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Edin Dzeko goal denies Republic of Ireland win and leaves play-off keenly poised

Edin Dzeko goal denies Republic of Ireland win and leaves play-off keenly poised

first_imgEdin Dzeko denied the Republic of Ireland a precious first leg victory as Bosnia & Herzegovina ensured a tense conclusion to their Euro 2016 play-off showdown. Republic boss Martin O’Neill, who travelled to Bosnia without key players Shay Given, John O’Shea, Jonathan Walters and Shane Long through a combination of injury and suspension, had impressed the importance of both a clean sheet and an away goal on his players. He very nearly left with both, although that would have been harsh on Bosnia, who dominated for long periods in a game which only really exploded into life at the end. However, that away goal could yet prove priceless as Ireland attempt to secure their second successive passage to the European Championship finals to join England, Northern Ireland and Wales in France next summer. O’Neill asked Ciaran Clark to plug the sizeable gap left by the injured and suspended John O’Shea, while Stephen Ward got the nod at left-back in a re-shaped defence on a night when what Ireland were able to do at the back was always likely to prove key to what their hopes of emerging with a positive result. Ireland reached half-time intact, as so often in the past, a testament to their organisation and commitment, and with keeper Darren Randolph having made only one save of note, and that not particularly taxing. However, they were forced to soak up pressure for almost the entire 45 minutes with lone striker Daryl Murphy isolated and playmaker Wes Hoolahan having little impact. Miralem Pjanic fired high over with 11 minutes gone after being set up 20 yards out by Mensur Mujdza and Vedad Ibisevic steered an inviting Visca cross into the side-netting 11 minutes later. But in the meantime, full-back Ervin Zukanovic might have broken the deadlock when a 14th-minute Pjanic corner reached him unmarked eight yards out, but he failed to make meaningful contact. Edin Visca was similarly wasteful after Seamus Coleman had intervened to cut out Dzeko’s driven 28th-minute cross but Zukanovic did prompt Randolph to make his first save four minutes later, with a firm header – but one which lacked the right direction. The visitors mustered their first attempt of the game two minutes after the restart when skipper-for-the-night Glenn Whelan took aim from all of 35 yards, but even with visibility significantly reduced by descending mist, keeper Asmir Begovic was able to watch the ball sail high and wide. But Visca was once again the most influential player, testing Clark and then Richard Keogh with teasing crosses with Ibisevic ready to pounce on both occasions. Randolph had to be alert on the hour when, after a cross was not dealt with fully, the ball fell to midfielder Senad Lulic beyond the far post, and the keeper raced from his line to block. The opening goal finally arrived with just eight minutes remaining, when Brady ran on to Edin Cocalic’s attempted clearance and cut inside central defender Toni Sunjic before blasting a shot into the bottom corner. But Ireland’s joy was short-lived as Lulic combined with substitute Ognjen Vranjes just three minutes later to allow Dzeko to level. Robbie Brady had fired Ireland into an unlikely 82nd-minute lead at the fog-swathed Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica after the home side had dominated in front of a hugely partisan crowd. However, Roma hitman Dzeko ensured that his team will head for Dublin on Monday evening level at 1-1 and with everything to play for. Press Associationlast_img read more

Explosive rushing attack leads Cicero-North Syracuse to Section III Class AA repeat

Explosive rushing attack leads Cicero-North Syracuse to Section III Class AA repeat

