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The Latest: 2 Southland teams playing non-conference games

first_img August 13, 2020 Southland Conference presidents also authorized planning for spring semester championship events for volleyball, soccer and cross country, while allowing schools to participate in limited fall competition if they choose to do so.Houston Baptist plans to honor its existing contracts to play non-conference football games against North Texas, Texas Tech and Louisiana Tech. Central Arkansas intends to play its scheduled opener Aug. 29 against Austin Peay, and a game at Arkansas State.“While not unexpected, it is still a sad day for our fall sport student-athletes,” HBU athletic director Steve Moniaci said. “We are taking measures to ensure they can compete safely in a limited capacity this fall and be prepared should the league resume play and reschedule the championships for the spring.”UCA athletic director Brad Teague said his school was “moving forward with its fall campaign in all sports, playing a reduced schedule.”Tom Burnett, commissioner of the Southland Conference, said the board determined that an entire fall sports season wasn’t likely. ___Five lower-level tennis tournaments in the United States in September have been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.The U.S. Tennis Association — which plans to hold the U.S. Open and another tournament in New York starting Aug. 20 — announced Thursday the cancellations of all ITF World Tennis Tour and ATP Challenger events in other cities around the country next month.Those tournaments are ATP Challengers in Cary, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio, and ITF stops in Champaign, Illinois; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Lubbock, Texas.The USTA says the sort of “controlled environment” that will be used for the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows “would logistically and financially be difficult to create” at the smaller tournaments that are being scrapped. ___New Mexico State has postponed its football season because of COVID-19 concerns and state restrictions.The Aggies are the third independent FBS program to decide not to play in the fall, joining Connecticut and Massachusetts. They are the 53rd major college football program overall to opt out. New Mexico State noted it had four games left on its schedule, plus the state of New Mexico has a 14-day quarantine for those traveling into and out of the state.New Mexico State says it will explore playing football in the spring. The Latest: 2 Southland teams playing non-conference games “Rival New Mexico has postponed its season as part of the Mountain West’s decision to attempt to play in the spring.New Mexico State competes in the Western Athletic Conference for other sports, and that conference also announced it would not have fall sports this year.___Fans will be allowed into MotoGP races for the first time this season, at the Misano circuit in Italy next month.The region of Emilia Romagna has given the circuit permission to open to a maximum of 10,000 fans a day for the doubleheader of the San Marino and Emilia Romagna MotoGP rounds.center_img Associated Press French golfer Alex Levy has been withdrawn from the Celtic Classic, which started on Thursday.Levy came into contact with a friend who has tested positive for the coronavirus, the European Tour said in a statement.The contact happened while Levy was at home in France last weekend. When he arrived at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales on Tuesday, he tested negative. He is showing no symptoms, the tour said, but he has been withdrawn from the tournament as a precaution and must self-isolate for 14 days.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Houston Baptist and Central Arkansas are still planning to play non-conference football games after the FCS-level Southland Conference decided Thursday to postpone league games this fall with the intent to explore playing those in the spring. There will be strict measures in place to protect against the coronavirus, and fans will not be allowed to roam around. The circuit has a capacity of around 110,000 including more than 40,000 in the stands and welcomed approximately 160,000 people across the three-day weekend last year.Organizers say in a statement: “It is a decision that makes us emotional because it also represents a green light for the restart of world sport finally in front of the fans.”The first three MotoGP rounds were held without fans and no spectators will be allowed into the upcoming doubleheader in Austria.___last_img read more

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Topp XX capture title, $700 000 after 3-1 penalty shootout against Coomacka

