Sydney FC’s semi final warning to Perth Glory

Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque and marquee striker Bobo pose with the Championship trophy.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Jason Pine @pineyzb
Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque says if Perth Glory sit back on Saturday they’ll be punished by the ruthless – and rested – Premiers.

And Brosque says the Sky Blues are determined not to fall into the trap Perth Glory successfully set on Sunday in Melbourne, when the two sides meet this Saturday in a blockbuster semi final at Sydney’s home ground Allianz Stadium.

 

On Sunday night, Glory beat an out-of-sorts Melbourne City 2-0 at AAMI Park to advance to Saturday’s do-or-die semi against the Premiers.

But Sky Blues captain Alex Brosque is confident the same thing won’t happen to them.

IF IT AIN’T BROKE…

“It’s just continuing to do what we have been,” he told reporters as the build up to week two of the Finals Series began.

“If we stop thinking about that and what has got us to this point, we’ll find ourselves in a situation like Melbourne City where things don’t go your way, passes start going out and you start getting frustrated.

“A lot can be made of finals football, that it’s a different type of game, a different feeling, different everything.

“But if we get caught up in that, we put aside everything we’ve done to get to this point.

“If we just carry on with our game plan, our structure and everything we’ve been doing, then we’ll be OK,” he said.

SKY BLUES’ MENTAL EDGE?

Sydney FC have had three comfortable wins over Perth this season, the most recent a 3-0 away win in round 23.

But Brosque doesn’t expect Kenny Lowe’s side to park the bus.

“I think they tried that last time they played us and it didn’t work too well,” he said.

“They sat back and I think that’s dangerous because you leave yourselves open and they’re far away from their attacking players.

Glory star Diego Castro has been named in EA Sports' FIFA Team of the Week.

“Their attacking players are what got them to where they are at the moment.

“They scored a lot of goals this year and that is their strength – going forward.

“If they sit back it would only be a matter of time before we scored and then they’re up against it, so they’ve got to come out.

“We hope it is an open end-to-end game because it allows us to get guys like ‘Ninko’ [Milos Ninkovic] on the ball and let him do his thing,” he added.

THRIVING ON THE PRESSURE 

As far as Sydney’s approach is concerned, Brosque says there’s no reason to change the formula which has seen them break all manner of Hyundai A-League records this season.

“We’ve worked very hard from week to week to maintain what we’ve been doing,” said Brosque.

“Our first 27 games were fantastic.

“It’s been a great ride – a great amount of wins, great everything.

“With the streak that we went on, everyone wanted to knock us off.

Sydney FC's starting XI was the oldest in the competition on average throughout the 2016/17 season.

Every week was, ‘Is this the week Sydney is going to lose?’

“The fact we were able to deal with that from week to week, even once the Premiership was won, to continue playing good football and winning games – all that pressure is what got us to exactly where we are.

“We’ll use that – we’ll use it in semi-finals and in the Grand Final.

“We’re expecting to win and hopefully give our fans something to enjoy in the post-season,” he declared.

All the important ticketing information you need to know ahead of the Hyundai A-League Semi Finals.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Banter ramps up for Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar semi final

Victory defender James Donachie challenges for the ball with Roar striker Jamie Maclaren.

Melbourne Victory defender James Donachie challenges for the ball with Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren.

In 2016, he helped Brisbane Roar knock Melbourne Victory out in week 1 of the Hyundai A-League Final Series. Now James Donachie wants to turn the tables for the Big V this Sunday.

The imposing centre-back wore the orange of Roar last season as they beat Victory in week 1 of the Final Series, courtesy of a late Thomas Broich winner after an intoxicating finish to the game.

 

Having joined Victory in the off-season, Donachie says his former team-mates have been in touch this week.

“Definitely a bit of banter flying around, started as soon as they won [against Wanderers],” he told melbournevictory.com.au.

“If I can do them over in this final, I’m probably going to be one of the happiest players on the park,” he laughed.

FORM BOOK OUT THE WINDOW

Victory come into Sunday’s do-or-die game in patchy form, having won just two of their past six matches.

 

But Donachie says they can get the job done.

“That was on us, but we can look forward [now],” he said.

James Donachie, James Troisi.

“We’ve got something to achieve. We’ve got something to go out there and win.

“If we didn’t have motivation for this game we’d been in a lot of strife – but everyone does,” he added.

TRAVEL COULD BE A THAI-BREAKER

Brisbane Roar have the added pressure of a midweek Asian Champions League meeting with Muangthong United in Thailand on Wednesday night in the heat and humidity of Bangkok.

“I’ve played ACL before, I know what it’s like,” said Donachie.

Brisbane Roar and Muangthong United played out a 0-0 draw at Brisbane Stadium on Tuesday night.

“It’s a lot of long flights. They’ve got the game Wednesday, so we’ll have a better idea who they take over and who they’re going to rest.

“But it’s a good advantage,” he said.

All the important ticketing information you need to know ahead of the Hyundai A-League Semi Finals.

 

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Gamba Osaka 3-3 Adelaide United #AFCChampionsLeague2017

Adelaide United players celebrate after Jordan O'Doherty's stunning goal against Gamba Osaka in the ACL on Tuesday night.

An injury-time goal from striker Baba Diawara has seen Adelaide United come away with a well-deserved 3-3 draw against Gamba Osaka in a pulsating AFC Champions League Group H clash on Tuesday night.

Trailing 3-2 in the dying moments, Diawara produced an excellent header to salvage a point for the Reds, a result which could prove decisive in their hopes of making the ACL knockout stage.

It was an incredible fightback from Gui Amor’s side who – without suspended trio Dylan McGowan, Taylor Regan and Riley McGree – made a shocking start in Japan.

They conceded twice inside the opening 12 minutes via Shun Nagasawa’s header and a long-range bullet from Ritsu Doan.

Bu the Reds came storming back and got a lifeline just before the break as Sergio Cirio halved the deficit, before it was all square less than 10 minutes into the second half with youngster Jordan O’Doherty’s fabulous strike from distance scorching into the top corner.

Adelaide then had a let-off as Yasuhito Endo missed a penalty for the home side but an unfortunate own goal from Reds defender Michael Marrone 13 minutes from looked like it would be decisive.

But Diawara had the final say at the death, ensuring the Reds are still alive heading into the final group match at home against runaway Group H leaders Jiangsu Suning on Tuesday, May 9.

 

GOALS

1-0 Gamba Osaka: Shun Nagasawa 6’

From a corner, Yasuhito Endo’s pinpoint delivery picked out the run of Nagasawa at the near post, getting to the ball just before keeper Eugene Galekovic to glance his header into the net.

Gamba Osaka players celebrate a goal  in their win over Adelaide United in the ACL on Tuesday night.

2-0 Gamba Osaka: Ritsu Doan 12’

There appeared little threat as Doan had the ball more than 25 metres from goal to the right of the Adelaide box. But he unleashed a bullet shot that dipped and caught out Galekovic at his near post. A howitzer!

2-1 Adelaide United: Sergio Cirio 43’

Baba Diawara capitalised on a defensive slip to drive into the box before cutting the ball back to Cirio 10 yards from goal, with the Spaniard finishing clinically into the far corner.

2-2 Adelaide United: Jordan O’Doherty 54’

Diawara was again involved, picking up the ball just outside the box before laying it into the path of O’Doherty. And the youngster did the rest, hitting a wicked swerving shot into the top corner.

Adelaide youngster Jordan O'Doherty doing his best to keep the ball in the Reds' ACL clash with Gamba Osaka on Tuesday night.

3-2 Gamba Osaka: Michael Marrone (og) 77’

Oh Jae-Suk went on a marauding run down the right flank before crossing to the near post, where the ball was missed by Nagasawa only for Marrone to divert the ball in off his leg.

KEY MOMENT

Just moments after the Reds equalised, the home side had a great chance to go back in front when they were awarded a penalty after Ben Garuccio’s foul on Oh Jae-Suk. But Endo blazed his spot-kick high over the bar to let Adelaide off the hook.

Re-live all the action on Twitter

@AdelaideUnited , @TheAFCCL , #GAMvADE #ACL2017

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Wissanu defends number of army chiefs on national strategy ‘super-board’

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April 25, 2017 16:59
By The Nation
 Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Tuesday defended the composition of army chiefs on the proposed national strategy committee under the national strategy bill, saying it was proportional to ensuring the country’s security.

 

Source : nationmultimedia.com

A walk through western Mosul

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Mosul (Reuters) Inside are tattered curtains, crumbling walls and torn up floors. Outside is a near ghost town.

Five stools stand on tables in a small restaurant, put there by staff after the last meat dish was cleared. A few streets away mannequins are on display in a fashion shop.

This is western Mosul, a place of narrow streets and small shops as commonplace are those found from Marrakesh to Cairo to Istanbul.

That’s if it wasn’t for the gun shots fired by Iraqi policemen targeting Islamic State fighters a few hundreds metres (yards) away. Government forces have evicted the Sunni Muslim militants from much of the city, Iraq’s second largest, but not here in the west.

Restaurants, internet cafes, women’s fashion shops, photo studios, pharmacies and apartments have been left abandoned by occupants who had fled to U.N. camps or found shelter with relatives in eastern Mosul, which is fully control by government forces.

