• 'This is the ace in the hole' for KT Cuevas, who saved Hwang Jae-gyun's life

    KT Wiz swept Game 4 thanks to a strong pitching performance from 'ace' William Cuevas and an explosive batting lineup.

    KT defeated NC 11-2 in the fourth game of the '2023 Shinhan Bank Shootout KBO League' playoffs (best-of-five, best-of-three system) at Changwon NC Park on Wednesday. With 14 hits, including three home runs, KT's offense exploded for 11 runs, while starter Cuevas (6 1/3 innings, no hits, no walks, three strikeouts) pitched a stellar game four.

    KT, which lost both games at home despite using two foreign starters, evened the series at 2-2 with the "magic" of two straight wins in Changwon. Game 5, which will decide the final ticket to the Korean Series, will be held at KT's home stadium, Katie Weeds Park in Suwon, on May 5.

    The star of the game four victory was undoubtedly Cuevas.

    While NC's pitchers were falling apart, Cuevas kept the NC bats in check with his 'undefeated winning percentage'. After Hwang Jae-gyun reached on an error in the first inning, he retired 17 consecutive batters to keep his no-hitter alive until the bottom of the sixth inning. He gave up a single to Son to break the no-hitter, but pitched a perfect game without allowing a single run until the sixth inning, setting the stage for KT's big win.

    Cuevas, who had a disappointing game one with seven runs (four earned) on six hits in three innings, redeemed himself by being named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the day. After the game, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, "Cuevas pitched well like an ace. Thanks to him, we were able to win comfortably."

    Cuevas was credited with saving the day for Hwang Jae-gyun.

    Hwang Jae-gyun made a critical error in the first game of the POs, missing a simple fly ball, and hung his head in shame after missing a ground ball in the second game. As KT lost two games in a row, the fans' desire for Hwang Jae-gyun grew. Under pressure to "do better," Hwang Jae-gyun missed a simple grounder by the first batter, Son As-seob, in the fourth game and allowed a run to score.

    Cuevas, who started the game for Hwang Jae-gyun, sent him a message with his body language and eyes that it was okay and that he shouldn't be 사설토토 shaken. Cuevas did not allow a single batter to reach base until the bottom of the sixth inning, setting the stage for KT's victory.

    If Cuevas had gotten into trouble after Hwang Jae-gyun walked the first batter, Hwang could have taken the blame for the error. With Cuevas's pitching covering up Hwang's error, Hwang Jae-gyun hit an RBI single in the second inning and a solo home run in the fourth inning to help KT win the game.

    Cuevas' ace-like performance, which also saved veteran center fielder Hwang Jae-gyun, boosted KT's chances of advancing to the Korean Series.

  • Chelsea youth star MF makes strong 'declaration of war'

    Six games in a row as a starter, and he's thinking about a move?

    Reports have emerged that Chelsea youth star Conor Gallagher could hand in a transfer request to the Blues before January.

    Gallagher is a player whose future has been the subject of much speculation in the summer transfer window. After signing Enzo Fernandes in January, Chelsea continued to add to their squad in the summer with the signing of a big midfielder in Moises Caicedo, and it was thought that they would lose out to the competition.

    Add to that the fact that Gallagher was a youth team player, and Financial Fair Play rules would have reduced the revenue, making a sale a better option.

    Son Heung-min's club Tottenham swooped in for Gallagher on transfer deadline day, but the deal fell through due to lack of time. Mauricio Pochettino insisted on keeping Gallagher, and in fact started him in all six of Chelsea's games since the start of the season.

    But Chelsea's form has been poor. And the general consensus is that Gallagher will eventually be relegated to the bench when the other starters return. Football Insider reports that Gallagher will consider a January move if he doesn't make the best 11.

    In addition to Fernandes and Caicedo, Chelsea have also made big-money signings of Lesley Ugochukwu and Romeo Rabia. Kani 토토 Chukwuemaka, who has been out injured, is also a player who could earn Pochettino's trust when he returns.

    Gallagher wants nothing else. He wants to be a starter. He's ready to leave in January if there's a team that can make him a starter.

    Chelsea's stance is that if Gallagher does not agree to an extension, they will welcome a suitable offer in January.

