Carling FA Sunday Trophy Final

•July 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

SCOTS GREY ARE BEST SUNDAY SIDE

Well done to Scots Grey F.C, I had the pleasure of playing against this team for their local rivals ‘Poets Corner’ last season, we lost the early league game but I could tell from the amount of players they had in the squad and the standard of players that this was going to be the team to beat for the next couple of years.. please enjoy the match report below and once again well done ‘Scots Grey’ for putting Nottingham ballers back on the map..

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Juree Staples soars above the Martyrs defence to head Scots’ 92nd minute leveller

Scots Grey 4 – 3 Oyster Martyrs

It’s official; Scots Grey are the best Sunday football team in England. This was earned after a pulsating Carlsberg FA Sunday Trophy final at Anfield against Oyster Martyrs.
The Bulwell outfit travelled to the backyard of the Merseyside based club and came away with a fantastic 4-3 victory, after extra-time.
Scots started well and Allan Jefferies fired over in the first minute. However, Martyrs struck back and Graham Rooney (brother of Wayne) saw a freekick deflected just wide, before Jefferies had a close range effort tipped over.

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Greys went ahead after sixteen minutes as skipper; Mark Green’s cross was mishit by Jefferies but fell invitingly for Phil Bignall, who fired home from ten yards. It was almost one-all, two minutes later but Ross Whalin superbly palmed over Latham’s volley. Martyrs were applying pressure and only a brilliant last gasp goal line clearance by Luke Humphries denied Latham again.
The prompting Mick Galloway put Andy Frawley in to the left of goal but the long server fired over and soon after the scores were level, with Greys conceding a soft goal.
Martyrs won a freekick, twenty five yards from goal and Whalin was left rooted as Latham’s poorly struck shot rolled agonisingly past him.
Phil Bignall then saw the Martyrs’ keeper hold his close range header, before Whalin redeemed himself by tipping Thomas Rooney’s fiercely struck effort over the bar.

The second period started in similar fashion to the first with the Martyrs keeper making a fine save to thwart Jefferies, followed by an equally fine save by Whalin as Murdoch’s strike was heading for the top corner.
Fifty five minutes had elapsed when Graham Rooney nodded home from close range as he met Austin’s header back across goal from Smith’s deeply flighted free kick.
This inspired the Merseysiders and they enjoyed a period of supremacy as Scots struggled to get back on equal terms.
With the clock showing two minutes of five added for stoppages, Bulwell’s finest won a corner on the right and Juree Staples rose majestically to steer through a header from Mark Green’s well directed kick.

The game went into extra time, of which seven minutes had passed when Phil Bignall was hauled down in the area and the referee awarded a penalty. Alan Jefferies kept his head and steered the resultant kick beyond the diving keeper.
Martyrs again applied pressure but their efforts left gaps at the back and with four minutes remaining Scots exploited this to give themselves a two goal cushion.
Bignall was the instigator, steering a pass into the path of Jefferies, who advanced on goal and again showed a cool approach as he fired past the advancing Cannon and into the net.
However, the game was far from over and with two minutes remaining Lipson reduced the arrears with a fine drive from the edge of the box. The remaining time was nerve-racking but as the referee signalled full-time, the celebrations erupted from the sizable travelling contingent from Nottingham, who had lifted their side with constant rousing support from the famous Kop.

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European U21 Championship 2009

•July 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Young Lions crushed in final

Goals from Castro, Ozil and Wagner seal 4-0 Germany win

Young Lions crushed in final
Germany U21s: European champions

Goals from Gonzalo Castro, Mesut Ozil and a Sandro Wagner brace saw Germany Under 21s easily beat Stuart Pearce’s England 4-0 to lift the European Championship trophy.

Castro – who had scored against the young Lions in the group stages – found the net in the 23rd minute in Malmo, lifting his effort over the advancing Scott Loach into the bottom right hand corner.

Ozil then doubled soon after the re-start when Loach horribly misjudged his swerving long-range free-kick.

But England refused to give up and Lee Cattermole hit the cross-bar with a long range effort before Andreas Beck twice cleared off the line from Adam Johnson and Cattermole.

Wagner then missed a sitter at the other end for Germany before atoning with a quick-fire brace (79 & 84) to seal the win and continue Pearce’s jinx against Germany, after losing to them twice as a player in major tournaments.

