Olsen tips N Ireland for Euros spot

first_img Press Association Faroe Islands manager Lars Olsen, who knows plenty about unexpected success at the European Championship, believes Northern Ireland could be surprise qualifiers in 2016. Olsen was the Denmark captain when they defied the odds to lift the trophy in 1992 but the prospect of taking his current charges to a major tournament is even more remote. For Northern Ireland, though, the dream of a first ever appearance at the Euros is beginning to look attainable. center_img Michael O’Neill’s men followed up their 2-1 win in Hungary with a comfortable 2-0 home win over the Faroes on Saturday and top Group F ahead of their trip to Greece. And Olsen told Press Association Sport: “The results in the group have been good for Northern Ireland and maybe they can qualify. “In Hungary they were very good and at home they play very well. “Greece is still the strongest team in this group, despite a slow start, but to have six points already is good for Northern Ireland – you cannot take that start away from them.” The scoreline at Windsor Park, as well as a Roy Carroll penalty save, suggested a closer contest than it was. Goals from Gareth McAuley and Kyle Lafferty put the hosts two ahead inside 20 minutes and although there was no addition to that, it was one way traffic throughout the game. “We congratulate them on the win, they were the better team, especially in the first half,” said Olsen. “They were physical and quick on the ball and they were probably satisfied with 2-0. “They killed the match in 20 minutes.” last_img read more

Steelers’ Hayward, Jets’ Smith fined for abusive language

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) fends off Cleveland Browns wide receiver Greg Little after a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/David Richard)NEW YORK (AP) – Geno Smith shouted a couple of mighty expensive expletives.The New York Jets quarterback was fined $12,000 by the NFL on Friday for cursing at a fan after the team’s game against Detroit last Sunday.Pittsburgh defensive lineman Cameron Heyward also got in trouble with his mouth, docked $22,050 for using abusive language toward an official during the Steelers’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday.Smith was walking off the field following the 24-17 defeat when he glared at a heckler in the stands and yelled at him, twice using an expletive. The fine issued by the league was for unsportsmanlike conduct.The second-year quarterback immediately apologized after the game, but acknowledged during the week that he would likely be fined for his actions. Cleveland rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel received a similar fine from the league during the preseason for flipping his middle finger at Washington’s sideline.In this photo taken on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith walks off the field after losing 24-17 to the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in East Rutherford, N.J. Frustrated after a third straight loss and calls for his backup increasing, Smith was caught by a TV camera yelling an expletive at a heckler in the stands as he walked off the MetLife Stadium field following a 24-17 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)“Always be above the situation,” Smith said Wednesday. “Never let people get to you. Never let anyone’s words affect you in that manner. So I’ve just learned, and it’s something I’ve already known, but (I’ve) just got to handle those situations better.”Smith has declined to say what the fan said to him that set him off. Owner Woody Johnson said Thursday he was disappointed by Smith’s actions, saying they were “absolutely unacceptable.” But, he also was confident Smith would never again put himself in a similar situation.Coach Rex Ryan wouldn’t say whether Smith would face additional discipline from the team.“We’ll handle it the way we see appropriate,” Ryan said. “And again, when we’re ready to let you know what our decision is, we’ll let you know.”Houston’s J.J. Watt was fined $16,537 for roughing the passer against Buffalo. The star defensive end was called for penalties twice after hitting Bills quarterback EJ Manuel in the knee area.San Diego left tackle King Dunlap and Jacksonville defensive end Alan Branch were each fined $8,268 for their fight during the Chargers’ 33-14 win last Sunday.Chicago guard Kyle Long was also docked $8,268 for unnecessary roughness in the Bears’ loss to the Green Bay Packers.___AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more