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ASTON VILLA VS SWANSEAAston Villa have not won in the Barclays Premier League since the opening day of the season at Bournemouth and last won at home in the league in May against West Ham. But after a four-game unbeaten start, Swansea have taken two points from their last five outings in the league.LEICESTER CITY VS CRYSTAL PALACELeicester’s games at the King Power Stadium have seen goals in abundance with 20 scored there (10 by Leicester), the most in the Premier League. Palace lost 3-1 at home to West Ham last Saturday, but they have won three and lost just one of their four away games so far. In three Premier League visits to Leicester, they have won two and drawn one.NORWICH CITY VS WEST BROMNorwich City have dropped from eighth place in the Barclays Premier League to 16th following a run of four games without a win, and they have conceded20 goals, the most in the division. But West Bromwich Albion have scored only seven goals, the fewest in the top flight.STOKE CITY VSWATFORDStoke City are on a roll; after six games without a win in the Barclays Premier League, the Potters have won their last three – four including the Capital Cup – and bid to claim a fourth straight league victory for the first time since December 2011. Watford, meanwhile, are seeking only their third win of the season in the league and first in four games.BOURNEMOUTH VS TOTTENHAMPrevious results point to a game with few goals. Games at the Vitality Stadium have produced just seven, four from Bournemouth and three by the opposition. And Spurs have scored just four and conceded four on the road. Tottenham have not lost in the league since the season’s opening day, but have drawn five of their last eight.LIVERPOOL VS SOUTHAMPTONLiverpool have won their last three games against Southampton, but the last five clashes between these teams at Anfield have seen the winners claim the points by only a one-goal advantage. Overall, Southampton have won just three times at Anfield in the Premier League while losing nine and drawing four.
REGISTERING victory will be the prime target for Jamaica’s senior men’s national football team when they tackle Panama in a Group B CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) match at the National Stadium tonight, beginning at 9 p.m. The match is one of six in the Fourth Round (Semi-finals) series, which consists of three groups of four, from which the top two will advance to the six-nation (Hexagonal) to make the ultimate challenge for places at the 2018 Finals in Russia. Reggae Boyz head coach Winfried Schäfer has rounded up close to his strongest squad for the match, with practically all the players who participated in their successful summer campaigns at the Copa America and the CONCACAF Gold Cup at hand. “Panama plays good against Jamaica in the past. Now we have to change this. We’ve to win. But it’s not easy,” said Schäfer, who will not be on the bench owing to a one-match ban by FIFA for a verbal spat with match officials after winning in Nicaragua. “From the first minute, we’ve to control the match. This will not be easy. We have to find a way to do what we’ve to do in the match. The players have to be intelligent,” the 65-year-old German reasoned. In the South American championship, they lost 1-0 in group games all the time despite playing well against Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, teams loaded with world-class players. Against regional rivalry, they created history by advancing to the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time. They lost 3-1 against Mexico. However, this is not a time to rest on laurels. Jamaica were given a harsh reminder in third-round clashes against Nicaragua as they faced elimination following a 2-3 home loss on September 5. In the return clash in Managua, thanks to Simon Dawkins’ goal at the death, they beat the Central Americans 2-0 to prevail 4-3 on aggregate. Had Dawkins not scored and Jamaica won 1-0 to even up the scoring aggregate 3-3, the Jamaicans would have been knocked out of 2018 WCQ by way of the away goals rule. Matches at this stage promise to be more difficult in what can be considered the Group of Death (toughest group) as all the teams, on current form, are among the strongest in the confederation. Costa Rica, quarter-finalists in last year’s World Cup Finals in Argentina, and Haiti, both made the Gold Cup quarter-finals, while Panama, though playing from the first half and through extra-time with 10 players, lost 1-0 to a last-minute controversial penalty against Mexico in the semi-finals. “Our group is very strong … all four teams can go in the next round,” Schäfer observed,” noting the reason they would be hunting an early advantage in the qualification. “It’s very important for the players to go to a Haiti with a win,” he said. The fact that their number 10 player, Luis Tejada, was sent off against Mexico, though controversially as well, tells another story about the Panamanians. They play very hard and fight, literally, tooth and nail, never giving up. This makes them very hard to beat. Tejada is still unavailable as he is serving a two-match ban. In the interim, their goal hunt will be led by Roberto Nurse and Armando Cooper. Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have experienced Panama’s toughness all the time, with both teams notching two victories apiece and sharing four draws in their past eight encounters, dating back to September 2004. Their closeness is also reflected by their rankings – Jamaica at 61 and Panama 65. Neither has ever won by more than one goal, and when they last met for WCQ, in 2013, the results were 0-0 in Panama and 1-1 at the National Stadium. Other matches that may have included current players saw Panama winning 1-0 at ‘The Office’, before the Boyz exacted revenge with a 2-1 victory in Panama City. That was in 2012. “It’s a very strong team. We have to concentrate 100 per cent and fight and be disciplined on the field,” the Jamaican coach noted as he called for crowd support. “I hope the stadium is full. That is important.” Now, as far as team building for these crucial WCQ matches, the Boyz are at a delicate stage. They appeared to have built a very good defensive system through Copa and the Gold Cup, but some key players were missing against Nicaragua and especially in the first game, when it all went to pieces. Now, captain Rodolph Austin is back to partner Je-Vaughn Watson in central midfield, as well as influential flank midfielders Joel (Jobi) McAnuff and Garath McCleary, plus Wes Morgan, the Leicester City captain and defence line leader. As they have been playing together in competition for some time, they make for a stronger and more understanding system of defence. Others complementing that sector are Adrian Mariappa, an offensive threat at times, and Michael Hector, who was unnecessarily booed last occasion at the stadium. Also among the defensive options is Alvas Powell, who is still being rewarded with a spot in the Jamaica team despite walking out on his country at the Gold Cup, following their match against El Salvador in Toronto nearly three months ago. Offensively, the team has had problems scoring goals. With two per game against Nicaragua, they made fair improvements. It is also fair to predict that there will be need for better finishing as Panama are up a notch. As far as scoring goes, and for the Jamaica team, Darren Mattocks is the man. He has scored one goal in the last four games for Jamaica – in both clashes against Nicaragua, against Mexico in the Gold Cup final, and against the United States in the semi-final. Giles Barnes, his strike partner, has scored a couple but is also somewhat unlucky, with a number of his shots crashing into the goalposts or being saved. McCleary, McAnuff, and Simon Dawkins, who netted the spectacular life-saving goal against Nicaragua at the death, also numbers among the scoring options, which have a new recruit in Britain-based six-footer Clayton Donaldson. “I’m happy about those players who played against Nicaragua,” said Schäfer, adding that “Mariappa was a good leader”. He said they showed a lot of character, much of which will be needed to secure victory in tonight’s challenge against hard-to-beat Panama. No time to rest Two-match ban
The Reggae Warriors conceded 18 points in the last 17 minutes and were eliminated from contention for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup as their do-or-die match against Canada ended in a thrilling tie on Tuesday.The Warriors, who lost 20-14 against the United States last week Friday, looked certain winners against the Canadians, a team they had never beaten.The Warriors were all over the Canadians early on and Wayne Rettie’s try in the 53rd minute seemed to put them back into contention for World Cup qualification. The Canadians had other ideas, as full back Robin Legault crossed for two tries in three minutes in an astonishing climax.Canada could have capped an amazing comeback for the win had Canadian scrum half and co-captain, Steve Piatek, who had scored the equalising conversion from the touchline to Legault’s second try, not missed with a final second drop goal attempt.NO SHAME IN LOSSWarriors head coach Romeo Monteith was devastated.”I’m proud of the performance from the team. There’s no shame in losing to the world No. 10 by six points, and drawing with the world No. 12 in these qualifiers. We tried our best and I wish we could have held on at the end, but it wasn’t to be, and we have to move on,” he said. “Canada had more urgency towards the end. They had one particularly dangerous play, turning the ball inside from the play … to the full back that kept opening up our middle. We needed more discipline there; we were calling for the team to be tighter around that area, but we weren’t.”Lamont Bryan opened the scoring in the 21st minute, barrelling over from close in, Joel Farrell converting and, five minutes later, the Jamaican lead was doubled, crisp passing seeing Corey Hanson and Richie Barnett combining to send in winger Alex Brown for a lovely score, Farrell wide with the conversion.Canada will play the USA on Saturday, with a World Cup berth awaiting the winners.
