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February 29, 2016

2015-16 FA Cup, Sixth Round: location-map, with current average attendances & fixtures list, featuring the 7 clubs that have qualified for the 6th round proper and the 2 clubs with a 5th round replay (Arsenal & Hull City)/ + an illustration of the managers & top scorer(s) for each club.

Filed under: 2015-16 FA Cup — admin @ 9:12 pm

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2015-16 FA Cup, Sixth Round: location-map, with current average attendances & fixtures list, featuring the 9 clubs still alive in the competition as of 1 March 2016




By Bill Turianski on 29 February 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-The competition…2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-BBC’s FA Cup page…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).

    The managers and the top scorer(s) of the 9 teams still alive in the 2015-16 FA Cup, as of 7 March 2016
    (Goals from all competitions in 2015-16, inclusive to 29 February 2016)…

2015-16_fa-cup_6th-round_9-teams_managers-and-top-scorers_arsenal_chelsea_crystal-palace_everton_hull-city_manchester-utd_reading_watford_west-ham-utd_i_.gif
Photo credits above –
Arsenal: Arsene Wenger, photo by Stuart MacFarlane at gettyimages.co.uk; Olivier Giroud, photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Chelsea: Guus Hiddink, photo by Chelsea FC at chelseafc.com/news; Diego Costa, photo by Mathew Impey/Wiredphotos.co.uk via dailymail.co.uk/football.
Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew, photo by Paul Greenwood/BPI via dailymail.co.uk/football; Yohan Cabaye, photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com; Scott Dann, photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com; Wilfried Zaha, photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Everton: Roberto Martinez, photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images via theguardian.com/football/blog ; Romelu Lukaku, photo by Everton FC at evertonfc.com/news.
Hull City: Steve Bruce, photo by Clive Ross/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com; Abel Hernández, photo by yorkshirepost.co.uk/football.
Manchester Utd: Louis van Gall, photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com; Wayne Rooney, photo by nbcsports.com/[Premier League].
Reading: Brian McDermott, photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images via gettyimages.com; Matěj Vydra, photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Watford: Quique Sánchez Flores, photo unattributed at espnfc.com; Odion Igalho, photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
West Ham Utd: Slaven Bilić, photo by West Ham United FC at whufc.com/news. Dmitri Payet, photo by Getty Images via telegraph.co.uk/football. Réunion flag [unofficial], flags.net/[French Overseas Department of Réunion]
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Thanks to all at the links below…
-Contributors at 2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg.
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.

-Current average attendance figures from Worldfootball.net.
-Stadium capacities, from List of football stadiums in England [listed by capacity] (en.wikipedia.org).

February 17, 2016

2015-16 FA Cup, Fifth Round Proper: location-map, with current average attendances & fixtures list (16 clubs)/ + illustrated article: 44 years ago this month, the greatest FA Cup upset ever: 5 February 1972 FA Cup 3rd Round replay, Hereford Utd 2-1 Newcastle Utd (aet).

Filed under: 2015-16 FA Cup — admin @ 11:02 pm

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2015-16 FA Cup, Fifth Round Proper: location-map, with current average attendances & fixtures list (16 clubs)



By Bill Turianski on 17 February 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Preview…FA Cup fifth round: 10 things to look out for this weekend…(theguardian.com/football).
-The competition…2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-5th Round fixtures… 2015-16 FA CUP 5TH ROUND (soccerway.com).
-BBC’s FA Cup page…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).

    Breaking news [~15 Feb. 2016]…Under pressure from the Premier League, the FA considers scrapping all FA Cup replays…

-From Telegraph.co.uk, from 15 Feb.2016, by Ben Rumsby, FA Cup could become midweek competition with no replays (telegraph.co.ukfootball).

-From bbc.uk/football, from 16 Feb.2016, by Saj Chowdhury… FA Cup replays: Relive some of the competition’s best ever (article with several highlight videos, at bbc.co.uk/football). As commenter Zee Zee Top says (in the comments section in the BBC article linked to above)…’ “The FA are in talks with the Premier League”. In that sentence you can see all that is wrong with English football. Why should the Premier League have the power on the level of the FA? As with every thing else in the country the richest get sway and power over everything else – the sooner Scudamore and his pack of Sky thieves can be kicked out of football the better. Beyond a joke now.’…(comment by Zee Zee Top on 16 Feb. 2016 at bbc.co.uk/sport/football).

