Amy Yang, Minjee Lee share 3rd-round lead in Thailand
Australian player Minjee Lee watches the flight of her ball during
the third round of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club in Pattaya,
Saturday Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Lerpong Amsa-ngiam)
Pattaya (AP) —
Two-time champion Amy Yang of South Korea and Australian Minjee Lee
shared the lead on 15-under 201 after the third round of the LPGA
Thailand on Saturday.
Yang, who won twice on this
course in 2015 and 2017, had six birdies for a 6-under 66, and Lee
also had six birdies — and one bogey — for 67, which included a
stunning 30-foot downhill putt on the final hole at Siam Country
Club Pattaya. They have a two-stroke lead.
"It was really hot out there,
probably a little more than yesterday, but the play was moving along
so it was okay," Lee said. "I feel I played really solid. In the
seven-week break, we worked on my technique and trying to get my
swing a little faster. I'm not sure if that really worked — when I
got out there today I just found a place I was comfortable and went
The 29-year-old Yang, who has
three LPGA titles said: "I'm a little nervous to be in the lead and
I might get nervous out there tomorrow, but I'm just going to be
patient and do my best."
Two shots behind was
second-round leader Jenny Shin (70). The South Korean finished
strongly with a birdie immediately followed by an eagle on the par-5
Nelly Korda shot 66 to sit
three shots behind the lead at 12 under. She is tied for fourth with
fellow American Austin Ernst (69) and first-round leader Ji Eun-Hee
"I was hitting it really well,"
Korda said. "Made some solid putts. Made a long putt on 9 and then
made a good up and down on 10. Kind of got the ball rolling on the
back nine as well."
Wales overcome England 21-13 to be last unbeaten team in 6N
Wales Josh Adams, left, reaches out to score a try as England's Joe
Cokanasiga attempts the tackle during the Six Nations rugby union
international between Wales and England at the Principality Stadium
in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday, Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Cardiff, Wales (AP) —
Warren Gatland loves training camp. The Wales coach especially loves
a good training camp.
After two weeks on the road —
and two opening wins — Gatland was happy to be back at their Vale
Resort base west of Cardiff to prepare for the Six Nations rugby
showdown with England. To Gatland, the longer they're together, the
better they are. Before the match on Saturday between the
championship's only two unbeaten teams, Gatland said Wales prepared
great and looked sharp.
"We went through some pain in
terms of how hard we trained," he said. "I told the players there's
no way anyone else is training as hard as us. It paid off."
In a big way.
Wales overcame England 21-13 in
a dramatic last quarter to become the only unbeaten team halfway
through the Six Nations.
As well, their first win over
England in six years was their 12th straight overall, a new national
In a match high on tension but
low on quality, Wales made all the running but were losing until
their first try 12 minutes from the end by lock Cory Hill. Then
Wales finally showed on the scoreboard how dominant they were by
adding a second and final try to wing Josh Adams.
After an error-ridden first
half by the Welsh, who kept letting England off the hook, they kept
better control of the ball in the second and pounded the visitors
into submission. It took more than an hour, but Eddie Jones' men
"Not just from a physical point
of view, from a mental point of view, too," Gatland said with pride.
The stunning victory put the
Grand Slam in sight, with a visit to Scotland in two weeks, then
back home for the last round against defending champions Ireland.
That ought to be a crackling atmosphere to rival Saturday, when
England came to Cardiff favored and in dazzling form.
Gatland doubted England's
ability to win the biggest games, having also ruined England's Grand
Slam decider in 2013, and beaten the English in the 2015 Rugby World
"When it's really mattered,
I've questioned whether they can win these big games," he said.
"We've had a record of being pretty good in them."
Even though Wales won their
first two matches, they were flaky in both against France and Italy
and continued in that vein through the first half against England
despite their great preparation.
Lineout throw-ins were stolen,
balls were knocked on, and kicks from hand were wasteful and too
often, when men were lined up and England were on the back foot. It
all conspired to give relief to England, who grabbed their first
try-scoring chance, from a Welsh turnover.
Hooker Ken Owens had the ball
swiped from his grip by Courtney Lawes, and in a flash England set
up a ruck in the Wales 22, and flanker Tom Curry popped out and beat
the sole defender to the try-line. The Welsh stood around wondering
where the defence was.
The defence showed its true
colors in an extended injury time when England threw an 11-man scrum
at Wales, which just held out to trail 10-3.
Just as against France, the
Welsh clicked in the second half. Catches stuck, kicks were fewer
but more effective, Wales played the phases with pick-and-goes, and
sustained pressure was put on England, who coughed up penalties.
In quick time, England prop
Kyle Sinckler was penalized for obstructing Wales flyhalf Gareth
Anscombe, and choking Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in a tackle.
Anscombe kicked Wales to within a point, while Sinckler, whom
Gatland called an "emotional timebomb" in the run-up for brain
fades, was yanked off.
"The world hasn't ended," Eddie
Jones said. "I guarantee you the world's still out there and we'll
learn from this."
Without any ball, Owen Farrell
wasn't having much influence but kicked a penalty to extend
England's lead to 13-9.
Wales, with fresh props Nicky
Smith and Dillon Lewis, charged into the visitors for 34 phases, and
the home fans in the sold-out Principality Stadium were roused for
the first time since the opening kickoff. George North took it to
the right corner flag, then Dan Biggar, who had just replaced
Anscombe, played scrumhalf for a charging Hill, who burrowed his
1.96-meter frame under two defenders to score and put Wales ahead
for the first time.
Hill was picked to improve
Wales' lineout, and he played himself into the ground. The try was
his last act on the field.
With still more than 10 minutes
to go, Wales began spearing through the flagging England defence.
Biggar, the British Lion saved
by Gatland to finish off England, did just that with a crosskick
that Adams rose above Elliot Daly to catch and score in the 78th
Moments later, Wales were
walking a lap of honor.
In the day’s other 6 Nations
match, France overcame Scotland 27-10 in Paris.
Johnson overcomes tree trouble for 4-shot lead in Mexico
Dustin Johnson hits the ball on the 3rd hole during the third round
the WGC-Mexico Championship at the Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico
City, Saturday, Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Mexico City (AP) —
Dustin Johnson was cruising along Saturday in the Mexico
Championship until one swing put him in a bad spot, and the next
shot made it even worse.
One minute he was leading by
six shots. Two holes later, he was leading by two.
For all that went wrong,
Johnson knew everything was right with his game. There was no need
to panic, and he didn't.
Johnson responded from his
double bogey on the 10th hole with two straight birdies. He made two
more birdies sandwiched around an up-and-down par from 105 yards,
and he wound up with a 5-under 66 that gave him a four-shot lead
over Rory McIlroy going into the final round.
"I knew I was playing well, so
I didn't really let it bother me," Johnson said. "I felt like I was
swinging good and I knew I could make quite a few birdies coming in.
So it was one of those things where it was unfortunate, but I felt
like I kept my focus and played really solid coming in."
The 10th hole was his first
score worse than par at Chapultepec Golf Club this week.
And it was his last of the day.
McIlroy, suddenly back in the
game, could not get any closer and had to settle for a 68.
"It's going to be tough,
especially against D.J., who is arguably the best player in the
world," McIlroy said. "So I'm going to have to go out there and just
play a good round of golf, and hopefully that's good enough."
Johnson was at 16-under 197. No
one else was closer than seven shots of the lead.
Tiger Woods pulled within four
shots after Johnson's blunder, but his hopes ended on the greens.
Woods had a 5-iron from the
middle of the fairway on the par-5 15th, put it into a bunker,
blasted out weakly to 25 feet and four-putted for a double bogey,
with the last three putts from just outside 3 feet.
He followed that with a
three-putt bogey on the 16th, and a birdie on the final hole gave
him a 70. Woods, who hit 16 greens in regulation, was 10 shots
behind and in no mood to speak to anyone after the round.
This will be the sixth time
that Johnson has a lead of at least three shots going into the final
round on the PGA Tour, which doesn't include the four-shot lead he
had at Pebble Beach in 2009 when the last round eventually was
called off by rain.
He won four of them, losing a
three-shot lead at Pebble in the 2010 U.S. Open, and a six-shot lead
at the HSBC Champions late in 2017.
Anything is possible with
Johnson, and McIlroy saw that Saturday.
Coming off back-to-back bogeys
to fall eight shots behind through eight holes, McIlroy rolled in a
35-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole. He followed with a flip wedge
to short range for birdie on No. 10 while Johnson was chopping his
way to double bogey.
Johnson's problems started with
a drive to the right into the trees. He had a gap through the
branches and a lob wedge in his hand, but the ball shot out high and
hit a tree limb, going into the bushes. Johnson got a break when he
was given free relief from a sprinkler line, though the lie wasn't
much better and the next shot smacked a tree trunk and headed into
the bushes. He did well to punch that onto the green and two-putted
from 40 feet for double bogey.
