About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Boly stoppage-time header steals late win for Wolves over Besiktasby Freddie Taylor22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNuno was proud of his players after Wolves secured their first ever Europa League group stage win over Besiktas on Thursday.Most teams in the world struggle to deal with the ferocious atmosphere in Istanbul, but the Premier League outfit showed grit and determination to grab all three points. With the game destined for a draw, defender Willy Boly popped up in stoppage time to score the winner.Speaking after the game, Nuno said: “The performance wasn’t the best, we competed well but we were sloppy, we weren’t accurate when we should be and we’ve got to improve that. It’s a tough stadium and environment but we managed the game well and we kept pushing.”I was trying to find solutions with our substitutions, Adama [Traore] did well but we struggled with the final touch, that’s something we’ve got to improve.”We’ll keep on fighting, it’s a competitive group but we’ll just keep looking forward. We were in the Championship two years ago, we must be proud, the fans were superb tonight. We have to improve and keep believing in the things that we do.”
About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Sir Alex Ferguson hails ‘absolute legend’ Wengerby Ansser Sadiq16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has gushed praise on his old rival Arsene Wenger.The two set the standard in the Premier League in the 1990s and early 2000s.Despite being bitter rivals in those years, Ferguson and Wenger have developed mutual respect in their later years.And Ferguson was not afraid to speak out in praise of Wenger, as the Frenchman received recognition at the Nordoff Robbins charity award dinner.Ferguson said via video: “The career you had as a manager at Arsenal was absolutely fantastic – an absolute legend.”I loved the competition against you. “We had some great times and it’s wonderful you’re getting this award tonight. “So good luck, my blessing [is] with you.”
zoomThe inside of a GTT cryogenic membrane tank; Image Courtesy: Wartsila French engineering company GTT has signed a Technical Assistance and License Agreement (TALA) with Sembcorp Marine for the design and construction of membrane tank solutions.Under the deal, GTT would undertake the works for Sembcorp Marine’s Gravifloat, FSRU and mid-scale LNG carrier products using GTT membrane solutions.Sembcorp Marine received its approval after completing a qualification process which started in 2017, including the building of a Mark III mock-up and an audit conducted by GTT.This partnership allows both companies to target new markets, especially focusing on solutions for LNG terminals, and to advance the development of LNG in the global fuel supply chain.“We are committed to developing and building together new LNG infrastructures which can be installed worldwide, to provide energy in remote areas,” Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT, said.“By combining our respective solutions, we can ensure safer and more reliable LNG delivery, handling and use, and in turn contribute towards more sustainable power generation and consumption,” Wong Weng Sun, President & CEO of Sembcorp Marine, added.
New Delhi: Rajasthan Royals pacer Varun Aaron feels the gentleman’s game is changing swiftly as batsmen today have many innovations in their kitty to cope with the bowlers. As a result, he feels that the bowlers should also come with new tricks and techniques, a thing he has focussed on in recent times. After being on the bench for most of the first-half, Aaron bowled a magnificent spell against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and played an instrumental role in his side’s three-wicket win. The Jharkhand pacer hogged the limelight after bowling an excellent inswinger to get rid of KKR opener Shubman Gill, who was completely beaten by a brilliant in-swinging knuckle ball. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuThe delivery from Aaron took a sharp turn and crashed into the stumps after taking a slight edge from Gill’s bat. Aaron felt the variations in his bowling is a result of his hard work and the better understanding of the game. The 29-year-old admitted that not featuring in the IPL last year helped him improve his bowling variations. “I think not playing IPL previous year really benefitted me. I used to do these (variations) all things before but as I had to play regular cricket, I didn’t get enough time to perfect it to the degree I wanted. Playing county cricket last year and getting lot of time from the mainstream Indian cricket gave me that time and platform to practise and perfect my variations. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters”I really enjoyed my time with Leicestershire. Yes, I am looking to play more county cricket,” he added. Aaron also believed the game of cricket is changing and along with the batsmen, bowlers also need to emerge with innovative ideas. “My bowling has evolved in the last one year. The game is changing rapidly as batsmen are coming with innovative shots and I feel the bowlers also need to step up and should have tricks under their sleeves, a thing which I have worked on since a while and I am glad it is coming out well now,” he revealed. Asked about not being given enough chance in the playing eleven of the Royals, Aaron said: “Yes, I was given a chance after ten games and was really looking to play since the start of the season. I did get a game before but just bowled one over. I was waiting for this chance and had been preparing from a long time.” Speaking on the wicket of Gill, which grabbed everyone’s attention, he said: “I just stuck to the basics and knew the Eden (Garden) wicket was going to suit the way I bowl because there was pace and carry. I bowled a knuckle ball as I knew it would swing with the new ball. I had been bowling it for quite some time. I just feel that it happened at the right time and the wicket also helped.” Aaron however, didn’t looked disappointed after not getting much chance. “I wouldn’t say I was disappointed as in any team the management thinks of certain permutations and combinations to win a game and if they thought of making other guys play, that is fine because at the end of the day it is their call.” “I still feel we have a good chance to qualify and if I can play a major role in making my team win the trophy, missing the first ten matches wouldn’t matter,” he added. The Royals had switched captains mid-way during this season as Ajinkya Rahane had to make way for Steve Smith but Aaron said their below par performance was not because of leadership. “Both Smith and Rahane are really good captains. We didn’t do well in the first half and I don’t think that was because of leadership issue. We lost games by small margins and a captain can’t control that,” he said.
