WELLINGTON - Buzzing after three consecutive wins, Wellington are still a work in progress and coach Ernie Merrick is expecting more improvement on Sunday when they host defending A-League champions Central Coast Mariners. Merrick says consistency has been a key part of the Phoenix's return to winning form.
LONDON - An "appointed expert" has been brought into assist the Football Association with their ongoing investigation into West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka's controversial "quenelle" goal celebration. A statement from the governing body issued said: "The FA can confirm that its investigation into Nicolas Anelka remains ongoing."
GENEVA, Switzerland - Senior IOC member Gian Franco Kasper defended his comments about corruption in the multi-billion-dollar spending on the Sochi Olympics, saying they are based on a common perception in Russia. Kasper told The Associated Press he stands by comments he made in a Swiss television interview.
LONDON - Manchester United manager David Moyes was charged with misconduct by the Football Association on Friday after criticising match officials after his side's defeat by Sunderland on Tuesday. Moyes said United were "playing referees as well as the opposition" following a 2-1 League Cup semi-final first leg reverse at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.
PARIS - Monaco's prospects of overhauling Paris Saint-Germain at the top of French soccer's Ligue 1 appeared to take another blow on Friday, as Claudio Ranieri's side were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Montpellier. Layvin Kurzawa scored in the 52nd minute at the Stade de la Mosson, but the hosts drew level midway through the second period when M'Baye Niang converted his penalty.
SALTA, Argentina - A Belgian motorbike rider has died competing in this year's Dakar Rally, organisers announced on Friday. Eric Palante, 50, riding for the Honda team, died on Thursday's fifth stage between Chilecito and Tucuman in Argentina. Palante was the third person associated with the gruelling race to die on Thursday after two members of an Argentine news team perished when their car plunged into a ravine.
LONDON Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe is to join Major League Soccer side Toronto, the English Premier League club announced on Friday. The 31-year-old's move will take effect from February 28, meaning there is still a chance for Defoe to add to his to tally of 142 Spurs goals.
WASHINGTON - The US updated its travel alert on Friday for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, and specifically warned about stringent new anti-gay laws. Renewing appeals to all US citizens to remain vigilant, the State Department said Americans "should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times".