Jermaine LannamanGleaner WriterWest Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell believes title-holders Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has more than what it takes to beat Melbourne at Up Park Camp in quarter-final action of the Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup, beginning today.The match-up, one of two on the weekend, will see the JDF – winners of Zone A, entering the contest as slight favourites against the Nikita Miller-captained Melbourne, who ended as runners-up in Zone D.The other quarter-final encounter will see Zone D winners St Thomas CA hosting Zone A runner-up St Ann at Goodyear Oval.”The JDF is normally a very confident team and we are looking forward to any challenge that Melbourne may bring,” said Cottrell.”We are also defending champions and want to defend our crown, as after winning the last two titles the aim is to win five.”Cottrell, who is on the comeback from a knee injury, is set to lead the soldiers attack along with national trial invitees, fellow pacemen Reynard Leveridge and Leighton Leslie, as well as his national team-mate, left-arm spinner Dennis Bulli.Their batting, in the meanwhile, is expected to see in-form national one-day opener, Jermaine Harrison, looking to add to his recent back-to-back hundreds, leading their charge along with Rasheed Outar and Joseph Palmer.However, Robert Samuels, coach of Melbourne, is expressing equal confidence, stating that his team is in a comeback mode.”Melbourne has been missing out on the Senior Cup in recent years due to a number of reasons,” he said.”But I am confident that this time will be different.”We will be missing Damion Jacobs, who is overseas, but still have in our line-up Jamaica players Nikita Miller, Andre McCarthy and Guyanese opener, Trevon Griffith.”There is also young Jamaica fast bowler, Oshane Thomas, who is bowling fairly quick, and should pose some problems.”The St Thomas versus St Ann encounter, in the meantime, will see Carlton Baugh Jr leading the home team against St Ann, which will be captained by opener John Campbell.
LATROBE, Pennsylvania (AP):With a large tear forming in his left eye, Jack Nicklaus asked everyone from the elite to the ‘everyman’ to remember the time Arnold Palmer touched their lives during an emotional farewell to the King yesterday.”I hurt like you hurt,” Nicklaus said. “You don’t lose a friend of 60 years and don’t feel an enormous loss.”The service at St Vincent College in Palmer’s hometown was filled with just as much laughter and warmth from stories of the most significant player in the modern game. The basilica at the college was packed with golf’s biggest names from around the world.Charlie Mechem, the former LPGA commissioner who became one of Palmer’s most trusted advisers, referred to them as the “elite battalion” of Arnie’s Army.Palmer died September 25 in Pittsburgh as he was preparing for heart surgery. He was 87. His private funeral for family members was Thursday.”We were looking down at the airstrip and the fog just suddenly lifted,” Ernie Els said yesterday after landing in one of several private jets that descended on Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. “This is a beautiful day. We’ve all met different people in life. He was a man who didn’t change. It didn’t matter if you cut the grass or you were a president. He was the same with everybody.”Palmer’s co-pilot, Pete Luster, flew his plane around St Vincent College for nearly an hour before the service, tipping the left wing as he zoomed by.Mechem set a happy tone by pointing to a large photograph of Palmer with a grin that made everyone feel so important. He asked the crowd to remember the Palmer who hitched up his pants and gave a thumbs up.”There’s an old saying that there are no irreplaceable people,” Mechem said, his voice cracking towards the end of the ceremony. “Whoever made that line didn’t know Arnold Palmer. There will never be another.”Palmer won 62 times on the PGA Tour, including seven major championships.The service was another reminder that Palmer was not the greatest golfer who ever lived, or even the best from his generation. He just had the greatest influence through television, through marketing and mostly through eye contact.PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem tried to explain Palmer’s popularity by mentioning his attacking style of golf, his appeal on television and the way he carried himself.”He had this other thing,” Finchem said. “It was the incredible ability to make you feel good – not just about him, but about yourself. I was amazed by how people reacted to him. He took energy from that and turned right around and gave it back.”
