1 Lewis Holtby Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby admits he is not thinking about a move away from White Hart Lane and is focused on helping the club win silverware this season.Holtby has been strongly linked with a transfer away from the north London club, with fresh reports suggesting QPR and Crystal Palace are lining up bids to sign the German midfielder.The 23-year-old has started only ten Premier League games following his move from Schalke back in January 2013 and, with the club spending more than £100m on new signings last summer, Holtby seems surplus to requirements.Mauricio Pochettino was missing several key midfielders through injury for the opening game against West Ham, but Holtby still had to settle for a place on the bench.The talented midfielder, however, says he will continue to fight hard for his place in the first-team and feels the club can achieve big things this season.Holtby said: “There is big spirit in the team. When you go out on the pitch you feel that everyone wants to fight for each other – we’ve built this special dressing room atmosphere.“If you’ve got that atmosphere like we did [against West Ham] then we can do something special this season.“Credit to everyone who played, and those who didn’t play, because it’s a team effort.”
Diego Costa in action for Chelsea 1 Chelsea striker Diego Costa is not ducking out of his international duties, according to Spain team-mate Juanfran.Costa has pulled out of his national side for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus on Saturday and the friendly three days later against world champions Germany.The striker has been playing at stages this season with a hamstring injury but complained of pain in his pelvic bone when he joined up with Vicente Del Bosque’s squad last week and was released to return to London for rest and recuperation.Spain defender Sergio Ramos appeared critical of Costa’s attitude to the national side and Del Bosque has intimated that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho might encourage his players to pull out of national matches but Juanfran has jumped to Costa’s defence.“Anyone who says Diego Costa is not committed enough to the national team is wrong,” he said.“He is very proud to be part of the Spain team and he is 100 per cent focused on us. He came here with physical problems but he wanted to play.”
Emile Heskey 1 Emile Heskey has revealed he would relish the chance to rejoin Leicester City.Heskey burst on to the scene as a teenager with the Foxes and helped them win the League Cup twice before moving to Liverpool in an £11million deal in 2000.The 36-year-old is now eyeing a shock return to the Premier League with the club, after leaving Newcastle Jets in the Australian A-League.Nigel Pearson’s side are without a win since September and Heskey says he would jump at the chance to try and boost their misfiring attack.“It goes without saying, I’d love to come,” said Heskey, who scored 46 goals in 198 appearances for Leicester and has an ambassadorial role at the club.“It is a great club that allowed me to get to the platform that I got to. I was an England international when I was with Leicester so that was a great achievement.”Leicester have not scored in five games and slipped into the bottom three following Saturday’s goalless draw with Sunderland.But Heskey insists they can turn their form around, with or without him.“They have got a decent squad there, they just need that little pick me up, a little confidence,” he told BBC Radio Leicester.“It could be anything, just a spark to get going on a run to get out of it.”
0Shares0000Japan stuns Colombia 2-1. Photo/GETTY ImagesSARANSK, Russia, June 19 – Yuya Osako exacted sweet revenge for Japan on Tuesday as the Blue Samurai beat Colombia 2-1, becoming the first Asian side ever to beat a South American team at the World Cup.Osako’s 73rd-minute winner meant the Japanese avenged their 4-1 mauling in the group stages of Brazil 2014 as Colombia played with a man down for 86 minutes in Saransk. After leaving Brazil without a win four years ago, Japan made a dream start to their Russian campaign even though head coach Akira Nishino was only appointed in April.In an explosive start to the Group H clash, Colombia defender Carlos Sanchez earned the first red card of Russia 2018 with a handball after just four minutes.Japan took a shock lead when Shinji Kagawa netted the resulting penalty before Juan Quintero equalised with a free-kick for Colombia to make it 1-1 at half-time.Brazil 2014 topscorer James Rodriguez came on for the last half-hour after labouring in training with a calf strain but could not pull his side level after Osako’s goal.Travelling Colombia fans turned the Mordovia Arena into a sea of yellow, but were soon stunned into silence.When Osako fired in a shot from Japan’s first attack, Sanchez blocked the effort with a raised arm.Referee Damir Skomina showed him a straight red card after pointing to the spot without referring to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).The Colombians bitterly protested but Kagawa drilled home the spot kick to put Japan ahead in the sixth minute.It was the second-fastest red card in World Cup finals history, bettered only by the 52 seconds it took Jose Batista of Uruguay to be sent off against Scotland at Mexico ’86.After the dismissal, Colombia poured forward and their captain Radamel Falcao twice went