Luxembourg stun Northern Ireland

first_img Ferguson’s energy down the left seemed Northern Ireland’s best option in greasy conditions but Luxembourg continued to exert pressure. After Bensi found him waiting at the edge of the penalty area, Gerson opened his body and curled a shot against the crossbar with Roy Carroll beaten. It was a reminder for the visitors not to sit too deep when Luxembourg had possession. McGinn was forced off with an injury 10 minutes before half-time, with Rotherham’s Michael O’Connor summoned from the bench for his first cap in three years. Bensi continued his impressive showing with a powerful shot that required a smart reflex save from Carroll, and with the referee seconds away from blowing for half-time, Luxembourg effected a classic counter-attack on the back of two Northern Ireland corners. Joachim was the outlet, peeling off Jonny Evans and Daniel Lafferty before his shot looped off the latter and into the net. Luxembourg came out with visible intent after the break, setting up camp in the Northern Ireland half for five uninterrupted minutes. One elaborate corner routine, involving a cheeky stepover, left Mario Mutsch with a sight of goal but he could not direct his shot through a crowd of bodies. Yet Luxembourg sensed blood. Northern Irish nerves were palpable when Carroll chested McAuley’s back pass and then handled under pressure from Bensi, giving away an indirect free-kick inside the area. The ball was touched to Bensi, whose powerful shot flew just wide of the far post. With an hour gone Inverness forward Billy McKay was handed a competitive debut off the bench, Ferguson making way as O’Neill committed more men to attack. McKay had a chance to make his mark in the 69th minute, latching on to Paterson’s clever reverse flick inside the six yards box. But while his touch took the ball past the goalkeeper it also forced him wider than he would have liked, and the resulting shot thudded into the side netting. Luxembourg’s momentum was waning but they received the biggest boost of all when they took the lead with 12 minutes remaining. Antonio Luisi did well to cushion a long ball on his chest, feeding the advancing Bensi who raced forward as the defence dropped deep. He got within 25 yards before pulling the trigger, beating Carroll with a superb drive into the bottom corner. The equaliser, four minutes later, was less cultured but no less effective – McAuley getting on the end of Norwood’s free-kick and seeing his downward header creep in at the far post. Northern Ireland had lost all sense of shape now and Luxembourg could have won it when Luisi saw a certain goal charged down by Evans at the final moment. The winner still seemed likely though, and arrived in the 87th minute when Janisch stabbed home from close range following another defensive meltdown. Northern Ireland were humbled 3-2 by lowly Luxembourg as Mathias Janisch grabbed a late but deserved winner at the Stade Josy Barthel. Press Association Luxembourg had won just three World Cup qualifiers in their history before this match, the last of them at home in 1972, but were full value for three points as Northern Ireland turned in a turgid display. Martin Paterson had put his side ahead against the run of play and Gareth McAuley looked to have snatched a draw in the 82nd minute, but in between goals from Aurelien Joachim and Stefano Bensi gave a fairer representation of the match. So porous was the visiting defence that a winning goal felt almost inevitable and it arrived when Janisch poked his shot through a mass of bodies in the 87th minute. For Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill it will surely feel like much of the good work achieved in beating Russia last month and running Portugal close last week has now evaporated. Northern Ireland almost cashed in on an under-hit back pass inside 30 seconds, Jamie Ward chasing down unsuccessfully, but otherwise the hosts looked in greater control in the opening stages. They had most of the early possession and Daniel Da Mota – a scorer in the 1-1 draw at Windsor Park – rode Oliver Norwood’s challenge before bending a hopeful effort off target. Lars Gerson headed a teasing corner wide before Bensi produced a mazy run into the box, but it was Northern Ireland who scored against the run of play. Shane Ferguson spotted a gap in the home defence and found the alert Paterson when he drifted into it. The Huddersfield striker took a touch to get the ball out of his feet and then finished emphatically with his left boot. It was the 26-year-old’s third international goal and second in his last three appearances following his winner against Russia. last_img read more

