The numbers game
'We're more than just Ronaldo'
Santos insists Portugal have other weapons of mass destruction to hurt 'sharks' Croatia
ROUND OF 16
CROATIA v PORTUGAL
(Tomorrow, 2.50am, Singtel TV Ch 142 & StarHub TV Ch 220 - Eleven EURO)
Cristiano Ronaldo awoke from his Euro 2016 slumber in time to rescue Portugal from an early exit, but faces a greater challenge against a classy Croatia side that Portugal coach Fernando Santos called "sharks".
Ronaldo made history as the first player to score in four European Championships, with a double in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Hungary on Wednesday.
The result saw Portugal just squeeze through, behind Iceland and Hungary, in third place in Group F.
The Real Madrid star has more records in his sights, as he is just one goal behind French legend Michel Platini's mark of nine in European Championship Finals.
"Croatia are one of the sharks we had been trying to avoid," admitted Portugal boss Santos, ahead of the Round-of-16 clash against Croatia in Lens tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
"They placed first in a group with Spain, which tells you all you need to know about them."
However, Santos has placed his faith in Ronaldo to again answer his country's call after his double strike.
"This will have increased his confidence levels. He's a confident player anyway, but this will have boosted him for the next game against Croatia," said Santos.
The 61-year-old Santos insists not all of his decisions revolve around Ronaldo, despite setting his team up to get the most out of their captain.
The 4-3-3 has been the typical formation for Portugal in recent years, but Santos has recently moved to a line-up with two central attackers.
For all three Euro 2016 group games - none of which the Iberian nation managed to win - Ronaldo started alongside Luis Nani at centre forward in a 4-4-2.
Asked if his decision to change systems was because it suits Ronaldo, Santos told L'Equipe: "It is, but not just for this. Not everything revolves around Cristiano Ronaldo, even if he is important for our team.
"Cristiano is not a winger or a striker. That's why, in the quest for the balance that we lacked, we can find a better compromise in a 4-4-2.
"If we put Cristiano as a striker (in a 4-3-3), it will take away some of his potential, it will reduce his qualities. This is not imaginable.
"But if he is placed on the left, you are exposed to defensive problems.
"So Cristiano is better when in a position where he can attack the defence and the goal. This is one of his characteristics - he needs space and freedom."
Ronaldo refused to accept that Portugal are underdogs against a Croatia side that shocked two-time defending champions Spain to top Group D.
"We made it and now we face a very good team, but the odds are 50-50," said Ronaldo. "Croatia are a tough team, with good players. Not every team managed to beat Spain.
"We respect them, but we know our strengths and we'll look them in the eye when we face them."
Croatia are likely to be even stronger for tomorrow morning's clash than against Spain, with the return of Ronaldo's Real teammate Luka Modric from injury.
Juventus frontman Mario Mandzukic is also likely to shake off a knock to retake his place, after Croatia coach Ante Cacic made five changes for the historic win over Spain.
Their bright start to a tournament in France has rekindled memories of their fairy-tale run to the World Cup semi-finals in 1998, before losing out to the hosts 2-1.
However, Croatia cannot get carried away despite finding themselves in the weaker half of the draw, avoiding Germany, France, Italy, Spain or England until the final.
"We made a really great job in the group stages, but this is just the beginning. If we lose the next match, this doesn't mean anything," said Perisic, who scored the winner against Spain.
"We have to stay at the same level and fight as we did in the first three matches if we want to recreate memories of 1998."
The sour note for Croatia has come off the field, as their football federation (HNS) was fined 100,000 euros ($198,000) for disturbances when fans threw flares onto the pitch during a 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic last week.
HNS president and hero of the 1998 World Cup run Davor Suker praised the security effort that ensured there were no problems in the stands against Spain.
However, he called for stricter controls on those allowed to enter the grounds in France to ensure there is no repeat of the Lens trouble.
"In any other country, this would last one day. There are between 300 and 500 hooligans in Croatia who are listed, cause problems in any place in Europe and came to Saint-Etienne. You have to stop them entering the ground.
