The decision to make the Denmark international a substitute for the shock Carabao Cup defeat at Colchester, where he also missed a penalty in the shootout, indicated the Argentine’s anger.Poch left Eriksen out of his starting line-up for two of the first three games of this season as he grew frustrated at speculation linking the player with a move abroad.And he could be just one of three major stars leaving the Champions League finalists for free next summer with Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.3Mauricio Pochettino asked about the performances of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen after Champions League draw with Olympiacos CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN is set to reject Tottenham’s attempts to sell him in January and instead leave for free next summer and cash in on a hefty signing-on fee, according to reports.The Danish playmaker, 27, is out of contract at the end of the season and he has already admitted he is seeking a new challenge.3 Christian Eriksen has been a bit-part player for Spurs this season but will reject the club’s attempts to sell him in JanuaryCredit: AFP or licensorsThe former Ajax star has snubbed a £200,000-a-week offer from Spurs and is free to sign a pre-contract with a foreign club in January.But according to the Daily Mail, Eriksen will not be forced out for a cut-price £30million to increase his options of joining an elite European club for nothing next summer.The report adds that the midfielder knows that leaving at the end of the season will see him net an even more lucrative contract than the ones he’s rejected in North London.The only way Eriksen would consider a winter exit would be if he received a substantial offer from the likes of Madrid or Barcelona.However, unless both Spanish giants were in desperate straits by that time, they would both be likely to wait for the Dane in the summer.The Mail adds that Eriksen’s stance will exasperate both the club and manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has been annoyed that the player wasn’t moved on after his public plea for a new challenge.3Most Read in FootballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by Celtic
IT did not take much to get him going. Just one question — and then he was off.Jose Mourinho had just told TV and radio crews at his pre-match press conference he would not swap the Spurs manager’s job for any other in the world.4 Jose Mourinho has lavished praise on his new club while having a dig at his old employersSo when it was the turn of us scribblers to quiz him, the first question was always going to be: “Why?”And Mourinho, who took charge ten days ago, did not have to be asked twice, as without hesitation he launched into an impressive monologue Shakespeare would have been proud of.He said: “You know how much I like the Premier League, that’s the first point. You go back to Porto, my first opportunity to leave my country I had lots of options. But it was England I chose.“Then I was at Real Madrid, probably the dream club for the majority of us. I left to come to the Premier League.“Now, I’ve stayed in the Premier League which I always say is my natural habitat. So many years, I like it a lot. So that is a point.“The second point is this club. You know what the club are showing me.“They have a vision for the future and everything they are as a club in terms of structure organisation and feelings. They are a big club but with the concept of a family, working together with people. I see that everyday, everybody is around me.“Mr Levy is next door to me, his office is next door to me. Everyday I need him he is there.“If he needs me, I’m there. Then the chief scout is the next door. I meet him everyday.4“If I want to speak, he’s there. If he wants to speak with me, I’m here.“Then the academy boss three doors down. Everything is close and that shows commitment.“We all arrive here early in the morning, we leave late in the afternoon.“I like this kind of empathy very much and the way we are working.“And, again, very, very important, I like the players. Very important.” It was vintage Mourinho.Talking up his current club while having a thinly-veiled pop at his former ones.Quite what they will think about his comments in the corridors of Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge when they read them this morning will be interesting.His previous club Manchester United used to scoff: “C’mon lads, it’s only Spurs!”4The praise from such a widely-travelled manager shows how far Tottenham have come since then — even if their trophy cabinet has remained bare.Mourinho added: “I just know the difference in the stadiums.