GRA to audit ExxonMobil

first_imgThe Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced plans to audit ExxonMobil’s operations and is making all the necessary preparations to ensure that Guyana gains its rightful share of taxes from the annual production of oil and gas, GRA Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia has said.Statia revealed that this will happen soon, as the GRA is already in the process of establishing an oil and gas unit which will be staffed by over 100 persons from both here and abroad. According to him, the country is expected to earn millions of United States (US) dollars annually from oil production.The Commissioner General said ExxonMobil has been duly informed of the plans. He said the audits would focus not only on revenues but also on expenses, assets and other issues as the need arises. “You don’t have to be on the well measuring barrel by barrel to do a proper audit on any oil company. There is adequate software and you could trace the funds all over the world,” he explained.In addition to that, the GRA boss noted that the Authority plans to maximise the opportunity of gaining taxes. As such, audits would also be extended to ExxonMobil contractors. “When we are looking at oil and what we get from oil, we don’t look to see the taxes that we are going to get from contractors, the economic activities we will get from mid-stream activities,” Statia added.He made reference to reports about oil companies in neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago allegedly evading withholding taxes to the tune of US$200 million annually, through inter-company transfers within the Region. “I would like to say that if that occurs here, it would not be under my watch. It means that the tax officers were not doing their jobs properly,” Statia said, while emphasising the need for vigilance.According to him, many oil companies have been part of inter-company transactions since the 1970s. He said it therefore requires a competent team of auditors to curtail these activities. While admitting that there is a limited pool of people who could go after additional taxes, the GRA plans to equip the staff to respond to this new sector in an efficient manner to find additional taxes.The Commissioner General also revealed that based on certain estimates, Guyana could earn as much as US$700 in the first year of oil production. As such, he stressed the importance of having adequately-trained persons and the need for a technically diversed staff as well to work in the unit.Some eight persons will be sent to England to pursue studies in oil and gas. Local training which starts on Monday will be facilitated by a technical assistance group from the US which comprises retired Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers. IRS is the revenue service of the US Federal Government.“In the first instance, we are going to be training internal persons to give them a chance and so those internal persons would begin training from next week. There are certain technocratic positions that we cannot fill such as persons who are fully into petroleum audit and accounting,” he stated.Furthermore, several GRA staff will be heading to Trinidad soon to be trained. The Government has also set aside US$2 million for training in the area of oil and gas. This is in addition to the 10 GRA officers already being trained on board ExxonMobil’s vessels.In a report done on the oil sector last year, the IMF had urged the Guyana Government to start as soon as possible auditing all exploration and development costs being racked up by ExxonMobil.When he presented the 2018 Budget last year, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had alluded to the impending establishment of an oil and gas unit at the GRA. The IMF had said establishment of this unit should become a priority of the Government.“It will be important for this unit to start verifying and undertaking audits of cost incurred during the exploration and development phase, which is getting underway now. It would be advantageous to establish close working relations between the GRA and the sector regulators, to ensure that the limited petroleum sector expertise in Government is applied most efficiently,” the IMF had stated in its report.last_img read more

