BY WAYNE WITKOWSKIStaff Writer Above, Middletown North’s Jennifer Anzivino steps in front of Brick Memorial’s Sarah Conway during the Lions’ win over the Mustangs on Thursday in Brick. At left, North goalie Lindsey Carlson holds onto the ball under pressure from Memorial’s Amanda Simon. For 20 minutes, Brick Memorial’s girls soccer team Bill Caruso waited for something to happen — magic, luck or some big play that would turn the NJSIAA Group IV Central Jersey championship game around like so many times in the past. It didn’t happen this time. With Jen Anzivino hitting a breakaway goal in the 59th minute, Middletown North avenged a 3-1 loss to the Mustangs in the Shore Conference championship game and held on to a 2-1 victory Thursday to advance to the state semifinals. The win ended a three-year reign as the Group IV champs for Brick Memorial, and gave the Lions all the confidence they could ask for as they chase down an overall state crown. “We played as well as we could play,” said Memorial head coach Bill Caruso after his nationally ranked team suffered its only loss in 20 games. Middletown North improved to 15-1-2. “We out-shot them, 20-4, and they were lucky and we weren’t. Sometimes the ball does not bounce your way. We had a ton of luck over three years, and our luck ran out. PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY staff “We were just missing and just wide, and sometimes that’s the way soccer is,” said Caruso. Even when Sarah Alves scored 8:36 into the game when she hit a corner kick and got it returned for a blast in close and a goal, the Mustangs were confident that they would could come back from the 1-0 half-time deficit. But when Anzivino struck for her goal and a 2-0 lead, Brick Memorial faced a staggering uphill battle, and the Lions were on the verge of pulling off the upset and putting an exclamation point on what had already been a tremendous season. Jess Fuccello cut the lead down when she got her 25th goal this season at 75:53 on a blast from 20 yards out for her 99th career goal, third on the school’s all-time list. The shot beat North goalie Lindsey Carlson, who had played brilliantly in the nets. But it was too little too late for the Mustangs, and the Lions were on to the Group IV semifinals on Tuesday, where they were to meet South Jersey Group IV champion Eastern, a 1-0 winner over Toms River East in their sectional final. With the Rutgers-bound Anzivino leading the way with her 27 goals this year, the Lions have proven to be among the state’s very best teams. But lost in the Lions’ offensive prowess has been the play of the North defense, led by Carlson, sweeper Julie Lancos and Danille Devinsky, who was in charge of marking Fuccello in Thursday’s final, and did so brilliantly. That defense proved to be the difference against Memorial, as the Lions were able to contain the Mustangs’ potent offensive attack, and could be the key as the Lions looked to add another piece of hardware to their collection this weekend. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Staff Writer Middletown North girls knock off three-time defending champs
By Brian LoveSeven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher, who sustained severe head injuries in a ski accident on December 31, is no longer in a coma and has left the French hospital where he was being treated since the accident, his spokeswoman said on Monday.“Michael has left the CHU Grenoble (hospital) to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore,” spokeswoman Sabine Kehm said in a statement which gave no details of where he was being transferred to.The German who won a record 91 Grand Prix victories and left motor racing last year after a disappointing three-year comeback, slammed his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps resort of Meribel.“For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye, the brief statement said of Schumacher, who turned 45 earlier this year.
By Martyn Herman and Brian HomewoodArsenal ignited their Champions League campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of a feeble Galatasaray side on Wednesday with Danny Welbeck grabbing a hat-trick in a largely one-sided Group D clash in north London.Galatasaray had never won in nine previous visits to England, and once Welbeck had punished them twice in the first half-hour their resistance crumbled, with Alexis Sanchez ending the match as a contest with Arsenal’s third goal before half-time.Welbeck completed his hat-trick shortly after the break and the only blot on Arsenal’s copybook was a needless red card for goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny who rashly brought down Burak Yilmaz, who tucked away the resulting spot kick.After their opening-night loss to Borussia Dortmund, victory lifted Arsenal into second place behind the German club with three points. Galatasaray and Anderlecht have one point apiece.Elsewhere, Swiss champions FC Basel claimed another English Premier League scalp when they deservedly beat a sloppy Liverpool 1-0 with a Marco Streller goal in the Champions League on Wednesday.The Basel captain turned the ball in from close range after goalkeeper Simon Mignolets aved a goal-bound header seven minutes into the second half as the Swiss pulled off another European upset.Basel, who bounced back from a 5-1 mauling by Real Madrid in their opening game, have previously beaten Chelsea and Manchester United in the Champions League in the last four seasons and knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the Europa League.Liverpool, who began Group B with a home win over Ludogorets Razgrad, gave Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik very little to do and Raheem Sterling fluffed their best chance in the 75th minute when Adam Lallana sent him clear but he hesitated too long and was dispossessed.Group AAtletico Madrid 1 Juventus 0Malmo 2 Olympiakos Piraeus 0 Group BBasel 1 Liverpool 0Ludogorets 1 Real Madrid 2 Group CBayer Leverkusen 3 Benfica 1Zenit St Petersburg 0 Monaco 0 Group DAnderlecht 0 Borussia Dortmund 3Arsenal 4 Galatasaray 1