“One was a fantastic stadium to play football in but an old generation stadium.“While this one is brand new and is the best stadium in the world. The facilities in this one are the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve been at big clubs.“It’s not like I arrive here from small clubs and think ‘Wow’.“I’ve been at big, big clubs with very good conditions. Chelsea, very good conditions, United the same, Madrid, the same, Inter the same.“It’s not like I’ve been in bad conditions but here it’s fantastic.”It certainly has been so far, so good for Mourinho with victories in both of his first two games — a 3-2 win at West Ham in the Premier League last weekend and a 4-2 victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday.4 Jose Mourinho has been wowed by the facilities at SpursCredit: Getty – ContributorSpurs host Bournemouth this afternoon[Saturday], looking to close the gap on the top four.Their first two performances have been largely entertaining and attacking — and in stark contrast to the club Mourinho once accused of “parking the bus” at Chelsea.He said: “They did it once. But for me to play against Tottenham was always difficult.“I never had the feeling that I was going to play Tottenham and it was going to be easy.“They always had good players. They always had good managers. White Hart Lane was always very very difficult.“OK, they have not been champions for many, many years but that’s the way it is in this country — it’s not easy to win Premier Leagues.”After 11 months out of the game following his sacking by United, Mourinho has returned with that old twinkle in his eye.Mourinho’s first ten games at SpursNov 23 – West Ham (A)Nov 26 – Olympiakos (H)Nov 30 – Bournemouth (H)Dec 4 – Man Utd (A)Dec 7 – Burnley (H)Dec 11 – Bayern Munich (A)Dec 15 – Wolves (A)Dec 22 – Chelsea (H)Dec 26 – Brighton (H)Dec 28 – Norwich (A)Mourinho added: “That is why as managers we have to try to prove every day we are the man for the job. We have to fight for our job every day.“We can no longer say the job is going to be mine for ‘X’ amount of years, we have to fight for our job every single day.But after Unai Emery’s departure from Arsenal yesterday, he is under no illusions his latest love affair will not last forever. Mourinho certainly ruled out the chance of any manager doing an Alex Ferguson or an Arsene Wenger by spending two decades at the helm again.LATEST TOTTENHAM NEWSHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerYOU KAN DO ITKlinsmann quit Spurs to win trophies but says Kane’s better off stayingTURBULENT PAIRINGDrogba and Mido had mid-flight brawl after stewardess prank went wrongGossipSPURRED ONTottenham table contract offer for Bayern Munich’s teenage starlet Taylor BoothExclusivePASS THE TESTEngland’s NRL-based stars urge bosses to make room for a Test this year“Not just with the results but with everything at the club.“It’s not just in football, either, you guys in newspapers and radio cannot afford to sleep on what you achieved five years ago, you have to work hard and prove yourself every day.“It’s life.” Jose Mourinho praises Manchester United cancer survivor Max Taylor
At Shell Park in Hood Lagoon, Keapara thrashed a very strong United outfit in the biggest upset of the ITI POMCA T20 Big Bash to date.Former PNG Under 19 Garamuts player William Mula hit an unbeaten 53 to guide Keapa to a huge total of 8/158 off their allotted 20 overs.In reply, United were skittled for just 81 in 17 overs with Aaron Karo being the chief destroyer taking 4/11. PNG Barramundis all-rounder, Sese Bau had a good game for United taking 3/22 with the ball and hitting 25 with the bat.In the afternoon Alukune was no match for Chilli Sounds Raukele, losing by 140 runs. PNG Barramundis’ opening batsman Tony Ura fell one run short of a century in Raukele’s total of 9/221 off their allotted 20 overs.At the Vulaa Cricket Ground, hosts Vulaa easily defeated CIC Avala by 6 wickets with 48 balls to spare, while in the afternoon match a star-studded Poreporena was too good for Hula Lighthouse.Batting first, Poreporena posted 5/156 off their allotted 20 overs, with PNG Barramundis’ captain Jack Vare (53) and PNG “A” player Raho Sam (58*) hitting valuable half centuries. In reply, Hula Lighthouse were skittled for 46 in 12 overs, with Kapaena Arua (2/2) and Gaudi Toka (2/3) taking a couple of wickets each for Poreporena.At the picturesque Makerupu Oval, Jeremiah Nigani (48*) and Hiri Hiri (31) guided Koita Warriors to a comfortable 8 wicket victory over hosts, Makerupu.In the afternoon match, former PNG Garamuts player Heni Siaka (102) hit the first century of the ITI