LONDON (CMC):Somerset officials said they were anxiously anticipating Chris Gayle’s appearance in the Twenty20 Blast later this year, after the West Indies batting star signed off on a six-match deal to represent the English county.The 36-year-old Jamaican had a massive impact when he played in last year’s tournament, smashing scores of 92, 151 not out and 85 not out to pile up 328 runs in just three games.Director of Cricket Matthew Maynard said the club was already looking forward to Gayle’s presence.”We are absolutely delighted to have secured the services of Chris Gayle once again. He is a genuinely world-class player and was absolutely phenomenal for us last year,” Maynard said.”He is probably the biggest name in the sport at the moment and his performances in the Big Bash recently have only underlined his status as one of the most explosive players that cricket has ever seen.Club chief executive Guy Lavender said what had been even more impressive about Gayle during his stint with Somerset last year was his community involvement and charity work.This aspect, Lavender pointed out, had been a key factor in extending the relationship with the superstar left-hander.”Everyone sees the runs that he scores, but not everyone will be aware of his willingness to help off the pitch. It is these two elements which have maintained our desire to ensure that he would be back with us in 2016.”Gayle is arguably the most valued T20 batsman in the international game and is coming off a successful outing in the Australia Big Bash for Melbourne Stars.His stint for Somerset will run from June 1-17 following his campaign in the Indian Premier League, and Gayle says he is keen on helping Somerset qualify for the advanced rounds of the competition.”I really enjoyed my time at Somerset last year. It’s a great Club and the supporters were absolutely incredible,” Gayle said.”I’m looking forward to seeing the fans again and to scoring some more runs. Hopefully, I can help the club make it through to the later stages of the NatWest T20 Blast.”
KINGSTON:Defending champions St Jago High School is favoured to retain the title, as Jamaica’s top 16 high school chess teams do battle in the finals of the 2015/16 Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) National School’s Chess Championships, at the PCJ Auditorium in New Kingston today and tomorrow.The finalists include defending champions St Jago High A, Campion College, Mannings A and B, Ardenne, Jamaica College, Wolmer’s Boys’, Glenmuir A and B, St Jago B, Calabar, St Catherine A and B, Excelsior A and B and Decarteret College.This year’s format will see all the teams playing four rounds and the team with the most points at the end of the tournament will be crowned national champion. This new format, according to the Jamaica Chess Federation, will allow more teams to experience the intensity and excitement of the finals, which was normally only contested by the top corporate and rural area teams.St Jago A retained all their players from last year’s championship team and are the overwhelming favourites. However, strong challenges are expected from Campion College, Ardenne and Wolmer’s Boys’. Calabar High, which boasts Jamaica’s national junior champion, National Master Shreyas Smith, may cause some trouble for the defending champions.Two matches will be played on both Saturday and Sunday. Match time is scheduled for 10 a.m.
LONDON, England (AP): Seeking to mend his relationship with manager Pep Guardiola, Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure apologised yesterday for outbursts by his agent. A statement of contrition was demanded two months ago by Guardiola before Toure would be considered for selection again. But it’s still not clear if the four-time African Player of the Year will play again for City. “I wish to apologise – on behalf of myself and those who represent me – to the management team and all those working at the club for the misunderstandings from the past,” Toure wrote on Facebook. “Those statements do not represent my views on the club or the people who work there.” While Guardiola was receptive to Toure’s statement, the midfielder’s representative, Dimitri Seluk, had other ideas. Seluk infuriated Guardiola in September by accusing the manager of humiliating Toure by leaving him out of City’s Champions League squad. “Maybe Toure has apologised. But I don’t know for what. I think Yaya (doesn’t) mean this,” Seluk said yesterday in an interview with Talk Sport radio shortly after the 33-year-old Toure published his statement. Still, Guardiola cautiously welcomed yesterday’s apology. “We spoke this morning and, of course, it’s private,” Guardiola said. “I read what he wrote and that’s all. Of course it is good news for Manchester City. “Yaya is in all meetings and all our training sessions,” Guardiola said, shedding little light on Toure’s playing future. Toure struggled for form last season and could have trouble adapting to Guardiola’s high-energy pressing game. “I have nothing but respect for Manchester City and only wish the best for the football club,” Toure said in his apology. “I am immensely proud to have played a part in the club’s history and want to help City succeed further. I live to play football and entertain the fans.”
