Thursday, April 27, 2006

ACMilan says good-bye to Paris: Controversial draw?

26/04/2006 22:35:39

Andriy Shevchenko saw what seemed like a perfectly good goal disallowed as Milan failed to overcome Barcelona in a goalless draw in their Champions League semi-final return leg.

Carlo Ancelotti had to leave Alessandro Nesta out of the starting line-up after the defender failed a late fitness test to overcome a thigh injury picked up at the weekend against Messina so just two days after his 40th birthday Alessandro Costacurta took his place in the centre of defence. Ricky Kakà shook off his knee injury to start while Filippo Inzaghi had recovered from his bout of illness to partner Shevchenko in attack.

Milan versus Barcelona is without doubt one of the great occasions in world football and the Camp Nou did not disappoint, the players walked out to a kaleidoscope of colour and immediately got down to doing what they do best: producing free-flowing attacking football. Kakà came close after sixty seconds, sweeping forward to fire a shot just wide of the post and then moments later Nelson Dida spread himself in front of Samuel Eto'o to block a certain goal. There was little time to draw breath before Inzaghi was nipping in behind the defence only to be caught marginally offside. These lofty lords of European football continued to move the ball around with unrelenting fluency and stray passes were indeed collector's items. When one came, space suddenly opened inside the Milan area, but Dida once again blocked Eto'o and as the ball popped up Costacurta cleared from almost on the line. Any thoughts that the pace would drop were dispelled when Gattuso lifted a pass over the defence but Inzaghi's control let him down and the chance went begging. Ronaldinho then fired a drive over the bar from 25 metres, but a quick Milan counter-attack resulted in a corner. When the ball was only half-cleared, Shevchenko should have done a lot better when he found himself free on the right of the area, but instead of pulling the ball across the face of the goal, the Ukrainian went for glory and rippled the side-netting. The only surprising thing was that after 30 minutes this adventurous approach had not produced a goal but there were still some scintillating moments as Kakà skipped away from two challenges down the left flank and won another corner. The first half ended with Costacurta receiving a yellow card for a foul on Eto'o when left one-on-one with the Cameroonian.

It was an equally raucous start to the second half as Dida was forced to take flight from his goalline to gather ahead of Eto'o. Then Shevchenko dived in front of the defence but could only send his header straight at Vitor Valdes in the Barca goal. A piece of Ronaldinho magic opened up the Rossoneri defence but somehow Belletti mis-kicked with an open goal begging after Ludovic Giuly dragged the ball across from the right of the area. Inzaghi got another sight of goal on the hour mark but sliced his shot wide from an ever-narrowing angle. Marcos Cafu then replaced Costacurta enabling Stam to move into the centre. There was panic in the home defence when Serginho got to the by-line to float over a tempting cross which Valdes only clawed to Cafu but the Brazilian headed over. Manuel Rui Costa had barely entered the fray in place of Gattuso when Shevchenko had a header disallowed for what the referee perceived was a foul on Carles Puyol inside the area as the pair rose to meet the ball. The home fans breathed a collective sigh of relief but were then on their feet as substitute Henrik Larsson sent a powerful diving header goalwards but Dida got down to make a stunning save. The big Brazilian was then in the perfect position to pluck Deco's shot out of the air but Milan were not finding the openings they had been and were struggling to threaten the home goal so with ten minutes left, Ancelotti played the Alberto Gilardino card, with the young striker introduced for Inzaghi. Catalan nerves were very much on edge as Milan made a final push in search of the elusive goal to take the tie into extra-time but the nearest they would come was a long-range Serginho effort which curled wide.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sports Update

The Rossoneri go up against Barca at Camp Nou for the second leg of their Champions League semifinals. Barca won away 1-0 last week at San Siro.
In Serie A, ACMilan went on to win 3-1, after conceding the first goal of the match to Messina. This brings them to within 3 points from leader Juventus (82-79). Seedorf will miss to games due to suspension.

I forgot to greet Billy Costacurta, the Rossoneri's Jersey 10 (hah, my favorite number!), a Happy Birthday on April 24.

In NBA Action, Spurs leads their 1st playoff series against the Sacramento Kings, 2-0.

Tiger Woods, in New Zealand as best man to his caddie Stevie Williams (in his wedding), did bungy-jumping and celebrity stock car racing. He won the second race.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

ACMilan 0-1 Barca

Ludovic Giuly's fine second-half strike gave Barcelona a crucial advantage after the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with AC Milan.

Giuly raced on to a perfect Ronaldinho pass and fired past Dida to earn the visitors a win their display deserved.

They could have scored more, with Giuly forcing Dida to save and Ronaldinho hitting the inside of a post too.

It wasn't meant to be, but kudos to Barca. But we'll get our goals in the second leg. You'll see.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Coke nips Ginebra ... Did they really?

