MSA management wasted no time in appointing two coaches to train the team for the competition.Assistant coach David Geladia says the boys will be trimmed down to a final 18 man squad that will travel the road to Lae.Geladia says there are more than 25 players training, under the watchful eyes of MSA selectors and the final team will be announced late next week.Big name players like Henson Topo, Max Sengum and others are also in the squad.“The boys are looking good, taking training seriously and executing the game plan during training which is a positive sign for team work.“After the announcement of the final team, training will be serious and on time to tackle the visiting teams in Lae,” he added.He said after the final announcement of the team, they will go into a 3- 4 days camp before travelling to Lae for the games.Caption: Madang FC Team 2014-2015 Season.
Port Moresby will host the tri-nations series between May 24 to 30 as part of the country’s preparations for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup later this year in PNG’s capital city.Cole says the visit of these two teams will show her players the level they will need to reach if they want to compete on the world stage.“Japan and the United States are two of the best countries in the world.“The technical quality and speed of Japan and the heart and athleticism of a team like the USA is something PNG has never played against.”Cole expects these matches to be a huge learning experience and she believes that’s what her team needs at this point.“We have some players who have played in OFC events, others who have never played outside of local competitions in PNG,” she says.“I am proud of the progress the players have made over the last few months.“They have improved in so many areas but they need to take their game to another level again if they want to compete in the World Cup.“These games will give us a good gauge of where we are now and where we need to get to.”Cole says the tournament will be an important first step for her players in figuring out how good they can be.“These games will help my players understand that little things matter, that we still need to improve our fitness and that we need to keep focused and improving every single day.“We have made great progress but we are not there yet, not even close, our best football is still to come.“Our players have to see the top level if they want to rise to that level.”Cole, who is the former head coach of the Boston Breakers in the National Women’s Soccer League, says the tournament will also provide her with valuable insights as to which of her players can step up to earn starting positions come the World Cup.“I want to see who can handle the pressure in a game situation and how quickly they can adapt to the different styles of play.“Who can apply the concepts we have worked on in training by transferring them to the games.”The former goalkeeper says it’s an exciting period for football in Papua New Guinea which will also host the OFC Nations Cup at the end of this month.“Football is the second most popular sport in PNG and for women it seems to be the top sport.“The country is still very young, so every opportunity for the fans to go and watch players wearing the national badge is a big deal.”Cole also believes that hosting the OFC Nations Cup and the FIFA U-20 Women’ World Cup will offer PNG a huge opportunity to grow the game.“My hope is that the U-20 Women’s World Cup is just the beginning of great things to come from this group of players and for the PNG women’s national program.”
The visitors led 3-0 at half-time thanks to strikes by Yaya Toure, via the penalty spot, a Havard Nordtveit own goal and David Silva.However, things got even worse for the Hammers in the second half as further efforts from Sergio Aguero – his 18th goal in all competitions this season – and John Stones rounded off the scoring for City.As a result, it will be City’s name in the hat for the fourth-round draw on Monday, while Slaven Bilic and Co can now concentrate on trying to rise up the Premier League table.The West Ham boss made three changes from the side that lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United at the start of the week, with Adrian replacing Darren Randolph in goal, and there were also starts for Andy Carroll and Edimilson Fernandes in place of Dimitri Payet and the Africa Cup of Nations-bound Cheikhou Kouyate.His opposite number, meanwhile, made five alterations from the team that beat Burnley 2-1 at home in the Premier League on Monday afternoon, with