POMCA T20 Big Bash to help guide the BH Wanderers to 9/221 against Pari.Pari was dismissed for 108 off 13 overs in their reply, despite a brilliant all-round performance from Kawalahu Willie who hit 46 with the bat and took 4/37 with the ball. In Papaka, the hosts defeated Taurama by 42 runs in the morning match, while the PMMI Coasters edged out Hoods in a nail-biter by just 7 runs in the closest match of the day. Batting first PMMI Coaster posted 8/134 with Kupanarigo Amini (30) and PNG Barramundis all-rounder Charles Amini Jnr (24) making most of the runs.In reply, Hoods managed only 9/127 with Archy Vala (30) and Ratu Maha (27) among the runs for Hoods. Meanwhile at Amini Park, Lakwaharu defeated BH Curries by 6 wickets in the morning match, while Kempa easily defeated Moukele by 7 wickets in the afternoon match. Badili Hardware Wanderers 9/221 (20) Heni Siaka 102, Clive Elly 21, Kwalahu Willie 4/37 defeated Pari 10/108 (13) Kwalahu Willie 46, Joel Tom 4/13, Heni Siaka 2/4 by 113 runs. Makerupu OvalMakerupu 10/104 (19) Mari Gita 43, Henao Geita 4/11, Daure Kila 3/5 defeated by Koita Warriors 2/107 (10) Jeremiah Nigani 48*, Hiri Hiri 31 by 8 wickets Amini ParkBH Curries 8/107 (20) Chanaka 24, Ronnie Tau 2/11 defeated by Lakwaharu 4/108 (17) John Boto 37*, Sibina Herea 22 by 6 wickets PMMI Coasters 8/134 (20) Kupanarigo Amini 30, Charles Amini 24, Kamu Maraga 2/28 defeated Hoods 9/127 (20) Archy Vala 30, Ratu Maha 27, Jacob Mado 3/30 by 7 runs Hood Lagoon (Shell Park)Keapara 8/158 (20) William Mula 53*, Iga Iga 32, Sese Bau 3/22, John Boge Reva 1/15 defeated United 10/81 (17) Kohu Dai 32*, Sese Bau 25, Aaron Karo 4/11 by 77 runs Day 3 ResultsWednesday 26th August, 2015 Papaka Sports GroundPapaka 7/157 (20) Leku Lopena 35, Puka Airi 3/19 defeated Taurama 10/115 (17) Billy Govea 32, Rawali Kopi 3/14 by 42 runs It was the first time ten Port Moresby cricket teams travelled the highway to Rigo to play in the POMCA Cricket Competition. Chilli Sounds Raukele 9/221 (20) Tony Ura 99, Kiplin Doriga 30, Tua Bill 4/28, GUma Illa 2/46 defeated Alukune 10/81 (14) Vele Tamati 21, Karo Ila 1/9 by 140 runs Vulaa Cricket GroundCIC Avala 10/78 (17) Dennis Chris 31*, Dikana Tarabu 3/11 defeated by Vulaa Ralemana 4/84 (12) Edward Sisia 27, Jack Laka 3/11, Kala Kanau 2/21 by 6 wickets Poreporena 5/156 (20) Raho Sam 58*, Jack Vare 53, Gima Noah 2/20 defeated Hula Lighthouse 10/46 (12) Kapena Arua 2/2, Gaudi Toka 2/3 by 110 runs. Moukele 9/93 (20) Gapi Mogala 3/14 defeated by Kempa 3/95 (13) Warren Illaraki 38, Micah Pokana 32 by 7 wickets Photos: PMMI Coasters vs Hoods Match at Papaka Sports Ground
The 24-year-old, who was the youngest member of New Zealand’s 2010 FIFA World Cup squad in South Africa, says playing in the Oceania region is never easy.“Island football is something you can only experience yourself, people usually don’t realise how difficult it can be until they try it.“With the heat and the pitches it’s totally different from everything you experienced before as a professional,” Wood says.“You have to adjust to it and take different measures, but it’s always a great campaign and I’m looking forward to it.”The Leeds United striker believes the current All Whites squad assembled by coach Anthony Hudson has a bright future.“This team can go very far if we stick together,” he says.“We have a lot of young players coming through and if they get moulded by the right manager, which I think we have, we will go very far in the next four to five years.”The All Whites skipper insists the upcoming Nations Cup, which doubles as the second qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, provides his side with a huge opportunity to make a mark on the international stage.“It’s the biggest tournament in Oceania and it’s massively important because the Confederations Cup lies at the end of it,” Wood says.“We need to go to PNG with the right mindset; we have to be ready to take on some tough teams.”The All Whites will travel to Brisbane on Saturday for a training camp where they will play three games against local club sides.Wood, who has earned 39 caps for New Zealand and scored 14 goals in the process, says the camp will be a vital part of the team’s Nations Cup preparations.“It will be great to bond together because we never see each other, maybe just once or twice in a season, which is not enough.“We need to know each other more in order to get that understanding,” he says.“Especially with a young team like this, we need to find out what people are like, how they play and that will help us to click on the pitch.”New Zealand will open their 2016 OFC Nations Cup campaign against Fiji on May 28.
