Women avoid wooden spoon
Taiwan’s women’s national team avoided picking up the wooden spoon in East Asian Cup qualifying in Shenzhen on Saturday by edging Hong Kong to finish in third place in the four-team tournament. Hosts China edged favorites Australia, also 2-1, to win the tournament and qualify for next year’s finals in South Korea, where they are set to face the hosts, North Korea and Japan. China’s Pu Wei won the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award, while Australia’s Kathryn Gill finished as the top scorer.
Barca could go French
Should Catalan voters back an independence drive then FC Barcelona may consider competing in the French league, city mayor Javier Trias said. He said that the club could continue to play on in the Spanish league or “perhaps, in the French league.” “We do not have the possibility of a competitive league” for Catalonia, which has a population just over seven million, Trias said. “There would be very few teams and we would have to join another league — we could adhere to the Spanish league or perhaps the French league,” he said. Asked if the club itself had a political facet, Trias said that that had been more the case in the past. “Years back, in the time of the [Franco] dictatorship, the club was a reference point for everyone in Catalonia and it was said that Barca was more than a club.”
New boys lose to Ethiopia
South Sudan, the world’s newest soccer nation, lost their first competitive game 1-0 to Ethiopia in the opening match of the East and Central African Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda on Saturday. Yonathan Kebede’s second-half goal condemned the nation to defeat at the start of the regional competition in Kampala. South Sudan had only played one match before — a 2-2 draw with Uganda in a July friendly. However, they delivered a solid performance until a defensive error allowed Kebede to score after an hour. Hosts Uganda beat Kenya 1-0 in the second Group A game on Saturday.
Klinsmann eyes US passport
Jurgen Klinsmann is considering taking US citizenship despite having played in West Germany’s 1990 World Cup-winning team and later coaching the Germany national side, he has said. The 48-year-old, who has been the coach of the US national team since July last year, lives with his family in California. “It is quite possible that in the future I will take American citizenship,” he told German daily Bild. “I need to have plenty of time for it, it’s a lengthy process. [Soccer] here may have caught up with other sports, but it is not the top sport here and I can still live here relatively anonymously.”
Palermo win Sicilian derby
US Citta di Palermo’s Fabrizio Miccoli scored his 100th Serie A goal and Josip Ilicic netted twice in a 3-1 win over in-form Sicilian rivals Catania. Palermo took the lead in the ninth minute when Catania’s Nicolas Spolli slipped while trying to cut out a cross, wrong-footing defender Nicola Legrottaglie in the process and allowing Miccoli space and time to place his shot into the net from the edge of the box. Ilicic made it 2-0 in the 48th minute, scoring with a right-foot shot from just inside the area. On the hour mark the Slovenian ran from the halfway line and hit an angled drive past the Mariano Andujar in the visitors’ goal. Francesco Lodi’s powerful 70th-minute free-kick provided Catania with a consolation goal.