‘Scary’ Bielik leaves Italy fearing nightmare first-round exit

first_imgBefore the European Under-21 Championship began, Poland’s Krystian Bielik admitted he faced an uncertain future at club level.”There is one thing I can say for sure,” the versatile centre-back added, “I will definitely not go back to Arsenal’s Under-23 team.”At this stage, it wouldn’t make any sense.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? It would be even more ridiculous now.The defender has been the key player in a Poland team that has taken the Under-21 Euros completely by surprise.A side that only qualified through the play-offs have now won their first two games in Group A, following up Sunday’s impressive defeat of Belgium with a stunning 1-0 victory over hosts Italy on Wednesday night.What’s more, a player that former Arsenal Under-23s team-mate Cohen Bramall only last week told Goal was “scary” good, has scored in both games.His winner against the Azzurrini was as shocking as it was crucial, coming as it did just five minutes before the end of a first half that the hosts had utterly dominated.With Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa again in scintillating form on the left flank, Italy tore into Poland right from the first whistle.However, unlike the 3-1 win over Spain, this time the in-demand winger couldn’t provide a cutting edge.Nor could anyone else, for that matter.Patrick Cutrone – selected to lead the line ahead of Moise Kean – toiled ineffectively up front, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Rolando Mandragora squandered wonderful opportunities to score, while Riccardo Orsolini endured his own personal nightmare.Chosen ahead of Nicolo Zaniolo on the right-hand side, the Bologna winger saw a fine goal ruled out by VAR for offside and ended up being forced off at the break through injury.However, not before playing an indirect but crucial part in Bielik’s winner.Dawid Kownacki’s free-kick – awarded after a needless challenge from Nicolo Barella on the edge of the area – struck Orsolini in the nether regions, deflecting the ball into the path of Bielik, who found the bottom corner of the net with a first-time half-volley that Alex Meret disappointingly failed to keep out with his right hand.It was, thus, a painful evening for Orsolini and Italy, in every sense.With only the group winners guaranteed a place in the semi-finals, the hosts now need to beat Belgium and hope Spain do them a favour against Poland, who boast a 100 per cent record.And that’s a truly frightening position for the Azzurrini to find themselves in, given the ‘scary’ form of both Bielik and the table-topping Poles.last_img read more

On Africa Malaria Day UNICEF says world must help curb spread of

25 April 2007To mark Africa Malaria Day, UNICEF today urged the international community to reverse the spread of malaria, a disease that kills one person on the continent every 30 seconds and cripples so many of its youth. Yearly, between 350 and 500 million people are infected with malaria, and 1 million die from the disease.Although the disease has been eliminated in some areas, it still devastates many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa, where almost 90 per cent of malaria deaths occur.“The treatments are available and the education is there. What are needed now are the resources,” UNICEF said in a press release.w are the resources,” UNICEF said in a press release.“Africa Malaria Day 2007 is a day for the world to speak with one voice, and the message is clear: Yes, malaria is deadly, but it is also preventable.”In much of the continent, the disease is straining already overburdened health systems. The majority of malaria cases occur in children under the age of five, and infected pregnant women are at risk of contracting anaemia, endangering both their lives and those of their unborn children.Methods to prevent malaria have been successful, including insecticide treated bednets, known as ITNs, which cost only $10 each and prevent mosquito bites that transmit malaria, have also been reported to last for up to five years.The UN World Health Organization (WHO) said that ITNs can slash malaria transmission by at least 60 per cent and child deaths by 20 per cent if used properly.UNICEF has strongly pushed for the use of ITNs to combat the spread of the disease, and has funded their distribution across Africa.In many provinces in Mozambique, the Government distributes ITNs for free to all pregnant women and to children under the age of five.“Not only will a pregnant woman benefit from using the net, but so will her child, because most new mothers sleep with their babies for the first few years of life,” said UNICEF Officer for Malaria Timothy Freeman.Malaria causes the highest number of deaths among children in the Southern African country, and it accounts for 60 per cent of paediatric hospital admissions and 30 per cent of hospital deaths.The disease is also a main cause of death in Mozambique, which has one of the world’s highest child mortality rates.UNICEF plays a key role in the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, which was created in 1998 by UNICEF, WHO, the UN Deve read more