UPDATE: Spurs double downs AEL, as Omonia and Apollon draw

first_imgBy Andreas VouAEL held a shock lead over Tottenham Hotspur for exactly an hour on Thursday night before two goals in just seven minutes crushed their Europa League hopes as they lost 1-2 in Larnaca. Meanwhile, Omonia earned a more than impressive 2-2 draw away to Dynamo Moscow, while Apollon drew 1-1 against Lokomotiv in Nicosia.Few gave AEL any hope going into their match against Spurs but Ivaylo Petev’s men were the ones who took the lead over the Premier League side. Spanish striker Adrian Sardinero scored his first goal since joining the club, running beyond the Spurs defence before slotting the ball past Hugo Lloris.Despite being heavy favourites, Spurs were far from their best and failed to create any significant chances. AEL more than held their own against Mauricio Pochettino’s side and deserved their goal advantage.The turning came on 71 minutes as Erik Lamela replaced half-Cypriot Andros Townsend. Within just seven minutes of entering the field, the Argentine made assists for Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane to turn the game on its head and end AEL’s realistic hopes of progression to the group stages.Omonia, who started their European campaign from the second qualifying round, have looked impressive in their previous four matches, and Costas Kaiafas’ team started the play-off in ideal fashion. It took less than two minutes for the Nicosia side to make the breakthrough and earn a crucial away goal through summer recruit Ucha Lobjanidze.Former Queens Park Rangers defender Christopher Samba was a constant goal threat in the Premier League and the 1.93m centre-back proved why with a header to equalise on 33 minutes. Samba’s goal was the first that Omonia had conceded in Europe this season.Another new recruit, Gaossou Fofana, shocked the home crowd once again as he put Omonia 1-2 up on the hour-mark with an unstoppable left-footed shot after capitalising on a mistake from William Vainqueur.Just three minutes after Dynamo’s Alexander Kokorin was shown a second yellow card for diving,  Alexander Buttner, signed from Manchester United this summer, levelled the tie after an excellent run and a powerful shot into the right-hand corner of the net from which Jose Moreira could hardly do anything about.A draw and two away goals puts Omonia in an excellent position to progress to the group stages of the European competition for the first time in the club’s history.In Nicosia, Apollon also took on a side from the Russian capital – the Limassol club failed to get going and it was Lokomotiv who went ahead six minutes before the break through Alan Kasaev.Apollon levelled the game on 79 minutes with an excellently taken finish from Abraham Guie Gneki who dinked the ball over the oncoming goalkeeper.Lokomotiv had players sent off either side of the equalising goal, but the 1-1 scoreline remained, leaving Apollon with a tough task to reverse proceedings next week in Moscow.last_img read more

Serbia-Albania match abandoned following drone stunt, brawl

first_imgBy Zoran MilosavljevicThe politically-sensitive Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania was abandoned on Tuesday following a brawl between players from both sides after a flag stunt.The Group I game, with no away fans permitted, was interrupted when a flag depicting so-called Greater Albania, an area covering all parts of the Balkans where ethnic Albanians live, was flown over the terraces and pitch by what appeared to be a remote controlled mini drone near the end of the first half.A Serbian player eventually grabbed the flag at the Partizan stadium, prompting an angry reaction from Albanian players and an unsightly melee ensued.Riot police then moved in when around a dozen fans invaded the pitch and attacked the Albanian players, forcing them to retreat into the tunnel as flares were thrown from the terraces.After a delay of around half an hour, English referee Martin Atkinson abandoned the game, which stood at 0-0.“What happened is something we can’t comprehend at the moment,” Serbia captain Branislav Ivanovic told reporters.“On behalf of my team, all I can say is that we wanted to carry on and that we shielded the Albanian players every step of the way to the tunnel (after the riot broke out).“The Albanian team said they were unfit physically and mentally to carry on after talking to the officials and they will now decide the fate of this match. We can only regret that football took a back seat but it is difficult to draw any conclusions or make any comments now.”Albanian captain Lorik Cana told Albanian television: “I saw my players being attacked and hit even inside the tunnel, and even by the stewards. We were not in the right psychological or physical state to continue playing.”“POLITICAL PROVOCATION”Serbian state television reported that Olsi Rama, the brother of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, was arrested in the VIP section on suspicion of instigating the flag stunt.Albanian Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri said that to the best of his knowledge Olsi Rama had left the stadium for the airport, according to information he had from Serbia’s interior ministry and Albanian officials in Belgrade.Asked if he had been arrested on suspicion of organising the drone stunt, Tahiri told Reuters: “Not to my knowledge. It’s speculation.”Security was tight for a game at which no away fans were present and held against a backdrop of long-running Serb-Albanian tensions over Kosovo, a majority-Albanian former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.NATO waged a 78-day air war in 1999 to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo by Serbian forces fighting a two-year counter-insurgency war. Serbia does not recognise Kosovo as independent.Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic was quoted on the website of Serbian daily Blic as saying: “This was a political provocation.“The main question for me is how will the European Union and UEFA react, because if someone from Serbia had unveiled a flag of Greater Serbia in Tirana or Pristina (capital of Kosovo) it would already be on the agenda of the U.N. Security Council.”UEFA match delegate Harry Been said: “It is a regretful situation on which we will report; the referee, myself and the security advisor. The circumstances were such that we couldn’t continue the match.“You all saw what happened and I cannot comment on who is to blame or what to blame. I will submit a report with my colleagues to UEFA and UEFA will decide what will happen further.”last_img read more

