Sat, Dec 27, 2003 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ SoccerDraw set for Jan. 15

The draw for the 2004 Asian Cup finals will be made on Jan. 15 in Chongqing city in southwest China, the Asian Football Confederation said on its Web site. A total of 16 teams will enter the draw for the finals which will be played in China for the first time from July 17 to Aug. 7. Hosts China and defending champions Japan will be joined in the hat by 14 qualifiers -- Uzbekistan, Thailand, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Jordan, Iran, Oman, South Korea, Iraq, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Turkmenistan. The 16 teams will be divided into four groups of four teams with the seedings announced at a later date, the AFC said. Chongqing is one of the four host cities for the Asian Cup finals, along with Chengdu, Jinan and Beijing.

■ Football

Hawaii edges Houston

Michael Brewster's eight-yard touchdown run in the third overtime sent Hawaii to a 54-48 victory over Houston in a Hawaii Bowl game that ended with an ugly fight at midfield. Shortly after Hawaii stopped the Cougars on fourth down in the third OT Thursday, several scuffles broke out with some players swinging helmets at each other and throwing punches. Coaches and police broke up the brawl after several minutes, and both teams finally headed to their locker rooms. It was a wild ending to a thrilling game. Houston (7-6) took advantage of a major clock management mistake by Hawaii (9-5) to tie it at 34 with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After the Warriors blew a chance to run out the clock and missed a short field-goal attempt, Houston's Vincent Marshall caught an 81-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Kolb to tie it.

■ Basketball

Bryant `a little' scared

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant said in a televised interview that he sometimes becomes distracted or scared as he fights a felony sexual assault charge. "You're just ... living in a nightmare and just can't really wake up out of it," Bryant said in the interview, broadcast Thursday on television network ABC at halftime of the Houston Rockets-Lakers game. Houston won, 99-87. Bryant, 25, is charged with attacking a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort in June. He has said the two had consensual sex. Asked if he has trouble keeping his mind on basketball during games, Bryant said: "Sometimes it wanders and I have to try to bring myself back to center. It's human nature, I guess." He said he is sometimes "a little bit" scared. "If you can't control, you just kind of have to let it go. And at times that can be extremely difficult but, you know, you do it," he said.

■ Soccer

Ferdinand speaks up

Former England striker Les Ferdinand revealed Thursday how the prospect of ending his distinguished career on a low after West Ham's relegation from the Premiership last season prompted him to delay his retirement. Ferdinand, who has since joined Leicester, said: "It was a bitter pill for me to swallow personally and we are doing everything at Leicester to make sure that doesn't happen. That was what made me decide to carry on for another season. That was the turning point for me because I was undecided to be honest whether to play again this season. But I didn't really want to end my career with relegation. I would have been sitting at home all this season thinking `what if' and I decided to give it another go."

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