Published on February 25, 2013 at 1:54 am Syracuse (5-6, 2-1) traveled to Illinois for a battle with two top-75 foes, splitting the two matches on a defining road trip. Entering the weekend, the Orange had lost all four of their matches on the road, and looked to change pace in the Prairie State.It started against No. 34 Illinois on Friday, when it trounced the Orange 6-1. Illinois won all of the doubles points, taking two of three matches with the final match ending unfinished.The Fighting Illini carried their domination into the singles matches, as they took five of the six points. Maddie Kobelt was the only member of the Orange to win her singles match, triumphing 6-7, 6-2, 6-4.The Orange defeated No. 69 DePaul 4-3 on Sunday to claim its first road win of the season. The win halted the Blue Demons’ nine-game winning streak. The win was also the first time in six tries Syracuse has defeated a ranked opponent.It took SU everything it had to escape with a win, as the match came down to a tiebreaker set in the final singles match to defeat DePaul. Amanda Rodgers pulled out the win 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-4) over Patricia Fargas, with each set ending in a tiebreaker.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe two sides split the singles competition overall, with Jimena Wu and Breanna Bachini coming away with victories.The doubles point gave the Orange the advantage in a close match. Kobelt and Brittany Lashway came away with an 8-5 win in their first appearance together as a doubles tandem. Aleah Marrow and Komal Safdar won their doubles match 8-6 in their second appearance as a tandem.Syracuse has three weeks off before returning to the Drumlins Center on March 17 to face Princeton. The Orange looks to continue its success at home, where it’s 4-0 this season.SoftballStruggling to find a groove at the plate, Syracuse emerged from the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with just one win and a 4-5 record on the season.The tournament, which took place in Palm Springs, Calif. featured a five-game slate featuring Florida, San Diego State, Colorado State, Stanford and Long Beach State, and ended with SU picking up a single win against Colorado. Entering the tournament, SU hoped the Big East-level competition in tournament play would ready the team for the brunt of its season.SU finished the tournaments first day without a win, dropping its opening game against Florida 5-1. The Gators capitalized on three Syracuse fielding errors in the fourth and fifth innings Friday, scoring four runs during that span. Sophomore Mary Dombrowski crossed home plate on a run batted in by freshman Shirley Daniels, but the run wasn’t enough to stave off Florida in the closing innings.In the following game, Syracuse went scoreless against San Diego 3-0, despite an opening sequence that placed senior Veronica Grant , Dombrowski and junior Jasmine Watson in scoring position. SU struggled to convert hits into runs throughout the contest, as eight runs were left on base by game’s end.Saturday proved more forgiving for SU, as the team edged Colorado State 4-2 on a strong fourth-inning performance at the plate. A succession of runs came across the plate, mounting a deficit what would be too much for Colorado to overcome.On Sunday, Stanford’s pitching posed a problem for Syracuse, who lost 1-2. Syracuse continued to struggle into the afternoon, falling to Long Beach State 7-6 in the day’s second matchup. Syracuse was 1-4 on the weekend.SU’s next opportunity to rebound will be at the Citrus Classic-ESPN Rise this weekend, where Louisiana State, Boston College, Longwood University, the University of Texas and Mississippi State await.– Compiled by The Daily Orange Sports staff Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
COUNTDOWN AGAINST ALGERIA The Nigerian team will walk onto the refurbished pitch on superior ground against the Fennecs of Algeria, going by the statistics of their previous encounters.Till date, there has been 17 clashes between both teams (all at competitive level), with Nigeria winning eight times, drawing three and losing six. And Nigeria captain Mikel John Obi was less than three years old the last time Algeria defeated Nigeria, in the final of the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations in Algiers.Super Eagles’ current goalkeepers’ trainer Aloysius Agu was the Eagles’ goalkeeper and captain that day, 16th March 1990. It was a tough game at the July 5 Stadium in Algiers, but the Fennecs won their first (and still only) Africa title when Cherif Oudjani’s long range effort beat Agu for the only goal of the match.At that same competition, Algeria had beaten the Eagles 5-1 in the opening match. But the Eagles would remember that and pay back the Fennecs when lashing their hosts 5-2 in Oran in a 2006 World Cup qualifier on 4th September 2005.The first clash between both countries was on 10th January 1973, during the football event of the 2nd All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted. The match ended 2-2. Seven years later, the Green Eagles would thrash the Algerians 3-0 to lift their first Africa Cup title.In their last four confrontations, the Eagles have enjoyed a winning streak against the Algerians, which is more than the three consecutive wins Algeria had over Nigeria between October 1981 and March 1982. In the qualifying race for Espana ’82, Algeria beat Nigeria 2-0 in Lagos and 2-1 in Constantine, and the Fennecs then came from behind to edge the Eagles 2-1 at the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations in Libya.This Saturday, Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho looks set to lead Nigeria’s charge for goals against the North Africans side with Victor Moses and Oghenekaro Etebo good to also start.The 20-year-old Iheanacho has scored in the team’s last four matches and in yesterday’s morning training he led attack while Watford ace Odion Ighalo, back in the squad after he missed last month’s game in Zambia, featured for the second team.Ighalo has failed to deliver in a green-white-green shirt of Nigeria and he is currently struggling to score goals in his second season in the Premier League.In a related development, Napoli FC and Algeria defender, Faouzi Ghoulam has joined the list of players sidelined with injury he suffered a groin injury wednesday.Twenty-five-year-old left back Ghoulam has been an injury concern and now it has been announced he is out of the clash in Uyo and will not be on the flight to Nigeria tonight.Ghoulam’s withdrawal has made it increasingly difficult for coach Georges Leekens to line up a formidable after three top players were also lost to injuries earlier this week.Midfielders Rachid Ghezzal and Ryad Boudebouz as well as striker Hilal Soudani opted out of the World Cup qualifier in Nigeria on account of injury.Ghezzal and Boudebouz were examined by Algeria team doctors before they were excused from the training camp, while Dynamo Zagreb striker Soudani did not even fly down to Algiers.They have since been replaced by Baghdad Bounedjah, Yassine Benzia and Ismael Bennacer.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Another Algerian star player ruled outFemi SolajaNigeria’s Super Eagles arrived Uyo lastnight briming with confidence and ready to pick another vital win against Algeria this Saturday in Russia 2018 WorldCup qualifying match at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.
Accra Hearts of Oak returned to winning ways in the Ghana Premier League with a narrow 1-0 win over Dreams FC in Dawu.Striker Kofi Kordzi scored the only goal of the game in the second half to condemn Dreams to their first defeat at home this season.Hearts of Oak threatened first when Joseph Esso curled a delightful free-kick that came off the top of the crossbar in the 14th minute.With Dreams struggling to muster any decent sequence of play, Hearts of Oak looked the more dangerous team every time they attacked.But it took another 10 minutes for the Phobians to sniff at Peter Sarkodie’s goal again, this time Daniel Afriyie’s glancing header from Raddy Ovouka’s pinpoint cross just going wide off the mark.Dreams had their first on target on the half hour mark with danger man Emmanuel Ocran shooting straight at Richard Attah from 20 yards.On the stroke of half time, Joseph Esso hit the underside of the crossbar, this time from a vile shot unleashed from inside the box after brilliant work on the wings to create space for himself in the area.The Phobians went into the break unlucky not to be ahead.Back from recess, Hearts of Oak continued from where they left off.They finally got their reward in the 54th minute when Kofi Kordzi twisted and turned in the box before firing a low drive into the bottom corner.The goal came at the end of some sweet intricate passing from Edward Odoom’s men.It was a deserved lead for the Phobians.Dreams almost levelled after the restart but Ibrahim Issah’s effort came off the woodwork before being cleared eventually.The rest of the second half wore on without clear-cut chances with Esso and Afriyie shooting wide towards the end.Goalkeeper Atta was booked for time wasting late on but the Phobians had victory wrapped then, making amends for their home defeat to Kotoko 7 days prior.Hearts will next face Ashantigold in Accra in a mid-week fixture.
Black Stars coach Avram Grant says he is working hard to put together a formidable side for the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers which begins later this year.Ghana is yet to win a game after the Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea as they lost 2-1 to Senegal and drew with Mali in a Fifa international friendly.Many have expressed concern about the shape of the team now but coach Avram Grant has assured his the team will be ready for the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers.“Our target is to go a step further because we don’t want to go back,” said Grant“My target is to improve the team and that could be done in three ways; the quality of trainings, the things around the team and put good structures in place.“Some of the key players will come back and make the team stronger but the competition will make the team much stronger because when they come they will face players that played in their absence and did well.” Recently Grant was in Senegal to watch the African Youth Championships where the Black Satellites came third.–