Fajardo gets inspiration from Fernandez sitting courtside

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netPlaying for San Miguel is already enough motivation for four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo to play his guts out.But in the presence of the league’s original dominant big man, Fajardo wanted to make sure he would leave an indelible impression on the legendary Ramon Fernandez.ADVERTISEMENT UAAP baseball: Adamson turns back La Salle to end 8-year title drought Fajardo scored 10 of his total 14 points in the Beermen’s 25-10 run to closeout the first period which blew the game wide open the defending champions.The Kraken added that Fernandez, who also has four MVPs in his name, wanted to see a hook shot but with Fajardo’s teammates catching fire he didn’t have the chance to show off his smooth post moves.It’s fitting only fitting since the hook is the same maneuver that earned Fernandez 18,996 points in his career, the most in PBA history.“He told me that I should take a hook shot but I wasn’t able to attempt it,” said Fajardo, who had ample help as five of his teammates scored at least 10. “He’s always telling me to use it because it’s very hard to stop.”Marcio Lassiter led San Miguel with 23 points while Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos had 19 and 16 points, respectively.ADVERTISEMENT Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Chris Ross also finished in double figures for the Beermen with 12 and 11 points, respectively.Fajardo, however, promised Fernandez that he would take the classic hook shot in the near future.“I want to take a hook shot, soon I’ll go for it,” said Fajardo.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery And Fajardo did just that when the Kraken spearheaded San Miguels’ early-game rally against Barangay Ginebra in Game 4 of their semifinals series in the PBA Philippine Cup.Fajardo said the mere presence of Fernandez, who sat courtside at Mall of Asia Arena, served as an inspiration for him to help lead the Beermen in their 102-81 rout of the Gin Kings.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkRamon Fernandez at courtside. PBA IMAGES“Of course he always inspires me because he’s one of my mentors even when I was still in Cebu,” said Fajardo in Filipino Thursday.San Miguel was down early in the game, 12-7, but that five-point deficit was enough fuel for Fajardo’s ember to turn into a blazing inferno. View comments Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LATEST STORIES Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownlast_img read more

Barcelona easily wins historic 4th straight Copa del Rey

first_imgThere were jeers by part of the Barcelona crowd when the national anthem was played, but the boos were largely subdued by the reaction of the numerous Sevilla fans in the crowd. Spain’s King Felipe VI smiled and saluted the fans after the anthem.Suarez opened the scoring with a shot into the open net after a breakaway that started with goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in the 14th minute. Cillessen made a long pass from inside his area to Coutinho. The Brazilian playmaker entered the box free from markers before making a pass back to Suarez, who just tapped the ball in.Messi scored with a mid-height shot from the middle of the area after a great backheel pass by Jordi Alba off the end line. Messi became the second player to score in five Copa del Rey finals, after Athletic Bilbao’s Telmo Zarra.Suarez scored again before halftime with a low shot after picking up a great throughball by Messi and fending off a defender while entering the area.Iniesta scored the fourth in the 52nd after a quick exchange of passes with Messi. He dribbled past goalkeeper David Soria and shot into an empty net.Iniesta received a huge ovation by fans from both clubs when he was substituted near the end of the match. He then lifted the trophy, his sixth in the Copa.Last year, Iniesta became the first player to sign a lifetime contract with Barcelona, a deal allowing him to keep playing for the club for as long as he remained fit.Coutinho closed the scoring by converting a 69th-minute penalty kick after a handball by a Sevilla defender.No other team had won four Copa titles in a row since Athletic Bilbao from 1930-33. The only other team to do it was Real Madrid from 1905-08.Barcelona is also three points away from winning the Spanish league. Sevilla lies seventh, the final spot guaranteeing a Europa League berth next season. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Iniesta scored amid a brilliant performance as Barcelona crushed Sevilla 5-0 in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday, and became the first team in 85 years to win four straight Copa titles.“It was a great night, for me and for the whole team,” Iniesta said. “There were a lot of strong emotions, a lot of different feelings. I’m happy to be able to help the team win this title.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownDespite a lifetime contract at Barcelona, the 33-year-old Iniesta has been linked to a move to Chinese football. He will reveal his decision in the next week.“It’s a spectacle to watch Andres play,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “He has to make a decision and see if he wants to come back next season.” Unaccustomed to 1st-round holes, LeBron needs win at Pacers Luis Suarez scored twice and Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho also made the scoresheet for Barcelona’s record-extending 30th Copa triumph, and sixth in the last decade.“We played a great match, with a lot of determination,” Valverde said.Sevilla was trying to win a sixth Copa and save a season which will end without any trophies and maybe not even a place in the Europa League next season.“Barcelona … played a formidable match,” Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella said.The final took place at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the capital amid the ongoing political turmoil involving Catalonia’s bid for independence.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ It was Sevilla’s eighth straight match without a win in all competitions.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img View comments Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Barcelona team players pose with the trophy after the Copa del Rey final soccer match between Barcelona and Sevilla at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul White)MADRID — If it was a farewell, Andres Iniesta went out in style.The veteran midfielder is expected to soon confirm he’s leaving Barcelona at the end of the season. He couldn’t have asked for a better way to say goodbye.ADVERTISEMENT Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames MOST READlast_img read more