CAIRO – Egypt’s “Journalists for reform” group, meanwhile, condemned the arrest as a “new blow to journalists.”Egyptian security forces on Thursday arrested the Cairo bureau director of Iranian satellite TV news channel Alalam.“Security forces raided the home of Ahmed al-Siyoufi and arrested him,” a security source told Anadolu Agency.The reason for al-Siyoufi’s arrest, however, remains unclear.The news channel confirmed the arrest, saying talks were currently underway with Egyptian Journalists Syndicate head Diaa Rashwan to determine the reason for al-Siyoufi’s sudden arrest.Egypt’s “Journalists for reform” group, meanwhile, condemned the arrest as a “new blow to journalists.”In a statement, the group described al-Siyoufi – an Egyptian national – as “an outspoken opponent of the [July 3] coup” that unseated elected president Mohamed Morsi and “a staunch supporter of constitutional legitimacy.”Egyptian security forces had briefly detained al-Siyoufi in July and confiscated broadcast equipment from Alalam’s Cairo office on allegations that the channel lacked official permission to operate in Egypt.
Texas Tech863-5 Syracuse100-1 Villanova515050-1 Chances based on BPIDifferences may not add up exactly due to roundingSource: ESPN Stats & Information Group West Virginia857-2 Loyola-Chicago102+1 Chances of making Final Four Gonzaga9%23%28%+20 Nevada2120 Purdue323025-8 Texas A&M2220 Kansas St.104+4 Duke423749+7 Kansas172319+2 Gonzaga’s good luck has gotten even betterChances of making the Final Four for 2018 Sweet 16 teams before the bracket was released, after the bracket was released and if we had known each team’s opponents this far in the tournament before it began Kentucky is the envy of the college basketball world for its soft Sweet 16 landing in a region that is suddenly without any of its top-four seeds. But if we’re looking for the luckiest team in the NCAA Tournament this year, a case can be made that it’s not the Wildcats. It’s Gonzaga.That’s not to say that Kentucky hasn’t been fortunate. John Calipari’s perennial powerhouse entered the tournament with just a 2 percent chance to reach the Final Four, per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, and an 8 percent chance based on FiveThirtyEight’s projections. Looking at each model now,1BPI is one ingredient in the FiveThirtyEight projection cocktail. that number has ballooned to 45 percent on BPI and 57 percent on FiveThirtyEight. Part of that increase is because of the strong teams in the region that fell early, but part is also based on Kentucky winning its first two games — and being only two wins from the Final Four, instead of the four it was at the start of the tourney.But what if we could isolate the effect of the upsets so far on a team’s chances? What if we had known before the tournament began that Kentucky would face Buffalo and Kansas State after opening with Davidson (avoiding Arizona and Virginia) and then face either Loyola-Chicago or Nevada in the Elite Eight (avoiding Tennessee and Cincinnati)? Given that information, Calipari’s team would have had a 21 percent chance per BPI to reach the Final Four,2FiveThirtyEight’s model doesn’t have “pre-bracket” predictions. a whopping 19 percentage point increase just because the right teams lost before Kentucky had to see them.So yes, the seas have parted for Kentucky in its region, but Gonzaga has arguably benefited more from circumstances outside of its control.Let’s do the same pre-tournament exercise with the Bulldogs. If we had known before the tournament that after the first round they would face Ohio State, Florida State and the winner of Michigan-Texas A&M, the Bulldogs would have received a modest boost (23 percent to 28 percent) to their Final Four chances, thanks to the losses of regional competitors like Xavier and North Carolina. They also would have received an increase to their title game and championship chances by 11 and 3 percentage points, respectively (compared with 8- and 2-point boosts for Kentucky).What’s helping out the Bulldogs so much? First, there’s the fact that Michigan — a worse team than Gonzaga, in BPI’s mind — is the toughest remaining out in the region for Mark Few’s squad. But then there’s this: In the Final Four, Gonzaga will basically reap all the same benefits that Kentucky received, getting to sidestep Virginia, Cincinnati, Tennessee and Arizona. At worst, the Bulldogs will face Kentucky, which is 3 points per game worse in team quality than Gonzaga on a neutral court, per BPI. If the schools met up in the Final Four, Gonzaga would have