Samuel Eto’o goes to Italy, Joins Sampdoria

Samuel Eto’o goes to Italy, Joins Sampdoria

25/Jan/2015  //  610 Viewers

Cameroonian retired international super star Samuel Eto’o Fils has signed for Sampdoria (Italian Serie A), coach Sinisa Mihajilovic has confirmed.


On Sunday (24.01.2015) Eto’o will be officially presented to Sampdoria fans before their home match against Palermo.


Eto’o, 33, who has won the Champions League three times, twice with Barcelona and once with Inter Milan, a FIFA Club World Cup medal, seven domestic cups and four league titles joined Everton from Chelsea.


Coach Mihajilovic who was happy to sign Eto’o said, “Eto’o is a great player who has won everything”.


Source: (GR)

Cameroon 1-1 Guinea AFCON 2015: Group D finely poised after late penalty denied

Cameroon 1-1 Guinea AFCON 2015: Group D finely poised after late penalty denied

24/Jan/2015  //  671 Viewers

Ibrahima Conte was denied a last minute penalty as Guinea and Cameroon played out the fourth consecutive 1-1 draw in Group D of the Africa Cup of Nations in Malabo.

In a dramatic finish to the match the Guinea striker burst clear into the left side of the box where he fell under a challenge by Jerome Guihoata, but referee Tessema Bamlak took no action.

Moments earlier, Stephane M'Bia should have won it for Cameroon when he was served up a free header from Benjamin Moukandjo's free-kick but flashed it inches wide from eight yards.
It proved another frustrating night for Cameroon who had needed a late equaliser to salvage a draw against Mali in their opening match and were hoping for better second time round.

Moukandjo forced an early save out of nervy Guinea keeper Naby Yattara then the same player opened the scoring in the 13th minute when his corner from the left struck Yattara and deflected into the net.

Mohamed Yattara almost drew Guinea level within five minutes when he intercepted a sloppy clearance by Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa who recovered just enough to flap the ball out of play.

 Borussia Monchengladbach striker Ibrahima Traore drew a good low save out of Ondoa before the Guineans drew level in the 42nd minute.

Traore picked up a neat pass from Issiaga Sylla and turned his marker M'Bia before lashing a low left-foot shot past Ondoa's out-stretched arm.

Cameroon had the better of the second half chances with only a superb challenge from Abdoulaye Cisse preventing an almost certain goal from Edgard Salli at point-blank range.

Vincent Aboubakar headed inches wide and a Salli effort was deflected out for a corner but Guinea still looked dangerous on the break and Naby Keita should have done better with a rising shot which flew over Ondoa's bar.

Yattara saved bravely at the feet of Salli with 10 minutes remaining before M'Bia ought to have won it after Cisse fouled Eric Choupo-Moting on the left.

And there was still time for Conte to claim a stoppage-time spot-kick which was waved away as both sides were forced to settle for another draw.



Iran 3-3 Iraq (pens: 6-7): Lions book place in semi-finals

Iran 3-3 Iraq (pens: 6-7): Lions book place in semi-finals

23/Jan/2015  //  268 Viewers

After seeing out a draw after 120 minutes of playing time, spot-kicks were needed to separate the two sides

Defender Salam Shakir held his nerve to score the winning penalty and give Iraq a thrilling 7-6 shoot-out win over a 10-man Iran, after the two teams were locked at 3-3 following 120 minutes of their Asian Cup quarter-final.

Iraq - winners of the tournament in 2007 - will now play South Korea on Monday, with a spot in this year's final up for grabs.

Friday's match in Canberra was impacted significantly by referee Ben Williams, but the stunning nature of the encounter ensures it will be remembered as one of the best ever played at the tournament.

Both sides made a stuttering start to the shoot-out, as Iran's Ehsan Hajsafi and Iraq's Saad Abdulameer missed the target.

The next 12 penalties were scored, though, including a Panenka from Iraq captain Younis Mahmoud at 4-3 when a miss would have eliminated his side. Mahmoud's bravery was made more amazing by the fact he missed a similar penalty in his side's 2-0 win over Palestine on Tuesday.

