Zenit win to extend lead
Russian league leaders Zenit St Petersburg extended their winning streak to seven matches with a 2-0 success over CSKA Moscow on Friday. Zenit moved onto 32 points from 13 matches to extend their lead over Moscow clubs Spartak and Lokomotiv to eight points ahead of their games against Anzhi Makhachkala and Amkar Perm today and tomorrow respectively. Midfielder Roman Shirokov put Zenit 1-0 up in the 16th minute when he ran onto Andrei Arshavin’s lobbed pass into the area and rounded goalkeeper Sergei Chepchugov before firing home into an unguarded net from a tight angle. Reigning champions CSKA replied positively and created a host of scoring chances, but a lack of accuracy in front of Yury Lodygin’s goal let them down. Brazilian forward Hulk made it 2-0 for the league leaders just before the break, shooting into the top right-hand corner from 15m. After the interval the hosts controlled the game and their two-goal advantage was never under serious threat. “We got a good result but didn’t play well tonight,” Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti said.
McIlroy struggles continue
Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy shot himself out of contention in the third round of the Kolon Korea Open yesterday. The two-time major champion struck a four-over 75 at the par-71 Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, south of Seoul. The Northern Irish star, the marquee attraction at the US$1 million OneAsia event, had three bogeys and one double bogey along with a lone birdie, falling to one-over 214 for the tournament. He began the day tied for fifth, but ended it tied for 13th, 10 strokes behind the leader Kim Hyung-tae of South Korea. Kim poured in five birdies against no bogey for his second straight round of five-under 66. At 204, he holds a four-stroke lead over compatriot Hong Soon-sang, the second-round leader who shot an even 71 yesterday. South Korean Mo Joong-kyung is another shot behind at four-under 209. Defending champion Kim Dae-sub reached three-under thanks to a bogey-free 68. Five other South Koreans were tied at two-under on a leader board dominated by the locals. McIlroy had been hoping to pick up his first win of the year at the South Korean national championship. He went out in an even 36 after trading in a birdie with a bogey, but then the bottom fell out on the back nine. He had a double bogey on the par-4 10th, and a bogey on the par-4 11th. Another bogey on the par-4 15th was his final undoing.
Devoted fan to miss match
Wolverhampton Wanderers fan Peter Abbott was due to miss his first home match for 37 years yesterday, after having to abandon the delights of Molineux to be at his stepdaughter’s wedding. “I’ve been trying to get my head around this for eight months, but I am past that now,” he said, finally resigned to missing the English League One match against Coventry City. The last home match the 56-year-old missed was against Tottenham Hotspur in March 1976 and since then he has missed one other game, away at Blackburn Rovers in 1985 when his train broke down on the way to the ground. Abbott, who lives in Ipswich and has a round trip of 530km to Wolverhampton and back, has seen 1,902 matches since March 1976 and added: “I wondered if the Coventry match would change for television, but as it was getting nearer the date I realized that wasn’t going to happen and unless there is an unbelievable weather occurrence the game will go ahead without me. All things come to an end.”