Welly good

Weekend Herald - - Your Sporting Weekend -

Plenty of round ball around the world. Team Welling­ton fly the Kiwi flag at Fifa's Club World Cup but face a mas­sive chal­lenge if they are to match the bronze medals won last week by the un­der-17 women at their World Cup or Auck­land City at this tour­na­ment in Mo­rocco in 2014. The Welling­to­ni­ans, spear-headed by striker Mario Bar­cia, re­warded for their solid do­mes­tic sea­son and later their tri­umph in the OFC play-offs, fol­low City and Waitakere United onto this stage and face lo­cal UAE side Al-Ain for a place in the tour­na­ment proper. Euro­pean clubs have dom­i­nated win­ning 10 of the 14 tour­na­ments. Sug­ges­tions there could be a mas­sive switch how­ever with Fifa con­sid­er­ing a 24-team, four-yearly com­pe­ti­tion in 2021 re­plac­ing the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup. Ocea­nia chances would be di­min­ished with their cham­pion to play the fifth-placed South Amer­i­can club to book a ticket to the big show. Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal round-robin group matches. Four groups sorted and an­other cou­ple all but. Most in­ter­est in group C where Napoli lead with nine points from PSG (8) and Liver­pool (6). Liver­pool host Napoli while PSG are away to Red Star Bel­grade. In group B Barcelona are through but host Spurs who are equal on points and goal dif­fer­ence with In­ter who host bot­tom­placed PSV. The Phoenix at Syd­ney FC tonight and, no doubt, hop­ing for some­thing to go their way.

● Serie A, to­day 8.20am; to­mor­row/Mon­day 5.50am/

8.20am. A-League, to­day 7.30pm, 9.45pm, mid­night; to­mor­row 7pm; Fri­day 9.45pm. Cham­pi­ons League, Wed­nes­day/Thurs­day from 6.50am. Fifa Club World Cup, Thurs­day 4.18am. Europa League, Fri­day from

8.55am.

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