Friday, 11 June 2010

Marquez equaliser frustrates South Africa

Rafael Marquez denied South Africa a dream start to their FIFA World Cup™ with a late equaliser for Mexico in a 1-1 draw in an absorbing Opening Match at Soccer City.

Carlos Parreira's hosts appeared on course for three points when Siphiwe Tshabalala fired them in front with a superb 55th-minute strike. But after Teko Modise had missed two clear chances to seal victory, Marquez rescued the draw that Mexico's first-half dominance deserved with a close-range finish 11 minutes from time.

South Africa's players were singing as they came down the tunnel before stepping out into a wall of noise inside Soccer City. But after referee Ravshan Irmatov blew the first whistle of these finals, it was Mexico who looked the team in tune. Their positive start might have yielded the earliest goal of any FIFA World Cup Opening Match as Alessandro Dos Santos nearly struck inside two minutes. Paul Aguilar delivered a low cross and when goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune failed to smother it, Dos Santos looked poised to bury the loose ball only for Aaron Mokoena to make a vital block.

Javier Aguirre's Mexico created a steady supply of chances as they dominated possession in the first half-hour. After Guillermo Franco had sent a header over from a corner, the lively Dos Santos threatened again when he surged upfield from the centre-circle before slicing a shot wide from the edge of the box. After 32 minutes Carlos Vela sent a dinked ball over the Bafana backline to Franco but he was foiled by Khune. When that pair next combined, Mexico got the ball into the net but Vela was offside as he turned in Franco's flick-on from a corner.

Once or twice South Africa’s interpassing almost opened up the Mexico rearguard only for the final ball to go astray. But it was not for nothing that South Africa entered this contest unbeaten in 12 games and home hopes rose before the break when Tshabalala whipped in a dangerous ball that Katlego Mphela just failed to get his head to. It was Tshabalala himself who made the breakthrough by concluding a four-man move in spectacular style ten minutes after the restart.

Latching on to a long diagonal through-ball by Kagisho Dikgacoi, he broke into the penalty box on the left before unleashing a superb left-footed shot high into the opposite corner. Soccer City exploded in celebration and after Khune had turned behind Dos Santo's rising shot, Modise could have put the game out of sight. With 66 minutes on the clock, Mphela's effort deflected to the feet of the Bafana No11 but with just Oscar Perez to beat, he shot wide.

Modise got through again but under pressure from Francisco Rodriguez, failed to get the power on his shot to trouble Perez. The hosts paid for their profligacy when Andres Guardado picked out the unmarked Marquez at the far post and he gave Khune no chance with a near-post finish. Even then South Africa might have snatched a winner only for Mphela's left-foot strike to rebound to safety off the post.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Polystyrene window frame shock for house buyers

Several house buyers in Taman Ampang Jajar here had a rude shock when they checked the houses – the outer frames of their windows were made from polystyrene.

A buyer, Lee Kim Tatt, 35, claimed that the polystyrene pieces were covered with a thin layer of cement.

“What would happen if a person steps on the window sill, thinking that it was made of concrete?” he asked when Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) president Mokhtar Mohd Jait visited the project site yesterday.

A representative for the project’s architect said the frames were merely decorative pieces that should not be stepped on.

Another buyer, Yan Wei Seong, 33, claimed the houses did not follow the original plan as per the sale and purchase agreement (S&P) signed in 2006.

“Some units in a particular row have double steps leading to the back lane while some in the same row only have one step, which shows that the ground is uneven,” he alleged.

Barisan Nasional’s Bagan parliamentary constituency co-ordinator David Chua, who was present, said he was surprised that the relevant departments and agencies had given the green light for the MPSP to issue the Certificate of Fitness (CF) to a majority of the units in 2008.

“How could the CF be given when some of the units are not in good condition?

“Access to these houses is also blocked with hoardings and there are no street lights in this area,” he said.

Mokhtar said the developer had agreed to extend the defect-liability period for the housing units by another two years.

“Disgruntled house buyers are advised to list down their grouses, so we can hold further discussion with the developer.

“We will try to come up with amicable solutions,” he added.

Mokhtar said of the 101 housing units, 22 units as well as 17 shophouses had yet to receive their CFs, pending approval from the relevant departments and agencies.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Husband of late reality TV star sentenced

The husband of reality television star Jade Goody, who died of cancer last month, has been jailed for 12 weeks for attacking a cab driver.

Jack Tweed, 21, was sentenced Tuesday at Harlow Magistrates' Court northeast of London. He had denied the assault charge.

Tweed's wife died March 22 after a highly publicized battle with cervical cancer. The couple married in a media extravaganza two months before her death.

Goody's last months were marked by an outpouring of public sympathy, but Tweed has been dogged by legal problems.

In September, he was given an 18-month jail sentence for beating a teenager with a golf club. He was granted early release on that charge.

Defense lawyer Tania Panagiotopoulou says Tweed has matured since Goody's illness and had pleaded for a lesser sentence.