Donis: APOEL had worst game

first_imgBy Andreas VouAPOEL suffered their third 1-0 defeat in Group F of the Champions League on Wednesday against Paris Saint-Germain, ruling out any possibility of reaching the knockout stage of the competition. The Cypriot champions were left to rue their lack of concentration in the opening minute of the match which allowed Edinson Cavani to score what would prove to be the winner.APOEL have proven to be a tough nut to crack, surprising many in this season’s competition by conceding just once in each game against some of Europe’s biggest names. However, manager Giorgos Donis felt his side played their worst game so far this European campaign.“When a game starts, it does not matter when you concede a goal. On Wednesday, we were a side with problems. We had our worst game and it showed on the pitch.”Barcelona’s win over Ajax in the group’s other game leaves APOEL just one point behind the Dutch champions who occupy third place which earns a spot in the Europa League, meaning that the final group game between the two could have a lot at stake.“However, even on our worst day, we were dignified and we will go, it seems, to Holland for a big game,” said the Greek boss.As they tend to be at home, PSG were the superior team and the stats reflected that: Laurent Blanc’s side had 68 per cent of the possession as well as 18 shots on goal. The French manager believed the narrow scoreline did not fairly depict the match.“The result does not reflect the image of the game. We missed a lot of chances and we could have scored more goals. We take the win and that we managed the game better,” said Blanc.Cillian Sheridan, who came on as a second-half substitute, was hoping APOEL would add points to the board but feels the team’s inability to convert chances is an issue. “We came here wanting to get a result this time rather than settle just for a good performance but again we leave empty-handed. We create some good chances but we don’t manage to make the most of them and that’s something we have to improve.”APOEL are not used to conceding goals quickly, and the Irish forward admits that it had a negative impact on the team.“The French team’s early goal affected us. We’re not used to being behind so early,” he concluded.Meanwhile, PSG captain Thiago Silva was content with his team’s win and alluded to the fact that APOEL were always going to be tough to get in behind.“It was better. I think we played a good match. APOEL played behind the ball and it’s hard to find space but it is a match of the Champions League, it’s never easy.” APOEL forward Gustavo Manduca was largely disappointed with the team’s performance, saying that they “did not play a good game” and that they “made several unforced errors and just had one chance,” yet the Brazilian did not rule out the possibility of a surprise in the next group game.“First, we need to look to the next game against Barcelona. Who is to say we can’t have a good game and take all three points?”APOEL take on Lionel Messi and co. on November 25 at the GSP stadium before travelling to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the final group match on December 10.last_img read more

Barras win comfortably against Northern Territory

first_imgNorthern Territory lost the toss and were all bowled out after 51 overs for a measly 155.Barra’s Norman Vanua and Chad Soper had outstanding performances with the ball. Vanua took 3/32 off 8.3 overs while Soper finished with 2/29 off 14 overs.The Barras responded with the bat belting 367 runs after 99.1 overs. Hiri Hiri top scored with 101 runs finishing not out. His ton included 15 fours.In their second innings, Northern Territory lost wickets quickly and were left at 8/117 after 37 overs before time ran out.This time it was Nosaina Pokana who did the damage for the Barras taking 4/24 from just 7 overs.last_img read more

