Celtic cruise to Champions League win

first_img Full-back Lustig gave the Scottish champions the lead at Solitude in the 25th minute when he broke away from the Reds defence at the near post to head in a Kris Commons corner. Six minutes later Greek forward Samaras, who had revealed his aversion for the ground’s artificial pitch before the game, finished off a move involving Forrest and Commons by turning at the edge of the box and driving an unstoppable shot past Reds keeper Conor Devlin. And in a one-sided first-half, watched by almost 5,000 enthusiastic fans who had packed into the tiny ground in north Belfast, Commons also hit the woodwork twice. With nothing to lose, Tommy Breslin’s side rallied in the second half with Stephen Garrett missing a good chance in the 48th minute from close range after Lustig was short with a headed backpass. Anthony Stokes hit the bar for Celtic with a drive before he set up Forrest in the 84th minute to hammer the ball low past Devlin from inside the box to make the return game in Glasgow a formality. Celtic started the game with impressive purpose. Commons hit the bar with a header after two minutes when Forrest stood a cross up for the former Derby and Nottingham Forest player at the back post. The home side, for all their obvious determination in the early stages, could not make much headway. The Hoops were in control and in the 12th minute Samaras headed an Emilio Izaguirre cross over from eight yards. Brown then picked out Commons, who had raced past the Cliftonville defence – but he failed to control the ball and the backtracking Irish rearguard cleared their lines. Reds skipper George McMullan then almost put in his own net from just under the bar, as he cleared a Lustig header. It had promised to be a nervy night for the visitors, who had lost all four of their pre-season games and who had a clutch of players missing for various reasons. However, Neil Lennon’s side, especially in the first 45 minutes, showed the professionalism and purpose which had taken them to the last-16 of the tournament last season. Press Association Goals from Mikael Lustig, Georgios Samaras and James Forrest gave Celtic a comfortable 3-0 win over Cliftonville and ensured there is little chance of an upset when the part-time Irish side travel to Parkhead next week for the second leg of their Champions League second qualifier. However, with the corner, Commons drilled in a cross and Lustig rose to flash a header past Devlin from six yards out. Cliftonville responded and for the first time in the game, a minute later, Hoops keeper Fraser Forster was forced into a save, from Liam Boyce’s low drive. But just after the half-hour mark and in impressive style, Samaras finished off a Celtic attack with a drive from the edge of the box which whistled high past the helpless Devlin. Celtic were clearly in the mood and in the 39th minute Commons twisted and turned at the edge of the box before beating Devlin with a curling shot, only to see it crash off the post. The home fans tried to rally their heroes as they went up the tunnel at the interval and they might have had something to cheer about three minutes after half-time when Garrett pounced on a mistake by Lustig – but his flick from six yards was too feeble to beat Forster. Still, it gave Cliftonville some encouragement and in the 55th minute only a great saving tackle from Ambrose on Joe Gormley prevented the Reds striker getting his shot away from 12 yards, as the Hoops defence looked vulnerable again. On the hour mark Celtic’s defending was again sloppy, requiring stopper Kelvin Wilson to throw himself to block a goalbound drive from former Morton player Marc Smyth. Devlin made a save from Commons’ drive and Stokes sent a shot from the edge of the box spinning back off the bar but much of the tempo had gone out of the visitors’ play – although there was time for Forrest to extend Celtic’s lead. last_img read more