close.Colombia coach Jose Pekerman made a tactical switch on 31 minutes, with Wilmar Barrios replacing Juventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado.The pressure paid off as Quintero’s low free-kick flew under Japan’s wall and crept inside the post shortly before half-time. The goal was confirmed by goal-line technology.Japan pressed after the break, forcing Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina into a string of saves.To a deafening roar from Colombia fans, Rodriguez came on for Quintero on 58 minutes, just before Barrios earned a yellow card for clattering Kagawa from behind.Japanese pressure paid off when Osako, who was a constant menace to the Colombia defence, leapt highest from a corner and guided his header in off the post with 17 minutes to go.The goal jolted Colombia into life as Rodriguez then Barrios went close at the other end.Bayern Munich star Rodriguez earned a late yellow card for sliding into Japan midfielder Genki Haraguchi.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
France beat Messi’s Argentina 4-3 in a World Cup classic as 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe announced himself on the biggest stage with a superb two-goal performance and Les Bleus came from behind to send the 2014 finalists packing.Mbappe became the first teenager to score twice in a World Cup match since a 17-year-old Pele in the 1958 final. The Brazilian legend tweeted to the Frenchman: “Congratulations, @KMbappe, 2 goals in a World Cup so young puts you in great company.”Russia’s top scorer, midfielder Denis Cheryshev, attends a training session in Novogorsk, outside Moscow, on June 28, ahead of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Spain © AFP/File / Alexander NEMENOVMessi though was unable to find the net, leaving Russia with a single goal, and at 31 the Barcelona great has probably seen any chance of winning the World Cup evaporate.Later in Sochi, Ronaldo — who started the World Cup with a hat-trick against Spain — was powerless to prevent Portugal slipping out of the tournament as Edinson Cavani scored two brilliant goals in a 2-1 win to send the European champions home.Cavani, who lines up alongside Mbappe at Paris Saint-Germain, opened the scoring with a leaping header and curled a superb first-time shot past Rui Patricio to win the match after Pepe had equalised.Although the Uruguayan striker limped off, he later said it was only a knock and he expects to be back to face France in the quarter-finals.Ronaldo will be 37 by the time of the next World Cup in Qatar, but he would not be drawn on whether he planned to extend his international career.“Now is not the time to talk about the future of players and coaches,” said Ronaldo, who, like Messi, leaves the World Cup having never scored a goal in the knockout rounds.– Russia believes –Spain’s top scorer, forward Diego Costa (L), warms up with teammates during a training session at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, on June 30, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Russia © AFP / Mladen ANTONOVRussia came into the tournament derided by their own supporters after a string of defeats in warmup matches but they thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their opener and then swept aside Egypt 3-1, making even their own sceptical public believe.A comprehensive defeat to Uruguay provided a reality check but Russia and striker Denis Cheryshev will be roared on by much of the 80,000 crowd in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and they see no reason to fear Andres Iniesta, Isco and Diego Costa.“I think that we can win against anybody, we can always win and that’s what we need to believe, just think about victory,” Cheryshev said.Spain midfielder David Silva said his side will be treating the match “as if we were playing against Brazil.”Croatia’s Luka Modric (C) controls the ball during a training session in Nizhniy Novgorod, on June 30, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Denmark © AFP / Dimitar DILKOFFSpain have a terrible record against host nations at major finals — they have never won in eight attempts and coach Fernando Hierro played when minnows South Korea knocked out his Spain team on penalties in 2002.“Statistics are made to be broken,” Hierro said. “Why are we always looking backwards? We’ve had three games here but we’re going to look at what happened 10 or 15 years ago? It’s about what happens at 5:00 pm tomorrow.”Denmark coach Age Hareide said his side’s match against Croatia could boil down to who comes out on top in the midfield battle between Tottenham powerhouse Christian Eriksen and Modric.The Danes failed to set pulses racing in the opening round but advanced second behind France in Group C.Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel takes part in a training session in Nizhniy Novgorod on June 30, on the eve of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Croatia © AFP / Martin BERNETTIBy contrast, Croatia stormed through Group D, winning all three games and put in arguably the best performance of the first stage, a 3-0 thumping of Argentina, in Nizhny Novgorod, where they will also play Denmark.Hareide said his team would show far more thrust on Sunday.