day in Roy’s apartment and he told us: ‘I can’t do it without you. I need you. And one day, we’re going to change the letter I in bitter to an E for better.’ And he became so right. God bless him.”Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who was there for Robinson’s career in Brooklyn, said Robinson’s “self-control under some pressurized circumstances was remarkable.”“We all knew that that fire of competitiveness was always on high, and he was not always welcomed. But he overcame all of that,” Scully said.“That, to me was the most remarkable thing — how controlled he was with all the hell that was running around him. He took a lot of abuse, but kept his jaw tight. He had to be an unusual man, and he was.”Orlando Hudson, a 12-year veteran who played second base for the Dodgers in 2009, still has a couple of framed No. 42 jerseys hanging in his home, along with a photo of himself and Rachel Robinson — among his most treasured souvenirs from his playing career.“Being an African-American male, playing the same position with the Dodgers that he did and wearing number 42 on this day, you can’t get better than that,” said Hudson, who now works for the Arizona Diamondbacks and has done some speaking engagements with Robinson’s widow over the years.Robinson died at 53 in 1972, a decade after he became the first black player inducted into the Hall of Fame.(ERRIN HAINES WHACK and JOE RESNICK)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Katsikaris: Giannis will have the ball in his hands

first_imgEven without Giannis Antetokounmpo present yet – because of some extra days off –  one of the main topic of discussion in the first meeting of the Greek national team was him.As coach Fotis Katsikaris admitted the role of the Bucks’ star will be more than crucial in the upcoming pre-Olympic tournament of Turin: “I think it is important to do an analysis about Giannis. He is a player who every year in the national team was having a role similar with the one he had with the Bucks. At this point we can afford to give him more responsibilities than anyone else, having the ball in his hands. We will build around him. Giannis will be the one who will take decisions on the court for us”.Only center Giannis Bourousis is left from the old guard of the team, Spanoulis and Zisis have retired and Giannis is going to be the future of the Greek national team. Coach Katsikaris also explained why he left Nikos Pappas out of the team – “there was a denial from his side in order to work our personal differences out and be on the team” – and the coach spoke also about his personal challenge of facing probably in the game which will decide if Greek goes to the Rio Olympics the Italian NT of coach Ettore Messina: “For me it is a challenge that I am at the helm of the national team and I have this honor. So this has nothing to do with my job as a coach on a club and if the results can help me on a personal level or not.  The aim is to qualify but do not forget that we have the first three games, before playing in the final”.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Olympiacos cruises past Zvezda (video)

first_imgOlympiacos Piraeus extended its winning streak to four games after defeating the visiting Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 73-65 at Peace & Friendship Stadium on Thursday night. Olympiacos improved to a league second-best 9-4 record, while Zvezda dropped to 5-8 on the season. Olympiacos took the lead for good early in the first quarter and then used 3 consecutive triples from Matt Lojeski to pull away to a double-digit margin in the second quarter and never looked back. Lojeski led Olympiacos with 18 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting. Erick Green netted 15, and Nikola Milutinov had 11 points and 7 rebounds for Olympiacos, which played without Georgios Printezis. The visitors pulled down 16 offensive rebounds, but were held to 2 of 17 from long range and committed 15 turnovers. Stefan Jovic had 16 points, Marko Guduric finished with 12, while Ognjen Kuzmic amassed 13 points and 14 rebounds in defeat.With Milutinov in the main role on the offensive glass, Olympiacos used 7 first-quarter offensive boards and forced 5 turnovers to grab lead. Fastbreak baskets from Dimitrios Agravanis and Kostas Papanikolaou opened a 12-9 advantage. Guduric had a three-point play for Zvezda to get it within a single point, but three-pointers from Agravanis and Green helped the hosts to 22-18 after 10 minutes. The start of the second quarter belonged to Lojeski, who hit 3 three-pointers in less than three minutes to open a 33-22 lead. The margin reached 13 points before Marko Simonovic and Jovic scored on breakaways, cutting the deficit to 39-32. Both teams turned it up defensively as halftime approached, as points were not coming easy. However, Spanoulis and Agravanis made sure Olympiacos took a 45-34 advantage into halftime. Vangelis Mantzaris hit one from outside, and Milutinov inside to give the hosts a 55-38 cushion in the third quarter. Baskets were few and far between, with Kuzmic dominating the boards for Zvezda, but Olympiacos controlled the rhythm to its liking. Neither team scored a single point for more than three minutes to finish third quarter. Lojeski’s fourth three-pointer of the night opened a 59-43 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter. Zvezda kept trying, and went on a run behind Jovic, who had a three-point play, a fastbreak layup and a three-pointer. Jovic also dished a pair of assists for Guduric, who scored 7 points of his own in a short span, and cut the deficit to 69-62 with 2:17 to play. But that is as close as the visitors would get.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Antetokounmpo Scores 30 Points as Bucks Down Jazz 114-102

