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25 September 2012Experience was the key, said coach Zeca Marques, as Moroka Swallows edged SuperSport United 2-1 at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday to lift the MTN8 title for the first time since 1979.“You can’t change a winning formula and you can’t buy experience and this is what we got today,” he said at a post-match press conference.“We won it because of experience. Youth is great, but it’s got to be balanced.“Today we proved that with experience we can achieve things.”‘It’s a great feeling’Marques, who was an assistant coach to Gordon Igesund before Igesund was signed to coach Bafana Bafana, added: “This will go down in my memory forever. It’s a great feeling, a great moment for the team, for the club, for our supporters, for our sponsors.“I’m so happy for the supporters. They have suffered the last few years. I’m so happy for the players, they played like real fighters. They showed what they are made of.”Man of the match Georgi Nergadze produced an industrious performance for the Birds in the midfield and also struck their first goal with a real pearler of a shot from distance.On SuperSport’s side, their best attacking moments came through Sameehg Doutie, who showed off some insightful touches, but was quiet in the second half of the contest.Early chanceMidfielder Felix Obada had a good chance to fire Swallows into the lead in only the second minute when he latched onto a well-weighted through ball on the right hand side. He had plenty of time to shoot, but composure was missing from his effort, which flew wide of the right hand upright.The Soweto club looked to have settled the faster of the two teams as they made the better early impression, but after only five minutes they found themselves behind.Doutie set up Franklin Cale for the score with a superb defence-splitting ball across the top of the goal box, which took advantage of Swallows’ defence line being only slightly out of alignment. It was enough to put Cale five metres clear of the nearest defender, mere metres from the goal.GoalHe met the ball in stride with his left foot and steered it to the right of Swallows’ goalkeeper Greg Etafia, who tried to close down the angle, but was done in by the perfection of the pass.When SuperSport broke up a promising Swallows’ attack on the quarter-hour-mark, Sibusiso Zuma found Doutie in space on the right flank. He then picked out his Cale on the right with a floated pass across the top of the goal box. Cale met the ball on the volley, but his effort was disappointing and was sliced well wide of the goal.The Pretoria club looked good on the counter-attack, but they were caught out with a sucker-punch shortly after that.Swallows’ replySwallows attacked down the right and then brought the ball back inside to Lefa Tsutsulupa. As he made to shoot, the ball was knicked away from him, but it fell to Nergadze, right out in front on the top of the goal box.He pounced on the ball, striking a powerful shot high into the side of the netting to goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez’s right to level the scores at 1-1.Masatsantsa came close to retaking the lead when a free kick from Cale found Fransman in the Swallows’ box, but his header passed narrowly wide of the mark.With just over half-an-hour gone, SuperSport had an excellent opportunity to edge ahead, but it came to nought.One-twoA quick one-two between Doutie and Zuma put Doutie through with only Etafia to beat, but the Swallows’ netminder saved well to his left after he had cut down the angle.A short while later, Etafia dropped the ball from a corner kick, but SuperSport were unable to make him pay for his error.The teams turned with the scores level at 1-1.Cale tested Etafia with a free kick early in the second stanza, but the goalkeeper passed the test.Lerato Chabangu then had a chance to beat Fernandez with a free kick, but his shot passed over the top of the goal.Oh so closeJust before the hour-mark, Swallows came as close to scoring as one can get without actually scoring.They began with an attack down the right before a ball inside found Katlego Mashego in the middle. He attempted a shot, but it was blocked.The ball, however, fell to Nergadze, who found Tsutsulupa with a header on the left. The midfielder crossed, but Fernandez steered the ball away from the goal with a dive and a swat with his outstretched right hand.It fell to Chabangu, who met the ball on the volley and cracked a shot towards goal. Fernandez was unsighted, but somehow it didn’t cross the line as he and Mor Diouf combined to scramble it away.Shape and flowBoth teams created openings without being able to follow through with a finish as the game lost some of its shape and