Missed Goal Scoring Opportunities From Being A One-Footed Soccer Player

As a youth soccer coach and trainer, I have seen the disadvantages of not being two-footed. Because of this handicap many goal scoring opportunities are lost. Sometimes in soccer matches, a ball is played across the penalty area, and all the recipient of the pass has to do is just tap the ball in with the weaker foot, but because of this lack of confidence in that weaker foot, the player reluctantly choose to use his/her stronger foot. You know the rest! The ball is mishandled since the player was not positioned correctly to use the stronger foot, and what should have been an easy goal if the weaker foot was used turns out to be a missed opportunity. These missed opportunities happen a lot in soccer.

I witnessed this during the UEFA Euro 2012 Tournament. On June 9th 2012, the Netherlands played Denmark in group play of the tournament. It was almost the end of the first half and Denmark was already leading 1-0. The Netherlands were attacking. Then a pass from the left side of the pitch was played through to the Netherland’s top striker Robin Van Persie in the penalty area. Everyone familiar with International soccer knows Van Persie is left footed and relies heavily on that foot. The ball should have been handled with the inside of the right foot, but instead Van Persie received the ball with the outside of his left foot and made a bad first touch. His final shot due to the poor first touch was no test for the Germany goalkeeper. In short, Van Persie missed a golden opportunity to equalize for his team.

A finer touch with the appropriate foot may have created a better goal scoring opportunity. However, to his credit, four days later in the Netherlands second group play against rivals Germany, Van Persie scored the only goal for his team in the 2-1 loss to Germany. He received and controlled a pass nicely with his right foot, played it quickly to his left foot. He advanced with the ball with pace, got about four touches with his left foot and scored with an excellent shot outside the penalty area with his right foot (his weak foot). I’m sure he was criticized for not having faith in his right foot four days earlier, but being the top goal scorer that he is; Van Persie made the correct decision in the Germany game by striking the ball with his weak foot which allowed him to earn his first goal of the tournament.

Being two footed is a good attribute for a soccer player to have and coaches at high level look for those qualities in a soccer player. A player that can play with both feet may be in a sense twice as valuable as a player who is one footed. Further, a two-footed striker or forward will be able to score twice as much soccer goals when given the opportunity. Therefore, those soccer players who have the ability to use their weaker foot with competence can be valuable asset to any team.

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Has Any City’s Sports Teams Won All Four Major League Championships in One Year?

The simplest answer is no. No city has hosted the current owner of Vince Lombardi Trophy (National Football League), Larry O’Brien/Walter A. Brown Trophy (National Basketball Association), World Series Trophy (Major League Baseball) and Stanley Cup (National Hockey League) in the same year. The closest any city has come so far is 1988 when the Raiders, Lakers, and Dodgers all brought championships to Los Angeles. Six other times, a city has hosted two out of four champions:

  • 1956: New York Giants (NFL) and New York Yankees (MLB)
  • 1971: Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
  • 1976: Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
  • 1999: Dallas Cowboys (NFL) and Dallas Stars (NHL)
  • 2001: Denver Broncos (NFL) and Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
  • 2002: Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Anaheim Angels (MLB)
  • 2004: New England Patriots (NFL) and Boston Red Sox (MLB)

Students of sports history, however, are aware that these four trophies have not always represented «the» major leagues. There are the defunct competing major leagues such as the pre-merger American Football League or the World Hockey Association to consider. Also, the NBA was not always the major league in basketball, and other leagues have a good claim to being «the» major league for basketball at various times. Finally, we should at least consider the champions of the Canadian Football League considering the number of NHL teams from that country.

Broadening the definition like this adds relatively few cities to our list. Twice in the late 20’s three of four major league champions were from New York: the Giants, Yankees and Brooklyn Celtics in 1927, and the Yankees, Rangers and Brooklyn Celtics in 1928. The Brooklyn Celtics played in the American Basketball League, at a time when the NBA did not yet exist.

Other two-champion cities considering these competing and defunct major leagues are:

  • 1930: Montreal Canadiens (NHL) and Montreal AAA (CFL)
  • 1932: Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
  • 1942: Toronto Maple Leafs (NFL) and Toronto RCAF Hurricanes (CFL)
  • 1944: Montreal Canadiens (NHL) and Toronto HMCS Donnacona
  • 1947: Chicago Cardinals (NFL) and Chicago American Gears (NBL)
  • 1947: Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
  • 1948: Cleveland Indians (MLB) and Cleveland Browns (AAFC)
  • 1977: Montreal Canadiens(MHL) and Montreal Alouettes (CFL)
  • 1987: Edmonton Oilers (NHL) and Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)
    Notes:

    • The Toronto RCAF Hurricanes and Montreal HMCS Donnacona were football teams from various armed forces bases which competed for the Grey Cup during WWII.
    • The Chicago American Gears were in the National Basketball League. The NBL merged with the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1949 to form the current NBA.
    • The Cleveland Browns started their history in the All-America Football Conference. The AAFC competed with the NFL for four years. In 1949 the AAFC partially merged into the NFL, the Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship the next year.

