sports brief

Perez insists 2017 was ‘great year’

MADRID – Real Madrid president Florentino Perez Sunday said the club’s fans have to be proud of their team’s achievements in 2017, despite the 3-0 El Clasico defeat by Barcelona that left them 14 points adrift in the La Liga title race. The Spanish giants completed a double of Champions League and La Liga titles last season and have since added the Club World Cup trophy and the European and Spanish Super Cups. “2017 was a year that the Madridistas will never forget,” Perez said in his Christmas message to supporters, a day after the home loss to Barca. “In terms of titles, it’s been the best in the 115 years of our history, and for all of our supporters, 2017 was a great year. “We are proud of our team and our coach, Zinedine Zidane. They are part of this legend and the myth that is Real Madrid.”–AFP



Carvalhal leaves Sheffield Wednesday

LONDON – Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal left the Championship strugglers by mutual consent on Sunday. Carvalhal guided Wednesday to the play-offs in his first two seasons at Hillsborough, but a miserable seven-match winless run has cost him his job. The Portuguese coach’s exit came just hours after Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri released a statement of support after fans chanted for Carvalhal’s dismissal in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Middlesbrough. Thai businessman Chansiri changed his tune less than 24 hours later, saying: “Both parties believe the time is right to go our separate ways. “I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Carlos for the time, effort and commitment he has given Sheffield Wednesday over the last two and a half years.–AFP


Rodgers salutes Celtic spirit

GLASGOW – Brendan Rodgers has praised his Celtic players for the way the Scottish champions have responded since suffering their first domestic defeat under his reign. Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to eight points on Saturday as they saw off nearest challengers Aberdeen with a 3-0 victory at Celtic Park. It was Celtic’s second win in six days following their 2-0 win over Partick in midweek as they bounced back impressively from their 4-0 hammering by Hearts last Sunday. That disappointing defeat brought their record-breaking 69-match unbeaten run to a stunning halt, but the Celtic manager has been pleased by the positive reaction shown by his players. “Collectively as a team we weren’t at our level against Hearts,” Rodgers said.–AFP


Four matches played in PCL sixth round

LAHORE – Descon, Honda, ICI and Jazz have won the Premier Cricket League (PCL) sixth round matches played here at two different venues. At Ittefaq Cricket Ground, Descon outclassed Nespak by 7 wickets. Nespak decided to play first after winning the toss and scored 157-6 in the allotted overs while Descon, in reply, achieved the required target in 14.2 overs for the loss of three wickets. Syed Mujahid Ali was declared man of the match. In the second match played at Racecourse Ground, Honda defeated Fatima Group by 3 wickets. Fatima Group, batting first, decided to play first and produced 148-9 in the allotted overs. Honda achieved the target in 19.3 overs losing 7 wickets with M Aqeel emerging as player of the match. The third match was played at Racecourse Ground, ICI overpowered Akzonobal by 8 wickets. Akzonobal decided to play first after winning toss and were all out for 91 in 17 overs. ICI replied strongly and achieved the target in 11.3 overs losing just 2 wickets. Hassan Mehmood was named man of the match. The fourth and last encounter of the day was played at Ittefaq Cricket Ground and was won by Jazz, who outlasted 3DMS by 4 wickets. 3DMS decided to play first and posted 192-4 on the board. Jazz batted brilliantly and achieved the required target in 19.1 overs for the loss of 6 wickets.–Staff Reporter



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