Hockey News Hockey World Cup 2018: India chase history against Netherlands in crunch quarterfinal clash

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Hockey News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Bhubaneswar: Their shoulders are burdened with weight of expectations but it won’t be easy for India to end a 43-year long wait when they take on mighty Netherlands in the quarterfinal of the men’s hockey World Cup, here Thursday. Boasting a rich hockey legacy, India last played in the semi-final of the World Cup way back in 1975 when they went on to lift their maiden title. Of late, the game has witnessed an upward trend in the country but the history does not favour the hosts against the mighty Dutchmen, whom the Indians have never beaten in the World Cup. In the six earlier meetings at the quadrennial event, Netherlands defeated India five times while one ended in a draw. And if Manpreet Singh and his men get past the Dutch on Thursday, they will not only break a jinx but also rewrite history and ink their names in the one of the golden chapters of the Indian hockey.  Going by present form and rankings, there is hardly anything to differentiate between the two sides.  While Netherlands are placed fourth in the current world rankings, India are a rung below in the fifth position.  The last time India and Netherlands faced each in the Champions Trophy earlier this, the match had ended in a 1-1 draw.  The over-all head-to-head record belongs to Netherlands. In the 105 games played between the two sides so far, India have won 33, lost 48 while the rest ended in draws.  However, the two sides have shared the spoils since 2013. India and Netherlands have faced each other nine times since 2013, winning four apiece while one game finished in a draw.  Read More | Hockey World Cup 2018: India beat Canada 5-1 to reach quarterfinals And for India captain Manpreet Singh past results hold significance.  “The past results matter a lot because Netherlands have a better result against us. But, we have played well against them recently. We have also beaten them, drew against them at the Champions Trophy. Indian hockey has improved a lot. The match will be tough and whichever team plays better will win,” Manpreet said.  Read More | Hockey World Cup 2018: France stun Olympic champions ArgentinaThe India-Netherlands duel is expected to be a fast-paced, attacking encounter with both the teams heavily relying on their goal scoring abilities to come out winners.  Both India and Netherlands have scored heavily in the poll stages. While India have scored 12 goals and conceded three, the Dutch have pumped in 18 goals and conceded five.  In the likes of captain Billy Bakker, Seve van Ass, Jeroen Hertzberger, Mirco Pruijser, Robbert Kemperman, Thiery Brinkman, the Dutch have got plenty of experience in the midfield and its strike force. It will be a real test for the Indian defence on Thursday.  The Indians too would be relying on their strikers Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Akashdeep Singh to continue their good work. With the Kalinga Stadium expected to be packed to its full capacity, there will also be tremendous pressure on the Indian team and the Dutch will be more than happy to exploit any mistake.  “This will be not be the first time. We have played in front of big crows in pool games and in the past as well. We are used to playing in front of big crowds,? Netherlands coach Max Caldas said.  “We always try to play in our own pace, whether it is fast or slow. We like to dictate. We are not concerned about India because we can’t influence what India will do.”  Netherlands skipper Bakker added: “The Indian team also has lot of pressure. They need to perform in front of their home crowd. So I feel the pressure is more on the Indian team than us.”  Meanwhile in the first quarterfinal, Germany will take on Belgium. last_img read more

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Q&A: Editors discuss state of football team

first_imgUSC’s football team is heading into its first weekend without a game since late September. Over this weekend, Trojan fans will have to sit back and watch the national and the Pac-12 landscapes shift beyond their control. Daily Trojan sports editors Aubrey Kragen and Will Hanley, along with Editor-In-Chief Euno Lee, sat down to discuss the Trojans’ season so far and going forward.Workhorse · Redshirt junior running back Javorius “Buck” Allen is well on his way to earning offensive MVP honors for the Trojans this year. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanQ: The Trojans are hitting the home stretch and they have a matchup against Cal on a Thursday along with the two rivalry games after that. They’re 6-3 right now. What’s their record going to be at the end of the season?Will Hanley: 9-3. The Trojans have the talent to beat nearly any team in the country. Individually, USC can claim more Pac-12 Player of the Week awards — six, between offense, defense and special teams — than any other Pac-12 squad thus far. The Trojans’ results as a team, however, do not tell that story, and believing in them to go undefeated from here on out is an admittedly dangerous proposition. Everything depends on which USC team shows up on a given Saturday — or Thursday. Will it be the squad that held on for gutsy road wins at Arizona and Stanford, or the group that was eviscerated by an entirely average Boston College offense? Because there is clearly no way to predict that, it still seems a little foolish to pick against the Trojans’ talent.Cal has given up at least 30 points to all but one FBS opponent this season, and it’s hard to believe the Bears’ offense can keep them in the game against a stout USC defensive front. Though rivalry games are always a crapshoot, UCLA nonetheless has yet to put together impressive performances from its offense and defense in the same game. A 17-7 home win over Arizona does not inspire confidence that the Bruins can match their crosstown rivals’ firepower. And Notre Dame? Well, our luck against the Irish has to change at some point, right?Aubrey Kragen: In our first columnist roundtable this year, I predicted that USC would go 14-1 and win the national championship. And after the first game of the season, my ridiculous claim didn’t seem so ridiculous. But the Trojans have hilariously stumbled a few times this season, and I have a feeling they won’t go smoothly through these last three games. We’ll probably beat Cal, but lose to UCLA and Notre Dame. Despite not looking terribly impressive this season, the Bruins have escaped with a handful of wins that they didn’t deserve, and the Nov. 22 tilt between the crosstown rivals will probably fall in their favor, simply because this USC season has been impossible to predict, and Notre Dame is one call away from being undefeated this year.Q: How would you grade USC head coach Steve Sarkisian’s performance as a coach so far?Euno Lee: I’d grade Sarkisian’s season a solid B, with the understanding that it’s his first season with a completely new set of players. I’m disappointed that he couldn’t find a way to bring back Clancy Pendergast, who did brilliant things with the defensive backs last season. For a reason that completely escapes me given the generally dilapidated state of Pac-12 defenses, this man does not have a job.What I certainly respect is that Sarkisian takes chances and puts faith in his players to execute. The sky is the limit with this Trojan offense, and though it can be hampered by some shaky play-calling at times, Kessler still has 25 touchdowns to two interceptions on the season.WH: B-minus. As much as USC fans don’t want to hear this, Sarkisian and the Trojans are legitimately a Hail Mary away from being 7-2, and a converted fourth-and-2 away from being 8-1. Yes, a purely results-based evaluation is flawed. And yes, USC even finding itself in situations to lose those games can partially be blamed on the coaching staff. Still, I’d bet that most fans would be willing to look the other way about those coaching errors if a little luck swung their team’s way.Losing close games against ranked conference opponents is no knock on a rookie head coach. If anything, Sarkisian’s deserves a downgrade for one thing: his team’s woeful lack of preparation against Boston College. Without prognosticating about where the season could have gone if the Trojans had won that game, the 37-31 loss cast a pall over a season that started with a lot of hope. It was an inexcusable result among excusable inconsistency.Q: With just three games remaining, who would you tab the Trojans’ offensive and defensive MVPs at the end of the season?WH: Offense: redshirt junior tailback Javorius “Buck” Allen. Defense: sophomore linebacker Su’a Cravens.Man, I wish I could give the offensive award to two people. Both Allen and redshirt junior quarterback Cody Kessler have exceeded expectations, and both rank at or near the top of the Pac-12 in a variety of statistical categories. If anything, I have to give Allen the nod for pure value. The Tallahassee, Florida, native has only one sub-100-yard rushing game this season — in the loss to BC — while two of his three best performances in terms of yards per carry have come in key wins over Arizona and Stanford. Kessler, on the other hand, had his two worst performances of the year in those games.Defense is a no-doubter. I swear Cravens has figured out a way to be in two places at once this season. The man has been all over the field, racking up 12.5 tackles for loss — costing opponents a total of 67 yards — all while figuring out a new position. Get well soon, Su’a.AK: You know it’s a weird season when the quarterback who sets the school record for touchdown passes in a game isn’t the consensus pick for offensive MVP. But like my fellow sports editor, I’ve also gotta tab Buck Allen as that guy. He’s always been dependable, takes care of the ball, and sustains drives. He doesn’t score as many touchdowns as you’d expect, and when he does, they aren’t as spectacular as Nelson Agholor’s punt return touchdowns, but he somewhat quietly accrued the ninth-most rushing yards in the nation.If I say Leonard Williams for defensive MVP, will that launch him back into the conversation for the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft? Yeah, I’m gonna do that. Rooting for you, Leo.last_img read more

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Report: DEA launching probe into how Angels’ Tyler Skaggs obtained drugs

first_imgOne federal law enforcement agent, speaking on condition of anonymity, told ESPN that fentanyl has been showing up “everywhere, even in marijuana.”Skaggs’ family retained prominent attorney Rusty Hardin to represent them when the Southlake Police Department opened its investigation into the pitcher’s death. The family is also seeking to learn how Skaggs came into possession of the opioids that contributed to his death, including who supplied them.In a statement released by the family when the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office released its autopsy report on Aug. 30, it was suggested that an Angels employee might have been responsible for supplying the drugs.“We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels. We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them,” the statement said.The ESPN report confirmed that no Angels team employee has been connected to Skaggs’ death or targeted as of yet in the investigation being conducted by the Southlake PD. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “We continue to cooperate with law enforcement on this important matter,” Angels team spokesperson Marie Garvey said in statement in the ESPN report.After the autopsy report came out, it was reported that Major League Baseball will conduct its own investigation into the matter and will discuss the possibility of more widespread testing for opioids with the players’ association.“For several reasons, including the tragic loss of a member of our fraternity and other developments happening in the country as a whole, it is appropriate and important to re-examine all of our drug protocols relating to education, treatment and prevention,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement earlier this month.center_img The Drug Enforcement Administration has launched an investigation to determine where Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs obtained the drugs that were in his system at the time of his July 1 death in Southlake, Texas, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported on Wednesday.An autopsy released Aug. 30 found evidence of fentanyl, oxycodone and ethanol along with alcohol in Skaggs’ system when he was found dead in his hotel room. The fentanyl drew the attention of federal investigators, the report, which quoted anonymous sources, said. The report noted that the DEA frequently gets involved in fentanyl cases in an effort to track down the source of the drug.The powerful synthetic opioid has been linked to a number of high-profile drug-related deaths, including musicians Prince, Tom Petty and Mac Miller. Finding the sources who are behind the distribution of fentanyl has become a high priority.Skaggs, 27, was found unresponsive in his hotel room hours before the Angels were to begin a series against the Texas Rangers, having choked on his own vomit.last_img read more

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