Defending champion Maria Sharapova powered through to the semi-finals of Stuttgart WTA 2014 tournament in Friday’s quarter-finals. She was playing against top seed Agnieszka Radwanska and picked a straight win by 6-4, 6-3.
Sharapova admitted that it was a big win for her. It was 11th straight win in Stuttgart for her and she is biding for a hat- trick of title after winning consecutive 2012 and 2013 tournaments. Stuttgart becoming luckiest for her she must be grabbing the title soon.
Sharapova claimed her 9 wins in 11 matches against the polish Radwanska, the world no 3. It took one hour 39 minutes for claiming her victory in this match.
After a total of seven breaks at the start of the game, Sharapova finally won her first service game to take control of the first set.
Spain’s Carla Suarex Navarro or Italy’s Sara Errani will be waiting for her in the saturday’s semifinal in stuttgart WTA 2014.
After winning all four grand slams, Sharapova is desperate to get the three successive wins in the stuttgart WTA 2014.
If the Russian wins she will get an extra bonus point as if she would fail to win against Radwanska we would have seen her falling out of the top ten for the first time in the three years.
In 2012 Stuttgart WTA final Sharapova beat Victoria Azarenka in 6-1, 6-4 straight set to win the first title of that year. The tournament named Porsche tennis grand prix was held in between 24-04-12 to 29-04-12 participated by 28 tennis players from different countries. In the semi Maria sharapova met P.Kvitova and beat her by 6-4, 7-6 sets to run towards final.
Last year, in 2013 Sharapova beat N.Li in a straight 2-0 win. Towards the final she beat S. Errani in 6-1,6-2 sets in the semifinal. She defended her title. This tournament was held in 22 to 28 April.
Will the tennis queen defend her title again in Stuttgart? It seems quite a challenging for the former no 1 ( currently 9). It will be a exciting game in the semifinal. Lets wait and see.
Real Madrid is taking the minimal advantage to Germany after defeating Bayern Munich, Wednesday evening at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Next Tuesday, the second leg is scheduled at Bayern’s Allianz Arena. Real Madrid will start the match with a one-goal advantage. But definitely Carlo Ancelotti’s side will have a hard task in finishing off the previous champions.
Result: Real Madrid (1) vs. Bayern Munich (0), first leg, UEFA Champions League semi-final
Karim Benzema was the only scorer against the run of play as they are extending their 18 math unbeaten home record. Bayern Munich dominated possession. They held the ball almost 72 percent of the match, but struggled creating chances against Real’s organized defense. Real also spurned several chances. Even Cristiano Ronaldo missed a potentially vital opportunity for Real after returning from injury.
The first opportunity came in the 14th minute after Arjen Robben’s shot was deflected out for a corner and that was headed straight by Bastian Schweinsteiger. Real went ahead in the 19th minute with their first meaningful counter attack. This could be 2-0 later when Angel Di Maria picked out Ronaldo with a curling cross and Ronaldo directed his head straight to Manuel Neuer, Bayern goalkeeper. Ronaldo again failed to keep his effort from 15 yards from Benzema’s cross.
The second half started in similar way with Bayern keeping almost all of the ball but with Ronaldo getting a sight of goal which was saved by Manuel Neuer again. Both the teams made multiple substitutions as the match approached its final 15 minutes.
An immediate impact was nearly made by Muller in the 81st minute, curling a fierce shot. This time Bale also created a moment of danger, before attempting to cross for Benzema in the 83rd minute. But Dante intercepted and made a pivotal clearance. Then Muller claimed a late penalty when he was about to shoot and went down but English referee Howard Webb discouraged his appeal. Madrid were almost successful and now can hope that missed chances do not prove costly. They must be planning to repeat their sole semi-final success over Bayern in 2000.
Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid manager must be “happy” with his team’s performance. Ancelotti said,
“At the beginning we were a little shy, losing possession. But in the second half, Bayern were less effective. It’s a group effort. It was not easy.
The second leg is very difficult. We have a tiny advantage but we have to play with the same confidence and desire as we showed today.”