the Catalan bringing in the likes of Willy Caballero, Stones, Pablo Zabaleta, Silva and Aguero.Both goalkeepers were called into early action, with Adrian’s legs keeping out a Silva shot at his near post, before West Ham immediately went up the other end of the pitch, with Caballero forced to beat away Michail Antonio’s deflected drive.However, it was the visitors who gradually started to take control of proceedings with their slick passing, with Aguero being denied by a brilliant fingertip save from Adrian, before they finally broke the deadlock via the penalty spot 12 minutes before half-time.Zabaleta, playing in midfield, exchanged passes with Raheem Sterling before driving into the box, only to be upended by Angelo Ogbonna, with referee Michael Oliver immediately pointing to the spot despite there appearing to be little contact made by the West Ham defender.Toure, though, made no mistake from the spot as the Ivorian thrashed home his 13th successful spot-kick in all competitions for City, despite Adrian diving the right way.But if the Hammers felt hard done by with the visitors’ opener, they had no complaints about their second goal eight minutes later as City launched a blistering counterattack following a West Ham corner.Silva, Aguero and Bacary Sagna all exchanged a neat array of passes down the right, before the latter’s cross was turned into his own net by Nordtveit, with Sterling breathing down his neck.And before the home side could catch their breath, City had scored again to all but end the game as a contest, with only one minute and 46 seconds separating the visitors’ second and third goals.Again the pacy Sterling was involved as the England international latched on to Aguero’s defence-splitting pass, before he picked out the unmarked Silva six yards out and the playmaker made no mistake from close range.Whatever Bilic said to his players at the break clearly made no impact as City once again dominated right from the restart, adding a fourth within five minutes through Aguero.Sterling dribbled his way to the left byline, before pulling the ball back for Toure waiting on the edge of the area. And although the midfielder did not catch his shot properly, Aguero was lurking just in front of Adrian to register his 154th goal for City, taking him above Colin Bell in the club’s all-time scoring list as a result.After both managers made a raft of changes with upcoming Premier League games in mind, including Guardiola opting to rest man-of-the-match Silva who had pulled City’s strings all night long, Stones added a fifth six minutes from time.Substitute Nolito swung in a left-wing corner which the centre back guided goalwards and despite Mark Noble’s intervention on the line, referee Oliver awarded the goal after consulting his watch that told him the ball had crossed the goalline.
The event will be a fundraiser to help send the national mixed and men’s netball team to take part in international competitions.At the same time, it will be used to showcase that netball is no longer just a sport played by women.There will be two exhibition matches on the day with the Maleos to take on the All Star Mixed Team followed by the showdown with the Pepes.Tickets can be purchased from Rita Flynn Courts. Prices are K5 for adults, K3 for children under 12 for regular seating. For grand stand seating, it will be K10 for adults and K5 for children under 12.For more information on the event, contact the PNGMMNA at email@example.com.
As recalled by assistant Kumuls coach and former Kumul Marcus Bai, it was a very cold night in Wales back in 1991 and the Kumuls were thrashed 68 nil.Bai said after the match on Saturday that it was a very hot day and the Kumuls returned the favour.It was a special win for the PNG LNG Kumuls and for many a dream come true, winning their first Rugby League World Cup match on home soil with the 44 point margin.Kumuls Assistant Coach Marcus Bai was one person beaming with pride with the Kumuls big win over the Welshmen in front of 14 800 fans at the National Football Stadium.He described the 50 to 6 victory by the Kumuls as sweet revenge.Bai had to step in for Head Coach Michael Marum after Marum experienced some tightness and cramps to his chest and arms following the big win.The former Melbourne Storm and Kumul player said the next game will be harder and it is important that the Kumuls get a good start to their RLWC tournament.Bai was obviously stoked with the win by the Kumuls and commended the entire team on a job well done in rewriting the record books.
