Fifteen other nations are turning their attention to the host nation Papua New Guinea and wondering if they can deliver such a striking tournament.Despite ongoing talks, preparations for the games continue ahead of schedule.All are due to be completed before November 13.
The Barras’ sixth successive win in the WCL Championship has put them on 12 competition points.They are just ahead of the second-placed Netherlands (12) because of a superior net run rate.From 8 matches, the Barras have recorded 6 wins and 2 losses with a net run rate of +0.037.The current points ladder:PNG (12), Netherlands (12), Scotland (11), Hong Kong (9), Kenya (6), Nepal (6), Namibia (2), United Arab Emirates (2).There are three more rounds to go in the ICC WCL Championship.
Ronaldo scored Madrid’s stunning second goal in Sunday’s 3-1 win at Camp Nou, with the return leg coming up at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.But Zinedine Zidane’s side will be without their talisman after he was booked for removing his shirt in his goal celebration, before earning a second caution for simulation.The four-time Ballon d’Or winner’s hefty punishment comes as a result of him pushing Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea after the referee brandished his red card.The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) had the option of imposing a maximum suspension of 12 games for the offence, but Spain right-back Carvajal is hopeful Madrid can reduce Ronaldo’s punishment on appeal.”I think it’s a bit excessive, this suspension for Cristiano,” Carvajal told a pre-match news conference.”I don’t what to talk badly about the referee. For [Ronaldo] it’s a very frustrating situation that they sent him off in the way they did.”It’s very excessive and I hope the committee is able to take some games off. We’re all pretty down about the ban.”Carvajal also suggested there was inconsistency in the referee’s decision making after Luis Suarez took a tumble over goalkeeper Keylor Navas to win a penalty that Lionel Messi converted before Ronaldo made way.”Whether [Suarez] pretended to win a penalty or not, you can see it yourselves in the images. It’s pretty clear,” he said.”Bans and decisions like this decide titles so they have to be as correct as possible.”Carvajal added: “We can’t get into the heads of the referees. We have to just believe they are trying to do then best they possibly can, as players do as well”We all commit errors. That’s what happens in football.” Photo Getty Images. Caption: Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal with Cristiano Ronaldo
By Rik SharmaNeymar was sent off as Barcelona suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at Malaga on Saturday that scuppered their hopes of going top of La Liga and handed control of the title race to leaders to Real Madrid.Zinedine Zidane’s Real were held to a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the capital derby earlier in the day, giving Barcelona the chance to go top on goal difference, but Luis Enrique’s side squandered the opportunity and now sit three points behind Los Blancos, who have played a game less.Former Barcelona striker Sandro Ramirez opened the scoring for Malaga with a breakaway goal in the 32nd minute before Jony added a 90th-minute second for the hosts.Neymar was shown his second yellow card and dismissed midway through the second half.Luis Enrique was angry with several of referee Gil Manzano’s decisions, including the award of a free kick rather than a penalty after Charles fouled Sergi Roberto in the box.“It’s curious that a team like us that doesn’t usually kick people gets so many yellow cards in such an incomprehensible manner,” he said.“There was some very ugly tackles from behind from their team which didn’t see them get booked and others committed by us which were given yellows.“The rules are there to be interpreted, but equally for everyone. I don’t understand how the foul on Sergi Roberto was given outside the area, but we are used to it.”After the Madrid derby ended in a draw a victory at La Rosaleda would have sent Barcelona level with Madrid on 72 points.Barcelona started well but Juankar’s long ball caught the visitors off guard and Sandro beat Jeremy Mathieu for pace before finishing past Marc-Andre ter Stegen with aplomb.Neymar was booked in the first half for tying his laces in front of a Malaga player trying to take a free kick and received his marching orders for a late tackle on Diego Llorente in the 65th minute.Adalberto Penaranda put the ball in the net for Malaga but his effort was incorrectly ruled out for offside.Malaga grabbed a second at the death, however, with the excellent Pablo Fornals unselfishly teeing up Jony.Earlier on Saturday, Madrid handed their arch-rivals the chance to depose them at the top of the table, as Antoine Griezmann grabbed an 85th-minute equaliser for Atletico.Pepe opened the scoring for Real with a looping header in the 52nd minute and it looked like the hosts would earn victory, until the Frenchman intervened late on, reaching Angel Correa’s through ball and slotting home.Madrid coach Zidane put the dropped points down to a lapse in concentration.