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Monday, January 21, 2019
Wellington Phoenix has
made it nine unbeaten
games in a row after
a 3-3 thriller against
Melbourne Victory in
The draw keeps Victory
second and Wellington
fifth on the ladder, and
also saw the Phoenix
extend their club’s
Phoenix striker Roy
Krishna also became the
first player in A-League
history to score three
New Zealander Kosta
a point for Melbourne
Victory when he struck a
volley with two minutes
remaining against his old
side as Victory jumped
back from a two-goal
Just days after Victory’s
5-0 away belting of
stunned the champions
with three first-half goals.
Roy Krishna netted a
double for the visitors
after team-mate David
Williams equalised Ola
Toivonen’s opener in
a pulsating stanza, the
equal of any 45 minutes
of football played this
James Troisi replied
for Victory in the 55th
minute as Kevin Muscat ’s
side chased the match.
Terry Antonis struck
the post and Thomas
Deng made a last-ditch
slide tackle to deny
Cillian Sheridan at one
end, before Barbarouses
arrived to save Victory’s
The result is the second
draw the two finals-
bound sides have played
out at AAMI Park this
Victory’s giant Swedish
footballer Toivonen put
the home side ahead
with a neat chip after just
five minutes, but then
Phoenix took over.
Mark Rudan’s side
could not be contained at
times, breaking with pace
and showing trickery
that flummoxed Victory’s
Thomas Deng was
at fault for the opener,
losing track of Williams
as he finished Louis
transformed the contest
in 10 minutes by winning
a penalty, scoring it, and
netting once more.
Josh Hope caught
Krishna’s trailing leg in
the box on 19 minutes,
allowing the Fijian to
thump home the spot
kick past Lawrence
By scoring his second
he became the first player
in A-League history to
score three consecutive
A Wellington win
looked on the cards
until Victory lifted their
intensity, Troisi cashing
in after a one-two with
Then in the helter-
skelter final moments,
Antonis’ hopeful long ball
drew the desired result,
falling to an unmarked
Barbarouses to steer
home through a packed
penalty box. — AAP
The Silver Ferns narrowly avoided
its second defeat to South Africa in
New Zealand edged South Africa
62-60 in its final Quad Series test in
London, with 20 minutes of extra time
needed to separate the two sides.
“It was an epic game,” Silver Ferns
coach Noeline Taurua said.
“It will take a wee while to calm
down but in regards to a good quality
international netball game it was a good
demonstration from both teams.”
The scores were level at 45-all at
fulltime and still tied after two extra
time periods, when Maria Folau drew
the Ferns level with time up on the clock.
Folau then held her ner ve to land the
back-to-back goals which gave New
Zealand the two-goal winning margin
and secured the Ferns its first victory of
the Quad Series.
“I thought there was many a moment
where it could have gone either way if
I was going to be honest,” Taurua said.
“ We probably could have sealed the
deal a bit earlier. Bout I think that ’s what
pressure does to you.”
Folau finished with 36 goals from 42
attempts, while her shooting partner
Ameliaranne Ekenasio was successful
with 21 of her 28 shots.
Noeline Taurua believes she has
found her shooting combination for the
Netball World Cup in Liverpool in July.
“The combination has slowly built as
the series has come on and I’m really
happy with the work that they ’ve done
behind the scenes. I think you know
we’ve improved in that area and that ’s
The Silver Ferns will now return home
to their respective franchises to continue
their world cup preparations.
Yesterday a Ferns fightback was
not enough to beat an understrength
Australian Diamonds in a 53-50 loss.
Signs looked ominous but the Ferns
recovered from a tentative opening,
recovering from an eight-goal deficit
after the first spell to draw the second
and win the third and fourth quarters.
The Silver Ferns faced a torrid opening
quarter onslaught from Australia, the
Diamonds quickly into their stride with
a slick showing at both ends of the court.
Convincing with their speedy through-
court transition, defensive suffocation
and finishing pushed Australia out to a
14-6 lead at the first break.
Struggling with their ball placement
and execution on attack, captain
Langman, in her 150th test for the Ferns,
moved into centre on the resumption
with the robust Burger coming off the
bench into wing defence.
“They were definitely out to hit us hard
really early and give us a bit of a shake
up and we tried to prep for it but it’s still
a surprise sometimes,” Silver Ferns goal
attack Ameliaranne Ekenasio.
