Bayern back on top

first_imgBERLIN, Germany (AP): It was far from convincing but Bayern Munich did enough to return to the top of the Bundesliga on goal difference with a 3-1 win at Mainz yesterday. Robert Lewandowski scored two goals against his favourite Bundesliga opponents with Arjen Robben grabbing the other as Bayern joined promoted Leipzig on 30 points. The defending champions are three goals better off before Leipzig’s game at home against Schalke today. “I’ll be relatively relaxed watching the game,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. “I mean, it’s up to Bayern. If we keep delivering then we’ve every chance of being Bundesliga champions.” Rummenigge’s side suffered an early setback when Jhon Cordoba fired Mainz ahead in the fourth minute. The Colombian easily eluded Javi Martinez’ weak challenge and fired beyond the despairing Manuel Neuer inside the far post. Lewandowski equalised just minutes later, however. Robben set him up with a simple pass after Philipp Lahm broke up an attack with a finely timed challenge on Yunus Malli to start a counter. “You can see that he got me first and then the ball,” said Malli, unhappy that the referee waved play on. Mainz continued attacking and was enjoying the lion’s share of possession but Robben made the difference. The unmarked Dutch winger headed Bayern in front in the 21st, when Thomas Mueller chased down Franck Ribery’s wayward cross and produced a fine cross.last_img read more

Functional Barca to play Chelsea at their own game

first_img0Shares0000Antonio Conte’s Chelsea could come up against a less expansive Barcelona than they might expect in Wednesday’s Champions League showdown © AFP / Pau BarrenaBARCELONA, Spain, Mar 14 – Antonio Conte’s Chelsea will aim to frustrate Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday but they may find an opponent less expansive than they expect.Barca have set the standard in recent years for the most glittering style of football but Ernesto Valverde has instilled a new style this season, built on resilience, organisation and hard graft. With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez left to their own devices up front, Barcelona’s midfield has become more conscientious and its back-line harder to breach.Atletico Madrid, as much renowned in defence as Barca have been in attack, have conceded only one goal fewer than the Catalans in La Liga all season.Chelsea, however, enjoyed success at Stamford Bridge with a dogmatic approach, when only Messi’s equaliser spoilt what was otherwise a controlled Blues performance. Willian’s opener means Conte’s side take a 1-1 draw to the Camp Nou.“We come to do exactly the same job as we did at Stamford Bridge,” Willian said on Tuesday.“Without the ball we have to stay compact like we did at Stamford Bridge, we have to do the same job. We know here the pitch is big and we have to stay together and to not concede goals and go for the counter attack as well.”But it remains to be seen how bold Barca will be. They beat Atletico 1-0 at home earlier this month to move eight points clear at the top of the table but it was not an eye-catching display.With Philippe Coutinho ineligible, Paulinho is likely to start against Chelsea, and the midfielder will bring athleticism and energy in place of Coutinho’s creative spark.Barcelona may be happy to play Chelsea at their own game, sustained by their crucial away goal and confident that, given the chance, Messi and Suarez can land the knock-out blow.– Iniesta key, Messi well rested –Andres Iniesta trained on Tuesday and is likely to be key for Barcelona against Chelsea © AFP / LLUIS GENECaptain Andres Iniesta will be key and the Spaniard appears to have won his battle to be fit after recovering from a hamstring strain. He was included in Valverde’s squad on Tuesday.“We know what Andres brings to the team, not only on the pitch but as a captain,” Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets said.“You give him the ball and he always knows what he has to do to create chances.”Conte conceded Chelsea would have to play the “perfect game” to reach the quarter-finals and they will need Eden Hazard to deliver too.Hazard has grown frustrated in recent weeks with his lone role up front but when asked to compare the 27-year-old Belgian with Iniesta — who will soon be 34 — Conte seemed to lay down a challenge.“We’re talking about two different players with different careers,” Conte said. “Iniesta won a lot in his career, Hazard has to start winning important trophies.”On the impact of Iniesta’s possible return, Conte added: “I like to compare him with Andrea Pirlo. We are talking about a genius of the football.”Barca are still unbeaten in La Liga and Messi will be well-rested, having sat out Saturday’s win over Malaga to attend the birth of his third child.The Argentine arrives with five goals in his last four games.“He will be fine,” Busquets said. “In fact he will be more motivated than what we are used to and physically he is going to be great, after having an extra game’s rest. I hope that this is perfect.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Community Builder: Farouk Abrahams

first_imgFounder: The Farouk Abrahams Goalkeepers AcademyWhy is Farouk a Community Builder?It all started with a burning passion to produce great goalkeepers. Farouk Abrahams, an accomplished football coach and player, believes you can have a fantastic club but, if your goalkeeper is erratic, the overall performance of your team will be poor.Almost seven years ago, Farouk presented to insurer Metropolitan his idea to launch a goalkeeper’s academy that would not only train talented youngsters for potential football careers, but also feed much-needed skills development into previously disadvantaged communities.Farouk believes that too many clubs in South Africa focus only on football development, disregarding the need for social upliftment. Farouk has built his academy on these principles, and it’s no surprise that the boys see him not just as a coach but also as a mentor and, for some, even a surrogate father.In his own words .“Beyond this academy is creating the structure for the boys to become good adults. Because if you are a good adult you are going to find something to do that is positive. You are going to find something worthwhile to live for. We are going to produce complete people and not just goalkeepers.”Fast FactsEvery Sunday, 80 to 100 children turn up for training.Today, The Farouk Abrahams Goalkeeper Academy in the Western Cape not only provides essential goalkeeper training, but also offers life skills in the form of HIV counselling, regular bonding camps, drug awareness campaigns, a feeding scheme and a school support system.The 20 best goalkeepers between the ages of 14 and 18 years are selected from the academy and placed in an advanced coaching school.Farouk was the goalkeeper coach for Bafana Bafana at the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan.How can I help?For more information on the Farouk Abrahams Goalkeepers Academy and how you can help, e-mail Christabell Kota.Story published on SAinfo on 4 June 2008.Source: Brand South Africalast_img read more

Doing the Dusi – in wood and canvas canoes

first_img27 November 2013Early on Friday morning a hardy band of 16 canoeing enthusiasts will set off on a four-day journey from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, following the original Dusi Canoe Marathon route and paddling replica canvas and wood craft of the same design used by Dr Ian Player when he won the inaugural Dusi in 1951.The Dusi Canoe Marathon is one of the world’s largest canoe marathons and an iconic South African endurance sporting event.The Commemorative Dusi Canvas Journey was started by paddling stalwart John Oliver in 2002, with the intention of replicating the pioneering feats of the race’s founders, right down to the construction of canoes made exactly to plans used in the 1950s.Boat builderAnton Venter, one of the race’s staunchest supporters, has fine-tuned the skills needed to build these boats from suitable timber and canvas, and is able to supply the replica craft to keen paddlers from around R1 500, roughly 25% of the cost of a simple modern fibre-glass craft.The Canvas Dusi participants wear the typical 1950s uniform of khaki shorts and shirts. Those who have done at least one Canvas Dusi get to add a leopard skin band to their hats in memory of the first Dusi when Ernie Pearce, one of the Dusi’s most important historical figures, cut up a leopard skin carpet at home and added it to his hat.The four-day adventure has seen a gradual turnover in personnel since it was first run in 2001, with more and more younger paddlers joining the trip.“In the beginning it was just a bunch of us old ‘balies’,” Hugh Raw, one of the Canvas Dusi’s most passionate supporters, said this week. “It is great to see the younger paddler joining us, like the Wright brothers, which helps to bring down the average age.”Annual eventThe race is run on the first weekend in December to coincide with the good water releases for the two-day 50 Miler race, which is a major build-up race to the Dusi Canoe Marathon in February. However, it does mean that the first and last days of the Canvas Dusi trip are often paddled on low rivers.On the final stage from Molweni to Blue Lagoon in Durban, the paddlers will not carry their craft over the notorious Burma Road portage, but instead face up to the big rapids on the paddle around.“Peter Peacock [a former Dusi winner] has started shooting the big stuff in these wood and canvas canoes, which have open cockpits with no splash covers,” said Raw. “Last year I shot Island One and Two Rapids following Peter’s lines and we both made it!”Typically, both rapids are studiously avoided by the Dusi paddlers of today.“These wood and canvas craft can be quite hard work to maintain and they don’t have a very long lifespan,” Raw added.“If you pick up a rip in the canvas, that’s quite easy to fix because you can patch it with contact adhesive. But when you break one of the wooden ribs in the boat, then they become quite weak.”Support crewThe 16 paddlers, accompanied by a support crew of four, now stay overnight at the Mfula Lodge operated by John Graaff from the Mfula Store premises, close to the halfway point of their journey.Day One will take them to Yellow Rock, close to the first overnight stop of the normal Dusi Marathon. Day Two overnights conveniently at Mfula Store, while the third stage ends at Molweni, below the Inanda Dam wall, and the final stage on Monday ends at Blue Lagoon in Durban.“It is a totally social trip, and we all stay together and help each other out whenever necessary,” Raw explained.“We did lose one of our number last year. He somehow got lost on the Guinea Fowl portage and we were enormously relieved to see him stumbling out of the bush several hours later. But generally speaking the group that starts is the same group that will finish the trip in Durban.”2014 DusiThe Dusi Canoe Marathon, which takes place from 13 to 15 February 2014, is focussing on the pioneering feats of the characters who started the race 63 years ago and profiling the contributions that icons like founder Dr Ian Player, Ernie Pearce, Graeme Pope-Ellis and Robert Lembethe made in helping the famous race become what it is today.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Debating the Passivhaus Standard for North America

first_imgReaders of Environmental Building News have had about a month to contemplate some of the talking points raised in an EBN article and accompanying blog about the Passivhaus standard and, in a purely hypothetical discussion, the merits (or demerits) of slightly altering the standard to accommodate small homes and North America’s various climate zones.The author of the article, EBN Executive Editor Alex Wilson, summarizes Passivhaus history, highlights the standard’s considerable benefits and its technical underpinnings, and then introduces a few ideas intended to make the Passivhaus standard, which enjoys relatively wide adoption in Western Europe, more of a force on this side of the Atlantic. Wilson offers suggestions relevant to Passivhaus criteria in three areas:• Heating and cooling requirements, which allow a maximum of 15 kWh/m2/yr (4,755 Btu/ft2/yr) for heating or cooling. For total “primary” energy consumption, including heating, cooling, water heating, lighting, and appliances, the standard allows 120 kWh/m2/yr (38,000 Btu/ft2/yr). In very cold or very hot climates, Wilson says, he recommends relaxing the heating and cooling requirements but maintaining the total primary energy consumption limit. He adds that in very cold climates, where little or none of the 15 kWh/m2/yr for cooling will be needed, it might make sense to allow some of that energy to be used for heating. Similarly, for hot climates, where little or no space heating is needed, it would seem reasonable to allow some of that energy to be used for cooling.• Small houses, which, because Passivhaus energy-consumption limits are based on floor area, have a significantly harder time meeting the energy standard than do larger houses. Likewise, the Passivhaus airtightness standard – 0.6 air changes per hour with a 50 pascal pressure difference across the envelope (ACH50) – is tougher for small houses to meet because it is based on air changes per hour rather than cubic-feet-per-minute of air leakage per unit area of envelope. Wilson suggests relaxing the airtightness standard enough to offset that bias, and easing the energy consumption limit by allowing an additional 2 kWh/m2/yr for heating or cooling if the house is under a certain size (he suggests 100 m2 (1,076 ft2).• Existing buildings, where, because North America’s housing stock is so vast, there is enormous opportunity for energy savings (and increased occupant comfort) but also often daunting and expensive challenges to improving energy efficiency significantly, never mind to the Passivhaus standard. The recommendation: convening a panel of leading energy experts who are familiar with North America’s housing stock—and also committed to dramatic reductions in building-energy use—to come up with a reasonable “Passive House Retrofit Standard for North America.” (For example, energy consumption limits about double what the standard currently requires for new buildings – 30 kWh/m2/yr, say, for heating and the same for cooling, and an airtightness standard raised from 0.6 to 1.5 ACH50.)Reader responses to these suggestions show a striking level of commitment to the performance demands of the standard (many are not crazy about the idea of relaxing the airtightness requirement) and also to the standard’s overarching benefits, including extraordinary energy efficiency, interior comfort, durability. Naturally, though, there’s also a keen interest in increasing the affordability and market appeal of Passivhaus construction, as well as various combinations of energy efficient construction and renewable-energy systems that bring a building’s performance to net zero energy, or very near it.Paul Torcellini, a National Renewable Energy Laboratory engineer who has worked actively on the Department of Energy’s zero-energy initiative, told EBN that net-zero-energy should be as good as Passive House. “I like the idea of a number, and zero is the best number,” he said. “The beauty of net-zero is that it’s really hard to game the system if you follow the established definitions.”“How can you tell me that a net-zero house is worse than a Passive House?” added building science engineer John Straube, who is both a Passivhaus admirer and critic.As homeowners and prospective homeowners catch on to green building concepts, it seems likely net-zero-energy homes and, eventually, homes that meet the Passivhaus standard will seem less exotic and more attainable. As Wilson points out, the development of Passivhaus buildings in the U.S. is slow, but manufacturers and suppliers are starting to pay attention. And that could be a very good thing as homeowners and builders try to find the sweet spot in calculations of cost, performance, and comfort.last_img read more

World Cup 2019: Vijay Shankar responds to Ambati Rayudu’s 3D glasses tweet

first_imgIndia all-rounder Vijay Shankar said he is able to understand the sense of disappointment that prompted Ambati Rayudu to come up with a cheeky tweet after the senior campaigner was dropped from India’s World Cup 2019 squad.Ambati Rayudu who was earmarked for the No. 4 role in the Indian batting unit as early as last year made way for Vijay Shankar in the 15-man squad for the World Cup, starting May 30 in the United Kingdom.Rayudu had produced some consistent performances over the last few years batting at No. 4 but a dip in form combined with some eye-catching performances from Vijay Shankar prompted the selectors to make the tough call of dropping the Hyderabad batsman.Chief selector MSK Prasad highlighted Vijay Shankar’s 3-dimensional attributes when explaining the rationale behind preferring the Tamil Nadu all-rounder over Rayudu.A disappointed Rayudu had taken to social media after his World Cup snub and wrote: “Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup.”Speaking to Gaurav Kapur on his YouTube show Breakfast With Champions, Shankar said: “I know for the fact that how a cricketer would feel if they are not being picked. I can understand from a player’s point of view. And I know for the fact that he didn’t mean it to me.”It was just that he put that tweet for the sake of it. I can understand the situation in which he was. It is fine for any cricketer.”Shankar missed India’s first warm-up match of World Cup 2019 against New Zealand on Saturday due to an injury scare. The all-rounder got a hit on his right hand on the eve of the warm-up match.advertisementNonetheless, the Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed that Shankar didn’t pick up a fracture and is recovering from the knock. He is likely to return for India’s 2nd and final warm-up match against Bangladesh on Tuesday.MS Dhoni’s crucial advice to Vijay ShankarShankar also revealed the impact of MS Dhoni when it comes to being calm on and off the field. The India cricketer, who made his ODI debut only in 2019, has already played some quality innings under pressure which eventually helped him seal a World Cup berth.”To be honest, I learnt it from Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni). He told me like you need to be calm and neutral. He told me ‘just focus on your work and things will take care of itself’. My debut was the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I had never been to such a big ground. I was feeling the nerves. He just came and told me ‘you’re moving the ball, just hit the right length’. He then went away. It was a very simple thing but then at the moment, it was needed,” Vijay Shankar said.Also Read | 2019 World Cup: Relief for Team India after Vijay Shankar’s scans show no fractureAlso Read | Nothing to worry about: Ravindra Jadeja on India’s batting woes after loss to NZAlso See:last_img read more