As in the debut of Setién as a coach against Granada, the new Barça horizontal again left doubts. The Cantabrian held on to that that allowed him to wear down Ibiza (which carried a tremendous load of matches), but it was convenient to delve into the numbers to know how much wear and tear how much damage could have caused a team that had only thrown three times at the door: one with a childish shot by Rakitic and both goals by Griezmann. Until the 72nd minute, when the French goal, Barça had not disturbed Ibiza.In addition to being a team that made little progress with the ball (of the 718 passes it gave, only 187, 26%, went forward), a fact was especially striking. ANDAmong Neto, Lenglet, Sergi Roberto Júnior, the four Catalans who played the most delayed in the game, gave 330 of the 718 Barça passes. That represents 45.9% of all Barça passes. The other ten players who performed in the match distributed the remaining 54%. The data is devastating. More than half of the game was spent in the boots of the defenders. While Lenglet gave 114 passes, Griezmann added 24 and Carles Pérez, 16. That little came the ball near the area of Ibiza during the game. It is not a minor detail that Barça spend 70 minutes without making a single goal opportunity to a team of Second Division B, Ibiza, who lived comfortably all that time and that showed that you can also play well going forward (from the 198 passes he gave in the whole game, 99 went forward, 50 percent). The worst conclusion that Quique Setién can draw from this Wednesday’s game in Ibiza was, in addition, that not even spending half the game the ball defenses prevented them from being in danger to Neto. Ibiza was close to 2-0 three times. A shot to the post, the rebound of the same play the goal was canceled border plays that would have put Barça on the edge of the precipice. Obsessed with minimizing turnovers, Setién has radicalized his plan to avoid turnovers and has turned Barça into two games in a harmless team that only Griezmann’s class saved from a historic wreck.
Barça says goodbye to another canterano without really testing if he had possibilities to succeed in the Camp Nou, as was his dream. Renovated at the beginning of the season, and with a record of the first team, the cash needs of the club and the little faith that Quique Setién had for him They opened the door to start a new adventure. Barcelona officially announced the departure of Carles Pérez to Rome and the final terms of the agreement, which remain as follows. The giallorosso club pays one million euros for the assignment until June. Then, he undertakes to execute the Mandatory purchase option by the canterano, which amounts to 11 million euros plus 3.5 in variables. Barça reserves the right of first refusal in the event of a future sale of the striker raised in La Masia.
Taking into account that there are even scenarios of having to play matches until August, Bautista could be without sports activity until September, a completely bizarre situation and that totally plays against him, because it seems complicated that he will have a place soon in the realistic template, there was account of the spectacular explosion of Alexander Isak and that the output of Willian José It does not seem easy this summer due to the special circumstances that the European championships will go through. Bautista left on loan to Belgium last summer to have the minutes that it would be difficult for Real to have, with the guarantee that in Eupen he would be led by the Gipuzkoa coach Beñat San José, with whom he has played 26 matches scoring three goals, and occupying different positions on the attacking front. Jon Baptist he will not be able to play again this season. For the soccer player of the Real society, loaned in the Eupen Belgian football is over. Because in the next few hours the Belgian League will announce the cancellation of its competition declaring champion to Witches, so the transfer of the striker from Renteria will end suddenly and you will have to stay with your family in Guipuzcoa waiting to join the preseason of Real Sociedad the following year as soon as it is decided what happens to the rest of the season in the league of our country. At the moment, Baptist is in Belgium strictly following the protocol of confinement. Bautista awaits news about the Belgian League, which must confirm its cancellation after the news has been reported in the country by various media outlets. The League Board of Directors, the benchmark of the competition, has requested the suspension of the tournament immediately due to the impossibility of completing it, declaring Bruges champion and saving Eupen from Bautista, who had been fighting for permanence in recent days. It seems that soon the Belgian Pro League General Assembly It will accept the decision of the board of directors by suspending the league and thus ending the transfer of Bautista to Eupen, for which he signed a one-year loan. From there, the Renteria attacker will have nothing more to do in Belgium and will have to return home, without having fully enjoyed his first experience outside of Guipúzcoa.
