Wales vs Northern Ireland: Gareth Bale happy to win ugly!

gareth-bale-aaron-ramsey-walesAs Wales advance to the quarter-finals of the prestigious competition of Euro 2016, Gareth Bale admitted that the Welsh men had to put up a serious fight to earn themselves a spot in the last eight. The Real Madrid player experienced an upsetting encounter but managed to get the breakthrough with a cross from the end that Gareth McAuley diverted into his own net under pressure from Hal Robson-Kanu.

Gareth Bale’s free kick which seemed like the only shot that Wales had of their own was well saved by Michael McGovern and the crowd was made to witness the solid defensive that Northern Ireland produced.

“It doesn’t matter how they go in so long as the ball hits the back of the net. We knew it was going to be a scruffy, difficult game. We knew those of us up front weren’t going to get a lot of the ball because they would close us down and it would be a frustrating night. It took a little bit of quality to get the goal.” said Bale.

He also added “We tried to keep the ball, keep them moving, get them tired. And we knew they would make mistakes towards the end of the game and that was the case”

Bale celebrates victory with his daughter Alba Violet

The 26 year old’s daughter was seen on the pitch after the final whistle blew off. Bale lifted her up to the celebrating Wales’ fans and the camera. Chris Coleman, the current manager of the national Welsh team gave the squad a Sunday off to spend time with their families in Paris before heading to their Dinard base in Brittany in the evening.

Wales will be facing the winner of the game between Hungary and Belgium at Stadium de Toulouse which would be starting at 9pm, with the quarter finals happening in Lille on Friday.

Bale also said “We are going to sit back now and see who get. Obviously the lads have all worked incredibly hard the whole tournament, and the journey continues”

“We have to keep fighting. This group of boys fight, we work hard all the time no matter how the game’s panning out. We give everything we have got.”

Williams faces shoulder injury, extent of the problem will be seen in next 48 hours

Ashley Williams, captain of the Welsh team succumbed to a shoulder injury which was caused during a clash with teammate Jonny Williams. It was the only sour moment for the team and Coleman has decided to give it 48 hours to decide the extent of the injury.

While captain Williams wore an ice pack and sling in the dressing room, Coleman said “He’s bit tender with his shoulder, the next 24-48 hours will be key, crucial, whether it’s bruising, just an impact, or whether – hopefully not – there’s damage to any ligaments or a tear in muscle.”

“I thought he was struggling because he couldn’t move his arm. He said he was okay to continue so I trust my captain and we were right. His presence is huge”

“Our families are here and will be with us tonight and tomorrow. We need to be away from each other for 24 hours! We’ve been together for five weeks.”

“Coleman said Wales fans should be allowed to picture going all the way. There is nothing wrong for them to get carried away and keep dreaming,” he said.

Important day for India boxers!! Know our Rio Olympians ! #India@Olympics

Boxing has been one of the strong disciplines for India in the last few editions of Olympics reaching its pinnacle with Vijendar Singh & Mary Kom winning rare individual medals for the country. However the story at Rio will be very different if our boxers do not make the right moves in the next few days at Baku.

Only Shiv Thapa in the 56 kg category has confirmed his spot in Rio so far. However tomorrow could be a super important day for India boxers as 4 of their main contenders will take the ring for a match in which a win would guarantee them a spot at Rio. Devendro Singh (49 Kg), Manoj Kumar (64 kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) & Vikas Krishnan (75 Kgs) all take to the ring tomorrow and hopefully will seal their tickets for Rio.
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Join us in wishing them all the very best and watch this space for quick update on how our boys have done.

That the boxers are fighting against such odds thanks to the politics surrounding Indian Boxing Federation makes this effort even more commendable. As with most things in Indian sports, whatever the boxing team achieves will be inspite of the federation than with their support.

Its surely going to be a very nervy next few days for Indian boxing fans.

Dipika Pallikal to compete in the Senior National Championship after 5 Years!!

Dipika Pallikal will compete in the Senior National Championship, to be held in July, for the first time in five years after her stand was vindicated with the organisers deciding to have equal prize money for the premier domestic tournament. Dipika had boycotted the nationals demanding equal prize money after winning the title in 2011 when her India teammate Joshna Chinappa was injured.
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“I look forward to playing the nationals again. My stand (for equal prize money) was not just about me but for the entire women’s squash fraternity. Nowadays, you have more and more international events offering equal prize money. So, it is good that the national federation (SRFI) too has decided to have equal prize money,” World No. 18 Dipika Pallikal.

 

Championship director Niraj Shirgaokar confirmed that the Nationals will have equal prize money in the men’s and women’s category with the winners getting Rs 1.25 lakh each. Confirming the development, Shirgaokar said, “Equal prize money is a contentious issue the world over but there are events which offer equal prize money. I welcome SRFI’s decision to have the same prize money for men and women.”