His 11 Wimbledon finals are a record for a man at any Grand Slam tournament (no one else has played more than seven at the All England Club.)His 29 Grand Slam finals are seven more than Rafael Nadal, who ranks No. 2.His 18 Grand Slam titles are three more than Nadal, No. 2 in that category, too.And only Pete Sampras and William Renshaw (who played in the 1880s, back when a previous year’s champion only needed to win one match to retain the title) also can boast of seven men’s trophies at Wimbledon.Now Federer wants to collect another after missing out on chances with losses to Novak Djokovic in the 2014 and 2015 finals.“It’s a big deal. I love this tournament. All my dreams came true here as a player,” Federer said. “To have another chance to go for No. 8 now, be kind of so close now at this stage, is a great feeling.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Another significant difference for Federer, whose 36th birthday is Aug. 8, making him the oldest men’s finalist at Wimbledon since 1974?“I didn’t have kids running around, potentially waking me up at night,” he said. “Today we’ve got to, like, close down the doors. Say, ‘Daddy is sleeping.’”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’He’s a father of four: twin boys, 3; twin girls, 8 soon.On the court, there are ways in which the Federer who faces Marin Cilic on Sunday is not the same as the Federer who beat Mark Philippoussis 14 years ago. The larger racket, for example, or the increased willingness to hit over the top on his backhand. Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after beating Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in their Men’s Singles semifinal match on day eleven at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 14, 2017. (Gareth Fuller/Pool Photo via AP)LONDON — Much has changed for Roger Federer since he played in, and won, his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in 2003.First of all, as he reminded everyone after moving into his 11th title match at the All England Club — with a shot at his eighth championship, more than any man in history — he favored a ponytail and some scruff on his cheeks way back then. Nowadays, his hair is short, his face clean shaven.ADVERTISEMENT In truth, though, what’s most important is this: Federer is still as capable as ever of beating everyone who stands in his way.“This guy doesn’t really seem (to be) getting any older or anything like that,” said Tomas Berdych, who lost to Federer in the semifinals, “or slowing down at all.”That’s certainly the case.Federer is 30-2 and tied for the tour lead with four titles in 2017, including at the Australian Open in January.During Wimbledon, he has not lost a set through six matches; the last man to earn the title without ceding a set was Bjorn Borg, 31 years ago. He’s only been broken four times, saving 16 of 20 break points along the way.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer MOST READ Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Is Muguruza heir to Williams sisters? Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet “Roger is playing maybe (some) of his best tennis of his career at the moment,” said Cilic, the No. 7-seeded Croatian who hit 25 aces and returned quite well during his semifinal victory over Sam Querrey. “It’s going to be a huge challenge.”They have played each other seven times previously, with Federer winning six, including in last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals. Cilic took the first two sets and even was one point from victory, before Federer came back.The lone head-to-head win for Cilic came in one of the most significant matches of his career: 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals of the 2014 U.S. Open, where he went on to earn his only Grand Slam title.“He knows he absolutely destroyed Roger,” said Jonas Bjorkman, one of Cilic’s two coaches.That knowledge is key for this match, according to Bjorkman. So, too, is the past experience of participating in, and winning, a major final.“He knows what it takes,” Bjorkman said. “He knows how it feels to be out there, and he knows what it is to be under the pressure like that.”The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Cilic, who is 28, has improved since then, too. His serve is better, as are his volleys and his inclination to move to the net. Those can help on Sunday. Would also be useful if he is able to read Federer’s serves as well as he did Querrey’s.Still, it’s the mental side of things that matters for Cilic, according to the only Croatian man to win Wimbledon, Goran Ivanisevic.“He needs to just believe,” said Ivanisevic, the 2001 champion at the All England Club and Cilic’s coach in New York three years ago. “It has nothing to do with tennis. In the end, it’s all in your head.”Past history favors Federer by a wide margin. LATEST STORIES LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend
Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies MOST READ Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lyceum completes first round sweep with Mapua rout Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) “It’s too bad, they got ahead in the tiebreak and we couldn’t shake it,” said Alcantara, the 2009 Australian Open juniors doubles champ.The Thais zoomed to 4-0 in the super tiebreak. The Philippines tried to catch up with some power baseline drives but there was no stopping the Thai twins, who have now won four men’s doubles titles.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“At this level there’s no easy points. We had to be solid in serves and returns. It was very close which was already good at this level,” added Alcantara.Anna Clarice Patrimonio, meanwhile, hopes to end the country’s gold medal drought in women’s singles when she takes on Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in the finals Saturday. Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees KUALA LUMPU—Francis Casey Alcantara and Ruben Gonzales dropped a tough three-set decision to the defending champions from Thailand to settle for silver in the Southeast Asian Games tennis men’s doubles Friday.The Filipino pair took the fight to twins Sonchai and Sanchai Ratiwatana before yielding a 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 decision in the final at Jalan Duta Tennis Complex.ADVERTISEMENT View comments OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal The 23-year old Patrimonio is looking to become the first FIlipino SEA Games singles champ since Maricris Fernandez in 1999.“I will do everything that I can to win, said Patrimonio, who is the daughter of former PBA four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio.Clarice defeated fourth-seed Ka Andrea Daray of Cambodia, 6-0, 6-3, in the semifinal round to advance to her first gold-medal match in her career.Kumkhum, the No. 1 ranked, defeated Tan Li Yan Stefani of Singapore, 6-0, 6-0, in the other semifinals. The Thai has career-best ranking of 85th in the world in singles and won gold in doubles in 2014 Incheon Asian Games.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu What’s in store for your animal sign this year
Phoenix holds on as Ginebra comeback fizzles Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sevilla will play Leganes in the other semifinal on the same dates.Barcelona has won the last three cups and has a record 29 Copa del Rey titles. It also leads the Spanish league.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkValencia held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at home in the league in November.Sevilla will play the second leg at home against Leganes, a modest first-division club which eliminated Real Madrid in the quarterfinals. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak MOST READ Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the Spanish Copa del Rey, quarter final, second leg, soccer match between FC Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID — Barcelona will face Valencia in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.The defending champions will host the first leg at home on Wednesday, with the second match at Mestalla Stadium in Valencia on Feb. 7.ADVERTISEMENT Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES
Nimba United FCs’ striker Sunnyboy Dolo played a master game and gave his team the needed victory in their league clash against Barrack Young Controllers, BYC ll, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium yesterday.But it was a victory won the hard way, which should not have been, if the soccer mountaineers’ front-men had reassessed their partnership well and coordinated to complement each other outside their opponents’ 18 yard zone.As Dolo worked along with Papie Johnson, Paul Reeves, Franklin Mulbah, George Allison and later substitute Patrick Singboh, their coordination was suspect and several chances were sadly wasted. Though BYC ll appeared a determined unit, very often dancing the ball as it moved from player to player, their midfield under the control of Abubakar Dunnor could only push their opponents around without serious attempt to score.But it was Nimba United FC that proved a bit more aggressive. They wasted nine corner-kicks against two by BYC ll, and in the end secured the much needed victory in the 87th minute. Rough play earned both teams a couple of yellow cards. Nimba United’s goal was long overdue. BYC ll had forced Nimba United FC’s defense to work overtime and goalkeeper Bill Jensen was doling overtime, urging his defense to work together.This was in the 86th minute. Nimba United counter attacked from the wings, and a long up-field in the right wing found substitute Titus Cooper who ran after the ball nearing the 18-yard box.Cooper lifted his head and saw winger Sunnyboy Dolo running from