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Super Eagles on the March Again, Start Campaign against Croatia

first_imgObservers are also of the opinion that for a team to do well at the world stage, it must have one distinguished player that could propel it. While Egypt and Senegal boast of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane respectively, Nigeria does not have that singular player that could win a game for them.Meanwhile, Rohr has admitted that he had total respect for Croatia but claimed his young team would not be overrun by them when both teams meet in their Group D clash today at the Kaliningrad Stadium.“We admire this team (Croatia) but we do not plan to watch them when we play against them, we hope to fight. They are all wonderful players, playing in biggest teams in Europe. On paper with their names, they are much better than us,” Rohr stated while addressing reporters on Wednesday at his team’s training base in Essentuki.“But sometimes on the pitch, it could be different. We don’t have their big stars, but we try to play collectively with our young team,” he said.In its sixth attempt, Nigeria is looking to finally fulfill the enormous promise that took root in the 1990s.Nigeria was knocked out in the second round on three occasions, US ’94, France ’98 and Brazil 2014, while the Super Eagles failed to qualify from the group stages in the 2002 and 2010 editions in Japan/Korea and South Africa respectively.Africa’s best at the Mundial remains the quarter finals place performance of Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.Twenty years ago, in their first World Cup as an independent nation, the Croatians finished third. Since then, they’ve been a bust, winning two matches in nine attempts during three group-stage exits. The midfield and front-line personnel is individually stellar: Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic, Nikola Kalinic and Mario Mandzukic.Meanwhile, four years after finishing second, the Argentines are the favorites in the foursome but not definitively after a rickety qualifying campaign came down to the final day. A 6-1 fiasco against Spain in a friendly march did not inspire confidence, and questions have lingered about what Jorge Sampaoli’s lineup will look like.The thing is, Messi could shroud Argentina’s problems by himself. He is extraordinary. Still, he will need a stable supporting cast to draw attention from him. Capable contributors are abundant: Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, 24, who has scored 52 goals in three seasons with Juventus.Messi’s strength and endurance will be tested by what is sure to be tight marking and physical challenges. Knock Messi off his game and knock down Argentina. That’s the theory, anyway. He might have other ideas.Iceland is the feel-good story of the tournament, but don’t let the thermal baths and quaint fishing villages fool you. This team barely missed out on the 2014 World Cup, then made the most of its first European Championship visit by going unbeaten in group play and upsetting England in the round of 16.In qualifying for this World Cup, Iceland finished ahead of Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey. Size and strength are top qualities, making it particularly dangerous on set pieces. Possession will come in short supply against technically superior foes.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram After Nigeria booked its place for the 2018 World Cup with a game to spare from a group that has Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria, many soccer loving Nigerians are optimistic that Super Eagles will do well in the Mundial. However, dismal performances against Serbia, England and Czech Republic have reduced that optimism. As Nigeria starts its World Cup campaign today against Croatia in the second Group D game, Kunle Adewale asks whether these crop of Super Eagles players will give us the desired result at the World CupThe President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, had said severally that Nigeria has what it takes to go all the way and win the World Cup. “The dream of every father for his children is to excel in everything they do and for me, my dream is for the Super Eagles to win the World Cup and we are motivating the players very well for them to give their best at the World Cup in Russia,” Pinnick said.“I have been interfacing with the Minister of Sports and we agreed that setting target may not be the best, but I have constantly said that my target for the team is to win the World Cup trophy. The good thing about the current team is that it is very well equipped with sophisticated training equipment. We are very much scientifically equipped. We know the target we set for them but we don’t want to put pressure on them consciously,” the NFF boss added.However, a more cautious manager of the team, Gernot Rohr said qualifying from the group stages was what was paramount for now.“My target is to qualify from our group. That is my first target. I pray we can beat Croatia, one of the most technically sound teams in Europe, Iceland play like us, we hope to beat them as well and Argentina who we beat last time in a friendly may not come cheap because they have known us and may want to revenge that defeat. It is not going to be easy,” Rohr said.In a chat with THISDAY, former Nigerian international, Friday Ekpo said the attitude of the players towards the games was crucial just as he said the Super Eagles cannot afford to lose the first game against Croatia.“Winning the first game against Croatia is very important to the psyche of the team or else we would have to go back to permutations and be condemned to winning other matches, which means playing under serious pressure and that is something the team should try and avoid,” Ekpo said.The former international however admitted that the Croatians have more quality players in their fold than Nigeria and as such surmounting them would be an uphill task.“There is no doubt about the quality of their players. They have one of the best midfielders (Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic) in the world today and considering the fact that most matches are won in the midfield, there is the temptation to want to concede defeat to them, but football could be unpredictable. As a team Nigeria could rise up to the occasion,” the former Shell of Gabon player said.Asked if he sincerely thinks Nigeria can qualify from the group, he reacted thus, “I’m not expecting the team to qualify from the group based on the quality of players at our disposal compared to that of our opponents (Croatia and Argentina). But like I said earlier, anything can happen in football.”last_img read more


