Atletico edge Liverpool with vintage defensive display

first_imgMADRID, (Reuters) – Champions League holders Liverpool will need to summon another famous European comeback at Anfield next month after they were beaten 1-0 away to Atletico Madrid in their last-16 first leg yesterday. Spain midfielder Saul Niguez struck the only goal of the game in the fourth minute by bundling into the net from close range following a corner, their traditional weapon of choice in recent years.Liverpool, who have won 25 of 26 Premier League games this season and are on course for a record-smashing title win, missed a series of chances to equalise in the second half, with Mohamed Salah and captain Jordan Henderson coming closest to scoring.Juergen Klopp’s side play at home to Atletico on March 11 in the return leg at Anfield, where they produced an incredible 4-0 win over Barcelona in last year’s semi-final second leg after losing the first match 3-0. “We gave them the best possible start and that gets the fans behind them and then they start falling over and getting under the skin a bit,” Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson told reporters.“We put in a decent performance and we know we can be better. We’ve got a second leg to put it right. They celebrated as if they won the tie after the game. They are coming to Anfield and we know our fans will be there.”Diego Simeone’s men have looked nothing like the sides that reached the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals and challenged Real Madrid and Barcelona’s duopoly of La Liga for most of this campaign. They trail league leaders Real by 13 points. But yesterday they produced a vintage defensive display, sitting deep and barely giving Liverpool any space for their attacking trident of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to work their usual magic.“This is the result of hard work and what happens when you never stop believing but keep on going,” match-winner Saul told reporters.“We have kept on working even though no-one believes in us and wants to bring us down. I celebrated the goal with so much passion because I was so up for the game, we have been criticised a lot but luckily I was able to help us out.” Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium was the scene of Liverpool’s 2-0 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in last year’s final but they faced a very different type of atmosphere this time around.SCORCHING ATMOSPHEREClouds of billowing red smoke greeted the Atletico bus when it arrived at the ground as the home supporters stoked up a scorching atmosphere throughout the game to give their side a lift in the middle of their worst season in recent memory. The home side were happy to let Liverpool dominate possession but despite having 73% of the ball, Klopp’s side did not manage a single shot on target, although Atletico defender Felipe did block a goalbound shot from Salah in the first half.Atletico only had one other attempt aside from their goal, when Alvaro Morata fired straight at the legs of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.Liverpool forward Mane was fortunate not to be sent off late in the first half after clashing with Sime Vrsaljko while on a yellow card and he was swiftly substituted by Klopp for Divock Origi, who scored the second goal in last year’s final.He caused little disquiet to Atletico’s towering defenders, yet Salah should have levelled with a header which went wide of the near post, while Henderson also narrowly missed the target from inside the area later on.last_img read more

Shepherd cops best server award as Guyana endure tough outing

first_imgGuyana’s male and female volleyball players endured an unforgettable outing at the recently held Inter-Guianas Under – 21 volleyball tournament in Cayenne from February 27-29. Both teams failed to reach the final of the three-team.However, local sensation Kristoff Shepherd was Guyana’s brightest star after copping the best server award at the end of the tournament. Guyana under 21 volleyball players endured a tough outing in French Guyana (Royston Alkins photo)As the competition unfolded, the male team began with a bang by defeating the hosts 3-2: 22- 25, 25 – 16, 22-25, 26-24 and 15- 11 to send their competition rolling in the right direction.  However, they dropped their second encounter – a close one – against Suriname 22-25, 24-26, 25-22, 23-25 which saw them being denied a place in the final.  “When the aggregate of points were checked, Suriname and French Guiana were the qualifiers for the finals. Due to ailment, the Suriname setter had to be taken to the hospital for treatment as such French Guiana had an easy victory in the final,” said the Guyana Volleyball Federation (GVF) President Levi Nedd. Meanwhile, in the female category, the Guyanese went down to both French Guiana and Suriname 0-3.last_img read more

