My 10 Memorable Moments from World Cup 2014 Round of 16

 

 

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#1: James Rodriguez’s extraordinary chested, half body spun-around, rocket volley of a goal vs Uruguay. My current personal pick for Goal of the Tournament

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#2: Tim Howard (USA) makes an astonishing World Cup record 16 saves vs Belgium!

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#3: Mexican Heartbreak as the El Tri lose 1-2 to Holland after conceding 2 goals in the final 6 minutes, the second one coming off a penalty in injury time 

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#4: Dzemaili’s incredible 120th minute Extra-Time double miss that could have taken the Swiss into a penalty shoot-out with Argentina

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#5: First ever Cooling Breaks during a World Cup match! Methinks if this continues it will really help the Europeans..

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#6: Germany’s ridiculously complicated, awkward and (obviously) FAILED freekick routine vs Algeria

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#7: Pinilla’s 120th minute Extra-Time thunderous strike which struck Brazil’s crossbar which would have given Chile a dramatic upset over hosts Brazil

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#8: Julio Cesar makes TWO big saves to become Brazil’s hero has the hosts scrape into the Quarter Finals

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#9: Extra-Time became the flavour of the Round of 16, where 5 of 8 matches went the extra distance; 2 of which were decided on penalties! Tightest Round methinks!

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#10: Having successfully frustrated Messi for 118 minutes, it only took a moment of brilliance to ‘out of nowhere’ unlock the Swiss defence and set up Di Maria for Argentina’s winner

My 10 Memorable Moments from World Cup 2014 Gameweek 3

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#1: Suarez takes a bite at Italian Chiellini’s shoulder during their final group match. He was eventually served a 9 match ban!

 

#2: Mexico coach Miguel Herrera’s super animated facial celebrations when Mexico booked their spot in the Round of 16 

#3: Swiss Shaqiri’s hattrick vs Honduras. One of his goals is definitely a nominee for Goal of the Tournament. View HERE

 

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#4: Brilliant Messi brace vs Nigeria secures top spot for Argentina in their group. One of his goals was the perfectly executed freekick, above

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#5: All Asian countries knocked out by first round…SIGH. And all disappointingly ended up bottom of the table too!

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#6: Greece scoring an injury-time penalty vs Ivory Coast to seal a 2-1 win and a place in the next Round! Heartbreak for the Africans!

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#7: James Rodriguez comes on at the half and guides Colombia to 4-1 over Japan with two assists and one brilliant solo goal above

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#8: With Portugal already eliminated, Cristiano Ronaldo signs out of the World Cup with his one and only goal

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#9: With the 4-2 trashing of South Korea, Algeria became the African nation to score that many goals at a World Cup!

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#10: For the first time ever, CONCACAF region has THREE (3) representatives in the Round of 16 – Mexico, Costa Rica and USA. Meanwhile the European scrapheap heading home include defending champions Spain, former champions England and Italy, and others like Portugal, Russia, Bosnia and Croatia

 

My 10 Memorable Moments from World Cup 2014 Gameweek 2

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#1: Defending Champions Spain sent crashing out by brilliant Chile 2-0

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#2: The Holland vs Australia thriller which ended in a 3-2 victory for Holland. Breathless.

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#3: Tim Cahill’s stunning volley vs Holland

#4: Suarez scores a brace that sends England to crushing defeat! Second goal even came off a Steven Gerrard ‘assist’!

 

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#5: Swiss Dzemaili’s  35-yard low-rocket vs France

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#6: Messi injury time brilliant winner for Argentina vs Iran

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#7: Cabaye’s unbelievable miss from close range after Benzema’s missed penalty (France vs Switzerland)

#8: Last minute goal by Portugal’s Varela snatches 2-2 draw vs USA that saves Portugal from early elimination

 

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#9: Two wins out of Two! Costa Rica qualifies for the Round of 16 from a group comprising 3 former champions – Italy, England and Uruguay!

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#10: Possibly the most BORING match to-date: Belgium vs Russia… 

My 10 Memorable Moments from World Cup 2014 Gameweek 1

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#1: Free-Kick Spray Paint!

Wonder where the ref keeps it throughout the match? :-p

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#2: Creative Hublot Time/Substitute Board

#3: Van Persie’s “Flying Dutchman” goal vs Spain

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#4: Defending Champs Spain getting a trashing from Holland

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#5: Goal-Line Technology successfully used for first time in World Cup @ France vs Honduras match

Watch the technology in action here:

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/06/goal-line-technology-france-honduras

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#6: Swiss’ Seferovic’s dramatic injury time winner over Ecuador

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#7: Thomas Mueller bags the tournament’s first hat-trick vs Portugal

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#8: Colombia’s well-rehearsed group dance celebrations.

Wonder if we’ll get to see a selfie celebration next?

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#9: First goal of World Cup 2014 was….an OWN GOAL. Poor Marcelo…

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#10: Pepe’s ‘red-carded’ headbutt on Mueller

Fantasy Premier League: 2014 Recap

Two Words: Champion Again!

Woo Hoo! Well…in my mini league of 26 friends, at least. Heh. On a personal note, I was really pleased with this achievement of (still) defending my mini-league title four times already ( 3 times in the Citizen Sports FB League and 1 time in the FPL) since I started to mange fantasy teams! Yeah!

Of the four past seasons, the recent one is probably one of the closest I’ve ever been ran before. I t wasn’t until probably GW37 that I was quite sure none of my friends could catch me. Check out the tussle for the top in my mini-league from GW 25 onwards:

GW25 Leader: Friend P

GW 26: P

GW 27: P

GW 28: P

GW 29: Me

GW 30: Me

GW 31: P

GW 32: P

GW 33: Me

GW 34: Me

GW 35: P

GW 36: Me

GW 37: Me

GW 38: Me!

It was quite an exciting FPL mini league overall. I was consistently in the top three early on in the season. Towards the end of GW10, I briefly took the lead, only to lose it about 3-4 GWs later. My form would stumble badly in the early part of Q2 of the season, falling behind to as badly as 7th place. I then started to pick up pace again after GW20 and played catch up week in, week out, till eventually catching up with the leaders by GW 29. It was really head-to-head from this point on. Exciting stuff. After the final GW38, I finished ahead of my second placed friend by a close 14 points. Phew! Definitely a FPL season to savour. :-)

In summary I amassed a total of 2,254 points, averaging 59.3 points/GW in the process. My overall global rank is at 158,420, out of 3,218,989 total players, just making the top 5% cut. :-) Biggest disappointment was the poor investment of players, making my yield only a measely $5.7M over the entire season, making my team value at $105.7M

Key Plays Down the Stretch:

1. Consistent Scoring: From GW31 till GW38, I had managed to score 60+ points in all but one GW, averaging 70.4 points in that span.

2. Edin Dzeko: Supposedly my third striker, Dzeko was one of my more consistent performers down the stretch, where it was littered with many coaches benching players and injuries, etc.

3. Depth of Bench: With so many double and even triple GWs, coupled with the fact that towards the end many teams were not fighting for much anymore, this led to many leading players being benched. Somehow this helped me because of my bench depth comprising of regular starters too.

4. Wildcard Playing: I thought I played both my wildcards at very timely moments in the season. The first one was played early on, around GW7/8 I think, due to the numerous injuries plaguing my team. I dealt my second WC before the international break, not only to offset the second round of injuries, but also to position a team ready for the final stretch.

5. Suarez Non Performing: With Suarez not firing on all cylinders down the stretch, it was a huge relief to me, whom I didn’t have him on my squad till late on.

Can’t wait for the new FPL season to begin again! :-D

Remembering Almost Human

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It was really a sad, sad day for sci-fi fans around the world…okok, for me, at least..:-P, when FOX decided to pull the plug off sci-fi TV series Almost Human after its first season. Premiering in late November 2013, Almost Human ran its course till around march this year.

Briefly, it was a buddy-cop series set in 2048, where advanced crime has resulted in every human cop pairing up with an android cop. In Almost Human, Det. John Kennex (Karl Urban) was paired up with an older DRN android model named Dorian (Michael Ealy). Personally, I felt the show was very refreshing and owed a lot to the infectious chemistry of the bromance, or ‘ro-bromance’, rather, of the two leads. Week in, week out the show delivered well-scripted procedural shows. Unfortunately, I suppose other factors also crept in which eventually got the show cancelled.

Anyway, I thought one good way of remembering Almost Human was to recall some of the more memorable technology gadgets shown during the series’ run. What’s cooler is that since the show was set in 2048, which isn’t too far off, MOST of these gadgets can easily be a reality in the not too distant future!

Here’s my pick of 15 of ‘em:

1. Virtual Post-Its: Forget those yellow pieces of paper cluttering your office cubicle. Get the idea typed out and simply ‘fling’ it as a virtual post-it on your own house wall! Cool, eh?

2. Sphere Bomb Containment Unit: This round little gadget creates a ball of sphere around the bomb threat so that the explosion is contained within the sphere and saves more lives to those outside the sphere.

3. DNA Bomb: Committed  a crime with evidences, DNA, etc. littered all over the crime scene? Set off one of these gizmos and it will ‘purify’ the crime scene of any DNA.

4. Flash Spray Mask: Spraying this substance on your face will make your face unrecognizable by video cameras.

5. Holographic Face Mask: Gone are the rubber or latex face masks. These holographic face masks can even mask your voices!

6. Hologram Usage: Need a quick medical advice? Make a holographic house call! How do we get a trial witness under protective custody to come to court? Beam the hologram into court!

7. Personalised Ads: Imagine billboards scanning the viewer and automatically displays personalised ads just for you!

8. Meal Dispenser Machines: Vending machines that dispenses meals and food tablets after personalisation

9. Animatric Toys: Being a kid would be great! You’d have toys that could animate themselves with a touch of the finger!

10. Electronic Paper: Reports, presentations, documents, etc…all packaged in a handy e-paper tablet like thingy.

11. Virtual Golf: Transform your home into the ultimate golfing gaming course with a virtual and immersive interface

12. Efficient Cremation: Machines will be built where it can process the entire cremation of a body within seconds!

13. Palm Phone: Virtualization of your mobile phone on the palm of your hands

14. Smarthome Security System: Voice activated, artificial intelligent home security system

15. Robotic Cockroaches: Surveillance Robotic bugs with chips and cameras used in police operations

 

Did you have personal favourite tech on Almost Human? :-)

Hydra, Bloody Hell!

Moyes Hydra Meme

Fantasy Premier League Q3 Review

With 30 GWs completed thus far this season, I have to admit the game in fantasy realm is starting to get exciting!

GW21-30 was pretty important because I was slumping in 3rd place in my mini-league and I knew I had to play some risks and catch up somewhat or not have a chance at all.

Firstly, I was forced to use my Wildcard early on, even before the January transfer window closed. This was (again!) due to the numerous injuries that decimated my squad to a worse than skeleton crew. Simply not enough bench strength to rack up the points to chase the leaders.

Of course, as suspected, the didn’t magically transform my squad into instant champions, but what it did was to stabilise the existing squad strength and provided bench strength as a base to chase the leading pack. With no other strange anomalies like Suarez scoring 5 goals, etc., I was able to rotate sensibly and leverage on my deep bench to provide strong outputs of 73, 69, 55, and 73 points from GW22-25.

Suddenly I was within range again of my mini-league leaders! I might even have caught up sooner if that strong gust of wind didn’t blow away two matches which I had more than 3 players, both my captain and vice were playing. And to add salt to that GW, I made two transfers that week to players who were affected by the weather!! Talk about tough luck!

Fortunately, I was still able to average out about 50-60 points per GW from GW26-30. My key move happened in GW 29 when I dropped Suarez and opted for Rooney, captaining him too, which he repaid me with a goal and assist! That proved to be a crucial differential in a season where almost everyone is stacking their teams with Sturridge and Suarez. The 69 points collected in GW29 was good enough for me to overtake the summit in my mini-league…almost 20 GWs since I led at the top!

Although the current lead is a fragile less than 10 points from the chasing pack, the patient chase from GW10 and eventual topping the mini-league (to-date) is so much more exciting that the season my Man Utd is having these days. :-P Anyway, It is these kinds of exhilaration that makes fantasy football management so much fun!

In summary, as at GW 30, I have accumulated 1,731 points, sitting me in the Global Ranking of 129,819. This is a big improvement from about 266K ranking as at GW10. If there was one area I wish I could have improved more this season, it is in investing. I have failed miserably in this area in which the total value of my team is only 104.7M. Just have a bad feeling all these early bad and bothed investments may yet come back to haunt me before the season is over.

Why? Experience tells me that usually the final stretch of the season is usually controlled or owned by seasoned heavy hitters…which I just cannot afford to buy. Sigh.

With only 8 more GWs to go, I reckon it’s gonna be a very close race in my mini league because there are still a lot of games and twists of double GWs on the horizon. Final stretch. Feeling pumped up. Hopefully Man United are pumped up in the REAL WORLD too! :-D

5 Reasons Why Guardians of the Galaxy Will Rock!

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OK, I confess. When Marvel announced the production of an upcoming superhero team-up movie called Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG), I was quick to earmark it as a major potential to be come the first Marvel Comic Movie flop. After all, it has all the ingredients of a flop splashed all over it – Unknown actors/actresses, barely half the team are played by real humans, not popularly known comic characters, another team-up right on the heels of The Avengers?!, another Marvel movie almost immediately after Captain America 2?, space adventure = no danger to Earth, etc. And besides, Marvel just has to have a  flop sometime soon…..right?

Anyway, many moons have passed since my knee-jerk judgment. Since then, they have released a pretty cool trailer. Check it out below:

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And I have to totally retract my earlier statement. Now I firmly believe that GOTG is gonna be one of the bigger, if not the BIGGEST movie this summer.