So while no city has completed what might be a «GrandSlam» of major league team sports, New York (twice) and Los Angeles (once) came close.

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League of Legends Guide for High ELO Gameplay

League of Legends Guide Tip #1. Map Awareness

All great players have great map awareness. They always know where enemy champions are by frequently glancing at the minimap. You should ALWAYS have a count in your head of where enemy champions are. For example, if you see 1 champion in each lane on Summoner’s Rift, then you know that there are 2 champions MIA (Missing in Action) – usually the jungler and one other. By knowing the enemy’s whereabouts, it will determine your gameplay and how aggressive or cautious you want to play. If all 5 are MIA, then you should be cautious. If you see all 5 on the map, then you can play aggressive (assuming they’re far enough away not to interfere)

League of Legends Guide Tip #2. Wards

Wards are crucial and go hand-in-hand with map awareness. Let’s talk about Gold for a second here.. it costs 75g for a green ward. That means 4 of them costs 300g – the same amount of Gold given for a champion kill. So if you buy four wards and one of them saves you from a gank, it was MORE than worth it! Because when you die, you have to take into account all the costs involved – 300g for the enemy killer, plus any gold from assists they get, plus you will miss out on 2-3 minion waves of experience, plus you miss out on 10-18 last hits. That’s a huge cost of dying. So buying wards, even if all they do is keep you from getting ganked 25% of the time, is more than worth it.

When you watch the Season One Championships, you will see how many wards these great players buy. They buy wards almost EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY SHOP. That’s how you should play too! No excuses that «I’m a carry, it’s not my job.» It’s everyone’s job to provide sufficient ward coverage in game. Wards win games. Period.

I know it sucks not to finish your big item because you had to buy a few wards, but wards will make a much bigger impact in the game than your big item – because they will allow you to pick the RIGHT FIGHTS at the RIGHT TIME.

League of Legends Guide Tip #3. Learn from Every Game and Every Mistake

Great players learn from every game and every mistake. They always ask themselves these two questions at the end of a game.

Question 1. «What mistakes were made in this game?»

This question applies to every player in the game – teammates, and enemies. Did the enemy team get Baron because no one on your team warded it? Did an enemy walk into 5 of you and die? Every little mistake should be noted so that you can learn NOT TO DO that.

This is how you become a great player – by analyzing mistakes and patterns and not making them.

Question 2. «What could I have done better?»

This is THE MOST IMPORTANT question and strategy for becoming a great League of Legends player. What could you have done better? Did you miss some last hits? Why? Figure it out, and get better! Did you get ganked early on? Why? Figure it out and get better! Get wards next time instead of getting ganked. Did you target the wrong enemy champion in a team fight? Why? Figure it out and get better!

There’s only one way to become a 2000+ rated player in League of Legends – get better! And you do that by analyzing your own and others’ gameplay and learning from mistakes and successes.

League of Legends Guide Tip #4. Learn from Great Players

Anytime you see a player kick ass in a game, add them to your friends list and chat with them. Ask them about their runes, their masteries, and any other tips or advice they may have for you. Great players hang out with other great players and learn from each other.

Are you learning from great players?

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Isolation: Another Weapon in the Abuser’s Arsenal

Very recently, I received an e-mail from the sister of an abuse victim. It seems the writer’s abusive brother-in-law has instigated hostilities between himself and his victim-wife and her family. At one point, he threatened to seek a restraining order against his wife’s parents, and they no longer have contact with her. As a result of this craziness, the victim’s family is strongly considering relinquishing the poor woman to her chosen fate based on their belief that she is either apathetic or condones the abuser’s behaviors.

The victim’s sister contacted me in an effort to better understand why her sister would accept these happenings. She provided some background and then posed these questions to me:

«When you were in your abusive relationship – were you cruel also? This has been going on for two years. I’m starting not to care about her – she’s a faint memory and the pain they have both caused – well her own parents are shut down and done. If you shut off family – did they take you back?»

The situation she and her parents are facing is all too familiar. Isolation is one of many powerful weapons in the abuser’s arsenal. The questions are good ones that call me back to darker days. For abusers will almost always incrementally work to separate their victims from many, if not most, means of emotional support – friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and particularly family members.

Isolation gives the abuser control over his victim’s comings and goings. His needs and desires take priority, while his victim becomes his trembling lapdog. She becomes ever more dependent upon him for the smallest measure of attention, approval and sustenance. The victim becomes wholly preoccupied with what she must do to gain his favor on a moment-by-moment basis to avoid inconveniencing him, to avert his wrath.

