first_imgRelatedPosts Solskjaer criticises England over handling of youngster Greenwood Denmark hold England to draw Batshuayi double helps Belgium to massive win over Iceland Raheem Sterling’s last minute penalty salvaged England from another embarrassing result against Iceland as Gareth Southgate’s men survived going down to 10 men and Birkir Bjarnason also missing a late spot-kick to start their Nations League campaign with a 1-0 win in Reykjavik on Saturday.Four years on from one of English football’s most embarrassing nights in losing 2-1 to Iceland at Euro 2016, the Three Lions were far from the free-scoring force that romped through Euro 2020 qualifying in their first match for 10 months. Harry Kane had an early goal wrongly ruled out for offside before Kyle Walker was sent-off for two bookable offences 20 minutes from time.All of Iceland’s good defensive work was undone in the 89th minute when Sverrir Ingason was also harshly dismissed for a second booking when he blocked Sterling’s shot with his arm.With Kane having been replaced by Mason Greenwood, Sterling took responsibility from spot, but the drama did not end there.Straight from kick-off, Joe Gomez was adjudged to have bundled over Holmbert Fridjonsson inside the area, but Bjamason blazed the resulting penalty over.Southgate’s men continued to enjoy the vast majority of possession in the second period, but the closest they came to breaking the deadlock before the dramatic finale was when Iceland’s Kari Arnason flicked Kieran Trippier’s free-kick onto his own post. Moments later Walker’s ill-judged lunge to break up an Icelandic counter-attack left his side a man down.A breakthrough did not look like coming until Sterling collected an overhit corner and the ball struck Ingason’s arm in his attempt to block the shot.Sterling coolly rolled his penalty straight down the middle and how Bjarnason wish he had showed the same composure as his wild finish let England off the hook.Tags: EnglandRaheem SterlingUEFA Nations Leaguelast_img read more

first_imgDemola OjoAFCON 2019 hosts, the Pharaohs of Egypt, will need to get past bruised opponents DR Congo to book an early ticket to the second round of the competition.Despite sky-high optimism and enormous support, the Egyptian team only managed to edge past Zimbabwe 1-0 in the opening match in front of a vociferous crowd at the Cairo International Stadium. Superstar attacker Mohammed Salah failed to make an impact against Zimbabwe but the Champions League winner with Liverpool will be itching to deliver a noteworthy performance.Salah may play in a more advanced role against DR Congo, after he was moved from the right-hand side into the middle during the second half against Zimbabwe to little effect, but coach Javier Aguirre may prolong that experiment today.“We considered using him as a striker against Zimbabwe from the game’s start, but Salah was not in top form physically due to his long season with Liverpool, so he started in his regular post,” assistant coach Tito Garcia revealed.“Salah, with his great capacities, is capable of playing in any position and performing well.”However, the DRC are no pushovers, even though they were victims of the one true shock so far in the competition, after being convincingly beaten 2-0 by Uganda in their opening game.Captain Youssouf Mulumbu apologised to supporters for the “humiliating” defeat to a team ranked 80th in the world and previously without a win in the tournament since 1978.And head coach Florent Ibenge concedes his side now have a mountain to climb if they are to advance, as they aim to avoid back-to-back group-stage losses for the first time since the 2004 edition.“We had a bad game and deserved to lose against Uganda. Now we have to do it the hard way,” Ibenge said.“It’s going to be a very difficult game for us, but we will do our best. We will play to have the best result despite the fact Egypt are playing at home. We will not adopt a defensive method, because we want to qualify.”If the Leopards are to stand any chance, star striker Cedric Bakambu will have to fire on all cylinders. Bakambu boasted a good goal return during his time with Bursaspor and Villarreal in European football. Now scoring regularly in the Chinese Super League with Beijing Guoan, the France-born striker will be keen to get off the mark today after disappointing against Uganda.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

