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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MacDonald Mariga Right to Quit Harambee Stars' Camp

That MacDonald Mariga has threatened to boycott – and rightly so – playing for the Harambee Stars in the Africa Nations Cup qualifying match against Togo slated for Wednesday is a big blow to Kenya’s chances of beating the Togolese but a decision that should be supported.

I know many people would rush to condemn the former Inter Milan star and reiterate that the game is very important and therefore the player should put the country first. That’s trash talk as far as I am concerned.

You see it’s one thing when a player has been called into the national team but refuses to turn up – insert Arnold Origi – and totally another when a player uses his money to pay for air tickets, travels for thousands of miles expecting a refund of the monies (energy nontaxable), only to land home and be told that it’s not going to happen.

The Football Kenya Federation has been doing the right things as far as boardroom issues are concerned. But shifting the old problems to the players’ camp while they are training for a crucial tie against a team that played in the 2006 World Cup could prove costly.

Mariga is demanding a paltry Sh1.5million which he claims he has so far spent on air tickets to honour five Harambee Stars’ matches. FKF has apparently been promising to refund the expenses but have it looks like either they are too financially trodden to keep the promise or they don’t see the importance of having the Parma man in the Stars team.

Unless I am suffering from some inexplicable disease, I have read, heard, and damn it I have seen the national team being presented with a cheque worth Sh110 million from sponsors Tusker. Isn’t Sh1.5 million that Mariga is demanding just 1.3 percent of that? What does FKF want to do with that money? And why did they okay Mariga to use his money to travel home in the first place?

Mariga looks likely to miss the crucial tie against Emmanuel Adebayor-led Togo side. His absence in the midfield will surely be felt even if Kenya wins the tie. This controversy will also impact the dressing room in many ways than one and will definitely not set a good example to other players.

But the impact of the controversy will be felt for the long term because I don’t see players, especially the overseas ones, committing to use their own resources to play for the Stars knowing only too well that getting a refund would be a herculean task. FKF should not the use the players' philanthropy and patriotism to punish them. Football is a demanding game and those who decide to play should be rewarded for their efforts.

What a shame!!

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Triumphant Reds End Six-year Trophy Drought

The two amigos - Luis Suarez and Steven Gerard
Liverpool ended their six-year title drought with a dramatic win in a penalty shout-out over Championship side Cardiff in the Carling Cup final at Wembley stadium. Making their maiden appearance at the newly refurbished Wembley Stadium since 1995, the Reds were pushed to the death end before eventually winning a nervous penalty shoot-out 3-2 after 120 minutes of football.

The Reds went into the match as clear favourites over the Welsh side and could have taken the lead inside two minutes but Glen Johnson saw his stunning curled effort rattle the crossbar.

But it was Malky Mackay's charges who took the lead against the run of play after 19 minutes. After a nice interchange just outside the Reds’ penalty area, Kenny Miller put Josep Mason through on goal and the 20-year-old tucked the ball between Pepe Reina’s legs to put his team in the lead.

Kenny Dalglish’s side probed but could not unlock The Bluebirds' stubborn defence. But just on the hour mark, Martin Skrtel restored parity when he pounced on a loose ball from a Luis Suarez header that hit the post and the Slovakian had no trouble drilling the ball into the net through Tom Heaton’s legs. The tough-tackling Liverpool no. 37 became the club's first player to score a goal at the "home of English football" since 1996 when Steve MacManaman did in an FA Cup final.

None of the two teams could snatch a winner in normal time and after the disappointing Luis Suarez missed a golden chance to kill off the match the game moved into extra time. Dirk Kuyt could have wished the golden goal rule was still functional when he put the Merseysider’s 2-1 up after 108 minutes of football.

But Liverpool’s defence fell into pieces barely two minutes before the final whistle with Kuyt unable to clear his line allowing Ben Turner to nick in the equalizer that sent the match into a nailbiting shoot-out.