across from him from the opposite direction. By now BYC ll’s defenders were fighting to gain their rhythm with Mark Paye, Hilton Vanney and Solomon Yarweh beaten and struggling to provide cover for goalkeeper Alpha Jalloh.Jalloh who had, for at least three occasions, come out to prevent the ball from his opponents, this time stayed put in the post. Perhaps he wanted to come but something told him not to.With his defenders out of space, and lacking cover-up, Cooper cleverly put his right foot to the ball and it obeyed the winger’s instructions. I landed in the 18-yard box where Sunnyboy Dolo was running full-speed to make amends of his earlier miss. He was aware that he had thrown a possible goal away in the first half and this time Dolo intelligently brought the ball under his control.Goalkeeper Jalloh had his hands opened, and many thought he was begging the striker not to kick the ball pass him, which even if Dolo had understood his request, he would not have agreed.By now, a lone man, in the stands, in all red, and blowing a single vuvuzela had surprisingly stopped, waiting to see what would happen, since Dolo had wasted such a golden opportunity away, as earlier mentioned.Standing in front the substitute bench, Nimba United FC’s head coach Korvay Kollie had his hands on his head, and mouthing the word ‘GOAL.’Perhaps goalkeeper Alpha Jalloh thought he was dreaming when the winger put his right foot hard on the ball to enter the net, and when the sparse crowd yelled GOAL, Jalloh’s hands were still opened.It was a goal that came too late but indicated how small boys can run and cannot hide, said a follower of the victors.In earlier results on Saturday, FC Fassell defeated Gardnersville FC 1-0; Aries won 1-0 over Gedi & Sons and 72nd and LISCR FC settled to a 0-0 draw.Nimba United: Bill Jensen, Darlington Pailey, Anthony Buogbor, Michael Guanue, Bill Zogar, Paul Reeves, Franklin Mulbah, George Allison, Sonnyboy Dolo and Papie Johnson. Sub: Titus Cooper, Patrick Singboh, Jimmy Kortee, James Kpadeh, De-jusus Sullonteh.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
By Yanalla DalrympleOver the past weekend, Guyana has seen an influx of the Warrau tribe from Venezuela entering the country through its Amakura River (Region One) border.Overwhelmed by a growing economic disaster back in Venezuela, a group, consisting ofThe Venezuelan nationalsmore than 50 persons, including pregnant women, children and young babies, came in search of food, medical and other services.According to the group that had an interpreter, they only came to Guyana in search of food because they are usually hungry. They added that they are also in need of medical assistance, water, mattresses/cots, beddings and clothing.Region One (Barima-Waini) Chairman Brentnol Ashley told Guyana Timesthat the Regional Disaster Relief Committee has reached out to the Venezuelans and was able to offer some assistance.Ashley noted that even though the Committee was not able to provide for all of the persons it was still able to assist with food supplies over the two-day period.“We were able to provide meals, clothing and shelter for them. In the coming days, the Committee will be meeting with other organisations to discuss plans on the way forward, because from how it sounds they will not be going back soon,” Ashley explained.Ashley is pleading with other organisations to assist in any way possible. Donations can be made to the Office of the RDC – Mabaruma Compound.Only recently, Mabaruma Mayor Henry Smith warned that a health crisis may be looming in Region One, given the large number of Venezuelans who are illegally crossing the border to seek medical attention and engage in trade.Though acknowledging that Guyana has to show care towards its Spanish-speaking neighbours, Smith said that it must not come at the expense of the health and safety of locals.Further, he noted that they can certainly bring diseases here, since there are no checks and balances and lots of the migrants have malaria and “we were almost malaria-free here”.He urged that a joint meeting be convened in the town with regional and Health Ministry officials, whereby residents would also be able to make inputs.Meanwhile, the Venezuela Support Group (VSG) has been established in Guyana to provide advice and assistance to Venezuelans seeking refuge from the deprivations and insecurity currently gripping their homeland.The VSG, consisting of eight civic and faith-based organisations, was assembled to establish possible partnerships with the Ministry of Citizenship in regard to the above situation.The founding members of the VSG include the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA); Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA); Guyana Institute for Transparency Inc (GITI); Moray House Trust; Policy Forum Guyana; Red Thread; the Roman Catholic Diocese of Guyana, and the Ursuline Sisters in Guyana.
