Veteran basketball official, Howard McCatty, has agreed with the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association’s (ISSA) competition’s director, George Forbes, that the referees are to blame for the incident which forced game one of the ISSA Southern Conference under-19 basketball final to be ruled null and void and ordered replayed.McCatty, a former basketball president and currently a referees’ trainer and technical commissioner, said the match officials erred by not ensuring that the teams were checked, even though others are sometimes assigned to fulfil this task.”They (referees) should have checked the identification cards before the game started. But, here in Kingston, we usually have someone checking it, and they (refs) thought it was checked by the table,” he explained.CHECKING ID’S”But I would put the blame on the referees because a technical commissioner should be at the table to check all IDs. In Northern (Conference), I check all IDs before the games starts,” he added.Calabar won game one of the series, only for Camperdown to launch a protest against their opponents for not having their IDs available for the game.However, ISSA investigations revealed that Calabar had no IDs. Camperdown did not have their full complement either and, as a result, a replay was ordered. Forbes blamed the match officials for not upholding the rules.”Our rules are quite simple, and that is you must have an ISSA-issued ID. The referees are the ones causing the problem. How do they know that a player has an ID? If I am the referee and I know you and I say you can play, that does not mean you satisfy the criteria,” Forbes said recently.McCatty admitted that sometimes schools have ID issues when they come to games, and insists that once it can be verified that a player is legitimate, they try to accommodate the schools as best as they can. However, he says next season, there will be no room for such leniency with the regulations.
Tags: Express FCGeorge SsemwogerereHalid lwaliwatopUganda Premier Leaguevipers sc Vipers SC are the only side not to lose a game this season. (PHOTO/Vipers SC)Uganda Premier League Vipers SC vs Express FCSt. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende Saturday, 12-10-2019 @3pmKITENDE – Vipers SC will take on Express FC in one of the six Uganda Premier League matches to be played on Saturday afternoon.Despite both clubs taking different directions in terms of ambition in the last few years, the rivalry between both sets of fans has grown with time.It reached it’s peak in 2017/18 when Vipers thumped Express 5-0 at Kitende yet the latter was embroiled in a relegation battle.It is something the Red Eagles’ faithful did not take lightly and even up to date, still hold that memory frsh in their minds.When a first ball is kicked on Saturday, the two sides will very much want to win the game so as their fans enjoy the bragging rights early in the season.Vipers have so far been the team to beatg this season.Despite not sitting top of the pile, Edward Golola’s side are yet to lose a game and comfortably sit 4th with 14 points from six games. They are just 5 (points) behind leaders BUL FC who have played three more games.They have won both of their last two games on the trot, defeating both Proline and Police FC.For Express, they have also won their last two game in the league as they beat Police and Kyetume FC.They seem to be slowly picking form after a slow start that saw them win just one of their opening 7 games.The Red Eagles occupy 8th currently and can jump into 5th with victory over the venomsExpress FC are currently 8th on the standings.What they are saying ahead of the gameHalid Lwaliwa, Vipers SC captain“The League is getting tighter with each game.“Every team comes with an aim of picking results and we have to do everything right to score goals because it is the only way we can win.“We have to show hunger and urgency and pick maximum points because that ia the most important thing for us if we are to win on Saturday.George Ssemwogerere, Express FC head coachWe are ready the boys are in good shape and the morale is high so we expect to have a good game.I have no problem with Vipers’ form and being unbeaten but what I need from my players is to do what they are supposed to do we shall have a good game and a win against Vipers.Team newsVipers will be with out Allan Kayiwa who travelled to Ethiopia with the Uganda Cranes. Innocent Wafula is fully fit having missed the last game due to flue. Brian Nkuubi picked a fever and is doubtful for this clash. However Frank ‘Zaga Tumwesigye, Karim Watambara, Ibrahim Tembo, Bobos Byaruhanga , Ashraf Muguma and Rahmat Ssefuka are available for selection. Henry Kitegenyi is still waiting to make his debut for the Venoms since joining from Big league outfit Plascon Kansai.Express will be without Mathias Muwanga (Back), Emmanuel Baffoe (thigh) and Cyrus Kibande (Ankle). Who are all injured. Andrew Kiwanuka will require a late fitness test after injuring his foot prior to the Kyetume game. Tony Kyamera will come back after recovering from a knock against Kyetume and midfield duo Dennis Sserukwaya and Lawrence Kigonya will also be available after serving their one-match bans for accumulated yellow cards.Match Facts This will be 19th meeting between the two sides since October 2010.In the past 18 meetings, the Venoms have been dominant, winning 9, Express 2 whilst the other 7 all ending in draws.Vipers come into the game unbeaten in their last five meetings with Express (W3 D2).Last season, Vipers took four points off the Red Eagles including a 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture.The other games on Saturday @4pm-Bright Stars vs Kyetume FC-Busoga United vs Police FC-Maroons FC vs SC Villa-URA FC vs Mbarara City FCComments