Loew rejects Ozil’s accusations of racism

first_img“The players with an immigration background have always enjoyed playing for us and nothing has changed,” added Loew who has been head coach since 2006.Arsenal midfielder Ozil retired from international football on July 22 with a stinging three-page statement, in which he directly accused DFB president Reinhard Grindel of racism.This is the first time Loew has commented on the Ozil saga.– No contact –“His advisor called me to inform me that Mesut would issue the third part of his statement,” added Loew.“The player himself did not call me, which normally players have done in the past.“Mesut has still not called and for the last two weeks I have unsuccessfully tried to reach him.“I am sure there will be a chance for a personal conversation in the future.“He has chosen this path – I have to accept that.”Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, who were both born in Germany to Turkish parents, sparked a political storm on the eve of the World Cup by meeting Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.When Erdogan’s office put out pictures of the meeting, the pair’s loyalty to Germany was hotly questioned, sparking fierce debate about integration, and they were attacked by German far-right politicians.Ozil walked away from the German set up after the World Cup, complaining of facing “racism and disrespect” and specifically took aim at Grindel.Sami Khedira is the biggest name casualty in the Germany squad to face France and Peru next month with the Juventus midfielder axed by head coach Joachim Loew. © AFP/File / BENJAMIN CREMEL“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil wrote damningly.Following Germany’s World Cup debacle, finishing bottom of their group in Russia, Loew announced on Wednesday that assistant coach Thomas Schneider has been demoted to chief scout.The axe has also fallen on Sami Khedira, 31, who was part of the team which won the 2014 World Cup.The Juventus midfielder is the biggest name casualty in the new squad, which included Gundogan, as well as his Manchester City team-mate Leroy Sane, who was dropped for the World Cup.Loew says ‘the biggest mistake’ he made in Russia was to assume Germany could reach the knock-out stages by playing possession football.– ‘Almost arrogant’ –“That was almost arrogant. I wanted to take our game to the limit and perfect it,” admitted the 58-year-old.“I ended up taking too many risks and after the first game (a 1-0 defeat to Mexico) we had our backs to the wall.”Loew’s new squad has a mix of “experience and youth” with his 2014 World Cup winning stars Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Tony Kroos, Thomas Mueller and Manuel Neuer included despite below-par performances in Russia.Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thilo Kehrer, 21, Hoffenheim left-back Nico Schulz, 25, and Bayer Leverkusen forward Kai Havertz, 19, are called up for the first time.Sane, Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah and Freiburg striker Nils Petersen, who were cut from the provisional World Cup squad, all return.In May, Loew signed a four-year deal to take him through to the next World Cup, but admits Germany’s woeful performance in Russia puts him under huge pressure to turn things around — starting against world champions France.“We are all being specially observed and put under pressure, I am aware of that,” said Loew.“However, I am still convinced of our class and quality. The World Cup squad was very, very good, but we did not perform.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Germany head coach Joachim Loew admits he had been ‘almost arrogant’ with some of his decisions in Russia as he outlined the reasons for Germany’s World Cup debacle © AFP / Christof STACHEMUNICH, Germany, Aug 29 – Joachim Loew has rejected Mesut Ozil’s accusations of racism within the German FA (DFB) as the head coach gave his analysis of Germany’s World Cup debacle on Wednesday.“Mesut made allegations of racism, but I can clearly say that in the DFB, there have never been racist comments,” Loew said while announcing his squad to face world champions France in Munich on September 6, then Peru three days later.last_img read more

Benteke doesn’t understand why Klopp ‘ignores’ him at Liverpool

first_imgLiverpool striker Christian Benteke has admitted he finds it difficult to understand why manager Jurgen Klopp ‘ignores’ him.The Belgium international, who has scored just eight goals in 35 Reds appearances, has become frustrated with his bit-part role at Anfield.Benteke, who was signed for £32.5million last summer, has made just five starts in 16 games since the end of December, with Klopp has preferring fit-again Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi up front.At the end of Sunday’s dreadful defeat at Southampton, Klopp was seen in animated discussions on the pitch with the forward after he missed a number of chances in the 3-2 loss.Benteke has risked making that relationship worse but he insists he wants to succeed at Anfield despite speculation linking him with a move away.“Some team-mates have said that I was lucky with the arrival of Klopp, because I certainly would play,” he told Belgium’s Sport/Voetbalmagazine.“When your coach says he wanted to take you to Dortmund and a little later you sit at the same club and he ignores you it is hard to understand.”Benteke’s apparent unsuitability for Klopp’s intensive, high-pressing tactics has been debated for some time, but the player rejects accusations he cannot fit in to the German’s plans.“I find it bizarre, I do not understand why people say that,” he added. “I can play pressing and moving a lot. It is not that we play in the Barcelona style.“In January I didn’t want to leave and it’s still my desire to succeed at Liverpool. We’ll see at the end of the season.” 1 Fallen out? Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with striker Christian Benteke last_img read more