David Ferrer, who retired from skilled tennis final 12 months at the Mutua Madrid Open, has constructed a powerful profession: he grew to become quantity three in the world, acquired 27 ATP titles and he left with 734 victories in his file. From subsequent Monday, the Alicante may have the alternative to expertise one thing new when he takes to the monitor nearly to debut in the competitors.“I actually need to take part in the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Professional”, Ferrer stated. “I’ve been a online game participant in the previous, so I hope I haven’t forgotten. I’m coaching now to be prepared! “All followers will be capable of comply with the growth of the event, which already has 24 members, through the Web, for tv and social networks of the Mutua Madrid Open with a spectacular manufacturing It should function narration and feedback from all the matches, in addition to evaluation applications, summaries and interviews with the winners after every match. Going through the last stretch earlier than the begin of the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Professional, The group of the event continues to disclose new members: this Sunday, David Ferrer, Belinda Bencic, Frances Tiafoe and Sorana Cirstea they joined the roster of confirmed tennis gamers to develop into a part of the competitors. Thus, the 4 will face nearly the finest gamers in the world from their properties in the April 27-30, cause why they are going to be compelled to vary the racket for the PlayStation four to face their rivals in the Manolo Santana Stadium, recreated intimately in the Tennis World Tour online game.
The Gleaner clip Petrojam in BH football The Gleaner kept their hopes alive for a semi-final spot in Division One of the KSAFA/Western Sports Football Competition, with a 3-2 win over many-time champions Petrojam at Alpha Boys’ Home on Monday. Petrojam, who subsequently emerged KO champions with a 2-0 win over Carib Cement on Wednesday for coach Lenworth Hyde, opened the scoring through Boys’ Town Premier League player, Rafeik Thomas, in the 28th minute. The Gleaner levelled the score late in the first half via a penalty from Locksley Thompson. In the second half, The Gleaner gained the ascendancy with some creative plays and was rewarded with a goal from their prolific striker, Fabian Nethersole, in the 68th minute. They went further ahead in the 83rd minute when Norman ‘Ball Vibes’ Bailey netted for the Ian Barnett-coached Gleaner team. Petrojam got a late goal through Arnett Gardens’ Premier League player, Leon Strickland, almost on the stroke of full time. Scotiabank and Carib Cement will meet in a crucial encounter this afternoon at Winchester Park and neither can afford to lose if they hope to make the semis. Defending champions Metrodade, who are unbeaten in the league, lead the standing, ahead of GraceKennedy and Petrojam. The fourth and final semi-final spot will be decided among Scotia, Carib Cement and The Gleaner, who have completed their preliminary round fixture with 18 points. Waltham Court wins Symtai Consultants Boys’ Town T20 Waltham Court won the Symtai Consultants Boys’ Town T20 Cricket tournament for the third straight year, after their four-wicket triumph over first-timers Passagefort in the final at Collie Smith Drive recently. Scores: Passagefort 113-9 (20 overs) – Christopher Flemmings 29, St Aubyn Reynolds 25; Aldane Bruce 2-18, Leighton Lewis 2-21, Yanique Elliott 2-21. Waltham Court 114-6 – Yanique Elliott 25, Leighton Lewis 18 not out; Bryan Brown 3-12, Roderick Williams 2-19. At the end of the match, Lyndel Wright, a former Jamaica Cricket Association president and coordinator of the league, handed over the championship trophy to Waltham Court. DB Basovak take U-17 title DB Basovak FC are the 2015 champ-ions of the St Catherine FA U-17 Football League. DB Basovak won 4-2 on penalties after both teams were locked 0-0 after regulation and extra-time. Dujon Powell struck the decisive penalty in the penalty shoot-out. Paul Planter, Steve Reid and Lashawn Parker were also scored their penalty kicks. Passagefort on top Defending champions Passagefort United remained atop the standings after their fourth straight win in the Colin Fagan-sponsored South East St Catherine Constituency Domino League, which is sponsored by Member of Parliament Fagan, last Sunday. The competition consists of teams based in Portmore communities, including Waterford, Portsmouth, Bridgeport, Westmeade, Cumberland. Passagefort