a 61 percent chance to win, according to the BPI model. In the best-case scenario for the Bulldogs, they would end up with one of the even more feeble options from the South region in Kansas State, Loyola-Chicago or Nevada.Is it cut and dried that Gonzaga has been more fortunate than Kentucky? No. But the numbers since the tournament began aren’t the whole story. See, Gonzaga’s chances also received a healthy bump from the selection committee’s layout of the bracket, which paved a relatively easy path for the Bulldogs en route to a possible trip to San Antonio — even if the bracket played to form. Before anyone had taken the court, Gonzaga’s chances to reach the Final Four increased by 14 percentage points over BPI’s pre-selection projections based on the teams it needed to get past in its region, so its Final Four chances in total have increased by 20 points (after rounding) overall. Meanwhile, the selection committee actually hurt Kentucky quite a bit, knocking its pre-selection Final Four chances down by 6 percentage points, meaning that outside forces improved the Wildcats’ Final Four chances by only 13 points. Clemson554-1 Florida St.111+1 Michigan131315+3 Kentucky8221+13 TeamPre-BracketPost-BracketPost-Bracket with Opp.overall Diff. So while the Wildcats have been lucky since the tournament began, they started out at a disadvantage. The same is true for a team like Duke, of course, whose current projection has benefited from Michigan State’s loss to Syracuse but whose original projection was hurt an awful lot by the Spartans’ nearby placement in the bracket. Duke and Villanova have seen slightly larger increases to their respective championship chances based on the bracket selection and other contenders’ losses relative to Gonzaga, but neither has been as positively affected as the Bulldogs in their chances to reach the Final Four or national championship game.If Gonzaga’s good fortune ends up helping to send the Washington school to the title game, it would not be unprecedented. Among all teams to reach the NCAA Tournament championship game since 2008, none benefited more from other teams losing than the 2017 Bulldogs, which faced No. 11 seed Xavier in the Elite Eight and No. 7 seed South Carolina in the Final Four. So while no one will feel sorry over Kentucky’s cushy path to the Final Four, it’s Gonzaga that — at least in the past two years — has had more luck on its side.Check out our latest March Madness predictions.
OSU junior forward Marc Loving (2) celebrates during a game against Air Force on Dec. 8 in Columbus. OSU won, 74-50. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State men’s basketball team extended its win streak to six games Sunday, as it defeated Illinois 75-73 in a close-fought conference matchup in Columbus. OSU survived the Fighting Illini’s 3-point barrage in the second half, narrowly escaping as Illinois’ last-second heave bounced off the left side of the backboard. After the game, OSU coach Thad Matta said he was impressed by Illinois’ performance, as the visitors played OSU tough up until the final whistle.“I thought Illinois played very, very well,” Matta said. “They hit some of the (timeliest) shots that I’ve ever seen. Give our guys credit, (because) a few weeks ago we would have probably crumbled, but we kept our composure, we kept fighting.” The Buckeyes were led by the play of junior forward Marc Loving, who had 27 points and seven rebounds. The win pushes the Scarlet and Gray’s record to 10-5, including a 2-0 mark in the Big Ten.Matta said getting high-level play from Loving, the most experienced player on the team, is essential to the team’s success. “Marc was very, very efficient tonight,” Matta said. “I think he kind of had a huge three in the corner, but also was able to put the ball down on the floor, got to the foul line. Marc has had a really, really good focus the last few games and, as your lone upperclassman on a basketball team, you hope that’s something we can continue to ride on.” OSU was able to ice the game at the free throw line, shooting 28-of-39 from the stripe for the game. Both teams were in foul trouble early in the second half, much to the disdain of Illinois coach John Groce.“We’ve got to play a lot harder without fouling,” Groce said. “That’s the highest number of free throws an opponent has shot against us all year and that was the difference in the game.” Groce’s team only made 12 of 32 3-point attempts, and overall OSU held Illinois to 40 percent shooting from the field. Matta said although the defense is not be where he ultimately wants it to be, he is happy with the way the defense is playing.