Video shows Ramos discussing ways to ‘stop’ Liverpool’s front three

first_img Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won 💬🏆 @SergioRamos, @DaniCarvajal92 and @lukamodric10 talk tactics around the massage table ahead of the Champions League final! #EnElCorazónDeLaDecimotercera pic.twitter.com/Invw7wWV4V— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) September 23, 2018“We have to put a lot of pressure on them,” Carvajal said as received a massage alongside his team-mates. “They get the ball back and combine fast.“If we can stop that, and be close to their three forwards, and boom. Quickly. They try to get out of the pressure? We have to be there.“If they keep it, fine. Let’s keep them 40 metres away.” Listening, Ramos said: “We have to avoid silly fouls on the sides. They are very strong in the air. We’ll get them in the counter attack.“Same thing with the second chances. We have to communicate well all the time. In every ball they clear, we have to keep our mark until the end.” no dice 4 Ramos’ tangle with Mohamed Salah saw the Liverpool forward’s night end prematurely as Real Madrid went on to win 3-1 huge blow ADVICE Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Then Carvajal’s thoughts turned to Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson. “If their full-backs go way up, you can’t chase them all the time. Because by minute 60 you’ll be dead,” he said, with Modric adding: “Let’s pick our battles. Just like we did against Juventus, you know?“We played the same way, and they did too. Let their full-backs have the ball.” Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions BEST OF Most popular football news Ramos hoists the Champions League trophy aloft in May. The win was his fourth and Real Madrid’s 13th Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Alexander-Arnold, though, is in awe of the player.“Everyone has their way of winning and I think he’s showed over the years that he’s a winner,” he said.“So has his team. To win the Champions League three times in a row takes some doing. Ramos has probably been the best centre-back in the world for some time. Even if he was the enemy in May you still have to respect him as a player.” getty center_img RANKED A video clip showing Sergio Ramos discussing how to stop Liverpool’s front three in the Champions League final has emerged.The captain, who skippered his side to their third consecutive victory in the competition, was involved in a tussle with Reds star Mohamed Salah in the first half, bringing a premature end to the ‘Egyptian King’s’ game.He was accused by Liverpool fans of deliberately hurting Salah, something which he has dismissed.In a film called ‘In the heart of La Decimotercera’, Ramos is seen with full-back Dani Carvajal and playmaker Luka Modric talking tactics. Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 4 impact REVEALED MONEY The incident with Salah saw Ramos become public enemy no.1 with Reds fans and one supporter even created a petition calling on the football authorities to ‘punish Sergio Ramos for intentionally hurting Mohamed Salah’.Ramos played for Spain against England at Wembley at the start of September and was booed by sections of the support before later revealing he and his family had received death threats relating to the final in May. REVEALED 4 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won silverware Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury 4 Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red cardlast_img read more

EQUESTRIAN: GAELTACHT RIDER PATRICIA IS FASTEST IN MULLINGAR

first_imgDonegal Gaeltacht’s Patricia Warren on Hes A DandyNational Show Jumping ChampionshipsPatricia Warren, Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal, produced the fastest clear round of the day to win the Advanced Intermediate title at the Association of Irish Riding Clubs (AIRC) Connolly’s Red Mills National Show Jumping Championships at Mullingar Equestrian Centre, Co. Westmeath last Sunday. The Donegal Gaeltacht rider’s time of 34.35 seconds wasn’t matched by any other competitor in the arena throughout the day in a championship jump-off.Patricia was one of only 5 riders who made it through to the jump-off in the advanced intermediate final. Warren, a master of the jump off, was second in to jump on her 15 year old bay gelding, He’s A Dandy, and shaved over three seconds off the target of 37.67 seconds, which was set by pathfinder Mary Corcoran from Tipperary, riding Super Connected. Mary claimed the blue ribbon for 2nd place. Warren, who is an Equestrian Coach, was AIRC Show Jumping Champion in 2010 and in 2011, and is based at Killult Stables, in the Falcarragh/Gortahork area.  EQUESTRIAN: GAELTACHT RIDER PATRICIA IS FASTEST IN MULLINGAR was last modified: July 24th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:EQUESTRIAN: GAELTACHT RIDER PATRICIA IS FASTEST IN MULLINGARlast_img read more