“ We’re continually trying to do things
in our warm up because we know those
massive hits are going to come, we just
need to absorb it immediately. ” — RNZ
Australia coach Lisa Alexander remains
defiant after their 52-49 Quad Series loss
to England in L ondon, saying defeat will
only add to their desire at the World Cup.
The beaten-up Diamonds succumbed
late to their arch rivals this morning,
although the margin was close enough to
clinch the four-nation series title on goal
differential — not that it improved the
mood of a disappointed Alexander.
Desperate to get bragging rights
over Roses counterpart Tracey Neville,
Alexander said the result exposed
weaknesses before the world champions’
defend their title in England in July.
She also delivered a pointed message to
Neville and her Commonwealth Games
“ You’ve got to understand, everyone’s
coming for you England, you’ve got a
target on your back,” Alexander said.
“ We were here to win. We weren’t
here to be beaten by the Poms again.
It ’s disappointing, we’ve got to look at
ourselves and understand what we need to
third successive Quad Series crown as
“ bittersweet ” but acknowledged the
adversity her team faced with a hefty
Defensive mainstay Courtney Bruce was
ruled out after suffering concussion late in
the win over New Zealand 24 hours earlier
to join captain and goal shooter Caitlin
Bassett and mid-courter Gabi Simpson on
Australia powered to a 14-9 lead at the
first break but England responded in the
second quarter to lead by three at half-
introduction of 36-year-old goal shooter
Rachel D unn, freeing up Jo Harten at goal
Alexander introduced Browne and crafty
shooter Steph Wood for the second half
and the Diamonds forged a two-goal lead
midway through the final quarter.
However, England were not to be denied.
Both teams finished on two wins but
Australia clinched the Q uad Series
courtesy of England’s loss to South Africa,
leaving them in need of a five-goal winning
margin in their final game.
The Roses are still to win a Q uad Series
while Australia have won five of the six
editions, including the past three.
“A trophy is important and it ’s measured
across the series, so from that point of view
the team hung in there and were tough,”
Alexander said. “But we didn’t play our
best tonight, other than that first quarter
so we’ve got work to do.”
World No 5 South Africa, under former
Australian coach Norma Plummer, finished
last in the series but have emerged as a
possible World Cup force after toppling
England 48-45 yesterday. — A AP
Lake Buena Vista
Eun-Hee Ji of South
Korea has battled the
cold and wind to close
with a one-under 70 and
win the LPGA’s season
opening Tournament of
Champions by two shots.
Ji shared the 54-hole
lead with Lydia Ko but
the former world No 1
fell apart on the back
nine today at Tranquilo
Golf Club at Four
Ko was one shot behind
when she made double
bogey on the par-5 13th
and wound up shooting
42 on the back nine for
a closing 77 and eighth
Ji finished at 14-under
270 with countrywoman
Mirim Lee, who made
only one bogey in her
three-under round of 68
American Nelly Korda
(71) finished third.
Stacy Lewis, in her first
competition as a mother,
shot 70 to be eight under
and tied for sixth.
representative in the
26-strong field limited
to winners during each
of the past two seasons,
had her best round of the
week with a closing 70
lifting her to joint 22nd
at two over. — AP
New Zealand ’s top ranked
doubles tennis player Michael
Venus and his South African
partner Raven Klaasen have
stormed into the quarter finals
at the Australian Open in
The sixth seeds have thumped the
Brazilian/Danish duo of Marcelo
Demoliner and Frederik Nielsen
6-3, 6-1 in just over 1 hour.
Venus and Klaasen got off to the
perfect start with a break of serve
in the opening game and served
They broke ser ve again in the
ninth game to close out the set
in 37 minutes, converting two of
the three break points against
Last year’s Wimbledon finalists
continued with the momentum in
the second set with an early break
of ser ve and they broke Nielsen
again in the 4th game to race to
a 4-0 lead.
Venus then held ser ve and
although Nielsen held to get on the
board in the second set, Klaasen
easily served out the match to
complete an impressive win and a
place in the quarter finals.
Venus and Klaasen did not face
a break point against their ser ve in
the entire match.
They will face the unseeded
of Leonardo Mayer and Joao Sousa
for a place in the semi-finals.
