Opening Game: Aug. 16 vs. Utah State, 6:30 p.m. Opening Game: Aug. 17 at Jackson State, 3 p.m. Conference play begins on Sept. 14 with all 12 league teams in action. Defending Southland regular season and tournament champions Lamar University is set to host the 2018 Southland Conference Soccer Tournament at LU Soccer Complex in Beaumont, Texas, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4. Abilene Christian Wildcats – Preseason Rank: 3rd – 2017 Record/Place: 9-11, (6-5 SLC), 6thAfter making an impressive run in the 2017 conference tournament in their first season of postseason eligibility, the Wildcats enter the 2018 season at the No. 3 preseason poll spot. Finishing sixth in the regular season, ACU defeated third seed McNeese 5-3 in penalties before falling to the two-seed Ladyjacks 4-2 in the same fashion in the semifinals. Abilene Christian held both opponents scoreless. The team enters with four preseason all-conference picks – tied for a league-best. ACU opens the season at Baylor and also heads to Lubbock to face Texas Tech on Aug. 26. Opening Game: Aug. 17 vs. UTSA, 7 p.m. UIW Cardinals – Preseason Rank: 12th – 2017 Record/Place: 2-13-1 (1-9-1 SLC), 12thThe Cardinals enter a new chapter in 2018 under the new leadership of Emma Wright-Cates. She takes the reigns of an experienced squad featuring 21 returners from last season and just four players lost. Wright-Cates is joined by a brand new staff as she looks to lead UIW to its first Southland tournament appearance since joining the league. The Cardinals open with two road games at North Texas and Louisiana Tech before hosting Houston and UTSA ahead of their conference opener. Opening Game: Aug. 17 vs. Houston, 7 p.m. Opening Game: Aug. 17 vs. Little Rock, 7 p.m. Sam Houston State kicks off first at home against Utah State at 6:30 p.m. CT, while Abilene Christian travels to Baylor for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Nine games each are scheduled for Friday and Sunday to complete the 20-game slate for week one. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders – Preseason Rank: 8th – 2017 Record/Place: 6-9-3 (3-6-2 SLC), T8thThe Islanders will field a very young team in 2018 under second-year head coach Craig Shaw. The team lost five starters from the 2017 Southland tournament team but return six along with a field of 15 newcomers. The roster includes 13 freshmen. The Islanders head west for their season opener at Colorado College on Aug. 24 before returning home for matchups with Rice, Texas State, UTRGV and Prairie View. Sam Houston State Bearkats – Preseason Rank: 7th – 2017 Record/Place: 7-9-2 (4-5-2 SLC), 7thAt the No. 7 preseason spot are the Bearkats, led by the longest serving active coach in the Southland Conference, Tom Brown. He enters his 11th season at the helm with Sam Houston State, bringing with him a strong core of returners from his 2017 conference tournament team. The team returns 13 letterwinners from last season while only losing six with the roster further bolstered by the addition of 10 newcomers. The Bearkats open at home against Utah State while their nonconference road slate features matchups with UL Lafayette, Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Houston. This year is the 22nd edition of Southland women’s soccer, a conference sport since 1997. Central Arkansas Bears – Preseason Rank: 4th – 2017 Record/Place: 11-10 (7-4 SLC), 4thThe Bears aim for their second Southland championship in three years after earning their first regular-season crown in 2016. UCA finished fourth last season and advanced to the conference tournament semifinal, falling 2-1 to eventual champion and top seed Lamar. Central Arkansas opens the season at home against in-state rival Little Rock before a four-game road swing at Memphis, ULM, Missouri State and Mississippi State. A pair of Bears earned preseason all-conference accolades in senior defender Kristen Ricks and senior forward Camille Bassett. Northwestern State Lady Demons – Preseason Rank: 10th – 2017 Record/Place: 6-12 (2-9 SLC), 11thThe Lady Demons enter the season under new leadership with co-head coaches Jess and Anna Jobe at the helm. The team will also have a new look with seven starters lost from 2017 and only four returning. In total, 14 letterwinners are lost from last season. Northwestern State brings in 13 newcomers to complement a strong returning duo of Brittany Caserma and April Trowbridge. Caserma, a senior forward, was an all-conference pick last season and earned a spot on the 2018 preseason all-conference team. After opening at home against UTSA, NSU hits the road to face Louisiana Tech, UL Lafayette and Mississippi Valley State. Lamar University Cardinals – Preseason Rank: 1st – 2017 Record/Place: 18-4-1 (10-1 SLC), 1stLamar enters as the preseason favorite, having won the regular-season and tournament titles in 2017. The Cardinals became the first Southland soccer program in history to go from finishing in last place to first place in consecutive seasons. LU faced No. 6 seed Texas A&M in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, falling by a score of 1-0. The team returns 12 letterwinners from last season, including six starters. The Lamar schedule features back-to-back home games to open the season and a pair of Power Five matchups against Oklahoma State and LSU. Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks – Preseason Rank: 2nd – 2017 Record/Place: 13-8 (8-3 SLC), T2ndThe Ladyjacks head into 2018 at the preseason No. 2 spot. SFA finished tied for second in the 2017 regular season and was runner-up at the conference tournament. Under sixth-year head coach Wally Crittenden, the ‘Jacks will look to returning experience this season with 14 letterwinners back on the pitch from last year’s team. Stephen F. Austin holds 10 all-time regular-season titles, the last coming in 2015, and won its last tournament title in 2012. SFA’s nonconference slate features a home matchup against Mississippi State and road games at TCU and Texas. Opening Game: Aug. 16 at Baylor, 7 p.m. Houston Baptist Huskies – Preseason Rank: 6th – 2017 Record/Place: 7-7-3 (6-3-2 SLC), 5thThe Huskies eye a return to the Southland tournament championship after winning the title in 2016. Head coach Misty Jones enters her 13th season at the helm of HBU, holding a 30-19-7 league record in the team’s tenure in the conference. The team has a healthy contingency of experienced players, losing only three starters and returning eight – part of 15 total returning letterwinners. The Huskies tied for the league-high with four preseason all-conference picks. Returning all-conference selections from last season Baylii Bieke and Autumn Wildung are joined by goalkeeper Alanis Guevara and defender Megan Rickert. HBU opens the season at home versus Houston before a four-game road swing at Grand Canyon, Arizona, Prairie View and SMU. 2018 Southland Soccer Week One Notes (PDF)FRISCO, Texas – The 2018 Southland Conference soccer season gets underway Thursday with a pair of evening matchups, the first of 20 opening weekend games on the schedule. Opening Game: Aug. 17 at Prairie View, 7 p.m. McNeese Cowgirls – Preseason Rank: 5th – 2017 Record/Place: 12-6-1 (8-3 SLC), T2ndThe preseason No. 5 Cowgirls are coming off a second-place finish in 2017. McNeese lost last season’s Southland Player of the Year in forward Savannah LaRicci but return the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year Emma Roccaforte. Along with Roccaforte, senior midfielder Nola Prickett collected a preseason all-conference spot. In total, the Cowgirls return six letterwinners and lost five from last season. A strong nonconference slate awaits McNeese, highlighted by a pair of Power Five matchups. The Cowgirls open on the road at Prairie View and at TCU before a four-game homestand against Texas State, Arkansas, ULM and UL Lafayette. Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions – Preseason Rank: 9th – 2017 Record/Place: 5-10-3 (3-6-2 SLC), T8thAfter narrowly missing out on a Southland tournament berth last season, the Lady Lions head into 2018 with second-year head coach Christopher McBride. The team holds the second-most regular season titles in conference history (5) and is tied for the most league tournament titles (4) among active members. SLU aims to continue rebuilding, having last won the Southland tournament in 2015. Southeastern will also field a young team in 2018, with just four seniors and 19 underclassmen on the roster. The Lady Lions open at Jackson State before hosting Alcorn State in the opening weekend. The team then goes on the road to North Texas, Southern and UL Lafayette. Opening Game: Aug. 24 at Colorado College, 3 p.m. Opening Game: Aug. 17 vs. LSU-Shreveport, 7 p.m. Opening Game: Aug. 17 vs. North Dakota, 4 p.m. Opening Game: Aug. 17 vs. Grambling, 7 p.m. Nicholls Colonels – Preseason Rank: 11th – 2017 Record/Place: 6-11-1 (3-7-1 SLC), 10thNicholls’ 2017 season came down to the wire, dropping a win-and-in match in double overtime on their regular season finale which eliminated the team from the Southland tournament contention. Third-year head coach Mac McBride looks to turn the page this season, beginning with an experienced roster featuring 15 upperclassmen. The Colonels will host 12 opponents this season for the first time since 2009, including eight of their first nine. Nicholls opens against North Dakota and Grambling in the opening weekend before a road matchup at Mississippi Valley State. Opening Game: Aug. 17 at North Texas, 7 p.m.
#SouthlandStrong Morris also volunteered on the social media staffs for two NCAA Women’s Final Fours and the last two College Football Playoff national championship games. She had the opportunity to plan, collaborate and help shape the social strategy for these events, as well as try out some of the latest digital trends. FRISCO, Texas – Madi Morris has been named the Director of Broadcast and Digital Media for the Southland Conference, league commissioner Tom Burnett announced Thursday.Morris joins the Southland staff following a four-year stint at Conference USA, where she most recently served as the Assistant Director of Multimedia. She hosted the league’s nationally televised 30-minute weekly show, C-USA Showcase, as well as various other featured programming. She was also the league’s primary on-camera host handling everything from sideline coverage at regular-season and championship events to special announcements. “We are very pleased to welcome Madi to the Southland Conference staff, as her multimedia experience will bring a great perspective to the coverage and promotion of the league and its members,” Burnett said. “We look forward to her telling the numerous stories of athletic and academic success around the conference, and assisting our broadcast partners in doing the same.”A 2015 graduate from the University of Missouri, Morris earned her bachelor’s degree in Radio-Television Journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism with minors in Spanish and Sociology. While a student, Morris served three years as a reporter, anchor and producer at the NBC affiliate TV station, KOMU 8, in Columbia, Mo. She also worked as a general assignment reporter for the local NPR station, KBIA 91.3 FM and as a sports intern for KCCI Channel 8 in her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.
ESPN+ is the premium multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment in conjunction with ESPN. It offers fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks. Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and multiple other sports from more than 15 conferences), exclusive Top Rank boxing, UFC (beginning in 2019), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby, cricket, new and exclusive documentary films and series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and cancel at any time. About ESPN+ ESPN+ is an integrated part of the ESPN App, the leading sports app and the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans. The ESPN App is a showcase of the company’s culture of innovation, delivering a rich, personalized experience that curates all of ESPN’s incredible content around each fan’s individual tastes. ESPN+ is also available through ESPN.com. FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference and its television partners have announced game selections and start times for football contests to be played on Saturday, Oct. 5.ESPN+ will feature the 94th Battle of the Piney Woods, as Sam Houston State faces Stephen F. Austin at Houston’s NRG Stadium at 3 p.m. The series ranks as the longest-running NCAA Division I FCS rivalry in Texas and has seen the Bearkats win eight consecutive meetings. Stephen F. Austin won the first meeting of the two teams on Nov. 17, 1923.Cox Sports Television is set to provide regional coverage of Southeastern Louisiana at McNeese at 4 pm. ESPN+ will simulcast the production outside CST’s territory. The Lions and Cowboys have split the last four meetings with the home team coming out on top in each of those contests. *Southland Conference Game**All Times Central Two games will be seen on ESPN3 as Lamar hosts Abilene Christian and UIW travels to Houston Baptist. Both games are set for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff. Saturday, October 5* Sam Houston State vs. Stephen F. Austin (at NRG Stadium, Houston), 3 p.m., ESPN+* Southeastern Louisiana at McNeese, 4 p.m., Cox Sports Television/ESPN+*Abilene Christian at Lamar, 6 p.m., ESPN3*UIW at Houston Baptist, 6 p.m., ESPN3
I thought Raheem was excellent from the start against Bulgaria.It was slow and pedestrian-like in the first half and he was the one trying to get England going by injecting pace into the game.Raheem has taken his game to another level in the last couple of years.With his pace, know-how and ability, a front three of him, Harry and Marcus Rashford is pretty fearsome.Gareth Southgate says England fans should be hugely excited by our young playersFor any team in world football, that is an excellent forward line in terms of talent and goals.Of course, as every England player and fan knows, judgement will come in next summer’s Euros.We will not get any great credit for winning these qualifying games because we are expected to.The real time to look at who England are and how far we have come is at the major tournaments.We have a realistic chance of winning Euro 2020 and it is not often we have gone into a tournament thinking like that.GARETH ON THE MARCGARETH SOUTHGATE’S assessment that Marcus Rashford is not a No 9 is spot on.Even this season, when Manchester United’s main striker Romelu Lukaku left, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plays Anthony Martial down the middle.I get the feeling Marcus feels more confident coming in off the left where he does not have to play a lot with his back to goal.There is no denying he is an excellent talent but I don’t think he is a natural goalscorer. We sometimes forget he is only 21 so time is still on his side.6 Marcus Rashford looks more comfortable out on the left and is never going to be picked down the middle for England ahead of Harry KaneCredit: Getty Images – GettyBut he is very different to Harry Kane, who is determined and