The dream run of Molynes United ‘A’ in the JN Open League Sunshine netball competition continued on Thursday inside the National Indoor Sports Centre, as for the second time in two days they got the better of a Mico team.After eliminating defending champions Mico ‘B’ in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, Molynes United upstaged Mico ‘A’ 20-18 on Thursday to advance to today’s final, which will be played at 6 p.m.Their opponents will be UWI Pelicans, who had an impressive 36-25 win over Waulgrovians ‘A’ in their semi-final.Mico ‘A’, the best attacking and defensive team in the competition, were without the services of ace goal shooter, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid. Even then, they were expected to win.However, Molynes jumped into a quick 3-0 lead and led 5-4 at the break. Both teams had a battle royal up to the half-time as they went into the break even at 9-9.For the next two quarters it was anybody’s game. Mico shooters, led by goal shooter Tanielle Roberts and goal attack Stephanie Anderson, found it very difficult to score, while Molynes shooters Shantal Slater and Kara Christie were finding it easier to make their shots.”We are very elated; we worked hard, we trained hard and we executed well,” said Molynes captain Stacy Mullings.”We stuck to our game plan and it worked. After beating Mico ‘B’ we knew it was going to be a tough challenge as Mico ‘A’ is a good team, but we just remained disciplined and listened to our coach,” added Mullings.Slater scored 11 from 12 attempts, while Christie had nine from 10. For Mico ‘A’, Roberts had 16 from 24 tries.In the earlier game, it was smooth sailing for the Conrad Parkes-coached UWI Pelicans after a competitive first quarter, where UWI led 9-8.However, it was all UWI Pelicans from there as they led 20 -14 and 27-20 at the end of the second and third quarters.Goal shooter Thristina Harwood top scored for the winners with 29 goals from 33 tries, while goal attack Rebecca Robinson scored eight from 10. For Wualgrovians ‘A’, former UWI player, Ladonna Lamonth, had 20 goals from 25 attempts.Meanwhile, Speg ‘A’ and UTech Knights will meet in the Open B League final at 5 p.m., after both teams won their semi-finals on Thursday. Speg ‘A’ defeated Molynes United ‘B’ 37-26, while UTech Knights stopped Tivoli Gardens 37-22.
The battle between two of the best strikers in the world – Cristiano Ronaldo vs Luis Suarez – will be in focus as Portugal take on Uruguay in a World Cup round of 16 tie on Saturday.However, the match is not expected to be a goal fest as both teams are known for their pragmatic approach but the tie still promises to be a fascinating battle between two teams who repeatedly punch above their weight and who are a mirror image of each other.The South Americans, who won all three of their first round games to top their group, have so far been the impressive of the two and are the only team yet to concede goal at the tournament in Russia.Portugal, meanwhile, muddled through their group with draws against Spain and Iran and a fortuitous win over Morocco but that is unlikely to bother their grizzled coach Fernando Santos, who is always happy for his team to be considered the ugly ducklings.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGESantos, 63, is at his second World Cup, having led Greece to the last 16 four years ago.The former electrical engineer has also coached Portugal’s top three teams, had several spells with Greek clubs and crowned his career by leading Portugal to the European championship title two years ago.ROUND OF 16 LINEUP & SCHEDULEHis opposite number Oscar Tabarez, a one-time school teacher, is remarkably at his third World Cup in his current stint with Uruguay. Like Santos, the 71-year-old, who is battling neuropathy, has also won a continental title, the Copa America in 2011.advertisementBoth teams boast forwards who divide public opinion despite their goalscoring prowess.Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 85 goals in 153 appearances, although when he plays for his country there is sometimes a feeling that he is both the problem and the solution and many perceive his goal celebrations as arrogant.FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 – STATSAt the other end is Uruguay’s Luis Suarez with 53 goals from 101 games but numerous controversies behind him including an nine-game international ban for biting Italy Giorgio Chiellini four years ago.Both teams use their attacking weapons sparingly.Tabarez, who has coached Boca Juniors and AC Milan during his time, has always preferred to build him teams from the back, often arguing that tiny Uruguay does not have the resources to play flowing, attacking football.That has begun to change with a new generation of midfielders but, even so, Uruguay are still very far from adopting anything that could be described as a cavalier approach.Santos has never made any apologies for his no-risk policy.”I cant understand the idea of a team that loses but delivers a great game,” he said before the tournament. “It makes me confused.”(With Reuters inputs)