The closest either side came to goal in the first period was when visiting winger Munir El Haddadi’s brilliant free-kick crashed against the crossbar.Sevilla did take the lead in the first minute of the second half, as former Barcelona player El Haddadi teed up Dutch striker Luuk de Jong to score his sixth league goal of the season.Levante managed to create some late pressure and centre-back Carlos put through his own net three minutes from time after a mix-up with goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.The draw helped 12th-placed Levante move 10 points clear of safety with nine matches to play.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Sevilla suffered a setback in their bid to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage as a late own goal by Diego Carlos allowed visiting Levante to grab a 1-1 draw on Monday.Julen Lopetegui’s side, who sit third in La Liga, hold a five-point lead over fifth-placed Getafe, although their closest rivals still have to play in this round of matches.The five-time Europa League winners, who last played in the Champions League in 2017-18, are four points clear of fourth-placed Real Sociedad, with Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Villarreal and Granada also in the top-four hunt.
In their first series since winning the national championship in March, the Badgers swept the Lady Lions with 24 goals and no reply over the weekend at the Kohl Center.[/media-credit]Scoring 24 goals in the first series of the season is nothing to complain about.Extending its unbeaten streak from last season with a 13-0 win over the Lindenwood Lady Lions, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team has gone 29 games without a loss.Nearly every Badger scored on the weekend, as all four freshmen found the back of the net. The only goalless Badger was sophomore Natalie Berg, who had four assists.“It was really good,” said freshman defenseman Katarina Zgraja, who scored her first career goal Friday. “After you get your first goal, you’re more comfortable with the puck and you just feel good.”Wisconsin held advantages in experience, talent and overall conditioning over Lindenwood, and senior forward Hilary Knight’s second goal of the game epitomized the series.Twenty seconds after her first goal, Knight took the puck up the ice following the faceoff. She flipped the puck over the last defender and shot it past Lindewood’s goaltender, Taylor Fairchild, putting the Badgers up 2-0.“I always practice lifting it up and knocking it down and try to be a little creative – add a little spice to what we’re doing,” Knight said. “I like to have fun, and fortunately, that time it worked out.”Knight and junior forward Brianna Decker each finished the day with a hat trick, while senior forward Brooke Ammerman and freshman forward Katy Josephs scored two goals apiece.Head coach Mark Johnson was pleased to see contributions from most of his team so early in the season.“Everybody got their feet wet, everybody had a lot of ice time and it’s nice to see everybody make a contribution,” Johnson said. “It’s good. If I’m a freshman, I got to play a lot, I made a contribution, so those jitters that maybe young kids have hopefully may be eased a little bit.”In the drubbing, Wisconsin outshot Lindenwood 72-3. For the weekend, the Badgers put 132 shots on goal to Lindenwood’s 14.Both sophomore goaltender Alex Rigsby and junior Nikki Kaasa saw time in net this weekend. Both games, Kaasa relieved Rigsby in the third period, facing about as many shots as Rigsby had in the previous periods.“Yeah, my dad made a comment after the game on Friday, ‘Not a lot changed as you went out on the ice in the third period,’” Kaasa said. “My defense, everybody played great this weekend, especially with us being short on players, definitely a good week to get our feet wet.”Friday night’s season opener could not have set the tone for the weekend in a better way.After watching a 2010-11 season recap video and finally dropping their national championship banner, the season opener was undeniably emotional for the Badgers. Nevertheless, UW was able to stay focused in skating to an 11-0 shutout win.“[Knight] and I both looked at each other after the banner dropped and we said we got the chills,” Decker said. “We know it’s the start of a new season and we just have to be ready to go.”The game began slowly. Both teams had only practiced for about a week with their coaches, so things weren’t expected to click instantly.Following a one-goal first period, the Badgers didn’t look back in scoring 10 goals throughout the remaining 40 minutes. Not only did Wisconsin dominate Lindenwood in its first Division I game, it absolutely trounced the newcomer, out-shooting them 60-11.With a short bench, the large majority of UW’s roster saw plenty of ice time. Specifically, the freshmen proved they can keep up with their defending national champion teammates.On the Badgers’ fifth goal of the night, freshman forward Blayre Turnbull sent the puck through the crease to waiting freshman forward Karley Sylvester who sent it into the net.“It means a lot,” Sylvester said of the goal. “In the beginning, I was super nervous – all of us freshman were. After the first shift, we got it out. Scoring in my first game, that’s pretty exciting.”“I think we’ve got a really good group of freshman girls coming in,” sophomore defenseman Kelly Jaminski added. “Even tonight it showed. They work hard, so I think that’s exciting. That’ll be good because it helps our season keep going hard.”As the most experienced Badger blue liner, Jaminski led UW’s defense while senior Brittany Haverstock and juniors Stefanie McKeough and Saige Pacholock are skating with the Canada National Team for the weekend. Junior Alev Kelter is also playing with the Wisconsin women’s soccer team.The sophomore scored her first two career goals as a Badger Friday night – both from the blue line – and also notched three assists on the night.“New people stepped up today and it was really exciting to see that,” Decker said. “Our depth is as strong as it was last season and that’s what is going to be a big threat for us.”
John Mikel Obi, Duro IkhazuagbeSuper Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi, is banking on the fitness level of the three-time champions to play a big role when the 32nd Africa Nations Cup kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.Mikel who returned to Eagles almost one year after he last played for Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup in Russia said at the team’s media briefing in Asaba yesterday that fitness level will play a big role in deciding which countries qualify from the group stage to the knock out phase. ”If you look back at 2013 (when Nigeria won the AFCON in South Africa), we were one of the fittest teams. We were well drilled as we were put through hard work during the camp. We knew exactly what we were doing. We were really fit,” recalled Mikel.He revealed that it is almost the same fitness regimen the current class of Eagles are being put through ahead of the AFCON 2019 in Egypt.”That’s exactly what we are doing now, training twice a day. If you want to win this trophy you have to do things like that.”With hindsight, Mikel further observed that fitness plays a big role in African football.”Well, I think obviously fitness is going to play a big part in this tournament, it always does when it comes to African football, fitness always plays 80 per cent part in who wins the tournament.”The former Chelsea of England midfielder who ended his one-year loan deal with Middlesbrough at the close of the season is excited that the current squad under the watch of Franco-German coach, Gernot Rohr are brimming with excitement to make marks.”I am happy that every player in this team want to do it, we want to achieve the same thing, we want to be in the finals and win the tournament but we also need to know we are not the outright favourite, we have to remain cool, calm, just do what we have to do, not look at other teams.”If we do that, we’ll keep winning games. Experience will also play a big part.The Eagles midfielder also commended the handlers of the team for having a very good mix of experienced and up coming players.Mikel will play his 21st game at the AFCON in Egypt if he is selected in the final 23-man squad for Nigeria’s opening game against Burundi on June 22.Meanwhile, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua striker, Odion Jude Ighalo and Udinese central defender, William Troost-Ekong have finally joined their colleagues for the final tune up before departing for Egypt.Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye confirmed that the two players arrived camp yesterday and took part in the evening workout at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.While Troost-Ekong had muscular problems towards the end of the 2018-2019 season, Ighalo just recovered from a hamstring problem which kept him on the sidelines for about three weeks.The Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers top scorer has not played competitively for his Chinese club since May 10 as manager Quique Sánchez Flores refused to risk him against Chongqing Dangdai Lifan (June 1), four days after the striker resumed full training.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram