Tag Archives: curling

Theo Walcott thrives at centre of attention – Sami Mokbel

Theo thrives as centre of attention after Arsenal dismantle Reading at Madejski

|

UPDATED:

00:26 GMT, 18 December 2012

So, this was Theo Walcott's moment. His moment to prove to Arsene Wenger – and maybe even himself – that he can be the bona fide central striker he so desperately wants to be.

Having recovered from the calf injury that kept him out of Arsenal's previous three matches, Walcott was handed an instant return to the starting line-up.

His inclusion came as no surprise because Wenger had to make changes after last Tuesday's shameful Capital One Cup loss to League Two Bradford.

Thriving: Theo Walcott proved Arsene Wenger made a good call to start him up front

Thriving: Theo Walcott proved Arsene Wenger made a good call to start him up front

But where would he play With Olivier
Giroud on the bench, the role of the Gunners' lone striker was up for
grabs and Wenger gave Walcott his chance.

But for a curling free-kick he fired
comfortably wide, the 23-year-old started slowly as he struggled to get
to grips with his new role.

He cut a frustrated figure as his team-mates failed to provide the England international with suitable service.

It was not looking like the audition
Walcott had hoped for as he failed to beat Adam Federici when one on
one with the Australian keeper in the 20th minute.

Shake on it Walcott got off to a slow start against Reading but scored his side's fifth goal

Shake on it Walcott got off to a slow start against Reading but scored his side's fifth goal

Good form: Theo Walcott put on a fine display up front for the Gunners

Good form: Theo Walcott put on a fine display up front for the Gunners

All smiles: Walcott shares a moment with his manager

All smiles: Walcott shares a moment with his manager

Taking Santi Cazorla's pass, he
failed to show the deadly conviction needed from a top-level striker. To
be fair, his build-up play was neat and economical – his cross that led
to Cazorla's second of the night showed tremendous creative vision.

But his deficiencies in front of goal
were shown again early in the second half when he failed to convert
with just Federici to beat before firing a long-range effort just wide.

Thankfully his efforts in front of goal were finally rewarded in the final 10 minutes as he stroked home to seal victory.

There's no doubt Walcott offers a
threat as a striker, but he will know that goals will be handy to get
him a 100,000-per-week contract.

The Qatar Stars League plays host to the worst goal-kick ever by Brazil"s Evanildo

Is this the worst goal kick ever (OK, strictly speaking it's a free-kick…)

|

UPDATED:

13:11 GMT, 17 December 2012

The Premier League saw some fierce competition this weekend, but they weren’t the only league to witness some drama.

A Qatar Stars League match produced one of the worst goal kicks to ever have been taken, in a game between El Jaish and Al-Rayyan at the the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

Brazilian goalkeeper Evanildo stunned his El Jaish teammates with a curious curling kick that sent the ball directly out for a corner.

Scroll down for video

Brazilian goalkeeper Evanildo gives team El Jaish the worst goal kick ever

Brazilian goalkeeper Evanildo confused his teammates and manager with a goal kick that went flying off the byline

It’s hard to fathom exactly how the 24-year-old managed to put the ball quite so far behind the goal. Either there was a great deal of spin, or a small hurricane on the pitch, but it curled back inexplicably to hand the opposition a set-piece opportunity.

Perhaps it was lucky that the number of supporters in the stadium was sparse, but manager Răzvan Lucescu certainly looked as though he would have a thing or two to say about the horrendous clearance.

Luckily for the 24-year-old, his team still went on to win the game 1-0, with Qatari Abdulqadir Ilyas scoring the only goal of the match.

El Jaish are currently sitting at fourth in the Qatar Stars League, nipping at the heels of Saturday’s opposition, Al-Rayyan.

