Shooting down…

first_img…oil gambitFrom the moment Raphael Trotman floated the notion of an oil refinery for Guyana — and then hired an “expert,” back in January, to determine its ‘feasibility” — your Eyewitness said he was wasting our money. The fella was going to be paid $10M to do a “desk study” — meaning he’d just look at the literature of the subject and make a pronouncement — which is precisely what your Eyewitness did back then, and concluded:“Trotman’s just hired a $10 million consultant to advise him as to whether we should build a refinery here!! Has he worked out why Trinidad loses its shirt every year on its refinery? Or why Hess closed the largest refinery in the Caribbean? Or that Uganda’s minuscule 30,000bbl/d refinery will cost US$4.3 billion?”So now that the “expert” has also pronounced that a refinery is just not feasible for us, does your Eyewitness get even $1M for giving Trotty an early warning of what to expect??But it all goes back to the cluelessness of Trotman for the portfolio he holds — Natural Resources. We all know he’s just stringing along the APNU/AFC supporters about jobs being “in the pipeline”, but was he so dumb to think his hired “expert” would support his pie-in-the-sky nonsense??  Hey! The “expert” was part of Hess when they closed the aforementioned Refinery in the Virgin Islands!! If Hess couldn’t keep a refinery going, can Guyana?Trotman said they needed the study ‘cause his Government was being inundated with requests to set up a refinery here!! So why did GUYANA have to do a feasibility study? Shouldn’t those “investors” — if they exist — foot that bill? After all, it’d be their money — a minimum of US$5 billion!! – on the line. Right?? Or maybe not. Was it a “political investment” demanding dividends??And that brings us to that other airy-fairy dream: the US$500M “oil facility” of Trotman’s trumpeting. Your Eyewitness had also punctured this “there’s jobs ahead” ploy. And just like with the refineries, the pin used was “Who’s gonna cough up the US$500M?” ExxonMobil, the biggest whale in the oil ocean, already said very clearly they ain’t interested!! And if the company that’ll be employing the 300 employees on their FPSO doesn’t need this facility, who does?? Another “political investor”?? Trotman had better spend some time figuring out if Guyana will EVER get any money from our undersea oil. Exxon might’ve sunken, let’s say, a cool billion (US) dollars on exploration and the FPSO front end engineering costs on Stabroek.But they’ve just spent US$6B on shale oil…which is cheaper and safer than ours!! Let’s not count our barrels before they’re pumped!!…the “right thing”On the “ANSA Pharma Arch” fiasco, the PM’s Shill, otherwise known as “DPI” (dots per inch??) claimed it was all due to “a desire by this Government to please and to do the right thing.” His Govt, he opined, needs to be “shrewd”. He should take his own advice: be “shrewd,” and not “shrewish,” as he is wont to do!!So let’s look at the advice from MLK, famously offered by Spike Lee at the end of his film ‘Do the Right Thing’: “Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys a community and makes brotherhood impossible.”Isn’t this what the present actions of the Shill’s government amount to to its “non-supporters”??…Duty-freeYou’d think we’ve heard it all about the rules on importing “duty-free” vehicles, right??  Wrong!! Yesterday we learnt something new. When anyone breaks the rules, they’re hauled before the courts; but when the GRA breaks the rules for one of its own, it’s “flexibility”!!last_img read more