Steven Gerard was the first to step up for the Reds. His penalty was well dispatched but Heaton pulled off a sensational save to leave the traveling Kop in awe. Kenny Miller stepped forward for Cardiff but saw his effort hit the post. Charlie Adam sent his miles over. Don Cowie sent Reina the wrong way to put the Bluebirds in control. Kuyt coolly slotted his home to make it 1-1. Rudy Gestede missed, Man-of-the-match Stewart Downing converted and so did Peter Whittingham.

It was now up to Glen Johnson and Steven Gerard’s cousin Antony Gerard. The England right back had no problem getting his past Heaton. But the younger Gerard sent his spot kick wide to give Liverpool a 3-2 win and the 2012 Carling Cup trophy, the Reds' record eighth League Cup. And in what great rivals Manchester United might not want to hear, Kenny Dalglish's men have equaled United's record 15 domestic cup wins.

Well, the wait for a silverware at L4 is over. The FA Cup final and another trip back to Wembley is just two games away. Fourth place is still very much possible. Onwards, and upwards you Red Army!!

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

English Teams Facing European Football Abyss

There may as well be no English team in this year’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. After Arsenal were put to the sword last week by AC Milan, Chelsea suffered the same fate, losing 3-1 away to Napoli meaning that the two clubs will have to pull out a miracle to dismiss their Italian opponents.

With only the two London club representing the premier league in the competition after both Manchester City and Man United were bundled out in group stages, it’s almost given that there will be no English team in the quarterfinals for the first time in 16 years.

Blackburn was the only Premier League representative in the 1995-96 season and finished last in a group that had Spartak Moscow, Legia Warsaw and Rosenborg.

In the Tuesday night encounter, South American duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani were both on target with Lavezzi scoring twice either side of Cavani’s shouldered goal as the Italians piled more misery on Chelsea and more so on under fire boss Andre Villas Boas.

The home team started the brightest and were only denied by the defensively exposed Petr Cech who was the busiest of the goalkeepers thanks partly to the absence of John Terry. But frailties in the rearguard were commonplace to both teams and Napoli were the first to be punished.

Captain Paolo Cannavaro was fortunate enough to receive a pass from Daniel Sturridge just after the quarter hour mark. He tried to clear the ball at the edge of the box, but misskicked it into the path of Juan Mata who easily beat De Sanctis in Napoli goal to silence the otherwise raucous home fans.

It didn’t take long though for the Italian Blues (Partenopei) to draw level. Cavani who was proving unplayable found Lavezzi on the edge of the penalty area.  The Argentine easily shrugged off the challenge of Meireles before releasing a beauty of a curling shot past Cech to draw it level.

It soon became 2-1 to Walter Mazzarri’s charges. Gokhan Inler hit a lovely cross from the right towards the far left corner. Chelsea’s Ivanovic and new signing Gary Cahill rushed for the ball and so did Cavani but it’s the Uruguayan who connected with the cross using his shoulder to extend his team’s lead going into the interval.

The story of the second half was skinny as far as goals are concerned. But there was one more goal to come. David Luiz’s costly flamboyance which has been mentioned across the press and criticized by many pundits was at play. The Brazilian found himself in a good position to clear the ball inside his penalty area. However, he let elegance get the best of him when instead of hoofing the ball to safety, he decided to flick it and Cavani robbed him possession, crossed to Lavezzi who made it 3-1.

Chelsea manager Villas Boas tried to add some ammunition to his frontline by bringing in the surprisingly benched duo Frank Lampard and Michael Essien but the game was already lost.

The defeat means Chelsea face an uphill task to qualify for the quarterfinals but it also did the least of favours to coach Villas Boas whose job is hanging by a thread. It’s uncertain whether he’ll still be in charge when Napoli visit Stamford Bridge on March 13.

In another match Tuesday night, Cristiano Ronaldo put Real Madrid ahead against CSKA Moscow in the 28th minute but Pontus Wernbloom scored an injury time equalizer for the hosts to secure a 1-1 draw heading into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

With Arsenal facing the seemingly impossible task of overturning a four goal deficit against Milan at Emirates on March 6, Chelsea’s task looks even harder going by their recent form which has seen them fail to win in five straight matches in all competitions, including against Championship side Birmingham.

They say everything is possible in football but I can’t see Chelsea or Arsenal churning out something special to eclipse their opponents in the return leg.