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv32611','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv32611”,
'videoPlayer' : “2039911916001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html”

});

Charl Schwartzel fires moves into joint lead of Alfred Dunhill

Schwartzel fires brilliant 64 to move into joint lead of Alfred Dunhill

|

UPDATED:

17:35 GMT, 14 December 2012

South African Charl Schwartzel could claim to be the consistent player in golf right now.

The 28-year-old shares the halfway lead with France's Gregory Bourdy after a sparkling second round 64 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship on home soil at Leopard Creek.

After finishes of fifth, third and second in the past month Schwartzel won the Thailand Championship by 11 shots last Sunday against a field that included Bubba Watson, his successor as Masters champion this April, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.

Charl Schwartzel

Scott Jamieson

Looking good: Charl Schwartzel (left) is in the joint lead, while Scott Jamieson (right) is also in the hunt

He was 25 under par there and is now already 13 under on a course where his record includes one win and four second places.

'It was there for the taking and luckily enough I took advantage early on,' Schwartzel said after grabbing an eagle and six birdies and keeping a bogey off his card for the second day running.

'I could have made a few more, but we can't get too greedy. All in all a very good round and I've put myself in a very good position.'

Schwartzel is 73 under for his last 4 1/2 tournaments and even after adding a 65 to his pacesetting opening 66 Bourdy did not under-estimate the size of the task facing him over the weekend.

'Charl is a great player, one of the best in the world,' the 30-year-old world No 184 said. 'You have to do the job over four rounds and that is difficult. But I'm feeling great and I've played two good rounds.'

In the swing: Robert Rock plays out of a bunker on the 13th hole

In the swing: Robert Rock plays out of a bunker on the 13th hole

After being overtaken when Schwartzel played his first 11 holes in seven under, making his eagle at the 541-yard 18th, three-time European Tour winner Bourdy pitched in for an eagle two on the sixth and converted curling 25-foot birdie putts at the fifth and eighth.

Darren Fichardt's 68 left him in third place four strokes adrift of the leading pair, with fellow South African Louis De Jager and England's Steve Webster one further back.

Webster lost a play-off for the rain-shortened Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban last weekend and the player who beat him there, Scotland's Scott Jamieson, is also going well again at six under.

Louis Oosthuizen climbed from one over to five under, but the 2010 Open champion went in the lake at the last for a bogey six and 67.

One of the sub-plots of the week is George Coetzee's bid to stay in the world's top 50 and so earn a US Masters debut next April.

Coetzee will resume three under, but Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, one of the players who could have denied him, crashed out on 10 over after an 80.

Brighton 2 Leeds 2: match report

Brighton 2 Leeds 2: Mackail-Smith strikes twice then misses a penalty in thrilling clash

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

21:40 GMT, 2 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 2 November 2012

Craig Mackail-Smith continued his impressive record of scoring every time he has played Leeds in senior football but missed a second-half penalty to complete his hat-trick as Brighton were held to a 2-2 draw in the npower Championship.

With the game deadlocked at 2-2 after 75 minutes, the former Peterborough striker failed to beat Paddy Kenny time from 12 yards.

The 28-year-old had opened the scoring by slamming in a first-half spot-kick and put his side ahead in the 48th minute, either side of in-form El-Hadji Diouf equalising with his second goal in as many matches from 12 yards out after Luke Varney, keeping top scorer Luciano Becchio on the bench, was brought down in the area.

Foiled: Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith struck twice then missed a penalty

Foiled: Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith struck twice then missed a penalty

Spot on: El Hadji Diouf equalised to make it 1-1

Spot on: El Hadji Diouf equalised to make it 1-1

Match facts

Brighton: Kuszczak, Saltor, Greer, El-Abd,Bridge, Hammond (Crofts 78), Orlandi (Dicker 78), Bridcutt, Barnes (Dobbie 82), Mackail-Smith, Buckley.

Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Dunk, Calderon, David Lopez.

Booked: Buckley, Bridcutt, Crofts.

Goals: Mackail-Smith 16 pen, 48.

Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Lees (Pugh 41), Pearce, Peltier, White, Brown, Austin, Tonge, Diouf (Norris 80), Varney (Becchio 65).

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Green, Gray, Hall.

Booked: Brown, Pugh.

Goals: Diouf 37 pen, Becchio 66.

Att: 26,402

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

Latest Championship results, fixtures & table

Leeds levelled in the 66th minute as
substitute Becchio made an impact with his first touch, seeing the ball
deflect off his knee and into the net from Michael Brown's curling
effort.

Mackail-Smith's failed attempt from 12
yards left the Seagulls without a win in seven attempts, while the
Whites have failed to secure a triumph in their last four league
outings.

The Seagulls made their early
dominance count in the 16th minute when Mackail-Smith emphatically
converted from the penalty spot following Lee Peltier's clumsy tackle on
the lively Will Buckley.

Mackail-Smith almost netted a second
three minutes later, only to see his shot from the edge of the area
deflected on to the upright.

Andrea Orlandi wasted an opportunity
to register his first Brighton goal when he hit Bruno Saltor's sublime
delivery into the ground and over the bar when unmarked at the back
post.

Leeds started to settle and got their
reward after 37 minutes. Bruno needlessly fouled Varney in the area and
after referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot again, Diouf slammed in his
fifth goal of the campaign.

Down the middle: Mackail-Smith fired home the first penalty

Down the middle: Mackail-Smith fired home the first penalty

Mackail-Smith celebrates

Delight: Brighton celebrate

Nice start: Mackail-Smith celebrates (left) and is congratulated by his team-mates (right)

Deflected: Michael Brown celebrates what proved to be Luciano Becchio's goal

Deflected: Michael Brown celebrates what proved to be Luciano Becchio's goal

Mackail-Smith was close to putting his side ahead, but his shot on the turn was deflected just wide.

However, the lively marksman got his
second two minutes after half-time when he fired in from Buckley's pull
back and almost completed a treble 14 minutes later, although Kenny was
equal to his 18-yard drive.

Battle: Brighton's Adam El-Abd (centre) is challenged by Leeds United's Luke Varney (bottom)

Battle: Brighton's Adam El-Abd (centre) is challenged by Leeds United's Luke Varney (bottom)

Lunge: Gordon Greer challenges Luke Varney

Lunge: Gordon Greer challenges Luke Varney

Leeds levelled when Brown's curling
effort found the bottom corner via a deflection off Becchio, who had
just come on for Varney.

Mackail-Smith wasted the chance for a
hat-trick 15 minutes from time when he missed from the spot after he was
fouled by Sam Byram, with Kenny holding on diving to his right.

Both sides looked for a winner late
on. Byram fired straight at Tomasz Kuszczak and Michael Tonge curled a
free-kick over, while Kenny pushed away a late Andrew Crofts effort and
Buckley failed to hit the target from 25 yards.

Wayne Rooney hails back four after Newcastle win

Attack of the defenders! Rooney hails back four after United's victory over Newcastle

|

UPDATED:

17:48 GMT, 7 October 2012

Wayne Rooney was eager to praise Manchester United's defence after they claimed an impressive 3-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday.

The Red Devils have leaked goals at the start of the Barclays Premier League season, but picked up a much-needed clean sheet at the Sports Direct Arena.

Early headers from defenders Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra put the visitors in front before Tom Cleverley wrapped up the win with a fine curling cross-shot.

Attack of the defenders: Wayne Rooney praised Jonny Evans (centre) and Rio Ferdinand (centre left) for their display

Attack of the defenders: Wayne Rooney praised Jonny Evans (centre) and Rio Ferdinand (centre left) for their display

Rooney told Sky Sports 1: 'It's a great result. Everyone knows this is probably one of the hardest games of the season. We came here, defended brilliantly. We fully deserved the victory.

'The first six games of the season we haven't defended well enough – not just the back four, the whole team, and today we were brilliant against a physical team.'