Sparman dodges question on Fire Advisory Board status

first_imgCoI into deadly prison riotThe Fire Service’s implementation of measures outlined in the Fire Prevention Act was scrutinised at Tuesday’s hearing of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the death of 17 prisoners at the Camp Street Prison. In the cross-examination, Attorney Christopher Ram sought to determine whether the Fire Service indeed observed all of the Standard Operating Procedures.Officer in Charge of Operations Compton Sparman continued his testimony at Tuesday’s CoIRam grilled the Officer in Charge of Operations, Compton Sparman, over the Fire Service’s operations on the day of the deadly prison fire and questioned him over what he knows about the Fire Prevention Act, Chapter 22:01; more particularly, Section 3 of that Act, which stipulates that a Fire Advisory Board be established. Sparman however avoided the questions regarding the body’s status.“That decision would be made with the Chief Fire Officer, I know for sure a board supposed to be in place but whether it is functioning or not, it is not within my remit to make such a statement,” the Officer in Charge of Operations stated.The attorney then asked the witness if he was aware that the Chief Fire Officer or any inspector could enter the premises for inspection purposes where there is a danger of an outbreak of fire.“I am perfectly aware,” responded Sparman. He related that he has general knowledge of the inside of the prison based on prior inspections but could not state when the last inspection of the Georgetown prison was done.In Monday’s testimony, Sparman told Commissioners that firemen could not rescue the burning inmates since the Prison Service was giving the orders. On Tuesday, the Fire Officer suggested that “certainly” the high prison population increased the potential for loss of life as was the case of the March 3 fire.In re-examination by Attorney representing the Joint Services, Eusi Anderson, Sparman reiterated that fire fighters used some caution in their approach to the deadly blaze as they could have been trapped due to the “raucous behaviour” of the inmates and the layout of the Georgetown prison.Throughout this week, witnesses from the Joint Services will continue to give their testimonies.last_img read more

Pochettino revels in ‘complete’ performance

first_img“I think we fully deserved the result,” said Pochettino. “We dominated and played well. They didn’t shoot and they didn’t create chances.“It was a very good performance, the complete one. I’m happy and we needed it — a big victory after Chelsea (they lost 2-1 after going 1-0 up).“But I don’t believe it was the best performance of the season. Against Manchester City we were better. It’s important to be close to the top.“I’m pleased with the performance, it was fantastic. Credit to the players.”Kane now has six goals in five since returning from an ankle problem while he also put pen to paper on a new five-and-a-half year contract this week.“I feel after his (Kane) injury it was good for him to work with consistency and I think that the last week was important for his to work on his fitness,” said Pochettino.The Argentine manager was also delighted with the performance of Dele Alli who was involved in four goals but also in a controversial moment as he went down easily following a challenge by Kyle Naughton for the 39th-minute penalty opener that Kane converted.“I’m happy with him (Alli) — he has recovered the feeling of last season,” said Pochettino.“He’s young and needs to find his best and be consistent — that’s the challenge for him. But I did not see the incident for the penalty, it was too difficult to see.“After 5-0 and 23 or 24 shots and zero from Swansea it is not important to talk about the penalty. We can’t focus on that, it is a waste of time.“In the second half we were much better. We need to prepare for the next game against CSKA but it is important to get the three points to be closer to the top.”His Swansea counterpart Bob Bradley was upset by referee Jon Moss’ call.“I think it was the wrong decision — the referee wasn’t in a very good position,” he said.“It was a game changer. If you add on Son’s strike a few minutes later the task becomes so much greater.”This was a disappointing showing by Swansea following an impressive 5-4 win over Crystal Palace last week and Bradley is in no doubt at the size of his task with the South Wales side in the bottom three.“We were second best too often,” he said. “When they pressed us we weren’t able to played the first pass out of pressure.“We knew it would be hard to take points and we have to focus on an important run of games between now and next year.“Today is a big concern. I think the starting point was Tottenham, physically, got to every ball faster. On a day like today it feels like we have a long, long way to go.“There have been other days where I think there have been promising signs. We have work to do.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen kicks the ball past Swansea City’s Modou Barrow during the match at White Hart Lane in London, on December 3, 2016 © AFP / Ben STANSALLLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 4 – Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed his side’s 5-0 win over Swansea in the Premier League as a “big victory”.Two goals from Harry Kane, a stunning volley from Heung-Min Son and two late efforts for Christian Eriksen ensured Spurs reacted in the best possible way to defeats by Monaco and leaders Chelsea to remain within seven points of their London rivals.last_img read more