Iran's Vahid Amiri then hit the inside of the post, allowing Shakir to slot to his right and secure Iraq's progression.

Earlier, Sardar Azmoun's header gave Iran a 24th-minute lead, before Williams, who was criticised heavily by Iran boss Carlos Queiroz earlier in the tournament - leading to the ex-Real Madrid coach being fined - sent Mehrdad Pooladi off in bizarre circumstances just two minutes before half-time.

Pooladi, earlier booked for a late challenge on Ahmed Yasin, made minor contact with Iraq goalkeeper Jalal Hassan Hachim when chasing a loose ball. The keeper then shoved Pooladi, who theatrically fell to the ground holding his face, leading to another booking from Williams.

The Australian official forgot that he had already carded Pooladi, but upon being reminded by several Iraq players, produced a red card that seemed incredibly harsh.

Iraq made the man extra count in the second half, when, after a spell of pressure, Yasin fired in from a tight angle 11 minutes after the restart, and after an additional 30 minutes was forced, Mahmoud headed them in front.

Iran climbed off the canvas, though, with Morteza Pouraliganji's thumping header bringing them level in the 103rd minute, but the defender then brought down Yaser Kasim in the area to concede a penalty - scored by Dhurgham Ismail in the 116th minute.

The drama, amazingly, did not end there, as an Iran corner - which was initially cleared off the line, before Andranik Teymourian fired against the crossbar - was finally nodded in by substitute Reza Ghoochannejhad in the 119th minute.

That brought about penalties but it was to be Iraq's night in the Australian capital.

Pooladi was booked for the first time in the 22nd minute, before Azmoun opened the scoring with a bullet header from Vouria Ghafouri's cross.

Williams then gave Pooladi his marching orders, leading Queiroz needing to be restrained by his players at half-time as tensions threatened to boil over.

Yasin levelled for Iraq early in the second half, thrashing in a low and hard effort from an acute angle - via a slight Pouraliganji deflection - after Alaa Abdul-Zahra's teasing ball across the face of goal.

A string of fouls, substitutes and injury concerns stopped the flow of the game, but once extra time arrived, Iraq quickly had their second goal.

Ismail and substitute Ali Adnan linked well down the left, allowing the former to storm into the box, and his shot took a pair of deflections before falling kindly for Mahmoud - with Hajsafi helpless on the line.

Iran dug deep, though, and equalised when Teymourian's swinging corner was powerfully headed in by defender Pouraliganji.

The match seemed surely over when Pouraliganji brought down Kasim, and 20-year-old Ismail showed nerves of steel to score, yet somehow, Iran conjured up another equaliser as Ghoochannejhad nodded in to end a goalmouth scramble.

An on-field scuffle broke out as penalties approached, after Marwan Hussein was booked for fouling Haghighi, but that mattered little in the end, as Iraq celebrated a truly famous win.


Andy Murray cruises into Australian Open fourth round with clinical straight-sets win

Andy Murray cruises into Australian Open fourth round with clinical straight-sets win

23/Jan/2015  //  247 Viewers

 Andy Murray stepped up his Australian Open campaign with one of those note-perfect performances he produces every now and again against middle-ranking opponents.

Portugal’s Joao Sousa is hardly a patsy, standing at No. 55 in the world, but he was made to look toothless as he went down to a 6-1, 6-1, 7-5 defeat. Even Novak Djokovic, the king of the clinical first-week elimination, would have settled for that.

Murray was scheduled on Hisense Arena, the second-biggest of Melbourne Park’s stadia, for the first time this week. Yet he acclimatised quickly and broke serve as soon as the third game of the match – a pattern which was repeated again and again.

Sousa is an exceptionally consistent player who does not give any freebies away, yet his serve is moderate at best and he tends not to come up with too many screaming winners either.

Murray soon established a magnificent rhythm on his return of serve - the shot that, more than anything else, sets him apart from the rank and file. He put 87 per cent of Sousa’s serves back in court, which piled enormous pressure onto his opponent’s limited ability to win points from the baseline.

