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Trotta punishes young Newcastle side

first_imgMarcello Trotta scored a hat-trick as Fulham’s reserves thrashed an inexperienced Newcastle side 5-0 at Motspur Park.Simon Davies featured as part of his comeback from injury and the Whites’ strong line-up also included Kerim Frei, Matthew Briggs, Pajtim Kasami and Marcel Gecov.Frei hit the woodwork twice before captain Alex Smith put Fulham ahead on the half-hour mark.It was a fortuitous goal as Patrick Nzuzi’s clearance hit Smith and rebounded into the net.But Smith knew exactly what he was doing when he created the second for Trotta, who then tapped in the third after being set up by Frei.Kasami made it four and Trotta completed his hat-trick six minutes from the end.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

South Africa’s election free and fair: AU

first_img9 May 2014 The African Union’s (AU’s) election observer mission has declared South Africa’s 2014 national and provincial elections as free, fair, transparent and credible. “The elections were also peaceful and reflect the wishes and aspirations of South Africans,” the mission said in its preliminary report on Friday. The mission will release its final and comprehensive report two months after the elections. Officials from the 54-member strong observer mission were deployed in all the nine provinces. Led by former Ghanaian president John Kufuor, the mission was made up of representatives from the Pan African Parliament, human rights groups and civil society from over 25 African countries. Releasing the report to the media in Pretoria, the deputy head of the mission, Ibrahim Fall, who is also a former assistant secretary-general to the United Nations, said they were pleased with the general political and electoral environment. Fall said the mission noted that the parties conducted themselves in accordance with the electoral law. “The general political and electoral environment was generally peaceful across the country, with voters being able to exercise their right to vote. “There was also a high level of tolerance between the contesting political parties and their supporters. The mission also noted the professionalism of the security forces,” he told journalists at the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) national results centre in Pretoria. Regarding the preparedness of the IEC, the mission observed that the commission’s personnel were adequately trained in all aspects of the electoral process and demonstrated high levels of professionalism, competence and understanding of their roles and responsibilities. On polling stations and election materials, the team noted that most of the polling stations were located in public places, and that the commission had conveniently placed signposts to direct voters to these polling stations. Election materials were adequate in most of the polling stations visited and were deployed well in advance. However, a few incidents of inadequate voting material at some polling stations were observed. The mission also noted the special measures taken by the IEC to facilitate and assist special groups, including the elderly and people with disabilities, and was particularly impressed with the participation of women and youth in the elections, as well as with the use of technology. As the electoral process is yet to be concluded, the mission called on all stakeholders to continue to uphold peace and harmony across the country and await the final announcement of results. The IEC is due to declare the final results at 6pm on Saturday. Kufuor congratulated South Africa, saying the mission had taken lessons. “We commend the IEC and the people … They have shown commitment in their own processes … South Africa has set the bar high for other countries who have upcoming elections.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Federer makes quick work of Monaco at US Open

first_imgRoger Federer reached the quarterfinals at a 30th consecutive Grand Slam tournament by making quick work of the 36th-ranked Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 at the U.S. Open.Federer’s fourth-round match against Monaco didn’t get started until nearly midnight, and thanks to his superb play, it was over shortly before 1:15 a.m. Tuesday.Federer played brilliantly right from the start, taking the first five games – and 20 of the first 25 points – in only 12 minutes. He didn’t miss a beat in the second set, hitting four aces in his opening service game and finishing with 14.Five of Federer’s record 16 major championships have come at Flushing Meadows. In the quarterfinals, Federer will face 11th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who eliminated No. 8 Mardy Fish of the United States in five sets Monday.Tsonga upset Federer in the Wimbledon quarterfinals two months ago, coming all the way back after dropping the first two sets.”He’s a tough player. … I look forward to that match,” Federer said. “If I play as good as I did today, sure I have a chance.”Federer compiled a 42-4 edge in winners against Monaco.The start of their match was delayed because the preceding match in Arthur Ashe Stadium – No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki’s 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-1 victory over No. 15 Svetlana Kuznetsova – lasted 3 hours, 2 minutes.”You have to be ready,” Federer said.Wozniacki, seeking her first Grand Slam title, trailed by a set and 4-1 in the second before coming back to beat the 2004 U.S. Open champion.advertisement”I knew that I had to do something,” said Wozniacki, who faces No. 10 Andrea Petkovic of Germany next. “I had to do something different.”She managed to turn things around thanks to a combination of her own increasingly aggressive play and Kuznetsova’s increased mistakes. Kuznetsova’s 40-20 edge in winners was rendered meaningless by her 78 unforced errors, 52 more than Wozniacki, who reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the third year in a row.Tsonga made it this far in New York for the first time, and unlike Fish, he’s already tasted this sort of success. Tsonga made it to the final of the 2008 Australian Open before losing to Novak Djokovic, and got to the Wimbledon semifinals this year – where he again lost to Djokovic.On Monday, Djokovic extended his 2011 record to 61-2 by beating No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 7-6 (14), 6-4, 6-2. Their 16-14 tiebreaker in the first set lasted nearly a half-hour all on its own, with Djokovic saving four set points and finally converting his sixth when Dolgopolov pushed a forehand long to close a 13-stroke exchange.Both men called that tiebreaker the key to the match. One tiny piece of evidence: Dolgopolov double-faulted twice in the opening game of the second set to get broken, and Djokovic was on his way.Asked whether he considered winning that energy- and will-testing tiebreaker to be a physical or mental triumph, Djokovic replied: “Combination of both. But in the end, it was more mental, just to hang in there, try to play right shots at the right time.”Djokovic now meets his Serbian Davis Cup teammate and friend Janko Tipsarevic, who is seeded 20th and made it to the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of his career by beating 2003 French champion and U.S. Open runner-up Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain 7-5, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 in a match that lasted more than 3 hours.”Strange feeling,” Djokovic said. “We are professionals. Certainly we both want to win the match when we play against each other. So you kind of forget about friendship. You put that aside.”Most players complained about the wind, which gusted at up to 20 mph (32 kph) and kept changing directions, making even serve tosses difficult.Serena Williams handled those conditions much better than former No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic and beat her 6-3, 6-4 to return to a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time in 14 months. She missed about 11 of those with a series of health scares but looks really good so far at the U.S. Open.Against Ivanovic, Williams hit nine aces overall, only lost serve once, and finished off the match with four consecutive unreturned serves that ranged from 99 to 111 mph.”I didn’t even go for winners at any point,” said Williams, who hit only 16. “I just tried to get it over because it was so windy. It was definitely tough.”She’s seeded only 28th because of all of that time away, but now has won her past 16 matches heading into a quarterfinal against No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. Pavlyuchenkova got past 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in a match with 21 double-faults and 16 service breaks in 31 games.advertisement”I’m going to say that I don’t want to go out there and enjoy just being on center court playing against Serena,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “I would like to do well, try to fight, and with my effort, I’ll try to beat her.”last_img read more