“I think you will see a different Denmark from what you have seen so far and the type of game we have played,” Hareide said. “Yes, we need to defend but we need to attack more.”Denmark are unbeaten for 18 games, a national record, their last defeat coming against Montenegro in October 2016 and have kept six clean sheets in their past seven games thanks to ‘keeper Casper Schmeichel.If Denmark beat Croatia, it will be only the second time the Danes have qualified for the last eight of the World Cup, the other occasion being in 1998.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev takes part in a training session in Novogorsk, outside Moscow, on June 29, ahead of their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Spain © AFP/File / Alexander NEMENOVMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jul 1 – Russia are hoping for a World Cup miracle on Sunday as the host nation take on 2010 winners Spain for a place in the quarter-finals after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi exited the tournament.The other last-16 match pits a talented Croatia team led by Luka Modric that had a perfect record in the group phase against Denmark, but they will have to go some to emulate the drama of Saturday’s first two last-16 matches.
0Shares0000Gor Mahia midfielder Francis Kahata controls the ball under pressure from Kariobangi Sharks’ Patillah Omotto during their Kenyan premier League tie at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on August 1, 2018. PHOTO/CourtesyNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1- Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia showed their class, hitting Kariobangi Sharks 3-0 at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu to move 15 points clear on top of the standings with three matches still left in hand.An own goal from Geoffrey Shiveka started off the beautiful rainy afternoon at the Moi Stadium before second half goals from Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi and Lawrence Juma capped off Gor’s 17th win of the season. The victory took Gor to 55 points after 21 rounds of matches with the closest chaser Sofapaka lying second with 40 points having played 24 matchesThe league leaders did not show any signs of fatigue with head coach Dylan Kerr making changes to the squad that played the midweek CAF Confederation Cup tie against Yanga in Dar es Salaam.Only skipper Harun Shakava, Godfrey Walusimbi, Francis Kahata and Ephraim Guikan survived form the team that played in Yanga with Shaban Odhoji coming into goal while Charles Momanyi partnered Shakava in defense.They were away in the lead after 25 minutes when Sharks skipper Shiveka was forced to turn the ball into his own net, a lead Gor took to the half time break.Omondi who has been reinventing himself since being subjected to close to eight weeks in the cold picked another goal for himself, taking Gor two up after 77 minutes with virtually his first involvement in the game after coming on for Guikan.Gor Mahia players celebrate one of their four goals against Yanga during a CAF Confederation Cup game at Kasarani on July 18, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaFive minutes to time, Juma completed the victory for the 16-time league champions with a neat finish as Gor preserved their unbeaten run.K’Ogalo are faced with a mountainous month of August as they are set to play another eight matches all in the span of four weeks.They travel back to Nairobi on Wednesday night before preparing to face Nakumatt on Saturday in Machakos before flying to Mombasa to play Bandari on Wednesday. After that, they will face Kakamega Homeboyz and Chemelil Sugar in Machakos on August 12 and 15.Four days later they play Rayon Sport at home in a Confederation Cup fixture before facing Sofapaka in a league fixture on August 22.If the fixture does not change, they are scheduled to face arch rivals AFC Leopards in the second leg of the Mashemeji Derby on August 25 then end their suicidal month with an away trip to Algeria to face USM Alger in their final Confederation Cup group match.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
“2019 Resolution: Time to get in touch, for real,” said the final tweet, screenshots of which were shared widely on social media.Those navigating to his Twitter account on Wednesday could only see a message reading “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!”.On Instagram, the message read “The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.” A similar message appeared on Facebook.It was not immediately clear whether the shutdowns were deliberate.Some fans speculated that Salah deleted his accounts due to a dispute he has had with the Egyptian Football Association over his image rights.Others saw it as a possible new year’s resolution.Salah has taken the Premier League by storm since signing for Liverpool in the summer of 2017, scoring 50 goals for the English club in just 72 appearances.Earlier this month, Salah was named the African Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000A fan holds a poster of Egypt forward Mohamed Salah ahead of a match against Russia at the World Cup on June 19, 2018 © AFP/File / Olga MALTSEVACAIRO, Egypt, Jan 23 – Fans were left baffled on Wednesday after Liverpool’s star Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah appeared to have deleted all of his social media accounts where his followers number in the millions.The Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts of Salah, who is idolised in Egypt and Liverpool, went offline without warning a day after he posted a cryptic tweet.