Democrats’ plan relies on deficit-spending

first_imgTHE California state Senate has been embroiled in a budget stalemate for more than six weeks. Throughout, Senate Republicans have been inaccurately portrayed as obstructionist for refusing to vote for a budget that spends more than it has in the bank. Spending within the state’s means is fiscally prudent policy, and yet Republicans have been accused, maligned and cajoled by the Democrats in every media outlet in the state. Instead of accusations and name-calling, let’s focus on the facts. Each year, Senate Republicans strive to pass the budget on time. However, passing a good budget that protects taxpayers is far more important than a bad budget that meets the deadline. Indeed, a well-crafted budget passed late is a better investment in the long run since a carelessly drafted budget could have devastating financial consequences for the future. Late budgets are not unheard of in California, and in years when the budget has not met the deadline, the state has continued to operate fire and police services, schools and other programs. Because there are some vital services that depend on passage of the budget, the Senate Republicans asked Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, while in session on Aug. 1, to take immediate action to provide contingency funding to ensure uninterrupted delivery of essential services, including child care and Medi-Cal payments. AB 207 would have authorized $10 billion to pay for government services from July 1 to Aug. 20. Unfortunately, the request to hear Assembly Bill 207 (Villines) was denied. The bill would have guaranteed that the state’s bills for these vital services were paid while budget negotiations continue – but it never got a chance. While such proposals to provide contingency funding have received bipartisan support in the past, this year Democratic leadership in the Senate has denied the passage of any contingency funding proposal in an effort to use the vulnerable – California’s poor, blind, disabled and elderly – as leverage in applying political pressure during the budget negotiations. Unfortunately, the majority Democrats can get away with this because they hold the ultimate power in the Legislature. The current budget proposal carries a $700 million deficit with a projected $5 billion deficit next June. Such debt can only be erased in four ways: new taxes, borrowing money, making deep cuts to crucial programs or buckling down now and making responsible spending reductions in areas that will guarantee a better financial future for the citizens of our great state. My Republican colleagues and I have no wish to keep children and seniors from getting care, to delay Cal Grant checks to college students, or to withhold payments to vendors that contract with the state. This is exactly the situation we tried to prevent with AB 207 and other legislation that would have authorized emergency funding. Senate Republicans truly believe taxpayers support a balanced budget – assuming they’re presented with the facts. We think taxpayers understand that legislators have a fiduciary responsibility to balance the budget, which means we only spend what we have in the bank. We believe that most Californians understand that borrowing money now will only create insurmountable problems for the future. We were elected to serve the people of our districts, as well as all the state of California, and I, for one, will continue to fight for a balanced budget. I don’t believe our grandchildren should be responsible tomorrow for the poor financial decisions we make today. George Runner, R-Lancaster, is chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. Contact him through his Web site, republican.sen.ca.gov/web/17.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Rotherham 2-1 Reading: Wigan and Millwall relegated as Millers secure Championship safety