“It was a great performance (from Real), but we just lost concentration for five minutes,” he said.“I can’t say that Atletico played well. We didn’t get the second goal and we suffered.” Summaries from the La Liga matchesSunday, April 9Celta Vigo 0Eibar 2 Kike Garcia 13, Pedro Leon 51Halftime: 0-1;Attendance: 15,741– – –Granada CF 1 Ezequiel Ponce 65Valencia 3 Simone Zaza 19,21, Santi Mina 55Halftime: 0-2;Attendance: 15,087– – –Saturday, April 8Malaga 2 Sandro Ramirez 32, Jony 90Barcelona 0Red Card: Neymar 65Halftime: 1-0;Attendance: 28,314– – –Sevilla 4 Stevan Jovetic 1, Pablo Sarabia 9, Joaquin Correa 32, Wissam Ben Yedder 88Deportivo Coruna 2 Gael Kakuta 4,25Halftime: 3-2;Attendance: 33,022– – –Real Madrid 1 Pepe 52Atletico Madrid 1 Antoine Griezmann 85Halftime: 0-0;Attendance: 80,000– – –Espanyol 1 Pablo Piatti 56Alaves 0Halftime: 0-0;Attendance: 17,521– – –Friday, April 7Villarreal 3 Victor Ruiz 17, Cedric Bakambu 47, Adrian Lopez 58Red Card: Victor Ruiz 74Athletic Club 1 Aymer Laporte 20Halftime: 1-1;Attendance: 18,403
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale lashed home to deny La Liga champions Barcelona victory in an ill-tempered ‘Clasico’ which finished 2-2 at the Nou Camp on Sunday after the home side had Sergi Roberto sent off at the end of the first half.Luis Suarez volleyed unbeaten Barca into the lead after 10 minutes following a gut-busting run and cross from Roberto while Cristiano Ronaldo levelled for Champions League finalists Real five minutes later from close range.However, the Portugal forward’s ankle was trodden on by Gerard Pique in the process and he was substituted at halftime. Coach Zinedine Zidane said the injury was “a small thing” and Ronaldo will be fit for the Champions League final.Bale had risked getting sent off for raking his studs against Samuel Umtiti’s leg but escaped without a booking on that occasion and Roberto was sent off moments later for hitting Marcelo following an off-the-ball tussle.Lionel Messi scored a mesmerising, record-extending 26th Clasico goal to put 10-man Barca back in front after 52 minutes but Bale, who had contributed little, silenced the Nou Camp with a thumping strike from the edge of the area in the 72nd.Champions Barca have 87 points while Real are third in the Liga standings with 72 after 35 games. Atletico Madrid, who lost their unbeaten home record in a 2-0 defeat by Espanyol erlier on Sunday, are second on 75 but have played one game more.“This was a Clasico with nothing at stake but we saw a great game,” Zidane told reporters. “We both went out to play well and win. We both played a great game and football is always the most important thing, not the controversy.”EIGHT YELLOWSThis was the first ‘Clasico’ in a decade which had no bearing on the title race but the game was still played with all the usual passion and tension which makes it the most famous club fixture in Europe.Referee Alejando Hernandez Hernandez showed a total of eight yellow cards as well as the straight red for Roberto.Bale was eventually booked as was the usually even-tempered Messi, who made an uncharacteristically aggressive challenge on Sergio Ramos after the Real captain had an ugly confrontation with Suarez which led to both players getting yellow cards.Suarez appeared to have fouled Raphael Varane in the build-up to Messi’s goal and the Uruguayan forward had a goal ruled out for offside three minutes later.“Clasicos should be played like this, it was a beautiful game,” Suarez told reporters.“We wanted to win it, Sergi’s sending off damaged us, especially against a team like Real Madrid. But a draw also isn’t a bad result for us given how the game went.”Both sides pushed for a winner and Real could have had a penalty when Jordi Alba caught Marcelo but Barca clung on to remain unbeaten in the league with three games to go.Barcelona’s players remained on the pitch after the game to celebrate their double success with the home fans, having clinched the title last week at Deportivo La Coruna and won the King’s Cup final against Sevilla on April 21.Real refused to offer the traditional guard of honour to the champions before the game so Barca defender Gerard Pique asked the Catalan club’s coaching staff to form two lines either side of his team mates as they left the pitch.