Sunstar got it wrong again.
At 7:55 am when I checked this:
title says "Coke nips Ginebra", but the story says:

The Coca-Cola Tigers hit two birds with one stone yesterday after registering a nail-biting 108-104 overtime victory over the Sta. Lucia Realtors.

In the second game, San Miguel beat Barangay Ginebra, 103-94.

The Tigers’ win clinched for Coca-Cola coach Bingky Favis the coaching job for the 2006 All-Star Game in Cagayan de Oro City opposite San Miguel mentor Jong Uichico.

John Arigo led the Tigers’ as he nailed a booming trey in the last 7.5 seconds of the regulation period that sent the game into overtime and paved the way for the Tigers to slip past the skidding Realtors, who absorbed their sixth loss in eight games. (JSV)


My Dad's called Lefty, because he is left-handed. He has a twin brother called Righty. You know how he got his name. This is not about Dad. This is about Phil Mickelson. Phil "Lefty" Mickelson won his 2nd green jacket in 3 years at golf's Masters in Augusta. Tiger Woods finished three shots back, tied at third with many others.

Friday, April 07, 2006

( Sharapova biggest victim of new technology

Sharapova biggest victim of new technology

Key Biscayne (Florida), Apr 05: Faring worst on challenges was Maria Sharapova, who lost to Kuznetsova in the women's final. All 11 of her challenges were rejected.

"Pretty sad," Sharapova said. "I'll keep trying."

Her next chance will likely be at the summer hardcourt tournaments in the US, before replay makes its grand slam debut on the two largest courts at the US Open.

If the technology can be perfected for grass, even Wimbledon might adopt a video review system, though not this year.

The eight-camera replay system changed the dynamics of matches in several ways.

While there were fears it would slow the game, replay instead had the reverse effect, eliminating extended disputes.

Shouts of "challenge!" from the stands became common whenever there was a close call.

Anyway, she'll be the new Land Rover endorser in a deal worth $2million a year.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

It's Arsenal and Barcelona

I got one correct. Arsenal beat Juventus 2-0 on aggregate after drawing their return match. Barcelona scored 2-nil against Benfica. Barcelona goes up against the Rossoneri. I am still for ACM. I am still for Milan vs Arsenal in the final.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Rossoneri goes to the semifinals in the UEFA Champions League, when it won 3-1 against Lyon in San Siro. This is the first time Lyon lost an away-game. Sheva kicked in his record breaking 52nd goal in the '48.

Villareal won over Inter on aggregate to also advance to the semis. Juventus plays Arsenal in the 2nd leg (0-2). Benfica goes up against Barcelona (0-0) in their own 2nd leg; the winner will go up against ACMilan next.

Methinks, Arsenal will beat Juventus on aggregate and Benfica could upset Barcelona. If this happens, I see ACMilan going up against Arsenal. I hope. Forza!

Inzaghi e cuore: avanti Milan!
04/04/2006 22.40

Il Milan batte il Lione 3-1 e vola in semifinale di Champions League: la partita è di quelle intense, i rossoneri soffrono fino alla fine ma in chiusura di secondo tempo si regalano una grande gioia che significa qualificazione e un sogno che continua. Nel segno di Pippo Inzaghi ma anche di un cuore grandissimo e della capacità di crederci fino in fondo, fino all'ultimo respiro, nel San Siro delle grandi occasioni. Il primo tempo si chiude sull’1-1, match equilibrato, occasioni da una parte e dall’altra e un gol a testa: passa in vantaggio il Milan al 25’ con Pippo Inzaghi, sempre lui, attivissimo su tutto il fronte offensivo. L’azione è bella ed efficace: Seedorf si invola sulla sinistra e crossa, Inzaghi salta e di testa infila splendidamente Coupet. Ma il Lione non ci sta e reagisce subito trovando la rete che vale il pareggio. Punizione di Juninho, respinge Dida, disturbato da Cris e Caçapa, la palla resta lì, arriva quindi Diarra che, libero, infila indisturbato. Nella ripresa il Milan prova a mettere il turbo, la squadra appare determinata a trovare il gol-qualificazione, vanno al tiro Sheva, Serginho, Seedorf e, soprattutto Kakà: il brasiliano, al 30’, di testa mira lo specchio della porta, Wiltord salva in extremis, sulla linea della porta. La paura cresce, ma finalmente al 43’ gli sforzi rossoneri si concretizzano: doppio palo di Sheva, palla che balla sulla linea della porta e tapin di Inzaghi decisivo: goool! E, oltre il tempo regolamentare, arriva anche il terzo gol che mette la parola fine al match e alla qualificazione: Sheva entra in area, supera Coupet e infila a porta vuota.

Milan in semifinale!