The Republic of Ireland – a history of play-off heartache

first_imgThe Republic of Ireland’s defeat in Poland on Sunday night means they now face the daunting prospect of tackling a two-legged play-off to qualify for Euro 2016 in France. Martin O’Neill’s side would have automatically reached next summer’s European Championship with a 2-2 draw in Warsaw but could not find a late equaliser and they will now be in next Sunday’s play-off draw – with history largely going against them. Five of their seven previous attempts at making major finals via the play-off route have ended in heartache and here Press Association Sport looks back on that record for the men in green. WORLD CUP 1966 v SPAIN Syria’s withdrawal from qualification led to a play-off with Spain after both sides had won their respective home fixtures. Jose Ufarte’s first international goal for the Spaniards was enough to seal a 1-0 win in Paris, booking their place at the tournament in England. EURO 96 v HOLLAND Another chance to feature in England was missed when Jack Charlton’s side lost 2-0 to Holland at Anfield. A budding young striker by the name of Patrick Kluivert scored both goals as the Dutch progressed and Charlton’s reign as Ireland boss drew to a close. WORLD CUP 1998 v BELGIUM Denis Irwin’s early strike in the home leg was cancelled out by Luc Nilis as the Belgians took a 1-1 draw back to Brussels. There, goals from Luis Oliviera and Nilis were too much for Ireland who succumbed to a 2-1 defeat with Ray Houghton’s goal coming in vain as substitute David Connolly was sent off late on. EURO 2000 v TURKEY Away goals would be the undoing of Mick McCarthy’s side this time around as Tayfur Havutcu’s late penalty at Landsdowne Road drew Turkey level after Robbie Keane had opened the scoring. Against a background of anger and recriminations over the training facilities afforded to the respective teams, the second leg in Bursa ended 0-0 to send Turkey on to Belgium and Holland for the finals. WORLD CUP 2002 v IRAN Only a superior goal difference saw Portugal top their qualifying group ahead of Ireland, who were plunged into the play-offs again despite taking four points off Holland. Iran were their opponents and they finally ended years of hurt as Ian Harte and Keane struck to give McCarthy’s men a 2-0 lead to take to Tehran. With skipper Roy Keane missing from the squad. Ireland endured a tense night but Yahya Golmohammadi’s stoppage-time strike was not enough to deny the visitors their place in Japan and South Korea. WORLD CUP 2010 v FRANCE Unquestionably the most memorable of Ireland’s long history of play-off disappointments. Giovanni Trapattoni’s side lost 1-0 at home but drew level in the Stade de France courtesy of Keane, only to see William Gallas score a controversial extra-time winner. Thierry Henry provided the cross for his compatriot but had controlled the ball with his hand before doing so. The offence went unseen by the officials and it was enough for France to qualify for South Africa, leaving the Irish at home once more. EURO 2012 v ESTONIA Unlike in previous years, Ireland all but sewed up qualification in the opening leg – this time winning 4-0 against nine men in Tallinn. Keith Andrews and Jonathan Walters struck for Trapattoni’s side before Keane bagged a brace meaning the 1-1 draw at the Aviva Stadium in the return leg was more than enough for them to reach the finals in Poland and Ukraine. Press Associationlast_img read more

Read More →

2 Mississippi men accused of gluing winning numbers onto lotto ticket

first_img47-year-old Odis Latham, and 48-year-old Russell Sparks of Mississippi were arrested after they submitting a losing ticket that had the winning numbers glued on.According to authorities, the two men were arrested Monday and charged with offenses including uttering counterfeit instrument over $1,000.The state lottery commission called Flowood police about the fake ticket early Monday morning. Officers were told the suspects presented an altered a $100,000 ticket that appeared to have the winning numbers glued onto it.The two men were set to  appear on court Tuesday.last_img read more