flow.Cale tried out Etafia again with a long-range effort, but the goalkeeper punched his speculative shot from distance away.Chenene was off-target for Swallows from a tight angle and Siyabonga Nomvethe, on as a substitute, then headed wide for the Birds.WinnerOnly three minutes remained when Bennett Chenene beat the offside trap to race onto a lobbed pass. Fernandez came out to challenge him, but Chenene made good use of the bounce of the high pass to direct the ball over the goalkeeper’s head and into the empty net.The Swallows’ players, bench and supporters erupted with joy, while SuperSport’s players’ shoulders slumped. Time was almost up and they knew it.Five minutes of additional time was played, but the score went unchanged and Swallows claimed their first MTN8 title in 33 years.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Tuesday held a dialogue with a group of visiting Pandits and discussed the process to start their return and re-assimilation in the Valley. “I assured the visiting Pandits that all Kashmiri Muslims want them to come back and live together as before. Kashmir belongs to them as much as it does to those who did not leave,” said the Mirwaiz.The delegation of Pandits was led by Satish Kumar and Nathil Razdan. Hundreds of migrant Pandits are in the Valley in connection with Mela Kheer Bhawani, which concluded on Monday.The Mirwaiz said he would help in “building a consensus among all the segments of people and will try to bring others on board too”. “We have decided to stay in touch and work on the idea to concretise it further,” he said.The Pandits expressed their desire “to live in all-community colonies and opposed segregated enclosures”.“Land prices are much high than before and individual plots and homes may not be affordable. Each district of the Valley should allocate land for affordable flats. Members of other communities can also buy flats there. We do not want segregation but want to live together,” the delegation told the Mirwaiz.Hundreds of Pandit families migrated in the face of raging militancy in the 1990s. While many set up houses in Jammu, hundreds of families are still living in different parts of the country.
Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters “I told the father (and coach Emerson Obiena) we’re thinking of the long term here. We have the Asian Games, the Olympics and World Championships. SEA Games gold is good but if he aggravates his injury we don’t want it,” said Juico.READ: PH gold medal bet Obiena injures ACL, out of SEA GamesFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe 22-year-old, 6-foot-2 Obiena hurt his ACL and was even reported by Juico as needing surgery last Friday, one day before the team departed for this city.But Juico said EJ and his father insisted that the young pole vaulter is healthy enough to hunt for a gold in the event where he bagged a silver two years ago in Singapore. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul SEA Games: PH stays unscathed at 2-0 in ice hockey Obiena, who has been training in Formia, Italy, has a personal best of 5.61 meters, which is deemed good for the SEA Games gold medal.The standing SEA Games record is only 5.30 meters.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim EJ Obiena has broken the national record 14 times and, at 21, looks very capable of raising the bar well beyond the 5.55 meters he achieved in a recent athletics meet in Singapore (photo).KUALA LUMPUR—Ernest John Obiena is set to compete in pole vault on Thursday despite fears that he injured his left ACL last week during training in Manila.This was confirmed by athletics chief Philip Ella Juico, who said Obiena will fly here in the morning just in time for the event in the afternoon at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR LATEST STORIES Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’
Rafael Nadal opened his Wimbledon title defence in convincing style today, shaking off an early service break and cruising to a 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory over Michael Russell.In keeping with tradition, the defending men’s champion played the first match on Centre Court at the All England Club and the top-ranked Spaniard put on a worthy performance to kick off proceedings on the 125th edition of the championships.Five-time women’s champion Venus Williams, back on her favorite grass surface, also swept into the second round with a straight-set win over 97th-ranked Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan.Nadal, coming off his sixth straight French Open title and 10th overall Grand Slam championship, double-faulted to go down a break 4-2 in the first set against the 91st-ranked Russell. But Nadal buckled down, ran off six straight games to take