United (16 points) defeated cellar dwellers Portsmouth (two points) 250-236. In other games, third place, Waterford (10 points) stopped Ken’s Wildflower 250-229 to win two games in a row. They also defeated Cumberland the night before, 250-244, in a countdown, in a match that had ended prematurely a week earlier, while third-placed Cumberland (10 points) outclassed second-place Garveymeade (13 points) 250-221. The aim of the league is to foster unity between people from different communities in the constituency. Jamalco Football League semis begin The semi-finals of the 2015 Jamalco Football League will kick off today at the Wembley Centre of Excellence, with Napoli tackling Railroad at 4 p.m. The second semi-final, featuring Top Hill and Sunset, will be played at the same venue tomorrow at a similar time. Extra-time and penalties will be used if necessary to decide the finalists. Last weekend’s quarter-finals produced a few surprises. Mocho were eliminated when they were unbelievably swamped 4-1 by Napoli. The former champions had finished the preliminary round with a perfect win record and were seen as one of the title favourites. The second semi-final was more closely contested, with Sunset winning 2-1. Wembley took the lead in the 33rd minute. Sunset’s woes were further compounded when they were reduced to 10 players late in the first half. Sunset, however, equalised early in the second half and were kept in the game through the brilliance of their goalkeeper. A quick counter-attack resulted in Sunset getting a penalty, which was converted in the 68th minute. Wembley then went on an all-out attack, but they were again thwarted by Sunset’s custodian, and could not produce any more goals. Genocide, Chester Divas in netball final New champions will be crowned when the final of the Manchester Netball Association parish league is played today at the Manchester High courts. The final should get under way at 3 p.m. and features Royal Flat against Chester Divas. Defending champions Legendary were eliminated when they were beaten 23-20 by Genocide in the semi-finals. Chester Divas earned their first finals berth after outscoring Royal Flat 24-15. Today’s program also features a third place play-off and closing rally of all the teams which failed to make it to the semi-finals. Connection, Sporting Academy in Porus final Defending champion Connection and newcomers Sporting Academy will contest the final of the Western Union-sponsored Porus Summer Youth Football League. The game will be hosted at the Porus Community Centre in Manchester, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The third place play-off between Settlement and Rising Star will kick off at 2 p.m. A closing ceremony and presentation of awards will follow the championship game. Newman’s Construction Summer Football League Road Youths crushed Housing Scheme 4-1 to highlight last weekend’s play in the Newman’s Construction Summer Football League held at the Greenvale Community Centre in Central Manchester. The league caters to community Youths in the Greenvale area and its environs. Ten teams are taking part. In the other match played last weekend, Texas and Scot Town drew 1-1. Two matches are hosted each Sunday. Corner league finalists decided The finalists in the Daryl Vaz West Portland constituency corner league football competition were decided in Thursday’s semi-final matches at Lynch Park, Buff Bay. In the first semi-final, Woodstock beat Chatsworth 2-0 courtesy of goals scored in the second half by Sheldon Davis (46th minute) and Oshane Dunkley (47th). Former national invitee, Damion Harwood, who had a brilliant game for Chatsworth, failed to get his name on the scoresheet, despite firing home a number of powerful shots, which either hit the woodwork or were brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper. In the second game, Uptown of Buff Bay defeated defending champions Hope Bay by a similar margin of 2-0, after completely dominating both halves. The goals were scored by playmaker Rushane Taylor in the 56th minute and Demar Casington in the 60th. The final will be played tomorrow at 6 p.m., with the winner set to earn $100,000, along with the championship trophy, while the runner-up will receive $50,000. Other sectional prizes are up for grabs, including leading goalscorer, most disciplined team, player of the tournament and the fair play award. Sponsorship totalled $1,300,000 and 32 clubs from 37 communities in West Portland took part in the competition.
