Early red card ruffles Warriors in loss to Hougang

Sotirovic stars as early red eventually floors champions

TWO-GOAL HERO: 
Hougang striker 
Vuk Sotirovic (left) is starting to find his feet.

HOUGANG UNITED 4

(Kunihiro Yamashita 11, Vuk Sotirovic 63, 78, Diego Gama 86-pen)

WARRIORS FC 1

(Fazrul Nawaz 28)

It was a game that had everything.

Five goals, a red card, a penalty, missed sitters and even a stanchion that collapsed halfway through the game; they all were on offer in last night's Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clash at the Hougang Stadium.

Defending champions Warriors FC were left reeling at the end of it all, going down 4-1 to Hougang United.

The defeat, their second in three games, means they have yet to taste victory since the S.League resumed last month.

Their cause was certainly not helped when Marin Vidosevic was controversially sent off after just four minutes.

While the visitors did well to pull level after their opponents had opened the scoring, the numerical deficit eventually took its toll, as Hougang piled on three more goals after half-time to seal a commanding win.

After the match, Warriors coach Alex Weaver claimed that it was difficult for his side not to feel hard done-by over the way they were dealt such an early blow.

"We were put in a difficult situation as early as the fourth minute and something like that, especially in the manner which it happened, is very hard to take," he said.

"This is where the debate is probably going to go on… Vidosevic  has seen Syaqir (Sulaiman) bleeding from the lip and he says, 'What the f***', not directing it at the referee or anyone and he's given a straight red.

"This is a professional sport played by very competitive men and it's not nice, but these words are said often in a match.

"From a consistency point of view, if that's a red card, then you're going to have to send someone off three or four times a game."

There was plenty of confusion in the lead-up to the early incident, as a huddle of players gathered before Vidosevic was shown a straight red by Muhd Syahir.

Hougang took advantage shortly after when Kunihiro Yamashita broke the deadlock with a close-range finish, but Fazrul Nawaz equalised for the visitors when he stabbed home a Kevin McCann cross in the 28th minute.

To make matters worse, Syahir then played a key role in the Cheetahs reclaiming the lead three minutes after the hour mark as he inadvertently deflected the ball past a wrong-footed Syaqir, allowing Vuk Sotirovic to pounce and skip past Daniel Bennett before finishing into the bottom corner.

Sotirovic then made it 3-1 in the 78th minute when he met Delwinder Singh's flick-on with a bullet header past Daniel Ong, before Diego Gama converted a penalty he had won with four minutes remaining to round off the scoring.

SWEET

A sense of injustice was clearly evident in the Warriors camp at the final whistle, as Salim Moin's charges celebrated a welcome result that lifted them off the foot of the table.

The victory was particularly sweet for two-goal hero Sotirovic, Hougang's mid-season signing who is starting to find his feet after being hampered by injury.

"I'm happy with my display but happier that we got the win as that's the most important thing," said the Serb.

"I'm still not back at full fitness after missing three weeks, but I feel like I'm getting better with every game.

"Now, it's crucial that we continue to collect points, as it's very tight in the standings."

  • HOUGANG: Ridhuan Barudin, Yuki Uchiyama, Tengku Mushadad (Lau Meng Meng 82), Kunihiro Yamashita, Delwinder Singh, Nurhilmi Jasni, Taufiq Ghani (Fairoz Hasan 80), Carlos Delgado, Fazli Jaffar (Fareez Farhan 67), Vuk Sotirovic, Diego Gama.
  • WARRIORS: Daniel Ong, Emmeric Ong (Andy Ahmad 85), Daniel Bennett, Marin Vidosevic, Irwan Shah, Karlo Ivancic, Syaqir Sulaiman, Kevin McCann, Hafiz Rahim (Shi Jiayi 72), Hamqaamal Shah (Miroslav Pejic 46), Fazrul Nawaz.
  • TNP Man of the Match: Vuk Sotirovic (Hougang)

Bournemouth sign Ivory Coast forward Gradel

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Gary Lim: Stones should be van Gaal's marquee signing

Shoring up a shaky defence should be van Gaal's top priority

"If he goes to Chelsea, he’s not playing every week. If you tell any young footballer to leave a club to sit on the bench, you’ve got to be a lunatic. He’s at that stage of his development where he wants to play every week. If he goes to Manchester United, he plays every week, so that’s the right club for him." - Ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand, on John Stones (above, in blue)

Louis van Gaal has a marquee signing on his mind.

Reports in the UK are strongly suggesting that it is Barcelona’s Pedro Rodriguez, whose speed and creativity have caught the Dutchman’s eye.

The glamorous signing which Manchester United fans would be rooting for, however, is Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.

It has emerged that United have lodged two unsuccessful bids in excess of £100 million ($215m) for the former Tottenham Hotspur winger.

But van Gaal is in danger of sacrificing the basics for opulence.

It is further down the spine where the Red Devils should be looking for their final piece of the jigsaw.

Everton’s John Stones fits there like a glove.

Read the full report in our print edition on Aug 5.

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.