Clark also is disappointed in Low’s vote that helped remove Clark from her delegate seat on the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments. “She is capable of thinking independently, but she blew it on that one,” Clark said. Since Low has been elected, staff members said they think the council has started to make progress. It held its first strategic planning meeting on Friday in the city’s history. It approved $600,000 for upgrades of the council chambers, which hasn’t been improved since its construction in the 1950s. It is considering adopting a new set of guidelines that would prevent the “mansionization” of neighborhoods. It voted 3-2, with Taylor and Clark dissenting, to move the council meetings from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m. Even the diversity among the council members is starting to more adequately reflect the city’s demographics. Rosemead, which has 53,505 residents, has a predominastely Asian and Latino population. At council meetings, Low has often been the first to make a motion and to make comments to the residents during public comment. On Tuesday, she was the only council member to offer a $100 personal donation to the Rosemead Youth Association, which is experiencing financial hard times. Low, who has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master’s degree in computer science, has also been outspoken against the high salary the Council members receive, calling it a serious misuse of public funds. Council members get paid $1,118 a month, not including community development committee payments. Low was born in Hong Kong. She and her husband have lived in the city for 20 years, and they have three children. She has been trying to get on the City Council since 2005, when she was vying for one of three open City Council seats. During that election, Low became the second Asian-American woman to run for a council seat in Rosemead. She ran against Tran, Nu ez, Clark and former councilmen Bill Alarcon and Joe Vasquez. Low, like Tran and Nu ez, was opposed to Wal-Mart. Low ran again unsuccessfully in the recall election, which sought to unseat long-timers Taylor and former Councilman Jay Imperial for their approval of the Wal-Mart Supercenter. But in her campaign this year, she ran with the hopes of moving forward, apart from the Wal-Mart decision. Wal-Mart supporters have assumed that Low will vote with Tran and Nu ez because of the shared views on the Supercenter. “She’s no one’s puppet,” said Jim Flournoy, community activist. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Now, council members, staff and residents are waiting to see how the March 6 election of Low is going to play out, although many have already associated her as the third vote to join Mayor John Tran and Councilman John Nu ez, both of whom were elected in 2005. Low, an aerospace software engineer manager for Raytheon, has so far proven to some that she is an independent thinker, though she declined to be interviewed for this story. She sided with Councilman Gary Taylor and Councilwoman Margaret Clark and approved a request to get a verbatim transcript from a council meeting, and also voted with them not to support paying for banners to honor the Chamber of Commerce’s 80th anniversary. But both Taylor and Clark – along with fellow supporters of the Wal-Mart – expressed apprehension about Low. While Low has helped the minority win small victories, they said her vote to approve hiring City Attorney Bonifacio Garcia might have exposed her true colors. ROSEMEAD – The city’s top vote getter in the March council election billed herself as someone who could bring change to Rosemead. “Rosemead has been stagnant for many, many years,” Polly Low said while she was campaigning. A little more than a month after Low was sworn on to the City Council, some say that it has been a constant state of change. Low, 45, faces a city that is attempting to rebuild itself after it was left deeply divided over construction of the Wal-Mart Supercenter.
