Followers of Enrique Omar Sivori bade tearful farewell on Friday to the Argentina soccer great who led River Plate and Juventus of Italy to glory in his heyday half a century ago. \nSivori, who had been struggling with pancreatic cancer, died Thursday and was laid to rest Friday at a cemetery in his native San Nicolas, about 230km north of the capital of Buenos Aires. He was 69. \nProminent newspaper La Nacion called Sivori the soccer "ace without borders" in reference to his Argentine-Italian dual citizenship and his starring roles on fields both in South America and Europe. \nOthers hailed the "soccer genius" who dominated the field for both River Plate and Juventus beginning in the 1950s. \nSivori, honored as the best European soccer player of 1961, played on both the Argentine and Italian national squads and was a memorable onfield presence throughout the 1950s and most of the 1960s. \nKnown for his flowing hair and a powerful left foot, he starred at forward with the kind of mastery that would be likened later to the ball-handling wizardry of Diego Maradona. \n"He was amazing ... a first-class dribbler who had speed and the ability to surprise at any moment," said Humberto Maschio, a former teammate on the Argentine national team. \nSivori led Argentina to the 1957 South American championship, winning the title on a team that included Omar Corbatta, Osvaldo Cruz and Humberto Maschio and remembered for its offensive prowess. \nEn route to the title, the team scored 21 goals in four games, including a 8-0 rout of Colombia. \nAs part of River Plate's lineup, Sivori also led the Buenos Aires club to league titles in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Sivori went on to Juventus of Italy where he won a huge following as he helped that squad to three league titles -- in 1958, 1960 and 1961 and to two Italian Cup victories -- in 1959 and 1960. \nHe remains revered among Juventus fans who still recall his 135 goals in 215 games. \nSivori closed out his career at Napoli in 1968, lifting the team to a 2nd-place finish in one season.
TAKE TWO: Tainan TSG are the favorites going into this season, which starts on Sunday. They have fearsome forwards and national ’keeper Pan Wen-chieh between the posts Defending champions Tainan TSG (Taiwan Steel Group) face a tough challenge from their southern neighbors Taipower and CPC FC when the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) season starts this weekend with four matches on Sunday. Promoting grassroots soccer, and organizing relegation and promotion between the top and second divisions last year was important for the progression of Taiwanese soccer, CTFA chairman Chiou I-jen told a news conference in Taipei yesterday. “We are going in the right direction ... and becoming more competitive” for international competitions, Chiou said. Still the favorites, Tainan TSG have the league’s most fearsome forwards, with three international star players.
Nine-year-old Thai kickboxer Pornpattara “Tata” Peachaurai is eager to get back in the ring after COVID-19 curbs brought his fight season to a halt more than five months ago. The money he earns is vital income for his family. “All the money from boxing, the regular payment and the tips, it all goes to mum,” the lean young fighter said. “I’m proud to be a boxer and to earn money for my mum.” Tata’s last fight was in October last year, before a second COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand shut down sports events as bans on large gatherings were reimposed. “I cannot box. I
FIFTY YEARS ON: ‘Don’t be afraid of competition, we can compete peacefully,’ said Yao Zhenxu, a Chinese player who was there when ‘ping-pong diplomacy’ began It was 50 years ago, but Zhang Xielin remembers vividly how a shaggy-haired US table tennis player stepped onto the Chinese team’s bus, a chance encounter which would shape history. It was the world championships in Nagoya, Japan, and Glenn Cowan mistakenly hopped in with Zhang and his teammates — an awkward moment because the US and China were then deeply at odds. “We were on the bus and were talking and laughing,” said Zhang, now 80. “But when we realized that an American had come onto the bus, we fell silent.” The Chinese triple world champion Zhuang Zedong eventually came forward and
After several humbling losses to the West Division leaders, the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday sent quite the message to the Colorado Avalanche in their last of eight regular-season matchups. Eight was more than enough for the Wild to slow the Avalanche. Kevin Fiala notched his first career hat-trick, while Kirill Kaprizov had two of Minnesota’s three power-play goals as the sharp-shooting Wild beat Colorado 8-3 to hand the Avalanche their first regulation loss in 16 games. “We can play against you guys,” Fiala said. “If we’re going to meet them in the playoffs.” Luke Johnson, Ryan Hartman and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored as