Fajardo pushes past fatigue to deliver masterful performance View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism All eyes will be on new POC president Ricky Vargas who has been caught in a tricky and testy situation, though no fault of his own.For Vargas, it would be like appearing in his first Masters tournament, with no solid idea of what’s waiting out there.He can’t be expected to readily produce wonders but, at the same time, Vargas cannot afford to go bogey-bogey and fumble in his opening round.There are daunting obstacles, but there are also bright possibilities, like in athletics.Vargas may have to turn to his boxers, he happens to head the Alliances of Boxing Associations in the ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles03:22SEA Games 2019: Charly Suarez stops Burmese foe, advances to boxing semi02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Philippines (Abap), which returned without a single gold from the last Asiad.The boxers have been holed up in Baguio, working day and night.It will all depend on how coaches and trainers will utilize the remaining short period to upgrade and be ready against tested warriors, mainly from the former Soviet states like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.In the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the boxing team played silly and flat, with its lone entry, Rogen Ladon, freezing and bombing out in his first round assignment.There’s nothing clear on what steps have been taken, although a lead member of the national coaching staff said they plan to venture into more foreign tournaments to toughen up for the Asiad.Of course, Vargas has also been quoted as saying the main goal of his fresh tenure in the POC is to win the Philippines first Olympic gold medal.It’s truly a noble goal but Vargas must be reminded that winning the first Olympic gold medal for the country can’t be a cure at all.Now is the time to overhaul and change a prior system that had been mired in mediocrity, no thanks to neglect, misdirection, greed and selfishness of those who used their office as a ticket to all-expenses excursions to the Olympics and various other foreign tournaments. Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims LATEST STORIES Were our national athletes underfed or poorly prepared during the lengthy failed reign of Peping Cojuangco as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee?Only the athletes themselves can provide the answer, although the intriguing rush to get ready and catch the bus to this year’s Asian Games in Indonesia should also help trace how, where and why top national sports leaders, previously headed by Cojuangco, have missed and faltered.ADVERTISEMENT The forthcoming Asiad could also provide rare moments to shine and make up for the dismal national delegation performance in Incheon four years ago.It’s a tough task but, for starters, the Philippine Sports Commission has ordered a 24-hour feeding service for all national athletes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownAdd to that the fact that PSC Chair William Ramirez has spearheaded massive preparations, while new POC chair Bambol Tolentino hammered hard to harness the support of all national sports associations, no matter how late.Ramirez was overheard as warning the Asiad clock is ticking fast. It’s indeed a lot closer than we think. MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’
Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding LATEST STORIES MOST READ It will be the NBA’s ninth regular-season game in London, all sellouts. The Knicks have played there twice, facing the Detroit Pistons in 2013 and the Milwaukee Bucks in 2015. This will be the Wizards’ debut in London.International players on the rosters include Wizards center Marcin Gortat of Poland, Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis of Latvia and Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina, who was born in Belgium to Rwandan parents and grew up in France.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThe game will be shown by the NBA’s broadcast partners across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and on NBA League Pass International. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments FILE – Tim Hardaway Jr. #3 of the New York Knicks works against the Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards in the fourth quarter during their game at Madison Square Garden on February 14, 2018 in New York City. Abbie Parr/Getty Images/AFPLONDON — The NBA will return to London next year with a regular-season game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks.Tickets for the Jan. 17 game at the O2 Arena go on sale in the fall.ADVERTISEMENT Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Goatee & goals turn this into Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “They can expect an aggressive and determined Gina Iniong. Anything can happen in a fight and I don’t want it to go the judges’ scorecards,” said Iniong (7-4).Pacio was the first of Team Lakay’s World champions to lose his strap when he lost his World strawweight belt to Yosuke Saruta on Jan. 19 while Eustaquio lost his World flyweight championship to Adriano Moraes six days later.