Lesotho are dangerous -Jawula, Arday warn Stars

first_imgFormer Chairman of the Ghana Football Association, Lepowura M.N.D Jawula and veteran coah, Sam Hemans Arday are cautioning the Black Stars not to consider victory against Lesotho in this weekend’s World Cup qualifier a done deal as they could end up laughing at the wrong side of their mouths.While Lepowura is urging the Stars to be guided by history, Coach Arday says Lesotho will just be happy to upset the Stars apple cart.The Stars are away to the Likuena (Crocodiles) of Lesotho in their last but one game in these qualifiers, but are talks of that match being an easy deal for the Ghanaians with more focus rather on the very last game against Zambia in September.Lepowura Jawula, who led the the Stars to a qualifying match in Lesotho during his tenure, says it will be dangerous for the Stars to consider the Likuena as pushovers.Zambia currently lead the group standings with 10 points, one ahead of the Stars and with Zambia also tipped as favourites in their home match against Sudan on Saturday, a win for the Stars will help mantain the pressure on the Chipolopolos with that one-point for their September clash.“On paper it is predictable that the winner of Group D will be decided by the in the final match between Ghana and Zambia and so most people may be carried away by that. “ Yes it is important to talk about the Zambia game in September, but of what importance will that match be if the Stars slipped against Lesotho and dropped valuable points while the Zambians are able to scale the Sudan hurdle?“ It is therefore important for the Stars to also consider the game in Maseru a difficult, but must-win one to keep the momentum for the Zambia return leg.”Lepowura Jawula cautioned the Stars to be reminded of how Ghana struggled and had to come from behind to draw 3-3 with Lesotho in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Maseru in 2001 to know that tough times lied ahead on Sunday.Though Charles Amoah gave Ghana the lead in that game, Lesotho took a commanding 3-1 lead. The Stars were saved the blushes from a 85th and 90th minute strikes from Nana Arhin-Duah.“Lesotho are dangerous at home and the Stars must not be carried away by their 7-0 win in the first encounter and go into the game as if they can override them again. They may not score as many goals but they are capable of being an impediment.“Lesotho know they have nothing to lose in the outcome of this encounter, but they will be thrilled to scupperbe credited with the fact that they will be the ones to hamper the chances of the Stars with a revenge for the 7-0 beating they received in Kumasi in the opening game. They will even be out to also help the cause of their neighbours, Zambia who currently lead and could do with such a big favour as Ghana dropping valuable points. “Unlike other blocks where no one wants to do the neighbour a favour, alliance is very strong in Southern Africa and that could motivate Lesotho to give Ghana a very tough time on Sunday,” Lepowura Jawula said.Coach Sam Arday, who has also coached the Stars, also gave similar advise and stressed the need for Kwasi Appiah to adopt a strategy that will force the Likuena to open up.“ Having conceded as many as seven goals against Ghana and four against Zambia last week, they will likely play a very defensive game which could frustrate the Stars but Kwasi Appiah must adopt a style that will hold them to their own game at least for the first 15 minutes which will then force them to open up,” Coach Arday advised.last_img read more

Without LeBron James, Lakers overwhelmed by Nuggets

first_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed PreviousDenver Nuggets guard Gary Harris goes for a fast break dunk as Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis pursues during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers injured guard LeBron James cheers his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. James sat out the game because of a thoracic muscle strain. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis dunks against the Denver Nuggets during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, dunks against Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers guard LeBron James, left, talks with guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. LeBron James sat out the game because of a thoracic muscle strain. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray reach for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis is fouled as he shoots between Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., left, and center Mason Plumlee during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, center, defends the basket against Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, right, attempts a layup against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, center, applauds as his team extends their lead against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee scores following a lob pass over Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope reach for a rebound against Denver Nuggets guard Malik Beasley during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, and Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap fall to the ground after a foul by Davis during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Denver Nuggets guard Malik Beasley shoots a layup past Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris, front, passes under Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis falls into the crowd while chasing a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris goes for a fast break dunk as Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis pursues during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)Los Angeles Lakers injured guard LeBron James cheers his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. James sat out the game because of a thoracic muscle strain. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)NextShow Caption1 of 16Los Angeles Lakers injured guard LeBron James cheers his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets won 128-104. James sat out the game because of a thoracic muscle strain. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Unlike his trademark unibrow, Anthony Davis does his best work in a pair.That’s not to say that the 26-year-old’s 32-point, 11-rebound, four-block game on Sunday night didn’t make him look like a star. But the performance came without a win, which has become the ultimate bottom line in a Lakers (24-6) season with renewed championship aspirations.It was telling that even as Davis checked back in to start the fourth quarter, the visiting Denver Nuggets (20-8) kept on pulling away. In a 128-104 loss — the Lakers’ third straight and the largest margin of defeat this season — it was clear that Davis sorely lacked his running mate, LeBron James.Frank Vogel said it himself before tip-off Sunday: No one player could replace what James does for the Lakers. But what the game itself made clear is that a group of players can’t quite replace him either — a chilling thought with James’ status in question for a Christmas blockbuster against the rival Clippers. Davis was most frustrated with the factor that he felt was most in the Lakers’ control, even without James: defense. He chalked up Denver’s second-half avalanche to his team not bringing enough effort to the table.“We can’t allow slippage on the defensive end,” he said. “The more we do that, the more teams see that and try to attack our weaknesses.”The most effective card in the Lakers’ deck were post-ups to Davis that he made look brilliant, throwing spins and floaters and crossovers from his repertoire to produce points against defenders ill-equipped to keep up. But outside of Davis, the rest of the team shot just 43 percent. No other Lakers starter finished with double-digit points.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Rajon Rondo, who slid into the lineup in James’ place, led with eight assists, but was just 2 for 8. Entering the starting lineup for the first time since his hairline fracture in his leg, Avery Bradley had six points on 2 for 8 shooting.The most compelling Laker outside of Davis was Kyle Kuzma, making his return to the floor for the first time in two weeks. He required 15 shots for his 16 points, but added hustle plays that inspired confidence that his ankle soreness is behind him.The Nuggets led a balanced attack, with six players in double figures. Paul Millsap led with 21 points.The Lakers worried a little that Davis, who has been playing through ankle soreness, might’ve tweaked his right knee. He played through discomfort in the fourth quarter and told reporters after the game he was feeling OK.James did not stay until the final buzzer, exiting the court with a few minutes left in the blowout.“It’s kind of hard just to next-man-up LeBron,” Kuzma said. “He does so much.”center_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersWhen asked what the Lakers missed most with James’ absence, Vogel laughed. Where exactly can you start?“It’s hard to say with something like that,” he said. “All over.”True, the Nuggets are the No. 2 team in the West trailing the Lakers, and they entered the game playing their best basketball of the season while extending a winning streak to six. But the change in tenor from the two teams’ earlier meeting this month — in which Davis played a starring role while fighting through illness — was striking.A two-point game at halftime, the second half slid completely in Denver’s favor with the Nuggets outscoring them 73-51. While James’ scoring was certainly missed, the most irreplaceable element was his ball-handling and playmaking: The Lakers had more turnovers (19) than assists (18).The giveaways allowed the Nuggets to wallop the Lakers in transition, racking up 22 fast-break points. While the game started getting away as Denver took a double-digit lead in the third, Gary Harris announced the rout was on with a transition bucket followed by a three to stretch the margin to 18 in the opening minute of the fourth. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers last_img read more