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    DAY 10 WORLD CUP PREVIEW/STATS/H2H: Will Sweden Kick Out Defending Champions Germany, Belgium Are Unbeaten In Their Last 10 World Cup Group Games PLUS Mexico & Tunisia

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    Saturday 23 June
    South Korea vs Mexico (Group F) – Rostov-on-Don – 3pm
    Belgium vs Tunisia (Group G) – Moscow (Spartak) – 6pm
    Germany v Sweden (Group F) – Sochi – 9pm
    Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio admitted a flu bug hit the Mexico camp before their game with Germany, which affected his substitutions.
    But Osorio is expected to stick with the same starting line-up for his team’s second game in Group F.
    South Korean keeper Jo Hyeonwoo, a surprise call-up, should keep his place after a solid performance in the 1-0 defeat by Sweden.
    The South Koreans may look to reshuffle their attacking 4-3-3 formation.
    South Korea will be desperate to stop their World Cup losing streak, which now stands at three games after losing their opening match in Russia.
    But after failing to keep a clean sheet in 12 of their previous 13 World Cup matches, keeping Mexico out could be as hard to come by as a goal at the other end.
    The South Koreans have not scored in their last two games, but they have never gone three consecutive matches without scoring a goal in the competition.
    Mexico will be buoyed by their impressive victory over defending champions Germany in their opening game, and Osorio’s side – and resolute defence – will be tough to beat.
    Hirving Lozano scored El Tri’s winner against the Germans and the striker is in red-hot form, following 17 goals and eight assist in 29 appearances for PSV in the Dutch top flight last season.
    South Korean midfielder Ki Sungyueng will move to joint-sixth on his country’s all-time appearances list if he picks up his 104th cap on Saturday.

    Head-to-head
    The only previous World Cup meeting between South Korea and Mexico was in 1998, with the Central Americans running out 3-1 winners in the group stages.

    South Korea
    South Korea have failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 of their last 13 World Cup matches, conceding in each of the last seven games in a row.
    In their opening group game versus Sweden, South Korea had more yellow cards (2) than shots on target attempted (0).
    The South Koreans are winless in their last seven World Cup matches (D2 L5), losing their last three in a row.
    They have failed to score in each of their last two World Cup games – they have never gone three consecutive matches without scoring a goal in the competition.
    This will be just the Koreans’ third World Cup meeting with a Concacaf side, following that 3-1 defeat in 1998 and a 1-1 draw with the USA in the 2002 group stages.

    Mexico
    Mexico have won all three of their World Cup games against Asian opposition (7 goals for, 2 against).
    Mexico have lost just two of their last 18 World Cup group stage matches (W9 D7).
    The El Tri have not won back to back matches at the World Cup since 2002, when they beat Croatia and Ecuador in their first two group matches that year.
    Rafael Marquez was aged 39 years and 124 days in his substitute appearance against Germany – he was the oldest outfield player to appear in a World Cup match since Roger Milla (42 years, 38 days) played for Cameroon versus Russia in 1994.
    Rafael Marquez appeared in the opening match for Mexico, making him the third player to play in five separate World Cup tournaments (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Mexico’s Antonio Carbajal and Germany’s Lothar Matthäus.


    Sweden defender Victor Lindelof is expected to start against Germany on Saturday after missing Monday’s 1-0 win over South Korea because of illness.
    Leeds United centre-back Pontus Jansson is likely to be replaced by the Manchester United defender, who returned to training on Thursday.
    Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus is expected to start for Germany, having been on the bench against Mexico.
    Coach Joachim Low is set to change his side after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat.
    Defending champions Germany made a dreadful start to their bid to win back-to-back World Cups with a shock defeat by Mexico in their opening Group F game.
    Hirving Lozano’s first-half goal in Moscow was decisive, with Low unimpressed by Germany’s frailty in defence. They were uncharacteristically disjointed and must avoid defeat to ensure they don’t go out in the group stages for the first time since 1938.
    In contrast, Sweden marked their first appearance in the World Cup for 12 years by beating South Korea thanks to a penalty from Andreas Granqvist. At 33, the captain became the oldest player to score on his World Cup debut since Martin Palermo, who was 36 when he scored for Argentina in 2010.
    They overcame a 60-year drought too because they hadn’t won their first match at a World Cup since 1958, when the tournament was held in their own backyard.
    Since then, Sweden have qualified for seven World Cups – reaching Russia by defeating Italy 1-0 in a two-legged play-off, after beating the Netherlands to second place in their qualifying group.
    Victory on Saturday will send them through to the knockout stages for the first time since 2006.

