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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 30 May 2015
SPORT 28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 30 MAY 2015 Tottenham bracing for in-form Sydney Sydney looking to atone for grand final loss by taking on EPL club Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur players are under no illusions about the rising quality of Australian football and are bracing themselves for a stern examination in their much-touted clash against Sydney FC on Saturday night. "We all know the standard is good (in Australia), so it will be a real test," Tottenham's England international Ryan Mason said. The 23 year-old midfielder acknowledged that Italian great Alessandro Del Piero was a "big thing for Australian football" when he played as Sydney FC's marquee player, helping to bring the A-League to the attention of the wider world. Mason also sings the praises of Massimo Luongo, one of the stars of Australia's AFC Asian Cup triumph in January, who has just completed an $8 million move from Swindon to London club QPR. Australia's three consecutive appearances at the World Cup have also not gone unnoticed, and the visiting Spurs players know they are in for a torrid encounter at ANZ Stadium in front of an expected crowd of 70,000. Mason's outstanding form for Tottenham earned him his first senior England call-up in March when he appeared as a substitute in a drawn international in Italy. Spurs have a full-strength squad, including golden boy Harry Kane, who scored 31 times in 52 appearances for club and country this sea- son, netting an equal club record 21 goals in the English Premier League. Graham Arnold's Sydney FC will be looking to atone for its recent 3-0 drubbing by Melbourne Victory in the ALeague grand final. Like Spurs, it will also be hunting continental honours as it enters the fray in the AFC Champions League. The Spurs players, who defeated a Malaysian XI 2-1 on their way to Australia thanks to a double from Kane, acclimatised in Sydney by climbing the harbour bridge after their arrival on Thursday. Aloisi joins embattled Roar Financial troubles at the club are clouding any hope of a quick turn around Brisbane Roar will be coached by John Aloisi. The former Socceroo and sacked Melbourne Heart coach will direct all football operations at the three-time A-League Champion club. The 39-year-old will join the Roar in June and will prepare the side to face Liverpool FC on the 17 July. "I am extremely proud and honoured to join Brisbane Roar,” Aloisi said. "The club has defined success in the first 10 years of the Hyundai A-League and I am determined to ensure the high standards the Roar players, members, sponsors and supporters have come to expect continue under my with Melbourne Heart in 2012-13. He is currently a football analyst for Fox Sports and has been working as a development coach with Melbourne Victory's National Youth League and National Premier League sides. Mulvey set to sue over contract payout John Aloisi returns to the A-League. stewardship." Aloisi made 55 appearances (27 goals) for the Socceroos and famously scored the winning penalty to secure Australia's place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He is the only Australian footballer to have played in Europe's three major leagues - the English Pre- Photo: AAP. mier League, Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga - in a playing career spanning 20 years. Following his return to Australia in 2007, Aloisi has been heavily involved in the Hyundai A-League as a player (Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart) and a coach Sacked championship wining coach Mike Mulvey is set to bring legal proceedings against the club for failing to pay out the rest of his threeyear contract. It's not welcome news, as the club battles money and management troubles. The club lost more than $2 million during the 2014-15 campaign and are reported to be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Financers for the club are also set to appoint a new chairman, board members and chief executive in the coming weeks. Mulvey has been linked to the vacant Newcastle Jets position. Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane (L) and Ryan Mason in Sydney ahead of the friendly. PHOTO: AP/ROB GRIFFITH. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Panathinaikos in prime position The Greens are within one point from clinching a spot in next season’s Champions League qualifiers GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS A Stathis Tavlaridis goal has brought Panathinaikos to practically within one point from clinching a spot in next season's Champions League qualifiers, as the Greens made it three out of three in the Super League playoffs beating host PAOK 1-0. Panathinaikos was the best team in the crucial game played in front of the allbut-empty stands at Toumba, and could have extended its advantage in the game after Tavlaridis headed the ball in on the 43rd minute of the first half. However the Greens also owe their victory to their English goalkeeper Luke Steele who responded perfectly to a Ricardo Costa Panathiniakos beat PAOK 1-0. header in the first half. The few PAOK fans at the stands jeered their players, with PAOK caretaking coach Giorgos Georgiadis speaking afterward of a sick situation in the club. In the other game of the evening Atromitos shared a goalless draw with Asteras Tripolis at Peristeri. At the halfway point of the play-offs Panathinaikos has 11 points, PAOK is on four, Asteras has three and Atromitos two. On Sunday Panathinaikos hosts PAOK in Athens and needs just one point to clinch the top spot in the mini-league, while Asteras Tripolis entertains Atromitos. Sevilla wins Europa League Sevilla has retained its Europa League title to claim the trophy for a record fourth time with a 3-2 victory over plucky Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk thanks to Carlos Bacca's double in an exciting final. Colombia striker Bacca netted the winner with 17 minutes left to seal victory at Warsaw's National Stadium on Thursday morning after a pulsating first half in which four goals were scored as the teams went into the dressing rooms on level terms. It was an end-to-end battle for most of the match, with Dnipro grabbing an early lead through Nikola Kalinic before Sevilla hit back with goals by Grzegorz Krychowiak and Bacca. When Dnipro captain Ruslan Rotan curled home a precise freekick to make it 2-2 just before the beak it looked like the Ukrainians, who were playing in their first European final, might go on to cause a stunning upset. But Bacca grabbed his second goal late on to settle the encounter and secure a Champions League qualifying place which is handed to the winners for the first time. Predictions that this would be a cagey encounter with Dnipro deploying players behind the ball in the hope of frustrating Sevilla's freescoring forwards were swiftly confounded as both teams tore into each with ferocity from the start. The second half was a much nervier affair, with Sevilla's Stephane Mbia and Krychowiak failing to capitalise on half chances before Sevilla struck the decisive blow. Vitolo's flicked pass found Bacca who managed to stay onside as he turned in the area and drilled the ball home.
23 May 2015
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