Read More →

Bielema ready to revisit Big House

first_imgStephanie Moebius/The Badger HeraldThe Wisconsin Badgers football team put together another impressive performance Saturday, but their mindset is already directed toward Michigan. The game plan hasn’t changed for head coach Bret Bielema and the Badgers as they turn their focus to the opponent at hand.“We have the same plan as the last three weeks,” Bret Bielema said at his Monday press conference.Bielema feels the upcoming contest with Michigan is an opportunity for Wisconsin to go to a tough road environment and play with the same strength and adversity the Badgers have experienced all season.“It is a great challenge and it’s a way I think our guys can block out all the other stuff that’s going to be thrown at them and just focus on playing at a great environment in college football,” Bielema said.PerfectionismThe Badgers continue to impress Coach Bielema and monopolize on game day opportunities.“The part that jumped out was in the second half the guys we had play; we had a lot of guys get in there and get valuable game experience,” Bielama said. “The most gratifying thing to me Saturday was when the two’s (second string players) went in and did what they did; when your fifth string quarterback went in there and had success – it’s not just a one string thing, it’s a program thing.”Assistant coach and offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has done an extraordinary job of planning and coaching, not just for game days, but 365 days a year, according to Bielema.“What you’re seeing on Saturdays is what I see everyday. It’s not by chance that this offense clicks,” Bielema said.Since coming to Wisconsin, Bielema has chosen to practice on Fridays, a decision he attributes to the dynamic and hardworking attitude of the team, and a possible reason for its success.“I remember there was a time last year, when I wanted to cut down Friday’s practice a little bit and Scott Tolzien went bananas and wanted to stay out there and throw the ball 20 more times,” Bielema said. “So you have to play to the personality of your players, and for our guys they are perfectionists and I think that is why they want those reps.”Clay, Konz still recoveringTwo big parts of the UW offense may not be able to play this Saturday against Michigan.Junior running back John Clay and sophomore center Pete Konz, both of whom did not play against Indiana, are still recovering from their respective injuries.“Clay is still kind of yet to be determined,” Bielema said. “Yesterday he was moving as good as he has. I don’t know if we’ll have him for Tuesday, but do expect him to get a limited amount of work this week.”“Pete felt a lot better. We really didn’t use him at all last week, just let him rest. So if he can go, right now it would probably be more of a reserve, still kind of just go forward with Bill [Nagy] at center, unless Pete really comes on.”Learning from the pastThe Badgers faced adversity early on in their season, losing on the road in the Big Ten opener to Michigan State, and since then UW has taken note and learned from their mistakes.“I think it is kind of what we have drawn from the past, it’s part of our history, you have to embrace the negative and positive experiences that you have and go forward,” Bielema said.Bielema further states the Badgers have embraced their only loss of the season, and have used it as a learning tool to move forward and to make the negative experiences count towards something.“The best thing is that this team embraces is that Michigan State game happened for a reason, whatever it was, we had to learn from that day. If we left everything in East Lansing, we would never be where we are today, we learned form that experience and grew.”Defense capitalizing on turnoversThe Badger’s defense has done an excellent job of playing strong and making the most of their opponent’s offensive mistakes – something Bielema continues to stress during practice.“I made a big point of it on Saturday’s game, about ball security and taking care of the football, and the exchanges, the snaps,” Bielema Said. “Bottom line, on Saturday, Indiana had some turnovers, and our guys didn’t; I think it was a point of emphasis that our guys carried forward to the game”With the upcoming road game against Michigan, Bielema feels being able to capitalize on the turnovers defensively, and protect the ball offensively is key to success.“To be able to withstand momentum swings in Big Ten road games, is huge,” Bielema said.last_img read more

Read More →

Gallery: No. 7 Syracuse drops road game to No. 9 Cornell, 13-8

first_imgITHACA, N.Y. — No. 7 Syracuse (6-4, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) never led against No. 9 Cornell (8-3, 3-1 Ivy) on the road and eventually lost, 13-8. The Big Red offense was held below its season averages in a number of categories, but the Orange’s offense just couldn’t beat Cornell’s defense enough to keep up. The country’s leading scorer, Cornell’s Jeff Teat, scored a game-high six points and his teammates did enough to lead the Big Red to a start-to-finish win. Comments Published on April 10, 2018 at 11:23 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Read More →

Lions happy with performance against Chiefs

first_imgRory Best says the Lions are happy with their performance in their 34-6 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton.Jared Payne scored a try in the second half while Jack Nowell crossed the whitewash either side of the break.Iain Henderson and CJ Stander played well and will hope they’ve done enough to get into the 23 man squad to face the All Blacks in Auckland this Saturday. After today’s game Best said the team worked hard for each other. Photo: © lionsrugby.comlast_img

Read More →

Serena for 2018 Aussie Open, Says Tournament Director

first_imgSerena Williams has entered the Australian Open in January, tournament director Craig Tiley has said.The 36-year-old won this year’s event in Melbourne while in the early weeks of pregnancy and gave birth to a daughter in September. Tiley told the Herald Sun the 23-time Grand Slam winner is “very likely” to return to tennis in Melbourne.“She’s got her visa, she’s entered, she’s practising,” he said. “There’s no question she’ll be ready in our view.”Williams, who has won the Australian Open seven times, has posted on social media that she has returned to training.Australia’s Margaret Court, with 24, is the only player still ahead of Serena in terms of Grand Slam singles titles.“She wants to break a record that is Margaret Court’s,” added Tiley. “It would be a pretty significant accomplishment for her to be able to do that.”Pacquiao Now Philippines Army ColonelShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Read More →

Harry Maguire: I feared for my life during arrest in Greece [VIDEO]

first_imgManchester United defender Harry Maguire said he feared for his life when Greek police arrested him last week as he thought he was being kidnapped.The England international told BBC sports editor Dan Roan that plain-clothed police officers, who did not identify themselves, pulled over his group’s minibus in Mykonos, threw him off the bus, hit him on his legs and told him his career was over. ‘I’m happy at Crystal Palace’ – Jordan Ayew says amid transfer speculation Ivory Coast FA elections: Asamoah Gyan backs Didier Drogba ‘We want to play in big competitions’ – Jordan Ayew targets European spot with Crystal Palace RelatedPostscenter_img The 27-year-old said he tried to run away – with one handcuff on – because he had no idea who the men were.On Tuesday, Maguire was given a suspended sentence of 21 months and 10 days in prison after his trial on the Greek island of Syros.He was found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insult after arrest on Mykonos.On Wednesday, his legal team lodged an appeal against the verdict. In accordance with Greek law, the appeal nullifies Maguire’s conviction and there will be a full retrial in a more senior court.An emotional Maguire, who broke down during the interview, said hearing the guilty verdict was “horrible” and that he “couldn’t quite believe it”.The centre-back, who denies throwing any punches or trying to bribe the police, added: “I don’t feel I owe an apology to anybody.“An apology is something when you have done something wrong.”He said: “I don’t wish it on anybody. Obviously the situation has made it difficult for one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I regret putting the fans and the club through this, but I did nothing wrong.“I found myself in a situation where it could have happened to anybody and anywhere.”Asked how badly he was hurt, Maguire said: “They hit me a lot on the legs. It wasn’t on my mind. I was in that much of a panic. Fear. Scared for my life.”Maguire said his family are suffering more than him and that his “conscience is clear”.“I know what happened that night. I know the truth,” he added.“When I speak about it I get worked up but that’s because it just makes me feel a bit angry inside. I will move on. I am mentally strong enough.”Maguire – an £80m signing from Leicester City in 2019 – was named United’s permanent captain in January after the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan, and he is likely to remain skipper this season.“It is such a huge honour to be captain of Manchester United – something I am really proud of,” he said. “It is a massive privilege to play for the club, never mind captain.“It is not my decision to make but the one thing I will say is how supportive the club has been from top to bottom. They have been great with me and I thank them for that.”On Tuesday, Maguire was withdrawn from the England squad for September’s Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark.He said: “I love playing for my country. Physically and mentally I am ready to play. I’m disappointed but of course, I understand.”Watch the video here: Source: BBC Tags: GreeceHarry MaguireManchester Unitedlast_img read more

Read More →

Ghanaians express mixed feelings on return of AC Milan duo

first_imgMany Ghanaians have expressed mixed feelings following the controversial return of two controversial Black Stars players both of whom are with Serie A giants AC Milan.Even though they both announced a return to the Black Stars with a letter, the contents of the letters were markedly different.Sulley Muntari had to apologise with a letter for his unruly behaviour during the Ghana Lesotho game in Maseru. On the other hand, Kevin Prince Boateng had to write to confirm his availability and readiness to play again for the Black Stars, having already written to announce his temporary retirement.On both occasions, the Ghana Football Association demanded letters from the two players and they have complied, even if the letters were scanty in details.JOY Sports hit the streets of Accra to sample views of football enthusiasts (all of who pleaded anonymity) on the matter and opinions were divided.While some were of the view that it was a good thing to have the two players back for the Black Stars since they added a rich vein of experience to the squad, others also opined that head coach Kwesi Appiah must not call them for any games since they (the players) especially, KPB had taken Ghana for granted. A section of the fans also pleaded for forgiveness for them with the rest of the lot wondering the situation with the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan.The GFA gave yesterday Thursday August 23, 2013 as the deadline for all the players to submit their respective letters.However the letters of the sons of former Ghana international Abedi Ayew Pele are yet to reach the offices of the nation’s football governing body, at least as of the time of filing this report.Meanwhile the GFA has accepted the letters from KPB and Sulley Muntari, but is yet to communicate its decision on Andre and Jordan Ayew, especially as the deadline has elapsed. It will be recalled that KVP officially wrote to the Ghana Football Association about two years ago announcing his resignation from the Black Stars saying the physical demands of playing for both club and country at high levels are taking a toll on his health.”Sulley Muntari is was alleged to have confronted coach Kwesi Appiah in front of the technical team and playing body of the Black Stars following his substitution in a Lesotho-Ghana world cup qualifier in Maseru which Ghana won by 2-0.last_img read more

