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Brazil 2-2 England

first_imgEngland came close to leaving Brazil’s iconic Maracana home with an unlikely victory – only to be denied a repeat of their win here 29 years ago by Paulinho’s late equaliser.Goalkeeper Joe Hart produced a magnificent display to single-handedly keep Brazil at bay in a torrid first half when their latest young superstar Neymar tormented a poor England.The defiant Hart produced a series of superb saves as Brazil ran England ragged, backed by the traditional fervour of fans revelling in watching their side play in this renovated stadium.Brazil looked on course for victory when Fred put them ahead after the break but substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoyed a golden moment he will treasure forever when he powered home a fine equaliser.The Arsenal teenager’s father, former Stoke City winger Mark Chamberlain, played in the Maracana when England secured a famous 2-0 win on their last visit in 1984.And the fanatical Rio crowd feared the modern-day Brazil were going to suffer a similar fate when Wayne Rooney’s deflected 25-yard shot gave Roy Hodgson’s side the lead with 11 minutes left. Paulinho cut short England’s hopes of ending their season with a landmark, if undeserved, win with a fine volley – but they can still take credit from battling through a period when they were outclassed by Brazil to come away with a draw.This was a night when Brazil’s new home was put on show and this entertaining friendly did it justice, although the locals were understandably disappointed by the eventual outcome.The new Maracana may have lost some of its unique appearance but the name still has the old mystique, with Rio’s statue of Christ The Redeemer looking down from the hills overlooking the stadium.And for England’s players fed on tales of the Brazilian greats such as Pele, Garrincha and Jairzinho, simply to play in the arena bearing the famous name – even in its modern guise – will be a special memory, especially for Hart and Oxlade-Chamberlain.The exterior of the stadium, and indeed parts of the interior, is still very much a work in progress and led to brief fears that this game may not materialise after it was suspended on Thursday amid safety fears. The searing temperatures in South America provided another test for England’s somewhat depleted squad to conquer at the conclusion of a long season. This remains one of the great temples of football and huge surges of noise swept around the Maracana every time Brazil threatened, with Leighton Baines blocking an early acrobatic effort from Neymar, and Dani Alves shooting just wide from long range.Neymar was the orchestrator supreme, often to the frustration of his team-mates, who waited for a pass that never came, and he teased England throughout the first half.It was developing into a personal battle with Hart and the keeper won when Neymar controlled Alves’s pass after a slip by Glen Johnson. He then made a brave double save, diving at the feet of Hulk and Filipe.Neymar then curled another shot just off target before England’s under-pressure defence suffered a blow when Baines limped off to be replaced by Ashley Cole. England, who had barely entered the Brazilian danger zone, then had a clear opening but Walcott’s shot following Johnson’s fine pass was saved by Julio Cesar. To say this would have been against the run of play would rank as a masterpiece of understatement.Frank Lampard then tested Cesar again but Brazil had exerted almost complete control and England had somehow remained on level terms.The visitors at least enjoyed some rare moments of possession after the restart but the goal Brazil had threatened came after 57 minutes when Fred hooked home, making a difficult finish look deceptively easy after substitute Hernanes’s shot had bounced back off the bar.Hodgson then introduced Oxlade-Chamberlain for Johnson and England suddenly looked dangerous, with James Milner seeing a shot deflected wide and Rooney sending a very good headed chance wide.And Oxlade-Chamberlain’s time arrived after 67 minutes when Rooney headed Lampard’s ball into his path and he drilled a powerful low finish past Cesar. England, remarkably given what had gone before, then took the lead with 11 minutes left as Rooney cut inside and saw his shot deflected off Fernando past Cesar.It was a lead they held for only three minutes as Paulinho showed superb technique to volley Lucas Moura’s cross beyond Hart.last_img read more

Ushona retains WBO Africa title by stopping Ebenezer Lantei Lamptey

first_imgBethuel Ushona of Namibia the WBO number one ranked welterweight retained his WBO Africa title for the fifth time when he stopped Ebenezar Lantei Lamptey from Ghana in the tenth round at the Oshikoto Park in the Oshikoto region of Namibia on Saturday night.The better boxing of Ushona dominated throughout the first nine rounds and after a barrage of blows to the head in the tenth round referee Timo Haikonda stepped in to wave the fight off.On the same card Paulus Ambunda won the vacant WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles when he outpointed Cristian Palma from Chile over 12 rounds. The scores were 116-112, 119-109 and 120-113.In a cruiserweight fight Namibian Vikapita Meroro stopped Alphonce Mchumistumbo from Tanzania in the eleventh round to claim the vacant WBO Africa title.Other results: Welterweight: Emmanuel Mungandjela beat Kapena Naidjala, pts 4; Junior lightweight: Jeremia Nakathila beat David Eghumbo, pts 4; Flyweight: Japhet Utoni beat Amagola Neaman, tko 5.last_img read more

Dwayne Haskins gives Bengals every reason to act now with QB in NFL Draft

first_imgHaskins hosted the Dwayne Haskins Football Pro Camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Sunday with hundreds of grade-school football players from the area. He bounced from station to station and played with the campers as his highlights from 2018 replayed on a loop on the giant television on the complex’s wall. Haskins was in their shoes when he was a young football player. “You will forever have a home here as a ballplayer coming to this university,” Haskins told a group of reporters at the camp. “To be able to go the spring game and share that with my former teammates and people I look up to in the NFL, which now I’m a part of, is an unbelievable experience.”Where will Haskins find his next home? That is the big question now.NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD:Where Haskins ranks among 2019 QBs Haskins’ stock for the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft continues to fluctuate, and Sporting News’ latest mock draft has the quarterback going to Denver with the No. 10 pick. What about the pick after that?Cincinnati should consider this move for several reasons, one being that it competes in an AFC North battleground state. Haskins could be a counter to neighboring Cleveland.”It would be great to continue that Ohio connection, but I’m just looking forward to whatever (team) picks me,” Haskins said.Ken Broo, host of “Sunday Morning Sports Talk” on WLW-AM Radio in Cincinnati, gave two reasons why the Bengals should consider Haskins with the No. 11 pick: Haskins has the talent to be a successful NFL quarterback, and there is an economic appeal to the pick.”Every team, in my opinion, needs cost certainty,” Broo told SN. “Despite the cap, you have to have cost certainty. Look at these teams going with young quarterbacks because their rookie deals keep them under team control with cost certainty for five years.”MORE NFL DRAFT:Order of picks for Bengals, others in 2019The Bengals are a team in transition in 2019. Marvin Lewis is gone after a 16-year stint. Zac Taylor, one of the chic assistants off the Sean McVay tree, is the new coach. Quarterback Andy Dalton has two years left on his deal, but there is no dead-money cap hit if he is released. Broo calls it a state of “quarterback purgatory.””(Dalton) is not going to get you where they want to go, and he’s not going to get you beaten on a consistent basis because of a lack of skills,” Broo said. “He’s just there.”If Haskins is available to the Bengals, then, yes, it’s a pick worth considering. Cincinnati has not indicated that will happen. Taylor continues to throw support in Dalton’s direction. Linebacker has been a popular pick in mock drafts because of the departure of veteran Vontaze Burfict.When asked about Cincinnati, Haskins mentioned former Ohio State teammates Sam Hubbard and Billy Price. Hubbard, a third-round pick in 2018, emerged as a Cincinnati fan favorite with six sacks as a rookie. It adds up to another Ohio connection with which Haskins seems comfortable.”I haven’t talked to the Bengals since the (NFL) Combine, but the draft is so crazy, you never know what can happen,” he said. “If I go down the street, that would be awesome.” COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dwayne Haskins’ return to Ohio State last weekend proved he will always have a home in Ohio.Haskins, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2018 after a record-setting season, attended the Ohio State spring game Saturday. He waved to the fans walking in the tunnel. He shadowed incoming quarterback Justin Fields. He locked arms with players and sang “Carmen Ohio” one more time, and he wasn’t done. If the Cardinals draft Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick, then he will join Baker Mayfield (2018) and Sam Bradford (2010) as the third Oklahoma quarterback to be taken with the first pick this decade. By comparison, to find the last Big Ten quarterback drafted in the first round, one must rewind back to 1995, when the Panthers took Penn State’s Kerry Collins with the No. 5 overall pick.Haskins is in line to break that streak. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay is surprised by the trend, but he does not see a correlation between conference and quarterback play. After all, former Big Ten quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees were not first-round picks.”There doesn’t seem to be a stigma out there if you want to play quarterback at a high level you don’t go to a Big Ten school,” McShay said. “It’s kind of been a coincidence.”Haskins, however, would have the pressure associated with a first-rounder. Broo cited two more perceptions that Haskins must disprove in the NFL.”He has a short resume with the one season, but they hired a head coach with virtually no resume,” Broo said. “The other reason I hesitate is the legend of Ohio State quarterbacks that have excelled at the NFL level is pretty short.”That second part is worth noting; the last Ohio State quarterback to be taken in the first round was Art Schlichter in 1982. The Buckeyes have had seven quarterbacks drafted since 1995: Bobby Hoying, Joe Germaine, Steve Bellisari, Craig Krenzel, Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor and Cardale Jones. They have combined for 32 starts in the NFL.MORE NFL DRAFT:All-time worst regret for Bengals, othersHaskins posted better single-season passing numbers than any of those players at Ohio State. He set single-season Big Ten records for touchdown passes (50) and yards (4,831) in an offense enhanced by now-head coach Ryan Day, who had previous stops in the NFL with the Eagles and 49ers. That’s why this is different. Haskins is not a traditional Ohio State quarterback. He is the next in a new wave of quarterbacks.”Ryan Day has had a big role in developing Haskins and how quickly Haskins got to that high level with only 14 starts,” McShay said. “That will help Ohio State, and it can’t hurt the conference.”It can’t hurt the Bengals, either. If not now at QB for Cincinnati, then when?Consider the competition in the AFC North. Pittsburgh is already having to think about life after Ben Roethlisberger, and Baltimore has started a new era with Lamar Jackson.Cincinnati should look at Cleveland as an example of what a new look can provide. The Browns drafted Mayfield, picked up Odell Beckham Jr. in a blockbuster offseason trade and gave first-year coach Freddie Kitchens more than enough talent with which to work. Now Cleveland is a popular pick to win the division. Broo noted that Bengals owner Mike Brown is not going to make draft picks based on what the Browns are doing, but it is fair for Cincinnati to ask the same questions Cleveland did after going 0-16 in 2017.”All of this comes down to ‘Where are you in two years?'” Broo said.Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green will be a free agent in 2020. Running back Joe Mixon will follow in 2021. Haskins could be a player who gives those playmakers an incentive to stay, especially if he flourishes in Taylor’s new scheme. This worked for another franchise that played in the AFC championship game last season and took eventual Super Bowl champion New England to overtime.”I’m not sure the best blueprint for this team isn’t what Kansas City did two years ago with Patrick Mahomes,” Broo said. “They drafted him and rode with Alex Smith for a year. After that year, when they needed that group to win right now, they went with Mahomes. Maybe you do the same thing here with Haskins.”MORE NFL DRAFT:Ranking first-round QBs since 2000Haskins has the skill set to be a successful NFL quarterback for years to come, one who can break those Big Ten and Ohio State stereotypes. He would give the Bengals a long-term plan at quarterback and excite a fan base that would welcome the kind of buzz that’s now in Cleveland.Haskins already occupies the middle ground of the state in Central Ohio, where Browns and Bengals fans spend most Sundays arguing over which team gets televised when both are playing in the same time slot.Right now, Cleveland is must-see TV. Haskins with the Bengals would throw a wrench into that, especially in Columbus. If Haskins is the Ohio State quarterback who finally breaks through, then Cincinnati would have a counter to Cleveland for the next five years. That cost certainty would be there, too.Haskins would have another home in Ohio. He will always have that in Columbus, which was reaffirmed over the weekend.Haskins closed the weekend by telling campers the last year “was a dream come true,” and he can’t wait to see what comes next. Haskins said he will watch the NFL Draft with family, and he does not seem too concerned about when his name will be called. “All my friends in the NFL say it doesn’t matter how early you go, it’s where you go. I don’t care if I go first or I go 32,” Haskins said. “I just want to go to a place where the guys are going to develop me, have great people around me and be at a great organization. That’s a lot of teams. There are a lot of possibilities.”Cincinnati can be one of those places, too.If Haskins is there at No. 11, there is no reason for the Bengals not to make the pick. A franchise that understands its surroundings makes this move.last_img read more