POM select side for softball championships

first_imgMelonas, Meros and Kaks are for the men and POM Gold, POM Black and POM White for women.They are:MELONAS; Ansolom Bunbun,  Tony Williams, Danny Tovia, Bobby Bais, Silas Daruis,  Isikel  Tovia Jr,  John Pulu Jr, Dick Bart Jr,  Colin Mangot, Arian Chan,  Sammy Malum, Paul Bogan, Sammy Sogai,  Mika Zale,  Jonty Malum, Gerald Pokanau, Andrew Karai ,  Consie Bais , Nerius Kua B, Glen Niggins and John Kuwoh.MEROS; Mosley Obed, Saga Gime, Cliford Kouse, Michael Parom, Mark Tomangana, Chris Paak, Davis Keleu, Joel Josephs, Consie Lumaris, Eddie Simba, David Upaupa, Misiel Puipui ,Tony Karani,Julius Tatai,Aiden Kipma,Gabby Pamel,Martin Toalbert,Danny Paon,Kepas Mormor and Emil Lucas.KAKS; Clement Okole, Kolish Pagal, Paul Tabete, Francis Tony,Graham Kinavai,Joel Kua,Goodwill Baiai, Joe Kuwoh, Gire Bunbun, Demas Tovia, Darius Kero, Bernard Toalbert, Demas Totil Junior, Charlie Pomahun, Venon Wam, Eugene Tovue, Mila Kuwoh, Fraser Kudada,Thomas Kuwoh  and Bernard Pamel.For the women’s side;POM GOLD; Jenny Pilak ,Tessa Karai, Selina Karai, Talitha Pondriket, Kate Uvia, Nadia Bais, Florence Daple, Addie Tamti, Antonia Kinit,Nicky Simba, Dianne Gideon, Lisa Polum, Quandalyn Vinim, Mathilda Pondriket, Priscilla Mocke,Donna Misikaram,Sulianna Tongia, Priscilla Samuel, Carol Apelis and Navasha Pilak.POM BLACK; Basemath Xkenjik, Farapo Sevese, Julie Naime,Dulcie Simba, Sandra Sawaraba,Esther Xkenjik,Rosalia Apelis, Claire Wutt, Anisa Markis,Jaura Dambui,Jessica Tonga,Florence Hapman, Francine Malum, Geraldine Lukere, Rosemary Mohe, Hazel Schulz, Mais Totil,Sabet Chan, Margaret Tobolton And Trudy  Simba.POM WHITE; Nancy Maradi, Anita Kisokau, Georgina Mautu, Dessie Loniu, Alice Ono, Niatang Pokanau, Miriam Dapal ,Natasha Pilak, Andrewlar Moe, Mathilda Moe, Natalie Bart, Eva Sariman, Aivi Robinson, Encie Simitab Helen Tata, Joycelyn Paon, Angie Girana, Nicole Mamia, Milcha Xkenjik and Vinnie Parom.The current male champions, the Port Moresby Mellonas have made a good team to defend their title.Port Moresby will host the championship  set to start on the 25 of this month till the 28 at the Bisini softball grounds.last_img read more

Reports Wanderers chasing Didier Drogba

first_imgFox Sports reports the free agent is an ambitious target for the team who have Kerem Bulut and Brendon Santalab as its key marksmen.Thirty-eight-year-old Drogba’s profile as one of the top Premier League strikers of his generation in two stints with Chelsea would also likely fulfill requirements to receive assistance from the Football Federation Australia’s marquee fund.The Wanderers have been linked Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov in recent months as they consider forward options.Drogba scored over 100 goals for Chelsea and had stints playing for Galatasaray, Shanghai Shenhua and Montreal Impact.Meanwhile, keeper Vedran Janjetovic is set to swap from Sydney FC to the Wanderers according to AAP.last_img read more

Motu Koitabu rugby comp starts tomorrow

first_imgChairman of the MKRLA, Pipi Dai Boe said 16 clubs have registered to play in two divisions- A Grade men’s and U-20 men’s.Boe said NCD Governor, Powes Parkop will do the official kick off at 9:30am. He also wished all teams the best of luck this weekend.“Most of all, let’s all conduct ourselves in the true spirit of the rugby league and sports in general.“Let’s have respect for each other and denounce any unsociable and unruly behaviour,” said Boe.last_img

