Buckley aiming to push on

first_img But an opening day draw at West Brom and a point from the clash with United – Poyet has now lost just once in four outings against the men from Old Trafford – have left Buckley and his team-mates in optimistic mood. The midfielder said: “That’s what the manager says: be hard to beat, and we were. That showed. “It was a really difficult game last week and I think people underestimated West Brom and what they can do at home. “We were criticised a little bit, but we showed against Manchester United that we are a team that is going to be pushing up that league.” Buckley and fellow wide-man Connor Wickham were asked to target United wing-backs Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia and did so to good effect, particularly in the first half as Sunderland made life distinctly uncomfortable for Louis van Gaal’s misfiring side. Juan Mata’s 17th-minute opener came against the run of play and when Jack Rodwell marked his home debut with his first goal for the club on the half-hour, there could have been few arguments that Sunderland deserved to be on level terms. The home side faded as time ran down with the visitors dominating possession, but they held firm to secure their point. Buckley said: “You probably would have taken it before the game. We came under pressure in the last 15 minutes and we were hanging on a little bit, but it was a good performance, especially in the first half and we came away happy with that. “We knew they had to come here and win, really, so we did well and to come away with a point is a good result.” The 24-year-old winger made an impressive home debut for the Black Cats in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the Stadium of Light, a result which took their points tally to two from as many games, double the total they managed from their opening eight fixtures 12 months ago. That start prompted a crisis which cost then manager Paolo di Canio his job after he presided over the first five matches and handed Gus Poyet his opportunity in the top flight, and the Uruguayan oversaw a season-long fight for survival which ultimately came to a successful conclusion. Will Buckley is confident Sunderland can look upwards rather than over their shoulders after making an encouraging start to the new Barclays Premier League season. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Badgers improve despite losing opener; goalies start strong

first_imgFreshman goaltender Joel Rumpel picked up his first victory in goal in his first career start Saturday night. Wisconsin defeated Northern Michigan, 3-2.[/media-credit]Head coach Mike Eaves said it would be a process and through two games, that process is already starting to take shape.In their season-opening series at the Kohl Center, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team split the weekend 1-1 against Northern Michigan.Both nights, the Badgers found themselves down 2-0 before coming back to tie the game. Saturday night, junior forward Derek Lee scored a wrap-around goal with four minutes left in the game, giving the Badgers a 3-2 win. Friday night, the game-winning goal looked exactly the same, but it was scored with only 3.7 seconds left in overtime. UW had no chance for a second comeback, losing the season opener 3-2.Given their youth and inexperience, the Badgers played a rough game one. While it showed moments of potential, especially in tying the game up with a late comeback in the third period on Friday, UW struggled to finish plays and ultimately couldn’t get the puck in the net as a result.“It played out as one might think it played out,” Eaves said Friday. “There were some darn good things and there were some things we need to work on. That’s about what you would expect.”Wisconsin stumbled early, but in every subsequent period of play, UW looked stronger and more consistent as a whole.“We just all made mistakes,” junior defenseman John Ramage said Friday. “Not only the youth, but everyone, just kind of knocking the rust off. There were times when we were not very good in our own zone or we could have done things better.”“It’s kind of like practice,” Lee said Saturday. “As a group, we’re getting better. We’re becoming more comfortable with one another, we’re building our systems and everything’s slowly coming into one another.”The Badgers seemed to take the first game for granted. They looked like a team that expected the win to come easy and instead found themselves having to fight back even for a chance at a tie. Friday’s effort was the definition of a young team.But Saturday, things got better. UW still went down 2-0 in the first period, but the Badgers didn’t let the Wildcats get any offensive momentum after that. There were some close calls, but from the start of the second period, UW improved and took control of the game.“We did many more good things tonight,” Eaves said Saturday. “It was nice to see the line of [Mark] Zengerle, [Michael] Mersch and [Tyler] Barnes play at the level that they’re capable of. They were disappointing in their effort last night. … Every line played solid … we just did multiple more things tonight better than last night which contributed to the win.”A tale of two goaliesBefore the series, Eaves had two freshman goalies and a third that sat behind Scott Gudmandson and Brett Bennett for two seasons.In the days leading up to the game, Eaves still hadn’t made a decision as to the starter, but he knew he was going to split the series with two goalies, similar to what he’s done in the past with Gudmandson and Bennett.While freshman Joel Rumpel got the win this weekend, fellow freshman Landon Peterson played just as well.“I thought [Peterson] was very solid,” Eaves said Friday. “He gave us a chance to win the game. I think one of the telltale signs about a goalie, he’s got poise and confidence out there. If the puck was dumped in, he was quick to get out and stop it. He made good decisions, good passes. He was square to the puck all night and did a nice job. He gave us a chance to win the game or get a tie.”Peterson faced only 19 shots on goal from NMU Friday compared to the 33 Rumpel faced the next night. Rumpel was tested more often but gave up two quick goals. Although he didn’t face as many shots, Peterson also had multiple defensive breakdowns in front of him, all of which led to goals.But regardless, in their first collegiate starts, both freshmen showed poise and promise.“They both played solid,” junior defenseman Justin Schultz said. “You can’t ask much more than that. They kept us in both games and I was comfortable playing in front of both of them, and it was good to see them in their first games.”last_img read more

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Seahawks vs. Vikings odds, prediction, betting trends for ‘Monday Night Football’

first_imgStat that mattersThe Vikings have the No. 20 pass defense in the NFL, allowing 244.5 yards on average per game. The Seahawks have the No. 29 pass defense in the NFL, allowing 268.7 yards on average per game. The QB who plays better with a limited running game will win the game for his team.Seahawks vs. Vikings predictionThe Seahawks own the Vikings with Wilson for a reason. He comes up with clutch play when they need in games like this, especially at home. Cousins has tended to struggle in hostile road environments with high stakes. The Seahawks will be better at stretching the field for big plays while the Vikings will be better contained, putting Cousins in position to make key mistakes over forced longer drives.Seahawks 27, Vikings 24 When the Vikings (8-3) travel to face the Seahawks (9-2) on “Monday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN) to close the Week 13 NFL schedule, it will be a battle of two teams currently in strong NFC wild-card positions trying to get in better spots to win their respective divisions.Minnesota needs to win to keep pace with Green Bay (9-3), which would still lead the NFC North because of a head-to-head tiebreaker. Seattle can take over first place in the NFC West with a win, as it holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over San Francisco (10-2). The quarterbacks, Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson, are both having stellar, super-efficient seasons. The run defenses have been tough, but both pass defenses have had issues on the back end when not getting enough help from a dominant pass rush up front.Here’s everything to know about betting on Vikings vs. Seahawks in Week 13, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Monday Night Football.”MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting trends from Sports InsiderSeahawks vs. Vikings odds for ‘Monday Night Football’Spread: Seahawks by 2.5Point total: 49.5Odds: Vikings +131, Seahawks -151The Seahawks have seen their number go down from a field goal, which is the basic home-field advantage. When the Vikings last played a big game in prime time, they won at the Cowboys on Sunday night. The Seahawks took down the 49ers on the road in their last Monday night game.Seahawks vs. Vikings all-time seriesThe Seahawks lead the series 11-5. They have won five consecutive games in the rivalry, including 21-7 in Seattle on Monday night last December. Wilson has never lost to the Vikings in the regular season or the playoffs, including the 10-9 escape at Minnesota in the 2015 playoffs. The last time the Vikings won in Seattle was ’06.Three trends to know— 60 percent of spread bettors like the Seahawks. 60 percent of moneyline bettors also like the Seahawks.— The Vikings are 6-5 against the spread. The Seahawks are 6-4-1 against the spread.— The total has gone over in 6 of the 11 Seahawks games. The total also has gone over in 6 of 11 Vikings games.Three things to watchNo Thielen, but likely yes ClowneyThe Vikings’ passing game will once again be without hamstrung wide receiver Adam Thielen. That means the Seahawks can focus more on taking wide receiver Stefon Diggs out of the game with good coverage from emerging cornerback Shaquill Griffin with help over the top so he doesn’t hit a home run with his deep speed. Up front, the Seahawks should have Jadeveon Clowney back from a core muscle injury to limit Cousins’ time to push the ball downfield.Carson and PennyChris Carson has been the Seahawks’ lead back all season, but Rashaad Penny had his most explosive game in the rotation in Week 12. Should the Seahawks get a lead and give these guys enough work early, they can wear down the Vikings to eat away at the clock when it counts most in the fourth quarter.The tight endsThe Seahawks have struggled to cover tight ends and the Vikings will target Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. often again with Thielen out. The Vikings will have their hands full with the athletic Jacob Hollister. If either team can get a big receiving game from the position, it would be huge toward the outcome.last_img read more

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Achaeans support the GOCMV

first_imgA special fundraiser organised by the Achaean Federation and its member organisations in early February, in order to raise money for the new Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV), managed to collect $7,200. The cheque with the donation was handed over to the board of the GOCMV at a meeting symbolically held outside the under construction building of the Centre for Contemporary Culture.Present at the meeting were President of the Achaean Federation George Kavalaris, the President of the Brotherhood of Kalavryta in Melbourne and Victoria and Public Relations Officer of the Achaean Federation Athanasios Salahas, the President of the GOCMV Bill Papastergiadis and the Secretary General of the Community Costas Markos.“The Community has undertaken an important initiative, which is visible to everyone, this building will be left as a legacy for future generations,” said Mr Kavalaris, who also called upon all other Greek Australian organisations in Melbourne to rally behind the GOCMV.“We have so many clubs, we are struggling to find members to fill in all those board positions, who is going to manage our properties?” he asked, and went on to state that as a community we do not have enough people to run our organisations.Mr Athanasios Salahas stressed that if we are to progress as a community, we need to pass on the leadership of our organisations to younger people. “Most of our organisations and clubs are withering away, even though they have money and properties,” he said, and called the wider Greek Australian community in Melbourne to rally behind the GOCMV, because this organisation seems to be the only one that can survive. Speaking on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, President Bill Papastergiadis acknowledged the donation and expressed his certainty that the Greek community in Melbourne and in Victoria is supportive of the initiatives of his organisation. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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