Everton have agreed to sign Barcelona’s Colombia centre-back Yerry Mina for an initial 30.25 million euros and have also taken the club’s midfielder Andre Gomes on loan, the Spanish champions said on Thursday.Minutes before the English transfer deadline closed on, Everton also announced the signing of Brazil playmaker Bernard on a free transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk.The 23-year-old Mina, who was impressive in defence at this year’s World Cup in Russia where he also scored three goals, will rejuvenate an ageing Everton backline while offering a threat from set-pieces at the other end of the pitch.The fee could rise by 1.5 million euros and Barcelona have inserted a buy-back clause in the player’s contract.Everton’s season-long loan deal for Portugal’s Gomes will see them pay 2.25 million euros and the player’s wages. The 25-year-old has played 29 times for his country.Bernard, also 25, has signed a four-year deal with the Merseyside club after his contract at Shakhtar ran out in June.Capped 14 times by his country, Bernard can play on either wing or as an attacking midfielder.The Brazilian said new Everton boss Marco Silva convinced him to join the Toffees.“The manager made me feel confident about playing here. He is a very good coach and he has achieved really good things at other clubs,” he said in a statement.“Everton is a club with a great structure and a lot of tradition, historically the fourth most successful club in England. When I found out about this opportunity and what the manager wanted out of me I was happy.”There was one big transfer from the Premier League though, with new Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saying on Thursday he had fulfilled a childhood dream in moving to the Spanish giants from Chelsea despite spending three years on loan at rivals Atletico, and revealed he had turned down bigger offers from other clubs.“Everyone who knows me knows how hard I’ve worked to get here, and I’m proud to be at the best club in the world. I’ve given my best throughout my career to get here, this was my childhood dream, to step on to this pitch in Madrid’s colours,” the Belgium international told a news conference on Thursday.“I received better paid offers but I wanted to be in the best club in the world and be close to my children. Once Madrid’s interest was clear I had no doubts that I wanted to be here.”Spurs failed to sign a single player all summer, while Manchester United also had an underwhelming window, not adding anyone since the end of the World Cup, much to manager Jose Mourinho’s frustration.
England overcame spirited late resistance from the hosts to seal a first 3-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka when the tourists wrapped up a 42-run victory shortly after tea on the fourth day of the third and final test on Monday.Chasing an improbable 327-run target, Sri Lanka’s last six batsmen combined well to get to within less than 50 runs of what would have been a remarkable triumph after they resumed on 53 for four at the Sinhalese Sports Club.Kusal Mendis (86) and Roshen Silva (65) set the tone with a dogged 102-run sixth-wicket stand in an exemplary display of defiance spread over 30 overs as Sri Lanka sought to end a disappointing series on a high.After Mendis was run out, Malinda Pushpakumara (42 not out) survived a sickening blow to the helmet to add 58 runs with Suranga Lakmal for the final wicket to give England some jitters before the tourists secured victory in the first over after tea.“I’m proud of everyone,” England captain Joe Root said. “Brilliant performance from the whole squad, it’s been a real team effort which has made it even sweeter.”England moved to number two, behind India, in the world test rankings after a victory on foreign soil Root hoped would lead to further success.“We knew we’re capable of winning in these conditions but to do it the way we have and to perform as consistently as we have is a real improvement for this group of players,” he said.“It shows the learning and the ability within the squad and hopefully we can use it now as springboard to move forward.”England looked on course for a routine triumph after half an hour of play when Jack Leach angled one into the leg stump and nightwatchman Lakshan Sandakan could only edge the ball to Ben Stokes at slip to depart for seven.AWKWARD BOUNCEThe hosts rallied and Mendis brought up his seventh test fifty as Silva shrugged off occasional discomfort against all-rounder Stokes’ awkward bounce to thwart the England attack.Leach’s left-arm spin could not separate the duo but his right-handed throw did, the Somerset bowler charging in from backward square leg to throw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Mendis short of his ground.It was a sad end to a stellar innings by the right-hander, who hit eight fours and a six in an assured knock.Leach (4-72) struck again to dismiss Niroshan Dickwella for 19 with Keaton Jennings enhancing his reputation as an exceptional close fielder by taking a smart bat-pad catch, his sixth of the match, at short leg.Moeen Ali (4-92) dismissed Dilruwan Perera and Silva but Pushpakumara engineered a spirited counter-attack with stand-in skipper Lakmal, who was the last man out.Jonny Bairstow was declared man-of-the-match for his innings of 110, but Ben Foakes may continue as wicketkeeper after being adjudged man-of-the-series for his impressive batting and neat glove work in an impressive international bow.England triumphed won the first match in Galle to end a 13-match winless streak in overseas tests and triumphed in Pallekele to take an unassailable 2-0 lead, ending the side’s 17-year wait for a test series victory in Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka sacked their selection committee on Sunday and replaced them with a new panel headed by former test player Asantha de Mel.