Magnificent MaGee double lifts JC over Dinthill in grueling Super Cup Quarter Final

Jamaica College’s Tyreke MaGee netted his 17th and 18th goals of the season as they outscored a stubborn Dinthill Technical 3-2 in the first game of the Flow Cup Quarter Final doubleheader last Saturday. It was a spectacular man-of-the-match performance from MaGee who not only scored two goals but had a hand in the third. His display proved why he is touted by many as the best schoolboy footballer in Jamaica.

Even though Magee starred the show, for the most part, the killer instinct distinctively oozed from Dinthill’s Kaheem Parris who showed great skill and pace early in the encounter as he wriggled and wheeled his way into the JC armor like a twisting dagger. However, his attempts to penetrate the JC back line proved futile. The JC defenders kept slamming the door shut, to the delight of their supporters, despite the fact that Dinthill was the more threatening team, outshooting them 2-1.

The game evolved into a see-saw battle as both teams sought the opening goal. JC, however, showed more poise, and in the 31st minute, they reaped their reward. Thomas picked up the ball and eased past a Dinthill defender just on the left of the 18-yard box before taking a shot on goal. The technique was almost flawless as he opened up his body and dexterously swung the side of his right foot into the ball. The crowd waited with bated breath, but the ball whistled inches over the apex of the crossbar and far post. The crowd, nevertheless, rapturously applauded what would have been a spectacular goal.

A minute later, The Blues drew first blood as they launched another attack through Maliek Howell who raced into acres of space on the right flank. The unmarked Howell had an eternity to float a searching cross towards Norman Campbell who galloped into space on the inside left of the box, chested down the ball and rolled it back to the top of the 18-yard box to find a wide-open Tyreke MaGee. The defenders were in disarray as MaGee drove a scorching grass cutter which ricocheted like a pinball off the left arm of the diving Demero Hill and into the net. The JC supporters went ballistic in celebration, banging the aluminum out of the seats of the grandstand as their team went ahead 1-0.

Dinthill responded in the 42nd-minute with an equalizer through Andre Fletcher. Fletcher got a free kick almost dead centre of the goal atop the 18-yard box. He made no mistake in dispatching a high curling shot over the JC wall and almost into the roof of the net as the ball eluded the outstretched fingers of Khari Williams. The Dinthill supporters went berserk as the blares of vuvuzelas saturated the atmosphere. The goal not only electrified the stadium but also the increased the intensity of the game. This was Fletcher’s second bite of the cherry but the only one he really sank his teeth into. He had gotten a glorious opportunity moments before, but his effort was awfully miscued as he tried to fire home off his weaker right foot. The first half ended 1-1.

Just moments after referee Cordella Samuels’ whistle signaled the start of the second half, there was a worrying sign for Dinthill. The heart and soul of their team, Kaheem Parris, became physically ill, forcing the referee to pause the game momentarily. Parris left the pitch to the dismay of the Dinthill contingent, but moments later he returned after receiving treatment, to re-ignite the spirit of the team.

The Blues got a go-ahead chance almost immediately when clever ‘running off the ball’ by the JC team allowed  Thomas to lose his marker. He found himself in yards of space behind the Dinthill defense, one-on-one with goalkeeper Demero Hill. The diminutive Hill flew off his line like a sprinter out of his blocks and came up big, denying  Thomas any goal-scoring glory, and the score remained 1-1.

Jamaica College broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, once again through MaGee. Tevin Rochester held the ball on the right flank and beckoned for MaGee, with his back to the goal, to come short of an apparent one-two combination play. Instead, MaGee turned adroitly to his right and towards goal, leaving the bamboozled defender frozen like a scarecrow in a cornfield and rifled a hip height shot which bounced just before the outstretched arm of Hill to find its way into the back of the net.

Nevertheless, Dinthill was by no means discouraged. They mustered all the strength from Linstead and clawed their way back into the game once again with an equalizer from Antonio Roberts in the 66th minute. The buildup had Parris’ footprints all over it as he seemingly threw on a jetpack as if he was heading to Paris. He flew down the right wing and past his marker as if he was not there. He then played a picture-perfect ball into the penalty area, finding Roberts who side-footed it into the goal. The lightning-fast counterattack was so well executed that the discombobulated JC defense did not know what hit them.