But Neymar’s sparkling performance was tarnished by yet another example of his tendency to overreact to seemingly innocuous challenges.The latest chapter in a bulging catalogue of histrionic behaviour came in the second half, when Mexico midfielder Miguel Layun appeared to step on his ankle as he lay prone.Neymar writhed around and convulsed as if he had received an electric shock.“I think it’s a shame for football,” Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio lamented afterwards, saying Neymar’s antics had wasted precious time.“We wasted a lot of time because of one single player … we lost our style in the second half, because of the referee.“This is a very bad example for the world and the world of football.”– ‘Absolutely pathetic’ –As social media platforms exploded with fans angrily accusing Neymar of cheating, former England striker Alan Shearer described the Paris Saint-Germain star as “absolutely pathetic.”Neymar receives medical attention during the World Cup round of 16 football match between Brazil and Mexico © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV“There is no doubting the ability of him. He is a magnificent player,” said Shearer, who is working in Russia for Britain’s BBC.“But it really is pathetic when he is rolling around as if he is in agony.”Yet Neymar shrugged off the criticism after his man-of-the-match performance, claiming it was motivated to “undermine me.”“I don’t care much for criticism, or praise, because this can influence your attitude,” he said.“In the last two matches I didn’t talk to the press because I don’t want to. I just have to play, help my teammates, help my team.”Brazil defender Thiago Silva meanwhile heaped praise on Neymar, who only returned to playing shortly before the tournament following an injury layoff of more than three months.“It’s magnificent how he’s playing, especially after three and a half months on the sidelines,” PSG teammate Silva said. “It’s very difficult to come back the way he’s done.”Against Mexico, Neymar burst into life after Brazil weathered early pressure from opponents determined to end a 32-year wait to reach the quarter-finals.The 26-year-old talisman struck the opening goal on 51 minutes to Brazil 1-0 up.The Brazil talisman drew several defenders as he ran across the edge of the area with the ball at his feet, before passing to Willian and continuing his run into the box.Mexico’s midfielder Hector Herrera (L) fouls Brazil’s forward Neymar © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVWillian duly returned the favour and Neymar was on hand to poke the Chelsea midfielder’s superb delivery past Guillermo Ochoa.As Mexico lost heart, Brazil could have added more as probing counters carved open Mexico’s defence, Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro notably testing Ochoa with a drive the ‘keeper blocked.The result was settled when Layun lost possession in the dying minutes. Neymar went on a counter-attack that drew Ochoa from his goal before finding Roberto Firmino with the finest of touches from the outside of his right boot.With only two goals, Neymar is lagging well behind England star Harry Kane’s tournament-leading tally of five goals.But Silva is hoping Neymar emulates the recent feats of other Paris Saint-Germain clubmates Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe on his way to taking Brazil further.“It’s true, I said this before this match,” added Silva. “I hope he listens to me in the quarter-finals.”0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Brazil’s forward Neymar celebrates scoring the opening goal against Mexico at the Samara Arena © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVSAMARA, Russian Federation, Jul 3 – Brazil superstar Neymar brushed off his critics after firing the five-time World Cup winners to victory over Mexico on Monday and into a quarter-final showdown with Belgium.Neymar scored one goal and created another as his increasingly impressive Brazil side overpowered the Mexicans 2-0 in sweltering conditions.
Simon Church saved Chris Coleman’s side from a miserable Euro 2016 send-off Wales 1-1 Northern IrelandSimon Church saved Wales from a miserable Euro 2016 send-off in front of their own fans as Michael O’Neill was denied his his first friendly win as Northern Ireland manager.Northern Ireland had appeared to be on their way to a first victory over Wales since 1980 when Craig Cathcart fired the visitors ahead on a wet and windy night at the Cardiff City Stadium.But Church, who had only been on the pitch 13 minutes, won a last-minute penalty when he was tripped by Gareth McAuley and he converted emphatically from the spot to secure a 1-1 draw.Czech Republic 0-1 ScotlandIkechi Anya’s first-half strike gave battling Scotland a 1-0 friendly win over Czech Republic at the Generali Arena in Prague.The home side had hit the frame of the goal before the Watford winger raced on to a Ross McCormack pass in the 10th minute to drive low past keeper Tomas Koubek.The Czechs fought back fiercely and Scotland keeper Allan McGregor was peppered with attempts on goal but managed to keep the home side at bay with a string of saves in the first half with his defence helping out after the break to keep the home side out.It was a mostly backs-to-the-wall performance by Gordon Strachan’s side but as a first step to rebuilding for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers which begin later in the year, it will be good enough for the national team boss and the Tartan Army.Germany vs England will be live on talkSPORT on Saturday evening from 7pm. 1