Socceroos spank Taiwan 8-0
Australia crushed Taiwan 8-0 in Hong Kong yesterday to win a spot at next year’s East Asian Cup finals in South Korea on goal-difference from North Korea. Adam Taggart and Aziz Behich both scored a brace, with Taiwan’s Yang Chao-hsun scoring an own-goal. Richard Garcia, Robert Cornthwaite and Aaron Mooy completed the scoring for the Socceroos. Australia knew they needed to win by five clear goals after North Korea defeated hosts Hong Kong 4-0 in the earlier match. Taiwan finished joint-bottom with the same record as Guam. The Socceroos face South Korea, Japan and China in the finals next year.
Al-Ahly down Hiroshima
Egypt’s Al-Ahly beat Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1 in blizzard-like conditions yesterday to reach the semi-finals of the Club World Cup. Ahly striker Mohamed Aboutrika drilled home the winner 12 minutes into the second half after starting the game on the bench. Mexico’s Monterrey overpowered South Koreans Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 in the first quarter-final to set up a showdown with English side Chelsea. African champions Ahly will face Brazil’s Corinthians, holders of the Libertadores Cup, in the tournament’s first semi-final on Wednesday. Elsayed Hamdi put the Egyptians ahead in the 15th minute, only for Hisato Sato to equalize with a fierce right-foot drive with snow falling heavily in Toyota.
Kookaburras win trophy
Keiran Govers scored five minutes into extra time to give Australia a 2-1 win over the Netherlands yesterday, giving the Kookaburras’ a fifth consecutive Champion Trophy men’s field hockey title. Sander Baart gave the Dutch a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute before Russell Ford equalized for Australia in the 31st. Pakistan claimed the bronze medal with a 3-2 win over India, thanks to Muhammad Ateeq’s drag flick with five minutes left. India, who scored first, missed a chance to claim only their second Champions Trophy medal and first since 1982. In the playoff for fifth place, Belgium led 3-0 and trailed 4-3 before beating Germany 5-4. New Zealand took seventh place in the eight-team tournament with a 3-2 extra-time win over England.
Clark, Madsen share lead
South African Tim Clark and Morten Madsen of Denmark shot five-under 60s, on a course shortened due to last week’s heavy rain, to share the lead after the delayed Nelson Mandela Championship first round on Saturday. Lindani Ndwandwe of South Africa and Britain’s Chris Lloyd were in a tie for third place on 61. The opening event of the 2012-2013 European Tour season made a late start after play was washed out on Thursday and Friday because of the waterlogged state of the Royal Durban Golf Club. Organizers decided on Saturday to cut the tournament from 72 to 36 holes and to reduce the course to a par-65
Perry, O’Hair out in front
Kenny Perry and Sean O’Hair took a two-stroke lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout by birdieing the final six holes in better-ball play for an 11-under 61 on Saturday. Perry and O’Hair were 19 under overall, two strokes ahead of first-round leaders Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker at Tiburon Golf Club. Love and Snedeker had a 65. Jason Dufner and Vijay Singh, Stewart Cink and Carl Pettersson, and Charles Howell III and Rory Sabbatini were tied for third at 15 under.