THE Western Tigers are in top shape ahead of their clash with the Guyana Police Force this Saturday in the final of the Limacol round-robin knockout football tournament. The team, who completed a 3-2 win over Santos last Sunday at the GFC ground, will face the boys in blue after they beat Winners Connection 2-1.Head coach Calvin Allen, however, believes that his side will be the triumphant side ,come Saturday.“Preparation has being going on smoothly, the guys are coming out in their numbers. Everyone is committed to working hard so definitely preparation been coming along nicely and we have got a few niggles here and there that we are trying to be careful with.“Outside of that, everyone is okay and in good health and (with) the chemistry in the camp we are in a good position and good place right now and we are waiting on game day, “ coach Allen said.Meanwhile, the Western side are wary of their opponents with coach Allen saying, “We’ve had a chance to sit down and look at them the other night and all through the tournament. I can see they still playing the aggressive and physical nature of football but we got a plan which we can’t disclose.“But I can tell you that we have a plan for the way we are going to combat it and hopefully we implement the plan correctly and stick to the basics,” he contended.His lineup will feature stars like Devon Millington and Hubert Pedro, both of whom played an integral part in his side’s triumph over Santos – Millington finding the back of the net thrice and Pedro with one assist.The winners of the tournament which started with 16 teams will cart off $500 000 and trophy with the second-place team will take $250 000 and trophies.Third and fourth, a battle between Santos FC and Winners Connection earlier in the evening will receive $125 000 and $75 000 respectively.Match time is 18:30hrs.
MANCHESTER City’s Champions League ambitions are in ruins once more after Lyon shocked Pep Guardiola’s side in the quarter-final in Lisbon.City started as firm favourites but came out second best against a fiercely determined Lyon in a game that swung on controversy and uncharacteristic errors in the closing stages.Lyon went ahead in the 24th minute with Maxwel Cornet’s smart finish but City, lifeless as Guardiola chose to play a three-man central defence, looked to have been revived by Kevin de Bruyne’s precise strike from Raheem Sterling’s pass after 69 minutes.Former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, on as a substitute, restored Lyon’s lead in contentious circumstances 11 minutes from time, the video assistant referee (VAR) ignoring what appeared to be an obvious foul by the goalscorer before he ran on to beat Ederson.City pressed for the equaliser but Sterling was guilty of an atrocious miss, somehow sending his finish over the top of an open goal from Gabriel Jesus’ pass.It proved to be hugely expensive as seconds later Lyon set up a semi-final meeting with Bayern Munich when Dembele scored his second after Ederson fumbled a shot from Houssem Aouar’s routine shot. GUARDIOLA MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITYGuardiola has rightly been showered in plaudits for the wonderful football and success he has brought to Manchester City – but his biggest target remains elusive and this was a miserable night for the manager.Guardiola, who has been accused of over-thinking his approach in the Champion League before, adopted a three-man central defensive system and chose to leave many of City’s creators and manipulators on the bench.Lyon deserved respect after eliminating Juventus but this was a ploy that took it too far and resulted in a stuttering City lacking urgency and creativity.He eventually introduced Riyad Mahrez after the break to some effect but Lyon were offered hope and encouragement by Guardiola’s approach and showed magnificent grit and resilience to secure the win.City will rightly claim an injustice over the VAR decision that did not penalise what appeared to be a foul on Aymeric Laporte by Dembele but the team defending for the second goal was horrific, with every City player bar keeper Ederson in the Lyon half when the goal was created when the game was finely balanced at 1-1.City and Guardiola have suffered Champions League disappointment before but this may hurt more than any other – and make no mistake, the much-feted Catalan must take his full share of responsibility for a flawed game. (BBC Sport).