If that means she must prove her loyalty by disowning her family, she will. She cannot afford to risk giving him anything less than everything he asks, no matter how her heart breaks. She has already been taught to doubt her own emotions and convictions, and because of the intensity of his convictions, she chooses to believe that his contorted version of truth must somehow be true.

What the victim doesn’t realize is that she has been set up. The abuser is terrified of the possibility of losing control. Because family members could expose him and empower her if they catch wind of his maltreatment, estrangement between victim and potential rescuers is critical. To that end, he must create a scenario that allows him to secure her absolute loyalty while alienating her from those who could pose a threat to his fiefdom.

Over time, the abuser lays the groundwork of getting his victim to doubt her own judgment while convincing her that he is actually her protector, that she owes him her allegiance, and that her family cannot be trusted. Then, he will exploit any scenario that pits him against her relatives, sets himself up as the innocent party, and forces her to choose.

I know. I’ve been there.

Upon reading the writer’s heart-wrenching e-mail, I was burdened by the full weight of her question: «… were you ever cruel?» And in that moment I buried my face in my hand and broke into tears. The simplest answer: Yes, I was.

Although I wasn’t deliberately hostile, many years ago I did the exact same thing the writer’s sister has done. I stood by my abuser out of a sense of obligation and what I hoped would be perceived as confirmation of my loyalty – and turned my back on my family.

My history provides a spot-on example of the abuser’s successful use of isolation as a means of maintaining his domination. My husband had begun to drop offensive remarks about my family – my parents and sisters and their families who had been there for us, people with whom we had enjoyed barbecues and birthdays and Christmases. He began to insist that my family members were nothing more than a bunch of sick, selfish back-biters who hated and used us. He sowed the seeds of discontent for years, and following a major family fight that he initiated, he told me we bluntly that we would no longer have anything to do with them.

Most of my family members live in very close proximity to us, and our kids were close to their grandparents and cousins. Nevertheless, believing I was honoring my marriage vows and his demands for submission, I honored his demands and grieved in painful silence.

Occasionally I petitioned him to consent to meet with a counselor so that we could work out our differences, but he would have nothing of it. It would be a waste of time because he already knew he was in the right. He forbade me and the kids from seeing anyone on my side of the family. I was not allowed to mention their names.

My sisters tried to maintain contact with me, and I would speak to them in business-like terms and tell them I couldn’t see or talk to them. A couple of years later, I convinced my husband to go to counseling with me regarding the situation in the context of our children’s family relationships. In counseling, I agreed not to see my family if he would only allow the kids to have a relationship with their grandparents and cousins. Although it would have been preferable if the counselor had probed deeper into the problems that plagued our relationship, at least she supported my request in light of the children’s desires. She urged him to allow limited contact, and he finally agreed. My family was very happy to receive our kids back into their loving circle.

Later still, my mother initiated counseling with my husband. He went out of obligation but received none of her efforts to reach an agreement or reconcile and their session ended with him storming out of the counselor’s office. I honestly don’t remember how long it was before I was allowed to spend any time with my family again.

When I finally left my abuser, my step-dad and mother took my kids and me in. I began to share some of the dreadful secrets I had carried during my marriage, and they asked me later why I stood by him all those years. The truth was that I felt I had no other choice. Under the directives of the church and in an effort to go to every length to save my marriage, I did what I thought I was supposed to do. But, I know now that it was crazy. It was sick. It was wrong.

Abusers know how to keep us walking on eggshells, living in subservience, swirling around them in their narcissistic universe. They know how to indoctrinate us in the art of unbalanced, ungodly submission. As victims, we attempt to survive based on the premise that a predator is less likely to eat prey that lies still…

I know now that isolation holds us captive and dependent and leads to a slow and lonely emotional death. Abusers know this. They don’t care.

Surely, if I could undo my many foolish decisions I would. But, I can’t. What I can do is move beyond my failures and into what God really has and wants for me. Any measure of regret I carry has been eclipsed by the joy of knowing that, with God’s help, I broke free, saw the truth, and am now in a position to help others to identify the abuser’s tactics and then encourage them to follow my example – by getting out and discovering that this life was never meant to be lived in isolation.

«Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.» Psalm 103:2-5

Amen and Amen.

Copyright© 2013

All Rights Reserved

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The Greatest Of All Football Matches Played Ever – The Death Match

Those die-hard football enthusiasts who eagerly watch all the live coverage of UEFA Champions League matches, often by spending sleepless nights, are aware of a Ukrainian football team Dynamo Kiev, which hails from Kiev, the capital city of the country. But only a few of them know about the striking history of the club and what happened to the players after they won a match convincingly against German Army Football Team when Nazis invaded the country during the Second World War.

Those Early days of Dynamo Kiev (Before Nazi Invasion)

This Kiev based club was founded in the year 1927 as an amateur team as a part of Dinamo, a nation wide Soviet Sports Society and later it became officially funded and sponsored by NKVD which was a Soviet Secret Agency. During the 1930's, Ukraine suffered terribly under the leadership of Stalin as he always feared a possibility of Ukrainian breakaway from the Soviet Union Empire. So, a special attention was given to suppress any possible nationalist movement which made the lives of thousands and thousands of inhabitants of Ukraine miserable. Each and every city was taken over by Soviet Secret Police and they used to look at every movement made by any citizen from a suspicious point of view. Innocent citizens were arrested, deported and often shot dead by them for committing mistakes which were as simple as arriving late at work or talking to the foreigners or for quarreling with neighbors etc. Even Ukrainian Government Officials and Police men were not spared from this hellish act. Moreover, Stalin's repressive Farming policy shattered the Ukrainian economy and led to a great famine for which 14 million Ukrainians lost their lives. So an atmosphere of fear, hatred and terror loomed large during those days and there was no ray of hope for the Ukrainians.

Football was like a breeze of fresh air in those days of uncertainties and insecurities. At that time, Football was very much popular a sporting activity in all over Soviet Union and it was easy for a citizen to book a football match ticket and to be engrossed with all the thrills and happenings of the match and to enjoy it's every possible moment . For them, it was like a temporary relief from a very tense situation, from the constant fear of deportation or execution. Then, the most popular clubs of Soviet Union were Dynamo Moscow and Spartak Moscow, two clubs from Moscow and in the field of Football, Ukrainians had something to cheer about – the achievements of Dynamo Kiev. Those fiercely contested matches played between Dynamo Kiev and those two clubs from Moscow were followed by a huge number of supporters and often they defeated the Moscow Clubs to win the Soviet Championship and also to break the Moscow Dominance in the football field. The matches played by Dynamo Kiev were not just mere games but they also involved National Pride. This club is often regarded as unofficial Ukrainian National Team by the Ukrainian Government and the team was funded by the Government. It participated in the first "Soviet Championship" played in 1936 and became second after fighting hard with all the tough opponents. In 1937 and 1938, they finished the championship in 3rd and 4th place respectively and in their 1938 they scored a record 76 goals which is quite an achievement considering the hardship they suffered and tough situation they endured. However they did not perform to their potential in the next two seasons (1939, 1940) and in the next season (1941) they were playing well as a unit till the 4th game but after that Nazi army invaded the whole Soviet Union on 22nd June , 1941.

Dynamo Kiev during Nazi Invasion

When the Soviet Union's Red Army lost in the battle with the Nazi's then some of the Dynamo Kiev players registered themselves in the army and were sent to the battlefield to fight for the country and rescue their land from foreign invasion. After 3 months of horrible bloodshed finally Nazis gained the full control over the city of Kiev. Those Dynamo players who were in the army were captured as "Prisoner of War" and sent to the Prison Camps. The Prison Camps were short of food and water and all the prisoners were forced to live in a very short enclosure earmarked by barbed wire fencing. After Kiev fell to the Germans, it witnessed a horrible scenario of devastation, death and destruction over a period of 1 year (which included the murder of 33,771 Jewish men, women and children in just 2 days, 29th and 30th September and by the end of 1941 over 100000 Ukrainians died either shot by the Nazi army or died of starvation). But some of Dynamo Kiev players were fortunate to be released from the prison camps and then they came back to the Kiev city in search of a job. From there onwards, Dynamo's story again started with a positive note.

Bakery Number 3

Iosif Kordik, a die-hard fan of Dynamo Kiev, was the manager of the huge Bakery Number 3, in Kiev when Nikolai Trusevich, the tall goalkeeper of the team came back to the city looking for a job and offered him a sweeper 's job in the shop. Those days those who were released from prison camps were not given any work permit to work or to live in an apartment. So indeed offering any job to Nikolai was an illegal activity but Iosif, the manager had something else in his mind. This enthusiastic soccer-fan dreamt of constructing a strong Bakery Football Team and gave the responsibility of finding quality football players and his former teammates to Nikolai. The ever enthusiastic goalie, began his search for former teammates by walking through the lanes of Kiev and then slowly one by one, he was able to find nine of his former Dynamo Kiev teammates (they were Nikolai Korotkykh, Mikhail Svyridovskiy, Mykola Korotkykh, Oleksiy Kilimenko, Fedir Tyutchev, Mikhail Putistin, Ivan Kuzmenko, Makar Goncharenko, Makar Honcharenko) and also some of the players of Lokomotiv Kiev (Vladimir Balakin, Vasil Sukharev and Mikhail Melnyk). So in the next few weeks, in those days of insecurity, all the contacted players slowly moved to the Bakery Number 3 where they got much needed food, shelter as well as job. From then onwards, all those players working in the bakery, some of whom were suffering from malnutrition, started to train though they were tired of 24 hour shift and started to believe that they have the potential to be a powerful team. The tall and skillful goalie Nikolai gave their brave unit a name "Football Club Start (FC Start)" as participation in football and getting job, shelter in the Bakery Number 3 gave them a new life which was previously guided mainly by terror, fear and confusion.