Windies sweep Sri Lanka T20 series

first_imgKANDY, Sri Lanka, CMC – All-rounder Andre Russell put to rest any lingering fears over his fitness with an exhilarating Man-of-the-Match performance as West Indies swept their Twenty20 International series with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second match here yesterday. Asked to chase a modest 156 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, West Indies stormed to their target with three overs to spare, to also send a stern warning to rivals ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.Shimron Hetmyer top scored for the Windies with 45.While Shimron Hetmyer stroked a measured 43 off 42 balls and opener Brandon King dazzled with 43 off 21 balls, it was Russell who really grabbed the attention with stunning 14-ball unbeaten 40 which took the World champions over the line.The 31-year-old traded only in sixes, crunching half-dozen of them, and coming on the heels of a similar effort in the opening match on Wednesday when he slammed a 14-ball 35, the effort was enough to earn him Man-of-the-Series honours. Prior to the series, the Jamaican had not featured in a single T20 International in nearly two years and after hobbling out of last year’s 50-over World Cup after just four matches with a bad knee which required surgery, his international future appeared bleak.There were no such concerns, however, as he eviscerated the Sri Lankan attack to hand West Indies their first T20 series win in their last six tours.Fabian Allen exults after taking two wickets in one over.Russell arrived at the crease in the 13th over when Rovman Powell holed out to a stunning catch on the deep backward square boundary by Shehan Jayasuriya off seamer Dasun Shanaka, and quickly dominated an unbroken 55-run, fourth wicket stand with Hetmyer off just 26 deliveries. He took a single from the first ball he faced but then bludgeoned leg-side sixes off the next two balls he faced at the end of the 14th over from pacer Lahiru Kumara.Hetmyer, who struck just three fours, was then reduced to the role of spectator as Russell belted sixes in every over. His final one – a cracking pull over mid-wicket of medium pacer Angelo Mathews – sealed West Indies’ win in style.A disjointed batting performance had earlier left Sri Lanka with a disappointing 155 for six after they were sent in, with Shanaka top-scoring with an unbeaten 31 off 24 balls batting at number six. Mathews chipped in with 23 and Thisara Perera, 21 not out, but the hosts struggled with momentum throughout their innings and also failed to find acceleration at the back end.West Indies were clinical up front, fast bowler Oshane Thomas bowling Avishka Fernando for nine in the third over with 16 on the board, and left-arm spinner Fabian Allen (2-24) – who shared the new ball – removing Jayasuriya (16) and Kusal Perera (15) in successive deliveries in the seventh over with the score on 48.Mathews and Kusal Mendis (11) attempted a rebuild with a 33-run fourth wicket stand and when both fell within 15 balls of each other as three wickets went down for 28 runs, Shanaka struck three fours and a six in a 46-run, unbroken seventh wicket stand with Thisara Perera, to bolster the innings. In reply, the Windies lost Lendl Simmons cheaply for nine in the third over with the score on 23 but an unusually restrained Hetmyer put on 46 for the second wicket with King and a further 34 for the third wicket with Powell to ensure there was no implosion.King counted half-dozen fours and a couple of sixes before top-edging a short one from Kumara in the eighth over and after Powell also perished, Russell took charge.last_img read more

Black Caps Windies tour “most unlikely”, says NZC chief executive

first_imgAUCKLAND, New Zealand, CMC – New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White says the Black Caps tour of West Indies in July is now “most unlikely” especially with the country currently into day eight of a four-week lockdown, and the deadly coronavirus pandemic continuing to engulf the globe. Speaking to media here yesterday, White said series against Netherlands, Scotland and Ireland were also in doubt because of the COVID-19 virus which has already infected over a million people worldwide and caused in excess of 58 000 deaths.“Clearly, this situation is extremely disappointing for everyone involved in sport but, given the bigger picture, and the terrible toll COVID-19 is taking worldwide, we need to look after not only our own people but the greater community good,” the official explained.“Cricket in New Zealand has been fortunate in that we were very much at the end of our home summer programme when this crisis struck. “However, with the lockdown now in full force, we’re mindful of the difficulties facing our cricket community.“Our current focus is very much on ensuring the future sustainability of cricket in New Zealand.”The Black Caps are scheduled to take on West Indies in three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals from July 8-19. Antigua’s Vivian Richards Cricket Ground is carded to host the opening two ODIs with Dominica’s Windsor Park hosting the final ODI and opening T20.The final two T20s are set to be played at the Guyana National Stadium.All three nations have reported cases of COVID-19 while the governments of Antigua and Dominica have put in place curfews. For its part, New Zealand has reported 868 cases with a single death.White said though the future remained unclear while the virus wreaked havoc, New Zealand Cricket would have continue its planning.“Although the future is uncertain, we’re determined to be well-prepared for whatever opportunities arise.” South Africa are scheduled to follow New Zealand for a tour of the Caribbean, starting at the back end of July and into August where they play two Tests and five T20 Internationals.last_img read more