  • Incheon UTD 'dominate' against Vietnam's Hai Phong FC

    Professional soccer club Incheon United FC has booked its place in the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League (ACL) with a convincing win over Vietnam's Hai Phong FC. 

    Incheon United won their AFC Champions League (ACL) 2023-24 Playoffs (PO) home match against Hai Phong FC (Vietnam) 3-1 at 7:30 p.m. on July 22 at the Incheon Football Stadium.

    Prior to the match, Incheon United lined up in a 3-5-2 formation. Mugosa and Chun Sung-hoon were deployed up front, with Mpoku, Lee Myung-joo, Delbridge, Kim Dong-min, Oh Ban-seok, and Kim Dong-heon in the midfield, and Kang Yoon-gu, Moon Ji-hwan, and Jung Dong-yoon in the back for the first half.

    The first goal came from their opponents, Hai Phong FC. Yuri Mamute broke through from the flank in the first five minutes and scored the first goal. 

    However, Incheon United didn't let that stop them and started to take control of the game. Chun Sung-hoon scored the equalizer in the 17th minute of the first half after a fierce battle in the box to end the first half with a 1-1 draw. 

    In the second half, Incheon United introduced midfielder Kim Do-hyuk and striker Gerso to the game and played a more dynamic game. Incheon United threatened in front of the Hai Phong goal from the start of the second half.

    In the 23rd minute of the second half, Mugosa took a header from a corner kick, but the defense deflected the second ball, which hit the goalkeeper's head and went out of play. Incheon United also had a free-kick opportunity, but Shin Shin-ho's cross flew too high and no further goals were scored.

    The second half also ended in a 1-1 draw, sending the game into extra time.

    In the 10th minute of the first overtime, Hernandez struck again to lift the spirits once again. After receiving a pass from Mugosa, Jerso made a quick run down the left side of the penalty area and sent a cross in front of the goal that Hernandez slotted home to make it 2-1.

    From there, Incheon United took full control of the game. Two minutes before the end, Gerso stole the ball 스포츠토토 from the goalkeeper and shot into an empty net to win the game 3-1.

    "I'm glad we were able to reward our fans for their support with a win," said Incheon United head coach Cho Sung-hwan at the press conference that followed.

    "However, I wish we could have ended the game a little earlier with a good performance," said Cho. "I think the pressure on the players and the fact that we conceded the first goal were the reasons for the difficulty of the game." "I think this game will be a great experience for the players and we will prepare thoroughly and get a good result in the league game on Friday."

    "It was a very difficult game because we didn't know what to expect before we started," said Gerso, "and I'm very happy to be able to write a new chapter in the club's history."

    "I am satisfied with our performance against Incheon, a strong team," said Hai Phong head coach Dinh Nghiem, analyzing the reasons for the defeat: "Incheon has good players, especially Hai Phong players who made mistakes at the end of the game, which made the difference in the outcome of the match." 

    Meanwhile, Incheon United's victory in the PO will be followed by a group draw ceremony at the AFC Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 24 at 5 p.m. KST. Based on the results of the draw, the team will begin the ACL group stage in September.

  • Lee Seung-yup trust "I've been at the ballpark for a long time

    "Just being on the bench gives me a lot of strength." (Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop), "I've been at the ballpark for a long time, and if the atmosphere gets bad, I leave." (Yang Ji)

    Doosan's signature star and "irreplaceable" catcher Yang Yang-ji (35) is back. He returned to the field for the first time in 17 days after the game against KT on May 5. He had to rest due to side pain and was suddenly registered in the first team ahead of the game against Gochuk Kiwoom on May 22. Since he hadn't played at all, he was only available as a substitute for the three-game series against Kiwoom on the 22nd and 24th, and he will play as a catcher from the 25th against Jamsil SSG.

    Yang Ji accompanied the players while he was away from the first team. Since he was not in the first team, it would have been impossible for him to give advice to the junior catchers such as Jang Seung-hyun during the game. However, coach Lee Seung-yeop said before the game, "Just being on the bench gives us a lot of strength."

    He's an extraordinary hitter who has made up for Kim Jae-hwan's absence in center field, and a smart catcher who maximizes pitchers' strengths and relentlessly exploits opposing hitters' weaknesses. Yang's value is hard to quantify, but Doosan made his presence felt during the rollercoaster ride that followed his absence.

