Arsenal will play London rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup final on May 27 after beating Manchester City 2-1 following extra time in the semi-final at Wembley on Sunday.Arsenal had to come from behind after Sergio Aguero scored his 30th goal of the season for City in the 62nd minute, racing away on to a pass from Yaya Toure.Spanish international Nacho Monreal equalised nine minutes later, from a cross by Arsenal’s other wing back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.In the 11th minute of extra time, just after Aguero was taken off, Alexis Sanchez scored the winner.The result gave manager Arsene Wenger, an FA Cup winner six times, a welcome boost in a season that many supporters would like to be his last at the club.Arsenal seem likely to miss out on a top-four finish in the Premier League for the first time in 21 seasons under Wenger but winning a third FA Cup in four years could well persuade him to defy his critics and sign a new contract.Pep Guardiola’s record of having won at least one trophy in every one of his seasons as a manager is almost certain to be ended.City trail league leaders Chelsea by 11 points with six games to play going into another big game on Thursday against neighbours and rivals Manchester United, who are fifth, one point behind them.In his 50th City game, Guardiola picked an unchanged side for the first time and they were the more threatening in a dull first half despite having to replace the injured David Silva with Raheem Sterling.Shortly before the interval they were unluckily denied a goal when an assistant referee ruled — incorrectly it appeared — that Leroy Sane’s cross had drifted out of play before Aguero and then Sterling both put the ball past Petr Cech.In a much livelier second half Toure robbed Aaron Ramsey and sent Aguero away from the halfway line to dink the ball past Cech for a 12th goal in as many games.The equaliser arrived from a less regular scorer. It was Monreal’s first goal for two years.Toure’s volley and Fernandinho’s header both hit the frame of the goal in the space of four minutes but early in extra time a weary Aguero went off and within two minutes Sanchez scored from close range after Danny Welbeck missed his kick.
General Manager of the company, Ismael Nelson said Handy Finance was not a big company like other financial institutions, but through its corporate and social empowerment obligations towards the community, Handy Finance was happy to help support the team.“I want you players to be great ambassadors of the company and play in the true spirit of sportsmanship,” said Nelson.Team representative, Lawrence Puyu thanked Handy Finance Management for their support to the team.“The Port Moresby Muruks is an off season team made up of young boys from Southern Highlands living in and around Port Moresby. The club’s main aim is to expose our local talents to the Digicel Cup franchises,” said Puyu.He said some of the experienced players that will be leading the Muruks include Joshia Keviame (Mendi Muruks/ Gulf Isapeas) and Missach Wallen (Port Moresby Vipers).The Muruks are coached by former Kumuls halfback, Geno Kima.Puyu extended his thanks to Club President, Wale Budda Molumi for paying the team registration fee to participate in the tournament.The Southern Leg of the Coca- Cola Ipatas Cup kicked off today at the Kone Tigers Oval, Port Moresby.