first_imgBy Joe ChapmanTOPP XX captured their sixth year-end Christmas football championship, which is their first under the auspices of the Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA), in a taut match which ended with a heart-throbbing penalty shootout victory over Coomacka. in front of a packed Mackenzie Sports Club on New Year’s night.It was a fitting finale and in the end Topp XX returned to the podium after Coomacka had placed themselves in Linden’s soccer lore. After some giant-killing performances of the top two seeds in this championship, Net Rockers and Botofago finally choked in front of the biggest crowdAfter the deciding penalty shootout win, as if it was prophetic, Topp XX coach Troy ‘Boy Blue’ Nelson told Chronicle Sport: ”We just started 2020 and pattern Topp XX’s name. We are out of the 20teens and this is Topp XX’s time. “Both sides had shown some nervousness in getting their feet on the ground early as the crowd swelled for the big clash. As early as the fourth minute, Coomacka, with a majority fan base of spectators who travelled from the south of Linden, got an early shot to goal. They took the game to their opponents whose pedigree certainly did not scare the Coomacka side.Knowing that this Topp XX side were seeking rebirth of their championship label of some ten years ago, Topp XX sent a free kick that forced a save by Coomacka’s acrobatic goalkeeper Kellon Major in the 14th minute of play then three minutes later one by the sharp-shooting Travis Waterton was just wide on the right side of his citadel.In the 32nd minute, Topp XX again got an outside shot towards the goal which was well taken by Major in goal.However, Coomacka found the back of the net in a brilliant effort down the left flank as Wheatland Thom darted into the area and unleashed a ‘wicked’ flat shot that gave Topp XX goalkeeper Gregory Hinds not much of a chance to save. The score read 1-0 at halftime for the team from the Mines in front of an ecstatic crowd.With that lead Coomacka continued to harass their better known rivals and constantly took the game to them, but 15 minutes into the second half Topp XX knotted the scores through their fast-moving forward Shawn ‘Dash’ Daniels, who was there to make the best of a chance in the second half for a 1-1 score-line.Now on even keel, the game continued to be a tough encounter as both sides played to the end of 90 minutes without troubling the score sheet and even extra period of play could not break the deadlock.It was the more level-headed Topp XX, with three brilliant saves from their goalkeeper from the first shot he got that allowed them a 3-1 victory in the end from the penalty spot shootout.Topp XX goalkeeper Gregory Hinds when asked about his thinking going into the penalty shoot-out affirmed: “I was confident as I have been constantly practising and training and I know I could handle myself in such situations.”Earlier in the evening, Botofago showed why they are the higher ranked club when they humbled Haynes and Lewis Winners Connection 5-1, after conceding the first goal as early as the 2nd minute of play.Jamal Haynes first tied the scores at 1-1 one minute before the first half ended. Then Botofago took the lead in the 67th minute through Floyd Headley, Ranic Velloza in the 73rd minute and another in the 74th minute through Jashawn Moore for a 4-1 tally.Winners reduced that through a goal by Marmalaque Davidson in the 78th minute but another by Jamal Haynes, his second, in the 89th minute ensured the Botofago walk away with the third place prize by a 5-2 margin.Nigel Hinds of Nigel Hinds Financial Services made the presentation of the Trophy Stall trophy and $700 000 in cash to Troy Nelcon of Topp XX and Topp XX goalkeeper Gregory Hinds was also adjudged the Most Valuable Player and collected the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, reportedly worth some $250 000 compliments of Nigel Hinds Financial Services.last_img read more

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USG attempts to ease funding application process for students clubs

