Sports – Daily News Egypt https://dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 24 Mar 2019 11:30:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Meet Egypt’s youngest female football coach https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/23/meet-egypts-youngest-female-football-coach/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/23/meet-egypts-youngest-female-football-coach/#respond Sat, 23 Mar 2019 11:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693679 Salem dreams of playing in Europe, Ronaldo is her role model

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A brunette young woman with childlike features decided to rebel against norms in order to realise her dream, which she wrote down when she was 15: the establishment of a football academy only for girls. Daily News Egypt had the chance to meet Farida Salem to talk about her Empower Academy.

When she was 15, Salem wrote down all her goals, which she has now achieved, including playing for a foreign football team, coaching, and establishing a football academy.

“When I was young, at 12, I wanted to play football. There was no football academy for girls, so I had to play with boys in the Gezira SC, which made me dream of opening an academy for girls. I worked as an assistant coach when I was 16 to prepare for this,” Salem said.

She is now 25 with a bachelor’s degree in sports, health and physical education, from Canada’s Vancouver Island University. She is both a football player and a coach at the same time.

Ever since she was young, Salem loved football. She, however, could not find a place to play at. So, she decided to play with her brothers in Gezira SC. When she became 15, she joined Wadi Degla’s female team, then Maadi SC.

She studied journalism at the American University in Cairo and played football with her university team, and was named the best female player in Egypt before receiving a scholarship from Vancouver Island University to study and practice football at the same time.

“I chose the game [football] after trying many sports. My goal was to prove myself in playing football as young people always see that girls are not capable of playing sports,” she said.

When she was in Canada, she faced several problems that forced her to reconsider her passion and dream. “After graduating, I worked there for a year in areas related to sports, but I felt frustrated. Every job I applied to rejected me for reasons I cannot change. I was not happy abroad, so I thought about my old dream of opening a female football academy.”

Salem did not listen to those who told her to change her plans for money. “Some told me to include boys in the academy to get more money. But in my opinion, girls are just like boys, and could be even better, like in the United States.”

She spoke about the strangest situations she had encountered during her journey with the academy, saying, “When I presented the idea to one of the clubs, an official told me that training girls is not profitable and will not be beneficial. I told him that if I got 20 girls who want to join the academy, I will be successful. He said if 10 joined, I would consider it a success. Two and a half months later, the academy is training 60 girls.”

She talked about her personal life, and the support she got from her family for her project. “I have two younger brothers, one of them works with me in the academy. He is a talented coach who also studied sports in Canada, and played in the US and Canada, as well as trained there. He also helps with the part I miss, financials.”

“Abdulrahman, my brother, came up with the name ‘Empower’. When I returned from Canada, I announced the idea to some of my friends, and they all talked about empowering girls.”

“My family always supports me. My father passed away. And my mother is very proud of me and tells everyone my story.”

Salem also talked about her ambitions to expand her academy. “Fees for joining the academy are EGP 800 per month. We try to offer the best services. We are partners with El-Karma SC in Sheikh Zayed and we have plans to expand in the future. I cannot judge the financial success of a project after only two and a half months.”

“One of my dreams, after five years, is to have a team that can compete in the local league. I am not in a rush for now. But I’m preparing for it by training girls for the future. I am fully dedicated to the academy and I believe that passion deserves all the time and effort I can spend.”

“One of the girls in the academy grabbed my attention, and I helped her to join Wadi Degla SC.”

She added, “I hope to live abroad, especially in Canada, to increase my experience in coaching.”

She, however, did not forget her dream of playing football herself. “I was injured, and my hand was broken, which hindered me from joining the Maadi or Wadi Degla clubs. The next season, I will join one of them, probably Maadi. I want to try playing in Europe and I had an offer from Sweden but could not go because of my studies.”

Salem believes that women’s football in Egypt is currently in crisis. “Women’s football in Egypt is suffering from a lack of attention. We are no longer ranked globally. Africans are better in terms of physical strength and we have to train harder to compensate that. I am keen to help young girls with the physical side to have more stamina not just to play football.”

She does not really follow Egyptian football. “I do not follow Egyptian football that much. I am a fan of Al Ahly in Egypt and Manchester United in England. I also like Amr Warda and Trezeguet, as I feel they do their best. I find Cristiano Ronaldo the best player as well as Ashley Young. For girls, I like Alex Morgan.”

On the conservative look for women who play football and that women’s lives end when they get married, Salem disagrees with that. “Marriage does not stop women from playing football. I will be married someday, which is a positive thing. Some have been married and gave birth but still play football. Ronaldo has the same 24-hour day like others but he was very successful, and I believe can do the same.”

Salem does not see that she is facing many difficulties, perhaps only a few frustrations. “The most frustrating thing for me is when I feel that my female trainees cannot understand my coaching techniques. However, I do my best and I am working to overcome this.”

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Jadon Sancho is the type of player England has and Germany wants https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/23/jadon-sancho-is-the-type-of-player-england-has-and-germany-wants/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/23/jadon-sancho-is-the-type-of-player-england-has-and-germany-wants/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 22:36:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693719 The post Jadon Sancho is the type of player England has and Germany wants appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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A goal eluded Jadon Sancho on his first competitive start for England at Wembley on Friday night, but the Borussia Dortmund forward nevertheless showed why he is in such demand – at home and abroad.Jadon Sancho had two Czech defenders to beat at Wembley. After nutmegging the first, he was knocked off balance. But he recovered, regained possession and quickly flicked the ball through the legs of the second, as if in retaliation, winning a corner for England.

Many a Bundesliga defender this season will know exactly how Filip Novak and David Pavelka felt, the two hapless Czechs whose blood had been twisted by the teenager from London who has made a name for himself at Borussia Dortmund.

Nineteen months, ten goals, 21 assists and countless dribbles on from his decision to walk away from Pep Guardiola in August 2017, Sancho is a regular starter with the joint Bundesliga leaders. His performances have earned him a player of the month award in Germany and a call-up for England.

Dortmund last year extended his contract until 2022 in an attempt to stave off mega bids from the Premier League such as the one allegedly being prepared by Manchester United, who are reportedly ready to offer €90m ($100m) for the 18-year-old. A poorly-timed and quickly-deleted Twitter retweet has only fueled speculation.

Sancho is now hot property in two countries. He's the sort of player which England have and which Germany want. After World Cup humiliation, Nations League relegation and the Bundesliga clubs' Champions League elimination, the inquest into a dismal football year for Germany is in full flow.

And the conclusion most widely agreed upon so far is that, while the country's famed academy system has produced dozens of technically perfect and tactically shrewd young footballers, Germany lacks players with a "street football mentality."

"A uniform type of technically fine passers have been cultivated in the academies but the penetration in one-on-ones has gone missing," wrote respected football magazine Kicker this week, reporting on Germany assistant manager Oliver Bierhoff's plans to improve youth development. It's hard not to imagine Sancho being in his head.

"German football must be careful not to get left behind," said former Germany and Arsenal defender Per Mertersacker. "England, France, Belgium and others are ahead of us in this sort of training," added national team coach Joachim Löw.

While Löw now wants to build his latest, and probably last, Germany team around Leroy Sané, his English counterpart Gareth Southgate has Raheem Sterling and Sancho, who lined-up either side of Harry Kane against the Czech Republic on Friday night.

The outstanding Sterling will rightly grab the headlines after his hat-trick in England's 5-0 win, but Sancho will also be more than satisfied with his role in first competitive start for his country.

Shortly before his blood-twisting dribble, it was his first-time ball across the box which Sterling tapped home for England's first. He was also involved in the build-up to the fifth, injecting pace into the attack and combinging with Bayern Munich target Callum Hudson-Odoi.

And Sancho himself could have been on the scoresheet too in the second half were it not from a last-ditch block from Novak, clearly determined not to let Sancho have it all his own way.

"He didn't want to accept the challenge," Guardiola said recently of Sancho's decision to quit Manchester City. Far from it; the challenge has been well and truly accepted.

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Euro 2020 qualifying: Germany look to emulate neighbors in period of evolution https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/22/euro-2020-qualifying-germany-look-to-emulate-neighbors-in-period-of-evolution/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/22/euro-2020-qualifying-germany-look-to-emulate-neighbors-in-period-of-evolution/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 14:42:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693729 The post Euro 2020 qualifying: Germany look to emulate neighbors in period of evolution appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Both Germany and the Netherlands are in transitional periods going in to Sunday’s Euro 2020 qualfying encounter. The Dutch have a head start, however, as Germany hope to bed-in a new batch of world beaters.At almost any other period in the past 40 years, a clash between Germany and the Netherlands would mean a showdown between two of the world's elite footballing nations. Sunday's Euro 2020 qualifying opener doesn't quite have the same billing though, with both in the midst of a period of redevelopment.

"If you look back over recent months you can see they’re a little further along with the process of mixing younger talents with the more experienced heads,“ explained Germany forward Marco Reus. "Our goal is to get to that stage again."

Since failing to qualify for both Euro 2016 and last summer's World Cup in Russia, the Dutch have been through a drastic makeover, with aging stars such as Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben having retired to make way for a new crop of youngsters.

The famous Ajax production line has ensured the nation are well stocked for tournaments to come, with midfielder Frenkie De Jong and defender Matthijas De Ligt among the most sought-after talents in world football; De Jong has already secured a €75m switch Barcelona at the end of the current season. The youngsters have a combined 18 caps for their country, with De Ligt in particular benefiting from playing alongside the experienced Virgil van Dijk in defense.

Löw’s Germany are in their own period of transition, with stalwarts Matts Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Müller no longer part of the 51-year old‘s plans. While the decision caused a degree of backlash from fans, it’s a move which should allow youngsters to get a foothold in the national team.

New additions to the squad include Hertha Berlin defender Niklas Stark, 23, and midfielders Maximilian Eggestein, 22 and Lukas Klostermann, 22. Meanwhile, the likes of Serge Gnabry, 23, Julian Brandt, 22 and Kai Havertz, 19, are benefiting from the greater responsibility handed to them by Löw. Reus, now one of Germany's senior men, has seen his own role in the squad change in recent weeks.

"Everyone’s noticed [Hummels, Boateng and Müller] not being here,“ he said. „But I’m at an age now, also with my club side, when I want to take on more responsibility."

Leadership will be key in what promises to be a fiery affair on Sunday in Amsterdam. Leon Goretzka, another young player to have recently taken on a more prominent role in the national set up – it was his goal that salvagaed a draw against Serbia in Tuesday’s friendly – expects a tough game against their neighbours.

"It’s always a special match," he told reporters. "Of course, a lot of that‘s to do with the geographical proximity between us. We’ll certainly be fully motivated for Sunday’s match. It’ll be an intense battle."

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Luka Jovic: "Marco Reus is the best player in the Bundesliga" https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/21/luka-jovic-marco-reus-is-the-best-player-in-the-bundesliga/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/21/luka-jovic-marco-reus-is-the-best-player-in-the-bundesliga/#respond Thu, 21 Mar 2019 08:49:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693570 The post Luka Jovic: "Marco Reus is the best player in the Bundesliga" appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Luka Jovic is on a roll. The Eintracht Frankfurt striker scored against Germany in the 1-1 draw on Wednesday. DW spoke to the in-demand Serbian international just after the game.DW: Luka, you scored very early in the first half to give Serbia the lead. How did you feel on the pitch against all these Bundesliga players?

Luka Jovic: It was a difficult game for us. Germany have so many fantastic players. They’re at the highest level. Many of them can make the difference on the pitch. We are happy with the result. Now we can focus on the Portugal game in a few days. We have to give our best again to get the three points.

DW: In the first half, Serbia seemed to cause problems for German, but then it changed. What happened in the second half?

Jovic: Difficult question. Germany are a strong side. And when Marco Reus came on, we didn’t know what to do. For me he’s the best player in the Bundesliga at the moment, moving between the lines and creating so many opportunities. We couldn’t really cope with his pace when he ran towards goal.

DW: What was it like to play against this new German defense? Niklas Süle and Jonathan Tah are strong, tough defenders …

Jovic: Well, it was tough. I know both of them from the Bundesliga and they might be the best defenders in the league. Especially when it comes to headers, they are really strong in the air. It’s difficult to win any duels, especially for me since I’m not that tall. And later on we played too many long balls. The most important thing is that we didn't lose. A draw is a good result for us.

DW: How do you see the development of the German national team after the departure of three World Cup winners in Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Müller?

Jovic: Germany have a young side – a bit like us. I think they did very well today. And in the future we will see what they’re really capable of. They are so many good players in the Germany squad.

DW: What does the future hold for Serbia? Now you face Portugal in the European qualifiers…

Jovic: We travel to Portugal with confidence. Of course, we want to win our first game in the qualifying campaign. It’s the first matchday, so everything is possible. But we definitely have to reach our full potential.

The interview was conducted by Nemanja Rujevic and Pascal Jochem.

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Africa anticipates CAF Champions League, Confederation Cup quarter-final draws https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/19/africa-anticipates-caf-champions-league-confederation-cup-quarter-final-draws/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/19/africa-anticipates-caf-champions-league-confederation-cup-quarter-final-draws/#respond Tue, 19 Mar 2019 19:17:41 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693402 African football fans are anticipating the quarter-final draws of the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup, scheduled to take place at CAF’s headquarters in Cairo on Wednesday 20 March, in the presence of qualifying clubs’ representatives. The CAF Champions League’s quarter-finalists are Al Ahly SC, Simba SC, Espérance Sportive de Tunis, Horoya AC, TP Mazembe, …

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African football fans are anticipating the quarter-final draws of the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup, scheduled to take place at CAF’s headquarters in Cairo on Wednesday 20 March, in the presence of qualifying clubs’ representatives.

