MADRID (AP):With a late equaliser by substitute Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund drew 2-2 with defending champions Real Madrid yesterday to win Group F and set a scoring record of 21 goals in the group stage of the Champions League.Karim Benzema netted in each half at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to give Madrid a 2-0 lead, but forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled the German side closer in the 61st, and Reus struck the equaliser in the 88th.Madrid were left with the consolation prize of matching the club’s 34-game unbeaten streak that had stood since the late 1980s.Dortmund finished the group with 14 points, two more than Madrid. Legia Warsaw, which defeated Sporting Lisbon 1-0 in Poland, finished third with four points to qualify for the Europa League.Cristiano Ronaldo was held scoreless for the fourth straight time in the Champions League, again missing the chance to become the first player to score 100 goals in European competitions. His total remains at 98.Benzema opened the scoring from close range in the 28th, completing a low cross by Dani Carvajal from the right flank. The Frenchman added to the lead in the 53rd with a firm header after a well-placed cross by James Rodriguez.Aubameyang scored from inside the area and then set up Reus’ equaliser after a quick counter-attack.Aubameyang’s goal helped Dortmund match the previous record of 20 group-stage goals, a mark that had been achieved by three other clubs: Barcelona, this season and in 2011-12; Madrid in 2013-14; and Manchester United in 1998-99.Dortmund’s campaign this season included 6-0 and 8-4 routs against Legia.The draw allowed Zinedine Zidane’s team to match Madrid’s unbeaten run set under coach Leo Beenhakker in the 1988-89. Madrid haven’t been defeated since April at Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League.CLOSE CHANCESRonaldo’s best chance on Wednesday was a close-range shot that struck the far post in the 78th minute. He had also come close 10 minutes earlier with a right-foot strike that forced a difficult cross-handed save by Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.He remains the competition’s all-time leading scorer with 95 goals, two more than Lionel Messi, who netted his 93rd in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday. It was Messi’s 10th goal in the group stage, one short of Ronaldo’s record of 11 achieved last year.Ronaldo only scored two goals in this season’s group stage, his worst mark since joining the Spanish club in 2009.ScoresBayer Leverkusen 3 – 0 MonacoClub Brugge 0 – 2 CopenhagenPorto 5 – 0 LeicesterJuventus 2 – 0 Dinamo ZagrebLegia 1 – 0 SportingLyon 0 – 0 SevillaReal Madrid 2 – 2 Borussia DortmundTottenham 3 – 1 CSKA
The freedom we now enjoy and celebrate was achieved through the selfless sacrifice of patriots who were prepared to pay the ultimate price, says the GCIS’ acting director-general Donald Liphoko. (Image: Shamin Chibba)By Donald Liphoko, acting director-general of GCISOn Freedom Day millions of South Africans will celebrate the day that marks the occasion of our first democratic elections in 1994 and gave birth to our freedom and constitutional democracy.Some will choose to spend the day at home surrounded by family and friends, others may gather at the national Freedom Day celebrations in Manguzi, Umhlabuyalingana Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, which will be led by President Jacob Zuma. There are also those who may choose to use the national Freedom Day celebrations as a platform to raise their concerns.Whatever South Africans choose they will be free to do so. Our Constitution, our democracy, and our freedom have ensured that all people across our land are free to celebrate in the manner of their choosing.At face value, this seems utterly obvious, but we must never forget that before 1994, what now seems so utterly normal was denied to the majority of our fellow countrymen and women.The freedom we now enjoy and celebrate was achieved through the selfless sacrifice of patriots who were prepared to pay the ultimate price. They lived and died for the dream of a free and democratic South Africa that would be truly united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous. A country where everyone no matter their present circumstances would be free to strive for a better and more prosperous tomorrow.Since 1994 our country, and successive democratic administrations have worked to make this vision a reality. South Africa is undeniably a better place today than it was at the birth of our freedom, but much work still remains to undo the apartheid legacy of poverty, inequality and unemployment.The administration of President Jacob Zuma has continued this work since 2009. As a caring government, we continue to push for a society that is more equal, both socially and economically. Sadly, some have sought to push back against this vision by advocating that the status quo should remain in place.Such a call is both untenable and deeply worrying. We cannot and will not allow the continued existence of two parallel countries, and economies. It cannot be that our freedom dividend should only benefit some in our society, while the majority remain trapped in an existence of poverty, inequality and unemployment.Therefore government will continue its push for meaningful and inclusive economic transformation, that not only benefits some but all in our country. Our priority is to ensure greater participation in the economy by historically disadvantaged communities.We have already begun to implement this through our Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2014 to 2019. It sets out 14 outcomes around which we will mobilise all sectors of our society and it aims to ensure more equitable growth of the economy.These interventions should be seen as part of government’s long-term economic plan as guided by the National Development Plan, and immediate interventions such as the Nine-Point Plan, and Operation Phakisa.We are aware that many would argue that our immediate challenges cannot be resolved by the NDP, which is a long-term plan. However, the NDP is more than just a plan; it is the overarching vision for South Africa. Therefore it includes all key policy instruments aimed at growing the economy and creating jobs.These include the New Growth Path, which sets the trajectory of economic development; the National Infrastructure Plan, which guides the roll-out of infrastructure to improve people’s lives and enable economic growth; and the Industrial Policy Action Plan, which focuses on promoting investment and competitiveness in leading sectors and industries.Together these interventions are a potent driver for inclusive and far-reaching economic growth. However, our nation faces strong headwinds in the form of a slowing economy and global economic weakness. Therefore we need all South African onboard to tackle both our economic and social challenges.Let us, therefore, move away from the rhetoric and grandstanding. It is a luxury our country cannot afford. We must ensure that our dialogues are fair, less acrimonious and more constructive.As a caring government we will continue to lead the way by providing hope to all South Africans. Our social assistance programmes have lifted millions of people out of despair, and have planted the seeds of hope.The structural changes we are implementing will spur economic growth and ultimately lead to an economy and society that is more equitable. However, we cannot do it alone and need every sector of society to partner with us in this endeavour.Many South African companies have reaped the fruits of our freedom and have over the years have grown into strong multi-national corporations.As pillars in industry, we encourage them to use their success to move the country forward as we create the nation we all envisioned at the start of democracy. When South Africa benefits we all stand to benefit. Equally, we call on society to put aside narrow self-interest. Together we can build the country of our dreams; a nation which is prosperous, equitable and provides space for everyone to shine.The patriots who lived and died for our freedom have paved the way for this future, now it’s our turn to move South Africa forward.