Vipers SC are yet to lose a game this season. (PHOTO/File)Uganda Premier League Vipers SC vs BUL FC St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende Tuesday, 22-10-2019 @4pmKITENDE – BUL FC have been the surprise team of the 2019/20 season.After nine games, Peter Onen’s side sit top of the league with 19 points, two ahead of Vipers SC.With a game in hand, BUL have already won six of their games, losing one and drawing the other.Since losing 3-0 to arch rivals Busoga United on match day three, Onen’s side has not lost any of their last five games and have gone on to win four of those encounters.If they have not impressed you yet, the check out their last two games.They defeated Defending champions KCCA FC 3-0 at home before coming from behind to beat Tooro United 2-1 in Fortportal.On Tuesday afternoon, they take on Vipers SC at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.It is a game that will put BUL’s title resolve on the at most test as Vipers are one of the sides expected to challenge for top honours week in and out.For Vipers, they are the only unbeaten side in the division and will come into the game hoping to maintain that run.After seven games, they have collected 17 points after winning five and drawing two of these games.Their last three games have all ended in victory as they have beaten Proline, Police and Express FC in that period.The game against BUL will pose serious questions to the unbeaten run.“We expect a very tough game, noted Vipers head coach Edward Golola ahead of the game.“BUL FC are in great shape, a good club with amazing players but we hope to win on Tuesday.“It’s going to be tough but we are ready.”Vipers welcome back Allan Kayiwa who missed the previous match while on national duty away in Ethiopia. Karim Watambara picked a knock in practice and will have to undergo a late fitness test to determine his availability. Siraje Ssentamu is fit and after shaking off an injury that subsequently saw him miss the games against Police and Express FC. Geofrey Wasswa, Ashraf Mugume and Henry Kitegenyi are still waiting for their first appearances this season. Innocent Wafula resumed training with the rest of the team late and remains doubtful. Halid Lwaliwa, Paul Willa, Dan Sserunkuma and Fahad Bayo are also back from national duty having helped Uganda Cranes book a berth at the 2020 Chan Cameroon tournament.Match factsThis will be the 17th meeting between the two sides since November 2011-the first time they met.In the first 16 meetings, Vipers have won 9, BUL 2 with the other five all ending in draws.Vipers have gone six game without defeat against BUL, winning five and drawing the other.Last season, the Venoms defeated BUL home and away including a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture.Vipers are currently on a 10 match unbeaten run in the league, winning 8 and drawing two.At home, the Venoms have not lost any of their last five league games (W4 D1).For BUL, they come into the game unbeaten in their last 5 games (W4 D1).Away from home, they have won three of their last four games whilst drawing the other.The other games on Tuesday @4pm-Maroons FC vs KCCA FC-Kyetume FC vs Proline FCComments Tags: Bul FCedward gololaKCCA FCKyetume FCMaroons FCPeter Onenproline fctopvipers sc
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. After a holding the No. 1 Florida Gators scoreless earlier on Sunday, the Cowgirls ran out of steam to the tune of a 5-0 loss. Florida wins the Gainesville Regional and will host a Super Regional against the winner of the Tuscaloosa Regional.After being held scoreless in the first game of the day, Florida’s Nicole Dewitt opened the game with a two-run homer in the 1st. After runs in the 2nd and the 3rd innings, the Gators built a 4-0 lead through four innings and the Cowgirls were never able to get their bats going — thanks in part to Florida’s ace Delanie Gourney.On the other side, Florida’s early hitting necessitated two pitching changes by the 2nd inning. Shea Coats and Logan Simunek each had their shot before Kenny Gajewski went back to Brandi Needham who pitched seven innings earlier in the day.Oklahoma State ends their season 38-25 and makes postseason play in both of Gajewski’s first two season as head coach.“Going to the postseason consecutive years just means we have a lot of kids bought in,” head coach Kenny Gajewski said. ” That’s the bottom line. They have trust in us. When you have that kind of trust you can do anything. This program is back on track. We’ve still got a long way to go but we’re excited about the future.”
