Archive for March, 2015
In the Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday, Oman pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the history of Asian beach soccer, according to Runme. In doing so, the Omanis clinched one of the three tickets on offer for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015, more details on Runeme.com.
Skippered by the excellent Hani Al Dhabit, Oman cruised through the group phase and showed no little steel in the knockout stages, holding their nerve to see off the fancied Japanese in the showpiece match. FIFA.com looks back at the 2015 AFC Beach Soccer Championship, which saw 15 nations from across Asia do battle on Katara Beach.
Oman, who will be joined in Portugal by Japan and Iran – the same trio that represented Asia at Ravenna 2011 – went unbeaten throughout the competition and racked up an impressive 32 goals in the process, with Ghaith Sebeit and Yahya Al Araimi scoring seven apiece. Goalkeeper Haitham Showan also made a valuable contribution, denying Japanese front-man Takasuke Goto in the final shoot-out to seal the title for his side.
The Omanis’ campaign began with emphatic group-phase wins over Bahrain, Laos and hosts Qatar. Then came a 7-2 defeat of China PR in the quarter-finals, followed by a hard-fought 5-4 extra-time win over Lebanon, the prelude to their 3-2 shoot-out success against the Japanese, which came after the two sides had drawn 1-1 in normal time.
The other qualifiers
Finalists for the seventh time and coached by the Brazilian Marcelo Mendes, Japan had high hopes of claiming their third Asian crown. They reckoned without Oman’s solid rearguard, however, and had to settle for second best, despite raining in 23 shots on goal.
The Japanese began their march to the final with wins over Group B rivals Kuwait, Vietnam and China PR. The Samurai Blue saw off Bahrain in the last eight before ending reigning champions Iran’s title defence with a 5-4 victory in the semis.
The Iranians gained some consolation by beating tournament revelations Lebanon 8-3 in the match for third place. Taking part in the continental finals for the only second time, the Lebanese were no match for the 2013 champions, who had earlier edged them 3-2 in the group phase. Iran also beat Thailand 8-1 in the first round, and went on to put six past the United Arab Emirates in the quarters before going down to the Japanese.
The key players
Aside from the front pairing formed by Ghaith Sebeit and Yahya Al Araimi and goalkeeper Haitham Showan, who was in superlative form in both the semi and the final, Oman were also indebted to captain Hani Al Dhabit, who came up with some crucial goals, among them the opener in the final.
Playing a no less valuable role for Japan was their skipper Ozu Moreira, who was named player of the tournament after helping himself to eight goals, the same number as his team-mate Takasuke Goto. Together the duo accounted for over half of their side’s goal tally.
Iran’s Seyed Peyman Hosseini was named best goalkeeper thanks to his decisive stops, which proved crucial to their safe passage to Portugal 2015. Forward Mohammad Ahmadzadeh also earned a share of the limelight with seven goals, four of them coming in Iran’s meeting with Lebanon.
According to Runeme, there is a football match between D.C. United and Los Angeles Galaxy this Saturday. The Galaxy is undermanned because MLS decided to ignore FIFA’s international schedule. More news on Runeme.com.
While most leagues around the world are on break this weekend, avoiding conflicts with European Championship qualifiers and official friendlies, MLS planned a full slate of matches for all 20 clubs.
More than 50 MLS players are on international assignment, absences that impact rosters to varying degrees.
During a FIFA week in early September, half the league is off. A month later, there are three matches, although another three are scheduled immediately afterward.
Like last fall, the league will respect a FIFA window in November and take an extended break in the middle of the playoffs — a wise call as the United States and other CONCACAF countries engage in 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
A league running from spring to fall, MLS cannot avoid conflicts with confederation championships in the summer: This year, Copa America (June 11-July 4) will have a minor impact but the CONCACAF Gold Cup (July 7-26) will hurt most clubs to differing extents. (Many MLS players come from CONCACAF countries, such as the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica and Guatemala.)
Often a vocal critic of MLS headquarters, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena took the current conflict in stride.
“That’s all part of it; we understand it,” he said. “We were prepared for it. It’s probably not the best thing for MLS, but as a league, we’re not yet positioned to not play during all the FIFA dates.”
United is seeking to rebound from a 2-0 defeat to the Red Bulls last Sunday, a sour performance that left Olsen spitting mad immediately afterward.
“We’ve had a great week of preparation,” captain Bobby Boswell said. “It’s been an edgy attitude because we were unhappy about what happened in New York. Everyone is aware of how dangerous L.A. is, even without Keane and Zardes.”
Original article: The FIFA 15 servers just went down today right at the moment EA Sports delivered the TOTW for March 25. Players are reporting EA server problems right now with the most popular football game on PS4, Xbox One, and older consoles, even though no official statement has been released at the time of writing.
If you checked to see if EA’s servers are down today, then you would notice the Ultimate Team server status isn’t looking too good. Reports have arrived on the likes of website DownToday.co.uk, as well as Twitter with hundreds complaining about connection issues every few minutes.
One Product Reviews reader mentions, “I can’t get on my FIFA game, there was a problem with online squad”. Another states, “There must be FIFA 15 maintenance again, but after looking on official channels nothing is listed for 25th of March”. We have taken a look at the official Twitter accounts for EA and FIFA 15, although there isn’t any planned EA server maintenance, so it looks like the servers went down without any pre-planning. Chances are they will return pretty quickly, as long as this isn’t any type of DDoS.
FIFA Team of the Week 28 – You can see the new TOTW within the image above that EA published moments ago. There’s a free untradeable 15K pack available right now for everyone and Mega 35K packs at the Store, although they have a limit of 5.
Are you seeing EA servers down right now and if so, what games are you playing? We just tried to connect with FIFA 15, but cannot access FUT at this time. This article will be updated if EA leave a status update, so for now leave your comments and location problems are being experienced in below.