The Journey of FC Start

They first played a match in the local league run by Georgi Shvetsov, a former footballer and sports instructor and Start's first opponents were Rukh, Shvetsov's own team. They convincingly won that particular match by a margin of 7-2 though they haven't got a proper shoes as well as football jerseys. Shvetsov became very much embarrassed and went to the German authority and asked them to ban FC Start from training at Rukh's Stadium. Without the training facilities, they still won all the matches by huge margins.

They beat the Hungarian Garrison by 6-2 on 21st June 1942, Romanian Garrison by a huge margin of 11-0 on 5th July. This winning sequence boosted the morale of all the Ukrainians, who were morally low and dejected for all what happened to them. They used to turn up at large numbers to see their favorite team mercilessly crushing the other teams coming from the regiments of ruling power.

Their winning streak continued as they again won by a margin of 9-1 Military railroad workers team on 12th July and on 17th July, they also defeated PSG (a German unit) by 6-0. But slowly the German authorities were becoming annoyed to hear about the supremacy of Ukrainians in the soccer fields. They could also see the enthusiasm generated by the football team among the common mass and they sensed that this enthusiasm could pose a great threat to the foundation of German supremacy. This enthusiasm can also start a sudden freedom movement. On 19th July FC Start won against MSG.Wal, a Hungarian team by the margin 5-1 and they again won the rematch on 21st July by a narrow margin of 3-2. To prevent the joyous journey of FC Start in the football field, the German Authorities fielded a team named as Flakelf in the same league and the players of that team were physically far more superior to any players from any other team. When FC Start was playing their last match against MSG Wal, the Flakelf team was playing against Rukh (against which team FC Start started their incredible journey) and Flakelf almost demolished Rukh and there were rumors that Flakelf team had not lost any matches before.

So on 6th August, 1942 FC Start met Flakelf in the football field and to the astonishment of the German Authorities, FC Start won the match convincingly by a huge margin of 5-1. Now the German Authorities took this matter seriously and they announced a rematch of the same two teams on Sunday, 9th August at Zenith Stadium. The posters were put up in the walls to announce the rematch between the same two rivals.

Finally: – the Game of Death

On 9th August, Sunday spectators gathered at large number at the Zenith Stadium to watch the match between the resurgent FC Start and the yet undefeated Flakelf football team. The atmosphere was very much tense and it took a very much effort for the Ukrainian and German Police to control the huge crowd. Just before the match started, the referee of the match, a SS officer came to FC Start's dressing room and told them to greet their German team in their fashion by giving a salute and saying "Heil Hitler". The FC Start footballers already sensed that the referring in the match would be biased against them. After the referee left the dressing room, there was a state of pandemonium. They clearly understood that the authorities had planned in such a manner that if somehow they managed to win the match, they will face dire consequences. Some of them thought of giving away the match and some of the players suggested to play a clear game. One Romanian delegate also came to the dressing room and congratulated them for their successful journey in the league and wished them Good Luck. After that, all the players unanimously decided to go out to the field and play football.

Just minutes before the kick-off the strong and stout Flakelf team lined up in the half-line and gave a Nazi Salute "Heil Hitler". Then it was the turn of the Start players and they decided not to give a Nazi Salute and instead of that, brought their arms back to the chest and shouted a Soviet slogan 'FizcultHura!' which means "Physical Culture Hooray!". This chant got a very wild response from all corners of the stadium which infuriated the German Authorities to a larger extent.

Just as it was thought, the referee totally ignored any foul committed by the Flakelf team and they targeted Start goalie Nikolai to attack physically. After sustaining blow after blow, suddenly a Flakelf forward hit Nikolai in the head leaving him almost unconsciousness. While he was recovering from the injury, Flakelf went 1-0 up. The Flakelf team was pulling the jerseys, tackling dangerously and also while tackling they were going for the players instead of ball but still those tackles could not draw any kind attention from the referee. Despite these facts, FC Start scored a wonderful equalizer from a free kick by the winger, Kuzmenko. This goal got a huge cheer from the large congregation of people who previously were hurling abuses for the Flakelf team for their ugly play. A few minutes, after the equalizer Goncharenko, another Start forward, dribbling through the venomous Flakelf defense scored another wonderful goal and they went ahead. Just minutes before the half time they again scored another goal and the scoreline read 3-1.