Cricket News Jofra Archer Rewarded With England Central Contract After Brilliant World Cup, Ashes 2019

first_imgNew Delhi: The 2019 international summer proved to be unforgettable in the history of England cricket, with the team winning the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time and drawing an Ashes contest against Australia after 47 years. One man played a key factor in England’s brilliant performance in the summer and that was Jofra Archer. The Barbados-born pacer took 20 wickets in the World Cup and 22 wickets in four games in the Ashes series to enhance his reputation as one of the best bowlers in the world. Due to his efforts, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has rewarded Archer with a central contract for the first time. Archer’s bowling touched speeds in the mid-90-miles-per-hour range in a scintillating debut international summer. The 24-year-old, who only became England qualified earlier this year, is one of 10 players to receive a Test deal for the 2019/20 season. Another is opener Rory Burns, who cemented his spot at the top of the order with some battling performances in the Ashes. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have lost their central Test contracts but are in a list of 12, also including Joe Denly, to be handed less lucrative white-ball deals.Also Read | Jofra Archer’s spell absolutely frightening: Ben StokesArcher bowled the all-important super over in the final against New Zealand and although the Kiwis tied the match, England were declared the World Cup champions as they had a superior boundary count. However, in the Ashes, Archer displayed his brilliance in the Lord’s Test. On his debut in the Lord’s Test, Archer made the world sit up and take notice of his talent with a brilliant display of bowling against Steve Smith, who was enjoying a brilliant Ashes series.Also Read | Steve Smith vs Jofra Archer – The duel which makes us love Test cricket even moreArcher touched 96 mph and one bouncer, bowled at 93 mph hit Smith on the side of the neck and it ruled him out of the Leeds Test. In that match, Archer picked up 6/45 and along with Ben Stokes, helped England achieve a thriling one-wicket win. At The Oval Test, Archer was once again in prime form by taking 6/62 as England won the match by 135 runs to square an Ashes series for the first time since 1972. Test contracts: J Anderson (Lancashire), J Archer (Sussex), J Bairstow (Yorkshire), S Broad (Nottinghamshire), R Burns (Surrey), J Buttler (Lancashire), S Curran (Surrey), J Root (Yorkshire), B Stokes (Durham), C Woakes (Warwickshire). White-ball contracts: M Ali (Worcestershire), J Archer (Sussex), J Bairstow (Yorkshire), J Buttler (Lancashire), J Denly (Kent), E Morgan (Middlesex), A Rashid (Yorkshire), J Root (Yorkshire), J Roy (Surrey), B Stokes (Durham), C Woakes (Warwickshire), M Wood (Durham). Increment contracts: T Curran (Surrey), J Leach (Somerset). For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

MINUSTAH mission to Haiti to end in six months

first_imgArgentinean UN peacekeeper holds a baby download during distribution of water and food to victims of tropical storm Hanna The head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission  (MINUSTAH) Sandra Honoré, says the mission will cease operations in Haiti within six months.Addressing the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Honoré said that the progress achieved during the past 13 years in Haiti’s stabilization process is notable and it “is therefore timely to reshape the partnership among the international community, the United Nations and Haiti with a view to ensuring the sustainability of this progressIt is with this in mind, that the Secretary-General has recommended the closure of MINUSTAH in six months from now and the establishment of a smaller peacekeeping operation with concentrated focus on the rule of law and police development, with strong good offices and human rights monitoring roles.“With your support, the transition from MINUSTAH to a new and smaller Mission would be guided by a Joint Transition Plan that underpins the gradual transfer of tasks to the Government, international partners and the UN Country Team,” she added.The UN mission, established in June 2004 by a UN Security Council resolution, succeeded a Multinational Interim Force (MIF) after then President Bertrand Aristide departed Haiti for exile in the aftermath of an armed conflict which spread to several cities across the country.In January 2010, the Security Council, by resolution, endorsed the Secretary-General’s recommendation to increase the overall force levels of MINUSTAH to support the immediate recovery, reconstruction and stability efforts in the country.last_img read more