Read More →

Aldin Šetkić in the Quarter Finals of the ITF Futures Tournament in Egypt

first_imgOur tennis player Aldin Šetkić placed himself easily to the quarter finals of the ITF Futures Tournament in Egypt.In the second round of this, 10 000 Dollars worth tournament, Šetkić won against Pawel Cias with the result 6-3, 6-0.In the quarter finals, Aldin will have a bit more difficult mission since he will be playing against Jerome Inzerillo from France.(Source: Oslobođenje)last_img

Read More →

PSG win again but tensions simmer between Neymar, Cavani

first_img– ‘Everything is fine’ –Earlier in Sunday’s game, the duo disagreed over who should take a free-kick with the match still goalless. Dani Alves intervened to give his compatriot the ball on that occasion, and Neymar’s strike was saved.“They are two great players. They want to score goals. There are no problems between them, everything is fine,” insisted PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe.Most coaches would envy the embarrassment of riches at Emery’s disposal.The ‘MCN’ front line of Mbappe, Cavani and Neymar has cost the capital club 466 million euros ($557 million, £411 million) but now the coach has to somehow keep them all happy.Cavani scored a remarkable 49 goals in all competitions last season and already has nine this season — it would have been 10 had the opener against Lyon not been credited as a Marcelo own goal.But Cavani, who previously lived in the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has seen PSG commit the two biggest transfer fees in history to sign Neymar and Mbappe.And 222 million-euro man Neymar has come to Paris to be the main man after spending four years in Lionel Messi’s shadow at Barcelona.“This victory has exposed tensions between Neymar and Cavani,” said sports daily L’Equipe on its front page on Monday.The ‘MCN’ scored eight goals between them in their first two matches together against Metz (5-1) and Celtic (5-0), but Sunday was less encouraging.Cavani saw very little of the ball, while Neymar and Mbappe were relatively subdued, even if they combined to force PSG’s second on the night, a Jeremy Morel own goal.Julian Draxler, a 40 million-euro signing from Wolfsburg in January, was also shoehorned into the team on Sunday but overloading the side with attacking stars is to the detriment of the overall balance.PSG have not slipped up yet, but Sunday’s game showed that Emery has plenty on his plate. Cavani, Mbappe and NeymarParis, France | AFP |  Paris Saint-Germain kept their perfect start to the season going on Sunday, but the 2-0 win over Lyon also laid bare certain tensions in their all-star front line.PSG were leading 1-0 at the Parc des Princes when they won a penalty with 10 minutes remaining for a foul on Kylian Mbappe, making his home debut.Having already scored three times from the spot this season, Edinson Cavani assumed the responsibility would once again be his.Neymar tried to get the ball from the Uruguayan but it was Cavani who eventually took it. And his effort was brilliantly saved, Anthony Lopes tipping the ball onto the bar.“The penalties are taken by a couple of players, one is Cavani and the other is Neymar. There needs to be a gentleman’s agreement on the pitch to decide who takes the penalties,” coach Unai Emery admitted later.“We will sort things out internally for the next time, because I think they are both capable of taking them, and I want the two of them to mix up who takes them.”Those comments, and the fact Cavani was unsuccessful from the spot, suggests Neymar will get his chance in future.Cavani himself tried to play down any rift telling Uruguayan radio this kind of thing happened all the time in football.“I don’t know why people believe these stories. The truth is this kind of thing is normal, something that happens in football,” Cavani told Uruguay’s Radio Universal.“The truth is there’s no problem at all.”“He (Neymar) just arrived, he will surely emerge more and more. As I’ve said from the very beginning, we all have the positivity and willingness to help him adapt in the best way possible. I think he has shown he’s adapting quickly,” said Cavani.The Brazilian had previously tried and failed to grab the ball from Cavani when a penalty was awarded in the 3-0 win over Saint-Etienne last month. Cavani scored that time. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Read More →