Myanmar knock out Taiwan
Myanmar booked their place at next year’s women’s Asian Cup in Japan on Saturday after a goalless draw at the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium in Al-Ram, West Bank, knocked out Taiwan and saw the ASEAN side finish top of Group D on goal-difference. With the two sides canceling each other out in the Group D showdown, goal-difference became the deciding factor with the teams tied on seven points each. Myanmar’s clean sheets in their wins over Palestine (9-0) and India (2-0), as well as the fact they scored three more goals against the hosts than Taiwan, saw Yoshinori Kumada’s side through to next year’s finals and Yen Shih-kai’s team exit the competition. In the earlier match, Palestine and India drew 1-1, a result that saw India finish third, also on goal-difference with both team’s having a solitary point.
Neymar to sign for Barca
Rising star Neymar announced on Saturday on his Instagram account that he is about to sign for Barcelona. “On Monday, I sign a contract with Barcelona. I want to thank the Santos fans for nine incredible years,” wrote Neymar, 21, who is currently a forward for the storied Brazilian team Santos. Santos had received offers for Neymar from both Barcelona and their archrivals Real Madrid, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais, quoting the club’s vice president. Neymar has been a first-team regular for Santos for the past four years, scoring 156 goals and providing 77 assists in 256 matches. In 2011, he guided them to their first Copa Libertadores triumph since the days when Pele represented the club in the 1960s and has already established himself at international level, scoring 20 times in 32 appearances for Brazil. “It’s a different moment for me, sad (bidding farewell) and happy (new challenges),” he wrote. Neymar played his last game for Santos yesterday against rivals Flamengo. “I want the chance to enter the field one more time ... and hear the fans cry out my name,” he wrote.
Rogers signs for the Galaxy
Former US soccer international Robbie Rogers has joined the Los Angeles Galaxy, the team said on Saturday, putting him in line to become the first active openly gay male athlete to compete in a US professional team sport. Rogers, who came out as gay in February with an announcement that also included his decision to step away from the game, was to be on the Galaxy’s roster for yesterday’s home game against Seattle if his international transfer certificate arrived in time. The announcement by the Galaxy comes less than a month after NBA veteran Jason Collins became the first active athlete from the four major US men’s professional sports leagues to come out publicly as gay. However, Collins is a free agent and he has not competed since his announcement.
City beat Blues in Big Apple
French midfielder Samir Nasri scored twice as Manchester City defeated Chelsea 5-3 on Saturday in a crowd-pleasing friendly at Yankee Stadium in New York. In addition to Nasri’s brace, Gareth Barry James Milner and Edin Dzeko also scored to give Manchester City a second victory over Chelsea in three days, despite a second-half brace from Ramires and a goal from a Juan Mata free-kick. The Premier League rivals followed up their seven-goal clash in St Louis, Missouri, on Thursday — which City won 4-3 — with another free-wheeling contest in front of 39,462 on a chilly night at the home of the New York Yankees.