Roberto Di Matteo described Chelsea’s Champions League triumph against Napoli as one of the club’s greatest victories.The Blues overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit at Stamford Bridge, where Branislav Ivanovic’s extra-time winner took them into the quarter-finals. Ivanovic fired in Chelsea’s winner.It was Chelsea’s third win in as many matches under interim boss Di Matteo, who paid tribute to his players.AdChoices广告He declared: “I’ve had some great nights, I have to say. But that one will probably go down in this club’s history – to have come back from a two-goal deficit.“The players showed they care about the club and the supporters. Some of the players couldn’t even run at the end because they had cramp, but they just kept fighting.“For the club, it meant a lot to still be able to play in the Champions League. Everybody was delighted.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
The USC beach volleyball team won the NCAA National Championship on Sunday, beating Pepperdine 3-2 to clinch the program’s third consecutive national title.The No. 1 ranked Trojans had been dominant all year, finishing with a 38-1 record, so perhaps it was no surprise they found themselves in Gulf Shores, Ala. last weekend, looking to defend their back-to-back national championships. USC carried its regular-season momentum into the National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship, running rampant through the competition. Facing the top programs in the nation, the Trojans were flawless, and they swept South Carolina, Hawaii and Pepperdine to earn a spot in the final.But for the first time since their sole loss of the season against UCLA in the Pac- 12 Championship, the Trojans faced major adversity in their rematch against Pepperdine. The first dual of the final matchup went in favor of Pepperdine’s Deahna Kraft and Anika Wilson, who downed the young pair of sophomore Abril Bustamante and freshman Joy Dennis. The Trojans responded quickly, as juniors Jenna Belton and and Jo Kremer dispensed of their competition 21-18, 21-15.With the two teams tied at 1-1, Pepperdine’s Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle regained the Waves’ advantage with a tough three-set victory over seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler. The seesawing affair continued with the Trojans’ decorated senior pair of Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes winning another tightly contested three-set dual, evening the match at two wins apiece.Both teams were set for a deciding final matchup with the National Championship on the line. It was up to junior Terese Cannon and senior Nicolette Martin to notch a win over Pepperdine’s Skylar Caputo and Heidi Dyer and bring home another national title. After capturing the first set 21-19, the Trojan pair dropped the second 18-21, setting up a dramatic final frame in an already razor-thin final.But the Trojans were able to seize the moment, as Cannon and Martin won the title-clinching set 15-13, giving USC 104 all-time NCAA team championships. For seniors Kelly Claes, Sophie Bukovec, Allie Wheeler, Sara Hughes and Nicolette Martin — who made up head coach Anna Collier’s first recruiting class — the win over Pepperdine marked their third national championship in four years at USC.“They came in and pretty much set the tone from the beginning,” Collier said. “From the moment they were sophomores, they took control of the situation and started building a team culture. They improved so much in volleyball, but more than that, they became a unit.”Collier refers to the group as the “Fab Five,” and on Sunday, the senior class solidified its legacy in USC lore, giving the school its 20th NCAA championship in women’s sports. “It came down to those last two points,” Claes said. “It was just an unreal feeling — I’m on cloud nine right now. I’m just so proud of all these girls and the fight that all of us had.”To wrap up a season full of silverware, the Trojans had three pairs selected to the all-tournament team, including Claes and Hughes, who were named the top overall pair. Cannon and Martin were honored as the No. 3 pair, with Bustamante and Dennis following just behind in No. 4.
Published on February 8, 2020 at 12:10 am Contact Roshan: email@example.com | @Roshan_f16 Midfielder Sam Swart saw Meaghan Tyrrell streak from the right side of the goal into an empty pocket of space. It was the first minute of Syracuse’s season-opener against Canisius and Swart fed the ball into the middle, where Tyrrell turned and flicked her stick with ease. Her shot found the upper left-hand corner of the net for the Orange’s first goal of the season. The next possession, Swart feinted right and picked out Mary Rahal, who was cutting toward an empty lane near the crease. In two minutes, the Orange had two shots and two goals — both were from Swart assists. She added a third later less than 10 minutes later, giving her half as many assists during Friday night’s game as she recorded in the entirety of last season. “Last year I contributed on the goal side and this year I can contribute both now,” Swart said. “That’s something I’ve been working on during the off-season, being able to hit the open girl … and I think it’s going to pay off now.” Syracuse’s (1-0) season-opener against Canisius (0-1) was defined by key assists and passes from Swart, sophomore Megan Carney and Tyrrell that allowed senior Emily Hawryschuk to score a career-high seven goals in a dominant 21-6 win. Those passes from her teammates, Hawryschuk said, made scoring those goals “so easy.” Carney finished the night with five assists, tying her career-high in a single game, and three came before halftime. On three occasions, she assisted Hawryschuk, who joked that of her seven goals, her most impressive were all those initiated by Carney. Carney’s abilities as an “amazing feeder” were crucial for the Orange, Hawryschuk said. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMidway through the first half, Carney fed Hawryschuk in the low block, who blasted the shot into the upper right-hand corner for the Orange’s eighth goal. Six minutes later, from behind the goal, Carney picked out a Hawryschuk, who had nearly no separation from her defender. Carney placed the ball well-above Hawryschuk’s head, and the senior had to fully extend her stick to reach it. In one fluid motion, Hawryschuk caught the pass and released it, firing into the net to give SU a nine-goal lead. “Being able to push for a fastbreak or a slow break and just hit the girls when they’re cutting and they’re open,” Carney said, “(I) just feed them the ball.” Controlling the tempo of the game, as Carney said, was vital for the Orange. Their rhythmic passing and connection with wide-open players allowed the offense to run smoothly. This season, the Orange will turn to both Carney and Swart as distributors. Eight minutes into the first half, SU picked up a Canisius turnover and used quick passes to move the ball to downfield. Swart sprinted 30 yards and set up Carney for the goal, notching her third assist and catching the Golden Griffins off-guard: With only three defenders back, compared to the Orange’s six attackers, ball movement made SU’s game look smooth and fluid. Late in the second half — when the Orange’s bench was emptied and the game was all but wrapped up — Syracuse continued to take advantage of its passing. The ball swung from the right, across the middle and then to the far left of the field for as many as 15 passes before there was any cutting inside the 12-meter fan.With three minutes remaining in the game, freshman Emma Tyrrell was fouled by a Canisius defender in the attacking third. From the free position, she cradled the ball a few times in her extended stick as three Canisius defenders positioned themselves around her, preparing themselves to sprint to the goal and block her shot. Emma leaned forward in anticipation and stared down the goalie. Everyone expected her to sprint toward goal and shoot. But instead, she passed. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+