Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Mexico optimistic it can change its Round of 16 history

FORTALEZA, Brazil — Mexico coach Miguel Herrera will make one change to his starting lineup to face the Netherlands in today's World Cup second round and says his team is "ready to make history."

Versatile midfielder Carlos Salcido will replace suspended Jose Juan Vazquez, Herrera said Saturday. Manchester United forward Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is keeping his role as a second-half substitute, Herrera said.

Herrera believes Mexico can end its run of five straight Round of 16 losses. "El Tri" has not reached the quarterfinals since hosting the Cup in 1986.

"We have a great atmosphere and a great attitude going into this game, and that is key. But we also have to play very well because we are facing a very difficult opponent," Herrera said. "Do we believe this could be Mexico's World Cup? Yes, more than ever. We are very convinced that this time will be different for us, and we are ready to make history."

Mexico faces the high-scoring Dutch after conceding only one goal during the group stage, beating Cameroon 1-0, holding Brazil to 0-0 with an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, then defeating Croatia 3-1.

Mexican fans are making their second trip to Fortaleza, a northeastern city that was the site of the tie against Brazil. They gathered to welcome the players Friday with their familiar chants of "Oribe Peralta," for the team's popular star.

Suarez says he didn't mean it: Uruguay striker Luis Suarez told FIFA's disciplinary panel he did not deliberately bite Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on Tuesday.

Suarez, who was banned for nine international matches and four months as a result of the bite — his third one during a game in his career — said he lost his balance. "In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite," Suarez wrote in a letter dated June 25.

The seven-man panel of the sport's governing body, which met Wednesday, dismissed the argument. Its ruling called the bite "deliberate, intentional and without provocation."

Meanwhile, a day after former Argentina star Maradona defended Suarez, Brazilian legend Pele backed FIFA, telling Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo: "If this example hadn't been given quickly, (bad behavior on the field) could spread. This example shouldn't be copied by anyone."

American distinction: Mark Geiger will become the first American to referee a knockout-stage match at the World Cup. FIFA selected Geiger, 39, a former math teacher, to handle Monday's France-Nigeria match in Brasilia. Geiger, a Major League Soccer referee from Beachwood, N.J., will work the game with his regular assistants, American Sean Hurd and Canadian Joe Fletcher.

So sorry: Gaffel brewery in Cologne, Germany, incorporated the flags of the 32 participating nations onto the label of its Koelsch beer, which didn't sit well in Iran, a Muslim nation where the consumption of alcohol is prohibited in line with Islam's teachings. The brewery removed the Iran-flagged beer after receiving a letter from Iran's embassy, Gaffel spokesman Michael Busemann said: "We didn't want to offend any religious feelings."

Podolski out: German forward Lukas Podolski (leg) will miss Monday's game against Algeria in Porto Alegre. Coach Joachim Loew gave no details of the injury but said it was not serious and Podolski, who started Thursday's victory over the United States, would have to rest two or three days.

Comments
Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Class 8A-4 at Strawberry Crest Tuesday: No. 1 Wharton vs. No. 4 Wiregr...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy and the universal language of playoff hockey

Andrei Vasilevskiy and the universal language of playoff hockey

TAMPA — As usual, Andrei Vasilevskiy didn't speak in front of the cameras after the game. He has been like that since he hit the NHL. He still isn't comfortable with his English on TV.But Vasilevskiy spoke loudly and clearly in the first-round ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
How Baker Mayfield can benefit the Bucs

How Baker Mayfield can benefit the Bucs

TAMPA — The buzz at the top of this year's NFL draft is a class of talented quarterbacks deep enough to challenge the all-time record of six in the first round, set in 1983 with a group that included future Hall of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for ‘joke’ gun photo

Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for ‘joke’ gun photo

Former NFL kicker Jay Feely, who was born in Odessa and starred at Tampa Jesuit, has apologized for a photo he intended as a joke, showing him holding a gun as he poses with his daughter and her prom date."Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a...
Updated: 6 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

You knew those who work the scoreboard for the Lightning games at Amalie Arena would have an answer Saturday during Game 5 to the Devils using David Puddy during Game 4 at the Prudential Center.Puddy meets Homer Simpson.Actually, Puddy met Terry the ...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18
Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

Baseball: Bulls edge Knights to even series

After a two-hour weather delay Saturday evening at USF, the remote local threat of lightning finally dissipated.The postseason intensity never did.For the second consecutive night, the UCF-USF baseball series delivered, this time with the Bulls (25-1...
Published: 04/22/18