Contract Monitoring Vital for Accountability

first_imgGhana’s Justice Minister and Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah, has observed that the World Bank Group’s funded Contract Monitoring initiatives are an important tool in contract monitoring and promoting social accountability in West Africa. In a statement at a recent four-day forum of the West African Contract Monitoring Network (WACMN), Madam Appiah stated: “Open governance is delivering tangible benefits around the world – faster growth, better public services, less corruption and less poverty.” “The results achieved by various coalition members of WACMN are a testimony,” she said. The forum was intended to move the agenda of contract monitoring through a multi-stakeholder regional approach to contract monitoring. It took place in Accra, Ghana. The Network, coordinated regionally by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), brought together 40 country level network members comprising of civil society organizations, the media, public institutions and private companies from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Participants at the forum addressed the role of communities and media in contract monitoring, information-gathering and feedback in contract monitoring; policy implications of contract monitoring and the role of the West African Contract Monitoring Network in using citizens’ engagement to improve governance. The 4-day forum brought together country-level achievements for increased visibility of the network’s activities, and showcased the project’s impact in addressing the challenges of contract monitoring in the sub-region.The Ghanaian Justice Minister stressed the importance of social accountability, which is increasingly being recognized as a critical factor in improving development outcomes. Citing the 2004 World Development Report: Making Services Work for Poor People, she emphasized: “citizens’ participation, through consultation about needs, identification of beneficiaries, monitoring and providing feedback on performance improves the quality of public services and governance.” World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mr. Yusupha Crookes, said “Establishing effective and robust contract monitoring coalitions would contribute to controlling corruption and ultimately improve public sector efficiency and the delivery of public services.” Mr. Crookes added that the Bank considers stakeholders’ participation and feedback in partnership with governments as a critical factor for effective social and economic development and for poverty reduction, noting: “the forum will provide a valuable platform to highlight the impact of collective action to achieve development outcomes.” Discussing the topic: “Listening to Citizens: Using Citizens Engagement to Improve Governance Outcome,” Mr. Sahr Kpundeh, World Bank Africa Region Governance and Anti-Corruption Adviser, observed that whistle blowing is the most powerful weapon against fraud. “Governments must take steps to protect and reward whistleblowers; this would ensure that trust is restored to the governance system and reporting corruption does not lead to reprisals,” he stressed.“The gains of social accountability can be effectively sustained through the participation of a broad based multi-stakeholders – civil society, the media, private sector and government,” said WACMN Project Manager, Beauty Narteh. She then called for support and active participation of all stakeholders in the fight against corruption.The West African Contract Monitoring Network was initiated by the World Bank in 2010 with US$983,120 Institutional Development Fund (IDF) to establish an effective and robust four multi-stakeholder country level contract monitoring coalition in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. To date, WACMN has provided broader citizens’ participation and interest in contracting and implementation of projects, and established a regional platform for further collaboration with governments and development partners to improve transparency and accountability in the sub-region.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