England to kick off inaugural ODI Super League against Ireland

first_imgMUMBAI, (Reuters) – A three-match series between world champions England and Ireland beginning on Thursday will kick off the inaugural Super League, which will determine who qualifies for the 50-over World Cup in India in 2023, the International Cricket Council said yesterday. Aside from during the World Cup every four years, the appeal of the one-day game has dwindled after the arrival of the shorter Twenty20 version of the sport, and it is hoped that the Super League will restore some of the 50-over format’s popularity.“The league will bring relevance and context to ODI cricket over the next three years, as qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is at stake,” Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager – cricket operations, said in a statement. The launch of the Super League was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a number of series cancelled due to restrictions on international travel and lockdowns in various countries to contain the virus. International cricket finally resumed this month without the presence of spectators when England hosted West Indies in a three-test series.World champions England will also host the first white-ball internationals when they take on Ireland in the three-match ODI series in a bio-secure environment at Southampton. The league will feature the 12 ICC test-playing nations and the Netherlands, who qualified by winning the World Cricket Super League 2015-17.The top seven teams in the league, which will see each side play four home and four away series of three matches, will automatically confirm their spot at the 2023 event.Last week, the ICC moved the World Cup in India to an October-November window from its original February-March slot, in order to find fresh slots for series cancelled due to the pandemic. “Given the situation, it will be quite different to the last time we played at home, when we lifted the World Cup at Lord’s, but it’s nice to be starting our journey for the next edition of the tournament,” England’s ODI captain Eoin Morgan said.last_img read more

Savage Pollard stuns Tridents to keep TKR unbeaten

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Captain Kieron Pollard belted an astonishing half-century as Trinbago Knight Riders pulled off an exhilarating run chase to stun reigning champions Barbados Tridents by two wickets in a last-over thriller here yesterday. Entering the contest in the 13th over with unbeaten TKR floundering on 62 for five in pursuit of 149 for victory, Pollard smashed 72 off just 28 balls to haul his side back into contention at Queen’s Park Oval.He counted two fours and nine giant sixes in a jaw-dropping display of power-hitting to single-handedly take the game away from Tridents, as TKR gathered 70 runs from the last five overs of the innings.When Pollard was run out off the second ball of the final over, TKR still needed a further eight runs but the nerveless Khary Pierre (10 not out) sliced the fourth delivery – a high full toss from left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer – over point for six before thrashing the next ball to the backward point boundary for four to spark celebrations in the hosts camp. The victory extended TKR’s winning streak to six on the trot and put them on 12 points at the top of the six-team standings, all but securing a spot in the semi-finals.In contrast, the defeat for the Tridents was their fourth in six outings and even though they still remain third on four points, they face the possibility of missing out on the final four if their form in remaining matches fails to improve.Sent in, Tridents rallied to 148 for seven off their 20 overs, thanks mainly to opener Johnson Charles’s top score of 47 off 37 balls and the in-form Kyle Mayers’s 42 also off 37 deliveries. Zimbabwean off-spinner Sikandar Raza snatched two for 10 from his only over while fast bowler Jayden Seales (2-21) and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein (2-30) chipped in with two wickets apiece.Shai Hope’s wretched form, which has yielded a dreadful 63 runs from six innings, continued when he edged a cut at Hosein off the keeper’s gloves into Lendl Simmons’s hands at first slip to depart for four, after posting 34 with Charles.The innings was then energised by Charles and Mayers who added 51 for the second wicket, as Tridents reached 59 without further loss at the half-way stage. Charles struck four fours and a couple of sixes before steering a Seales full toss to Simmons at point in the 12th over while the left-handed Mayers counted three fours and a six before finding long off with Raza in the 17th over.Ashley Nurse struck a nine-ball 19 towards the end to help Tridents gather 51 from the last five overs.Faced with a hardly imposing required run rate of just under 7-½ per over, TKR found themselves in early trouble thanks to a double strike from fast bowler Holder (2-27) in the second over, and plunged to 36 for four in the eighth. Opener Simmons, whose 32 came from 29 balls and included three sixes, put on 26 with Hosein (12) for the fifth wicket in an attempt to revive the innings but when both fell within the space of 11 balls, TKR were still in deep trouble at 77 for six in the 15th over.Pollard smashed the first ball he faced over mid-wicket for six off leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr and cleared the long off ropes with leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the next over, to reinforce his intentions.Even so, TKR were 79 for six at the end of the 15th over, still requiring 70 from 30 balls, and the pressure increased when Rashid Khan conceded only four runs from the 16th over.Now faced with an asking rate of 16-½ per over, Pollard finally pulled the trigger, smashing 25 runs from the 17th over bowled by Walsh, with four of the last five balls of the over disappearing for sixes. He lost Raza (3) to the first ball of the 18th but leg-side boundaries from the last two balls of the over, took Pollard to his fifty off 22 deliveries and kept TKR in the game.Two back-to-back straight sixes by Pollard in the penultimate over from Holder which leaked 16 runs, left TKR with 15 runs needed from the last over but after blasting Reifer’s first ball over long on for six, the right-hander was run out at the striker’s end attempting a second run.With the result in the balance, Reifer twice missed his lengths and was punished by Pierre.last_img read more