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsIniong, a six-time Philippine Wushu Champion, was regarded as one of the best atomweights coming up in ONE promotion having won her first matches in the promotion until she lost to Mei Yamaguchi in November of 2017 via unanimous decision.She then went on to split her next two matches winning against Jenny Huang via unanimous decision before losing to Istela Nunes in the same manner in her last fight on July 7, 2018. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READ Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Filpina dynamo Gina Iniong from Team Lakay. ONE CHAMPIONSHP PHOTOMANILA, Philippines—Watching her stablemates Geje Eustaquio and Joshua Pacio lose their gold in ONE Championship lit up a fire in Gina Iniong and she vowed to win every single fight presented upon her with conviction.Iniog will take her first step towards her personal quest when she takes on Jhin Radzuan in the undercard of ONE: Clash of Legends on Feb. 16 at Impact Arena in Bangkok.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Despite her recent struggles, Iniong is determined to put on a show and start off 2019 on the right foot.“I am still hoping to get a shot at the ONE Women’s World atomweight title and fight Angela Lee,” said Iniong. “One of my dreams is to challenge her because I want to be a World champion.”“I am working double hard in training by pushing myself to the limits. I follow my coaches’ advise in every turn. We focus on my weaknesses in training and they gave me a lot of time on my ground game.”ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PBA: Shorthanded Alaska demolishes Columbian
The Prime Minister (PM) of Canada, Justin Pierre James Trudeau, will arrive in Liberia on November 24, for a two-day official visit to the country.During his stay, Prime Minister Trudeau is expected to hold bilateral talks with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, cabinet members and other senior officials of the Liberian government.A Press release issued by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said the Canadian Prime Minister’s visit will focus on the health sector, gender and children issues in post-Ebola Liberia.Prime Minister Trudeau, who is widely believed to be a strong women and children defender, will hold a roundtable forum with a cross-section of Liberian women and children and also visit a health facility in Monrovia. The visit will be his first to Africa since he took office in 2015. He will be accompanied by more than one hundred delegates including other high profile dignitaries and journalists.He is the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada. He married Sophie Gregoire in 2005 and they have three children.Trudeau developed political interest in the Liberal Party from a young age and served in various positions in the party before becoming Prime Minister in 2015. Mr. Trudeau was born December 25, 1971. He is the Leader of the Liberal Party. The second-youngest Prime Minister after Joe Clark, he is also, as the eldest son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the first child of a previous Prime Minister to hold the post. Born in Ottawa, Trudeau attended CollègeJean-de-Brébeuf and graduated from McGill University in 1994 and the University of British Columbia in 1998. He gained a high public profile in October 2000 when he delivered a eulogy at his father’s state funeral. After graduating, he worked as a teacher in Vancouver, British Columbia. He completed one year of an engineering program at Montreal’s l’École Polytechnique before deciding to quit the program in 2003. In 2005 he began a master’s degree in environmental geography at Montreal’s McGill University and quit this program after one year. He used his public profile to advocate for various causes and acted in the 2007 TV miniseries The Great War. Eight years after his father’s death, Trudeau became involved in politics. In the 2008 federal election, he was elected to represent the riding of Papineau in the House of Commons. In 2009, he was appointed the Liberal Party’s critic for youth and multiculturalism, and the following year, became critic for citizenship and immigration. In 2011, he was appointed as critic for secondary education and youth and amateur sport. Trudeau won the leadership of the Liberal Party in April 2013 and went on to lead his party to victory in the 2015 federal election, moving the third-placed Liberals from 36 seats to 184 seats, the largest-ever numerical increase by a party in a Canadian election.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
They and their ancestors have been there since the first several years of President Arthur Barclay’s Administration. It was he who in 1904 established the Liberian Frontier Force (LFF), now Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).Yes, it was the Lormas of Lofa County who first volunteered and were recruited to join the LFF. These patriotic Liberians came in droves to join LFF, along with their wives and children, to be joined by other family and ethnic members.The LFF, however, could not accommodate all of them within the barracks, which were named the Barclay Training Center (BTC), in honor of President Arthur Barclay. Many of the LFF soldiers’ relations, therefore, settled in a slum area next to the barracks, and that area became known as “Buzzi Quarter,” after a powerful Lorma chief named Buzzi. The name was so popular that it became synonymous with the tribe. Because the soldiers’ wages were so low, they could not afford plusher accommodations elsewhere for their relatives who, therefore, stayed right next door to BTC. They have for over a century remained in that slum environment with no proper housing, no running water and no adequate toilet and sanitation facilities. Buzzi Quarter has thus remained the slum closest to Liberia’s power center, ever since the late 1950s and early 1960s when the Capitol Building, home of the National Legislature, the Temple of Justice and presidential palace, the Executive Mansion (1964), were erected. Then about three years ago our Chinese friends, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), decided to give to our President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a most generous gift—US$60 million to build a Ministerial Complex to house Liberia’s Executive offices. This newspaper quickly jumped to the rescue of Buzzi Quarter and suggested that the area be chosen as the location for the new Ministerial Complex. We gave what we thought were three tangible reasons. First, it would at once remove the smelly sore eye from underneath the seat of Liberia’s power center.Second, it would place all of the government ministries in direct and most convenient distance from the country’s power center—the Capitol Building, the Temple of Justice and the Executive Mansion. And third, it would at once clean out one of the capital city’s worst slum areas and turn it into a modern part of the Monrovia metropolis. Pitched against the backdrop of the picturesque Atlantic Ocean, the citing of the Ministerial Complex at Buzzi Quarter would turn the entire area into one of the most beautiful and glittering tourist attractions in the Liberian capital!In order to buttress its proposal and make it more palatable, the Daily Observer sent its former Lofa Correspondent, now assigned to the Environment and Roads, Edwin Fayia, to talk with the Buzzi Quarter people to find out how they would react to the Ministerial Complex being built in their area. The people—every single one of them—wholeheartedly welcomed the idea and let it be known that they would willingly be relocated. “We cannot and will not stand in the way of development,” they told Fayia. But GOL would have none of that. Instead, GOL demanded that ELWA, to which the Tubman administration awarded several acres of land on the Atlantic Ocean for an international evangelical radio station, a hospital and schools, cede some of their land for the Ministerial Complex. The Daily Observer editorially said that would be unwise for three reasons. First, it would be too far from the center of power; second, how would GOL employees travel to and from work with traffic blocked when there was a major national or international sporting or other event at the S.K.D. Sports Complex? And third, the newspaper warned the government that it should not try to pick fuss with God. Tubman had given the land to the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) to promote evangelism through broadcasting, education and health—all serious religious initiatives. Who in his or her right mind could quarrel with that? The GOL backed off and decided to place the Ministerial Center at Peace Island, but the tens of thousands of people, mostly ex-soldiers, already inhabiting there vigorously resisted. So finally, GOL has decided to squeeze the Ministerial Complex in the immediate vicinity of the unfinished Defense Ministry building.We still strongly believe that GOL’s failure to transform the Buzzi Quarter slum into a glittering, paved, tree-lined, Ministerial Park, FREELY built with money our Chinese friends are willing to spend, would be a most painful, most pitiful and most unfortunate opportunity missed! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The 2016/1017 Liberia Football Association 1st division championship will this weekend continue with the 12 teams returning to action after match day 17.At the Blue Field in the PHP community tomorrow, defending champion Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) will go against Watanga FC in the day’s lone match.The Go Blue Boys will be looking to repeat their 2-0 score line, or more, in their last match against Keitrace after forward Prince Saydee and skipper Van-Dave Harmon came off the bench to secure the three points for the champion club.A win for them will see them move to second on the table with 34 points.BYC has collected six points from their previous two matches against FC Fassel and Keitrace FC. Tomorrow’s match will be newly appointed coach Robert Lartey’s third match, and first at the blue field since his return to