NTC to receive lease for land at Sophia

first_img…larger plot for construction of complex with additional facilitiesPresident David Granger on Wednesday engaged the newly-elected chairman and executive members of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) at a special luncheon to discuss issues affecting Indigenous communities.During the deliberations, held at the Baridi Benab at State House, the President announced that Government will proceed with handing over of the lease — prepared several months ago for the promised plot of land at Sophia — to the NTC for the construction of the proposed secretariat.However, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, together with the GuyanaThe newly elected National Toshaos’ Council met with President David Granger and Minister of State Joseph Harmon, along with other Government ministers at State House on WednesdayLands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) and the NTC, will be working together to identify a larger plot of land for the establishment of a complex that would include dormitories to accommodate toshaos, conference rooms, and other facilities.President Granger said the plot of land at Sophia caters only for a building; there is no room for expansion.“We want you to have a campus with conference rooms, with accommodation, with benabs and places where you could relax. We want to give you what Indigenous people deserve. So our plans are grand, and we do not want to limit you to that spot, and we intend to deliver on our promise,” he said.At the luncheon, GLSC Commissioner Trevor Benn said the GLSC is looking at three possible locations at which the complex can be built: Diamond and Houston on East Bank of Demerara, and Ogle on the East Coast Demerara.“I know everybody wants to be in the city, but the city can only hold so many people and you can only do so much. The Sophia Exhibition Complex is held under lease by the Ministry of Business, and of course you are limited to what you can do there…,” he said.During the engagement, President Granger was officially introduced to the new NTC officials. The 20-member body is now chaired by the Toshao of Shulinab Village, Nicholas Fredericks, and includes Paul Pierre as Vice-Chair, Toshao Russian Dorrick as Secretary, Toshao Marbel Thomas as Treasurer, and 16 other executive members from the various regions.President Granger urged the leaders to keep an open door for dialogue and collaboration to take place, especially with the regional administrations, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, and Central Government.“It is only by working together with the region and the Central Government that we could relieve the Indigenous people of poverty, of poor education, of poor infrastructure,” the President is quoted by the Ministry of the Presidency as saying.The Head of State also assured the NTC executives that the Government will work toward increasing the Council’s subvention. He noted that July is the start of the new budget cycle.Meanwhile, the toshaos expressed their willingness to work hand in hand with Central Government and the relevant authorities to advance their work programme. The new Chairman said that, while at times they might not see eye to eye with Government, they are committed to meaningful dialogue and consultations.last_img read more

Dialysis patient forced to take water taxi

first_img…after promised emergency vessel no-showAlthough emergency vessels were promised to remain on standby at the Georgetown and Vreed-en-Hoop Stellings to transport ailing persons, a furious caretaker vented her frustration as a dialysis patient was made to use the regular boat service.The dialysis patient being assisted into the speed boatIn a brief interview with this publication on Tuesday morning, the frustrated woman, who gave her name only as Sandra, explained that she travelled from Hague, West Coast Demerara to the Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling with the sickly 64-year-old man, who usually gets treatment at a private city hospital.Unaware of what she was about to encounter, the caretaker said she was greeted by a group of Police officers at the Vreed-en-Hoop junction, who allowed the taxi to pass into the stelling. However, employees at the stelling were insisting that they pay a fee before entering the facility with the patient. The elderly woman said they were harassed and treated very unfairly by the staff at the stelling.In the meantime, the ailing man was seen wearisomely making his way into the boat. He took quite a while to enter and get off the speed boat, with the assistance of a few other passengers. The visibly uncomfortable man was observed sweating profusely as he groaned in pain throughout the journey.The sick man, as well as other passengers, were forced to use the boat service to cross the Demerara River after a barge and a tug slammed into the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) in the wee hours of Monday.Whilst the boat service would usually commence operations at 06:00h every morning, provisions were made for the commuters to cross earlier.Preliminary investigations revealed that the barge was beyond its anchorage location. After the vessel started drifting, a distress call was sent out, but no one on-board spoke English. The crew members have since been detained as investigations continued.Meanwhile, General Manager of the Bridge Corporation, Rawlston Adams said that the barge came into contact with the bridge at two locations, and the structure was shifted from its aligned position between the high and retractor spans.The bridge is the main thoroughfare for commuters to drive across to the capital city. An estimated 11,000 persons would use the structure in the morning hours, but the DHB management was expecting maximum traffic Monday morning, since it was the beginning of a new academic year. The bridge has since opened to light traffic.last_img read more

