Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 16th 2014 Contents A68
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Debut goals from Hull pair
Abel Hernandez and Mohamed
Diame were only good enough
for a draw against West Ham
as a Curtis Davies own-goal
ensured the spoils were shared
in a breathless encounter at the
KC Stadium, yesterday.
The home side lost the lead
twice, club record signing Her-
nandez getting the ball rolling
with an impeccable first-half
header and Diame restoring the
advantage against the side he
left on transfer deadline day.
In between Enner Valencia
had marked his first league start
with a blockbuster strike from
25 yards and the 2-2 draw was
settled when Diafra Sakho s
modest shot evaded Allan
McGregor, only for Davies to
bundle over his own line.
Valencia almost won it in
added time when his header
rebounded off Dawson s shoul-
der and rattled the crossbar, but
that might have been harsh on
the home side.
Hull can be particularly
pleased with the contribution
of Hernandez, who also clattered
the woodwork in a display that
looked a good down payment
on the £9.5 million sent Paler-
mo s way, while Diame was des-
perate to impress against his for-
West Ham, meanwhile, can
rightly be enthused by the for-
ward pairing of Diafra and
Valencia, who showed real
understanding on their first out-
It was, in many ways, a shame
for the match to be settled by
the messiest goal in four, and
McGregor in particular will be
aggrieved having made two fine
saves in the match.
The game got off to a lively
start, both sides tearing around
without taking a breath in the
There was more energy than
genuine craft in those early
exchanges but Diame enjoyed a
satisfying moment, taking the
ball round his former captain
Mark Noble with a deft touch
and winning a first ovation from
his new fans.
Hull came close to making
significant breakaways on a cou-
ple of occasions, notably when
Hernandez s clever back-heel
for Nikica Jelavic almost saw
the Croatian in behind the away
defence, while Jake Livermore
wasted a fine chance to counter
with a mis-hit pass.
Sakho and Valencia were
showing signs of life at the other
end of the pitch and the the for-
mer must have thought he had
opened the scoring in the 35th
Valencia won a back-post
header to send Stewart Down-
ing s cross back across goal and
a bundled finish off Sakho s
chest was goalbound until
McGregor thrust a glove to his
left to make a superb reaction
Just four minutes later the
hosts were ahead.
Livermore and Ahmed Elmo-
hamady outmanned Aaron
Cresswell on the right wing
before the Egyptian swung in a
cross. Hernandez was the target
and he brushed off the attention
of James Tomkins to pick out
the bottom corner with a won-
It was a ruthless finish from
the 24-year-old, who nearly
went one better just before the
Having been fed by Andy
Robertson, he took a single touch
on the edge of the box before
thudding the crossbar with a
Jelavic headed home the
rebound but came from an off-
If the Hammers were glad to
hear the half-time whistle it
barely showed after the restart.
They were on the front foot
immediately and levelled in the
50th minute courtesy of Valen-
cia s stunner.
He picked the ball up in rel-
atively safe territory, but Daw-
son s refusal to close him down
allowed the striker to shuffle
into range, before crashing home
an unstoppable effort.
For all the brilliance of the
first two goals, the next two were
down in large part to defensive
With 64 minutes gone Cress-
well s loose throw-in was stolen
by Diame, who picked Cheikou
Kouyate s pocket, bore down on
goal and finished nonchalantly
off the inside of the post.
This time Hull s lead lasted
less than three minutes and was
surrendered in the tamest of
Sakho did well to find space
in behind the defence but, hav-
ing collected Downing s pass,
his low shot was a tame affair.
But McGregor failed com-
pletely to get a hand on it and
the last line of defence, Davies,
only succeeded in finishing s
Sakho s job for him.
McGregor was partially
redeemed when he pawed
Sakho s header out from under
the crossbar, but Hull s attempts
to push for the win---in the
shape of two more debutants,
Gaston Ramirez and Hatem Ben
Arfa---came to nothing.
Instead the Hammers almost
stole it, Valencia s header coming
off Dawson and hitting the bar.
EIBAR---Deportivo La Coruna scored early and
hung on for a 1-0 win at Eibar yesterday, earning
the promoted side its first victory of the Spanish
Midfielder Juan Rodriguez scored what proved
to be Deportivo s winner in the 13th minute when
a poor clearance by Eibar defender Eneko Boveda
fell to him in the area.