the club.With six points above 9th place LPRC Oilers, Watanga will increase their lead against the Oilers if they secure a win at the Blue Field. Having won only one match against IE in their previous league match, it will be intriguing to see them secure two consecutive wins in phase two of the championship. They also have to put up a defensive composure to avoid another defeat, as a defeat will create an opportunity for LPRC to close the gap between them.On Saturday, it will be another tough moment for coach Gabriel Johns after losing two consecutive matches against LPRC Oilers and BYC in his last two games as his side welcomes league leaders FC Fassel in the day’s first encounter.Keitrace are currently seated 6th on the league table and will lose their position as title contenders if they concede another defeat.FC Fassel with two wins out of their last five matches need to continue their winning form to maintain their first position on the league table as the season draws to an end.Coach Sam Chebli’s leading goal scorer, skipper James Walatee, who has been off the score sheet for the past three league matches, needs to put on his scoring boot to help his side for their next five league matches.In the day’s second encounter, the Church Boys of Jubilee FC will go against 9th place LPRC Oilers at the ATS.The Church Boys are seated 7th on the log and will be looking to recover from their defeat to the Soccer Missionaries (FC Fassel) in their last league match. A lone goal from Sidiki Kromah in the 76th minute on Monday saw the Church Boys conceding their second defeat in phase two of the championship.The final matches in round-18 of the league will climax on Sunday, with two games at the ATS and a match at the North Star Stadium in the Mount Barclay community.In Sunday’s first match, second and third place LISCR FC and Monrovia Club Breweries will battle for top positions in the first encounter.Undefeated LISCR FC are second on the log and a point above MC Breweries, who are in the third position. The first leg between both sides ended 1-0 after Christopher Jackson netted a lone goal for the Shipping Boys.The Shipping Boys have secured four victories and a draw in their last five matches, while their opponents MC Breweries have secured three wins and two draws in their last five matches.In game two at the ATS, Liberia’s traditional rivals Invincible Eleven and Mighty Barrolle will clash in another ‘rivalry battle.’A late goal from striker Julius Woto in the first leg between the two sides witnessed the Kayan Pepper Boys collecting the three points against the Sunshine Yellow Boys.Though the two teams are in the relegation zone, the match between the two sides is Liberia’s oldest rivalry that many old folks will turn out to witness.The final match will be at the North Star Stadium, home to Nimba United, when they take on another relegation side, ELWA United.Nimba United have won three and drew two of their last five matches, while ELWA United have drawn two and lost three out their last five league games.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Champion Para-cyclist Walter Grant-Stuart is still daring to dream of competing at the 2020 Summer Para-Olympics to be held in Tokyo, Japan; but in order to do so, the next hurdle he must cross is being able to compete in the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup, which will be hosted in Emmen, the Netherlands, from July 6 to July 8, 2018, and that is a mere two weeks away.Last April, Grant-Stuart rode his way to a gold medal in the UCI Para-Cycling Road Race and time trials at Circuit Gilles-Villenueve in Montreal, Canada; and it is generally considered that he is eminently poised to medal, or even record a win, at this international competition.This differently-abled cyclist, who lost his arm in an accident some years ago, even competes against abled-bodied cyclists and demolishes the competition by miles.However, every dream has its attendant obstacles, and in Grant-Stuart’s case, the obstacle is financing. The air fare to the Netherlands for him alone is well over half a million Guyana dollars; and with the added expenses of accommodation, meals, transportation around the Netherlands, and registration for the competition, the total expense for him to realise his dream currently sits at one million, two hundred and fifty-seven thousand, five hundred Guyana dollars (Gy$1,257,500), the equivalent of roughly US$5,850. At the moment, Grant-Stuart has only Gy$320,000 — a sum that is woefully inadequate to enable him to make the historic trip.As such, family members and friends of this promising Para-Cyclist are appealing to the private sector, the Guyanese diaspora, and any Good Samaritan out there for monetary assistance IN ANY AMOUNT in order to make Grant-Stuart’s dream become a reality.The National Sports Commission and its Director, Christopher Jones, have solemnly promised to contribute to Grant-Stuart’s Netherlands trip, although the amount of that support is as yet unknown.Grant-Stuart can be contacted on Tel # 684-6625 or 611-9102. He is counting on your support to help him realise his dream.
