Lots Drawn in African Cup of Nations

The African Cup of Nations used the drawing of lots to settle the final Quarter Final place in Malabo today.

The draw was needed to decide who finished second in Group D after Mali and Guinea finished level on points, goals scored and conceded.  The draw could have been even more farcical, had Cameroon equalised against Ivory Coast in their match last night.  That would have meant that they would have had to draw lots to determine all 4 positions, meaning every match in the group was fairly pointless.

Ivory Coast’s victory saved CAF from that embarrassment, but their decision to delay the draw from last night to this afternoon is even more bewildering.  Guinea pulled out the ball that granted them second place and progress into the Quarter Finals.  The reality is that it could have a big impact on the destination of the cup.  Both sides managed a draw in the group with the pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast, who will now play the new favourites Algeria in the Quarter-Final.

Football Trophies

Guinea drew 1-1 with Mali last night

Guinea and Mali shared a 1-1 draw last night and by the time the match ended, everyone knew they couldn’t be separated in the group.  Surely the logical thing to do was to ask them to either play extra time to force a result or go straight to a penalty shoot-out.  Either way, it should have been settled by football, not a lucky dip.  The Mali FA’s president chose the first ball, and chose incorrectly.  Will that act by the moment that sees the trophy end up in Guinea’s hands?

New 6 Nations Rugby Trophy Launched

A new trophy has been created for the RBS 6 Nations tournament which is due to start next month.

The previous trophy had been in use since 1993, when the tournament was still the 5 Nations, but the new trophy has 6 sides reflecting the fact that there have been 6 Nations competing since 2000.  It is the latest in a flurry of new major Rugby trophies, following on from the European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup which will be presented for the first time this Spring.

Rugby Trophy

The new 6 Nations Trophy

The trophy itself is 75cm tall and weighs 7kg.  It is a silver cup but has a gold plated ‘6’ in each handle.  All three of the new major rugby cups that have been launched have added an extra design dimension to reflect the competition.  they’ve strayed away from the conventional cup designs and in doing so create something that is both unique and prestigious.

New Range of Colour Printed Awards

Challenge Trophies have launched a new range of colour printed awards, following a huge demand for these items in 2014.

In the past, crystal awards were only ever sandblasted or more recently laser engraved, but the ability to add colour to the award has proved to be hugely popular.  Having the award colour printed not only enables customers to reproduce their logo more accurately, but the colour also provides a nice contrast against the clear glass award.

Challenge Trophies have introduced 8 new styles of colour printed awards for 2015 each of them coming in multiple sizes.  These new styles include:

Crystal Teardrop Award

Colour Award

Crystal Teardrop Award with Colour Print

The Crystal Teardrop Award is available in three sizes 22cm, 24.5cm and 28cm and prices range from £29.95 to £44.50

Crystal Block Award

Crsytal Block Award

Colour Printed Crystal Block Award

The Crystal Block Award is a 40mm thick premium square crystal award that measures 10cm by 10cm.  The colour print on the reverse is shown off perfectly by the depth of the crystal block.  The price for this is £35.00

Crystal Circle Award

Crystal and Metal Award

Crystal Circle Award with Colour Print

The range of Crystal Circle Awards have a colour printed crystal circle held securely in a metal holder.  They are available in three sizes 19.5cm, 21.5cm and 23cm.  Prices range from £39.95 to £49.95

The Greatest Shock in FA Cup history?

Many people go on about how the FA Cup has lost it’s magic over the years, but anybody who witnessed this weekend’s 4th round would find it hard to agree. The weekend started off with Cambridge getting a draw against Manchester United on Friday evening, before Blackburn Rovers knocked out Premier League outfit Swansea. And then it got even better. Not only did Middlesbrough beat Man City 2-0 at the Etihad but League One Bradford City knocked out Premier League leaders Chelsea, and even that doesn’t show the credit they deserve. Not only did they beat them, they came from 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to beat Jose Mourinho’s 4-2.