Arsenal 1 Ostersunds 2 (4-2 agg): Gunners through despite Emirates shock Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 05:56 23/2/2018 Getty Images Arsenal were beaten at home by Ostersunds but their first-leg win was enough to see them reach the Europa League last 16 on aggregate. Arsenal survived a huge scare to keep their Europa League campaign alive, progressing to the last 16 with a 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds despite a 2-1 loss at home on Thursday.The Gunners cruised to a 3-0 win in the first leg in Sweden last week but found themselves 2-0 down at half-time of the return fixture at the Emirates Stadium.A strike from Sead Kolasinac early in the second half eased some of the nerves in north London, though, and ensured their place in Friday’s draw for the last 16. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Ostersunds, who were only founded in October 1996, after Arsene Wenger had been appointed Arsenal manager, were fearless in their approach and sent the visiting fans into raptures when Calum Chambers’ own goal and Ken Sema’s strike put them 2-0 up in the space of 70 seconds in the first half.A Gunners team including Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck offered little by way of a response until the second minute of the second half, when Kolasinac lashed home from close range.Graham Potter’s visitors could not find the two goals they needed to complete a shock turnaround, but the performance will have given Wenger plenty to consider ahead of the EFL Cup final against Manchester City in three days’ time.6 – Arsenal have conceded in each of their last six games at the Emirates in all competitions; their longest run without a clean sheet there since April 2014 (seven consecutive games). Woes. pic.twitter.com/ESv5NmGM97— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 22, 2018Arsenal, no doubt with one eye on Sunday’s showdown at Wembley, made little effort to add to their aggregate lead during the early stages in front of a sparse home crowd.Ostersunds sensed the hosts’ complacency and Hosam Aiesh stunned the Emirates 22 minutes in, latching onto Saman Ghoddos’ long ball in behind Kolasinac and firing across David Ospina, with Chambers deflecting the effort into the net.Before the visiting fans had even finished celebrating, Sema capitalised on more slack defending from Arsenal, leaving Chambers for dead with a clever drag-back before rifling the ball into the bottom-right corner from the left of the penalty area.70 – There were just 70 seconds between Östersunds’ first and second goals at the Emirates. Unfazed. pic.twitter.com/PJqkveZv4x— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 22, 2018Arsenal responded with a spell of possession but offered very little going forward, with a flicked header from Danny Welbeck, which was comfortably held by goalkeeper Aly Keita, the closest they came to a goal back in the first half.However, 90 seconds after the break, they eased some of the anxiety around the Emirates. Full-back Ronald Mukiibi swiped at Hector Bellerin’s cross and missed, allowing Kolasinac to take a touch before smashing the ball into the net from 12 yards out.Arsenal began to look a little more relaxed, with Mohamed Elneny and Danny Welbeck each denied by good saves from Keita, but Ostersunds looked a threat until the end and the Gunners will have to improve significantly if they are to claim the first major trophy of the English season this weekend. Key Opta stats:- Despite progressing into the next round, Arsenal have now lost each of their last six home games in the knockout rounds of European competition.- Graham Potter is just the sixth English manager to win at the Emirates in all competitions (after Alan Curbishley, Phil Brown, Harry Redknapp, Michael Appleton and Garry Monk), but the first to do so in European competition.- Arsenal’s defenders have contributed 20 goals in all competitions this season, the most of any Premier League side (Chelsea 16, Man City 10).- The Gunners have conceded in each of their last six at the Emirates in all competitions; their longest run without a clean sheet there since May 2014 (seven consecutive games).- Ostersunds are the first Swedish side to win an away European match in England since Osters IF beat Tottenham in the 1995 Intertoto Cup.- Arsenal have scored nine own goals since Calum Chambers debuted for them in August 2014, while he has been responsible for 33 per cent of them (3 of 9). read more
Manchester United Vidic: Man Utd could win the Champions League Stefan Coerts Last updated 1 year ago 12:32 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty Images Manchester United Manchester United v Sevilla Liverpool UEFA Champions League Premier League Manchester United v Liverpool The former Red Devils captain believes Jose Mourinho’s men are equipped to succeed in Europe Former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic believes the Red Devils can win the Champions League this season as rivals Manchester City run away with the Premier League title.United are second and 16 points behind champions-elect City in England, but Jose Mourinho’s men are in the last 16 of the Champions League.After playing out a goalless draw in the opening leg at Sevilla, United welcome the La Liga side to Old Trafford for the return fixture Tuesday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And Vidic — who won the Champions League and five Premier League trophies during his eight years in Manchester — feels United are equipped to succeed in Europe.”It’s Man United. I know the Premier League is bigger, but I think the Champions League could happen,” Vidic said via ESPN.”When the season started, I said that I thought United had more chance to win the Champions League than the Premier League because the players they signed didn’t have the time to fit in.”Also, Mourinho is a tactical coach, knows Europe very well. He knows there are going to be scrappy games and how to get through them.”That’s my belief. To win, you need a bit of luck, but there is a chance to get to the semi-final or final. You never know. And if you win a Champions League, the players start to believe. They think: ‘OK, speak about me now.’ Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, they will look different than now.”Vidic, who said he wants to become a manager, was speaking ahead of United’s showdown with rivals Liverpool in the Premier League Saturday.United are second and two points clear of Liverpool, and Mourinho’s side can extend that gap with victory at the Theatre of Dreams.Previewing the mouth-watering clash, former Serbia international and United favourite Vidic again spoke about how he almost joined Liverpool before moving to Manchester in 2006.”In Rafael Benitez’s time. I spoke to him about a few things, but my wife was the main one who spoke to him,” the 36-year-old added. “He was interested in signing me, but I don’t know what was the problem at the time. I spoke to him before I signed for Manchester United, though. I didn’t meet, but we spoke over the phone, in my car in Moscow, with my wife translating.”I didn’t say no. They said just that they were interested, they want me. It was going to happen, going to happen. Then someone came and said: ‘Do you want to play for United?’ and I said yes. After two days, everything was done. Then Liverpool said they wanted to do the deal, but everything was done.”