MASON CITY — A north-central Iowa drug kingpin convicted for the 1993 murders of three witnesses and two children is scheduled to be executed in January after the Justice Department says it will carry out executions of federal death row inmates for the first time since 2003.Dustin Honken of Britt was convicted of the July 1993 murders of 34-year-old Greg Nicholson, 31-year-old Lori Duncan, as well as Duncan’s two children, 10-year-old Kandace and six-year-old Amber, at Duncan’s Mason City home. Honken was also convicted of murdering another informant, 32-year-old Terry DeGeus, four months later. Their five bodies were found buried in a field southwest of Mason City in the fall of 2000.Honken was one of the Midwest’s early large-scale producers of methamphetamine and was sentenced in 1997 to a 27-year term for making and distributing drugs.Honken’s girlfriend Angela Johnson was also convicted in connection with the murders and was sentenced to death, but her punishment was reduced to life in prison in 2014.US Attorney General William Barr announced Thursday morning that he’s directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to clear the way to resume capital punishment after a nearly two decade lapse.Honken’s execution is scheduled to occur on January 15th of next year at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Rashford’s recent form has helped paper over United’s lack of depth up front after they opted not to replace Romelu Lukaku, who left for Inter Milan in August.United’s midfield looks desperately short of creativity in the absence of the injured Paul Pogba and with Jesse Lingard struggling to find his best form. Scott McTominay is also currently sidelined with a knee injury, depriving the side of steel.And despite boosting their defence with the signings of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the summer transfer window at considerable cost, United do not look like a cohesive unit at the back.Maguire’s arrival has not had the same galvanising impact that Virgil van Dijk’s signing had at Liverpool, with United recording just three clean sheets in the Premier League this season. Only Norwich and Tottenham have had fewer.Solskjaer did not sound over-confident that the January transfer window would yield obvious solutions.“We are a young team and with the injuries we’ve had and illness it shows more and that’s something we are looking at,” he said.“If there is something there for us I’ve got the backing to do something but if it is not the right thing we won’t do anything.”Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish and Leicester midfielder James Maddison, as well as Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, have all seen their names linked with a move to Old Trafford.The problem is that January is a notoriously difficult time to persuade clubs to part with their best players. Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has said nobody he wants to keep will be leaving the King Power Stadium this month.Alongside the constant speculation over Pogba’s future, Solskjaer may have another headache, with reports that veteran defender Ashley Young has opened talks over a move to Inter Milan.“We can’t weaken ourselves. We’ve got to strengthen ourselves if any movement is going to happen,” Solskjaer said.Share on: WhatsApp SolskjaerLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester United’s demoralising defeat against Manchester City in their League Cup semi-final laid bare their desperate need for reinforcements if they are to salvage anything from their stuttering season.United conceded three first-half goals in a match at Old Trafford for the first time since May 1997 on Tuesday in their chastening 3-1 first-leg loss against Pep Guardiola’s men.Bernardo Silva’s wonder strike, Riyad Mahrez’s cool finish and an own goal from Andreas Pereira put City well on course for a third straight final before Marcus Rashford gave the hosts faint hope for the second leg on January 29.The defeat was another stark reminder that United are light years behind the standards set by Premier League pacesetters Liverpool and defending champions City.Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said there would be no easy solutions as United attempt to claw their way back to the top of English football.“I’ve said before it is not going to be a quick fix and the two teams you are talking about are probably two of the best teams in the world,” he said.“That’s the task we have ahead of us, it’s something that we’ve started. You can see we are still a way off but we’ve started something that needed doing.”The problem is that the shoots of recovery are hard to decipher, with United short of technical quality and fight against City.United have had some impressive performances this season — including a 2-1 victory at City in the league last month, wins against Chelsea and Spurs and a draw at home against Liverpool.But they have stumbled badly against sides they would expect to beat, losing to Watford, Bournemouth, Newcastle and West Ham, and face a tough battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.– United flaws –There are problems for Solskjaer to solve all over the pitch.
Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is seen during during a news conference where his contract extension was discussed before a spring exhibition baseball game against the New York Yankees in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, March 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Starling Marte wants to be part of what he hopes will be a long run of success for the Pittsburgh Pirates.Less than two years after his major league debut, the 25-year-old outfielder finalized a $31 million, six-year contract with the Pirates on Thursday.“There are a lot of reasons,” Marte said through interpreter Peter Greenberg, his agent. “I didn’t feel I needed to wait because I like where I am. I have confidence in the organization and I feel comfortable.”Marte receives a $2 million signing bonus from the Pirates, who are coming off their first postseason appearance since 1991. He gets salaries of $500,000 this season, $1 million next year, $3 million in 2016, $5 million in 2017, $7.5 million in 2018 and $10 million in 2019.Pittsburgh has an $11.5 million option for 2020 with a $2 million buyout. If that option is exercised, the Pirates have a $12.5 million option for 2021 with a $1 million buyout.If Marte finishes among the top five in MVP in any of the next six seasons, the option prices would increase by $500,000 each. If he finishes among the top five in 2020, the option for the next year would go up by $500,000. The option prices can increase by a maximum of $1 million each.The deal replaces a one-year contract agreed to earlier this month that would have paid him $516,000 while in the major leagues and $300,000 while in the minors. He would have been eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season and for free agency after the 2018 World Series.Marte hit .280 with 12 homers, 35 RBIs and a team-high 41 steals last year, his first full season in the majors. When he made his big league debut at Houston on July 26, 2012, he led off the game with a first-pitch home run against Dallas Keuchel.Marte has a .275 career batting average with 53 stolen bases and a .773 on-base plus slugging percentage.“This is something that’s part of our plan to sign young men who are going to be great players,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “We feel very fortunate Starling was willing to commit to us as we were willing to commit to him.”Marte becomes Pittsburgh’s fourth player with a deal beyond 2014: right-hander Charlie Morton and outfielder Jose Tabata have contracts through 2016 and outfielder Andrew McCutchen through 2017.“It’s an exciting time,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re not trying to build a house. We’re trying to create a home. This is tangible evidence that we’re creating a place where players want to be, a place where they want to thrive, a place where players want to settle.”Notes: Pittsburgh acquired OF Keon Broxton from Arizona for a player to be named and assigned him to Altoona of the Double-A Eastern League. … The Pirates optioned RHP Brandon Cumpton to Indianapolis of the Triple-A International League.