SBC launches 2-day Betting on Sports Conference

first_img CEOs to share post-COVID-19 vision at industry’s biggest online conference March 26, 2020 StumbleUpon SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital 2020 announces free ticket initiative July 21, 2020 Share Share Related Articles Submit SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital unveils unrivalled speaker line-up August 19, 2020 SBC Events is proud to announce the Official Launch of Betting on Sports, our TWO day conference in central London on 15th-16th September 2016.Betting on Sports is being held across two days at the five star Grange Tower Bridge Hotel and has been designed to provide world class hospitality, unlimited networking and business opportunities, and top of the class speaker sessions.Betting on Sports is running several different conference tracks allowing you to explore important topics such as:Future of Sports BettingLive Betting EngagementSponsorship Activation & Customer AcquisitionIntegrityNew market entrantsImportance of horseracingFunding of SportOpportunities in eSportsInnovation in Virtual SportsSome of the confirmed speakers include Marathonbet CEO, Leo Vegas CEO, and VIKS.com Brand Officer. Check out the latest agenda here.Following feedback from the last two Betting on Football conferences, we have also broadened the opportunities around networking with more time and more opportunity to meet and make key contacts in the industry.We have introduced a dedicated networking hub to the event, allowing people to easily connect with each other to discuss the latest products and developments.We also have a full agenda of networking events planned around the conference to ensure that delegates get the most out of what will be 2016’s key betting industry event.Alongside the event, SBC is organising an exclusive executive dinner on the first evening for the senior operator executives. Furthermore, we will invite the top sports betting affiliates to attend BOS in partnership with the most forward-thinking sportsbook operators in the sector.SBC Events has also teamed up with the BiG Foundation, the industry organisation that raises money for sporting charities, to co-locate the grand BiG Sports Dinner on the second night.Considering the high value that you can get for your business across two days, including free food and drink, SBC Events has managed to reduce tickets to just £499 + VAT – making them the most cost effective event tickets on the market. However sign up today at the early bird rate and you can get tickets for a scarcely believable £249.99 +VAT  – that’s half price.To take advantage of this discounted rate sign up using this link . But hurry as the early bird rate isn’t going to last forever.This amount of business opportunity at such a bargain price cannot be missed. Make sure you are a part of it by signing up today.Check out the videos from previous SBC events:last_img read more

Tony Kenny – William Hill – BOS Speaker – The importance of a broad sponsorship mix