‘There are people dying on our streets! Or hadn’t you noticed?’ – Doherty slams Budget 2018

first_imgSinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has described Budget 2018 as a budget that tolerates and normalises mass homelessness of young people and children.The Donegal TD said the government’s decision to allocate a large proportion of resources on tax cuts shows that it does not understand the reality on the ground for ordinary families.Teachta Doherty today lambasted the government’s decisions to cut taxes rather than rebuilding health services and building homes. Speaking in Dail Eireann, Teachta Doherty said;“Minister, you know that it is possible to balance the books while at the same time beginning the process of sorting the crises in our health and housing sectors through meaningful investment. You know this because Sinn Féin’s alternative budget demonstrates exactly that.“But what does your version of balancing the books mean for the child who hears their mother locked in the bathroom of their hotel room crying night after night because she feels that she is failing her daughter.“What does it mean for the parents who have to watch their children suffer in pain because they cannot get access to treatment in our crumbling health services? “How comforting is your version of balancing the books for the elderly man lying on a hospital trolley today.“These are the realities of your policies and you are furthering and normalising these policies here today with the help of Fianna Fáil.“Unfortunately the only conclusion we can come to Minister is that you simply don’t get it.“You don’t get what it’s like to have to wait and wait and wait to access hospital services while you’re suffering in pain;  you don’t get what its like to have to wait on a hospital trolley and the loss of dignity that goes with that; you don’t get what it means to be a frontline worker in these circumstances; you don’t get what its like to bring your kids up in a hotel room, bringing them through the hotel every morning in their school uniforms while the other hotel guests look on in bemusement.“Even if you got this just a little bit, you wouldn’t be coming in here prioritising tax cuts.  Because every cent that you put into tax cuts is money that money that could be used to rebuild our health services and to build homes. “This is a budget that tolerates and normalises mass homelessness of young people and children.  It is a budget that normalises our crumbling health services.  The people deserve better than that.  This is not something that Sinn Fein will stand over and it is a disgrace that this is the best that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil can cobble together.“Where’s the urgency?  There’s people dying on our streets! Or hadn’t you noticed?” Deputy Doherty said.‘There are people dying on our streets! Or hadn’t you noticed?’ – Doherty slams Budget 2018 was last modified: October 11th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:budget 2018FinancehealthHOMELESSNESSPearse Doherty TDSinn Feinlast_img read more