This has been a lot of fun thus far. We enter the fourth quarter of the Fiesta Bowl with Oklahoma State trailing Stanford 28-24. Here are some links if you need to catch up.Part 1Part 2Part 3• Stanford starts the fourth with a 30-yard Jordan Williamson field goal, the only field goal he’d make in the game. It’s 31-24 Stanford.• Williamson’s ensuing kickoff went out of bounds. Talk about a rough day at the office.• Oklahoma State goes 60 yards in eight plays and caps its drive off with a 17-yard Justin Blackmon touchdown reception. Make it six catches, three touchdowns and 158 yards for Blackmon to this point. Nuts. It’s 31-31.• I’m not sure what this strut is, but I like it: While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. • It was a big drive for Josh Cooper, who caught four balls for 34 yards.• Justin Southwell sighting:• Stanford responds with another classic Stanford drive, going 69 yards in 13 plays while taking 7:13 off the clock. It ended with a 1-yard Stepfan Taylor touchdown run. It’s 38-31 Stanford. OSU still hasn’t led in the game.• The clash of styles is so much fun to watch. It’s like if Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather were somehow in the same weight class. One team is seemingly going for knockout blows only, the other is taking a more methodical, tactical approach.• On the Cowboys’ next drive, they get stuck in an early fourth-and-4 from their 30. Gundy goes for it with under four minutes to go, and Justin Blackmon turns a simple slant route into a 21-yard gain. Every one in the tri-state area knew Weeden was going to Blackmon, but there was nothing Stanford could do about it.• That play seemed to suck the air out of Stanford’s defense. Weeden follows that fourth-down play up with completions for 19 and 16 yards, and those Nor-Cal boys are gassed.• Now at Stanford’s 4, Weeden gives it to Joseph Randle, and he takes it in to tie it up at 38. Randle struggled all night and finished with only 23 rushing yards, and, as a team, the Cowboys finished with 13 rushing yards AND WON THE GAME (spoiler alert).• It took four full quarters, but finally the Stanford defense was on E. Here’s a look at the Stanford defenders at the snap:• With fewer than three minutes to go, the Stanford offense has to pick up it’s pace, and the Cardinal look good doing it. I don’t think I appreciated how good Andrew Luck was watching this game live.• Stanford gets it to the OSU 17, smack dab in the middle of the hashes, and out comes Williamson with three seconds left.• Timeout Gundy, as he ices the redshirt freshman.• Stanford resets. The snap is good, the hold is good, but the kick might have not went through a set of goal posts sat up next to the actual goal posts. He hooked it left, just as he did in the first quarter.Tomorrow, we’re going to overtime.
I’m really enjoying Lois Kelly’s book, Beyond Buzz, which she mailed me after I blogged about the executive summary.In a written Q&A that was packaged with the book, she says this. Read it, substituting in your mind the words “nonprofit” for “company” and “donor” for “customer.”Avoid DOGLISH at all costs. What I mean is that companies speak their own language of what they think is transformational, innovative, or revolutionary to customers. Yet customers speak an entirely different language and don’t have a clue what companies are talking about. (Or they know and don’t care.) Sort of like when we ramble on and on to our dogs, and they look at us with this puzzled look wanting us to just say, “sit,” and “treat.” Talk about what customers want to know. Avoid the buzz words and self-congratulatory adjectives.I get a lot of Doglish in my inbox. Avoid at all costs the following doglish: sustainable development, empowerment of disenfranchised groups, CSR, interface, strategic, strategize, leverage, synergy, taking to scale… arf! arf!