Venus and Klaasen beat the
South American pair in five sets
en route to the Wimbledon final
Having toppled 20-times grand slam
champion Roger Federer in the fourth
round of the Australian Open last night,
an overwhelmed Stefanos Tsitsipas felt
thrilled to have turned his idol into a
The shaggy-haired 20-year-old ’s 6-7
(11-13), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) triumph
at Rod Laver Arena made him the first
Greek to reach the quarter-finals of a
grand slam while condemning Federer to
his earliest exit from Melbourne Park in
John McEnroe told the terraces they
had just witnessed “a changing of the
guard”, and the reigning Next Gen ATP
champion also felt the weight of the
moment after sealing match point in
front of a heaving crowd.
“It was a very emotional moment. It was
something — a beginning of something
really big. I felt joy. I felt happiness. I felt
a huge relief going out of my shoulders,”
Tsitsipas told reporters.
“That moment is definitely something
that I will never, ever, ever forget. This
match point is going to stay, I’m pretty
much sure, forever, for the rest of my life.
“I just managed to close that match and
stay strong, beat my idol.
“My idol today became pretty much my
Melbourne’s large Greek community
came out in force at Melbourne Park and
belted out songs of support at the grand
slam garden adjacent to the stadium.
Tsitsipas will hope to reward their
support by blazing a trail to the semi-
finals and maybe beyond if he can beat
Spain’s 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut
in his next match.
It will be a match of two maiden Grand
Slam quarter-finalists and Tsitsipas was
confident he could progress, so long as he
“ You need something extra to beat those
players. I did show that today,” he said.
“ But if I manage to keep the same levels
of concentration like I did today, same
patience, same mental toughness, willing
to fight, I’m pretty sure it’s going to go
“ But I do have, again, as I said, to stay
humble and concentrated on the goals
I’ve set this year.
“ I really want it badly. I really want to
proceed further in the tournament, yeah,
to make myself happy and the people that
are cheering for me happy.”
Showing incredible composure for a
20-year-old playing in just his second
Grand Slam fourth round, Tsitsipas
saved all 12 break points he gave up to
the Swiss and was clinical in the riveting
“ It was actually very mental, I would
say,” he said.
“ I could have cracked at any moment
but I didn’t because I really wanted it bad.
I showed it on the court. Obviously and
for sure that mental toughness helped a
Meanwhile, in the other big upset of the
day, world No 2 Angelique Kerber was
beaten 6-0, 6-2 by American Danielle
Collins, who made her main-draw debut
Men’s second seed Rafa Nadal continued
his steady progress by defeating Czech
Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (4).
The Spaniard will next meet world No
39 Frances Tiafoe, who celebrated his
21st birthday by overcoming Bulgarian
Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (1),
Australian No 1 Ashleigh Barty
displayed her title credentials as she
powered past former world No 1 Maria
Sharapova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Barty, bidding to become the first home
winner of the Australian Open since
Chris O’Neil in 1978, will face twice
Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova in her
first grand slam quarter-final.
Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut kept his
composure in a tense five-set encounter
to knock out 2018 runner-up Marin Cilic
6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 and reach his
maiden grand slam quarter-final. It was
Bautista Agut ’s third five-set victory at
Melbourne Park this week. — Reuters
Avoid second loss to Proteas
Defiant Diamonds lose to Roses, win series
PICTURE: Getty Images
Silver Fern captain Laura Langman battles for possession with South Africa’s Shadine Van Mer we today at the quad series at Copper
Box Arena in London.
Venus reaches doubles quarter-finals
PICTURE: Getty Images
Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after winning his fourth round match against Roger Federer
last night at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
Ko falls to
The former Hurricanes
flanker Brad Shields is
a doubt for the start of
England’s Six Nations
Shields pulled out of
Wasps’ Champions Cup
match against Leinster
raising a question mark
about his availability for
England’s Six Nations
opener against Ireland
who started England’s
against South Africa,
New Zealand and
Australia, has a side
strain according to his
club. They did not offer a
time-frame for his return
from the injury.
England is already
waiting on the fitness of
first-five Owen Farrell,
who is to have minor
surgery on his thumb.
Farrell is due to be back
in action in seven to 10
days, a recovery that
would enable him to play
against the defending
champions and grand
slam winners in Dublin
on February 2.
However the ligament
repair may prevent him
from working with his
team-mates on a training
camp in Portugal that
begins on Wednesday.
Shields in doubt for
Six Nations opener
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