the set and go up a break in the second. He was in total command the rest of the way against the 33-year-old American.”I started so-so in the first set, but after that I start to hit very well the forehand and I think I finished playing a very good level,” Nadal said.The two players shared a laugh after Russell successfully challenged what had been ruled an ace by Nadal on match point.Nadal won the next point, though, to finish the match in just under two hours.It was the first time Nadal has walked onto Centre Court as defending champion. After winning the title for the first time in 2008, he missed the tournament the following year with a knee injury.advertisement”Fantastic,” he said. “Seriously, I never played in a court like this. (It) was a big emotion to be the first player to play in this fabulous court. It was a very, very exciting feeling.”Watching it all from the Royal Box were Nadal’s parents, Sebastian and Ana Maria.”Too many beautiful things to see my mom and my dad in the Royal Box,'” Nadal said. “I think for them (it) was a great experience. So, everything in general was very, very nice today.”Also due on Centre Court were Francesca Schiavone and Andy Murray, with Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick scheduled on Court 1.Williams, who returned to action at Eastbourne last week after an injury layoff of nearly five months, looked right at home at the All England Club as she beat Amanmuradov a 6-3 6-1.Williams kept her opponent waiting for several minutes on Court 2, with Amanmuradova sitting patiently on her courtside chair for the 31-year-old American to arrive.Once play started, Willliams took Amanmuradova apart in 59 minutes with her hard-hitting all-court game. She served seven aces, broke four times and had 23 winners to only five unforced errors, none in the second set.”It’s always great to be back,” Williams said. “To play a few matches at Eastbourne helped me feel pretty comfortable here. All in all, I’m pretty pleased. I only see pluses for today. I missed being out here playing,” Williams said.Amanmuradova, who has now lost in the first round at Wimbledon in all four appearances, is taller than Williams at 1.90 meters and can hit the ball hard. But once Williams found her rhythm, she couldn’t be stopped, winning six games in a row and the last 12 points to close out the match.Williams made a statement not only with her tennis but with her fashion sense – wearing a one-piece playsuit which exposed some of her back. The outfit featured cutout sleeves, a deep V neckline and a gold belt wrapped around the waist.”It’s a jumper,” Williams said. “Jumpers are very ‘now,’ as is lace. The shoulders have a lot of draping. It’s a kind of trendy dress. It’s fun. The back is a like a cutout or peekaboo. I’m always trying to do something different and fun.”Williams, who had been sidelined after injuring her hip at the Australian Open, returned last week and won two matches at the Wimbledon tuneup at Eastbourne.Williams has fallen to No. 30 in the rankings, but is seeded No. 23 – the same position she held when she won the tournament in 2007. Playing in her 15th Wimbledon, she extended her record to 69-9.Williams’ second-round opponent will be Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm, who became the second oldest women to win a match at Wimbledon, beating Katie O’Brien 6-0 7-5 today.The 40-year-old Date-Krumm, the third oldest women to compete at Wimbledon in the Open era and the oldest in this year’s draw, came out of retirement in 2008 but lost in the first round the last two years at the All England Club.advertisementIn another featured women’s match, 2010 runner-up Vera Zvonareva overcame 115th-ranked American Alison Riske 6-0 3-6 6-3. The second-seeded Russian looked in trouble after the second set against the 20-year-old Riske, whose best career results have been on grass. But Zvonareva raised her game when she needed to and closed out the match with an ace.The first seeded man to lose was No 30 Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, who fell 7-6 (3) 6-4 6-2 to Rainer Schuettler of Germany. The 35-year-old Schuettler is the oldest player in the men’s draw.Tenth-seeded American Mardy Fish beat Spain’s Marcel Granollers 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5) 6-4, while big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, playing his first Wimbledon, was a 6-3 7-6 (3) 6-3 winner over Marc Gicquel of France. No 14 Stanislas Wawrinka beat Potito Starace, Italy, 6-3 6-4 6-4.Other men’s winners included No 9 Gael Monfils, who beat Matthias Bachinger 6-4 7-6 (3) 6-3, and fellow Frenchman and No. 17 Richard Gasquet, who defeated Santiago Giraldo 7-5 6-3 7-6 (3). – With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.