Sammon hopes to rise to challenge

first_img Press Association The 27-year-old said: “It’s a great opportunity for all the strikers here to really go and stake a claim in any of the games that we do get. “Robbie Keane’s record is phenomenal, it’s going to be very hard to match that, but it is important for lads, once we get the opportunities, to go and take them and really stake a claim. “The hardest thing to do in football is to score goals. We have to be positive, and I definitely, and I think the rest of the boys believe that we are all good enough to go in there and do a job. “I have not played enough games for my club, maybe, to show the manager any time he has come to watch us, so it’s a great opportunity for me to come here, train this week and try to stake a claim and show the manager what I can do. “Hopefully I will get some opportunity against Italy.” Sammon played much of his football last season as a substitute and is desperate to earn more starts for both club and country. However, he will not be fazed by the task ahead of him if O’Neill throws him in at the deep end against the Italians having started against reigning World and European champions Spain in Ireland’s 2-0 friendly defeat at Yankee Stadium in New York 12 months ago. Indeed, Sammon is confident he and his team-mates, who have made something of a habit of ruffling feathers over the years, will make life distinctly uncomfortable for Cesare Prandelli’s men, as well as Costa Rica and Portugal when they head across the Atlantic. Conor Sammon is ready to take up the daunting challenge of trying to fill Ireland skipper Robbie Keane’s boots. He said: “The Spain game is the perfect example of a match that people would look at and think we have got no chance, we would be played off the park. “But we did do really well against Spain. It’s a great test to play against the likes of Italy, the likes of Portugal and Costa Rica as well. “It’s a great challenge for us as a group of players under the new management staff as well to go out and show we can rise to the occasion of playing such big teams.” The Italy game will be Sammon’s only opportunity to impress as he will not travel to America because of his wedding. Asked if he had considered postponing his nuptials, he said with a smile: “My missus would have a canary.” The Derby frontman, still coming to terms with the misery of Sky Bet Championship play-off final defeat, will hope for a chance to prove his worth at international level on Saturday when Ireland face World Cup-bound Italy in a friendly at Craven Cottage. LA Galaxy marksman Keane, whose 62 international goals have established him as far and away his country’s all-time leading scorer, will not join up with the squad until the American leg of their summer tour, and that means Sammon, along with Shane Long, Anthony Stokes, Jon Walters, Kevin Doyle, Simon Cox and Daryl Murphy, could get a chance to impress new manager Martin O’Neill. last_img read more

Syracuse gets ‘program-changing win’ over No. 10 Florida State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The third-largest Carrier Dome crowd of the season rose to its feet as point guard Alexis Peterson hoisted two arms into the air at midcourt and embraced center Briana Day, who was galloping toward her.Tears streamed down Brittney Sykes’ face. Brianna Butler, who was standing in front of Sykes in the handshake line, wiped hers away.On the other side of the court, No. 10 Florida State was mostly expressionless — some going through the line with their heads down and scampering off the court as quickly as possible.“Great quality win for our season,” head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We knew coming into this game that this was one of the opportunities that we had to beat a very good basketball team and tonight we came out and did that.”The No. 23 Orange (21-6, 11-3) was dominated down low, getting outrebounded by 13 boards, outscored by 26 in the paint and giving up 14 second-chance points. But SU scrounged up an 83-73 win over No. 10 Florida State (21-5, 11-2), on Thursday night. It was SU’s highest-ranking win of the season and one that’s significance transcends just this year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“This is a Top 10 team,” Sykes said. “This is a program-changing win.”The change has been a process.On Wednesday, one day prior to the game, Hillsman said there was no pressure on Syracuse to win. Nobody was expecting it. And for much of Syracuse’s history, even against non-ranked opponents, that sentiment rang true.SU’s all-time conference record – which includes both ACC and Big East play – coming into the season sat at just above 41 percent. In its 44-year history the squad had won only 52 percent of its games.The team didn’t win its first NCAA Tournament game until two years ago — also the first time it reached the tournament in consecutive years.“There was a time when we were trying just to be .500,” Hillsman said. “We just didn’t want to have a losing season and the goals have changed, they really have, as this program has grown.”But in 2012, Hillsman brought in Butler, Sykes, Taylor Ford, Cornelia Fondren and others — all seniors who played possibly their last games at the Carrier Dome on Thursday — to make up the sixth-best recruiting class in the country, a record for the Orange. The class’ 72 winning percentage over the last four years is a record, too.Butler, the 3-point record holder for SU, was the first to lead the charge for SU on Thursday, knocking down four 3-pointers in the first quarter. When she cooled off, Sykes chipped in with 15 points and Fondren added six steals, five assists and nine points.“A road loss up here isn’t anything to hang our heads about,” Florida State head coach Sue Semrau said. “This was a tough game here tonight.”Consistent wins over highly ranked opponents have always eluded Syracuse. But SU has beaten three ranked teams this season, the most during Hillsman’s tenure and the most since the 2001-2002 season.With 30 seconds left on the game clock and the final result all but absolute, the crowd erupted. Cutouts of Butler, Ford, Fondren, and Maggie Morrison bounced above fans’ heads in the stands.In what could be their last game in Syracuse, the winningest class in team history, the one that started it all, gave Syracuse one of its biggest regular-season wins of all-time.“Every year we just had to build bigger and bigger,” Sykes said. “We go to NCAA, get the win, go to the second round. Now, going into the post season and finishing out these two games we just want to make more records.” Comments Published on February 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm Contact Jon: [email protected] | @jmettuscenter_img Related Stories Taylor Ford’s 15 points propel No. 23 Syracuse past No. 10 Florida Statelast_img read more

Emerging Stars wallop Mauritius at Kasarani

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Stars U23 defender Johnston Omurwa (centre) is congratulated by teammates Ovella Ochieng (left) and Chris Onyango (right) after scoring the opening goal during their Olympic 2020 Qualifier against Mauritius on November 14, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14 – National Under-23 football team, the Emerging Stars, started off their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualification on a powerful footing hitting Mauritius 5-0 at the Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday evening.Goals from Johnston Omurwa, James Mazembe, Piston Mutamba, Sidney Lokale and skipper Joseph Okumu ensured Kenya put one foot into the second round of qualification ahead of the second leg of the tie to be played on November 18. Interestingly, four of the five goals were scored from headers.Kenya were clearly the top side in the evening encounter with the visitors not managing even a single shot at goal.Stars had a bright start and broke the deadlock after 13 minutes, Mathare United Omurwa thumping home a header from the edge of the six yard box after rising to meet a Yusuf Mainge corner from the left.Prior to that, Stars had good chances to break the deadlock, Ovellah Ochieng gaining some good ground on the left channel but his eventual crosses were not dangerous enough, all cut out.-Mutamba missIn the 19th minute, skipper of the day Joseph ‘Crouch’ Okumu made an adventurous run on the left from his central defensive position, lifting his head to cite Piston Mutamba in the box but the eventual cross was cut out.Mainge, assist provider for the opening goal tried to also get his name on the score-sheet in the 21st minute but his shot from distance went straight into the keeper’s arms.In the 25th minute, Stars had another shot on target when Mazembe’s cross from the right found Ochieng isolated at the backpost but his attempted volley was cut out for a corner by the keeper.Harambee Stars U23 winger Ovella Ochieng tries to go past a Mauritius opponent during their Olympic 2020 Qualifier on November 14, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMauritius had their first sniff at goal in the 28th minute but instead of it ending up in their first shot on target it turned out to be the catalyst for conceding a second goal.-Counter attackSkipper Adel Langue’s shot from distance was deflected for a corner and from the resultant set-piece, it was disaster for his side. Ochieng picked up the long corner on the right, took on a daunting run before feeding Teddy Osok who swung in a well weighted cross that Mazembe nodded home.Stars kept the pressure, pinning Mauritius in their half and forcing them to defend nervously.Five minutes after going two up, the home side nearly made it three but Ibrahim Shambi’s shot from inside the box was deflected for a corner after being set up nicely by Mutamba.Some fancy step-overs from Ochieng at the edge of the box drifting in from the left saw him get some space, but his eventual shot went inches over the bar.At the stroke of halftime, the impressive Shambi should have made it three for Kenya when Mainge’s cross from the right found him unmarked, but he couldn’t put some weight on his header, the ball ending up an easy catch for the keeper.-Two quick goalsThe heavens opened in the second half with Mutamba nodding home the third just seven minutes after the restart, rising unchallenged inside the six yard box to connect to an Ovellah Ochieng cross.Four minutes later, substitute Sidney Lokale scored perhaps the easiest goal he would ever have, tapping home inside the box after the Mauritius keeper spilled Mainge’s shot right at his path.Head coach Francis Kimanzi made a double change bringing on England based Henry Ochieng and Jaffery Owito for Ovella and Mutamba.Stars continued dominating and Lokale missed a glorious opportunity in the 69th minute when Owiti’s pin-point cross from the right found him unmarked inside the box, but his tap went wide with only the keeper to beat.-Okumu goalBut two minutes later, skipper Okumu ensured Kenya pulled the game to safer distance nodding home at the back post after Mainge’s cross on his weaker left foot found him in a favorable position.Mauritius had a chance to draw back a level late on but skipper Langue’s shot came off the bar with keeper Brian Bwire well beaten.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more