Giveaway: 
Win seafood feast for four

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Man on Fire

Rising star Michael B. Jordan is primed to set Hollywood ablaze as the new Human Torch in the Fantastic Four reboot

LIGHTING UP: Michael B. Jordan is Johnny Storm aka Human Torch in the Fantastic Four

After Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee gave Michael B. Jordan his blessing to play Johnny Storm/Human Torch in the reboot of Fantastic Four, the latter penned an open letter in Entertainment Weekly magazine.

It was to answer the firestorm that broke out after the African-American actor was given the part of the blonde, blue-eyed teenager who can burst into flames, originally conceived four decades ago in the comic books.

The character was, of course, first played by none other than a pre-Captain America Chris Evans in the original 2005 flick and its 2007 sequel, Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.

Adding fuel to the fire was that unlike his co-stars, Miles Teller and Kate Mara, who auditioned for their roles, Jordan was offered the part by Chronicle director Josh Trank a few months after they finished filming the 2012 sci-fi thriller.

"To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer," the 28-year-old wrote. "Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends' friends and who they're interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It's okay to like it."

Helmed by Trank, the latest movie adaptation of Fantastic Four features the titular quartet learning to harness abilities gained from an alternate universe to save Earth from former friend-turned-enemy Dr Doom.

We are at the Four Seasons hotel in New York City to talk about the new superhero movie which opens in Singapore tomorrow, and the handsome young man is spiffily turned out in Louis Vuitton.

"I love clothes. It represents how you feel, how you walk with confidence. As of late, with my stock rising, I've been able to have so many opportunities to get gifted by certain designers or wear suits on the red carpet. I shot Vogue (magazine) not that long ago. It was pretty cool."

Johnny Storm is a dream role for Jordan, who grew up in New Jersey as a kid who loved comic books.

"I was a big fan of Fantastic Four. Even today I'm online with Japanese manga - I watch the cartoons with English subtitles. I'm a nerd in that way."

IN COMMON

What does he have in common with his on-screen alter ego then?

"I take calculated risks. I'm an adrenaline junkie. I've been skydiving a few times. I like driving cars and I ride motorcycles. Don't tell my mum because she thinks I sold it. In that regard, I'm very much like Johnny."

But the wirework with harnesses was not his favourite thing on the set.

"Harnesses are not really made for the male anatomy, you know what I'm saying?"

Jordan also became good friends with Teller (Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic), Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/Thing) and especially Mara, who plays his adopted sister Susan Storm/Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four.

And it wasn't just for the New York Giants tickets she scored for him (Mara belongs to the family that owns that NFL football team).

"Our scenes were very intense and emotional. She reminds me a lot of my own sister so it was easy for me to feel that dynamic."

They shared dinners together, talked about their families and she even gave him advice on women.

There wasn't a lot to do in Baton Rouge, where they were filming, so the foursome often drove together to New Orleans to hang out.

After some well-received television work (The Wire, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and a couple of small films including Trank's directorial debut, Chronicle, Jordan got his breakout role in 2013's Fruitvale Station. He garnered rave reviews for his performance as a black man whose death at the hands of a cop outraged the nation.

The stage was set for a thriving Hollywood career.

Next up for him is Creed, a continuation of the iconic Rocky film franchise 40 years later where he acts opposite Sylvester Stallone as the son of his boxing rival, Apollo Creed.

Having the name of a certain famous US basketball superstar has had its drawbacks but Jordan made it work for him.

"If anybody comes up with an original joke, I'll be impressed. I think I've come up against every joke possible," he said.

"Like I've tried ordering pizza and I've been hung up on a million times. It's annoying at this point. It gave me a healthy chip growing up.

"I always wanted to have my own lane, have my own reputation. I didn't always want to be compared to that guy."

Mr Fantastic in the making

An age-old story in the entertainment business is the overnight success that was years in the making.

A rare few burst on the scene and one of them is US actor Miles Teller, 28.

From his film debut in Rabbit Hole (2010), his career has grown in leaps and bounds from the young adult Divergent franchise to last year's breakout Whiplash.

And this success has happened to a nice guy.

Let him tell you what he wants to do with his newfound wealth and you'll agree.

TWO OF FOUR: Miles Teller as Reed Richards aka Mr Fantastic, and Kate Mara as Susan Storm aka Invisible Woman.

"I have been offered an opportunity where I can make my parents' life easier," he said. "My dad is 61 and he still has a couple of years left before he retires, and I am just now at a point where I can maybe give him this money to stop working because really, what money buys is time.

"I think that's great if I can have my dad not have to go to work every day in his 60s. So that is the kind of thing I am working on. I am taking my grandparents to Ireland in a couple of months for their 50th wedding anniversary."

In Fantastic Four, Teller plays Reed Richards, a brilliant loner who gets the ability to stretch his body into extraordinary shapes after a catastrophic accident.

His character may be a misfit, but Teller was a popular guy growing up.

"I had so many different groups of friends. And me and my buddies, we tended to throw a lot of the parties, and then I was also in drama club and in national honours society.

"I was in a jazz band and I played in a rock band and I played baseball and I literally had all these different interests and that probably came from eclectic parenting. I never got pushed in one direction.''

Teller and his co-stars got close while filming, which is a good thing as a sequel has already been announced.