Well, it’s been 16 years since an English team failed to make it past the knockout stages. I bet on my last dime that by the time Arsenal welcome Milan at the Emirates on March 6 and Chelsea face Napoli at Stamford Bridge a week later, that record won’t be standing no more.

It’s been an extremely poor campaign for English teams in this season’s UEFA Champions League. Let’s hope they will come back better and stronger in the season next. 

Come’on Liverpool. Get in there! You do it better than them.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Arsenal HuMILiated at San Siro

Thierry Henry was given the worst send off Wednesday night when he was part of an Arsenal team which was given a 4-0 thumping at the hands of AC Milan in the Champions League first leg knockout encounter played at the San Siro.

Robinho scored a brace either side of Kevin Prince Boateng’s superb opener and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 79th minute penalty as Arsene Wenger’s men left the San Siro with their hopes of qualifying to the quarter finals hanging by a thread.

The match was the last one for Henry who will be heading back to his team, the New York Red Bulls, after a fairytale loan return to the Emirates. Milan dominated the match from the off controlling the midfield as the Gunners legend watched from the bench.

It took only 15 minutes for the Italian giants to open the scoring. Former Portsmouth and Tottenham midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng collected Antonio Nocerino's princely pass and rifled in an unstoppable volley off the underside of the bar to put the Milanese side ahead.

Any thoughts that the goal could have sprung Arsenal to life were misadvised as its Massimiliano Allegri’s outfi that continued to pin the Gunners into their own half. Wenger’s side were clearly struggling.

After surviving an onslaught of attacks, Arsenal further fell behind when the impressive Ibrahimovic was put through courtesy of Urby Emanuelson pass on the left channel. The Swede looked to be offside but was given a free 40 yard run into Wojciech Szczesny’s box and he simply crossed for Robinho to nod in Milan’s second heading into the interval.

Arsenal lost Laurent Koscielny just before half time and he was replaced by Johan Djourou. Thierry Henry also came in for Theo Walcott who continues to struggle.

Milan’s first goal was courtesy of a poor clearance from Szczeny. The second saw Rosicky lose possession to Abate. Rosicky was culpable again just four minutes into the second half, losing possession to the home team. Ibrahimovic collected the ball and invitingly crossed and with Vermaleen slipping, Robinho slotted his second and Milan’s third goal to put the game beyond the London side’s reach.

Ibracadabra and Robinho were proving to be a mouthful for the Gunners defence. The Swede was especially industrious and deserved a goal to cap his man-of-the-match performance. The goal did come just 13 minutes before the final whistle.

Collecting a pass from his partner in crime Robinho, Ibra controlled the ball in the box but drew a foul from Djourou. Referee Viktor Kassai saw the challenge heavy enough to warrant a penalty and rightfully gave it. Ibrahimovic made no mistake hitting it low past the Gunners keeper who went the right way but could not pull off a save.

The Gunners lacked neither the spirit, the gut, the character and perhaps even the strength in depth to engineer a comeback as they became the first English club to lose to Milan in five years and suffered their biggest Champions League loss. For Milan, it was sweet revenge after they were eliminated at the same level by Wenger's men in 2008.

Make no mistake, the Rossoneri have qualified for the quarter finals and the return leg at the Emirates will be a mere formality. For Arsenal, they may as well start dreaming of Champions League abyss as it’s uncertain whether they will finish in the top four and guarantee them a return to Europe’s premier competition next season.

Barely the send-off that Henry would have wished for.

In another encounter Wednesday night, Zenit St. Petersburg and Benfica were involved in a five goal thriller with the Russian club coming out 3-2 winners over their Portuguese counterparts heading into the second leg on March 6. Roman Shirokov scored twice and Sergey Semak scored the winner to set up a mouthwatering second leg encounter with Benfica who had Maximiliano Pereira and Oscar Cardozo to thank for their two goals.

On Tuesday night, Barcelona firmly put their one leg into the quarters after their 3-1 win away to Bayer Leverkusen. Alexis Sanchez scored twice and Lionel Messi added the third just as the Germans thought they could engineer a comeback when Michal Kadlec scored to make 2-1 before the mercurial Argentine had the last laugh. It was Messi's 19th strike in the knockout stages surpassing Raul and Andri Shevchenko who both had 18.