Novak Djokovic barely got out of first gear but had more than enough in the tank to beat Briton Kyle Edmund 6-3 6-3 in the second round of the Miami Open on Friday.The top seed, who is trying to join Andre Agassi as a six-times Miami winner, improved his record since the start of 2015 to 105-7, picking up 14 titles along the way.Just five days after an emphatic victory at Indian Wells, the Serb adjusted well to the steamy conditions in south Florida. He was broken once, in the first set, but broke 21-year-old Edmund four times.Earlier in the day, Juan Martin del Potro had two surprises — the first when his scheduled opponent Roger Federer withdrew with illness, and the second when he fell 6-4 6-4 to lucky loser and fellow Argentine Horacio Zeballos.World number 112 Zeballos did not face a break point en route to his first tour-level win of the year.Former U.S. Open champion Del Potro, on the comeback trail after missing nearly a year due a left wrist injury, was clearly bothered by the joint.“He played well,” said del Potro of Zeballos. “He’s a lefty, he can play to my backhand easier than anyone else. He played very smart.“I was suffering a little bit. It was worse than in my first match, but I hope it’s nothing dangerous.“It’d be a surprise for me to win a match at this moment because I’m not 100 percent yet. But I’m here playing tennis. That’s good for me.”Jeremy Chardy of France, the 28th seed, went down 6-4 6-4 to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.Briton Andy Murray, Spaniard Rafa Nadal and Japan’s Kei Nishikori will be among those in action on Saturday.Results from the Miami Men’s Singles Round 2 matches on Friday 1-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat Kyle Edmund (Britain) 6-3 6-325-Joao Sousa (Portugal) beat Vasek Pospisil (Canada) 6-7(1) 7-6(5) 6-2Fernando Verdasco (Spain) beat 28-Jeremy Chardy (France) 6-4 6-4Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) beat Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) 6-4 6-420-Benoit Paire (France) beat Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) 6-3 6-415-David Goffin (Belgium) beat Marcel Granollers (Spain) 6-4 6-418-Gilles Simon (France) beat Juan Monaco (Argentina) 7-5 6-18-David Ferrer (Spain) beat Taylor Fritz (U.S.) 7-6(6) 6-1Yoshihito Nishioka (Japan) beat 21-Feliciano Lopez (Spain) 6-4 6-4Lucas Pouille (France) beat 32-Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Spain) 6-2 6-414-Dominic Thiem (Austria) beat Samuel Groth (Australia) 7-5 6-211-Marin Cilic (Croatia) beat Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) 6-4 6-17-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) beat Rajeev Ram (U.S.) walkover10-Richard Gasquet (France) beat Albert Ramos (Spain) 6-4 6-431-Steve Johnson (U.S.) beat Alexander Zverev (Germany) 7-6(9) 7-6(3)19-Viktor Troicki (Serbia) beat Inigo Cervantes (Spain) 6-7(6) 7-6(9) 7-6(3)
Messing with these players was a bad idea.
Currently sidelined with injury, Scott will add an extra sprinkle of stardust to an already impressive roster of sporting celebrities at the Trukai Fun Run.Scott will lead as the 2017 Trukai Fun Run Ambassador on Sunday June 11 at the Sir John Guise Stadium.He will be joined by another Cowboys favourite, retired Australian and Queensland centre/winger, Brent Tate.The duo will also have alongside them SP Hunters players and Team PNG athletes.With over 80,000 Trukai Fun Run shirts already sold, it is anticipated participation numbers will exceed 50,000 in centres nationwide on the day.“We still have another 21,000 shirts left in Port Moresby which are on sale now at Stop N Shop, Waterfront and Boroko Foodworld supermarkets.“These shirts represent an opportunity to not only participate in the Fun Run as but also to show your support for Team PNG,” explained Trukai’s National Marketing Manager, Maybellyn Fernandes.The masses will converge on Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby on the day with registration opening at 3.00am.Participants will have access to seats in the main stadium with NCDC buses providing free transport to and from main bus stop locations both before and after the event. Transport will only be provided to participants wearing 2017 Trukai Fun Run T-Shirts.Ends//
Liverpool have ended their interest in signing defender Virgil van Dijk, the club said in a statement on Wednesday, a day after British media reported the player’s club Southampton had made a complaint to the Premier League about an illegal approach.Liverpool had been heavy favourites to sign the Dutch centre back and the player was reported by British media earlier this week to have told Juergen Klopp’s side that he wanted to join them.The development is the latest twist in a transfer saga involving the sought-after defender who has been linked with a 60 million pounds move away from St Mary’s.“Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs,” Liverpool said in a statement on the club website.“We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk.“We respect Southampton’s position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player.”Strict rules govern transfers, with clubs able to negotiate terms with players only if they are out of contract or once a fee has been agreed with the seller. The laws also govern indirect approaches via an intermediary.Southampton have consistently said they do not intend to sell Van Dijk, who joined from Celtic for 13 million pounds in September 2015 and signed a new six-year contract in 2016.The new deal was a reward for a series of impressive performances at the heart of Saints’ defence although he has not played since January after sustaining ankle ligament damage.Liverpool have regularly plundered Southampton over recent seasons with former Saints players Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne all currently playing at Anfield. Those four players joined Liverpool in deals totalling more than 100 million pounds in the past three years.The transfer row is the second this year involving Liverpool, who received a two-year ban on signing Academy players from other English clubs after accepting they made an illegal approach for a 12-year-old attached to Stoke City.