Eight teams standing in NCD leg

first_imgThe draw:Emperador Giants vs QPR Wanderers (9am)Agro Bullets vs City Redbacks (10am)UPNG Atafa Alladins vs North Build Hummers (11am)D8 Mosquitoes vs Paga Panthers (12pm).Official, David Silovo, said from 16 teams, there are now only eight teams left after the knockouts played yesterday.He said the losers from this weekend will bow out of the tournament while the winners advance on to the semi-finals stage.last_img

Joshua v Parker: David Higgins says Anthony Joshua was the ‘better boxer’ on the night

first_imgItaly’s Giuseppe Quartarone was the third man in the ring as Joshua outpointed Parker on Saturday, adding the WBO belt to his IBF and WBA belts.”I don’t need to say much. Everyone is saying it for us,” Parker’s promoter David Higgins told Sky Sports.”When they were brawling, there were hints of Joe almost getting in there, but everyone is saying – not me – people who know a lot more about boxing were saying that ref allowed Anthony Joshua to execute a very disciplined, conservative fight plan, which did suit Joshua and did not suit Parker.”Now let’s not pursue an accusation of bias, but often there is subconscious bias etc, etc and I think anyone that knows boxing would not deny that the referee’s style of conduct suited Joshua and not Parker, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse.”We didn’t quite do enough today to win the fight. If there was a rematch, would we accept that referee again? Certainly not.”Higgins was full of respect for Joshua, who remains unbeaten in 21 fights.”I thought that Anthony Joshua was a better boxer today, deserved to win,” said Higgins. “I don’t think Joseph Parker did quite enough to win in [the UK].”Joseph fought valiantly and I’m proud of him, he can hold his head up, but I respect Anthony Joshua and he won the fight.”The Joshua that fought Carlos Takam, might not have won today, but respect to Joshua, because he lost weight, he came in fit, and he was disciplined. He boxed well for 12 rounds. He won the fight, good on him.”Today he looked like a man that was serious. He did show Joseph respect, rightly so.”Joseph showed no signs of going down, being overly hurt and was there right to the end. Had a few skirmishes developed, a few more brawls, anything could have happened.”There was certainly not [disappointment] after the fight, because Joe did the best he could. There were smiles and hugs and music.”I have worked with boxers who have got broken or given up. Joseph is not one of them.”I saw the look in his eye, this has made him hungrier and he’ll want to come back as soon as possible and learn from his mistakes. I have no doubt that these guys will fight again, sooner rather than later.”last_img read more

Taekwondo championship to be hosted

first_imgBeginning in 2013, the Korean Ambassador’s Cup has gained tremendous interest among Taekwondo coaches and athletes in PNG. The primary purpose of the Cup is to enhance ties between Korea and PNG.“Interestingly, it has served the practitioners in a different way, however. While this beautiful island has not been able to hold many domestic competitions, the Korean Ambassador’s Cup gives PNG Taekwondo doers a regular and great opportunity to show off their talents and efforts and compete with each other on home soil before taking part in international games in other countries,” said the Embassy.“Namely, the event acts to identify good talents and encourage excellence. After all, PNG players need practical experiences to prepare for big events.   “In 2018, 85 players from eight clubs in the capital city contested with each other. There were around 500 people at the venue, Caritas Technical Secondary School Gymnasium.“This year’s Korean Ambassador’s Cup is much more compelling. The Korean government plans to invite 150 outstanding athletes to Korea later this year who display superb performance at the Korean Ambassador Cups around the world.“This will surely motivate PNG players to do their utmost. We will get to see who will be the lucky ones,” said the Embassy.Human Exchanges through Taekwondo, a bright future of Taekwondo in PNG In 2016, K-Tigers, Taekwondo performance team, visited PNG and fascinated the audience with their artistic and dynamic live show.In January this year, for a month, Taekwondo PNG invited Korea’s World Taekwondo Peace Corps (three instructors and one translator) to train fifty PNG players (World Taekwondo Peace Corps has been sending Korean instructors to PNG since 2010). In March, for three weeks, four PNG athletes were invited to train in Korea along with other forty athletes around the world. It is true that these human exchanges enable the two countries to understand each other better and to reinforce relations.These training events also help Taekwondo in PNG in many practical ways. Some of the challenges that disturb the growth of Taekwondo in PNG include the lack of experienced instructors and proper teaching standards.These programs offer a great chance to PNG Taekwondo professionals to train better and be informed with good knowledge from the origin country’s masters. Accordingly, they could produce highly qualified PNG instructors and be able to develop unified and advanced teaching methods. This will ensure that any Papua New Guineans will learn Taekwondo in a proper manner. High chances of the First PNG Olympic Medal Taekwondo could be the sport to give Papua New Guinea its first Olympic medal. PNG has participated in the summer Olympics since 1976. Taekwondo was adopted as a regular in Sydney 2000, and PNG sent one male and one female Taekwondo athletes to Rio 2016. Although the male contestant, Maximillian Kassman’s challenge stopped at the preliminary round (category -68kg), he is still young and making efforts for the 2020 Olympics.Taekwondo, promising a brighter future for Papua New Guinea   Relations between Korea and PNG so far were largely focused on economic cooperation. Korea imports natural resources and participates in infrastructure projects. PNG considers Korea(ns) as a development partner as well as a stable importer and robust business runners. While these large-scale economic projects matter in boosting the national economy, Taekwondo touches the real hearts of the Papua New Guineans, making a big difference in their everyday lives.The Popularity of Taekwondo and KoreaAmong many global martial arts enjoyed in PNG, Taekwondo is surely the most popular one. Since its introduction in the 1970s, Papua New Guineans have learned and practiced Taekwondo in schools and local clubs. Kila Perry (33), an employee at the Korean Embassy in Port Moresby, who went to Notre Dame Secondary Girls’ High School in Western Highlands Province, said Taekwondo was a regular curriculum of PE classes in her school and she liked learning Taekwondo from a black-belt master. She said firmly that by learning Taekwondo she grew physically strong. Particularly, because of its focuses on good manners, she came to know how to control herself and behave better. This Taekwondo experience left a good image of Korea and eventually led her to get a job in the Korean Embassy.Out of 22 provinces in PNG, six have Taekwondo clubs. Taekwondo PNG aims to reach all the provinces by 2030 and believes that Taekwondo contributes to national development. Some of the famous clubs in Port Moresby are Kassman Taekwondo Club, The University Taekwondo Club and Stones Taekwondo Club.While Hallyu, the Korean Wave denotes a variety of Korean cultures such as K-pop, Korean food, and Hangeul (the Korean language), Taekwondo is undoubtedly number one messenger of the Korean heritages here in PNG. As Taekwondo games are run in the Korean language and Taekwondo teaches Korean manners, it plays a strong and effective role in bridging the two countries and letting them share a common ground. This will pave the way for cultural exchanges between the two friends.Self-Defense for Papua New GuineansA lot of Papua New Guineans find self-defense skills of Taekwondo very helpful. As PNG reports many cases of pickpocketing and robberies, acquiring self-protection techniques is an advantage and Taekwondo does that job. In particular, some clubs are happy to see that more girls and women join Taekwondo classes as Taekwondo can equip them with practical skills to combat violence against women.Character Building with TaekwondoTaekwondo is a very special martial art in the sense that it not only reinforces physical strength, but also helps develop self-discipline and courtesy. It is because the philosophy of Taekwondo is based on five principles: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. This is why a lot of parents around the world tend to incorporate Taekwondo into their children’s education. They certainly see good changes in behaviour and thoughts.Kila Perry believes the same. She said taekwondo will be of great help when applied in nationwide education in PNG as it instills in future generations good manners and peace-loving spirits. With pressure and stress increasing, some students get easily aggressive, angry and frustrated. Through Taekwondo they could be made more gentle, disciplined and resilient. This will make decent PNG citizens, who will build a harmoniously organised and peaceful country in the long run.After the Japanese Occupation (1910-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953), Korea had to regain its national spirits and rebuild the nation. As in an aphorism of ‘a sound mind in a sound body’, Taekwondo ensured the physical and spiritual strengths of Koreans, and this led to national unity and splendid growth of Korea. Now it is PNG’s turn. Since its independence in 1975, PNG has shown enormous potentials for development. PNG people will be able to see what magic Taekwondo can do for the new history.last_img read more