NEW YORK — Tom Brady denied under oath to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he tampered with footballs before the AFC title game, and investigator Ted Wells said in a transcript that he never warned the New England Patriots quarterback he would be punished if he didn’t turn over his cellphone.In a 457-page transcript released on Aug. 4, Brady maintained his innocence in the NFL scandal known as “Deflategate.”He denied discussing air level with the ballboys or even thinking about how inflated the footballs were when he selected them. He also said he’s never asked anyone from the Patriots to tamper with footballs.Brady was suspended four games and the team was docked $1 million and two draft picks after a NFL-sanctioned investigation by Wells found the Patriots supplied improperly inflated footballs for the conference championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, which New England won 45-7.Brady appealed the punishment. Goodell decided to hear the appeal himself and upheld the penalty. Both sides went to federal court, and U.S. District Judge Richard Berman told the sides to work out a settlement. To encourage them, he ordered both Brady and Goodell to appear in court in person during the NFL preseason.The transcript filed by the NFL Players Association included the appeal testimony from Brady and Wells on June 23. Wells explained that he did not believe Brady had nothing to do with the ball deflation because the quarterback refused to provide all of the documents that were requested.“In my almost 40 years of practice, I think that was one of the most ill-advised decisions I have ever seen because it hurt how I viewed his credibility,” Wells testified. “It hurt my assessment of his credibility for him to begin his interview by telling me he declined to give me the documents.”Wells’ investigation found text messages between Brady and a pair of equipment managers — one of whom referred to himself as “the Deflator” — discussing the preparation of footballs for the Jan. 18 game. The Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl and beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 for Brady’s fourth NFL title.Although Wells asked repeatedly for Brady’s cellphone, the investigator also testified: “I did not tell Mr. Brady at any time that he would be subject to punishment for not giving — not turning over the documents. I did not say anything like that.”Brady’s lawyers have said that the league made up its rules without proper notice to Brady, and that it didn’t follow its rules at all in some cases.They have also questioned whether Goodell was independent enough to conduct a fair hearing, even though the collective bargaining agreement gives him that authority.(JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Khimki Moscow Region played a near-perfect game on March 31 to rip Olympiacos Piraeus 98-66 in a game with playoff implications.Petteri Koponen came off the bench to make 5 of 7 three-pointers for 21 points in 17 minutes, Alexey Shved also drilled 5 threes and scored 19 and James Augustine posted 18 points and 10 rebounds for Khimki, which improved to 7-6 and increased its playoff chances. Olympiacos fell to 6-7 and is no longer in control of its own destiny. Olympiacos held a 2-point advantage in the second quarter before Shved connected on 4 threes in a 17-2 run and the Reds never recovered. The difference was 12 at halftime, reached the 20s in the third quarter and peaked at 36 in the fourth. Tyler Honeycutt added 8 points and 8 rebounds for Khimki. Othello Hunter scored 14 for Olympiacos.First quarter: Koponen shoots hosts in frontKhimki went inside to Augustine and Olympiacos to Hunter for the game’s first baskets. Shved’s triple and Tyrese Rice’s layup through the Reds’ defense gave the hosts a 7-2 start. Hunter dunked again before Vangelis Mantzaris tied it with a triple. Shved’s baseline drive soon had Khimki back in front. Kostas Papaniklaou evened things with a steal and layup, however Augustine found himself open outside and buried a jumper to make it 11-9. After the TV timeout, Sergey Monia nailed a foul-line jumper. Papanikolaou scored an easy layup on an inbounds play, however Zoran Dragic connected from downtown. Georgios Printezis scored on the offensive glass to keep the Reds close. Koponen and Printezis traded threes before Hunter made it a 1-point game with a fast break layup. Josh Boone took control on the offensive glass to keep Khimki on top until Spanoulis tied it with a three from the top of the key. Printezis split free throws to give Olympiacos its first lead, but Koponen matched him and then nailed a triple in the dying second of the quarter for a 25-22 edge.Second quarter: Shved heats up and fuels Khimki runDaniel Hackett buried an open three to tie it on the first play of the quarter. Boone and Hakim Warrick traded jumpers. After Boone scored inside, Warrick drew a foul at the other end and split free throws. Ioannis Papapetrou took charge with a block at one end and a basket-plus-foul on the other for a 29-31 Olympiacos lead. However back-to-back threes by Shved put the home team back in control. After an Olympiacos timeout, Warrick put in his own miss, but Shved connected on another three to make it 38-33 midway through the quarter. Honeycutt added a triple of his own from the corner and Augustine’s put-back plus-foul made it a double-digit advantage. Shevd drilled his fifth three of the night to cap a 17-2 charge. Papanikolaou ended the Olympiacos drought with a free throw with two minutes left in the corner, but Shved found a cutting Augustine for a layup. Papanikolaou turned a rejection into a layup in the final seconds of the half to get within 48-36.Third quarter: Augustine, Honeycutt push the difference to the 20sDragic drove, drew a defender and dished to Augustine for an easy layup to open the second half scoring. Hunter missed a dunk and Augustine scored twice more for an 18-point lead, at which point Olympiacos called timeout. A Mantzaris-to-Hunter alley-oop slam and free throws by Mantzaris and Spanoulis revived the Reds. However Augustine threw in a hook over Hunter and Koponen connected on a triple. After a tip-in from hunter, Monia made it 62-44 with a three. Mantzaris drove for a basket-plus-foul, but an Egor Vyaltsev jumper and Honeycutt triple prompted an Olympiacos timeout at 67-47. Koponen picked off Spanoulis’s pass and took it for a layup. Despite Printezis’s free throws, the momentum remained with Khimki. Boone scored inside, Honeycutt nailed a jumper and Koponen ended the quarter with a step-back jumper that made it 76-50.Fourth quarter: Koponen ices the game with a pair of triplesKoponen made his fourth three-pointer at the start of the quarter. After Warrick sank 2 free throws, Koponen made another triple to establish a 30-point advantage. Hackett hit a jumper and continued to play hard on defense, but Khimki had shifted into cruise control. The lead only swelled on a basket by Monia and three-point play by Dragic. Hunter and Rice traded free throws and Hunter added another basket on the offensive glass. Shved made free throws to establish the biggest lead of the game at 94-58. Shved played hard till the end with a block in the final minute as Khimki strolled to a historic victory.TweetPinShare0 Shares
