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    DAY 11 WORLD CUP PREVIEW/STATS/H2H: Senegal Are Unbeaten In Their Three Previous Games With Japan, England Play Panama For The First Time PLUS Colombia & Poland

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    Sunday 24 June
    England vs Panama (Group G) – Nizhny Novgorod – 3pm
    Japan vs Senegal (Group H) – Ekaterinburg – 6pm
    Poland vs Colombia (Group H) – Kazan – 9pm

    Midfielder Dele Alli returned to training with England, but is likely to miss Sunday’s World Cup Group G game against Panama.
    The Tottenham player, 22, suffered a thigh injury during Monday’s 2-1 win over Tunisia.
    Pictures of assistant manager Steve Holland’s training notes seemed to indicate Ruben Loftus-Cheek would replace him in England’s starting XI.
    Alli has trained alone for the past three days and manager Gareth Southgate said the player was “unlikely” to be fit for England’s second group game.
    He started training with the main group on Saturday but was withdrawn after warm-ups to work individually.
    World Cup debutants Panama were beaten 3-0 by Belgium in their opening match.
    Coach Hernan Dario Gomez has already confirmed that he will field the same XI against England.
    Harry Kane’s last-minute intervention got England off to a flying start and gave them a win in their opening game of a major tournament for the first time since the 2006 World Cup, when they beat Paraguay. At times against Tunisia it wasn’t pretty, or perfect, but with a bit more luck, composure and favourable decisions they would have won with ease.
    The Panamanians played to type in their opening game with Belgium. Los Canaleros (The Canal Men) were aggressive, robust, but ultimately hugely outclassed. The Belgians knew they had been in a game, though, and complained afterwards about some of the tackles that were flying in.
    “I don’t know what people are complaining about,” captain Roman Torres said. “Football is like that – you always have to impose yourself, you have to mark out your territory.”
    Their coach Hernan Dario Gomez was in charge of Colombia when they lost 2-0 to England at France 1998. His opposite number in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday, Gareth Southgate, was on the bench.

    Head-to-head
    This will be the first meeting between England and Panama.
    Panama are the 38th different nation England have faced at a World Cup.
    England have only lost their first meeting against a nation at the World Cup in five of their previous 37 matches (v USA, Spain, Uruguay, Hungary and Italy).

    England
    They have only won their opening two games at a World Cup twice before, in 1982 and 2006.
    England’s victory over Tunisia ended a run of four World Cup matches without a win (D1, L3).
    They are unbeaten in their last 11 internationals (W8, D3).
    Kane became the first England player to score a brace in a World Cup match since Gary Lineker against Cameroon in 1990.
    The last England player to score more goals in the group stage of a World Cup tournament than the two Kane has already scored was Lineker in 1986 (three).
    The Three Lions’ 2-1 win over Tunisia was the first time they had scored more than once in a World Cup match since a 2-2 draw with Sweden in 2006.

    Panama
    In their 3-0 loss to Belgium, Panama suffered the biggest defeat by a World Cup debutant since Ukraine lost 4-0 to Spain in 2006.
    The last side to lose by three or more goals in both of their opening two World Cup matches on their tournament debut were Greece in 1994, who lost 4-0 to Bulgaria and Argentina.
    They received more yellow cards (five) than they had shots on target (two) against the Belgians.
    Panama have lost four of their last six internationals (W1, D1) and have only won one of their last eight (D2, L5).
    They have failed to beat any of the previous 10 European sides they have faced in their history.

    Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda suffered a bruised thigh after coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 win against Colombia, and will be monitored.
    Forward Shinji Okazaki was a doubt prior to the opening match because of a calf problem but played the final five minutes, so should be in contention.
    However, Okazaki is unlikely to displace Yuya Osako, who impressed as a lone striker in their last match.
    Senegal also won their first game and they may be unchanged.
    Stoke’s Mame Diouf started against the Poles but didn’t register a single shot, and was withdrawn after an hour.
    Should Senegal opt for a change up front, Moussa Konate and Moussa Sow are alternative options.
    Japan and Senegal are the pacesetters in Group H with a win apiece after both capitalised against opponents who hit the self-destruct button.
    The Japanese had a numerical advantage for 87 minutes in their opener following Carlos Sanchez’s dismissal for Colombia.
    Senegal, meanwhile, were gifted their second goal against Poland, with the quick-thinking Mbaye Niang tapping into an empty net after a calamitous back-pass from Grzegorz Krychowiak.
    Japan’s win was the first at a World Cup for an Asian team against a South American side. Opponents Senegal have also been flying the flag for their continent, as they were the only African side to avoid defeat in the opening round of games.
    Another Senegal victory will leave them on the brink of the last 16 – progress would be confirmed if Colombia fail to beat Poland later in the day. Conversely, Japan will go through if they win and the Poles fail to record a victory.