Students compete in IBM Watson Case Competition

first_imgThe competition, which was held on the West Coast for the first time, joined multiple schools within USC including the Marshall School of Business, Viterbi School of Engineering, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Leventhal School of Accounting. In 2012, the competition was held at Cornell University, and in 2011 it was at the University of Rochester.The competition was created as a result of an invention the company created in 2011. IBM invented Watson, a supercomputer, because it wanted to create a computer that could be competitive on the television game show, Jeopardy! Watson can compile, for instance, huge amounts of information from  all corners of the Internet to answer complicated questions, such as the ones found on the game show.The computer itself relies on cognitive computing, similar to the human brain. With these findings, IBM created a ninth division to their company, Watson Solutions, and implemented this technology in the fields of health care, finance and call centers.Twenty-five interdisciplinary teams, comprising four people each, participated on Friday. Two of the team members of each team were required to be Marshall and Viterbi students. Teams then gave a five-minute pitch to the panel of USC professors, IBM representatives and professionals. The judges then selected five of those teams to give a 20-minute presentation that included a 15-minute question-and-answer session with IBM officials.Students were given 48 hours to find a way to put the IBM Watson technology to work in practical matters. They had to determine  possible benefits to the market and the target audience for these services.The final presentations were given Sunday afternoon.Mingbo Gong, a junior majoring in accounting and business administration, had the idea to host the competition at USC. He interned with IBM and reached out to the company via LinkedIn about hosting the competition at USC. Gong said engineering and business effectively work together.“There are other options and business is not just focused on finances,” Gong said. “There are so many ways to implement business engineering, you can work with fashion or architecture.”Gong was also impressed by how quick the response was from IBM. The company responded within three days to begin setting up the competition at USC.“I feel that we started from nothing — Ming’s LinkedIn message — to everything we have today. It’s very inspiring,” said Anna Lin, a sophomore majoring in business administration.Some students said combining the two disciplines will enhance the competition.“Business and engineering should work together,” said Eric Pakravan, a student majoring in business administration.The event was co-sponsored by Marshall Business Student Government, National Organization of Business and Engineering, Business Technology Networking Group and the Association for Computing Machinery. The International Business Machines Watson Case Competition, which challenged students to think outside the box with Watson technologies, was held this weekend with more than 100 student participants, faculty judges and IBM executives in attendance.Judgment · Jayashree Subrahmonia, vice president of engineering and delivery for Watson Solutions, and Nick Orrick, software engineer for Watson Solutions, presented and judged at the weekend competition.last_img read more



first_imgScene of the two car collision just outside Murray Motors in Manorcunningham. Pic by John BorelandEmergency services are currently attending the scene of a two-car collision on the main road from Letterkenny to Derry.The accident occurred just past the garage of Murray Motors in Manorcunningham.It’s the second accident in the vicinity in the last week following an accident last Thursday afternoon. Two ambulances, Gardaí and members of the fire brigade are also in attendance at the scene.It is not yet know if any occupants of the vehicles have been seriously injured.Gardaí are warning motorists to expect traffic delays in and around the area until the crash site has been cleared, and they carry out their investigations into the accident.We’ll have more on this story when more detail emerges from it.    TWO CAR COLLISION CAUSING TRAFFIC DELAYS IN MANORCUNNINGHAM was last modified: July 28th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:AMBULANCEScrashFIRE BRIGADEnewsTwo Car collisionlast_img read more