Go-o-o-o-o-al!

The sOccket harnesses the kinetic motion energy of the soccer ball during normal game play and stores it for later power needs.

via sOccket.com How It Works.

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The Beautiful Game

Groups of ultras organized around rival clubs began appearing in Egypt within the past decade. Although rival fans often clashed, all shared a common culture of obscene chants, special firecrackers and instruments, and a violent hatred of the police who usually try to control them. Some paint vulgar insults to the police on walls around Cairo. In the year since the uprising against Mr. Mubarak, the ultras have increasingly found that political demonstrations are good for practicing their second favorite sport, fighting with police officers.

via Police Kill 4 Protesters as Egyptians Unleash Fury Over Soccer Riot Deaths – NYTimes.com.

No one yet has been able to defuse the visceral hatred that runs through Scottish soccer. But in its latest effort to tackle game-related violence, the Scottish government recently passed a law making it illegal for fans to attack one another using religious, ethnic, regional or violent historical slurs in songs, chants, Internet postings or even stray remarks at a stadium or pub. …no one is allowed to take part in once-common chants in which fans goad their opponents by gleefully rehashing past tragedies like players’ untimely deaths, or, in the case of Rangers, the infamous 1971 incident in which 66 fans were crushed and asphyxiated to death at Ibrox as they rushed for the exits.

via Scottish Government Takes on Soccer Violence – NYTimes.com.

Q.P.R. 2, Aston Villa 2 (Zagat-style)

Djibril Cisse took just 12 minutes to open his QPR account – but Rangers had to settle for a point after surrendering a two-goal lead at Villa Park.”

“Cisse’s fierce strike from the edge of the penalty area and a comical own goal by Stephen Warnock put Rangers in the driving seat.” But Aston Villa, “booed off at the break,” “were transformed in the second half.” “Villa pulled one back on the stroke of halftime when striker Darren Bent turned in an Alan Hutton cross at the near post. And the resurgent hosts equalised 11 minutes from time.”

“QPR were also thankful to debutant [Neduma] Onuhoa” and “Paddy Kenny’s reflexes,” “a solid foil in defence.”

via West London Sport; The Guardian; Telegraph; Kilburn Times; Sky News; and BBC Sport

Chelsea 1, Q.P.R. 0 (Zagat-style)

“On an incessantly sour and hostile afternoon,” a “toxic tie between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea was settled by a controversial second-half penalty.”

“It was Daniel Sturridge” and not “the race row involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand” “who caused the one moment of on-field acrimony.” Sturridge “fell to the turf” “with Clint Hill beside him and the QPR defender immediately remonstrated, accusing Sturridge of diving.” “Television replays suggested it was a harsh decision,” but Chelsea’s Juan “Mata coolly netted his eighth goal of the season.”

“Chelsea were dictating the pace of the game but lacked a cutting edge.”

via The Associated Press; The Observer; Mail Online; West London Sport; and Kilburn Times

Q.P.R. 3, Wigan 1 (Zagat-style)

Heidar Helguson, Akos Buzsaky and Tommy Smith scored as QPR gave new manager Mark Hughes his first league victory” — 3-1 against visiting Wigan on Saturday. “With both sides languishing in the drop zone,” “it was pacy and entertaining to the close” “in swirling conditions in West London.”

While Joey “Barton thanked [the former manager Neil Warnock] with a tirade of criticism on Twitter,” the unassuming Buzsaky “has been out to prove his point in a very different way.” Buzsaky enjoyed “a fine game alongside Barton in central midfield,” repeatedly testing Wigan goaltender Ali Al-Habsi before giving Q.P.R. “a commanding [2-0] lead at the break.”

“It was only a second home league win of the season for QPR, but” “the Hoops are now 16th and clear of danger, for the moment at least.”

via Bloomberg; The Observer; West London Sport; Kilburn Times; and Yahoo! Eurosport.

Q.P.R. 1, MK Dons 0 (Zagat-style)

Premier League struggler Queens Park Rangers was rescued from potential embarrassment,” recording “their first win under new boss Mark Hughes, and their first in the FA Cup for 11 years” — 1-0 against MK Dons.

In the 73rd minute, Danny Gabbidon “eased above Shaun Williams to head in his first goal for QPR.” Gabbidon’s goal “means Anton Ferdinand and John Terry could meet on the pitch days before they meet in court” in Terry’s racial abuse trial.

Rangers “were pushed hard by their third-tier opponents, with there little to choose between the two sides for much of the contest.” MK Dons “matched QPR every step of the way for a second match running.” It was “a shoddy performance despite the home team fielding almost their current first-choice line-up.”

via TSN; Mail Online; Sky Sports; The Guardian; MirrorFootball.co.uk; BBC Sport – QPR 1-0 MK Dons; and West London Sport.

Newcastle 1, Q.P.R. 0 (Zagat-style)

Rangers talk about how they are going places” but after a 1-0 loss at Newcastle “they must act quickly to prevent that place being the Championship.” “Q.P.R. went into this match having taken just 2 points from a possible 24” and goals are the biggest problem — “just 19 in 22 Premier League games now.” “The loss in Mark Hughes’s first match in charge left Q.P.R.” solidly lodged inside the relegation zone.