So while McIlroy has little
choice to attack in the final round, it might not be all up to him.
"You can see how quickly things
can change," he said. "D.J. hits it a little right on 10 and he
makes double. It's easy to do that around here. So it's going to
have to be a blend of aggression and patience."
McIlroy did his best to hang
around. He made back-to-back bogeys on the front nine that put him
six behind, and then ran off three straight birdies to close the
gap. He missed a 3-foot par putt on the 14th hole and was suddenly
left a tall order for Sunday.
It's even tougher on everyone
Masters champion Patrick Reed
finished with three straight birdies for a 64 and was in the group
seven shots behind with Patrick Cantlay (65), Sergio Garcia (69) and
Cameron Smith (68).
Reed started birdie-eagle and
missed plenty of short putts. He said he would need as many
opportunities on Sunday and even a better score.
"It's going to take a really
special day tomorrow," Reed said. "I don't think 7 under is going to
get it done. I'm thinking it's going to at least take 10 (under) to
maybe even a 59 depending on how he finishes the day."
Johnson had a two-shot lead to
start the third round over McIlroy and Matt Kuchar, whose hopes for
a Mexican sweep of PGA Tour events fizzled with a 79. Johnson seized
command on the second hole, when he hit a driver over the trees on
the 367-yard hole, hopped it onto the green to 4 feet and made the
putt for eagle.
He holed a 10-foot birdie on
No. 5 and kept getting looks at medium-range birdie attempts without
The 10th hole was merely a
"D.J. is playing very well. He
seems to be comfortable on this golf course. He's going to be very
tough to beat," McIlroy said. "Tomorrow I'm going to have to go out
there and probably shoot something similar to what I shot the first
day (63) to have a chance."
Johnson, the only player to
capture all four World Golf Championships, is going for his sixth
WGC title and his 20th career victory on the PGA Tour, which would
make him a lifetime member at age 34.
Sri Lanka clinch historic 2-0 series win in South Africa
Sri Lanka's cricket team celebrates winning their two five-day
cricket tests against South Africa at St. George's Park in Port
Elizabeth, South Africa, Saturday, Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Michael
Port Elizabeth, South
Africa (AP) — Given no chance at the start, a patched-up and
out-of-form Sri Lanka team stunned everyone to clinch their first
series win in South Africa on Saturday — and the first for any team
other than England and Australia.
More than just win, Sri Lanka
swept the series 2-0 with an eight-wicket victory in the second and
final test in Port Elizabeth on Day 3. The highly rated Proteas were
blanked in a home series for the first time in more than a decade
and only the second time since returning to international cricket
after the end of apartheid.
The historic success for a team
from the Asian subcontinent — even the mighty India and Pakistan
have never managed to win in South Africa — came against all
expectations after Sri Lanka arrived with a new captain and an
inexperienced, demoralized team.
A run of three straight series
losses and six defeats in their last seven tests led to skipper
Dinesh Chandimal being dumped.
Yet the Sri Lankans ultimately
cruised to victory Saturday in the series-deciding match against
test cricket's No. 2-ranked team, reaching the victory target of 197
at St. George's Park for the loss of just two wickets.
Kusal Mendis and Oshada
Fernando dominated South Africa's famed fast-bowling attack to seal
the victory, with Mendis finishing on 84 not out and Fernando, in
his debut series, 75 not out. Their partnership of 163 saw Sri Lanka
home and they pummeled the South African bowlers for good measure.
The partnership came off just 213 balls as Sri Lanka raced to
"I'm happy about today because
we were down in the dumps," Mendis said through a translator.
Sri Lanka is the first team to
sweep South Africa at home since Ricky Ponting's Australia came and
won 3-0 in 2006, and only the second to do it in the last 26 years.
South Africa last lost at home
to England three years ago and had won seven straight series at home
— seeing off top-ranked India and Australia in the process.
"I think it's really a great
feeling for me and the team," new captain Dimuth Karunaratne said.
"It's not easy when you come to South Africa and to win a series
2-0, it's a lot of hard work. I think the guys enjoyed it a lot,
that's why we created history."
Ronaldo held scoreless in Madrid as Atletico beat Juventus
Atletico Jose Gimenez scores his side's opening goal during the
Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between Atletico
Madrid and Juventus at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid,
Wednesday, Feb. 20. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Madrid (AP) — Atletico
Madrid's vaunted center-back pairing finally got the better of
Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday, even providing the goals after
holding their long-time rival scoreless for once.
In a match where Atletico had
more trouble with video review than Ronaldo, the Spanish team kept
the Portugal star in check but had to overcome two key VAR decisions
to defeat Juventus 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League's
round of 16.
Central defenders Jose Maria
Gimenez and Diego Godin scored late to give Atletico the win, after
the hosts had a penalty kick taken away and a goal disallowed by
Ronaldo, jeered nearly every
time he touched the ball, had a quiet performance in his first match
in the Spanish capital since leaving Real Madrid last summer. He
came close to scoring with a booming shot from a free kick less than
10 minutes into the match, but had few opportunities after that.
Heavily marked from the start,
Ronaldo wasn't able to add to his good record against the old
rivals, who he helped eliminate in four straight seasons in the
Champions League while playing for Real Madrid.
Atletico had a first-half
penalty reversed by VAR after it determined that Diego Costa was
fouled outside the area, and the referee also consulted video
replays on the pitchside monitor before disallowing a second-half
goal by Alvaro Morata for a push on Juventus defender Giorgio
"We hope the VAR keeps
improving and helping make things right, but do you really believe
that a person who is 1.87-meters tall can fall that way in a game
action like the one with Morata?" said Simeone, who celebrated his
team's first goal with an obscene gesture and could face UEFA
The hosts dominated after an
even first half at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, and both Costa and
Antoine Griezmann missed clear scoring chances before Gimenez found
the net after getting to a loose ball inside the area in the 78th
and Godin added to the lead with an angled volley in the 83rd after
defenders failed to fully clear a free kick cross by Griezmann. The
shot seemed to take a slight deflection off Ronaldo, who was the
closest player to Godin but wasn't able to block the effort.
"Luckily we were able to
overcome the calls that went against us with the VAR," Godin said.
"It was a great result, scoring twice and not conceding, but we will
have to be prepared for the final 90 minutes in Turin."
Sane stuns old club Schalke as City win 3-2 in CL last 16
Manchester City players celebrate their third goal with midfielder
Leroy Sane, left, during the first leg, round of sixteen, Champions
League soccer match between Schalke 04 and Manchester City at
Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday Feb. 20. (AP
(AP) — Mobbed by his Manchester City teammates after scoring a
sublime free kick, Leroy Sane held out his left hand in apology to
the Schalke fans who once adored him but were now stunned into
Sane's 85th-minute goal against
his former club gave the English champions an equalizer just when it
looked like they had run out of ideas in the Champions League on
And there was worse to come for
the German team.
Raheem Sterling latched onto a
pinpoint long ball forward from goalkeeper Ederson Moraes and calmly
finished into the bottom corner in the 90th to earn 10-man City a
3-2 win in the first leg of their last-16 match in Gelsenkirchen.
A place in the quarterfinals,
for the third time in four years, looks likely for a team that has
yet to lift the biggest prize in European soccer despite spending
vast amounts under its Abu Dhabi ownership over the past decade.
"You can see the will is a lot
— we never give up, we always want to keep fighting," said Sane, who
was "a little bit sad" to damage Schalke's chances in the
Sane started his professional
career at the club in Gelsenkirchen before moving to City in 2016.
City's late exploits took away
some of the focus on the video assistant referee, which is being
used for the first time in the Champions League this season from the
last-16 stage and helped Schalke overturn the visitors' early lead.
Trailing to Sergio Aguero's
19th-minute goal, Schalke were awarded the first of two penalties
converted by Nabil Bentaleb in the final seven minutes of the first
half when Nicolas Otamendi was adjudged to have handled a shot from
Daniel Caligiuri. The Argentina defender attempted to withdraw his
right arm as a powerful shot flew toward him but the ball struck him
near the shoulder.
After a delay of nearly four
minutes — the referee wasn't helped by the pitchside monitor
reportedly not working — the referee overturned his initial decision
to award a corner and Bentaleb sent Ederson the wrong way from the
spot to make it 1-1.
The midfielder scored again in
the 45th and this time the penalty decision was more
straightforward. Fernandinho, playing as a makeshift center back
with John Stones injured, tugged back Salif Sane at a free kick
after losing track of the Schalke defender.
Otamendi was handed a second
yellow card in the 68th for a foul on substitute Guido Burgstaller
but City still managed to recover in Gelsenkirchen.