The CAF Champions League’s quarter-finalists are Al Ahly SC, Simba SC, Espérance Sportive de Tunis, Horoya AC, TP Mazembe, CS Constantine, Wydad AC, and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Al Ahly will be facing either South Africa’s Sundowns, Guinean Horoya, or Algerian Constantine.

The first leg matches of the CAF Champions League quarter-finals will take place on 5, 6 and 7 April, while the second leg matches will be held on 12, 13 and 14 April. The semi-finals will be played at the end of April and early May, given that the first leg of the final will be played between 24-26 May, and the second leg between 31 May and 1 June.

Unlike the CAF Champions League which has seen the usual strong challengers making this season’s quarter-final list, the CAF Confederation Cup sees a good mix of not-so familiar names with a chance to become champions.

The CAF Confederation Cup quarters will take us to places such as Omdurman (Sudan), Nairobi (Kenya), Kitwe (Zambia), and of course Morocco and Egypt.

The CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finalists include RS Berkane (Morocco), Hassania Agadir (Morocco), Gor Mahia (Kenya), Al-Hilal (Sudan), Zamalek SC (Egypt), CS Sfaxien (Tunisia), Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia), Nkana FC (Zambia).

Zamalek will be playing either Hassania Agadir, Étoile du Sahel, or Nkana.

This is the first time for Cairo’s two giants to qualify to quarter-finals in two different African club competitions in the same season since the application of the group stage system. They previously qualified together twice, but in the same championship.

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Four Arab teams among CAF Champions League quarter-final qualifiers https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/four-arab-teams-among-caf-champions-league-quarter-final-qualifiers/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/four-arab-teams-among-caf-champions-league-quarter-final-qualifiers/#respond Sun, 17 Mar 2019 18:29:09 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693201 Quarter-finals draw expected to be held on 20 March

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The group stage in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League ended on Saturday with eight teams qualifying to the quarter-finals, of which four Arab teams including Espérance Sportive de Tunis, the defending champions; Egypt’s Al Ahly, runner-up of last edition; Morocco’s Wydad AC; and Algeria’s CS Constantine.

From group A, Wydad AC qualified with 10 points with one-goal difference from South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns which came second in the group.

Mamelodi Sundowns advanced to the next round of the CAF Champions League despite losing 1-0 to Wydad AC in Saturday’s Group A clash at the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah in Rabat.

As for Group B, ES Tunis qualified after topping the group with 14 points collected from four wins. ES Tunis won 2-1 over Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum, in the final round. Horoya AC has also managed to qualify from Group B with 10 points collected from three wins and a draw.

The Group C witnessed vicious competition until its last round between TP Mazembe, CS Constantine, Club Africain, and Ismaily SC. Mazembe was able to qualify as first of the group with 11 points. Constantine came second and Club Africain came third with 10 points.

In Group D, Al Ahly qualified as leader of its group after gaining 10 points. On Saturday, the Cairo giant beat JS Saoura 3-0 in the final round of the group stage. While Simba SC secured a place in the quarter-finals after a last-minute 2-1 win over AS Vita Club in the same round, increasing its points to nine.

The draw for quarter-finals is expected to be held on 20 March.

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Pharaohs in spotlight in Abu Dhabi Special Olympics World Games https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/pharaohs-in-spotlight-in-abu-dhabi-special-olympics-world-games/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/pharaohs-in-spotlight-in-abu-dhabi-special-olympics-world-games/#respond Sun, 17 Mar 2019 14:01:54 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693082 Gymnastics team wins 12 medals

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The Egyptian Special Olympics delegation is currently participating in the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games on 14-21 March. The Pharaohs have been in the spotlight with its commitment to the competition’s rules, as the organising committee of the delegation has praised the Egyptian delegation.

The Egyptian delegation has succeeded in winning several medals at the gymnastics and figure skating competitions on Saturday, as the gymnastics team won 12 medals for male, including four gold, five silver, and three bronze.

In roller skating competitions, Sherif Nada won gold medal in the 100m competition, while Ahela Sayed won the silver medal.

On the other hand, Cafu, the World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994, and former Chelsea player and Cote d’Ivoire’s top scorer Didier Drogba were keen on attending the Special Olympics World Games, and expressed their admiration of the competition’s organisation.

In another context, the director general of the executive committee of World Games has revealed that the participants in this World Summer Games reached 10,499 players, managers and coaches, from 200 countries, of which 195 countries participating in the games and five countries as observers, recording the highest number of participants in the history.

On Sunday, Egypt’s football team will face Italy in Zayed Sports City. Additionally, there will be a number of competitions in athletic, swimming, weightlifting, tennis, equestrian, and basketball.

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Borussia Dortmund's late, great victory comes with a warning https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/borussia-dortmunds-late-great-victory-comes-with-a-warning/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/borussia-dortmunds-late-great-victory-comes-with-a-warning/#respond Sun, 17 Mar 2019 13:47:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693103 The post Borussia Dortmund's late, great victory comes with a warning appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Another week, another action-packed 90 minutes of drama for Borussia Dortmund and their fans. It again ended in joy, but the victory was once again hard-earned for a side that likes to make it hard for themselves.Everything about Borussia Dortmund victories at the moment is dramatic. Dortmund, who have scored a league high seven goals in the 90th minute or later this season, secured yet another league victory thanks to late heroics in the capital. In one of the most action-packed games of the season, there was perhaps no surprise that it was Marco Reus scoring a late winner from a Jadon Sancho cross. The victory though, comes with a warning for Dortmund.

There are two sides to Borussia Dortmund. The first was on show in the first half in Berlin. The team were slow, sloppy and reactive. The more of this Borussia Dortmund that appears in their final eight league games, the less likely they will be to win the title.

The side that came out in the second half though, they stand a chance of winning the title. That Dortmund team were fast, furious and dictating the tempo. This was the side that burst into a lead earlier in the season, the one that continued to defy its inexperience. There's no denying, especially after a battling victory against Stuttgart last time out, that this team has the mental strength to overcome adversity. Thomas Delaney said after the win in the capital that his legs were empty, his voice gone. This is a team capable of hauling themselves through the ugly phases of a game and coming out the other side as winners.

Beyond all of that brilliance though, lies a truth that Dortmund have done well to hide. Both the win against Stuttgart last time out and the one this weekend against Hertha were so full of drama and effort that they felt more like epic cup games. They were uncomfortable battles, perhaps because Dortmund allowed them to be. Errors have crept in, allowing opponents the chance to score. Roman Bürki made one against Hertha Berlin, and Julian Weigl was perhaps a little unfortunate in his handball but it was a penalty nonetheless. Nerves have followed. Christian Pulisic snatched at chances all game against Berlin, guilty of missing two that he normally finishes without thought.

Comfort is what Dortmund are missing. The comfort that prepares you for a fight against mid-table sides like Hertha, or relegation-strugglers Stuttgart. The comfort that reminds you that your quality is enough.

It bears repeating that this is a young side achieving more than expected, faster than expected. And now that they're in a title race, they are having to adapt to the pressure of having to win all the time. It is only natural that they don't have the comfort of Bayern Munich – who even under the new stewardship of Niko Kovac still know they have won the last six straight league titles – but they could really do with it right about now.

Without it, Dortmund are set for a rollercoaster finish to this season. The warning from the drama and joy of the last few weeks is that it cannot always end in joy. Perhaps that's just the way this side is destined to play it out in this dramatic Bundesliga title race. Perhaps it's the unbelievable ride that gives them an edge, but they look a side that could benefit from making their lives a little easier in the weeks ahead.

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Valtteri Bottas wins Australian Grand Prix as Mercedes get off to a flyer https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/valtteri-bottas-wins-australian-grand-prix-as-mercedes-get-off-to-a-flyer/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/valtteri-bottas-wins-australian-grand-prix-as-mercedes-get-off-to-a-flyer/#respond Sun, 17 Mar 2019 07:14:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693152 The post Valtteri Bottas wins Australian Grand Prix as Mercedes get off to a flyer appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Mercedes enjoyed a dominant start to the 2019 Formula One season, with Valtteri Bottas winning the Australian Grand Prix ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari team never troubled the leaders.The Finnish driver started second on the grid but flew past Hamilton at the start of the race and never looked like letting his lead slip.

"I don't know what just happened," said Bottas after picking up his first race win since 2017 after spending last season in the shadow of Hamilton. "I don't know what to say. It was definitely my best race ever. I felt so good and the car was so good."

Bottas also ensured he claimed the new fastest lap bonus point, reclaiming that on the penultimate lap from Max Verstappen, who finished third.

German driver Sebastian Vettel was a fairly distant fourth after Verstappen eased past him just past the halfway point but it appeared team orders from Ferrari stopped his new teammate Charles Leclerc from going past him.

"I guess we were just slow," said Vettel. "I didn't have much chance to fight anyone becasue I was quite slow."

The dominance of Bottas in particular raises the notion that Mercedes, who have won the last five constructor's championship, will once again dominate and Hamilton said he was pleased for his teammate.

"It's a good weekend for the team so I have to be happy for everyone, and Valtteri drove an incredible race today, and deserved it," Hamilton said.

"It's a great start to the year and it's what we could have hoped for for the team. I had Max covered behind me, and I had some ideas of where the pace went, but I'll go through it with my engineers afterwards."

The second race of the season is in Bahrain in two weeks' time.

As it happened

Lap 58 of 58 – Bottas says that was "definitely my best race ever" and looks a little dumbstruck by his fourth race win. Hamilton says he's "happy for the team" and says he wasn't worried by the challenge of Verstappen at the end.

Lap 58 of 58 – A convincing win from Bottas, who was 21 seconds clear of Hamilton, who completed yet another Mercedes 1-2. Verstappen is the last man on the podium while the Ferraris of Vettel and Leclerc were fourth and fifth. Bottas also picked up the fastest lap bonus point.

Lap 58 of 58 – BOTTAS WINS THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Lap 58 of 58 – Bottas wrestles back the fastest lap and is about to win the first Grand Prix of 2019.

Lap 57 of 58 – Verstappen has cut the gap to Hamilton to under a second, does he have time to break up the Mercedes 1-2?

Lap 55 of 58 – Verstappen takes the fastest lap point. Can he challenge Hamilton?

Lap 54 of 58 – With Leclerc seemingly blocked from going past Vettel but leading Magnussen by about 30 seconds, there seems to be some discussion over whether he should pit and try to steal the fastest lap point from Bottas.

Lap 52 of 58 – Leclerc is close to Vettel but seems to have been told not to try and overtake the German, who seems to have a mechanical problem of some sort.

Lap 50 of 58 – Verstappen went on to the grass on that last lap and has lost a couple of seconds, that's probably it for his challenge for second.

Lap 49 of 58 – Bottas is completely untroubled and the battles are behind him. Verstappen hasn't quite been able to get in a position to have a stab at Hamilton yet but behind those two, the two Ferraris are getting pretty close.

Lap 46 of 58 – Leclerc now just over four seconds behind Vettel, having been over 10 seconds very recently. How will Ferrari handle this one?

Lap 44 of 58 – "Why are we so slow?" asks Vettel over the radio. A response is not immediately forthcoming and Leclerc is gaining on his teammate. He's been quicker in each of the last four laps.

Lap 43 of 58 – Leclerc, who is fifth and miles clear of Magnussen in sixth might be well placed to steal the fastest lap, he's certainly gaining on Vettel.

Lap 40 of 58 – Bottas has been almost entirely untroubled today and Hamilton, despite a few issues, looks relatively comfortable in second. Another dominant year coming up for Mercedes?

Lap 38 of 58 – Kvyat hits the gravel after trying once again to go past Stroll, he goes back a place. Went far too early there.

Lap 37 of 58 – Hamilton has steadied the ship a little now, holding Verstappen off while further back, Stroll and Kvyat are having a ding dong battle for 10th.

Lap 34 of 58 – Verstappen now has Hamilton in his sights. He'll be having a crack at the champ soon enough I'm sure.

Lap 32 of 58 – Grosjean is also out of the race, for the third time in a row at Albert Park.

Lap 31 of 58 – Verstappen's persistence and aggression finally pays off as he squeezes past Vettel. Meanwhile, Ricciardo retires, not for the first time in his home Grand Prix. Tough break.

Lap 30 of 58 – Hamilton is up in to second after a few pitstops elsewhere and Verstappen is having a few pops at Vettel, who is holding off the Red Bull tyro for now.

Lap 28 of 58 – Bottas has re-taken the lead and is very much in control of this race. Plenty of jostling further back though and Hamilton looks unusually vulnerable.

Lap 25 of 58 – Bottas has pitted allowing Verstappen in to the lead for the time being. But the Mercedes man emerges ahed of Leclerc in the Ferrari.

Lap 23 of 58 – Bottas still yet to pit but his lead is huge and this is in the bag unless something unusual happens. On the radio, Hamilton seems to be questioning how his teammate is so much quicker than him.

Lap 21 of 58 – Is Hamilton trying to manage these tires until the end of the race or is he just struggling with the pace? He's going backwards at the moment.

Lap 19 of 58 – Bottas miles clear now, his lead is more than 12 seconds from Verstappen. Hamilton is just struggling a little since gettting new medium tires, with Vettel gaining on him and competing for fourth.

Lap 17 of 58 – Vettel, on those new tires, sets a new fastest lap but he's still down in fifth.

Lap 16 of 58 – A flurry of pitstops now, including Hamilton, and Bottas has regained the fastetst lap.

