White’s late winner helps England beat Japan

first_img(BBC) – Ellen White came off the bench to score a late winner as England beat Japan in their second SheBelieves Cup match in New Jersey.White coolly slotted the ball past the keeper from close range after Toni Duggan, who was also a second-half substitute, won possession on the edge of the box.It keeps alive England’s slim hopes of defending their SheBelieves Cup title, after they lost to world champions the USA in their opening match on Thursday.Bethany England and Lauren Hemp were denied by Japan keeper Sakiko Ikeda in the first half as England played better that they did when losing in Orlando but still lacked the sharpness they showed in last year’s competition.Japan had chances in the first half too – Mina Tanaka was able to get in behind the defence on two occasions but failed to capitalise.And England keeper Ellie Roebuck had to scramble to get across to Hina Sugita’s long-range effort, which hit the post.The Lionesses take on Spain in their final match of the round-robin event in Frisco, Texas, on Wednesday (21:15 GMT).Neville, whose squad has an average age of 21, opted for a front three of 19-year-old Lauren Hemp, 22-year-old Chloe Kelly and 25-year-old Bethany England – who went into Sunday’s game with 12 caps between them.They showed confidence on the ball and fluidity on the whole but could not take the chances which they created between themselves.Hemp, making a second successive start after impressing against the USA on Thursday, had the best chance of the game within the opening five minutes.She was played in by England and got there ahead of the defender but couldn’t disguise the direction of her shot when one-on-one with the keeper.England was then gifted a great opportunity after a neat pass from Kelly on the right but the Chelsea striker – joint-top scorer in the Women’s Super League this season – struck it straight at Ikeda, who had a busy half in goal for Japan.Moments later, England’s driving run created space for Jordan Nobbs to put in a cross from the right and Hemp, under pressure from the full-back, couldn’t quite get on the end of it.England came close again with a powerful shot from the right that Georgia Stanway, following up on the rebound, could only fire over the bar from the edge of the box. And a diving header from England in the second half was straight at the keeper.Neville said before the tournament he wanted the young players to go out there “with no fear” and ultimately they did that – dribbling at defenders, taking on players and switching positions across the front three. But they just lacked the clinical edge that World Cup top scorer White was able to provide when it mattered.last_img read more

ATP, WTA, ITF extend suspensions due to COVID-19 pandemic

first_img(REUTERS) – The ATP Tour and International Tennis Federation (ITF) have extended their suspensions of professional tennis until July 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they said on Friday.The ATP and WTA announced in April that they were suspending all tournaments until July 13, with the WTA saying on Friday it had further suspended four events due to be held in July.The WTA added that it will provide an update in June on the tournaments scheduled for the latter half of July.The WTA Rogers Cup, which had been scheduled for Augist 7-16 in Montreal, had already been postponed to 2021 after Quebec government prohibited holding events until August 31, 2020.ATP events in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbuhel will not go ahead as scheduled, while WTA events in Bastad, Lausanne, Bucharest and Jurmala scheduled for July will not be held.“Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to announce our decision to extend the suspension of the Tour,” ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement here“We continue to assess all of our options in an effort to resume the Tour as soon as it is safe to do so, including the feasibility of rescheduling events later in the season.”While for tournament owners it is a blow, the decision was hardly unexpected.The Croatia Open in the picturesque setting of Umag on the Adriatic is one of the most popular ATP tournaments and is in the process of improving the showcourt named after former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.“I believe that all of us will feel a bit empty without Stella Maris (the name of the venue) and its July buzz,” tournament director Lawrence Frankopan said.“But the health and safety of our players and fans are the most important. This cancellation is an even bigger reason for all of us to feel excited about July 2021 and the 31st edition of the tournament.”Organisers of the Austrian Open in Kitzbuhel said they were looking at rescheduling the claycourt tournament for September while Hamburg organisers were “focussing on a possible postponement of the tournament.”“We have to closely monitor the rapidly evolving situation related to COVID-19 and we will wait for the next decisions of the ATP and the ITF regarding the North American swing, in particular the U.S. Open,” Hamburg tournament director Sandra Reichel said in a statement.The Hall of Fame Open in Newport, Rhode Island has been cancelled and organisers said the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 induction ceremony will not take place. Spain’s Conchita Martinez and Ivanisevic will now be inducted in 2021.The WTA said in a statement that it would make a decision on tournaments in Palermo and Karlsruhe, which were to begin on July 20 and 28 respectively, when the announcements to its revised calendar are made in June.The ITF said all events – including ITF Juniors, Seniors, UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, Beach Tennis Tour and the men’s and women’s ITF World Tennis Tour – would be suspended.However, the ITF suspensions will not affect any of the Grand Slams with Wimbledon having already been cancelled for the first time since World War II.The U.S. Open is scheduled to begin on August 24 while the postponed French Open is now due to start on September 20.last_img read more