first_imgWith his third NFL chance, wide receiver Josh Gordon is going from Tom Brady and the Patriots to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Gordon was claimed by Seattle following his release from New England earlier this month.Gordon, recovering from a knee injury, was not ready to go for the Seahawks’ Week 9 home game, but he will be a consideration for Week 10’s big NFC West road game at the division-leading 49ers. “He’s a unique talent. Next week, we’ll take a look and see what he looks like,” Carroll said. “He’s done a lot of good stuff and made a lot of good plays.”Because the Seahawks, like the Patriots, are a very capable offense without Gordon, this the ultimate low-risk, super high-reward move. Although it would be nice to have his services against former Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and a tough San Francisco pass defense, you can bet they will make sure he’s physically and mentally ready before playing him. Carroll is a different style of coach than Biil Belichick, but he’s also welcoming to anyone who can “Do Their Job” to help the Seahawks win more games. The supportive culture and coaching is there for Gordon to make Seattle a final, fruitful NFL stop. JOSH GORDON TIMELINE:WR’s twisting path leads him to SeahawksWhy did the Seahawks, rather deep at wide receiver, decide to claim Gordon and what reason is there to think it will the team-player relationship will work out better and for longer than it did for Gordon with the Patriots or Browns? Here’s breaking it down:How Josh Gordon improves the Seahawks’ receiving corps, offenseGordon, 28, at 6-3, 225 pounds will be another downfield threat for Wilson outside to join promising rookie second-rounder D.K. Metcalf, who at 6-4, 229 pounds has posted 23 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns halfway through his first NFL season. Metcalf has been a strong deep and red zone threat, averaging 17.5 yards per catch. With New England and Cleveland, Gordon averaged 17.1 yards per catch, spiked by his league-leading 1,646 receiving yards in ’13. Tyler Lockett was the Seahawks’ premier home-run hitter last year and can still deliver big plays, but his role has been adjusted to take on more of slot possession duties, too, in the wake of Doug Baldwin’s retirement.Before Gordon, the Seahawks’ third-best reciever was Jaron Brown, followed by youngsters David Moore, Malik Turner and Gary Jennings. With the loss of tight end Will Dissly, Wilson was hurting for reliable targets in general to both stretch the field and finish drives.No wonder he was pumped at the news of Gordon’s addition.Welcome Flash.Time to put in this work!@JOSH_GORDONXII— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) November 1, 2019Gordon won’t suddenly make the Seahawks a pass-first team, however. They still will be grounded and run-heavy with Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny remaining the foundation of Brian Schottenheimer’s offense. But he can still be a key downfield weapon.Wilson’s pass attempts are up to an average of 31 per game from fewer than 27 last year, partly because Seattle’s defense is more of a liability. He leads the NFL in TD passes over eight games with 19, and he’s done it at a career-high 8.5 yards per attempt and 115.5 passer rating.Wilson isn’t a dinker and dunker. He also doesn’t need volume to put up big passing numbers. He’s the league’s most efficient deep-ball passer and the running game facilitates that on play-action. The speed and quickness of Lockett was already hard to handle inside and now Metcalf has posed size problems for defensive backs. Gordon will often find himself in favorable matchups in a system tailored to his strengths, playing off Lockett and Metcalf like he did Julian Edleman and Rob Gronkowski.Why do the Seahawks think Josh Gordon will give them his best?Gordon had some great moments for the Patriots in less than two full seasons. Consider over 17 games, he posted 60 catches for 1,007 yards and 4 TDs. He worked hard and handled the complicated offense well. Gordon showed good chemistry with and was trusted by Brady when on the field. The issue, of course, was Gordon’s availability. When he wasn’t missing time with injury, he was making time to take care of himself the right way off the field to get past his past struggles with substance abuse.Gordon is a smart and articulate individual, and the type of quiet, grinding player who has worked out well for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll several times in the past. Carroll has been able to focus more on talent and has belief that his rah-rah style can get everyone to buy into his college-styled program.Carroll shared with reporters his optimism about the acquisition.last_img read more