Dhaka, Sep 3 (UNB) – The logo of the 12th SAFF Championship, now known as the SAFF Suzuki Cup, was formally unveiled at the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) House on Monday.
BFF president Kazi Salahuddin, who is also the SAFF president, unveiled the seven-nation tournament logo along with others at a press conference.
Tournament sponsor ‘Anontex Group’ and official ground rights holder ‘Adtouch Sports and Live Events’ were also introduced on the occasion.
Expressing optimism about having a good result in the tournament, the BFF president said, “From the organisers’ point of view, our preparation is well enough compared to other hosts countries and as the BFF president, we’ve done enough for the national team’s preparations. I hope we’ll get a good result.”
“As a footballer I can say, the level of the participating nations of this event is much higher than any other SAFF event held before. I hope we’ll be the champions,” he said.
BFF Senior-vice President Abdus Salam Murshedy, its General Secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag, Anontex Group Director Anwarul Islam Ferdous and Advisor Shyamal Dutta, and Adtouch CEO Nawaz Shohag were also present.
Squaring the Bangabandhu National Stadium, the 12-match tournament will begin on Tuesday. Bangladesh have been placed in the four-team Group-A alongside Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan.
Nepal and Pakistan will play the tournament opener, which will begin at 4pm while Bangladesh will face Bhutan in another match of the opening day at 7pm.
The Group-B comprises of defending champions India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Dhaka, Sept 3 (UNB) - The coaches and players of all the participating teams are eager to give their best in the field during the seven-nation 12th SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 beginning at Bangabandhu National Stadium here Tuesday to bring glory for their nations.
Pakistan will play Nepal in the opening match at 4pm while hosts Bangladesh will lock horns with Bhutan in the opening day’s 2nd match at 7pm at the same venue.
Addressing a pre-match conference at the BFF House on Monday, Bangladesh Coach Jamie Day said, “For the last four months, we’ve been focusing on the tournament and toured Qatar, Korea and Indonesia. The boys are fully prepared for the challenges. We want to play a good brand of football.”
“We’re the hosts and people have huge expectations upon the team but we are not taking any pressure. We want to play our best football against Bhutan in the opener. We are not thinking about any revenge or something like that. We are focused to play match by match and move forward,” he added.
Jamie Day said they will adopt a strategy of a new captain in a new match.
Bangladesh have won one, drew one and lost one against Bhutan in the SAFF Championships till date.
Senior player-cum-defender of Bangladesh team Nasiruddin Chowdhury said, “Bangladesh won the SAFF Championship back in 2003. We want to repeat the feat and rewrite the history and all the players are ready to give more than cent percent in their own yard and in front of their own people.”
Bhutan Head Coach Trevor Morgan said, “Hosts Bangladesh are the favourite in the opener but Bhutan will be relying on the firepower of their young guns. They are roaring to go. Bhutan have gone through hardworking sessions focusing upon playing better football.”
“We want to change the perception of what people think. We will be taking the field to win. There are 17 new players in the squad who are eager to show their prowess. We eye a semifinal slot.” he added.
Bhutanese captain Karma Shedrup said, “Bhutan respects Bangladesh but are not afraid. The team has taken the required preparations for the SAFF Championship and will be fighting till the end. The young team has the firepower to surprise any team and they want to prove their worth in the field.”
Addressing the newsmen, Nepalese coach and former famed booter Bal Gopal Maharjan said Nepal won its first international title in 23 years beating nine-man Bahrain 3-0 in the final of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka in January 2016, eying another jewel in his crown.
“We have not yet won the SAFF title, so why not target the title this time? We have prepared well for the last three months and the conditions and the rivals are known to us. I am satisfied with the player’s response and now we are ready to fight eyeing the title,” he added.
Captain of Nepal Biraj Maharjan said, “Nepal team have a mixture of youth and experienced players and are a confident team believing in their own prowess. We are a bunch of motivated group and the spirit is high. Nepal definitely wants to win the title.”
Brazilian Coach of Pakistan Jose Antonio Nogueira said, “Pakistan has been out of the international circuit for four years and it’s not possible to remove the vacuum out within a short span of time. But the recent proceedings are encouraging as Pakistan beat Nepal in the Asian Games. However, the level is different here but Pakistan looks forward a good show in the tournament. We believe we can reach the knockout stage.”
Pakistan captain Saddam Hossain said, “There are six players who played the last edition of the SAFF Championship and there are some newcomers though Pakistan was out of the international circuit for last few years. But we are not looking back; rather we are looking forward to put a good show and return to the track.”
Coaches and captains of the Maldives and Sri Lanka also said they were well-prepared to show their best performance in the tournament.
No one from India appeared at the press conference.
Toronto, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — Diego Rossi scored twice and Lee Nguyen and Carlos Vela added goals in Los Angeles FC's 4-2 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday night.
Jozy Altidore scored twice for Toronto (7-14-6).
The first regular-season meeting between the teams was a father-son affair, pitting LAFC coach Bob Bradley against Toronto captain Michael Bradley. Bradley Bowl honors went to Bob, coaching in his 299th career MLS game.
New York, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — Novak Djokovic moved closer to a possible U.S. Open quarterfinal against Roger Federer with an efficient 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 victory over No. 26 Richard Gasquet in the third round.
Djokovic saved all five break points he faced.
He is now 13-1 for his career against Gasquet, including 11 wins in a row.
Djokovic has won two of his 13 Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows. He'll face Joao Sousa of Portugal in the fourth round Monday. Win that, and a meeting with 20-time major champion Roger Federer could be next.
Add two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova to the growing list of highly seeded women who keep losing U.S. Open matches at new Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The No. 5-seeded Kvitova is a big hitter, but she was overpowered by 26th-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 7-5, 6-1 in the third round.
Sabalenka made only 15 errors, 20 fewer than Kvitova, and won 12 of 13 points she served in the second set.
The 20-year-old Sabalenka never had been past the second round of a Grand Slam tournament. But now she's in the fourth at Flushing Meadows.
Kvitova's exit means that 10 of the top 13 seeds are out of the women's draw. And a bunch of them, including No. 1 Simona Halep, No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 4 Angelique Kerber, all were eliminated at Armstrong, which is making its debut this year.
Five-time major champion Maria Sharapova returned to the U.S. Open's fourth round by beating No. 10 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-2.
The 22nd-seeded Sharapova got plenty of help: 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko hit 41 unforced errors and only 10 winners.
Sharapova won the 2006 title at Flushing Meadows, but she's only been past the fourth round once since then.
Ostapenko's exit left only four of the top 13 women's seeds in the draw.
No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev has made another Week 1 exit at the U.S. Open, losing this time to 34th-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 in an all-German matchup in the third round.
The 21-year-old Zverev is considered a rising star of men's tennis. He already has won three Masters titles in his career and leads the tour with 45 wins this season.
But he has only one Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance so far, at this year's French Open, and he's now 4-4 at the U.S. Open. In four appearances at Flushing Meadows, he has one loss in the first round, two in the second, and one in the third.
Althea Gibson will be permanently honored with a monument on the grounds of the National Tennis Center next year.
U.S. Tennis Association President Katrina Adams announced the monument Saturday with Eric Goulder, who will build the sculpture.
Adams says Gibson is an icon in the sport, someone who "was truly diverse in her own thinking and her abilities."
USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier says the location for the statue has not been finalized and artist renderings are unavailable because Goulder "is still in the creative process."
Adams says her team will survey the grounds to put it somewhere visible.
Gibson was the first African-American woman to win the French Open (1956), the U.S. Open (1957 and 1958), and Wimbledon (1957 and 1958).
Naomi Osaka swept her way into the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the first time, beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0, 6-0.
The No. 20 seed from Japan needed just 50 minutes, 25 per set, to eliminate the 33rd-ranked player from Belarus.
Osaka has reached at least the third round in six straight Grand Slam tournaments, the longest current streak on tour. She lost in that round in Flushing Meadows the last two years.
Roger Federer's 51 winners included one jaw-dropping flick around the net post and he got through a tough early spot to get past Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 and reach the fourth round in a 17th consecutive U.S. Open appearance.
The outcome might very well have been decided with Federer serving at 3-all, love-40, less than 20 minutes in. He saved four break points in that game — and then never faced another.
In the 30th-seeded Kyrgios' previous match, the chair umpire climbed down from his seat to have a chat with the Australian's seeming lack of effort. There was no such visit during this match.
The No. 2-seeded Federer has won five of his record 20 Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows, but his most recent U.S. Open trophy arrived a decade ago.
He'll face 55th-ranked John Millman of Australia next. It's the first time Millman has reached the fourth round at any major tournament.
Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has been eliminated, leaving none of this year's Grand Slam winners left in the U.S. Open.
No. 29 seed Dominika Cibulkova rallied Saturday to beat the fourth-seeded Kerber 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, leaving only one of the top-four seeds on the women's side in the tournament after three rounds.
Top-ranked Simona Halep, the French Open champion, was eliminated in the first round. Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 2 seed, fell in the second.
Only No. 3 seed and defending champion Sloane Stephens remains among the top-four seeds.
Madison Keys rallied after dropping the first set and the U.S. Open finalist from a year ago beat Aleksandra Krunic 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Keys lost to Sloane Stephens in the final last year and lost to her again this year in the French Open semis. But Keys has been plagued with injuries for most of the season and slipped out of the top 10 in the rankings.
The 14th-seeded Keys looked out of sorts in the first set but she was resilient the rest of the way and won 12 of the last 15 games. She said she was nervous — she even whiffed on an overhead — but thanked the crowd for pulling her through into the round of 16.
The youngest player left in the women's field is through to the fourth round.
Marketa Vondrousova upset No. 13 seed Kiki Bertens 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (1) in the first match completed Saturday at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The 19-year-old Vondrousova was one of two teenagers to reach the third round, along with American Sofia Kenin. Kenin was knocked out Friday by No. 8 seed Karolina Pliskova.
Vondrousova was one of six Czechs, including Pliskova, to reach the third round. She could meet another, Katerina Siniakova, in the round of 16. Siniakova played Lesia Tsurenko later Saturday.
Roger Federer's matches against Nick Kyrgios have been as close as can be.
So the five-time U.S. Open champion could be tested in trying to reach the fourth round when he meets Kyrgios for the first time in a Grand Slam tournament.
The No. 2 seed has played the No. 30 seed three times on tour, all decided by a third-set tiebreaker. Federer won twice, including a victory this year in a Wimbledon tuneup.
Kyrgios' second-round win at the Open caused a stir. The chair umpire left his seat to talk with the Australian, who was putting forth little effort while dropping the first set and falling behind 3-0 in the second. Federer was among those critical of the umpire's conduct.
Federer is one of five seeded men in the top 10 playing Saturday. The others are No. 4 Alexander Zverev, No. 6 Novak Djokovic, No. 7 Marin Cilic and No. 10 David Goffin.
Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber and 2018 runner-up Madison Keys are on the women's schedule, along with 2006 U.S. Open titlist Maria Sharapova facing 10th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko.
Vancouver, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — Alphonso Davies and Nicolas Mezquida scored to help the Vancouver Whitecaps beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday night.
Davies opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, scooping a pass from Yordy Reyna in the Quakes' box and tapping it into the bottom left corner of the net. It was the 17-year-old's sixth goal of the year for Vancouver (11-9-7).
In the 78th minute, Reyna sailed a pass to Mezquida, who took a moment to settle the ball, then punted a rocket into the upper left-hand corner of the net. Vako Qazaishvili scored for San Jose (4-15-8) in stoppage time.