first_img1 Rotherham fans flood the pitch as their side successfully beat the drop Wigan and Millwall were condemned to relegation from the Championship as Rotherham defied a three-point deduction to secure their safety with a 2-1 win over Reading.The Millers, hit with the penalty by the Football League last week for fielding an ineligible player, won it through goals from Matt Derbyshire and Lee Frecklington in the space of six second-half minutes, as a fairytale few years for the club continued.While all the talk this week has been of Bournemouth’s rise to prominence from adversity, the South Yorkshire club have been on a similar journey, having also started the 2008/09 season in League Two with minus 17 points.Under boss Steve Evans they have won back-to-back promotions and now booked their place in the second tier for another year.They were made to do it the hard way with the points deduction, but this victory means they can go to Leeds on the final day of the season under no pressure, despite a nervy ending after Oliver Norwood’s late strike gave Steve Clarke’s side a glimmer of hope.All the focus in the build-up to the game was the prize on offer to the Millers but Reading, woefully out of form and now without a win in nine, had clearly not read the script.After an initial opening burst from the fired-up hosts, where Danny Ward drilled a cross-shot just wide, the visitors looked as if they were the ones with everything to play for.They were going into every challenge full-blooded and Chris Gunter showed no mercy as he piled through Danny Lafferty, sent the Northern Ireland international flying over the advertising hoardings, wiped the linesman out and also saw a ball boy require lengthy treatment that ended in the youngster being carried away on the stretcher.But for all their bluster, Reading did not threaten the Millers goal and it was the hosts that ended the first half strongly.And a rampant two-goal salvo in six minutes at the start of the second period answered their fans’ prayers.In the 52nd minute Ward made headway down the left and sent in a dangerous cross which Derbyshire prodded home at the near post with Andersen stranded.Then it was almost a carbon copy soon after, but this time Frecklington tapped in at the far post after another Ward centre as the Millers clinched survival.The hosts did have some defending to do as keeper Emi Martinez produced a fine save to deny Norwood’s shot from distance, but there was nothing he could do about another effort four minutes from time as the Reading midfielder sent his shot flying in.But there was to be no spoiling the Millers’ party, despite a frantic finish and the final whistle saw scenes of joy at the New York Stadium.last_img read more

UCLA’s Dorrell fired

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsGuerrero did not allow Toledo to meet with his players after being fired, but Dorrell was given time during a hastily called noon meeting. However, after listening to Dorrell talk during the team meeting, several players said they believed Dorrell would not coach in the bowl game. If he doesn’t, UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker would serve as the interim coach, Guerrero said. The last time UCLA was in the Las Vegas Bowl, in 2004, it provided a piece of footing for Guerrero’s decision to fire Dorrell. The Bruins were beaten by Wyoming. “We have to build a program that can be competitive, especially in this city, which you well know,” Guerrero said. “At times, we did. But at other times, we didn’t. And if you go through the process of looking at the ups and downs of this program, at some point in time you have to say, `Are you ready to take that next step?’ “I just felt that at this point in time, we weren’t. And in order to do that, I needed to get a new coach.” A lack of head coaching experience was one of the top criticisms UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero heard when he hired Karl Dorrell as coach five years ago. Although Guerrero maintained that was not a mistake during a news conference Monday to announce he fired Dorrell, Guerrero made it clear head coaching experience was paramount for UCLA’s next coach. “I think if you were to talk about a prerequisite that’s pretty important, it certainly will be that,” Guerrero said. “We will look at a broad array of candidates for this position, and obviously someone who’s had successful head coaching experience would be an ideal candidate. That being said, you never say never (about having no experience).” In firing Dorrell, Guerrero extended two courtesies he did not when he axed Bob Toledo after the 2002 season. Dorrell, who went 35-27 in five seasons, was given the option to coach the Bruins (6-6) in the Dec. 22 Las Vegas Bowl against BYU, although he has yet to announce a decision. Guerrero said an outside firm would be consulted about a background check for candidates. According to sources, UCLA does not have a clear-cut favorite heading into the process, even though intermediaries guaged the interest of several candidates even before Dorrell was fired. Guerrero had yet to contact anyone as of Monday night, sources said. However, one person UCLA was expected to be highly interested in basically crossed his name off the list before UCLA’s news conference. Ninety minutes prior to Guerrero addressing the media in Westwood, Boise State coach Chris Petersen told reporters during a press conference in Idaho he had no interest in the UCLA job. “I’m not interested in that place,” Petersen said. Meanwhile, sources said Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was interested in the UCLA job, but sources added he was also interested in the Arkansas opening. When reached Monday afternoon, he declined comment. Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel, a former UCLA quarterback, remains a popular pick among the school’s alumni, and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci are also on UCLA’s radar, sources said. Neuheisel could not be reached because the Ravens were playing, and Mariucci did not return a phone message. Guerrero does not have a complete list yet, but there are a number of other candidates of interest, sources said, including former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow, who is now with the Tennessee Titans, and Montana’s Bobby Hauck, a former UCLA graduate assistant. Although Guerrero’s desire to hire someone with previous head coaching experience doesn’t bode well for Chow or Walker, who is expected to be interviewed, it is the school’s hope that Walker and much, if not all, of his defensive staff will remain at UCLA under a new coach, sources said. Retaining Walker could go a long way in keeping much of UCLA’s highly-regarded recruiting class intact. No matter who coaches UCLA, Dorrell said part of his stated goal of five years ago was achieved. “It’s in good shape to move forward,” Dorrell said moments after meeting with his team. “I’ve done a lot here. I’ve done what I (wanted) to accomplish, other than getting enough wins. Everything else, I’ve done. We had to build that foundation, and we’re in really great shape. Everybody’s doing well in school, they’re representing the school in the right way and recruiting is getting better. Everything is a very positive momentum going forward.” In firing Dorrell, who is owed a $2.2 million buyout, Guerrero praised the former Bruins receiver for cleaning up the once police-blotter-ravaged program. However, Guerrero said inconsistent play over the course of Dorrell’s tenure, and not enough wins, led to the dismissal. “I believe we can be a national player,” Guerrero said. “You can define that however you want. I believe UCLA can be a program that is in the national rankings every year. They can knock on a BCS door. They can win the Pac-10 conference.” In a noon meeting, Guerrero talked with the team for about 10 minutes to announce the firing, although many of the players already knew about it. After Guerrero left, Dorrell spoke for about 10 minutes. Players said the two were not in the room together. “Coach Dorrell’s message was more about life than football, which he’s been trying to teach us the last five years,” UCLA senior defensive tackle Kevin Brown said. “That was what he was telling us. It wasn’t about football.” Dorrell, whose best season came in 2005, when the Bruins went 10-2 and won the Sun Bowl, was gracious about his opportunity, and proud of building what he believed was a strong foundation for his successor. “It’s conducive for success right now,” Dorrell said. “It’s set up where you can definitely move forward. I’m thankful for the opportunity Dan gave me, to come here and work here. A lot of progress has been made.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Spurs are resigned to losing Eriksen, but ‘hope to sign five players this summer’