On the contrary Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich manager called Real Madrid the world’s best counterattacking team. Speaking to German television Guardiola said:
“We did everything to win but you can always lose when you’re against great players like these. (Real Madrid) are the best team in the world on the break. The ball was going faster, faster returns and in that they are better.”
Bayern are the defending Champions and chasing a second straight treble of Champions League, German Cup and Bundesliga. They have lost only twice at home this season in all competitions scoring 42-13 against the opponents in Bundesliga matches. Meanwhile Real Madrid remain alive in their own thirst for a treble. They have also defeated Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final earlier this month. Currently they are six points behind the leaders, positioning third in La Liga.
None ever successfully defended the title and Bayern have work to end that record. The final will be held in Lisbon on 24 May against the winners of the other semi final.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, undoubtedly the most luminous star in the game of cricket, has achieved such apex of success which no one ever did. Holding the jersey no 10 he is the most dignified icon of the Indian cricket team since his beginning.
He is now worshiped as the “God of cricket”. The legacy of his cricketing skills, the performance of breaking records after records, has made him truly unbreakable and unreachable. Yes, Sachin is the greatest among greats.
Among so many memorable innings he had played, I am here to get you to know about his debut test and one day match.
Early career: the first match, THE RISING
Debut Test match:
Sachin put his footstep on the pitch of international test cricket at the age of only 16 years 205 days, the youngest ever, in 15 November 1989. The match was against Pakistan. India was playing in Karachi captained by Krishnamachari Srikkanth. Pakistan being the archrival of India, it was indeed a high voltage match.
Think about the pressure of this little boy. Who could know this little boy will become the little master someday, who could know this little boy will be the centurion of centuries. Sachin did not hit century that day. The beginning was not so promising I should say. He got out only at 15 runs. Waqar Younis was the bowler who made him bowled.
Surprisingly Waqar was playing his debut match too. Sachin had to struggle against Pakistani pacers. Sachin did not have to bat in the 2nd innings. And the match was drawn.
Toss India, who chose to field
Series 4-match series level 0-0
Test debuts SA Ankola and SR Tendulkar (India); Shahid Saeed and Waqar Younis (Pakistan)
Player of the match N Kapil Dev (India)
Umpires JH Hampshire (England) and JW Holder (England)
Wed, 15 Nov – day 1 – Pakistan 1st innings 259/4 (Javed Miandad 76*, Imran Khan 17*)
Thu, 16 Nov – day 2 – India 1st innings 157/6 (RJ Shastri 25*, N Kapil Dev 49*)
Fri, 17 Nov – day 3 – Pakistan 2nd innings 106/3 (Shoaib Mohammad 46*, Saleem Yousuf 3*)
Sat, 18 Nov – rest day
Sun, 19 Nov – day 4 – India 2nd innings 86/1 (NS Sidhu 34*, SV Manjrekar 14*)
Mon, 20 Nov – day 5 – India 2nd innings 303/3 (96 overs) – end of the match
Debut One-day international match:
Sachin, the legend of all took his duck (0) in his very 1st one day match. Could you believe that??? The morning didn’t show the day that day. This is also against Pakistan and this is also against Waqar Younis, who has to become a legend among pacers and Wasim Akram, another great, took his precious catch. India lost that match by 7 runs.
Toss India, who chose to field
Series Pakistan led the 3-match series 1-0 (1 abandoned)
ODI debuts SA Ankola, V Razdan and SR Tendulkar (India)
Player of the match Saeed Anwar (Pakistan)
Umpires Feroze Butt and Mian Mohammad Aslam
Later on, his achievement in this game is well remarked. Matches after matches he played and made him stronger. He put himself such a level which no one ever did before.
Sir Donald Bradman found himself in Sachin Tendulkar as far he stated this in his biography.
After playing 24 years for India he became the only player who has one hundred international centuries, the first one to score a double century in ODI and scored more than 30,000 runs in international cricket. He won the world cup for India in 2011 after participating six world cup consecutively. Before his announcement of retirement from ODI in October 2013 and from test 16 November 2013, he played total 664 international cricket matches scoring blistering 34357 runs.
Cricket is a gentleman’s game. For centuries, it was one of safest games to play. But accidents happen every now and then. Unfortunately, sometimes death ensued and lightens the game’s gravity.