"We gave them two penalties, we
gave them a red card and in this competition that is not too good,"
City manager Pep Guardiola said. "We are still not ready to fight
for the later stages, but the result is good."
Asked if the decisions to award
the penalties were correct, Guardiola added: "I think so, they are
two penalties. I trust VAR. I have arguments sometimes but not this
England pull off record ODI chase vs West Indies
England's Joe Root plays a shot against West Indies during the first
One Day International cricket match at the Kensington Oval in
Bridgetown, Barbados, Wednesday, Feb. 20. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Bridgetown, Barbados (AP)
— Jason Roy and Joe Root hit centuries to power England to their
record one-day run chase on Wednesday, seeing off the West Indies by
six wickets after weathering a barrage of sixes by Chris Gayle.
The tourists were given a target of 360 in the
first ODI after Gayle ended his six-month exile from the team by
hitting 12 sixes in a knock of 135. England's previous best pursuit
was the 350 they scored against New Zealand in 2015 but Jos Buttler
clipped his first ball for four to put England on 364-4 and seal a
historic win with eight deliveries remaining.
Roy led England at the top of the order with
123 in 85 balls, while Root all but finished the job with a measured
102 before falling with the scores tied.
Gayle, beginning a lap-of-honor that will end
with retirement after this summer's World Cup, was nearly caught
when he was on just nine from 33 balls when he fended Liam Plunkett
just over the grasping Roy at point.
Four balls later he struck his first six and
began working through the gears, clattering four sixes from
Plunkett's 14 balls at him.
Where Gayle's first 50 had occupied 76 balls,
his second 50 required only 24. He celebrated the moment by dropping
to his knees and hailing the pavilion before getting to his feet,
balancing his maroon helmet on top of his bat.
He finally fell in the 47th over, turning a Ben
Stokes slower ball into his stumps.
The England all-rounder finished with 3-37,
including the wicket of Carlos Brathwaite.
Adil Rashid also took three wickets, despite
being curiously held back until the 34th over, and Nurse added three
late sixes to break the innings record of 22 previously held by New
Far from being overwhelmed by the chase, Roy
went after opening pair Devendra Bishoo and Oshane Thomas.
Roy's fourth ball of the day, from Bishoo,
disappeared down the ground for six while both he and Jonny Bairstow
used Thomas' express speed against him amid a flurry of early
England reached 50 inside six overs and 100 in
exactly 12, with Roy's focus undimmed by Bairstow's departure for
34. With Root calmly accumulating, the West Indies needed to halt
Roy's charge but a top edge drifted away from Thomas in the breeze
and Holder failed to grab a reaction caught-and-bowled on 82.
Roy had further luck before finally slicing
Bishoo to short third man. Root put on 116 with Eoin Morgan, who
made an enterprising 65, but found an equally willing accomplice in
Nurse, who misread a hat trick of takeable chances to leave
England's finisher in position until the closing moments.
Hamilton expects stronger challenge from Ferrari in 2019
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during a
Formula One pre-season testing session at the Barcelona Catalunya
racetrack in Montmelo, outside Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Feb.20.
(AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
Montmelo, Spain (AP) —
Ferrari's early dominance in Formula One preseason testing has
caught Lewis Hamilton's attention.
Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have been
among the fastest drivers in the first week of testing in Spain,
with the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas unable to
Daniil Kvyat, back in F1 after a one-year
absence, was the fastest in his Toro Rosso on the third of four test
days at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit on Wednesday, ahead of
former Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, now with Alfa Romeo. Daniel
Ricciardo was third with Renault, ahead of Vettel.
"Ferrari are very, very strong right now," said
Hamilton, who was 12th fastest, just behind Bottas. "As you have
seen, they are racking up great mileage as well and it appears that
they have a better package than they had last year, which means it
is going to be even more of a challenge for us this year."
Hamilton won his fifth world title last year,
beating Vettel and Raikkonen in the drivers' championship.
"Ferrari always looks particularly strong, for
the last few years they have looked very strong, so that is to be
expected," Hamilton said. "For us, we are just going about our
process and trying to understand, so everyone is working incredibly
He said it's too early to be overly concerned
with the rival's performance.
"It's not a time when we need to focus on
others, we let everyone else do their thing and really dig deep and
focus on making sure our processes are better than ever before, that
we are analyzing the data better than ever before and that from a
driver's point of view the feedback is more accurate than ever
before," Hamilton said. "That is what we are trying to focus on and
making sure we get through our run plans."
There was some concern that Mercedes may lose
ground this year because it didn't do as well as Ferrari with the
design of the new front wings, which are part of regulation changes
for this upcoming season. Red Bull, which also is using a similar
front-wing design to Mercedes, had Max Verstappen fifth-quickest
after 109 laps on Wednesday.
Kvyat's time of 1 minute, 17.704 seconds was
the fastest of the week. Raikkonen ran the most laps with 138, one
more than Kvyat, and four more than Vettel.
Williams finally made it to the track after
missing the first two days of testing because of delays with its
2019 car. Rookie George Russell managed only 23 laps and was the
slowest driver of the day.
"It's embarrassing not bringing a race car to a
circuit when everyone else has managed to do that, particularly a
team like ours that has managed to bring a race car to testing for
the past 40-odd years," Williams team principal Claire Williams
said. "We can only apologize."
There were three red flags on Wednesday, all
prompted by problems with Haas cars.
Testing will continue through Thursday and then
again from Feb. 26-March 1 at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, home
to the Spanish Grand Prix in May.
The season-opening Australian GP is on March
Australia wins opening Sydney SailGP races over Japan
F50 catamarans compete at the start during their SailGP race on the
harbor in Sydney, Saturday, Feb. 16. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Sydney (AP) — Tom
Slingsby and his Australia high-speed catamaran won the opening
Sydney SailGP event, finishing first in four of the five fleet races
and then winning the championship match race over Japan on Saturday.
Starting the second day a point
behind the Japan boat skippered by Slingsby's fellow 2012 Olympic
gold medalist Nathan Outteridge, Australia won Saturday's two fleet
The two boats were neck and
neck in the early stages of the head-to-head final, but Australia
pulled away to win by 37 seconds.
"It felt like he (Outteridge)
was always there, he was always one mistake away and he was sitting
there lurking. If we made that mistake, he would have pounced,"
"We learned from yesterday and
we improved more than I could have even hoped we would. I couldn't
be happier with how today went. I hold our team to a very high
standard and they over-delivered, it was unbelievable."
The wind was mainly in the
eight to 12 knot range for both days, not allowing the high-powered
boats to get anywhere near their top speeds.
The pre-event suggestions that
the Slingsby and Outteridge boats were favorites proved true, as
none of the other four competitors managed a win.
"We don't need more of a
rivalry than what we already have,'" Outteridge said. "Everyone was
kind of expecting the two of us in that match race. We didn't quite
get over them at the start. They were on form all day sailing really
well and we missed a few little things here and there."
After the first of five events,
Australia leads the standings with 48 points. Japan has 45. Britain,
with skipper Dylan Fletcher, has 36, followed by China (skipper Phil
Robertson) and France (Billy Besson) with 33 points each, and the
United States, skippered by Rome Kirby, with 31.
SailGP is the sailing league
founded by tech billionaire Larry Ellison and five-time America's
Cup winner Russell Coutts. It features many of the world's top
sailors racing 50-foot, wing-sailed catamarans that fly across the
top of waves on hydrofoils.
Unlike in the America's Cup,
all the boats are identical. Crews won't be allowed to make changes
without approval of the measurement team.
The six teams will compete at
five tour stops, with the finale being a winner-take-all, $1 million
match race between the top two teams to crown the 2019 champion.
The tour next stops in San
Francisco on May 4-5; New York on June 21-22; Cowes, England, on
Aug. 10-11; and Marseille, France, on Sept. 20-22 for the final that
will include the $1 million race.
City overcome stubborn Newport to reach FA Cup quarters
Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez, third left, scores his side's fourth
goal during the English FA Cup fifth round soccer match between Newport
County and Manchester City at Rodney Parade stadium in Newport, Wales,
Saturday, Feb. 16. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Newport, Wales (AP) -
Manchester City broke through Newport's stubborn defence in the second
half to beat the fourth-tier side 4-1 in the FA Cup on Saturday,
although the result wasn't as straightforward as the scoreline
Newport's hopes of an epic
fifth-round upset were still intact when Padraig Amond pulled a goal
back to make it 2-1 in the 88th minute. But Phil Foden replied instantly
with his second goal of the game and Riyad Mahrez added an injury-time
score, allowing City to advance to the quarterfinals to keep Pep
Guardiola's side in the hunt for a possible four trophies.
Brighton and Millwall also
advanced. Brighton beat second-tier Derby 2-1 while Championship side
Millwall overcame AFC Wimbledon 1-0.
