Pickford the penalty hero as England take third place

first_imgJosip Drmic saw his spot-kick saved by Jordan Pickford as England beat Switzerland 6-5 on penalties to claim third place in the Nations League after a goalless draw in Guimaraes.In the first 90 minutes, England were twice denied by goalkeeper Yann Sommer making fingertip saves to push the ball onto the woodwork, while Callum Wilson had a late strike ruled out following a VAR check.Sommer again came to Switzerland’s rescue during the 30 additional minutes but despite a steady stream of excellent Trent Alexander-Arnold crosses England could not find the breakthrough. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Gareth Southgate’s side broke their penalty malaise at last year’s World Cup and, after 11 converted kicks, including one from Pickford, the Everton keeper dived to his right to keep out Drmic’s poor effort and finally settle the prolonged play-off clash.England almost opened the scoring in the second minute, but Harry Kane’s clever chip bounced back off the crossbar after goalkeeper Sommer got a touch to the ball.Kane freed Raheem Sterling for a one-on-one chance but his tame finish was blocked by Sommer, the forward then failing to convert a right-wing cross from Alexander-Arnold.Another pinpoint Alexander-Arnold delivery created an even better opportunity for Dele Alli in the 35th minute but his header flew over the crossbar.Alli connects with a brilliant Alexander-Arnold cross but heads it over the top… #NationsLeague pic.twitter.com/yyUf309m3F — UEFA Nations League (@UEFAEURO) June 9, 2019 Sommer made a great save to prevent Fabian Schar scoring an own goal after the interval, turning a deflection off the defender onto the post, then at the other end Pickford was called into action to push away Granit Xhaka’s firm drive.Substitute Wilson seemed to have won it late on for England, but the strike was disallowed after a VAR check for his foul on Manuel Akanji in the build-up.A brilliant double save by Sommer maintained the deadlock in extra time, with the woodwork saving Switzerland again when Sterling beat the goalkeeper with a 20-yard free-kick.Sommer could do nothing about England’s penalties, though, with Pickford netting himself before making the decisive save from Drmic in the shoot-out.GET INSix perfect penalties to seal third spot at the #NationsLeague for the #ThreeLions. Well done, lads! pic.twitter.com/SEPNdCtXnB— England (@England) June 9, 2019What does it mean? England experiment with flexibility Southgate used a fairly irrelevant game to try a new tactical system, which saw England alternate from a traditional back four to more of a central three, with Eric Dier dropping into defence from the base of midfield.Switzerland’s lack of goal threat is no secret – last year’s 5-2 defeat of Belgium remains a curious outlier – but a solid defence should see them reach Euro 2020 relatively easily.Sharp Sommer stars for Swiss That Switzerland stayed in the game owed much to their goalkeeper, who twice made vital interventions to turn the ball onto the woodwork. On the back of a solid season for Borussia Monchengladbach, Sommer stood out for his composure and reactions in key moments.Tired Sterling wasteful for Three Lions England could and perhaps should have been out of sight at half-time, but Sterling failed to make the most of two clear chances. The Manchester City winger looked like a long season had caught up with him with fatigue seemingly playing a part in an under-par display, a heavy touch in the box during the second half summing up his frustrating efforts.Key Opta Facts- England finished third in a major international tournament for the first time since Euro 1968.- Switzerland have won just one of their past 23 matches against England in all competitions (W1 D6 L16).- England scored six penalties in a single shoot-out at a competitive international tournament for the first time in their history.- Jordan Pickford became the first goalkeeper to take (and score) a penalty for England in a competitive penalty shoot-out.- Trent Alexander-Arnold created seven goalscoring chances versus Switzerland; the last player to create more for England in a match was James Milner versus San Marino in October 2014 (9).What’s next? Both teams will enjoy a deserved rest before the 2019-20 season. In September, England’s Euro 2020 qualifying campaign sees them host Bulgaria and Kosovo, while Switzerland play the Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar. read morelast_img read more

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Brock grad to cook up storm on MasterChef Canada

The Brock community may recognize a familiar face when tuning into the Season 5 premiere of MasterChef Canada next week.Alumnus Michael Griffiths (BSc ’16, BEd ’16) has used his culinary prowess to secure a spot as one of 21 finalists in the televised national cooking competition, which kicks off Tuesday, April 3 on CTV.While Griffiths’ focus was on Mathematics and Concurrent Education during his time at Brock, the 24-year-old Richmond Hill native has always had a passion for food.Brock alumnus Michael Griffiths was chosen to compete among 21 home cooks in the MasterChef Canada finals.As a child, he was frequently found in the kitchen helping his mother prepare the family’s meals, and later on in his university years, he often impressed his roommates with his culinary skills.It was during his time on campus that Griffiths learned to balance the many interests — math and food among them — that contended for his time.“I was always very engaged. I played rugby, worked as a senior supervisor at the recreation services desk and worked with a number of mathematics and outreach programs,” he said. “Brock was the kickstarter for a lot of my different adventures.”With a wide variety of interests still on his plate, Griffiths decided to pursue his dream of being on MasterChef, all while simultaneously working to earn his Master of Mathematics at the University of Guelph.At first glance, there may seem to be little overlap between mathematics and culinary arts, but Griffiths said that is not the case.He believes his math background gives him an edge in the kitchen.“I know how to think critically. I know how to think logistically,” he said. “If I’m having a party for 50 people, I know how to work out what I need to do in order to put forward an amazing dish that everyone can enjoy.”Griffiths knew the timing was right to attempt to claim the coveted MasterChef Canada title.“With the support of friends and family, I took the leap,” he said.He applied for the show online last summer, submitting a video of himself whipping up a dinner party for a group of close friends and talking about the role his family has played in his love affair with food.He then attended an open audition in Toronto, presenting a homemade sausage dish that impressed a judging panel made up of local chefs and sent him on to the next round.Sworn to secrecy until details of his MasterChef Canada journey are revealed on air, Griffiths was unable to say much about his on-screen experience, but did reflect on the surreal feeling of stepping onto set for the first time.MasterChef Canada judges, from left, Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio April. (Photo: CTV)“As one of the final 21 home cooks, you walk into the MasterChef kitchen and that’s when you get to meet the judges for the first time,” Griffiths said of his encounter with renowned chefs Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile.“That’s when I felt like a 12-year-old boy. I was in my element, in my dream. Then we were given a schedule to prepare our meals for the judges.”Griffiths urged the Brock community to “stay tuned” for what comes next.“I really hope you like what you see.”He is thankful for the encouragement he has received from the Brock community, which has “hit home in such an incredible way.”“This is another example of the outstanding support the Brock community has always provided for me.”Griffiths hopes to inspire his fellow Badgers to continue to work hard and follow their passions, even if it takes them down an unconventional path.“Follow your heart and realize that what you’re working hard on may not be your end goal passion, but I guarantee there’s a connection to your future there,” he said.MasterChef Canada premieres Tuesday, April 3 at 9 p.m. on CTV. read more

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