Warning: include(/home/ubuntu/websites/mirrorsports.lk/public_html/wp-content/themes/revolution_magazine/breadcrumb.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/ubuntu/websites/mirrorsports.lk/public_html/wp-content/themes/revolution_magazine/tag.php on line 9

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/ubuntu/websites/mirrorsports.lk/public_html/wp-content/themes/revolution_magazine/breadcrumb.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/php:/usr/share/pear:') in /home/ubuntu/websites/mirrorsports.lk/public_html/wp-content/themes/revolution_magazine/tag.php on line 9

Tite ponders Brazil changes after Argentina loss

June 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Brazil manager Tite says he is considering changes for Tuesday’s game against Australia after blasting his side’s poor finishing in the loss to Argentina in Melbourne.

Brazil

The world’s number one ranked team wasted several scoring opportunities as Argentina hung on for a 1-0 win in their Superclasico at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

A goal from Sevilla defender Gabriel Mercado just before half-time proved the eventual winner as Argentina gained a morale-boosting victory under new manager Jorge Sampaoli.

The two-time world champions and second ranked team are struggling outside the automatic qualifying positions in fifth spot in the South American group with four games left while Brazil have already qualified for the World Cup finals in Russia next year.

Tite looked on as Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus hit the woodwork with the goal at his mercy before Chelsea’s Willian fired into the opposite post with the rebound midway through the second half.

“They (Argentina) were not that superior, but we needed more precision in our finishing to take our opportunities,” Tite told reporters after the match through an interpreter.

“We have a lot of things to assess and I might need to make some changes so that we play with better coherence and in a more organized way.

“Even in the match against Uruguay (4-1 win in Montevideo in March) we had to make some adjustments, but in the end what we really have to find is some goals.”

The Brazilians are staying on in Australia to play a second match in Melbourne on Tuesday against the Socceroos, who are tuning up for this month’s Confederations Cup in Russia.

Tite said he was looking for his side to be more clinical against the Australians, who downed Saudi Arabia 3-2 in a crucial home qualifier for next year’s World Cup in Russia.

“The team played well, but we had some trouble marking their (Argentina’s) top players in the first half, and they were playing faster than us,” he said.

“In the second half, we had more possession and played better.

“We had the effort and the formation we wanted but we need more of the players performing at a higher level.

“We didn’t deserve the victory. We need to be more aggressive and we have to neutralise the other team so that we can get the game more on our terms.”

Tite said Brazil had to make better use of their “technical power.”

“We have to be better prepared. We have to look at the game as a whole: the way we want to play, the technical power that we have, and we have to look at the competition,” he said.

“We want to get to the level that we can dominate the game. That way we can get the performance and the results we want.”

Tite said he would assess the condition of Jesus, who was carried off after he collected an elbow in the face in an aerial challenge with Manchester City team-mate Nicolas Otamendi in the final minutes and taken to hospital for observation.

But Brazil’s team coordinator Edu Gaspar said Jesus had been given the all clear.

“Jesus is fine,” Edu told reporters. “I spoke to the doctor, he said he is OK. He did the exam to see if it (his jaw) is broken or not but nothing has happened.”

Argentina will stop off and play in Singapore on Tuesday, but will be without Lionel Messi and defender Otamendi, who will skip the game to prepare for their weddings later this month.

Barcelona superstar Messi will marry his girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo on June 30, with Otamendi’s wedding scheduled for June 16.

Moyes resigns after Sunderland relegation

May 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

David Moyes has resigned as Sunderland manager following their relegation from the Premier League, the club announced on Monday.

Moyes

The 54-year-old Scot succeeded Sam Allardyce last July and oversaw a desperate season that saw Sunderland finish 16 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.

“I would like to thank (chairman) Ellis Short and the board for giving me the opportunity to manage Sunderland and the fans for always being so passionately supportive of their club,” Moyes said in a statement.

“I wish the players and my successor well in their efforts towards promotion back to the Premier League.”

Sunderland’s relegation to the Championship after 10 years in the top flight was confirmed following a 1-0 home defeat by Bournemouth last month.

Moyes informed Sunderland officials of his decision to leave at a meeting in London on Monday.

His departure completes a sorry few weeks for the former Everton manager, who has been charged by the Football Association after jokily threatening to “slap” a female reporter.

It is his third successive short-lived stint at a club, following previous disappointments at Manchester United, where he lasted just 10 months, and Real Sociedad.

“I pursued the services of David Moyes for a considerable period prior to his appointment last summer, which makes the announcement of his departure difficult for everyone concerned,” said Sunderland chairman Ellis Short.

“Having worked tirelessly throughout the campaign to avoid relegation from the Premier League, David has chosen to leave the club without compensation, which is testament to his character.

“In the days ahead we will take some time for reflection and then focus on recruitment and pre-season as we prepare for our Championship campaign. We wish David well in the future.”

Moyes was dissatisfied with Sunderland’s close-season transfer dealings and set the tone for their campaign early in the season when he said he was preparing for a relegation battle.

Sunderland sank into the bottom three in September and did not move off the foot of the table from January onwards, finishing the campaign with only six wins to their name.

An incident involving Moyes and BBC radio reporter Vicki Sparks occurred after a 0-0 draw against Burnley on March 18, but only came to light last month.

After taking exception to a question, Moyes waited until the interview had ended before telling Sparks: “It was getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself.

“You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman. Careful the next time you come in.”

He subsequently apologised, but was charged by the FA on April 26.

Colombo FC and Java Lane SC in FA Cup semis

May 8, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Colombo FC and Java Lane SC qualified for the semi-finals of Cargills FA Cup football tournament winning their respective quarter- final matches played at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Sunday.