Just seven months old, Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern stands to inherit a fortune if the legal battles her mother left her ever get resolved. The baby could potentially inherit millions from the estate of Smith’s late husband, J. Howard Marshall II. The former model had been fighting the Texas oil tycoon’s family over his estimated $500 million fortune since his death in 1995, and that battle remains unresolved. It remains unclear how much, if any, of the Marshall estate Dannielynn could ever hope to obtain, and whether her guardian would have any access to the money. Even Smith’s own estate remains unresolved. A 2001 will released after her death in February said her fortune should be held in trust for her son, but he’s dead now. The 19-page will named Stern as her executor, but did not say how much Smith was worth or how much her daughter might inherit. Smith gave birth to Dannielynn in September, then saw her 20-year-old son Daniel die days later at her bedside from a lethal combination of drugs. She died on Feb. 8, at the age of 39, also from a deadly mix of prescription drugs. NASSAU, Bahamas – In a soap opera ending to the latest chapter of the Anna Nicole Smith drama, two of her baby’s would-be fathers – one jubilant, the other grim – emerged from a pink Bahamas courthouse to hundreds of fans and paparazzi photographers. It was the sort of scene – carried live on cable TV – that would be relished by many who followed the life and death of the small-town Texas girl who became famous for being famous, first as a Playboy Playmate and later as the star of her own reality TV series. Photographer Larry Birkhead, Smith’s former boyfriend, was the center of attention Tuesday, pumping his fist and proclaiming “I hate to be the one who told you this, but I told you so: I’m the father!” DNA tests on blood samples taken from the baby girl and Birkhead proved it, confirmed the court’s expert, Dr. Michael Baird, as the cameras whirred and clicked. Birkhead, who broke up with Smith before she moved to the Bahamas in July, had been seeking custody of the girl for months, but first he had to get past Howard K. Stern, Smith’s lawyer-turned-companion. Stern was listed on the birth certificate as the father of Dannielynn and had been taking care of the child at the gated, oceanfront mansion the couple shared in the Bahamas. “I’m obviously very disappointed, but my feelings for Dannielynn have not changed,” Stern said outside the courthouse, where the two men shook hands and embraced before the cameras. Stern said he would support Birkhead in the next round of the custody dispute, which comes Friday as a Bahamas judge considers the claim of Smith’s mother, Virgie Arthur. “I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure he gets sole custody,” Stern said. Stern also said Birkhead would be welcome to come over to the mansion as soon as he wanted, and for as long as he wanted, to see Dannielynn.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
0Shares0000Argentina’s Lionel Messi (R) runs next to teammate Emiliano Rigoni during a training session in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires, on October 8, 2017, two days ahead of their FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier match against Ecuador, to be held in Quito © AFP / ALEJANDRO PAGNIQuito, Ecuador, Oct 10 – Lionel Messi and Argentina will be fighting for their World Cup lives here Tuesday as the South American heavyweights take on Ecuador aiming to avoid a humiliating failure to qualify for next year’s finals in Russia.The eyes of the football world will turn to Quito’s Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa to see if the once unthinkable prospect of a World Cup without Messi is to become a stunning reality. The two-time World Cup winners head into the final round of South American qualifiers in sixth place, outside the top four positions which grant automatic qualification and trailing fifth-placed Peru, who occupy the playoff spot, on goal difference.Yet with only two points separating third-placed Chile (26 points) from seventh-placed Paraguay (24), any number of permutations are possible.Argentina can simplify the equation for their nervous fans, however, if they manage to take all three points in Quito when the action kicks off at 6:30pm local time (2330 GMT).Ecuador’s players take part in a training session in Quito, on October 8, 2017, two days ahead of their FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier match against Argentina © AFP / JUAN RUIZA victory would guarantee they finish no worse than fifth place, putting them into a two-legged play-off against New Zealand they would be expected to win.But winning in the thin air of Quito, which is 2,850 metres (9,350 feet) above sea level, may be easier said than done.The Argentinians have an abysmal record in away games against Ecuador, with their last victory in Quito coming in 2001.Since then in World Cup qualifying games, they have been beaten twice, in 2005 and 2009, before scraping a 1-1 draw in 2013.Barcelona star Messi also has a record of struggling in games at altitude, vomiting on the pitch during a draw in the rarefied air of Bolivia four years ago.