Lap 15 of 58 – Vettel pit early. It's nice and quick but he drops down to sixth for now. You already get the feeling that third is the best he can hope for.

Lap 14 of 58 – Hamilton has just laid down the fastest lap and is currently in line for that bonus point.

Lap 13 of 58 – Raikonnen, now with Alfa Romeo, is the one of the first to pit tactically and change tires. That might prompt a few more to follow suit.

Lap 11 of 58 – The McLaren of Sainz is on fire, with smoke billowing out. It's not clear what happened there but it is a very hot day in Melbourne and perhaps there were overheating issuses. Sainz gets out the car and we have our first retirement.

Lap 10 of 58 – We've just seen Leclerc hit the grass on a corner, I'm not sure when that was but it looked a wholly unforced error. The Ferraris are losing a fair bit of ground on the Mercedes even at this fairly early stage.

Lap 9 of 58 – Bottas just starting to stretch his lead out, t's up to nearly three seconds now.

Lap 7 of 58 – It's settling down a touch now and we've just seen a replay of the start. Hamilton didn't seem to do a whole lot wrong but Bottas just flew off the start line. It also transpires that Kubica lost his wing early on.

Lap 4 of 58 – Tough break for Ricciardo, who has had pretty rotten luck ini his home Grand Prix over the years. He's last and Bottas continues to lead, he's 1.5 seconds quicker than Hamilton, whois about the same distance clear of Vettel.

Lap 2 of 58 – Home favorite Ricciardo is already in the pits, it looks like he lost his front wing trying to overtake early.

Lap 1 of 58 – Explosive start as Hamilton immediately loses his lead to Bottas, who is off to an absolute flyer. His lead is almost a second already. Vettel and Verstappen tay third and fourth and there's a fair bit of jostling further back.

06:12 – They're on the formation lap at the minute. Just a reminder that today is the first time we'll see an exta point awarded for the fastest lap of the day. Be interesting to see how that one works.

06:09 – There will be 58 laps of the 16 corner course today, with a tight turn 12 shaping up as a bit of a danger zone.

06:05 – The drivers are starting to clamber in to their cars, the interviews are being wrapped up and the excitement is buildiing in Melbourne. Just a few minutes now.

06:00 – Hello, and welcome to the first race of the 2019 Formula 1 season. Lewis Hamilton starts on pole for the sixth consecutive time at Albert Park with Valtteri Bottas making it a Mercedes front two.

Sebastian Vettel starts behind that pair but was 0.704 seconds slower than the British driver in qualifying, which will surely be a worry for Ferrari, though Vettel didn't seem too concerned yesterday.

"The car feels all right. There is not anything wrong, he said. "Certainly surprised (by the gap). I think everybody is, probably themselves. Yesterday we did not have a good day, today felt better but the gap was similar. There is some homework we need to do to understand. I still think we have a great car."

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Liverpool seek to beat Fulham, recover Premier League leadership https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/liverpool-seek-to-beat-fulham-recover-premier-league-leadership/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/17/liverpool-seek-to-beat-fulham-recover-premier-league-leadership/#respond Sun, 17 Mar 2019 06:08:02 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=693092 Liverpool hope to recover its leadership of the Premier League from Manchester City on Sunday when they host Fulham on Sunday at the Craven Cottage Stadium in the 31st matchweek of the league. The Reds will be playing the match with a high morale after their big 3-1 win over Bayern Munich last Wednesday, and …

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Liverpool hope to recover its leadership of the Premier League from Manchester City on Sunday when they host Fulham on Sunday at the Craven Cottage Stadium in the 31st matchweek of the league.

The Reds will be playing the match with a high morale after their big 3-1 win over Bayern Munich last Wednesday, and qualified to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson will be absent due to his ankle injury sustained in the team’s clash with Bayern.

It will be Egyptian star Mohamed Salah’s 93rd match with the Reds in various English and European competitions in which he scored 64 goals and participated in 25 others. Salah is also looking forward to top the Premier League’s top scorers list, currently led by Sergio Agüero with 18 goals. Salah hopes to win the Golden Boot for the second year in a row.

Liverpool ranks second on the table with 73 points and with one-point difference from Manchester City. The Reds have achieved 22 wins, seven draws, and one loss. Fulham currently ranks ninth in the Premier League’s ranking with 30 points, having played 30 games, won four matches, five draws, and 21 losses.

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Crisis in national team because of Míchel Salgado https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/crisis-in-national-team-because-of-michel-salgado/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/crisis-in-national-team-because-of-michel-salgado/#respond Wed, 13 Mar 2019 16:37:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692877 A crisis broke out within the technical apparatus of our national team, and the controversy has grown considerably over the past period and became the focus of discussion among Egyptians. The cause of the hassle is head coach Javier Aguirre’s assistant, Míchel Salgado’s insistence on relying on non-professional footballers. The crisis became apparent after the …

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A crisis broke out within the technical apparatus of our national team, and the controversy has grown considerably over the past period and became the focus of discussion among Egyptians. The cause of the hassle is head coach Javier Aguirre’s assistant, Míchel Salgado’s insistence on relying on non-professional footballers.

The crisis became apparent after the national team announced the formation of a camp in March, which includes one game against Niger in the last round of qualifiers for the African Nations Cup (AFCON)-which will be hosted by Egypt in June, and the second against Nigeria.

The list saw some players who did not have enough experience to play internationally–such as Ahmed Aboul Fotouh of Smouha, who participated in only one game with his team. Even the player told the media in press remarks that he was surprised to have been selected. The list includes other cases, such as Ammar Hamdy, Mostafa Mohamed, Salah Mohsen-who has been injured for two years-while excluding other players, such as Abdullah Saaed, Ramadan Sobhy, and Youssef Obama.

Although the attacker position has been a crisis in the team over the past years, the coach has excluded Ahmed Aly, who is the league’s top scorer with 12 goals.

A crisis broke out between Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian star and the Liverpool English team, while Míchel Salgado tried to persuade him to move to some Spanish clubs such as Real Madrid, which frustrated Salah and forced him to speak up about it.

Daily News Egypt was informed that Salah refused the presence of Salgado in the management of the Egyptian Pharaohs’ team, while some of the members of the Egyptian Football Association ignored the matter for several reasons, as he helped in recruiting the coach, as well as being a notable player with a reputable record, especially that he previously played in the ranks of Real Madrid.

At the same time, Nader Shawki, Ramadan Sobhi’s agent, and Al Ahly player, criticised the choices, which excluded his client from the camp in March. He described it as strange, noting that the management was used to justifying the exclusion of the player by saying he did not play with Huddersfield, but the player is now mainly involved with Al Ahly and has shown great performance. He also claimed that he knows the reason behind excluding Sobhi but refused to disclose it for now.

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Egyptian Neama Said competes in 2019 IWF Youth World Championships https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/egyptian-neama-said-competes-in-2019-iwf-youth-world-championships/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/egyptian-neama-said-competes-in-2019-iwf-youth-world-championships/#respond Wed, 13 Mar 2019 11:30:15 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692823 The Egyptian weightlifting champion, Neama Said, is competing in the 2019 IWF Youth World Championships held in Las Vegas, the United States, in the 59 kg category, according to Mahmoud Mahgoub, president of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation. Said, who won the silver medal in this tournament, is the only Egyptian athlete participating in this tournament, …

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The Egyptian weightlifting champion, Neama Said, is competing in the 2019 IWF Youth World Championships held in Las Vegas, the United States, in the 59 kg category, according to Mahmoud Mahgoub, president of the Egyptian Weightlifting Federation.

Said, who won the silver medal in this tournament, is the only Egyptian athlete participating in this tournament, added Mahgoub.

Egypt will host the African Weightlifting Championship on 23-30 April, which is one of the qualifying competitions for the Tokyo Olympics.

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Four challenges await Zidane in Real Madrid https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/four-challenges-await-zidane-in-real-madrid/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/four-challenges-await-zidane-in-real-madrid/#respond Wed, 13 Mar 2019 11:00:25 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692815 After Real Madrid announced the return of its legend Zinedine Zidane to manage the team, the French star is now facing several challenges to put the Spanish team back on track. The Meringues’ fans rely on Zizou who has been one of the team’s legends both as a player and a coach. During his mandate …

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After Real Madrid announced the return of its legend Zinedine Zidane to manage the team, the French star is now facing several challenges to put the Spanish team back on track. The Meringues’ fans rely on Zizou who has been one of the team’s legends both as a player and a coach.

During his mandate at Real Madrid from 2016 until May 2018, Zidane led the team to reap three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles, one La Liga title, two Club World Cups, and one Super Cup of Spain.

The Frenchman has to give more chance for the team’s stars, notably the duo Isco and Marcelo, who did not get full opportunity under the leadership of former coach Santiago Solari, who relied on Vinícius Júnior and Sergio Reguilón instead. This has stirred rumours on the pair’s intention to move to Juventus to join their former colleague Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid is in desperate need of new stars after owner Florentino Pérez was relying on young players. The Whites’ fans heard about possible signing with the likes of Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappé, and Neymar, but none have become true so far. Zizou has now to agree with the management on bringing new stars in the summer transfer window.

Certainly, the most important thing that Real Madrid fans want from Zizou is to return to win titles, after this difficult period, being empty handed this season.

Zidane will also have to save what can be saved this season. He has nothing left to be done except La Liga, without any pressure from other tournaments. He aims to come second at least.

The Spanish club allocated a huge budget for the French coach. The French newspaper, France Football, said that Real Madrid has allocated “€300m in the next season to buy new players in the summer.”

The newspaper said that Real Madrid is preparing to enter the summer transfer market with big desire to compensate their disappointing season.

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Liverpool face Bayern Munich for place in UCL quarter-finals https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/liverpool-face-bayern-munich-for-place-in-ucl-quarter-finals/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/liverpool-face-bayern-munich-for-place-in-ucl-quarter-finals/#respond Wed, 13 Mar 2019 10:30:24 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692820 Barcelona fear surprises in Lyon clash

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Eyes will turn to the German capital of Munich on Wednesday as Bayern Munich host Liverpool in the second leg of round of 16 in UEFA Champions League. Meanwhile, Spanish Barcelona will face Olympique Lyon of France at Camp Nou.

Liverpool’s mission seems difficult for several reasons, after it failed to achieve a good result in the first leg at Anfield. The German team has also been undefeated at home this season.

The dream of winning the Champions League entices the Reds, having been within reach last year, before losing to Real Madrid in the final 1-3.

The English team failed to achieve the precious European title in the last 29 seasons, which has likely impacted the performance of their players.

Liverpool’s coach Jurgen Klopp aims to defeat the Bavarian giant and achieve a positive result in the match, relying on his forward trio: Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, and Roberto Firmino. The German coach lost the leadership of the English Premier League for Manchester City last week, and exited the EFL Cup and the FA Cup as well.

Liverpool’s hopes this year are very high, given the large number of stars in the team and the size of spending in the last two years. Since Salah arrived Liverpool, coming from AS Roma, he won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2018 and named third FIFA World Player of the Year. However, this period witnessed a significant decline in the Egyptian Pharaoh’s performance, scoring no goals since the last month.

On the other hand, Bayern Munich has a successful record in this stage of the tournament. The team never lost in the UCL last-16 round since the 2010/11 season. Ever since, the German team won 11 European games and lost three only, but never exited the round of 16.

The team has a strong forward line, scoring 12 goals in three league games only, after the first leg against the Reds last month. They only conceded two goals and topped the Bundesliga table.

In the same day, Barcelona will host Lyon in one of the hard clashes in this stage. The first leg ended goalless on 19 February.

Barcelona will face a stubborn opponent that did not lose a single game since the beginning of the tournament this year.

The Catalan team enters the game with great hopes, having beaten Real Madrid and secured the Liga leadership with seven points gap ahead Atletico Madrid.

Meanwhile, the title holders Real Madrid left the tournament early at the hands of Ajax Amsterdam last week after losing 3-5 on aggregate.

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Champions League: Manchester City embarrass Schalke https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/champions-league-manchester-city-embarrass-schalke/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/champions-league-manchester-city-embarrass-schalke/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 23:07:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692853 The post Champions League: Manchester City embarrass Schalke appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Domenico Tedesco knew his side had little hope of upsetting Pep Guardiola’s team in the second leg of their Champions League tie, but what followed was worse than could have been imagined. Schalke are out, and how.Manchester City 7-0 (agg. 10-2) Schalke
(Aguero pen. 35', 38', Sané 43', Sterling 55', B. Silva 71', Foden 78', Jesus 84')

Schalke's hope of a Manchester miracle were not forthcoming as a rampant Pep Guardiola side marched into the Champions League quarterfinals, embarrassing the Bundesliga side on the way.

Domenico Tedesco set Schalke up to absorb City's attacks and, early on, it worked well enough. City enjoyed plenty of the ball but could do nothing more than hit the post when Sergio Aguero nearly turned home Raheem Sterling's low cross.

Right when it looked like Schalke had weathered the storm, City struck. Jeffrey Bruma was deemed to have pulled down Bernardo Silva in the box and referee Clement Turpin pointed to the spot, booked Bruma and, after appearing to check with the voice in his ear, confirmed the penalty that Aguero coolly dinked down the middle.

The goal changed the game, and appeared to break Schalke. Three minutes later, Aguero had a second after fine work from Sterling – a goal that was eventually awarded after a lengthy review from VAR to check whether Sterling was offside. Not long after that, Leroy Sané got in behind McKennie to fire into the far corner to end the contest.

Schalke's fans remained loud, cheering on their side but they proved to be the only winners from a German perspective on the night. Sané rounded Ralf Fährmann to score what he thought was the home side's fourth, but it proved not to be after another check with the VAR. City didn't have to wait long though. Sané's cross was turned home powerfully by Sterling, and stood despite also being reviewed by the VAR.