first_imgFor the funding boards of USC’s Undergraduate Student Government, every new school year means a new flood of applications for financial assistance.On Wednesday, USG held its annual funding application workshop, where officials from USG’s financial division told members of student organizations how to tap into the funding board’s $300,000 allocated budget.Money talks · USG Treasurer Ashwin Appiah (left) gives a presentation to members of student organizations about how to secure USG funding. – Constance Shao | Daily Trojan“All of our funding boards’ goals are making sure we improve student life on campus,” said Kelsey Ford, the director of Discretionary Fund for USG. “It’s about maximizing that student dollar.”USG Treasurer Appiah said they want to streamline the funding application process and better inform organizations of the various financial resources available to them.Specifically, Appiah said he had several initiatives planned to improve efficiency in the funding process, starting with a measure to move from paper applications to online forms.The transition, which has been in the works since last year, would allow student organizations to submit funding applications through USG’s website.“The application gets sent to the funding directors directly. There’s no paper trail. It’s easier for us and it’s easier for [student organizations],” Appiah said. “This is one of my main goals that I want to finish this year because it will be easier for future administrations.”The new system is projected to be in place for the spring semester, Appiah said.For now, student clubs planning to use USG funds for their events — anything from guest lectures to community service events — have to complete the regular paper application.To successfully complete the process, organizations are required to submit general information about their proposed event, descriptions of each expense with its corresponding invoice and a line item budget outlining projected expenses and requested funding.When finished, these elements of the application can result in up to 30 pages of paperwork, Appiah said.Appiah, along with the other funding board directors, used the workshop to explain the need for the various pieces of information in the application process, while also telling attendees which funding board their individual events would come under.Diana Smith, a sophomore majoring in communication, was one of about 70 people who attended Wednesday’s funding workshop. Though her organization, the USC Chamber Ballet Company, usually succeeded in getting USG to financially sponsor its events in the past, the process of securing those funds was lengthy.“It was very straightforward and they told you what you had to do, but it was time-consuming getting everything we needed for the application,” Smith said.While completing the application can become a painstaking process, the forms’ details give funding board officials confidence that student organizations will use any aid responsibly, said Kelsey Ford, director of USG’s Discretionary Fund.“We want to make sure our money’s being spent wisely, so these checkpoints are our way of making sure that’s really being done,” Ford said.With a combined allocated budget of $300,000 — the same amount as last year — to distribute among individual students and campus organizations that qualify for their financial support, USG’s funding boards each have an average of 15 committee members and meet weekly to evaluate applications. The Discretionary, Philanthropy, Professional, Leadership and Academic Research Funding Boards review requests that fall under their individual jurisdictions.Each funding board has its own budget, with the Discretionary Funding Board, which finances cultural and entertainment events, typically given access to the most money since it receives the most applications, Appiah said.Depending on their individual budgets, the funding boards have different limits regarding the amount of money student organizations can apply for every year.Student organizations must submit funding applications at least four weeks prior to their event and give a presentation to the appropriate funding board. Committee members then discuss the legitimacy of thefunding request and vote on whether and how much to give to the organization.Criteria for approval include meeting applicationrequirements and the appropriate funding board’s event guidelines, hosting an event that targets and serves all USC students and seeking to improve and expand events from year to year, Ford said.“We’re able to look at these applications and the guidelines can decide for themselves whether the applicants qualify,” Ford said.Emily Connors, director of USG’s Professional Fund, said hosting events catered to the entire student body is an important requirement for successful applications, primarily because the funding boards’ budget comes from the student programming fee.“The money we are in charge of is everyone’s money, so we want to make sure it’s going towards something everyone can enjoy,” she said.Despite the funding boards’ allocated budget, funding for returning student organizations is not guaranteed, and student leaders need to assume responsibility for applying for aid early, Ford said.Though the lack of a budget increase might affect how much financing student organizations can expect, Appiah said he and the funding board directors will take full advantage of their resources and provide as much aid as possible.“I want to use the money we have wisely to make sure students’ money is used effectively. But my goal this year is not to reject apps because we don’t have money,” Appiah said. “In a way, it’s a good thing if we run out of money, because it shows students are taking advantage of our resources.”last_img read more

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MLAX : Pratt impresses at midfield after two seasons at OCC

first_img Published on March 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Matt Pratt never really entertained the notion.Playing for Syracuse would be a dream, but it seemed out of reach. A lack of interest from Division-I teams, including the Orange, dispelled the possibility of one day playing on the Carrier Dome turf.But two standout seasons at Onondaga Community College changed all of that.‘Going to (OCC) was one of my only options,’ Pratt said. ‘But then, going to Syracuse, obviously being from Binghamton and being from the area, as soon as they talked to me it kind of opened my eyes, and it was like, ‘Wow, this would be great.”In each of his two seasons at OCC, Pratt helped lead the Lazers to national championships. He also earned himself National Junior College Athletic Association All-American twice. He did it all in the shadows of the Carrier Dome, out of the spotlight and off the college lacrosse radar. After his first season at OCC, the SU coaching staff began talking to him about the possibility of joining the Orange. It became official during his second year. Pratt would play for Syracuse for his junior season. When he completed his two years at OCC, Pratt moved up the road to SU, earned himself a spot on Syracuse’s third midfield line and showed his ability quickly — on national television — when he scored his first SU goal against No. 1 Virginia last Sunday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPratt will look to help Syracuse (2-1) rebound from its 14-10 loss to the Cavaliers when the Orange plays St. John’s in its first Big East game Saturday at 1 p.m. in Queens, N.Y.‘He’s won two championships at OCC, and it shows when he steps on the field,’ junior midfielder JoJo Marasco said. ‘He can play with anyone.’Although when he started high school, Pratt didn’t think so.The Binghamton native wasn’t recruited heavily going into college. And Pratt wasn’t interested in the schools that did call. So he chose to attend OCC for two years before moving to another program.When it comes to junior college lacrosse, OCC ranks near the top. In the two seasons Pratt was with the Lazers, they won national championships, NCJAA Region III titles and Mid-State conference championships.In his sophomore year, Pratt scored 36 goals and notched 35 assists during OCC’s 19-0 season. And as it turned out, that was also his year of preparation for the Orange.Once Syracuse started talking to him, Pratt said, his future was defined.Pratt brought a versatile skill set to the SU midfield with the ability to play both offense and defense, something Marasco said is rare in college lacrosse. Most midfielders focus only on being proficient at one end of the field, but Pratt’s more than competent at both. He can clear the ball, ride, score and defend equally well.‘He’s in there on defense, offense, he’s a great two-way middie,’ SU midfielder Ryan Barber said. ‘He really brings a lot to this team, so every game we play, the more he’s out there, the better his confidence is.’Pratt received his first exposure to the increased level of attention that follows Syracuse lacrosse when the team played No. 1 Virginia last weekend.In the second quarter, Pratt dodged Cavaliers defender Matt Lovejoy from the left of the crease and took a hard shot into the upper part of the net for a goal.The line of Pratt, Barber and midfielder Luke Cometti has produced six goals so far this season, giving Syracuse plenty of production on the third line.Barber said Pratt’s ‘underrated’ speed keeps opposing defenses moving, which creates open space for the Orange’s scorers to shoot or feed off to someone else.‘I think it was just him getting comfortable with who he’s playing with and the offenses we were running,’ Barber said. ‘But he really stepped in and jumped right into contributing right away.’Pratt’s seeing increased time on the field every game, especially with the way his line has been playing. And the more he plays, the quicker he’ll get to the high level he was playing at during his time at OCC.‘His confidence is rising every week, and he’s more and more comfortable with that line, and he’s getting a lot more runs,’ Marasco said. ‘I think that’s huge for him, and he’s starting to play like he did at OCC, and he’s bringing it to a higher level now at Syracuse.’cjiseman@syr.edu Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Meet Virginia: Syracuse faces Virginia in battle of conference’s top 2 teams

