Connect with us

Football

The Super Sub Show sees Everton defeat Crystal Palace by 2-0

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Everton vs Palace

The super subs, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosunas, blasted two late goals in the last three minutes of the official time as Everton beat Crystal Palace by 2-0 at Goodison Park.

The two Premier League Sides, Everton and Crystal Palace who were placed 11th and 14th respectively, began the match on high hopes of making it to the upper half of the table. It was Palace who got the ball rolling, as referee blew the kick-off whistle.

Everton, attacked in the 2nd minute of the match through Richarlison as he flied in front of Sahko looking for a header, but the effort went futile as he failed to convert. Though they continued dominating possession, but Palace looked sharp on the break.

In the 15th minute Palace using the right wing made a handful of crosses, but Everton cleared with ease. Almost 15 minutes later, Everton nearly scored through Sigurdsson, which was denied at the near post by Hennessey. With less than 10 minutes left in to the first half, Palace started dictating the terms in midfield, as Kouyate headed a fine corner kick, which unfortunately rattled against the bar and Everton survived from conceding.

Therefore, both sides drew a blank at the half-time whistle as fans awaited something more exciting for the second half.

Second half witnessed a thumping start as Zouma wonderfully positioned his pass to Walcott, who knocked it back to Coleman, who unfortunately failed to spin in behind. The very next minute Bernard, got one better on Wan-Bissaka, but he somehow managed to block the ball from flying goal wards.

It was all Everton’s show in the first 10 minutes of the first half, but Palace had other ideas. Against the run of play, and right at the hour mark, Palace were awarded a penalty, which was hit down the middle by Milivojevic, only be saved by Pickford’s trailing leg.

Everton did not hand over much chances to Palace and continued their hold on the match, which was still not reflecting on the score line, as it read 0-0.

‘The Toffees’ than applied a new strategy as Tosunas replaced Bernard in the 66th minute and Gomes and Walcott were replaced by Calvert-Lewin and Lookman respectively in the 81st minute.

The shadow of the draw started looming large on the match, but Everton finally scored in the 87th minute as Lewin became the super sub, giving Everton a lead (1-0), with just 3 minutes of official time remaining.

Everton having drawn first blood, came back and scored another goal in the 89th minute (2-0) as  Tosunas confirmed 3 points on the night.

Therefore, ‘The Toffees’ came out victorious on the night, securing 3 wins in a row, and clinching 8th position above Leicester, Man United and Wolves.

Football

Scottish FA Reports Footballers Heading Ball Prone to Dementia Illness

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Scottish FA Reports Footballers Heading Ball Prone to Dementia Illness

Last updated on January 18th, 2020

A serious revelation in the field of football can possibly change the way game is played, after reports by Scottish FA linked heading the football to dementia – a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities.

As per the report, the Scottish FA’s ban to head football is to be applied in a matter of weeks on Under-12s in Scotland. The governing body which will become the first European nation to impose a restriction on head contact with football. However, such a ban is already in place in the United States since 2015.

Discussions first kicked off after the study was released in October, which concluded the first connections between former players and retrogressive symptoms of the disease. The Scottish FA’s doctor, John MacLean, who was part of the squad that learned about dementia, highlighted how ex-players are three-and-a-half times more likely to die of the disease.

Ironically, the case has been linked with the game that is often named for building tough mental and physical personalities. However, not all are convinced with how the two link up, because no solid proof still connects the heading ball to disease, to which the association doctors have said that restricting is only, but a common sense in the scenario.

“We can’t wait on the evidence one way or the other on heading. We need to take some sensible, pragmatic steps at the moment and that’s largely going to be about trying to reduce that overall burden, the overall times that young players head – and heading in training is much more common than in matches,” the doctors argued. Further explaining that their study was not designated to, and couldn’t even find out how the two are linkable.

Meanwhile, Gordon Smith, former chief executive of SFA, plaudit the Scottish FA ban while speaking on the BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme. He also said, young ones could still be taught, if lighter balls are used instead of traditional heavy weight balls.

Glasgow’s largest youth club also showed approval and welcomed the reports. While Giffnock Soccer Centre said that it has already banned heading of football across its smaller-sided squads. Hard to say how fast will the Scottish FA ban be accepted and eventually applied all across the world, but the first good step to make the game free from all possible injuries is already underway.

Continue Reading

Football

Saudi Spanish Super Cup: Amnesty Calls for Release of Rights Activists

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Saudi Spanish Super Cup: Amnesty Calls for Release of Rights Activists

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has hailed the Saudi Super Cup as the revamped version of football tournament that has boosted the Spanish Super Cup. Besides, being billed as the tournament that brings in a lot money by Barcelona’s Manager Ernesto Valverde, the Spanish Cup in Saudi Arabia has made ground breaking headlines since its inception on Wednesday.

The completion that is now into its final stage will see Real Madrid face on Atletico Madrid in Sunday’s final, after Barcelona and Valencia came short in their respective semi-finals. However, on the sidelines of the tournament, Amnesty International activists protested outside the Saudi Embassy in Madrid, Wednesday.