"There was exceptional security (in the Spain match), there were no problems and exceptional fair play.
"99.9 per cent (of the fans) are great, but there are 0.01 per cent of radicals who want to destroy football and we have to stop them now because we have paid over one million euros in fines for nothing." - Wire Services.
Odds on Wales winning Euros slashes
One bookmaker has said it stands to pay out more should Wales win Euro 2016 than if rivals England claim the silverware.
Patriotic punters normally back the Three Lions so heavily, Ladbrokes said it was "unheard of" for another team to cause them the biggest potential loss at a major football championship.
The firm added that it would pay out more on a Wales win than they did when Leicester City won the league after starting the campaign as 5,000/1 long shots.
Chris Coleman's side started the tournament at 100/1 with the bookmakers but are now priced at 25/1.
Ladbrokes' Alex Donohue said the most any punter stood to win should Wales do the unexpected was £50,000 ($100,000).
He added: "In a season of upsets, the odds of Wales pulling off another fairy-tale story have been slashed repeatedly.
"Should Bale and Co go all the way, it's not just fans in Wales who will profit either, as punters on the other side of the Severn have jumped on the Red Dragon bandwagon in record numbers too."
William Hill said its biggest winner should Wales win the tournament would bag £16,000.
One one punter even staked £360 on Gareth Bale being the top scorer at 50/1 which would return £11,475.
Since scoring three goals in the group stages, the odds of Bale bagging the Golden Boot were now down to 7/2. - PA Sport.
Northern Ireland need team effort to stop Bale: Hughes
Aaron Hughes. PHOTO: REUTERS
Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes says keeping Wales' talisman Gareth Bale quiet in tonight's last-16 clash at Euro 2016 will take a team effort - as they have already proven against Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Welsh take on Michael O'Neill's side at Paris' Parc de Princes for a quarter-final spot against either Hungary or Belgium.
Real Madrid star Bale has been on fire, scoring in all three games as Wales beat England to top spot in Group B, and stopping him is occupying Northern Irish minds.
"That's the big question, it's something we're looking at and preparing for," said Hughes, who is a free agent after being released by Melbourne City in April.
"A player of that calibre is always going to be a challenge."
However, putting the brakes on a superstar is nothing new for the 36-year-old.
Hughes was credited with keeping Cristiano Ronaldo quiet the night he won his 100th cap for Portugal in a 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland in October 2012.
Ronaldo drew a blank at Porto's Estadio do Dragao as Niall McGinn put the Irish ahead before Helder Postiga rescued Portugal's blushes with a late equaliser.
Now Hughes, who played for Newcastle United, Fulham and Aston Villa, is relishing the challenge of keeping Bale quiet.
"It's great. One of the best things about playing at a tournament like this is coming up against some of the best players in the world," said Hughes.
"But that night (against Portugal) was a team effort.
"You can never really deal with the threat of a player of that calibre by marking him one-on-one.
"You need to work as a team. It can't be just down to one player, it'll take a big effort from all of us."
Northern Ireland drew 1-1 with Wales in a March friendly in Cardiff and another tight tussle is expected.
"It will be a fantastic game and the atmosphere will be tremendous, as good as any atmosphere we've seen at any game in this tournament," said Hughes.
Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty matched Bale's feats in qualifying by scoring seven goals to send them to their first major tournament in 30 years.
But, having only started one of his side's three games in the group stage, the Norwich City frontman was flustered by the comparison.
"I don't know what to say about that," said the 28-year-old.
"I scored a few in the qualifiers, I haven't got off the mark yet and obviously what a stage it would be to do that on Saturday.
"It's going to be a tough game. Gareth Bale is their standout player, you don't play for Real Madrid by being average. But we have one of the best defences in the tournament."
Nevertheless, Lafferty bullishly backed Northern Ireland to win the title on their debut at a European Championship Finals.