– ‘A catastrophe’ –The 30-year-old five-time Ballon D’Or winner also heads into the game knowing that next year’s finals in Russia may be his final chance to emulate Diego Maradona by winning a World Cup.The 2014 World Cup finalists face their moment of truth after a series of uninspiring performances that has the sporting world scratching its head at how a squad bristling with so much attacking talent has found scoring so difficult.Despite being able to call upon Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria throughout the campaign, Argentina have only scored 16 times in 17 games.Last Thursday’s 0-0 stalemate with Peru in Buenos Aires was Argentina’s third consecutive draw. The Albiceleste have now scored only once in their past four qualifying games.Beleaguered coach Jorge Sampaoli — the third of the qualifying campaign — has called on his players to follow Messi’s example.“If everyone is at Messi’s level against Ecuador, we will qualify,” he said on Monday. “I have a lot of hope.”For some Argentines, the troubles of the national team have been a long time coming. Sergio Batista, a member of the 1986 World Cup-winning team, was scathing in his assessment.“Argentina is all at sea. But this didn’t happen recently. It’s the end of a movie I’ve been watching for 10 years,” Batista said. “I believe in projects and planning, but in our football, there’s nothing. Seven managers in 10 years? And three in a single qualifying campaign? It wouldn’t happen anywhere else.”Elsewhere on Tuesday, Chile could seal their qualification with victory over Brazil in Sao Paulo. Brazil have already qualified for the finals and are guaranteed top spot.Uruguay meanwhile need only take a point in their home qualifier against already-eliminated Bolivia to be certain of progressing.One of the most high-stakes games comes in Lima, where Peru will aim to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 1982 when they take on Colombia.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Ugandan forward Faruk Miya tries to go past a Cape Verde opponent during their 2019 AFCON qualifier in Kampala on November 17, 2018. PHOTO/FUFAJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Nov 17 – Three-time champions Nigeria, neighbors Uganda and Morocco have already qualified for next year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon with one match left in the qualification process.Uganda beat Cape Verde Islands 1-0 at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Kampala to move to an unassailable lead of 13 points while Nigeria progressed with a 1-1 draw away to South Africa. Morocco qualified for the 2019 Cup of Nations when Group B rivals Malawi lost 2-1 away to out-of-contention Comoros.Uganda’s victory is a welcome result for neighbors Tanzania who will qualify on Sunday if they pick maximum points away to bottom of the group Lesotho.South Africa will meanwhile need to avoid defeat in their final match against Libya in March to qualify. Libya moved to within a point of South Africa after spanking Seychelles 8-1.Other countries to qualify include the hosts Cameroon, Senegal, Madagascar, Egypt and Tunisia. The tournament will feature 24 teams for the first time.The Comoran victory in Mitsamiouli in the Indian Ocean island state gave Morocco an unassailable six-point advantage over Malawi with only one matchday left.El Fardou Mohamed Ben Nabouhane, who has been playing for Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League, gave the Comoros a second-minute lead.Patrick Phiri equalised after 53 minutes and Nasser Chamed scored the match-winner in the 70th minute on an artificial pitch.Leaders Morocco and second-place Cameroon qualify from the group with the latter assured of a place because they are hosting the June 15-July 13 tournament.Cameroon are involved in the qualifying competition to gain match practice before defending a title they won in Gabon last year by defeating Egypt 2-1 in the final.Morocco climbed above Cameroon into first place in Group B Friday after beating them 2-0 in Casablanca through a second-half brace from Hakim Ziyech.The Ajax Amsterdam midfielder broke the deadlock by converting a 54th-minute penalty and doubled the Atlas Lions’ lead 12 minutes later.Although consistently among the strongest African national teams, Morocco have won the Cup of Nations only once, in 1976 in Ethiopia when the tournament was a series of mini-leagues.-Additional info courtesy AFP0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)