Thursday 14 December 2017

Sligo Rovers go top of the table

Sligo Rovers went top of the Airtricity League Premier Division thanks to a 2-0 defeat of Drogheda United at the Showgrounds last night.

Matthew Blinkhorn and Eoin Doyle both fired home from close range in the second half following Joseph Ndo corners.

Sligo have now gone seven games unbeaten to sit a point ahead of Shamrock Rovers.

Sligo: Clarke, Keane, Peers, McGuinness, Greene, Cretaro (Dillon 65), Ndo, Ryan, Kirby (Russell 70), Doyle, Blinkhorn (Davoren 77).

Drogheda: Trimble, C O'Brien (Gaul 56), McNally, Rogers, Hand, M O'Brien (Freeman 85), Gannon, Quigley, McMahon, Corcoran, Brennan (Thompson 74).

Referee: P Tuite.

Wanyama gets Bhoys green light

Celtic have confirmed the signing of Victor Wanyama as manager Neil Lennon played down the consequences of Beram Kayal's broken nose.

Kayal was injured after being caught by an accidental elbow from Adam Hughes during Celtic's 2-0 friendly win over Perth Glory yesterday. But the Israel international is not expected to miss Celtic's Premier League opener against Hibernian on July 24 and could feature in the final match of their Australian tour against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.

Celtic confirmed Wanyama had signed a four-year contract following their successful appeal to the Scottish FA over his work permit on Friday. The 20-year-old Kenya international, who is a centre-back, has to wait in Belgium for the UK Border Agency to rubber-stamp the SFA's decision. But Celtic confirmed he would be joining them for £1m after he passed a medical.

Cannavaro ends illustrious career

Former World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro retired yesterday -- five years to the day since captaining Italy to World Cup glory. The 37-year-old, who stepped down from Italy duty after last year's humbling World Cup group stage exit as holders, has ended his time with Dubai's Al Ahli because of a knee injury.

"It's a sad day since football has been very much part of my life for the last 20 years, but then there is nothing I could do," the former Parma, Juventus, Inter Milan and Real Madrid player said. "I have decided to stop playing after a medical examination in Italy last week." He is the only defender to win the FIFA World Player award after his calm, authoritative captaining led Italy to glory in 2006.

Roma splash out €12m on Lamela

AS Roma have signed 19-year-old Erik Lamela, one of Argentina's brightest prospects, the president of River Plate told Italian media yesterday.

"Lamela is an AS Roma player," former Argentina captain Daniel Passarella told reporters after meeting AS Roma officials. Italian media said Roma would pay River Plate €12m for the player who made his Argentina debut in a friendly against Paraguay in May. He has been offered a five-year contract. Lamela, a tall, elegant, left-footed player had attracted interest from Barcelona several years ago. Roma, who finished sixth last season to qualify for the Europa League, last month appointed former Barcelona player Luis Enrique as coach.

England ladies pay the penalty

England were knocked out of the Women's World Cup at the quarter-final stage after an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to France in Leverkusen yesterday.

Hope Powell's women almost overcame France thanks to another moment of brilliance from Jill Scott, who followed her great effort against Japan by netting a superb lofted goal in the 58th minute. However, France fought back through Elise Bussaglia's fantastic first-time curled effort three minutes from time.

Extra-time failed to separate the sides but penalty misses from Claire Rafferty and Faye White ended England's hopes of a first semi-final appearance.

Stoke target Cole and Woodgate

Stoke chairman Peter Coates has admitted the club are negotiating moves for Carlton Cole and Jonathan Woodgate.

Striker Cole joined the Hammers' 26-man squad that travelled to Switzerland yesterday for a six-day training camp. The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to the Potters since the Hammers' relegation from the Premier League and a deal could now be completed, for an initial fee of £4.5m.

Free agent Woodgate is also interesting the club, with a view to a pay-per-play deal.

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