IMPRESSIVE TOTALS NOT UP TO STANDARD Other impressive totals which were recorded included the Leeward Islands 336 for six against the Windward Islands, and Barbados’ 314 for seven against the Leeward Islands, and of the 11 centuries scored, three came from Kieron Powell, two from Brathwaite, two from Hope, and one from veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul, with Jamaica’s Rovman Powell scoring a blistering 95 of 45 deliveries in the semi-final, a performance which he followed up with five for 36 also in the semi-finals. Right behind Kieron Powell’s 513 runs at an average of 87.99 came Kraigg Brathwaite with 484 at 65.40, Hope with 482 at an average of 79.80 and quite a few batsmen who reeled off some glittering and important innings at crucial moments in matches. The bowling suffered this time around, although that was expected, partly because of the nature of most of the pitches and the brilliance of the batsmen. TOP OF THE CLASS The big six, however, were quite good, and especially so, the performance of the Leeward Islands – the home of players like Viv Richards, Richie Richardson, Andy Roberts, Curtly Ambrose, Ridley Jacobs, Winston and Kenny Benjamin. The Leeward Islands not only made it to the semi-finals, but they also had on show opening batsman Kieron Powell, who, with most runs, 513, and three centuries, strolled back into the West Indies team, and promising wicketkeeper in Jahmar Hamilton and Sunil Ambris, one promising wicketkeeper and two equally promising batsmen. Thankfully, the matches between the big six made up for those between involving the four ‘outsiders’, except for one or two matches, or games. The batting, especially, was delightful to see as the batsmen came up trumps this time around, with Jamaica’s semi-final effort being the pick of the lot. Four hundred and thirty-four for four off 50 overs was unbelievable, even though the approach of Jamaica’s batsmen disappointed on a different kind of pitch and against a different kind of bowling two days later in the final. It was something special and something to remember, however, just as good or better than Barbados’ brilliant display in the final when they were down, fought their way back, and then powered their way to 271 for nine with Shai Hope hitting his second century in a row and Jason Holder hammering 69 while blasting 127 runs in 13.3 overs for the sixth-wicket partnership. Although one understands the importance of development and the reason for the inclusion of the Under-19 team and also that of the American and the CCC teams, the tournament is a regional championship, and, as such, it should not be a place for teams which are not up to standard. Weak teams, as their performances, despite the presence of a couple of good ones, devalue the competition and they do not help development. There is a time and a place for the development process. The inclusion of Kent is even more baffling, especially and apparently as it appears that they took the West Indies tournament as a preseason exercise and nothing else. A tournament should be a tournament, a fight for points and for honours, and a testing ground to find out if one is good enough or not. It should not be used to technically prepare young players for a smaller, though globally bigger, tournament, and it should not be used to provide practice for anyone. On top of that, a tournament, especially one in which people are expected to attend and to pay to attend it in order to keep the game going, and will want to attend, must be filled with competition, good competition from start to finish. That is what attracts the fans, and will get them to spend their money. Top of the class, however, were off-spinner Ashley Nurse with a table-topping 26 wickets at an average of 12.50, pacer Ravi Rampaul, 19 at 15.42, left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, 18 at 10.22, pacer Holder, 18 at 14.55, and right leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, 17 at 17.88. Coming in with a good all-round performance was Rakheem Cornwall, and it is now left to see if he can get his weight down to make himself a worthy contender for a place going forward. As it is, Cornwall’s size and, therefore, his immobility in the field is against him. The disappointment of the tournament was undoubtedly the failure to assess the pitch in the semi-final match by Dinesh Randin when he won the toss and sent Jamaica to bat first, and although it might not have influenced the final outcome of the match, Nikita Miller’s decision to hold back Rovman Powell and send him to bat when the game was just about over. The tournament was a good one, however, and hats off to president Dave Cameron and the board members for a job well done. BIG SIX GOOD The Super50 cricket season ended in Antigua a few Saturdays ago, and looking at the ESPN coverage, it was a season to cherish and one which seems to augur well for the future of West Indies cricket. It was a season which all West Indians, especially those who love cricket, were sorry to see come to an end and could not wait for the start of the next one. It was also a season in which the West Indies young cricketers, and especially so, their batsmen, demonstrated their pedigree and showed that with a little help, they were ready, or determined, to the make the fight back to the top. And the fans were happy, most of them, because Barbados, who played the best cricket throughout the competition and in the final, were the winners, because the tournament of 43 matches was long, but not too long, up from 15 matches in 2014 and 23 in 2016, and also because the cricket and the players on show were quite good and exciting. For years, we have been talking about the little cricket played, the need for more cricket, and the poor quality of play all round, and although this season was marked by the presence of the West Indies Under-19s, the ICC Americans, Kent, and the continued presence of the Combined Colleges and Campuses (CCC), this season saw an improvement in all three areas. The more cricket that is played, the better the cricket will be, and the better it must be.
Excited West Indies were one of four automatic qualifiers along with Australia, England and New Zealand, and enter the tournament as one of the favourites to take the title. In the 2013 final, they went down to the Aussies by 114 runs in Mumbai, and renew that rivalry in Taunton on June 26. They host India Women three days later at the same venue before travelling to the East Midlands to take on South Africa Women in Leicester on July 2. Their final game in Taunton is against New Zealand Women on July 6 before clashing with Sri Lanka Women in Derby on July 9, Pakistan Women in Leicester on July 11 and England Women in Bristol on July 15. A doubleheader opens the tournament with New Zealand Women playing Sri Lanka Women in Bristol and England Women taking on India Women in Derby. “We are extremely excited about the ICC Women’s World Cup being staged at four outstanding county grounds, which I am sure will provide the best possible showcase for the top players in the women’s game,” said Steve Elworthy, the World Cup’s managing director. “Today, the tickets for all the matches will go on sale and I am sure they will be in high demand as each of the competing countries have large support in England and Wales. This promises to be the best ICC Women’s World Cup tournament and I am sure everyone will want to be a part of the event.” LONDON, England (CMC): West Indies Women will open their Women’s World Cup campaign in June against arch-rivals Australia Women in a repeat of last year’s Twenty20 World Cup final in India. The Caribbean side and the Aussies also met in the final of the last 50-overs World Cup in India four years ago when the Aussies picked up their sixth title. They are two of eight teams clashing with each other in the round-robin preliminaries of the tournament, which will see 28 matches played from June 24 to July 23 in England. All preliminary games and the semi-finals will be played across Bristol, Taunton, Leicester and Derby, with the final scheduled for historic Lord’s in London. Automatic qualifier
OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson MOST READ “Normally it gets better during the rounds, but it didn’t come together. And that is what killed me. I felt it was there.”Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, shrugged off the boos of the crowd to hail the great Jamaican, even dropping to his knees to bow to his rival.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Gatlin said Bolt had told him “You don’t deserve all these boos.”“So I think for all that and inspiring throughout my career he’s an amazing man.” Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Usain has accomplished so much in our sport and inspired others like Coleman to come out and compete in the championships.“Usain said: ‘Congratulations, you deserve it.’ And that’s from the man himself. He knows how hard I work. Tonight was all about the W (win) and I managed to sneak it.”Gatlin played down the jeering, perhaps summing up the difference between him and Bolt perfectly by saying: “It’s not about the crowd: I tuned it out through the rounds and stayed the course. I kept my energy through the semis and came to the final to do what I do.“The people who love me, they’re cheering for me. They’re at home cheering for me and my coaching manager is cheering for me, and that’s what I’ve been focusing on.“I thought of all the things I would do if I won, and I didn’t do any of that. It was almost like 2004 all over again” when he won the Olympic 100m title before going on to claim a world sprint double in 2005 and then falling foul of doping laws. CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend US athlete Justin Gatlin kneels in front of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt after Gatlin won the final of the men’s 100m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 5, 2017. AFPLONDON, United Kingdom — Usain Bolt was left ruing a disastrous start as his failure to fire saw American arch-rival Justin Gatlin poop what was supposed to be a party in his final 100m race at the world championships on Saturday.“My start is killing me,” said Bolt, who battled back up through the field to claim bronze behind Gatlin and silver medalist Christian Coleman.ADVERTISEMENT 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Bolt had complained about the starting blocks in Friday’s first round, and left himself too much to do after finding himself behind Coleman.“It was rough,” he said. “I was a little bit stressed. But I came out like at any other championships and I did my best. Thanks for the support. I could never expect this from any other crowd. They are what pushed me to do my best.“The atmosphere was wonderful. I knew they would come out. I’m just disappointed I couldn’t do better for them but that’s how it goes sometimes.”Gatlin was loudly jeered by the sell-out 60,000 crowd at the London Stadium, where Bolt’s victory over him at the 2012 Olympics was hailed as triumph of ‘good over evil’ given the American’s doping-tainted past.“It’s just so surreal right now — I jumped in the crowd and went wild,” said the 35-year-old who has served two doping bans, the second between 2006-10, a period of forced exile that he credits has helped his track longevity.ADVERTISEMENT Teen gunned down in Masbate LATEST STORIES Gatlin gatecrashes Bolt’s 100m farewell party 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano View comments