FA Cup

 

So where does this rank in the history of FA Cup shocks? There may have been some lower league teams in contention for this title, but does anything beat coming back from 2-0 down, away from home, at the Premier League leaders? We don’t think so, but here are some other shocks that come into contention:

1. Sutton 2 Coventry 1, 3rd round, 1989

2. Hereford 2 Newcastle 1, 3rd round, 1972

3. Sunderland 1 Leeds 0, Final,  1973

4. Wrexham 2 Arsenal 1, 3rd round, 1992

5. Bournemouth 2 Manchester United 0, 3rd Round, 1984

 

Wrexham beating the Division One champions certainly gives this tie a close run in terms of ‘The Greatest Shock in FA Cup history’ and many people may have thought this would be hard to beat.  The victories from non-league Hereford and Sutton would certainly be considered by some as the greatest cup shocks in history. However, whilst these were fantastic achievements, Bradford were not only away from home, but they came from 2-0 down against one of the best teams in the world which surely makes it more of a shock, as well as being further into the competition. And with the competition as open as it may ever be, will we see any more upsets in the next round, and will a surprise side lift the trophy come May?

Ballon d’Or 2014: The Reaction

Cristiano Ronaldo picked up his 3rd Ballon d’Or trophy this week after another extremely impressive year for Real Madrid, scoring 52 goals in 43 games. His list of footballing trophies is growing by the minute and we’ve pulled together some of the best reactions to his latest award.

Ronaldo

 

 

His manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was quick to look forward, saying:

“Individual awards motivate Cristiano a lot. Tomorrow he will start working towards winning another Ballon d’Or” 

 

Bayern Munich were quick to give their congratulations, despite Manuel Neuer coming 3rd, tweeting:

“Congratulations to @Cristiano on winning the #BallondOr!”

 

Real Madrid posted a YouTube video to show the team celebrating Ronaldo’s victory, if you can understand Spanish that is.

 

Gary Linekar backed the decision for the former Manchester United player to win the trophy, tweeting:

“Ronaldo and Messi are far and away the best players on the planet, how could they both possibly not be in your top 3?”

 

And finally Mario Balotelli did his own impression of the Porugese star’s reaction to winning the Ballon d’Or, which can be seen on his instagram page here

 

Balotelli

2014: Challenge Trophies Premier League Awards

2014 has come to a close, and it’s safe to say it hasn’t been a quiet one for the Premier League. We’ve picked a few awards to give out for the calendar year.

 

Goal of the Year

There has been a fair few special goals this year, and it’s a tough one to call, depending on whether you prefer slick passing movements or a thunderbolt from 40 yards out. However, after much deliberation we have awarded the trophy to Wayne Rooney for his finish against West Ham earlier in the year. Replicating that of former United captain, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney took the ball down, turned and beat the keeper from the halfway line with a superb finish.

Wayne Rooney

 

Manager of the Year

This is another tough one to call due to the changings of fortunes in the second half of the year. Had this been decided in May, it would have been hard to look past Tony Pulis or Brendan Rogers. However, both have been in much controversy since then, with Pulis leaving Palace on the eve of the season, and Rodgers having a less than average start to this season. Koeman deserves a mention for an impressive start to life at Southampton after many had tipped them to be relegation candidates. Overall, for 2014 we have given the award to Jose Mourinho for his overall consistency. They had a strong finish to last season and have progressed further to look unstoppable in terms of winning the Premier League this season.

Game of the Year

A slightly easier award, that I’m sure fans from 19 out of the 20 Premier League clubs would find it hard to disagree with. For the result, as well as the way it came about, it has to go to the end-of-season thriller between Crystal Palace and Liverpool. Two teams who had excelled in the season met in the penultimate game of the season and Liverpool took a comfortable 3-0 lead as they looked to pip Manchester City to the title. However, Palace were not to be outdone, and they played their part in the title race by scoring 3 goals in 10 minutes to ruin Liverpool’s chances and to cause Luis Suarez to break down in tears at the end of the game.