Just as well senior boss Fabio Capello could not get a connecting flight to get to Sweden from the Confederations Cup in South Africa – this had too many reminders of past failures.

At senior level, England’s clashes against Germany have created so many memories – World Cup victory for Sir Alf Ramsey’s men, Paul Gascoigne’s tears, penalties and that famous night in Munich when it ended 5-1.

This clash for England’s youngsters was defined by the fact that Pearce had Gabriel Agbonlahor and Fraizer Campbell suspended, meaning Theo Walcott was the lone striker and had no support.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer did not make a save throughout the one-sided match, leaving Pearce to rue leaving Daniel Sturridge with the Under 20s.

Germany landed the first psychological punch when they opted to play in red despite being the “home” team, meaning England would not be wearing the colours of their finest hour when Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy.

Pearce, in any case, urged his youngsters to forget the past and make a new history, one where England would hold their nerve to the end unlike Italy ’90 and Euro ’96 when the Under 21 coach was a player.

By defeating Sweden on penalties on Friday they got over their spot-kick hoodoo in semi-finals – but facing Germany at the business end of a tournament is something different altogether.

Confederations Cup Final 2009

•July 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

USA Brazil

Home team Score Away Team

USA

  • Dempsey 10 Donovan 27
2 – 3

Brazil

  • Fabiano 46,74 Lucio 84
Brazil hit back to beat USA
Lucio: Celebrates winner

Brazil produced a stunning second-half comeback to beat USA 3-2 in the final of the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Having knocked out Spain in the semi-finals, USA appeared set to cause another shock after taking a 2-0 lead into the half-time interval.

Luis Fabiano struck early in the second period before the striker equalised on 74 minutes and captain Lucio headed a dramatic winner six minutes from time.

Fulham attacker Clint Dempsey provided USA with a dream start as he helped Jonathan Spector’s cross into the net after just 10 minutes.

And it got better for USA on 27 minutes after Landon Donovan drilled home a low shot following a quick counter-attack from the edge of their own box.

Brazil got back into the game within the opening 60 seconds of the second half when Fabiano turned sharply on the edge of the area before firing a shot beyond Tim Howard.

Howard had a lucky escape on the hour mark when the ball appeared to be over the line from Kaka’s header before the Everton keeper was able to push the attempt away.

The reprieve lasted until 16 minutes from time when Fabiano pounced on the loose ball to nod home from close range after Robinho’s close-range effort came back off the bar.

With just six minutes left on the clock, Brazil claimed the trophy when Lucio rose powerfully at the far post to head Elano’s corner beyond a helpless Howard.

Confederations Cup

•June 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Confederations Cup – Italy stunned by Egypt

Egypt scored their greatest ever victory in Johannesburg with a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win over world champions Italy who had never previously lost to an African team.

FOOTBALL Egypt's Mohamed Hommos celebrates with team mates after scoring against Italy during their Confederations Cup match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg - 0

The shock result means Group B in the Confederations Cup hangs in the balance with all four teams still able to progress to next week’s semi-finals.

Mohamed Hommos’s goal five minutes before halftime clinched the first points of the tournament for the African champions, who narrowly lost 4-3 to Brazil in their opening game.

Most of the Egyptians and coach Hassan Shehata shed tears of joy at the final whistle as they became the first African side in 15 attempts to beat the Italians.

Key second half saves from veteran goalkeeper Essam Al Hadari, who had an inspired match, kept the Italians at bay while Vincenzo Iaquinta hit the crossbar with just minutes remaining as Egypt weathered a late onslaught.

Brazil, who beat the United States in Pretoria earlier on Thursday, lead the standings with six points while Italy and Egypt have three.

Brazil and Italy meet in Pretoria on Sunday while the Egyptians play the Americans, who have yet to pick up a point, in Rustenburg at the same time.

Despite losing both games the US still have a remote chance of getting through to the last four.

Lippi made five changes to the team that started against the US with the return of fit-again captain Fabio Cannavaro, winning his 124th cap – two short of Paolo Maldini‘s all-time Italian record of 126.

Cannavaro, typically, added steel to the Italian defence, while Giuseppe Rossi, who came on as a substitute and scored twice against the US, added youthful zest to the attack.