Scrapping FA Cup replays would be a shame and a disservice to all the small, lower-League, and non-League clubs in English football…
FA Cup replays are a vital source of revenue for lower-League and non-League clubs. As John Ashdown says in the Guardian/football article linked to at the top of this post, ‘Smaller clubs handed away draws at the big boys need the carrot of a replay. So suck it up, Premier League. Replays need to stay.’

Arguably the greatest FA Cup upset ever was in a replay match, and that was the match between Hereford United and Newcastle United, which took place in February of 1972. It was a thrice-postponed replay of a 3rd round fixture, won in epic fashion by the now-defunct-and-back-then-non-League Hereford United. That match, for all intents and purposes, effectively propelled Hereford United into the Football League the following season.

    44 years ago this month, was the greatest FA Cup upset ever: Hereford Utd 2-1 Newcastle Utd (aet)

-Video highlights (0:46 video) Hereford Utd v Newcastle Utd 5 Feb 1972 (Hereford Utd Goals) (BBC game-video uploaded by Simon Bonelle at youtube.com)
-Longer video highlights (7:20 video) 5/02/72 Hereford United v Newcastle United (ESPN re-broadcast of BBC game-video uploaded by Gr8Footy at youtube.com).

-Best FA Cup tie ever (2007 Observer Sport/E.ON poll)…winner: Hereford Utd 2-1 Newcastle Utd [1971-72 FA Cup 3rd Round replay from 5 Feb. 1972]. Article, with recollections of players and other participants, as told to Jamie Jackson…It’ll Never Happen (The Observer via theguardian.com/football).

The now-defunct Hereford United FC existed from 1924 to 2014, and spent 31 seasons in the Football League (last in 2011-12). The club reached the second tier (the old Second Division) in 1976-77, its best league position. (A Phoenix club now exists, the 9th level/Midland Football League club Hereford FC.) Hereford United were a semi-pro team back then in the early 1970s, and, back in the days before there was any automatic promotion-&-relegation between the Football League and non-League football [ie, pre-1986-87], Hereford United were a long-time member of the Southern League. Meanwhile, Newcastle United were, of course, a long-established top flight club (NUFC finished in 11th place in the First Division in 1971-72).

As a non-League team, Hereford entered the 1971-72 FA Cup competition in the 4th qualifying round, beating local rivals Cheltenham Town. Then Hereford beat another non-League side, King’s Lynn, in the 1st round in November 1971 (in a replay, by the score of 1-0, in front of 7 thousand in Hereford). Then Hereford beat 4th Division side Northampton Town in the 2nd round in December 1971 (by the score of 2-1, in Hereford, in front of 8 thousand).

Then Hereford drew a 3rd round match-up with Newcastle United for the 3rd round in early January 1972. Five thousand Hereford supporters made the 330 km (or 207 mile) trip up north to St James Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the Bulls shocked the talent-laden Newcastle squad (which featured 6 internationals), playing them to a 2-2 draw before a crowd of 39,301 (which was near-temporary-capacity, as Newcastle were rebuilding part of their ground at the time).

The replay was set for Hereford’s Edgar Street ground, but then there were 3 postponements due to a waterlogged pitch. So when the rescheduled match was finally played in early February 1972, it was being played at the same time as the 4th round proper, and it was to be played on a chewed up and very muddy pitch. It was quagmire, to put it plainly, one which could really only benefit the underdogs.

It was a nationally-broadcast match on BBC. An overflow-capacity crowd of 14,313 was on hand, but that official attendance figure is rather low, because Hereford had printed up extra tickets, plus there were extra fans perched on trees that overlooked the ground, as well as there being many fans precariously placed on the floodlight pylons (which you can see in a photo below). The real crowd there that day was estimated to be over 16,000. In the screenshots below you can see just how packed-in the crowd was.

