Roberto Di Matteo insists the Football Association has shown a lack of commonsense by refusing to bring Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham forward.The Blues are unhappy that they must play the game at 6pm next Sunday – three days before the first leg of their Champions League tie against Barcelona.Di Matteo believes the FA have handed Barca an advantage by rejecting his club’s pleas for the Spurs match to take place earlier.AdChoices广告The Chelsea interim boss said: “I’m very disappointed that commonsense hasn’t prevailed.“Obviously, they didn’t take into consideration anything we said. Barca will have one more day to recover than us and it might give them a little advantage.”Barca may also enjoy an advantage ahead of the second leg at the Camp Nou if the Spanish football authorities agree to bring forward their clash with Real Madrid, which is currently scheduled for 22 April.“Other federations are very helpful. The English federation hasn’t seemed very helpful in our case,” Di Matteo added.See also: Chelsea boss pledges to find strategy to upset BarcelonaFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Syracuse is scheduled to play Arkansas in the SEC-Big East Challenge, which announced its pairings Friday.But according to an article published by ESPN.com Friday, SU Athletic Director Daryl Gross ‘wrote in an email to Big East colleagues that the Orange is ‘overcommitted and can’t play at this point.”Still, SU remains scheduled to take on the Razorbacks in Arkansas, said Sue Edson, assistant director of athletic communications. The Orange and Razorbacks will play November 30.Gross said in a text message that he and Big East interim commissioner Joe Bailey discussed the situation Friday.‘Communication has been poor until today where Joe Bailey and I have had some constructive discussion and (are) trying to work out a solution,’ Gross said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textUnder a two-year agreement signed before the 2011-12 season, the challenge was set to have six games at SEC schools and six games at Big East schools, according to ESPN.com. Syracuse hosted Florida in the challenge at the Carrier Dome last season, but hasn’t fulfilled its home/road obligation under the agreement yet, according to [email protected] Published on June 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected]
USC junior pitcher Andrew Triggs entered Thursday’s game against Washington with an ERA of 5.13. He finished it with an ERA of 4.52.Triggs pitched his and the Trojans’ (17-20, 7-6) second complete game of the season, throwing nine innings of one-run ball as USC took game one of a three-game set against the Huskies (11-24, 2-8).His one allowed run came in the very first inning off an RBI double. Triggs shut down the Huskies offense after that.The righty recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts, allowing just five hits and issuing just one free pass. Triggs would allow just six base runners and retired the Huskies in order in the third, fourth, fifth and ninth, including 11 straight at one point.Washington starter Geoff Brown was terrific, as well. The lefty scattered two runs and six hits over eight innings, striking out four and walking just one. But the two runs were all the Trojans needed.Both runs came in the second for the Trojans. With two outs, sophomore third baseman Adam Landecker singled up the middle, and freshman designated hitter Kevin Swick walked. Up stepped true-freshman shortstop James Roberts, who delivered a two-run double into the gap in right center.That was it for the scoring on both sides, and for most action in general throughout the game. Washington coach Lindsay Meggs was ejected in the seventh inning, but otherwise Triggs and Brown kept the game moving quickly.
On a cold October evening in front of an announced crowd of just 210, the University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team proved to be too much to handle for the Leathernecks of Western Illinois as the Badgers pulled out a 1-0 victory on Tuesday night at the McClimon Complex. The win extended the Badgers’ home-unbeaten streak to 10 games, the longest such streak in the Big Ten.It felt more like two separate games than halves as the Badgers (9-2-1, 1-1-0 Big Ten) rebounded from taking just seven shots in the first half to put 20 shots up in the final 45 minutes.“I think the guys smelled that we could get after them in the second half,” head coach John Trask said after the game. “[Western Illinois head coach] Dr. Johnson and his players fought hard and denied us opportunity after opportunity, sliding in front of their goal, blocking shots and good goalkeeping. Compliments to our guys in finding one.”The difference proved to be none other than senior Tomislav Zadro who scored his third goal of the season, and ninth of his Badger career, off a rebound on his own penalty kick in the 80th minute.“It was a bad penalty kick,” Zadro admitted after the game. “I was lucky it bounced back and I had the presence of mind to follow it up.”Zadro’s aggressive play all night, after starting the game on the bench, allowed for the Badgers to keep the ball in the Leathernecks’ end of the field for the majority of the second half. In the 80th minute he was taken down inside the box, away from the ball, to set up the penalty shot.Trask credited the penalty to all of the hard work his team, and especially his defense, exerted through the first 79 minutes of the match.