"With this squad of players, I honestly believe we can go the whole way, it may take some luck, but we'll upset a few teams, so we will," he added. - AFP.
You need to work as a team. It can’t be just down to one player, it’ll take a big effort from all of us.
— Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes
SCDF awards teens who helped two cardiac arrest victims
Teens who helped two cardiac arrest victims in a day get SCDF awards
Two teenagers became the first civilians to respond to two calls for help by cardiac arrest victims in a day through an innovative mobile phone app by Singapore Civil Defence (SCDF) .
Mr Hairil Aidilfitri Johari, 19, and Mr Muhammad Adhwa Ahlami Johari, 19, went to the aid of two victims in two hours, after Mr Adhwa received two alerts from the myResponder app on Wednesday.
The boys had watched Croatia upset favourites Spain 2-1 in a Euro 2016 group match and then tucked into their pre-dawn Ramadan meal at Mr Hairil's Woodlands Street 82 flat.
Just as they finished their meal at 5.30am, Mr Adhwa heard a siren. It did not come from a passing ambulance outside, it was a notification from his myResponder app.
The two ITE students, who are been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillator (AED), sprinted to the scene in two minutes.
They were just in time to assist paramedics and help direct traffic.
They had barely caught their breath after the first case when Mr Adhwa and Mr Hairil received another notification, at 7.33am.
"We were very thirsty but could not stop for a water break as we are fasting," Mr Hairil told The New Paper. Rain poured while they sprinted to their next case. They reachedthe victim's flat in a minute.
They saw the victim's family members administering CPR while he was seated in an upright position, which was wrong.
Remembering their cadet training at Evergreen Secondary School, the teens took control of the situation.
They placed the victim on the floor, and took turns to administer CPR on the elderly man with the assistance of the voice call function on the app.
Once paramedics came seven minutes later, the teens consoled the victim's distraught family members.
"It was the least we could do," said Mr Hairil. Despite their efforts, both patients died later.
The SCDF decided to recognise the teens exceptional efforts and gave them the Public Spiritedness Award at the 4th SCDF Division Headquarters in Bukit Batok yesterday.
Their former secondary school principal, Ms Carol Lim, beamed with pride when they were presented with the award.
"They are boys of good character and always selflessly offering their help in times of crisis," Ms Lim said.
Assistant Commissioner Yazid Abdullah, the director of the medical department at SCDF, commended Mr Adhwa and Mr Hairil's courage.
He said that even though these two were equipped with first-aid training, responders without any background knowledge can also use the myResponder app.
"It is not essential to have previous first-aid training as responders will have the assistance of our control room.
"We highly encourage more people to offer their assistance using myResponder," said AC Yazid.
Prison officer convicted of molesting male inmate
Veteran prison officer convicted of repeatedly molesting inmate. When inmate protested, he said: 'Officer sayang you'
It started with him stroking the arm of a young prison inmate last July.
The next month, he grabbed the 20-year-old man's buttocks.
By October, he had gone on to squeeze his victim's private parts.
The prison officer of 27 years, Mohamed Faris Osman, 47, was yesterday convicted on nine counts of outrage of modesty after an eight-day trial.
District Judge May Mesenas found that Faris, a sergeant in the Singapore Prison Service, had abused his position and had repeatedly molested the inmate at Admiralty West Prison last year.
In her submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Stephanie Koh said that Faris, a logistics officer, was assigned to supervise inmates in an Internal Working Party every day.
The team of about five men performed maintenance and cleaning work in the prison.
His victim, a Chinese national who was jailed from April 16 to Nov 26 last year, was one of them.
DPP Koh said the victim was sweeping the floor in July when Faris stroked his right arm while making a moaning sound.
Though the inmate told Faris that he did not like the action, Faris poked his buttocks with the antenna of a walkie-talkie the following month.
Faris also grabbed the inmate's right buttock for a few seconds on Aug 19.
When the inmate asked why he had done that, Faris replied: "Officer sayang (love in Malay) you."
