Last-gasp Biraghi goal gives Mancini first competitive win

first_img0Shares0000Defender Cristiano Biraghi (L) scored his first goal for Italy. © AFP / Janek SKARZYNSKICHORZOW, Poland, Oct 15 – Cristiano Biraghi snatched a late victory to give new Italy coach Roberto Mancini his first competitive victory and keep the Azzurri’s Nations League hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Poland in their League A Group 3 clash in Chorzow on Sunday.Defender Biraghi, 26, slid in the winner two minutes into injury time for his first goal for Italy in a game his team had dominated. The defeat ensured Poland were relegated to League B. It gives Mancini his first competitive victory since taking over as Italy coach last May, after the four-time world champions failure to qualify for the World Cup.“A new cycle has already begun,” said Mancini“We dominated the game, we had to score the first goal, it would have been unfair to finish 0-0.“All the lads are trying to do their best. It’s a good win in a very good game.”Fiorentina defender Biraghi made the sign ’13’ with his hands when he scored, as he dedicated his first goal to former Italy and Fiorentina captain Davide Astori who died of a heart attack last March.“I owe everything to him. I’m here thanks to Davide who was a mentor for me,” said Biraghi, who was called up to Italy for the first time last month at the age of 26.European champions Portugal lead the three-team group with six points from two games with Italy on four points after three games with Poland relegated to League B with one point.Mancini stuck with the same eleven he started with in last Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against the Ukraine with Federico Bernardeschi, Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Chiesa leading the attack.Nicolo Barella, 21, was chosen to start over Lorenzo Pellegrini in midfield after making his international debut in Genoa.Poland opted for the strike partnership of Robert Lewandowski and Arkadiusz Milik over Genoa forward Krzysztof Piatek, who has scored 14 goals in ten competitive games for club and country.Italy had the best of the first half but once again demonstrated their difficulty finishing off.Jorginho rattled the bar within the first minute, with Federico Chiesa also hitting the woodwork after half an hour in the Silesian Stadium.Poland could thank Wojciech Szczesny for keeping them in the game with the under-pressure goalkeeper denying Alessandro Florenzi, Jorginho, Federico Bernardeschi and Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini in the first half.Italy had a goal disallowed after 65 minutes following a well-worked pass between Bernardeschi and Marco Verratti with Insigne offside in the box.Poland also had a couple of chances in the second half with Kamil Grosicki denied by Gianluigi Donnarumma, with Arkadiusz Milik curling over.– ‘Never say die attitude’ –Roberto Mancini got his first competitive win as Italy coach. © AFP / Marco BERTORELLOJust when it looked as if both sides would settle for a draw, off the last corner, substitute Kevin Lasagna, who made his international debut, steered in for the Biraghi to finish off.“It had looked as if the match was jinxed,” said Biraghi.“The minutes were going by and the ball wouldn’t go in.“When you create a lot and the ball doesn’t go in you start to get nervous, even risk losing.“Instead we stayed calm and believed until the end. This victory is thanks to the group’s never say die attitude.”The result ensures Italy stayed in the tier ahead of December’s Euro 2020 qualifying draw.Italy next host Portugal on November 17 with Poland playing in Portugal three days later.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Arctic cold front to bring weekend wind, rain, snow

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Usually balmy Southern California will get downright chilly this weekend as a blast of cold air moves in from Alaska, bringing heavy rain, thunderstorms and snow to the local mountains, forecasters said Thursday. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch beginning tonight, warning of cold temperatures, wind gusts up to 40 mph and significant precipitation, including snow to the 1,500-foot level. “The bulk of the rain will come Saturday,” said Bill Forwood, meteorologist with the NWS. “You’ll have showers that will last through Sunday.” The NWS expects between 1 and 2 inches of rain in the San Gabriel Valley, Forwood said. Rain and snow will make travel treacherous, officials said, especially along Interstate 5 from Castaic to the Grapevine, as well as Interstate 15 through Soledad Canyon. “People like to go to the mountains when there is snow, but they need to make sure that the roadways are clear and open and that they have chains if required,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Humberto Jimenez. Rainfall from tonight through Sunday is expected to range from a half-inch to an inch across coastal and valley locations, with 2 inches in the foothills and mountains. Officials at mountain resorts say they will welcome the snow, but the stormy conditions might slow traffic over the weekend. “We’re looking forward to it. Any snow that we get is going to be fantastic,” said John McColly, director of marketing for Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood. “I think we are going to see good business this weekend, but not huge crowds because of the weather. I hope we have great business next week.” Ventura County agriculture officials said the Southland’s winter has been mild, encouraging avocado trees to bloom early, and farmers fear the cold snap could slow the bloom and reduce next year’s crop. Agricultural Commissioner Earl McPhail said farmers will be staying close to home this weekend to protect their crops. “These late winter storms are pretty unpredictable, especially this far south,” he said. “Normally we don’t have any major freezes after February, but anything is possible.” [email protected] (805) 583-7602last_img read more