Firstly, I remember those cricketers who lost their lives while playing their loving games. There are five documented deaths while playing cricket match.
1. Ian Folley
He was a right handed batsman and left arm spinner. He played for both Lancashire and Derbyshire cricket team. While he was batting for the Cumbrian Whitehaven on August 30, 1993 he had a devastating blow over his eyes. Undergoing treatment of black eye, he had a heart attack and died. He was only 30 years of age. Later the investigation suggested his death was due to complication of anesthesia.
There is some interesting facts about his career. At first he was a seam bowler. But later turned himself as a spinner after the suggestion of his Lancashire manager. In his first class career he took 287 wickets in 140 matches. He was in top form in 80’s that’s why was almost selected in the England team in the Pakistan tour 1987. That season,he took 74 wickets.
2. Syed Faaqer Ali
He was well known as the son of Syed Abid Ali and the son in law of Syed Kirmani, both of them were played for India. While batting for the Tracy united cricket club Fremont CA, he had a heart attack and rushed to the hospital soon after. 15 minutes later he was declared dead by the Fremont’s Washington hospital. His wife and a son were left behind.
He was the captain in his side. He worked hard for the promotion of cricket in USA. His devotion to cricket was unmatched. It was indeed a great loss in the history of cricket.
3. Wilfred Slack
He was opening batsman for the Middle sex and scored a mass 13950 runs in 237 first class matches with 25 hundreds. Graham Barlow was his opening partner and their partnership was the best in English county cricket for a long time.
He started blacking out and eventually collapsed and dead while batting for cavaliers eleven during a game in the Gambia. It was 15 January 1989. He died at the age of 34.
4. Raman Lamba
The accident took place in 20 February 1998 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Raman Lamba’s tragic death occurred while he was fielding in the short leg and the ball accidentally hit his head batted by Mehrab Hossain Api. Lamba didn’t bother wearing a helmet as captain khaled Masud asked him to field in that position for the last 3 deliveries. He was playing for the Abahani Kriya Chakra in Dhaka premier league.
Surprisingly he felt better in the dressing room but then the black out collapsed him. Soon he was rushed to the hospital and a clot in his head was detected. He died after 3 days due to intracranial hemorrhage.
Raman Lamba aging 34 before the tragedy played 121 first class cricket matches with 31 hundreds and 50 average.
5. Wasim Raja
This gifted pakistani all rounder played 57 tests and 54 ODIs for his country before he died. He scored 11434 runs and took 558 wickets in his first class career. He also played a role of ICC match referee in 15 test matches.
In August 23,2006 he was playing for surrey at the age of 54. After bowling couple of overs he complaint of dizziness. He fall on the boundary and never recover.
He was renowned for his hard hitting abilities among his fans. Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram both mourned his death mentioning the loss of a great batsman.
His is the brother of Ramiz Raja, the well known cricket commentator and ex pakistani cricketer.
The west indian skipper Dwayne Bravo is possibly missing his next IPL matches after being injured at the match against Kings 11 punjab last Friday. He got knocked at his shoulder trying to stop a switch hit by Gleen Maxwell in the 11th over. He was reported taking to the hospital.
The captain MS Dhoni said,
“ sad that he won’t be part of dressing room, hope he recovers soon.”
The recovery will take 4 to 5 weeks. It is definitely a bad blow for the CSK. Now its time to see how vital he is for the CSK.
After signing in 2012, Bravo has become one of the striking players for the Chennai Chennai Super Kings. In that year, he ended up the session scoring 461 runs at an average of 46, strike rate 140 and became the highest wicket taker for CSK with 19 wickets.
In 2013, he was the purple cap winner , taking 32 wickets at average 15 for the CSK. But at the very beginning of IPL 7, 2014 the injury will certainly suffer CSK, the two times IPL champion. CSK spent 40 million USD for Bravo in 2013 IPL auction.
Not only in IPL career, Bravo has important part in the West Indies team too. With an test average of 39 , ODI and T20 average 29, he is the powerful batsman for the team. As a bowler, he took 86 wickets in Test and 191 in ODI and 33 in T20. In a limited over match he is always a key player for West indies.