The incumbent PNG LNG Kumuls captain will be assisted by James Segeyaro, who captained the Pacific Test in July during Mead’s absence.During their joint training with the PNG Orchids yesterday, Mead expressed his excitement at being back in camp.The 2017 World Cup skipper was not considered for the Pacific Test selection in July as he was playing in the UK Super League.“It’s a huge honour to be named captain for your country so I’ll make sure I prepare really well this week and give my best for the team,” he said.Mead had a game with the Catalans Dragons on Saturday and though he was advised by his UK coach to rest, he instead opted to represent his country.“For me personally it’s about putting the jersey on and making sure I get out and make the people proud,” he stated.Meantime, coach Michael Marum said there are currently no injury concerns and the team is looking forward to the game on Saturday.“There are only three new faces in the site: Edene (Gebbie), Dan Russell and Kyle Laybutt,” stated the coach.Marum said the good thing is, they’ve built the team up over the past three years hence the players know the game plan and there was no need to teach them anything new.Gebbie and Russell will wear the national colours for the first time as wingers while Laybutt will also debut in the red, black and gold jersey when he runs off the bench on October 6th at the National Football Stadium.The team:1. David MEAD – Captain2. Edene GEBBIE3. Justin OLAM4. Nene MACDONALD5. Daniel RUSSELL6. Lachlan LAM7. Watson BOAS8. Moses MENINGA9. James SEGEYARO – Vice Captain10. Stanton ALBERT11. Rhyse MARTIN12. Nixon PUTT13. Wellington ALBERTInterchange14. Tom BUTTERFIELD15. Enock MAKI16. Kyle LAYBUTT17. Willie MINOGA18. Rhadley BRAWACoach: Michael MARUM
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has agreed a new two-year contract with the Premier League club, according to British media reports on Tuesday.Wenger’s future was the subject of intense speculation during the season, with a section of disgruntled fans and pundits calling for the long-serving Frenchman to leave.A formal announcement from Arsenal confirming that Wenger has decided to stay is expected on Wednesday, the BBC reported.An Arsenal spokeswoman told Reuters the club was due to issue a statement on Wenger’s future, but did not say if the manager had put pen to paper on a fresh deal.Wenger, 67, has been Arsenal manager for 21 years, winning three Premier league titles and seven FA Cup trophies, but the club could only manage a fifth-place finish this season.Arsenal will miss out on the lucrative Champions League next term for the first time since Wenger took charge in 1996.They did end the season with silverware, however, after beating Premier League champions and favourites Chelsea on Saturday to give Wenger his record seventh FA Cup success.
Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio said Germany’s young squad are experienced and will not be underestimated when the teams meet in the Confederations Cup semi-finals on Thursday.Germany, the World Cup holders, and CONCACAF champions Mexico were unbeaten in their respective groups, each finishing with two wins and a draw in three matches.Germany have rested their more seasoned players for the two-week tournament in Russia that serves as a dress rehearsal for the 2018 World Cup, with coach Joachim Low bringing several newcomers into a squad with an average age of just over 24.“I think we’re going to play against a team that can be a great example to follow for those who believe in processes, in development,” Osorio told a pre-match news conference.“I think being young and having experience are two different things.”He stressed that many of the Germany squad had extensive experience with the national team as well as from playing in the top European leagues and the Champions League.“It doesn’t matter if they’re young or not. What really matters is how much experience they have although they are young,” Osorio said.Low told reporters on Wednesday he did not regret selecting such a young squad for the tournament because it served as a good opportunity to test their strengths.“It has worked really well as we’ve seen,” Low said of his team’s performances so far.Mexico — who finished second in Group A on seven points behind Portugal on goal difference — knocked out hosts Russia with a 2-1 win in their final group match last week.
Five-time champions Sevilla will face a tough tie against Serie A side Lazio in the Europa League round of 32 following Monday’s draw.Sevilla hit 18 goals on the way to winning their group unbeaten, but Lazio fell into the unseeded pot after scraping through in second place with three wins and three defeats.La Liga’s other three teams in the league were also paired against tricky opponents with Valencia facing former European champions Celtic, Villarreal meeting Portugal’s Sporting and Betis meeting French side Rennes.Inter Milan, one of the teams who parachuted into the competition after finishing third in their Champions League group, will play Rapid Vienna and Napoli, also knocked out of the premiere competition, take on FC Zurich.“We were disappointed with the Champions League exit but we are ready to have a very good campaign in the Europa League now,” Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti said.The two English Premier League sides were given fairly straightforward ties, although could face wintry conditions.Arsenal will play Belarus champions BATE Borisov, while Chelsea visit Malmo, with both playing their away ties in the second week of February.Elsewhere, Benfica were drawn against Galatasaray, Eintracht Frankfurt against Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit St Petersburg against play Fenerbahce.Viktoria Plzen v Dinamo ZagrebClub Brugge v Red Bull SalzburgRapid Vienna v Inter MilanSlavia Prague v GenkKrasnodar v Bayer LeverkusenFC Zurich v NapoliMalmo v ChelseaShakhtar Donetsk v Eintracht FrankfurtCeltic v ValenciaRennes v Real BetisOlympiakos v Dynamo KievLazio v SevillaFenerbahce v ZenitSporting v VillarrealBate Borisov v ArsenalGalatasaray v Benfica