Most Prolific Goalscorer

An award that is decided by stats rather than opinion, the most prolific goalscorer in 2014 has actually only been playing in the Premier League since August. Diego Costa was fairly unknown just a year ago, but he has turned out to be a brilliant signing for Chelsea with a ratio of 0.8 goals per game which is impressive to say the least.

Controversial Moment of the Year

There’s been plenty of bad tackles and controversial offside decisions, but it’s hard to look past the Alan Pardew incident with this award. Managers lose their temper regularly but he took it slightly too far in head butting a player, and it certainly caused uproar amongst the media. I’m sure he’ll be doing his best not to repeat that action in the near future.

 

Have you got any other awards of the year you think deserve a mention? Tweet them to us at @SportsTrophies.

Biggest Sporting Trophies: A Collection

Most trophy presentations involve the winners lifting it above their head in celebration. However, this isn’t always possible with some of the world’s largest sporting trophies.

 

  1. Costa Del Sol Trophy

Not one of the most well-known trophies but certainly one of the biggest. A pre-season friendly competition held by Malaga CF in which Everton narrowly missed out in 2012, although Phil Neville may have been happy as he didn’t have to break his back to hold his runners up trophy. The Costa Del Sol trophy itself is shown below to need 2 people at least to carry it along.

Costa Del Sol TrophyPhil Neville

 

 

  1. Borg Warner Trophy

The Borg Warner trophy is a speedway trophy given to the winner of the Indianapolis 500. It is a large, multi-tiered trophy that boasts a huge number of winners names on it, and costs in excess of $1.3million. With it being 5ft 4in in height, it’s not unusual for it to be taller than the occasional driver.

 

  1. World Boxing Association Flyweight Champion Trophy

This thin but extremely tall trophy has a host of tiers, and it’s a good job that you have to be a flyweight champion to lift it as it is ridiculously big. This is awarded to the World Boxing Association champion in the flyweight division, with Juan Francisco Estrada being the most recent winner.

 

  1. Franz Beckenbauer Cup

Franz Beckenbauer was huge in German football, so the originators of the Franz Beckenbaur Cup went with a trophy just as big. Bayern Munich host this pre-season tournament annually, but have never won this standout trophy themselves, although there probably isn’t room in their trophy cabinet for it.

 

  1. Emporers Cup

Awarded to the champion of the 15-day Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Japan, the Emporers Cup is a struggle for some of wrestlers to lift, and that’s saying something! As wide as it is large, it would be hard for this trophy cup to go missing.

 

If you’ve received or seen any ridiculously large trophies, send us your comments on Twitter to @SportsTrophies

Ram Raiders Steal Red Bull’s F1 Trophies

When the news broke this weekend that Red Bull’s F1 factory had been ram raided and thieves made off with a haul of 60 trophies, the question that instantly sprang to mind is – why??

The thieves used a 4×4 as well as a separate Mercedes estate car to carry out the raid, which suggests that in some ways it was a fairly professional crime.  That is of course until you attempt to understand what they are likely to gain from stealing these items.  As you can see from the image of the trophy cabinet below, there was a real mix of trophies, many of which would have been made with little or no precious metal content.

Trophies

Sebastian Vettel standing in front of the Red Bull trophy cabinet

A crime of this nature makes no sense at all.  If it’s for your own personal collection, then you’re taking a huge risk as the news of your collection is bound to be leaked sooner or later.  If the thought was that there was any value in them, that shows an incredible lack of planning.  Some of these trophies are made of glass, plastic, porcelain and resin, so can not be melted down to achieve any value.  Of the metal trophies, only a few of them would have had much in the way of precious metals within them and the value of any of that would have been minimal.

Even if the thieves had stolen a haul of sterling silver cups from a different trophy cabinet, the value of those cups lies in the cost to replace them, as opposed to any residual value from the silver content once melted down.