From ballet dancing to doing that Thing

How did Jamie Bell go from the ballet dancing boy in Billy Elliot to Fantastic Four's Ben Grimm, the angry kid from the wrong side of the tracks who turns into the Thing, an indestructible superhero in a stone body?

The 29-year-old English actor had met with director Josh Trank a year before getting offered the part as he admired the latter's feature film debut, Chronicle.

He told M: "I had to look up who Ben Grimm was because I'm not familiar with comic books at all and I thought he was joking.

"I'm like a five-foot-tall Englishman. I think he was an American football player in the comic books. So it was very unexpected. But as he pitched me the movie, I thought what he was trying to do was very bold and unique."

The transformation into the Thing involved the use of performance-capture technology, where the actor is put into a special suit with sensors all over his face and body to capture his expressions and movements, so that the CGI character the audience sees on the screen actually has recognisable elements of the actor.

Bell didn't find it easy.

HARD MAN: Jamie Bell plays Ben Grimm aka The Thing.

"It's tricky and challenging. Beyond the technology, you also have to play a part and have a performance and create a character."

Asked if he considers himself a good actor, Bell says: "I have a very love-hate relationship with it. I love the doing of it. But it's very rare for me to walk away from a day's filming going like, 'Well, I nailed that. I've just killed that scene today'.

"I usually walk away going, 'Well, I'll get it tomorrow. I'll do it better tomorrow'.

"And I think I've always been that way ever since I was a kid... I'll figure out who I am as an actor tomorrow. And that's the thing that keeps you doing it."

Being a single dad to a two-year-old boy after his divorce from US actress Evan Rachel Wood last year is a joy and a challenge for Bell.

"I never anticipated this... I kind of feel like I'm always in a sitcom."

The couple share joint custody of their son. "We're very sharing of our child together. It's just incredibly rewarding. But you know, there's monotony to it as well. Like, trying to come up with things to do with him. Like, where am I gonna go today? We've done that park 15 million times. I've thrown the ball 20,000 times. I'm not really patient and want to do something different every day. But I'm really having a great time."

The next big thing

Martinez believes it is time for Deulofeu 
to live 
up to 
the hype

HIGH HOPES: Gerard Deulofeu (above) can become one of the most exciting attackers in European football, says manager Roberto Martinez.
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Emma's cast in stone

US actress is Hollywood auteur Woody Allen's latest muse

Every actor in Hollywood doesn't feel their resume is complete unless they have been in a Woody Allen movie and the prolific Hollywood auteur releases a movie annually, usually with an ensemble cast with lots of roles.

And a young, beautiful actress usually serves as his muse, some recurring in several of his movies. The most recent: Scarlett Johansson.

Emma Stone joined the list with last year's Magic In the Moonlight and now returns as his leading lady in Irrational Man, about a college student (Stone) who falls for her tortured philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) until an overheard conversation sparks him to make a choice that will change their lives forever.

The drama is showing here.

Allen is well known for his non-audition of actors (where exchanging a few words in five minutes makes him decide to hire them); giving them only those pages of the script where they are on screen; hardly giving any direction; and his famously short work days.

When we meet at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, the petite 26-year-old US actress is lively and forthright and it is easy to see why she appealed to Allen, given his penchant for younger women/older men stories, although in Irrational Man, the age difference is appropriate.

She talks about working with Allen and, yes, he gave her the script and no, there was no conversation about the part.

"He will talk about poetry or movies that he likes, or how he thinks the universe is going to blow apart and nothing is going to matter anyway.

"But there's not a lot of discussion about the character, about why you were cast, about why he is thinking of you, about what compelled him to write the story. His most common response when you ask him about the character is, 'you know that this is a movie, right'?"

Allen, 79, also did magic tricks and card tricks on set, to her great amusement.

What was it like working with Phoenix, 40?

Said Stone: "He's one of my favourite actors hands down. I learnt so much that I would never be able to tell him just by watching him. It really keeps you on your toes.

"He never really does the scene the same way twice and he's so alive and I think that's what makes him such a dynamic actor and an unbelievable scene partner, because you never really know what's coming, in a great way."

EARLY DAYS

When asked to recall her early days in the business, Stone is happy to talk about the auditioning process, which she doesn't have to do any more.

"My worst audition... I remember that commercial auditions were pretty brutal.

"When I was, like, 15 or 16, there were times where you had to wear a bikini because it's a beach scene and you are in a room with a panel of people and it's really uncomfortable. And there were just some that I had, like, left in tears, it was horrible.

"And the best audition... I mean the audition for (The Amazing Spider-Man, where she plays the webslinging superhero's first love Gwen Stacy) was pretty great.

"It was what made me want to do the movie, doing the screen test for that. I really loved that and it was kind of like Andrew (Garfield, who played Spider-Man) and I getting to play around together. So that was wonderful."

Although Stone will not talk about her real-life relationship with Garfield, she shares a little bit about what she does during her time off.

"I don't read fiction, I read true crime books. That's my favourite thing to read. I have my friends and people that I love and have a life and watch movies and cook and go to dinner and travel. And it's relatively normal."

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