Hosts make the final
Three times champions Thailand fought back from a goal down to reach the final of the Southeast Asian championships with a 2-1 win over Indonesia on Saturday. Late goals by Teerathep Winothai and substitute Ronnachai Rangsiyo gave the Thais a 3-1 aggregate victory that sets up a final with Singapore or Vietnam. “They were difficult to break down, but I knew Indonesia wouldn’t be able to keep it up,” Thailand coach Peter Reid said. “They put us out of our stride, but we were patient, we worked through it. It takes 90 minutes to win a match.”
Championship called off
The Uruguayan championship was once again called off just hours before the 15th and final round of matches yesterday when one of four teams could been crowned champions. The league was also suspended on Nov. 16 following the Danubio versus Nacional game when supporters from both teams invaded the pitch and started fighting in the presence of 160 policemen. Danubio, who are one of the teams with a chance of winning the title, were scheduled to host Penarol yesterday, but police said they could not guarantee security in the stadium and urged the Uruguayan soccer federation to suspend the championship. The previous Sunday a supporter was left in a coma after being hurt at Nacional’s 1-0 victory over Penarol when police, who had four officers slightly injured, made 49 arrests.
Wolves go seven points clear
Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy believes his side’s 1-0 win at Doncaster Rovers could prove the most valuable of their Championship promotion campaign. McCarthy’s men moved seven points clear at the top of England’s second tier thanks to a late winner from Neill Collins at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday. Collins struck with just nine minutes to play, but the goal was harsh on struggling Doncaster, who had dominated for long periods. “One of the lads said afterwards that it could be one of the best wins of the season and I think it could be,” McCarthy said. “It was a fantastic result against a side who are well organized and well coached.” Wolves were able to strengthen their position on top of the table because Reading defeated Birmingham City 3-1 at St Andrews to leapfrog the Blues.
Boca edge closer to title
Late goals from Rodrigo Palacio and Cristian Chavez helped Boca Juniors to a 3-1 win over a San Lorenzo squad weakened by two red cards in the Argentine playoff race on Saturday. The victory puts the Buenos Aires club in position to clinch the Apertura title with just a draw tomorrow when they play Tigre in the final match of a round-robin to break a three-way logjam at the top of the regular season standings. “It was a tough match and we hope to repeat against Tigre,” Boca coach Carlos Ischia said. “We’re almost there.”
Sporting held by Academica
Sporting Lisbon were held 0-0 by visiting Academica and missed the chance to join leaders Benfica on top of the Portuguese league on Saturday. In front of 22,019 spectators at the Jose Alvalade Stadium, Sporting were denied a fourth straight win by resolute defense by Academica, who had gained only one point from their five previous away games this season. In Saturday’s other game, Braga rose to fifth place after beating Rio Ave 1-0 courtesy of Wason Renteria’s 75th-minute goal.