Newcastle were on the attack from the start, but Hereford GK Fred Potter made several key saves, with the red-clad Newcastle hitting the woodwork a couple times as well. Hereford also hit the post, early on in the 2nd half. There was no scoring until very late in the match, when the Newcastle and England FW Malcolm ‘Supermac’ Macdonald headed in a deep cross from MF Viv Busby (in the 82nd minute/see 1st fuzzy screenshot below). It was Macdonald’s 23rd goal of the season (he scored 32 goals in all competitions in 1972-72). That was when 31-year-old Hereford player/manager Colin Addison made a substitution, replacing Hereford-born DF Roger Griffiths with MF Ricky George. Griffiths had suffered a broken leg earlier in the game but had played on (!). That player-substitution would prove to be crucial. Three minutes after Newcastle had taken the lead, Hereford equalized with a 30-yard wonder-strike by part-time carpenter Ronnie Radford, in the 85th minute (see 2nd fuzzy screenshot below). Radford’s thunderous goal came off a neat give-and-go with FW Brian Owen. An in-game pitch invasion ensued (see 3rd fuzzy screenshot below). Delirious joy in Heredfordshire. When that pitch invasion was finally sorted, the match resumed, and a little bit later regulation time ended at 1-1, so the 30-minute added-extra-time was to be played. In the 23rd minute of aet (103′), Ronnie Radford found MF Dudley Tyler on the right, who passed it into the box to that late substitution, Ricky George, who found some space, turned and shot a daisy-cutter which slid into the net just inside the far post (see 4th fuzzy screenshot below). There then was another bonkers pitch invasion by the giddy Hereford faithful. The Bulls held off Newcastle for the rest of added extra time, and a giant-killing of legendary proportions had just occurred. And then, of course, a third pitch invasion ensued (see photos and 5th fuzzy screenshot further below).

Four days later, on 9 Feb. 1972, Hereford, having drawn West Ham United in the 4th round, played that First Division team to a 0-0 standstill at Edgar Street in front of another overflow-capacity crowd (estimated at ~15,000). But five days after that, on 14 Feb. 1972, Hereford’s fairy-tale 71/72 Cup-run ended in a 2-1 loss to the Hammers in front of 42 thousand at the Boleyn Ground in East London.

Three months later, Hereford United finished in second place in the 1971-72 Southern League, 2 points behind Chelmsford City. And, finally, in the summer of 1972, five months after their historic Cup-upset-win over Newcastle, Hereford United were elected to the Football League Fourth Division, for the 1972-73 season.

-From FourFourTwo.com, from Jan.2015, by Leo Moynihan, Hereford vs Newcastle: Ronnie, Motty, Supermac & Co. on the FA Cup’s greatest-ever upset

    The greatest FA Cup upset ever: 5 February 1972 FA Cup 3rd Round replay, Hereford Utd 2-1 Newcastle Utd (aet)

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Photo credits above – Newcastle Utd and Hereford Utd early 1970s jersey badges from historicalkits.co.uk/Newcastle_United & historicalkits.co.uk/Hereford_United/Hereford_United. Screenshot of ESPN re-broadcast of BBC game-video uploaded by Gr8Footy at 05/02/72 Hereford United v Newcastle United (youtube.com). 3 screenshots of BBC game-video uploaded by Simon Bonelle at Hereford Utd v Newcastle Utd 5 Feb 1972 (Hereford Utd Goals) (youtube.com). In-game-time pitch invasion by Hereford fans after the Radford goal, photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk. Post-game pitch invasion, photo from Popperfoto/Getty Images/Bentley Archive via Memory Lane: the FA Cup third round – in pictures (theguardian.com/football/gallery/2015/jan). Hereford Utd home kit illustration and early 1970s Hereford Utd crest, illustrations by Historical Football Kits site at historicalkits.co.uk/Hereford_United/Hereford_United. Ronnie Radford, Ricky George, and teammates celebrate afterwards in the dressing room, photo unattributed at fourfourtwo.com.
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Thanks to all at the links below…
-Contributors at 2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg.
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg

-Current average attendance figures from Worldfootball.net.
-Stadium capacities, from List of football stadiums in England [listed by capacity] (en.wikipedia.org).

-Thanks to the contributors at Hereford United 2–1 Newcastle United (en.wikipedia.org).