India versus Zimbabwe – Series Review

We’re only half way through 2016 and the cricketing fraternity has already witnessed a gargantuan amount of T20 cricket. Indian fans in particular, have been at the heart of this overload. International fixtures against Australia and SriLanka were followed by the Asia Cup which was tweaked to play as a launchpad for the T20 World Cup. The party scene fuelled by the success of Darren Sammy’s men was in turn followed by the onset of the biggest cricketing carnival across the globe, the IPL. The next stop for the Indian Cricket Team was Zimbabwe.

Although fielding a second string side, India went into the series with unmistakable superiority. They had whitewashed Zimbabwe in their last two tours and were heavily expected to do the same. The Indian bowlers struck gold on their first try as Zimbabwe were restricted to a meagre 168 (which was to be their highest total of the series). All the bowlers chipped in with Bumrah running away with 4 wickets. 169 was never going to be enough to test the Indian batting. KL Rahul, in his first ODI, romped his way to a classy century and became the first debutant centurion for India in ODIs. Riding on that knock and a sedate 62* from Ambati Raydu, India trashed Zimbabwe by 9 wickets.

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Makhaya Ntini’s bold statements before the start of the series meant that Zimbabwe were under more pressure to level the series. Unfortunately, their batsmen’s performance dipped further as they were skittled out for just 126. Sean William’s unfortunate injury compounded their problems as Chahal wreaked havoc. The Indian batting flexed their muscles once again as they romped home by 8 wickets.

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The final ODI was a dead rubber. Zimbabwe’s woes worsened as their batting self-destructed once again. It was almost like they wanted to make it progressively easier for the Indians. Bumrah was once again the destroyer in chief as he helped himself to 4 more wickets. Rahul and debutant Faiz Fazal struck half centuries which helped the Men in Blue to a 10 wicket win and a clinical series whitewash.

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A lopsided series raised a lot of questions about the very need for such tours. Though it may not play a pivotal role in the bigger scheme of things, it is always a pleasant feeling for any youngster to represent his country. Such tours give them a taste, though miniscule about how much it takes to succeed on the international scene and the biggest gains from this series are definitely KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah.

 

 

 

UEFA Euro 2016: A Game for the Champions

The Union of European Football Associations or UEFA which is one of the six continental confederations of world football governed by FIFA, consisting fifty-four national association members, is the administrative body for association football in partially Asia and Europe. Established in 1955, the 2016 UEFA European Championship which is also being known commonly as UEFA Euro 2016 is the 15th edition of the European championship. It is the international men’s football championship of Europe recurring every four years and currently France is hosting this championship which has commenced from 10th of June, 2016 and the Finals will be on 10th of July, 2016. Having won the 2008 and 2012 editions of UEFA Euro, Spain are the Defending champions. The championship was hosted in a 16 team format since 1996 but for the first time in the history of UEFA, it is being hosted by 24 teams consisting of a group stage where there will be six groups of four teams, which will be followed by a knockout stage including three rounds and the final.

France was chosen to host this championship post winning the bid on 28 May 2010 where they beat Italy and Turkey for being the Hosting nation for the 2016 finals. The first match between France v/s Romania was held in Stade de France , St Denis where the trophy was placed in front of the Basilica of St Denis which is interestingly the first Gothic church. Overall 10 cities from Paris to Marseille will be hosting these glorious matches.

 

Victors of the match previously

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Participating teams Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Milan, Liverpool and Barcelona were the privileged teams to win the multiple-winner badge for winning the UEFA Champions League three times in a row, or five times overall. 22 clubs, in total, have the honor of winning the championship and European cup in which Real Madrid have recorded the most victories ,having won the championship 11 times and also have the record of being the multiple winner badge for winning the championship 5 times in a row from 1956-1960.  Juventus have lost six finals and have the record of being runners-up for most times. Following the ‘Heysel disaster’, the English teams were banned from the UEFA competition for five years. Real Madrid is the current champions beating Atlético Madrid in 2016.

 

Let the match begin

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The Championship initiated with a stunning victory from France over Romania with a score of 2-1 followed by the victories of Switzerland over Albania (1-0) , Wales over Slovakia (2-1) and a tie between England and Russia (1-1). Croatia(1-0) and Poland (1-0) have also outshone Turkey and Northern Ireland respectively. As in the words of  Perišić who was being optimistic for his team to win the tournament  stated that this has been the best Croatian team in years. Apart from this Poland have claimed their first Euro victory, in the seventh attempt, against Northern Ireland with a score 1-0.

On a final note, The UEFA 2016 is going to be a huge gathering of the football lovers throughout the world and that can be sensed eventually as the tournament is in progress. The official ball “Beau Jeu” for the match was revealed by  Zinedine Zidane former France player on November 12th 2015. Also, the official Mascot “Super Victor” who is a child superhero in the France national Football team was inaugurated on November 18th 2014.

“’Le Rendez-Vous’ – The appointment , which is the official slogan for Euro 2016 is not just a reminder of the dates and venues but an invitation throughout the world for the football lovers to come and meet and share the glorious tournament “ says Jacques Lambert, chairman of Euro 2016 Organizing committee.