014-15, when Bawne hit a dead-end
RIO DE JANEIRO -- The sound was already deafening. You couldnt hear. You couldnt think. Eighty thousand screaming Brazilians was something you felt. But it wasnt good enough. Neymar wanted more. And so the 24-year-old lifted his arms up and down, up and down, begging the sea of yellow to get even louder.A few seconds earlier, he had started this frenzy by magically twisting a free kick into the top corner of the goal to give Brazil a 1-0 lead in its Olympic final against Germany. He thought this was the moment. The iconic image of his country winning its first Olympic gold would be him, following his goal by mimicking Usain Bolts arrow-shooting celebration and then choreographing the fans into a frenzy.He had no idea. This was only the beginning. A little more than two hours later the Brazilian wunderkind would fall to the field in a bed of celebratory tears. He would laugh and dance and cry and take a victory lap on the pristine grass of the hallowed Maracana, the heartbeat of Brazilian soccer. In the fifth round of penalty kicks, his right foot would boot the ball past the German keeper, inciting nationwide celebrations from the Amazon to Sao Paulo and all points in between.I cant begin to describe [my feelings], Neymar said afterward. I have fulfilled my dream and to have fulfilled it in my home country makes me very proud. This is one of the best things that have happened in my life. Thats it. Now the critics will have to [take back their words].The noise when Neymars winning penalty landed in the back of the net could only be described as spine-tingling. It made the raucous celebration after his goal look like polite golf claps. Fans hugged, kissed and danced in the aisles. The party would go on indefinitely, with chants and cheers and a spirited rendition of the Brazilian national anthem during the medal ceremony.This was about far more than the most decorated soccer nation on the planet finally winning the one title that for so long had eluded it. Or doing it on home soil. This was about restoring pride in a country built on a bedrock of soccer. Two years ago, the Selecao were downright humiliated in a 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals of the Brazil-hosted World Cup. That 7-1 score became woven into Brazilian culture, used to describe any sort of embarrassing outcome. Then the squad failed to impress at this summers Copa Centenario in the United States. And it is currently sixth in World Cup qualifying in South America. In other words, when the Olympic soccer tournament began, morale was at an all-time low.Neymars right foot changed that. Even though this is an age-restricted tournament whose global popularity doesnt come close to that of the World Cup, the young Brazilians showed their biggest fans its OK to believe again. Its OK to pour everything you have into watching 90-plus minutes of soccer. It will be worth it in the end.Brazilian football is not dead, said coach Rogerio Micale. We have great potential and hope to achieve more great things in the future.The match will also have a profound effect on how Brazilians feel about the Olympics. In many ways, Saturday nights victory was the unofficial closing ceremony. And it couldnt have gone any better for the home team. When the Olympics draw to a close Sunday night, it will bring to a merciful end a nine-year run that saw the country host three major international sporting events: the Pan American Games, the World Cup and the Olympic Games. It hasnt gone seamlessly. And there will without question be a long-term debate about whether or not these Olympics will prove to be a good thing for Brazil.But after the Olympic spotlight spent the last several months talking about Zika, feces-filled water and the escalating violence in Brazils streets, the final memory the Brazilians will have of these games is Olympic gold in the sport that matters most. This is how it long has been in this country: the pride over their international dominance in the sport of soccer helping to make the problems at home a bit more palatable.We knew the huge responsibility on the shoulders of the Olympic team, Micale added. Football is the No. 1 sport in Brazil. But now this phase has passed we can look to the future of Brazilian football more confident and proud.When the tournament began two weeks earlier, this top-of-the-podium outcome couldnt have seemed any more unlikely. Sixteen days ago, the Brazilians opened their Olympic campaign with a scoreless draw against South Africa. In their second match they again failed to score in another tie to the 99th-ranked team in the world, Iraq. Yes, Brazil tied Iraq. On Brazilian soil. But a 4-0 thrashing of Denmark pushed the Brazilians to the medal round, where a 4-0 win over Portugal in the quarterfinals and a 6-0 domination of Honduras in the semis set the stage for Saturday night.From the very beginning, there were nerves in the air and pressure on the shoulders of everyone on the field wearing yellow. It was three nights earlier when a pair of Germans ruined the midnight party on Copacabana Beach, beating