City's visit to South Wales had
only one realistic outcome, but the win wasn't quite as simple as most
City entered the game as the
overwhelming favorites — especially after beating Chelsea 6-0 last
weekend in the Premier League — but struggled to impose their usual
attacking game on a pitch that contained more mud than grass in many
"It was the worst conditions I have
played in," Foden said. "We had to show professionalism and keep the
ball moving and they tired in the end."
Newport, with an annual wage bill
that's less than one percent of City's, managed to reach the halftime
break still at 0-0, and even created the best chance of the opening 45
minutes. City goalkeeper Ederson had to produce a stellar one-handed
save to keep Tyreeq Bakinson's header at bay in the 14th minute.
But Leroy Sane, who hit the
crossbar in the first half, finally created the breakthrough for City in
the 51st. Sane ran onto a pass from Gabriel Jesus and fired a left-foot
shot that hit goalkeeper Joe Day square in the face before spinning
through his arms and into the net. The strike left Day with a bloody
nose, and left Newport's chances in tatters as well.
Foden doubled the lead in the 75th
with a solo goal after the teenager picked up the ball on the halfway
line before charging forward and slotting a shot past Day.
Newport still managed to make it
interesting when Amond seized on a defensive mistake to lob the ball
over Emerson, but Foden quickly restored City's two-goal lead with a
fierce left-foot shot into the net from inside the area. Mahrez added
the fourth from the left side of the box in injury time, creating a
scoreline that flattered the visitors.
"The first 20 minutes were
difficult from throw-ins and long balls, and they are much better than
us in those situations, but in the last 20 minutes we put the game into
our hands," Guardiola said. "The home crowd was amazing. Winning here, I
(understand) English football today better than ever and how tough the
cup is in these conditions."
BRIGHTON HOLD ON
Brighton reached the quarterfinals
for the second year in a row after holding off a late comeback attempt
Brighton looked to be in complete
control after taking a 2-0 lead at halftime, with Anthony Knockaert and
Jurgen Locadia scoring for the Premier League side. But Derby threatened
to make a comeback after veteran left back Ashley Cole — a seven-time FA
Cup winner with Arsenal and Chelsea — scored his first goal in the
competition in the 81st.
That made for a nervy last 10
minutes for the hosts, but Harry Wilson and Fikayo Tomori both shot wide
for Derby to scupper any hopes of a comeback.
Knockaert opened the scoring in the
33rd minute by meeting a low cross in the area and sweeping a shot
inside the near post, before Locadia doubled the lead on the stroke of
halftime by firing in from close range after Yves Bissouma's effort had
hit the post.
Cole responded with his first goal
in English football in six years after Florian Jozefzoon went down under
a challenge from Bernardo and the ball was cleared into the path of the
former England defender. While his teammates appealed for a penalty,
Cole calmly headed home.
Millwall also advanced after Murray
Wallace's early goal was enough to see off League One strugglers AFC
Wallace headed in a cross from Ryan
Leonard in the fifth minute and the hosts had a number of second-half
chances to add to the lead, but couldn't find a way past Wimbledon
goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for a second time.
It's the second time in three years
the London club have reached the quarterfinals.
Shiffrin skis through sickness to 'sweetest' win of career
United States' Mikaela Shiffrin competes on her way to winning the
women's slalom, at the alpine ski World Championships in Are, Sweden,
Saturday, Feb. 16. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
Are, Sweden (AP) — Mikaela
Shiffrin couldn't breathe. She felt like she was suffocating. She had no
energy, and self-doubt had set in.
Then came some words of
encouragement from her coaches: "The reality is you have to push for 60
seconds. Everything else doesn't matter. Just 60 seconds."
They were the sweetest 60 seconds
of her career.
Fighting off a lung infection,
Shiffrin delivered her most resilient performance yet to capture the
slalom title at the world championships and become the first Alpine
skier — male or female — to win the same event at four straight worlds.
The drama added another layer of
legend around a 23-year-old American who is on course to be the greatest
skier of all time.
"I was just not feeling very good
for the whole day," she said, her voice noticeably croaky, "except for
the 60 seconds that it mattered."
After crossing the line, she
collapsed to the snow for a while. She roused herself to get up only
because she thought she was being disrespectful to the two skiers yet to
First it was Anna Swenn Larsson,
who finished 0.58 seconds behind Shiffrin to take silver. Then came
first-run leader Wendy Holdener, who went round a few gates before going
off the course.
Just like that, it was official:
Shiffrin was a world champion for the fifth time — and the second time
at these championships after winning the super-G on the opening day of
competition in Are.
She barely had any energy to
"A testament to her grittiness,"
Shiffrin's coach, Jeff Lackie, told The Associated Press, "and what she
was able to accomplish in that second run was nothing short of
This was the kind of situation that
Lindsey Vonn, Shiffrin's idol, used to revel in: Battling adversity,
proving the critics wrong, coming from behind.
Now Vonn is retired , Shiffrin is
center stage — the poster girl of Alpine skiing whether she likes it or
This is some way to kick off the
Shiffrin woke up on Saturday with a
terrible cold, feeling sick, and with trouble just breathing. Rumors
started to swirl about her feeling under the weather, and they were
confirmed after the first run of the slalom in which she finished in
third place — 0.15 seconds behind Holdener.
Shiffrin was suffering with a chest
cold, her team said, and her energy levels were low. She watched her
rivals — Holdener, Swenn Larsson, eventual bronze-medalist Petra Vlhova
— in the first run and thought: "I don't know how much more I have to
give, how much more I can push."
She said her illness might have
taken away any nerves before the second leg, which — hours after the
race — was just a blur to her. The most vivid memory she had was from
halfway down the course, when she felt she "ran out of oxygen."
In fact, despite everything, the
second run was close to perfection. It was the fastest by 0.62 seconds.
"Technically," said Livio Magoni,
Vlhova's coach, "it's worth watching over and over again to learn from."
Tears flowed from Shiffrin after
Swenn Larsson came down the hill to win Sweden its first medal of these
championships. She cried at the flower ceremony, and again in media
"I'm not sure why I was crying
quite a lot more than I usually do, and it's quite embarrassing,"
Shiffrin said. "But it is emotional for a lot of reasons. I can't
explain every reason right now. It would take much too long."
It's most likely down to the
pressure she has been under, externally and from within, in a
roller-coaster two weeks in central Sweden. First there was the high of
the super-G gold, then her exchanges on social media in response to
comments from Vonn and Bode Miller questioning her decision to skip the
Alpine combined in favor of going to nearby Norway for training.
There was the relative
disappointment of finishing third in the giant slalom — Shiffrin said it
was an awesome result, even though she started out as favorite — and
then this drama-filled day in the slalom.
In the end, she walks away from the
championships tied with Ted Ligety as the American with the most gold
medals at the worlds. In doing so, she moved ahead of Miller, another of
her childhood idols.
With seven medals at the worlds,
she is only one off the American record held by Vonn. Shiffrin has seven
gold medals at the worlds and Olympics, and is up to 56 victories on the
World Cup circuit — 26 behind Vonn and 30 off the all-time record of
A reminder that Shiffrin is only
23, not yet considered at her peak .
After accepting a cough sweet to
soothe her throat, Shiffrin was asked what made the unprecedented win in
the slalom so memorable.
"In the moments that it counted, my
team and I were able to focus on the true task and the reason we're
here," she said. "That's something special."
Thomas, Scott share 36-hole lead at Riviera
Scott, of Australia, hits his second shot on the ninth hole during the
second round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club on
Saturday, Feb. 16, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP
Los Angeles (AP) — Justin Thomas
and Adam Scott each completed rounds of 6-under 65 on Saturday and shared
the lead when the second round finally ended in the rain-delayed Genesis
Both played only six holes, finished
when breakfast was still being served in the Riviera clubhouse, and were
likely to play only a few holes of third round in what daylight was left.
They were a shot ahead of J.B. Holmes
(69). Jordan Spieth (70) was three shots behind, while Tiger Woods finished
with a birdie for a 71 and was 10 shots behind.
The start of the tournament was delayed
seven hours because of rain. The plan was to complete the third round Sunday
morning and keep the same groups for the final round immediately after.
Thomas and Scott were at 11-under 131.
Liverpool climb back atop EPL standings; United into 4th
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side's third goal
during the English Premier League soccer match against AFC Bournemouth
at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, Saturday, Feb. 9. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
London (AP) — With fans
growing increasingly nervous, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp knew his
players needed to make a statement about their title credentials against
Bournemouth on Saturday.
They delivered just the right
message with a rampant display in a 3-0 win at Anfield that not only put
the team back atop the English Premier League standings but also showed
that fears over another late-season collapse may be unwarranted.