    Head-to-head
    Germany (or West Germany) are unbeaten in their past 11 games against Sweden (winning six, drawing five), whose last win came against West Germany in April 1978 (3-1).
    The two most recent matches between these sides have produced a total of 16 goals – with a 4-4 draw in Germany in October 2012 before Sweden lost 5-3 at home in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
    Germany (or West Germany) have won three of their four World Cup games against Sweden (in 1934, 1974 and 2006), with their only defeat coming in 1958 when Sweden – as host nation – reached the final.
    That was Sweden’s only competitive win against the Germans (with three draws and eight defeats) – their other 11 victories against them came in friendlies.

    Germany
    Defeat against Mexico in Moscow was only the second time a German side had lost their opener at a World Cup, also losing against Algeria in 1982. However, they reached the final of the competition that year.
    West Germany lost back-to-back matches at the 1958 World Cup, to Sweden in the semi-final and France in the third-place match, while East Germany lost back-to-back matches to Brazil and the Netherlands in 1974 – but no German side has suffered successive defeats at the finals since.
    Thomas Muller has scored 10 goals from just 14 shots on target at the World Cup.
    But Muller was the only outfield Germany player to not register a single shot in their defeat by Mexico and he has not had a shot in his past 239 minutes of World Cup football.

    Sweden
    Sweden have faced the reigning champions at the World Cup twice before and won both times – in 1950 against Italy and 1958 against West Germany.
    Their 1-0 win against South Korea was their first in their opening match at a World Cup since beating Mexico 3-0 as hosts in 1958.
    They also last won consecutive World Cup matches back in 1958 en route to the final.
    Sweden’s goal against South Korea was their first in 402 minutes of international football, since Ola Toivonen scored against Chile back in March.

    Belgium centre-backs Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen are again expected to be missing with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.
    As a result, Dedryck Boyata will continue alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
    Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen has been ruled out of the World Cup because of the shoulder injury that forced him off after 16 minutes against England.
    Oussama Haddadi is expected to play instead of Ali Maaloul at left-back.
    The first 45 minutes of Belgium’s opening game with Panama was certainly not easy on the eye. A ponderous, disjointed display against the World Cup debutants saw Romelu Lukaku touch the ball just seven times in the first half.
    Captain Eden Hazard let rip at his team-mates during the break, with Lukaku firmly in his sights.
    “It’s not easy playing with a man missing,” said Hazard of the Manchester United striker. “At half-time, I told him we needed him. He’d been hiding out a bit up front. But once he got in there, involved in the game, like magic, he scored two. I hope he understands that now.”
    The constructive criticism had the desired effect and Belgium are now targeting a victory that will see them secure their place in the last 16 if England avoid defeat to Panama.
    Tunisia, meanwhile, will be eliminated with a game still to go if they are defeated and England don’t lose.

    Head-to-head
    This will be the fourth meeting between Belgium and Tunisia, with both nations winning one game and sharing one draw.
    Belgium’s Dries Mertens scored the only goal the last time the two sides met in a friendly in 2014.
    This is their second meeting at a World Cup – they previously drew 1-1 in the 2002 group stage.

    Belgium
    Belgium are unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games and have won the previous five.
    They have made it past the opening group stage in six of their last seven World Cup appearances, with the only exception coming in 1998.
    They haven’t lost their second group stage game at any of their last seven World Cups.
    Each of Belgium’s last 11 World Cup goals have come after half-time.
    Only Jan Ceulemans (six) has scored more goals in major tournaments for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (five, level with Marc Wilmots).
    Lukaku has scored 15 goals in his last 10 internationals.