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse and Duke have garnered the biggest television ratings. North Carolina has grabbed the nation’s attention by turning its early-season nosedive into a flying success. Pittsburgh has made its presence in the Atlantic Coast Conference known immediately.Virginia, however, has quietly put together arguably the best regular-season slate in the conference.The Cavaliers have only lost once since the new year and stand in the Orange’s way of a regular-season title in its first ACC season.“I think they’re a very good defensive team,” SU forward C.J. Fair said. “They live off their defense.”No. 4 Syracuse (26-2, 13-2 ACC) travels to Charlottesville, Va., to face No. 12 Virginia (24-5, 15-1) at 4 p.m. Saturday in a game that will determine the frontrunner for the ACC regular-season crown. With the Blue Devils and Tar Heels both having four conference losses, the Orange can win its last three games to take the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament. If the Cavaliers win, a trip to Maryland’s Comcast Center is all that separates UVA from the top draw.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile the game is arguably the Orange’s most important thus far this season, SU head coach Jim Boeheim has said the regular season, and even conference tournament aren’t the end goal.“You don’t get any trophies that matter in the regular season,” he said after Syracuse’s 56-55 win over North Carolina State on Feb. 15. “The only thing that matters is what you do at the end of the year. The real end of the year.”But for Syracuse, a strong finish heading into tournament season is crucial. The team has struggled with offensive consistency since its 91-89 win against Duke on Feb. 1, and is coming off a narrow 57-55 victory over the Terrapins on Saturday.And the Cavaliers pose a unique challenge. They’re a team that, unlike SU, has been able to bury its opponents. Only four of Virginia’s ACC victories have come by single digits, including a last-second game winner against the Panthers on a Malcolm Brogdon 3-pointer on Feb. 2.To add to that, UVA has only lost at home twice this season.“It’s going to be a tough place to play, a tough team to play against,” SU forward Jerami Grant said. “But at the same time, we’re going to be ready.”For the Orange to be ready, it’ll need Grant to have recovered from the sore back that kept him out of the second half against Maryland. It’ll need Rakeem Christmas to stay out of foul trouble for the first time since SU’s loss to N.C. State on Feb. 15. And it’ll need Trevor Cooney to break out of his horrendous shooting slump.The Orange shooting guard who was once making 50 percent of his 3-point shots is shooting just 27.5 percent from the field over his last six games.“I got some OK looks off of rebounds when guys found me. Shots I normally make,” Cooney said after a 1-for-5 performance in SU’s 66-60 loss to Duke on Saturday. “I got to knock them down, and I will next game.”But he didn’t. Cooney shot 3-of-13 and 2-of-10 from long range against Maryland as the Orange nearly blew a late 12-point lead.With three games left — Virginia, Georgia Tech and Florida State — Cooney and SU have three more chances to regain their rhythm before tournament time.While the Orange isn’t built to blow teams out, it can certainly be playing more complete games. And with the ACC regular-season title likely on the line Saturday, there may be no better time to start. Said Boeheim: “This is the way we’ve played really all year. When I go to bed at night I’m really happy that we’ve won 26 games. I’m really happy.” Comments Published on February 27, 2014 at 12:46 am Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1last_img read more