    Head-to-head
    Senegal are unbeaten in their three previous games with Japan, all of which were friendlies.
    The Senegalese have won the last two encounters, keeping clean sheets in both games (2-0 in 2001 and 1-0 in 2003).

    Japan
    Victory would see Japan become the first Asian side to win their opening two games at a World Cup.
    The only previous occasion Japan have won consecutive games at a World Cup came at the 2002 tournament, which they co-hosted.
    On that occasion they beat Russia and Tunisia in their second and third group games.
    Japan have won two of their three World Cup games against African opponents, although they lost the more recent encounter, a 2-1 defeat by Ivory Coast in 2014.
    The Japanese played 377 passes in the second half against Colombia, compared to just 218 in the first half (despite their opponents playing virtually the entire game with 10 men).
    Keisuke Honda has been directly involved in six of Japan’s last eight World Cup goals, scoring three and assisting three.
    Honda has not scored in his last 15 international games, a run stretching back to September 2016.

    Senegal
    Senegal have the best win rate of any African side to have played at a World Cup, winning three of their six matches (50%).
    Only two African nations have won their opening two World Cup matches – Cameroon in 1990 and Nigeria in 1998.
    This will be the first time Senegal have faced Asian opponents in a World Cup game.
    They have conceded five times in their last nine games in all competitions, with just one of those goals coming in the first half.


    Colombia’s James Rodriguez could start Sunday’s World Cup Group H match against Poland after coming on as a substitute in the defeat by Japan.
    Poland forward Dawid Kownacki may start the game after he impressed against Senegal as a second-half substitute.
    Centre-back Kamil Glik has returned to full training after shoulder injury but remains a doubt for Sunday’s game.
    That means Thiago Cionek, his replacement against Senegal, is likely to keep his place.
    Poland had huge support inside the Spartak Stadium and are the seeded team in Group H – but they were disappointing in all areas during their opening defeat by Senegal.
    Leading striker Robert Lewandowski struggled to make his mark during his World Cup debut, and his side must now produce the goods on Sunday.
    Their 2-1 defeat came hours after Japan had beaten 10-man Colombia 2-1.
    Poland have never qualified for the second phase after losing their opening game, and they could face an even bigger challenge should Rodriguez return to Colombia’s starting XI.
    Colombia, for their part, played 87 minutes of their opening match with 10 men after Carlos Sanchez was shown the second-fastest World Cup red card in history.

    Head-to-head
    This will be the first competitive meeting between Poland and Colombia – the South Americans won the most recent friendly 2-1 in Chorzow in 2006.
    Colombia have won only two of their nine previous World Cup games against European opponents (D2 L5), though these victories have come in their past four such meetings against Switzerland in 1994 and Greece in 2014.
    None of Poland’s nine World Cup games against South American opponents has finished as a draw, with the Eagles winning four and losing five.

    Poland
    Poland have lost seven of their past nine World Cup matches (W2), failing to score in six of those losses.
    They have failed to keep a clean sheet in their past nine World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986.
    Despite failing to score against Senegal in Poland’s opening match, Lewandowski has netted 21 goals in his last 16 appearances for his national team.

    Colombia
    Only once before have Colombia lost both of their opening two games in a World Cup tournament, doing so against Romania and the USA back in 1994.
    None of Colombia’s 19 games at the World Cup have ended goalless.
    Juan Quintero became the first Colombian player to score in two different World Cup tournaments in their opening defeat against Japan (2014 and 2018).
    Sanchez’s red card in their opening match against Japan was the first dismissal at the 2018 World Cup and was also Colombia’s first ever sending off in the competition.

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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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