“I think that we’re getting there,” Matta said. “The thing that I would say that I’m not pleased with is we made some mistakes and they made us pay for them tonight. Those are things that are happen. I do think we’re understanding scouting more. We’ve got to continue to build it, but I like the direction we’re headed with our defense.” For OSU, the first half was one to forget, as the team was held to only 32 percent shooting from the field, thanks to the 2-3 zone Illinois employed. The rough first half, however, could perhaps be attributed to the absence of freshman point guard JaQuan Lyle, who picked up two fouls in the opening two minutes of play. The Buckeyes clung to a 30-26 lead going into halftime, looking for improved results in the second frame.OSU found those results with Lyle back on the court. With their starting point guard leading the offense, the Buckeyes returned to form in the second half — seeing a near-instant improvement. With Lyle running the show, OSU shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half.“I couldn’t be happier with the way (JaQuan) played,” Matta said. Lyle said he was disappointed to pick up two quick fouls and put his team in a bind early on, but knew when he came back in the second half, he would have a chance to lead his team to victory. “My mindset was that I was fresh,” Lyle said. “Everyone else had been playing the whole first 20 minutes so I took advantage of that. My legs were fresh and I made a couple of layups. Then I just started making plays.” Lyle poured in 14 points and a team-high 5 assists — all in the second half — for OSU.The Buckeyes, now on a hot streak with six straight wins, will move to face Northwestern on Wednesday in Evanston, Illinois, which Matta said will be a good test for his basketball team.“We’re going to see where we are,” Matta said. “The last road game against (Connecticut), we were awful. It will be interesting to see how we come out to start that game. Northwestern is playing some great basketball right now and it’s always a tough place to play.”Tip-off against the Wildcats is set for 9 p.m.
Men’s Tennis falls in indoor championships The No. 3 Ohio State men’s tennis team advanced to the championship match in the ITA National Team Indoors after defeating No. 2 Virginia, 4-1, Sunday, but fell to No. 1 USC, 4-3, in the final match. The loss was the Buckeyes’ first of the season as their record drops to 12-1 overall. OSU returns home to face Kentucky for a match scheduled for Feb. 25. Baseball’s Dezse named Big Ten Player of the Week Ohio State sophomore first baseman and pitcher Josh Dezse was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for his performance in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. Dezse went 7-for-14 overall including a home run, five RBIs and four runs. In all three games Dezse had at least two hits as OSU won two out of the three contests. Many publications named Dezse a preseason first-team All-American. This is the third time in Dezse’s career that he’s been named the conference’s player of the week. The baseball team will travel to Atlanta, Ga., for a three-game series against No. 10 Georgia Tech this weekend. Spooner in contention for player of the year honors in women’s hockey Senior forward Natalie Spooner is one of 30 final candidates for the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which is given to the top player in women’s college ice hockey. Spooner helped lead the Buckeyes to a 16-14-4 regular season record while averaging 0.94 goals per game. Men’s Lacrosse upsets No. 5 Denver The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team beat Denver, 10-9, Sunday to bring their record to 3-0 on the season. Junior attackman Logan Schuss had five goals in the contest which helped him earn ECAC Lacrosse League Offensive Player of the Week honors. Schuss has had at least one point in every game of his collegiate career. He has totaled 15 points and 10 goals on the season, which brings him to 123 points in his career. That total makes him 20th in Ohio State history. Dean earns Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Week honors Junior gymnast Colleen Dean was named Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Week along with Nebraska freshman Jessie DeZiel Monday. Dean won first place in the all-around competition in a dual meet with Denver Saturday. The team combined for a program record 197.625 points. The team next competes at home against Penn State Saturday at 4 p.m.