If you look into the last 4 or 5 matches, he had a pretty good knock in the T20 world cup held in dhaka this year. Last 7 matches he scored 154 runs being not out in the 1 game and took away 4 wickets. He used to field superbly mostly at the point.
There is hardly any replacement for Bravo. It will indeed a great loss for the CSK. Will they manage to overcome?
Here is The Text Version of the Quote from Women Soccer PlayerMia Hamm :
You may get skinned knees and elbows, but it’s worth it if you score a spectacular goal.
Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra is the full name of Mia Hamm. She is an American retired professional soccer player. The national team forward had a prolific career that made her icon to som many new-generation sports enthusiasts. Some of her best speeches:
Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don’t settle for them
I am happy that the young girls have a lot more choices these days and an opportunity to feel better about themselves
You don’t just want to beat a team. You want to leave a lasting impression in their minds so they never want to see your face again
Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed
Did You like it? Stay tuned cause we will bring more Mia Hamm quotes for you!
Here is the Text Version of the Alex Morgan inspirational quotes:
I think a goal is a goal and not all my goals are pretty.
Here is the Text Version of the soccer quotes by Alex Morgan :
I have learned many, many things while playing at Cal, but probably the main thing that players and coaches have taught me is to always work hard, never give up, and fight until the end because it’s never really over until the whistle blows.
Soccer is what I grew up doing – it’s my passion, and I’m way more comfortable on the field in my soccer cleats
I don’t run straight at a constant pace; soccer is always a change of pace and movement
Other Alex Morgan Famous Quotes:
Everybody has a talent, but its what you do with that talent to make it great
I find my motivation from everyone who looks up to me and my teammates. From the little girls that look up to me and tell me they want to be like me when they grow up
I rarely felt or noticed any real divide between girls and boys when I was growing up. Maybe it was because I was so involved in sports and competed with the boys. Maybe it was my mom and dad, who constantly instilled confidence in me and never made me feel as though there were boy activities and girl activities
Did You like it? Stay tuned cause we will bring more Alex Morgan quotes for you!
Most of her quotes are related to soccer. she had already talked that she gives her best under pressure. She likes to advise young players to achieve more.
Definitely, It is the continuous improvement which matters. Alex Morgan Works for achieving perfection. She believes, the things which pull you down will make you stronger in the course of time.
Champions League ties could never be much attractive than this confrontation between two of the most successful sides of the competition. A total of 14 wins between this two, Real have nine successes and Bayern five times.
Bernabeu on April 23.
Real Madrid is something like no other—even Barcelona is not comparable to them. Madrid scored 107 goals in La Liga which is totally devastating. Now they are up to “La Decima” for the tenth title.
Former champions Bayern Munich are trying to become the first to successfully perpetuate the trophy since Milan in 1990. Their breathtaking form in this season can easily forbid betting against them.
There are many subplots which can be considered for this match. Jupp Heynckes is returning to the club who have won the UCL with Real in 1998. But unfortunately he was sacked for finishing fourth in the league. Perhaps he is the only manager in history who was sacked after winning a CL.
Madrid are still vulnerable at the back though they have immense attacking talent. But with devastating forward options available to Bayern it is comfortably predictable that the clash is going for a high-scoring affair.
Last time these two sides came to meet in 2007 in the Round of 16. That result(tie) is probably one of the fondest memories of Champions League.
I believe either way that Madrid will have much enough power, regulation and togetherness for Bayern and I would expect them to proceed to another final while forbidding their opponent to retain the trophy in the Champions League era in Lisbon on May 24.
Predictions: First leg: Real Madrid 3-1 Bayern Munich Second leg: Bayern Munich 1-1 Real Madrid
Aggregate: Bayern Munich 2-4 Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea
The only one of the four semi-finalists to never to have lifted the European Cup is Atletico Madrid. But this season their stunning form in quarter-final victory over Barcelona suggests that they are going to break that duck.
Currently they are on top of La Liga with only six games to go and are unbeaten at home this season. So Chelsea’s stuttering forwards will have their work tough over the two legs.
Chelsea’s record at Stamford Bridge is also ideal with 15 wins and just 2 draws in 17 league games. But away from home they have struggled a bit with five defeats and four draws.