 The outlook became even worse for the Portuguese at 1-4 in the second set, when he was forced to call the trainer to the court. He then underwent extensive treatment on his left knee and hip, which caused him such intense pain that he clutched his towel to his face like a child with a comfort blanket.

Sousa regrouped and tried to play more aggressively in the final set, with rewarding results. He managed to make Murray look uncomfortable for the first time in the match, even going as far as to pull off his one and only break of serve.

But Murray, who lost a little of his early rhythm at this late stage, still had too much for Sousa – who brought the match to a slightly comical conclusion when he tried to argue the line-call on the final point despite having used up all his Hawk-Eye challenges.

He even suggested that Murray should challenge the call himself. But this request – not surprisingly – was turned down.

“I was up two sets and 4-1 and Joao came back into it,” said Murray in his on-court interview. “We played some very good points towards the end of the match. He competed very well. He always does. He made it difficult for me at the end. But it was a good match.”

 A few moments after Murray had completed the job in 2hr 6min, his section of the draw opened up dramatically as Roger Federer made a surprise exit on Rod Laver Arena.

Murray had been on course to face Federer, who had previously reached the semi-finals here for ten years in a row, in the quarter-final. Now he is looking at facing either Federer’s conqueror Andreas Seppi or Australian teenage phenomenon Nick Kyrgios in the last eight.

But in order to get there, Murray will have to deal with Grigor Dimitrov, the talented Bulgarian who needed five sets and 3hr 28min to subdue the former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis on Show Court 3.

“It's a great matchup for me,” said Dimitrov, who ended Murray’s defence of his Wimbledon title in a shock straight-sets defeat last summer. “I'm always excited to play against him and I like that kind of challenge. I think physically and mentally I'm ready to play that match and really give 100 per cent from myself.

Roger Federer, Despite Multilingual Effort, Falls to Andreas Seppi at Australian Open

Roger Federer, Despite Multilingual Effort, Falls to Andreas Seppi at Australian Open

23/Jan/2015  //  234 Viewers

MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer shouted at himself in all three languages he speaks on Friday, trying to rouse a response from whatever part of him houses his tennis greatness.

“Come on!” he yelled in English. “Chum jetze!” he shouted in Swiss German. “Allez!” he tried in French.

But in the end, it was an Italian who had the final word, with the 46th-ranked Andreas Seppi stunning the second-seeded Federer 6-4, 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(5) in the third round Friday afternoon at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

Forty minutes after the match, Federer gave a news conference, offering answers in a similar mix of English, Swiss German and French.

“Just a bad day,” he began. “I wish I could have played better, but clearly it was tough losing the first two, you know. Had chances to get back into it.”

It was the 33-year-old Federer’s first loss in the third round or earlier at the Australian Open since 2001, and it ended a streak of 11 consecutive runs to the semifinals or better. Seppi had never beaten Federer in their 10 previous meetings, nor had he ever beaten a Top 10 player at a Grand Slam event.

Federer, who started the year at 6-0 after winning the warm-up tournament in Brisbane, Australia, has not won a major title since claiming his 17th at Wimbledon in 2012. This was his earliest exit at a Grand Slam event since Wimbledon in 2013, when he lost to Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round.

“I was playing very well in Brisbane, I was playing great in the practice leading into the tournament,” Federer said on Friday. “So I don’t want to say that I peaked too early, but I definitely was hitting the ball very well. I still believe I’d still be in the tournament, that I’d still have a chance to go very deep. Like I said at the very beginning of the tournament, I truly believe that. But then again, margins are small, and sometimes these things tend to happen.”

Federer struggled with consistency throughout the match and especially in the first two sets, when his unforced errors exceeded Seppi’s, 32 to 19. By the end of the match, he had hit 55 unforced errors to Seppi’s 40.

Still unsteady and shouty, Federer earned a lucky break from the net with Seppi serving for a two-set lead at 5-4 in the second, when his forehand on the 16th shot of a grueling break point rally clipped the net and fell just over onto the Seppi side, leveling the set at 5-5.

But in the ensuing tiebreaker, Federer was unable to keep his 5-3 lead, losing the final four points to give Seppi the set, and a lead that would prove insurmountable.

