Home advantage in AFC Cup semis
Home United beat Indonesian side Persija Jakarta 3-2 in the first leg of their AFC Cup Asean zonal semi-final at the Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday.
The Singapore Premier League club had a dream start after defender Maman Abdurrahman scored an own goal after 80 seconds. Song Ui Yong made it 2-0 with a solo effort on nine minutes.
But poor defending at corners allowed Persija's Ramdani Lestaluhu to grab a brace (32nd, 49th minute), before Home substitute Hafiz Nor snatched a win with a long-range strike 11 minutes from the end.
Ferguson shows signs of recovery
LONDON • Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was sitting up and talking to his family, British media reports said yesterday, as he recovers from emergency surgery following a brain haemorrhage on Saturday.
The 76-year-old remains in intensive care and there has been no official update on his condition from United.
However, the Daily Mail and the Sun said that the Scot, who retired in 2013, was out of a coma and showing promising early signs of recovery.
France's Koscielny ruled out of World Cup
LONDON • Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, 32, has undergone surgery to repair his ruptured Achilles tendon and will be out for six months.
According to outgoing Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, the France international, who suffered the injury during the 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in last week's Europa League semi-final return leg, was "devastated" to miss out on the World Cup. Koscielny was due to retire from international duty after the this year's tournament in Russia.
Mancini set to become Italy manager
MILAN • Zenit St Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini has reached an agreement to become the next Italy coach, according to a report yesterday.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported that he has agreed a two-year deal worth €2 million (S$3.1 million) a year, which will be penned after the end of the Russian league season. Italy have been without a full-time coach since Gian Piero Ventura was sacked last November.