During the halftime the team was ecstatic to overcome the strict challenges faced by them in the match and the scoreline was also in their favor. However, Shvetsov, a former football player, suddenly came to the dressing room and told them to protect themselves from their opponents. Soon after he left, another SS Officer came there and told them politely that though they are a good team but they should lose the match otherwise they will get harsh punishment from the Authority.

Amidst the confusion and in a state of indecisiveness, the Start players started the second half of the game and this time, the Flakelf team, afraid a crowd trouble, played less violently. Start as well as Flakelf scored two goals each and Start was leading at that time by 5-3. Then, Klimenko, a Start defender, got the ball in the midfield, beat the entire German defenders and went to the penalty box. Then, instead of pushing the ball towards goal line, he turned around and kicked the ball back towards the center circle. This was a total humiliation for the Flakelf team as the defender himself chose the option not to score against them. Soon after that, the referee blew the final whistle.

The After Effect of the Match

FC Start players' enjoyment was short lived as they can see that the German soldiers were hitting the crowd as they were shouting loudly after their favorite team's success. It was a total humiliation for the Nazi army as well as for their Hungarian and Romanian allies. The axis troop cannot take that game lightly as their team of Aryan descendant was comprehensibly beaten by a bunch of "Sub-Humans". They could sense that for the first time in a year or so, there is public outcry against them and if it is not handled prematurely then this sentiment could spark a revolution against them and it may spread in all directions just like infectious disease.

But nothing could stop the successful run of the Start as they again demolished Rukh by a margin of 8-0 on 16th August. Soon after that, Bakery Number – 3 was invaded by a number of Gestapo members (intelligence group of German Police) and almost all the FC Start players were arrested, interrogated and tortured by the Gestapo, allegedly for being NKVD members (as Dynamo was a police-funded club). The Gestapo wanted them to confess that they were criminals or saboteurs which would have given them enough reason to execute the players. But none of them had confessed. One of the arrested players Nikolai Korotkykh died under severe torture as his sister identified him as a NKVD officer. He was first Start player to die who played in "The Death Match". The German Gestapo, unable to break the silence of the players, sent the ten survivors off to a nearby labor camp at Siretz. At Siretz, they were expected to work, until do not die of starvation, malnutrition or dehydration.

The Fate of the other Players

But other players survived in different ways.

Pavel Komarov, one of the players escaped from the labor camp at Siretz and then he disappeared from public view.

In 1943, following an attack of anti-German allies, the camp commandant thought of killing every third prisoner as reprisal. So, the entire camp was lined up in the freezing mid-winter cold. Kuzmenko, the tall FC Start striker and scorer from the free kick in that particular match, was one of those who gathered in the ground with others and shot dead. Young and talented defender Klimenko, who had have not scored despite getting the opportunity in the penalty box and kicked in to the midfield was the next one to die.

He was asked to lie down and was shot behind the ear as he lay on the ground. Nikolai Trusevich, the giant goalkeeper and captain was also knocked to the ground. According to an eyewitness, he sprang back to his feet and shouted out a Communist slogan 'Red Sport will never die!'. A German guard opened fire. He reportedly died on his feet, wearing his favorite goalkeeper's jersey. The bodies of the three players, along with those of all the other murdered prisoners, were taken to Babi Yar and thrown into the ravine.

Three of the other players, Goncharenko, Tyutchev and Sviridovsky, who, fortunately, were in a work squad in the city, were shocked when the news spread. They became very much panic-stricken and they guessed that, because of their profile as FC Start players, it might be their turn next. They thought that the German Authorities are planning to execute all the FC Start players to take a revenge for the humiliation they suffered in that particular match. All three quickly made the decision to escape and they stayed hidden in the city until Kiev was liberated from German occupation in November 1943. But it did not help them in other way. When Stalin regained the control over Kiev, he ordered the intelligence to interrogate all the persons who came close to the Germans or their allies previously. So they were also tortured during the hours of interrogation. These few survivors were the persons responsible for the popularization of the dreaded fate met by the FC Start players and the account of their struggle.

The Death Match is that Real or a Myth ??? Different Views

At first, the Soviet Authorities had suppressed the real truth revolving the death match though that successful run by the FC Start team has boosted the morale of all the Ukrainians during those horrible days of Nazi occupied Ukraine. And later on, the Soviet Minister of Sport in Ukraine, Timofei Strokach, suppressed the story about the heroics performed by the FC Start players because of 3 reasons: –

1. The FC Start footballers had actually agreed to play in the Nazi-organized league – which meant possible collaboration with the Nazi's and their Allies, which was totally opposite to the Soviet's stand during those days. When Soviet army was heavily fighting against Nazi's then FC Start players decision to play in a Nazi organized league, according to the Communist Party of Soviet Union, was something that was not desirable or should be condemned. So their heroic performance was not officially regarded.
2. Those players decision to beat the Germans was a spontaneous act and not approved by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – this kind of individualism was hara-kiri. They consider this as an act of foolishness, not as an act of heroics.
3. They were Ukrainians.