“I wish I could have won the first set; then things would have been different,” Federer said. “I definitely wanted to go into the match, play aggressive, play the right way, play on my terms. But it was just hard to do. For some reason, I struggled. Like I explained, it had things to do with Andreas’s game, and with my game as well. You put those things together, all of a sudden you’re playing a match you don’t want to play. The rallies are going in a way you don’t like it. Then when I maybe needed my serve the most, it wasn’t quite there, because my baseline game wasn’t there either. It went in phases.
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Continue reading the main story

“But at least I was able to iron out things a bit and able to play much more solid at the back end of the match. But it just broke me to lose that second set. And actually the fourth, I should win it, too. Just a brutal couple of sets to lose there.”

After narrowing his deficit by winning the third set, Federer appeared on his way to forcing a deciding set as darkness covered half the court. He initially led 3-1 in the fourth tiebreaker, but lost that edge on a double fault. He earned the advantage back with a zipping backhand passing shot that gave him a 5-4 lead, but with a chance to then serve out the tiebreaker he flipped a backhand wide to level it.

A forehand winner by Seppi on the next point gave the 30-year-old Italian his first match point, and he converted it with a whipped forehand passing shot winner that curled past Federer as he watched it fall just inside the court.

“The way he hits it, you think: This can’t possibly land in,” Federer recalled. “You kind of go and you’re there and you’re like, ‘No, I’m going to let it go.’ As you’re telling yourself that, you look behind you and you already know it’s done.”

Until that last moment, it would have been fair for observers to doubt Seppi’s ability to complete the upset. At the 2012 French Open, Seppi held a similar 6-4, 7-6(5) lead over the top-seeded Novak Djokovic before capitulating in a five-set loss.

In a quirk of the tennis scoring system, Federer won one more point total than Seppi, 145 to 144.

“I guess I won the wrong points out there today,” he said.

Elche v Barcelona: Suarez backed as Catalans seek to extend winning run

Elche v Barcelona: Suarez backed as Catalans seek to extend winning run

22/Jan/2015  //  215 Viewers

Luis Suarez has received the backing of coach Luis Enrique as Barcelona head to Elche hoping to record another convincing win.

Barcelona will turn their attentions back to the pursuit of La Liga leaders Real Madrid when they aim to record another convincing victory over Elche on Saturday.

Second-placed Barca trail their fierce rivals by one point – a margin that could increase to four when Real, who have a game in hand, take on Cordoba two hours before Luis Enrique's side take to the field at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero.

The Catalan club are on a five-game winning streak, including a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday.

That tie was set up by a quarter-final victory over Saturday's opponents by a 9-0 aggregate scoreline, which included a 4-0 win in Elche a week ago with a largely second-string side.

Fran Escriba's team are likely to be facing a full-strength Barcelona this weekend, with forward Luis Suarez - this week given the backing of his coach following a slow start to his career at Camp Nou - among the star names at Luis Enrique's disposal.

Suarez has managed just two goals in 11 Liga appearances to date, a modest return following his goalscoring exploits at Liverpool, for whom he scored 31 goals in 37 games last season.

However, the Uruguayan - a scorer in the first leg of his side's cup triumph over Elche - is set to continue in attack alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi, who scored his 29th goal of the season in all competitions during Wednesday's win over Atletico.

"I have no doubt that the goals will come," said Luis Enrique when questioned on the output of Suarez.

Messi, Andres Iniesta and Dani Alves trained inside and separately from the rest of the Barca squad on Thursday to work on "specific treatments".

Midfielder Xavi, meanwhile, will hope to gain a recall to the starting XI after coming off the bench in the 1-0 win over Atletico following a four-game absence with a calf injury.

Elche are 16th in La Liga with 17 points from 19 games, although they have won their last two league matches, triumphing 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao prior to a 1-0 home victory over Levante.

Midfielder Mario Pasalic, who is on loan at the club from Chelsea, says that this recent run has given them hope that they can upset the odds and achieve a shock result against Barca.

"Barcelona are favourites and we have nothing to lose, but I think we can get a good result if we all give 100 per cent and believe in ourselves," said Pasalic.