first_imgMILWAUKEE (AP) — After not playing at all in the Milwaukee Bucks’ previous game, Thon Maker got a chance to shine in a hard-fought win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night.Maker had a season-high 15 points off the bench for the Bucks, who clamped down on defense in the second half to secure a 114-102 victory.“We won the game because of him,” said Giannis Antetokounmpo, who led the Bucks with 30 points. “He brought energy, played hard, he made shots. It was just amazing seeing Thon compete hard out there.”Maker had seen regular minutes off the bench recently with Ersan Ilyasova out with a broken nose. His playing time diminished after Ilyasova’s return and the emergence of second-year player D.J. Wilson.“That’s when your professionalism comes in,” Maker said. “You’ve just got to stay ready whenever your name is called.”Maker shot 6 of 8 from the field, including 2 for 3 from beyond the arc.Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said Maker’s performance “flipped the script.”“He made a lot of different things happen on the court,” Budenholzer said. “I really feel like he was a difference-maker tonight.”Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) tips in a shot over Utah Jazz’s Kyle Korver during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)Budenholzer specifically pointed to Maker’s three-point play early in the fourth quarter after Utah had made a 3 on the other end.“He was a spark plug for us,” Brook Lopez said. “He had such great energy and emotion. He got us going, he got the crowd going and everyone on the bench was going. We really fed off him tonight.”Malcolm Brogdon added 21 points for the Bucks, who were coming off a 123-116 loss to Toronto on Saturday night. Milwaukee improved to 28-11, the second-best record in the NBA.Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points and Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz, who lost starting point guard Ricky Rubio to a right hamstring injury less than five minutes into the game. He didn’t return.“We can’t sulk,” Mitchell said. “We’ve got to go out there and compete.”The Jazz held a three-point advantage heading to the fourth quarter, but Milwaukee grabbed control late after Brogdon’s 3-pointer pushed its lead to 105-99. The Bucks built the margin to eight with about three minutes left on two free throws by Lopez, who nailed a deep 3 about a minute later to give Milwaukee an 11-point cushion and seal the victory.Antetokounmpo, who grabbed 10 rebounds, fouled out with 42.9 seconds remaining.After a tightly contested first half, the Jazz opened an 11-point lead early in the third quarter before the Bucks stormed back, taking a lead late in the period when Brogdon hit back-to-back shots. Utah rebounded and led 86-83 heading into the fourth.The Jazz were up 62-58 at halftime, with Mitchell providing 15 points and Jae Crowder adding 11 off the bench. The first half featured 19 lead changes and eight ties.Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)GETTING DEFENSIVEAfter allowing 62 points in the first half, the Bucks held the Jazz to 40 in the second half.“We weren’t very happy at halftime with our defense,” Budenholzer said. “The way we improved and got better in the second half gave us a chance to find a way offensively in the fourth quarter.”Utah scored just 16 points in the fourth quarter.“We had some open looks,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We just weren’t able to get them to go.”STAT LINEThe Bucks scored 68 points in the paint to 36 for the Jazz. Milwaukee also had a 19-2 edge in fast-break points.BOUNCING BACKMilwaukee hasn’t lost back-to-back games this season, improving to 11-0 after a loss.TIP-INSJazz: Rubio scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting before exiting. … Gobert had 12 rebounds in the first half, matching his average for a full game this season.Bucks: Wilson didn’t play due to a left hip pointer. Budenholzer said he is hopeful Wilson will be able to return Wednesday at Houston. … G Donte DiVincenzo sat out with right ankle soreness. “It’s a little bit of a recurring theme,” Budenholzer said. “There wasn’t an incident or twisted ankle or anything like that.” … Milwaukee recalled F Christian Wood from its G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd.UP NEXTJazz: Host the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Utah has won 12 of the last 16 meetings.Bucks: At the Houston Rockets on Wednesday as the teams meet for the first time this season.___By RICH ROVITO , Associated PressMore AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more