Leicester win to keep Europa League hopes alive

LEICESTER: Leicester City beat Legia Warsaw 3-1 on Thursday to leap from bottom to top of Europa League Group C and keep alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stages. The Premier League side have eight points from five games, one more than Spartak Moscow and Napoli and two ahead of Legia, with all four teams still in contention to advance ahead of the last round of games. Napoli, beaten 2-1 at Spartak on Wednesday, host Leicester while the Russian side visit Legia on Dec 9. Patson Daka fired Leicester…

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Maradona is dead, long live Maradona! World honours ‘Golden Kid’

BUENOS AIRES: The world will on Thursday mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Diego Maradona, regarded by some as the best player of all time and a man adored in his home country Argentina despite, or perhaps because of, his human flaws. Argentine club matches are to mark a minute of silence and players will arrange themselves in a “10” formation on the pitch to honour Maradona’s famous jersey number, while special masses will be held — including in the Buenos Aires slum where Maradona grew up, to…

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Barcelona on thin ice after Benfica stalemate

MADRID: Benfica held Barcelona to a scoreless draw in the Champions League at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, meaning the second team to qualify for the Round of 16 from Group E behind Bayern Munich will be decided in the final game of the group stage. Barca are two points ahead of Benfica with one game still to play, but they face a daunting task in the last group when they travel to Germany to take on Bayern, who have a perfect winning record so far. Benfica, meanwhile, host winless…

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China urges ‘certain people’ to stop ‘malicious hyping’ of tennis star Peng Shuai

BEIJING: China’s foreign ministry said today that “certain people” should stop the “malicious hyping” and “politicisation” of the issue of tennis star Peng Shuai, as foreign governments and organisations continue to raise questions around her wellbeing. The whereabouts of Peng, a former doubles world No 1, became a matter of international concern for nearly three weeks after she posted a message on social media alleging that China’s former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her. She re-appeared over the weekend in Beijing and held a video call with International Olympic…

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AFF Cup: Dion Cools expected to join Harimau Malaya

Malaysian-Belgian mixed parentage player Dion Cools is expected to join the national squad when Malaysia play against Indonesia in the fourth Group B match on December 19 in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Cup 2020 in Singapore. Team manager Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi said the 25-year-old defender will be the last player to join the Harimau Malaya in Singapore after completing his duties for his club, FC Midtjylland in Denmark, who are expected to face Brondby in the quarterfinals of the Danish Cup on December 13. Football competitions in Denmark…

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Malaysia Cup: Melaka top Group C to avoid quarter-final clash against JDT

Melaka United FC advanced into the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Cup in style when they topped Group C after defeating Kedah Darul Aman (KDA) FC 2-0 at the Hang Jebat Stadium last night. What makes the win sweeter for coach Zainal Abidin Hassan’s squad is that they are through to the knockout rounds with an unbeaten record, having only drawn once to accumulate 16 points, as well as the fact that it means they avoid meeting title favourites Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the last eight. In last night’s action,…

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Malaysia Cup: Terengganu FC out to maintain unbeaten run in group stage

Unbeaten Terengganu FC (TFC) will not take it easy against Kuching City FC (KCFC) in their Malaysia Cup Group B match in Kuching tomorrow despite having already qualified for the quarter-finals. TFC chief coach Nafuzi Zain said the team would be aiming for a win in their sixth and final group match to bring their unbeaten record into the knock-out stage of the tournament. He said the match also holds a special meaning for him as The Cats are coached by Irfan Bakti Abu Salim, the most senior coach in…

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Punished but not finished

It’s demoralising to be sent back home after failure to meet one’s target. But that’s exactly what has happened to singles shuttler Cheam June Wei after he lost in the quarter-finals of the Czech Open and limped out of the Belgium International with an ankle injury last month. He lost 19-21, 21-15, 17-21 to world No. 97 Siril Verma of India in the quarter-finals of the Czech Open and retired after 23-25, 2-11 against Kim Bruun of Denmark in the first round of the Belgium meet. In the same two…

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Injured Messi misses out for PSG again

Lionel Messi will again be missing due to injury for Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 game at Bordeaux this weekend, but coach Mauricio Pochettino said today he is hopeful the six-time Ballon d’Or winner will be able to feature for Argentina in the upcoming international window. PSG said Messi would miss the trip to Bordeaux due to “knee and hamstring pains”, the same problems that saw him sit out the 2-2 draw with RB Leipzig in the Champions League in midweek. “Tomorrow he won’t be available to play for the team.…

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Liverpool dismiss Atletico to reach Champions League last 16

Liverpool cruised into the last 16 of the Champions League by exacting revenge on 10-man Atletico Madrid to win 2-0 at Anfield today and qualify with two games to spare. Goals inside the first 21 minutes from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane gave the Spanish champions a mountain to climb even before Felipe was sent off before half-time for a cynical hack on Mane. Maximum points from four games is enough to win Liverpool Group B and guarantee home advantage in the second leg of their last-16 tie come the…

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