Short Soccer, December 20, 2012

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 December, 2012, 2:37am

Singapore move in on Suzuki Cup final

Singapore took a firm grip on the AFF Suzuki Cup final yesterday with a thumping 3-1 win over Thailand in the first leg at Jalan Besar Stadium. Goals from Mustafic Fahruddin, Khairul Amri and Baihakki Khaizan gave the Lions a deserved victory which will raise hopes of a record fourth Southeast Asian title ahead of Saturday's second leg in Bangkok. Pre-match favourites Thailand were briefly on level terms in the second half through Adul Lahso, but Singapore were back in front almost immediately and scored a third at the death to seize the advantage. Thailand's German coach Winfried Schafer bullishly insisted he was "sure" his team would win. AFP


Balotelli accepts City fine, withdraws appeal

Mario Balotelli accepted a two-week fine by Manchester City yesterday for repeated on-field misbehaviour last season, avoiding a legal case that could have jeopardised the Italy striker's future with the Premier League champions. Balotelli was due to appeal against City's punishment at a Premier League tribunal in London after being handed a fine, reported to be £340,000 pounds (HK$427,360), or two weeks' wages. However, City said the case was dropped following "amicable talks between parties". "As a sign of respect for Roberto Mancini, the supporters and the club, Mario Balotelli has chosen to accept a two-week fine levied upon him by the club and withdraw his disciplinary appeal," a City statement said. "Mario remains available for selection for all forthcoming fixtures." Balotelli missed 11 games last season because of suspension. AP


Inter in quarter-finals after Verona victory

Inter Milan moved into the Italian Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over second-tier Verona. Inter's Italy striker Antonio Cassano and Colombia midfielder Fredy Guarin were on target in the second half for the 2011 cup winners. AC Milan, Juventus, Catania and AS Roma have already booked their places in the last eight. The quarter-final line-up was to be completed last night when Lazio hosted Siena, Udinese welcomed Fiorentina and Napoli hosted Bologna. Reuters