    Tunisia
    Tunisia have failed to win their last 12 World Cup games since winning their first-ever match against Mexico in 1978. It was the first match won by an African side at the World Cup.
    The last team to have a longer winless run in the World Cup was South Korea (14 games between 1954 and 1998).
    They have scored with their only shot on target so far at this World Cup, which was a penalty.
    They are in a first World Cup since 2006, but have yet to reach the knockout stage in four previous attempts.
    Tunisia have only kept one clean sheet in 13 World Cup games, 0-0 with West Germany in 1978.

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    SHOCKING: NCS Officials Forced To Vomit She Cranes Money After Girls Protest Being Given Shs.50,000 Upon Returning From Birmingham Instead Of Shs.7 Million…

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    She Cranes in Birmigham

    It was a tug of war as the netball national team (She Cranes) persuaded officials from the National Council of Sports [NCS] to give them their money.

    The drama started when the first batch of Ugandan Athletes who competed in the just concluded Common Wealth games in Birmigham, England returned today.

    Kayiira Jackson, the netball media officer told theGrapevine that the netball federation hired a minibus to pick the players from Entebbe airport.

    Kayiira divulged that upon reaching the airport, they found a parliamentary mini bus already picking some players and because it was not enough to take all of them, including the cyclists, the remaining athletes had to occupy their mini bus.

    TEARS AT NCS

    Upon reaching the premises of National Council of Sports in Lugogo, where the players hoped to get their seven million shilling (Shs.7,000,000)  allowances, which was promised to them by NCS as soon as the tournament ended, they were given the bad news that their allowances were not ready.

    Each player was quickly given fifty thousand shillings (Shs.50,000) as transport by the gate man at the premises to return home.

    According to Kayiira, no NCS officials was around by the time the team arrived at the premises. Instead, the official decided to run into hiding and gave the gateman money the Shs.50,000 for each player as transport.

    TheGrapevine has learnt that two players from netball, Juan Nampungu and Jesca Achan received their seven million shilling while in Birmingham and the rest were told that their money is in Uganda, 10 players and 4 officials were not paid.

    Later today, when the officials learnt that the media was following up on the matter, they started quietly paying some players.

    Sandra Nabirige, who plays as a goal defender (netball), told theGrapevine that she received six million shilling (instead of seven) on her mobile money account at 1:46pm.

    Irene Eyaru, who plays as a goal attack (netball) also assured theGrapevine that she received the six million shilling on her mobile money at 1:46pm.

    Sources in NCS have intimated to theGrapevine that officials decided to vomit part of the money after increasing pressure from the players, that is why they had to pay them via mobile money.

    According to inside information, each player who went to Birmingham for the commonwealth games was supposed to receive their money through equity bank.

    When Grapevine called the assistant general secretary NCS, he said that he cannot comment on the matter.

    Uganda netball team beat South Africa 54-48 to end their campaign in a historic 5th place – one better than their 6th-place finish in 2018 in Australia.

    The final position meant that Uganda ended the Games as the highest-ranked African nation, with South Africa taking 6th place and Malawi 7th.

    Overall, Team Uganda bagged a total of five medals in Birmigham and they included three gold medals.

    Notably, Teddy Nakimuli became the first Ugandan female boxer to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    I’m Going To Win Commonwealth Medal For My Mum Who Was Knocked By Speeding Boda Boda – Bombers Captain Vows…

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    Bombers captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa in action

    Bombers captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa has told theGrapevine that he is determined to win a medal at this year’s commonwealth games in Birmingham, England for his late mother.

    Tukamuhebwa’s mother, Enid Bindishanga died after she was knocked by a speeding motor bike along Jinja Road.

    Enid had gone at the meat parker along Port Bell Road to buy meat for the family.

    She was rushed to hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

    “I am going to do everything possible to win a medal in this competition for my mum,” the Naguru based boxer said.