ruthless.I do not think Marcus will be bothered by the England boss’ words.We have not heard from Marcus where he prefers to play and I have never spoken to him about it.But Gareth probably would not have said that if Marcus had told him he sees himself as a centre-forward.For England, it is not a problem because he will never play there ahead of Harry, and Marcus looked sharp against Bulgaria from the left.It is a bigger issue for United because they have taken a huge gamble by not replacing Lukaku.Going into the season with just Marcus, Martial and Mason Greenwood is very risky and that is a huge burden for those three to carry over a long campaign.NO SHOCK, JAVIJAVI GRACIA’S sacking by Watford has not surprised me — they have been doing it for years.I do have sympathy for the Spaniard after they finished 11th in the Premier League last season and reached the FA Cup final.From that perspective, it is incredibly harsh to get rid of Gracia — especially with Quique Sanchez Flores appointed just half an hour later.But they got beaten up in that final against Manchester City and I don’t think they have recovered.I watched them against Newcastle last weekend and was not impressed at all.They are missing injured striker Troy Deeney, who is their focal point.They have to stay in the Premier League and after four games they already look in a fight — so it is no surprise to see them do what they do and make another managerial change.6 Watford did not seem to recover this season from the FA Cup final mauling they received against Man City in May I JUST love Harry Kane’s confidence and self-belief when it comes to taking penalties.Of his 25 goals for England, eight have come from the spot.6 Harry Kane tucked home two penalties in the 4-0 win over Bulgaria, to give him eight spot-kicks in his 25 goals for England6 Skipper Harry Kane has unrivalled dedication to penalty practice in trainingCredit: Getty – ContributorBut even if 24 of his 25 goals were penalties, it does not matter one jot as a centre-forward.He is a single-minded and cold-blooded No 9 who has an insatiable desire and hunger to score — and that makes him such a ruthless penalty-taker.I’ve read about how obsessed he is with practising them and that is what you have to do as your team’s penalty- taker — I was exactly the same.I scored six for England, missing just one when I hit the post in a World Cup qualifier in Poland in 1997, which was ironically one of my best-ever games for my country.I used to practise them three or four times a week.The day before a game, I would take 30 to 40 penalties to perfect where I was going to put it.Goalkeepers would be fed up with me in the end.If they did not want to stay behind, I would get one of the young kids to go in goal and they could be out there for another 45 minutes!You do your homework on the opposition keeper.If you have played against him before, you think about where you put your last one against him.And you look back at where you put your last three in any match because you know your opponents will be studying that as well.6 Harry Kane is Captain Reliable from the spot – but ti is down to hard work on and off the pitchCredit: Getty – Contributor6 Ex-Man Utd striker Wayne Rooney bagged 53 goals in 120 games for EnglandCredit: PA:Empics SportOnce you have made your mind up where you are going, then you practise until you get perfection.You want to go into a game with the confidence that if you put your penalty where you want it, the keeper is not going to stop it, irrespective of if he dives the right way.Harry seems to have a similar technique to myself. He picks his spot then smashes it into the corner with pace and precision.He is a very impressive penalty-taker and it is great to see from an England point of view.Harry’s hat-trick against Bulgaria on Saturday means he has now gone past Geoff Hurst’s England haul.He is five behind my international tally of 30 and it is only a matter of time before he overtakes me.Harry will be eyeing up Wayne Rooney’s England record of 53 goals and given he is still only 26 years old, he has every chance of breaking it.If he stays fit, Harry could have another six or seven years playing for England.There are more international matches now, and a lot against weaker opposition, which is great for him and any forward.Harry is going to get plenty of chances, especially because he is playing alongside Raheem Sterling.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said today the format of the pools would ensure key rivals face each other in the fast-paced, action packed short form of Rugby League.During the official launch of the tournament Monday in Parramatta, it was revealed that:Group A would include Australia, New Zealand, PNG and USAGroup B would include England, France, Lebanon and WalesGroup C would include Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Cook IslandsMr Greenberg said the two highest-placed teams from Group A would progress to the semi-finals, alongside the winners of Groups B and C.The two highest-placed teams from the Women’s pool, which features Australia, New Zealand, England and PNG, will feature in the women’s final.The Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s Sydney 2019 was formally launched today in Parramatta featuring Damien Cook (Kangaroos), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Kiwis), James Segeyaro (PNG), Maika Sivo (Fiji), Michael Jennings (Tonga), Anthony Milford (Samoa), Alex Glenn (Cook Islands), as well as Isabelle Kelly (Jillaroos) and Raecene McGregor (Kiwi Ferns).Mr Greenberg said the pools were chosen to ensure exciting match-ups between traditional rivals.He added all teams would play one match on Friday and a minimum of two matches on Saturday.
