Monthly Archives: March 2016

Romanian players change squad numbers for math problems

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Romanian players change squad numbers for math problems

Romanian players have swapped their normal squad numbers for maths problems in an effort to help promote the importance education for children back home.

Romanian national players prepared for their friendly against Spain whilst wearing their unusual training gear. The idea for the new numbers, printed on the back of training tops was supposed by a video at the Cluj Arena.

It was explaining that the unique move was designed to combat the nation’s problem with uneducated children and the country’s high dropout rate. As of 2014 Romania had a dropout of 18%, the highest of all European Union countries.

“Football and mathematics are not mutually exclusive,” Romanian Football Federation (RFF) president, Razvan Burleanu explained.

“We must look at sports and education as not only complementary but fundamental elements integrated in the training and perfection of children. We want to have healthy generation and smart students who achieve performance and tools through tailored passions.”

“Through this project, children will learn the basics of football and have an opportunity for the first time in our country – to discover mathematics through an attractive approach.”

On top of holding a lackluster Spain to 0-0 draw in the friendly, Romania had finished second in their Euro 2016 qualifiers group behind Northern Ireland. But the Central Europeans face a tough test in the tournament, playing host nation France in their opening match on June 10, before facing Switzerland and Albania.

India edges Australia by six wickets

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India edges Australia by six wickets

ICC World Twenty20, Group 2, Mohali
Australia 160-6 (20 overs): Finch 43 (34), Pandya 2-36
India 161-4 (19.1 overs): Kohli 82* (51)
India wins by six wickets

India made it into the World Twenty20 semi-finals and edges Australia out by six wickets after Virat Kohli made a brilliant 82 in their do-or-die showdown in Mohali on Sunday.

Australia would bow out of the tournament despite their hopes after becoming the top-ranked Test side. To add insult to injury, they were the ones who managed to take the initiative, racing to 55 from only 22 deliveries but India dragged them back by force to 160-6.

Early on, opener Aaron Finch shared 54 runs for the opening wicket with Usman Khawaja to give Australia a flying start after Steven Smith won the toss and elected to bat.

In fact, India looked down and out as they arrived at 94-4.

But Kohli proved that he was a cut above and a maestro of the run chase – averaging 91.80 in the second innings of T20 internationals. Here, he essentially carried the whole team by covering for openers Shikhar Dhawan (13) and Rohit Sharma (12) who cooled their heels in the dressing room with 37 runs on the board.

The 27-year-old planned meticulously to make his knocks legendary, working alongside skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18 not out) and put on 67 runs to take the team to the finish line.

Dhoni himself effected three dismissals, and hit the winning four with five balls to spare to trigger wild celebrations from the home crowd.

Shane Watson, who announced his own international retirement before the game had accounted for Dhawan and Sharma. Kohli’s brilliance would end the Aussie’s international career with apparent disappointment.

As India prepares to face the West Indies in the semi-finals, so would England prepare for their own semi-final meet against New Zealand in New Delhi.

Aritz Aduriz earns debut international goal at age 35

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Aritz Aduriz earns debut international goal at age 35

35-year-old Aritz Aduriz has earned his first international goal in the friendly match between European Champions Spain and Italy to hold out for a fortunate 1-1 draw.

The Azurri led as Napoli winger and substitute Lorenzo Insigne made a clinical finish from a counter attack, diverting Emanuele Giacchirini’s low cross past David de Gea and ending Spain’s run of six clean sheets 67 minutes after play.

However, Aduriz, who made his only previous appearance for Spain six years ago, replied with Spain’s first shot on target.

It was a testament to his prolific form with Athletic Bilbao this season, which incidentally was also the reason he was recalled on to the international stage on this occasion.

Cesc Fabregas floated a free kick into the Italy area, and Gianluigi Buffon failed to hold on Alvaro Morata’s header. Pouncing on the loose ball, Aduritz buried it into the roof of the net amidst defenders who swarmed him.

But Spain could hardly cherish such a result; their seven wins streak had been brought to a halt. In fact, they would have lost without a stellar performance from keeper David De Gea.

Insigne would have thought that he scored the winner for Italy following a chip over De Gea, but the Manchester United goalkeeper managed to keep it out by tipping the ball over the bar.

Both national teams would prepare for the Euro 2016 finals, but the hosts who played in a 3-4-3 formation played livelier by far. Spain will travel to Romania next, as Italy travels to face World Champions Germany.

Holland-France game will halt in Johan Cruyff

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Holland-France game will halt in Johan Cruyff

The Netherlands’ friendly match against France will be halted at 14 minutes after play for a minute to remember the life of European football great, Johan Cruyff.

“On Friday, the Dutch national team will face France in Amsterdam. Because of the great contribution of Johan Cruyff to national and international football in the 14th minute, the match will be shut down for a minute’s silence,” the Dutch FA’s website announced.

The reason for Cruyff’s legacy to be remembered in the number 14 was that it was both his number for club and country. He scored 33 goals in 48 appearances for Holland between 1966 and 1977 including in the World Cup against Brazil.

He was also famous for inventing the “The Cruyff turn”. He faced Sweden defender Jan Olsson and experienced a moment that of football brilliance that was combined with instinct, quick thinking, athleticism and natural ability.

Dragging the ball behind his standing leg with the inside of his foot, Cruyff feinted one way and twisted to the other. Bamboozled, then 32-year-old Olsson stumbled backwards and was left staring into space.

He was also arguably the man who would made Barcelona into the great team today, a pioneer who had embellishing his game with purist principles he espoused from the dug-out, which transcended everything else.

“Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is,” Cruyff told his players in one early message.

After playing for the Spanish giants from 1973 to 1978, he returned to Barcelona as coach in 1988, transforming twice a club that had lost its way and giving them a sense of identity that also makes him the founding father of the modern-day club.

“Cruyff painted the chapel, and Barcelona coaches since merely restore and improve it,” said Pep Guardiola, a known prodigy of the first European football star.