FORMER national youth player Rovendra Mandolall who now resides in Canada recently donated an undisclosed sum of cash to rehabilitate and paint the main pavilion at the Reliance Sports Club on the Essequibo Coast.Following its completion, it will be named in honour of the late Shivnandan Mandolall, who was also a former national youth cricketer and the first Essequibian to captain an Under-19 team. Mandolall hailed from the village of Reliance and represented the Reliance Sports Club.He succumbed at the age of 30 following a brief illness and has left to mourn his wife and two young children. The Grounds Committee has since undertaken to celebrate his legacy, given that he was hailed as an outstanding son of the soil whose brief cricketing career would have positively touched the lives of many young cricketers, particularly those from Reliance, according to its chairman, Trevis Simon.‘‘We are indeed saddened by the loss of a very talented cricketer whose charismatic batting display and energy in the field was quite unique, and it brought tremendous joy to many of us as friends and spectators alike,’’ reminisced Simon.An annual cricket competition is also played in his memory and sponsored by Ravindra Mandolall, who also resides overseas. The transformation of the Reliance ground is now benefitting the community and it can now be considered as one of the better facilities in the Region. The main pavilion will be named as ‘Shivnandan Main Pavilion’.A plaque bearing the image of the late cricketer and his record will also be unveiled at a simple ceremony that will be attended by his relatives, friends along with present and past cricketers. (Elroy Stephney)
But Neymar’s sparkling performance was tarnished by yet another example of his tendency to overreact to seemingly innocuous challenges.The latest chapter in a bulging catalogue of histrionic behaviour came in the second half, when Mexico midfielder Miguel Layun appeared to step on his ankle as he lay prone.Neymar writhed around and convulsed as if he had received an electric shock.“I think it’s a shame for football,” Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio lamented afterwards, saying Neymar’s antics had wasted precious time.“We wasted a lot of time because of one single player … we lost our style in the second half, because of the referee.“This is a very bad example for the world and the world of football.”– ‘Absolutely pathetic’ –As social media platforms exploded with fans angrily accusing Neymar of cheating, former England striker Alan Shearer described the Paris Saint-Germain star as “absolutely pathetic.”Neymar receives medical attention during the World Cup round of 16 football match between Brazil and Mexico © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV“There is no doubting the ability of him. He is a magnificent player,” said Shearer, who is working in Russia for Britain’s BBC.“But it really is pathetic when he is rolling around as if he is in agony.”Yet Neymar shrugged off the criticism after his man-of-the-match performance, claiming it was motivated to “undermine me.”“I don’t care much for criticism, or praise, because this can influence your attitude,” he said.“In the last two matches I didn’t talk to the press because I don’t want to. I just have to play, help my teammates, help my team.”Brazil defender Thiago Silva meanwhile heaped praise on Neymar, who only returned to playing shortly before the tournament following an injury layoff of more than three months.“It’s magnificent how he’s playing, especially after three and a half months on the sidelines,” PSG teammate Silva said. “It’s very difficult to come back the way he’s done.”Against Mexico, Neymar burst into life after Brazil weathered early pressure from opponents determined to end a 32-year wait to reach the quarter-finals.The 26-year-old talisman struck the opening goal on 51 minutes to Brazil 1-0 up.The Brazil talisman drew several defenders as he ran across the edge of the area with the ball at his feet, before passing to Willian and continuing his run into the box.Mexico’s midfielder Hector Herrera (L) fouls Brazil’s forward Neymar © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVWillian duly returned the favour and Neymar was on hand to poke the Chelsea midfielder’s superb delivery past Guillermo Ochoa.As Mexico lost heart, Brazil could have added more as probing counters carved open Mexico’s defence, Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro notably testing Ochoa with a drive the ‘keeper blocked.The result was settled when Layun lost possession in the dying minutes. Neymar went on a counter-attack that drew Ochoa from his goal before finding Roberto Firmino with the finest of touches from the outside of his right boot.With only two goals, Neymar is lagging well behind England star Harry Kane’s tournament-leading tally of five goals.But Silva is hoping Neymar emulates the recent feats of other Paris Saint-Germain clubmates Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe on his way to taking Brazil further.“It’s true, I said this before this match,” added Silva. “I hope he listens to me in the quarter-finals.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Brazil’s forward Neymar celebrates scoring the opening goal against Mexico at the Samara Arena © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVSAMARA, Russian Federation, Jul 3 – Brazil superstar Neymar brushed off his critics after firing the five-time World Cup winners to victory over Mexico on Monday and into a quarter-final showdown with Belgium.Neymar scored one goal and created another as his increasingly impressive Brazil side overpowered the Mexicans 2-0 in sweltering conditions.