The game seemed destined for a draw as two determined teams threw hammer and tongs at each other while also defending resolutely. However, in the 75th minute, Demero Hill made a perilous mistake that led to Dinthill’s demise. The Blues won a free kick on the far side of the left flank which MaGee floated into the 18-yard box. Goalkeeper Hill took charge of his penalty area and sprang forward for what appeared to be a routine training ground catch. But the floater was deceptive and he mishandled the ball. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, substitute Gavin Thorpe gobbled up the ball and bundled it into the net making it 3-2, JC. On the one hand, the event sent shock waves throughout the Dinthill contingent. On the other hand, The Blues frantically celebrated their gift.

As the clock wound down, Dinthill showed great determination as they rattled the padlock of the JC’s defensive door. But coach Coley smartly inserted more defensive players to shut out Dinthill’s huffing and puffing. Even with 4 minutes of added time, Dinthill could not break the seal and so the game ended 3-2 in favour of JC.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the prolific Rushawn Mackison bagged three goals as Kingston College battered Rusea’s High 4-1. With the quarterfinals concluded, all roads now lead to Sabina Park for the semi-finals Saturday, November 17,

where Jamaica College will once again meet arch-rivals Kingston College. The other semi-final will see the sole survivors of the rural area, St. Elizabeth Technical, match up against Calabar High.

Author: Alex Bent


The Football Chiefs Meet

The BBC is reporting that the FA chief  and FIFA chief are meeting.

FA chairman Greg Clarke is in Zurich today to meet Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

This is the first formal meeting between the two men and a range of issues are believed to be under discussion.

It’s understood that the meeting has been scheduled for a while but it comes at a time of increased tensions between the two organisations over the poppy row.

A decision on any punishment for The FA (and the FAW, SFA and IFA) concerning displaying poppies before and during Armistice weekend matches will be announced next week.


Air Tragedy rocks the football world|71 dead

Brazilian soccer team’s plane crashes in Colombia; 71 dead

Colombian authorities searched for answers Tuesday into the crash of a chartered airliner that slammed into the Andes mountains while transporting a Brazilian soccer team whose Cinderella story had won it a spot in the finals of one of South America’s most prestigious regional tournaments. All but six of the 77 people on board were killed.

The British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane declared an emergency and lost radar contact just before 10 p.m. Monday (0300 GMT Tuesday), according to Colombia’s aviation agency. It said the plane’s black boxes had been recovered and were being analyzed.

The aircraft, which departed from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was carrying the Chapecoense soccer team from southern Brazil for Wednesday’s first leg of the two-game Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional of Medellin. Twenty-one Brazilian journalists were also on board the flight.

Colombian officials initially said the plane suffered an electrical failure but there was also heavy rainfall at the time of the crash. Authorities also said they were not ruling out the possibility, relayed to rescuers by a surviving flight attendant, that the plane ran out of fuel minutes before its scheduled landing at Jose Maria Cordova airport outside Medellin.

Whatever the cause, the emotional pain of Colombia’s deadliest air tragedy in two decades was felt across the soccer world.

Expressions of grief poured in as South America’s federation canceled all scheduled matches in a show of solidarity, Real Madrid’s squad interrupted its training for a minute of silence and Argentine legend Diego Maradona sent his condolences to the victims’ families over Facebook.

Brazil’s top teams offered to loan the small club players next season so they can rebuild following the sudden end to a fairy tale season that saw Chapecoense reach the tournament final just two years after making it into the first division for the first time since the 1970s. “It is the minimum gesture of solidarity that is within our reach,” the teams said in a statement.

Sportsmanship also prevailed, with Atletico Nacional asking that the championship title be given to its rival, whose upstart run had electrified soccer-crazed Brazil.

Rescuers working through the night were initially heartened after pulling three people alive from the wreckage. But as the hours passed, heavy fog and stormy weather grounded helicopters and slowed efforts to reach the crash site.

At daybreak, dozens of bodies scattered across a muddy mountainside were collected into white bags. They were then loaded onto several Black Hawk helicopters that had to perform a tricky maneuver to land on the crest of the Andes mountains. The plane’s fuselage appeared to have broken into two, with the nose facing downward into a steep valley.

