Newcastle, Jul 17 (AP/UNB) — Newcastle hired Steve Bruce to replace Rafael Benitez as its manager on Wednesday amid fan unrest at the lack of spending and ambition at the Premier League club under much-criticized owner Mike Ashley.
Bruce, the former Manchester United defender, takes charge of his boyhood club after leaving his job at second-tier Sheffield Wednesday. He is the 10th permanent manager under Ashley's troubled ownership that began in 2007.
It is being widely viewed as an uninspiring appointment, with the 58-year-old Bruce having been relegated twice from the Premier League — with Birmingham in 2006 and Hull in 2015. He has a win percentage in the top flight of 28%, though has experience of managing more than 900 competitive matches in a 21-year coaching career.
"There is a huge challenge ahead of us," said Bruce, who has signed a three-year deal, "but it's one that my staff and I are ready for. We'll roll our sleeves up and we'll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of."
Yet Newcastle supporters are still angry that Ashley didn't reach an agreement to extend the contract of Benitez, who left last month after more than 3½ years in charge saying the club "did not share his vision." Benitez has since taken over at Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.
Benitez couldn't stop Newcastle being relegated when he joined in March 2016, but helped the team immediately bounce back into the Premier League the following season. Finishing 10th and 13th in the last two seasons cemented Newcastle's place in the top flight.
Bruce could face a tough first season because Newcastle will not have its two starting strikers from last season, Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez. Rondon, who was only on loan from West Bromwich Albion, hasn't been signed on a full-time deal, while Perez has moved to Leicester.
Bruce and his staff are due to fly out to meet up with Newcastle's players in China, where the team is playing in a pre-season tournament.
Kuala Lumpur, Jul 17 (AP/UNB) — North Korea and South Korea have been drawn together in an Asian qualifying group for soccer's 2022 World Cup.
The Korean neighbors will play each other home and away in the five-nation Group H that includes Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka.
Saudi Arabia and Yemen were also paired in Wednesday's draw that involved 40 national teams and some political sensitivities.
The Saudis, which played at the 2018 World Cup, are top-seeded in Group D that also has Uzbekistan, Palestine and Singapore.
Top-ranked Iran was drawn with neighboring Iraq, plus Bahrain, Hong Kong and Cambodia, in Group C.
United Arab Emirates is top-seeded in a Group G loaded with Southeast Asian derbies, involving Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Australia, which plays in the Asian soccer confederation, will play Jordan, Taiwan, Kuwait and Nepal in Group B.
World Cup host Qatar also plays as this group stage doubles up as qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup being played in China. Qatar will play Oman, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh in Group E.
China is in Group A with Syria, Philippines, Maldives and Guam. Japan is in Group F with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar and Mongolia.
The eight groups play from September through June.
Group winners and the four best runners-up advance to another group stage, played from September 2020 to October 2021. Those 12 teams also qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup.
Four Asian teams will qualify directly for the World Cup. A fifth nation can advance to Qatar in an intercontinental playoff round in March 2022.
Dhaka, July 16 (UNB)- Mohammedan Sporting Club upset their arch-rivals and holders Dhaka Abahani Limited by 4-0 goals in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football after four years at the floodlit Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Tuesday.
Mohammedan defeated Dhaka Abahani for the last time in 2015.
Forward Taklis Ahmed scored two goals for Mohammedan SC while Malian forward Souleymane Diabate and captain Zahid Hasan Amilie scored one goal each.
With day's well-merited victory, Mohammedan advanced to the 9th slot from 10th securing 20 points from 20 matches while Dhaka Abahani Ltd. remained at the 2nd slot with previous credit of 51 points from 22 matches, seven points behind the league leaders Bashundhara Kings.
Mohammedan dominated the first half by 2-0 goals as forward Taklis Ahmed scored twice in the match.
In the 16th minute, Taklis netted his first goal utilizing a pass from Souleymane Diabate (1-0).
Then, Taklis doubled the margin for Mohammedan in the stoppage time, from a pass by captain Zahid Hasan Amilie (2-0).
Dhaka Abahani got another blow while Malian forward Souleymane Diabate extended the lead 3-0 in the 50th minute.
Abahani created some good chances with their attacking football, but managed to convert any goal due to lack of dependable finishers.
In the 66th minute, forward-cum-captain Zahid Hasan Amilie fired the net from a pass by Diabate and registered the fourth goal for the traditional black and white Mohammedan (4-0).
In their first-leg match, the popular sky-blue Dhanmondi based outfit defeated Mohammedan by 3-0 goals at the same venue on February 28.
Dhaka, July 16 9UNB)- Rahmatganj MFS beat Team Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (Team BJMC) by 3-2 goals in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football at Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Tuesday.
Congolese striker Siyo Zunapio Jeancy scored two goals and forward Rakibul Islam scored one for Rahmatganj while defender Mohammed Al Amin and Uzbek striker Mukhamedov Otabek scored one goal each for the Team BJMC.
With the day’s feat, Rahmatgonj MFS advanced to the 9th slot from 12th securing 19 points from 20 matches while bottom-placed Team BJMC remained at their 13th slot with previous collection of 8 points from 21 matches.
In day’s another match, a hat-trick from Nigerian striker Raphael Odovin Onwrebe helped Sheikh Russel KC to defeat NoFel Sporting Club by 4-0 goals at the Shaheed Bhulu Stadium in Noakhali.
Sheikh Russel KC advanced to the 3rd slot with 42 points from 20 league matches while NoFel SC slipped to the 11th slot from 10th with previous collection of 16 points from 20 encounters.
Dhaka, July 16 (UNB)- League leaders Bashundhara Kings on Tuesday beat Brothers Union FC by 5-0 goals in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football at Sheikh Kamal Stadium in Nilphamari.
Defender Mohammad Ibrahim opened the account for Bashundhara in the 31st minute and striker Mohammed Motin Mia made his hat-trick scoring three goals in the 39th, 48th, 67th minutes respectively while midfielder Sheikh Alamgir Kabir Rana netted the fifth and final goal.
Bashundhara Kings maintained their top slot in the ongoing BPL league collecting 58 point from their 20 matches while Brother Union slipped to the 12th slot from 11th with their previous collection of 16 points from 20 matches.
In day’s another match, Muktijoddha Sangsad KC played a 1-1 draw with Arambagh Krira Sangha at the Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Stadium in Gopalganj.
After the barren first half, Cameroonian striker Paul Emile Biyaga scored the first goal for Arambagh KS in the 66th minute while Guinean defender Yamoussa Camara leveled the margin for hosts Muktijoddha SKC in the 84th minute (1-1).
Arambagh KS earned 27 points from 21 matches while Muktijoddha SKC gained 22 points from 20 encounters.