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Eagles Honour Keshi at Training, Vow to Defeat Bafana Bafana

first_imgKeshi led Eagles to win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations as captain and returned 19 years later to win the AFCON 2013 as head coach. He died of cardiac arrest in Benin City on June 7, 2016.But before Eagles began their last open training session at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo yesterday, interim Captain of the team, Ogenyi Onazi led the glory seeking new generation Eagles in honouring Keshi who is unarguably the most successful indigenous handler of the three-time African champions.The Trabzonspor of Turkey midfielder later posted his appreciation for Keshi on his twitter handle.“It’s one year now, I will never forget you sir you gave me the opportunity that made me what I am today. Rest In Peace. BIG BOSS,” said Onazi in remembrance of Keshi.Even NFF President, Amaju Pinnick who was not at the training session in Uyo, led football enthusiasts and administrators who were present at Lagos State Football Association EkoFootball public presentation ceremony at the MUSON Centre at Onikan, observe a minute silence for Keshi.Most Super Eagles who spoke with THISDAY correspondent in Uyo expressed their zeal to win the match for Keshi and Nigerians.“ This match is for you Big Boss. We are determined to make you proud,” observed Onazi in memory of the coach who made him a household name in Nigerian football today.Eagles defender, Williams Troost Ekong, declared: “It is going to be a good game. Everyone is fit and ready. It will be a healthy competition, everybody is working hard to justify his slot. We are going to win this match for our fans to be happy,” stressed Ekong.Also reacting, Eagles attacking midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo, said that the team was ready to take on Bafana Bafana and win squarely. “We need to win. Coach Gernot Rohr has a good record. All we believe is that we are going to win”.Noting that the South Africans had won all their nine games they last played, Etebo admitted that the game would not be an easy one.On his part, Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, said they were ready for the game adding that the other two goalkeepers, Daniel Akpeyi and Dele Alampasu, were in top form, “we are happy with one another.”The trio of Ahmed Musa, Elderson Echiejile and Kenneth Omeruo took part in yesterday’s training session for Rohr to have a full complement of invited players for the game.Yesterday’s training was Eagles last open session. Reporters are barred from the team’s closed training today ahead of Saturday’s must-win AFCON 2019 qualifying clash with South Africa.Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom state Commissioner of Police, Don Awunah, has expressed the readiness of the state’s Police Command to guarantee soccer loving Nigerians a peaceful atmosphere devoid of any infractions on Saturday.The State Police boss in a statement signed by the Command’s Public Relations Officers (PPRO), DSP Chukwu Ikechukwu, directed the deployment of over 500 specially selected officers knowledgeable in crowd control and policing events of such magnitude to provide top notch security before, during and after the football match.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram AFCON 2019 Police to deploy 500 senior officers for matchDuro Ikhazuagbe and Okon Bassey in UyoSuper Eagles players and officials wednesday observed a one minute silence for a former captain and coach of the senior national team, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, who died exactly one year ago.last_img read more

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Women’s Tennis Prevails Over Illinois State, 5-2

first_imgThe Bulldogs (13-5, 3-0 MVC) swept all three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead. Match Notes The Redbirds tied the match up at 1-1 with a straight-set victory at No. 5 singles. Freshman Liza Petushkova put the Bulldogs back on top, 2-1, with her 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles. 4. Williams, Kenya (DU) def. Ivon Mihaleva (ILS) 7-6, 2-6, 6-2 5. Valerija Gercar (ILS) def. Webb, Megan (DU) 6-2, 6-0 2. Petushkova, Liza (DU) def. Jelena Karla Vujicic (ILS) 6-1, 6-4  Print Friendly Version Kenya Williams record the team’s final win, earning a three-set victory. DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s tennis team earned a 5-2 win over Illinois State to take sole possession of the first-place in the Missouri Valley Conference Saturday at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center. 1. Herder, Tess/Petushkova, Liza (DU) def. Veronika Golanova/Jelena Karla Vujicic (ILS) 7-6 Singles competition Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,2,6,1,3,4) Drake closes out its home schedule on Sunday as it hosts Bradley at 10 a.m. and will recognize its three seniors.center_img Senior Mela Jaglarz extended Drake’s lead, 3-1, as she earned a 7-6, 6-3 win at No. 6. Illinois State 11-9 (2-1 MVC) 6. Jaglarz, Mela (DU) def. Laura Fitzgerald (ILS) 7-6, 6-3 Doubles competition ISU’s Veronika Golanova managed to comeback from being a set down to defeat Summer Brills, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 1 and cut the Redbirds deficit to 3-2. 2. Brills, Summer/Webb, Megan (DU) def. Jana Kustkova/Ivon Mihaleva (ILS) 6-4 3. Jaglarz, Mela/Williams, Kenya (DU) def. Valerija Gercar/Laura Fitzgerald (ILS) 6-3 1. Veronika Golanova (ILS) def. Brills, Summer (DU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 3. Herder, Tess (DU) def. Jana Kustkova (ILS) 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 Drake 5, Illinois State 2Apr 14, 2018 at Des Moines, Iowa (Roger Knapp Tennis Center)  Senior Tess Herder clinched the Bulldogs victory as she came away with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 win at No. 3. Drake 13-5 (3-0 MVC)last_img read more

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