Officials initially reported 81 people were on board the flight, but later revised that to 77, saying four people on the flight manifest did not get on the plane.

Images broadcast on local television showed three of the six survivors on stretchers and connected to IVs arriving at a hospital in ambulances. Chapecoense defender Alan Ruschel was in the most serious condition, and was later transported to another facility to undergo surgery for a spinal fracture. Teammates Helio Zampier and Jakson Follmann also suffered multiple trauma injuries, with doctors having to amputate the goalkeeper Follmann’s right leg.

A journalist traveling with the team was recovering from surgery and two Bolivian crew members were in stable condition, hospital officials said.

The aircraft is owned by LaMia, a charter company that started off in Venezuela but later relocated to Bolivia, where it was certified to operate last January. Despite such apparently limited experience the airline has a close relationship with several premier South American squads.

Earlier this month, the plane involved in Monday’s crash transported Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and the Argentina national team from Brazil following a World Cup qualifier match. The airliner also appears to have transported the national squads of Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela over the last three months, according to a log of recent activity provided by

Before being taken offline, LaMia’s website said it operated three 146 Avro short-haul jets made by British Aerospace, with a maximum range of around 2,965 kilometers (1,600 nautical miles) — about the same as the distance between Santa Cruz and Medellin..

Hans Weber, a longtime adviser to U.S. aviation authorities, said the aircraft’s range deserves careful investigation. He noted that the air distance between cities is usually measured by the shortest route but planes rarely fly in a straight line — pilots may steer around turbulence or change course for other reasons.

Given the model of the plane and that it was flying close to capacity, “I would be concerned that the pilots may have been cutting it too close,” Weber said.

Bolivia’s civil aviation agency said the aircraft picked up the Brazilian team in Santa Cruz, where the players had arrived on a commercial flight from Sao Paulo. Spokesman Cesar Torrico said the plane underwent an inspection before departing for Colombia and reported no problems.

“We can’t rule out anything. The investigation is ongoing and we’re going to await the results,” said Gustavo Vargas, a retired Bolivian air force general who is president of the airline.

Colombian authorities said they hope to interview the Bolivian flight attendant who relayed the fuel concerns on Wednesday.

Moments before the flight departed, the team’s coaching staff gave an interview to a Bolivian television station in which they praised the airline, saying it brought them good fortune when it flew them to Colombia last month for the championship’s quarterfinals, which they won.

“Now we’re going to do this new trip and we hope they bring us good luck like they did the first time,” athletic director Mauro Stumpf told the Gigavision TV network.

The team, from the small Brazilian agro-industrial city of Chapeco, was in the midst of a breakout season. It advanced last week to the Copa Sudamericana finals after defeating some of the region’s top teams, including Argentina’s San Lorenzo and Independiente, as well as Colombia’s Junior.

The team is so modest that tournament organizers ruled that its 22,000-seat arena was too small to host the final match, which was moved to a stadium 300 miles (480 kilometers) to the north, in the city of Curitiba.

The team won over fans across Brazil with its spectacular run to the finals, with some even taking up a campaign online to move the final match to Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium, where the 2014 World Cup finals were played.

The tragedy of so many young and talented players’ lives and dreams cut short brought an outpouring of support far beyond Brazil’s borders. Atletico Nacional said in a statement it was offering its title to the team, saying the accident “leaves an indelible mark on the history of Latin American and world soccer.”

Closer to home, fans mourned the terrible loss.

“This morning I said goodbye to them and they told me they were going after the dream, turning that dream into reality,” Chapecoense board member Plinio De Nes told Brazil’s TV Globo. “The dream was over early this morning.”

Thanks to the AP for this report via Yahoo.


Man U Players With Something To Prove

As the Red Devils begin their preseason schedule under their new manager there are a number of stars who must fight for their futures, starting against Wigan on Saturday.

Manchester United begins an exciting new era when the side travels to Wigan on Saturday. But while the start of Jose Mourinho’s reign brings with it new optimism and intrigue, for many first-team players it will represent the need to step up and prove themselves.

The potential debuts of Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will certainly be the more eye-catching appointments for most United fans at the DW Stadium, but it is the need for existing stars to prove their worth to the new manager which will provide the most significant plot line over the first 90 minutes of Mourinho’s spell with the Red Devils.

