Taiwan lose to Hong Kong
Taiwan fell to a 2-0 defeat against the hosts in East Asian Cup qualifying at Hong Kong Stadium on Friday. Chan Waiho and Lee Honglim scored in the 24th and 25th minutes for Hong Kong to consolidate third position in the five-team tournament. Taiwan are fourth above Guam on goal-difference after the bottom-placed side finished their tournament earlier with a 9-0 drubbing by Australia. Archie Thompson scored a hat-trick for the Socceroos, Eli Babalj added a brace, while Aaron Mooy, Michael Marrone, Mark Milligan and Richard Garcia also netted. North Korea top the standings on goals scored, with the same points and goal-difference as Australia. The winner will be decided in the final round of matches today when Hong Kong take on North Korea, followed by Taiwan against the Socceroos.
Redknapp is party pooper
Queens Park Rangers’ new manager Harry Redknapp has applauded his players’ decision to cancel their Christmas party with the struggling west London side anchored at the bottom of the Premier League. “I’m not a fan of Christmas parties and we’ve got nothing to celebrate,” Redknapp told a news conference ahead of yesterday’s clash away to Wigan Athletic. “We need to focus on our football now — it’s the busiest time of the year. If we get out of this situation we can have a great big party at the end of the season.” During his time as Tottenham manager Redknapp banned his players from holding a Christmas party after finding out that Irish striker Robbie Keane had organized a secret trip to Dublin in 2009.
Murray swears off cursing
US Open champion Andy Murray is cleaning up his act after promising to stop swearing while on court. The Scot has been warned about his language during matches in the past, but he believes non-Anglophone players get away with worse outbursts because umpires cannot understand what they are saying. “Obviously, me saying shit or whatever is bad and wrong, and it’s something I want to try to stop doing,” Murray said, according to Scottish newspaper the Daily Record. “But it isn’t as bad as some of the stuff the foreign players come out with. I wouldn’t want to name any names, but some of what they say is ghastly. It’s just that all of the umpires speak English.” Murray, who became Great Britain’s first male Grand Slam winner in 76 years when he won the US Open earlier this year, says his no-swearing campaign will begin at the Australian Open next month. The 25-year-old was given an official warning for bad language at the Rome Masters this year and was also warned about his swearing at last year’s Paris Masters.
Toulouse poor run continues
Toulouse’s miserable run continued as they were held to a 0-0 draw by visiting SC Bastia in their Ligue 1 clash on Friday. Toulouse climbed to second place in the French league a little more than one month ago, but have since won only one of their last six league games to drop down to eighth spot. Bastia are 12th after their second straight 0-0 draw. Brazilian striker Ilan almost won the match for Bastia in the 86th minute but his header went just wide. In a game of few chances, Toulouse winger Franck Tabanou went close with a curling free-kick in the 80th.