Crime threat in Guyana “critical” – US report

first_img…says drug trafficking “a serious concern”…Govt agencies, Police are reportedly “paid off” by criminal elementsThe US State Department has assessed the crime threat in the capital of the Guyana as being “critical.”The assessment comes in the latest 2018 OSAC Guyana 2018 Crime and Safety Report, released by the Department on May 15. The report’s authors say Guyana, with a population of just 750,000, has a general crime rate that “is above the US national average.”It said criminal activity continues to be a major issue, with serious crimes, such as murder and armed robbery, being common. The report added that “criminals regularly use weapons, despite a rigorous licensing requirement to own firearms.”Handguns, knives, machetes, or cutlasses tend to be the weapons of choice, the report stated, adding that Police Officers have also been both victims and perpetrators of assaults and shootings.Focusing on travel to Guyana, the US Government warned that hotel room break-ins were reported to the US Embassy by American citizens and warned travellers to use caution when opening their hotel room doors in Georgetown and to safeguard valuables left there.The US State Department is also advising travellers against walking alone outside after dark in the city, even in the immediate vicinity of their hotels, and advised visitors to exchange currency only at legitimate exchanges at hotels or airports.However, travellers are still only directed to “exercise normal precautions” when travelling to Guyana.Drug traffickingThe US, meanwhile, also identified drug trafficking as “a serious concern” and “the biggest challenge to law enforcement in Guyana.” The report stated that the Guyana Police Force, (GPF), has limited resource and manpower to deter or respond to criminal activity.Focusing on the judicial system, the report said the court is strained by limited resources and often influenced by threats/bribes while defendants linked to drug organisation often use attorneys who are effective in getting cases dismissed or postponed and as a result, criminals go free on a regular basis.CorruptionThe OSAC report added that corruption is widely perceived to be commonplace within many Government agencies and Police Officers often are reportedly paid off by criminal elements and are alleged to work with criminals by either assisting or protecting them. (newsamericasnow)last_img read more

Alberta Peace critical injury two vehicle crash

first_imgThe Beaverlodge RCMP says it involved a pick-up and a tanker truck, that collided at about 4 o’clock at the intersection of Highway 59 and Secondary Road 723.- Advertisement -The pick-up, driven by the critically injured man, then entered the ditch and struck a utility pole.A 20 year old Edmonton man, a passenger in the vehicle, sustained only minor injuries.The 42 year old driver of the tanker truck was not injured.Police say there was a leak of the tanker truck’s contents, but it did not result in any “onging issues.”Advertisement A 40 year old Medicine Hat man was at last report in critical condition in Edmonton hospital, following a two vehicle highway crash yesterday afternoon, in the Alberta Peace. They also say the intersection where the crash occurred is controlled by a stop sign on the secondary road, but there’s no word if charges are pending.last_img read more