Rooney himself is still to get his first goal of the season, but he claimed he was “not concerned” by the continuing wait.

Cleverley added: 'Away from home any clean sheet is massive. I thought the back four and goalkeeper were fantastic.'

There was some doubt over whether the midfielder meant his excellent finish or if he had over-hit his attempt to pick out Robin van Persie at the far post.

Cleverley said: 'I meant to put it in the far corner.'

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson felt his side's display was their best of the season.

'It was a great result. To come here and win 3-0 against a very powerful and aggressive Newcastle you have to really perform,' he said.

'In the second half against Tottenham (in a 3-2 defeat) we were terrific, but the first half spoiled the whole day, but today we were on top of our game.

'The concentration was terrific and the determination was there.'

Class act: Rooney (centre) played behind Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie

Class act: Rooney (centre) played behind Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie

Cleverley done: Ferdinand congratulated his team-mate Tom Cleverley after the midfielder scored their third

Cleverley done: Ferdinand congratulated his team-mate Tom Cleverley after the midfielder scored their third

The visitors survived a scare at 2-0
when Demba Ba was denied first by the bar and then Papiss Cisse was
thwarted by a fine recovery save from David De Gea, the Spaniard clawing
the ball away seemingly just before it could cross the line.

Ferguson acknowledged his opposite
number Alan Pardew could feel hard done by that a goal was not awarded,
even though replays seemed to show the whole ball did not cross the
line.

He said: 'It's inconclusive. I would
be disappointed if he didn't give the goal for ourselves, but the rule
is the whole ball has to be over the line.'

Pardew said: 'Probably the turning point was whether the ball went in or not and probably from the replay it didn't.

'It's tight, looking at the angles I've looked at it looks like it hasn't gone all over the line.'

Ferguson, who felt Cleverley's goal
was an attempted cross, admitted the pressure had been on his team not
to fall further behind leaders Chelsea.

'I think there was pressure. You don't want to fall behind too far,' he said.

Pardew accepted his side were made to pay for their slow start.

'We conceded two from set-plays and
you can't give teams like Manchester United a two-goal lead. But after
that I was very proud of my team.'

In or out It was inconclusive as to whether Papiss Cisse's (right) header crossed the line

In or out It was inconclusive as to whether Papiss Cisse's (right) header crossed the line

Michael Laudrup delighted with Swansea start

Not in my wildest dreams! Astonished Laudrup hails start by five-star Swansea

|

UPDATED:

21:26 GMT, 18 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Michael Laudrup could not have dreamt of a better start to life as Swansea manager after watching his side thrash QPR in west London.

The Welsh side dominated from the outset at Loftus Road, showing no signs of weakness after the summer departures of former boss Brendan Rodgers and midfielder Joe Allen to Liverpool.

Summer signing Michu broke the deadlock after just eight minutes and doubled Swansea's tally in the second half, netting an exquisite curling left-foot strike.

Easy: Swansea marched to a comfortable victory

Easy: Swansea marched to a comfortable victory

The old guard wrapped up the 5-0 victory as Nathan Dyer grabbed a brace and Scott Sinclair struck to get Laudrup's life at the Swansea helm off to the best possible start.

'That was impressive,' the Dane said. 'Winning the first game in my debut – and also the team's first in their second season in the Premier – away and 5-0. I don't think anyone could've dreamed about that.

'Of course, the most important thing is the team and I am very happy for the players.

'Last season I think it took until January to win the first away game and it is very important that you know you can win an away game as it gives you a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.

'If you know or think you will always lose or maybe only draw, you have to win all your home games.

'It has given us a lot, a lot of confidence, which we can bring to Swansea for the next two games to try win at home.'

Saturday's victory leaves Swansea joint top of the Barclays Premier League after what was Laudrup's first match in English football, although he is well aware it will not always be that easy.