He may be a wanted man in Greece, but fans of the Thessaloniki-based PAOK soccer team love its owner, Ivan Savvidis, who’s in hiding after taking a gun onto the field while protesting a goal waved off against rival AEK of Athens.Savvidis, a business magnate who owns a share of the port of Thessaloniki – which was to be turned over March 26 to private companies – has praised Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who has tried to distance himself from the Greek-Russian tycoon since the gun incident.The Greek government suspended the soccer league after the incident on March 11 and FIFA demanded immediate action from Greek authorities, with both PAOK and Savvidis facing stiff penalties. But he’s evaded arrest and despite being one of the most visible figures in the country, Greek police can’t find him as he faces heavy fines and prosecution.In Thessaloniki, his fans said he has stood up to Athens sports and business interests and he’s their guy, someone who’s poured his money into the port city, Agence France Presse said in a feature about him.“This man has poured out his soul, as well as his money,” said Filotas Pellios, head of PAOK’s veterans club.Savvidis, who started as a tobacco worker in Russia, was a member of the Russian Duma, the lower House of Parliament, until 2011 and has an estimated fortune of 490 million euros ($600 million).In just six years, he acquired PAOK – one of Greece’s four most popular clubs – state tobacco company SEKAP, leading bottling company Souroti, Thessaloniki’s top hotel and national newspaper Ethnos before just selling SEKAP to Japan Tobacco after he asked Tsipras’ help in erasing 44 million euros ($54.41 million) imposed before he bought the company.“(Athenians) are bothered because someone dares to challenge the status quo,” Christos Nikolaidis, a local journalist told AFP.“Savvidis is the only investor left in Greece with the strength to hit back at this rotten structure. The war is about him, not PAOK,” said Christos Dimitriadis, a shop employee.“I don’t care what they say, because they don’t know how we feel about you,” former Real Madrid and PAOK defender Pablo Garcia, now a PAOK youth coach, posted on Instagram.“All political parties should know that they cannot play with the people of PAOK. If they dare to hurt Ivan Savvidis we will be there like soldiers to give battle,” said Yiorgos Triantafyllidis, 31, who is unemployed.PAOK is “at war” with Athens, the club’s technical director Lubos Michel, a Slovak former FIFA referee, told a Russian news website. No word from Savvidis though.TweetPinShare0 Shares
PARIS — Roger Federer’s return to French Open clay is going so smoothly he still has not dropped a set in reaching the quarterfinals.The 20-time Grand Slam winner eased through with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win Sunday against unseeded Argentine Leonardo Mayer.With temperatures reaching 88 Fahrenheit (31 Celsius) on a sun-soaked center court, the third-seeded Federer did not face a break point in beating Mayer for the fourth time in four meetings.Federer won his only French Open in 2009 and remains on course for a semifinal showdown with Rafael Nadal, the defending champion at Roland Garros. Nadal was facing another unseeded Argentine, Juan Ignacio Londero, later on Sunday.After dropping his serve to lose the second set, Mayer angrily swiped the ball away and was given a code violation warning for ball abuse.Federer was looking so clinical and assured that the crowd at Philippe Chatrier groaned in disbelief when he missed an easy-looking forehand volley at the net, early in the third set.Oldest man to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam since 1991……age is but a number.@rogerfederer | #RG19 pic.twitter.com/9hYxs0qxJn— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 2, 2019It was the second time Federer has beaten Mayer at a Grand Slam — the other also coming in straight sets, in the first round of the U.S. Open in 2015. That was also the last year Federer played at Roland Garros, before skipping clay entirely until returning to the surface this year.Four years ago, Federer lost in the quarterfinals to Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka in straight sets.He next faces either Wawrinka or rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer in the fourth round at this year’s Australian Open.They were playing their fourth-round match Sunday on neighboring Court Suzanne Lenglen.Earlier Sunday, Petra Martic followed up her win over second-seeded Karolina Pliskova by rallying past Kaia Kanepi 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 on center court to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.The 31st-seeded Croat next faces Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova, who reached her first quarterfinal at a major without dropping a set. The 19-year-old Vondrousova beat 12th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-2, 6-0 in just 59 minutes.Also advancing to the last eight was 26th-seeded Briton Johanna Konta, who beat 23rd-seeded Donna Vekic 6-2, 6-4. Konta’s quarterfinal opponent will be either 2016 champion Garbiñe Muguruza or 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens. Their match was following Nadal’s on center court.By: Jerome Pugmire, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
ATLANTA — Jacob deGrom took a shutout into the ninth inning, Pete Alonso homered to highlight the first four-hit game of his young career, and the New York Mets routed the first-place Atlanta Braves 10-2 on Tuesday night.Bouncing back from an ugly 12-3 loss in the series opener, the Mets pounded Braves starter Julio Teheran for six runs over four innings and cruised to a victory that eased some of the tension from a disappointing season.DeGrom (4-6) dominated, allowing just five hits, struck out 10 and helped himself at the plate, leading off the sixth with a double and coming around to score. Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back homers off deGrom in the ninth, ending a bid for the second shutout and fourth complete game of his career. Robert Gsellman came on for the beleaguered Mets bullpen to strike out the final two Atlanta hitters.Michael Conforto added a long homer in the eighth, and Jeff McNeil went deep in the ninth to finish off the 15-hit barrage.Conforto and Todd Frazier both had two RBIs. McNeil added three hits, and every Mets starter had at least one.Teheran (5-5) lost for the first time since April 30.TweetPinShare0 Shares
