1. Football – Asian Cup final (Sydney) – Australia versus South Korea – Hosts Australia progressed to the final against South Korea with a strong opening burst that caught the UAE cold. Two goals in the opening fifteen minutes were the difference, with the UAE unable to break down a stubborn Australian defence over the following 75 minutes. Australia’s goalscorers were two defenders, with Trent Sainsbury and Jason Davidson finding the back of the next with head and foot respectively. While Australia started very well they looked flatter the longer the game progressed and were actually pretty uninspiring in the second half. Coach Ange Postecoglu was bullish about the result afterwards but he will know they must play better if they are to beat an incredibly well-drilled South Korean side. South Korea defeated Australia 1-0 in the group stage, however both sides rested a number of players on that occasion as they had already secured qualification from the group phase. Ivan Franjic is an injury doubt for Australia and his absence would be a blow as they lack cover at right back. He and Davidson have been very good in the full back slots all tournament, providing support and width in attack. But they have looked vulnerable at times due to the space left behind in the hole. Their performances, assuming Franjic plays, will go a long way to determining the result of the final.

Tip – Australia to win on the back of home crowd support. 2-1 in extra time. Massimo Luongo to cap a great tournament with a man of the match display.

SUQ – 10 – Arguably the biggest football match ever played in Australia.


  1. Tennis – Australian Open (Melbourne) – On the women’s side the number 1 and 2 seeds will face off in a dream final. Serena Williams has been largely untroubled, pushed to three sets only a couple of times. Maria Sharapova has improved over the course of the tournament and after being down match points in her second round match has crushed her opposition in the last two matches. Williams has a formidable record against Sharapova, having not lost to her in their last fifteen meetings spanning an incredible eleven years. That includes six wins in finals. Sharapova owes Williams and the time is nigh. Andy Murray withstood a first set barrage from Thomas Berdych last night to prevail in four sets. He played some quite marvellous tennis in the middle two sets and will line up in his fourth Australian Open final (though he is yet to win one) against the winner of tonight’s second semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka. The two have engaged in epic battles over the last two years in Melbourne, splitting their matches, and there is no reason to think this time will be any different. This years Australian Open hasn’t been a great vintage, with few if any long classic matches that will live in the memory. But that could all change with the final three singles matches. The stage is set.

Tip – Williams and Djokovic are both short priced favourites. I think there will be at least one upset, maybe two, and would like to see Sharapova and Murray break their respective droughts.

SUQ – 9 – A weekend of tennis action with loads of potential.


  1. Handball – World Championships (Qatar) – The world handball championships have reached the semi-finals stage. The pick of the quarter-final action was a hard-fought 25-24 win for Spain over Denmark, with Spanish playmaker Joan Canellas scoring the winner with a mere two seconds left. France continued to impress with a resounding 32-23 win over Slovenia, while Poland defeated Croatia 24-22. The fourth semi-finalist will be Qatar after their dream run continued with a two-goal win over Germany. Qatar will now take on Poland in one semi-final, with European powerhouses France and Spain clashing in the other.

Tips – Favourites France to beat Qatar in the final.

SUQ – 7 – The home sides run has been the story of the tournament so far. How long can it last………


Note that the alpine world ski championships kick off in Beaver Creek, Vail next week and run for two weeks (finishing on Sunday 15 February). The ladies’ Super G is the first event on the calendar, followed by the men’s.

  1. I’m not convinced of handball deserving a SUQ of 7… in Australia.

    And how long does that comp go for??


  2. Julian S says:

    Great win for Australia on Saturday night, and well predicted! It will be interesting to see if anything materialises for Luongo in the transfer marker before it closes.

    Tennis on the otherhand was a disspointment. Great first two sets by Murray followed by losing 12 of 13 games … what happened? And Williams-Sharapova didn’t excite at all. Why do the women only play five sets at the Masters? Surely there is scope for them to play five at the grand slams as well – could lead to a more interesting tournament! Do any women want to?


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