Soccer Digest, November 9, 2012

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 2:40am


Relief as Manchester United find their power after cut

Manchester United admitted their relief at becoming the third club to reach the Champions League knockout stages after coming from behind to beat Braga 3-1. United were second-best for most of their match with Braga but, resuming after a second-half power cut, they scored three times in the last 10 minutes, to give the scoreline a rather unfair look about it. That was a relief to Alex Ferguson and his players after they missed out on the knockout stages last season. Veteran Ryan Giggs said: "I think we were all disappointed [United did not progress from the group stage last year] It was not good enough and we knew we had to do something about it and we have. Long may it continue." AFP

Juventus confident of Champions League progress

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, speaking before a potential make-or-break clash at home to Chelsea, is confident his team can get the required results to make the last 16. "A draw [in the Chelsea/Shakhtar game] would have been nice, of course, but at the end of the day our destiny is still in our hands," Buffon said. "We're confident and you can't always rely on other results." The Italian champions are still licking the wounds of last Sunday's defeat by Inter Milan, which stopped the Turin giants' unbeaten run at 49 games, though they beat Nordsjaelland of Denmark 4-0 on Wednesday with strikes from Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal, Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella. AFP

Scottish club Hearts served with winding-up order

Scottish Premier League side Hearts warned their fans the club could be entering its "final days" after confirming they had been served with a winding-up order regarding a tax bill of nearly £450,000 (HK$5.14 million). Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) submitted the petition in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Hearts said they were "endeavouring to agree a suitable payment plan with HMRC for the outstanding amount". But the Hearts board later issued a statement urging fans to provide as much financial support as possible by buying up tickets for home games at Tynecastle, saying the appeal was "not so much a request as a necessity". AFP

AFC theft charge dropped, says lawyer

Malaysian prosecutors have dropped a theft charge against a man accused of stealing documents from the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, his lawyer said yesterday. Kong Lee Toong, 35-year-old husband of the AFC's former finance director Amelia Gan, had in September pleaded not guilty to the charge in a court in the Malaysian capital. Kong's lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said that prosecutors had dropped the charge. " I am happy the prosecutors gave the charge a thorough consideration and decided to withdraw the case," he said. The documents related to an investigation into former AFC chief Mohamed bin Hammam. AFP