Both teams were neck and neck and by half time the score was 22-21 to the Pepes.Both teams scored seven goals each in the third quarter to leave the Pepes holding a 1 point lead.It went right down to the wire with 8 goals apiece scored in the last quarter from the two teams with the Pepes coming out victors.This is the fourth consecutive win for the Pepes.Today is an off day for all teams.Games resume tomorrow with the Pepes scheduled to take on Northern Ireland at 5pm (7pm PNG time).Photo Credit: Netball Singapore
Up for grabs is a berth in the final qualifying tournament for next year’s World T20 Championships in the West Indies.The PNG Lewas are strong favourites after winning last year’s 50 over regional qualifier in Apia.They’re up against Vanuatu in today’s opening round in Sano and assistant coach Arua Dikana backed them to do well.”The last couple of months we’ve been training well in PNG,” he said.”We are really good at the moment and we have some players who can win matches and cricket is a funny game where we expect anything.”We have prepared for this tournament as favourites so we are looking forward to the first game.”Vanuatu did not take part in the the 50 over qualifying tournament for East Asia Pacific but coach Eddie Mansale believed they could produce an upset.”Everyone knows we’re underdogs here – we rank last in the tournament,” he said.”But we still feel the team had a good year last year. All year as preparation we’re doing skills work a lot and yeah we’re ready.””None of these team here are going to look up to Vanuatu in a way,” said Mansale.”We are well prepared and we’re looking to do a lot of damage in this tournament – we’re going to upset some big names around here.”
The 15th edition of the annual tournament started on Friday and has 54 teams doing battle at Kone Tigers and Kaugere Oval.“We’ve had no hiccups and things are going well. No trouble and people are coming out in numbers to watch every day.“Thank you again to the NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, for continuing to support this. It’s a great way to keep the youths out of trouble during the festive period.”Mote said the total prize money for the tournament will be confirmed by next week.
FC Morobe dominated the first half and took a 2-nil lead at the break thanks to a double from Joshua Gwae.Strikers began their fight back in the 53rd with a goal to Pettyshen Elizah.But the boys from Morobe put the deficit back to two points when Phillip Steven powered one past the keeper.Two goals to left flanker, Kenneth Arah in the space of three minutes put the game right back in the balance, with the score now locked up, and with twenty minutes left on the clock.The winner came in the 85th minute through the boot of Gregory Togubai who flicked it into the nets to give the city boys their first taste of victory in the National Soccer League.The match however was marred by player violence that saw Striker’s Laventine Munou and FC Morobe’s Jason Farrock red carded in additional time“The plan at half-time was just to get back to the basics. I’m happy with the win but there are still a lot of areas that need improvement, said Strikers coach, Margaret Aka.In other results from round four, Madang FC def. Buang FC 6-1 at Laiwaden Oval and Toti City FC def. FC Momase 2-1 at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.
Manchester United have agreed a £75 million deal for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Thursday.The move, which is not connected to any talks of a Wayne Rooney deal in the opposite direction, is expected to be formally announced within the next 36 hours.Lukaku had been United’s number one target for next season, the source said.United will not now be pursuing any interest in Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.“Chelsea’s interest in Lukaku allowed United to fly under the radar on this,” the source said. “But he has been the club’s number one target.”There had been much speculation that the Belgian international would return to Chelsea, which he joined in 2011.Last season Lukaku became the first Everton player since Bob Latchford to score 25 goals in two consecutive seasons in all competitions.The Belgian was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the first time, and was also included in the six player shortlists for the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards.
Manchester City were forced to defend deep in the final stages at Watford on Tuesday but ensured their juggernaut kept rolling on with a 2-1 victory that extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points.The champions, who are unbeaten in the league, were again without Sergio Aguero but close-season signing Riyad Mahrez showed his worth by setting up Leroy Sane for the first goal before scoring himself.Bournemouth moved up to sixth with a 2-1 home win over lowly Huddersfield Town, while there comfortable wins for West Ham United and 10-man Brighton & Hove Albion.City were having trouble finding a way past Watford keeper Ben Foster at Vicarage Road but the Englishman will not want to see the replay of him being beaten by the chest of Leroy Sane five minutes before the break after a Mahrez cross.Algerian Mahrez then fired home himself shortly after halftime to set Pep Guardiola’s marauding side on the way to what looked like an easy victory.Watford did not give up and Abdoulaye Doucoure fired in from close range five minutes from time. The hosts, without a win since October, pushed City deep into their own half but could not stop them claiming a 13th win in 15 league games this term.Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser notched a goal and an assist each to snap the south-coast side’s four-game losing streak with a 2-1 home win over Huddersfield Town.Wilson gave the hosts the lead after five minutes with a superb header from a free kick that Fraser whipped in. Wilson returned the favour 17 minutes later by passing to the unmarked Fraser who slotted the ball past keeper Jonas Lossl.Terence Kongolo pulled one back for the visitors seven minutes before halftime as Bournemouth’s shaky defence failed to clear a high ball and the defender headed in. But it was not enough to stop Eddie Howe’s side moving up to sixth.Brighton were reduced to 10 men in the ‘M23 derby’ against Crystal Palace but still ran out comfortable 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Glenn Murray, Leon Balogun and Florin Andone.Murray converted a 24th minute spot kick for his ninth goal of the season before Shane Duffy was sent off for a clash with Patrick van Aanholt after a penalty appeal was turned down.The hosts doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark through substitute Balogun before Andone scored the third in first half stoppage time.Luka Milivojevic converted a late penalty for Palace after a foul on Wilfried Zaha but it was too late for Roy Hodgson’s side who slipped to 15th, three points above the relegation zone.Three is a magic number for West Ham with the 3-1 victory over Cardiff City at the London Stadium being their third successive win and they have scored three goals in each.Lucas Perez came off the bench to score twice shortly after halftime before Michail Antonio headed home a third.Josh Murphy bundled in a consolation for 16th-placed Cardiff at the end but, with the bottom three sides all playing on Wednesday, Neil Warnock’s men could be in the relegation zone by the time they welcome Southampton on Saturday.
Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table remains four points after their topsy-turvy 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday while Manchester City beat Huddersfield 3-0 in Yorkshire on Sunday.Here are five talking points from the weekend’s Premier League action:TOP TWO WIN BUT BOTH ARE LABOURINGNeither Liverpool nor Manchester City looked anywhere near their best and it was hard not to have the feeling that the pair of them appear a little tired.The hectic festive programme takes a toll on all English teams but while Liverpool’s front three all scored and looked dangerous, they lacked the dynamism in midfield that has characterised their rise this season.While the result at bottom-placed Huddersfield never looked in doubt, City were also sluggish in the first half, lacking their trademark zip and sharpness in their passing and movement.They missed the contributions of David Silva and Bernardo Silva, who both started on the bench, with Pep Guardiola perhaps having half an eye already on February’s resumption of Champions League action.SALAH’S REPUTATIONAL RISK Against Palace, Mohamed Salah, who scored twice to take his Premier League career tally to 50 goals, was involved in another incident where, to use the popular euphemism for diving, he “went down too easily”.This has happened too often this campaign and the Egyptian, a wonderful player with extraordinary agility and skill, needs to ask himself if he really needs to engage in such behaviour?Defenders are already afraid of touching him in the box and they have a hard enough time trying to tackle him when he has the ball at his feet. He doesn’t need to trick referees.INJURIES WRECKING SPURS’ SEASON? Tottenham Hotspur not surprisingly looked much less of an attacking threat at Fulham on Sunday without Harry Kane, who is out until March with an ankle ligament injury.It did not help that Son Heung-min, the team’s other goal threat, was also absent, on duty at the Asian Cup with South Korea.The pressure was on Dele Alli to contribute more in the final third and he responded with the equalising header but then picked up a hamstring injury later in the game.Mauricio Pochettino must hope that when Son returns from the Asia Cup in February he does so fully fit and ready for a crucial few weeks.WHAT IS IT ABOUT CHELSEA?Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte both left Chelsea after troubled relationships with the players and now Maurizio Sarri has described them as lacking “sufficient motivation” and not being “mentally solid” following their loss to Arsenal.The Italian’s words raised the question of whether this could be another season that features talk of attitude problems among Chelsea players.Mourinho and Conte are both managers with short fuses, but Sarri is widely seen as a calm figure, albeit one with a very fixed idea of how to play the game. Yet all three have found it tricky to keep the Chelsea dressing room onside.Chelsea no longer have the English ‘core’ of Frank Lampard and John Terry that enjoyed so much success alongside their array of international talent.There are several players heading into the latter years of their careers and their star performer, Eden Hazard, is constantly rumoured to be a target of Real Madrid.Is the time coming for a major squad makeover at Chelsea? WAGNER’S UNUSUAL DEPARTUREGerman David Wagner left bottom club Huddersfield Town last week and, for once, the phrase ‘by mutual consent’ does not appear to have been a polite code for “we sacked him”.Huddersfield were struggling in the Championship when Wagner took over and, with a limited budget, he took them up into the Premier League via the playoffs, bringing top-flight football to the Yorkshire town for the first time in 45 years.Last season, Huddersfield survived against all the odds, with Wagner motivating a modest side to battle all through the year, so it was refreshing to see so many warm tributes to the German from Huddersfield players and supporters.Most managerial reigns end in bitter splits with fans turning against men they once deified. Wagner and Huddersfield showed it doesn’t have to be that way.