Seamounts: No Speciation Here, Mate

first_imgThese isolated habitats should be ideal labs for studying Darwin’s origin of species, but the evidence just isn’t there.Seamounts are undersea mountains that rise at least 1,000 meters above the sea floor. Usually volcanic in origin, many are steep-walled, with tops hundreds of meters below the ocean surface. Quite a few have flat tops, believed to have been leveled by the waves when sea levels were lower; those are known as guyots.The study of seamounts is still in its infancy. Because of their isolation, seamounts should be labs for Darwinian evolution. We should be seeing new species unique (endemic) to individual seamount habitats. A book published in March 2010 made that prediction. In Seamounts: deep-ocean laboratories of faunal connectivity, evolution, and endemism, Timothy M. Shank of the reputable Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution wrote:Seamount systems that are geographically, hydrographically, topographically, and/or genetically “isolated” are likely to have developed highly endemic taxa and ecosystems. Although current estimates of endemism are challenged by inconsistencies in sampling approaches, the physical, biological, and geological processes intrinsic to seamount systems can undeniably serve to connect or isolate populations, stimulate genetic divergence, drive the formation of new species, and structure diversity and endemism. In fact, the large variety of interconnected mechanisms that promote or impede the genetic connectivity of seamount communities via dispersal (and the long-term maintenance of species or the subsequent divergence of populations leading to speciation) are key unknowns to understanding the fundamental evolutionary processes that structure both the diversity and biogeography of deep-sea fauna.Here we have a Darwinian prediction. Will it stand up to the test? Notice that Shank left himself an out, saying that not much is known about dispersal and connectivity of habitats. Still, one would think that at least some new species arising on a seamount would have a hard time colonizing the rest of the ocean.Later that same year (2010), five oceanographers writing for Marine Ecology were already casting doubt on the paradigm that seamounts are hotspots of endemism. This year we have more new data to test the Darwinian predictions.A team of three oceanographers publishing in PLoS One carefully surveyed life on the Cobb Seamount (see Wikipedia), an isolated undersea mountain in the northern Pacific, 500 km off the coast of Washington State. Using underwater vehicles, they explored numerous habitats and ecosystems on 220 square kilometers of its surface area, taking 1,600 images all the way from the summit that is 34 meters below the water to terraced slopes as deep as 1154 meters (almost 3,800 feet). They identified 74 taxa from 11 phyla, including sponges, algae, corals, lamp shells, lobsters, crabs, sea cucumbers, fish and much more. How did Darwinian theory fare from the observations?The results of the study support the paradigms that seamounts are diversity ‘hotspots’, that the majority of seamount communities are at risk to disturbance from bottom fishing, and that seamounts are refugia for biota, while refuting the idea that seamounts have high endemism.In plain English, while the seamount provided numerous hotspots for a wide variety of living things, all the species they observed are “commonly found on the North American coast.” Not only did the observations refute the hypothesis of “high endemism” – the scientists state flatly, “There was no recorded endemism on the seamount.” The Darwinian prediction by Shank has been refuted by the evidence.There are several possible comeback arguments evolutionists can use to rescue Darwinism. We know the Cobb Seamount is not pristine, having been subject to fishing activity for years. Perhaps humans mixed up the ecology. Maybe coral polyps and other larvae get around better than thought; they evolved on the coast, and made it to the top of the seamount on their own, or were transported there by ocean currents. Or they evolved on the seamount and were spread outward from where they originated. Maybe they hitchhiked on nets or boat hulls. All kinds of processes could