Both teams enjoyed plenty of possession in their first meeting since Italy beat Egypt 5-1 in a World Cup qualifier 55 years ago, but it was a still a real surprise when the Egyptians took the lead five minutes before the break.

Italy only had themselves to blame, leaving Hommos unmarked to score with a powerful header from Mohamed Aboutrika’s perfect inswinging corner.

The Italians had also trailed the US 1-0 at the break in their opening match, before coming back strongly to win.

But Egypt held their nerve and their ground despite Italy bringing in attacking reinforcements Luca Toni, Simone Pepe and Riccardo Montolivo in the second half.

They might have known it was not to be their night when El Hadari made two fine stops in two minutes in the first half from Iaquinta after 24 minutes and Rossi, who forced the keeper into another fine save when he palmed the ball over the bar.

Egypt, despite winning only once in their last five matches and getting off to a poor start in their final World Cup qualifying group, never looked overawed by the Italians.

Mohamed Shawky and Sayed Moawad gave as good as they got in the midfield battle for supremacy, with Italy’s Gennaro Gattuso,

De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo battling to cope with the inventiveness of the African champions’ approach play.

Both teams threatened after the break, and El Hadari made another excellent save from Montolivo after 74 minutes to keep Egypt in the lead.

Iaquinta almost equalised for Italy five minutes from time, only to see his long range curling shot hit the bar and Italy’s hopes of winning the game bounce away with it.

Confederations Cup – Confederations Cup fixtures

A full list of fixtures and results for the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.

FOOTBALL 2008 Euro 2008 Germany-Spain trophy - 0

GROUP STAGE

Sunday June 14 – Group A

Johannesburg – South Africa 0-0 Iraq

Rustenburg – New Zealand 0-5 Spain

Monday June 15 – Group B

Bloemfontein – Brazil 4-3 Egypt

Pretoria – USA 1-3 Italy

Wednesday June 17 – Group A

Bloemfontein – Spain 1-0 Iraq

Rustenburg – South Africa 2-0 New Zealand

Thursday June 18 – Group B

Tshwane/Pretoria – USA 0-3 Brazil

Johannesburg – Egypt 1-0 Italy

Saturday June 20 – Group A

Johannesburg – 19:30 – Iraq v New Zealand

Mangaung/Bloemfontein – 19:30 – Spain v South Africa

Sunday June 21 – Group B

Tshwane/Pretoria – 19:30 – Italy v Brazil

Rustenburg – 19:30 – Egypt v USA

SEMI-FINALS

Wednesday June 24

Mangaung/Bloemfontein – 19:30 – Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B

Thursday June 25

Johannesburg – 19:30 – Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A

THIRD PLACE PLAY-OFF

Sunday June 28

Rustenburg – 14:00

FINAL

Sunday June 28


Confederations Cup – Brazil close in on semis

Brazil produced a stellar performance to hammer the United States 3-0 and close in on the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

FOOTBALL 2009 - Brazilian defender Maicon scores against the USA in the Confederations Cup - 0

First-half goals from Felipe Melo and Robinho were added to in the second by the excellent right-back Maicon after the US had been reduced to 10 men for the second match running.

Brazil were on top from the opening seconds, sending in free-kicks and crosses which had the USA defending desperately.

The States had earlier in the week impressed with 10 men against world champions Italy, even taking the lead, but with a full quota they struggled against the Brazilians’ natural flair.

Ramires was a danger bursting from midfield while Kaka pulled the strings and Maicon attacked constantly, linking with the irrepressible Robinho.

After seven minutes they had the lead. Ramires won the ball as the Americans tried to pass the ball out of defence and won a free-kick on the right, which Maicon whipped in. Melo rose unmarked to nod past Tim Howard.

Jay DeMerit blocked a first-time effort from Robinho as the pressure continued, and it was the Manchester City star who found the back of the net for 2-0.

Kaka instigated a counter-attack at pace, sending away Ramires on the right; the Benfica midfielder squared the ball to Robinho in the middle, who finished with aplomb.

Three minutes later Kaka – recently the subject of a big-money move to Real Madrid from Milan – took the ball on a dazzling dribble, skinning several players on the outside before turning it into the left side netting with Howard narrowing the angle.