0Shares0000Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay on the touchline during their SportPesa Cup match against Tanzania’s Mbao FC at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on January 23, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay says he is under no pressure as the side prepares to take on Egyptian giants Zamalek in the first Group D match of the CAF Confederations Cup at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.Oktay who took charge at Gor two months ago has been increasingly under pressure with the team struggling for results, but the Cypriot has told Capital Sport he is not letting the pressure get on his nerves ahead of the important duel. “Pressure is always there in football and I understand Gor Mahia because it is a big team and we are required to always win. But that will not affect me or the team. We know what is required of us and we know we have a lot to do,” the tactician said.He added; “The team is improving day by day because we did not have a good pre-season and now we have to work double.”Gor failed to defend their SportPesa Cup in Dar es Salaam and were dumped out in the first round after losing on penalties to Tanzania’s Mbao.They came back home and were welcomed with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of KCB but managed to recover some ground with their 2-0 midweek win over Sony Sugar in Nakuru.Gor Mahia midfielder Francis Mustafa wheels away from New Star de Douala’s Orian Jores during their CAF Confederations Cup play-off round at the Kasarani Stadium on January 13, 2019.“It was very important for us to get that win because of the confidence of the players. It has put us at a very good place mentally and the focus is on for Saturday,” the tactician stated.He knows it will not be a walk in the park against Zamalek, a side that boats of good history in continental football and players who can match any side.“I have done my homework on them and I definitely know it will be a tough challenge for us. They have good players who are in their national team and that shows they are a very quality side. We are ready for them,” the tactician noted.“We have looked at their strengths and weaknesses and we have devised a strategy to beat them. We know it will work because we have players who can execute it very well,” he further stated.Gor will be boosted with the availability of defensive duo Harun Shakava and Ernest Wendo while star striker Dennis Oliech, Nicholas Kipkurui and left back Geoffrey Ochieng have all been registered and cleared to play.Gor Mahia’s Lawrence Juma is joined in celebration by Francis Mustafa as he scored Gor’s first goal during their CAF Confederations Cup play-off round match against Cameroon’s New Star de Douala at the Kasarani Stadium on January 12, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaHowever, midfield kingpin Ernest Wendo and striker Francis Mustafa will be suspended for the tie having picked up subsequent yellow cards in the last two CAF matches.“It will be great to have them available because they make the team stronger. Dennis has shown what he can do in the few games he has played in and I know he will help us a lot,” Oktay noted.Meanwhile, the tactician has said the squad will not be affected despite the exit of Ivorian striker Ephraim Guikan who bolted out of the club to join Zambia’s Buildcon.There was already some strained relations between the two.“We have a lot of strikers in the team and I don’t think it will affect us,” the coach said.Gor Mahia midfielder Cersidy Okeyo attempts to go past AFC Leopards’ Duncan Otieno during their Hull City challenge match at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on May 1, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIn Wendo’s absence, Oktay will look on Cersidy Okeyo to do the marshalling job in midfield while Kenneth Muguna might be called upon after making a return in the midweek win over Sony in Nakuru.Muguna had been a long time absentee at the club over what the coach has now termed as a misunderstanding and has affirmed the midfielder is an integral part of his plans.“Someone made a joke and he took it seriously. But I called him and we had coffee together and we cleared everything. He is like my son and when there’s a misunderstanding, we solve it and move on, He is a good kid and played really well against Sony. He is a part of this team and I am happy we put everything behind us,” the tactician stated.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)