Vote delayed on HPV vaccination proposal

first_img“A couple of members that expressed concerns have specific language they’d like to discuss with me,” he said. “I’ll take it into consideration, and if it makes sense will include it.” Starting in 2010, the bill would require girls entering the seventh grade to have a series of three vaccinations to protect them against HPV, which can be sexually transmitted and cause genital warts and cervical cancer. But parents could obtain an exemption by writing a letter to the school stating their opposition to the vaccination requirement. Dr. Jenny Biller, an obstetrician and gynecologist from UC-Davis Medical Center, testified for the bill, saying the vaccine was “almost 98 to 100 percent effective.” Patricia Carthew, a Los Angeles woman who said she suffers from debilitating bone problems because of radiation treatments for cervical cancer, called the HPV vaccine “a vaccine of life.” “I just wish when I was younger there was a vaccine so I would not have to go through this,” she said. “It’s too late for me and it’s too late for a lot of women, but it’s not too late for our daughters.” But Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi, a Stockton physician, said the vaccine was too new for the state to be mandating its use. “It’s poor policy for the state to mandate that half of our children get vaccinated with a drug that has been on the market less than one year …,” he said. “We need more time to see the efficacy and safety of this drug.” Other lawmakers raised concerns about the cost of the series of three vaccinations – $360 – and whether some parents would be able to afford them. Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Granite Bay, said the bill should direct schools to get approval from parents before requiring the vaccinations. “When we address issues related to children and sex, I want real clarity in terms of what the parent is agreeing to,” he said. Assemblywoman Mary Salas, D-Chula Vista, suggested waiting until the vaccine is cleared for use in boys before considering a mandate. HPV also can lead to cancers in men. “We’re only talking about half of the equation today,” she said. Hernandez said in most instances the cost would be covered by private medical insurance or state and federal programs. The opt-out procedure in his bill, he said, was the same one offered parents who don’t want their children immunized against several other diseases, including mumps, measles and chickenpox. “If this was a vaccine to eliminate or reduce breast cancer, we would not be having this discussion,” Hernandez told the committee. “Because it’s a sexually transmitted disease, I think it’s creating a lot of problems.” The Virginia and New Mexico legislatures have approved bills similar to Hernandez’s, and the governors of those states have promised to sign them. Lawmakers in 18 other states also have introduced HPV vaccination mandates. Texas’ Republican governor, Rich Perry, issued an executive order Feb. 2 requiring girls entering the sixth grade to have the vaccinations. That has triggered heated criticism from conservatives and an effort in the Texas Legislature to pass a bill overturning the order. Critics also have focused on Perry’s ties to the vaccine’s manufacturer, Merck & Co. His former chief of staff lobbies for the drug company, which has contributed to Perry and the Republican Governors Association. Merck, which made nearly $60,000 in campaign donations to California lawmakers last year, recently announced that it was dropping lobbying campaigns to convince states to adopt vaccination mandates. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – An Assembly committee Tuesday put off voting on a bill that would require girls entering the seventh grade to be vaccinated against the cervical cancer-causing human papillomavirus. The measure’s author, Assemblyman Ed Hernandez, D-Baldwin Park, requested the delay after opponents said the vaccine was too new to be mandated by the state and that parents might have difficulty taking advantage of a provision allowing them to opt out of the requirement. “There was obviously a lot of discussion and debate,” Hernandez said after the Assembly Health Committee held a roughly hourlong hearing on the bill. “I wanted to make sure I address all of the concerns of members and bring it back for a vote in April.” He said he was willing to consider amendments. last_img read more

Exclusive – Ashley would be good for Rangers and for Scottish football, claims Brazil

first_imgAlan Brazil is backing Mike Ashley’s plan to buy Rangers.The Newcastle United chief is reportedly ready to sell the St James’ Park club in order to be allowed to take charge of the Ibrox club, something he is currently banned from doing by the Scottish Football Association as he can’t own two clubs.And talkSPORT’s Breakfast show host insists it would be a good move for Rangers, and for Scottish football as a whole.Brazil said: “It’s none of my business because I’m from the other side of Glasgow – Celtic – but with the shenanigans that have gone on at Rangers over the last few years, if Mike was to come in and sort all the debt out and get a Rangers man in to run the club than they would be so much better off, that I am sure of.“He could buy the club, get rid of all the people Rangers fans are sick of now, clear it out and put a Rangers man in there to run it. And with his business brain as well, do you know what, it would give Celtic a kick up the backside.“They would suddenly start thinking, ‘OK, we can’t be selling any more [players] now, we have to think about buying for next year’. It would be healthy for Scottish football.”last_img read more