The ICC announced that an independent assessment has found the bowling action of Nosiana Pokana to be illegal and, as such, the left-arm fast bowler has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect.The assessment revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.In accordance with Article 6.1 of the ICC Illegal Bowling Regulations, Pokana’s international suspension will also be recognised and enforced by all National Cricket Federations for domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction.However, according to Article 11.5 of the Regulations and with the consent of the Cricket PNG, Pokana may be able to bowl in domestic cricket events played under the auspices of Cricket PNG. Pokana was reported during a One Day International (ODI) between the Hebou PNG Barramundis and Hong Kong in Dubai on 8 December 2017, and had undergone an independent assessment of his bowling action on 6 January 2018 at the National Cricket Centre, Brisbane.Pokana can apply for a re-assessment after modifying his bowling action in accordance with clause 4.5 of the Regulations.Pokana, from Kalo Village in Central Province, has been a regular member of the Hebou PNG Barramundis since making his debut in a T20 International (T20I) against Ireland in Townsville in February, 2016.Pokana became the 114th player to play for the Hebou PNG Barramundis PNG and has played five ODIs and three T20Is for his country. This decision has meant that Pokana will not be available for selection for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, where the Hebou PNG Barramundis will be vying to qualify for their first ever ICC Cricket World Cup. (Nosiana Pokana bowling)
Parker will put his WBO strap on the line at the Principality Stadium, while Joshua’s IBF and WBA belts will also be draped around the victor on March 31.The pair will finally come together after months of negotiations between the representatives of both camps, the bout confirmed early in 2018.Ahead of the fight Joshua said he hoped Parker would be fit enough to go the distance in their 12-round contest, and Parker has provided an update that should please the British boxer.”Training has gone really good,” he told Sky Sports News at his Las Vegas training camp.”Everything is on track. We’ve got a good structure and a good plan.”Going into camp, everything is all good, everyone is happy. Just got to put in the work and prepare for March 31.” Weekend begins #ParkerJoshua pic.twitter.com/1C4qAtWbQL— Joseph Parker (@joeboxerparker) February 10, 2018 Photo Getty Images. Caption: Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker
Fans lined up at the new wing to get autographs and take photos with their favourite players.Caps, shirts, bilums and posters were signed and countless selfies taken.But the fans wanted to give back as well. After getting her poster signed, one woman presented back-rower Matt Gillett a beanie with his name on it.They kept on coming, but time could not cater for the hundreds of other fans who had to be turned back.The Captain’s Run for both teams will be held this afternoon with the SP Hunters first at 2:30pm followed by the Brisbane Broncos at 4pm.Tomorrow’s trial match kicks off at the National Football Stadium at 3:30pm.
Yip passed away in Kavieng on Monday.PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka said Yip was PNG Kumul No. 62 and made his debut against France on August 23, 1981, in Port Moresby.“John debuted in this game as a centre alongside the likes of Darius Haili, Andrew Limi, Philip Ralda and Bernard Waketsi,” Tsaka said.The Chairman added John Yip is the 4th PNG Kumul centre to pass on this year.“Earlier this year we lost great Kumul centres Kato Ottio (Kumul No, 269) and David Tinemau (Kumul No. 43) within a week of each other.“Three weeks later we heard of the passing of Kumul No.3 Lohia Daroa.“They have been great PNG Kumul centres and I thank late John Yip for his contribution and services to the Kumuls and rugby league in PNG,” Tsaka said.“On behalf of the PNGRFL Board, CEO Reatau Rau and staff and the PNGRFL family throughout the country and abroad, I extend my sincere condolences and sympathies to his immediate families and pray for God’s comfort during this time,” Tsaka said.Rest in Peace Kumul No.62 – John Yip.(Filepic supplied)
THERE may be doubts over Andy Murray’s fitness and questions about his form but the top seed showed in his Wimbledon tussle with Italian Fabio Fognini that his status as one of tennis’s most determined and dogged scrappers is indisputable.The world number one and defending champion was far from his best against the 29th-ranked Fognini, but still booked a fourth- round spot with a rip-roaring 6-2 4-6 6-1 7-5 win on Friday.Murray saved five break points in the fourth set, before winning five successive games to prevent himself being dragged into an energy-sapping decider that would have put further strain on the niggling hip injury he has been nursing.“I didn’t feel like I played my best tennis,” Murray told reporters. “But I won and I got through it. You know, that’s a really positive thing.”It is the 10th successive year Murray has reached the last 16 at Wimbledon and he had never lost at this stage to somebody ranked as low as Fognini.Yet, with the Italian showman having beaten Murray in three of their six previous outings, this was never going to be easy for the Briton and so it proved in an encounter where the momentum swung dramatically from one player to the other.In tennis terms, Murray and Fognini are polar opposites: the Italian is the epitome of attacking flamboyance, while Murray is a determined defender.Fognini also spent much of Friday’s encounter strutting around Centre Court, while Murray’s awkward gait seems to have been exaggerated by his hip problem.That did not seem to be troubling Murray, however, when he broke Fognini twice and raced to take the first set.The Italian battled back at the start of the second, breaking in the first game, before immediately surrendering the advantage, which prompted him to hurl his racket into the ground and receive his first ticking off from the umpire.He regained his cool and broke Murray’s serve again in the fifth game, this time consolidating and holding firm to clinch the set.It was then Murray’s turn to regain the upper hand as Fognini appeared to be struggling with an ankle injury that required treatment on court, allowing the world number one to wrap up the set with two breaks of serve.Murray’s hopes of an easy route into the last 16 were dashed, however, as the Italian came out firing in the fourth.After Fognini received a point penalty for what the umpire called a visible obscenity, he broke Murray in the fifth game and then had a series of set points both on his serve and the Briton’s.Yet, with the Centre Court crowd willing Murray on, the Scot fought back, breaking twice before serving out with an ace.