World Cup Argentina vs Croatia: Live blog, text commentary, line-ups, stream & TV channel Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 14:20 6/21/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images World Cup Argentina v Croatia Croatia Argentina Powerade Jorge Sampaoli’s side have a point on the board but will need much more in their second game if they are to have a chance of getting out of the group That’s all from us tonight, we hope you enjoyed the game!Argentina now sweat on the result of Iceland’s clash with Nigeria tomorrow in Group D – and a win for the former would leave them three points off second place ahead of their own game against the African nation next week. Croatia will face Iceland themselves next week as they look to go unbeaten to the knockout stages. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar It all started going wrong for Argentina when Willy Caballero made a dreadful error to gift Ante Rebic a golden chance to volley home for the lead – but the simple fact is they were outclassed and outgunned across 90 minutes by a fantastic Croatia performance as the latter book their place in the knockout stages with a wonderful 3-0 win. A gorgeous strike from Luka Modric sealed the deal 14 minutes from time and an Ivan Rakitic injury time tap-in added some gloss; they march on to the round of 16 and leave Argentina’s World Cup hopes out of their hands. Full-time at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, it finishes Argentina 0-3 Croatia.FULL-TIME: ARGENTINA 0-3 CROATIA90+4mins: Corluka immediately picks up a yellow card as he slides in on Messi, denying the Argentina captain a final chance to break towards the Croatian box.90+3 mins: Vedran Corluka wins his 100th cap for Croatia as he replaces Mandzukic for the final few minutes of what has been a stunning second-half performance by his country.90+2 mins: Lionel Messi cuts a hunched forlorn figure down in the centre circle; his World Cup dreams look like they are on their way to being dashed once again.90+1 mins: RAKITIC! CROATIA LEAD ARGENTINA 3-0! From the corner down the other end of the field, Rakitic, Kovacic and Mandzukic break down the middle of the park with a leisurely pace. It’s Rakitic who puts the first shot on Caballero, saved by the keeper – but the ball deflects back to Kovacic who simply squares it back to the Barcelona man to clip home. What a showing from Croatia.90 mins: Meza cuts a neat path around three Croatian defenders on the edge of the box and turns a shot back in upon himself towards the right post; Vida slides in and puts it out for a corner. Four added minutes on the way.87 mins: Acuna comes in heavy on Vrsaljko on halfway and another yellow card is brandished by the referee. It’s been a feisty encounter, and tempers are spilling over at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.86 mins: Off the crossbar from Rakitic! That’s a brilliant free-kick, lifted over the wall and back off the top left corner as it dips. Croatia spear the rebound wide and away for a goal-kick.85 mins: Mascherano comes in with a clattering challenge on Rakitic and Otamendi tries to follow up with an attempted clearance that catches the Croatian in the face on the ground. A bit of a scuffle erupts between both sets of players, resolved with a free-kick 25 yards out for Croatia and a booking for Otamendi.82 mins: Mateo Kovacic is the latest change of the game, coming on for Perisic as the game gets back underway.81 mins: Brozovic gets the assist, but the credit goes to both him and Rakitic after the pair combined down the left wing to cut open the opposition defence. Fantastic stuff from Croatia; they are in full flow now.80 mins: GOAL! WHAT A SENSATIONAL STRIKE FROM LUKA MODRIC! CROATIA LEAD 2-0! That was pure class from the Real Madrid man as, played a square ball by Brozovic out on the right, launches a beautiful right-footed effort that curls around Tagliafico and nestles in at the right post. Croatia wheel away in wild celebration; halfway up the field, Lionel Messi stares with misery at the turf. Argentina are heading for defeat.79 mins: Acuna and Perisic hurtle down the right wing chasing a ball clipped on by Modric; the former goes down under pressure from the latter as they approach the Argentina box and wins a free-kick.77 mins: Rakitic walks slowly to the side of the field after a prolonged break in play, but is not substituted as the game continues.75 mins: Rakitic goes down in the centre circle and stays down as play continues around him. Eventually play is halted by the referee in the midst of a sustained spell of pressure from Argentina, to the outrage of their players who react furiously.73 mins: Strinic clips Messi to the ground near the Argentina box and the two have a little bit of afters, following which the latter is awarded a free-kick.71 mins: Dybala makes a quick impact, spearing a shot over the crossbar from 18 yards out on the right. It’s not too shoddy an effort either; Croatia’s defence is still somewhat loose around the box.69 mins: Argentina’s desperation is palpable right now, especially as another loose pass in midfield allows Modric and Rakitic to tear down the left wing. They manage to defuse the danger through Otamendi but Croatia aren’t sitting back to protect their lead, pressing for a second goal of their own.68 mins: Perez is the final man to be substituted by Argentina as Paulo Dybala arrives.67 mins: Vrsaljko now gets a booking after he clatters Acuna out on the left wing with a heavy-footed challenge for the fourth yellow card of the game.66 mins: Mandzukic hits the side netting! He is gets a glorious cross from Vrsaljko on the left and just steers it wide with his right foot under pressure from Tagliafico.64 mins: Meza and Messi miss on the goal-line! Superb scrambling defence from Subasic and Rakitic deny close-range efforts to scuff the ball over at the left post after Higuain puts a lovely flat ball in from the left wing. Croatia come away with