NAPLES, Italy — Tired of its perennial runner-up status in Serie A and shortcomings in Europe, Napoli may have finally overcome a major hurdle toward becoming a genuine threat in all competitions.A depleted bench penalized the southern club under former coaches Walter Mazzarri, Maurizio Sarri and Rafa Benitez but Carlo Ancelotti finally has a wealth of options to choose from in his second season as coach of the Partenopei.“Our goals have been achieved and we now have the quality to fight with the objective of winning the Scudetto (Serie A title),” Ancelotti tweeted on Aug. 24 — a day after Hirving Lozano was signed from PSV Eindhoven for a fee of 46 million euros ($51 million) that made the Mexico winger the most expensive player in Napoli history.While Ancelotti’s prophecy was tested in an up-and-down opening two matches of Serie A, Napoli has come into its own over the last week with 2-0 wins over Sampdoria and then a much more impressive victory by the same score over Liverpool — last season’s winner — to open the Champions League.“(Napoli) can win the competition. If you have a good plan. If you have good players — which they obviously have — then you can win the competition. We experienced that,” Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp said after the match at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday. “You don’t have to be the best team in the world to win the Champions League. You have to be in the right moment, you have to be lucky in some situations.”Napoli has been runner-up in Serie A three of the last four years and four in the last seven, having also achieved two third-place finishes in that span, and while the squad is considered a threat to eight-time defending champion Juventus this season, few expect it to win the Champions League.“If he (Klopp) says we can win the competition, I thank him a lot because it’s a coach who really knows football who’s saying that,” said Ancelotti, who won two European Cups as a player and three Champions League titles as a coach (two with AC Milan and one with Real Madrid). “But it’s a very long road. We need to focus on advancing now; that’s our first objective and we’re already in a good position.”Still, Lozano and other new Napoli players like center back Kostas Manolas (who transferred from Roma), striker Fernando Llorente (Tottenham), midfielder Elif Elmas (Fenerbahçe) and fullback Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Empoli) have raised Napoli’s profile.With the exception of Elmas, who was rated one of the top performers against Sampdoria, all of the new players have already scored this season and Llorente was decisive against Liverpool.Coming on as a late substitute, Llorente won the header that led to a disputed penalty converted by Dries Mertens for Napoli’s opener and then sealed it by scoring the second.“Everyone thinks that Llorente is an old-school center forward because he’s so tall, but he’s a complete player,” Ancelotti said of the 1.93-meter (6-foot-3) Spaniard.Kalidou Koulibaly was widely considered the best defender in Serie A last season but he struggled with his condition at the start of the season and scored a devastating own-goal to hand Juventus a 4-3 victory last month.Against Liverpool, however, Koulibaly showed why Napoli received highly lucrative offers for his services in the offseason, shutting down Liverpool’s feared strikers Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané with a series of perfectly timed tackles.“I arrived late to preseason training as I was at the African Cup of Nations and with Manolas joining it took us a while to learn how to play together and we conceded a lot of goals, but we’re improving,” Koulibaly said of the seven goals conceded in the opening two Serie A games. “I want to take the Napoli colors to the top.”By: Andrew Dampf, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
Switzerland, on Monday, displayed a tactical masterclass to completely neutralise the effect of the feared Brazilian quadrat to earn a 1-1 draw in their 2018 FIFA World Cup opener.While Switzerland were always going to be a tough opposition, it was never expected that Brazil would struggle as much as they did in the second half.Switzerland did not only deny Brazil, they stopped, bullied, bruised and frustrated the Samba boys.Neymar became the most fouled player in a World Cup game since 1998 and that is how, Switzerland disintegrated the Brazilian defence.FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGEAs the match entered the last 10 minutes, Brazil looked completely worn out, devoid of any creative instinct and their goalkeeper Alisson stood at the back, frustratingly watching his team lose their creative flow.In the 84th minute, a red balloon appeared at the ground in the Brazilian penalty area. Alisson jogged towards the balloon looking at the stands and smashed it with his feet.Alisson Becker vs. Balloon pic.twitter.com/m3RLcKCuGBMuharrem Acar (@muharrem_acar) June 17, 2018He looked back at the stands, picked up the pieces and threw them away.The one goal that Alisson let through was a controversial header from point-blank range.Also read – Gabriel Jesus painted Brazil streets in 2014. In 2018, he’s a World CupperSwitzerland had got a corner and Steven Zuber, attempting to jump for the ball, pushed Miranda and stopped him from making a jump alongside.Rest of Brazil’s defence went to sleep as Zuber took the leap and headed home.advertisementAlso read – World Cup 2018: Lackluster Brazil held to 1-1 draw by SwitzerlandApart from that goal and another save he made, Alisson was hardly required to protect is goal. Switzerland made a total of six attempts compared to Brazil’s 20. Out of those attempts from Switzerland, four were off target and only two were shot at the goal.It was Switzerland’s staunch defending that made them trump the flow of Brazil. They recovered a total of 56 balls, made 17 tackles, blocked seven shots and made 19 clearances — a clear indication of how they earned the draw.Also read – World Cup 2018: Coach Tite says anxiety hit Brazil hard vs SwitzerlandBrazil are one of the favourites in the tournament, given their quality and even Alisson is currently being pursued by top European clubs, including Champions League holders Real Madrid.Brazil will now have to win both their matches, against Serbia and Costa Rica, to guarantee themselves a spot in the Round of 16.