Ramos helps Spain edge Norway, Kean stars for Italy

first_imgThe 2010 World Cup winners have been unpredictable of late, having been dumped out by Russia in the last 16 of the World Cup and then missing out on the Nations League finals after a home loss to England.“The team responded well to their equaliser. You always have the dream and aim of achieving something important,” Ramos told Spanish television channel TVE.“We’re in a new stage with a coach who has a fantastic style of play. We’ll take things game by game. We’ll pick up more confidence from winning.”Coach Luis Enrique named an attacking line-up, with Marco Asensio, Alvaro Morata and Rodrigo all starting, and it was the latter who volleyed home the opener from Jordi Alba’s cross in the 16th minute.Winger Jesus Navas created several other early chances for his teammates on his first Spain appearance since March 2014, but Rodrigo headed over and Morata was denied by away goalkeeper Rune Jarstein.Norway started to grow into the game and were handed a chance to draw level in the 65th minute when Inigo Martinez grabbed Bjorn Johnsen, and Bournemouth striker Joshua King stepped up to slot past David de Gea.Spain wasted little time in getting their noses back in front, though, as Jarstein felled Morata to concede a 71st-minute penalty.Centre-back Ramos stepped up and confidently dispatched a ‘Panenka’ spot-kick down the middle to score his 16th goal of the season for club and country.– Kean makes his mark –Remember the name: Kean scored on his first Italy start © AFP / Andreas SOLAROJuventus youngster Kean, 19, became the youngest striker to start for Italy in more than a century as Roberto Mancini’s men saw off Finland 2-0.Italy got off to a flying start in Udine, as Nicolo Barella gave them a seventh-minute lead with his maiden international goal.The 22-year-old Cagliari midfielder hammered home a low volley after a free-kick was only half-cleared by the Finnish defence.The day belonged to Kean, though, as he slotted in the second with 16 minutes to play to mark his full debut in style.“To become part of Azzurri history is an added incentive to keep working,” said Kean.“There are many goals ahead of me and my aim is to achieve them. I wanted to show that I deserved this chance from Mancini.”Italy are top of the early Group J standings ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who edged out Armenia 2-1 as captain Edin Dzeko became the first player in their history to be capped 100 times.The other game in the group saw Greece win 2-0 against Liechtenstein in Vaduz.– Ireland struggle in Gibraltar –Earlier on Saturday, Mick McCarthy made an inauspicious start to his second stint in charge of the Republic of Ireland as his team laboured to a 1-0 victory over Gibraltar.The 60-year-old McCarthy, who led Ireland to the 2002 World Cup last 16 before resigning later that year, was reappointed manager last November, replacing Martin O’Neill.The result leaves Ireland second in the early Group D table behind Switzerland, who beat Georgia 2-0, but McCarthy will know he has plenty of work to do after seeing his men struggle to claim just their second win in 12 matches.Gibraltar almost took a shock lead early in the second half, but captain Roy Chipolina saw his header brilliantly saved by Darren Randolph.Ireland took the lead less than two minutes later, though, as Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick slotted home his second international goal from David McGoldrick’s cutback.But the 194th-ranked team in the world did not give up and almost found an equaliser when 37-year-old forward Lee Casciaro curled wide after a fine team move.Elsewhere, World Cup quarter-finalists Sweden made a winning start in Group F as midfielders Robin Quaison and Viktor Claesson both scored in the space of seven first-half minutes in a 2-1 success over Romania.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Centre-back Ramos has scored 16 goals for club and country this term © AFP / JOSE JORDANParis, France, Mar 24 – Sergio Ramos scored a second-half penalty to help Spain beat a spirited Norway 2-1 on Saturday in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier, while teenage striker Moise Kean netted in Italy’s win over Finland.Spain were not at their clinical best in Valencia, but got their Group F campaign off to a solid start despite Norway threatening an upset.last_img read more