have scrambled the ecosystems. In short; maybe seamounts are not as isolated as previously thought.Several considerations make these auxiliary hypotheses implausible. For one, geologists date the Cobb Seamount at 3.3 million years old (Wikipedia). That should allow plenty of time for radical innovation of remarkably unique species endemic to that location. For another, many species tend to have limited ranges even on the seamount. Deeper ecosystems are different than shallow ecosystems. Would there not be very protected spots in this vast area immune to mixing? Moreover, an article on NOAA by Woods Hole biologist Susan Miller explains that colonization of seamounts is rare, particularly for delicate coral polyps that don’t live long and are weak swimmers. She describes ocean currents called “Taylor columns” that spiral around seamounts, keeping the organisms isolated. Seamounts really should be labs for watching evolution in action. The scientists seem to have expected to confirm the paradigm of endemism, judging from their first sentence:Partially owing to their isolation and remote distribution, research on seamounts is still in its infancy, with few comprehensive datasets and empirical evidence supporting or refuting prevailing ecological paradigms. But then, the last sentence of the Abstract confirms the biodiversity paradigm “while refuting the idea that seamounts have high endemism.”One other factor should cast doubt on the Darwinian story that life has been evolving on seamounts for millions of years. Isn’t that a long time for corals to build up deep reefs many meters thick? Wouldn’t every square inch of the mountain by now contain the remains of dead organisms that lived millions of years ago? Yet the scientists didn’t find that.Bedrock was a primary substrate in nearly all images (82%). Sand was always present (100%), but its coverage was nominal (a veneer or a pocket of sediment on the steep bedrock pinnacle). The most abundant substrate category was Bedrock-Sand (82%).This implies two challenges for Darwinism: a lack of speciation, and a far younger age for the seamount than thought. Interesting that the explorers of the Cobb Seamount did not mention evolution, speciation, or any Darwinian term at all, anywhere in their report.This refutation of Darwinian predictions parallels another one we reported in the case of the Brazilian tepui, those steep-sided “islands in the sky” that should have isolated species on their summits for millions of years. No endemic speciation was found there, either (see 8/09/12). We recall another case in the Grand Canyon, when explorers of Shiva Temple (a flat-topped butte isolated within the canyon) in 1937 expected to confirm Darwin’s origin of species taking place there, but found only the same species that exist on the rim, despite the butte having been isolated (in the evolutionary timeline) for many tens of thousands of years (see Creation Research Society report). Here are three examples where evolutionists predicted to find new endemic species forming, but they found none. Sure, there are variations in existing species, like the unique animals on the Galapagos, but even there those animals are related to species on the mainland. No new organs, systems, or new types of animals are found even after millions of years of isolation, and some of the species, like birds and insects that can no longer fly, represent degeneration, not evolution. Remember that evolutionists believe whales evolved from walking land animals in just 9 million years, and humans from apes in about 6 or 7 million years. Wouldn’t they expect at least some new phyla, orders, classes or families on seamounts after millions of years? or even new genera? They aren’t found. If prediction matters in science, and falsification, consider Darwinian theory falsified.Readers may be interested in Dr. Walt Brown’s theory of how seamounts relate to the Genesis Flood. Noting that almost all of them occur in the Pacific, he explains them as artifacts of the rapid separation of the continents when the “fountains of the great deep” burst open along the mid-Atlantic ridge. Click here to read his account. (Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Sports Minister Rathore sanctions Rs 5 lakh for Kaur Singh