their lead intact – just.60 mins: Croatia are playing with such buoyancy on the back of that goal now, but Argentina’s new changes are already making an impact; Pavon spears a neat pass through for Higuain whose square ball in near the opposition box takes a glance off Rakitic who clears before any serious danger presents itself.58 mins: Mandzukic cuts down Meza as he looks to break up a potential Argentina counter-attack and is booked for his foul by referee Irmatov.57 mins: Now Croatia make a change as goalscorer Rebic pulls up with a problem; he is off after a moment with Andrej Kramaric on to take his spot.56 mins: Perisic rockets another cross into the box for Croatia though Mandzukic can’t make anything of it. Argentina make another change now too; Salvio makes way for Cristian Pavon.54 mins: What a mistake from Caballero. As Croatia return to restart from their celebrations, Argentina make their first change as they seek to recover from a goal down; Aguero is off and Gonzalo Higuain is on.53 mins: REBIC SCORES! 1-0 TO CROATIA! That is an absolute howler of a goalkeeping error from Willy Caballero! Supplied a back-pass from Mercado, he mistimes his kick and chips it high – straight into the path of the Croatian winger who volleys it at close range into the top right corner. Argentina have just shot themselves in the foot.52 mins: Aguero gets through on goal through the left, only to stick his shot straight to Subasic with a tame finish. Argentina still looking for that instinctive touch in the opposition box.51 mins: Rebic breaks down the left wing on the back of a lovely Modric pass, and Mercardo catches him sharply to halt his stride. The Argentinian man is booked straight away for his foul.49 mins: Modric accidentally handles the ball 30 yards out from his goal and Argentina take a free-kick; Acuna’s first touch is soft though and Croatia are able to come away from their half unscathed.48 mins: Salvio pings a long ball down the right wing looking to pick out Messi or Aguero, but Vida gets a header to it first and plays it back to the safety of Subasic in goal.46 mins: The second half is underway!Zlatko Dalic is likely to be the happier of the two managers during the break; though his side have had less overall possession. They have offered more threat and twice as many attempts on goal as their opponents. As for Argentina, Jorge Sampaoli will have to decide whether to make an early change to improve the supply to Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero up front; both have been unable to offer much threat, despite the occasionally leaky work of the Croatian defence.Poor finishing and nervy defending is the story of the first half at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium as neither Argentina or Croatia are able to find a breakthrough. A pair of absolute sitters for Enzo Perez and Mario Mandzukic in the space of three minutes represent the best chances either side have had despite some shambolic back-line work from both teams – so at half-time, it remains Argentina 0-0 Croatia.HALF-TIME: ARGENTINA 0-0 CROATIA45+2 mins: What an awful finish from Rebic! A beautiful cross field pass from Modric finds him unmarked on the left wing but he makes an awful first touch and his follow-up steers the ball well wide to the right.45 mins: Two added minutes on the way at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.43 mins: Salvio wins another free-kick for Argentina off Rebic but his delivery deep is poor and a moment later, Croatia win themselves one after a foul on Vida by Messi.41 mins: Despite those aforementioned issues at the back for both sides so far, there has only been five shots in this game so far; two for Argentina and three for Croatia.39 mins: Rebic gets the first booking of the game as he comes in, studs up, on Salvio and catches him in the ankle. Argentina coach Sampaoli remonstrates loudly to the referee for VAR, wanting a red card; none is forthcoming.38 mins: Play is back underway and Subasic has an easy collection as Mascherano sticks a soft effort into the box.36 mins: Rebic concedes a free-kick inside his own half for a high challenge after he and Mercado clash in mid-air with the latter coming off worse.33 mins: Mandzukic! Another massive miss in this game, this time as Vrsaljko delivers a wonderful cross in off the right wing and the striker can only land a glance with his diving header from six yards out on the left, sticking it wide of the near post. How this game has not seen a goal yet is a minor miracle.32 mins: Bad defending is catching, it seems; Vida sticks a square pass across the back-line in sniffing distance of Messi and the captain puts it straight to Subasic.30 mins: What a miss by Perez! Meza fools Subasic and coaxes him out of his six yard area; a deflected square ball lands at the feet of the River Plate man and, with practically an empty net in front of him, pulls it wide at the near-left post. That could come back to haunt Argentina; a golden chance goes begging.29 mins: Despite being the more lacklustre of the two sides in Nizhny Novgorod, Argentina have seen more of the ball; they have had 57 percent of possession so far.27 mins: Meza wastes the set-piece and puts it straight into the side netting. Croatia get the goal-kick.26 mins: Argentina win themselves a corner now as Aguero intercepts a pass 40 yards out and carves a path into the box before seeing Vida deflect his low shot out over the crossbar.25 mins: Now it is Subasic’s turn to put himself under pressure as he mishandles a back-pass from Lovren and has to frantically clear his lines under pressure from Meza.23 mins: Croatia are looking to find the net for their sixth consecutive World Cup game, to extend their current record streak of five. They’re looking like they might, given the fragility of the Argentina back-line…21 mins: Acuna! The winger’s cross in from the left is hooked wide of the mark – and hits the crossbar instead. An almost accidental score for the Argentina