"We wanted to show a reaction. It's
our job not only to come through but to really perform and convince,"
said Klopp, whose team are looking for a first league title since 1990
but had let a seven-point lead to Manchester City slip away in recent
"Supporters get a little bit
nervous for all sorts of reasons. That's not a Liverpool thing — it's a
Saturday's win was convincing
indeed. After being held to two straight 1-1 draws, Liverpool
rediscovered their attacking verve as goals from Sadio Mane and
Georginio Wijnaldum essentially decided the game after just 34 minutes,
and Mohamed Salah added the third in the 48th. If not for a number of
missed chances in the second half, the scoreline easily could have been
The win means City, who took the
lead on goal difference on Wednesday, must beat Chelsea on Sunday in
order to prevent Liverpool from establishing another gap with a game in
hand. Liverpool have 65 points from 26 games with City on 62.
Chelsea are also under heavy
pressure going into Sunday's game after top-four rivals Manchester
United and Arsenal won on Saturday.
United climbed above Chelsea into
fourth with a 3-0 win at Fulham, while Arsenal are level on points with
Maurizio Sarri's side after beating last-placed Huddersfield 2-1.
On a day where every game was
preceded by a minute's silence for Emiliano Sala following the
confirmation of the Argentine striker's death, Cardiff ended an
emotional week with a crucial victory. The team moved out of the
relegation zone by beating Southampton 2-1 thanks to Kenneth Zohore's
Sala's body was recovered on
Wednesday from the crashed plane that was taking him to Cardiff, after
he signed for the Welsh club from Nantes in January.
"For Emiliano, I feel really proud
that the lads have done him justice," Cardiff manager Neil Warnock said.
In other games, Watford beat
Everton 1-0, Burnley won at Brighton 3-1, and Crystal Palace drew at
home against West Ham 1-1.
Paul Pogba scored twice for United
at Craven Cottage as the French midfielder continued his resurgence
under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Pogba gave United the lead with a blistering
shot from a tight angle in the 14th minute and converted a penalty for
the third goal in the 65th, taking his tally to eight goals in his last
eight league games.
And after sitting 11 points from
fourth place when Solskjaer took over from the fired Jose Mourinho in
December, United are firmly back in the hunt for a Champions League
"That's what we wanted since Ole
came. We talked about this, we want to be at the top, top four," Pogba
said. "There is still a long way to go but we are there and we want to
stay there now."
Arsenal haven't given up hope of
finishing fourth either. Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette scored in
the first half for the Gunners, who still haven't kept a clean sheet
away in the league this season after Huddersfield pulled one back in
injury time through an own goal by Sead Kolasinac.
The most dramatic finish came at
St. Mary's though, where Southampton thought they secured a point when
Jack Stephens equalized in injury time. But Zohore's close-range finish
two minutes later handed Cardiff all three points — and consecutive
top-flight victories for the first time since 1962.
Burnley also moved out of the
relegation zone, with Chris Wood scoring twice for the visitors at
At Vicarage Road, Watford
substitute Andre Gray piled more pressure on Everton manager Marco Silva
by scoring the only goal with a header in the 65th. That handed Everton
a third straight league loss and subjected Silva to a chorus of taunting
chants on his first return to Watford since he was sacked by the club
last year after being approached by Everton.
Wilfried Zaha rescued a point for
Crystal Palace, scoring an equalizer 14 minutes from time after Noble
gave the visitors a first-half lead from the penalty spot.
6N: Ireland rebound to beat Scotland 22-13 at Murrayfield
Ireland's Jacob Stockade runs for the line to score his side's second
try of the game against Scotland, during the Six Nations Championship
rugby match at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland, Saturday Feb.
9. (Ian Rutherford/PA via AP)
Edinburgh, Scotland (AP) —
Ireland kept alive their Six Nations title defence at Murrayfield by
grinding down Scotland 22-13 on Saturday.
After being crunched by England on
the opening weekend in Dublin, Ireland had to rebound far from home
against a Scotland side confident they had the steel and flair to end
Ireland's championship reign in the second round.
But after a breathless first half
which the Irish edged 12-10, they scored a third soft try for some
breathing room and their defence limited Scotland to just a penalty.
Ireland's game management was made
easier by Scotland committing 15 handling errors, more than twice as
many as the Irish. Scotland also lost three throw-ins. Unlike in the
first half, the Scots couldn't get a foothold in the Irish 22 or sustain
Ireland's regulation win was given
some shine by the comeback of flyhalf Joey Carbery, who was on after
only 23 minutes when playmaker Jonathan Sexton came off for a head
knock. Carbery almost immediately gave Scotland their only try from an
intercept but he created the only try in the second half and kicked a
penalty to deny the Scots even a losing bonus point at home.
Coach Joe Schmidt believed Sexton
will be available for the next match at Italy on Feb. 24. He said Sexton
failed a head injury exam after a heavy fall and a stamp. He was also
relieved by the team's effort.
"There was definitely a rise in
temperature, definitely a rise in energy, from last week," Schmidt said.
"Now we've got to make sure we kick
on. We're relying on other people now (to win the championship), but the
one thing we don't have to rely on other people for is how we approach
things and how we perform."
Casey leads by 3 over Mickelson at Pebble Beach
of England, follows his drive from the 18th tee of the Spyglass Hill Golf
Course during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf
tournament, Saturday, Feb. 9, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP) — Paul
Casey was far away from all the antics and quietly put together another
solid round Saturday for a 5-under 67 that gave him a three-shot lead over
Phil Mickelson going into the final day of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Casey had four birdies over his last 10
holes at Spyglass Hill in a mixture of rain, sunshine and wind. He finished
at 15-under 200, the fourth time on the PGA Tour had he has led going into
the final round.
"I am having a blast," Casey said.
Mickelson was part of the celebrity
rotation at Pebble Beach and put on a show on the back nine, stuffing a
wedge to 3 feet on No. 13, and following with a 4-iron to 4 feet on the
par-5 14th hole for eagle. He also made a tough save on the par-3 17th and
shot a 2-under 70, giving him a good chance to match Mark O'Meara's record
of five AT&T Pebble Beach titles.
Casey and Mickelson have done their
best with so many shots to back pins, typically set to the highest point on
the three courses to avoid any saturation from the hit-and-miss rain.
"The little half-shots to get back to
some of these pins, a lot of guys struggle with and it's been a strength of
my game," Mickelson said. "So I've been able to make a few more birdies on
some of these holes."
The weather again was hit-and-miss,
though the tournament managed to get in 54 holes.
It started under a blue sky with
patches of clouds that soon took aim at the Monterey Peninsula, dropped
temperatures by some 10 degrees and brought enough rain to make it tougher
That's not what stopped Jordan Spieth.
He was tied for the lead after a birdie
on the par-3 fifth hole and remained in range of Casey until Spieth pulled
his tee shot so badly on the 13th hole that he didn't know where it was
until it was spotted 140 yards behind where he was looking, under a cluster
of trees. He wound up making double bogey, and then after a three-putt bogey
from the wrong side of the 17th green, Spieth pulled his tee shot into the
ocean on the 18th hole for another double bogey and a 74. He went from being
in the mix to eight shots behind.
"It was going to bite me at some
point," Spieth said. "I didn't necessarily deserve to be a couple under par
at the time, and so it ended up kind of haunting me there. ... I drove the
ball well the last two days, and then today my driver just didn't behave at
all. It was a 150-yard spread on either side and that's not good around
Lucas Glover had a birdie-bogey finish
at Monterey Peninsula for a 1-under 70 and was at 11-under 204, along with
Scott Piercy (69 at Spyglass Hill).
Casey was recently in the news for a
tournament he didn't play, the Saudi International, a new event on the
European Tour that came under scrutiny for Saudi Arabia's human rights
record and the recent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He was on the original list of
commitments without his approval, and said he was never going. Casey is an
ambassador for UNICEF and has the logo on his golf bag, which he displayed
on an Instagram post to confirm he was not playing.
"I stand firm on what I said," Casey
He is more interested in what he can
accomplish Sunday at a tournament that, with reasonable weather and an
enjoyable amateur partner, he has come to enjoy. Casey is playing with Don
Colleran, the chief sales officer for FedEx. They have a four-shot lead in
But 54-hole leads have not been
friendly to him. Casey is 0-3 with the lead going into the final round on
the PGA Tour, losing three-shot lead two years ago at the TPC Boston when
Rory McIlroy shot 65, and a four-shot lead last summer at the Travelers
Championship when Bubba Watson closed with a 63. He also lost a two-shot
lead in the 2017 Tour Championship to Xander Schauffele.
All three times, Casey shot a final
round of 2 over or worse.
Now he has Mickelson, who three weeks
ago finished one shot behind in the Desert Classic. Mickelson had
consecutive bogeys as the wind and rain were at its worst along the coastal
holes of Nos. 9 and 10, and then recovered brilliantly.