The loss to Red Bull is huge, but the gain for the thieves is hard to see.  A pointless crime.

Top 10 FA Cup Goals

The FA Cup 2nd round takes place this weekend, with many lower league sides hoping to make it into the hat on Monday for a chance to play a Premier League side in the 3rd round. To get in the FA Cup mood, we’ve picked 10 unforgettable goals from the competition.

 

FA Cup

  1. GERRARD v West Ham

Our top cup goal comes from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard as he grabs a last-minute equaliser in the 2006 final against West Ham to take the game into extra time. The strike from outside of the box kept Liverpool in the game and they went on to lift the trophy.

 

  1. BROOKING v Arsenal

Trevor brooking helped West Ham to lift the cup for a third time in 1980 as he headed the ball home against Arsenal.

 

  1. JEMSON v Everton

The FA Cup loves an underdog, and Shrewsbury’s Nigel Jemson scored a brilliant, yet surprising, free-kick to knock out Premier League Everton in 2003.

 

  1. CAHILL v Sunderland

Tim Cahill’s semi-final strike against Sunderland  in 2004 was the only goal of the game and ensured that Millwall would play in the Europa League the following season.

 

  1. RUSH v Everton

The 1989 FA Cup final was one to remember for the red half of Merseyside as Ian Rush’s calmly collected finish ensured they beat their local rivals in extra time to lift the cup.

 

  1. SINCLAIR v Barnsley

It may not have been as significant as others, but Sinclair’s bicycle kick for QPR against Barnsley in 1997 was one to remember for the pure skill.

 

  1. SANCHEZ v Liverpool

Wimbledon were shock winners of the cup in 1998 as they beat Liverpool in the final thanks to a Sanchez header.

 

  1. PEARCE v Tottenham

Another one remembered for the quality of the goal is Stuart Pearce’s bullet of a free-kick in the 1991 FA Cup final against Tottenham.

 

  1. OWEN v Arsenal

A brilliant finish from Michael Owen with two minutes to go in the 2001 final saw Liverpool narrowly edge past Arsenal to win the trophy.

 

  1. THOMPSON v Man Utd

The romance of the FA Cup struck again as Bournemouth caused one of the shocks of the competition. Ian Thompson scored a second goal against Manchester United and knocked them out of the 3rd round in 1984.

 

Are there any you think we’ve missed? Let us know on Twitter here.

Sport’s Personality of the Year: McIlroy or Hamilton?

With Christmas fast approaching, along with it comes Sports Personality of the Year. Last year Andy Murray walked the contest, with bookies paying out as soon as he won Wimbledon in July, but this year isn’t a one-horse race. Rory McIlroy has been the favourite with the bookies for most of the year, but after last weekend’s F1 finale, Lewis Hamilton is well within a shot of winning the trophy. So which one would you go for?

SPOTY trophy

 

A golfer hasn’t won the award since Nick Faldo 25 years ago, but McIlroy has the best chance of any since then to pick up the trophy. McIlroy won two major titles in 2014, first at Hoylake followed by Valhalla, and then went on to play a strong part in Europe’s victory over America in the Ryder Cup. He ended the year as the Europea Tour’s No. 1 player and all of this makes him the favourite for the trophy come December.

However, it won’t be as clear cut as people may have first thought. Similar to golf, an F1 champion hasn’t been named Sport’s Personality of the Year since 1992 but Hamilton will be hoping he can change that after he won the drivers’ championship for the second time in his career last Sunday, therefore being a key player in bringing the victory to the Mercedes team. To add to this, he has secured many British records, his 33 wins so far in his career being a particularly impressive one.

So who deserves it more? Hamilton has stood out of late, and the timing of his win may help him out when it comes to winning the award. However, McIlroy’s continued dominance across the year looks to put him in pole position. Of course, there are 8 other nominees including Gareth Bale and Carl Froch, but it’s unlikely that anybody is realistically looking past McIlroy and Hamilton when calling the winner.