man there.20 mins: Mandzukic intercepts Caballero’s pass to Tagliafico inside the Argentina box! The Croatian brings down the defender and concedes a free-kick in the process but that was an absolute howler of a soft delivery from the keeper to his left-back.18 mins: Tagliafico and Otamendi play it around the back only to put it out for a throw-in. Argentina recover and take it down the other end through Messi, only for them to concede a free-kick after Mascherano fouls Modric.16 mins: Perez and Rakitic both slide in on each other in pursuit of a loose pass and it is the latter who gets the free-kick just over halfway after staying down.14 mins: It’s a poor set-piece from Argentina who play it short and around the box, allowing Rakitic to hound them back into their own half with a speculative interception.13 mins: Superb block by Lovren! Meza arrives on the back of a cut-back pass from Salvio in the middle of the box and lashes it towards goal, with the defender getting his body in the way in time to deflect it. Corner to Argentina.12 mins: Messi! The Argentina captain can’t get the end of his foot on a chipped pass eight yards out from the Croatian goal and can only watch as it bounces into the hands of Subasic.10 mins: Chance for Croatia! Rakitic pings a lovely cross over to the right edge of the Argentina box which Modric turns back in for Rebic, only for Tagliafico to get wrapped up in it and clip it away from danger for Argentina. 9 mins: A moment later, Mandzukic has the favour returned as Tagliafico catches him on the foot and Croatia are awarded a free-kick deep in their own half.7 mins: Mandzukic clatters Otamendi as the two chase a ball in the Argentina half and the latter wins a free-kick, though he takes a moment to get gingerly back to his feet.5 mins: Mascherano is the hero for Argentina as he clears the set-piece at the second attempt following a nervy moment in the box following the in-swinging set-piece. Croatia will be all too aware of their opposition’s defensive flaws and their liability to be caught out at the back.4 mins: Strong attacking work from Argentina has kept Croatia mostly pinned in their own half but then Perisic sets off flying down the left flank with the ball to force them into defence. The attacking midfielder cuts in and spears a low shot in; Caballero gets his fingertips to it and pushes it away for a corner.2 mins: Rakitic is almost dispossessed by Aguero as the Croatian midfielder looks to bring the ball away from his own box; he manages to hold onto it before slipping a through ball down the centre for Modric which Perez picks up instead.1 min: Here we go!5 MINS TILL KO: The teams are out and the anthems are underway, so kick-off is just moments away!Messi set a personal record for the number of shots he has attempted in a single World Cup game against Iceland, firing the ball at the net an impressive 11 times. He of course failed to score – and as such has not had a goal in 21 successive World Cup shots.10 mins till KO: The pair have met on four previous occasions, with Messi scoring the winner on their last encounter in a 2014 friendly – but they have only clashed once at the World Cup. They faced off in the group stages of France 1998; Mauricio Pineda’s strike proved to be the goal to give Argentina the victory.Croatia defender Vedran Corluka is on the bench for his country today, but if he gets on, will make win his 100th cap for his country, becoming the second member of their World Cup squad to do so after Luka Modric.15 mins till KO: Sampaoli’s team thought they were headed for victory over minnows Iceland when Maximiliano Meza was fouled for a penalty in the 64th minute with the scores locked. Yet captain Lionel Messi saw his tame effort saved by Hannes Halldorsson and La Albiceleste couldn’t find a way through for the rest of the game, leaving Argentina winless in their opening game of a World Cup for the first time since Italy 1990 when they were shocked by Cameroon. Can they offer a roaring riposte today in Nizhny Novgorod?Dalic’s side weren’t the most convincing of winners despite their 2-0 margin against Nigeria, relying on a penalty and an own goal – and the coach has faced further difficulties off the pitch this week in the shape of striker Nikola Kalinic, who has been sent home from the World Cup. Kalinic refused to come on off the bench Croatia’s Group D clash, as he had previously against Brazil in a warm-up friendly, citing a back issue; no other player has been allowed to be called up to the squad in his place.20 mins till KO: A quick reminder of the team news tonight.ARGENTINA (4-2-3-1): Willy Caballero; Nicolas Tagliafico, Nicolas Otamendi, Gabriel Mercado, Eduardo Salvio; Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez; Maximiliano Meza, Lionel Messi , Marcos Acuna; Sergio AgueroArgentina subs: Franco Armani, Paulo Dybala, Ever Banega, Cristian Ansaldi, Marcos Rojo, Lucas Biglia, Gonzalo Higuain, Ángel Di Maria, Federico Fazio, Nahuel Guzman, Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian PavonCROATIA (4-5-1): Danijel Subasic; Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic, Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren; Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Perisic, Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, Ante Rebic; Mario MandzukicCroatia subs: Josip Pivaric, Vedran Corluka, Dominik Livakovic, Marko Pjaca, Lovre Kalinic, Tin Jedvaj, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramaric, Duje Caleta-Car, Filip Bradaric, Milan Badelj25 mins till KO: As for Croatia, they make just the one alteration to the team who claimed a two-goal victory over Nigeria in Kaliningrad; striker Andrek Kramaric is dropped to the bench as manager Zlatko Dalic favours a stockier midfield, with Marcelo Brozovic the man to replace him.30 mins till KO: Team news now as we await kick-off and Argentina have switched it up for their penultimate game of the group stages, as they look to bounce back from their lacklustre first-game showing. Angel Di Maria is among a trio of players dropped from the starting XI, alongside Marcos Rojo and Lucas Biglia, as Jorge Sampaoli opts to ring the changes; they are replaced by Marcos Acuna, Gabriel Mercado and Enzo Perez respectively. 