Alexandre Lacazette netted the only goal as Olympique Lyonnais beat surprise Cypriot outfit APOEL Nicosia at Stade Gerland.

And That's thesteifmastertake!! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Copper Bullets Shoot Down the Elephants

It's Victory for Copper Bullets
Zambia coach Herve Renard has christened himself “Africa’s chosen coach” after helping his side overcome the odds and win the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The French tactician guided the Chipolopolo to their maiden Cup of Nations title after winning the West versus South battle against the much fancied Ivory Coast in a dramatic post-match penalty shoot-out.

The Southern Africans completed what can only be termed as a fairy tale which saw them overcome all the pre-tournament favourites Senegal in group stages, Ghana in the semi-finals and the Elephants in the finals played in front of a capacity crowd in Libreville, Gabon.

The two teams could not find the back of the net in normal time with the main highlight being Didier Drogba’s penalty miss in the 69th minute after Gervais Yao Kouassi alias Gervinho had been brought down in the box by Isaac Chansa. The inspirational captain blasted the spot kick high over the bar to deny his team the chance of winning the game in normal time.

Zambia had the best chance to score in extra time but the hard-fighting captain Christopher Katongo saw his shot saved by Barry’s extended legs. With no goals to report at the end of 120 minutes, the two teams went into the dreaded post-match penalties.

Both teams successfully converted their first six penalties. Kolo Toure then missed his spot kick and put the hopes of the Zambian people on the back of 25-year-old Rainford Kalaba. However, the TP Mazembe midfielder also missed his spot kick to warrant another round of penalties. Forward stepped Gervinho and the flying winger sent the impressive Zambia keeper Mweene the wrong way but hit his shot high and wide.

The bandwagon had again shifted to the Zambians and surely they had to make this count. Up stepped 22-year-old Stophira Sunzu.  He took his time alright and when he decided to strike, it was good enough to send the 13million Zambians into jubilation as the Copper Bullets won their first Cup of Nations title, and inside a land where they had lost an entire team in an aircraft accident just 19 years ago.

It's been a special campaign for 'Africa's Chosen One' and his charges. South Africa 2013 is beckoning. Congratulations to Zambia, Africa's newest powerhouse!!

Team of the tournament – 4-4-2

 Kennedy Mweene - Zambia

Jean-Jacques Gosso - Ivory Coast
Stophira Sunzu - Zambia
John Mensah - Ghana
Adama Tamboura - Mali

Emmanuel Mayuka - Zambia
Yaya Touré - Ivory Coast
Gervinho - Ivory Coast
Seydou Keita - Mali

Christopher Katongo - Zambia (also player of the tournament)
Didier Drogba - Ivory Coast

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It’s Chipolopolo Versus the Elephants in AFCON Finals

The Orange Battle

Zambia produced one of the greatest upsets in the ongoing Africa Nations Cup by knocking out firm favourites Ghana to book their place in the finals.

The Chipolopolo stars needed a 78th minute strike from substitute Emmanuel Mayuka to bring down the Black Stars who saw Asamoah Gyan lose another crucial penalty after his World Cup nightmare in South Africa two years ago.

The Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire also booked their slot in the final with a 1-0 win over Mali. Arsenal winger Gervinho scored the goal with a brilliant solo run that culminated into a low shot past Mali keeper Soumaila Diakite just before the interval, a goal worth of winning any match and one that the on watching Pele would have been proud of. That was the only goal to be scored in the game as the Didier Drogba-captained side entered the finals without conceding a single goal.

But the day belonged to the Zambians whose entertaining and speedy football have overwhelmed their opponents in the competition. Ghana were dominant alright but they failed to take their chances including the penalty. Herve Renard's side have never won the competition but have finished runners up in two occasions, 1974 in Egypt where they lost to Zaire 2-0, and 1994 in Tunisia where they lost 2-1 to Nigeria’s real Super Eagles.

It will be an emotional return to Libreville for the Zambians who just 19 years ago lost the national side en route to a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Dakar.