February 1, 2016

2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2015 Copa Libertadores champions River Plate.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 10:19 pm

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2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition





Links…
-Video-with-goals of the 2nd leg, 2015 Copa Libertadores Finals…River Plate 3×0 Tigres – Copa Libertadores 2015 – Final (1:36 video uploaded by FootballMania at youtube.com).
-Fixtures…COPA LIBERTADORES [2016/1st Stage].
-Fixtures…COPA LIBERTADORES [2016/2nd Stage/aka Group Stage] (soccerway.com).
-Competition…Copa Libertadores
-Teams…2016 Copa Libertadores/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).

    2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2015 Copa Libertadores champions River Plate

By Bill Turianski on 1 February 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
Map…
The map shows the locations of the 38 clubs who have qualified for the 2016 Copa Libertadores. In the profile boxes flanking the map are the clubs, sorted by home-country. The profile boxes show: the club’s name, plus…
1). Their city-location,
2). Their stadia and capacities,
3). Their means of qualifying,
4). Their pro national titles,
5). Their total Copa Libertadores appearances (with their last appearance noted),
6). Their Copa Libertadores titles (with their last title noted).
7). Club crests and current home kits are also included in the profile boxes.

Format of the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores (it is very similar to the format of the UEFA Champions League)…
2016 will be the 57th edition of the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores de América, known in the English-speaking football world as the Copa Libertadores. The competition begins in early February, when the preliminaries [official name: the "First Stage"] whittle down the 12 lowest-seeded teams into 6. {Here are the First Stage match-ups (en.wikipedia.org).}

Those 6 teams which win their Preliminaries/First Stage ties advance to the Group Stage [official name: the "Second Stage"]. Just like the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, the Copa Libertadores “Second Stage” has 32 teams seeded into 8 groups of 4. {Here are the Second Stage groups (en.wikipedia.org).}

The Group Stage/Second Stage begins in mid-February and is a 6-game round-robin format, which runs through to late April. The top 2 in each group (16 teams total) advance to the Knockout Rounds [official name: the "Final Stages"]. The Knockout Rounds/Final Stages begin in early May, and are also seeded, and all are two-legged ties with away-goals rule. The Finals, unlike the UEFA Champions League Final, is also a two-legged match-up, but with no away-goals rule.

River Plate are Cup Holders…
Reigning Copa Libertadores champions are the Argentinian giants River Plate, of Buenos Aires, who, on 5 August 2015, won their third Copa Libertadores title (and their first Copa Libertadores title in 18 years), by beating Tigres de la UANL (of Monterrey, Mexico), by the score of 3-0 aggregate. Note: There is an illustration further below on the 2016 Copa Libertadores 2nd-Leg of the Finals (River Plate 3-0 UANL de Tigres, at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, before a full-capacity crowd of 71,000 on 5 Aug.2015).