Brazilian volleyball stars Agatha and Barbara in straight sets to win gold. This was soccer. As much the fabric of Brazil as samba, Carnival and caipirinhas.When Neymar opened the scoring in the 26th minute, it looked like it would be Brazils night. The Germans hitting the post three times in the first half only further fueled feelings of fate. But in the 58th minute Germany let it be known it had every intention of spoiling the celebration when Maximilian Meyer booted a shot into the back of Brazils net. It was the first goal the Selecao had allowed in the entire Olympic Games.For the remaining hour-plus, Brazil spent most of the time on the attack and the Germans last-ditch defense proved impenetrable. Time and time and time again the Brazilians would create a scoring chance and would either be unable to finish or simply run into a German wall.When the second period of extra time drew to a close, players from both sides fell to the field in pure exhaustion. Neymar was one of them. Through four rounds of penalty kicks both teams couldnt miss. Then Germanys Nils Petersen had his penalty saved by Weverton and the Maracana erupted.Thats when Neymar stepped up. He waited, waited and then waited a bit more. He took two stutter steps. Then buried the ball in the back of the net. Pandemonium.Two weeks earlier, as the team struggled, Brazilian fans were seen crossing out Neymars name on their jerseys to support that of Marta, the most popular female player in the country. Now he was again their hero, receiving without question the loudest approval of the night during the medal ceremony.That is just part of Brazilian culture, the way we are, Micale said. It is always love or hate. We are a nation of extremes. Im just so proud at this moment to be Brazilian.It was a feeling shared with other Brazilians across the globe. A feeling that had been absent for so long that it somehow felt brand new. Dougie Hamilton Flames Jersey Authentic. Reigning world champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland opened with a 12-2 rout of Winnipegs Jennifer Jones in a battle of teams bound for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Sam Bennett Flames Jersey Authentic. PAUL, Minn. http://www.officialflamesauthority.com/gary-roberts-flames-jersey-c-24/. Cuban testified Thursday that he was upset when the companys CEO told him news that would reduce the value of his shares, for which hed paid $7.5 million. But he said he did nothing improper when he sold those shares over the next two days. TJ Brodie Flames Jersey Authentic. Vettel was 0.168 seconds faster than Red Bull teammate Mark Webber around the Suzuka circuit. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was two tenths of a second off Vettel. "The car balance is decent, but I think we can still improve," Vettel said. Gary Roberts Flames Jersey Authentic.Y. -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Wednesday that J. Ankit Bawne has had an intriguing career. He made his first-class debut at 15, in 2007-08, and established himself as a regular in the Maharashtra side in three years. Since 2010-11, he has never averaged less than 45 in a Ranji Trophy season. Six days shy of turning 24, Bawne is already some sort of veteran: he has played 68 first-class matches and scored 4663 runs at an average of 52.98, including 15 hundreds. A List A average of 43.08 from 43 games suggests he is not a one-format player.Despite his numbers, Bawne has never been part of India A or IPL squads. He doesnt deny feeling disappointed but offers a practical alternative to sulking. There is just one goal - to play for India. Till that time, I have to keep fighting, he tells ESPNcricinfo at the end of Maharashtras Group B match against Assam in Chennai. I look at it positively because in cricket there is no point in being negative; you only get demotivated.Five years ago Bawne could have easily become demotivated after making headlines for the wrong reasons. He was removed from the India under-19 squad ahead of a quadrangular tournament in Visakhapatnam after the date of birth in his passport was found to not match the one in his birth certificate and the BCCIs records. As it didnt meet the cut-off date for the 2012 Under-19 World Cup, Bawne, who was originally named captain for the quadrangular tournament, was omitted. Unmukt Chand took over the captaincy and went on to win the World Cup, even as Bawne lamented that the agent who had arranged for his passport had mixed up the dates.Bawne does not think the episode hindered his future selections, but admits the controversy was a test of his mental toughness, especially with the odd taunt tossed at him on the field. You have to endure such stuff. In cricket, there are no easy days, he says. The support of my family, the team coach and Ajay [Shirke] sir, our president [of the Maharashtra Cricket Association], was crucial. But, you have to be tough and remain steadfast in your goals. The character I showed at that time has led to where I am now.The Under-19 was a shortcut for me to the national side, but the ultimate dream is to play for