'Well, if I had never played football myself or been a manager maybe I could think that, but I have been in football for 30 years,' he said.

Strong start: Miguel Michu scored the first goal

Strong start: Miguel Michu scored the first goal

'I know, and we all know, that there will be bad days, bad weeks and maybe even bad months, but what is important is when we get results like that we've have to take it and use it.

'I think it is very important for a small team to start the season winning an away game. I think that's very important.'

A notable absentee from Swansea's starting line-up was winger Sinclair, fresh from the revelation that he wants to leave the Liberty Stadium.

Laudrup is not sure whether the 23-year-old will depart before the end of the transfer window and insists the current situation did not affect his decision to name him on the bench.

'There is no update,' he said. 'Looking at him training, I had no problems putting him in the squad.

'In the end I chose Nathan [Dyer] and Wayne [Routledge] for the starting XI because they have both been here from the first day I came.

New beginnings: Michael Laudrup (second left) celebrates as Swansea win in style

New beginnings: Michael Laudrup (second left) celebrates as Swansea win in style

'We worked a lot together and Scott has only been here for nine or 10 days because he was at the Olympics.

'I think from what I've seen in training he is 100% focused and I don't know what will happen, not even Scott knows in this moment.'

Sinclair netted the final goal at Loftus Road after easily finding space in QPR's porous defence.

Hoops boss Mark Hughes was taken aback by the margin of victory but was keen not to pick out any player for particular criticism.

'I think it is a collective thing today,” he said. “We just need to be better collectively as a team.

'It was difficult. It was a really warm day and the worst thing you want to do is concede and then have to chase games and try and affect them.

'It was difficult for the guys, but from my point of view I certainly expected a much more accomplished performance than was delivered.

'We'll come together this week and next week we will be fundamentally better.'

France 3 Iceland 2: Les Bleus win from 2-0 down

France 3 Iceland 2: Les Bleus come from behind to secure shock win

|

UPDATED:

04:58 GMT, 28 May 2012

A goal three minutes from time by Adil Rami saw France come from 2-0 down to claim a late victory over Iceland in Valenciennes.

Iceland, ranked 115 places behind their hosts at 131, shocked Les Bleus by taking a two-goal lead through Birkir Bjarnason and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

However, Laurent Blanc's side reduced the arrears through Mathieu Debuchy seven minutes after the break but they had to wait until the 85th minute to equalise through Franck Ribery before Rami's late strike won it.

Comeback kings: French defender Adil Rami is congratuled by teammates after scoring

Comeback kings: French defender Adil Rami is congratuled by teammates after scoring

France had the first shot on goal, Yohan Cabaye's curling attempt from the left blocked by midfielder Kari Arnason and from the resulting corner the Newcastle midfielder drilled the ball wide.

Sigthorsson's attempt from the right was blocked by Philippe Mexes while Aron Gunnarsson repelled Karim Benzema's effort for France with neither side creating clear-cut chances.

However, it was Iceland who took a surprise lead in the 27th minute when Bjarnason volleyed home a right-footed shot into the left-hand corner of the goal from Sigthorsson's header.

In it goes: Adil Rami scores his goal

In it goes: Adil Rami scores his goal

Samir Nasri shot wide soon after from distance as France looked to respond.
Following another attack moments later, Nasri sent in an inswinging corner which found Yoann Gourcuff but his left-footed shot from the centre of the area was blocked by Arnason.

Rami then drilled in a 35-yard shot from the left which was parried by Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson.

France were shocked further by Iceland who got a second goal in the 34th minute when Sigthorsson converted Rurik Gislason's wicked cross from the right.

Heads up: Arnason Kari jumps for head the ball with France's defender Philippe Mexes

Heads up: Arnason Kari jumps for head the ball with France's defender Philippe Mexes

Benzema volleyed over the bar and then shortly before the break was thwarted by Halldorsson, the keeper blocking the Real Madrid forward's drilled shot from the right of the area.

