WATFORD (4-4-2)GOMES,NYOM, BRITOS,CATHCART, ANYA,ABDI, WATSON, CAPOUE, JURADO,IGHALO, DEENEYMANCHESTER CITY (4-2-3-1)AG¸ERO,STERLING, SILVA, DE BRUYNE,FERNANDINHO, TOURE,KOLAROV, OTAMENDI, MANGALA, SAGNA,HARTOn Tuesday, Manchester City went to Barclays Premier League leaders Leicester City and were held to a 0-0 draw, their third goalless stalemate of the season.The draw leaves City in third place, just three points off the top. At this stage last season they were in the same place with the same points (36) – and finished second.Watford’s five-match unbeaten run – four wins and a draw – was ended by Tottenham on Monday but they remain in a lofty eighth place with an impressive 29 points, more than won through their last Barclays Premier League campaign.Indeed, at this stage of their only two other Premier League campaigns, in 1999-2000 and 2006-07 campaigns Watford had just 11 points and on both occasions they were relegated.Watford will hope that Odion Ighalo can maintain the form of 2015, when he scored 30 goals, more than any other player in the top four tiers of English football. This season the Nigerian has 14 goals and has scored in each of Watford’s last six games.And with team-mate Troy Deeney, the Watford front-men have 20 of the club’s 24 goals, representing more than 83% of the team’s Premier League goals with Ighalo netting more than half (58%) of their strikes.City are still without captain Vincent Kompany, who has been sorely missed in their defence this season. With Kompany in their starting line-up, City have won seven and drawn two of nine, a 78% success rate. Without him from the start, City have lost five and drawn one while winning four, a 40% success rate.
There will be no straightforward or easy matches in this week’s Red Stripe Premier league fixture as all five games on today and the one on Monday night appear evenly matched. Relegation-threatened Water-house gave an improved showing against Arnett Gardens and would have benefited from the inclusion of Hughan Gray and the reported signing of veteran goalscorer Devon Hodges. These moves could give them an edge against Boys’ Town. Boys’ Town, who have themselves beaten title challengers Portmore United 3-0 away from home, were last week spanked 3-0 by Cavalier in what can be described as a yo-yo league. Former champions Reno no longer looked like the team that threatened in the early season to be pacesetters and now find themselves in the bottom half of the table in seventh place with only goal difference setting them apart from today’s opponents, UWI FC. The university men, on the other hand, after struggling at the start of the competition, had some wondering if their entry was an experiment doomed to failure. They have gradually found their footing following their first win of the competition, a 1-0 win over fellow promoted but far more storied team Portmore United. Amal Knight’s quality in goal was never in question, but with Girvon Brown running into form and the addition of a few players through the transfer window, they will look even more competitive. INFORM IMPROVED PERFORMANCE Today’s Games – 8:40 p.m: Harbour View vs Portmore United – Harbour View Stadium. Humble Lion were let off the hook by UWI FC last week as they held on for a draw. Today, they will have to put in an improved performance when they host Cavalier, who sent a message last week with a 3-0 win over Boys’ Town with all three goals coming from their new acquisitions. The most mouth-watering of all the matches, however, appears to be the matchup between defending champions Arnett Gardens and the team they dethroned and defeated in last year’s final, Montego Bay United. Montego Bay United currently top the league on goal difference over Portmore United with their 37 points. That is just two points more than third-placed Arnett Gardens, who can overtake them with a victory. “These clashes are always some of the big clashes of the season. They are a rounded team, scoring a lot of goals and also defend well, so they will not be easy. Our game in round one ended 2-2, so we are not far apart,” Jerome Waite, coach of Arnett Gardens said as he looked ahead to today’s game. His team, he believes, though, have the ammunition and are in the form to come out on top. “Defensively, we are getting stronger and have improved on last year. We have been giving less goals, and when you make a comparison to last year you will see. At the end of the first round last season, we gave up 17 goals. Now, we have conceded just 15 with eight games gone in the second round,” Waite explained, adding that captain and defensive enforcer O’Neil Thompson and Keneil Hyde will return to strengthen the backline. On the offensive end, Waite believes they are just as good. “We are scoring a number of goals and Kemal