SPORTS BRIEFS

Staff writer, with agencies

Wed, Dec 05, 2012 - Page 18

SOCCER

Socceroos edge Hong Kong

Favorites Australia edged the hosts 1-0 in East Asian Cup qualifying at the Mong Kok Stadium in Hong Kong on Monday. Brett Emerton scored the winner in the 85th minute for the Socceroos, who opened their campaign with a nervy win. North Korea had no such problems earlier in their tie against Guam as they ran out 5-0 winners to make it two wins out of two. Ri Myong-jun scored a brace, while An Il-bom, Pak Nam-chol and Jong Il-gwan got the others. In the next round of matches today, Taiwan take on Guam in the 5:50pm kickoff at Hong Kong Stadium, while North Korea face Australia at 8:30pm in a match likely to decide who qualifies to face South Korea, Japan and China in next year’s finals in South Korea.

TENNIS

Nadal has five-year plan

Rafael Nadal is aiming to be back to his best after injury in time for the claycourt season and the run-up to Roland Garros, the Spaniard said on Monday. The 26-year-old former world No. 1 has slipped down to fourth in the ATP rankings and has not played since his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon in June. The Spaniard was diagnosed with a partial tear of the patella tendon and inflammation of the left knee, only returning to hitting balls on a practice court two weeks ago. “My recovery is going well and the doctors are pleased,” Nadal told Spanish radio. “I have to look at my career with a five-year view. I considered having surgery, but the doctors have always preferred not to take risks with my treatment.” The 11-time Grand Slam singles champion was pragmatic about his return to competition. “I would like to return in January,” he said. “I don’t expect to return and win the Australian Open, I have to be realistic,” he said.

FOOTBALL

Vick loses starting role

Quarterback Michael Vick has lost his starting role for the Philadelphia Eagles, the struggling National Football League team said on Monday. Vick is currently out injured, but head coach Andy Reid said he would serve as the backup if and when he returns from a concussion this season. The Eagles (3-9) have lost their last eight games and Nick Foles, who has taken over at quarterback since Vick went down with a concussion three weeks ago, will keep the job for the season’s final four games. “He was very positive about it, completely understood and was on board,” Reid said about Vick’s reaction to the news. “Where we’re at right now in the season, I think it gives [Foles] an opportunity to play and finish it up.”

SOCCER

Ruppert to join Hall of Fame

Jacob Ruppert, who bought Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox and turned around the fortunes of the New York Yankees, was among three people chosen on Monday for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Joining Ruppert on the list of inductees from the hall Pre-Integration Era Committee are umpire Hank O’Day and 19th Century infielder/catcher Deacon White. They each received the 12 or more votes needed from the 16-member committee, and will be inducted into the Cooperstown, New York, shrine in July next year. The election results were announced at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. Ruppert, a brewer who also served in the US House of Representatives, bought the Yankees in 1915 and transformed them from a struggling franchise into one that would go on to win a record 27 World Series championships. In addition to buying Ruth, Ruppert built the original Yankee Stadium.