When Jose Mourinho was the manager of Real Madrid he won three of the four games against Atletico Madrid. This statistics can give the Portuguese a slight psychological comfort for the upcoming event.
But this current Atletico team is a much stronger than the one Mourinho once faced. The confidence they have attained throughout this season’s Champions League and rising top of La Liga.
Other than Atletico to storm out of the blocks, just as they did against Barcelona in the preious match, it is going to be tougher for Simeone to give his side a first leg advantage. On the other hand Chelsea can anticipate the early storm and keep their combatant within reach.
Only thing Atletico can hope to have their top scorer Diego Costa (hamstring) and midfielder Arda Turan (groin) back from injury for the April 22 match. While Chelsea also can hope to get rid of the doubt for Eden Hazard.
Predictions: First leg: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Chelsea Second leg: Chelsea 2-1Atletico Madrid
The FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup is the world’s most widely celebrated sporting event. Simply known as the World Cup, is the international association football competition by the national teams of the members of FIFA. This championship is awarded every four years for FIFA world cup winners since the first tournament in 1930 which was held in Uruguay and was won by the hosts. 19 tournaments held, 76 nations have arrived at least once. With five titles, Brazil is the most victorious World Cup team and also the only nation to participate in all the world cup tournaments.
Italy and Germany have four titles. Other champions are Uruguay, who won the very first tournament and Argentina, France with two titles each. England and Spain, who have won one each, Present champions, France got their second world cup in 2018.
In the table below, full list of previous FIFA World Cup winners, host country, winning team, runners-up and the score everything is presented.
World Cup Winner List
Stadio Nazionale PNF
Stade Olympique de Colombes
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Estádio do Maracanã
Mexico City, Mexico
Munich, West Germany
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mexico City, Mexico
Pasadena, California, United States
Stade de France
International Stadium Yokohama
Johannesburg, South Africa
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Estadio do Maracana
A brief History on world cup winners list:
After established in 1904, FIFA tried to arrange an international football tournament in 1906. But the early World Cup tournaments were troublesome due to travel and war. Then some South American teams were agreed to travel to Europe for the 1934 and 1938 tournaments. Brazil was probably the only team to compete in both the tournaments.
The Brazil world cup 1950 was the first to incorporate British participants. Primarily they refused to join but in 1946 the agreed FIFA’s invitation. The 1930 champions Uruguay returned after two world cup boycotts. Unfortunately, Uruguay won against the host nation Brazil in the match named Maracanazo.
For the first time, 24 teams participated in 1982 and then it expanded to 32 in 1998 to create an opportunity for more teams from Asia, Africa, and North America. About two hundred teams entered the 2002 qualification rounds and a record 2010 world cup.
From 1930 to 1970, the Jules Rimet Trophy was awarded to the World Cup winning teams. Originally it was known as World Cup or Coupe du Monde. In1970, Brazil’s third-time victory in the tournament permitted them to keep the trophy permanently. In the year 1970, a new trophy was designed as FIFA World Cup Trophy. The new trophy is never awarded to the winning nations invariably. Winners have to retain the trophy at the next tournament and are will be awarded another gold-plated replica.
In the year 1954, the World Cup was first televised. Now it can be regarded as the most widely followed and viewed sporting event around the globe. The total audience of all matches of the 2006 World Cup is about 26.29 billion. 715.1 million People watched the final match of this tournament (a ninth of the entire population of the planet).
World Cup strongly impacts global branding. The host country can foresee a multi-million dollar revenue increase with just this month-long event. It is expected that Brazil was expecting to bring in more than $11 billion in revenue for the World Cup 2014.
FIFA introduced its first own mascot or logo in 1966. World Cup Willie was the first world mascot in 1966. Recently official match balls are also specially designed for each world cup.
Former eight- time champion Rafael Nadal was set to take on tireless 32 year-old David Ferrer In an all Spanish quarterfinal at the Monte Carlo Masters.
World number one ended up the Monte Carlo Masters after a straight-sets quarter-final defeat by the last generation Spaniard David Ferrer. The 14-time Grand Slam champion capitulated in a first-set tie break and dropped his serve in the second to lose 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 to the sixth-seed.