Faris touched the man's right buttock again two days later, gave a thumbs-ups and said: "Nice."
In September, he poked the inmate's buttocks again with his walkie-talkie antenna.
Later that month, he told his victim, "I love you", before squeezing his private parts twice.
ARE YOU CRAZY?
This sparked an exchange between them.
Inmate: "Are you crazy?"
Faris: "Officer sayang you, why you no sayang officer?"
Inmate: "If you really sayang me, you will not do that."
The court heard that Faris molested the inmate three times on Oct 16 by patting his right buttock and then rubbing his private parts.
DPP Koh said Faris also simulated a sex act with a baton before hurting his victim by again squeezing his private parts.
The offences came to light when Rehabilitation Officer (RO) Jayrius Tan Yee Boon noticed the inmate looking depressed later that day.
After the inmate told RO Tan about his ordeal, RO Tan e-mailed the prison superintendent and made a report to the police on Oct 22.
DPP Koh said the inmate had not reported the abuse to the prison authorities because he was worried about retribution from Faris.
She added: "He was worried his date of release from prison would be affected by his complaint against a prison officer."
Faris' lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh, earlier told the court that his client had denied committing any molest.
Denying that Faris had patted the inmate's buttock on Oct 16, he said Faris had instead tapped the side of the inmate's hip to make him complete his work faster.
Mr Singh also said that Faris had accidentally tapped the inmate's groin area that day.
"It is also highly unlikely and improbable that the accused, an experienced officer, would risk his career and life by doing the acts alleged under the very noses of his superiors, he added.
But Judge Mesenas found no reason to doubt the inmate's evidence, saying: "He was even prepared to tolerate these instances of humiliation and not have any 'conflict' with the prison officers as he did not want his sentence to be 'increased'.
Finding Faris to be an untruthful witness, the judge said: "I would treat the evidence of the accused with caution."
Faris is out on $10,000 bail and will be back in court on July 8.
For each count of outrage of modesty, he can be jailed up to two years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of such punishments.
Early intervention stopped his nightmares
Hospital's early intervention helped stop trauma patient's nightmares
Plagued by nightmares, he could not sleep for a week after a bad car accident four months ago.
He would toss and turn in bed as scenes from the crash kept replaying in his mind.
He was suffering psychological symptoms after a traumatic experience.
This can happen to those who have been exposed to major trauma such as war, traffic accidents, or the sudden death of a loved one.
The symptoms include insomnia, flashbacks, nightmares and feelings of distress.
The regional consultant in his 40s, who would give his name only as Mr Wong, was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday.
He said: "I was totally lost. I didn't know what was happening. There was physical pain, as well as emotional pain and uncertainty."
When Mr Wong was admitted to Changi General Hospital (CGH) after the accident, he was flagged for its early intervention programme.
CGH has screened almost 6,000 trauma patients since 2007 and it said that early intervention has helped patients like Mr Wong.
According to CGH, only one in 33 patients needed follow-up treatment for post-trauma mental health conditions after the early invention.
In comparison, studies show that globally, the average is one in 10 patients.
This shows that early intervention seemed to contribute to a reduced risk of developing post-trauma mental health disorders.
The CGH programme identified those at risk early and educated them on how to build their emotional resilience, explained Dr Angelina Chan, a senior consultant psychiatrist at CGH and the head of the unit that conducts the programme.
Mr Wong recalled how his trauma counsellor, Ms Diana Hashim, 30, helped him despite his initial reluctance.
He went through four counselling sessions, which lasted from 30 minutes to an hour each.
He said he now does not suffer from nightmares about the accident.
Said Ms Diana: "He was good-humoured throughout the sessions, but it was evident that he still experienced undercurrents of emotional and mental pain."
Many patients also have feelings of guilt after experiencing accidents, especially if they were the drivers, she said.
"It's important for them to come to terms with the accident and realise that certain things are beyond their control," she said.
I was totally lost. I didn't know what was happening. There was physical pain, as well as emotional pain and uncertainty.
- Mr Wong