Many shops have been looted, such as the state telecoms office which still advertises internet packages in frontage riddled by bullet holes.

Food containers lie on a windowsill of a shop damaged during fighting in western Mosul, Iraq, April 10, 2017. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

Some places look normal, such as a kebab restaurant left in orderly fashion after staff closed up. Menus on the wall still offered dishes starting from 500 Iraqi dinars ($.043).

Elsewhere, a shop’s window display now consists of army-issued plastic food boxes. Soldiers, camping out on mats, are only occupants.

Walking the abandoned streets of Mosul these days is no gentle stroll: you hurry cross any street to escape snipers. Soldiers have put up blankets on windows or narrow street openings near the frontline to hide movements from the enemy.

Inside the buildings it’s often eerily quiet as walls muffle the gunfire, the constant background noise. Something moves – is it the wind or something far more deadly?

But you are not totally alone, even without the military.

Amid these deserted streets there are still some signs of civilian life. A handful residents refuse to leave despite the proximity of the frontline.

 

Source : Iraqi News

Emirates to redeploy aircraft on newer routes

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Chairman says airline exploring flying to more than 100 destinations it doesn’t yet fly to

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News
Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
Published: 19:59 April 25, 2017Gulf News

Dubai: Just days after Emirates said it will be cutting down on its flights to five of its 12 US destinations following the electronics ban coupled with visa restrictions, its chairman says the airline would be redeploying aircraft used on those routes, to newer destinations in the East and Africa.

“We always think about what could be the new markets that we have to deploy aircraft to if that would be the case,” said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group.

He added that Emirates has “more than a 100 destinations” that it doesn’t really yet flies to under its bilateral today. “It’s almost a 100 points that we can really serve. We always look at the East in a big way, including China, the Far East and India. And we also look at Africa in a big way.

“It’s a matter of supply and demand. I am ready to find ways and means to go into different markets. So it maybe that some of the challenges that you see today could be a benefit because I will be very much exploring those points in a different way to operate to,” he said.

 

Shaikh Ahmad was speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

Emirates will see about 27 aircraft joining its fleet next year, according to Shaikh Ahmad. “So I really have to push for more bilateral to be able to use those.”

Asked if there was a contingency plan that Emirates had in place, should these bans continue for a longer period, he said: “I think we will always have a contingency plan. We always think about what could be going worse in the years to come,” without elaborating.

Commenting on the US President Donald Trump’s administration, Shaikh Ahmad said: “He is a businessman. So I am sure he is good and he will not take steps that would affect the American business.”

He also said that Emirates could, in fact, do more fifth freedom flights such as its Athens flight into the US. “If the market and the bilateral allow, why not?,” he said.

Electronics ban

Asked if Emirates was in talks with the US authorities to change the electronics ban status, Shaikh Ahmad said: “It is something that we always bring up with the people we meet,” without elaborating.

As an immediate measure, Emirates is handing over tablets to passengers who would like to use them on-board.

Fleet synergies

Emirates President Tim Clark said earlier this year that he was looking at buying smaller single-aisle narrow-body planes. When quizzed on the status of that, Shaikh Ahmad hinted at possible [fleet] synergies between Emirates and flydubai.

“If I am looking at it from the Dubai ownership of the two airlines, we have Emirates and flydubai. And we have a combined fleet — the A380, Boeing 777 and 737. Between the three [aircraft types], we can do something there,” he said without divulging exact plans. “I cannot spell it out. But you will hear something about it in the near future,” he said.

Profitable year

After reporting a 75 per cent half-year profit decline last year, Emirates is looking forward to a profitable year. The airline is due to announce its financial results for the year in a few days’ time. “We will be announcing our results in May. I must say that it will still be a profitable year for us. But it will be a challenging year,” said Shaikh Ahmad, adding that it was “tough” last year, “mainly due to the yields issue.”

Tim Clark succession plan

When asked about the succession plan for Emirates President Tim Clark after his impending retirement from the airline, Shaikh Ahmad said the airline has an “excellent calibre” of people in the company. “If we look at the leadership that we have within Emirates, we have an excellent calibre working for the company for a long time. At any time we want to do any changes, we have many people that can fill the role.”

New aircraft order

Emirates is likely to announce its order for one of the two aircraft types — Boeing 787 or Airbus A350-9 and -10 — at the Dubai Airshow later this year. The airline’s decision between the two aircraft types has been pending for a while now. “We haven’t taken a decision till today … hopefully, by the [Dubai] Airshow time,” said Shaikh Ahmad.

 

 

Source : Gulf News