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Belgian Football Returns With Cup Final

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Belgian Football Returns With Cup Final
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Football in the Belgian top flight returns this weekend when Percy Tau’s former side Club Brugge takes on Gent in the Belgian Super Cup final. Do you want to put money on the fixture?

The two giants of Belgian football will go head to head at the Jan Breydel Stadium in the Super Cup final, a trophy Club Brugge has claimed a record 16 times since its inception in 1979.

Gent, meanwhile, has won the trophy on just one occasion but has qualified for the final three times in its history (1984, 2010, and 2015).

Heading into the match on Sunday, Brugge will be hoping for better form after losing their last two meetings against the Buffalos, a 3-0 defeat in the Belgian Cup in March and a 2-1 loss in the league in February.

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Furthermore, Brugge has picked up four red cards in their previous three games against Gent, another streak they will be determined to end this weekend.

Open a tab account, it’s easy, and starts betting on local and international soccer now! Club Brugge vs Gent pools close at 15:00 Soccer10 – (S10 V3) 17 July 2022.

In what is an astonishing statistic, the last time a match between these two sides ended without a goal being scored was in 2013, when they played to a 0-0 draw in the country’s top division.

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Brugge’s attack will likely be spearheaded by AC Milan transfer target Charles De Ketelaere, 21, who has contributed to an impressive 45 goals in 120 matches since his professional debut three years ago.

Last season, the Belgium international posted career-best figures when he scored 18 times and assisted a further 10 strikes in 49 games across all competitions.

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Former Olympians condole death of Pakistan hockey great Manzoor Junior

Madison Franz

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Former Olympians condole death of Pakistan hockey great Manzoor Junior
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LAHORE: Former hockey Olympians and international players of Kenya and India have condoled death of former Pakistan Olympian Manzoor Hussain Junior who died due to cardiac arrest on August 29 in Lahore. The 63-year-old’s death news came as a shock to the sport’s community.

Manzoor – born in Sialkot in 1958 – bagged 86 goals in 175 outings for Pakistan in his international career that spanned from 1975-84. Expressing their condolence on the death of Manzoor, foreign players paid rich tributes to the departed soul. In their messages they also prayed for eternal peace for the departed soul.

“Late Manzoor Junior toured Kenya and Tanzania with a young Pakistan team in 1974,” said former Kenya hockey captain Surjit Singh Rihal. “I had the privilege of playing against Manzoor a number of times between 1974 and 1982. He was a brilliant forward and had very good stick work.

His movements with the ball were always very threatening for the opponents and his passes to the very speedy Pakistan wingers were constant pressure on the defenders. My sincere condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

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Former Kenya hockey international Brajinder Daved said he first played against Manzoor Junior in 1970 along with Khalid Mahmood and Kaleem Ullah at the City Park Hockey Stadium. “Pakistan had come to Kenya to play six matches against Kenya. Later in June 1980 we played again at City Park Hockey Stadium, Nairobi when Akhtar Rasool, Rashid-ul-Hassan, Syed Safdar Abbas, Riaz Shah, Manzoor Jr and Kaleem Ullah Khan were also part of the team.

Condolences from me and may Manzoor’s soul rest in peace,” added Brajinder Daved. Another Kenya international hockey player Davinder Degan said: “Sad to hear of Manzoor’s passing away. May his soul rest in peace. Kenya international hockey player Jagmel Singh Rooprai said:

“Very sad to hear the news. I had the privilege to play against him a couple of times though he was quite junior to me. RIP

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India’s 1975 World Cup winning captain Ajitpal Singh stated:

“God bless the departed soul to rest in peace. Heartfelt condolences to the family.” Former Indian international Syed Ali said: “We were the youngest members of the Indian and Pakistan teams at the Montreal Olympic Games.

Manzoor Jr was a feared and dashing all time great inside right with superb ball control and goal scoring ability. Allah unko Jannat Naseeb kare.” India’s Mervyn Fernandes, a triple Olympian (1980, 84, 88) and gold medalist 1980, in his message said:

What a brilliant and talented player he was. Manzoor Junior was made of a rare mold. RIP Manzoor Hussain” Former Kenya hockey player Raphael Fernandes also condoled the death of Manzoor Junior.

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Hockey stadium to have big screens for Asia Cup final

Madison Franz

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Hockey stadium to have big screens for Asia Cup final
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LAHORE: The Sports Board Punjab will install the biggest TV screens at the National Hockey Stadium for the cricket fans to see live coverage of the final of the T20 Asia Cup-2022 to be played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Last month, the stadium made the headlines due to a political party’s public meeting for which AstroTurf was removed.