first_imgChristian Eriksen could leave Spurs in the summerThe 27-year-old is a target for Real Madrid and Spurs could look to cash in now rather than lose him for nothing in 12 months.They will also be powerless to stop Toby Alderweireld leaving if a club decide to meet the relatively low release clause of £26million.The Daily Mail report that players from Championship clubs and struggling Premier League teams are on their radar.Jack Grealish continues to be monitored after Tottenham failed to sign him last summer. ADVICE 2 REVEALED Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Scouts are also understood to have watched Hull’s Jarrod Bowen extensively after his 19 goals in the Championship have caught the eye.Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha remains a long-term target for the club but they feel he may be out of their price range. REVEALED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade huge blow GETTY Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card RANKED LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS BEST OF Tottenham Hotspur are resigned to losing Christian Eriksen as he enters the final 12 months of his contract, according to reports.After going two transfer windows without making any additions, the club will now target FIVE new players to compensate for the Dane’s exit.There is likely to be changes at Spurs at the end of the season with players expected to head for the exit. no dice Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade MONEY 2 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Spurs tried to sign Grealish last summer Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is at strugglers Fulham, is also reportedly being considered as a possible understudy to Harry Kane but there are doubts as to his willingness to not be a regular starter.Also on Spurs’ radar is Valencia starlet Carlos Soler – a 22-year-old central midfielder with four La Liga assists to his name already this season.last_img read more