    Yang drove a wedge into the game with two swings in the top of the eighth inning with a 5-0 lead. He watched a first-pitch pitch from Kiwoom Yoon Seok-won and then pulled a two-pitch fastball for a solo shot to left-center field. It was his 10th consecutive 10-homer game. It was a moment that completely turned the tide of the game in Doosan's favor and showed why they are the No. 1 free agent conglomerate.

    "It was the first time in a long time that I heard loud cheers, and my legs were shaking. It feels good to get the result," Yang said. Lee 사설토토 laughed at his manager's trust and said, "I was almost at the ballpark. I went home when the mood was bad," he said. It was a joke that he couldn't play baseball, but he stayed at the ballpark for a long time.

    His physical condition has improved a lot. "I'm almost recovered," Yang said. I'm cautious about not playing, but I'll be ready to return to the starting lineup on the weekend." When asked about the team's ups and downs, he said, "It was up and down when I was there. We have to do our best until the end."

    Doosan is in a desperate fifth-place battle. They have an advantage over KIA and Lotte at this point, but there's still a month and a half left in the season. The effect of Yang's return to the lineup goes without saying. It's been said that relying on Yang Ji is a weakness, but it's actually a good thing for Doosan because it's done so much more for the team.

  • U20 World Cup 'Golden Ball + Golden Boot' Cassaday leaves Chelsea for Leicester on loan

    'U-20 월드컵 골든볼', '한국전 득점' 카사데이, 유벤투스 러브콜 받았다?

    Cesare Cassaday is set to join Leicester City on loan.

    Transfer market pundit Fabrizio Romano announced on social media on Monday (September 9) that "Leicester have agreed a loan deal with Chelsea for Cassaday. If everything goes according to plan, the medical will take place this week. Chelsea are confident that Enzo Maresca will develop Cassaday."

    Cassaday is an Italian midfielder born in 2003. A product of Inter Milan's youth academy, he moved to Chelsea last summer. Recognizing his potential, Chelsea signed him to a six-year contract. The contract runs until the summer of 2028. The transfer fee was reportedly in the neighborhood of €20 million.

    He didn't play for Chelsea's first team right away. He first joined Chelsea's Under-21 team and then played in the English Premier League 2 (second division). He made a good impression, scoring four goals and one assist in nine games. In the second half of last season, he went on loan to Championship side Reading, where he scored one goal in 15 games.

    Cassaday's stock price has skyrocketed recently. The Italian senior international recently participated in the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023. Leading the team with the captain's armband, Cassaday made a huge impact in the group stage.

    The Italian U-20s were drawn in Group D with Brazil, Nigeria, and the Dominican Republic, and Cassaday scored two goals in their first game against Brazil to lead Italy to a 3-2 victory. He followed that up with a multi-goal performance against Dominica to lead Italy to the round of 16 (and second place in the group).

    Cassaday continued to shine in the quarterfinals, scoring the game-winning goal in the 14th minute against Kim Eun-Joong's South Korea U-20 team to help the Azzurri reach the final. Italy finished as runners-up to Uruguay, but Cassaday won the Golden Ball (best player) and Golden Boot (most goals, seven).

    Cassaday has been linked to Juventus this summer. According to Football Italia, "Juventus are very interested in Chelsea youngster Cassaday. They will push for a loan with a buyout clause."

    A short time later, however, Romano reported that "Juventus are happy with the young players in the club and are no longer 안전놀이터 pursuing the signing of Cassaday," adding that "the player has received three offers from the English Championship (second division), but his priority is to go on loan to teams in the EPL and Serie A."

    Since then, the Leicester rumors have accelerated. On January 1, Romano reported that "Leicester want Cassaday on loan. It's a request from the new Leicester boss, the Italian Maresca. He will be the key to these negotiations. No agreement has been reached yet."

    Leicester is not a team that fits the existing conditions. Leicester were relegated from the EPL to the Championship last season. That could change with the arrival of Maresca, who most recently coached at Manchester City. Maresca and Cassaday share the same Italian background. This could help them grow.

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