Congrats to Chile on their 2nd COPA America title and to Alexis Sanchez for winning the Golden Ball!
This COPA America final was dramatic from start to finish with Chile’s Diaz getting a red card early (28′), which he didn’t deserve, then the referee seemed to even things up about 10 minutes later, giving Argentina’s Rojo a red card, who didn’t deserve a red card either in my opinion.
Both teams battled back and forth with 10 men, hardly any shots on goal, neither really controlling possession and then Argentina eventually took control of the game for a short period of time. Both teams were scoreless at 90 minutes, it went into Extra time and the scoreline remained nil all.
The Final then went to Penalties. We all know that Chile’s Goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo (who won the Golden Glove) would save at least one, so more pressure was on Argentina.
Then the heartache came as Captain Lionel Messi stepped up first as usual to lead Argentina with all the pressure on his shoulders to try to finally win an International title. Then he did a Baggio and missed! Bravo didn’t even dive that way. He was visually very disappointed in himself.
Watch “Messi Miss Penalty Kick – Argentina vs Chile 2016” on YouTube here:
Chile also missed, then the next 2 for each side scored. Bravo then made a save, Chile scored and just like that it was 4-2 to Chile, it was all over and Messi was in tears.
A dejected Messi after he missed his penalty kick Photo: Mike Stobe/ Getty Images
Messi told reporters after the match that he wants more than anyone to win a title with the National team. He said he has tried everything possible and that’s four finals lost. Although in the heat of the moment and very frustrated, he said he may never play with Argentina for an International competition again and stated ‘this is not for me’.
At least Messi has an Under 20 World Cup from 2005 under his belt but it clearly doesn’t do his greatness justice. With his goals scored in this COPA America, he is now the all time leading scorer for Argentina with 55.
In the Semifinals of COPA America this week, Argentina destroyed the USA 4-0 on Tuesday and Chile beat Colombia last night with a rain delay during the match, 2-0.
Messi scored his 55th International goal on Tuesday in the 32nd minute that was a free kick vs USA. It was a spectacular free kick in the corner of the net. He now leads Argentina scorers in goals surpassing Batistuta who had 54. Messi also had 2 assists. Higuain scored 2 goals.
Messi is looking to make a stamp on his International legacy. He really just needs to win a World Cup to seal the deal, but even if he doesn’t, his greatness can never be denied.
USA will face Colombia for the 3rd place match of pride this Saturday at 7pm.
Chile the defending Champs, won 4-1 versus Argentina on penalties last year
Who will take it this year?
Euro2016 started last Friday. Already, Russia has faced investigation after Russian fans rushed (no pun intended) England supporters at the end of the game, which was drawn 1-1. Russia had equalized in overtime.
Both Russia and England have been warned against possible elimination if violence continues.
Brazil beat Haiti 7-1 last Wednesday.
On Thursday, Venezuela beat Uruguay 1-0! Suarez was extremely upset he couldn’t play and threw a tantrum on the sidelines. The same night, Mexico beat Jamaica 2-0. Poor defending cost Jamaica the first goal, a simple header by Chicharito at 18′. It was an exciting match, but Jamaica just failed to convert the many opportunities and chances on goal, especially Donaldson who was also denied a penalty. Peralto who substituted Chicharito sealed the deal for Mexico, scoring at 81′.
Mexico advanced with Venezuela to the Quarterfinal for Group C. USA and Colombia advanced from Group A. The outcome of Group B with Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Haiti is to be determined, as well as the Group with Argentina, Chile, Panama and Bolivia.
BOXING Mohammad Ali died a week ago at age 74. His public memorial service was on Friday in Louisville, KY. Ali inspired the famous movie, Rocky. The Legend’s memory will live on.
5-time Major winner, Maria Sharapova has been suspended for 2 years by the ITF for breaking anti-doping rules. She will appeal.
Speaking of doping, Jamaica’s sprinter, Nesta Carter’s ‘B’ sample confirmed the presence of the substance, methylhexanamine, a banned stimulant after tests were carried out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This could cost the 4×100m team from the 2008 Beijing Olympics their Gold medal. He will soon have his case heard by the IOC panel.
Sanya Richards-Ross of the USA looking to run her last Olympics seemed to have twisted her foot in a 100m race used for speed training in Atlanta. She fell to the ground screaming mid-race and had to be carried off the field. She hasn’t been running good times in the 400m and she came 7th in her last competitive race but this may harm her hopes of heading to RIO even more.
Jamaica National Racers Grand Prix
The JN Racers Meet that took place on Saturday at the National Stadium was packed with talented athletes, most of whom should be heading to RIO. It was a great day for sprinters with a +1.0 wind.
The highlights were as follows:
Shaunae Miller used her strength from the 400m to power through the stretch to win the Women’s 200m just short of sub 22s in 22.05s. USA’s Jenna Prandini had an excellent start and beat Miller on the curb but faded in the stretch finishing in 22 39s.
Trinidad’s Machel Cedonio won the Men’s 400m in 44.37s ahead of Grenada’s Bralon Taplin and Jamaica’s Javon Francis a.k.a. ‘Donkey Man’.
South Africa’s World Men’s 400m Champion, Wayde van Niekerk won the 300m just short of sub 31s in 31.03 ahead of USA’s LaShawn Merritt. He felt the energy of the crowd and enjoyed running here.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Miguel Francis who trains with Bolt and Blake destroyed is PB time in the Men’s 200m finishing in 19.88s, the 2nd fastest time in the world this year. Jamaica’s Julian Forte was 2nd in 20.18s and Warren Weir just returning from an injury was 3rd in 20.32s. Rasheed Dwyer is yet to break 20.5s this season.
Nadia Eke of Ghana won the Women’s Triple jump in 13.51m.
For the Women’s 100m hurdles, USA’s Sharika Nelvis won in 12.61s, her SB ahead of Jamaica’s World Champion, Danielle Williams who finished in 12.77s.
For the Men’s 110m hurdles, David Oliver of the USA won in 13.09s. Jamaica’s Deuce Carter came 2nd. He hit a hurdle mid-race so it could have been closer. Jarrett Eaton of the USA was 3rd.
Then to the races everyone was waiting for, the Women’s and Men’s 100m.
Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce who has been having trouble from injury got her usual fast start and shook off Barbara Pierre of the USA who stayed with her throughout the entire race and even inched ahead of her at one point finishing with her SB of 11.09 and Pierre finished in 11.11s. Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad & Tobago was 3rd in 11.15s and Carmelita Jeter did not place.
Sidenote. Never count out VCB for the Senior trials. She ran 10.83s in Florida today!
Now to the Men! Bolt, Blake, Asafa, Nickel Ashmeade, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Frater ALL from Jamaica, Ramon Gittons from Barbados and South Africa’s Akane Simbine. Why not have a Jamaica race at the Olympics?
All I know is, Usain Bolt is looking good, really good. He ran 9.88s after he stumbled at the start of race after a good reaction time to the gun, was behind the entire field and then pulled away easily.
Nickel Ashmeade finished 2nd and Blake with his SB 3rd, both with 9.94s, Asafa 4th with 9.98 and Bailey-Cole 5th.
Watch “Usain Bolt wins 100m Men Racers Grand Prix 2016 in 9.88s” on YouTube here:
BASKETBALL – NBA Finals
After the Warriors took Game 1 of the series and Game 2 was a Blowout with a 110-76 win over the Cavs in California with LeBron James sitting out the entire 4th quarter, the Cavs especially LeBron James were attacked by the media, various memes and videos. Here is a reminder of just a few:
They had no choice but to totally dominate Game 3 on home court to save face on Wednesday night winning by 30 points, 120-90. James had 32 points and Thompson came up big defensively and also had 13 rebounds. The Cavs would then look to level the series in Game 4 at home before heading back to California for Game 5 but things did not go their way. Curry came alive with 38 points and we still haven’t seen the Splash Brothers in these NBA Finals.
Cavs coach, Tyronn Lue was fined 25k for criticizing the Referees after Game 4, saying ‘LeBron never gets calls’. LeBron fans would say he doesn’t make excuses for losing but once again, he was in agreement with this accusation made by Lue but didn’t go in on it because he said he would save his 25k. What he did do though, was provoke Draymond Green by stepping over him after Green fell to the floor on a play, knowing what was at stake for Draymond if he got 2 more technicals or any Flagrants called against him. Words were thrown and both made their case.
Watch “GameTime: LeBron’s Altercation With Draymond Green | June 11, 2016 | 2016 NBA Finals” on YouTube here:
Today, the League announced that LeBron James was assessed a technical and Draymond Green has been suspended for Game 5 of the Finals after getting a Flagrant Foul 1 from the incident with LeBron on Friday. Suga thinks this was unnecessary and the NBA are grabbing at straws to extend the series.
Warriors’ Klay Thompson expresses that he guesses LeBron James’ ‘feelings just got hurt’ by Draymond Green and players talk trash and call each other names in the league all the time but ‘It’s a Man’s League’.
Last Saturday, Chile won Copa on Penalties! Argentina missed 2 penalty kicks and Alexis Sanchez closed it out with a cheeky penalty kick to the centre of the goal as the Argentina keeper flew to the right!
Messi was totally shut down by Chile’s defenders and nobody else from Argentina stepped up to the plate with DiMaria out in the 1st half with an injury. Argentina can give thanks for Mascherano, aka the defensive genius. So the score was 0-0 into overtime. Then Penalties. Chile played their heart out. Congrats to them!
Today is also considered the BEST DAY IN TENNIS with ALL ROUND 16 matches being played in 1 day at Wimbledon. Matches to see?! Serena Williams continues her mission to complete her Serena Slam, i.e. to become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to accomplish the Calendar Grand Slam. However, she will have to beat her sister, Venus Williams today who has been playing very well to continue her mission. Serena has not been at the top of her game so far this Wimbledon and has been using pure emotion to carry her through, but that will not work against her sister. Serena needs to raise the level of her game if she wants this win. They have not met in a while, as it will be their 1st Grand Slam vs each other in 6 years! It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but Suga doubts it will be easy for Serena. Even past rival, Martin Hingis has finally given the Williams sisters props for still being out there, playing competitively at their age, while she can only be found in the doubles draw. Look out though, Hingis still has a chance this week to derail one of the Williams sisters. She is mentoring Swiss teenager, Belinda Bencic who plays Azarenka in the round of 16. If she gets past Azarenka, she will meet one of the Williams sisters. Who has more experience mentally playing the Williams sisters but Hingis? All of 34 matches vs both, winning 17.
Roger Federer is also up against Bautista Agut. He has not lost a set yet in this tournament, as he aims to win his 8th Gentleman’s title. Can RFed win one more Grand Slam?
Young, Australian, Kyrgios will be up against Gasquet. Kyrgios has been creating a lot of excitement on the court.