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino emerged on Tuesday as hot favourite to succeed Jose Mourinho, sacked as coach of Manchester United.Pochettino has been seen as a long-term target for United because of his preference for attacking football and nurturing young talent, neither of which has been much in evidence at the club since the departure of Alex Ferguson in 2013.With the Portuguese gone, United may make their move for the Spurs boss, who has taken his club to consecutive finishes in the top three but has yet to bring a trophy to North London.The Argentine was offered at odds of 2/1 against – meaning one chance in three – within minutes of United announcing Mourinho’s sacking.Pochettino is closely followed at 4/1 against – or one chance in five – by former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, who led the Spanish side to three successive Champions League titles.Former United midfielder Michael Carrick, now a coach at the club, is quoted at 10/1, just behind former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim, on 9/1.It may be strange for some United fans to countenance but former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is at 20/1, the same as Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.United said they would appoint a caretaker while conducting a thorough recruitment process for a new full-time manager. Italian Antonio Conte (12/1) is out of work and previously succeeded Mourinho at Chelsea, going on to win the title.Pochettino would be an expensive capture as he signed a new five-year deal at Spurs this year reportedly worth around 8.5 million pounds.The Tottenham coach also said last week that he was happy at the club and looking forward to leading them into their new stadium next year.
Arsenal took control of their Europa League quarter-final tie with Napoli as they outclassed their Italian opponents to secure a first-leg victory.The Gunners extended their fine run of home form, this their 15th win from the last 16 games at the Emirates Stadium, as an Aaron Ramsey strike and a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal gave them a 2-0 victory to take to Naples next week.Gunners boss Unai Emery had admitted on the eve of the game that he knew his team needed to win this first leg, given the stark contrast of their away form when compared to the near-perfect run at home.They have lost both away knockout ties in this season’s Europa League to BATE Borisov and Rennes, two teams not considered as strong as Napoli – who sit second in Serie A.Arsenal managed to turn both of those ties around when back in north London but this time they need to defend an advantage as they look to reach the semi-finals for the second year in a row.The hosts started well and enjoyed plenty of possession as both Ramsey and Ainsley Maitland-Niles saw efforts blocked by Koulibaly as they pushed for an early goal.Emery’s side made their good start count as Ramsey opened the scoring following a flowing move, latching onto a Maitland-Niles pass after good work by Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette.The lead was doubled 11 minutes later as Lucas Torreira had the wherewithal to steal possession from Fabian Ruiz and charge at the Napoli goal before his weak shot was diverted past goalkeeper Alex Meret off the leg of Koulibaly.Arsenal continued to create chances, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang twice drawing saves off of Meret as the first half wore on, although fit-again captain Lorenzo Insigne passed up a fine opportunity to half the deficit as he blazed over before the interval.The visitors responded to their poor first-half showing as they attacked from the off after the break, Insigne tucking away a chance only to be correctly flagged offside before Koulibaly saw a header tipped over by Petr Cech.Arsenal were still creating chances of their own and – following a short-corner routine – Ramsey stung the palms of Meret before Nacho Monreal headed the resulting corner over the crossbar.With the game more end-to-end than in the first 45 minutes, Dries Mertens failed to connect with a header after Insigne played him in over the top of the Arsenal defence.With Napoli coming more and more into the game, Emery responded by replacing Ozil and Lacazette with Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the final quarter of the contest.Iwobi was involved immediately, starting a counter-attack which resulted in Maitland-Niles drawing another save out of Meret following a marauding run from Sead Kolasinac.Napoli then missed their best chance of the night as Piotr Zielinski could only send Insigne’s low cross over Petr Cech’s crossbar from close-range.Ramsey was next to spurn a marvellous opportunity as he spooned Mkhitaryan’s cross well over the bar after being picked out free inside the Napoli box, with Aubameyang hitting the side-netting late on.The visitors attacked in the dying stages in an attempt to get an away goal but Arsenalstood firm and head to the San Paolo Stadium as the favourites to advance to the last four.