For the Ivorians, they will be aiming to land their first title in 20 years. Their first and only triumph was in the 1992 final when they beat Ghana 11-10 in post match penalties. Since then, they have gotten into the finals only once, in 2006 where they lost 4-2 to hosts Egypt in post-match penalties.

Most of the Elephants’ players in the 2006 squad will be present for the Sunday final including Didier Drogba, Kolo Toure, Didier Zokora, Emannuel Eboue, and Boka.

The pair clash at Libreville's L'Amitie stadium on Sunday.

Ghana and Mali will square off on Saturday to determine who finishes in third place.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

John Terry Stripped of England Captaincy - Who Should Replace Him?

England and Chelsea defender John Terry has been stripped of his national team’s captaincy by the Football Association. The FA decided to make the decision at the backdrop of the ongoing racism case where the 31-year-old is being investigated for allegedly making racist remarks against Queens Park Rangers’ defender Anton Ferdinand in a past encounter between the two teams.

This is the second time the Barking-born center back has been stripped of the England national team’s armband. The first time was back in 2010 when he was relieved of his captain duties following allegations he had an affair with England team-mate Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend.

Steven Gerard – The firm favourite to replace Terry, the Liverpool captain is a natural born leader and will be remembered for putting in a captain’s performance in England’s horror campaign in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Ironically, Captain Fantastic was the one who was handed the armband after Terry was stripped of his role following the Wayne Bridge debacle. If he stays fit and heads for the EURO 2012, put your money on a right-thinking coach to hand him the captaincy

Frank Lampard – John Terry’s vice captain at Chelsea, the 33-year-old is one of the senior players who could board the plane to Ukraine and Poland. He has captained the national team in previous occasions including in the 1-0 win over Spain in an international friendly in November 2011. The problem however for the 90 times capped Englishman is he is not certain of being handed a starting role during the Championships.

Scot Parker – The 10-time capped midfielder was one of the star performers in England’s EURO 2012 campaign. His Man of the match performance in the 1-0 win against World and European Champions Spain on November 12 last year earned him plaudits and being also a senior member of the team, the 31-year-old will be highly tipped to lead the Three Lions to Poland and Ukraine come June. 

Wayne Rooney – the fiery striker will once again lead the frontline as the men from the land of Queens try to win their first international trophy since triumphing in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. He will however miss the first two matches in the group stages so manager Fabio Capello may overlook him and instead prefer a player who will start inspiring his teammates from the word go. His intermittent bust ups and indiscipline could cost him the captaincy though.
Ashley Cole – The marauding left-back has 93 international caps under his belt. His consistency keeps him in the English set up and this could be his ace of cards. However, his off-field antics, some of them similar to John Terry's could dearly cost him. 

Joe Hart - The best goalkeeper England has produced in years. The Manchester City custodian will certainly start all England's matches and looks composed enough to lead the team. His youthfulness could work against him. 

Rio Gavin Ferdinand – The brother to Anton Ferdinand who Terry allegedly racially abused, the former captain could also be considered for the role. The veteran, known for his composure on the ball in defensive positions and general leadership has not played much football this season and this could prove to be his Achilles heel. He has however ruled himself out.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Joao Carlos Teixeira – Liverpool’s New Signing in 15 Facts

Liverpool have confirmed their only big signing in the January transfer window – Sporting Lisbon whiz kid Joao Carlos Teixeira. Here are some fact about the new Liverpool wonderkid:
1.      He was born on January 18th 1993 in Braga, Portugal
2.      He shares the same birthday with Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola former Liverpool great and current Newcastle caretaker Peter Beardsley MBE, West Ham keeper Robert Green Arsenal center back Johan Djourou, Fiorentina’s Riccardo Montolivo retired Chilean forward Iván Luis Zamorano Zamora and wrestlers Ted Dibiase and David Bautista
3.      Plays as an attacking midfielder and has been compared with former Portuguese midfield kingpin Deco

4.      He emerges from the same academy as Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United’s Luis Nani, former Madridstar Luis Figo, Ricardo Quaresma, Simão Sabrosa and Nuno Valente among others