While there was opportunity for more goals for Vanuatu, Tongan goal keeper Mateaki Taufa was her side’s saving grace, keeping a vigilant watch at the goal mouth and holding Vanuatu to a 4 point win.Both sides drew one all after the first period.In the second and third, Vanuatu belted in 5 goals and Tonga managed 1.Although trailing in the match, Tongan supporters entertained the crowd dancing and cheering on their girls.The men’s Bronze play off is now underway and team PNG is under pressure to make that game count and register a medal for PNG.PNG is playing Solomon Islands after beating Tonga yesterday.
Fewer than 200 people braved the heat to watch the elimination final .It took only 10 minutes for the Panthers to get the first points when Elvinah Hetra busted through the Sisters defence to score near the posts.Waikili John added the extras for the Panthers to take a 6-0 lead.Three minutes later, Panthers registered their second try when quick hands paved the way for an overlap for Angela Parao to dive over on the wing.Panthers continued to dominate possession and took a comfortable 10-0 lead going into the break.Sisters hit back early in the second half with tries to Getruth Peter and Esther Kes.But two unsuccessful conversion attempts made all the difference with the score at 10-8 in favour of the Panthers.Solid defence by the Panthers guaranteed them the win as they held on to the final whistle to win.The Panthers will play Royals next weekend. The winner will meet Souths in the women’s grand final in two weeks.Souths booked the first spot in the women’s grand final after holding on to beat Royals 12-8 in the first qualifying final yesterday.
Due to the PNG Games format, Team New Ireland Kickboxing athletes will be taking over 70 fighters both male and female including junior fighters.The tournament will be staged at Stamper Hall, Lahur in the heart of sleepy Namatanai Township.The General Code Director of Kickboxing Namaliu Toyet says the athletes will come from the 10 LLGs in New Ireland Province especially Murat, Lovogai, Kavieng Urban, Tikana, Central, Namatanai, Matalai, Konoagil, Tanir and Nimamar. Toyet said New Ireland is well known for other Martial Arts like Tong Long Kune Do, Taekwondo, Karate and Kungfu.“Most fighters will switch into Kickboxing as the code is growing strongdf and gaining popularity in the province,” Toyet said.He said at the last PNG Games in Lae, “we won two Golds, three Silver and two Bronze and Karate the highest with 10 Golds and that really improved the placing of Team New Ireland to fifth placing in the country but we are now aiming to triple that number this years.New Ireland kickboxing athlete is sengind word out to the other Kickboxing provinces that “we are not taking our opponents lightly come November in Kimbe 2016.”
Before a well-planted Leganés in defense, it took 23 minutes for Simeone to shoot for the first time on goal, in an action in which Ángel Correa picked up a good Lodi center to finish off the crossbar. Thus, they were entrusted to the counterattack to try to surprise; in one of them, in 36, Morata yielded to the Argentine, who returned it to the second post so that the Madrid striker himself put together a volley that Cuellar cleared.Without goals and with a shameful end The development of the game did not convince the ‘Cholo’, who moved the bench to enter Vitolo by Marcos Llorente after intermission. The canary, in fact, had the first clear chance of the resumption, but it was not understood with Correa when both were planted before the cucumber goal.Nerves began to feel in the stands of the Metropolitan Wanda, which sighed relieved when Javier Aguirre’s were about to advance in a rebound hunted by Recio on the front; Savic deflected the corner kick from the Málaga midfielder.Against prognosis, it was the colista of LaLiga Santander that more and better reached the rival area, and his confidence was increasing by the passing of the minutes. With the entry of Guido Carrillo, Aguirre showed the cards in search of giving the bell.Atlético only tuned in the last quarter of an hour. He began to arrive with more danger, and even claimed two possible penalties on Vitolo and Felipe that Mateu Lahoz did not perceive. A deflected foul kick by Saul and a header up from Saponjic sealed a final starring the surprising expulsion of the ‘Pichu’ Cuellar, who saw the second yellow for wasting time in 93 and forced Jonathan Silva to play under the last sticks minutesThe expulsion of the goalkeeper fueled the tension of the duel, which exploded when he tipped a ‘colleja’ to Morata after an exchange of words, and even the ‘Cholo’ jumped into the field in shameful last minutes that ended the ‘Pichu’ in the ground after a push from Saponjic. The marker, however, no longer moved.DATA SHEETATHLETIC OF MADRID: Oblak; Vrsaljko (Saponjic, min. 88), Felipe, Savic, Lodi; Correa (Herrera, min. 62), Llorente (Vitolo, min. 46), Thomas, Saul; João Felix and Morata.LEGANESE CD: Cuéllar; Rosales, Bustinza, Awaziem, Omeruo, Jonathan Silva; Recio, Eraso (Aitor, min. 61), Rodrigues (Carrillo, min. 78); Roque Mesa and Braithwaite (Óscar Rodríguez, min. 89).