Ferrer won against Nadal for the first time on clay in a decade. He said:
“I have had to wait 10 years to defeat him on clay. After a very long time I’m happy with the win and the way it was played.”
Rafa could be considered an absolute beast on the dirt and despite all the endeavors of players like Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, no one has ever been successful to defeat the King on the clay surface. Previously Nadal had always completely dominated David Ferrer whenever the two met.
His lead of 21-5 represents how well he plays against the 32 year-old and that’s much like many of his other rivals.
After being defeated with 44 unbelievable mistakes Nadal said:
“When your opponent is doing things better than you, the normal thing is to lose. All losses feel bad, but especially on clay. I’m not happy with how I’m playing.”
Nadal has a record of losing only 21 matches out of 321. These 300 wins have seen him winning 43 titles and out of which eight have come from the clay. But Ferrer has always been making a career out of overcoming the odds. After all in all the game seemed one of the most fascinating duel between the two Spaniard greats.
World Cup 2014, which starts just over 50 days from now is being organized in a developing nation and still is in terms of constructing the mandatory infrastructure to successfully host and brace a worldwide festival and tournament.
FIFA secretary Jerome Valcke reported a month ago to BBC sport that Brazil is not totally ready for the tournament due to construction delays. As two stadiums in Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo are still not completed. Again the current political climate in Europe is not good enough for such festival. But its mere a hope that the hosting country will be capable of preparing themselves at the last minute quite enough to convince a lot of people throughout the globe and stage the event after 64 years.
Now we can have a look at the positive things, FIFA bringing the local conjunctions along the event itself. Recent announcement of $1 million television production internship program for Brazilian students is a great chance for them to gain invaluable work experience. Involving local students and providing professional training is sure-to-be thrilling opportunity for the local. FIFA is targeting for a potential boom in international sports business and the financial support of a global tournament. Remarkable economic impact from the boom in tourism has been projected. Including a total number of 3.6 million visitors to the country will probably increase 47,900 jobs in the tourist and recreation arenas, which would be a notable injection of revenue into Brazil’s GDP.
We’ve managed to come long enough without discussing football as for Brazil, which is probably the off pitch factor that this event can become the most successful party ever.
Football fans, now a days looking ahead to the fifa world cup 2014 are undoubtedly disturbed with so many questions like….
Will Neymar pledge his status as the future big name in football by bringing world cup to his country? Who will take the top scorer status this year? Will Lionel Messi finally be able to deliver a World Cup to become truly one of the all-time greats? Will Spain be able to pursue a fourth successive win in a world cup? And the dark horses? Will Belgium’s new generation fulfill their potential as they look? Will Uruguay try for betterment? Any African team to go all the way? Will England anyway get over their self-made restriction to the final?
So many international heroes are now present on Brazilian soil. Zlatan Ibrahimovic can be considered the exception, due to Sweden’s playoff loss to Portgual more specifically to Cristiano Ronaldo(who will bring unpredictable level of global coverage that in return drie up interest throughout the world for the tournament).
So far all the talk has been of the present. While the World Cup must involve the next host nation putting on a trailer show to close out the current event. Hopefully this tournament will find itself at the intersection point between the new with the old.
What could be better for Brazil than to have the very old rivals Uruguay resurface as a strong adversary? A new-look Argentina side with Messi at the helm providing dominance will be even more fascinating?
The new Brazil team headed by Neymar winning on home is probably the one that can’t be ignored. On the streets and at the stadiums, the local mood may well be touching, as Brazil can recall hosting its last World Cup 64 years ago and consider the turmoil gone through in that time.
For Brazil as much as for FIFA — how this year’s event goes—World Cup will provide a glimpse into an exciting future. If Brazil successfully overcomes its last-minute difficulty and political problems, surely thy will be hosting an exciting tournament. And we all can hope Brazil would definitely conclude!
A group of death in a multi-stage tournament is a group which is unusually competitive as the number of tough competitors in the group is greater than the number of qualifying places available for the next phase of the tournament. The unofficial term was first used for groups in the FIFA World Cup tournaments. It is now also used in other association football tournaments and other sports.