France attacked from the off at the start of the second half with Benzema's shot deflecting off a defender but Gourcuff just failed to capitalise.

The hosts were rewarded for their persistence when Benzema's shot was deflected into the path of Debuchy and the defender slotted past the keeper.

Ready for the tournament: Laurent Blanc saw his side come from behind

Ready for the tournament: Laurent Blanc saw his side come from behind

Iceland almost restored their two-goal lead with a flowing move which ended with a stretching Bjarnason hitting the ball straight at keeper Steve Mandanda after he lost his marker.

At the other, Gourcuff curled in a free-kick from the left which almost went over the keeper but he managed to keep hold of the ball at full stretch.

Mathieu Valbuena, Rami and Mexes all had efforts as France pressed and their persistence was rewarded five minutes from time when substitute Ribery played a slick one-two in the box with Olivier Giroud before lobbing the keeper.

Just two minutes later and France scored what proved to be the winner, Rami volleying home from Giroud's knockdown.

Antionio Valencia and Ashley Young goals seal United"s lead

Sealed with a kiss! Valencia and Young stretch United's lead over rivals City

|

UPDATED:

23:28 GMT, 2 April 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson is closing in on yet another Barclays Premier League title after two stunning late goals broke Blackburn’s stubborn resistance.

Antonio Valencia struck with a ferocious 81st minute shot across goalkeeper Paul Robinson and the Manchester United juggernaut rolled on towards a record 20th league crown with another cracker from substitute Ashley Young.

It puts Ferguson’s men five points clear of title rivals Manchester City – a lead that could stretch to eight points on Sunday when United face QPR at home, before Roberto Mancini’s team run out at Arsenal.

Wing kings: Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young scored the crucial goals

Wing kings: Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young scored the crucial goals

But a delighted Sir Alex admitted his
nerves had been jangling during a game which eventually condemned
Blackburn to the bottom three below QPR on goal difference.

He
said: ‘It was a long night. We had to persevere and persevere. We got
our rewards. We weren’t making any clear-cut chances for a long time.
But it was an important win and it typifies the history of the club.’

Winger
Young, who had come on for Paul Scholes in the 79th minute and struck
seven minutes later with a curling drive, hailed it as a massive win.

Lashed home: Young rifles in the second with great technique

Lashed home: Young rifles in the second with great technique

‘We knew if we won we would go five points clear. It was a great result, a great performance.’

The win was United’s seventh league success on the spin as they have fully cashed in on City’s recent struggles to take over the title race.

‘It’s a crucial time in the season, everyone knows that,’ added Young. ‘We knew that goal would come at some point, whether it was a shot or cross it went in the back of the net.’

Ferguson felt he was also indebted to Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, who made three good saves in the first half to prevent his side from going behind.

‘The progress is obvious for all to see,’ he said. ‘He’s growing in stature and confidence. He made three great first-half saves. David kept us in the game. We had a lot of possession, but we just couldn’t get that goal with the way Blackburn defended deep.’

Upwards: Valencia looks to the sky after sending United on their way

Upwards: Valencia looks to the sky after sending United on their way

Rovers boss Steve Kean believes his side showed enough to suggest they are capable of avoiding the drop.

‘If we can play at that standard for next seven games — not for 80 minutes but 90 — we’ll get plenty of wins,’ he said.

At last: Valencia's goal was a sight for sore eyes

At last: Valencia's goal was a sight for sore eyes

‘We’ve got to take all the positives out of the first 80 minutes. We’ve got to set that standard. We were playing against the potential champions.

‘I think for 80 minutes we gave it a really good go. Their goalkeeper has had a very good night. He’s made good saves when we’ve had our little opportunities. I thought (Junior) Hoilett and Yakubu caused them problems.’

Futile: Blackburn's resistance was ended by a stunning strike from the Ecuadorian

Futile: Blackburn's resistance was ended by a stunning strike from the Ecuadorian