After failing to threaten in the first half, Eibar
substitute Dani Nieto had the hosts best chances
with back-to-back solo efforts in the 58th and
59th. But goalkeeper German Lux parried his first
shot over the bar before Nieto hit the side netting
on a second try.
Deportivo defended well the rest of the way.
"I closed in on the net because I knew that
there can always be a rebound that bounces your
way, and I was lucky that s what happened,"
Rodriguez said. "We were able to make good on
the goal we had in our favor, something we hadn t
been able to do in the other matches."
Eibar, playing its first season in Spain s topflight,
has lost two straight after winning its first-division
"We hope that this won t last just one year and
we can keep enjoying it," said Eibar midfielder
After three rounds, Barcelona leads the league
with Valencia, Sevilla and defending champion
Atletico Madrid all two points behind. Real Madrid
trails Barcelona by six points along with Eibar in
the bottom half of the table. (AP)
VERONA---Hellas Verona capitalised on a defen-
sive error to beat newly promoted Palermo 2-
1 yesterday and pick up its first win of the Serie
Palermo took the lead in the 18th minute when
Verona goalkeeper Rafael could only parry
Francesco Bolzoni s effort from Eros Pisano s cross
and Franco Vazquez fired in the rebound from
Verona leveled shortly before halftime after
Sinisa Andelkovic hauled down Luca Toni in the
area and the former Palermo forward stepped up
to fire the resulting penalty into the bottom left
A mix-up between Pisano and his goalkeeper
Stefano Sorrentino saw Juanito Gomez bundle
what was to prove the winner into the empty net,
although the final touch came off the Palermo
ZURICH---Former Fifa inter-
national relations director
Jerome Champagne has con-
firmed his plan to challenge
president Sepp Blatter in next
year s election.
Champagne wrote on his
campaign Web site yesterday
that he informed Fifa s 209
member federations and the
election supervisor, Domenico
Scala, of his decision.
The French former diplomat
launched his campaign in Lon-
don in January, and said then
he doubted that he could beat
"My sincerest wish from the
outset has been to present my
candidacy with a desire for fair
and transparent debate," Cham-
pagne wrote Monday, proposing
televised campaign events on a
"global and/or continental scale."
Blatter, the president since
1998, has said he intends to
announce his candidacy next
week in Zurich after meeting
Fifa s executive committee.
Champagne has declined to
criticize Blatter publicly, and has
joined his former boss in ques-
tioning the role of wealthy Euro-
pean football clubs and their
governing body Uefa, whose
president Michel Platini last
month decided not to run in the
Champagne asked Monday
"whether we want to continue
with the current economic
polarisation, and the sporting
imbalances it brings in its wake,
or be willing to rebalance the
He also called for Fifa to be
more modern in its management
and include clubs, leagues and
players in decision-making.
Candidates must have support
from five Fifa member federa-
tions by late January.
Scala, who heads Fifa s audit
and compliance committee,
chairs a three-member panel
overseeing the May 29 election.
They will decide if Champagne
is eligible, after serving as a con-
sultant, including to the Pales-
tinian football federation, since
being forced out of Fifa in 2010.
Candidates must have had an
"active role" in football for two
of the past five years. (AP)
ROME---Roma forward Gervinho has extended
his contract with the Serie A club by a year,
tying him to the Stadio Olimpico until 2018.
Roma said Monday the Ivory Coast interna-
tional s new deal "has a four-year duration, with
a fixed expiry date of June 30, 2018."
Gervinho joined Roma last year after a disap-
pointing spell at Arsenal.
The move saw him reunited with his former
coach at Lille, Rudi Garcia.
Gervinho scored nine goals in 33 league matches
for Roma last season, as well as three goals in
four Italian Cup matches.
The 27-year-old forward has scored once in
two matches this campaign.
Gervinho netted in two of the Ivory Coast s
three World Cup games in Brazil in the summer.
New duo delivers in draw Deportivo
edges Eibar 1-0
Verona tops Palermo
2-1 in Serie A
Gervinho extends contract
with Roma until 2018
Hull City's Hatem Ben Arfa, left, and West Ham United's Alex Song battle for the ball during the
English Premier League football match at the KC Stadium, Hull, England, yesterday. The match ended
tied 2-2. AP PHOTO
Champagne confirms plan to challenge Blatter
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