first_img StumbleUpon Share William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 Submit Share SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Related Articles Gamesys tops list for GambleAware Q1 donations July 10, 2020 Tony Kenny looks after the PR/Communication and activation of William Hill’s sponsorship portfolio, which includes the Scottish Cup, Premier League and World Darts Championship.Kenny will be on our ‘Different Ball Game’ panel at Betting on Sports 2016 (September 15-16), speaking about how betting companies can reach new audiences via sports partnerships.SBC: William Hill has always had a broad sponsorship portfolio; as an organisation, how do you think you’ve benefited from this?TK: I think we’ve moved with the times and used our sponsorship mix effectively across our business both internally and externally. The industry’s current situation with Horse Racing shows the importance of not having a reliance on one sport.SBC: In its current context, do you think betting is too entwined with football marketing? Does the industry require fresh thinking?TK: For us, football sponsorship and partnerships remains an important part of our mix. It’s a competitive marketplace and it’s important to be front of mind when it comes to football betting – however there are emerging crossover sports where you can indirectly engage with a similar audience.SBC: Do you think that the marketing and communications for sports partnerships within the industry have become too formulaic? How do industry stakeholders create fresh and appealing campaigns?TK: I think betting companies need to look at their overall business objectives and strategy before jumping into football sponsorship. Then generate their campaigns based on their target audiences rather than going for the global 3.6 billion audience. They also need to engage more with fans through interactive content and stop thinking about supporters as numbers on their PowerPoint presentations.SBC: How can smaller sports with a unique audience make themselves more appealing to sports betting operators?TK: I think it’s really making themselves more appealing to the wider world. The UFC, Boxing and Darts are sports have revamped their images and have now become aspirational events to watch and attend.SBC: You are speaking at BOS on extending the betting industry’s reach within wider sports; what do you want delegates to take away from your session?TK: I hope they will get an insight into the importance of having a broad sponsorship mix and our successes both inside and outside of football sponsorship.____________________________________Are you interested in how betting companies can reach new audiences via sports partnerships?Make sure you’re at the largest sports betting industry conference of the year, Betting on Sports!#bettingonsports #BIGnBOSlast_img read more

SIS strikes pricing agreement with Mauritius Turf Club

first_img SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Share Submit SIS grows Latin American footprint through Betcris deal August 12, 2020 Richard FitzGerald steps down as RMG CEO August 6, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Paul WittenRacing information and content provider SIS has agreed an exclusive three-year deal with the Mauritius Turf Club to distribute racing pictures, data, and fixed-odds prices to UK retail betting shops and online operators for the first time.The agreement will see the SIS service broadcast eight races a day for 37-weekend fixtures, with an average of nine runner races for each of theSaturday and Sunday morning races. The content also includes a comprehensive fixed-odds provision through SIS Trading Services.The new Mauritius rights deal complements SIS’ leading content portfolio, which already includes exclusive racing from the UK, the best racing from Ireland and France as well as key international tracks further afield such as Meydan and Jebel Ali Racecourse.Launched in January, SIS Trading Services is a bespoke trading department for UK and international customers that provides comprehensive pricing on UK, Irish, and International racing as well as BAGS greyhound racing from the company’s state of the art London offices.The comprehensive Mauritius pricing provided by SIS Trading Services includes a suite of data triggers that allows easy automation of trader alerts, in addition to ante-post and starting prices through to in-play updates.Paul Witten, Commercial Director at SIS, said: “We’re delighted to have secured top quality racing from Mauritius for the next three years, which is the ideal product for operators looking to give their customers additional content during busy periods.”Adam Conway, Head of SIS Trading Services, added: “Our team of experienced traders are able to utilise their proprietary algorithms to deliver a full range of markets on races from Mauritius. The ease of integration of the product is cost effective and will ensure our robust and trusted data is delivered at speed.” Related Articleslast_img read more

R. Franco launches industry start-up accelerator program ‘Wanajump’

first_imgShare Submit Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020 Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 Related Articles Share StumbleUpon Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Spanish gambling operator Grupo R. Franco (R. Franco) has announced the launch of its industry start-up accelerator program ‘Wanajump.’ The operator will run two incubator categories under the Wanajump program; ‘Incube’ and ‘Accelerate.’Launching the initiative, R. Franco governance revealed that the company plans to support up to 30 start-ups per year.Its ‘Incube’ program will focus on initial stage start-up mentoring, facilitating entrepreneurs with monitoring by R. Franco’s ‘multi-disciplinary’ team. The operator will further support Incube start-ups by offering a 6-week placement aiding with product early stage development, work spaces, and support facilities.‘Accelerate’ will focus on start-ups that are closer to launching their services or products to market. R. Franco has designed a 4-month mentoring program for qualifying start-ups, in which each enterprise will receive €25,000.Franco governance detailed that Wanajump program formed part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to digital growth and optimization, further stating that the company had reserved 1000 meters of working space within R. Franco group’s digital area.The gambling operator has opened the Wanajump program to enterprise submissions at http://www.wanajump.com/ . R. Franco will update the market with ongoing developments of the Wanajump accelerator program and its participating start-ups.last_img read more