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Wins for Cashel and Cahir in GAA action

first_imgFormer Tipp U21 hurling manager and current chairman of Cashel King Cormacs TJ Connelly says they’re going to continue to work hard… Photo: Stephen Gleeson Cahir have been crowned South Under 21 B Champions.They overcame Anner Gaels on a score line of 1-7 to 7 points this afternoon.Meanwhile, Cashel King Cormacs have been crowned County Junior B Football Champions with a 1-8 to 5 points victory over Boherlahan Dualla.last_img

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Champions League : Dortmund’s emphatic win and other results

first_imgBorussia Dortmund eased into the last 16 of the Champions League with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Galatasaray.Jurgen Klopp’s side have struggled domestically so far this season, but brushed the Turkish outfit aside.Basel moved three points ahead of Liverpool in Group B after a 4-0 win over Ludogorets Razgrad, with Real Madrid through to the knockout phase.Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win at Malmo sees them top Group A with Olympiakos second despite a 3-2 loss against Juventus. Dortmund have only collected seven points from their first 10 games to leave them second bottom in the Bundelisga.But those problems have not been evident in Europe as they cruised to victory in front of their own fans against Galatasaray to make it four wins from four in Group D. Germany forward Marco Reus opened the scoring with a smart finish and Greece centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos added a second.Hakan Balta pulled a goal back for Galatasaray, but hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed as Ciro Immobile scored a third before Semih Kaya put through his own net late on.Andrea Pirlo, on his 100th appearance in the Champions League, scored the pick of the goals for Juventus as they earned a crucial a 3-2 win over Olympiakos in Turin.Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo scored with a free-kick on his 100th appearance in the Champions League against OlympiakosThe veteran midfielder’s curling free-kick was cancelled out by Alberto Botia’s header before the visitors got themselves in front with a goal from Delvin N’Dinga. However, Fernando Llorente’s header hit the bar and bounced in off Olympiakos goalkeeper Roberto to pull the Italian champions level before Paul Pogba fired home minutes later.Atletico Madrid are three points clear of second-placed Olympiakos after goals from Koke and Raúl García handed them a routine 2-0 success away at Malmo.Bayer Leverkusen strengthened their position at the top of Group C with a 2-1 away win over Russian side Zenit St Petersburg. A second-half brace from South Korea forward Son Heung-Min was enough to secure victory over Andre Villas-Boas’ side, who pulled a late goal back through Jose Salomon Rondon.The German club are four points clear of Zenit in second spot while Benfica boosted their hopes with a 1-0 win over Monaco thanks to Brazilian Talisca’s strike eight minutes from time.last_img read more

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Seahawks, Bobby Wagner agree to 3-year, $54M extension

first_img“He deserves to be the highest-paid linebacker. Ain’t nobody better than him in the game and that’s just the honest truth,” quarterback Russell Wilson told reporters after practice Friday.Wagner did report to training camp this week, despite not having a new deal at the time, but has yet to participate in practice. This past season Wagner tallied 138 total tackles, eight quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and one interception which he returned for a touchdown. Seahawks’ Jarran Reed suspended six games for violating NFL conduct policy The Seahawks have withstood a number of changes to their defense over the past couple of seasons, but Friday the team made sure it kept one of its most veteran players and a leader of the fresh-faced unit.Bobby Wagner agreed to terms on a three-year extension worth $54 million, Seattle announced Friday. Seahawks expect Mychal Kendricks back after insider trading case The leader of the #Seahawks defense, who showed up for his teammates at camp, wanted to be the highest paid inside LB. And he is at $18M per year. Big time payday. https://t.co/PYGixjxVfi— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 27, 2019Wagner is entering his eighth season, all spent with Seattle, after being selected in the second round as the 47th overall pick of the 2012 draft.He immediately had a starting role with the team and has been remarkably consistent and healthy playing 14 or more games in five of seven seasons with the Seahawks and all 16 during three of those years.The five-time Pro Bowl player, and three-time consecutive selection, has been trending up since career years in 2016 (where he recorded 168 total tackles) and 2017 (when he finished with 97 solo tackles).  Locked up the best LB in the game!!!! 🐢🐢🐢» https://t.co/hiTBB6Xma8 pic.twitter.com/yMSqM9fZpL— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) July 27, 2019Wagner’s goal, according to NFL Network, was to be the highest-paid linebacker in the league and the new contract — valued at $18 million per year — achieved that.He will also get $40.2 million in guarantees, the report noted. Related Newslast_img read more