Marcus Rashford scored a last-gap penalty awarded after a Video Assistant Referee intervention as Manchester United stunned Paris St Germain 3-1 away to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals on Wednesday.Never in Europe’s premium club competition had a team progressed after a 2-0 home defeat but Rashford’s stoppage-time penalty made sure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side advanced in the most dramatic fashion.The visitors, severely depleted by injuries, went ahead twice in the first half through Romelu Lukaku but Juan Bernat equalised for the French champions in between.PSG were advancing to the last eight 3-2 on aggregate before referee Damir Skomina awarded United a penalty for a Presnel Kimpembe handball after a lengthy delay for the VAR review and Rashford lashed home the spot-kick to level the tie at 3-3 and send United through on away goals.On the 106 occasions in Europe’s premium club competition a team had lost the first leg 2-0 at home — it happened 106 times — managed to qualify for the following round.PSG had only lost two of their last 50 European games at the Parc des Princes.Solskjaer, who had half of this starters missing the game through suspension, illness or injury, had said his team needed to score the opening goal to make it happen.It could not have started better for the visitors, who went ahead after Lukaku intercepted a backpass from Thilo Kehrer, rounded Gianluigi Buffon and slid the ball into the empty net.But PSG confiscated the ball and the equaliser seemed unevitable. It came in the 12th minute, when Bernat latched onto a Mbappe cross to restore parity.The hosts continued to toy with their opponents with Bernat and Angel Di Maria both coming close as United were left chasing the ball around.But on their second chance, United took the advantage again.Buffon let a fierce Marcus Rashford shot bounce off his chest in the path of Lukaku, who poked the rebound home in the 30th.PSG continued to impose their possessive pattern on the game after the break and Angel Di Maria had a goal disallowed for offside after collecting a slick through ball from Mbappe.United threatened on the break but Tuchel’s side were more compact and composed than before the interval.Julian Draxler suffered a possible muscle injury and was replaced by Leandro Paredes int he 70th minute.PSG had a sword of Damocles above their heads but two years after being stunned 6-1 at Barcelona after a 4-0 home win in the last-16 tie, this time held their overall advantage.Mbappe slipped in front of David De Gea as he seemed en route to score at the end of a counter attack with Bernat firing the abandoned ball onto the post in the 85th.
Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants to return to football soon but says he is at a crossroads and is not sure if he should take up another role as manager.Wenger left Arsenal at the end of the 2017-18 season after 22 years in charge of the London club where he won three Premier League titles and a record seven FA Cups.The 69-year-old has kept himself busy as a television pundit and conference speaker since leaving the Gunners and said in October that he had received offers to return to football from all over the world.“You will see me again in football. As a manager… I don’t know,” Wenger told reporters on Thursday. “I thought I would come back into management very quickly but I enjoyed taking a little distance. Now I’m at a crossroads.“Football is still my passion. I’ll come back soon, but I cannot tell you exactly in what capacity.”The Frenchman also described the nearly 6,000-mile round trip fans would have to make from London to Baku for next week’s Europa League final as a “nightmare”.Arsenal face London rivals Chelsea in the Azerbaijan capital on Wednesday with victory guaranteeing Wenger’s former club a spot in the Champions League, but European soccer governing body UEFA has been roundly criticised for its choice of venue.“It’s a little bit of a nightmare (for supporters),” Wenger said. “The teams have no problem. They live in ideal conditions, they have their private jets.”Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not travel with the team after the Armenian national decided to skip the final amid concerns over his safety due to political tensions between Azerbaijan and his native country.“(Mkhitaryan’s situation) is something that should not happen in football,” Wenger added. “I feel it’s not normal that in 2019 — inside Europe with very sophisticated democracies — that you cannot play for political reasons.”
As Roger Federer prepares to take on Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s Wimbledon final, he knows there is little he can do now to improve his chances of winning a 21st Grand Slam title — all the work has been done.“This is like a school,” the Swiss 37-year-old said. “The day of the test, you’re not going to read… many books that day. You don’t have the time anyhow.“It’s quite clear the work was done way before. It’s been a rock solid year (for me)… the stars are aligned right now. From that standpoint I can go into the match very confident.”With eight Wimbledon titles in his locker, Federer has every right to be confident. But Djokovic is himself a four-times champion, and can equal the great Bjorn Borg with victory for a fifth crown.More importantly, the Serb beat Federer in the final here in 2014 and 2015.“We all know how good he is anywhere, but especially here,” Djokovic said of the Swiss.“This surface complements his game very much. He loves to play very fast. Takes away the time from his opponent. Just doesn’t give you any same looks.“He just rushes you to everything. So for players maybe like Nadal or myself that like to have a little more time, it’s a constant pressure that you have to deal with.“I’ve played with Roger in some epic finals here a couple years in a row, so I know what to expect. Of course, I’m going to be excited and nervous and everything that you can think of.“I’m going to do my best to control that in some way and be able to portray my best tennis in a balanced, hopefully, state throughout the match.”Federer was sublime in beating Rafa Nadal in Friday’s semi-final, whereas Djokovic was not tested nearly so much against Roberto Bautista Agut.The Swiss will need to match those heights again on Sunday to end a four-match losing streak against Sunday’s opponent.It would be unwise to bet against him managing that, but many commentators make top seed Djokovic the favourite.“For Sunday’s match, it’s hard to not see Novak as a pretty strong, clear favourite for the title because Federer‘s weapon is probably his serve, and Novak finds a way to neutralise that,” said former world number one Mats Wilander.“Federer‘s serve is not that hard, but well placed… so Novak will get a play on most serves and then he’s in the rally straight away.“If you look at everything, then you say that the weakest part of Djokovic’s game is as good asFederer‘s, he’s stronger in a couple of places such as movement, the return of serve and the backhand. I think it’s going to be tough. I think Djokovic is going to feel pressure, that’s for sure, but then for Federer it might be his last chance.”