Here are FIVE reasons why:

1. Anti-Heroism. There is just something about being a badass, anti-hero type that appeals to the current generation of movie-goers. Not sure if this was heavily influenced by good ol’ Wolverine himself, but it is a fact that people tend to prefer the naughty heroes compared to the goody-two shoes type, like erm…Cyclops? And in GOTG, we not only get one anti-hero, but FIVE of them…all on the same screen! You’re Welcome.

2. Rocket Raccoon is CUTE! Where else can you find a gun-toting, tactical specialist, demolitions expert, sarcastic, fouled-mouthed hero all bundled into one cute furry Raccoon? If all else fails (eg. plot, action sequences, acting, special effects, etc.) GOTG can always depend on good old Rocky to pull in the crowd of kids who should in turn pull in their parents too! Can already foresee what this summer’s hottest plush toy will be…

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3. Tie-In to Avengers 2 and 3. As it was teased in the end credits of The Avengers that Thanos would be appearing sometime, somewhere in a Marvel movie (possibly Avengers 3), there is a very strong link between GOTG and The Avengers by way of Thanos! For example, Gamora is apparently the adopted daughter of Thanos and Drax was actually specially constructed and designed to destroy Thanos! It’s no wonder Marvel smartly chose GOTG as a link to connect Thanos to the Avengers, eventually. So in short…if you’re excited about The Avengers, you gotta watch GOTG to complete all links. You’re Welcome.

4. Human Leader. OK, OK. Not entirely true. Although GOTG’s leader, Starlord is actually a human/Spartoi hybrid, he doesn’t have any enhanced superpowers. Armed with his blasters and wise-cracking mouth, he is ultimately a hero everyone of us can identify with. Becoming like Drax, Gamora or even Groot is fantasy, but everyone can dream of becoming another Peter Quill, right? :-P And that is very important in attracting the masses! You’re Welcome.

5. Flexibility. Although many may claim GOTG are not as well known compared to the likes of Iron Man, Thor, Cap, etc. I would like to believe that that fact may actually work to the advantage of GOTG. By having less ‘picky’ eyes on certain characters or even comic-book material to work from, this would actually give the director more freedom in creating a really fun, humourous, swashbuckling space adventure that people would enjoy. Even the trailer and promo teasers so far is quite unorthodox and refreshing from other Marvel projects, and this just gives me a good feeling about the movie. You’re Welcome.

Are you ready for GOTG  this August?

Fantasy Premier League Q2 Review

Nightmare. Insidious. Sinister. Desolation. Not Good.

Some words to sum up GW11 – GW20 of my FPL campaign. Sigh. After sitting aloft my friend’s league throughout Q1, I had continued to plummet so deep till even 4th place somewhere in GW18. I only managed to claw back to 3rd place as at GW20.

Main factors of my drop?

#1. Suarez – Failed to pick him up when he came back from suspension. Figured Sturridge would provide excellent differential to all other template managers who picked him up. Sigh…turns out Suarez was to be another (and perhaps the BEST) streak performer along with Ramsey, Coleman, Barkley, etc. which I had also missed out. Double sigh.

#2. Injuries. Injuries was what forced me to play my WC earlier on this season and it was injuries again that is hurting me in Q2. Good news about these injuries is that they are also causing massive template break-ups for other managers too.

As at GW 20, I have amassed 1,153 points, putting me at a global rank of 266,057 (big drop from sub 50K global in GW10). My investment skills have been pretty bad this year too as I only managed to increase my team value up to 104.5M. At this rate I can forget about finishing my season with heavy hitters…sigh.

So what do I do NOW?

Well, for everyone else in the same predicament as mua, ie. CHASING the leaders…here are some useful pointers:

1. Research and play the January WC well. This would be our only chance to even up the playing field once more with the leading pack. Of course it would also mean buying players at premium prices. If you are not in a rush to earn a couple of bucks buying ‘sure-rise’ players right now like Eriksen, Walcott, etc. my advise is to WAIT till AFTER the REALITY transfer deadline closes to see what new players have been brought into the BPL for the second part of the season.

2. Risk differential line-ups. With the leading pack obviously sporting some similar template line-up right now, it is crucial that we pick out a line-up that is different from that. How else would we be able to catch up if we also sport the same lineup, right?

3. Risk picking CAPTAINS that are not popular choices. For example, Suarez is the most likely choice of everyone for the captain’s armband. Why not pick SOMEONE ELSE so that we’d stand a chance to gain some ground in the event that Suarez doesn’t deliver. :-)

Of course, the exciting thing about being behind in FPL is the fun of catching up with the leaders. Looking ahead for the next half of the season! :-D

 

 

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