Chen debuts for Shenzhen
Chen Po-liang, Taiwan national team captain, the first Taiwanese to join a China League team, made his debut for Shenzhen Ruby on Saturday. Shenzhen won 1-0 at Beijing Baxi in their season opener. Chen’s performance was below his true potential and he was substituted in the 67th minute. His two shining moments in the game were when he made a remarkable pass to set up the striker for a one-on-one with the Beijing goalkeeper in the first half and at the beginning of the second half when he missed a clear chance, firing over the bar from inside the penalty area. Chen Ao-wei, a 19-year-old who played for Taipei Physical Education last year, the other Taiwanese to join the China League, was left out of the Beijing Baxi squad and he watched the game from the stands. Liu Fu-tsai, CTFA vice president, attended the game, wearing a Beijing Baxi hat and scarf. He did not arrange to meet with Chen Po-liang during his visit.
Mechelen fall at Waregem
Taiwan international Xavier Chen’s KV Mechelen lost 2-0 away at SV Zulte Waregem on Sunday to remain in ninth place in the Belgian Jupiler League as the hosts pulled away from the relegation places. Jens Naessens opened the scoring for Waregem in the 19th minute at the Regenboogstadion and Brian Hamalainen doubled their lead with seven minutes remaining. Defender Davy De Fauw was man of the match for the hosts. Chen played the full 90 minutes.
Muamba still in hospital
Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba remained in “critical condition” as he continued his fight for life on Sunday. Muamba was rushed to a hospital after collapsing toward the end of the first half of an FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. It was later confirmed the 23-year-old had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Berbatov to leave squad
Manchester United’s Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov will leave the club at the end of this season to play elsewhere in Europe, agent Emil Danchev said on Sunday. “I had three meetings with [Manchester United manager] Alex Ferguson. We accept that he is trying to build a new team, change the playing style, introduce more speed,” Danchev told Bulgarian Canal 3 television. He said Manchester United would not oppose Berbatov’s move in the summer even if they chose to extend his contract by an extra year. Berbatov joined Manchester United from Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.
Lokomotiv sorry for banana
A Russian soccer club has expressed its disappointment over an “idiotic” banana-throwing incident with its Congolese-born defender. Chris Samba had a banana thrown at him from the stands after his club Anzhi Makhachkala lost to Lokomotiv in Moscow late on Sunday. Samba tossed the banana back. Anzhi called on Lokomotiv security services yesterday to identify and punish the individual who threw the banana. Samba said in a statement that the incident was “an act of a stupid person.” Racism is common among some Russian fans, which include ultranationalists and neo-Nazis. Last year, Anzhi’s Roberto Carlos had bananas thrown at him twice. In 2010, Lokomotiv Moscow fans unfurled a banner showing a banana.