Citi Sports’ Nathan Quao returns with his weekly column on what caught his eye over the weekend and today, he looks at the return of the local league, Barcelona’s wonderful night in Berlin and Djokovic’s defeat at the hands of Stan Wawrinka in the French Open.
Kotoko mauled by Lions in second round opener
Revenge, they say, is best served cold and Lions dished it out at sub-zero temperatures to Kotoko on Sunday in the first match of the second round of the First Capital Plus Premier League.
With the match being played at the Kpando Park, it was expected that the home side would be more aggressive but they were more than that.
They blew Kotoko away and even led 3-0 at a point before Ahmed Toure found the net for Kotoko.
In my opinion, Lions prepared for this as soon as the reverse encounter ended at the close of the first round of the league.
That day, they lost to Kotoko by four goals and they wanted their take on the matter.
It looks like they really spoke their minds with the scoreline and they are now above the Reds but there is a lot of football to be played so nothing has been firmed up.
For Kotoko, this result should remind of how tough it will be to keep their title.
Of course, the dynamics of the local league are such that a few wins on the bounce will send you up the table.
However, if Kotoko will experience a performance similar to what Lions put up each time they travel, they are in for a very uncomfortable season.
Barcelona took their 5th European Cup against Juventus on Saturday in Berlin and for me, it was not a surprising conclusion to their season.
At a point, it looked like the team would fall apart and Messi would leave but I am sure Messi and Luis Enrique will look at the Champions League trophy late on Saturday and even on Sunday, and shake hands.
The two were said to have been at loggerheads but whatever differences they had seemed absent against Juventus.
This might sound strange but I like watching Enrique’s Barcelona. It is true that Pep’s Barcelona could leave you very excited but there were times when their greed for the ball made contests anything but.
However, Enrique’s Barcelona is like the confident lady who would not hang around and play coy when she likes you. The team will go for the goal when they feel it is right to do so.
Their trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have more or less pushed the team to send the ball forwards in quicker times than before.
And it was the speed of the attack that led to the goals scored by Suarez and Neymar.
To take us back to the days of vintage “tiki-taka”, Barcelona moved the ball round well for Iniesta to lay off for Rakitic in the 4th minute.
Do not get me wrong people. I wanted Juventus to win and I thought they gave it a very good go in the second half. They pulled even and there was a sense that they would grab a second goal. I felt the upset would actually happen but it did not.
The newly-crowned Spanish champions won a European Cup they totally deserved.
Djokovic beaten by Stan the Man
Notice I did not start the sentence with Wawrinka winning? It is because I am upset Djokovic did not win the Men’s French Open final. I love Rpger Federer actually but if he did not win, then Nadal’s conqueror had to take the title away.
But Wawrinka had other plans.
I can point to fatigue as the factor behind Djokovic’s loss. After all, he played Murray over two days and it was enough for Wawrinka to pick a plan and get really ready for the World number 1.
However, you must credit those who work for their victories and Stan gets my praise.
The sweet forehand did the trick over and over and over again and got him the winners.
After leading 2 games to one, Wawrinka looked more assured and pushed Djokovic further out of the contest to win the fourth set.
I am someone who will start taking a closer look at Wawrinka. Already, he has two Open titles and that has given him a very good taste for the big time.
I get the sense he will be annoyingly stubborn for your favourite tennis player at the wrong time but he is a very good player.
For Djokovic and his fans (like me), the understand in simple: the better man won the match but there will a lot of finals to contest.
One day, it will be the Serbian’s turn to left the trophy at Roland Garros.
But today, let us drink water and cringe at the re-runs of the loss to Wawrinka.
She had to overcome illness to win her 20th Grand Slam title against Lucie Safarova in Paris.
She is now two behind Steffi Graf and I am dead sure she will overtake Graf soon.
The German female national team
They were absolutely ruthless against their Ivorian counterparts in the Women’s World Cup in Canada by scoring 10 times without a reply.
I see that the top dogs there are threatening to squeal. For those who wondered why Blatter walked, I hope things make sense now.
The circle is getting smaller and a lot of people are feeling very uncomfortable.
I do not know when will happen of Jack Warner’s threat to talk but even he has a few questions to answer concerning the $10 million reportedly linked to him in the wake of revelations made in relation to who South Africa paid monies for the 2010 World Cup.
Let’s keep enjoying the “movie” and see how it ends.
Enjoy the sporting week,people.
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