By Sudipto GangulyMELBOURNE, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Maria Sharapova scorched the Rod Laver Arena with her aggressive tennis to eliminate defending Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 4-6 6-3 in the third round on Friday.Five-times Grand Slam champion Sharapova, who won her last major at the 2014 French Open, hit 37 winners against 10 from her opponent and converted her second matchpoint to set up a fourth round clash against Australia number one Ashleigh Barty.Sharapova, who won the Australian Open in 2008, headed into the match with a 6-4 lead in their previous meetings and went for her shots from the first point making it difficult for the third-ranked Dane with a game built on defence.“I thought the level was quite high. She is the defending champion of this event and it’s no secret she loves this arena,” Sharapova said in a courtside interview.“These are the types of matches I train for so it’s really rewarding to win that last point. I’m definitely not walking around thinking I have experience and think they’re just going to give it to me.”Wozniacki had the first break but handed the advantage back with a double fault before the Russian 30th seed, who was suspended for 15 months for taking banned drug meldonium in 2016, won three consecutive games to take the set.After a trade of breaks, Wozniacki took the match into a deciding set after a double fault from former world number one Sharapova gave her a set point which she converted to level the entertaining encounter on Rod Laver Arena at 1-1.Sharapova shrieked in delight with her fists clenched after converting her third breakpoint in the seventh game with a scorching forehand and broke Wozniacki again to seal the victory in two hours and 24 minutes.The 31-year-old Russian said she had decided to be aggressive against Wozniacki and aim for shorter points.That plan, however, took her unforced errors to 46, more than double than from Wozniacki.“It was definitely, you know, a match that I looked forward to and when the draw came out obviously I had to get there first and so did she,” said Sharapova, who wore a black crop top to her news conference.“But, yeah, I thought it was, as usual, as expected, a physical match. Didn’t have to be in some ways, but I felt like even in the longer rallies I did a great job of winning those. Put a lot of pressure on her.”Sharapova will brace for a hostile crowd in the fourth round when she takes on local hope Barty, who beat Greek Maria Sakkari 7-5 6-1.“I think her story is phenomenal, she loves playing here,” Sharapova said of her next opponent. “I know it’s going to be a tough crowd but I go out here to perform and play tennis.”Amanda Anisimova – Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 6-2American teenager Amanda Anisimova upstaged 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 6-2 to storm into the fourth round of the Australian Open and signal the arrival of a new force in women’s tennis on Friday.The fearless 17-year-old bullied her much higher ranked opponent who looked shell-shocked by the power being generated at the other end of the court.It was Anisimova’s third consecutive straight sets win, which included a 6-0 6-2 destruction of 24th seed Lesia Tsurenko. She will play the winner of Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.The youngest player in the draw said she wouldn’t mind being a teenage Grand Slam winner like one of the players she most looks up to, Maria Sharapova.“I want to win this tournament right now,” the Miami teen said, when asked what she longed for.Anisimova showed no nerves despite playing in only her third Grand Slam main draw, and not having previously gone past the first round.She broke Sabalenka’s opening service game, and by the third game of the match the usually dominant Belarusian was glancing skywards as if wondering how her slightly-built opponent could punch like a heavyweight.“Definitely, I was trying to be really aggressive today because she plays really aggressive too and we are both really big hitters,” the American said.With youthful disregard for the consequences, Anisimova refused to take a backward step, half-volleying her opponent’s powerful shots when required.Anisimova, ranked 87, might have a strong first serve and forehand, but it will be her double-fisted backhand that, should she fulfil her obvious potential, stood out.On the backhand wing, she took the ball as early as anyone else on tour, yet always appeared balanced, and never rushed.She treated Sabalenka’s strong first serve with disdain, by going for outright winners off the return.Although that particular tactic had modest success – the American seemed unperturbed even after making several errors – it sent a not-too-subtle message that she was the one in control.The eleventh seed’s muffled frustration became increasingly audible, and after getting out-hit on match point she whacked the ball into the stadium roof in angst, after missing out on an opportunity to advance to the last 16.The victor blew kisses to the crowd.