first_imgWith eight minutes left in warmups, as Cicero-North Syracuse marched in a straight, two-by-two line toward the locker room, parents and fans cheered and raised signs. One read, “They Can’t Stop What They Can’t Catch: #2.”West Genesee couldn’t catch Jeremiah Willis with 3:29 left in the first half. As he turned the corner and raced up the left sideline, he too knew that he couldn’t be stopped. He had a chance. A chance for not only a 77-yard touchdown run, but also a chance to provide a spark for the Cicero-North Syracuse offense that had been lacking early in the game.As he passed cameras around the 15-yard line, he stuck out his left hand and pointed. He wouldn’t be stopped. And for the rest of the game, neither would the Northstars.“Don’t stop. Don’t stop at all. That’s why I was thinking, don’t stop,” Willis said, “because if I stop, the team stops.”His touchdown run extended the C-NS lead to 20-0, and the Northstars used three additional rushing touchdowns in the second half, cruising in dominating fashion and defeating West Genesee 40-0 in the Carrier Dome on Saturday night. The win gave C-NS the Section III Class AA championship for the second-straight season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Words can’t describe it,” quarterback Conner Hayes said. “You would think doing it a second time, it would feel the same, but it doesn’t. It feels better every time.”The drive after Willis’ touchdown, linebacker Josh Lawrence sacked West Genesee quarterback Tyler Cook twice. Combined with a delay of game penalty, the Wildcats found themselves with a third-and-38. They punted, and as the ball soared down the field, any hopes of a comeback traveled with it. The Wildcats had held their own for the first 22 minutes, but the “athletes on the field,” as Hayes said, began to take over.C-NS opened the scoring on a fourth-and-seven midway through the first quarter. Hayes took the snap and rolled to his right. As two West Genesee defenders rushed towards him, looking for the sack, fingers on the C-NS sideline began pointing down the field.A streaking Shy’rel Broadwater emerged behind two West Genesee defenders who bit on the scramble, and Hayes hit him in stride. The senior ran untouched into the end zone for a 44-yard score.With 9:49 left in the second quarter, Hayes faked a handoff to Jaiquawn McGriff, rolled to his left, and found a slanting Geloff for a 10-yard touchdown.These two touchdown passes helped overshadow a half where Hayes was intercepted twice by Christian Rossi, including his first pass of the game.“We started out a little slow,” Hayes said. “I threw that interception, but we came right back and just kept playing C-NS ball.”Hayes finished with 144 yards on 12-of-17 passing with two interceptions. But on Saturday, the Northstars’ offense didn’t need him to do anything extraordinary. The running backs had him covered.Early in the third quarter, McGriff took a handoff and sprinted toward the C-NS sideline. At the 20-yard line, when a Wildcats defender closed in, he swung his right arm over and juked to his right, and continued into the end zone for a 43-yard touchdown run that increased the Northstars’ lead to 27-0. Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 3, 2018 at 10:41 pm Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrew Comments As the game’s MVP ran back toward the C-NS sideline, one of his coaches met him halfway, yelling “Hey, Hey, Hey, What? What? What? What?” in shock at the running back’s move.Minutes later he did it again, although this time without the Madden-esque juke. He took a handoff and ran up the gut into the end zone, causing “It’s All Over” chants to ring from the stands.“These kids are dialed in,” head coach Dave Kline said. “They have fun playing the game. You watch them? They have fun.”As the clock ticked down during the last plays of the game, with C-NS’s lead now 40-0 after a 43-yard run by Da-Ron Brown, Willis began to jump. He took off his helmet and began to run around the C-NS sideline pumping up himself, his teammates and the crowd.But as he lined up with the rest of the Northstars at midfield to shake hands with the Wildcats after the game, Kline, at the front of the line, motioned toward Willis.The senior needed to put his helmet back on. He had to stick to the C-NS way. The same way that led them into the state semifinals last season. The same way that allowed them to finish 9-0 in regular season play. And the same way they used Saturday night to advance and play Elmira.“One of our goals was the section championship,” Hayes said after the game. “But that’s not our final goal, I’ll tell you that.”last_img read more

Infantino sole candidate for FIFA presidency in June vote

Infantino sole candidate for FIFA presidency in June vote

first_imgThe election will take place on June 5 in Paris ahead of the women’s World Cup.Former Tottenham defender Ramon Vega had announced his intention to stand against Infantino, but failed to garner the required support of five of FIFA’s 211 member federations.Infantino has introduced plans to increase the World Cup from 32 teams to 48 from 2026, with the possibility to bring forward the expansion to the 2022 edition in Qatar.A decision is expected to be taken next March after a study into the feasibility of holding an extended tournament in the Gulf state.Michel Platini’s former right-hand man at UEFA is also hoping for an enlarged, 24-team Club World Cup from 2021.UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia, who will be re-elected on Thursday also as the sole candidate, is opposed to the idea.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Gianni Infantino is unopposed in the FIFA presidential election © AFP / FADEL SENNALAUSANNE, Switzerland, Feb 6 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino is set to serve a second term after world football’s governing body said on Wednesday he would be the only candidate for June’s vote.The 48-year-old has been in charge of FIFA since February 2016, after succeeding the disgraced Sepp Blatter following the corruption scandal which rocked the organisation.last_img read more

‘Danny Ings is the striker Liverpool have been crying out for’, says ex-England marksman

‘Danny Ings is the striker Liverpool have been crying out for’, says ex-England marksman

first_imgDarren Bent believes Liverpool have made an astute signing in Danny Ings.The England Under-21 international striker has moved to Merseyside after allowing his contract with Burnley to run out.Ings’ switch to Anfield comes after he enjoyed a decent debut season in the top-flight, scoring 11 times, and Bent has seen enough from the 22-year-old to suggest he can be a big hit under Brendan Rodgers.The ex-England forward, who has scored more Premier League goals [106] than Didier Drogba, told talkSPORT: “He has got all the quality to score goals.“I’ve only seen snippets of him at Burnley, but he seems like a complete striker and maybe he is what Liverpool have been crying out for.“No disrespect to Burnley, but he is going to get better service at Liverpool. It is a big jump, but I’ve got no doubts he will score goals there and do really well.”last_img read more