5.      Joined the Sporting Academy from his hometown club of Braga in 2004 as an 11-year-old
6.      He has been playing for Sporting Lisbon since the age of 13 and won the national championship at U14

7.      Has represented Portugal in all the levels from U16 to U19
8.      He played against his new academy teammates Jack Robinson, Adam Morgan and Conor Coady in October last year, appearing as a substitute for U19 Portugal match against England
9.      Starred for his team against Liverpool in the NextGen series beating the Reds 3-0 (he scored the first goal) at Anfield in August before thrashing them 5-1 in the return leg in Lisbon in October

10.  Goalscoring is barely his best asset. His passing ability, close-control and upper-body strength are his strengths

11.  At Liverpool Academy, he will join up with fellow Portuguese starlets Toni Silva and Yalany Baio

      12.  Carlos has trained with Sporting's first team this season, but has not made his senior debut.
     13. It's believed Teixeira cost Liverpool around £850,000

14.  "Liverpool were impressed by my performances during training and the match that I played. The technical team like my style of play, so hopefully they will sign me." Speaking in January 2012

15. Watch him here

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Andy Caroll Finding His Feet

Andy Caroll marked his first anniversary at Liverpool with a goal as the Merseyside club tamed Wolverhampton 3-0 at the Molineux.

The big striker put the Reds ahead seven minutes into the second half after the teams failed to breach each other’s defence line in the first 45 minutes. Caroll latched onto a whipped cross from Charlie Adam and tucked the ball past Wolves ‘keeper Hennessey to put the Reds in the lead.

The Merseysiders doubled their lead at the hour mark with a well-taken Craig Bellamy goal. The Welshman collected the ball into his own half and was given a free run into the Wolves defence before he hit a weak effort which was helped into the net by Hennessey.

Twelve minutes before the final whistle, Adam bagged his second assist of the game and tenth this season when he exchanged passes with Dirk Kuyt and the Dutchman scored his 50th goal in the premier league for Liverpool which put the game beyond doubt.

The win took the L4 club to 5th position in the league, only four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

It will give them a morale boost going into their crunch clash with third-placed Tottenhman on Monday. The Reds owe Harry Rednkapp’s side some beating after they outclassed Liverpool 4-0 in the early season encounter at White Hart Lane.

With Liverpool failing to make any new signings in the just concluded January transfer window, they will continue to rely on Andy Caroll to bang in the goals. The Geordie No 9 has turned out some super performances in his last three games, the highlight being his man-of-the-match performance in the FA Cup win against Manchester United.

His statistics this year read 4 starts, 4 sub appearances, 2 goals and 2 assists. He’s closely winning over his critics and should he carry on with his performances, people will stop questioning his much hyped £35million price tag.

With Luis Suarez making his long-awaited comeback from an 8-game suspension, Dirk Kuyt scoring and Bellamy playing like a whiz kid, Liverpool look like they are ready to push for the coveted top four finish.

Meanwhile, Caroll’s fellow big-money signing for Chelsea Fernando Torres led the line for the Blues against Swansea but could not get on the score sheet as the teams drew 1-1.

It’s now over 1,000 minutes of football since Nando put the ball in the net for the Blues. Former Chelsea star Scott Sinclair put the Swans ahead and it looked like they were cruising to victory only to be denied by a freak deflection of a Jose Bosingwa shot off Neil Taylor deep into the dying minutes of the game.

Torres has only scored five goals and pocketed £9m (and increasing by the time you read this article), since his £50m British record transfer exactly a year ago. Should he continue with this poor form, a summer exit will be inevitable.

Manchester City continued with their latest slump in form suffering a 1-0 loss at Everton. Irish midfielder Darron Gibson scored the lone goal on 60minutes.

Manchester United won 2-0 against Stoke to move level in points with their ‘noisy neighbours’ at the apex of the premier league table. The Potters were undone by giving away two penalties which were slotted in by Javier Chicarito Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov.

Tottenham hit three past Al Habsi in Wigan goal to continue their fairytale title push and consolidate their third place in the league standings. Flying winger Gareth Bale scored a brace either side of Luca Modric’s goal to give Harry Rednkapp’s side the win.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!