Apoel are in Luxembourg on Wednesday night, aiming to seal their passage to the third qualifying round of the Champions League, with the Cypriots holding a 1-0 advantage over F91 Dudelange from last week’s encounter in Nicosia.The Nicosia club did not manage to secure the big lead many thought they would have at the GSP Stadium seven days ago. In the end, they had to settle for just the solitary goal that arrived on 71 minutes from Facundo Bertoglio but it is an advantage that still makes them strong favourites to progress.Mario Been was able to test a number of his players over the weekend in a friendly match against Ethnikos Achnas, and some of those who featured at the Dasaki who did not play in the first leg could well be ready for Wednesday’s showdown.One of those is new signing Jesus Rueda. The Spanish centre-back appears fit to play after some initial fitness worries, while striker Mickael Pote also looked a lot sharper and could force his way into the lineup ahead of Igor de Camargo.Vander Vieira made a positive impact when he came off the bench in the first leg and played a big part in the game’s only goal, which could see the Brazilian get a starting role.Apoel press officer Nektarios Petevinos spoke to the media ahead of the team’s flight, saying that he believes his side will be more prepared than the first leg but that they need to do their talking on the pitch.“What I expect from the team is to show a higher level of readiness in comparison to the first game,” he stated. “Apoel are a better team than Dudelange and they must show that on the pitch.”He also revealed that 21 players have made the journey to Luxembourg, 18 of whom will make the manager’s final cut.Apoel are heavy favourites but Dudelange gave a good account of themselves in the first leg, leading to a fair amount of optimism from the minnows.Dudelange striker Bertino Barbosa said: “I believe that if we play like we did in the first game then we will go through”.“They did not know much about us before the first game and perhaps they thought it would be easy, so they might play a bit tougher this time. But we are also highly motivated and we will definitely be ready,” assured the Portuguese front man.In their last three Champions League home qualifiers, Dudelange have not managed to win, drawing their last two 1-1 Ludogorets and Qarabag, and losing by a single goal to Maribor in 2012. Their last victory of any kind in the Champions League was a 1-0 win over Salzburg on 17 July 2012.While the hosts’ record may not invoke fear, Apoel’s away record in the competition will not provide much of a confidence boost either, having won just three on the road in their last 20 attempts.The match kicks off at 7.00pm Cyprus time, and around 150 Apoel supporters have made the journey to back their side at the Stade Jos Nosbaum.
Cristiano Ronaldo is eager to return to action as he prepares for his first start of the season when Real Madrid begin their Champions League defence on Wednesday against Apoel Nicosia, coach Zinedine Zidane said on Tuesday.Ronaldo, who was the top goalscorer in Europe’s elite competition last season for the fifth consecutive year and scored twice in the 4-1 win over Juventus in the final, has been starved of football so far this season due to a long suspension.The Portuguese was given a five-game ban for being sent off and pushing a referee in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona in August, leading him to miss Real’s first three Liga games and next week’s trip to Real Sociedad, but is clear to face Cypriot champions Apoel.“He’s in a very good mood and is very happy to play, because this is what he really loves, playing football, but he’s also right mentally and he’s happy to be on the pitch again,” Zidane told a news conference.Ronaldo’s return boosts Real’s attack after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Levante on Saturday, their second successive home draw which left them trailing early Liga leaders Barcelona and Real Sociedad by four points.“We all know how good Cristiano is and I prefer him to be with us all the time. We can’t talk about Cristiano-dependence, I want everyone to be available all the time,” added the Frenchman.“Cristiano doesn’t just contribute goals, he’s a leader, he always wants to win and he transmits that to everyone else. We’re all excited to have him back with us.”As well as Ronaldo, Zidane is set to recall Luka Modric and Keylor Navas after resting them to his side’s cost against Levante, although Karim Benzema is out for at least a month with a hamstring injury.Zidane was critical of his side after their display at the weekend, but said he and his players were relaxed despite drawing back-to-back league games for the first time in a year.“The same thing happened last year so we’re not worried at all, the opposite,” said Zidane, who is the first coach to successfully defend the European Cup since 1990 and has won seven trophies since taking charge of Real in January 2016.“We can’t be happy with the results, especially the last one, but we’re not going to change the way we work, just as we didn’t last year. You’re always going to have a few bad results in a season,” he said.
