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No Excuse For Saudi Slip –Messi

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No Excuse For Saudi Slip –Messi, GlitzEmpire

Lionel Messi

 

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Lionel Messi told his Argentina teammates there are “no excuses” for their shock defeat to Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Argentina slipped to a 2-1 loss at Lusail Stadium despite leading in the first half through Messi’s 10th-minute penalty.

The result will go down as one of the greatest upsets in the history of the World Cup, but Messi insisted there is a way back for his team — one of the pre-tournament favourites — if they can deal with the setback.

“It is a very hard blow for everyone, we did not expect to start this way,” Messi said. “Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for what is coming, we have to win, and it depends on us.

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“There are no excuses. We are going to be more united than ever. This group is strong, and we have shown it. It is a situation that we haven’t gone through in a long time. Now we have to show that this is a real group.”

Saudi Arabia manager Herve Renard suggested afterwards that Argentina — 48 places above his team in the world rankings — might have lacked motivation.

Messi, however, insisted they had not taken their opponents lightly and told fans who have travelled to Qatar in their thousands that they will turn their World Cup campaign around when they face Mexico and Poland.

“My message to the supporters is to have faith,” Messi added. “We won’t leave them stranded.

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“We knew that Saudi Arabia is a team with good players, that they move the ball well and that they push the [defensive] line a lot. We worked on it, but we rushed a bit. We have to go back to the base of who we are. We have to think about what’s next.”

Argentina arrived in Qatar as the reigning Copa America champions and on the back of a 36-match unbeaten run — they would have equalled Italy as the national team with the longest unbeaten run in history by avoiding defeat yesterday.

Coach Lionel Scaloni admitted afterward that the defeat was “difficult to absorb” but issued a promise that his team would still qualify from Group C.

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Gold Fields Pledge Support To PGA

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Gold Fields Pledge Support To PGA, GlitzEmpire

 

Executive Vice President for Golf Fields and Head of West Africa, Joshua Motorti, has assured Professional Golfers’ Association of Ghana (PGA) of his outfits continued support to the sport of golf and sports in general.

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Speaking at the closing ceremony of the ninth edition of Gold Fields PGA Championship held at Wasa Damang in the Western Region, he said Gold Fields will continue to back golf and other sport in Ghana because it is one of the company’s core values.

“The reason why we support golf is that we believe that safety is the same as health, and health is the same as sport, that’s why Gold Fields support sports.

“We will continue to support sports. So this will not be the last one because we believe that a healthy person, makes a safe person, and makes a productive person of human resource,” he disclosed.

Kojo Barni won the ninth edition of the Gold Fields PGA tournament with gross total score of 286.

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He showed a masterclass performance to get better off the course in a solid four-day performance.

With gross total of 286, same as second placed Vincent Torgah, the former champion got the better off the latter after breaking the second tie with a shot.

The win means it is Barni’s third streak, having won it in 2017, 2018 and 2022.

“The Tournament Director, Akwesi Prempeh, pushed me to work hard, so big thank you to him,” Barni said.

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Emos Koblah came third with gross total of 291, Owusu Bonsua placed fourth with 292, and 295 positioned Yaw Barry fifth.

In the senior category, Robert Degbe won with SSS 223,

Brave Mensah came second with SSS 224, Akwesi Prempeh placed third with 238, Duada Mahama and James Larry came fourth and fifth with SSS 240 and SSS 244 respectively.

The tournament, which started last Wednesday, featured 32 regular professional golfers and 16 senior golfers.

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Past winners of the Gold Fields PGA Tournament comprise of Vincent Torgah, who won it in 2014, 2016 and 2021.

Emos Korblah won in 2015, while Lucky Ayisah won in 2020. Christopher Francis from Nigeria won in 2019, the only foreigner to have won the tournament.

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Uruguay Coach ‘Weep’ Over World Cup Exit

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Uruguay Coach ‘Weep’ Over World Cup Exit, GlitzEmpire

Diego Alonso

 

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After being eliminated from the World Cup despite a 2-0 win against Ghana last Friday, Uruguay coach Diego Alonso blamed his country’s failure to get out of the group stage on an officiating error in the team’s previous game against Portugal.

“We are out because of Portugal’s penalty and goal difference,” Alonso said through a FIFA translator. “It’s not the point [from a 0-0 draw against South Korea], rather to the contrary. We are not out because of that point. It’s because of the penalty that was awarded in extra time that, according to FIFA, was not a penalty.”

The penalty in question came on a play in the 89th minute when Portugal were leading 1-0. Uruguayan defender Jose Maria Gimenez made a sliding challenge in the penalty box and the ball grazed his hand while he was extending it to brace himself as he fell backward.

Referee Alireza Faghani of Iran initially did not call for a penalty, but was advised to consult a VAR review, which led to the decision. Bruno Fernandes converted the penalty to make the score 2-0.

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Alonso has a legitimate gripe in the wake of the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) clarification of the handball rule in 2021, when it said the penalty shouldn’t be called when “arm position is for support when falling or when getting up from the ground.”

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