THE implications will be massive when the Reggae Boyz face Nicaragua in their return-leg CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying football match in Managua tonight, beginning at 8:30 p.m.The Jamaica men’s senior national football team lost the first-leg match, their home tie, 3-2 at the National Stadium on Friday night.That means, in very real and practical terms, they are facing a do-or-die situation.That they must win, is only a small part of the equation. Goals too, are important, given the deep hole in which they have found themselves due to the number conceded on home territory in Kingston.Having conceded three goals and lost by one, the Reggae Boyz must win by at least two clear goals to ensure a clear advantage, to qualify ahead of Nicaragua.There are two other ways that Jamaica can qualify. They can win the match by a one-goal margin, but score more goals than Nicaragua (three) did in Jamaica. Otherwise, if they win 3-2, the away-goals rule would register as equal, and then FIFA would likely decide on a tiebreaker, which could be a play-off on neutral territory.Any other permutation, such as a 1-0 or 2-1 Jamaica win, a draw or Jamaica losing means the end of the road as far as the nation’s hopes of qualification for the 2018 World Cup Final in Russia is concerned.That would be a massive blow to Jamaica’s football programme. The men’s senior national team, the Reggae Boyz, are the breadwinners, the life of the programme. Funding, much of which comes from sponsorships, as well as gate receipts, are almost entirely generated by this team.$700m budgetA preliminary estimate by chairman of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Leighton McKnight, revealed a $700 million budget to get through the 2014 CONCACAF Finals (involving six qualifiers).This is only the first round of qualifying. Next round would be 12 teams, four in three groups, which would mean six games, with three away. Then the CONCACAF Finals, six teams and 10 matches. Those costs, with time, would have escalated.The earnings from World Cup qualification for 2014 would have been US$9 million, plus earnings in gate receipts. Also, calculate all at like rates for the period leading through to 2018 at today’s costs, and you’ll begin to get an indication of what’s at stake.However, Nicaragua stand in the way.Jamaica, too, will again not be at full strength. Striker Giles Barnes will not play. Up to Sunday, captain Rodolph Austin had not yet arrived in Managua, as he went to Mexico looking to sort out a Danish visa for his next contract.For Friday’s game, influential midfielders Joel (Jobi) McAnuff and Garath McCleary, along with central defenders Wes Morgan and Jermaine Taylor, were not available. Head coach Winfried Sch‰fer pointed out that the wives of McAnuff and McCleary are expecting, while Taylor picked up an injury at the Golf Cup Finals in the US and has not recovered from surgery.Morgan and Taylor’s omission meant the back line was missing at least one of its regular leaders, for the first in a long, long time. Additionally, goalkeeper Dwayne Miller, who Sch‰fer had been moulding into a leader at the back during the Gold Cup, sat out in place of Andre Blake, who spent most of the last year on the sidelines with a knee injury.The defence had been a strong point of the team through the Gold Cup and Copa America – tournaments where the team excelled in the past two months. They were disorganised against Nicaragua, with the usually reliable Kemar Lawrence caught out of position on two goals and handling the ball for a penalty that made the other.Within the first 10 minutes, they were trailing 0-2.”For the second leg, we can’t start this way,” said Sch‰fer. “We have to press for the ball, and we’ve to go to Nicaragua with the motivation to win.”We have to believe we can change the match. I believe it,” added the coach.New Chelsea signing Michael Hector got a lot of attention and was booed unnecessarily too often by the local crowd. He will need to use the ball much quicker to complement the team’s attempts to keep Nicaragua off the scoresheet, with goals in great demand.Adrian Mariappa is more than capable and has the senior role not only at the back, but in the team. He proved his level with a goal Friday, and will be looking to balance at both ends.Alvas Powell played the other full-back role. He turned his back on the country by walking out of the team at the Gold Cup, knowing fully well that the teamwas already short by four players. The players, who had tried to influence him without success, were peeved. Sch‰fer, who along with other members of the team staff tried changing his decision, said he would not call him back, at least now.mystifying inclusionPowell’s inclusion, even in the squad, is mystifying, and one wonders if in any way it is impacting the team and those who have decided to stay away from it.The coach himself had built the unit in his self-professed ‘one for all, all for one’ tag representing their modus operandi. Could the players have viewed their teammates’ inclusion a betrayal of that trust. More on that later.Still, in Jamaica, Nicaragua were stubborn and full of fight, making it difficult to score. Jamaica had plenty opportunities, and that should boost their confidence. Plus, it’s hard to believe one team will be blessed with so much luck again, as Nicaragua and their outstanding goalie conjured every available means to keep the ball out of goal.Darren Mattocks, who scored Friday, along with Simon Dawkins, Deshorn Brown andothers formulating the Reggae Boyz firepower, have a job on hand to save the country’s football.The implications are massive. The chance is at their feet. It’s now or never.