Gortlettragh too strong for Allen Gaels

first_imgGortlettragh claimed their first win in this year’s Connacht Gold Leitrim Senior Football Championship, with a 2-8 to 0-3 defeat of Allen Gaels at the Leitrim GAA Centre in Annaduff on Friday evening.It means the Drumshanbo men drop to the bottom of Group One, with four defeats from their four games, while Gortlettragh are now level on points with reigning champions Aughawillan, who face Melvin Gaels in Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada at 5.30pm on Saturday.Also on Friday, Dromahair lost out by three points, 4-8 to 2-11, to Kiltubrid in the U13 Championship.last_img read more

London-Fanshawe: Lindsay Mathyssen delivers a next-generation NDP win

first_imgWinning London-Fanshawe became a family affair, Monday.Lindsay Mathyssen of the NDP was elected in the riding that her mother Irene Mathyssen held for 13 years, making it a next-generation political win.Lindsay Mathyssen was asked about her mom’s legacy. “They are large shoes . I know I have a great deal of work to do but I meant it when I said it’s showing people that respect and dignity and making sure we are there for them,” she said.She has worked for MPs and watched her mother and her team. “That’s what I intend to fulfill. People here, they need help and we’re going to be there no matter what.”London-Fanshawe was one of the more interesting, and hotly contested, races in the city and region, before Mathyssen pulled away from Liberal Mohamed Hammoud and Conservative Michael van Holst.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.The Mathyssen baton has been passed from mother to daughter… pic.twitter.com/xiYFOCrItG— Jane Sims (@JaneatLFPress) October 22, 2019London-Fanshawe NDP riding association president Hadleigh McAlister was beaming about the result, crediting the Mathyssen family legacy for the win.“Knowing the Mathyssens, they understand what resonates with London-Fanshawe voters,” he said, and that’s “caring for their constituents.”Lindsay Mathyssen represents the next generation of politicians and “is aware of what millennials want,” McAlister said.Hammoud was defeated by a wide margin, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – whose Liberal government was re-elected with a minority – making a campaign stop in the riding Oct. 15 to speak about jobs and the economy.One of the issues in this riding has been Canada’s $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia serviced by defence contractor General Dynamics Land System Canada on Oxford Street in London.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh vowed to scrap the contract, which critics have blasted over Saudi human rights abuses. The Liberals, who tried to win back the seat they lost in 2006, inherited the contract from Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and put it under review. The jobs of hundreds of workers in London rely on the deal, the largest industrial deal in the city’s history.The riding has had its share of stories this election campaign, with city councillor van Holst taking a leave from his city political job to run for the Conservative party, and Hammoud being acclaimed to the nomination amid party controversy.A proud mom watches her daughter…. #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/VfcQKyDDYo— Jane Sims (@JaneatLFPress) October 22, 2019Former London MPP Khalil Ramal was blocked from the nomination, triggering a mass resignation of its riding association brass. Ramal was a two-term former MPP under Premier Dalton McGuinty. Ramal said in August he signed more than 3,500 new party members, but the party blocked his candidacy in favour of Hammoud.Ramal ran for the federal Liberals in the same riding in 2015, but lost.Van Holst finished third.The win is a turnaround for Mathyssen, who in 2015 lost her bid to represent London North Centre, losing the NDP nod to German Gutierrez to run against incumbent Tory Susan Truppe. The riding was won by Liberal Peter Fragiskatos.Mathyssen has worked as a staffer on Parliament Hill.Former Liberal MP Sheila Copps from Hamilton also waded into the London-Fanshawe contest election night, with the Hamilton politician tweeting, “NDP plans to cancel military contract. How is that working for the workers in London?”Hammoud retweeted it, adding “The Liberal government is the only one that will safeguard jobs for the community of London-Fanshawe, all the other parties have vowed to scrap the General Dynamics contract. This is why I am working hard to win for the community and to protect jobs.”THE RESULTS(237 of 237 polls reporting)Lindsay Mathyssen, NDP 22,450Mohamed Hammoud, Liberal 14,679Michael van Holst, Conservative 13,636Tom Cull, Green 2,750Bela Kosoian, People’s Party 1,121Stephen Campbell, independent 297last_img read more