KDM_4030

In the third quarter-final Colombo FC beat Sri Lanka Air Force 1-0 and in the last quarter final Java Lane SC beat Renown SC 3-1.

Sri Lanka Army will play against Colombo FC in the first semi-final with Java Lane SC confronting Saunders SC in the second semi-final. Both semi-final matches will be played on May 12 at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

A.R.A Shazny scored the solitary goal of the Colombo FC – Sri Lanka Air Force match in the 31st minute of play.

The Java Lane – Renown clash saw Java Lane leading 2-0 at half time. Java lane SC goals were scored by Janaka Chaminda (25th minute) and Jude Nicholas 2 (37th minute and 64th minute respectively).

M.F.M Asath booted in the only goal for Renown in the 75th minute. The final is scheduled for

Spurs keep pressure on Chelsea, Manchester misery

May 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Chelsea took a significant step towards the Premier League title on Sunday with victory at Everton but Tottenham ensured the champagne will stay on ice for a bit longer with an impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal.

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-ARSENAL

As well as the engrossing fight for the title the battle for the two remaining Champions League places has become a real dogfight — Arsenal missing a chance to make up ground on the two Manchester clubs, who both stumbled on Sunday.

Second-half goals by Dele Alli and Harry Kane, from the penalty spot, sealed the three points and ensured that Spurs will finish above their North London rivals Arsenal for the first time in 22 years.

But whether they will ever hunt down relentless Chelsea is another matter, with just four games left and Chelsea still four points clear, and with an easier run-in.

A superb second-half strike by Pedro and late goals from Gary Cahill and Willian ended Everton’s run of eight successive home wins.

Chelsea took time to settle but once Pedro scored their opener — his first goal in nine matches — the floodgates opened and they ran out 3-0 winners.

“This gives us lots of confidence,” manager Antonio Conte told Sky Sports. “Now it is important to prepare the final rush.

“If in the next game against Middlesbrough you don’t win, you lose this victory. We must look step by step.”

Cahill’s eighth goal of the season and Willian’s beautifully worked third inflicted only Everton’s second home defeat of the season.

“It was convincing but we had to work hard for it,” Cahill told Sky Sports, sensing this might be the win that delivers the title in Conte’s first season at Chelsea.

“Pedro’s goal was special, at times you need a bit of class to open up a team, that’s what he did today. I’m buzzing with that, it’s a huge result for us.” City had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Middlesbrough and United drew 1-1 at home to Swansea on a bad day for the Manchester giants against relegation candidates.

City relied on 20-year-old striker Gabriel Jesus to secure them a point in the final five minutes of their game against a Boro side scenting back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time since May 2008.

Jesus’s vastly more experienced strike partner Sergio Aguero had pulled City level at 1-1 with a penalty before Calum Chambers restored the hosts’ lead.

“We controlled the game and missed so many chances,” Jesus told Premier League Productions.

“Today’s result is disappointing but at least we have a point.”

Arsenal’s defeat in the last North London derby at White Hart Lane leaves manager Arsene Wenger’s proud record of qualifying for the Champions League in real trouble.

They are sixth, five points behind United and six behind City in fourth, although the Londoners have a game in hand on both.

Only the top four get into the Champions League.

A sublime free-kick by Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson gained Swansea a deserved point against United at Old Trafford.

Sigurdsson’s 10th goal of the season, but first in 11 matches, cancelled out veteran Wayne Rooney’s contentious penalty in time added on in the first half when Marcus Rashford made the most out of minimal contact with Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

It will be of little consolation to manager Jose Mourinho that it extended United’s unbeaten run to 25 and they have not been defeated at Old Trafford since September 10 last year.

Mourinho saw two more defenders depart injured in the impressive Eric Bailly on the hour mark and Luke Shaw in just the eighth minute.

“We lost players and we lost points, so yes, today was a bad day,” Mourinho told the BBC.

“We did not look tired and exhausted, we are tired and exhausted.

“You cannot isolate the performance out of the context. This is the ninth match of April, it is not human.”

Fellaini sent off as Manchester United, Manchester City draw blank

April 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Marouane Fellaini was sent off for brainlessly headbutting Sergio Aguero in an otherwise forgettable 0-0 draw between Champions League qualification rivals Manchester United and Manchester City on Thursday.

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini is shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson

Booked for tripping Aguero in the 84th minute, Fellaini fouled him again seconds later and then blatantly butted the Argentinian, leaving referee Martin Atkinson no option but to send the Belgian off.

City remain fourth, a point behind third-place Liverpool with a game in hand, with United — who also have a game in hand on Jurgen Klopp’s side — a point further back in fifth place.

“We were the better team in the first half, they were the better team in the second half,” said United manager Jose Mourinho.

“They had more of the ball, more chances, but my players were amazing the way they fought.

“Marouane Fellaini is frustrated. He says that with another player, it would probably not be a red card.”

While United are now unbeaten in 24 Premier League games, equalling the club record, the Etihad Stadium stalemate means City retain the upper hand in the push for a top-four finish.

But despite controlling the game, City came no closer to scoring than an early Aguero effort that hit the post, while substitute Gabriel Jesus had an injury-time header disallowed for offside.

City also lost goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to an apparent calf injury, sustained as he caught a high ball, with Willy Caballero taking his place for the last 14 minutes after Bravo was stretchered off.

“They created two clear chances and I am satisfied,” City manager Pep Guardiola told BBC Sport.

“We all have tough games coming up now and we know it’s not an option to not win these games.”

City remain on course for a top-four finish, their last remaining objective after last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal consigned Guardiola to his first trophy-less season as a coach.

United could yet qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League.

But in the main, Thursday’s drab derby served to illustrate why the Manchester rivals are squabbling over fourth place rather than fighting for the title.

With Paul Pogba injured, Mourinho aligned a conservative midfield trio of Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Fellaini, setting the tone for a tetchy, attritional contest.

Marcus Rashford returned in one of four changes and while his lightning pace enabled him to leave Nicolas Otamendi for dead repeatedly, the teenager cut an isolated figure.

The football that managed to emerge above the midfield melee was almost all City’s.

The hosts hit the woodwork in the ninth minute, Aguero cushioning a volley against the base of the right-hand post from Kevin De Bruyne’s right-wing cross.

United goalkeeper David de Gea fielded curlers from De Bruyne and Aguero and saved at his near post from Aleksandar Kolarov, while Aguero and Raheem Sterling arrowed shots over the bar.

But there were two moments of unease in the hosts’ box, the first when Bravo clawed Anthony Martial’s cross into the path of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, whose shot he was then obliged to block.

Shortly before half-time, Rashford’s free-kick from the left found Herrera unmarked at the back post, but the Spaniard headed wide.

City continued to force the issue after the break, but United, expertly marshalled by Eric Bailly and Daley Blind, kept them at bay.

De Gea comfortably saved from Sterling, twice, and Aguero, while De Bruyne ruffled the side-netting with a low drive after cutting in from the left.

Otamendi looked poised to break the deadlock when he rose to meet Kolarov’s corner, but Bailly diverted his header over the bar.

Fellaini’s dismissal gave City the edge and Guardiola immediately introduced Jesus, back from a broken foot sustained in February.

The Etihad erupted when the Brazilian headed in Aguero’s cross, but an offside flag silenced the home fans and a stretching Aguero could only volley wide from De Bruyne’s cross moments later.

Steely Juventus shut down Barca to kill off comeback hopes

April 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Barcelona’s hopes of staging another sensational Champions League comeback fell flat against a hardened Juventus side who held the Catalans to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday at the Nou Camp to reach the semi-finals 3-0 on aggregate.

TOPSHOT-FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-JUVENTUS

The Italian champions barely gave Barca a glimmer of hope of repeating their historic turnaround against Paris St Germain in the last 16 and protected their healthy advantage from the first leg by starving the hosts of space and clear sights of goal.

Lionel Messi came closest to giving Barca a route back into the contest with four strikes at goal but failed to hit the target with any of them and frequently came up short against Juve’s intimidating centre-back pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

Twice European champions Juve lacked the spark and power of their thrilling first-leg victory in Turin, but there was rarely any doubt they would exact revenge for their defeat to Barca in the 2015 Champions League final by reaching the semis for a 12th time.

Barca coach Luis Enrique had said before the game that if Barca managed to strike early then the noise of the Nou Camp would suck the other goals in.

Juventus, however, showed in the opening stages that they are made of sterner stuff than PSG, who gave up a 4-0 first-leg advantage Massimiliano Allegris side pressed Barca in their own half and limited the supply to the front three.

Messi almost managed to pick out Jordi Alba with a hooked pass and later played a one-two with the Spaniard before dragging narrowly wide of the far post.

Ivan Rakitic and Neymar also missed the target with hopeful efforts but Juventus’ aggressive gameplan limited how much attacking Barca could do without leaving themselves exposed.

Gonzalo Higuain cracked a shot over the bar before the break while the probing Juan Cuadrado almost picked out the Argentine striker in the middle, but was thwarted by a brilliant block from Gerard Pique.

Barca increased their grip on possession after the break and spent most of the remainder of the game in their opponents’ half trying to carve out chances, but Juve were always ready for them.

Messi whipped a free kick onto the roof of the net and slammed another shot wide before spurning his best chance, a volley which fizzed over the bar.

Barca right back Sergi Roberto attempted a repeat of his heroic strike against PSG, but also missed the target, unable to prevent his side’s second successive elimination at the quarter-final stage, which will provoke much soul-searching at the five-times European champions.

Ronaldo hat-trick fires Real into semis

April 19, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a controversial hat-trick to become the first man to reach 100 Champions League goals as Real Madrid overcame 10-man Bayern Munich 4-2 after extra time in Tuesday’s thrilling quarter-final second leg.

Ronaldo

The holders surged through 6-3 on aggregate at an exhilarated Santiago Bernabeu to take their place in Friday’s semi-final draw for a record seventh consecutive year.

But Real were pushed all the way by Bayern, who battled back from a 2-1 first-leg deficit to send the tie into extra time thanks to Robert Lewandowski’s penalty and an own goal from Sergio Ramos.

However, after Arturo Vidal was sent off, Ronaldo hit the century mark in Europe’s top club competition on 104 minutes and completed his hat-trick five minutes later.

Bayern were left incensed, though, as Ronaldo’s second and third goals were clearly offside.

“To score six goals against a team like Bayern Munich isn’t easy so we deserved to go through,” the Portuguese striker told Spanish TV station Antena 3.

“Real Madrid is Real Madrid, we are used to suffering and we are happy to be in the semis once again.”

Marco Asensio gave a night of high-class action the finale it deserved with a sensational solo goal to rub salt in Bayern wounds.

“The (red) card for Arturo wasn’t a card and then the two goals from Cristiano are offside so clearly we are not happy,” said Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“In a quarter-final you have to put a better referee, or it is the moment to introduce video refereeing, which is what UEFA are trying because there are too many errors.”

The German champions had been beaten on their previous four trips to Spain without even scoring a goal.

However, knowing they needed at least two to progress, Ancelotti’s men started on the front foot and were left to rue a huge opportunity just eight minutes in.

Marcelo made a miraculous block to deny Thiago Alcantara before former Real winger Arjen Robben scuffed into the side-netting on his trusted left foot.

Much like the first leg, Madrid weathered the early storm and had plenty of chances to go in front before half time.

Jerome Boateng bailed out a rare mistake from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as he cleared off the line from Ramos after Neuer fumbled a simple cross.

The half-time whistle brought some respite to proceedings on the field, although the Bayern fans were involved in a minor clash with police at the break.

The disturbances quickly died down and Bayern soon gave the travelling 4,000 from Germany something to cheer when play resumed.

Another goal-line clearance by Marcelo from Robben’s dinked effort temporarily saved Madrid.

But the hosts didn’t escape moments later when referee Viktor Kassai pointed to the spot as Robben went down under a challenge from Casemiro.

Lewandowski stayed cool under the pressure and converted from the spot for his 39th goal of the season.

Ronaldo looked to have eased Madrid’s nerves when he steered Casemiro’s cross into the far corner 14 minutes from time.

However, Real’s celebrations were very short-lived as just a minute later the ball ricocheted around their box and Ramos turned into his own net.

The balance of a topsy-turvy tie turned Madrid’s way again with five minutes remaining as just as in the first leg, Bayern were reduced to 10 men when Vidal saw a second yellow card for chopping down Asensio.

The extra man proved decisive as Madrid settled the tie with a three-goal burst either side of half time in extra time.

Ronaldo took advantage at not being flagged for offside as he controlled and fired low past Neuer to become the first man to reach a Champions League century.

Four minutes into the second period of extra time he had Marcelo to thank for a brilliant run and unselfish pass that allowed the Portuguese the simplest of finishes to complete his hat-trick despite again being in an offside position.

And Asensio sealed victory in sensational style with a stunning solo run and low right-footed finish as many Bayern players sank to their knees knowing Champions League glory had passed them by for another year.

Vardy in vain as Atletico end Leicester fairytale

April 19, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Jamie Vardy scored in vain as Leicester City’s Champions League fairytale came to a valiant end following a 1-1 quarter-final draw at home to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Atletico

Seeking to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit, Leicester fell further behind to Saul Niguez’s first-half header, before Vardy’s 61st-minute strike gave them hope.

But despite heavy Leicester pressure and furious noise inside the King Power Stadium, Atletico completed a 2-1 aggregate win to reach the semi-finals for the third time in four seasons.

“We had them rattled with the effort and commitment we showed. It’s no discredit to lose to a team of that calibre,” Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare told BT Sport.

“The whole club, from the supporters to the players to the owners can be immensely proud, but I’ve just said to the players that they should want more of this and they’ve agreed that that’s what they want.”

Leicester had hoped to become the competition’s first debutant semi-finalists since Villarreal in 2006, but they were unable to engineer a repeat of their last-16 triumph against Sevilla.

Their exit brings to an end a golden adventure sparked by last season’s stunning Premier League title win.

Having successfully staved off the threat of relegation under new manager Shakespeare, the rest of their season now holds nothing more than a return to pre-title normality.

It is the third time Atletico have eliminated Leicester from continental competition, after previous triumphs in the 1961-62 European Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1997-98 UEFA Cup.

Beaten by city foes Real Madrid in the 2014 and 2016 finals, Diego Simeone’s side can continue to dream that this will be the year they finally end their wait for European football’s biggest prize.

“I’m full of emotion and pride at the performance of my team,” said Simeone.

“I also have to say, what a great performance from our opponents. It was almost a pleasure to compete against them.”

Leicester’s desire to make the most of the occasion was clear from the start, pyrotechnics greeting the players as they came out while fans twirled blue, white and gold foil flags distributed by the club.

But whereas Leicester had quickly taken charge of their second-leg match against Sevilla in the previous round, Atletico made it clear they would not be pushed around.

They defended with their customary tenacity, while two dangerous crosses from Yannick Carrasco — preferred up front to the fit-again Kevin Gameiro — demonstrated their threat on the counter.

It was just as Leicester were threatening to make inroads, Shinji Okazaki stabbing wide at the near post from Vardy’s cross, that the visitors tightened their grip on the tie.

Filipe Luis was given space to shape a cross into the box from the left and the unmarked Saul expertly guided a header past Kasper Schmeichel’s outstretched right hand.

Riyad Mahrez volleyed straight at Jan Oblak at the other end after Marc Albrighton’s cross was headed away, but it was the voices of the away fans that rang loudest as the half-time whistle sounded.

The second half brought with it drastic changes for the hosts, with Ben Chilwell and Leonardo Ulloa replacing Yohan Benalouane and Okazaki as Shakespeare switched to a bold 3-4-3 system.

Antoine Griezmann gave them a scare with an early dart into the box, but Atletico soon found themselves on the back foot.

After left wing-back Chilwell thrashed over, Leicester levelled, Vardy slamming in from inside the six-yard box after Chilwell’s shot had been charged down by Stefan Savic.

The final half-hour was virtually one-way traffic, but Atletico repelled everything Leicester threw at them.

Ulloa and Vardy both had shots blocked, while Vardy’s flick was caught by Oblak and Mahrez whipped a free-kick narrowly over the bar.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan, passed fit to play after six games out with a back problem, succumbed to injury late on, symbolically hobbling off as Leicester’s European dream faded away.

Barca need five to beat Juve – Luis Enrique

April 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Barcelona will need to hit at least five goals past Juventus to produce another miracle Champions League comeback, but have nothing to lose according to outgoing coach Luis Enrique.

Barcelona news conference - UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal

The Catalans made Champions League history by overcoming a 4-0 first leg deficit to beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 in the last round, but have another mountain to climb at the Camp Nou on Wednesday as they trail their quarter-final tie 3-0.

“We need to score fewer goals,” said an upbeat Enrique facing what could be his last European game in charge. “But bearing in mind the opponent could have chances and the goal can come at any moment, our objective is to score five.”

Enrique foresaw Barca’s recovery in the last 16, claiming an attack laced with the potential of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar was capable of scoring six against the French champions.

And he called for an expected near 100,000 crowd to play their part as they did against PSG.

“We don’t have anything to lose. We are free from pressure. Juventus have the semi-finals in their pocket and will have to decide whether to sit back or attack,” he added.

“We only have one option which is to attack, attack and attack again.

“I am sure that if we score the first goal, the Camp Nou will score the second and the third will come of its own accord.”

Barca captain Andres Iniesta was more cautious in his optimism, recognising the first leg in Turin had been “a terrible result.”

However, he believes Barca have the potential to at least create some doubt in Juventus minds.

“Nowadays teams respect us a lot. I am convinced they know we can cause them problems,” said Iniesta.

“We have the potential, the players and reason to believe we can turn this tie around or at least get close to it.

“We need to create doubts so at some point they see the tie is in danger.

“Everything depends on playing a perfect game in every sense.”

Barca scored three times in the final two minutes plus stoppage time as PSG froze in a grandstand finish six weeks ago.

And Enrique insisted Barca can’t lose belief even if the goals don’t come early against a Juventus defence that has conceded just two in nine Champions League games this season.

“Don’t leave in the 80th minute,” he said in a message to the fans.

“We are going to try until the end. Those of us who experienced the game against PSG have another chance to experience a historic night.

“We have seen that Barca can score three goals in three minutes so we will stay together until the 95th minute.”

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini won his latest battle with Luis Suarez in the first leg after the Uruguayan famously bit the Italian at the 2014 World Cup.

Chiellini scored his side’s third goal a week ago after Paulo Dybala’s early double and insists Juventus will need all their experience to stand up to Barca’s “sharks”.

“We will have to play without fear because they are like sharks – they smell blood and they finish you off,” he told Sky Sports Italia.

The visitors were handed a big injury boost as Dybala has been passed fit to play despite picking up an ankle injury in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Pescara.

Barca will welcome back Iniesta and Neymar from the side that beat Real Sociedad 3-2 at the weekend with Messi’s double in that match taking him within two of 500 goals for the club.

Barca complete incredible comeback to sink PSG

March 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Barcelona became the first team in Champions League history to overturn a four-goal deficit in a knockout tie as a stoppage-time goal by Sergio Roberto completed an extraordinary 6-1 victory over Paris St Germain on Wednesday.

Barcelona's Sergi Roberto celebrates scoring their sixth goal with team mates and fans

Edinson Cavani looked to have wrecked Barcelona’s dreams by volleying in an away goal to make the score 3-1 but two late strikes from Neymar set up a thrilling finale before Roberto scored to seal a 6-5 aggregate win for the Spanish side.

Barcelona began to believe in the impossible dream of clawing back their shock 4-0 loss from the first leg when Luis Suarez headed over the line in the third minute and a Layvin Kurzawa own goal gave them further hope before the break.

Lionel Messi’s penalty five minutes into the second period had the Nou Camp on its feet but Cavani’s strike in the 62nd was a sucker punch to Barca’s ambitions from which Luis Enrique’s side took a while to recover.

A curled free kick from Neymar in the 88th minute gave them hope and the Brazilian converted a penalty before substitute Roberto slid in to knock the ball beyond Kevin Trapp from a chipped free kick and send Barca through to the last eight.

An electric atmosphere gripped the Nou Camp before kick-off after Suarez and Luis Enrique had said they truly believed a comeback was on and the players caught the wave of optimism by swarming all over PSG from the first whistle.

Trapp struggled to cope with the early pressure and flapped at a high ball, allowing Suarez to jump ahead of him and force the ball over the line.

PSG had a penalty appeal turned down when Julian Draxler’s low cross struck Javier Mascherano’s arm but it was one of few forays forward from PSG in the first half as Barca did all the attacking.

The Catalans owed their second to another piece of slack defending, however, as Iniesta nudged his way past Marquinhos in the area to knock the ball back into the danger zone and it bounced off the swinging leg of Kurzawa and into the far corner.

PSG riled Barca supporters by coming back on to the pitch after the break a few minutes late but the Nou Camp was soon celebrating a third as Messi powered a penalty past Trapp after Neymar had been tripped by Thomas Meunier.

Cavani hit the post but made amends by smashing a loose ball home, although he should have added another but was denied by the feet of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

At the time it did not look to be a crucial miss but Barca had other ideas, scoring three times in six minutes to complete an incredible comeback.

Rested Real Madrid wait on Gareth Bale return

February 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes to have Gareth Bale back before the second leg of his side’s Champions League last 16 clash with Napoli.

Bale

The postponement of Madrid’s visit to Celta Vigo last weekend due to storm damage caused to Celta’s Balaidos stadium has allowed Zidane to recover a fully-fit squad bar Bale, who is still working his way back from ankle ligament damage.

The Welshman hasn’t featured since late November and whilst Wednesday’s first leg against the Italians is likely to come too early, Zidane is confident of having Bale back well before the return in Naples on March 7.

“The return isn’t till March 7 so hopefully he is with us before then,” Zidane said on Friday.

“He is back on the field and the only step he has left is to train with the rest of the team.

“He is working very hard and I can see the desire he has.”

The suspended Toni Kroos is Madrid’s only other absentee for Saturday’s visit to rock bottom Osasuna.

Marcelo, Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal are among those to return from injury

However, Madrid have only won one of their past six league meetings away at Osasuna and Zidane is not expecting an easy ride despite the fact the Navarrans are yet to win at home in La Liga this season.

“We have had time to work, physically we are good and ready to play,” added Zidane.

“It is a very difficult place to go and we know that it is top against bottom, which I don’t like at all.

“It has always been difficult for us at El Sadar and that isn’t going to change.”

Hazard sparkles, Chelsea dazzle, rivals are frazzled

February 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Eden Hazard’s brilliant goal in Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal further buried the title hopes of their Premier League rivals with even angry Arsene Wenger admitting that his London foes are a class act.

Hazard

Antonio Conte’s side shattered Arsenal’s hopes while Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool hit a new low in a 2-0 defeat at Hull in Saturday’s games.

Belgian winger Hazard picked up the ball in his own half and waltzed past four opposing players to shoot home at Stamford Bridge after Marcos Alonso opened the scoring with a contentious effort, clattering into Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin before heading home.

Cesc Fabregas rubbed salt into Arsenal’s wounds in the 85th minute when the former Gunners midfielder chipped into the empty net after a woeful miskick from ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

Olivier Giroud got a consolation but third placed Arsenal trail Chelsea by 12 points with 14 games remaining.

Chelsea have 16 wins in their last 18 league games, prompting Conte to hail the triumph as a significant moment in the title race.

“I consider Arsenal one of the six teams that can fight for the title. To put them 12 points behind is very important for us,” Conte said.

Wenger fumed over Alonso’s opener, saying: “It was 100 percent a foul. It was even dangerous play.”

But he joined Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola in saying Chelsea should have the title wrapped up.

“They look at the moment in full confidence, powerful, strong. They don’t concede goals. It’s for them to lose it.”

Second placed Tottenham are Chelsea’s closest challengers and their 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough meant they are still nine points behind.

When Son Heung-Min was fouled by Bernardo in the 58th minute at White Hart Lane, Tottenham striker Harry Kane stepped up to convert the penalty for his 16th goal of the season.

It was a first win in three league games for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, who are unbeaten in their last nine.

“When you don’t kill the game you leave it open. In the last second you can concede, that’s the Premier League. Thankfully it didn’t and we’re happy,” Pochettino said.

At the KCOM Stadium, Liverpool fell behind in the 44th minute when Alfred N’Diaye took advantage of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet’s poor handling to bag a debut goal.

Klopp’s side were finished off in the 84th minute when on-loan Everton striker Oumar Niasse raced clear to boost third bottom Hull’s survival bid.

“Obviously that was not good enough. We gave both goals away easily and the overall performance was not like it should be,” Klopp said.

“It makes no sense for us to play like this. We need to wake up, that was not acceptable.”

Liverpool have won only once in their last 10 games in all competitions and will be knocked out of the top four if Manchester City avoid defeat against Swansea on Sunday.

Sunderland stunned former boss Sam Allardyce with an first half goal rush to demolish fellow strugglers Crystal Palace 4-0 at Selhurst Park.

Lamine Kone, signed by Palace chief Allardyce when he was in charge at Sunderland, swept home after Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey dropped a 10th minute free-kick.

The Black Cats were two up in the 43rd minute through Didier Ndong’s first goal for the club.

Jermain Defoe put the result beyond doubt with two goals in first half stoppage-time. One furious Palace fan ran onto the pitch to confront defender Damien Delaney.

Sunderland remain bottom of the table but they are level on points with Palace, who dropped to 19th place.

Romelu Lukaku scored four times in Everton’s 6-3 victory against Bournemouth at Goodison Park.

Ronald Koeman’s side were ahead after just 31 seconds as Belgian forward Lukaku started his goal spree.

Everton doubled their advantage through James McCarthy in the 23rd minute and Lukaku notched his second six minutes later.

Bournemouth’s Josh King set up a tense finale as he netted in the 59th and 70th minutes.

Lukaku struck again in the 83rd and 84th minutes to cap his memorable afternoon before Harry Arter’s 90th minute reply and Ross Barkley’s sixth for Everton.

West Ham bounced back from their mauling by Manchester City with a 3-1 win at Southampton thanks to goals from Andy Carroll, Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble.

Watford consigned 10-man Burnley to a seventh successive away league defeat with a 2-1 success at Vicarage Road.

West Bromwich Albion beat Stoke 1-0 thanks to James Morrison’s sixth minute goal.

English FA faces ‘no confidence’ vote

February 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

British lawmakers will next week debate introducing legislation to force England’s Football Association to reform its governance structures, a parliamentary committee announced on Friday.

 

It comes four months after sports minister Tracey Crouch gave English football’s governing body six months to overhaul its board and council or risk losing funding.

The Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) committee said the debate would take place at the House of Commons on February 9 with a motion of “no confidence” in the FA’s ability to reform itself.

“We do not believe the FA will comply voluntarily,” CMS chairman Damian Collins said in a statement.

“It can survive easily without the Government’s contribution of money to grassroots sport and there are powerful vested interests that refuse to accept the right of all those involved in football to play a role in the governance of the sport.

“We are therefore preparing a draft bill to bring the structure of the FA, especially its board and council, more into line with modern company practice and the Government’s guidelines for sports bodies.”

An FA spokesperson said: “We are aware of the discussions next week around governance.

“The Government announced a code for governance for sports governing bodies last year and we are working to their timeline for implementation later in the year.

“Football, like all sports, is following due process and we remain committed to working with the Government towards compliance with the code.”

The FA, the world’s oldest football federation, risks losing around 30 million ($37.5 million, 34.8 million euros) from funding body Sport England.

Five former senior FA executives have criticised the organisation for failing to “self-reform”.

David Bernstein, David Davies, Greg Dyke, Alex Horne and David Triesman said the FA was outdated, held back by “elderly white men” and unable to counter the power of the Premier League.

The intervention of the British parliament is likely to attract the attention of world governing body FIFA, which forbids national governments from interfering with the governance of the game.

Mourinho vexed by Man United scoring problems

February 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Manchester United’s players must give Zlatan Ibrahimovic more support if they are to make a serious challenge for Champions League qualification, manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday.

