'It will go crazy': Finland close to 1st major soccer finals
this file photo dated Thursday Sept. 5, 2019, Jukka Raitala of
Finland and Giorgos Masouras of Greece battle during the Euro 2020
group J qualifying soccer match in Tampere, Finland. (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva
FILE via AP)
this file photo dated Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, Finland soccer fans
react during the UEFA Nations League soccer match against Estonia at
the A. Le Coq Arena stadium in Tallinn, Estonia. (AP Photo/Marko
Helsinki (AP) — The temperatures are
plummeting and the days are getting shorter as another harsh winter
approaches in Finland.
Expectations around the country's soccer team
are rising, though, like never before.
On Friday, Finland could seal a place in the
finals of a major soccer tournament for the first time in its
history. All that's needed is a home win over Liechtenstein, one of
the world's weakest teams, in Helsinki and the Finns will take their
place in next year's European Championship.
After so many past disappointments, it is a day
many in this Nordic country of 5.5 million inhabitants — better
known for its hockey team, rally drivers and javelin throwers —
thought would never arrive.
It is one that could transcend soccer, changing
the mentality of a nation.
"There are always skeptics — with a sort of
'Ah, they are never going to do it anyway' feeling — in more or less
everything we do, whether it is music, anything," said former
Finland player Aki Riihilahti, who is now CEO of Finnish champion
HJK Helsinki. "The Finnish nature is that only when there comes an
external acknowledgement of an achievement do we go and support it.
"For what this will mean, it is more important
mentally than factually."
Finland has had better teams down the years, on
paper anyway. They've had more celebrated players, too — think of
Jari Litmanen, the silky playmaker for Ajax and Barcelona, and Sami
Hyypia, the defensive stalwart at Liverpool. Yet getting to a World
Cup or European Championship has been beyond them, despite more than
80 years of trying.
Finland remains, somewhat embarrassingly, the
only major Nordic country to have never qualified for a major
So what's changed? The hiring of a former
primary school teacher as coach has plenty to do with it.
Markku Kanerva was promoted to the job in
December 2016, having previously been an assistant with the team and
a former player in the 1980s and '90s. He inherited a team that had
gone all of 2016 without a win and also one that was about to lose
some of its best players. One midfielder, Roman Eremenko, received a
two-year ban for testing positive for cocaine in 2016; another,
Perparim Hetemaj, would go on to retire in early 2018 to focus on
his club career.
Kanerva took a pragmatic view of the team,
picking players according to their individual strengths rather than
a pre-existing style and reverting to a straightforward 4-4-2
formation. His approach was based on hard work and strong defensive
shape, and relied on the country's most high-profile player —
striker Teemu Pukki — poaching some goals at the other end.
Kanerva also approaches coaching like he would
teaching, encouraging his players to interact more, take
responsibility, and learn what they have done wrong so they can
The results have been striking. Finland won its
group in the inaugural UEFA Nations League competition after winning
its opening four qualifying games, earning promotion to League B and
guaranteeing a playoff spot for Euro 2020 that might not be
In Euro 2020 qualifying, the Finns reacted to
an opening loss to Italy by winning four straight Group J games
without conceding a goal. After eight games, they are in second
place, behind already qualified Italy but five points ahead of both
Bosnia-Herzegovina and Armenia. With two teams advancing
automatically, Finland needs one win from its final two qualifiers
over the coming days, starting with last-place Liechtenstein, to
"This is the missing piece of the puzzle," said
Marco Casagrande, general secretary of the Football Association of
Finland. "All the other things in our sports we have managed to do,
but this is something that's still separating us from being a real
Finland's underperformance on the international
stage was bought into sharp focus by Iceland, a tiny Nordic brother
with a population of just 330,000, reaching both Euro 2016 and last
year's World Cup.
Casagrande recalls speaking to his colleagues
at the Icelandic FA, asking them: "So what's your secret?"
"It didn't help," Casagrande said, "when
everyone was saying, 'You are losing all the games and Iceland is
going to the Euros. Come on guys, what are you doing?'"
Iceland's rise was based on a strong collective
effort combined with a sprinkle of stardust by its one standout
player, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Finland is pretty much the same.
While goalkeeper Lukas Hradecký, who plays in
Germany for Bayer Leverkusen, gets plenty of plaudits, most of the
spotlight falls on Pukki, the hard-working striker who has scored
seven goals in qualifying and made a strong start to his first
season in the Premier League with Norwich.
"Teemu Pukki is really somebody who everybody
seems to love," said Riihilahti, who also played in England's top
division with Crystal Palace, "and has been adopted as the Finnish
savior who is bringing us to the promised land."
When Finland won the men's hockey world
championship this year for the first time since 2011, there were
wild celebrations in central Helsinki as champagne-swilling fans
braved the cold weather by stripping off and taking a swim in the
fountain and climbing on the famous Havis Amanda statue.
Expect more of the same if the country's soccer
players finally make the long-awaited international breakthrough.
"Finnish people would all celebrate like a big
festival," Riihilahti said. "It will go crazy."