“As the game went on, none of their counters amounted to anything,” Trask said. “We snuffed those out quickly and I think that helped us psychologically continue to wear on them. Eventually I think the kid just grabbed [Zadro] because the level of frustration was building with their guys and they began to wonder how long they could hold out before the ball crossed that line.”Zadro’s aggressiveness was exemplified perfectly on a second-half corner kick where he thought he would catch Western Illinois’ goalie, Yves Dietrich, off-guard and tried to bend the ball directly into the far corner of the net. Dietrich made the save, but many of the fans and even some of the players on the field believed the ball crossed the line before the goalie was able to get his hands on it. When asked about the play after the game, Trask said, “We always argue for those but that would have been really tough on Western Illinois to say that that ball was definitely all the way over the line.”This was just the third shutout of the season for the Badgers, and as they head back into Big Ten play with a matchup in Ann Arbor, Mich., against the Wolverines on Sunday the team feels confident that they will be heading east after their strongest defensive showing thus far.“It was kind of a simple game plan,” Cochran said, “but it was just one of those games where we needed to get a goal and we couldn’t give up a goal. If we gave up a goal then anything could have happened.”All of the Western Illinois (3-10-0, 1-2-0 Summit League) counterattacks were met by a brick wall comprised of David Caban, AJ Cochran, Carl Schneider and Paul Yonga. Coach Trask pointed to the team’s ability to keep its shape and make the plays that they needed to as reasons for shutting down the Leathernecks’ counterattacks. It’s something that the Badgers have not always been good at.“It’s tough for players this age to have the ball all the time and not have to worry about defense,” Trask said. “It’s just like how when a goalkeeper doesn’t have to do anything for 85 minutes and then makes one big save, you know you’ve got an exceptional goalie. It’s easy to be a goalie when the ball is flying at your net every two minutes because the guy gets in the zone. It’s about being able to stay in-tuned with those little minutes and I thought we did a very good job of that tonight.”The 1-0 victory marked the fourth time in the past five meetings between these two teams in which that was the final result. The one time the score did not end up as a 1-0 Badger victory was last season when the two teams tied 0-0. Needless to say, the Badgers knew they were in store for a tough match.“Every time we play them it’s a 1-0 game,” Cochran said. “Regardless of what style they’re playing it is just a grind, a battle. They’ve got a good team and we were fortunate to come out of here 1-0.”
On this day in 2010: Nelson Mandela welcomed Ghana’s Black Stars, the most successful African side at the 2010 World Cup to his home.Players of the Black Stars, technical team and officials from the Ghana Football Association visited the former South African President’s Johannesburg home in Houghton.The visit to the Noble Peace prize winner came a day after Ghana’s quarter-final defeat to Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup.Despite being heartbroken after their World Cup exit, Ghana’s players did not only find solace but were lifted when they entered the home of the former leader.Replica Ghana shirts and other items were presented to the revered leader, then 91.The highlight of the visit came when players and officials went in batches to shake hands with Madiba and had the rare opportunity of photo sessions with the former President. Prior to seeing the the former leader, Ghana’s team had visited the Sowetan home of his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Even prior to that 64th minute goal Bešić was successfully sticking to his assigned job of tracking Messi’s runs, in the process dispossessing the master several times throughout the match. It eventually took the Argentine’s genius to score that imperious goal, after a run that most defensive midfielders would have found difficult to contain let alone a relative green horn in Bešić.The Berlin born Bosnian was initially not part of the manager, Safet Sušić’s plans during the World Cup qualifying phase, for which he preferred a very attacking 4-1-3-2 formation where the holding midfielder’s role was played by Haris Medunjanin. But leading to the quadrennial event Sušić started employing a more defensive and conventional 4-2-3-1, in which Bešić came into the side in place of the striker Vedad Ibisevic. A move that underpinned Sušić’s more careful approach unlike the very open set up he employed during the qualifying campaign.After announcing his team for the quadrennial event Sušić had this to say, “I knew several months ago that (Muhamed) Bešić would be in the squad because he is the only player here who can handle the job of man-marking Lionel Messi.” He justified his manager’s faith quite remarkably.The holding midfielder’s convincing displays during the matches prior to the World Cup and his fantastic job on the World’s best player meant he started all three matches in the tournament.An important detail that puts the cherry on top of his performances in Brazil is the fact that he played majority of his international and two years at Ferencváros as a center back but still managed to perform so well in as demanding a position as defensive midfield.Covering the World Cup as an analyst for a TV channel, Everton manager Roberto Martinez was impressed with what he saw of the Bosnian and brought him to Goodison Park for a reported fee of £4 million from the Hungarian outfit Ferencváros.Who is Muhamed Bešić?The Bosnian’s family had to leave the war torn Yugoslavia and move to Germany like so many of their fellow Bosniaks. Bešić was born on 10th September 1992 in Berlin and started playing for his local club Tennis Borussia Berlin at age nine. After developing with them for seven years he made his first big move to one of the giants of German football – SV Hamburg in 2009.Being named a substitute for a number of matches during Hamburg’s 2010-11 campaign, Bešić finally got his debut against the eventual Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund when he came on as an 80th minute substitute with his side trailing 2-0. He finally made his first start against Borussia Mönchengladbach in a 2-1 win for his team.For all his brilliance on the pitch Bešić did struggle early on with disciplinary issues off it. In March 2012, Bešić’s indiscipline saw him getting suspended from the Hamburg first team. If the media reports are to be believed he didn’t get along with the first team manager Torsten Fink and things came to the point where Torsten Fink “strangled” Bešić and threw him out of the dressing room, according to some sections of the Bosnian media.In 2010 along with the senior club debut Bešić also made his Bosnia and Herzegovina U21 as well as the senior national team debut. After impressing on his U-21 debut in Sarajevo against the Italians, Sušić called him for the senior side’s friendly against Slovakia in November 2010. He came off the bench much like his club debut in the 79th minute of the tie for his first international match. And in the process became the youngest Bosnian debutante at the age of 18 years and two months. Bosnia won the contest in Bratislava 3-2.His first start for the national team came the following year when he featured in defence against Mexico in 2-0 defeat in a friendly played in Atlanta, he had to wait a little longer for his competitive debut which came in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign in a 2-0 win against Albania in June.Bešić made two more senior appearances before being left out for two years eventually getting recalled for the World Cup campaign.Though, he did play for the U-21 squad where he was a regular for the Euro 2013 unsuccessful qualifying campaign. During the campaign his old disciplinary issues cropped up again, and a bust-up with U21 coach Vlado Jagodic meant he was frozen from the squad.His inability to see Bešić regularly led Sušić to not start him for the senior side either.Problems with national team aside, Bešić flourished in Hungary playing in the heart of Ferencváros’ defence. In his first first season in Hungary, he was named the best foreign player in the division and also helped the club to victory in the League Cup.His performances didn’t go unnoticed by the bigger European clubs and quite a few of them showed interest in procuring his services. English sides Tottenham, Aston Villa and Fulham among others were reported to be interested in him though nothing came to fruition.Post the World Cup he signed for Everton. Playing for Roberto Martinez who is known for his eye for finding talented youngsters and one of the most technical managers in the game means Bešić is in safe hands to take his game a few notches higher and realize his full potential.Style of play, strengths, and weaknessesBešić has become a regular starter for his national team and has done well in the Everton side as a defensive midfielder in the limited chances he has had so far. So assured has he been in midfield that it is easy to forget he has played majority of his career in central defence.Bešić’s first appearance for Everton as a last minute substitute against Chelsea was a forgettable one when his first touch resulted in losing the ball to Jon Obi Mikel who assisted Diego Costa. He had a much better outing on his full debut against Mersyside rivals Liverpool where he showed his full range of skills. He looked extremely good in possession and shielded his defence to perfection; he ended the match with a commendable 86.8% passing accuracy from 68 touches of the ball.Much like Sušić’s deployment of Bešić as a holding midfielder in his 4-2-3-1 for the national team, Martinez has also used him in the same role where he is paired with Gareth Barry at the base of midfield in the absence of the preferred James McCarthy, and has the difficult task of tracking the movement of the opposition playmaker, giving his midfielder partner solidity that enables him to move further up the pitch.On the ball Bešić is very assured with his passing and ball retention skills. According to Squawka so far in his Premier League appearances he has passing accuracy of 91% which shows his ability to find team mates in space.The Bosnian is blessed with incredible pace which allows him to cover his opponents even if they have a few yards of head start. During their World Cup fixture against Nigeria he made a well timed tackle after a lung busting run on Ahmad Musa at a crucial juncture in the match. The world took full notice of his pace when he did the same against one of the fastest players in the game – Gareth Bale in the Euro qualifier a week ago.He has a lot to develop in the defensive side of his game as is reflected by the meager 31% of duels won in the limited chances he has got at Everton which in comparison to his direct replacement, James McCarthy is half. He hasn’t won a single aerial duel which speaks of his lack of prowess in the air, and the stat is not an outlier as he didn’t win a single aerial duel during the World Cup either. He lags behind in total clearances at 1.86, 0.37 blocks, committed 3.33 fouls per 90 minutes of action, and won only 2 tackles per match which are a reflection of the work he needs to put in to develop the defensive side of his game.With all the defensive problems he does have a fairly good offensive game, he has a remarkable 91% pass completion rate, 91% successful take ons and made 0.67 key passes per game in the limited opportunities he has had.These stats are a reflection of where the Bosnian’s strengths lie, his figures are still raw as he has got limited minutes in a new team, in a new league. He will definitely get better with time. And as the numbers suggest he might be due another switch as he had done in the past from the heart of defence to defensive midfield to perhaps a ball playing midfielder.Under Martinez’s tutelage he is in safe hands for the future. (Source: outsideoftheboot)