Mourinho

Ibrahimovic has scored 14 of United’s 33 Premier League goals this season and many of them have been decisive, earning United no fewer than 15 points.

No other player has scored more than four league goals and they were all off-target on Wednesday as relegation-threatened Hull City secured a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

“In almost every team the striker is the top scorer,” Mourinho told a press conference at United’s training base west of Manchester prior to Sunday’s trip to Leicester City.

“Unless you have another player with a special feeling to score goals coming from another position, or you have another player scoring six, seven or eight goals from penalties. That is normal to happen.

“But I understand what you are saying. We attack so much and with so many players and so many players have the freedom in our dynamic to reach scoring positions.

“I have to agree with you that we don’t score enough goals and some of our players from these attacking, creative positions, they could — they should — score more goals.

“When you see the number of goals we score, there is not a true relation between our attacking production and the number of players we put in attacking positions and the number of goals we score.”

United are unbeaten in 14 league games as they prepare for the trip to the King Power Stadium, but have drawn seven of those, including each of the last three.

They have not shifted from sixth place since the start of November and currently lie four points off the Champions League qualification spots.

Meanwhile, Mourinho has dismissed the idea of chasing what he calls “impossible” signings during the close season.

Reports in France claim United have agreed terms with Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, having brought his France team-mate Paul Pogba to Old Trafford last year.

But Mourinho said: “I think to be speaking about the transfer window when it’s February 3 makes no sense at all.

“The transfer window opens in the summer and until the summer, I think I have nothing to tell you.

“Of course, I know what I want. I’ve worked with my players for seven months or so. I know them better now than six or seven months ago.

“I think what we need I am very realistic (about). I know what the impossible targets are.

“I don’t like my club to participate in impossible deals. It is a waste of time. It is a gift to these impossible players and to their agents to have a club like Manchester United interested in them.

“It just helps them to improve their situation, but it does not help us at all so I am very realistic. I am very objective.

“My board knows what I think our needs are and from now until the summer, I just focus on my players, our competitions, my club, our fans and try to get the (best) possible results.”

Centre-back Phil Jones is likely to miss the trip to Leicester with a bruised foot, but Eric Bailly is available after returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty with the Ivory Coast.

United have recalled back-up goalkeeper Dean Henderson from a loan spell at Grimsby Town to provide cover after Joel Pereira, the club’s third-choice keeper, picked up a knee injury.

Ronaldo will always be criticised – Zidane

January 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane dismissed criticism of his side’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday following a dip in form that has coincided with Real losing two consecutive games after setting a Spanish record unbeaten run of 40 games.

Zidane

 

Ronaldo struggled to influence Real’s 2-1 home defeat at by Celta Vigo in the King’s Cup on Wednesday and the 2-1 reverse to Sevilla last Sunday that cut their lead at the top of La Liga to a point, although he did convert a penalty.

The forward recently won the 2016 Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s The Best accolade for leading Real to last season’s Champions League and captaining Portugal to glory at Euro 2016. He has 12 goals in La Liga this season, two behind top scorers Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

The Portuguese, however, has attracted renewed criticism in the Spanish media for his lack of impact in big games, failing to find the net against Barcelona, Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, although he did net a hat-trick against local rivals Atletico Madrid.

“Cristiano is always going to be criticised, when he doesn’t score or when he plays in a different position, but he’s used to that, he’s focused like everyone else on the next game,” former Real midfielder Zidane told a news conference on Friday ahead of the game against Malaga.

“He’s always going to be the player that makes the difference for this team. Sometimes he might play badly, that used to happen to me sometimes, but so what? The important thing is that he keeps working hard.”

Although Zidane was critical of his side following the loss to Celta, lamenting their lack of intensity and concentration, he said he was relaxed about the team’s form despite suffering two successive defeats for the first time as Real coach.

“This is football, you can’t win all the time, just like in life. My mind is only focused on work and thinking how we can improve. There was room for improvement before we had lost. We have to focus more, but I’m not worried,” he added.

“There’s no rule saying you can never slip up again. I’m always under pressure, I knew that when I signed my contract, I will always feel it until the day I leave but it makes me grow stronger every day.”

Real will be without Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez due to a calf injury against Malaga and Dani Carvajal, who has been ruled out for a month with a hamstring problem. Gareth Bale and Pepe are still sidelined.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick answered Real Madrid’s biggest question

November 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

On Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo silenced his critics yet again, as the 31-year-old Portuguese superstar netted a hat trick to lead Real Madrid to a 3-0 victory over rival Atletico Madrid and give Real a clear line of sight to its first La Liga title in half a decade.

Ronaldo

Ronaldo’s performance, however, meant far more than the three goals and the three points that put Real Madrid in the driver’s seat for the La Liga crown. Following a salary bump and a hefty contract extension worth a reported $187 million that keeps the forward at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2021, questions have come up over how Ronaldo will fit into the squad going forward considering his decreasing ability to take players one-on-one.

Against Atletico, Real and Ronaldo answered those questions.

Ronaldo started ahead of Karim Benzema at striker and made the most of his chances as the tip of Real’s spear. Similar to the role he played for Portugal in the 2016 European Championships, which Portugal won, Ronaldo continued the transformation from a free-roaming No. 7 darting on the wings and cheating on the inside to a constrained No. 9 causing havoc inside the box and putting pressure on opposing center backs.

For Ronaldo to remain relevant at Real Madrid for five more years, this positional shift became necessary. The former Manchester United and Sporting Lisbon winger could not continue to be an asset out wide as he dove deeper into his 30s. In front of goal, Ronaldo is one of the greatest finishers of all time and a credible threat to score at all times. After all, he is already the top scorer in Real Madrid history, and his scoring rate is higher than the greats that came before him (i.e. Raul Gonzalez, Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas).