Los Angeles, Jun 24 (PTI) Alec Baldwin invited US First Lady Melania Trump to join him on “Saturday Night Live”.The 60-year-old actor, who is known for nailing the impression of incumbent POTUS on “SNL”, took to Twitter to announce that he is planning for the next season and hopes Trump would join him.He alluded to the First Lady’s recent statement on separation of children from their parents who illegally migrated to the country through the US-Mexico border, in which she said she “hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform”.”Dear Melania, We know what you’re thinking. What you’re feeling. You are quaking with anticipation. Shuddering with a strange, newfound courage. Come. Come over to the light. We will welcome you as a hero in ways you never imagined possible. And then do SNL with me,” Baldwin wroteIn a follow-up tweet, which included a picture of the first lady and Baldwin at an event, the actor wrote, “We have a chair waiting for you in the @nbcsnl make-up room.”Post her comments, Trump made headlines around the globe when she sported a jacket reading “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” when she left to visit an immigrant children’s detention centre in Texas.Her spokeswoman said the jacket meant nothing and hoped it would not detract from her good will visit, while President Donald Trump undercut that statement and said it was on purpose for the “fake news” media. PTI RDSRDSadvertisement
Brazil will hope their quadrat of Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Willian arrive in some fashion at the FIFA World Cup 2018 when they face the counter-attacking threat of Mexico at the Samara Arena on Monday.Coutinho and Tite’s tactics have been the shining light for Brazil in what has been an underwhelming performance otherwise. However, if their match against Serbia is anything to go by, Brazil are getting better by the day.After their 1-1 draw against Switzerland, where they dazzled in the first half only to lose that spark in the second half, Brazil registered a fighting 2-0 win over Costa Rica.Even as the 2-0 scoreline sounds comfortable, it was far from it. Two goals in the stoppage time was what Brazil required to get past Costa Rica.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEIn the final group game though, Neymar and Willian stepped up their game, looked much sharper and better as Brazil book their last 16 spot with a comfortable win.Neymar’s PSG teammates Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani have set the Round of 16 to fire with their sensational performances and Brazil captain Thiago Silva is hoping that it rubs off on Neymar too.”We hope tomorrow will be a great day and that Neymar is inspired as much as the other players,” said Silva, who also plays for Paris Saint-Germain.Neymar drew concern early in the tournament because of what appeared to be a right ankle injury following Brazil’s opener. He was fouled 10 times during the match and later was seen limping after practice before the team’s second match against Costa Rica, but the team said it was only a precaution.advertisementThe Brazilian soccer confederation has said Neymar’s ankle problem had nothing to do with the foot injury that sidelined him for about three months earlier this year. Brazil coach Tite said before the tournament started that Neymar wouldn’t likely be fully fit until the third match of the group stage. It’s now time for the knockout rounds.”He’s resumed his top performance,” Tite said.”The idea is that things are going to improve. This is the fourth match. I think this team is well prepared,” Silva said Sunday. “We have to face this match with a lot of focus and a lot of determination. I think the coach has given us the tools.”Brazil, who have won five World Cup titles, have advanced out of the group stage in the last 13 tournaments. The team has made the quarter-finals six straight times.The last time that Brazil lost in the round of 16 was back in 1990, a 1-0 loss to Argentina in Italy.MEXICO LOOK FOR ANOTHER PIECE OF HISTORY FIFA World Cup 2018: Mexico are eyeing their first quarter-final since 1986. (Reuters Photo)Mexico have already made history in Russia, beating defending champion Germany 1-0 in the group opener. It was Mexico’s first victory over the Germans in a competitive match – and first in any game since 1985. The loss would later figure in Germany’s elimination in Russia.A victory over Brazil would give Mexico their first knockout-round victory since 1986. Mexico have put their focus on the “quinto partido,” or fifth game, which means the fifth game (quarter-finals).Four years ago in Brazil, the teams played to a scoreless draw in their group. Brazil had won the three previous World Cup meetings over Mexico.Mexico’s last victory over Brazil came in 2012 in a friendly match at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. El Tri memorably won the match 2-0 before a crowd of more than 84,000 fans.Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was asked about whether the team was concerned about Neymar’s reputation earlier in the tournament – deserved or not – for flopping. There was a lot of chatter on social media about Neymar’s alleged diving, and a pub back home in Brazil even offered free drinks each time he fell against Serbia.”I will not discriminate or criticize someone,” Osorio said. “He is a great player, and tomorrow the referee will be in charge. I hope it’s a fair game.”INJURY AND SUSPENSIONS FIFA World Cup 2018: Marcelo will not be available for Brazil vs Mexico due to back injury. (Reuters Photo)Mexico will be without defender Hector Moreno because of yellow card accumulation, while Brazil could be missing several players because of a spate of injuries.Tite has confirmed that Danilo, who suffered a hip injury, was available for the match against Mexico but Marcelo will not be.Marcelo had a back injury sustained against Serbia.”We are not going to pay the price with health,” Tite said.advertisementWinger Douglas Costa, who plays for Juventus, continues to recover from a right thigh injury he sustained in the group stage and will not play against Mexico. But he could return if the team advances to the quarterfinals.(With AP inputs)