Malcolm, with 10, is our leading scorer and we still have a lot of games to play. Last year, our leading scorer was Leon Strickland with 11. Strickland has provided goals too and we have players contributing from all around, with Vishinul Harris scoring quite a few from midfield,” Waite gushed. Montego Bay United could be without the League’s top scorer Dino Williams, who is due to depart the island shortly to take up another professional contract. That, though, is not a worry for club president Orville Powell. “Tomorrow’s game should be a competitive one, but we have no fear as we have been playing good football, and outside of Dino, who may not be available, all of our other players are fit and ready,” Powell told The Sunday Gleaner. “Owayne Gordon has scored a few goals for us as well and he is ready. Ottey is fit again after dealing with some injury issues, so we are covered on the attacking end. There are also others like the experienced Dwayne Ambusley, young Woozencroft and, of course, goalkeeper Jacomena Barrett is in good form, so I am confident that the team will put in a good show,” Powell added. Tomorrow’s game – 6 p.m: Arnett Gardens vs Montego Bay United – Anthony Spaulding Complex – 3 p.m: Boys’ Town vs Waterhouse – Barbican Stadium – 3 p.m: Humble Lion vs Cavalier – Effortville Community Centre – 3 p.m: Reno vs UWI FC – Frome Complex – 3 p.m: Tivoli Gardens vs Rivoli United – Edward Seaga Complex
LONDON (AP):Creating an independent anti-doping agency in athletics would help combat allegations that the governing body is not doing enough to weed out drug cheats or is complicit in the sport’s doping problems, IAAF presidential candidate Sebastian Coe said yesterday.”We need a system that removes any perception out there that there is either conflict or complicity,” said Coe, who again defended the IAAF against recent media allegations that it has failed to act on evidence of widespread blood doping in the sport.In a conference call with four international news agency reporters, Coe also said athletes should not feel “bullied” into releasing their private blood-testing data and that United States sprinter Justin Gatlin should be treated with “respect” like other eligible athletes at the upcoming World Championships despite a previous doping ban.Coe, the British former two-time Olympic 1,500-metre champion, is competing against Ukrainian pole vault great Sergei Bubka to succeed Lamine Diack as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations. The election will be held August 19 in Beijing on the eve of the Worlds.The election comes against the backdrop of allegations by German broadcaster ARD and The Sunday Times newspaper in Britain that one-third of medals in endurance races at the Olympics and World Championships were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious blood readings.The reports were based on analysis of thousands of leaked blood test results from an IAAF database covering the period from 2001 to 2012 and which claimed that the IAAF had been negligent in not pursuing the cases.Declaration of warCoe stood by his comment, made in an Associated Press interview last week, that the accusations amounted to a “declaration of war” against his sport.”It’s about defending the accusation that in some way our sport has, at best, been sitting on its hands, and, at worst, complicit in our activities and our judgements, and that is just not the case,” he said yesterday.Months before the latest allegations, Coe proposed the IAAF set up an independent drug-testing body that would speed up the handling of doping cases and remove any impression of conflict of interest.”It is really important we close down at every opportunity the perception that in some way what we are doing is mired in conflict,” he said. “There is no argument about how samples are taken, no argument about the interpretation of those samples.”Coe said an independent body would help relieve the “onerous burden” on national federations involved in costly and time-consuming litigation. He said he would increase the pool of athletes tested in every discipline from the top 10 to the top 20.Coe has been critical in the past of Gatlin, who won the 100 metres at the 2004 Athens Olympics, but served a four-year ban from 2006-2010 after testing positive for testosterone. Gatlin has the fastest time this year (9.74 seconds) and is a favourite for the World title in Beijing, along with Usain Bolt.Coe, who has long favoured life bans for doping, said Gatlin should not be ostracised.”If you are saying to me would I rather not have athletes that have served bans competing in major championships, the answer is probably yes,” Coe said. “But he is eligible to compete and he should be given the respect as a competitor who is eligible to compete.”