Former Olympians condole death of Pakistan hockey great Manzoor Junior

LAHORE: Former hockey Olympians and international players of Kenya and India have condoled death of former Pakistan Olympian Manzoor Hussain Junior who died due to cardiac arrest on August 29 in Lahore. The 63-year-old’s death news came as a shock to the sport’s community. Manzoor – born in Sialkot in 1958 – bagged 86 goals in 175 outings for Pakistan in his international career that spanned from 1975-84. Expressing their condolence on the death of Manzoor, foreign players paid rich tributes to the departed soul. In their messages they also prayed for eternal peace for the departed soul.

“Late Manzoor Junior toured Kenya and Tanzania with a young Pakistan team in 1974,” said former Kenya hockey captain Surjit Singh Rihal. “I had the privilege of playing against Manzoor a number of times between 1974 and 1982. He was a brilliant forward and had very good stick work. His movements with the ball were always very threatening for the opponents and his passes to the very speedy Pakistan wingers were constant pressure on the defenders. My sincere condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

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Former Kenya hockey international Brajinder Daved said he first played against Manzoor Junior in 1970 along with Khalid Mahmood and Kaleem Ullah at the City Park Hockey Stadium. “Pakistan had come to Kenya to play six matches against Kenya. Later in June 1980 we played again at City Park Hockey Stadium, Nairobi when Akhtar Rasool, Rashid-ul-Hassan, Syed Safdar Abbas, Riaz Shah, Manzoor Jr and Kaleem Ullah Khan were also part of the team. Condolences from me and may Manzoor’s soul rest in peace,” added Brajinder Daved. Another Kenya international hockey player Davinder Degan said: “Sad to hear of Manzoor’s passing away. May his soul rest in peace. Kenya international hockey player Jagmel Singh Rooprai said: “Very sad to hear the news. I had the privilege to play against him a couple of times though he was quite junior to me. RIP.”

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India’s 1975 World Cup winning captain Ajitpal Singh stated: “God bless the departed soul to rest in peace. Heartfelt condolences to the family.” Former Indian international Syed Ali said: “We were the youngest members of the Indian and Pakistan teams at the Montreal Olympic Games.

Manzoor Jr was a feared and dashing all time great inside right with superb ball control and goal scoring ability. Allah unko Jannat Naseeb kare.” India’s Mervyn Fernandes, a triple Olympian (1980, 84, 88) and gold medalist 1980, in his message said: “What a brilliant and talented player he was. Manzoor Junior was made of a rare mold. RIP Manzoor Hussain” Former Kenya hockey player Raphael Fernandes also condoled the death of Manzoor Junior.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka had qualified for the final after they defeated India and Afghanistan in the Super Four Stage.

 

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Pakistan look to end decade-long Asia Cup drought but Sri Lanka have psychological edge

Madison Franz

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Pakistan look to end decade-long Asia Cup drought but Sri Lanka have psychological edge
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Will Pakistan win their third Asia Cup? Or will Sri Lanka be crowned for the sixth time?

It is a tournament Pakistan love but a tournament that hasn’t always loved them back. Pakistan’s lack of success over this competition’s four-decade history has been baffling, given, if history is a guide, there are only three possible destinations for this trophy. For the first half of the tournament’s existence, India and Sri Lanka played musical chairs, with Pakistan kept out in the cold, making only one of the first six finals.
They won the Sharjah Cup, the Nehru Cup and even the World Cup during this time, but the Asia Cup remained elusive. It wasn’t until 2000 that a Moin Khan-led side finally touched the one piece of silverware that Pakistan had been denied. But it took them another 12 years for their next title. It has been a further decade since, and while India and Sri Lanka have split a dozen of these between them, Pakistan cherish the memories of those two.
The tournament has evolved, this particular edition is in the T20 format, and fans been gifted a vintage Pakistan side: wild, excitable, unpredictable, and against all odds, still here. The manner of India’s routing of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka’s subsequent dismantling of Pakistan means those two Naseem Shah sixes really were the difference between qualification and elimination. Now, Babar Azam has the chance to achieve what only Moin and Misbah-ul-Haq have accomplished for Pakistan – the official continental supremacy.
Pakistan have not necessarily looked destined for glory this fortnight, beginning with a final-over defeat to arch-rivals India. They inflicted a loss on that same opponent a week later to invigorate a flagging campaign, but stumbles against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka suggest a lot of work still needs to be done – not just with bat in hand, but, for this young side, also when it comes to keeping emotions in control; there was evidence in that game against Afghanistan that nerves, and perhaps tempers, threatened to get the better of them at crucial moments.
Tempers are less likely to flare in the final, though. Each Asia Cup side has had a complicated relationship with the others, but Pakistan vs Sri Lanka is perhaps the friendliest fixture of all. Throughout most of their history, these two nations have enjoyed cordial relations, and been there for each other in their toughest times. That warmth has been evident on the field as well, and there is no reason that should change.
A Sri Lankan redemption arc, though, is perhaps a neater, easier graph to chart, though nonetheless dramatic for it. Not many would have expected Sri Lanka to be here after they were blown away by eight wickets and almost ten overs to spare in the opening game by Afghanistan. Against Bangladesh, too, they looked done for in a steep chase until Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, and Bangladesh’s own mistakes saw them sneak through to the Super 4s.
But since then, their campaign has turned around. The batters, right through to the lower order, played modern, aggressive, entertaining cricket that has lit up this tournament, gaining them fans outside that little paradise of an island itself. Afghanistan were swiftly avenged, before a thrilling win against India effectively saw them through to the final. The way their batters held their nerve at the death against India made that win especially impressive as they trumped an opposition that had beaten them in 14 of the last 17 T20Is.
The win against Pakistan in the last game of the Super 4 round perhaps means they go into the final as favourites, but not mentioning the value of the toss would be irresponsible. Only three times has a team defended successfully in the tournament – Hong Kong’s two opponents and India against Afghanistan – and while there have been plenty of close games to suggest it needn’t have been that way, the value of winning the toss cannot be overstated.

Form guide

Pakistan LWWWL (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
Sri Lanka WWWWL

In the spotlight

Whether you’re Team Total Attack or Team Platform Building, Pakistan’s T20 fortunes are tethered firmly to the kind of day Mohammad Rizwan is having. He might take his time and hold up one end, which gives the rest of the side something of a comfort blanket – that only becomes really apparent in how exposed the side feels when he falls early. Even better for Pakistan, if he could find his timing from relatively early on and get them off to a rapid, if not flying, start. A struggling Rizwan often means a struggling Pakistan, not just because his runs might be missed, but because Rizwan in the right mood lifts the spirit of the entire side. He has become this T20I side’s heartbeat, as well as the bellwether of its performances.
Wanindu Hasaranga doesn’t mind playing against Pakistan. The 3 for 21 he picked up in the dry run for the final wasn’t a one-off. Quite literally, in the sense that he had registered those precise numbers in a T20I in Lahore as well to help Sri Lanka clean sweep Pakistan 3-0. It was really that tour of Pakistan that kickstarted his career, and he hasn’t looked back since. Pakistan remain, statistically, one of his most favoured opponents, against whom he has bagged 11 wickets in four matches. These include a Player-of-the-Series award as well as two Player-of-the-Match performances. Add to that his ability to contribute runs down the order, and it becomes clear why his battle against Pakistan might be key to the destination of the Asia Cup.

Pitch and conditions

It will be hot and dry again, as it has been all fortnight.

Team news

After resting a few players in the last game, Pakistan should revert to the side that won three games in a row prior to Friday’s defeat.
Pakistan (probable): 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Fakhar Zaman, 4 Iftikhar Ahmed, 5 Khushdil Shah, 6 Shadab Khan, 7 Asif Ali, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Naseem Shah, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Mohammad Hasnain
Sri Lanka may consider bringing Asitha Fernando back, but after that commanding bowling performance on Friday, an unchanged XI is more likely.
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Kusal Mendis (wk), 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Dhananjaya de Silva, 4 Danushka Gunathilaka, 5 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 6 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 7 Chamika Karunaratne, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Pramod Madushan, 11 Dilshan Madushanka

Stats and trivia

  • Haris Rauf is three strikes shy of 50 T20I wickets.
  • This is the fourth time Sri Lanka and Pakistan are playing an Asia Cup final, with Sri Lanka winning two of the previous three.
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Quotes

“When building a team, it is great for us that different players have stood up when it counts and helped the team win matches. As a captain, this is important for me, and it helps pave the path for future success for the team as well.”
Babar Azam relishes the contributions from multiple players this competition
“As a tournament, looking back, this has been one of the best Asia Cups we have had, and we are looking forward to the final.”
Dasun Shanaka has his eyes firmly on the prize
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