Bafana exit World Cup on a high

first_img23 June 2010Bafana Bafana bowed out of the 2010 Fifa World Cup with heads held high in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, playing with style and belief to score South Africa’s first ever win over France. The 2-1 victory left them placed third in Group A, level with Mexico on four points, losing out only on goal difference.Bloemfontein is renowned for its passionate football fans, and a crowd of 39 415 at the small Free State Stadium made the crowd appear much bigger than it was. The place was rocking, and the South African supporters were rewarded with an equally passionate performance by Bafana Bafana.Aaron Mokoena and company showed huge appetite for the contest, which contrasted markedly with a deflated looking French squad. For most of the game, France, World Cup finalists only four years ago, were laboured and poor.French problemsThere had been huge problems in the French camp in the lead-up to the match, with the squad refusing to train on Sunday after striker Nicolas Anelka had been sent home on Saturday. This followed a bitter tirade he had launched at coach Raymond Domenech at half-time of France’s 2-0 loss to Mexico.Further evidence of the discord in the French camp was evident in the benching of captain Patrice Evra for Tuesday’s clash, with Alou Diarra taking over as captain.In the tunnel before the teams took the field, the difference was clear: France looked tense, talking in muted tones, while there was a determined look in the eyes of the South Africans, a oneness that was lacking in the French team.South African changesSouth Africa showed a number of changes, through suspensions and the need to attack and find another gear going forward. There were starts for Moeneeb Josephs, Anele Ngongca, MacBeth Sibaya, Thanduyise Khuboni, and Bernard Parker.France were the first to make any sort of waves once the contest was under way. Andre-Pierre Gignac managed an early shot on goal, but it was directly at Josephs in the South African goal and he had no problems dealing with it.In the 10th minute Djibril Cisse steered a glancing header goalwards, but once again it went straight into the welcoming arms of the goalkeeper.South Africa’s first effort on goal came in the 17th minute when MacBeth Sibaya took a shot from distance, but it flew high and wide.Bafana Bafana had struggled to make much impact on the French defence, finding it hard to penetrate at all in the final third of the field, but that was soon to change.Goal!On 20 minutes the home team won its first corner of the game. Siphiwe Tshabalala swung it in. goalkeeper Hugo Lloris started to come for it, but then back-pedalled. The ball flew over his head to the back post and central defender Bongani Khumalo, showing plenty of desire, rose up and headed it down into the ground.The ball bounced up and into the net and the crowd exploded with joy. Khumalo took off towards the crowd, blowing kisses, and for a moment Bafana Bafana supporters began to dream that the big win they needed to reach the next round might be on.Cisse responded with a shot a few minutes later, but it was a harmless effort that passed wide of Joseph’s left hand post.South African striker Katlego Mphela then made a mazy run from halfway to deep inside the French half. He fired from the top of the box and Lloris needed to pull off a good save, diving to his right, to deny Mphela.Red cardA minute later the game took a decisive turn in favour of South Africa. MacBeth Sibaya and Youann Gourcuff rose to contest a header in South African territory. Gourcuff caught Sibaya with an elbow in the face and the midfielder went down. It didn’t look like there was too much in it, a yellow card maybe, but.The referee, to the surprise of most, produced a red card and the French were down to 10 men! Matters were going from bad to worse for Les Blues.For a while after the sending off, the game struggled to find some rhythm, but Bafana Bafana slowly started to make use of their one-man advantage.Steven Pienaar earned a free kick on the right, outside of the box, and Siphiwe Tshabalala fired a shot not far over the crossbar.Two goals upA minute later, in the 34th minute, Bafana Bafana went two goals up. Tsepo Masilela initiated an attack down the left and laid the ball off for Tshabalala, who had an overlap.He centered and the ball ricocheted off a defender back to Masilela, who had continued his run. He crossed the ball on the ground and square to Mphela, who bundled it across the line from only two metres out.South Africa were two goals up and the French well out of the game. Once