Qualification…
As to who qualifies for the Copa Libertadores each season (from the 10 South American countries within CONMEBOL), the simple explanations are…
A). The Copa Libertadores winner, aka the Cup Holder [again, currently, River Plate of Buenos Aires], automatically qualifies for the Copa Libertadores the following season.
B). Brazil and Argentina get 5 Copa Libertadores spots each season, while the other 8 South American countries in CONMEBOL get 3 Copa Libertadores spots each.
C). The higher-seeded Copa Libertadores spots are generally awarded thus…a spot or 2 spots goes to the title-winner or title-winners from the previous season…from each of the 10 countries.
D). Plus, usually, a Copa Libertadores spot goes to the country’s second-place-finisher the previous season (and spots go to the 3rd-and-4th-place finishers from the previous season in Brazil).
E). Finally, the third-or-final Copa Libertadores spot in each country usually goes to the national Cup winner there in each country.
F). Argentina has the most complicated qualifying format, featuring one Copa Libetadores spot going to the winner of a post-season-mini-league tournament for 3rd-through-6th-place-league-finishers (that mini-tournament is called the Liguilla Pre-Libertadores). And Argentina, alone of the 10 South American countries in CONMEBOL, rewards their best-finisher-in-the-Copa-Sudamericana with a Copa Libertadores spot the following season (this is brilliant, and it helps keep the Copa Sudamericana relevant in Argentina). [The Copa Sudamericana is South America's less-prestigious/also-rans-competition, it being analogous to UEFA's Europa League.]
G). The Copa Sudamericana winner automatically qualifies for the Copa Libertadores the next season. (Copa Sudamericana.) When that club has not qualified via other means, one of the spots for that club’s country gets bumped over to the Copa Sudamerica winner (usually that spot is the the 3rd-spot/best-non-champions-not-yet-qualified).
Since 2011, none of Mexico’s 3 Copa Libertadores spots go to the league champions, and are awarded in a bat-shit-crazy way…
H). Since 2011, Mexico bizarrely places their champions (from the previous Clausura & Apertura seasons) into the way-less prestigious CONCACAF Champions League, and Mexico places the next-best finishers in the way-more prestigious Copa Libertadores. {See this, Liga MX/CONCACAF Champions League qualification/Copa Libertadores qualification.} I am pretty sure they (the Mexican football authorities) do this so that they have a better chance of having a Mexican team win that tin-pot tournament (which USA-&-Canada-based teams from MLS never win/14 years running), and thus have a Mexican team qualify for another tin-pot tournament, the FIFA Club World Cup. You see, if a Mexican team ever wins a Copa Libertadores title, that club – because it is not part of CONMEBOL – would not be allowed to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup (a tournament which is vastly ignored by European football fans). Mexican football authorities would rather their best clubs qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup – which a Mexican team has never actually won. It is beyond me why anyone, given the option, would want their best teams to play in the lame CONCACAF Champions League, as opposed to the mighty Copa Libertadores. I mean come on – try to find a top-shelf-caliber player who would rather play in the CONCACAF Champions League as opposed to the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores. You will not find one, because the CONCACAF Champions League is bush-league. It would be like trying to find someone who would rather play in the Canadian Football League instead of the NFL. Actually what the Mexican football authorities have done by sending non-champions to fill their Copa Libertadores spots is this…they have tweaked it so that their best teams go play in a tin-pot-tournament (CONCACAF Champions League) in order to then have their best teams then get a better chance of qualifying foranother tin-pot-tournament (the FIFA Club World Cup). Hey Mexico, why are you so driven to win a FIFA Club World Cup title? Because it ain’t much of a title. Elite European football clubs give a rat’s ass about that stupid tournament, and so do most fans of European club football. You (Mexico) should be trying to get your best clubs on track to finally win your first-ever Copa Libertadores title. Because Mexican clubs are getting closer to winning a first Copa Libertadores title, but meanwhile, by not sending their top three clubs, the Mexican football authorities are undermining their competitiveness in the competition. Mexican clubs have made it to the Copa Libertadores Finals three times…in 2001, with Cruz Azul losing to Boca Juniors 1-1 aggregate on penalties; in 2010, with Guadalajara losing to Internacional 5-3 aggregate; and last year in 2015, with Tigres de UANL losing to River Plate 3-0 aggregate. It stands to reason that the top Mexican teams would have fared better than the also-rans. Sheesh. Talk about misplaced priorities. Mexican pro futbol is cheapening their brand by sending their also-rans to the Copa Libertadores. Because the Copa Libertadores is, hands down, not only the pinnacle of professional football competitions in South America, it is the greatest football competition in all of the Western Hemisphere.

    2015 Copa Libertadores champions: CA River Plate.

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Photo credits above – Lucas Alario celebrates his goal, photo by Amilcar Orfali/STR at gettyimages.com. Carlos Sanchez penalty kick goal, photo by Gabriel Rossi/STF at gettyimages.com. Funes Mori celebrating goal, photo by AFP/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo celebrates with players, photo by Gabriel Rossi/STF at gettyimages.de. Screenshot of video, River Plate Champions of the Copa Libertadores 2015 River plate vs Tigres 3-0 (05/08/2015) (uploaded by ChrisRon 7 at youtube.com). Photo of River players celebrating with trophy, photo by Reuters via telesurtv.net.
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Thanks to all at the following links…
2016 Copa Libertadores/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Copa Libertadores (1960-2015) Club Histories…Copa Libertadores 1960-2015 Club Histories (rsssf.com).

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