With just two games left on its slate of regular season games, the Ohio State women’s basketball team is back on the hardwood to face Illinois Thursday in Champaign, Ill. After taking down Michigan State, 67-60, at home Monday night, the Buckeyes might be looking to salvage what’s been an otherwise disappointing season. “We played great Monday night and the win was important,” said OSU coach Jim Foster. “The team just needs to keep getting better and Illinois will be a tough test.” The Buckeyes (15-12, 5-9 Big Ten) have struggled in conference play this year. But the victory against the Spartans has OSU motivated heading into its contest with the Fighting Illini. “Winning games, especially the other night, helps a lot in terms of confidence,” said senior guard Amber Stokes. “This season has been somewhat of a struggle, but winning our next two games would be huge and we’d have some momentum going into the Big Ten Tournament.” Illinois (16-10, 9-5 Big Ten) head into the game coming off of a 13-point win against Indiana on Feb. 23. The game against OSU is Illinois’ final home game of the season and, as such, it’s Senior Night for the likes of senior forward Karisma Penn, who averages 19.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. In a 79-73 win against OSU on Jan. 6 at the Schottenstein Center, Penn scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. “That was really a bizarre game,” Foster said. “We sent them to the foul line over 30 times and we dealt with some injuries. It was very strange, but since then, I think we’ve gotten a lot better.” In that contest against the Illini, Stokes suffered a sprained MCL in the first half that sidelined her for four additional games. Stokes, who returned to action in a 71-56 loss to Penn State on Jan. 27, is relishing her time back on the court. “It was a tough loss, and spraining my MCL in the first half, then not returning, was terrible,” said Stokes. “I really want this win, it would be huge.” Senior guard Tayler Hill, who is averaging 21.2 points a game, has been a consistent force for the Buckeyes in spite of their ups and downs. “We have to take one game at a time and play as a team,” said Hill. “Everybody needs to play their role and we just have to play defense.” Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. Thursday at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill.
Senior defender Hunter Robertson (6) passes the ball upfield during the OSU vs. Penn State game on Tuesday. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorThe No. 6 seed Ohio State men’s soccer team hits the road and looks for revenge against the No. 3 seeded Spartans in the first round of the Big Ten tournament at 1 p.m. Sunday at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan.The Buckeyes (7-9-1, 3-5-0 Big Ten) enter the matchup riding an eight-game losing streak, which started against the Spartans, as Ohio State lost 5-1 on Oct. 1. In their last game of the season, the Buckeyes fell 2-0 to Wisconsin.Head coach John Bluem thought the cause of the loss came from self-inflicted mistakes by the team.“I think what we learned most from that game is that our own mistakes is what really killed us,” Bluem said. “Immediately after tying the game up, before halftime we allowed another goal which kind of killed us. In the second half, I don’t think we had the attitude and the mental capacity to come back from that mistake.”The Spartans (11-2-3, 5-0-3 Big Ten) are coming off of a 1-1 tie against Indiana and are undefeated at home this season (5-0-2). The five in-conference wins were the most in program history.Senior forward Nate Kohl believes the loss earlier in the season to the Spartans was not an accurate representation of Ohio State.“We’re going to Michigan State and it’s not an easy place to play, but I believe that if we play at our very best I think we can beat them,” Kohl said. “I mean the game we played earlier in East Lansing this year, I don’t think it was the character of our team. A 5-1 loss wasn’t Ohio State soccer, we’re going to come out and we’re going to be ready to play.”The Buckeyes are led offensively by junior midfielder Abdi Mohamed, who has 11 points (three goals, five assists), and freshman forward Joshua Jackson-Ketchup, who has seven points (three goals, one assist). But scoring will not be easy against junior goalkeeper Jimmy Hague, who was the first-ever Spartan to win Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year.Ohio State will take on a tough Spartan defense, which ranks second in the nation in shutout percentage (.643) and 11th in team goals against average (.667).The Spartans are led offensively by junior forward Ryan Sierakowski, who has 17 points (seven goals, three assists), and junior forward Dejuan Jones, who has 16 points (six goals, four assists). The Buckeyes hope to return starting sophomore goalie Parker Siegfried, who is 7-5-1 on the season.The Buckeye defense is holding opponents to 1.24 goals per game, but Siegfried allows just .90 goals per game and has picked up seven shutouts.Senior defender Hunter Robertson is embracing the Buckeyes’ underdog role and thinks it can play to their advantage. “Every year I’ve played in the Big Ten tournament there has always been some upsets,” Robertson said. “They thrashed us the first time, but I think this time if we can bring more intensity into the gameplay, be more physical, and if we can get one or two on them we can win the game.”Even though it’s single-game elimination, Robertson has confidence in his team to push through the adversity presented to them.“One game at a time, if you lose you’re out that’s the mindset right now,” Robertson said. “If we lose this game it’s my last game playing at Ohio State and I really don’t want that to happen, so I’ll do whatever I can to prevent it.”Robertson is one of three Ohio State players in the past 10 years to start in over 80 matches. He wants his senior year to continue and to have the chance to set the school record for most starts in program history, which would only be possible if the Buckeyes make it to the National Championship game.“If you would have told me that I was going to have that many starts when I first came in, I probably would’ve laughed and told you that you were crazy,” Robertson said. “I feel very humble and appreciative of every opportunity the coaches have given me and this has been, by far, the best experience of my life and I hope I can drag it out for as long as possible.”