the senior team. I dont think [my performances are overshadowed by the controversy] because Ranji Trophy is not an under-19 tournament. The selectors have played enough cricket to know that Ranji Trophy performances count as far as selection for Test cricket is concerned. Many players obviously get a chance by virtue of the IPL, but I am not a part of the IPL, so Ranji Trophy is everything to me.Many quality players in domestic cricket have rued the chance for lesser talents to attract selectors attentions with a few good IPL performances. Bawne too says not playing in the IPL is a setback because of the recall value it brings.It is a little tough at the Ranji Trophy level compared to the IPL; this time there are no [league] matches being broadcast in contrast to the IPL where every match is shown live. Teen ghante ka match hota hai, 14 matches hote hai, do shot bhi koi achcha khela toh notice ho jaata hai (the game spans three hours and there are 14 matches. Even if someone plays two good shots, he gets noticed).Bawne, however, understands there are many routes to the Indian dressing room, and that batsmen better than him have taken the harder route and succeeded. He derives comfort from how long the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane had to grind it out in domestic cricket before breaking into the national side. A chat with Virender Sehwag further strengthened his belief that tthe rigours of the Ranji Trophy would ultimately prove rewarding.ddddddddddddPujara and Rahane got their chances after scoring about 5000 runs in first-class cricket, Bawne says. When you play 60-70 first-class matches and then play Test cricket, you see how these players dominate in international cricket.During the last season, when we were playing against Haryana, I asked Virender Sehwag sir how I could make the step up to the next level. He told me I was playing well and I will get my chances. It wasnt like I would be completely ignored.Bawne knows he has to score at least 700-800 runs every season - his personal target hovers around the 1000-run mark - to be on the selectors radar. He is Maharashtras leading run-getter this season with 687 runs at an average of 57.25, but will not get any more opportunities to inch towards 1000 runs with his team failing to make the knockouts.The accomplishment of a maiden double-hundred, though, has given him plenty of satisfaction. His 258 came in the course of the second-highest partnership in first-class history in the company of captain Swapnil Gugale in Delhi.Whatever I have set out to achieve - to score big runs, to remain consistent and average around 50 - I have done that. I wanted to score a double-hundred this time, he says. I bat at No.5-6, so I mostly have to score runs with the bowlers for company. Luckily against Mumbai, since Kedar Jadhav was away for the New Zealand [ODI] series, I got to bat at No.4. It was a good wicket and there was a quality opposition in the form of Delhi, so I couldnt let go of that chance.Bawne also sees a role-model in Indias limited-overs captain MS Dhoni. In 2014-15, when Bawne hit a dead-end in his limited-overs batting, he decided to re-invent his game. Bawne says he picked up cues from watching Dhoni on TV and applied the knowledge during practice. The results were instant as Bawne scored two hundreds and an unbeaten 78 from four innings in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.I have been inspired by how he [Dhoni] makes runs in the one-dayers, especially with the lower order, and how he plays percentage cricket, he says. I didnt want to be a one-dimensional player and wanted to average around 45-50 in one-dayers. I was trying to clear the ropes, and focusing on my release shots as well.Closer home, Bawne has found inspiration in Jadhav, whose recent successes in international cricket, he feels, have provided him and his team-mates a template to follow.When six-seven players from Mumbai or Delhi used to make it to the Indian team, it became easier for the others to stay under the radar and keep performing, he says. I got to know what the path was after seven-eight years of hard-work. Had there been an India player in the side, you would have learnt it in two years.Now we know the path to succeed - Kedar has scored 1000 runs and progressed. When I talk to Kedar, he says its a big deal to have 5000-odd runs at my age and keeps telling me to stick it out.That would be good advice, especially with the chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, taking notice of Bawnes performances. His records have been good, but this year he has been very consistent, Prasad tells ESPNcricinfo. My colleagues have watched him bat this season and I have seen him bat last year. He is a good player.Bawne feels he is currently in the best form of his life. This year I am feeling very comfortable, he says. I am not trying to take risks and I dont feel nervous at all. Wholesale Jerseys  Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Authentic Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '


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