again, the South African fans began to dream.maybe an improbable place in round of 16 was on the cards.In the back of the netAlmost immediately Bafana Bafana had the ball in the back of the net again, but Bernard Parker, who had struck a sweet shot was rightly ruled offsides.France’s best moment of the half came with half-time approaching when Josephs fended off a dangerous looking free kick that William Gallas just failed to get a touch on.Two minutes from the break, Mphela once again tested Lloris with another long range effort that passed across the goalie. He was forced to deflect it behind for a corner.Good value for their leadThe half ended with South Africa 2-0 up and good value for their lead. The crowd was happy and with Uruguay 1-0 up against Mexico, the possibility of progressing looked reasonable, if unlikely, as the home team had France on the rack.French coach Raymond Domenech made a change at the start of the second half, bringing on Florent Malouda, which added some sting to France’s attacking efforts.South Africa, though, were the first to ask a question when Parker fired a left-footed shot on goal. Lloris dealt with it comfortably, however.Beautiful moveThen followed a beautiful move by Bafana Bafana. Pienaar passed from the middle of the park to Tshabalala, who found himself on the right. He picked out Mphela, steaming up on the left, with a fantastic ball between the two central defenders.The striker was in the clear, with only Lloris to beat. The goalie raced out and made himself as big as possible. Mphela shot to the left of Lloris and the ball grazed the outside of the goalie’s left hand post. It was a glorious opportunity spurned.On the sidelines, Bafana Bafana’s reserves, who were busy warming up, held their hands to their heads in unison.Ngongca was then replaced by Siboniso Gaxa after picking up an injury and Thierry Henry came on for Djibril Cisse. With his 17th World Cup finals appearance, Henry equalled the French record.Just before the hour-mark, Mphela tested Lloris with another excellently struck shot from distance, forcing the net-minder to concede another corner.Weak shotFranck Ribery made a good run into the South African box but, surrounded by three defenders, produced a disappointingly weak shot that passed high over the crossbar.Mphela then had another good chance to extend Bafana’s lead. He found space on the right, rounded the defence and closed in on the goalkeeper in the box. Lloris blocked the shot with his legs and the ball deflected back into the striker and out for a goal kick.Siyabonga Nomvethe, the scorer of the goal in South Africa’s only previous World Cup finals win – 1-0 over Slovenia in 2002 – was brought on for Parker after 68 minutes.French goalOn 70 minutes, France, showing more fight and rhythm, pulled one goal back. Bacary Sagna picked out Ribery on the right with a lovely pass. Ribery could have shot but, astutely, he drew Josephs before centering the ball. Malouda ran onto it and scored from an easy tap-in.The goal effectively killed off South Africa’s dream of an improbable place in the next round.Pienaar came ever so close to providing Khumalo with his second goal in response, his free kick passing only centimetres from the defender’s head in front of the French goal.Three minutes of additional time was shown to be played and it provided some stirring action. Teko Modise, on for Thanduyise Khuboni, fired off a strong shot into the side netting from the left and then followed a great chance for Bafana Bafana.Great chanceTshabalala was picked out in the goal box after Nomvethe had left a cross from the right. He had plenty of time and space to shoot, but Lloris reacted quickly to try to close him down. Tshabalala fired and the ball almost stopped, spinning on the spot. The South African midfielder raced to pick up the rebound, but Gallas was on hand to clear.Not long afterwards the final whistle sounded and South African supporters were left with a strange mixture of pride and disappointment. It had been a gallant effort by the national football team, but it had not been enough to clinch a place in the round of 16.With Uruguay beating Mexico 1-0 in the day’s other Group A contest, South Africa finished level on points with the Mexicans, but lost out on goal difference. Mexico had scored three goals and conceded two in their three games, while Bafana finished with three scored and five given up.Uruguay topped the standings with seven points, while France finished bottom with only one point and the single goal they scored against Bafana.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more