Manchester United enjoyed the biggest revenue of any European club in the last financial year after a 32 per cent increase propelled them above Real Madrid and Barcelona, UEFA said in an annual report published this week.The European Club Football Landscape report said revenues among Europe’s 700-odd top-flight clubs totalled 18.5 billion euros ($22.7 billion) for 2016, compared to 16.9 billion the year before and 2.8 billion in 1996.However, the report acknowledged that nearly half that amount – 9.1 billion euros – was generated by 30 clubs and that the financial gap between the elite ones and the rest was increasing.English Premier League television revenues were now such that mid-table Bournemouth earned the same as three-times European champions Inter Milan.United’s revenue for 2016 was 689 million euros, compared to 521 million euros in 2015, the report said.United were followed by Barcelona and Real Madrid (both 620 million), Bayern Munich (592 million), Paris St Germain (542 million) and Manchester City (533 million).United’s operating profit of 232 million euros was also the highest followed by Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and City.United was also burdened with the highest net debt of 561 million euros, ahead of Benfica, Inter Milan, Juventus and Liverpool.The report confirmed that the English Premier League enjoys by far the highest revenues in Europe, averaging 244.4 million euros per club.Next was Germany’s Bundesliga with 149.6 million per club followed by Spain (126.3 million) and Italy (100.2 million)Revenues fell dramatically elsewhere, even in traditional football nations such as the Netherlands (26.7 million) and Portugal (20.3 million).Greek clubs earned an average of 8.9 million euros while figures for Eastern Europe were even lower at 5 million euros for Hungary, 4.4 million for Czech Republic and 1.5 million for Slovenia.“Once more, we cannot help but note that the polarisation of commercial and sponsorship revenues between the top tier of clubs and the rest is accelerating,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said.“As the guardians of the game, UEFA must ensure that football remains competitive even as financial gaps are augmented by globalisation and technological change.”UEFA analyst Sefton Perry said that “only a limited number of clubs are able to fully exploit the enormous commercial opportunities offered by the global market”.Sixteen of the top 20 clubs in terms of domestic broadcast revenues were English with Manchester United top on 146 million, edging out Real Madrid and Barcelona.Bournemouth earned 99 million euros, level with Inter Milan who, along with Juventus, were the only Serie A side in the top 20.The report confirmed that transfer spending reached record levels of almost 5.6 billion euros in the European summer of 2017, including six of the top 20 most expensive transfers ever recorded.Arsenal were the club who made the most from paying fans. UEFA said their yield of 97.8 euros per spectator was the highest in Europe, followed by Chelsea, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Barcelona, Galatasaray, Manchester City and West Ham United.
A policeman died on Thursday in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao after clashes with Spartak Moscow ultra fans ahead of a Europa League soccer game against Athletic Bilbao.The police officer died in hospital, where he had been taken following a heart attack when the regional Basque Country police force Ertzaintza was trying to stop street battles between supporters of the two teams, the police said.At least five people were arrested.Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy offered his condolences and condemned the violence on his official Twitter account.“My condolences to the family and friends of the policeman who died in Bilbao and my consideration to the Ertzaintza for its efforts to protect those who do enjoy sport. I condemn in the most energetic way the violent events.”Spartak won the second leg of the round of 32 tie 2-1 but were knocked out of Europe’s second-tier club competition 4-3 on aggregate after losing the first leg 3-1 in Moscow.Russia hosts the World Cup this year and local authorities are putting strict security procedures in place to control hooligans, including Russian fans who caused trouble at the 2016 European Championship in France and other soccer events.