With plenty of time on the clock, Sané to set up two more. First, Bernardo Silva clipped a shot off the inside of the post before substitute Phil Foden (below) showed composure to finish off another great pass by Sané. Sadly for Schalke, that wasn't the last of it. Gabriel Jesus curled a seventh around Schalke's defense to complete the rout and embarrass Schalke.

As it happened:

FULL TIME

Thankfully the referee blows full time on the game. A night Schalke will want to forget, and quickly.

84' "Shameful," says the commentator on our German television feed, and it's hard to disagree.

84' GOAL! Manchester City 7 – 0 Schalke (Jesus)

78' The City youngster piles on the misery for Schalke, and almost doubles his tally moments later but Fährmann palms clear.

78' GOAL! Manchester City 6 – 0 Schalke (Foden)

75' Hamza Mendyll is the latest Schalke player to be thrown into the lions' den, replacing Weston McKennie. "Auf Wiedersehen, Schalke," gloat the City fans.

71' Bernardo Silva sweeps home Sané's cross. The gulf in finances, in depth, in quality between the two clubs is all obvious and doesn't really need repeating. But is there any excuse for a Champions League team being 8-2 down on aggregate? At what point does personal and professional pride come into play for these Schalke players?

71' GOAL! Manchester City 5 – 0 Schalke (Bernardo Silva)

69' City's Zinchenko is booked for a foul on Embolo, who is subsequently replaced by Steven Skrzybski, who was playing in the second division for Union Berlin last season.

67' Just over 20 minutes to go, but at least the travelling supporters haven't given up.

59' It's already a hammering but this could get extremely ugly for Schalke and Domenico Tedesco. The game might be beyond them, but are the players willing to fight for their coach?

56' Another inexplicably long VAR delay but, eventually, Sterling is deemed to be onside from Sané's cross. Not only that, he's standing in yards of space with his markers, Ozcipka and Bruma, nowhere to be seen.

56' GOAL! Manchester City 4 – 0 Schalke (Sterling)

53' Sané rounds the goalkeeper and slots the ball home, BUT … here we go again with VAR … no goal! It remains 3-0.

51' Gündogan with a lovely chipped ball to play Sané through but the German, mercifully for Schalke, drags his shot wide.

50' From the resulting free-kick, Sané bicycle kicks Laporte in the shoulder, but the Frenchman goes down holding his face. Is there any need for that?

48' City's Danilo goes into the book for a challenge on Sané, and the Brazilian has bloodied his eye in the process.

46' And we're back underway in the second half! Schalke require four goals, which is one fewer than one of our DW colleagues thought. But who's counting?

HALF TIME: Schalke put out of their misery, for 15 minutes. This one is most definitely done. Not quite so much in the other game though, where Cristiano Ronaldo has halved Juventus' deficit against Atletico Madrid.

45+2' – Sterling plays a one–two and bursts in to the box but Fährmann palms the shot away.

45' – Two minutes of added time, despite the VAR decision for the second goal alone taking 2 minutes 45 seconds.

43' – The floodgates are officially open and Sane has scored against his old club again. A lovely ball inside the fullback from Zinchenko sets the German away and he slams it home across the goal. They go to VAR despite Sane quite clearly being miles onside and the goal is given.

43' – GOAL! Manchester City 3 – 0 Schalke (Sane)

41' – Yep, goal. Though obviously that rigmarole made it less fun for everyone.

40' – This is a farce. They are checking if Sterling is onside, a relatively clear cut decision but it's taking minutes. He's onside, just but onside.

38' – A brilliant lofted ball, again, from Gündogan finds Sterling on the right. He backheels to Aguero, who forces it home at the front post. But they're checking VAR.

38' – GOAL! Manchester City 2 – 0 Schalke

37' – A similarly lovely ball from Gündogan over the top to Aguero. A couple of Schalke defenders get back but he digs out a shot. Fährmann holds. Then SCHALKE HAVE A SHOT. Stambouli wins it in midfield, drives forward but drags wide.

35' – GOAL! Manchester City 1 – 0 Schalke After a (relatively) short VAR check and a re-spot of the ball, Aguero allows Fährmann to go to ground and dinks it down the middle. Textbook Panenka from the City striker.

32' – PENALTY TO MANCHESTER CITY! Gündogan lifts one in to Bernardo, who is running off the back of Bruma. The Schalke man puts his arm out to stop his opponent and the referee points to the spot.

30' – Stambouli, extravagantly masked, is late on David Silva, giving City a free kick on the left hand side. Gündogan passes to Zinchenko who floats it to Aguero beyond the back post in space. But he can't generate any real power and it flops in to Fährmann's arms.

28' – Tedesco will be pleased by how Schalke have kept their shape, they are making City work for it. Though he'll also be aware that at some point they'll have to ask some questions of their own.

24' – A decent little spell of Schalke possession ends when McKennie's ambitious crossfield ball is cut out by Sterling. For all that City have dominated the ball, they have only really cut Schalke open once.

21' – The corner is cleared and the ball recycled. Schalke think they should have another but the referee disagrees. Still, some territory for the German side, at least.

20' – Embolo does really well, chasing a lost cause to pressure Laporte into giving away a throw and get Schalke up the field for about the first time. Eventually Oczipka wins a corner on the overlap.

18' – City have had 73 percent of the ball so far, it feels like more. It also feels like only a matter of time.

14' – CHANCE! Aguero so close to opening the scoring. Walker plays a brilliant ball inside Oczipka as Sterling flies on the outside. The Englishman whizzes in to the box, commits the keeper and squares to Aguero. The striker is just beyond the front post and hits the upright under challenge from Stambouli. It wasn't quite an open goal, but pretty close.

10' – Some strong pressing from Schalke, something they did well in the first leg, but Burgstaller wastes the ball when he gets it. They need to look after that ball when they have it, because they're not going to get all that much of it.

8' – The Schalke fans are bouncing merrily along and making all the noise but their team are chasing shadows a little at the minute, City dominating the early possession.

4' – City take a corner short and it breaks down badly. Konoplyanka drives upfield and tries to find Embolo but Danilo just gets a head to it. Sloppy from the hosts.

3' – Sterling jinks away down the right and fires a cross in to Fährmann's hands. It looks, in the early stages, like it's Danilo at center back for City.

1' – Sergio Aguero knocks it back to Gündogan to get us underway.

20:55 – The time for talking is nearly over. You sense that Schalke will need to weather an early storm against Pep Guardiola's men if they're to stand any sort of chance tonight.

20:45 – The players are out warming up on the pitch and the camera soon focuses on Raheem Sterling. The English winger scored the winner in the first leg and is fresh from a hat-trick against Watford on Saturday. Bastian Oczipka is going to have some job containing him.

20:35 – Tedesco talks. The Schalke coach is in positive mood ahead of this one. “I don’t see it as pressure. It’s an honour to be here, 33 years old, but it’s not about me. It’s about Schalke… we want to cause a surprise."

20:30 – After the bleak outlook of my last entry, here's a stat offering a sliver of hope to Schalke fans. Or, at least some good memories.

20:25 – The visitors will need to score at least twice tonight and it's hard to see – short of Bentaleb's penalties – where they get them. The return of Embolo is a boost but his total of five goals all season is the second highest after Bentaleb's eight and they're averaged just 1.08 goals per game in the Bundesliga.

20:15 – The Etihad isn't always the noisiest of stadiums, especially when the home fans expect City to roll their opponents over. But the away end is going to make some racket, judging by this video.

20:05 – Schalke announce team. And here's the Schalke line up. Breel Embolo starts again after a brace in Schalke's Friday night loss to Werder Bremen, which also saw Daniel Caligiuri injured. Matija Nastasic, who used to play for City, bruised a foot just before the game while Sebastian Rudy and former Manchester City youth player Rabbi Matondo both start on the bench. Nabil Bentaleb will hope to add to his eight goals from the penalty spot tonight. Anyone for a bit of VAR?

19:50 – City's team is in. The headline nes is probably that John Stones is fit enough only for the bench, so it looks like Danilo will play at center back alongside Aymeric Laporte. With midfield fulcrum Fernandinho also missing, City may be a little susceptible defensively. If Schalke can get the ball. Leroy Sane starts against his old club, with Raheem Sterling the other side of Sergio Aguero.

19:40 – The stats don’t make pretty reading for Schalke, but then no-one had ever turned around a 2-0 home loss in the first leg until United last week, and that was in 106 attempts.

19:30 – Hello, and welcome to the second of three Bundesliga vs. Premier League clashes in the last 16 of this year's Champions League.

Of all of them, this one looked the biggest mismatch when the draw was made in December, but Schalke led the first leg in Gelsenkirchen until a stunning Leroy Sane free kick in the 85th minute and a late Raheem Sterling goal gave City a 3-2 advantage.

The two teams are in contrasting form, with City having won nine straight games and Schalke in free fall, but given what happened with Manchester United and Ajax last week, you can't rule anything out.

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Champions League: Ilkay Gündogan offers reminder of class as Leroy Sané shines https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/champions-league-ilkay-gundogan-offers-reminder-of-class-as-leroy-sane-shines/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/13/champions-league-ilkay-gundogan-offers-reminder-of-class-as-leroy-sane-shines/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 22:57:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692855 The post Champions League: Ilkay Gündogan offers reminder of class as Leroy Sané shines appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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While Leroy Sané caught the eye against his old club, Gelsenkirchen-born Ilkay Gündogan was the conductor of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City orchestra. The midfielder is finding peak form again at an interesting time.As difficult as it was to remember at the end of Manchester City's 7-0 mauling of Schalke, the Premier League champions had a few issues unpicking the multiple locks of Schalke's back nine early in the game.

The relentless, patient, probing, short passing that sets Pep Guardiola's side apart from most opponents had only created a single chance until Ilkay Gündogan decided a change of tack was necessary. The German midfielder found some space and popped a longer ball over the top of Schalke's defense in an attempt to find Bernardo Silva's run. Jeffrey Bruma was slow to read the change of style and stuck out an arm to prevent Bernardo reaching the pass. Sergio Aguero tucked away the penalty.

Gündogan had found the weak spot of his hometown team and, like all good athletes, he exploited it immediately, ruthlessly and frequently. Two minutes after the goal, he sent Aguero in behind with another floated ball only to see the Argentinian's shot saved by Ralf Fährmann.

Aguero made up for it shortly after, tucking away Raheem Sterling's backheel after yet another lofted Gündogan ball set the English winger away. Six minutes, three sublime passes, two goals, one exceptionally gifted and intelligent midfielder.

Sané piles on the pain against old club

Gündogan's compatriot Leroy Sané got the third before the break against the club that raised him before setting up the fourth, fifth and sixth as City piled on the humiliation. Sané, 23, has, like many players, improved considerably under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola. His workrate, discipline, decision-making, final ball and finishing are all several notches up from the levels they were when he left the Bundesliga in August 2016, two months after Gündogan.

That development has seen Sané emerge as a key figure in Joachim Löw's belated attempts to build a "new Germany" after he was omitted from the 2018 World Cup squad. But his club teammate hasn't quite made that step. Since Russia, where he was embroiled in the controversy that eventually led to Mesut Özil's resignation from the national team, Gündogan has played just 108 minutes of Germany's six matches, missing two with a hamstring injury. He was also left out of the last squad.

Injuries are an all-too familiar facet of Gündogan's career and account partly for the fact that the man that Guardiola made his first City signing has won just 29 caps since making his international debut in 2011. But he's made 24 Premier League appearances already this term and excelled in a deeper-lying role of late.

Gündogan stakes claim for heart of German midfield

The quality of players in his positon has been another reason why he's not kicked on at international level. But with Toni Kroos struggling at Real Madrid and seen as part of the old guard, Sami Khedira consigned to the past, Joshua Kimmich arguably more adept at right back and Leon Goretzka struggling slightly with his fitness, Gündogan could well get the chance to stake his claim against Serbia and the Netherlands in the next 12 days.

Before the game, Gündogan hinted that he may leave City in the near future, with his contract expiring at the end of next season. Guardiola said of the midfielder "if he doesn't want to stay, he has to leave".

"This is something everyone has to decide for themselves," Gündogan said. "I am 28 years old now so my next contract will maybe decide where I will be for the end of my career. Everyone feels different. Maybe someone has an inner feeling in his self to go for a new challenge or to change something."

Those words have led some to believe he'll return to Borussia Dortmund, where he made his name under Jürgen Klopp. As if he hasn't made Schalke suffer enough already.

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Egypt officially recognises Estimation games https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/egypt-officially-recognises-estimation-games/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/egypt-officially-recognises-estimation-games/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 19:55:46 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692771 Ministry of Sports announces game can be officially played under EBF’s supervision   

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Thousands in Egypt were thrilled after the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Egyptian Olympic Committee announced recognising the card game “Estimation” as an official sport, forming the Egyptian Estimation Committee under the umbrella of the Egyptian Bridge Federation (EBF).

The announcement came after the EBF obtained the approval of enrolling estimation as an official card sports from the World Bridge Federation. In its official letter to the committee, the ministry announced that the game can be officially played under the EBF’s supervision.   

Since its formation, the Egyptian Estimation Committee has been communicating with several Egyptian sports clubs to enrol the game within their sports activities, which would be the first step of having a national championship in the country.

The committee also announced opening the door for players to register their names in preparation for participating at the competitions. The registration fee was stated at EGP 230.

