Kick-off is at 5pm.Serbia host Moldova – also at 5 – ahead of visiting Dublin on Tuesday.While Wales face Austria in the other game in the group today with kick-off in Cardiff at 7.45pm.Meanwhile, Northern Ireland took another step closer to qualification with a 3-nil win at San Marino last night.The victory leaves Michael O’Neill’s side seven points clear of rivals the Czech Republic in second place in Group C.Scotland beat Lithuania by the same scoreline while England struck three late goals in a 4-nil defeat of Malta. The road to Russia takes the Republic Ireland to Tbilisi for a World Cup qualifier against Georgia this evening.With three wins and three draws from their six games to date in qualifying, Ireland go into the match joint-top of Group D with Serbia on 12-points.Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is confident his players will do the job Photo: Pixabay
Ghana gave themselves an important first leg result, winning 2-1 over Cameroon in the qualifying for the 2015 African Under-17 Championship on Saturday.The Black Starlets, playing away raced into a two-nil lead before the home side managed to pull one back ahead of the decisive return game in Ghana in a fortnight’s time.Ernest Agyiri and Abass Issah scored both goals in the first half to give coach Paa Kwesi Fabin’s side in a comfortable lead before the hosts got one back.The Ghanaian coach had stated before the game that getting off to a winning start in the two-leg contest was crucial in their quest for qualification.”We could have won by a wider margin. But an away win is very important,” Fabin told www.ghanafa.org after the game.”We have to prepare and not sit on our laurels. We need to finish off the game in Accra.” The overall winner will qualify for the finals alongside hosts Niger.
LOS ANGELES — Before signing a contract that at the time was the second-biggest in NBA history, DeMar Derozan heard the siren call of the Southland.It was 2016, the Lakers had salary-cap room, and a significant number of friends in Los Angeles were campaigning for the Compton native to come home.“It’s flattering because if you grew up here, you’re a Laker fan,” DeRozan said. “So, for me, I just knew what my mind was at and my heart was at. As long as you know that, it really don’t get to you as much. It don’t make the decision that hard.”Though no Lakers will play in Sunday’s prime-time game, the All-Star rosters feature five players who grew up in the L.A. area and a sixth, Kevin Love, who starred at UCLA. “Oh, there’s definitely some truth to it,” said Warriors star Klay Thompson, who went to high school at Santa Margarita and whose parents still live in Orange County, “especially growing up down here, and having his family down here. There’s got to be … some truth to it.”Thompson, it must be noted, is bound for free agency in 2019.“I expect those questions for the next two years,” Thompson said. “That’s a long ways away.”After clearing cap space by trading Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson prior to last week’s deadline, the Lakers will have upward of $70 million in cap space that they will dangle in an effort to sign two max-level players.For obvious reasons that have nothing to do with his hometown, LeBron James will be one. George is the other.During his appearance at Saturday’s media day in a cavernous corner of the L.A. Convention Center, a chant broke out among the fans on hand as George answered a question about sneakers.“We want Paul! We want Paul!”The Palmdale native was greeted by boisterous pleas for him to sign with the Lakers in each of his two visits to Staples Center this season, and one season ticket holder went so far as to customize a No. 13 jersey bearing George’s name.Sitting several seats down from George, Russell Westbrook held court at his own dais Saturday. Westbrook, who attended Leuzinger High in Lawndale, was long expected to entertain signing in L.A. before signing a $205 million extension last summer that will keep him in OKC through 2023.Hearing the chant, Westbrook cut himself off mid-answer and said, “That’s out. Paul ain’t going nowhere, it’s over for that.”Reading the tea leaves has never been easier. He wants to be a Laker.But then Westbrook called George’s All-Star snub “outrageous” and George, who was later selected as an injury replacement, said that kind of support from last year’s league MVP made it “more apparent what this decision needs to be made when it comes down to it.”Oh boy. The Lakers’ bid for George seemed over before it (legally) began.“I think that’s just the media,” George said, “they see a headline and immediately they jump to conclusions. It’s funny but at the end of the day I know where my decision lands, or what my decision is, and that’s all that matters.”Asked Saturday if he already knew what he would do this summer, George responded, “I don’t.”If he had left it there, the comments would have been innocuous enough.“I know what I feel is best,” he said, “but it’s a long ways until the end of the season.”Maybe, then, he does know.“It has a ton of layers to it,” said Love, who before being traded to Cleveland in 2014 was expected to be the Lakers’ top target when he hit free agency in 2015. “Having that aura around it of being the Lakers and having that tradition of excellence here as a franchise. … It’s one of those places that if you can make a name for yourself you can make a name for yourself anywhere.”That echoes comments Kobe Bryant made this week to ESPN’s Jalen Rose.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersEach of them have, at one time or another, been linked to the Lakers, either by hopeful fans, meddling agents or from the mouths of players themselves. The rumor mill has never run hotter than it does for Oklahoma City’s Paul George, the Palmdale native for whom the Lakers sacrificed $500,000 to make their affection known,George’s pending decision remains a point of intrigue around the NBA and especially this weekend as the NBA makes L.A. its temporary home.What DeRozan experienced two summers ago and George is encountering now are both part of a greater phenomenon.The Lakers have made it clear they will try to find their franchise savior in free agency; owner Jeanie Buss said last spring that not having an All-Star with the game in L.A. would “break my heart.”When a star player with L.A. roots hits the market, the Lakers will generally be first in line to sign him. And though it hasn’t happened over the past four offseasons, when the franchise has needed a savior more than ever, the outside expectation is that those players all want to sign with the Lakers. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Heisler: NBA All-Star Game is too broken to fix, too big to drop “It takes a special person to want to play for this franchise and take the pressure that comes along with playing for this franchise,” Bryant said.The Lakers’ message each time they swing for the fences in free agency is less that the object of their affection is the perfect player for the organization, and more that his contract has come up at a point that is compatible with the organization’s timeline.The franchise will always bank on L.A. itself being the best recruiting pitch. Players love Los Angeles and, the logic follows, they should love playing here.“That’s going to remain to be said with all the top free agents as long as the NBA’s around,” Love said, “(and) as long as L.A.’s a great city. Which it always will be.” 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend courtside: Celebrity All-Star Game and Rising Stars Challenge updates
…Maths remains stagnant below 50%, English improvesGuyana has recorded its best performance at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations for 2019 after a record-breaking 73 per cent overall pass rate.This was revealed during the official announcement of the results on Wednesday at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) building at Kingston, Georgetown.According to Education Minister Nicolette Henry, this figure showed improvement when compared to 69.1 per cent— the pass rate recorded last year. The performance improved across 21 subject areas, while seven showed constant figures. Another seven subject areas that demonstrated declines were namely: Caribbean History, Economics, English B, Integrated Science, Human and Social Biology, Textiles and Clothing, and French.One of the key subject areas—Mathematics— remained constant at 43 per cent, while there was some improvement for English Language, with a 77 per cent overall success as opposed to 67 per cent in 2018.For the science subjects, there were improvements in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and both double and single awards Agricultural Science. This followed for the business subjects, being evident in Office Administration, Principles of Business and Principles of Accounts; whereas, Electronic Documentation Preparation and Management maintained constant.For humanities and expressive arts, Religious Education increased to a 100 per cent pass rate. This was also seen for Industrial Technology Building, Electrical and Mechanical— having secured over 90 per cent.The Minister sought to mention that outstanding indications were presented in 13 subjects, having secured a 90 per cent acceptable score between grades one to three.“I think this has been a very good year for us in terms of our examination performance in the education sector…We have done well enough to be comfortable to see that we are on the right trajectory and I believe education is on a good path,” Henry posited.Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson pledged continuation to effective education delivery. He stated that the results point to “signs of hope” and the fact that Guyana is on a developmental trajectory. Building capacity among stakeholders is one thing that they are seeking to improve in the future, along with increased standards for educators.“We will forever seek to develop programmes that will cultivate leadership because we recognise that leadership is important…In order to enjoy great achievements of the sector, we will see to promote standards for our teacher educators, for example those in our teaching college. We think this is paramount because what we are seeing is a testimony, that as we continue to move in this direction, we will see greater improvement,” Hutson stated.