Dodgers family celebration keeps growing bigger

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> The Brut and the Budweiser pooled up in the middle of the Dodgers’ clubhouse Sunday afternoon as players, coaches, trainers and executives arrived to celebrate their fourth straight National League West title. Their families stood outside in a hallway, safely separated from the squalor by two sets of double doors.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts briefly stepped outside to kiss his wife and his daughter. Then he looked up to see rows of wives, girlfriends, children, mothers and fathers standing on dry ground.“You guys come in! Families are in,” Roberts shouted above the clamor.With that declaration, the clubhouse grew impossibly fuller — the Dodgers’ season in a nutshell. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Forty players were active for a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. That’s happened before according to Major League Baseball, but it’s rare. It’s also uncommon for a team to cycle through 55 players (only the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves have used more this season), but the 2016 Dodgers did that too.The story of why the Dodgers needed so many players has been told: 28 different men spent time on the disabled list at various times, a record since at least 1987. Those injuries required 15 different pitchers to start a game and 24 different position players to swing a bat.Of the 40 active players Sunday, 10 were not in the Dodgers’ spring training camp — either because they were on the minor league side of Camelback Ranch or in another organization. But the lines between veteran and rookie, between newcomer and holdover, blurred when the division was clinched. The story of how so many players felt at home in one clubhouse is difficult to appreciate from the outside, and perhaps an underrated part of the club’s success.center_img “You saw the injuries happen and they didn’t let it factor into anything,” pitcher Jesse Chavez said. “They just picked those guys up who were on the DL. That’s something you saw from the other side before I got here. It’s impressive to watch.”Chavez, 33, was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 1. The Dodgers are the eighth organization he’s played for in a professional career that began in 2003. He said he felt at home in the clubhouse immediately, noticing quickly that the Dodgers avoided the trap of splintering into cliques.“Just the conversations you have in passing — the walking bys, the hellos — just simple stuff,” Chavez said. “The acknowledgment of everybody, the communication we have, is beyond what you could imagine.“To come here, it feels like I was in spring training with this group.”A few minutes later, standing on the opposite side of the room, veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz said the same thing.The Dodgers are Ruiz’s second organization. His 18-year run with the Philadelphia Phillies ended when he was traded for A.J. Ellis on August 25. Ruiz was just as beloved in Philadelphia as Ellis was in Los Angeles.And yet, Ruiz said, “it took me two or three days just to fit into the group. They tried to make me feel like I was here since the beginning of the season. That was big.”Two of the biggest contributors Sunday weren’t in the clubhouse for vast portions of the season. The game’s hero, Charlie Culberson, hadn’t started in four days. That was typical for him. A non-roster invitee to spring training, Culberson made the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster, then wound up on the Oklahoma City-to-Los Angeles express. He spent roughly half of the season in Triple-A.On Saturday, Roberts told Culberson he would be in the lineup Sunday. That was typical too. Culberson had a day to prepare and, by extension, a way to feel like part of the team.“He does a good job of that,” Culberson said of Roberts.The starting pitcher, Brandon McCarthy, was two weeks removed from his lowest point in the season if not his career. Technically he’d been on the disabled list with a sore hip. In reality, he had been battling a case of the yips.“You kind of forget how to throw a ball,” McCarthy said, “at least in a competitive situation.”For a moment, McCarthy feared his career might be over at age 33. A mechanical adjustment in the bullpen changed that. He re-discovered his fastball command and threw 5 1/3 innings against the Rockies, allowing only two runs.“This last month, I couldn’t have felt more removed,” McCarthy said. “That wasn’t by people excluding me. Everybody gave me the widest berth I could have to go figure things out. A couple weeks ago I was praying that someone would call from the front office and say, ‘shut this down, we’ll see you next year, let’s get things figured out.’ And you can’t feel farther away from the team at that point. “The last two weeks, it was like, ‘hey I feel like I’m part of this again.’ I wanted to get back into a game.”In the middle of the clubhouse Sunday, pitcher Kenta Maeda lifted his interpreter off the ground and dumped him into a beer cooler. The damp elbows of data analysts brushed against those of minor league coaches. Several players dispatched the clichéd metaphor about teammates as family, but it was never more appropriate. Roberts had already invited everyone’s families into the room.last_img read more