Cristiano Ronaldo moving out of Real Madrid may become a reality after the Portuguese star striker received an offer to join Juventus next season, according to sources.Ronaldo has had frequent fallouts with the club bosses in the past and also expressed his desire to leave Real Madrid many times.Moments after lifting a third consecutive Champions League trophy by beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final on May 26, Ronaldo appeared to suggest he had already decided to leave Real, telling a television reporter on the pitch at Kiev’s NSC Olympic Stadium: “It was beautiful to play for Real Madrid.”Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record 80 million pounds ($105.65 million), is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and has won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with them.FIFA World Cup 2018: Who plays who in the quarter-finalsRonaldo, 33, appeared to backtrack on that statement during Real’s celebration parade through the Spanish capital the next day, when he told a mass of supporters: “See you next season.”FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 FULL COVERAGE | FIXTURES AND SCORESThe Portugal forward was reported to be on the verge of leaving last June after a news story appeared in Portuguese newspaper Record declaring he was unhappy with the club.He also caused a stir in 2012 when he declared in a post-match interview after a game with Granada: “I’m sad and the club know why.”Spanish newspaper Marca suggested on Wednesday that Ronaldo is unhappy at Real because they are searching for a successor to him and president Florentino Perez has publicly courted Paris St Germain forward Neymar, urging the Brazilian last year to come to Madrid if he wants to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.advertisementRussian couple divorce over Ronaldo-Messi debateRonaldo scored two goals against Juventus in Real’s 4-1 win in the 2017 Champions League and struck a jaw-dropping bicycle kick against the Italians in a 3-0 win in a quarter-final first leg game in Turin which prompted Juve supporters to give him a standing ovation.The Portuguese converted a stoppage-time penalty in the second leg to knock the Italians out 4-3 on aggregate.Ronaldo had an explosive start to the 2018 World Cup by scoring a hat-trick in his side’s 3-3 draw with Spain and he hit the winning goal in a 1-0 win over Morocco. He missed a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Iran and failed to score in his side’s 2-1 defeat by Uruguay in the last 16.(With inputs from Reuters)
Rohit Sharma became the fifth batsman in men’s cricket to go past 2000 T20 International runs after New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik and India captain Virat Kohli.The Indian opener needed 14 to get to the landmark before India’s third T20I match against England at Bristol on Sunday.Kohli became the fastest to reach 2000 runs in the format when he scored eight in the first T20I at Manchester. He finished the match on 20 not out.Kohli got to the landmark in only his 60th match while Rohit reached there in his 84th match. McCullum had entered the rare club in 71 matches (66 innings) while Guptill got there in 75 matches (68 innings). Malik was the slowest of the lot, taking 100 matches and 93 innings.Kohli is also the fastest to reach the 2000-run mark in terms of ball faced. The Indian skipper took 1,467 balls to achieve the feat. Rohit and McCullum are joint second-fastest with 1,476 balls.Rohit reached the landmark with a four off Jake Ball, on the last delivery of the second over of the third T20I. He then went onto guide the Indian batting and finish the game with a 56-ball 100 not out as India won the match by seven wickets. With the win, India clinched the three-match series 2-1.Rohit is a serial record-breaker in limited-overs cricket.He is the only man to score three double hundreds in one-day internationals and holds the record for the highest individual score in the format. Back in 2014, Rohit had left the cricket world stunned with his 264 against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens.advertisementIn T20 Internationals, Rohit has two hundreds and could have become one of only two to boast of three hundreds had he not been dismissed for 97 in Dublin. Rohit also holds the record for joint fastest hundred in T20 InternationalsIndia won the toss in the series-decider on Sunday and asked England to bat first. The hosts put up 198/9 in the 20 overs in the final T20I of the three-match series.
Traffic police use ‘Yama’ to warn motorists against violationsBengaluru, Jul 10 (PTI) A mace-wielding ‘Yamaraja,’ Godof Death, attired in his traditional golden dress interceptedmotorists near the Town hall here today and warned them hewould visit their homes if they flout traffic rules.The Halasuru Gate traffic police roped in ‘Yamaraja’ astheir brand ambassador to drive home the message of thedangers of not sporting a helmet, reckless driving and otherviolations.”We are observing July as a road safety month. As partof it, we are conducting various programmes such as lecturesin schools and colleges and street-plays,” Deputy Commissioneroftraffic police Anupam Agrawal toldPTI.”Also, we thought of using the character Yama to sendthemessage across that if you disobey the traffic rules, Yamawill come to your home,” he said.The actor, who stopped motorists and reminded them of theimportance of sticking to road rules, was Veeresh, a theatreartiste performing Hindu mythology-based dramas.After intercepting mostly young motorists, Yama wavedhismace in the air, warning them that he would not sparethem.Insome cases, he rode pillion on those motorcycles thatwere driven recklessly.According to traffic police, the public awareness drivehelped in minimising accidents.Till June-end this year, 2,336 accidents have beenreported, of which 330 were fatal, they said.By last December-end, 5,064 accidents had been reported,of which 609 were fatal.In 2016, 7,506 accidents took place of which 754 werefatal. PTI GMSNVGROHROHROH
Newly-elected Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) office bearers and their Director Cricket Sanjay Bharadwaj have threatened to go on a hunger strike if president Rajat Sharma does not address the issues of conflict of interest within the body.Sanjay Bharadwaj on Saturday lashed out at Rajat Sharma at a press conference labelling him as a “proxy” president for trying to scuttle his involvement in the DDCA’s cricketing matters, especially in the formation of the controversial cricket committee which includes former India players Virender Sehwag and Aakash Chopra along with ex-Delhi player Rahul Sanghvi and Gautam Gambhir.Bharadwaj also hit out at the newly appointed DDCA selection committees — both senior and junior — for flouting the norms set out by the Supreme Court appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee.According to the Lodha Committee norms, a player has to wait for a minimum of five years after retirement before taking over any post in either the state bodies or the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).But neither the senior selection committee — that comprises Amit Bhandari, Rajat Bhatia and Sukhwinder Singh — and the junior panel — which includes Parvinder Awana, Siddhartha Sahib Singh and Mayank Tehlan — fulfill this criteria.Tehlan, co-incidentally, happens to be Sehwag’s cousin.”The proxy president is acting like a dictator. Despite many protests, objections on the brazen conflict of interest of none other than the President himself, in the constitution of the Cricket Committee, has acted in complete defiance of the sacrosanct Justice R.M.Lodha committee recommendations on cricket reforms,” Bharadwaj said.advertisementBharadwaj also alleged that the DDCA President is guilty of illegally labelling an informal celebratory tea meeting as an official board meeting.Threatening to sit on a hunger strike, Bharadwaj said he will wait for a week seeking a reply from the DDCA Ombudsman.”I will wait for another week, after which I will be forced to sit on a hunger strike unto death if I don’t get a reply. I have no personal enmity against anyone including the President but I can’t sit back and relax with such illegal things happening in front of my eyes,” he said.(With inputs from IANS)