Westwood Bemoans Ryder Cup Preparation

first_img“That’s the problem that all professional golfers find with all big tournaments,” said the 43-year-old.“Whether it be major championships or Ryder Cups or whatever – you make your priorities. “It’s just getting that fine line between not being tired when you go into a big event and being sharp at the same time.“Everybody has a different way of doing it, you just have to find out what that is over the years. I’ve been out here for over 23 years and I still don’t know what it is for me.“It’s difficult to put your finger on it and pinpoint how you go into a tournament in your best condition and playing your best.”Europe have named a relatively inexperienced team to take on the United States in Minnesota, with six rookies included in Darren Clarke’s side.Westwood, meanwhile, is preparing to compete in his tenth Ryder Cup and expects to be paired with a younger member of the team when it comes to the foursomes.“Myself and Darren have spoken about it and I guess, with him picking me and stating my experience, he’s thinking of putting me with a rookie.“But other than that I’m not divulging too much.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Lee Westwood says Europe’s golfers must find the right balance of practice and rest as they prepare for the start of the Ryder Cup later this month.Europe are aiming at Hazeltine National to claim their fourth consecutive victory and Westwood, speaking from the Italian Open in Monza, says it is difficult for players to judge how much golf to play in the run up to a major competition.last_img read more

Transfer: Mikel’s Chelsea Exit Imminent

first_imgAlready, a very close confidant of the Chelsea midfielder admitted at the weekend that Obi and his managerial team are currently perusing all the offers on the table with the hope of picking the ‘most suitable’ of them all.“He is not looking for a club to win more trophies again. He is looking for a club, who will give him the right money. That is the more reason the agents are now carefully studying the offers tabled by all the clubs interested in his services,” revealed the close confidant of Mikel to Africanfootball.com.“He has achieved all what he can in football, so he needs the money now.”Two seasons ago, Mikel demanded a salary of six million dollars tax-free a year if he were to quit Stamford Bridge.It is already understood that Inter Milan has tabled a bigger offer than Olympique Marseille for the Nigeria skipper.Four top Chinese clubs as well as top French club Marseille and Milan rivals Inter and AC Milan are believed to be in the hunt for the experienced midfielder.The 29-year-old Mikel has outdone the legendary Nwankwo Kanu as the most decorated Nigeria star after he won both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League as well as two Premier League titles, four FA Cup and two League Cup winners’ medals.Just last summer, Mikel led Nigeria’s Dream Team VI to win Nigeria’s only medal -a bronze, in the men’s Olympic football event in Rio, Brazil.It is generally believed that Mikel is paying for the ‘sin’ of going to the Olympic when a new manager stepped into the saddle at Stamford Bridge. He has remained frozen out of action since the beginning of the current season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Femi Solaja with agency reportIt is apparently becoming clear to fans of English Premiership club, Chelsea that Super Eaglers Captain, John Mikel Obi, will be among the first set of players to be shipped out when the winter transfer window opens in just matter of days.last_img read more

Dosu, Others Scout at Shuffle Select 2017

first_imgOdeyinka explained that the program aimed at selecting players who ages range from 14 to 17 years for study in the United Kingdom where they would also play football as well as be exposed to standard facility,“The most outstanding player during the selection will be awarded 100 per cent two-year A-level scholarship and access to playing football in the UK , while the other five players would be on 50 per cent scholarship,” the organiser said.The Brooke House College, which was introduced in 2008, had garnered over 60 players, aged 13 to 19 from all ethnic backgrounds, 12 of who have since progressed to playing professional football. The Academy, which also has U-14, U-16, U-18 and U-19 teams, plays in the Central Conference League, Junior Premier League and Cup Competitions, in addition to ISFA, ESFA camp and County cups.“Participants will be exposed to various training and competitive games under UEFA licensed coaches who would help them to harness their football skills onward playing in clubs like Manchester United, Manchester United, Arsenal and others,” Odeyinka further said.The academy has graduated players who include Nigeria’s Chigozie Mbah to the professional cadre and have gone on to ply theit trade in clubs and national teams around the world.The organiser said players must possess O’level or secondary school transcript to be eligible to participate in the exercise.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Former Nigeria international, Joseph Dosu, will be among scouts at the Shuffle Select 2017 talent hunt billed for June 19 to 22 at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.Others are a UK-based scouting agency ISTVAN and former player and agent, Ibrahim Odeyinka who is also the organiser.The four-day event, organised by Thotsplay Concepts in conjunction with Brooke House College, England will hold from 7am on each day.last_img read more