MONACO (AP): Barcelona got a favourable start to their title defence, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s wish to go home was granted and Benfica were given the longest trip in Champions League history yesterday. The group-stage draw also means Bayern Munich play Arsenal for the third time in four seasons, and sent Chelsea coach JosÈ Mourinho back to Porto, where he won his first Champions League title. Manchester United’s return after a one-year absence will be at Group B’s top-seeded club, whose best player was bought in the offseason. United’s new No. 7, Memphis Depay, can look forward to a September 15 date back at PSV Eindhoven. World football’s most coveted club competition set up many story lines for the 32 elite clubs who will share €1.2 billion ($1.37 billion) in UEFA prize money over the next nine months. MESSI-RONALDO DUEL Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo resume their duel for the all-time competition scoring record tied on 77 career goals, and Barcelona’s star forward seems favoured to forge ahead. Defending champions Barcelona will kick off at Roma and also play BATE Borisov and Bayer Leverkusen. Messi routed the German side with five goals in a 7-1 win when they met in the last-16 round in 2012. Ronaldo and Real Madrid landed in a tougher group with Shakhtar Donetsk and Ibrahimovic’s current and first clubs, Paris Saint-Germain and Malmo. “One day I hope to experience the Champions League in Malmo on the pitch. Congratulations!” the Sweden great had posted on Twitter after his boyhood club advanced through the play-off round on Wednesday. Ibrahimovic will be 34 by Nov. 25 when PSG plays at Malmo, which he left as a 19-year-old to join Ajax.
Former local football giants Cavalier Soccer Club missed an excellent opportunity to send a statement of their re-emergence with a whipping of defending champions Arnett Gardens on Monday night when both teams met in the Red Stripe Premier League Still, they came away with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a 52nd-minute strike by Chevonne ‘Messi’ Marsh. The win improved Cavalier’s tally to four points, one above previous leaders Arnett Gardens and two behind Portmore United, who have a perfect record, with six points. Cavalier looked the better of the two teams for most of the game as they created numerous clear chances and missed them at will. The game appeared to be heading for a stalemate until Marsh, with his bit of magic, stealing behind a defender to steer a cross into the Arnett net, gave his team their first win of the season. tremendous feeling “First and foremost, I have to give credit to the creator above. It was a hard game against the champions, Arnett Gardens, and to come out and execute well and give my team the three points is just a tremendous feeling,” the former Jamaica youth player said. Marsh’s composed performance and his strike was an example to his teammates, including his Jamaica youth teammate Oshane Jenkins, who missed a hat-trick in just about 16 minutes of action. “You know, it comes back down to decision-making in front of goal and executing. It is the early part of the season, so we just have to go back to the drawing board and do some work in front of goal on shooting and scoring,” Marsh said of his team’s poor finishing. Of his performance, Marsh said that it was only the tip of the iceberg as there are great things in store. “This is actually my fourth season in the league, and you can expect great things from me. “I have a lot to prove this season. I am looking forward to a call-up to the senior team and to take part in the qualifiers going on now. The only way I can do that is to stamp authority in my country right now and to show them that Chevonne Marsh is actually one of the best playing in the Premier League right now,” the 21-year-old said. So serious is Marsh about making the breakthrough that he has broken down his game into things that he is doing well and things that he needs to improve. “My movement off the ball, the threat I pose when I am driving forward, these are things that I am doing well at. “I have heard the talk about me lacking stamina and not being able to sustain the intensity over 90 minutes, but I am getting there. In order to get to the next level I have to go back to the drawing board. I used to train twice a day. I am training even more now so that I can last,” he stated with confidence.
Much will be at stake when Jamaica Scorpions play away to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua in the sixth round of the WICB First-Class Championship, starting today.Campaigning at different ends of the points table, the Scorpions, on 53 points, will be looking to move a step closer to the top two, Guyana Jaguars and Barbados Pride.The Jaguars, on 85 points, lead the championship, while the Pride are second on 63.The Leewards, in the meanwhile, have lost all five fixtures to date and are lurking at the bottom on 13 points. The Windward Islands Volcanoes are fifth on 29 points, with the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force fourth on 37.PRODUCING BETTER RESULTS”If we want to make a run for the title, we have to start producing better results, starting with the Leewards,” stated Jamaica captain Paul Palmer Jr.”They are down, and we need to keep them down by not only winning, but getting as much bonus points as possible.”With a three-win, two-loss record, the Scorpions will be hoping that the addition of batsmen Jermaine Blackwood, Kirk Edwards and Shacaya Thomas will add much strength to their batting, which has struggled all season.Blackwood missed the team’s first five matches due to West Indies duties, Edwards is making a return after missing their fifth round due to injury, while Thomas has been included for the first time this season.”We have strengthened our batting with the addition of (Jermaine) Blackwood and the return of Kirk (Edwards), and we’re looking for better totals,” said Palmer Jr.”This is in addition to our bowling unit, which we will be looking to for continued good showings.”The team’s bowling will be led by West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell and sidelined spinner Nikita Miller.As for the Hurricanes, who will be captained for the first time by Jamaica’s Nkrumah Bonner, they are hoping that this change, as well as an extended training camp, will make them stronger.”Jamaica is a good team, but we are playing at home and hope to use this to our advantage,” said Bonner.”We have players with talent, but have been struggling with the basics, and if we can correct that, we should be very competitive.”In addition to Bonner, their leading run-getter, the Leewards are expected to bank on discarded West Indies pacer Gavin Tonge, former captain and wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton, as well as promising young batsman Orlando Peters.