In what’s being billed as the strongest and deepest World Cup ever, 12 nations in particular could lay claim to their group being the despised “Group of Death”.
GROUP OF DEATH: Group B (Netherlands, Chile, Australia,Spain)
Combined FIFA ranking: 84.
Chile’s the wild card here. They’re a nation that’s rarely kept off the scoresheet and add a certain scare factor for even clubs as talented as Spain and the Netherlands. The Dutch went easily qualifying while Spain’s only qualification hiccups were draws versus Finland and France. On the other hand Australia has to be feeling a great deal of hard luck.
GROUP OF DEADLY DEATH: Group D (Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy)
Combined FIFA ranking: 57
Group D will find Luis Suarez going against the nation who hosts his domestic team. The Uruguay which is also known as La Celeste boast World Cup titles from long ago (1930, 1950) and South American teams certainly have an advantage on European competition. They may have just peeped into the Tournament but Uruguay came within penalty kicks of a Confederations Cup win over the Italians last summer. Both England and Uruguay have twice played in the World Cup and each side winning while Uruguay purchased a 4-2 goals advantage.However that was a long time ago.
Costa Rica is UNCAF’s best nation and boasts victories over both the United States and Mexico in qualifying.
GROUP OF DEADLIEST DEATHLY DEATH: Group G (United States, Germany, Ghana,Portugal)
Combined FIFA ranking: 45
Group G is shaping up to be one of the toughest in the World Cup after Germany, Ghana, the United States and Portugal were all put together. It was always going to be a difficult one in terms of travel, with the remaining team in the group having the longest travel of any team in the World cup — that went to the U.S. — and it was made even tougher by a heaped group. Ghana, the U.S. and Portugal are all arguably the best teams from their pots and Germany is one of the favorites.
Behind the high level of competitiveness, Group G is also going to attract a lot of attention because it features Cristiano Ronaldo. This Portuguese superstar almost single-handedly led his team to the World Cup with dominant performances against Ibrahimovic’s Sweden in the UEFA playoffs.
To become successful in Brazil, CR7 is going to need some help undoubtedly. The side certainly didn’t get it from the draw, so it will be up to the performance of Hugo Almeida, Nani and Joao Moutinho to maintain their form so opponents can’t focus simply on slowing down Ronaldo.
The American squad is led by manager JurgenKlinsmann, led both the German national team and Bayern Munich. He is going to understand what the Mannschaft want to do and at least give the U.S. side a bit of determination.
Klinsmann talked about his team’s fortunes after the draw ended, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):
“Obviously it’s one of the most toughest groups in the whole draw, having Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and then Ghana, who has a history with the United States. It couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger. It’s a real challenge. And we’ll take it. We’ll take it on, and hopefully we’re going to surprise some people there.”
Ghana may be one of the best teams in Africa, but they haven’t been at their best for a long time. The aging of Michael Essien, as well as injuries and lack of form by some of their stars have left them susceptible.
The starting match of the group will see Germany play Portugal on June 6 in Salvador and it should be a pleasure. Even if Portugal don’t win, and they are long shots to do so, watching Ronaldo go up against a team as good as Germany will be a treat. At that moment, he is undoubtedly the best player in the world andOzil, Kroos, Muller, Gotze and Reus on the other hand will be as good as it gets.
Barclays Premier League: Liverpool vs Manchester City match preview
For a game that has been billed as a title showdown, Manchester City travel to Anfield knowing that after full-time only one of these two teams will have their fate in their own side.
Considering the crunch confrontation, the Reds are top of the table with five more fixtures to go, 4 points clear of third-placed City. Though, city has two games in hand over them.
Only two days before the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, a minute’s silence will be held, as a Kop mural displays “96” and “25 Years”. As a mark of respect, kick-off will be delayed by seven minutes, in line with other fixtures across English football this weekend.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique
Gerrard, Lucas, Allen
Borini, Suarez, Downing
Manchester City (Kompany, Negredo) 2-1 Liverpool (Coutinho),
Premier League, December 2013
Manchester City (Dzeko, Aguero) 2 – 2 Liverpool (Sturridge, Gerrard),
Premier League, February 2013
Liverpool (Skrtel , Suarez) 2-2 Manchester City (Toure, Tevez),
Premier League, August 2012
Whoever wins this match will win the Premier League, that’s what I think. The winners will have all the momentum, but if I’m being honest I can’t see either of them getting it. So can’t wait to watch it and I think it will be a very entertaining football match as Manchester City don’t go anywhere and vindicate. At the other hand Liverpool won’t sit back because this is their good chance to win the Premier league.