On 16 November 1943, Izvestiya was the first newspaper to report the execution of the sportsmen by the Germans but the relation with the match was not mentioned in that particular article.
Later, in 1959 a Ukrainian writer Petro Severov written an article titled "The Last Duel" which came in "Evening Kiev" newspaper in which for the first time the official recognition of the heroics shown by the FC Start Players during the match was published. He said that the murder possibly took place several months after the match and in the prison camp.

In 1997, an Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano, in his book "Football in Sun and Shadow" written that all the FC Start players were given a condition before the match that if they win they will die, but still the players after going to the ground , they totally forgot about the probable outcome of their victory and playing their natural game they went on to win the match. They were shot wearing their Club jersey. This version is totally different from the one that was told to others by the surviving members of the team Goncharenko, Tyutchev and Sviridovsky and also from Petro Severov's account.

Also only survivor of the players, Goncharenko gave an interview to tell about the horrible experience they have suffered during and after the match which revealed all the parts that were previously shrouded in mystery.

The Relevance of that Match in Popular Culture

In 1971, in memory of their heroics, a monument was placed outside the Dynamo Kiev stadium to commemorate their contribution, their sacrifice and their true passion for a game, Football which they had exhibited after knowing fully well that they will lose their lives if they win. In 1981 the Dynamo Kiev Stadium was renamed to Start Stadium.

Quite a few famous films like 1961 Hungarian film drama "Két félidÅ 'a pokolban" and "Escape to Victory" was also made taking inspiration from the story. In "Escape to Victory" film many renowned football players like Pele, Bobby Moore took part and it also featured Sylvester Stallone. A few other films like "Third Time" and "The Match of Death" were also made on the same story. Based on the same story, a few other Ukrainian plays were also made.

Why the Players Should Remain in our Memory Forever ??

More than 320000 Ukrainians died during the Second World War and those who have survived were sent for deportation or prison camps. Finally, when in Ukraine, where so much death, devastation and destruction were taking place in Stalin era as well as Nazi regime, how much important was the incident of the executing the Start Football players and was this incident is of historical significance? So, does that incident carry any historical importance or should this act be termed as a freedom struggle or as an act of foolishness or they were impulsive while taking their decision? These questions will always remain unanswered as we cannot assess the political scenario without actually going back in time. But definitely they will be remembered for giving their precious lives for the sake of playing a clean game, not yielding to the pressure exerted by the authorities, even if they were threatened to be slaughtered if they win and also for boosting the morale of the millions of fellow war ravaged countrymen who totally lost their hopes.

Though the FC Start players, like common mass, lost their lives during Second World War, but they lost their lives for their passion of a game. They exhibited their wonderful skill in the football field to defeat the German team which brought smile and happiness and some ray of hope to all those Ukrainians in those dark days of horrifying devastation, death and destruction. So they will remain forever in the memory of all die hard football fans allover the world for their courageous effort in that match. No where in the world, the players were met with such harsh punishment for winning a football match.

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Top 5 Windows PC Games

The free to play PC games phenomenon has changed the gaming landscape over the past few years. Now even +++ rated games are challenged by free to play games. There are innumerable kind of games available today to play free on your system. It contains all sort of games. This free to play games list is long and here we can discuss the top 5 Windows PC games. In fact, games are considered to be the great source of entertainment.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2016: This is widely played football video game for last 20 years and admired by millions of users. Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2016 is the official video game of UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Europa League. This award-winning series is returned packed with all new features in 2016 edition. Completely overhauled «Master League», new night time lighting and player models, improved human motion, dynamic weather features, deeper team intelligence and lot has been added to this version.

Dota 2: Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) is a modified version of the old game Warcraft 3. Dota is the game of strategy and action. This is played by millions of passionate fans worldwide professionally and casually. You can pick a hero from the pool of heroes, form two teams of five players and battle with counterparts to control a fantasy landscape. It supports stealth, cunning, and outright warfare. In this game, every hero has an array of capabilities and skills. This game provides brilliant gaming experience.

Killer Instinct: This game has arrived packed with all new features. Rocking reactive music, over-the-top action, a wild cast of combatants, all new visuals and commendable C-C-C-COMBO Breakers it carries all fantastic features which make it one of the most admired games. You can choose from long list of combatants with various animations, exclusive combat tactics, and special attacks. It offers online multiplayer cross play, free fighter, powerful combatants, customization options, 20 stages and lot more. Above all, you can play it anywhere with the Cloud between Xbox and Windows 10.

Angry Birds: This is one of the most played and admired games in the world. Millions of users have enjoyed this game. It takes you back in old times into galaxy far away. Where a group of rebel birds faced off against the Empire’s evil Pigtroopers. It allows you to enjoy the adventure with Angry Birds in the legendary Star Wars universe. You need to fight Pigtroopers to finally face off against the terrifying Darth Vader. It is the fight to become a Jedi master and restore freedom to the galaxy.

