Australia eye victory in Honduras test: Mooy

Australia head coach, Ange Postecoglou, center, walks on the field surrounded by his players during a training session at the Francisco Morazan Stadium in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Australia and Honduras will face for the first leg of the World Cup playoff on Friday. (AP)
Updated 09 November 2017
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Australia eye victory in Honduras test: Mooy

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras: Australia star Aaron Mooy says the Socceroos will go all out for victory on Friday as they aim to edge closer to the World Cup in the opening leg of their playoff clash with Honduras.
Mooy will be one of the linchpins of the Australian effort at San Pedro Sula’s intimidating 40,000-capacity Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, where Ange Postecoglou’s men will hope to take a stride toward a fourth consecutive World Cup.
Australia has had an unhappy record in World Cup playoffs, losing five deciders between 1966 and 2002 in a string of agonizing near-misses that saw the Socceroos become eternal nearly-men.
However despite that record, Mooy, 27, said Australia coach Postecoglou will eschew caution as the Socceroos aim to carve out a decisive advantage to take back to Sydney for next week’s second leg.
“The way the boss wants us to play is to go all out and try and win the game,” said Mooy, who is brimming with confidence after a successful start to the English Premier League season with Huddersfield.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s away or home — that’s what we will do. And hopefully that will give us a good result to take back to Sydney,” Mooy added.
Australia are already battle-hardened having come through a demanding play-off against Asian rivals Syria to determine which team would advance to face Honduras, the fourth-placed finisher in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.
Mooy said the experience of prevailing over Syria in a tense two-leg battle would stand the Australians in good stead as they prepare to face Honduras, who are eyeing a third consecutive World Cup after appearances in 2010 and 2014.
“It gives us belief that we overcame that challenge,” Mooy told Football Federation Australia when asked about the Syria win.
“We’ve got another big challenge coming up and I’m sure it will be another tough game. But we’ve overcome these challenges and the next one will be no different,” Mooy added.
The venue for Friday’s game is in a Honduran city notorious for violence linked to the drug trade. Mooy however said the Australian squad had received a warm welcome since arriving in Honduras.
“It’s not been a problem so far. Everyone seems nice and friendly,” Mooy said. “I’m sure once we get to the game though it’s going to be a bit different.”


LeBron James' last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win over Pacers in Game 5

James pushes the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 26 April 2018
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LeBron James' last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win over Pacers in Game 5

  • James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
  • James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.

CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
DWYANE’S WORLD
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
TIP-INS:
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
UP NEXT
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.