With Gold just crossing the Rs 100 crore mark at India box office, director and writer Reema Kagti speaks about her biggest hit so far and why she decided to fictionalise her sporting drama. Edited excerpts from the interview.Is there anything you’d change in Gold?I’m sure there will be. Whenever I watch Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd or Talaash, which is not too often, I only see mistakes. I think that’s good because it keeps you on your toes. I am sure when I see Gold that initially it will be the same reaction. I am sure over the years it will be better.Why centre a film about an incredible sporting feat not on a player?When I started researching on the 1948 match I’d heard names but it is only when I got into it I realised that it all started from the 1920s. There were many players who were very nationalistic, Dhyan Chand being the most well-known. It was a general dream amongst them to play for their own flag. That didn’t happen because all these players retired when the opportunity finally came in London in 1948.In my research it was apparent that the squad of ’48 was inspired by players of 1920s and ’30s. I started realising it is a much bigger film – about one generation inspiring the next to fulfil their dreams. That’s the story I saw. I understand the individual players are legendary and they deserve not one but ten films, but this is what I fell in love with.advertisementI came across this story of this Bengali gentleman, Pankaj Gupta, who was a hockey administrator. In Berlin 1936 the German players were rough on the field so much so that Dhyan Chand had his tooth broken. Indian players were very demoralised at half time. This young assistant manager pulled out a flag. It’s not a made-up scene. It happened.I knew I had come across the name Pankaj Gupta somewhere in my research. I started looking and realised he was also the manager in 1948. He was called Mr Hockey. He did a lot for the sport. He was one of Dhyan Chand’s best friends. There is very little known about the man. A character very loosely inspired by him felt the best instrument to tell the story of Gold.Why go with fictional names and not actual names of the players involved?When you manipulate the story this much, you can’t be like this is this person’s story. A conscious decision was taken to go this way. There is a flipside to everything. There is a lot of objection from people saying that’s not what happened to Dhyan Chand but I am screaming from rooftops that it is fictionalised.I feel there is a backlash already. Can you imagine if I had dared to go with the real story? The story I was telling didn’t necessarily happen that way in history. I didn’t want to make a film on just 1948 victory but to tell a story of our glorious tradition and how it took several generations to get there.Akshay’s Bengali has come under fire. Did you always want to cast him?There have also been a fair amount of people who have enjoyed his performance. I have always wanted to work with him. He is a terrific actor. He brings a physicality which worked really well for Tapan Das. I felt that he took what was on paper a couple of notches above. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Tapan.How was your experience working with Akshay vis-à-vis Aamir?Though they are very different personalities there are some things that are very similar. I don’t think that you get to the level they have gotten to, without serious kind of dedication and discipline. They both are extremely interested – it’s not about them and their character it’s about the whole film. I had really good time working with both AKs.Sunny Kaushal has been a revelation in Gold.Now that he has had a haircut and shaved nobody can recognise him. In fact we had a couple of screenings before the release and in one of them he was standing right next to me and someone said, “Where is the Sardarji, we loved him.” Sunny was like what do you mean. A lot of people were pleasantly surprised to know that he’s Vicky Kaushal’s brother.All credit to casting director Nandini Shrikent who put him on tape. I loved his test and that’s how I met him.advertisementFor those who have seen your earlier films, many feel that Gold is very unlike a Reema Kagti film.Honeymoon is really different to Talaash. The first was a small quirky film made for a very alternative audience. Talaash for a Bollywood movie dealt with grief and how to overcome your demons. Gold is something that I really wanted to do. I have made it the way I wanted to.There are people who keep doing the same genres but I am not like that. I don’t know what idea is going to grab me. Wherever the idea leads me, I go with that. Good, bad, or ugly, Gold is me. I’d write a Dil Dhadakne Do, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Gully Boy. I am all of these things. They are completely different films. I jump genres, concepts and ideas.Do you think you could have toned down on the jingoism?I have not asked people to stand up for the national anthem. People have sent me random texts where foreigners are seen standing during the national anthem. The events made them feel that. I think it is something beautiful.I am talking about a time where this was important. Freedom came at a price. So all I was trying to do was honour that. I am not trying to give weight to one side or the other side of this debate.If you want to know what I am politically is a kneejerk liberal. Why can’t a kneejerk liberal give respect and honour to something that I think was tremendous for us as a nation?I don’t think people are forcing anybody to stand up. There have been people who have sent me videos saying see these people are not standing up. It doesn’t bother me. I am happy they are exercising their own feeling. I am sorry if anybody felt pressurised into standing up. That kind of thing I wouldn’t do.MOVIE REVIEW: GOLDALSO READ: Gold true story – How independent India won its first Olympic goldALSO WATCH: Akshay Kumar is the real ‘Khiladi’ of Bollywood