Asphalt 8 Airborne: This game is played by millions of users over time. With 140+ official speed machines, stunning graphics, ultimate multiplayer racing experience this arcade game play at its finest. It offers you 400+ career events, 1500 car mastery challenges, five unique game modes, 40+ high-speed tracks and lot more. It allows interaction between the vehicles, environment. You can experience multiplayer action for up to 12 opponents.

The above-mentioned games are just a glimpse of the long list of amazing PC games available today. You can choose games of your choice from different categories. In fact, there are hundreds and thousands of games that are available for almost each category. Play these games to learn and entertain yourself for good reasons.

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Team Spirit – What Causes It?

Watching the matches in the FIFA world cup, I notice that the national line-ups apparently vary as to team spirit. You might wonder why this matters. Why is team spirit important? What brings it about? And what hinders it?

Sweden’s team spirit

After eliminating very good teams, Holland and Italy in qualifying, Sweden played their part, in sending defending champions Germany home early, by topping Group F. They lack individual talented players, but as a team with a collective spirit they’ve got heart and stand up to the challenge. They do well through determination and organisation.

«Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.» (Helen Keller, deaf/blind political activist)

In keeping with his no-frills squad, the manager had not picked Sweden’s all-time top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The player had angered many of his former fans with what were seen as characteristically self-obsessed comments.

«As a team, we play as a collective, all the players together. With Zlatan, as a person, as a player, he’s an individualist, and the play goes around him. Instead, now, we play more the team all together.» (goalkeeper, Karl-Johan Johnsson).

Every single player has bought into the idea of working hard for each other and having fun together as a bigger group outside the pitch.

Leicester City’s team spirit

Winning the English Premier league, Leicester City is another football team whose performance has exceeded what might have been expected from the sum of its parts.

Leicester had some good players, but looking at the whole squad and comparing it to the so-called «top» clubs, it’s easy to see why they were such long shots to lift the title.

«You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.» – (Babe Ruth, baseball player)

Pundits spotted the players’ sense of team identity as a crucial factor in their success. The squad knew the manager would be there the following season. He persisted with most of the first team players he inherited. This continuity built on the legacy of the club, another cornerstone of a strong team identity.

Team spirit was also helped by the players viewing the objective of the club (i.e. avoid relegation) as one they were capable of achieving. So there was no fear of failure.

Many technical sides defend by playing lots of safe passes and so not letting the opposition have the ball. However, possession makes for a poor predictor of team performance. City were not afraid to play three misplaced passes if the forth move led to a goal. Team members felt positive and proud to be part of a group playing a successful fast-paced counter-attacking brand of football.

Other football teams

Boys playing football need to learn to pass the ball unselfishly rather than dribble past opponent after opponent until they lose the ball. They need to be a team player and not purely an individualist. Some flair adult players have been encouraged to succeed at the expense of collaboration when it is needed.

Professional football squads in England include highly rated players from other countries. These tend to have dissimilar languages, cultures, values and problem-solving approaches to difficulties. This can hamper the growth of team spirit.

Most football managers realise that team spirit can be hindered by voicing criticism of players in public. However leaders vary in their team building skills.

Trade Unions

Without any emerging team spirit within a trades union, industrial disputes would fail. Unity is strength. Members need to identity with the cause and trust each other to sacrifice short-term income. Then they have a chance to negotiate from strength and gain better working conditions and pay in the future.

Personal services

Worker’s morale is important in all walks of life. For example in many organisations dealing with human troubles and personal change – like educational, health and social services, or those to do with spirituality – team spirit can be fragile when one is faced with difficult-to-succeed-with-clients.

Many of these organisations use teams of workers with different types of professional training who may not see eye to eye. Dealing with complex and highly personal matters raises matters of deep principle. This can mean that people can be unwilling to modify how they approach things, leading to a degree of inflexibility. Leaders can help by team building encouraging the giving and receiving of support, communication and sharing. Without this, mixed groups tend to show disharmony as well as collaboration.

«Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.» (Patrick Lencioni, business management writer)

Unpaid volunteers tend to want to carry out their responsibilities on their own terms. With volunteers doing only short hours, team spirit suffers if members have little opportunity all to meet together to resolve different viewpoints.

Heavenly community spirit

When we make friends, we tend to do so with people who share our interests and values. With them we often feel most at home and free to be ourselves. It may be hard to imagine such a sphere where community spirit prevails. Emanuel Swedenborg painted such a picture of heavenly community. In such a scenario there are no rows about how things get done. No egos wanting their own way. People joining together in the right spirit. Only wanting what is best for each other and for the team and community as a whole.

«None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.» (Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun)

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