– ARBITRATOR: Mateu Lahoz (C. Valencian). He admonished Awaziem (min.11) and Eraso (min.55), Roque Mesa (min.89) and Recio (min.92) by Leganés and Savic (min.96) by Atlético. He sent a double yellow to Cuéllar (min. 76 and 93).– STADIUM: Wanda Metropolitano. 52,767 spectators. Those of Simeone link their fourth consecutive game without winning Atlético de Madrid has not passed the draw against CD Leganés this Sunday in the Wanda Metropolitano (0-0), evidencing its crisis of results in its fourth consecutive game without winning, in a match in which those of Simeone took to react before a cucumber set that was not daunted in the red and white coliseum.The defeat in the final of the Spanish Super Cup, the league stumble against Eibar (2-0) and the very hard elimination against Cultural Leonesa have weighed in the spirits of the ‘Cholo’ Simeone, who when they woke up from their lethargy before him until today LaLiga colista was already too much part.Those of Javier Aguirre offered intensity, bravery and impudence to take the prize of leaving the ‘red lantern’, now in the hands of Espanyol with their same 15 points. Meanwhile, Atlético is left with 36 units in fourth place, which could be lost depending on the Getafe result.On a day when the fog that flooded the Metropolitan gradually dissipated, the great mystery was resolved as soon as the meeting began. The fans ‘forgave’ the Cup debacle and received the team with applause and chanting the name of their coach. What happened in the Kingdom of León was forgotten for the moment.But without a doubt, the surprise of the day had a name and surname: Sime Vrsaljko. The physical problems of Santiago Arias and the fact that Kieran Trippier is not yet recovered led the ‘Cholo’ to bet on the Croatian, who 20 months later returned to dress rojiblanco after overcoming a serious knee injury and after his assignment in the Inter.In spite of the novelties, the rojiblanco picture returned to look thick, without ideas in attack, something of which it has suffered in the last times. He only reacted after a few first notices from the visiting team, which tested Oblak twice before the quarter hour.First it was Kevin Rodrigues, recovered from a head crash in a jump with Vrsaljko a few minutes earlier, who tested the Slovenian goalkeeper with a low shot that he broke with a saving hand. Only three minutes later, the mattress goalkeeper avoided Braithwaite’s goal with his left foot.
It will not be the first visit of Blaugrana players that Orava has these days because the Japanese player of the subsidiary, Hiroki Abe, who will be intervened on the same day as Dembélé will also attend, but in his case by the right hand of Orava, the surgeon Lasse Lempainen. In the case of Abe, he also suffered a ruptured tendon of the biceps femoris.If the medical services of Barcelona have delayed their decision on Dembélé somewhat, it was because the player wanted to operate in the Aspetar center in Doha. He had to move the top medical officer of the club, Ramon Canal, to Qatar to speak with the doctors of the Aspetar center and convince them that the best solution is to go through the hands of Orava. Dembélé already has a date and time to go through the operating room. It will be on Tuesday, February 11 at 9 a.m. in Turku (Finland) where the hospital headed by the world’s largest hamstring specialist is located, the Finn Sakari Orava, who by the way already operated three years ago of the same injury, although on that occasion it was the left leg and now it is the right.The forward, who will be intervened for a complete rupture of the proximal tendon of the right leg, is scheduled to move to Finland on Monday to begin testing and prepare for the operation. Although the club did not want to anticipate a forecast yet, the minimum withdrawal time is set at about four months.The truth is that the technical secretariat needs that the withdrawal time is not less than five months to have a green light to find a substitute. In any case, the player’s history of injuries would allow the fan to open up to five months., although in this case it will have to be decided by a Committee of doctors of the Spanish Federation to decide whether or not to approve the report submitted by the Blaugrana entity.