Definitely Sergio Aguero’s return will make a lot of difference to City. So Liverpool will struggle to live with him – but at the same time I have to say how Man City can live with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. At Anfield the atmosphere has been absolutely remarkable recently – and for the Liverpool players and fans to win this game and virtually win the league on the day they celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough. Been brilliant this season and winning 9 games on the run is a huge ask in any league and truly I’m going for a 1-1 draw – although a 3-3 result wouldn’t really surprise me.
Daniel Agger (Centre-back) returns to Liverpool’s squad to face Manchester City on Sunday.
Top scorer of Manchester City, Sergio Agüero could also return for Sunday’s trip.
Liverpool have not lost any home match to Manchester City since May 2003.
After this match, City will have just one game against a team(another trip to face Everton) in the top half remaining,.
Penalty, Liverpool last scored was Steven Gerrard’s against Manchester City on January 25 earlier this year.
Manchester City are undefeated in their last five league games against Liverpool.
Still now these two teams are the top two scorers in the premier league this season – Liverpool have notched 90 times and City with 84 times. Chelsea are at 3rd with 65 goals.
Chelsea eluded all the probabilities, each of the predictions and prophecy to reach the last four of the Champions League quarter final on one of the greatest nights at Stamford Bridge. May be it’s a triumph of the human psyche or just one of those other things that sometimes happens in soccer.
Long enough, it appeared like Javier Pastore’s late goal in the first leg was adequate for PSG, but they were undone by a great punch from Ba that booked Chelsea’s 7nth Champions League semi-final appearance in last one decade. Probably Mourinho should have been the one bracing over his side’s hope in the competition, but it was Laurent Blanc who emerged for the first half in an obvious bid to calm any pre-match audacity.
Chelsea did not play exceptionally well. They hit the bar twice and found one last thrust when they really needed it, with four or five minutes of massive pressure culminating in Demba Ba’s conclusive goal. However home fans got there hope back with the Belgian’s replacement – Andre Schurrle, actually when he found the net 14 minutes after coming off the bench. And Chelsea’s anticipations appeared to agonize a huge blow in the 18th minute when PSG transfer target Hazard limped was injured and replaced. The momentum reversed on 32 minutes thanks to an old-fashioned long pass, David Luiz got to Branislav Ivanovic’s throw and flicked it to Andre Schurrle, who scraped the ball beyond Salvatore Sirigu.
A substantial team ethic permeate the Chelsea dressing-room, which makes them greater than the sum of their individual skills, a contrast to PSG, who still remain a puzzle of sparkling pieces waiting to be assembled completely.After going behind, the men from the French capital disposed little threat, and could have been two down when Schurrle burgled an effort at the crossbar. Soon after an Oscar free-kick suffered the same fate.
Mourinho played his last card, with 10 minutes left, sending on Torres for Oscar.
Right after 90 minutes Chelsea still had to hold on through four minutes of injury time, two corners and an astounding save from Marquinhos’s shot by Cech until the final whistle triggered an almighty commemoration.
One mistake, one goal and that brought obscurity for Chelsea. Lavezzi curled in a free-kick which Cech, stretching to his left, pushed away. It was never like Chelsea’s day neither like PSG’s, after Edinson Cavani had wasted a thriving opportunity to put the result beyond doubt, Ba became an unexpected hero.
Mental strength is the vital constituent for Mourinho’s men who have steel nerve about them and that will make them tough nuts to crack in the semi-finals. Mourinho has mirrored on his team’s “deserved” victory:
“I wanted Demba to play in front of the defenders, and Nando to defend Maxwell. I think we did enough in the beginning of the second half to score before, but we couldn’t. The team that decided to defend was punished, and the team that gave everything deserved to go through to the semis.”