Mumbai, Sep 7 (PTI) The Indian hockey team’s perennial problem of conceding late goals has raised concerns about nerves but men’s coach Harendra Singh Friday rejected the idea of getting a psychologist on board, saying the word has a “negative vibe” to it. The men’s team fetched a rather disappointing bronze at the recently-concluded Asian Games after losing in a shoot-out to Malaysia in the semifinals. India eventually defeated Pakistan for the bronze in the play-off. The setback didn’t just cost the team a shot at a second successive gold but also direct qualification to the 2020 Olympics. Asked if the side needed help to deal with pressure situations with professional help, Harendra was dismissive. “Why do you need psychologists?” he asked. If gaining confidence is the aim, then you can even consult a commoner and take motivation from him. The word psychologist itself carries a negative vibe and the players feel that they are doing something wrong for which they need to consult a psychologist,” he said on the sidelines of the team’s jersey launch. “I don’t know that word. In any team the biggest psychologist is the coach and you yourself. If I’ll not motivate myself then no one in the world can motivate (me),” said Harendra. He said it is the coach’s job to ensure that the players’ emotional needs are understood and addressed. “…rather than going and getting the help from a psychologist, who has no clue about the team and sports, no clue about how the players behave,” he explained.advertisement As for the team’s overall Asiad performance, Harendra described it as a bad memory and a learning curve. “Look at the positive side, look at the data and then move to the World Cup, Whatever happened at the Asian Games, that’s a big learning curve for the players, coach and the staff,” Harendra said. “…that should not be repeated, that is more important, whatever happened we can erase that bad memory when we do well in the World Cup, Harendra told reporters here referring to the premier tournament in December. The coach and the entire team, along with legends such as Ajit Pal Singh, Ashok Kumar, Dilip Turkey, Dhanraj Pilley and Sandeep Singh, was at the Friday event. “They (the team) have a lot of positive things and if we move forward with that positive mindset. We are mentally and physically capable of turning (things around), the coach said. PTI NRB PM PM
Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam as she beat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 in the final of the US Open on Saturday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.It was a huge victory for Japan and Osaka personally, who has time and again accepted that the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena is her idol.For Serena though, this was her second successive runners-up finish at a Grand Slam after Germany’s Angelique Kerber defeated her in the final of Wimbledon at the All England Club in London.Osaka is one of the most exciting prospects in the world of tennis at the moment. With her endearing nature and powerful game, she has got the pundits excited and with the US Open title, she has proved many of them right.HIGHLIGHTS OF SERENA WILLIAMS VS NAOMI OSAKAThe US Open title is a cherry on top of a good season for Osaka where she won her first WTA title at Indian Wells.Your 2018 #USOpen champion…@Naomi_Osaka_ pic.twitter.com/yAPFaezBpzUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018This was the second time in her career that Osaka faced Serena and she has now managed to defeat the American both times. Earlier in the year, the two faced off in the first round of Miami Open, where Osaka thrashed Serena 6-3, 6-2.Of course, Saturday was a completely different prospect with Serena’s fitness and power much better than March, when she was still feeding her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian.advertisementThis was an inter-generational battle where the 16-year age gap between Osaka and Serena was the second biggest in a major final in the Open era, topped only by the United States Open in 1991, where the 17-year-old Monica Seles defeated 34-year-old Martina Navratilova.After her semi-final victory over Madison Keys that made her the first Japanese woman in Open era to reach a Grand Slam final, Osaka had said ‘I love you’ when she was asked for a message for her idol. Everyone on the court had chuckled at her genuinity and Osaka had buried her face in her palms in embarrassment.On Saturday, however, Osaka showed no such naivity. She was up to the task and banged her powerful groundstrokes at Serena to completely unsettle the biggest female tennis star.Many experts have said that Osaka’s powerful groundstrokes is reminiscent of Serena and perhaps it was a taste of her own medicine for the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who was looking to equal Margaret Court’s 24-slam record in tennis history.The Pride of !@Naomi_Osaka_ defeats Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title!#USOpen pic.twitter.com/sNilrZOaNUUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018Osaka took control of the match right from the start and in just the third game, she broke Serena to take a 3-1 lead in the first set. Immediately after, she held her nerves despite all the pressure from Serena, achieved a double break to take a massive 4-1 lead in the set.Osaka’s service game and her groundstrokes were on point and Serena, right from the start, struggled to deal with the pace Osaka put behind the ball.Also, Serena struggled with her serves and double faults cost her the first set. With much ease thereafter, Osaka took the first set 6-2.The second set began similarly with Serena and Osaka holding their serves. Serena then held on to a very tough second service and immediately, broke Osaka to take a 3-1 lead in the second set.In between these three games, Serena Williams received a warning from the chair umpire, who thought that her coach sent a signal from the box.Serena immediately went to the umpire and said that she did not cheat. She said, “I’d rather lose than cheat”.However, Osaka going a break down roared back with vengeance and broke Serena immediately after to go back on serve.@Naomi_Osaka_ soaks in the love…https://t.co/VtxXIM1nti#USOpen pic.twitter.com/539G2daAsuUS Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018Upon losing her serve, Serena smashed her racket in anger that led to the umpire docking a point off her. Buoyed by the extra point, Osaka went on to hold her serve with a couple of excellent forehands to make it 3-3.Serena, troubled by the docked point, lost her serve again as Osaka took a 4-3 and it was after that things took a worse turn.Serena had gotten extremely emotional by the umpire warning and kept getting engaged in verbal battles with the umpire. With Osaka yet to serve, at the changeover, Serena called the umpire “a thief” for docking her a point.advertisementThe umpire levied a ‘verbal abuse’ code violation on Serena that led to a game penalty and there erupted an immense controversy.Osaka automatically went up 5-3 without having to hold serve. Serena got fired up due to the call and called for the tournament referee. However, all that happened was Serena screaming, “it’s not fair”.The serve came back to Serena and she held it to love.However, among boos from the audience, Naomi Osaka served for the match and showed immense calm and maturity to win her maiden Grand Slam title.