Of course, questions over how Benzema and Alvaro Morata fit into Real Madrid’s setup if Ronaldo is now a full-time forward will come fast and hard. But one has a tough time arguing against three goals that pushed Madrid nine points clear of Atletico Madrid and four points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga. Hence, Benzema and Morata will need to adapt to Ronaldo more than the Portuguese will need to adapt to them. Ronaldo remains the biggest star at the club, on the pitch and off it.

With Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Casemiro, Morata and Toni Kroos among the first-team regulars not available for Real Madrid on Saturday, Ronaldo displayed that special winning quality that makes him the first name on the team sheet in the Spanish capital. Though Isco may have deserved Man of the Match honors for his inspired midfield play, Ronaldo secured all three goals.

He has a habit of doing that. It’s football, not rocket science, and Ronaldo knows how to find the back of the net with greater frequency than, arguably, any other human being that has ever lived. And yes, that includes Lionel Messi.

Unlike Messi, who has transitioned deeper into the midfield as he has grown older, Ronaldo has moved further forward with every passing year. It only makes sense that to get the most out of an aging attacker, the emphasis would be to put him in positions where he can apply that expensive final touch, rather than ask him to create chances. Also, Ronaldo’s superior height and heading ability make for a far more natural transition to out-and-out striker than Messi’s passing and vision make sense to move the Argentine deeper into midfield.

Also assisting Ronaldo’s transition is the emergence, arrival and settling of Gareth Bale with Los Blancos. In the past couple seasons, the Welshman has assumed a great deal of Ronaldo’s responsibility on the wings and in the midfield and, frankly, covered for his diminishing ability to run at opponents.

Half century for Neymar as Brazil crush Argentina

November 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Neymar scored his 50th international goal as Brazil thrashed arch-rivals Argentina 3-0 in their 2018 World Cup qualifying duel here Thursday.

Neymar

Barcelona superstar Neymar took his tally to 50 goals in 74 games as Brazil recorded their fifth consecutive victory under new coach Tite to remain on top of South America’s qualification table.

Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho also scored as the Brazilians made a triumphant return to the Estadio Mineiro, scene of their 7-1 2014 World Cup semi-final humiliation against Germany.

Brazil now head the 10-team round-robin competition with 24 points from 11 games.

But the defeat deepens the sense of crisis enveloping Argentina, who have taken just two points from their last four games and now languish in sixth place overall, one spot outside the qualifying positions for the finals in Russia.

Brazil powered into a 2-0 lead in the first half after two wonderfully worked goals from Coutinho and Neymar.

Argentina had started brightly, with Lionel Messi drawing a foul from Fernandinho in the opening minutes which earned the Manchester City midfielder a yellow card from Chilean referee Julio Bascunan.

The Argentines created the first chance of the evening when Lucas Biglia’s venomous shot from outside the area was well saved by Brazil goalkeeper Alisson on 23 minutes.

But after weathering the early pressure Brazil began to probe more effectively and on 25 minutes took the lead through Coutinho.

The Liverpool playmaker gathered the ball wide out on the left flank and accelerated purposefully towards the Argentina area.

The attacking midfielder’s pace took him past Nicolas Otamendi with ease before he unleashed a thunderous strike that crashed into the top corner.

It got better on the stroke of half-time when Neymar completed his half-century of international goals.

Another clinical Brazil attack culminated with teenage star Gabriel Jesus splitting the Argentine defence with an exquisite pass that sent Neymar through on goal.

The Barcelona striker coolly rolled his finish past the advancing Sergio Romero and Brazil were in complete control.

Neymar — still only 24 — is now closing in on Romario’s mark of 55 goals and is firmly on track to surpass Pele’s record haul of 77 goals in 91 games.

Brazil were quick to get into their stride in the second half, and Paulinho nearly made it 3-0 only to be denied by a Pablo Zabaleta goal-line clearance on 55 minutes.

Paulinho made no mistake four minutes later though, tucking away a close range finish after a low cross from Renato Augusto.

Sri Lanka knocked out  

November 7, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Sri Lanka were knocked out from the AFC Solidarity Cup Football Tournament following a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Mongolia in their group fixture played at the Negeri Stadium in Malaysia yesterday.
Mongolia are currently placed 202nd in the FIFA Ranking while Sri Lanka are placed 193rd.  
Skipper Toshiaki Imai and M. Davaajav scored a goal each for the winners. Earlier, Sri Lanka lost their opening match of the tournament against Laos.
Sri Lanka’s third match of the tournament will be against Macau on Wednesday (9). SP

Sri Lanka lose opening game    

November 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Sri Lanka were beaten 1-2 by Laos in their inaugural AFC Solidarity Cup Football Tournament Group ‘B’ fixture worked off in Malaysia on Thursday.

After a scoreless first half Moukada Souksavath broke the deadlock in the 58th minute for Laos while Khamphanh Sonthanelay increased the lead to 2-0 in the 66th minute.

R. M. Alawdeen netted a consolation goal for Sri Lanka during injury time.

- SP

Zahira, St. Patrick’s in final

November 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Zahira College Colombo defeated the defending champions St. Henry’s College Jaffna 4-1 on penalties in their Kotmale Trophy Inter-Schools Under-19 Football Tournament semi-final match played at the Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna on Thursday.

The match ended in a 2-2 draw at the completion of normal time.

In the other semi-final, St. Patrick’s College Jaffna edged-out St. Joseph Vaz College Wennappuwa 6-5 on penalties after match ended in a 0-0 draw after normal time.

The final between Zahira and St. Patrick’s will be played on Saturday (5) at the same venue commencing at 7. p.m.

- (SP)

Next Page »

Copyright © 2010 Mirror Sports  Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.