At odds with the West Indies Cricket Board, explosive batsman Chris Gayle was on Monday left out of the squads announced for the lone Twenty20 and the first two one-dayers against India starting June 4.”Chris Gayle will not be considered for selection to the West Indies team before an intended meeting with himself, the Selection Committee, the WICB Management and the West Indies Team Management,” the WICB said in a statement.”The Selection Committee views this meeting as necessary as a result of Gayle’s comments in a widely publicised radio interview in Jamaica,” it added.Gayle, who was recently ignored for the series against Pakistan, has had a massive war of words with the WICB after claiming that he was left to fend for himself during recent injury problems.An angry WICB retorted by saying that the batsman was well looked after and it was he who kept the Board uninformed while flying out to India to play in the IPL for eventual runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore.The 31-year-old Gayle was the star of the recently-concluded Twenty20 league finishing as the top-scorer with 608 runs, including a couple of hundreds, but even this destructive form could not fetch him a place in the two national sides to be captained by Darren Sammy.Pacer Kemar Roach has been rested for the lone Twenty20 and the first two ODIs in Trinidad. Roach will, however, be available for selection for the third ODI of the five-match series.”It is expected that other players with heavy workloads will also be rested and rotated from time to time throughout the West Indies v India Series 2011 and moving forward,” the WICB said.advertisementThe explosive batting duo of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard were declared “not eligible to represent the West Indies in Twenty20 format as they did not take part in the last edition of the Caribbean Twenty20″.But both of them have made the squad for the first two ODIs.”The WICB Selection Criteria outline that for a player to be eligible for selection to the West Indies team he must participate in the corresponding format of the game at the regional level,” the Board explained.Although he has been allowed to return to “low intensity cricket in Trinidad”, young batsman Adrian Barath has been left out of the two squads as he is still undergoing rehabilitation.”A decision on his return to international cricket will be taken following the assessment and it is hoped he will be available for the Digicel Test Series West Indies v India,” the WICB said.Pacer Jerome Taylor, who like Gayle accused WICB of leaving him in a lurch during injury problems, has also been left out of the squad.”Jerome Taylor is required to play a full season of regional cricket in order to prove his fitness to compete adequately at the international level before being considered for selection,” the WICB stated.The 12-man Twenty20 group has uncapped left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie as the lone new face. But apart from the 26-year-old Santokie, there is no other change in the side that beat Pakistan in St Lucia in April.Twenty20 squad: Darren Sammy (capt), Lendl Simmons, Andre Fletcher (wk), Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Danza Hyatt, Christopher Barnwell, Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Ravi Rampaul, Krishmar Santokie.Squad for first two ODIs: Darren Sammy (capt), Lendl Simmons, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Carlton Baugh (wk), Andre Russell, Anthony Martin, Devendra Bishoo, Ravi Rampaul.- With PTI inputs
Bayern Munich midfielder Coutinho hints Barcelona return unlikelyby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBayern Munich midfielder Philippe Coutinho has hinted he’s ready to cut ties with Barcelona.Currently on-loan at Bayern, Coutinho says staying long-term in Munich is an option.He stated: “Stay longer in Bayern? Nobody can predict what will happen next year. It depends on many factors. “All I can say is that this year, I will work hard to achieve all our goals. Personally, I want to play a good season. “And then we’ll see where that leads.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd Treble winner Irwin: Could Fergie make it here?by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United Treble winner Denis Irwin says Sir Alex Ferguson could handle today’s football.Irwin, a left-back under Ferguson for half of his reign, believes his old manager is still up to task.“You’ve got to be able to handle the pressure of playing for Manchester United as a player, and as a manager you’ve got to handle all these players differently,” Irwin told Sporting Life.“They’re almost like rock stars these days. But Sir Alex would be fine, he’d be brilliant.“People always ask me about all the old players and would they be able to play in this modern day, but all the great players could play in today’s era.“A lot of the guys I played with, but even before my time with the likes of George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton, they’d be brilliant in today’s football.”Sir Alex, although he was an old fashioned manager in some ways he was also a forward-thinking manager.“He brought all the sports science guys in and always surrounded himself with great coaches, so he was before his time and he’d be a fantastic manager now.”
Menez career tribute to Real Madrid striker Benzemaby Carlos Volcano7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJeremy Menez has paid tribute to Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.Now with Paris FC, Menez helped France win the U17 World Cup alongside Benzema in 2004.He told Foot Mercato: “Of course, we can only admire his career. “With 10 years at Real Madrid, very few players have done it. In spite of all that could be said about him, what was put in his mouth, he is still there, he works and he closes the mouths of people. At some point everyone makes their career. “He was probably a more hard worker than us and he got what he deserves, that’s all.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say