Early in the game, “Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul scrambled to save shots from Heidar Helguson and Akos Buzsaky.” But Rangers “lacked a cutting edge and were let down by careless finishing in front of goal.” “Newcastle recovered” and Leon Best “scored the only goal in the 37th minute.” After “Rangers failed to clear their lines,” Best, an “Ireland international collected a pass from Ryan Taylor, cut inside right back Luke Young and sidefooted into the far corner.”

“There was no real evidence here of what is seen so often when a new manager is hired and a malfunctioning team is suddenly invigorated.” “Hughes has been left with plenty to ponder.” “This is a side urgently in need of new ideas.” By the end of the game, “Hughes was back in more familiar territory,” “lobbing a big insult at Chris Foy, the referee.”

via The Associated Press; The Telegraph; The Independent; Mail Online; BBC Sport; The Guardian; West London Sport; Hughes’ first game as QPR manager ends in defeat to Newcastle – QPR – Kilburn Times

Q.P.R. 1, MK Dons 1 (Zagat-style)

“Queens Park Rangers required a last-minute equalizer by Heidar Helguson to secure a 1-1 draw and a replay against third-tier MK Dons in the F.A. Cup.”

Rangers were short five regulars “with Joey Barton suspended, Armand Traore and Adel Taarabt en route to the Africa Cup of Nations, Paddy Kenny and Anton Ferdinand rested and Jay Bothroyd on the substitutes’ bench.”

Q.P.R. has “not won a single tie in the competition since 2001 and looked set for another immediate exit when Helguson lost possession” in front of his own goal, “allowing Dean Bowditch to fire the home side ahead on 64 minutes.” The Dons’ “record crowd were celebrating but Helguson pounced on a defensive mix-up in the final minute,” earning a replay at Loftus Road on Jan. 17.

Rangers, who struggled to create chances” after falling behind, really were “disappointing throughout, taking until the half-hour to offer a first real threat. Before then, it was the Dons who pressed” with Jabo Ibehre and the former Manchester United winger Luke Chadwick. “Rangers looked like they were missing the influence” of Barton, “but they started the second period with much more intent, driven on by the creativity of Federico Macheda.” However, after Q.P.R.’s Diego Faurlin “fell to the floor in agony after stretching for the ball,” Rangers “were left with only 10 men because they had made all their substitutions.”

Norwich 2, Q.P.R. 1

Barton sent off as QPR lose again: Joey Barton scored and was later sent off as QPR’s alarming decline continued. Barton netted from 10 yards out following Clint Hill’s left-wing cross but was then given his marching orders after lashing out at Bradley Johnson. The dismissal gave Norwich a massive boost and they equalised when Anthony Pilkington found the bottom corner with a fine left-footed strike from outside the penalty area. And Steve Morison’s late goal won it for City, who are safely nestled in mid-table and enjoying a smoother return to the Premier League than Rangers despite their relatively moderate spending.
QPR 1-2 Norwich City | Premier League match report | Football | guardian.co.uk: Stephen Fry tweeted regarding the incident that lit up this contest for the wrong reason: “Great excitement here at Loftus Road. Joey Barton scored for the Rs and has now been sent off for head-butting/spitting. Such larks.” …QPR wilted following his departure on 35 minutes, and walked off at the break level after Anthony Pilkington’s impressive 30-yard shot. In the stick-or-twist position Neil Warnock swapped Shaun Wright-Phillips for Jamie Mackie, with new loan signing Federico Macheda not entering until the 80th minute.
Barton red the turning point, as Norwich beat QPR – QPR – Kilburn Times: New signing Federico Macheda made his QPR debut late in the game, but the striker on loan from Manchester United had little time to make an impact in a frenzied second half. …Macheda started on the bench for Rangers, while Warnock made five changes to his starting line-up, with Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill, Anton Ferdinand, Shaun Derry and Heidar Helguson coming back into the side after Saturday’s defeat at Arsenal.
Queens Park Rangers 1 Norwich City 2: match report – Telegraph: “So often Joey Barton stands accused of playing the game with his heart rather than his head. Here, it was his head that got him into trouble, an off-the-ball butt on Bradley Johnson earning him a red card and very possibly costing QPR three points. We could argue back and forth about the semantics of whether it was actually a butt or a nudge of the forehead, whether there was anything more than the most gentle of contacts, whether Johnson’s thespian reaction was really a proportionate response. The fact was that Barton inclined his head towards that of Johnson, and not, we can be certain, in deference.
QPR 1 Norwich 2: Joey Barton goes from hero to villain | Mail Online: QPR, though, took the lead with their first real attack on 11 minutes as Norwich again failed to keep a clean sheet. The ball was pushed out to the left to Clint Hill, and his low centre travelled straight through the visitors defence, with Rangers captain Barton arriving on cue to fire his shot past John Ruddy from 12 yards.