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Mission Almost Impossible: How Schalke may be able to beat Manchester City https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/mission-almost-impossible-how-schalke-may-be-able-to-beat-manchester-city/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/mission-almost-impossible-how-schalke-may-be-able-to-beat-manchester-city/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 14:27:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692786 The post Mission Almost Impossible: How Schalke may be able to beat Manchester City appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Struggling in the Bundesliga and with a first leg loss to overcome, Schalke’s chances of knocking out Manchester City on Tuesday look slim. But recent Champions League shocks have shown there’s always a glimmer of hope.Mismatches in the knockout stages of the Champions League are a rarity, given how difficult it is to reach the last 16. But Tuesday's clash in Manchester looks about as uneven as it gets.

Visitors Schalke have won one Bundesliga game since November, are 14th, have a coach on the brink and have conceded three or more goals in five of their last six games. Meanwhile, Manchester City top the Premier League having won their last nine games in all competitions. The English champions are also 3-2 up from the first leg.

But as City's rivals Manchester United proved in overturning a 2-0 first leg home loss for the first time in the history of Europe's premier club competition the night after Ajax shocked holders Real Madrid on their own turf, nothing is ever truly set in stone in football. DW takes a look at the ways in which Domenico Tedesco's side might pull off the almost impossible.

Capitalize on likely absence of Fernandinho

City have been largely untroubled domestically all season, save for two consecutive shock defeats in December to mid-table outfits Crystal Palace and Leicester. While other factors came in to play, the absence of midfield fulcrum Fernandinho was considered by many to be critical. The Brazilian is City's only genuine natural defensive midfielder and his ability to intercept, tackle and start the counter is at the heart of City's ability to rapidly turn defense in to attack.

The 33-year-old is an unlikely to return for Tuesday's match after missing the last three games with a muscle injury. While City have won all three, Tedesco could profit from the lack of a screen in front of a central defense also missing John Stones and with Aymeric Laporte just back from injury.

Revel in the lack of pressure

"We're all aware of how difficult a game it'll be," Jochen Schneider, Schalke's newly installed head of sport, said as the squad flew to England on Monday. "We want to take on this challenge, although our current situation in the Bundesliga is obviously more important."

As in the first leg in Gelsenkirchen, when Schalke led until a late City double, the pressure and expectation is all on City and that could help lift the gloom that hangs above Schalke in the Bundesliga. Players like Yevhen Konoplyanka and Sebastian Rudy have struggled with the pressure in the league this season but have the talent to cause even the best sides a few headaches, even though Daniel Caligiuri's injury is a major blow. Perhaps having nothing to lose will free up some of the Royal Blues more creative players.

Hope for a helping hand from VAR

While the defense that helped Schalke to second last year hasn't quite lived up to its potential, there's little doubt that Schalke's main problem has been at the other end of the pitch, where they've scored just 27 goals in 25 Bundesliga games. Nabil Bentaleb's (pictured, top) eight goals in all competitions make him the team's top scorer this season ahead of Breel Embolo (five), who missed nearly half the season with a foot injury.

All of Bentaleb's goals have come from the penalty spot, including two against City in the first leg. The first of those was awarded after the VAR ruled Nicolas Otamendi handled the ball. Then, last week, United's injury time winner was the result of a hugely contentious handball decision as the interpretation of that rule becomes stricter.

While playing to win penalties is close to impossible, Schalke may find that getting the ball in the box early and taking a few more speculative efforts when surrounded by opponents could work in their favor. It may be a long shot but, as we've seen in the past week, sometimes they pay off.

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Virus-hit Alexander Zverev knocked out of Indian Wells https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/virus-hit-alexander-zverev-knocked-out-of-indian-wells/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/virus-hit-alexander-zverev-knocked-out-of-indian-wells/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 11:38:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692794 The post Virus-hit Alexander Zverev knocked out of Indian Wells appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Alexander Zverev was sent crashing out of the Indian Wells, losing to Jan-Lennard Struff in an all-German clash. Zverev is the latest player to be affected by a virus at the tournament.A virus going around the Indian Wells tournament in California has claimed its latest victim, with Alexander Zverev well below his best as crashed out of the tournament in the third round.

Zverev fell to compatriot Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-1, who will now face Canadian 13th seed Milos Raonic.

The match last barely an hour as Struff saved all four break points he faced to seal his first win over Zverev in five attempts.

"I have been sick for a week. That hasn't changed unfortunately," Zverev, the world number three, said.

"I think I just got unlucky, got a virus somewhere and that's how it is."

Mixed fortunes in 2019

Expectations are high for Zverev in 2019 after finishing last season with victories over Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on his way to clinching the ATP World Tour Finals.

An injury-hit start to the new year saw him crash out of the Australian Open in the fourth round, however he reached the final of the Mexican Open last month, falling to fellow up-and-comer Nick Kyrgios of Australia.

The 21-year-old is now targeting his next tournament, the Miami Open, which kicks off on March 19.

"It's now about getting healthy and about recovering and preparing myself for Miami, because Miami is a tournament I do well in."

Virus hits California

A number of players have already been downed by illness, with Serena Williams retiring from her third-round match on Sunday due to "extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue".

Also on Monday, Anastasija Sevastova withdrew from her clash with Anett Kontaveit while trailing 5-0, with the WTA saying he had a "viral illness".

Elsewhere, Angelique Kerber came back from a first-set shock to beat Russian qualifier Natalia Vikjlyantseva. While Japanese world number one Naomi Osaka progressed to the fourth round with victory over American Danielle Collins.

On the men's side, world number one Novak Djokovic will resume his match against German Philipp Kohlschreiber on Tuesday after play was suspended due to rain.

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Beginning of post-Turki Al Sheikh phase https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/beginning-of-post-turki-al-sheikh-phase/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/beginning-of-post-turki-al-sheikh-phase/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 10:00:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692669 Pyramids will win championships next season, marketing aspects of Egyptian league are weak, says El-Assyouti

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Businessperson Mahmoud El-Assyouti began a new experience, having sold the Assyouti Club to Turki Al Sheikh, the chairperson of the Saudi Entertainment Authority and Adviser to the Royal Court, for $5m. Later, the name was changed to Pyramids and became one the new forces in the Egyptian football scene, thanks to the financial support. Daily News Egypt interviewed Assyouti to find out all about it, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

What do you plan to do after selling the club?

We have already started implementing national projects in sports industries with other partners with foreign expertise and will soon announce the details of these projects. The first project will kick off in three months. Within three years, Egypt will become the world’s largest sports product exporter. The project aims to achieve self-sufficiency in Egypt in five years to stop imports, save hard cash, and create jobs.

How much is the investment value for this project?

Investments are over EGP 50m in the coming three years. We utilised the help of foreign experts to manage the project to compete with international products. These industries will be announced in a press conference in two months.

What did you think about establishing Al Assyouti Club?

The idea of establishing the Assyouti Club was for investment and therefore there was rationing of expenses as much as possible, using professional thought and scientific methods during work, which were the main part of the project management, while money was supplementary. This is why revenues were always higher than expenses spanning the last 10 years of the club.

Why did you sell it?

The surplus in the budget did not satisfy my investment ambitions because of the lack of resources in the Egyptian league. There are only two resources: selling the players, where the club was successful, and sponsorship rights in the A League only. I sold the club for many reasons, such as the vague bylaws and laws that prevent long-term investment plans, making the investment a risk. I also felt the seriousness of the purchase offer from Turki Al Shaikh, with the rental of the club pitches for junior teams, and my desire that the club can achieve tournaments and change the map of the Egyptian football scene, which was limited to competitions between Al Ahly and Zamalek before Pyramids emerged.

Businessperson Mahmoud El-Assyouti

How do you see the Pyramids experience now?

It has been great. It stirred the stagnant water. I will be happy when Pyramids reaps titles, as this is what I hoped for but failed to achieve. I expect that next year Pyramids will be a competitor to all the tournaments. It will win many titles. Compared to the new investments in Europe, it has seen less troubles. I hope all teams accept the competition.

Is selling the club for $5m satisfactory?

It is very suitable and satisfactory for me. I was keen not to exploit the situation as this price under the bad conditions and mismanagement of the sport is considered the most appropriate price. Moreover, it has more benefits for Egypt, such as renting the pitches worth $500,000 per year.

How do you see sports investment in Egypt?

Sports investment in Egypt is still in its first stages and needs fertile ground to grow. Fans of the top two teams in Egypt must accept the competition and not fight investments. This competition is good for all teams and will improve the marketing value of the Egyptian league. Egypt did not benefit from having Mohamed Salah among the world’s top players, as the world looked at Egypt but did nothing for sports administrations.

What do you think about the marketing aspects of the Egyptian league championship?

The marketing aspects of the Egyptian league are very weak and there are no marketing or organisational plans. Things are managed randomly, and hands are trembling in making decisions that protect the clubs, and do not benefit Egypt, which made me reject the idea of establishing a new club.

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Bundesliga Bulletin: Snow denies Hannover as big two battle heats up https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/bundesliga-bulletin-snow-denies-hannover-as-big-two-battle-heats-up/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/12/bundesliga-bulletin-snow-denies-hannover-as-big-two-battle-heats-up/#respond Mon, 11 Mar 2019 22:23:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692803 The post Bundesliga Bulletin: Snow denies Hannover as big two battle heats up appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The snow saved Bayer Leverkusen and denied luckless Hannover as the Bundesliga moved towards the final straight. At the top, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund won in contrasting styles but the champions have the lead.Good week for: Werder Bremen, the title race, Robert Lewandowski, Kevin Volland, Andrej Kramaric

Bad week for: Hertha Berlin, Lukas Kübler, the bottom three, Daniel Caligiuri

The lowdown:

– Schalke might have lost 4-2 against Werder Bremen, but there was enough improvement in the performance (perhaps thanks to Breel Embolo's return after four-months ending in a brace) for the club's new sporting director Jochen Schneider to believe Domenico Tedesco should stay in the job. Schalke certainly battled for their head coach, but there seems to be no escaping that too many of them still don't look good enough. The loss of Daniel Caligiuri to a potentialy season-ending injury won't help, but Tedesco lives to fight another week at least. Bremen, in the meantime, stay in the hunt for Europe and are enjoying life under Florian Kohfeldt.

– With both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund winning, the Bundesliga title race continues to be thrilling to watch. Bayern strolled to victory against Wolfsburg, shooting themselves into form ahead of Liverpool by winning 6-0. Dortmund labored to their 3-1 victory against Stuttgart, but three points are three points. Bayern are now top by two goals with nine games to go. It's set up nicely.

– Freiburg got an enormous victory against Hertha Berlin at home on Saturday after Vedad Ibisevic went from hero to zero. The Bosnian striker equalized late in the second half, but four minutes later headed into his own net to give Freiburg the win. Christian Streich was overjoyed, but the afternoon was soured somewhat for the Black Forest club after Lukas Kübler broke his ankle in an accidental collision with his captain Mike Frantz.

– Sunday was a day of doubles as first Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric then Bayer Leverkusen's Kevin Volland bagged braces in 2-1 and 3-2 wins respectively. Both men are now in double figures in this Bundesliga season and Volland has found the sort of form that saw him win 10 Germany caps between 2014 and 2016. With a dearth of German strikers at the moment, could the 26-year-old get the chance to wear the Germany shirt again later this month?

– Once again, the bottom three lost and are starting to be cut adrift. While Stuttgart put in a gritty effort against Dortmund and Hannover made a fist of it at home to Leverkusen, Nuremberg were second best throughout against Hoffenheim. All three clubs are running out of time and Hannover's trip to Augsburg next weekend looks critical.

– Monday night saw more protests against unfriendly kick-off times in the Bundesliga as Fortuna Düsseldorf hosted Eintracht Frankfurt. The away fans boycotted the first half completely, while Düsseldorf's ultras stayed away for the first 15-and-a-half minutes. Frankfurt won the match 3-0, taking them to within three points of a Champions League place. They are yet to lose in 2019.

The quotes:

"I don't think I've experienced a more emotional moment in football than today."

— Werder Bremen's Fin Bartels on his comeback after his long-term injury

“Sometimes it looked like a comedy.” Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky on the snow-induced chaos at Hannover (see The Weird).

"They parked a gigantic bus."

— Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre on Stuttgart's defensive approach

"The manner in which they converted it [their disappointment] into positive energy says a lot about them as players, as people and characters. Hats off to them."

— Niko Kovac, Bayern Munich's coach, on the performances of Thomas Müller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels after being told their Germany careers were over.

"We died of beauty in the first half of the season at times. Today we defended really well, and in attack [Peter] Gulacsi makes one great save. That's how you pick up points and that's important for us."

— Michael Gregoritsch after Augsburg's goalless draw in Leipzig

"I also scored an own goal in my career. In an international game in my home town. My home city was there because of me. Life goes on."

— Pal Dardai on Vedad Ibisevic's own goal, the first of his career

The stats:

454 days after his Achilles injury, Fin Bartels returned to Werder Bremen's first team.

With his brace against Wolfsburg, Robert Lewandowski is now the all-time leading foreign goalscorer in the Bundesliga with 197 goals.

Kai Havertz's late winner for Leverkusen on Sunday made the 19-year-old the youngest man to reach double figures for the club.

The weird:

After recent matchdays saw Germany bathed in sunshine, a late season snow flurry in Hanover caused farcical scenes on Sunday. Their game against Bayer Leverkusen was interrupted in order to uncover the touchlines, cones were laid out and brooms were in almost constant use.

But the most frustrating thing for the home side was the moment the white stuff stopped Genki Haraguchi from scoring. Snow goal.

