Leaders Albirex win to go 13 points clear
S-League champions Albirex Niigata stretched their lead in the standings to 13 points after they edged out Garena Young Lions 1-0 yesterday at the Jalan Besar Stadium, thanks to Shuto Inaba's 33rd-minute strike.
Over in Bandar Seri Begawan, Home United beat Brunei DPMM 4-1 with a first-half brace from Faris Ramli (15th, 38th) either side of a Stipe Plazibat (19th) penalty, plus a simple Khairul Nizam tap-in (78th). Rafael Ramazotti (30th) scored for the hosts.
The Protectors are second on 33 points.
Benitez rests after op, may skip Swansea trip
LONDON • Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez is recovering from surgery and could miss tomorrow's Premier League trip to Swansea City, the British media reported on Thursday.
The BBC said the Spaniard had undergone a hospital procedure during last week's international football break to deal with an infection resulting from a hernia operation more than two years ago.
LaLiga to host games overseas by 2018
BARCELONA • LaLiga president Javier Tebas has reiterated plans to play Spanish top-flight football games outside of Spain as he continues to plot the league's global expansion.
According to analysis by Deloitte, LaLiga ranks third out of Europe's top leagues in terms of revenue generated, behind the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga. LaLiga has sought to make up the difference with England and Germany by expanding abroad, opening offices in India, the United States, Dubai, South Africa, Nigeria and China.
N. America lines up 41 cities for 2026 Finals
LOS ANGELES • Forty-one cities in Canada, Mexico and the United States have submitted bids to serve as host cities for the 2026 football World Cup, officials said on Thursday.
The joint North American bid is seen as the favourite for 2026, with only one other bid - Morocco - so far in the running for the tournament. The final bid will submit between 20 and 25 venues to Fifa, with 12 locations likely to be chosen as host cities for the Finals, which will be the first to use Fifa's expanded 48-team format.
Lexi sinks 11 birdies for first-round lead
INDIANAPOLIS • Lexi Thompson was off to a fast start on Thursday at the inaugural Indy Women in Tech Championship at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 22-year-old birdied 11 holes and had two bogeys while racing to the top of the leader board with a nine-under 63. One shot behind her are Sandra Gal of Germany and American Kris Tamulis.
Brazilian to lead world Paralympic body
BERLIN • Brazilian Andrew Parson was elected president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) yesterday, succeeding Philip Craven, who stepped down after heading the organisation since 2001.
He won the vote at the IPC general assembly in Abu Dhabi in the first round with an absolute majority of 84 from the 162 voting members, beating three other candidates.