The wind was strong enough off the
Pacific that he had only a 4-iron into the 14th, and it never left the flag,
leaving a tap-in eagle.
"I thought anything in the 60s was
going to be a heck of a round, and I was one shy," Mickelson said. "But I've
got a good chance going into tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it."
England finally dig in and reach 231-4 on Day 1 of 3rd test
England's Jos Buttler plays a shot against West Indies during day one of
the third cricket Test match at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Gros
Islet, St. Lucia, Saturday, Feb. 9. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Gros Islet, St. Lucia (AP) —
Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes were unbeaten on half-centuries as England
wore down the West Indies to be a healthy 231-4 at stumps on the first
day of the third cricket test on Saturday.
England have already lost the
series 2-0, but finally dug in against a bowling attack minus captain
Jason Holder, who has been banned from the test for his team's slow
over-rate in the three-day second test in Antigua.
Ironically, Holder's replacement,
Keemo Paul, removed both openers and was the only bowler with two
Stokes, whose availability was in
some doubt because of a bruised right heel, was a fortunate 62 not out,
and Buttler was 67 not out. Their unbeaten partnership of 124 started in
the middle session and handled three overs of the new ball.
West Indies stand-in captain Kraigg
Brathwaite made England bat, and they broke the opening stand in the
17th over when Keaton Jennings guided Paul to the slips after taking 42
balls for 8.
Paul then bagged Rory Burns lbw on
middle stump, after the opener scored 29 off 103 balls.
Joe Denly, playing his second test,
made 20 off 50 balls before he was lbw to Shannon Gabriel.
When captain Joe Root nicked one
behind on 15 from 54 balls, he was out to Alzarri Joseph for a third
Joseph also dismissed Stokes caught
and bowled on 52 in the 70th over, but long after Stokes left the pitch
he was summoned back when video showed Joseph no-balled.
After all the balls absorbed in the
first half of the day, Stokes and Buttler handled the tiring West Indies
attack with little other bother.
Stokes reached his 17th test
half-century, and first on this tour. He has six boundaries.
After given life by the no ball, he
helped England pass 200 and Buttler reached his 13th half-century in the
same over. He's hit nine boundaries.
6N: Ireland toppled in Dublin by England 32-20
England's Kyle Sinckler, centre, runs at Ireland's Josh van der Flier,
left, and Bundee Aki during the Six Nations rugby union international
between Ireland and England, in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday, Feb. 2. (AP
Dublin (AP) - England are
back and their reputation restored after upending Ireland 32-20 in the
defending Six Nations champions’ Lansdowne Road stronghold on Saturday.
Following their worst championship
finish in 31 years, England opened this campaign eight-point underdogs
to the mighty Irish, but subdued the home side with aggressive defense
and stealthy tries to win in Dublin for the first time in six years.
Ireland were unbeaten in 14 home
matches in the Six Nations since 2013, and, overall, on a
national-record 12 successive home wins since 2016, including a first
home defeat of New Zealand only three months ago, after which they were
regarded as the world's best rugby team.
But New Zealand, and England coach
Eddie Jones again in the buildup, warned Ireland it was harder being the
hunted than the hunter.
As the hunters, England were
ruthless. They hadn't scored a try in Dublin in eight years, and bagged
one after just 94 seconds. Ireland settled down, but England finished
the first half stronger and continued to stress Ireland to the point
where they earned a bonus-point four tries.
Ireland were limited to two tries,
one at the death when England were already celebrating in a stadium
quickly draining of Irish fans.
In a game of only four line breaks
— two each — England's line speed was the more impressive and
consistent. The Irish were given no room or time to breathe, and
couldn't even count on free errors by England, who conceded just eight
"The intensity at which we played
pleased me most," Jones said. He added, "We're nowhere near our best.
We're looking forward to playing better than that — and we will."
Green jerseys were scythed down and
Irish playmaker Jonathan Sexton, world rugby's best player in 2018, was
reduced to shaking his head and conceding England's fourth try.
Meanwhile, England forwards Billy
and Mako Vunipola, playing a test for the first time since June, and
Manu Tuilagi, making his first Six Nations start in six years, battered
the Irish line, softening it up so the tries were shared by backs Henry
Slade, Jonny May and Elliot Daly.
Prop Mako Vunipola led England's
personal tackle count with 25, followed by flanker Mark Wilson with 21.
Slade led the backs with 11 as England thwarted Ireland attempts at
momentum with 14 turnovers.
"That is a reality check about the
physicality that will be required to be successful in this World Cup
year," Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said.
"England collectively delivered a
simmering physical intensity. It was a suffocating place to be out
there. It's a challenge to all our confidence."
England welcome France to
Twickenham next weekend, while Ireland have to try and regroup in
Sarri gets immediate response from rampant Chelsea
Chelsea's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates with Chelsea's Ross Barkley after
scoring his side's fourth goal during the English Premier League soccer
match between Chelsea and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge stadium
in London, Saturday, Feb. 2. (AP Photo/ Alastair Grant)
London (AP) - This time
there was no need for Maurizio Sarri to get mad with his players.
The Chelsea manager could instead
sit back and enjoy their performance in a 5-0 win over Huddersfield that
lifted them back into the top four in the English Premier League on
Doubles from Gonzalo Higuain — his
first goals since joining on loan from Juventus — and Eden Hazard helped
Chelsea bounce back from two straight league losses that jeopardized
their Champions League qualification hopes and left Sarri wondering
where to turn next.
After losing to Arsenal 2-0, Sarri
questioned the attitude and temperament of his players. After losing at
Bournemouth 4-0 on Wednesday, he locked them in a dressing room and
The response? Chelsea's biggest win
of the season, albeit against a team in last place in the league and
surely heading to the second tier.
"Today is all positive," Sarri
said. "We played a full 90 minutes, defended very well, so it was a very
good match but we need consistency now. We have to continue to play with
the same mentality in all the matches.
"I hope in the future we will not
need a lost match to find the right mentality."
While Chelsea still have plenty of
work to do to secure a top-four spot, especially with a resurgent
Manchester United just five points back in sixth with a game in hand,
Tottenham are looking more and more safe.
A title challenge is looking
increasingly possible, too, after a 1-0 win over Newcastle that lifted
the team into second place.
SON THE SAVIOR
Tottenham has Qatar to thank for
staying in the title race.
Son Heung-min had an
earlier-than-expected return from the Asian Cup after South Korea was
beaten by eventual champion Qatar in the quarterfinals. Since he has
been back in England, Son has scored in both of his league games, the
2-1 come-from-behind victory over Watford in midweek and now the win
Son's shot from the edge of the
area looked harmless, but it went through the grasp of Newcastle
goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and into the middle of the goal in the 83rd
He played the full match, just like
he did against Watford, after which Tottenham manager Mauricio
Pochettino said Son was very tired and had cramp.
"He works so hard, he pushes, and
never gives up — he tries, tries, tries, tries," Pochettino said. "His
effort, with or without the ball, is always very regular and consistent
and that is the most important.
"Sonny is like a battery that you
have — you work, work, work until the battery is gone."
It was Tottenham's third straight
victory in the league, with the winning goal in each of the games —
against Fulham, Watford and now Newcastle — coming in the final minutes.
Tottenham moved a point ahead of
City, who play Arsenal on Sunday, and four behind Liverpool, who visit
West Ham on Monday.
If Sarri was the manager under
pressure coming into this weekend, that mantle has shifted firmly to
Everton's Marco Silva.
Jeers accompanied the final whistle
at Goodison Park as Everton lost at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1,
a week after exiting the FA Cup at the hands of second-tier Millwall.
Everton are in ninth place and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri isn't
getting a return from his $350 million of investment over the past two
The game was delayed for three
minutes after a black cat strayed onto the field. "Sign him up,"
disgruntled Everton fans chanted.
Goals by Ruben Neves — from the
penalty spot — Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker allowed Wolves to
consolidate seventh place in an encouraging first season back in the top
Cardiff's players paid tribute to
the team's missing striker, Emiliano Sala, in beating Bournemouth 2-0.
After scoring the first of his two
goals, Bobby Reid raced to the home dugout with his teammates and they
held up a T-shirt adorned with Sala's image — and Cardiff's fans
responded with applause.
There was a period of reflection in
honor of Sala before kickoff, when both sets of players joined arms
around the center circle. Before that, both captains carried out
bouquets of flowers and Cardiff's supporters held yellow, white, and
light blue squares, paying tribute to the Argentine.
A plane carrying Sala and pilot
David Ibbotson disappeared from radar last week over the English
Channel. The flight was going from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff,
where Sala was set to start playing for his new club.
Enough money has been raised online
to allow Sala's family to fund a private search, after an official
rescue operation for the light aircraft was called off with authorities
saying there were unlikely to be any survivors.