first_imgNew Delhi, Dec 13 (PTI) Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore today sanctioned Rs 5 lakh to Asian Games gold medallist Kaur Singh to help the former boxer meet his medical expenses.The announcement came after Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh sanctioned Rs 2 lakh from his Chief Ministers relief fund.”The sports minister has directed that the cheque be delivered to him by an office of Sports Authority of India (SAI) tomorrow,” a ministry official told PTI today.Singh was reportedly struggling to repay a loan of Rs 2 lakh which he had borrowed from a private financer to fund his treatment for cardiac problems.Singh is best remembered for taking the ring against the legendary Muhammad Ali in an exhibition bout in New Delhi in 1980. He won a gold in the Asian Games in 1982. He was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 1982 and the Padmashri in 1983. PTI PM KHS KHSlast_img read more

Messi leads Argentina over US 4-0, into Copa America final

first_imgHOUSTON (AP) — Lionel Messi pretty much ended the United States’ Copa America hopes in less than three minutes.Argentina’s diminutive dribbling and scoring machine showed the skills, speed and brilliance that made him a five-time world player of the year, exposing the huge gap between the U.S. and soccer’s elite.Messi set up Ezequiel Lavezzi’s opening goal 175 seconds in, scored on a free kick to break Argentina’s career scoring record and assisted on the second of Gonzalo Higuain’s two goals in a 4-0 rout Tuesday night that put La Albiceleste into the Copa America final.“We got outplayed badly by a very good team,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said. “Today is a good day to judge where we are in program overall. We’re obviously a long way off.”Messi flicked the ball over the defense to an open Lavezzi for the opener, then doubled the lead in the 32nd minute with his 55th international goal, his tournament-leading fifth. Higuain added goals in the 50th and 86th minutes, the latter off Messi’s pass.Argentina had 67 percent possession and outshot the U.S. 10-0 — nine of them on goal.“Once we were 1-nil down, we had far too much respect,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “After that early goal, I think just that our players could feel that they are just probably in every position on the field just better than we are.”United States’s Chris Wondolowski (18) battles Argentina’s Lionel Messi (10) during a Copa America Centenario semifinal soccer match Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)U.S. players seemed shocked after their largest margin of defeat in a competitive match since a 5-0 loss to Mexico in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup final. While saying he respected Klinsmann’s opinion, U.S. captain Michael Bradley also said: “Please don’t make it out to be anything like that.”Argentina seeks its first major title since the 1993 Copa — and its first since Messi’s debut in 2005 — on Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey, against the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between Chile and Colombia.“We deserve it, for all the good work we’ve been doing all these years,” Messi said.Argentina will be missing Lavezzi, who broke his left elbow when he fell backward over an advertising sign board in the 63rd minute while trying to chest a pass.Hosting a special, expanded 16-nation edition of South America’s championship to celebrate Copa America’s 100th anniversary, the U.S. won a difficult group that included third-ranked Colombia and then beat No. 13 Ecuador in the quarterfinals. But top-ranked Argentina and Messi, who turns 29 Friday and is at the top of his game, stunned the No. 31 U.S. and the sellout crowd of 70,858 at NRG Stadium.“It’s some of his angles and his spurts and just going from a walk to an absolute sprint,” U.S. midfielder Kyle Beckerman said. “You try to do what you can to stop him, but once he gets going, it’s hard.”The U.S. closes its tournament Saturday in the third-place match at Glendale, Arizona.Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain (9) scores a goal past U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan (1) during a Copa America Centenario soccer semifinal, Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Houston. Argentina won 4-0. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Messi will try to fill a major gap in his resume. He has helped Barcelona win eight titles in Spain’s La Liga and four in the Champions League, but his Argentina trophies have been limited to the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship for players under 20 and the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, mostly for players under 23. La Albiceleste lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil and to host Chile on penalty kicks in last year’s Copa America final.“I think that since losing the final in Brazil, these players set out to have a new possibility,” Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said.Klinsmann inserted Beckerman and midfielder Graham Zusi into his lineup along with forward Chris Wondolowski because of suspensions assessed to midfielders Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya, and forward Bobby Wood.Argentina went ahead when Lavezzi played a short corner kick to Ever Banega, who passed back to Lavezzi sprinting from the corner diagonally. Lavezzi beat Fabian Johnson to the ball and poked it to an unmarked Messi about 25 yards out, in the center of the field. As the U.S. defense started to come out, Messi one-timed a flick with his left foot over the back line to Lavezzi, who headed the ball from 7 yards over goalkeeper Brad Guzan.Klinsmann tried to steady his players.“You were trying to scream into the field, saying, ‘Go at them. Go. Become physical. Just step on their toes,’” he recalled.Messi doubled the lead after he was fouled by Wondolowski. Klinsmann yelled at Paraguayan referee Eduardo Cardozo as Messi placed the ball about 26 yards out, closer than the spot of the foul.“If it’s 5 yards back, he’s not shooting the same ball,” Klinsmann said. “We’re just too nice then in those moments.”Messi bent a beautiful curving drive that went just over Guzan’s outstretched left palm and into the upper corner. It moved him one ahead of Gabriel Batistuta’s career total, according to the Argentine Football Association; FIFA records Batistuta’s total as 56, including two goals in an exhibition against Slovakia in June 1995.“I’m really happy to have overcome the Bati,” Messi said.Higuain made it 3-0 when he burst past John Brooks for Lavezzi’s pass, one-timed a shot that Guzan stopped and poked in the rebound. Higuain got the final goal after second-half sub Steve Birnbaum gave the ball away to Messi about 35 yards out.“We let them in into a flow, and we weren’t physical enough,” U.S. defender Geoff Cameron said. “I think we respected them a little too much.” TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more