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Zinedine Zidane returns as Real Madrid coach https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/11/zinedine-zidane-returns-as-real-madrid-coach/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/11/zinedine-zidane-returns-as-real-madrid-coach/#respond Mon, 11 Mar 2019 18:04:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692681 The post Zinedine Zidane returns as Real Madrid coach appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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After a disastrous season so far, Real Madrid have replaced coach Santiago Solari with club legend Zinedine Zidane, just 10 months after the Frenchman left the club. He has signed a three-year deal until 2022.Zinedine Zidane has made a surprise return to Real Madrid as head coach just 10 months after he left the Spanish giants.

A tumultuous two-week period for the club, where they were knocked out of the Champions League, the Spanish Cup, and fell 12 points behind bitter rivals Barcelona in the domestic league, convinced president Florentino Perez and the Real Madrid board to sack predecessor Santiago Solari.

Former Real midfielder Zidane left the club in May after securing the club's third straight Champions League trophy and it was rumored he would find a new club in the European summer.

But the 46-year-old has surprisingly decided to return to Real Madrid on a contract until 2022.

Solari was sacked following two losses to Barcelona within four days, which effectively ended their chances of winning domestic silverware, and a 4-1 defeat at home to Ajax in the Champions League, which saw them crash out of the prestigious tournament 5-3 on aggregate.

A club statement read: "Real Madrid's board met today and decided to end the contract linking Santiago Solari to the club as first team coach and, at the same time, have offered to keep him at the club.

"The board have named Zinedine Zidane as the new coach to be incorporated immediately for the rest of the season, and for the next three, until June 30, 2022."

"Real Madrid thanks Santiago Solari for his work done and the commitment and loyalty he has shown to what is his home."

It has been a disastrous season for Real Madrid since Zidane decided to step down following the Champions League final victory over Liverpool, with successor Julen Lopetegui sacked just two months into the season and Solari struggling to recover the team's fortunes.

js/em (DPA)

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For Bayern Munich to beat Liverpool, Robert Lewandowski needs to rise to the occasion https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/11/for-bayern-munich-to-beat-liverpool-robert-lewandowski-needs-to-rise-to-the-occasion/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/11/for-bayern-munich-to-beat-liverpool-robert-lewandowski-needs-to-rise-to-the-occasion/#respond Mon, 11 Mar 2019 13:25:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692697 The post For Bayern Munich to beat Liverpool, Robert Lewandowski needs to rise to the occasion appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Robert Lewandowski has been in top goalscoring form, but came up short against Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League last 16. Bayern Munich need their frontman at his best to keep their European hopes alive.When it comes to scoring goals, few are better than Robert Lewandowski right now.

The Polish striker is currently the top scorer in both the Bundesliga (17 goals) and in the Champions League (8 goals). In Europe's top five leagues, only Lionel Messi has scored more goals (34) in all competitions than the Bayern Munich man's 29, and Lewandowski has scored four goals in his last two league appearances.

But his performance against Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie is a reminder of how much he has struggled in the big moments in recent years. In fact, Lewandowski hasn't scored a knockout goal in his last 505 minutes of action, since a 5-0 hammering of Besiktas last year.

With Bayern facing a season-defining second leg in Munich's Allianz Arena on Wednesday, the German side will need its No. 9 at his best to keep their European hopes alive.

More than capable

Despite failing to score in five of Bayern's six Champions League knockout games last term — including both legs of the club's semifinal against Real Madrid — Lewandowski has one of the best goalscoring records in that stage of the competition.

His 19 career goals in the knockouts leave him tied with teammate Thomas Müller for the third best record in the competition, behind only Lionel Messi (22) and Cristiano Ronaldo (47).

He has also scored in big spots for Bayern in the Champions League before. His goal in the second leg of the club's last 16 tie with Juventus in 2015-16 sparked a comeback after the Bavarians trailed 2-0 (4-2 on aggregate) at halftime.

But more often than not since he's been at Munich, his goals have come either too late — like his strike against Barcelona in the 2014-15 semifinals or the one against Atletico Madrid at the same stage in 2015-16 — or in blowouts — like his two goals in separate 5-1 wins over Arsenal in 2016-17 or that brace against Besiktas.

His current six-game goalless stretch in the knockouts is especially concerning when you include the fact that he has had two shots or less in four of those contests. Against Liverpool last month, he had just one shot, which came in the opening minutes, and touched the ball only 34 times.

"He needs to score the few chances he gets," Bayern president Uli Hoeness told German magazine Kicker.

Tough ask vs. Liverpool

Many factors will be working against Lewandowski when the Merseyside club visit the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

For starters, Müller, one of the Polish striker's favorite running mates, is suspended while wingers Arjen Robben and Kingsley Coman, often responsible for setting up chances for Lewandowski, are both still out injured.

To make matters more difficult, Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool's 70 million pound (€78.8 million) central defender, is expected to play on Wednesday after missing the first leg through suspension. Van Dijk has been especially impressive this season, keeping the likes of Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku, Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain off the scoresheet.

But the Bavarians need the Polish international to be at his best as he is a big reason why the club's form has improved lately. Lewandowski has 12 goals and seven assists in Bayern's 16 games since the beginning of December, Bayern have lost just one of those matches.

"We all, especially I, have the dream that we will the Champions League again. With a goal from Robert in the final," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern's CEO and a former striker himself, told kicker.

Wednesday's showcase will be an opportunity for Lewandowski to show that he is one of the best strikers in the world. A knockout punch against Liverpool would certainly reassert that claim. But another drab performance will suck a lot of significance out of his impressive goal tally.

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AFCON mascots mirror cultural heritage of Africa https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/09/afcon-mascots-mirror-cultural-heritage-of-africa/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/09/afcon-mascots-mirror-cultural-heritage-of-africa/#respond Sat, 09 Mar 2019 13:00:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692311 Mascots have always been used in sports competitions for promotion and marketing purposes and to cheer up the fans who come from all over the world to enjoy the sports. Mascots are also used for charity tours. Stemmed out from their cultures, African nations have been creative in choosing mascots for the sports events. In …

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Mascots have always been used in sports competitions for promotion and marketing purposes and to cheer up the fans who come from all over the world to enjoy the sports. Mascots are also used for charity tours. Stemmed out from their cultures, African nations have been creative in choosing mascots for the sports events.

In 2004, Tunisian national team wore a red kit with an eagle badge on it as a mascot for the African Cup of Nations, referring to the nickname of the North African team – Eagles of Carthage.

In 2006, the Egyptian Football Association chose the Nile crocodile “CrocoNile” to be the AFCON mascot. CrocoNile was a crocodile playing football and wearing pharaonic costume, with the crown of Menes on his head – in reference to the Egyptian ancient history – and the Egyptian flag on his chest.

The Mascot for the 2010 tournament was Palanquinha, which was inspired by the Giant Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger variani), a national symbol and a treasured animal in Angola. In Angola, this animal is found only in the Cangandala National Park in Malange province. It reflected the African strength and determination to win.

The mascot for the 2012 AFCON was unveiled on 16 September 2011 at a ceremony in Libreville, Gabon. The mascot, named Gaguie, is a gorilla sporting the national team colors of the two hosting countries Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

The official mascot of the tournament was Takuma, a hippo wearing sports kit in South Africa’s official yellow and green. The mascot was designed by Tumelo Nkoana, a 13-year-old South African student from Hammanskraal in Gauteng. It was shown in front of hundreds of attendees, including President of South Africa Jacob Zuma.

In the 2015 edition, Equatorial Guinea chose “Chuku Chuku”, a porcupine, as the official mascot of the tournament.

Gabon chose the 2017 AFCON mascot to be a black panther named Samba. Gabon president Ali Bongo Ondimba, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and former CAF President Issa Hayatou were all in attendance at the ceremony of revealing the mascot. The mascot sports Gabon’s blue and yellow colours and Samba means hello and welcome in local Bantu language.

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Hosting cities of 2019 AFCON: Port Said https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/09/hosting-cities-of-2019-afcon-port-said/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/09/hosting-cities-of-2019-afcon-port-said/#respond Sat, 09 Mar 2019 11:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692302 The executive bodies in Port Said are in race against time to finish the preparations before hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in its 32nd edition at the Al-Masry Club Stadium. Egypt will be hosting the championship from 21 June to 19 July in five governorates, including Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Suez, and Port …

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The executive bodies in Port Said are in race against time to finish the preparations before hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in its 32nd edition at the Al-Masry Club Stadium. Egypt will be hosting the championship from 21 June to 19 July in five governorates, including Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Suez, and Port Said.

Port Said, the Valiant City, is an Egyptian coastal city. It is the administrative capital of the governorate of Port Said which also includes the city of Port Fouad.

Located in northeast Egypt with a population of 524,433 people and total area of 845.445 sqm, Port Said was established during the tenure of Khedive Ismail in 1859, when Ferdinand de Lesseps started the drilling of the Suez Canal.

Port Said has become famous since the end of the 19th century as a distinct sea port. English writer Rudyard Kipling said: “If you want to meet someone you used to know, and he always travel, there are two places on earth where you can sit in and wait to meet him at: London and Port Said.”

Hotels in Port Said

Given the touristic nature of the city, it is a location for many hotels and resorts of all levels. Some of the most famous hotels there are Port Said Misr Tourism (formerly Helnan), Resta Hotel (formerly Sonesta), Savoy Hotel, Grand Albatros Hotel, New Concord, Palace Hotel, New Shepherd Hotel, Marhaban Hotel, Al Kanary Resort, Al Karawan Resort, Al Nawras Resort, Gannat Al Nawras Resort, Zomorod Resort, Al Fayrouz Resort, and Al Fardous.

Tourist attractions

The city includes many natural and tourist attractions, most prominently, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery. It is one of 16 cemeteries across the country, distributed in Cairo, Alexandria, New Alamein, Port Said, Fayed, Suez, and Aswan. The Commonwealth Authority supervises them all. These cemeteries receive the attention of thousands of the grandchildren of the victims of WWI and WWII.

The old lighthouse of Port Said

Its establishment dates back to 1859 as it was temporarily made of wood and lit a distance of 10 km to guide the ships passing through the Suez Canal, however, after building the base of the famous Ferdinand de Lesseps statue, the lighthouse was rebuilt out of concrete. It became the first building made of concrete in Egypt and the Middle East.

The Suez Canal Authority headquarters was originally a palace built by Khedive Ismail on the coast of Port Said to receive his guests, kings, and presidents of many countries in the world, who came to visit Egypt during his tenure.

The building is characterised by its unique architectural style. It is registered as one of Egypt’s monuments in the city, and is currently used as the headquarters of the Suez Canal Authority to guide the movements of ships passing through the canal.

The base of the De Lesseps and its statue were revealed on 16 November 1899, which corresponds with the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal for international navigation.

The statue is located at the western entrance of the Suez Canal in Palestine street at the end of the famous De Lesseps corridor in the city.

The Martyrs Obelisk

It is a Pharaonic obelisk covered in grey granite which was set up in memory of the martyrs of Port Said in its battles.

On 23 December 1958, former president Gamal Abdel Nasser inaugurated the obelisk where two flames were lit to commemorate the victory and celebrate the withdrawal of enemies from Port Said. He also inaugurated the Al Shohadaa (Martyrs) square where the obelisk stands.

There is also the Museum of Modern Art and the Port Said Military Museum. The Port Said Military Museum was built in 1963 with the aim of collecting the remnants of the 1956 war, as they recounted the struggle of the people of Port Said. The Bent El Nile garden was then chosen as the location of the museums which was launched on 24 December 1964.

There is also the National Museum of Port Said and Suez Canal Museum, in addition to many Islamic museums. Port Said also has many churches of a great architectural quality.

Governor of Port Said, Adel El-Ghadban, has expressed the readiness of Port Said to host a part of the championship which will take place in June, pointing out that the main stadium is ready, as well as all the sports halls, hotels, and tourist attractions.

He added that Port Said has great experience in hosting such international and continental championships.

El-Ghadban noted that Port Said has hosted many international and continental events, including the FIFA U-17 World Cup (1997), the IHF World Men’s Handball Championship (1999), and AFCON (2006).

Furthermore, he added that the potential of Port Said is not only limited to official stadiums that are allocated for matches and trainings, but also in terms of security, health, tourism, and entertainment services for the teams participating in the championship, noting that Port Said currently has the largest sports complex across the country named, “The Sports City in El Zohour.”

Al Masry Club Stadium

It is a multi-use stadium located in Port Said. It is currently used for football matches. It is the official home stadium for Al Masry Club.

It was founded in 1953 and officially opened in October 1955 in the presence of Hussein El-Shafie, the former Minister of Social Affairs, on behalf of the late president Abdel Nasser.

The stadium has seen many renovations and developments. The latest were in 2009 in order to host the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. It also hosted some matches of the 2006 AFCON. The stadium’s capacity is up to 18,000 spectators. It is located 8 km away from Port Said Airport in the middle of Port Said.

The stadium was closed temporarily by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) among a series of sanctions imposed after the latest deadly riots in 2012. It was reopened in 2018, hosting its first match after the incident on 10 February 2018, between Al Masry and Zambia’s Green Buffaloes in the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary rounds’ second leg. Al Masry won 4-0.

A delegation from the CAF inspected the stadium in order to ensure it is ready for the AFCON matches.

During the inspection tour, the African delegation inspected the locker rooms, referee rooms, lighting networks, civil defence, fire units, entrances, and the VIP hall.

