Rookie manager Monk was under the microscope at the start of the season with many pundits even suggesting Swansea would struggle by putting their 36-year-old former captain in charge. But Swansea’s 1-1 home draw with Everton on Saturday took them to the 47-point mark achieved by Brendan Rodgers’ side in the club’s inaugural Premier League three seasons ago. Swansea skipper Ashley Williams believes Garry Monk’s recruitment policy and tactical know-how is responsible for the club matching its best-ever Barclays Premier League points tally with six games to go. “We don’t want to finish with a whimper, like we have done in other seasons, we want to finish strongly and beat our targets. “Finishing eighth would be a really good season for Swansea.” Jonjo Shelvey rescued a point for Swansea and denied Everton a fourth-straight league victory when he drilled home a 69th-minute spot-kick after Seamus Coleman had handled while on the floor under pressure from Marvin Emnes. Everton manager Roberto Martinez criticised referee Michael Oliver’s decision as he felt Coleman had been bundled over by Emnes but he was far happier with Aaron Lennon’s calm finish close to half-time. The England winger on loan from Tottenham netting for the second successive away game after failing to score since December 2013. “Aaron has been terrific and he has got an incredible quality in his finishing,” Martinez said. “He works so hard and has been a big help in what we do off the ball, but on the ball he has quality in those one v one situations. “He can get in those really good goal-scoring positions and when he does that he is going to hit the back of the net. “It was a very similar profile to when he scored at QPR and he had a very good chance against Arsenal as well. “It’s good to see him enjoying his football in this fashion.” Press Association “I think anyone that watches us regularly will say this is the best team and squad we’ve had, certainly since I’ve been here,” said central defender Williams, a linchpin of Swansea sides under Rodgers and Monk. “The quality throughout the squad is good because the gaffer has done a good job in January and the summer to bring in players. “The all-round quality and the way we work in training, the shape we work on, is better. “We can play different formations and we’ve got very intelligent players in the team. “The main thing is the structure of the staff set-up and the players.” Swansea have spent all season in the top half of the table and have done the double over Manchester United as well as beating Arsenal and Southampton along the way. But Williams said there was a determination not to let the campaign fizzle out and maintain the club’s current eighth position, which would better their best Premier League finish of ninth two seasons ago. “We’re safe so that isn’t a worry or a concern and we’ve got different challenges now,” Williams said.
Asante Kotoko reached the quarter-finals of the MTN FA Cup competition after edging the Storm FC Academy 5-3 on penalties at Nkawkaw Park.Michael Osei’s men fought from a goal down to clinch victory on the penalty shootout.Storm showed early determination and bossed the midfield with eye catching soccer and got the breakthrough when Emmanuel TwumasiFrimpong scored the opener in the 15th a powerful pile river. The scoreline remained the same till halftime.Kotoko upped their game in the second half and were duly rewarded with attacker Bennett Ofori scoring in the 53rd minute to level the scoring.Kotoko were unable to find the winner in regulation time as they were denied by some excellent goalkeeping from Abdul Rauf. In the nerve wrecking penalty shootout, Academy youngster Isaac Mensah skied Storm’s third kick allowing Emmanuel Asante to score the decider as Kotoko triumphed 5-3 on penalties.OTHER RESULTS:WAFA 1-0 EMMANUEL FCLIBERTY 1-0 SAMARTEX– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySports
BEIJING, China: Jamaican sprinting star Veronica Campbell-Brown took time out to encourage 2015 IAAF World Championships 200m silver medallist Elaine Thompson after yesterday’s final inside the Bird’s Nest. Campbell-Brown, who finished third in 21.97 behind Thompson, 21.66 and Dafne Schippers, 12.63, believes Thompson, a debutante at this level of competition, has a bright future in the sport. “The key for her is to be mentally tough, take care of her body, eat right, train tight, stay positive. Don’t worry don’t stress and continue to work hard because the sky is the limit,” said Campbell-Brown, who made her first senior team as an 18 year-old at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “It’s all in the head because no matter how hard you train, if you’re not focused right you cannot execute what you put in training. Campbell-Brown added the importance of Thompson’s development noting that the country must continue to develop and expose its athletes so that the country’s tradition of success can continue. “I am so proud of her,” said. Campbell-Brown. “It’s good for Jamaica that you have youngsters coming up because we have to keep it going. We have a history of great sprinters so its important that we keep it going and I’m just happy for her.” – A.L.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): West Indies were in full-blown crisis yesterday after Babar Azam slammed a record third successive One-Day International 100 to condemn them to a 136-run defeat as Pakistan pulled off an emphatic 3-0 series whitewash and sent the Caribbean side tumbling to number nine in the international rankings. The 21-year-old right-hander carved out 117 off 106 balls, while captain and opener Azhar Ali stroked 101 from 109 deliveries, two innings that powered Pakistan to 308 for six in the third and final ODI at the Sheikh Stayed Stadium – the first time in three years Pakistan surpassed 300 twice in a series. In the process, Babar became only the second batsman after South African Quinton de Kock to hit centuries in each game of a three-match ODI series and the third Pakistan player to score three successive ODI hundreds after Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar. Not for the first time in the series, a lacklustre West Indies never rose to the challenge and crumbled for an embarrassing 172 all out off 44 overs. Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin top-scored with a painstaking 37 off 70 deliveries, while opener Kraigg Brathwaite got 32 from 44 balls, and captain Jason Holder, 26 from 25 balls. They were 75 for one in the 18th over, but with the required run rate already building towards seven per over, no one stepped up to produce the innings needed, and the last nine wickets crashed for 97 runs. West Indies have now lost every game of the tour following on from their 3-0 whitewash in the preceding Twenty20 series, leaving their tour in turmoil ahead of the three-match Test series starting later this month. The defeat also saw them slip out of the top eight in the ODI rankings, with Pakistan replacing them. Opting to bat first, Pakistan benefitted from an 85-run opening stand between Sharjeel Khan and Azhar, who finally found the form he craved to lash his third ODI hundred. Azhar struck eight fours and a six in a lively knock, while the enterprising left-handed Sharjeel gathered 38 from 41 deliveries with five boundaries. Once Sharjeel holed out in the deep in the 15th over off left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, Azhar and Babar took the game by the scruff of its neck in a demoralising 147-run second-wicket stand. Azhar reached his half-century off 61 deliveries in the 20th over with a single to mid-wicket off off-spinner Sunil Narine and then required another 46 balls to raise three figures in the 38th over. Babar, meanwhile, with knocks of 120 and 123 in the first two games in Sharjah, extended his superb nick, racing to his first 50 off 48 deliveries before reaching his century off 95 balls in the 44th over. Azhar was eventually bowled by Holder in the 39th over, missing a swing at a slower ball, and Babar followed in the 46th over, bowled by a full-length delivery from slow medium Kieron Pollard as he failed to connect with an improvised stroke. In reply, West Indies at no stage looked the part. Brathwaite and debutant Evin Lewis put on 45 off 56 balls for the first wicket but neither really threatened.
Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title “During the halftime break we knew that we will play for coach Bo so our mindset became a different one come the second half,” said Gomez De Liaño. “He told us something in the dugout so we just wanted to make him happy and play for the community.” Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Cansino vows to improve defense, play better after UST loss to NU Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Things, however, were a little different for Juan on Sunday when University of the Philippines took on University of the East in its second round matchup in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.Older brother Javi wasn’t with the team and was serving his one-game suspension after his combination of technical and unsportsmanlike fouls in the Fighting Maroons’ previous game against Ateneo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissJavi’s absence, though, lit up a fire in Gomez De Liaño as he notched 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists, the first triple-double in the league since UP’s Marvin Cruz put up 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Fighting Maroons’ 98-88 loss to Ateneo on August 20, 2006.READ: UP ends losing spell at expense of UE Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum “Our connection wasn’t there but I know he’s supporting the team from home,” said Gomez De Liaño Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan after a 94-81 win over the Red Warriors. “We played for Javi. Big bro just told me to be aggressive.”Gomez De Liaño’s triple-double not only helped UP stop its two-game skid, it also helped the Fighting Maroons get to a fifth seed tie with University of Santo Tomas with 4-5 records.Apart from Javi’s absence, there was also another thing that went missing in UP’s second half against the Red Warriors.Head coach Bo Perasol wasn’t that pleased with how his team performed in the first half after trailing by three, 44-41, and he decided to give the Fighting Maroons the silent treatment come the third and fourth quarters.“There are times that I need to be quiet also,” said Perasol. “I needed them to think that we don’t need any voice to tell us what to do. They just did their jobs.”ADVERTISEMENT All throughout Juan Gomez De Liaño’s collegiate career, there was always older brother Javi looking out for him be it on the court or off it.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
Go back to the e-newsletter >A new cultural experience offered by andBeyond is available for guests staying at the Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge, Botswana.‘The Interpretative Bushmen Experience’, included in the guests’ stay, is a half-day journey guided by Bushmen, known as the San people. As one of the continents oldest inhabitants with ancestral roots tracing back to over 30,000 years, they are highly skilled hunter-gatherers who use bows and poisoned arrows, traps and throwing sticks, fashioned out of raw materials found in the wilderness.Three Bushmen lead the experience, where guests will be introduced to their various hunting and survivalist techniques and given the opportunity to follow the Bushmen as they interpret natural findings along the walk.Go back to the e-newsletter >