Posts Tagged ‘soccer’

Laser Pen Light Furore as Russians Draw with Algeria

Igor Akinfeev in game against Algeria. Photo: www.theguardian.com

Igor Akinfeev in game against Algeria. Photo: www.theguardian.com

The world has been stunned by the apparent use of a green laser pen apparently being used to distract the Russian Goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev, moments before Algeria scored an equaliser.

In a tense, hard fought competition, Algerian striker Islam Slimani slotted the ball past the goalie with a second-half header. The goal brought Algeria 1 – 1 and allowed the Desert Foxes to progress into the last 16.

The Algerians were behind for most of the match after Alexander Kokorin scored in only the sixth minute. A pinpoint accurate header slammed into the back of the net sending the Russians into raptures. For the rest of the match the Russians peppered the Algerian goal, but to no avail.

Set plays between Kokorin and Aleksandr Samedov looked certain to sizzle by the Algerian keeper. But Rais Mbolhi was everywhere. He single-handedly kept the Algerians in the game with his athleticism, skill and desperation.

Mbolhi’s finest moment came 21 minutes from fulltime when Samedov broke through the defensive line to zero in on the Algerian goal. He looped a beautiful cross to Kerzhokov who swooped in from the right. Kerzhokov’s strike was low and and fast as a bullet. Mbolhi batted it away and secured the ball on the Russian’s second attempt.

Replays of the Algerian equaliser clearly show the light from a laser pen wavering across Akinfeev’s face. Match officials are taking this disruption very seriously. Whatever the outcome, the result will stand.

This means the Desert Foxes now have the opportunity to exact revenge on West Germany and Austria.

In 1982 the Algerians were bundled out of the World Cup when Germany was all but allowed to win 1 – 0. The result benefitted both teams at the expense of Algeria and the treachery has never been forgotten.

What kids’ soccer matches teach us about teamwork

If you’ve ever watched a kids’ soccer match, it’s understandable if you found it hard to follow.

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As soon as the ball comes into play, all the little legs rush towards it in a clumsy wolf pack, leaving every other part of the field exposed. There’s always the kid who loses his or her configuration and accidentally scores a goal for the other team only to have the ecstatic excitement shatter into red-faced embarrassment. And no matter how loud the frantic coach on the sideline shouts, the young team just can’t seem to comprehend what “stay in your position” means.

Shamefully, as adults, we’re often not much better. Whether it’s in a sports team or a workplace, we often forget to step back and look at the bigger picture.

One of the most important things in team sports in to communicate. Kirstyn Haywood, a team-building expert from People for Success, recently said: “In a team, it’s essential to listen to those around you.” “It’s impossible to organise all the elements in a team when everyone is doing their own thing”, Haywood said.

She’s right. Every person in a team has something different to offer and the best way for all the pieces to complement each other is by speaking and listening to one another.

By placing teammates in different parts of the field, each gains a different vantage point that can be shared with the others. Often, it’s the defending back line who is best positioned to tell the striker when the opposition is creeping up

When we are connected, we can work seamlessly in sync like a well-oiled machine. When we see the whole field, we can create and implement the most effective strategy.

For any team, growth comes from training and setting goals. Getting your team together regularly to train and practice executing well-planned tactics is a great way to build teamwork. In addition, fostering an environment of ambition, determination and clear goal setting is essential for motivating your team. When they can visualise success, they can reach it.

A little disorganisation is fine when it’s a bunch of five-year-olds running around in the mud on a Sunday afternoon. But when the stakes are higher and the trophy is waiting to be won, actively promoting teamwork and solid communication is the best way to win the match.

Gallas set to sign for Glory

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The A-League is set to welcome another big name into it’s ranks with French star defender William Gallas due to be Perth Glory’s latest marquee signing. Confirmation that the former Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur man will be joining the Western Australian side is imminent, according to the French media.

Gallas was close to coming to Australia earlier in the year when Melbourne Victory was close to confirming his signature, though decided on signing the Chilean Pablo Contreras instead. It appears, however, that the Glory deal is all but confirmed with the current free agent expected to arrive in Perth after the round five trip to Wellington.

Gallas has said to be enticed by the Australian football sphere by what he sees as a new footballing frontier. Taking note of recent overseas successes in Emile Heskey, Shinji Ono and Alessandro Del Piero, the A-League shouldn’t be surprised that it has gained a following around the world. Though it did go through a few years of trouble where crowds were low and football wasn’t at it’s highest quality, the introduction of new players, teams (notably the Western Sydney Wanderers) and now free-to-air televising has increased popularity and put the league on the national scale.

Gallas looks to add Perth Glory to his list of already high profile teams. After Joining Chelsea from Olympique Marseille in 2001, he was sent to the Emirates in a deal which saw Ashley Cole move the other way. He then moved to direct rivals Tottenham Hotspurs, with whom he played until he was released earlier this year.

Gallas will be looking to help Perth Glory lift itself from a disappointing first couple of games, having taking only one point from their visit to the Newcastle Jets. They are due to face Melbourne Heart in their first home game this Sunday.

Physical education in Schools

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Physical education in schools plays a central role in breaking down barriers to participation in sport,” the report says. “It provides significant health and social benefits. It was concerning to learn from experts Australia-wide that the education system no longer reliably provides the platform upon which much of the nation’s sporting activity is based.”

That proposal has universal support in the national sports community, which has noted with concern the dramatic drop in the physical abilities of young athletes coming into the elite system in the past 20 years as physical education has declined in schools.

“The young athletes we saw 20 years ago were vastly superior in all-round fitness and general co-ordination,” says Australian Institute of Sport athletics coach Craig Hilliard. “The ones we see now lack fine motor co-ordination.