    Tukamuhebwa narrated that after his mother’s death, life became meaningless because she meant a lot to him and his siblings, “that’s why I want to win a medal in her memory.”

    I AM THE FATHER NOW

    Tukamuhebwa  also disclosed that after his mum’s death, he is now the bread winner at home and has to act like a parent to his young siblings and also look for their school fees.

    I WILL USE THE MONEY I GET TO HELP MY SIBLINGS

    He added that he is going to use the money government will give him as his facilitation, funds from Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) president Moses Muhangi and President Museveni’s pledge if he wins a medal, to cater for his siblings.

    This will be Tukamuhebwa’s second international competition after the all Africa games in 2019 in Morocco, where he was defeated in the first encounter.

    The commonwealth games are scheduled to take place between 28th July to 8th August 2022.

    Uganda will be represented in several sports disciplines which include; boxing, athletics, swimming, squash, table tennis, badminton, rugby 7’s and netball.

    theGrapevine wishes our men and women the best in Birmingham.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    UOC President Discusses How Team Uganda Is Prepared To Sweep Medals In Commonwealth Games And How They Are Going To Handle Issue Of Athletes Disappearing…

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    President Museveni with wife Janet flagging off Teams for the Commonwealth games. Bottom right is UOC boss Donald Rukare

    Few days are left to the commonwealth games that are scheduled to take place in Birmingham in England, between 28th July to 8th August 2022.

    Uganda will be represented in several sports disciplines which include; boxing, athletics, swimming, squash, table tennis, badminton, rugby 7’s and netball .

    In the last edition, in 2018, bomber’s boxers Reagan Ssimbwa, Nasir Bashir and table tennis player Halimah Nambooze disappeared in Gold Coast in Australia and never returned with the team.

    This has been a norm after several international games. Some athletes disappear after the games in search for greener pastures.

    theGrapevine sat down with Uganda Olympic Committee president Donald Rukare to discuss how the Ugandan team is prepared for the games and how they are going to handle the issue of athletes disappearing.

    Grapevine: How are you prepared for the commonwealth games as team Uganda?

    Rukare: The preparation are good and we are ready to win medals.

    Grapevine: How many medals do you hope to win this time around?

    Rukare: In 2014, we got 5 medals, in 2018 we scooped 6 medals, this time around we hope to double the medals we got in 2018 to twelve or more.

    Grapevine: Of all athletes, who do you think has more chances of getting a medal?

    Rukare: All the athletes have equal chances of getting medals.

    Grapevine: What were the challenges you are facing as you prepare the teams for the commonwealth games?

    Rukare: We still need financial assistance to help us prepare our athletes.

    Grapevine: Will athletes like Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo, Halimah Nakayi, Peruth Chemutai, who competed in World Athletics Championship in Oregon also compete in commonwealth games? And will it not affect them?

    Rukare: Are you a coach? Hahaha [he laughs], they will definitely participate and it will not affect them because they are sportsmen and women. So, they are aware of the tight sports schedules sometimes.

    Grapevine: Have you prepared any incentives like prizes for those who will win medal?

    Rukare: We are still discussing that, but the prize money from President Museveni is there. Gold medal winners get Shs.5 million, silver medal winners get Shs.3 million and bronze medal winners get Shs.2 million.

    Grapevine: Why were you given few athlete slots [18 athletes] yet Uganda’s hope is in athletics?

    Rukare: We were given only 41 slots which were supposed to be shared with other federations.

    Grapevine: What challenges do athletes face when they go to such competitions?

    Rukare: The issue of food. Sometimes they are not used to the food in some of these countries.

    Grapevine: So, are you going with your own cook this time around?

    Rukare: Yes, we hope to go with our own cook.

    Grapevine: Let us talk about the issue of athletes who escape during international games, how do you plan to handle it this time around?

    Rukare: (Jokingly says) I think if it is possible, we need to hire the services of Maama Fiina to come to our rescue and tell us those who are going to escape since she is a traditional doctor who can see things before they happen.

     

    By Juma Ali

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