FIFA President, Infantino, Congratulates Plateau Utd

first_imgFIFA President, Gianni Infantino, has felicitated with the players and technical crew of Plateau United FC of Jos over the club’s emergence on Saturday as new champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).The Jos-based club defeated last season’s champions Enugu Rangers 2-0 to amass 66 points and scoop their first-ever Nigerian championship in front of delirious home fans at the Rwang Pam Stadium.In his letter dated September 12, 2017 and addressed to President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the FIFA supremo wrote: “Plateau United are the 2017 champions of Nigeria. It gives me great pleasure to send my warmest congratulations to Plateau United for their first-ever championship title! “This title is the result of the determination of everyone involved and my congratulations go to the players, the coach, the administration, the entire technical and medical staff as well as the fans for this great achievement.“On behalf of the entire football community, I would like to thank Plateau United and your association for helping to spread the positive message of football. I remain at your disposal and look forward to meeting you soon.”Pinnick arrived Zurich yesterday to attend a meeting of the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions taking place at the Home of FIFA today.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

GOtv Boxing Night 16: When Fans Got Thrills Aplenty

first_imgShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram In the headline bout, Nigeria’s Rilwan ‘Real One’ Oladosu of Nigeria defeated Benjamin Lamptey of Ghana to clinch the West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight title. In the other international bout, reigning African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight champion, Nigeria’s Otto ‘Joe Boy’ Joseph knocked out Ghana’s, Emmanuel Mensah.The much anticipated rematch between Waidi Usman and Chibuzor Obi provided an anti-climax, with the latter’s defeat by knockout in the second round of a national featherweight challenge bout.A few debutants had their first moments of professional glory. These were products of GOtv Boxing NextGen Search from the last two editions of the programme. Waheed Shogbamu conquered stage fright to achieve a first-round knockout victory over Azeez Tijani in a national light welterweight challenge bout. In the same weight category, Adeyemi Adekanla defeated the more experienced Ganiyu Kolawole via a split decision. Opeyemi Elijah, GOtv NextGen Search 4, showed what is to come by defeating Sheriff Ogunbanjo in a super bantamweight clash, while Aminu  Akintayo did the business on Mutiu Lawal.The biggest winner on the night, however, was the little known Taiwo Agbaje, whose explosive encounter against Tope Musa in a national lightweight challenge got the crowd jumping from start to finish.For his efforts, Agbaje was voted best boxer on the night, winning the Mojisola Ogunsanya Memorial Trophy and a cash prize of N1.5 million. The Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, erupted in wild cheers just after the bell signalling the start of the sixth of the 12-round national light heavyweight title bout. The cheer was for the underdog, Adewale Masebinu, whose brutality over five rounds forced the corner of his opponent and pre-bout favourite, Kabiru Towolawi, to throw in the towel. This was the scene from the Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, venue of GOtv Boxing Night 16, on Sunday.The fans’ exuberance was a feature throughout the duration of the event, which featured nine fights, including the West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight title bout and an international lightweight challenge contest. On parade were exciting mix of big-name pairings and a crop of debutants hoping to worm their way into the mind boxing-watching public. As early as 2pm, snaking queues of spectators had formed at entrances to the hall itching two see action in the nine bouts scheduled. The fans hunger was understandable, given that the event was making its return to Lagos from Ibadan, where it held in July.last_img read more

Mikel Set to Dump Chinese Club, Rohr Admits Uncertainty over His…

first_imgSuper Eagles Captain, John Obi Mikel, has revealed that he hascancelled his contract with Chinese Super League club, Tianjin Teda, a year before the agreement between club and player was due to run out.The former Chelsea midfielder did not travel with the Tianjin Teda first-teamers to Spain for pre-season training as he is negotiating with the club to break his contract.In an interview with Tianjin TV Sports New Vision programme, Mikel said: ‘’I broke the contract with the club, which means I will leave Teda. As for my next stop, I am not sure yet, maybe I will return to Europe, maybe stay in China. Anyway, I would like to wish the Teda team good luck next season.’’ Mikel performed well for Tianjin Teda in the first half of the 2018 season but struggled with injuries in the second half after representing Nigeria at the World Cup.Throughout his stay in China, the central midfielder cum defender featured in 31 Super League matches, scoring three goals and three assists.Meanwhile, Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, has finally admitted uncertainty over the future of Mikel Obi with the Nigerian national team.Although Rohr had all along maintained that he and Mikel are in regular contact over the midfielder’s decision to regain full fitness before returning to international duty, the gaffer is now sounding less certain.Such that Rohr stopped short of affirming whether the Eagles’ skipper will be available for the team’s first two matches of 2019, as he failed to give any exact date for the star’s return.Instead of confirming that Mikel will be invited for the last Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles in Asaba on March 22, 2019, and the international friendly against Egypt four days later, Rohr declared in a media chat that he does not know the Teda star’s schedule.With Mikel also failing to fix any particular date on his much-expected return to the Eagles, Rohr has now opted to play safe on his comments about the former Chelsea star, who was riddled with several fitness issues last season in the Chinese Super League.Unlike before when Rohr would boldly declare that he is aware of his skipper’s plans and doused talk about the icon heading for retirement, Rohr simply stated this time, “We don’t know yet when or if Obi Mikel wants to join the Eagles.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Sylvester, Quadre Win Rainoil Tennis Open Championship

first_imgWinners for the men and women doubles got N250,00 and N200,000 respectively.Speaking on her victory, Oyinlomo said that hard work and dedication made it possible for her to overcome experienced Agugbom whom she praised for her fighting spirit just as she commended the sponsors for putting up the tournament.” My victory was due to hard work and dedication without which one can do nothing. I played against an experienced and formidable opponent who does not give up easily and am happy I won at the end of the day “It’s also important I give kudos to my opponent for her fighting spirit. She is an experienced player who must be respected at all time” I must also commend the sponsors for putting up the tournament because it help to keep players busy and we need more of such tournaments to enable our players be in top form”,noted Oyinlomo who says her next target is to improve her World ranking.Sponsor of the tournament who also doubles as Group Managing Director/ CEO of Rainoil, Gabriel Ogbechie while congratulating the players and Lagos Country Club for making their facilities available for the tournament, explained that the company decided to sponsor the tournament because of his passion for tennis, promising that they will continue with the sponsorship.He stated that as part of efforts to help Nigerian players achieve full potential in tennis, his company sent Sylvester Emmanuel to a tennis academy in Spain and have spent over $90,000 on him to aid his development with a promise they will soon go into discussion with Oyinlomo to know what help can be extended to her.Ogbechie appealed to other corporate organisations to sponsor more tennis tournaments as is capable of moving the players away from poverty.” I’m appealing to other corporate organisations to put their money in tennis so that we can have regular tournaments in the country.” Apart from having regular tournaments that will keep our players in top shape, it will also move them away from poverty. I believe that if great tennis players in the World today are making close to $100m a year, nothing stops our players from also making money for themselves but this could only be possible through regular competitions”, he concluded.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigeria’s male and female number one players, Sylvester Emmanuel and Oyinlomo Quadre continued their dorminance of the local scene when they defeated all comers to be crowned winners of this year’s Rainoil tennis open championship which ended on Sunday.Held at the Clay Court of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja Lagos, Sylvester defeated men’s singles defending champion, Joseph Imeh by two straight sets of 6/2, 6/3 to emerge winner and cart away the trophy and N500,000 at stake while Imeh got N250,000 for his efforts.In the women category, Oyinlomo wasted no time in beating old war horse, Christie Agugbom, 6-1, 3-0 (rtd) to take the title and N400,000 prize money while the runners- up got N200,000.The men’s doubles was won by Uche Oparaoji and Godgift Timibra just as Oyinlomo Quadre and Omolayo Bamidele won the women doubles event.last_img read more

Center celebrates opening

first_imgThough it has been open to the public for weeks, the Ronald Tutor Campus Center will begin celebrating its official grand opening Thursday and will continue the festivities for an entire week.The grand opening will begin with the dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. on Thursday, presided over by President C.L. Max Nikias. Vice President for Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson and USC Trustee Ronald Tutor will also be in attendance.Before the dedication ceremony, the food court at the campus center will be giving out free samples from its eateries from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., which include Wahoo’s Fish Taco, Panda Express and California Pizza Kitchen.Students can stop by the grand opening at the campus center for a variety of free gifts, but must have their student I.D.Visitors can also participate in a hands-on photography project; the campus center will be checking out cameras to snap pictures that will be used in a collage in the buildings.Performances on Friday include hip-hop groups Break Through Hip Hop and Chaotic 3, as well as salsa lessons in the Grand Ballroom, located below the campus center, at 4 p.m.Saturday features the celebration bash, culminating in a performance by Shiny Toy Guns, a Grammy-nominated band that was founded in Los Angeles. The concert will be held in the Grand Ballroom and the doors open at 7 p.m.The rest of the week features a variety of shows from Comedus Alumnus, featuring USC alumni Brad Wollack and Michael McDonald; dance groups Kazan Taiko, USC TCDance, Trojan Dance Marathon, USC Fly Girls, USC Ballroom & Latin Dance Team and the USC Chamber Ballet Company; and a capella groups the Trojan Men and USC Sirens. Visit the USC Student Affairs website for a complete list of times and performances.Finally, visitors can start the Trojan football season with pre-game activities in Associate’s Park at 5 p.m. and a kickoff in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center at 8 p.m., in anticipation of the USC vs. Hawai’i game Sept. 2.For a complete list of the activities at the campus center’s grand opening, visit:sait.usc.edu/ca/grandopening/last_img read more