Ko improves, Yang leads at Sime Darby
KUALA LUMPUR • Lydia Ko came up with an improved performance at the Sime Darby LPGA yesterday but failed to claw back her first-round deficit after she hit the water in the final hole.
Women's golf's world No. 1 finished the day tied for 23rd place with a two-under 69 that gave her a 140 total. South Korea's Amy Yang (69) leads at the halfway stage of the tournament with 132, three strokes ahead of compatriot Mi Jung Hur (65), Chinese Taipei's Candie Kung (65) and Swede Anna Nordqvist (68).
Lippi to lift spirits of China players
BEIJING • Marcello Lippi said his first priority as China coach is to restore some confidence to his players as he looks to breathe some life into their faltering campaign to qualify for the 2018 football World Cup Finals.
The 68-year-old was named China coach last weekend and has two weeks to get his side ready for their next qualifier against Qatar in Kunming on Nov 15.
Hooligan minority damaging us: Bilic
LONDON • Slaven Bilic has acknowledged that it hurts him and West Ham to see the English football club's name dragged through the gutter by the hooligan minority - who caused trouble during their 2-1 League Cup win over Chelsea on Wednesday.
West Ham have promised to clamp down and intend to serve banning orders on 200 of their fans, who they saw on CCTV committing various offences during the game.
Barca report La Liga chief to sports court
BARCELONA • Barcelona have asked Spain's Court for Sport to open disciplinary proceedings against La Liga chief Javier Tebas, after he criticised the team's reaction to an empty bottle being thrown in from the stands during a goal celebration.
Tebas said he would be "ashamed to pretend" the way some players went down "like a game of skittles" even though the empty plastic bottle only appeared to hit striker Neymar, as Barcelona celebrated Lionel Messi's stoppage-time penalty that secured a 3-2 win in Valencia's Mestalla Stadium.
'Team atmosphere toxic under Clarke'
SYDNEY • Retired pace bowler Mitchell Johnson has slammed the Australian cricket team culture under former captain Michael Clarke and coach Mickey Arthur as fractured and "toxic", saying the dynamics changed when Ricky Ponting retired.
In his newly-released autobiography Resilient, Johnson suggested things were so bad that some team-mates did not want to play, with cracks emerging after veteran Ponting called it quits in late 2012.