The South African crowd were enjoying the show, blaring their distinctive trumpets as US captain Landon Donovan sought in vain to initiate an attack.

Panathinaikos midfielder Gilberto Silva should have made it three before the break after Maicon found his head unmarked in the box, but he nodded over.

US coach Bob Bradley threw on Conor Casey for the ineffective DaMarcus Beasley at the break and the States initially fared better, getting stuck in and closing the space available to Dunga’s side.

However, that approach left them a man down when Sacha Kljestan went through Ramires with a late challenge as play continued and Kaka saw a majestic shot beaten away by Howard.

It took Swiss referee Massimo Busacca a couple of minutes to make up his mind – the tackle could feasibly have resulted in either a caution or a sending off – and in the end, with Ramires carried off briefly, a red card was issued.

Just after the hour-mark, the US paid the price. Maicon surged forward and found Ramires, who passed straight to Kaka. The ball was set up for the onrushing Internazionale full-back, whose shot was deflected slightly into the goal.

It was little more than a training exercise for Confederations Cup holders Brazil – looking for a third trophy in the competition – but they had a pair of scares at the end.

First Benny Feilhaber struck the underside of the bar after Jonathan Spector had nutmegged a defender near the right corner and played a one-two with Donovan.

And the woodwork was hit again when LA Galaxy star Donovan’s free-kick was met by Casey in the dying moments of the match.

Confederations Cup – Spain on brink of world record

European champions Spain will set a world record of 15 successive wins if they beat hosts South Africa in their final Confederations Cup Group A match on Saturday.

FOOTBALL 2009 Confederations Cup Spain David Villa - 0

“This is important and although we are not constantly talking about it, we know we have a possibility to go down in history with this winning streak,” coach Vicente del Bosque said.

“These kind of records can never be questioned. They are hard fact that will be there for all to see.”

If Spain avoid defeat they will also match Brazil’s mark of 35 consecutive matches without losing.

“Once you have winning form it becomes important to keep up the momentum … and make the team unbeatable,” said reserve goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Del Bosque, though, hinted he might rest some players with Spain already sure of their semi-final place.

“This is an ideal situation to make some changes, giving some a break because we are not bothered about who we play in the semi-finals,” he said.

“South Africa have shown two different sides, more defensive against Iraq and more attacking against New Zealand. We believe they have some kind of magic, a real dynamic to their team.

“They are technically strong and have very powerful men in defence. Emotion is running high of course and they have their supporters behind them and for these reasons it will be a tough match.”

South Africa must avoid defeat to ensure they reach the last four. If they lose, Iraq will have a chance to qualify by beating New Zealand in Johannesburg.

Confederations Cup

•June 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

SPANISH STARS READY FOR OPENER

Liverpool’s Spanish stars are in action tonight when they kick off their Confederations Cup campaign against New Zealand in South Africa.

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Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso are likely to play from the start, while Pepe Reina, Albert Riera and Alvaro Arbeloa are also included in Vicente del Bosque’s 23 man squad for the competition.

The game kicks off at 7.30pm BST this evening, with the Spanish odds-on favourites to get their campaign off to a winning start. Games against Iraq and the hosts South Africa will follow later in the week for the European champions.

The Confederations Cup is contested by each of the six Fifa Confederation Champions, along with the World Cup winners and host nation.

The countries taking part this year are Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and USA.

World Cup winners Italy – who include Andrea Dossena in their squad _ reside in Group B and will start their campaign against the USA in Pretoria on Monday at 7.30pm BST before games against Egypt and Brazil.

The semi-finals will take place on 24th and 25th June before the showcase final is played out in Johannesburg on 28th June.

Agent sends out Owen brochure

•June 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Michael Owen’s management company have compiled a brochure on the striker in a bid to win him a move back to the Premier League.

FOOTBALL Newcastle United Michael Owen - 0

Wasserman Media Group has sent the document, which highlights the strengths of the former Liverpool man over a reported 34 pages, to a select group of top-flight clubs.

The 29-year-old is out of contract at Newcastle this summer and, following Newcastle’s relegation from the Premier League, is looking for a transfer to revive his flagging career.

Sam Rush, chief operating officer of WMG, told Sunday Mirror Sport: “As one of the world’s leading sports agencies, Wasserman regularly utilise comprehensive documentation and audio-visual material to illustrate the benefits of our clients. Although there has been interest from abroad, Michael has told us that he would prefer to stay in the Premier League.

“In the week after the season ended, we prepared a document showing all the information an interested club would require and this was circulated to a select group.

“We also included a medical report and answers to frequently asked questions as well as a review of his commercial benefits and international name awareness.”

Papers: Ronaldo reaction

•June 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s proposed depature to Real Madrid has set tongues wagging – not least in opinion columns across Britain’s newspapers. Here is a selection of the individual reactions from Friday’s tabloids and broadsheets…

“Such is the ability of Ferguson to rebuild that even on the day he seems about to lose the world’s best player, he has never been in a stronger position. The sale of Cristiano Ronaldo may mark the end of yet another era but the arrival in his place of Franck Ribery – Ferguson’s most likely target as a replacement – will inevitably usher in another. It is like something out of Doctor Who, and this will be the biggest budget series yet. Bryan Robson became Eric Cantona. David Beckham regenerated as Ronaldo. Each wore the famous No7 shirt, each played the role differently with his own supporting cast.” Matthew Dunn, Daily Express

“The northern sky is dimmer with Ronaldo’s proposed £80m move from Manchester United to Real Madrid, but broken hearts are fewer than expected. About the only prize not claimed by the Fifa World Player of the Year in his six years in England was the adoration of the wider public, who loved his skills but not his ways.” Paul Hayward, The Guardian

“It might have been hard to like Ronaldo but it was harder still not to admire him. Even if Ferguson is allowed to invest all the £80m from his sale in the purchase of new players, United will be a poorer team without Ronaldo. The sad thing is that Ronaldo will almost certainly be a poorer player without United, too. At Old Trafford, he had men like Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez who would run themselves into the ground for the team and leave the glory to him. Despite that, he has agitated for a move to Madrid like a little boy tugging at his mummy’s sleeve, whining and whimpering until he gets what he wants.” Oliver Holt, Daily Mirror

“The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo can be the making of Wayne Rooney. Rooney has become a frustrated figure at Manchester United, having been pushed wide left to accommodate Ronaldo. That was never more apparent than in the Champions League final defeat by Barcelona when Ronaldo played for himself and Rooney was left throwing his arms around in despair. The central danger area should be Rooney territory, as he has proved by his brilliant goalscoring run – 10 in his last seven games – for England. Coach Fabio Capello revealed he has got the best out of Rooney by telling him to play in the middle where goals are scored. Simple, yes, but amazingly effective.” Shaun Custis, The Sun

“Yes, the money, £80million, is good, but it needs to be. United have traded their main man to a serious rival. There is no precedent for this, no moment in history to call upon and place the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo in comforting context. ‘Remember when we sold the best player in the world, and it made us stronger?’ No, because that never happens. Never has and never will.” Martin Samuel, Daily Mail

“Think of United and many special images blur into one: the history, the ground, the support, the glimpse of Sir Alex Ferguson in the dugout, Sir Bobby Charlton in the directors’ box and the statue of Sir Matt Busby standing proudly outside. All these sights and sounds form the emotional force-field that is Manchester United. No player can ever dream of being bigger than that. No chance. Yet Ronaldo acted during last month’s Champions League final as if marching solely to his own beat, not Ferguson’s, not his team-mates’. It is time for United to be an 11-man team again. Thanks for the memories, Cristiano, and let’s all move on.” Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph

Nani Looking to fill Ronaldos Boots

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As United are linked with a host of new signings to replace the outgoing Cristiano Ronaldo, Reds winger Nani is confident of rediscovering his best form and showing his true value.

The former Sporting Lisbon winger is certain Ronaldo will be a success at the Santiago Bernabeu, and he is similarly confident of stepping up to the plate in his countryman’s absence. “He has been doing an excellent job so I think he deserves it,” Nani told Portuguese news agency IOL. “It is a fantastic amount, excellent and fair value for what he has done. Real Madrid are a great club and will be good for him.

“I think I can have more opportunities now. Cristiano was very important to Manchester but now I can show my value and they will gamble more on me.” Nani struggled to replicate the impressive form of his maiden campaign last term, but has still made 72 appearances and scored 10 goals since arriving from Portugal in the summer of 2007.