The group of people lined up like a football team while holding scarves of each of the four clubs. They wore yellow t-shirts that called for the release of Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who has been detained for more than 600 days now. The protestants also urged people to “join our (their) team.”

On the route to become self-reliant, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has stated ideas to host major sporting events as part of Saudi Vision 2030, but they have often been labeled as attempts of ‘sportswashing’ – an activity that uses sports to refurbish a nation’s image.

As it turns out, some have stepped back from their decision to contest in the kingdom, while others have turned a blind eye to the issue.

“For decades in Saudi Arabia, women have been subjected to repressive laws that have imposed restrictions on their rights to travel independently, work or study, which limits various aspects of their lives,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

“Faced with this situation, many activists have raised their voices. One of them is Loujain al-Hathloul … one of 11 activists who are currently at risk of being sentenced to up to 20 all of them to be released immediately and their charges removed.”

The Spanish Super Cup’s move to Saudi Arabia also infuriated people in Spain, both because of the human rights abuse in the nation, and for overlooking the convenience of local fans to attend the matches.

The deal struck last year by Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) chief Luis Rubiales, reportedly gives them €120 million ($133M), to host the tournament for three years. While Barcelona and Real Madrid earn $7.8m each.

“We are not the ones organizing the competition, it’s organized by the Spanish Football Federation,” a Barcelona official told CNN when questioned on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. “We are the Copa del Rey finalist and winner of the Spanish League, so we have to participate along with the other three. We are aware there have been previous (human rights) incidents,” the official added.

Consequently, even if the presumed intentions of Saudi Arabia behind hosting global events is to become self-reliant, why does it still keep ignoring and abusing human rights?

Continue Reading

Football

Diplomatic Gulf Crisis Denied Entry to the Football Stadiums

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Diplomatic Gulf Crisis Denied Entry to the Football Stadiums

The vast world of soccer has been influential enough to hit the political dynamics of certain countries, with some perfect strikes and other unexpected misses. The big game has recently been both a point of conflict and association between the tussling Gulf countries engulfed in regional crisis.

In 2017, the strong base of Gulf Cooperation Council’s six member countries was left with a grave crack, where Qatar was left on one side while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the rest remained on the other. Since then, the diplomatic relations have been frequently teased with football kicks on several occasions, as the two are closely intertwined in the region.

For the first time since the embargo, which blocked Qatar’s airplanes from the skies of Gulf neighbours and sealed its only land border with Saudi, the GCC member countries put a step closer towards their lost friend during the Arabian Gulf Cup in October 2019.

Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Bahrain dispatched shock waves, as they allowed their teams to visit Qatar and play for the Gulf Cup. While the result based on diplomatic grounds is uncertain, Qatar was seen losing to Saudi Arabia on the soccer field in semi-finals.

Surprisingly, no shoes were thrown at the players, forcing us to recall when the United Arab Emirates lost the Asian Cup to Qatar in January 2019 and the Emirati fans tossed their footwear at the celebrating Qatari players. Besides, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also presented the team of Bahrain with the Gulf Cup on their win.

However, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the other hand, was identified using soccer as a tool to instigate regional rivalries, a few months before that. The international football governing body, FIFA asserted in September 2019 that a Saudi firm had been pirating the television stream of Qatari state-owned company beIN Sports.

Saudi Arabia’s pirate service beoutQ initially raised concerns and rage in 2018, when it stole and broadcasted the World Cup across the Middle East, costing the Qatari firm a fortune in lost revenues. Besides, no Saudi lawyer was willing to represent the case, where FIFA tried to sue beoutQ in Saudi courts.

In a matter of few months, the political passions appeared to be parting their ways with the Middle Eastern zeal for football. The unanticipated change became a clearer sky in December 2019, when a number of Saudi Arabian fans purchased tickets for a forbidden journey to Qatar only to support their team, Al Hilal in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semi final.

However, the dark clouds continue to maintain their presence from more than two years over the diplomatic ties of the Gulf nations. Qatar was accused by the regional rivals of financing terrorism and interfering in their domestic affairs, but the little Arabian nation denied the allegations.

After the crisis erupted, the Emirati ministers were reported to be urging FIFA to snatch away Qatar’s hosting rights for the World Cup in 2022. A 50-page report by “Spinwatch: Public Interest Investigations” in 2018 revealed that the UAE was indulged in a well-financed lobby effort from 2011-2015 in London, initiating a campaign that intensified concerns over worker’s rights in Qatar and accused Qatari officials of paying extravagant bribes to attain the World Cup hosting rights.

Last month, Reuters reported that the United Arab Emirates had hired former US counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke as a consultant in 2008. The monarchy created a secret unit DREAD (Development Research Exploitation and Analysis Department) with his assistance, which came to be known as Project Raven in 2012.

