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Northern Ireland denied in Belfast

first_img McAuley and Lafferty were obvious targets but Norwood instead picked out Chris Brunt on the edge of the area. It was a neat routine but required a cleaner volley than the West Brom man could muster on the occasion of his 50th cap. The remainder of the half took on a frenetic quality. Torje slalomed his way through a handful of non-committal tackles but getting lost on the way to goal, Lafferty snatched at a shot from 20 yards and Mihai Pintilii earned an injury and a booking for a crude challenge on Conor McLaughlin. Jamie Ward, currently a free agent following his release from Derby, was doing his best to bring some quality to the right wing but there was little else to please the purist. Northern Ireland almost nipped in front in the 43rd minute, when Brunt’s corner was glanced across goal by Chris Baird. Evans was quickest to react, stooping to head toward the roof of the net only for Tatarusanu to make the save. Northern Ireland made the running after the interval, Dallas firing wide after collecting a half-cleared corner and Lafferty heading over from Brunt’s hanging cross. But there were also lapses in concentration. Ward and McAuley both gave the ball up carelessly in dangerous territory and could easily have cost their side a goal. Chipchiu botched the first chance by going to ground too easily in the box but Torje went much closer in the 64th minute. He raced into space after McAuley’s error and saw his effort squirm agonisingly wide after Evans managed to get a divert the ball with an outstretched leg. Northern Ireland continued knocking on the door to no avail – Brunt sending a well-placed free-kick into the stands and Norwood lashing a hopeful effort off-target from 25 yards. There was a worrying moment when Evans went down with cramp while play continued, creating a vacuum in defence. Romania gladly swarmed into it as Evans three times attempted to jog back only to collapse. That was the end of his day, Craig Cathcart replacing him for the last 11 minutes while Corry Evans took over from Ward. As the decibel level spiked in the closing stages, the hosts responded. First McAuley’s knockdown allowed Lafferty the chance to poach another winner but for the first time in the campaign his final touch was off. Norwood could have struck his 30-yard free-kick any better, dipping it at pace only for Tatarusanu to beat it clear. Lafferty, whose deadly form has brought him five goals in the campaign, this time snatched at his big 83rd-minute chance, Ciprian Tatarusanu making the save before pawing clear Oliver Norwood’s goalbound free-kick moments later. Victory would have seen Michael O’Neill’s side leapfrog their opponents at the top of Group F, but Tatarusanu’s ensured they must make do with the second automatic spot with four games to go. For a side who have not featured at a major tournament in 30 years and entered the draw for France among the fifth seeds, that must still be a source of immense pride. Jonny Evans was also a central figure, going closest to opening the scoring in the first half with a smart header then deflecting Romania’s best chance, by Gabriel Torje, fractionally wide. Michael O’Neill handed two men their first competitive starts, with Michael McGovern deputising for the ill Roy Carroll in goal and Stuart Dallas given the nod ahead of Niall McGinn on the left flank. It was also all change around the ground, with the beloved West Stand reduced to rubble and just two operational stands due to ongoing redevelopment work. Northern Ireland were attacking what used to be the Kop in the first half, with a solitary cameraman taking the place of the country’s most raucous supporters. The 10,000 fans who did have seats ensured a fine atmosphere before kick-off but Claudiu Keseru almost played spoilsport in the second minute when he fizzed a free-kick narrowly wide from 35 yards. Alexandru Chipchiu also came close to giving the visitors an early lead, catching Gareth McAuley out of position only for Steven Davis to track back and conjure a perfectly-timed challenge in the box. The hosts took their time settling but Lafferty hustled a corner that allowed the green shirts to push forward. Kyle Lafferty and Oliver Norwood were denied in a tense finale as Northern Ireland’s crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania ended in stalemate at Windsor Park. Press Associationlast_img read more

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RPM Gaming puts new spin on betting via CricketSim product

first_img Ian Hogg joins RPM Gaming as Chairman May 5, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Mark Wilson: How FSB is meeting the recreational cricket punter’s demands August 20, 2020 Share Related Articles SBC Roundtable: A new ‘Pace’ for live cricket trading July 8, 2020 To help fill the void of sporting content during the COVID-19 pandemic, RPM Gaming has launched a new simulated cricket product which aims to deliver a ‘realistic, engaging’ alternative for operators.‘CricketSim’ offers a variety of match formats, including Test, ODI and T20, for operators to integrate into their offerings. Each game will be based on existing teams and players, and ‘fuses the latest algorithms with a deep database of real-world cricket stats’ to represent the live-traded cricket currently available.Richard Thorp, Director of RPM Gaming, said: “As most operators pivot their attention to developing vertical-spread during these unparalleled times, virtual sports are emerging as a go-to product for plugging the gaps after this live sports suspension which has followed the outbreak of COVID-19.“Historically, virtuals have already surprised many with their ability to prize double-digit market share away from real sports betting. So, this trend will naturally extend in the current climate where their convenience is unmatched.“In-play was the missing piece in that virtual jigsaw, but now CricketSim can fill the void with accurate in-play odds and innovative content that affords fans the chance to still enjoy their favourite sport in a familiar live betting environment.”The virtual product will offer a host of short-form betting opportunities (e.g. over-by-over runs and next man out), coupled with ball-by-ball text commentary and live scoreboards.CricketSim is the first virtual product offered by RPM Gaming, and will utilise statistical modelling as well as information from RPM Data, the bespoke pricing and data-feeds wing of RPM Gaming.Thorp continued: “RPM Data was set up to provide zero-latency cricket trading feeds on the biggest range of matches and markets to serve the voracious appetite for live cricket betting across the planet.“While we can’t wait to roll out this unique feed when the real cricket action resumes, CricketSim was a logical stepping-stone product that we could create in the meantime for all our interested partners. It showcases our precise pricing ball-by-ball, and elevates in the in-play UX on virtuals too.”Partners now can offer these industry-leading API data solutions – designed for pricing precision, comprehensive coverage and ease of integration – both pre-game and in-game. Sharelast_img read more

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Rooney must improve or his Man United career is FINISHED, warns Champions League winner

first_imgDietmar Hamann believes Wayne Rooney could soon be facing the end of his Manchester United career.Rooney has found the net just once in the Premier League this season and has been the subject of stinging criticism for his performances, with many United fans claiming he is ‘finished’ at the top level.The 29-year-old’s immediate future at Old Trafford does not appear to be under threat, with manager Louis van Gaal continually offering his backing, and with four years still to run on his contract.But Hamann claims Van Gaal will lose faith in his captain if he does not start firing again quickly.The Champions League-winning former German international, speaking on the Colin Murray show, said: “His form has to improve.“There will be a time, if his form doesn’t improve, where the club won’t be happy and he won’t be happy and you have to come to a decision because you can’t keep a Rooney at your club on vast amounts of money if he is a bit-part player.“Van Gaal has backed him, he has done everything he could, but there will come a time when the manager will say, ‘listen mate, you can’t be in the starting XI’.“They have got a player in [Juan] Mata who I think is best suited to that position Rooney plays [behind the striker]. So, they have a perfect replacement in their squad [for Rooney] and, if he doesn’t improve, the manager will say somebody else has to play in his position.“From now until the end of the season, it will be a critical eight months. If his form doesn’t improve there may be a time sooner or later when Rooney himself wants a fresh challenge in a league that isn’t as demanding as the Premier League.”David Beckham has suggested Rooney could prolong his United career by dropping back into midfield.But his former Liverpool rival Hamann insists that is not an option for England’s record goalscorer.He said: “They have got a set-up there now with the likes of Mata, [Memphis] Depay and [Anthony] Martial up top which should bring out the best in him, but so far he hasn’t done it.“He has got a quick player ahead of him now which should suit him because it should give him more space to bring other players into goalscoing positions and score himself but, so far, he hasn’t done it.“I can’t see him dropping further back. Rooney can’t go any further back. This is as far back as he can go playing off one front man.“He has to play better and if he doesn’t soon, he will have a problem getting in the Man United team. He is best suited playing off a front man. If he can’t play there, he can’t play.”last_img read more

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