FINALLY A PENALTY
Burnley were awarded a penalty in
the Premier League for the first time in nearly two years. It earned the
team a last-gasp draw against Southampton.
Ashley Barnes converted the spot
kick in the fourth minute of injury time to secure a 1-1 draw for
Burnley. It kept both teams unbeaten in the league in 2019.
Burnley had gone 68 league matches
without a penalty stretching back to April 2017.
Crystal Palace won at home over
next-to-last Fulham 2-0, and Brighton and Watford drew 0-0.
West Indies humble England by 10 wickets and win test series
West Indies' captain Jason Holder celebrates
the dismissal of England's James Anderson during day three of the second
Test cricket match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound,
Antigua and Barbuda, Saturday, Feb. 2. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Antigua (AP) — The West
Indies won their first test cricket series against England in 10 years
after steamrolling the second test in three days on Saturday.
England were routed for 132 in
their second innings and the West Indies knocked off the 14 runs needed
for a 10-wicket victory on a dramatic day at Sir Vivian Richards
The test series was clinched 2-0
with a match to spare.
The West Indies completed their
first innings only in the morning, Darren Bravo the last man out after
facing 215 balls for 50. But he helped his side to a 119-run lead on a
England, after making 187 in their
first innings, needed to show some grit. But the English attacked
instead of digging in and were routed for 132, leaving the West Indies
needing 14 runs for the victory.
John Campbell cracked a six over
midwicket off James Anderson for the winning runs, and he and fellow
opener Kraigg Brathwaite joined their team in a lap of honor.
Bravo had already faced 165 balls
and made only 33 when play resumed on Saturday.
But with help from captain Jason
Holder (18), and tailenders Kemar Roach (6), Alzarri Joseph (7) and
Shannon Gabriel (1 not out), Bravo reached his 17th test half-century
before he was stumped.
Joseph's commitment to the cause
was also noted. His mother, Sharon Joseph, died on Saturday before play
Alzarri Joseph also bowled, taking
2-12 off seven overs, including the prize of England captain Joe Root
for the second time in the match. Joseph added a catch.
"Alzarri's mum passed away, so we
rallied around each other, we wanted to do it for her," Holder said.
"For Alzarri to be involved, credit to him and his family."
England were OK until opener Rory
Burns was out to Holder for 16 on 35-1. Then the wickets came regularly,
four of them bowled, and two to lbw, as fast bowlers Holder (4-43) and
Roach (4-52) held their lines and lengths. Roach was named man of the
match for his eight wickets in total.
Jos Buttler top-scored with 24.
"I thought as a bowling group we've
performed well but the batting hasn't been up to it," Root said.
The third and final test starts
next Saturday in Saint Lucia.
Rickie Fowler shoots 64 for 4-shot lead at Phoenix Open
Fowler waves after making a birdie putt on the fifth green during the
third round of the Phoenix Open PGA golf tournament, Saturday, Feb. 2,
in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP) —
Rickie Fowler had the lead heading into the final round last year at the
Phoenix Open, only to see the title slip through his grip for a second
He will have a big cushion in his
third bid to win the championship following a stellar display of golf.
Fowler had eight birdies in a
7-under 64 on Saturday at TPC Scottsdale to take a four-shot lead over
Matt Kuchar into the final round.
Fowler opened with four birdies in
six holes and navigated a difficult two-putt on the par-4 18th hole to
reach 20-under 193.
Now it's time to finish it off.
"This one is definitely high on the
list, another being Torrey Pines," Fowler said. "I would say between
here and there, those would be the two highest on the list other than a
Kuchar shot a bogey-free 65 to put
himself in position for his third victory of the wraparound PGA season.
He has been par or better in all 19 rounds this season, winning the
Mayakoba Classic and Sony Open.
Justin Thomas, who started one
behind Fowler, shot 65 and was five back of his friend and desert
Branden Grace and Byeong Hun An
were at 13 under on a day golf said goodbye to one of its most
Saturday's third round was the
broadcasting finale of NBC lead golf analyst Johnny Miller's career.
Miller followed a Hall of Fame
playing career with three decades of calling it the way he saw it,
regardless of what the players thought of him. Wanting to spend more
time with his family, the 71-year-old Miller decided to call it quits
after the Phoenix Open, where he won twice to help earn the nickname
NBC played multiple tributes to
Miller during Saturday's coverage and on-course announcer Roger
Maltbie's voice cracked as he talked about his friend.
"I appreciate the people out there.
I do my commentating for you," Miller said. "I'm glad you accepted my
form of commentating, which was not normal. It was a little rough at
first, but it's just been a pleasure, the friendships I've made."
Fowler had the 54-hole lead at last
year and fell flat in the final round, shooting 73 to finish six shots
behind champion Gary Woodland. He also lost in a playoff in 2016.
Fowler put himself in position for
a third run at the title with a superb round of golf.
He had a one-shot lead over Thomas
after closing with four birdies for a 6-under 65 in Friday's second
round. Fowler made an eight-foot birdie putt on 18 to reach 13 under and
quickly added to it on Saturday, dropping in an 18-foot birdie putt on
the par-4 first hole.
Fowler, who shot 64 in the opening
round, added birdies on Nos. 3, 5 and 6 to reach 17 under, but had a par
putt lip out after he hit into the greenside bunker at the par-3
seventh. He hit his approach to two feet for birdie at No. 9, turning in
4-under 31, and followed a birdie at the difficult 11th with a two-putt
birdie on No. 13.
Fowler reached 20 under with a
birdie on the short par-4 17th for a nice cushion heading into what's
expected to be a rainy final round.
"I've done a good job of kind of
everything this week," he said. "Nothing's standing out as super
special, just playing solid golf and when I've gotten into trouble,
being able to get up and down most of the time."
Playing in the group ahead of
Fowler, Thomas and Grace, Kuchar had three birdies for a 3-under 32 on
the front nine and rolled in a nine-foot birdie putt on the 167-yard
12th hole. He two-putted for birdie on the par-5 13th and made a
five-foot birdie on 15 to reach 16 under.
Kuchar missed a good opportunity on
No. 17, sliding a six-foot birdie putt past the hole, but finished with
a nice save from the greenside bunker on No. 18.
"It would be amazing to get three
wins this early," Kuchar said. "It had been a number of years since I
found the winner's circle, so to have gotten two in this year has been
It may take an amazing round of
golf to catch Fowler.
UAE tries to thwart Qatar Asian Cup final debut with protest
Qatar's forward Almoez Ali eyes with ball during the AFC Asian Cup
semifinal soccer match between United Arab Emirates and Qatar at
Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday,
Jan. 29. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Abu Dhabi, UAE (AP) - After
being denied a spot in Friday's Asian Cup final by Qatar, the host
United Arab Emirates has launched a late challenge to get its regional
rival disqualified by alleging it fielded ineligible players at the
tournament in a protest that carries political undertones.
The complaint adds another layer to
Qatar's politically-charged progress to the final of the continental
soccer showpiece in the UAE, which is part of a quartet of countries
boycotting Doha diplomatically and politically.
There was an angry reaction from
the home crowd in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as the UAE was routed in the
semifinal, with shoes thrown at Qatari players after striker Almoez Ali
scored the second goal in a 4-0 win.
The UAE soccer federation has now
questioned whether Ali, with a tournament-leading eight goals, and
Bassam Al-Rawi meet FIFA's nationality requirements to play for the 2022
World Cup host nation having been born outside Qatar. Al-Rawi was
suspended for the semifinal because of bookings but would be in line to
play in the final.
"The Asian Football Confederation
has received a protest from the United Arab Emirates FA regarding the
eligibility of two Qatar players," the governing body said in a
statement on Thursday. "This protest will now be reviewed in line with
the AFC regulations."
The ultimate sanction would see
Qatar having to forfeit the match as a 3-0 loss, according to AFC rules,
which would disqualify it from playing Japan on Friday in the final.
Players can feature for the
national team other than your birthplace if you comply with FIFA's
requirements. Those include having a biological parent or grandparent
born in the country or having lived continuously for at least five years
in the country after the age of 18.
The 21-year-old Al-Rawi, who also
played for Qatar at the Under-21 World Cup in 2015, is the son of a
former Iraq international. The 22-year-old Ali is widely listed to have
been born in Sudan, but that could not immediately be verified.
By winning the hosting rights for
the 2022 World Cup in 2010, Qatar has had a long time to try to find the
players to ensure it has a competitive team. The team's ranking has
fluctuated between No. 78 and No. 112 in the last decade and never
managed to qualify for a World Cup.
Both Ali and Al-Rawi are graduates
of the state-of-the-art Aspire training academy in Doha that has been
used to develop young talents, many of which were born outside Qatar, a
nation of only about 330,000 citizens.