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Action in the 2016-17 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) resumes today after a two-week break, with several interesting matchups.Defending champions and leaders Montego Bay United (MBU) face struggling Waterhouse at Wespow Park in St James, starting at 3 p.m.MBU begin the new year on 35 points from 17 games, while Waterhouse are in 11th position on 15 points and in the relegation zone. Getting points is important for both teams but for different reasons. The MBU outfit will be looking to ensure a place in the top six for qualification to the championship round in April, while Waterhouse are fighting to avoid the drop.With that scenario, spectators in Montego Bay could be in for an exciting and close contest.MBU could unleash schoolboys Jourdaine Fletcher and Peter-Lee Vassell, two players who helped Cornwall College lift the daCosta Cup, the top rural area schoolboy trophy, last month.They should get guidance from stalwarts such as captain Dwayne Ambusley and national strikers Dino Williams and Allan Ottey.Waterhouse have been struggling in the league since last season and are yet to get it right.The St Andrew-based club parted ways with Marvin Tate and brought in former Tivoli Gardens coach Glendon ‘Admiral’ Bailey in the hot seat.Bailey guided his new club to a 2-0 victory against newcomers Jamalco on December 21 to close off 2016. That was the first win for the new coach in four games since taking over.Waterhouse will bank on veteran striker Jermain Anderson, Kemar Beckford, Romario Campbell, Irvino English, and AndrÈ McFarlane for a positive result away.STRUGGLING ARNETTIn another game, Arnett, who have been struggling to win since the players’ pay cut in October, will look for a bright start this year against UWI FC at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.UWI are in third position on 32 points while Arnett are three places behind on 22 points.Maverley-Hughenden, unbeaten since Anthony Patrick replaced Lijyasu Simms as head coach, face Tivoli Gardens at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex in west Kingston.Tivoli are in second position on 32 points, while promoted Maverley-Hughenden climbed to seventh on 20 points.In other games on the day, Reno are expected to beat last-place Boys’ Town; Portmore are tipped to get the better of Jamalco; and Humble Lion are given the nod over Harbour View in a late game.Today’s gameso 3 p.m.: MBU vs Waterhouse at Wes Pow Park, St Jameso 3 p.m.: Reno vs Boys’ Town at Frome Complex, Westmorelando 3 p.m.: Arnett Gardens vs UWI FC at Anthony Spaulding Complexo 3 p.m.: Jamalco vs Portmore United at Wembley Centre of Excellence, Clarendono 3 p.m.: Tivoli Gardens vs Maverley-Hughenden at Edward Seaga Sports Complexo 7 p.m.: Harbour View vs Humble Lion at Harbour View Stadium
Last week ended with a flurry of international sport that was enough to give local sport fans hand problems, switching from radio to television, and from channel to channel in a gallant effort to be a part of success, success of teams that represent us, the people. Every supporter or fan who watches and supports their team wants that team to win. But success requires more backbone than wishbone. The CONCACAF Under -17 Championships, which serve as a qualifier for a place in the World Cup finals at that age level, got under way with Jamaica carrying what I thought was the best prepared set of young men to go into competition. Jackie Walters and Wendell Downswell have both taken us to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. None of them had the luxury of a multi-week training camp. In the build up to the tournament in Panama, Jamaica had the luxury of playing practice games, at home, against the USA, Cuba and Canada. Yet, what transpired on the field in Sunday’s game against the Americans was simply unbelievable. Poor marking Defensive marking was absolutely nonexistent, and the midfielders and the forwards, whenever they gained possession of the ball, inexplicably booted it up field, where Jamaican forwards were ALWAYS outnumbered by American defenders! I am well aware that our team is populated by teenagers, who at times tend to go off on a frolic of their own, but so, too, are our opponents. Could it be that we were outcoached? Our next two games will give us, the fans, a good insight into how the coaching staff of our young Reggae Boyz respond. At home, the 50th Test match played at Sabina Park got underway on Friday. Coincidentally, this test match was also the 50th Test match between the West Indies and Pakistan. There was a genuine and praiseworthy attempt by the marketing arm of the Jamaica Cricket Association to promote the game, but the weather and the quality of the Cameron/Browne XI (otherwise known as the West Indies Test Team) combined to keep seats empty. Most cricket fans witj whom I have contact, have a real and genuine problem with supporting a team of inexperienced triers, when our best cricketers are kept out of the game by spite and ridiculous eligibility rules. It is now obvious that West Indies cricket will continue to struggle until the people of the region the ones whose money and support of the sponsor’s product(s) allow the board members the luxury of international travel and per-diems decide that enough is enough and support their prime ministers in disbanding an organisation that requests independent reviews of their governance, and rejects out of hand EVERY suggestion put forward by those hired and paid to deliver their opinion, which is that the board must go! Jamaica’s team to the World Relays, which concluded last Sunday in the Bahamas, saw a group of men and women, minus many of our best athletes, performing creditably in coming second to the mighty USA in the race for the golden baton. We can say that these relays were a prep for the World Championships in London this August, and so they can be, if our absent stars stay healthy, and the ones who went to the Bahamas continue to improve. But spare a thought for Canadian sprinter De Grasse. What a performance! His run against Justin Gatlin in the final leg of the 4×100 eliminations on Saturday and his third leg in the victorious 4×200 race on Sunday, was just awesome! Please, please, Usain, minimise the partying and train, I beg you. I just couldn’t bear to see you lose your farewell race in London. Finally, the execution of injured race horse King Pharaoh, by two gunshots, and an eventual lethal injection in front of shocked patrons at Easter Monday’s race day at Caymanas Park, has resulted in condemnation from the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) and the head of the Veterinary Board and consultant to the Jamaica Racing Commission, Dr St Aubyn Bartlett. In fact, Dr. Bartlett has been on national radio apologising to fans, punters and stakeholders who witnessed the horrendous event. He has also stated that it is against the rules governing the running of Caymanas Park for horses to be shot on the compound. To date, I have not seen a response from the promoters with regard to this incident that occurred in front of children and adults after the last race on Monday last week. I am however aware that the Racing Commission and the JSPCA have launched investigations.
Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Reyes says he was ‘asked’ to leave Maliksi out of SEAG roster Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tim Lewis. Photo by Randolph B. LeongsonGilas Pilipinas resumed team practices on Thursday and curiously welcomed a new face in coach Tim Lewis.The British mentor, who was last seen in the country mentoring Thailand in the 2017 Seaba Championship, was on hand at Upper Deck Gym in Pasig and ran a few defensive drills with the squad which is preparing for the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup in August.ADVERTISEMENT LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Coach Chot Reyes explained that Lewis’ involvement is just temporary, saying he’s been in communication with the former Thailand coach since the regional tiff in May.“We’ve been talking since the Seaba and he’s doing some work now with TNT. So I said, ‘Since you’re in town, we might as well take advantage of your knowledge.’ And he really wanted to come and watch the Gilas practice. There are things that he does that we feel is gonna be useful for us and so that’s why he’s here,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Lewis also said that he’s in the country only as a guest and thanked as Reyes for allowing him to subject the national team to some defensive schemes.“It’s just a casual basis. I’ve come over as a guest to (assistant coach) Josh Reyes and be around him, talk about basketball. And then his dad offered me the opportunity to be on the floor,” he said. “It’s a very loose situation, so there’s no contract. I’m glad to help out. It’s just an opportunity to coach basketball somewhere else in the world and I appreciate them giving me the opportunity.” End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube LATEST STORIES Having a first-hand look at the Gilas pool, the 49-year-old coach believes that despite sending a youthful cadet squad in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, the Philippines is still going to be the team-to-beat no matter what.“You got so many tools, so many weapons, so much depth at each spot. And the way that you play is at an uptempo style of basketball cause you’ve adopted because of the lack of size at times. And now, you have the additions to the size as well,” he said.“You’re never scared to bring in these younger guys, too, to put them on the face of adversity and challenge them and see whether they could take it. It’s impressive. It’s a well-oiled machine. It’s a really good job done by you guys. I think it’s exciting times for Philippine basketball.”ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments