EFL

Championship Review: Norwich City thump Sheffield Wednesday, Gallagher goes in goal

By Sports Desk November 03, 2018

Norwich City ran riot in the second half as they moved top of the Championship with a thumping 4-0 victory over struggling Sheffield Wednesday. 

The Canaries capitalised on a slip-up from Sheffield United, who were beaten by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, while Middlesbrough were held by Stoke City in the late kick-off.

Elsewhere, Paul Gallagher came off the bench and scored before having to play in goal for the closing stages of Preston North End's 1-1 draw with rock-bottom Ipswich Town.

Meanwhile, Derby County bounced back from their EFL Cup defeat to Chelsea by ending Birmingham City's 11-match unbeaten streak, and Thomas Frank claimed a first win as Brentford boss.

CANARIES FLY INTO TOP SPOT

It has been a slow but sure progression up the table from Daniel Farke's side, who have now won four on the bounce after claiming pole position in emphatic fashion.

A trio of goals in 10 second-half minutes – including a double from Teemu Pukki – did the damage at Hillsborough, with Wednesday hardly a threat at the other end.

Indeed, Norwich had been on top throughout, with Mario Vrancic missing a fifth-minute penalty.

Vrancic atoned for his mistake late on, though, teeing up Dennis Srbeny for a fourth as Norwich wrapped up the win in style.

GALLAGHER TAKES THE GLOVES

Paul Lambert looked to be heading for a victory in his first match in charge of Ipswich, but Preston's Gallagher had other ideas.

With Freddie Sears having put Ipswich ahead from the spot on the stroke of half-time, Gallagher made a swift impact from the bench, scoring from a free-kick just two minutes after coming on.

The striker's day took another twist moments later, though, as he was handed the gloves following goalkeeper Chris Maxwell's dismissal.

But despite a late spell of pressure, the makeshift keeper was not tested too much as fellow strugglers Preston denied Lambert a winning start.

GRABBAN RUN GOES ON AS BLADES ARE BLUNTED

Sheffield United were made to rue poor finishing as Lewis Grabban's goal snatched the points for Forest.

Joao Carvalho's effort caused havoc for United's defence and Grabban was on hand to nudge home his 10th goal in 11 games.

Grabban's effort was the only chance of note for either side, as Forest held firm to move up into sixth place.

RAMS CHARGE CONTINUES

Derby's EFL Cup adventure came to an end at in a thrilling encounter at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, but Frank Lampard's side are well in the race for promotion.

They returned to winning ways with a 3-1 win over in-form Birmingham, who had taken an early lead through Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Two goals in the space of three minutes from Mason Bennett and Harry Wilson put the Rams in control, with Jack Marriott's neat finish securing the points 17 minutes from time. 

HUGILL MISS PROVES COSTLY

Jordan Hugill missed a gilt-edged chance to send Middlesbrough back to the top of the Championship as Stoke held their former boss Tony Pulis to a 0-0 draw.

Stoke had the better of proceedings for much of a scrappy encounter, with Benik Afobe twice going close to putting the hosts ahead, but it was Hugill who spurned the best opportunity of the game, failing to beat Jack Butland despite having much of the goal to aim for.

The point left Boro in third place, two points behind leaders Norwich City, while Stoke continue to languish in the bottom half. 

Brentford finally got their first win under new boss Frank, with Sergi Canos and Ollie Watkins getting their goals in a 2-0 win over Millwall.

Meanwhile, Reading eased the pressure on Paul Clement by coming out on top in a five-goal thriller against Bristol City.

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    Jamaica Reggae Girlz team and coach Hue Menzies have been rewarded for an outstanding 2018 by scooping the CONCACAF Outstanding Performance and Women’s Football Coach of the Year awards.

    The Jamaicans made history when they became the first Caribbean team to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup after a penalty shootout win over Panama in the CONCACAF Qualifiers last year. 

    Menzie who took over the position of technical director of the women’s program three years ago has been a fixture of the national program since.  At one point the coach went for several months without receiving an actual salary from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

    The team’s star striker Khadijah Shaw also received some recognition after being nominated for Female Player of the Year award, along with the USA’s Lindsey Horan and the eventual winner Alex Morgan.  She was also nominated in the goal of the year category for a spectacular strike in the team’s win over Cuba.

    The 2018 Male Player of the Year award went to Mexico’ s Hirving Lozano.  Lozano’s year was highlighted by an exceptional performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

     

    Male Player of the Year

    1. Hirving Lozano (MEX) - PSV Eindhoven/NED
    2. Keylor Navas (CRC) - Real Madrid CF/ESP
    3. Sebastian Giovinco (ITA) - Toronto FC/CAN

     

    Female Player of the Year

    1. Alex Morgan (USA) - Orlando Pride/USA
    2. Khadija Shaw (JAM) - University of Tennessee/USA
    3. Lindsey Horan (USA) - Portland Thorns FC/USA

     

    Male Goalkeeper of the Year

    1. Keylor Navas (CRC) - Real Madrid CF/ESP
    2. Guillermo Ochoa (MEX) - Standard Liège/BEL
    3. Cody Laurendi (PUR) - Oklahoma City Energy/USA

     

    Female Goalkeeper of the Year

    1. Alyssa Naeher (USA) - Chicago Red Starts/USA
    2. Yenith Bailey (PAN) - Sporting SM/PAN
    3. Stephanie Labbe (CAN) - Linköpings FC/SWE

     

    Men's Football Coach of the Year

    1. Matias Almeyda (ARG) - San Jose Earthquakes/USA (Formerly CD Guadalajara/MEX)
    2. Remko Bicentini (CUW) - Curacao National Team
    3. Juan Carlos Osorio (COL) - Paraguay National Team (Formerly Mexico National Team)

     

    Women's Football Coach of the Year

    1. Hue Menzies (JAM) - Jamaica Women's National Team/Florida Kraze Krush/USA
    2. Jill Ellis (USA) - United States Women's National Team
    3. Monica Vergara (MEX) - Mexico U-17 Women's National Team

     

    Male Referee of the Year

    1. Cesar Arturo Ramos (MEX)
    2. Mark Geiger (USA)
    3. Joel Aguilar (SLV)

     

    Female Referee of the Year

    1. Lucila Venegas (MEX)
    2. Crystal Sobers (TRI)
    3. Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)

     

    Goal of the Year

    1. Joe Corona (MEX) - SCCL: Club America (MEX) vs Tauro FC (PAN), 19'
    2. Alan Pulido (MEX) - SCCL: CD Guadalajara (MEX) vs Toronto FC (CAN), 72'
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    Eriksson said: "There is a possibility and as long as there is a possibility we will continue to fight.

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    Krestinin said: "I spoke to the president, and the players also spoke with him.

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    Krestinin feels his side are well equipped to get a positive result and extend their stay at the tournament.

    "This is our third game and this is the decisive one in our group," he said. "The team is ready and we are looking for victory in this game, we are in good spirits to play against a very good team.

    "The emotional and technical sides have been taken into account in preparation. We need to do our job to win the game, but this is football and everything can happen."


    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Kyrgyzstan – Kairat Zhyrgalbek

    Zhyrgalbek has been a dominating midfield presence for Kyrgyzstan in their opening two games in the United Arab Emirates. With his side needing goals and a win to go through, Zhyrgalbek may be left exposed and will have to be at his best to prevent the Philippines capitalising on the counter.


    Philippines - Phil Younghusband

    Having been restricted to substitute appearances in the Philippines' opening two matches it is surely time for Eriksson to unleash Younghusband. The experienced striker scored the goal that secured the Philippines' maiden Asian Cup appearance and he may be the man to help them secure an unlikely place in the knockout stages.


    KEY OPTA FACTS

    - This will be the first encounter between Kyrgyzstan and Philippines at the Asian Cup.
    - Kyrgyzstan have attempted 22 shots overall in their two games at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup so far, but just three of these have been fired on target (one scored).
    - After going unbeaten in his first four games in charge of Philippines (W2 D2 L0), Eriksson has now lost five successive international matches as their manager, following their 3-0 defeat to China on MD2.
    - Prior to the 2019 Asian Cup, no side playing in their first-ever edition of the tournament has ever lost 100% of their matches – newcomers Philippines and Yemen have each lost their opening two matches in the competition in 2019.
    - Kairat Zhyrgalbek made 10 tackles for Kyrgyzstan over the opening two games of the 2019 Asian Cup; three more than any other player in Group C of the tournament.

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    The English Football League (EFL) has asked Leeds United for their observations amid the spying scandal engulfing the Championship leaders.

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    "The decision to progress this matter to a formal investigation comes as a result of the club's manager, Marcelo Bielsa, admitting to instructing an individual to undertake the acts being complained of in a television interview broadcast on Sky Sports on Friday 11 January 2019," the EFL said.

    "The Football Association has also confirmed they are considering the same matter in line with its own rules and the EFL will work with its FA counterparts to ensure that any potential action taken does not prejudice those investigations being undertaken."

    Derby boss Frank Lampard, whose side lost 2-0 at Leeds, has hit out at Bielsa over the incident.

    "It wasn't an apology, it was an admission," he told reporters. "It wasn't peeking over a fence, it was on hands and knees with pliers in hand.

    "Now it is about how much the League or FA decide they want to stop what happened going forward – or if they don't. Maybe other clubs will copy it if it is not dealt with."

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