FIFA referred all comments to the
AFC. Qatar team spokesman Ali Salat did not reply to messages about the
eligibility questions over players. Coach Felix Sanchez at the news
conference ahead of the final only said he was "not concerned at all."
With Qatar having a point to prove
about its footballing ability, Sanchez was more willing to talk about
the landmark of the small Gulf nation contesting a first-ever Asian Cup
"(If) we get a result that gives us
the trophy, of course, this will be a biggest achievement in the
(country's) football history," Sanchez said. "It will mean that a lot of
things have been done in the right way. In the last years, this group of
players worked in the right direction with the right mentality to be in
the top of the competition.
"(It) doesn't matter what happens
tomorrow, we are feeling very proud about them, because they are showing
very high level in this competition playing against top teams. So, we
are going to try to make people in our country tomorrow happy again and
try to make history."
Victory would perhaps be all the
sweeter for the Qataris coming in one of the nations that have severed
all ties with them over accusations they support extremist groups. Qatar
denies any backing of terror groups.
Having blocked off direct travel to
Qatar since June 2017, the UAE made no exemptions even to smooth the
journey of the country's Asian Cup team. Qatar had to take a circuitous
route via Kuwait lasting more than five hours to make an air journey
that can be done directly in around an hour.
West Indies in control vs England after 1st day of 2nd test
England's James Anderson, bottom, is bowled by West Indies' Shannon
Gabriel during day one of the second Test cricket match at the Sir
Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, Thursday,
Jan. 31. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Antigua (AP) — England's
hopes of a big response against West Indies were ruined when the
tourists were dismissed for 187 on the first day of the second test on
After an easy victory in the first
test, West Indies looked to be in firm control again after reaching 30
without loss before stumps in reply.
Home captain Jason Holder chose to
bowl on a lively pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and saw the
clatter of wickets interspersed with a series of nasty blows that left
both England's egos and bodies bruised.
Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran
and Ben Foakes were all rapped hard on the gloves, the latter unable to
keep wicket as a result, while top-scorer Moeen Ali was clattered on the
helmet by Shannon Gabriel.
Only Jonny Bairstow (52) and Moeen
(60) negotiated conditions well enough and the prospect of a
series-deciding defeat appeared high as the tourists trudged off without
landing a blow in response.
Holder happily inserted England
after winning the toss and saw his side pick up four wickets before
lunch. Rory Burns was the first, held low at second slip pushing
inconclusively at Kemar Roach.
It was Roach who sowed the seeds of
England's match-defining 77 all out in Bridgetown and he took 4-30 here.
Debutant opener Joe Denly survived
a highly precarious lbw shout on nought and eked out six runs before the
day's worst dismissal. Chasing a short, wide loosener from Alzarri
Joseph the 32-year-old stretched too far and sent a thin edge sailing
into Shane Dowrich's gloves.
Root failed to settle but was
hardly complicit in his dismissal, Joseph getting one to rear violently
off a length. The ball thumped Root's top hand as he attempted evasive
action and it took a wonderful team effort from John Campbell and Shai
Hope to complete the catch.
Jos Buttler was promoted to five,
leapfrogging Stokes, but lasted just 12 deliveries before Holder found
extra bounce and picked up the edge.
In a lunch score of 78-4, Bairstow
was responsible for 52 of them. That rendered his wicket, two balls
after the restart, all the more important as Roach sent one down at
yorker length and won an lbw.
Stokes was undone by skill as much
as speed, Gabriel coming from a wide angle round the wicket and
precisely snaring the edge to leave England 93-6.
Moeen and Foakes went on to share a
gutsy stand of 85, carefully watching for unpredictable bounce, running
aggressively and taking on the spin of Roston Chase.
Moeen reached his half-century in
69 balls but fell in ugly fashion, scooping Roach to mid-on.
That was the first in a sequence of
four wickets for nine runs as Gabriel and Roach cleaned up.
England had over an hour to cause
some chaos of their own but, despite a challenging spell from Stuart
Broad, West Indies openers Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite reached the
close with their partnership intact.
Varner hears the roars on No. 16, shares Phoenix Open lead
Varner III hits from the 16th tee during the first round of the Phoenix
Open PGA golf tournament, Thursday, Jan. 31, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP
Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP) —
Harold Varner III overcame an early bogey with three straight birdies,
moving himself in position to tie for the lead.
He got it with a long putt and a
dab on the loudest hole in golf.
Varner snaked in a long birdie putt
on the par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale on Thursday, capping off a
7-under 64 to tie Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas for the first-round
lead at the Phoenix Open.
Varner set off the rowdiest roars
of the afternoon with his 31-foot putt at the hole turned into a
stadium, celebrating with the dab toward the sky.
"I love entertaining people and
what better hole to do it," Varner said.
Playing in pristine conditions
before storms are expected to hit this weekend, Fowler and Thomas made
their way around the desert layout without finding much trouble.
Martin Laird and J.T. Poston were a
shot back at 65 and four players shot 66, including two-time Masters
champion Bubba Watson. Another 16 players shot 67 on a day when 70
players were under par.
Among them was Oklahoma State
sophomore Matthew Wolff, who overcame some early nerves in his first PGA
Tour start. The 19-year-old had a bogey on his second hole, the par-4
11th, but closed with five birdies to open three shots out of the lead.
Defending champion Gary Woodland
and Phil Mickelson each shot 68.
Varner, who missed the cut at
Torrey Pines last week, blew his first putt past the hole on the par-4
second hole for a three-putt bogey, but bounced back with three straight
birdies on the front nine. He had a two-putt birdie on the par-15 13th
and got up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the other back-nine par
5, the 15th.
Following his dabbing birdie on No.
16, Varner missed two chances for the outright lead on the closing
holes. He three-putted from 105 feet on the drivable par-4 17th hole and
missed an 18-foot birdie putt on 18.
Even so, Varner carded his lowest
round of the season and earned a tie with the two desert roommates.
"I played well, drove it really
well and had lots of opportunities," Varner said. "I'm just excited to
be playing in this event. I love this event."
Thomas opened 2019 with a
third-place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and was tied
for 16th at the Sony Open with four rounds in the 60s.
Playing in near-perfect conditions
in the morning , the 2017 PGA Championship winner started on the back
nine and went out in 2-under 34 with birdies on Nos. 15 and 18. Thomas'
9-foot putt on 18 began a string of six birdies in seven holes,
including five on putts inside of 5 feet to shoot a 5-under 30 on the
"It was in control of everything
tee to green," Thomas said. "I didn't necessarily get off to the
greatest start score-wise, but I felt like I was playing playing well.
Those front pins were tucked pins, very hard to get to. It was nice to
get finally get off to a good start at this event."
Fowler, twice a runner-up at the
Phoenix Open, also started on No. 10 and jump started his round with an
eagle on the par-5 13th after knocking his 236-yard approach shot to 17
feet. He also two-putted from 45 feet for birdie on No. 3, but misread a
putt on the par-4 ninth that would have given him the outright lead —
and chance to trash talk his roommate for the week, Thomas.
"I was really hoping I was going to
make that last putt," he said. "We're sharing a house this week, so I
wanted bragging rights at dinner tonight."
Fowler with have to settle for a
share of the lead with his buddy and the dabbing Varner.
Bertens beats Bonaventure in St. Petersburg opener
of Netherlands returns the ball to Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium during the
St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy-2019 tennis tournament match in St.Petersburg,
Russia, Thursday, Jan. 31. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
St. Petersburg, Russia (AP) — Kiki Bertens and
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova are set for a rematch of their Australian Open
encounter after both reached the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarterfinals
Bertens easily saw off Belgian
qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure 6-4, 6-2 in their second-round match, while
Pavlyuchenkova saved five of six break points on her way to a 6-4, 6-4 upset
of former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
The eighth-ranked Bertens lost to
Pavlyuchenkova two weeks ago in the second round of the Australian Open 3-6,
6-3, 6-3. Pavlyuchenkova went all the way to the quarterfinals on that
occasion before losing to Danielle Collins.
Bertens leads 3-2 in career matches
against Pavlyuchenkova, though the Russian has won their last two meetings.
Thursday's win over Bonaventure was Bertens' first match since her
Australian Open loss thanks to a bye in the first round in St. Petersburg.
Earlier Thursday, Aryna Sabalenka
recovered from a second-set slipup to reach the quarterfinals, beating
Alison van Uytvanck 6-1, 6-4.
In her first match since reaching a
career-high ranking of No. 10 on Monday, the Belarusian trailed 3-1 in the
second before winning four games in a row.
Sabalenka, who had a first-round bye,
will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova, who beat qualifier Tereza Martincova
Sabalenka defeated Alexandrova 6-3, 6-3
this month on her way to winning the Shenzhen Open title.