Tottenham 0 Newcastle Utd 1Tottenham Hotspur fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday with Brazilian Joelinton grabbing the winner.Joelinton, the club’s record 40 million pound ($49 million)signing, finished off a 27th minute counter-attack, keeping his composure to beat Hugo Lloris after being put in by Christian Atsu.The win was a much-needed one for Newcastle manager Steve Bruce who had lost his first two games after taking over from Rafa Benitez in the close-season.It was a back-to-the walls effort from Newcastle for much of the game but Tottenham, who started with Christian Eriksen on the bench, struggled to turn their possession into clear chances.The home side felt they should have had a penalty in the 78th minute when Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles lost his footing and fell into the path of Harry Kane who went down but neither the referee nor the VAR review felt the incident merited a penalty.Spurs should have got on level terms minutes later though but Lucas Moura blasted over the bar after a low cross from the right by Moussa Sissoko.Bournemouth 1 Manchester City 3Sergio Aguero struck twice as Manchester City moved into second place in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Liverpool, with a 3-1 win at Bournemouth on Sunday.Just three weeks into the new season and last year’s top two clubs are already perched at the top of the table. While City‘s draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur last week has given the edge to Juergen Klopp’s side, City again look deadly in the final third.City‘s all-time top scorer has now scored 400 goals for his clubs and country and the 31-year-old Aguero shows no signs of easing up.Despite the sharpness in the box, City manager Pep Guardiola was not satisfied with the performance and credited Bournemouth’s tactics.“We weren’t at our best, but knowing the conditions, the way they defend, they don’t press, they wait, sit back, wait for the counter attack, so there wasn’t rhythm but we solved it,” said the Spaniard.Aguero, who has scored in all three games this season, gave City a 15th-minute lead, slotting home after left back Oleksandr Zinchenko’s low cross had been mis-hit by Kevin De Bruyne only to fall kindly for the Argentine.Bournemouth suffered a blow in the 32nd minute when their wing-back Charlie Daniels was carried off on a stretcher after suffering what looked like a recurrence of the knee injury which sidelined him in March.Adam Smith then missed a great chance to level for the Cherries, firing high over the bar from a good position after some poor defending from Nicolas Otamendi.Moments later Raheem Sterling doubled City‘s lead with a confident finish after David Silva concluded a sweeping move with a perfectly angled pass to the England striker.But Bournemouth got back into the game in magnificent fashion, just before the interval, thanks to an unstoppable curling free-kick from substitute Harry Wilson, on loan from Liverpool.Wilson went close to a leveller after the interval but Ederson was out quickly to foil his effort and City then made sure of the win when Aguero poked home his second goal in the 63rd minute, following in for the scraps after David Silva had surged into the box.“It was a tough game, we knew it would be,” said Guardiola, “We have seven points. We should have nine, but it’s OK.”In the third Sunday match a penalty in added time gave Wolves a point against battling Burnley.