35 mins till KO: Argentina and Croatia meet in the third game of Group D at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod tonight. La Albiceleste are looking to put themselves in the driving seat for the knockout stages after being held to a draw by Iceland in their opening clash – but with their opponents looking to secure a place in the round of 16 on the back of their defeat in Nigeria, will the 2014 runners-up have enough to get the three points?45 mins till KO: Hello and welcome to Goal’s live blog and commentary of the Group D match between Argentina and Croatia at the 2018 World Cup.Squads & Team NewsArgentina XI: Caballero; Salvio, Mercado, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Mascherano, Perez; Acuna, Messi, Meza; AgueroArgentina subs: Armani, Dybala, Ever Banega, Ansaldi, Rojo, Biglia, Higuain, Di Maria, Fazio, Guzman, Lo Celso, PavonCroatia XI: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Brozovic, Rakitic; Perisic, Modric, Rebic; MandzukicCroatia subs: Pivaric, Corluka, Livakovic, Pjaca, Kalinic, Jedvaj, Kovacic, Kramaric, Caleta-Car, Bradaric, BadelTV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BBC One or streamed live online using the BBC iPlayer. UK TV channel Online stream BBC One BBC iPlayer
World Cup 2018: Spain tops group despite dramatic draw Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 05:20 6/26/18 Getty Images Fernando Hierro’s side finish above Portugal in Group B after a 2-2 draw against Morocco in Kaliningrad. Spain booked a last-16 World Cup clash with hosts Russia after a last-gasp 2-2 draw against already eliminated Morocco in Kaliningrad.The 2010 champions started Monday on top of Group B but seemed certain to slip below their rivals in the final table as both matches entered stoppage-time with Portugal and Morocco leading.Spain went behind when Andres Iniesta and captain Sergio Ramos somehow allowed Khalid Boutaib to corral a loose ball and run clear to score Morocco’s first goal at the finals since 1998. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Iniesta soon made amends, though, skipping through the Morocco defense to set up Isco, with Spain unable to break down their opponents despite dominating.When Morocco substitute Youssef En-Nesyri got up highest to thump home a brilliant header from a Faycal Fajr corner with nine minutes to go, Herve Renard’s men looked set to claim a memorable victory.But after another substitute, Iago Aspas, tucked in a superbly improvised finish that survived a lengthy VAR review for offside, while Iran struck a late penalty, Spain somehow finished top of the group.Spain showed signs of its bewitching best in possession but Fernando Hierro’s side must show serious improvement in the knockout stages if they have ambitions to claim their second World Cup.WHAT DRAMA.#ESP go through to face #RUS on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/DdrFnn3lLM— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 25, 2018A testy start to the game saw Gerard Pique perhaps fortunate to avoid punishment for a two-footed lunge on Boutaib.Morocco’s lone forward then gave his side a shock lead in the 14th minute, capitalizing on a terrible mix-up between Ramos and Iniesta.The duo’s shared lapse in concentration allowed Boutaib to steal possession on the halfway line, burst through on goal and put a neat finish through the legs of David de Gea.The first #MAR goal at a #WorldCup in 20 years…Nice one, @khalidboutaib ! #ESPMAR 0-1 pic.twitter.com/6Que24knQB — FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 25, 2018 That goal was Spain’s wake-up call, Iniesta and Diego Costa combining quite brilliantly to set up Isco for a slammed close-range finish that tied the scores five minutes later.Boutaib scampered clear again in the 25th minute when Morocco took a quick throw-in, but De Gea — beaten from all four shots on target he had faced at the World Cup — stayed tall to save.Morocco threatened to lose its discipline with Nordin Amrabat, Manuel da Costa and Moubarak Boussoufa all booked in a tempestuous three-minute period before Sergio Busquets planted a free header from Isco’s corner over the crossbar.4 – Morocco were shown four yellow cards in the first half agaist Spain – since 1966, the only other occasion of a team having more in the first half of a World Cup game was also by Morocco (5 v Netherlands in 1994). Crunch. #ESPMAR #MAR #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/DuEfNbOIRr — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 25, 2018 Pique was lucky again early in the second half when the defender appeared to handle the ball in the box, with Morocco agonizingly close to regaining the lead in the 55th minute.Given space to let fly from at least 25 yards out, Amrabat’s strike had De Gea completely beaten but the goalkeeper gratefully saw the ball bounce off the woodwork.Isco thought he had added to his nine Spain goals scored since the start of 2017 with his looping header dipping under the crossbar, but Romain Saiss made a sensational clearance, Pique heading wide from the resulting Isco corner.Hierro introduced Marco Asensio and Aspas as Spain sought a late winner but Morocco’s determined defending held them at bay.Although only Iran shocking Portugal could have dumped Spain out, En-Nesyri thundered home a stunning header that left De Gea helpless again.And when Aspas turned home Dani Carvajal’s cross after a short corner — the goal given by VAR after a long delay— Spain was tied in the first minute of added time.With more high drama elsewhere — Karim Ansarifard smashing home an equalizing spot-kick for Iran — Spain leapfrogged Portugal to Group B’s summit and will now play Russia in the last 16. read more