The top of the table clash between leaders Anorthosis and second-placed AEK stands out in Round 6 of the Cyprus football championship. Elsewhere, Omonia have a seemingly easy game at home to Olympiakos while Cyprus’ European representatives, Apoel and Apollon, face tricky matches against Alki and Nea Salamina respectively.Anorthosis began the season with a disappointing draw against Nea Salamina, but have recorded four consecutive wins without conceding since then, creating a four-point cushion at the top.Their Israeli coach, Rony Levy, has managed to gel the team together and even though they do not score a lot of goals they are a very difficult side to break down. Experienced Croatian left back Daniel Pranjic is the only notable absentee for Levy with Ivan Bandalofski switching to the left and Abdullahi Shehu slotting into the right-back position. Despite failing to score in the opening five games, Anorthosis’ lone striker Demba Kamara is expected to retain his place.AEK coach Imanol Idiakez has come under a lot of stick following his side’s consecutive losses against Omonia and Nea Salamina and it has even been mooted that only a win can guarantee his future at the club.Ivan Triscovski is back in contention for a starting berth after overcoming a niggling injury while Truyols, Malokou and Englezou are ruled out through injury.Nea Salamina, who recorded their first win last week, are up against Apollon who deservedly held Everton to a draw at Goodison Parkon Thursday in the Europa League.Nea Salamina will be without five players for the clash, including their summer star signing and former Apollon player Gaston Sangoy.Also missing for coach Liasos Louca are two Apollon loanees, Reynolds and Karo as well as Jong-In Park and Anderson Korreia.Apollon coach Sofronis Avgousti will need to tell his players to forget about their European exploits and adjust accordingly. There are no new injury concerns for the Cypriot coach while Fotis Pamboulis is back in full training and is hoping for a first team recall following his lengthy injury.Omonia entertain Oympiakos at the GSP stadium in a game the home side is expected to win.Even though they will be without captain Demetris Christophi through injury, Omonia should have enough firepower up front to overcome the well-drilled and combative Olympiakos.Last year’s top scorer Matt Derbyshire is already leading the table with four and is ably assisted this year by Portuguese striker Rafa Lopes.Apoel travel to Larnaca to face first division newcomers Alki who have impressed with their performances so far this season.Apoel have stuttered in the league managing just one win in three games and their coach Giorgos Donis knows that his side cannot afford to drop any more points so early in the season.Alki are not a team that like to drop deep and defend in numbers and will be out to record their second win. In Semedo and Fabricio they have two very lethal strikers, while at the back they have been reinforced with goalkeeper Urko Pardo who will be playing for the first time against his old club who he served so admirably for six years.In other games, third-placed AEL play against bottom side Ethnikos Achnas while Pafos FC entertain Ermis Aradippou.The final weekend game is between Doxa Katokopias and Aris.Saturday: Pafos FC vs Ermis (6.00), Omonia vs Olympiakos (7.00), AEK vs Anorthosis (8.00)Sunday: Apollon vs Nea Salamina (6.00), Ethnikos vs AEL (6.00), Doxa vs Aris (7.00), Alki vs Apoel (8.00)