It is exactly because United was rammed full of mediocrity last season that Louis van Gaal was shown the door and Mourinho handed his prestigious job – and a large number of the Dutchman’s former allies now find themselves with something significant to prove.

The most obvious name that comes to the fore is that of Juan Mata, who has already been discarded by Mourinho once before in January 2014 at Chelsea following a rocky period for the back-to-back club Player of the Year. On that occasion the Portuguese’s arrival led to Mata’s work rate being thrown into the spotlight, and the Spain international seemed to crumble under the new pressure.

His winter move to Old Trafford that season cost United 37.1 million pounds ($49.7 million) and, while his quality on the ball has left a great impression on many fans at the Theater of Dreams, it is fair to say that question marks regarding Mata’s off-the-ball work rate and desire to seek out possession loom as large as they did at Stamford Bridge three years ago.

Daley Blind might have been the closest thing United had to an ever-present last season with his 56 appearances in 59 games, but he will find himself having to prove to Mourinho that he has an outstanding quality that the new boss cannot do without.

His predominant role under Van Gaal in 2015-16 was that of a stand-in center back, and while the experiment worked to some degree thanks to his clever reading of the game, a lack of pace and defensive instinct saw him exposed too often. Mourinho’s first move in the market this summer was to add Bailly in the spot Blind filled last term, and as such the 26-year-old has something to prove all over again in terms of his value in another position.

“I’m more a manager that likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players,” said Mourinho at his unveiling, “because I’m very clear in my approach so I need specialists for that.” And since nobody more than Blind has shown his flexibility over the past two years, the Wigan friendly provides him with a challenge to show he can be a firm fixture in one particular position. With Bailly’s arrival and Luke Shaw’s return to fitness, that spot could well be the central midfield role he originally filled when signing for United in 2014.

Beyond Mata and Blind, others also have much to prove. Ander Herrera has dazzled only occasionally in his two years at Old Trafford, and his style does not match with the physical, energetic approach to midfield play which has become synonymous with Mourinho midfields.

Memphis Depay has something more akin to the profile of a player who Mourinho could make good use of, but his performance level over the course of 2015-16 was well short and, as such, he may need to hit the ground running to avoid being moved on. Adnan Januzaj falls under the same category having never truly convinced since his breakthrough campaign under David Moyes, and Jesse Lingard must prove himself all over again now that the likes of Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been added to the forward line.

Andreas Pereira will be fighting for recognition following a spell under Van Gaal which produced zero league starts, and players such as Ashley Young and James Wilson will also need to leave an early impression on their new boss.

As other stars return following their involvement at Euro 2016 there will be more futures to solve, with the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian all needing to convince Mourinho that they have a future at Old Trafford, but there are plenty available for action in Wigan on Saturday with cases of their own to present to the Special One.

Will Mata, Blind, Memphis, Januzaj, Lingard et al be a part of Mourinho’s brave new world? We will start to learn the answer at the DW Stadium.



Neymar to finalise new Barcelona contract in ‘next few days’

According to the ESPNFC Neymar will sign a new five-year Barcelona contract in the next few days, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said.

neymartweeterNeymar’s current deal with Barca ends in June 2018 and talks over an extension have been ongoing for some time amid regular rumours that potential suitors such as Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester United could pay the 24-year-old’s €200 million release clause this summer.

However, Bartomeu told a news conference on Thursday: “Neymar is not leaving Barca. He is not going to leave.

“The socios [club members] know this, and that is why — and I don’t know whether it will happen tomorrow or the day after — Neymar is going to sign for five seasons.”

Neymar’s former agent Wagner Ribeiro had recently said there was interest in the Brazil international from “three big clubs” but that he was happy at the Camp Nou, and the forward’s father subsequently stressed that there was “zero chance” of a move to Madrid.

Neymar joined Barca from Santos in 2013 and has won La Liga and the Copa del Rey on two occasions as well as the 2015 Champions League

However, his arrival has prompted off-field problems due to the complicated nature of the transfer, with the club recently reaching an agreement with the Spanish authorities to pay €15m in back taxes and a €5.5m fine.

Bartomeu added: “It is normal that other clubs are interested in him, but I am saying this clearly: Neymar has never told us that he wants to leave.