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Holders Cameroon warn Group F rivals: ‘No easy time against us’

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Cameroon win AFCON 2017Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf has a message for Group F opponents at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt this month: “no one is going to have an easy time against us.”He says the surprise winners of the last edition are “in good shape and positive” ahead of matches with Guinea-Bissau, four-time champions Ghana and Benin.“I believe we have regained international respect thanks to some great performances after missing out on the World Cup in Russia last year.”Here, AFP Sport highlights the teams in a section Cameroon and Ghana seem set to dominate against Benin and Guinea-Bissau sides seeking first wins in the competition.BeninAfter eight losses and a draw in three previous appearances, the west African nation are craving a maiden victory at the African football showpiece.“Above all else, we want to win a match at the Cup of Nations,” says Steve Mounie, who played for the Huddersfield Town team relegated from the English Premier League last season.The best chance the Squirrels have of achieving that ambition should come in Ismailia on June 29 when they face Guinea-Bissau, 30 places lower in the world rankings.For the opening match against Ghana, Benin will lack suspended captain and star Stephane Sessegnon, who needs one goal to become the leading all-time scorer for the national team.Verdict: best they can hope for is a last-16 placeCameroonThe Indomitable Lions hope to match the teams of 2000 and 2002 and win back-to-back African titles. Hard-to-please former superstar Roger Milla is supporting Seedorf.“He has played in many top competitions and knows what it takes to win big tournaments,” Milla said of the four-time Champions League winner with Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan.Seedorf has been less successful as a manager with short reigns at AC Milan, Shenzhen in China and Deportivo la Coruna after only 17 victories in 52 matches with the three clubs.Vincent Aboubakar, the 2017 final matchwinner against Egypt, misses out through injury but Karl Toko Ekambi has been netting regularly for Spanish La Liga outfit Villarreal. Verdict: can go far but unlikely to retain titleGhanaAtletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey says “unity holds the key to success for Ghana”, a country without a Cup of Nations title since winning their fourth in 1982.State President Nana Akufo-Addo had to intervene recently and persuade veteran Asamoah Gyan to return to the squad after the forward quit when stripped of the captaincy.Turkey-based midfielder Andre Ayew, one of two sons of Ghana legend Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew in the squad, will lead the Black Stars in Egypt.Ghana have finished second, fourth twice, second and fourth in the last five Cups of Nations and coach Kwesi Appiah can call on many experienced international campaigners.Verdict: it will be difficult to achieve sixth straight top-four finishGuinea-BissauThe transformation of the national team representing the tiny west African state from perennial strugglers into two-time Cup of Nations qualifiers has been remarkable.They were competitive in Gabon two years ago before bowing out after the first round and will eye the match against Benin as an opportunity to record their first victory.However, the Djurtus (wild dogs) cannot realistically expect to beat Cameroon or Ghana, leaving hopes of a last-16 place hinging on being among the four best third-place finishers.The captain and star is Slovakia-based midfielder Jose Luis Mendes Lopes — known as Zezinho — and the defenders include Marcelo Djalo from relegated Premier League club Fulham.Verdict: squeezing into second round will be the goalShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Warriors release Lolohea

first_imgThe 22-year-old had been included on the bench for tonight’s NRL game against the Broncos in Auckland but this morning the Warriors said he wouldn’t play after farewelling teammates and staff yesterday.Lolohea had asked for to be let go and the club had agreed to release him with a 18 months left on his contract.”Tui and his management recently asked us for permission to talk to other clubs about a possible move and have since requested an early release from the rest of his contract,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment and development manager Tony Iro.”We appreciate the service Tui has given the club and wish him all the best,” said Iro.Lolohea, who made his NRL debut in 2014 and played 52 first-grade matches for the club. He scored 17 tries and kicked 18 goals for a total of 104 points.Reports say he has chosen Wests Tigers ahead of offers from the Cowboys and Raiders.last_img read more

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