In 2014, the Emirates also hired a former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst Lori Stroud, who joined the Project Raven, helping UAE in surveillance of other governments, militants and human rights activists critical of the monarchy. The unit reportedly hacked the computer systems of Qatari and FIFA officials to find damaging information about Qatar and its World Cup bid.

However, after years of conflict and cyber crime standoff with Qatar, the diplomatic tensions between the two sides lately appeared easing off too. In December, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invited the Emir of Qatar to the annual GCC summit, signalling an end to the impasse. However, Sheikh Tamim decided to rather send his Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, indicating a stern and sovereign stance of the nation.

Although the Gulf countries are still besieged in a blockade conflict, the world’s most popular sport has somehow brought their people under the roof of a single stadium. While the Middle Eastern football fans continue to kick the regional conflict away, could we hope for the diplomatic relations to be reconcilable?

Continue Reading

Football

The Reds Make History with First Win of FIFA Club World Cup

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

FIFA Club World Cup

Last updated on December 24th, 2019

The constant cheering crowd of around 45,000 and the floating confetti, the Reds shone brighter as they celebrated the magical moment and held the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup trophy for the first time. Saturday night became historic for Liverpool, when it added the only missing title to the list. The club kept the fans worried until the 99th minute, when Roberto Firmino hit the decisive goal.

Jurgen Klopp’s European Champions triumphed the Club World Cup at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, as they defeated Brazil’s Flamengo with an extra-time goal. “In moments like this I struggle to find the right words to describe my respect for the boys. It is incredible.,” the Liverpool manager said.

Apart from the Merseyside’s Reds, their legendary player Mohamed Salah was honoured as the Player of the Tournament. With his intense pace, he has remained a constant threat to opponents throughout the 2019 Club World Cup. Despite not managing to score himself, Salah deservedly picked up the adidas Golden Ball for his brilliance at the game, amidst the cheers of thousands of fans.

FIFA Club World Cup

The highlight of the evening was the goal being secured by a Brazilian player, who was prized away from his homeland to Europe at the age of 19. After netting once in the semi final victory over Monterrey on December 18, Firmino secured his second goal of the many games played in Doha.

FIFA Club World Cup

After he struck at the final, the player ripped off his jersey and leaped into the air, as he celebrated the goal. “I couldn’t be more happy for him that he could score that goal,” said Klopp.

The European champions met the South American champions 38-years-ago in a single-game version, where the winning team wasn’t the same. Liverpool was defeated by Flamengo back then by 3-0, where the latest win could be seen as a little revenge. The team added the Club World Cup title to the sixth European Cup collected in June.

Flamengo too gave a tough competition, where the match required additional 30 minutes to conclude. Some of the Liverpool players also acknowledged that the Brazilian team was difficult to play against. However, their manager had slightly distinctive views.

“It was an incredible performance against a very good opponent. I saw so many sensationally good performances. The atmosphere was great and Flamengo should be proud of their team but I think we deserved the win. We were the better side,” Jurgen Klopp said.

It is undeniable that Liverpool gave terrific performance throughout the tournament while adding the latest title to the list of honours on the Champion’s Wall at Melwood. This was pretty visible by the victory celebrations that the global soccer lovers had.

Continue Reading

Football

Chelsea Defeat Lille to Register Place in Champions League Last 16

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

chelsea

It was a must win game for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and the team did not disappoint, as they defeated Lille by 2-1 to register a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

The team was in complete control for better part of the match and set up the victory they required with first-half goals from Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Lille hit back via Loic Remy only 12 minutes from time, just to heat things a little, but in the end, it just proved to be a mere consolation.

Abraham scored his 13th goal of the season after 19 minutes of constant attack from the home side. The striker turned in Willian’s cross from close range while Azpilicueta, who was unmarked in the box, headed in from Emerson Palmieri’s corner 10 minutes from the half-way time.

Chelsea who finished second in the Group H of the Champions League, displayed really good football to navigate their way into last 16. The team started their road with a loss at home to Valencia. But regrouped after defeating Ajax away from home, and then by coming back against them from 4-1 down, to earn a vital point in the rematch against last year’s Champions League semi-finalists.

However, the task ahead won’t be easy for Chelsea, given the level of competition that they will be up against. Also, while the attackers are pretty much in form, the defence has let lose a lot of unnecessary goals.

For now, the return of Antonio Rudiger after injury gives Frank Lampard his best defender back on the field, but since transfer ban from the club has been lifted, Chelsea is in really good shape to sign new players.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard told BT Sport: “It did get twitchy. We need to take our chances better. At 2-0 I thought it was not quite done and when Lille scored it made it a more nervy finish to the game than it needed to be.”

“It’s going to be a work in progress. With the young players we have in this side there will be bumps in the road. I push them and can be quite hard on them, setting the high standards I want to see them reach, but at the same time I have to be patient,” he added.

Chelsea return to Premier League action on Saturday, as they host Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. The club currently sits 4th in the league and would like to get back to winning ways, having lost 3-1 to Everton at Goodison Park in their last league outing.

Continue Reading

Trending