Lewis Hamilton will be leaving Russia with a ‘strange’ feeling despite winning the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday and getting a step closer to becoming a five-time Formula One world champion.Mercedes sealed a one-two but that didn’t’ stop Hamilton from feeling a bit flat at the end of the race.Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who came third in the race and is now 50 points behind Hamilton in a battle, that now seems as good as over with five rounds remaining.By the looks of it at the podium, Vettel certainly had more to celebrate while for Hamilton, it was an awkward affair.”It’s very, very hard to find the right words. It’s a very strange feeling,” Hamilton told reporters after teammate Valtteri Bottas obeyed team orders and moved aside to let him take the lead and the victory.Also read – Lewis Hamilton wins Russian Grand Prix to stretch championship lead”We’ve had a one-two, we’ve dominated as a team this weekend, the team has done an incredible job and it’s obviously never, ever in my whole life been the way I’ve wanted to win a race.”I just want to shine it on to Valtteri. There are not many teammates who would do something like that.”There are good teammatesAnd then there is @ValtteriBottas #RussianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/eHMXB11ur0Formula 1 (@F1) September 30, 2018Ferrari have long been criticised for giving Vettel top billing and favoured treatment over team mate Kimi Raikkonen but Mercedes have prided themselves on letting their drivers race each other.advertisementPragmatism, rather than racing passion, was the order of the day in Sochi, however.Bottas had started on pole position, led away from the start and was on course for victory when the order came near the halfway point to let Hamilton through.Mercedes said they were worried about the threat from Vettel and wanted to protect Hamilton’s title advantage, with Bottas too far behind in the standings to be in the running for anything more than race wins.Sunday might have been the Finn’s first victory of the season, rather than his sixth second place.Bottas did as he was told, but still asked in the closing stages whether the positions were going to be reversed. The answer was no.Hamilton, who invited his team mate to join him on the top step of the podium, said it was not a situation he had wished to be in.”They told me on the radio that… ‘Valtteri is going to let you go’, which is not what I wanted,” Hamilton told reporters later. “I said ‘just tell him to speed up’.”So, yeah, naturally passing him did not feel good in that instant in Turn 13.””Honestly, at the end of the race I didn’t feel anything,” added the Briton, who took his time getting out of the car and kept his helmet on even longer.VETTEL: “It was tricky – they (HAM & BOT) worked very well together. I tried to put pressure on Valtteri but couldn’t get close enough… It was a good race… but not the result we wanted” #RussianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/0CKSclUNP9Formula 1 (@F1) September 30, 2018Vettel made clear he could not see what the fuss was about.”Well done to both of them, they played very well together as a team,” he said.”Obviously I know that you guys love controversy and therefore ask some naughty questions to them as individuals, but I think in the position they were in it was a no-brainer what they did today.”(With inputs from Reuters)
Kidambi Srikanth was defeated by second seed and world No.1 Kento Momota of Japan 16-21 12-21 in the semi-final of the Denmark Open in Odense on Saturday.Before this match, Momota enjoyed an 8-3 career record over Srikanth and had not lost to the Indian in their last five meetings.Saturday could have been a different day, but to the heartbreak of more than 133 crore Indians, the result was the same. Truth is Srikanth despite his numerous tries throughout the 42 minutes that the match lasted, failed to match up to the Japanese’s sheer dominance.Momota raced to a 9-6 lead over Srikanth, as he looked at ease controlling the pace of the rallies. Srikanth was taken aback by the swiftness of Momota as well as he deftness of his drops.Srikanth though managed to wrestle back some momentum, yet waked back at the break trailing 11-10. But the reigning world champion was just too good, as he took the first game 21-16.DANISA DENMARK OPEN 2018 | Badminton MS – SF – Highlights #badminton #HSBCBWFbadminton pic.twitter.com/T9DjwKegycBWF (@bwfmedia) October 20, 2018The second game was a formality for Momota, as ‘world’s best toyed with the idea of letting his guard down. After initial fight back from Srikanth, it was Momota again who walked back with a 11-7 lead at the break.Momota then insisted on slowing the game down and play the long rallies, just like Srikanth wanted and had been trying to in the match. Momota proved superior still, as Srikanth grew increasingly frustrated.advertisementWith his smashes not crossing the net and his judgment on the wane, Srikanth knew the battle was over. Yet he did not give in.Momota got an earful from his coach, who definitely was not impressed by his ward’s mistakes. The Japanese had had enough and the match ended 21-12, fittingly with a Srikanth return crashing into the net.
A resurgent Mohamed Salah scored one and set up another to inspire a clinical Liverpool to a 4-1 win at Porto in their Champions League quarter-final second leg on Wednesday that teed up a last-four clash with Barcelona.The Reds, who eased through 6-1 on aggregate, held off Porto in the early stages before Salah and Sadio Mane combined for the Senegalese to put them ahead with their first shot on target following a VAR review.Egypt striker Salah doubled the tally after the break and goals from Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk wrapped it up late on.Porto had briefly reduced the arrears through Eder Militao, but having lost the first leg 2-0 at Anfield, they never seemed in a position to overturn the deficit.Barcelona advanced on Tuesday when they won 3-0 in their second-leg against Manchester United, completing a 4-0 aggregate victory.Five-times European champions Liverpool, who had produced a scintillating display to beat Porto 5-0 in the last-16 at the Dragao stadium last season, had a totally different approach this time.They soaked up the pressure as Porto made an adventurous start, with Jesus Corona curling a powerful shot just over the bar in the opening minute.Juergen Klopp’s side looked temporarily toothless, but they were just waiting for their moment – which came in the 26th minute.Mane latched onto a cross from Salah to beat Iker Casillas from close range but he was initially flagged offside, only for referee Danny Makkelie to check the VAR.advertisementAfter a two-minute review, the goal was eventually given.Facing the huge task of scoring four goals to qualify, Porto looked stunned, despite having attempted 15 shots before the interval.Salah, who endured a goal drought in March, confirmed he was getting close to his best again when he coolly slotted the ball past Casillas after collecting a perfect diagonal through ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 65th minute.It was Salah’s first Champions League goal since December, and his first away from Anfield in the competition in 12 months.Militao soothed the home fans’ suffering a little, beating Roberto Firmino in the air to head home in the 69th minute.Brazilian Firmino, who had started on the bench as Klopp handed a rare start to Divock Origi, made it 3-1 with a downward header with 13 minutes left and Van Dijk headed home a fourth from a corner eight minutes later.Tottenham Hotspur will face Ajax Amsterdam in the other semi-final tie.Also Watch:
Jacqueline Fernandes is one of the fittest celebrities in Bollywood. The actress has been sweating it hard in the gym for the longest time and one look at her official Instagram account and we rest our case.Her workout regime not just include working out in the gym, but Jacqueline keeps her fitness routine interesting by inserting dance, yoga and other forms of workout in her life.Recently the Race 3 actress delighted her fans once again by sharing an Insta story from her workout session. The picture is captioned, “Hectic workout for the day done! Now time to rock!” Jacqueline Fernandez at the gymThe gram shows the 33-year-old in a black spaghetti top with a plunging neckline. She flaunted her toned midriff and washboard abs in the sports bra which she paired with black yoga pants.For her glam, Jacqueline looked radiating with her after workout glow and she tied her hair in a sleek ponytail.The actress was recently seen at the Eid party hosted by Salman Khan in a gorgeous blush pink lehenga.ALSO SEE | Salman Khan on intimate scenes in his films: Never say never, but so far I have not done anyALSO READ | Salman Khan: Many would leave their husband for Bharat. Priyanka Chopra left BharatALSO WATCH | Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif open up on Bharat, their journey and trollsadvertisement