Chelsea players that will step up in Hazard’s absence

first_imgIt was never going to be an easy ride for Frank Lampard, with just one season as a manager under his belt, and his experience not aided by the transfer ban that prevented him from signing new players. The summer transfer window saw 14 players exit the club, including Gary Cahill, David Luiz and most importantly Eden Hazard. Hazard produced the most assists in the Premier League last term, so in order to make up those numbers Lampard will need to look within the squad. Which players need to step up to help out the squad in the wake of Hazard?Callum Hudson-OdoiDavid Luiz has stated that it’s time for Callum Hudson-Odoi to step up – the talented player has known the club since he was young and has the skills to one day be as good as Eden, making him a favourite prospect to fans and football blogs alike. Hudson-Odoi is arguably the strongest option that Chelsea have and he’s made no secret of his wish to play a bigger role in the team, before a disruptive Achilles injury put a temporary halt to his ability to play. He is currently touted as the long-term replacement for Hazard and certainly has the ability to take on that role. Ross BarkleyChelsea’s midfielder Ross Barkley has garnered a lot of interest of late. The 25-year-old was involved in seven of the 17 goals Chelsea scored across their seven games, scoring four of them and recording three assists. Despite the expectation that Barkley would be central in Lampard’s plans this season, he was positioned in the left attacking role. However, whether it’s a central position or not, Barkley will need to step up wherever he can on the pitch as a collective effort will be needed in order to replace Hazard. Teamwork is what will ensure success for the club and Barkley will need to join forces with Willan and Pedro to help out the younger players on the pitch. Mason MountMason Mount, who has already had experience with Lampard during their time together at Derby County last season, is another player who would step up from midfield and help out the team. The 20-year-old has had some criticism over his performance at Old Trafford but if Lampard can give Mount the right opportunities to impress, he certainly has the skills to step up and shine. Willian While Willan didn’t play a role in Chelsea’s defeat to Manchester United, he needs to have his best season yet in order to live up to the position left vacant by the irreplaceable Hazard. In 56 appearances across all of the competitions Chelsea played in last season, Willian scored just eight goals and 13 assists – a far cry from the 21 goals and 17 assists that Hazard achieved in four fewer games. But the player certainly has it in him to do more and it’s up to him to push his skills to the limit and take his game to the next level, whether that’s by developing a more refined goal-scoring technique or by building his understanding of his fellow attackers so he can assist more than he previously has. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebookby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksRecommended for youAspireAbove.comRemember Pauley Perrette? Try Not To Smile When You See Her NowAspireAbove.comUndoLifestly.com25 Celebs You Didn’t Realize Are Gay – No. 8 Will Surprise WomenLifestly.comUndoUsed Cars | Search AdsUsed Cars in Tuen Mun Might Be Cheaper Than You ThinkUsed Cars | Search AdsUndoTopCars15 Ugliest Cars Ever MadeTopCarsUndoHappyTricks.comHer House Always Smells Amazing – Try her Unique Trick!HappyTricks.comUndoFood World Magazine15 Fruits that Burn Fat Like CrazyFood World MagazineUndoezzin.com20 Breathtaking Places to See Before You Dieezzin.comUndoDrhealth35 Foods That Should Never Be Placed in the RefrigeratorDrhealthUndolast_img read more

IPL 2011: India gears up for IPL after World Cup glory

first_imgJust six days after its national team sparked nationwide celebrations by winning the World Cup, India’s obsession with cricket will switch to the start of the money-spinning Indian Premier League when the Twenty20 event gets under way on Friday.The euphoria since India beat Sri Lanka to secure the 50-over world title on Saturday can only be good news for the fourth edition of the IPL, which starts in Chennai after allegations of corruption prompted a change in management.The league’s former head Lalit Modi has been suspended since April 2010 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which has been investigating bribery allegations in the 2008 auction for new IPL teams. Modi was later replaced by Indian cricket board vice president Chirayu Amin.The IPL is the world’s richest cricket tournament, worth $4 billion in franchise fees and television rights. It has some of the best-known Bollywood cinema stars and billionaire tycoons among its owners, while several of the world’s top cricketers play in its teams.Two new franchises – Kochi and Pune – joined in 2011 after bids worth a combined $703 million. The newcomers will increase the league to 10 teams and the number of matches from 60 to 74 for the April 8-May 28 event.Sahara Adventure Sports, part of the diversified Sahara Group, bought the rights for a team in the western city of Pune for $370 million, and called it Pune Warriors. A consortium called Rendezvous Sports World won the franchise for the southern city of Kochi for $333 million and named it Kochi Tuskers Kerala.advertisementTeams have also undergone an overhaul following the second player auction in January. Only 12 players were retained by five of the eight teams from their original squads.Defending champion Chennai Super Kings retained Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, his compatriots Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay, and South African Albie Morkel – as it parted with half of the $9 million salary cap available to teams.The 2010 finalist Mumbai Indians kept India stars Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh, Sri Lankan pace bowler Lasith Malinga and West Indian allrounder Kieron Pollard for $4.5 million.India batting star Gautam Gambhir was the most expensive player at the auction, picked up for $2.4 million for two years by Kolkata Knight Riders. The team also bought Indian allrounder Yusuf Pathan for $2.1 million.Among other top internationals at the high end of the bidding were Sri Lanka vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene, bought by Kochi for $1.5 million, Australian David Hussey, hired by Punjab for $1.4 million and a South African trio – Dale Steyn, netted by Deccan Chargers for $1.2 million, AB de Villiers by Bangalore and Jacques Kallis by Kolkata for $1.1 million each.Mukesh Ambani, who controls India’s most valuable company, Reliance Industries, and film actors Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty, all own teams in the IPL.last_img read more