“He wants to stay here and we want him to be here, and that is why the club’s lawyers and Neymar’s lawyers are working to finish this renewal and we hope it will be done over the next few days.

“But we are coming from a tax case with the Spanish revenue service and the prosecutor, and so we must write the contract very carefully. He will continue here for five years.”


Spain Fall Short

PARIS — The answer to what has happened to Spain lies with Xavi Hernandez. And not just his absence from the national team, for that would be awfully simplistic.

Xavi said in more than one interview that “because [Spain] tend to be a small, slight team, we have to be at our absolute utmost, in form, fit and passing well, in order to compete against a series of teams who are bigger, faster and stronger than us.”

While Spain ruled, they did so not simply because they were technically exquisite, nor even just because they had a clutch of historically good and inspirational footballers — think Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Iker Casillas — but also because they spent the vast majority of the period between 2007-13 training, preparing, thinking and then performing at their absolute maximum.

To paraphrase the now internationally-retired Xavi, the advantage of being better at football and better on the ball than most of their rivals wasn’t enough on its own.


Fifa To Manage Argentina Federation Affairs

ZURICH — FIFA says it has taken control of Argentina’s football federation from the current leadership and will help pick an emergency panel to manage its affairs.

FIFA announced the decision Friday, two days before the Lionel Messi-led Argentina team plays the Copa America Centenario final against Chile in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On Thursday, Argentina soccer body president Luis Segura — a member of FIFA’s ruling council — was charged with fraud related to TV broadcasting rights.

Led by Julio Grondona since the 1970s, the federation has been in turmoil since the late FIFA senior vice president died in 2014.

FIFA says a so-called “normalization committee” of up to seven members “will be in charge of running the daily affairs” of the Argentine body.

Elections must be organized by July 2017.


Barca and Man City battle over Jesus Gabriel

According to our source at Transfer Talk:

City, Barca in fight for Brazilian star

It appears battle lines have been drawn for a player considered by some in Brazil to have the potential to be the new Neymar.

In one corner, Barcelona. In the other, former Barca boss Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. The player? Gabriel Jesus.

Let’s start with City: The Sun reports that Guardiola has offered £16.7 million for the Palmeiras forward.

It adds that the 19-year-old has two release clauses in his contract, with one allowing City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid to sign him for that amount.

The other, applicable to any other club caring to bid, is for £27.8m.

With Gabriel Jesus having attracted the attention of “a host of European giants,” City “have made the first real move,” the Sun says.

But hang on — Barcelona have also made an offer and have started talks with Palmeiras, Spanish outlet Sport says.

Negotiations, according to its report, “could progress over the coming days,” with Barcelona scouts believing a move for the teenager would be “a safe bet.”

Palmeiras are reportedly resigned to the fact that they will lose Jesus this summer — and it appears only to be a question of to which club


Dortmund reject Manchester United bid for Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Borussia Dortmund reject Manchester United’s £19m bid for Henrikh Mkhitaryan

News reaching Transfer Talk is that:

Borussia Dortmund have been fending off bids from a host of European giants attempting to prize away some of their best players like vultures, and Manchester United are the latest club to make an enquiry.

The Red Devils have tabled a £19 million bid for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, according to the Mirror. The Germans have reportedly rejected the bid and will continue to turn down offers for their star players after already sanctioning the sales of Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan this summer.

The 27-year-old has just one year left on his current deal, and Dortmund risk losing the player for free next year. That does not appear to be a concern for the Bundesliga runners-up, and Jose Mourinho will have to look elsewhere for a playmaker.


Russia beaten by Slovakia

Marek Hamsik was the star of the show as Slovakia beat Russia 2-1 in Lille inGroup B. A raking cross-field pass from Hamsik picked out Vladimir Weiss after 32 minutes, who cut inside before picking out the far corner to open the scoring.


And it was Hamsik who repeated the trick shortly before half-time, cutting back on to his right foot and bending a beautiful shot in off the far post.

A header from substitute Denis Glushakov pulled one back for Russia with 10 minutes remaining, but it was too little too late from Leonid Slutsky’s lacklustre side.

The result leaves Russia likely to need a win from their final group game against Wales to avoid elimination, while Slovakia, who face England in their final match, now have a good chance of progressing to the knockout stage.

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