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28.04.2019 05:58
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BRASILIA, Brazil -- Starved of the World Cup action for 16 years, Colombia -- and its fanatical travelling supporters -- are certainly making the most of being back on footballs biggest stage. Driven on by a partisan pro-Colombian crowd that turned the Estadio Nacional into a sea of yellow, the South Americans scored through James Rodriguez and substitute Juan Quintero in a devastating six-minute spell in the second half to beat Ivory Coast 2-1 on Thursday. A second victory in Group C, following a 3-0 win over Greece, leaves Colombia on the verge of qualifying for a place in the last 16. Since 1998, every team that has earned six points in the group stage has advanced. "We have had two wins with players who are playing their first World Cup," Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said. "Were happy to have defeated such a good opponent. We have a lot of young players, and this is going to help them grow." Known for his midfield artistry, playmaker Rodriguez showed his prowess in the air by getting clear of Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba -- again only used as a substitute -- at a corner to head in Colombias opener in the 64th minute, lighting up a disappointing match. The celebrations had hardly died down among the vast hordes of Colombia supporters by the time a defensive mistake by Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die allowed Teofilo Gutierrez to play in Quintero, and the midfielder slotted home a low finish. Ivory Coast replied with a brilliant 73rd-minute solo goal by Gervinho, his second of the World Cup, but couldnt find a second despite a strong finish. The Ivorians remain on three points after their 2-1 opening win over Japan. Instead of Radamel Falcao, the countrys star striker who was ruled out through injury before the tournament, the most important factor in Colombias march through the group stage has arguably been its amazing support. With supporters wearing yellow shirts dominating the stadium, it was effectively an away game for the Ivorians. "It was extraordinary," Rodriguez said, "it was very much in our favour that Colombia could win." The crowd roared with relief at the final whistle, with Drogbas introduction in the 60th minute helping pep up Ivory Coasts attack that had previously looked rudderless with Wilfried Bony as the lone striker. "I must say that we didnt deserve to lose," Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi said. "It was very experienced Colombia team who waited for us to make mistakes." The Ivorians may still need to beat Greece in their last group game to reach the knockout stage for the first time at a World Cup. Drogba may now start that match but Lamouchi will also be looking for more from the squads top player, Yaya Toure, who seems like a shadow of the player who starred for Manchester City in the English Premier League last season. There was no mistaking the passion of the Ivory Coast lineup -- Die was in tears during the national anthem -- but the teams undoubted attacking quality has been lacking so far at this World Cup and Colombia looked more threatening going forward. The best chance of a cagey first half was spurned by Gutierrez, who miscued a volley with the goal at his mercy after being perfectly set up by Rodriguezs left-wing cross in the 28th. Otherwise, the highlight of the first 45 minutes came when a large inflatable ball bounced onto the playing surface, causing a brief stoppage. Tricky winger Juan Cuadrado struck the bar with a fierce, angled shot before teammate Rodriguez, named man of the match, broke the deadlock with the kind of header that Drogba -- the player supposed to be marking the Monaco playmaker -- has been used to delivering. Quinteros side-footed finish gave Colombia breathing space, meaning that Gervinhos goal -- he jinked through two defenders, beat another and shot inside goalkeeper David Ospinas near post -- proved to be just a consolation. Custom Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys . -- Phil Mickelson came to the St. Randy Johnson Jersey . Although the deal cannot be made official until the free agent moratorium period is lifted on July 10, Patterson has agreed to a three-year, $18 million extension to remain in Toronto, sources confirm to TSN. http://www.diamondbacksapparelsshop.com/curt-schilling-jersey-c-16/ . But luckily for the Canadian squad, one goal was all it needed. Winnipegs Sophie Schmidt scored the winner off a Diana Matheson corner kick to seal Canadas third-place spot in the Torneio Internacional de Futebol Feminino in Brazil on Sunday. Zack Greinke Jersey . The team announced that it exercised the options on 15 players including goalkeepers Evan Bush, Maxime Crepeau and Troy Perkins, defenders Matteo Ferrari, Karl W. Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys . The move - the latest twist in Greeces nearly three-year financial freefall -- is the first such action by any of the countrys major sports bodies. It immediately halts all domestic track and field competitions, including track meets May 12-13 in several Greek cities.CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. -- The collision was as common as any in racing. Kevin Ward Jr.s car spun twice like a top, wheels hugging the wall, before it plopped backward on the dimly lit dirt track. In a sport steeped with bravado, what happened next was another familiar, but treacherous, move: Wearing a black firesuit and black helmet, the 20-year-old Ward unbuckled himself, climbed out of the winged car into the night and defiantly walked onto the track at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. He gestured, making his disgust evident with the driver who triggered the wreck with a bump: three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. Ward, a relative unknown compared to NASCARs noted swashbuckler, was nearly hit by another passing car as he pointed with his right arm in Stewarts direction. As he confronted Stewart in his passing car, disaster struck. Ward was standing to the right of Stewarts familiar No. 14 car, which seemed to fishtail from the rear and hit him. According to video and witness accounts, Wards body was sucked underneath the car and hurtled through the air before landing on his back as fans looked on in horror. Ward was killed. Stewart, considered one of the most proficient drivers in racing, dropped out of Sundays NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, hours after Saturdays crash. And the sport was left reeling from a tragedy that could have ripple effects from the biggest stock car series down to weeknight dirt track racing. "There arent words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.," Stewart said in a statement. Authorities questioned the 43-year-old Stewart once on Saturday night and went to Watkins Glen to talk to him again Sunday. They described him as "visibly shaken" after the crash and said he was co-operative. On Sunday, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said that investigators also dont have any evidence at this point in the investigation to support criminal intent. But he also said that criminal charges have not been ruled out. The crash raised several questions: Will Wards death cause drivers to think twice about on-track confrontations? Did Stewart try and send his own message by buzzing Ward, the young driver, only to have his risky move turn fatal? Or did Ward simply take his life into his own hands by stepping into traffic in a black firesutsuit on a dark track? The only one who may have that answer is Stewart. David S. Weinsten, a former state and federal prosecutor in Miami who is now in private practice, said it would be difficult to prove criminal intent. "I think even with the video, its going to be tough to prove that this was more than just an accident and that it was even culpable negligence, which he shouldve known or shouldve believed that by getting close to this guy, that it was going to cause the acccident," he said.dddddddddddd The sheriff renewed a plea for spectators to turn over photos and videos of the crash. Investigators were reconstructing the accident and looking into everything from the dim lighting on a portion of the track to how muddy it was, as well as if Wards dark firesuit played a role in his death, given the conditions. Driver Cory Sparks, a friend of Wards, was a few cars back when Ward was killed. "The timing was unsafe," he said of Wards decision to get out of his car to confront Stewart. "When your adrenaline is going, and youre taken out of a race, your emotions flare." Its often just a part of racing. Drivers from mild-mannered Jeff Gordon to ladylike Danica Patrick have erupted in anger on the track at another driver. The confrontations are part of the sports allure: Fans love it and cheer wildly from the stands. Stewart, who has a reputation for being a hothead nicknamed "Smoke," once wound up like a pitcher and tossed his helmet like a fastball at Matt Kenseths windshield. "Ive seen it many times in NASCAR, where a driver will confront the other one, and a lot of times theyll try to speed past them. And thats what it appeared to me as if what Tony Stewart did, he tried to speed past Ward," witness Michael Messerly said. "And the next thing I could see, I didnt see Ward any more. It just seemed like he was suddenly gone." The crash also raised questions about whether Stewart will continue with his hobby of racing on small tracks on the side of the big-money NASCAR races. He has long defended his participation in racing on tracks like the one where the crash happened, even as accidents and injury have put his day job in NASCAR at risk. Saturdays crash came almost exactly a year after Stewart suffered a compound fracture to his right leg in a sprint car race in Iowa. The injury cost him the second half of the NASCAR season and sidelined him during NASCARs important Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. Stewart only returned to sprint track racing last month. The crash site is the same track where Stewart was involved in a July 2013 accident that seriously injured a 19-year-old driver. He later took responsibility for his car making contact with another and triggering the 15-car accident that left Alysha Ruggles with a compression fracture in her back. "Everybody has hobbies," he said last month, adding that "there are a lot of other things I could be doing that are a lot more dangerous and a lot bigger waste of time with my time off do than doing that." Greg Zipadelli, competition director for Stewart-Haas Racing, said Stewart felt strongly he should not race after the wreck. Regan Smith replaced him in his car. "Were racing with heavy hearts," Smith said. 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