Al Masry Club Stadium

Established: 1953

Opened: 16 October 1955

Pitch: Grass

Club: Al Masry Port Said Club

Capacity: 18,000 spectators

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Story of Africa Cup of Nations https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/08/the-story-of-africa-cup-of-nations/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/08/the-story-of-africa-cup-of-nations/#respond Fri, 08 Mar 2019 12:00:39 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692265 Sudanese Abdel Halim Mohamed proposed the idea of holding the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) whose first edition kicked off in 1956 with the participation of three teams. AFCON is one of the major continental championships. On 8 June 1956, Egyptians Abdel Aziz Salem, the first president of the African Union, met with the Sudanese …

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Sudanese Abdel Halim Mohamed proposed the idea of holding the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) whose first edition kicked off in 1956 with the participation of three teams. AFCON is one of the major continental championships.

On 8 June 1956, Egyptians Abdel Aziz Salem, the first president of the African Union, met with the Sudanese Abdel Rahim Shaddad, Badawi Mohamed, Abdel Halim Mohamed, and South African William Phil at the Avenida Hotel in Lisbon, capital of Portugal, on the side-lines of the third International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) congress. They discussed the idea of a continental association that oversees the affairs of football in Africa and launching a continental championship. After eight weeks, the first founding assembly was held. Two days later, a match between Egypt and Sudan was held in Khartoum, announcing the beginning of Africs Cup of Nations on 10 February 1957. There was no qualification for this tournament, being made up of the four founding nations of CAF (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Africa). South Africa’s insistence on selecting only white players for their squad due to its apartheid policy led to its disqualification, and as a consequence Ethiopia were handed a bye straight to the final. Hence, only two matches were played, with Egypt being crowned as the first continental champion after defeating hosts Sudan in the semi-final and Ethiopia in the final. Two years later Egypt hosted the second AFCON in Cairo with the participation of the same three teams. Host and defending champions Egypt again won, after defeating Sudan.

The competition grew to include nine teams for the third AFCON in 1962 in Addis Ababa, and for the first time there was a qualification round to determine which four teams would play for the title. Host Ethiopia and reigning champion Egypt received automatic berths and were joined in the final four by Nigeria and Tunisia. Egypt made its third consecutive final appearance, but it was Ethiopia that emerged as victors, after first beating Tunisia and then downing Egypt in extra time.

Championship system

The championship was since held several times. In the 1960s, it was random. It was held annually, and sometimes every two or three years. The sixth edition was held in Ethiopia in 1968. The championship was then decided to be held every two years in different African countries.

In 1965, the CAF imposed a rule allowing only two professional footballers playing outside their nations to play for their national teams, driven by the will to improve the African football. The CAF later cancelled that rule in 1982, when it noticed that African footballer prefer to play for European teams.

The CAF has increase finally the number of participating teams in AFCON from 16 to 24 teams after a meeting held on Thursday 20 July 2017 in Rabat. At the same meeting, it decided to hold the tournament in June and July instead of January and February.

Championship Trophy

Throughout the history of the African Cup of Nations, three different trophies have been awarded to the winners of the competition. The original trophy, made of silver, was the Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem Trophy, named after the first CAF president, Egyptian Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem. As the first winner of three African Cup of Nations tournaments, Ghana obtained the right to permanently hold the trophy in 1978.

The second trophy was awarded from 1980 to 2000 and was named “Trophy of African Unity” or “African Unity Cup”. It was given to CAF by the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa prior to the 1980 tournament and it was a cylindrical piece with the Olympic rings over a map of the continent engraved on it. It sat on a squared base and had stylized triangular handles. Cameroon won the Unity Cup indefinitely after they became three-time champions in 2000.

In 2001, the third trophy was revealed, a gold-plated cup designed and made in Italy. Cameroon, permanent holders of the previous trophy, were the first nation to be awarded the new trophy after they won the 2002 edition. Egypt won the gold-plated cup indefinitely after they became three-time champions in 2010, in an unprecedented achievement by winning three consecutive continental titles. Unlike previous winners who would have then taken the trophy home, Egypt were presented with a special full size replica that they were allowed to keep. First and second time winners usually get a smaller sized replica for their trophy cabinets.

First edition in 1957

After the approval of the FIFA on the establishment of the CAF, the English nominee for FIFA presidency, Arthur Drewry, put a main condition that the CAF includes a representative from South Africa.

The Egyptian, Sudanese, and Ethiopian members were surprised by the request because the representative of South Africa was already existing with them and none of them had the desire to rule him out of the confederation.

Nor they were aware of the political dimensions of the request. They all agreed to meet in Khartoum in February 1957. In the presence of Drewry, after winning the FIFA presidency, the first AFCON was launched with the participation of Sudan (host), Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa.

On 8 February 1057, the founding assembly was held in the Grand Hotel in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The meeting included Abdel Aziz Salem, Youssef Mohamed, Mohamed Latif from Egypt, Abdel Halim Mohamed, Abdel Rahim Shaddad, Badawi Mohamed Ali from Sudan, Tessima from Ethiopia and Phil from South Africa.

Abdul Aziz Salim was elected President of the CAF, as well as Abdel Halim Mohamed and Tessima of Ethiopia and Phil as members, while Youssef Mohamed as secretary-general of the CAF.

Before the start of the African Championship, a problem erupted in Khartoum. Every delegate submitted their national teams lists. All were surprised by South Africa representative giving two different squads, one composed of white players and another of black players. He attached a recommendation favouring the white squad.

The officials, however, objected strongly the idea and stressed the need for one squad that represent all races in South Africa. Phil stressed the exclusion of the South Africa given the racism there, as there were four federations in South Africa, one for white, a second for blacks, a third for people of colour, and a fourth for Indians.

At its first meeting, the CAF board did not hesitate to take a decisive decision to expel South Africa from the first tournament as well as the membership of CAF.

The first draw put Sudan, the host country, in a tough game against Egypt in the opening match, then Ethiopia with South Africa.

The two games should have been held in Khartoum and the two winners clash in the final.

Following South Africa’s expulsion, Ethiopia secured a place in the final and Tesema rejected a Sudanese proposal to re-draw to avoid a heavy confrontation between Egypt and Sudan.

Tesema stressed the need to abide by the FIFA rules that prevent a re-draw if any team withdraws or got expelled.

This edition had two games with seven goals scored, making it the shortest tournament. Egypt won the title after beating Sudan 2-1 in the opening game then swept Ethiopia 4-0.

Egypt’s Mohamed Diab Al-Attar is the only player in AFCON history to score four goals in the final. The record still stands.

Second edition in 1959

The second edition was held in 1959 in Egypt. The tournament include one group: Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopian. The tournament was held from 22 to 29 May 1959 using a league system.

The opening game was between Egypt and Ethiopia and the Pharaohs won 4-0, with Mahmoud El Gohary scoring a hat-trick and Mimi Sherbini scored one goal.

Egypt’s army leader Abdul Hakim Amer attended the match that was held at Al-Ahly Stadium.

In the second game, Sudan beat Ethiopia 1-0, qualifying to the final against the Pharaohs.

Sudan failed to avenge their loss in the first edition and lost again to Egypt 2-1.

The Egyptian team in the final match was composed of seven players from Al-Ahly SC and four players from Zamalek SC. The final match was officiated by the Yugoslavian referee Gisibatich.

Third edition in 1962

The 1962 AFCON was the third edition, changing from a small three-nation competition to a large continental tournament similar to that of Europe at the time.

The number of participating teams increased, which required holding qualifiers which included nine teams. Ethiopia hosted the tournament and managed to win the title for the first time in its history at the expense of the United Arab Republic (Egypt).

The tournament was held from 14 to 21 January. Four countries competed in this edition, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Republic (Egypt). This tournament witnessed the highest average rate of goals in AFCON history.

The opening match saw Ethiopia beat Tunisia 4-2. Egypt beat Uganda in the second game 2-1. The winners qualified for the final and the losers competed for the third position.

In the final, Ethiopia defeated Egypt 4-2, to achieve their first title and stop the victories tally of the Pharaohs. Tunisia won the third place after beating Uganda 3-0.

The final match at the Haile Selassie Stadium in Addis Ababa was officiated by Ugandan referee Wilson Brooks.

The match was held in the presence of 30,000 spectators in the stadium. It was one of the most important games in the history of Ethiopia in the presence of Emperor Haile Selassie, as they won the continental title for the first time.

Fourth edition in 1963

The 1963 AFCON was the fourth edition. For the third consecutive time, the hosts won the African Cup. The format changed: two groups of three teams each, the winners played the final, the runners-up could only play Third Place final. The final in Accra on 1 December saw the hosts winning 3-0 on Sudan, after the first half finished 00.

This tournament, and the previous one, are the only Africa Cup of Nations tournaments with more than four goals-per-game average.

Six countries participated at the time: Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Tunisia, and Egypt.

The tournament was held from November 24 to 1 December 1963. The tournament matches were played at Accra Sports Stadium and Kumasi Sports Stadium.

The first group included Ghana, Ethiopia, and Tunisia, while the second group was composed of Sudan, Egypt, and Nigeria.

Four teams qualified to the next round: Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Sudan. Egypt played with Ethiopia and won 3-0 to rank third.

Fifth edition in 1965

The 1965 AFCON was the fifth edition. It was hosted by Tunisia. Just like in 1963, the field of six teams was split into two groups of three. Ghana retained its title, beating Tunisia in the final 32.

Tunisia hosted the competition from 12 to 21 November 1965. Egypt and Sudan were absent for the first time since 1957. Egypt was absent for political reasons with Tunisia.

Six teams, including Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, and Tunisia, were placed in two groups. The first composed of Tunisia, Senegal, and Ethiopia, while the second of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Congo.

Tunisia and Senegal equalized in the number of points, a draw was held, and the Carthage Eagles qualified as top of the first group, while Ghana qualified as top of the second group with four points.

In the third-place match, Cote d’Ivoire beat Senegal 1-0. On 21 November 1965, Ghana won the title after beating Tunisia 3-2 in the extra time. The match was officiated by the Algerian referee Abdelaziz Shakaymi.

Sixth edition in 1968

The 1968 AFCON was the sixth edition championship. Ethiopia hosted the contest for the second time, from 12 to 21 January 1968. The competition was expanded to include eight teams, divided into two groups of four.

Algeria, Congo, DR Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, and Uganda participated. Egypt missed the tournament for the second time as they withdrew after the 1967 war.

The teams were divided into two groups, the first group included Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria, and Uganda.

Ethiopia lead the group with six points from three victories, followed by Cote d’Ivoire in second place with four points. Both teams qualified to the next round.

Ghana, DR Congo, Congo, and Senegal were in the second group. Ghana lead the group with five points collected from two wins and one draw, while DR Congo came in second with four points from two victories and one loss. Both teams qualified.

In the semi-final, Ethiopia lost to DR Congo 3-2. In the second game, Ghana beat Cote d’Ivoire 4-3.

The third game saw Cote d’Ivoire won over Ethiopia 1-0. In the final match on 21 January 1968, DR Congo beat Ghana 1-0 at the Haile Selassie Stadium in Addis Ababa. The match referee was officiated by the Egyptian Mohamed Diab, who was the top scorer and best player in the first AFCON edition in 1957.

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We hope Al-Sisi attends 2019 AFCON opening ceremony: EFA president https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/08/we-hope-al-sisi-attends-2019-afcon-opening-ceremony-efa-president/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/08/we-hope-al-sisi-attends-2019-afcon-opening-ceremony-efa-president/#respond Fri, 08 Mar 2019 11:00:37 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692297 Cairo Stadium after development will amaze everyone

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President of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), Hany Abo Rida, spoke to Daily News Egypt about their preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). He affirmed that Egypt is ready to host the event in June, pointing out that it requires a lot of work from everyone.

Abo Rida is also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

In 2004, he won a seat at the CAF’s Executive Committee. With his continued activity and enthusiasm, he will be heading the marketing committee in the CAF. He was trusted by the General Assembly of the CAF and re-elected in the executive committee until 2011.

In 2009, Abo Rida was elected as a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and supervised a few sports events organised by FIFA, including the FIFA Club World Cup in 2013 in Morocco. He then became president of the EFA in August 2016 after receiving the majority of votes.

Being a non-talkative person, when Abo Rida speaks, everyone listens because he is the most important administrative person in the EFA.

Abo Rida spoke to Daily News Egypt about the preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). He said that Egypt is ready to host the event in June, pointing out that it takes a lot of serious work from everyone in order to distinguish Egypt.

Abo Rida said that there is great coordination with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to apply the measures and decisions needed to host such an important event, noting that Egypt is now under the spotlight.

He also added that Egypt has won the right of organising the championship, given its prestigious reputation in organising continental and international championships, stressing that the matches will be held in presence of fans.

He expressed his appreciation to the Minister of Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, for his great efforts in preparing for the AFCON.

Abo Rida said the President of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) told him that he plans to attend the AFCON draw scheduled for 13 April, even though he has commitments and meetings two days before the draw.

“There is also a large number of fans who want to attend the events. We are undermining ourselves here in Egypt, but the entire world knows Egypt’s value,” Abo Rida said.

“The major companies that sponsor the championship have already started booking hotel rooms in Egypt for their visiting delegations, for the first time in an African championship since 2006,” he added.

Abo Rida spoke about the Cairo International Stadium – now closed for renovation – which will host the opening match, saying that it will amaze fans and officials.

“The Cairo Stadium will be the best part in the AFCON and it will be perfectly prepared for the matches,” Abo Rida stressed. “We are preparing a new kind of grass, a mix between natural and artificial grass. It is a new experience, but we are certain that everything will be alright.”

As for the fans, Abo Rida said they reached an agreement with a security company to organise the entry and exit of fans into the stadiums. Police will be responsible for securing the vicinity of stadiums as is the case around the world.

The headquarters of the organising committee will be at the Civil Education Center in Zamalek neighbourhood.

“We also have a new e-system for the numbering of the national team’s kits,” he said.

“The organising committee will invite President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to witness the opening ceremony of the championship,” Abo Rida noted.

He said that the EFA, the Ministry of Sports, and hosting stadiums’ managements are in a race against time to complete the tournament’s preparations before 12 April.

Abo Rida also revealed that the draw of the championship will be held on 12 April, determining the residences of each participating team. “The teams’ representatives will be paying visits to Egypt soon to inspect hosting venues and write their reports about them,” he added.

The AFCON draw will be held at the Pyramids. Accompanied by Mohamed Fadl, championship manager, Abo Rida inspected the place and followed up all the preparations.

Abo Rida said a meeting will also be held with the CAF emergency committee next week to coordinate between the concerned parties in the coming period.

He expressed his trust in the Pharaohs’ ability to win such championships, noting that the current generation has many great players, like Mohamed Salah, Mohamed El-Neny, Mahmoud Trezeguet, and moany others.

However, he noted that Egypt’s 2006 football generation was the best, pointing out that Cote d’Ivoire’s star Didier Drogba once said that if he had players like Mohamed Abo Treka, Wael Gomaa, and Essam El-Hadary, he would have easily reached the World Cup’s final.

When the Egyptian national team plays in the presence of its fans, it will be a strong motivation for them to win the championship, he added, stressing that the Egypt has a leading team in Africa.

All the championship’s needs will be made available through cooperating with the EFA’s sponsor, Presentation Sport company, he said.

“I’m confident that Egyptian fans will be supporting their team, and it is very unlikely for conflicts to happen between fans,” Abo Rida said, adding that he hopes to see the same atmosphere of 2006 edition, but he is certain that 2019 will be even better.

Abo Rida mentioned the amendments approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), noting that it will be for the best of football, and will lead toward further development and pleasure.

Furthermore, he explained that the IFAB currently works according to the new amendments that aim to solve the outstanding issues of football and create more enthusiasm.

Regarding the possibility of his candidacy for the CAF presidency, Abo Rida said that his health condition would determine his decision. “Elections are in 2021, and when the time comes, I will see what I want to do based on my health. I like to be successful wherever I am, but when it comes to my duties towards my country, I feel like much more work and commitment would be required,” he noted.

Abo Rida also talked about Liverpool’s star Mohamed Salah, saying he is one of the most successful players in the world and an exceptional model that would be difficult to see again in Egypt.

“I believe that there are many players who have better abilities than Salah, but his mentality, humbleness, and love towards people are the reasons for his success. He is the most famous player now in Egypt and the world. He is a true ambassador for tourism in Egypt,” Abo Rida said.

Abo Rida also talked about the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the 2026 World Cup, saying that a strategy was formed to build up a strong team that can participate in these tournaments. “We have many player in European clubs now and they have speed and strength. Overall, this should be a major leap for Egyptian football. We will work to develop Egyptian football as much as possible to make more achievements,” he added.

Additionally, Abo Rida talked about Pyramids FC and its experience in the Egyptian Premier League, describing it as “fruitful” which promoted competition.

“It is beneficial to have such experience of Pyramids FC because investment increases the trade value of the championships and promotes competition,” he said.

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Egypt gearing up for hosting 2019 AFCON for 5th time https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/08/egypt-gearing-up-for-hosting-2019-afcon-for-5th-time/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/08/egypt-gearing-up-for-hosting-2019-afcon-for-5th-time/#respond Fri, 08 Mar 2019 10:00:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692294 Egypt will be hosting the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) from 21 June to 19 July for the fifth time, to be the most country organising this championship. The four other editions were in 1959, 1974, 1986, and 2006. The championship will be seeing the participation of 24 teams for the first time in …

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Egypt will be hosting the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) from 21 June to 19 July for the fifth time, to be the most country organising this championship. The four other editions were in 1959, 1974, 1986, and 2006. The championship will be seeing the participation of 24 teams for the first time in its history.

Since the announcement that Egypt will be organising the championship this year, intensive preparations have been taking place in Egypt for hosting the major event – the third biggest football event in the world after the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Cup. This event requires various parties to coordinate and work hard to hold the event in a way that suits Egypt’s position in the world.

Economic experts have emphasised that Egypt’s hosting of AFCON will have many economic gains, including substantial tourist activity in the cities hosting the matches.

The hosting country is allowed to broadcast all the tournament’s matches, receiving $1,500 per match, which means that a material gain can be earned through TV advertisements. Additionally, the hosting country is allowed to receive 20% of all the CAF revenues from the championship, including tickets, match broadcasting, and advertisements inside stadiums.

The CAF had withdrawn the hosting right of the championship from Cameroon due to delay in building stadiums and required infrastructure.

Tourist expert Atef Abdellatef said that the current circumstances will be leading to the recovery of tourism in Egypt, noting that the country should be ready for receiving thousands of football fans from across the continent.

The tourist expert estimated that each fan visiting Egypt during the tournament will be spending an average of $1,000.

Abdelmoneim El-Sayed, the chairperson of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES), said that there will be other gains from organising this championship, including the participating teams’ trips across the country which would stimulate activities in restaurants, hotels, transportation, and tourism companies that will offer them services.

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Eintracht Frankfurt draw the game, but win the night https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/eintracht-frankfurt-draw-the-game-but-win-the-night/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/eintracht-frankfurt-draw-the-game-but-win-the-night/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 21:34:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692266 The post Eintracht Frankfurt draw the game, but win the night appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Eintracht Frankfurt delivered a memorable performance against Inter Milan in the Europa League, both on and off the pitch. A special European night might not be the last in this club’s sensational season.Marcelo Brozovic was never going to beat Kevin Trapp. Not on this night.

The German goalkeeper palmed away Brozovic's penalty effort, diving to his left to send another wave of joy rippling around Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena.

Even before Thursday's Europa League last 16 first leg had started, it felt like it was Eintracht Frankfurt's night. It was the latest in what has been a remarkable run in the Europa League.

The noise of the crowd was powerful, the choreography breathtaking as a city and a club rejoiced at being involved in nights like this.

"The atmosphere for the last few months here has been incredible," Trapp said afterwards. "We give it to the fans, and they give it to us, especially here at home it's something very special. … Everybody is proud of what we're doing and we're proud of our supporters because it's not easy to organize something like this."

Read more: Frankfurt feeding off Euro euphoria

'It makes such a difference'

Scarves were held aloft in the south stand. Flags and banners hung in the north-west terrace, where fans regularly burst into song. Even the spectators in the main stand were out of their seats faster than usual.

And then came the choreography, a celebration of the 120th anniversary of the club's founding. In a country famous for its fan choreography, this was up there with one of the best.

Organised by fan group Ultras Frankfurt 97, flyers were left on seats around the stadium explaining how the choreography was to work. The final words read: "One more wish: Let's prolong these glorious days with a few more European Cup nights. Wherever you are in the stadium: go crazy to make our dream of Baku come true."

Trapp's penalty save certainly made that dream come a little closer, denying Inter Milan that coveted away goal. The strike would have flattered the Italians, although even without Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan they showed plenty of intelligence in stemming the Frankfurt press early. Their wing play also initially caused all sorts of problems for Frankfurt's back three.

With the game tense, the crowd responded again and again. Silver, red, black and gold flags were waved continuously, almost as a collective reminder of how special it was to be here on this night. It felt like a special European night, one fans remember and pass down to younger generations.

"It's amazing," said Sebastien Haller afterwards. "I heard also a lot of substitutes say they wanted to take their phones just to record it because it's crazy. Every game we play at home is a chance. … It makes such a difference. You feel, I don't know how to explain it, but you feel an extra power."

Read more: Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League success marred by ‘disproportionate’ policing

A goal short

Adi Hütter's men showed just how much power in the second half, pinning Inter Milan in for a furious 10 minutes after the restart.

"Mentality," Trapp said when asked what changed in the second half. "It's one of the most important things in football. For the first 45 minutes, we didn't have that courage, that confidence. We lost a lot of balls. It was very weird. In the second half, we showed what we were able to play."

Still no goal came. Mijat Gacinovic kept trying to thread the needle, but the final pass went astray. Filip Kostic kept bursting down the wing, but his efforts were not rewarded. Frankfurt were also denied a penalty of their own when Haller was tackled in the box, after which referee William Collum booked Makoto Hasebe for his protest of the non-call and sent a frustrated Adi Hütter to the stands.

Quite quickly, Inter Milan looked tired, beaten, like a side that had succumbed to the slow beat of Frankfurt's drum. Defender Martin Hinteregger turned in a career performance, but not even he could deliver the goal this crowd so deeply craved — the Austrian was guilty of heading wide at the back post when it looked easier to score.

The absence of Ante Rebic was perhaps more noticeable than first considered as Luka Jovic and Haller, who have scored a combined 11 goals in the Europa League this term, looked one touch short of magic.

Still winners

Frankfurt continued to do what they have done all season, particularly in Europe. They did not make themselves small. They did not shy away. Given that they came into the game having scored more goals (23) in the competition than any other team, they had no reason to do so.

Read more: Eintracht Frankfurt are Germany's best chance of European glory this season

But facing Inter Milan with a spot in the Europa League quarterfinals at stake can make reason hard to remember. Gacinovic had a go from range, super-sub Goncalo Paciencia hung up a deliciously weighted cross, but no one was there to turn it home.

No goal and no win perhaps left Frankfurt feeling a bit frustrated they waited 45 minutes to attack a side that looked there for the taking. For the fans, the truth is just being here was the joy and although players will always strive for more, they too play for nights like this. The words hung on the banners before the game said it all. "Glorious times, sad days. We are with you Eintracht, no question."

With European football breaking off script this week, there's plenty of reason to believe Frankfurt will continue that trend.

"We showed again today that we don't need to hide from anyone… If we play at 100 percent, we can beat anybody, or at least not lose," Trapp said.

Whether this adventure ends in Milan next week or not, these truly are glorious days for Frankfurt.

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Bundesliga: Niko Kovac's big week at Bayern Munich https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/bundesliga-niko-kovacs-big-week-at-bayern-munich/ https://dailynewssegypt.com/2019/03/07/bundesliga-niko-kovacs-big-week-at-bayern-munich/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 20:29:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=692269 The post Bundesliga: Niko Kovac's big week at Bayern Munich appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Bayern Munich’s coach Niko Kovac is facing a tough week in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. How well his team performs against Wolfsburg and Liverpool could go a long way to deciding his future.Niko Kovac was a frustrated figure on the touchline at the Allianz Arena towards the end of November.

His team had let a three-goal lead slip to recently promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf. His apparently mutinous dressing room was leaking stories to the press. Bayern Munich's title defense was said to be over and debate was swirling about whether or not he should be sacked.

Fast forward four months and the mood at the Bavarian giants is much improved. Four wins on the bounce have pulled them level on points at the top of Bundesliga table with Borussia Dortmund, and Kovac masterminded a way to stifle Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League tie.

After all of the ups and downs during his first season in charge, Kovac has the biggest week of his Bayern tenure ahead of him. If his team can overhaul Dortmund at the top of Bundesliga on Saturday and get past Liverpool in Wednesday's second leg, many may consider Bayern's season back on track.

However, a slip up against Wolfsburg and an elimination in the Champions League last 16 for the first time since 2011, and questions about how long the former Bayern player can keep his job will quickly resurface.

Untimely distraction?

Kovac hasn't exactly had the most ideal week to prepare for the challenge. On Tuesday, Germany coach Joachim Löw rocked up in Munich to tell stars Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller they were dropped from the national side.

All three players have openly vented their frustration at the way they were told on social media, and the club expressed its irritation at the timing of the announcement before a crucial week. Kovac himself was critical of the decision.

"To be called an old hand at 29 or 30 with such finality, it's just not right," he told the media. He challenged the trio to prove they are still good enough to play for the national team.

Added to that distraction is the surprising strength of their upcoming opponents. Wolfsburg are exceeding all expectations in the league this season. They currently sit in seventh place, have not lost a game since January and, like Bayern, managed to roll over the impressive Borussia Mönchengladbach at home.

It's a tough stretch in March that could well determine whether Kovac is cut out to lead the Bavarians in the long-term.

Elsewhere on matchday 25

Borussia Dortmund dominated their Champions League tie against Tottenham Hotspur but still ran out 0-1 losers. The result leaves the club with only one win in the last eight games. Worryingly, joint top-scorer Paco Alcacer's goals have completely dried up. Dortmund will be desperate to get their season back on track, and Alcacer back on the scoresheet at home to Stuttgart.
Another team desperate for a win is Schalke. The Royal Blues are in free-fall, having failed to win since their first game of 2019. Their last outing saw them hammered 0-4 by Fortuna Düsseldorf. Unfortunately for Schalke, opponents Werder Bremen have not lost a game this year. Their tough run looks likely to continue.
Only Bayern Munich can match Hoffenheim for the number of shots they have had this season. Both clubs' totals stand at 415. Sadly for Hoffenheim, nine fewer of those shots have ended up in the back of the net. But bottom club Nuremberg can expect a bombardment this weekend.

Matchday 25 fixtures

Werder Bremen vs. Schalke (Friday, 20:30)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Stuttgart (Saturday, 15:30)
RB Leipzig vs. Augsburg
Bayern Munich vs. Wolfsburg
Freiburg vs. Hertha Berlin

Mainz vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (Saturday, 18:30)

Hoffenheim vs. Nuremberg (Sunday, 15:30)

Hannover vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday, 18:00)

Fortuna Düsseldorf vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Monday, 20:30)

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