MLB checking into report '17 Astros stole signs, broke rules
Major League Baseball has expanded its investigation into the
Houston Astros after The Athletic website reported the team stole
signs during home games in 2017 by using a camera positioned in
center field at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston. (AP Photo/Juan
Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow speaks during a media
availability during the Major League Baseball general managers
annual meetings Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP
Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP) — Major League
Baseball has expanded its investigation into the Houston Astros
after The Athletic website reported the team stole signs
during home games in 2017 by using a camera positioned in center
The report Tuesday quoted pitcher Mike Fiers,
who played for the Astros that season, and three other unidentified
people with the club. The Astros won the World Series that year —
two sources told The Athletic that Houston used the system into the
playoffs while another source said the system ended before the
The website said the process was started by a
struggling hitter and a coach, neither of whom was identified. The
camera at Minute Maid Park was connected to a television monitor in
the tunnel between the Astros' dugout and clubhouse, The Athletic
said, and team employees or players would communicate expected
pitches by banging a trash can to signal off-speed pitches.
"I just want the game to be cleaned up a little
bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they're
going in there not knowing," Fiers told the website.
The Astros said in a statement the team "has
begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball"
and declined additional comment.
Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow declined to
talk about specifics.
"We take the allegation seriously and we're
going to look into it. If you're not following the rules, it's a
serious matter," he said Tuesday at the annual GM meetings. "I'm not
going to get into exactly what I knew or anybody knew at this point.
So I'm just going to have to wait and see. But I'm sure there will
be an appropriate time to answer that question directly."
Luhnow said he hoped the allegations wouldn't
put a damper on Houston's recent run of success, which includes the
team's first World Series title in 2017 and an AL pennant this
"Teams are competing with one another and
everybody's trying to find an edge," Luhnow said. "But we all have
to follow the rules and the rules are set by Major League Baseball.
We all agree to follow them and if you don't there's ramifications
to that. We want to follow the rules and we want to compete and win.
That's what every other club does, as well."
Danny Farquhar, who pitched for the Chicago
White Sox twice at Minute Maid Park in September 2017, told The
Athletic of '"a banging from the dugout, almost like a bat hitting
the bat rack every time a changeup signal got put down." He said
after Chicago changed to more complex signals "the banging stopped."
Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Carson Smith
added to the sign stealing allegations on Twitter, saying that the
Astros bullpen catcher would send signs to certain batters. He added
that the "Astros went to extreme measures, undoubtedly still do, and
it's paid off for them."
MLB strengthened its rules against sign
stealing before the 2019 season, instituting procedures attempting
to ensure teams did not use video to steal signs.
"After we review this new information we will
determine any necessary next steps," MLB said in a statement.
Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball
operations Andrew Friedman said Wednesday there was "scuttlebutt"
that the Astros were stealing signs during the 2017 World Series,
but "we certainly did not know anything definitive at the time." The
Dodgers lost to the Astros in seven games.
"There are things that have kind of existed
since the beginning of time. And then there are other things that
are even more egregious and clearly across the line," he said. "And
I think there are enough people involved in it, it would be pretty
brazen to do certain things. And when you do, I think people are
going to find out about it."
MLB already is investigating the Astros.
Assistant general manager Brandon Taubman was fired for directing
inappropriate comments at female reporters during a clubhouse
celebration after the team beat the New York Yankees to win the AL
pennant on Oct. 19. The team issued and then retracted a statement
accusing a Sports Illustrated reporter of trying to "fabricate a
story." Taubman was fired by the Astros on Oct. 24.
Luhnow said he didn't think the Taubman
situation and the sign stealing allegations are related.
"I don't think they're tied together, but they
obviously have come one after another it seems like the last few
weeks," Luhnow said. "It's disappointing. If there is an issue that
we need to address, we'll address it."
Panthers rally from 4 down, beat Bruins 5-4 in shootout
Florida Panthers center Mike Hoffman (68) is congratulated after his
game-winning goal against Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in a
shootout during an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 12,
2019. The Panthers defeated the Bruins 5-4. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
The Associated Press
Boston (AP) — Mike Hoffman scored one of
four Florida goals in the third period and added the winner in a
shootout as the Panthers rallied from a four-goal deficit and beat
the Boston Bruins 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Keith Yandle had a goal and two assists for
Florida and Sam Montembeault didn't allow a goal after replacing
Sergei Bobrovsky at the start of the third period with the Panthers
Montembeault finished with 15 saves, six in
overtime, and stopped Charlie McAvoy on Boston's last chance in the
shootout as the Panthers completed the comeback and gave coach Joel
Quenneville career victory No. 899.
Aaron Ekblad and Frank Vatrano also scored for
David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 16th
goal for Boston. Joakim Nordstrom, Anders Bjork and Zdeno Chara also
scored. Tuukka Rask made 25 saves.
David Krejci had two assists for Boston, which
lost its fourth straight.
Canadiens 3, Blue Jackets 2, So
Montreal (AP) — Jonathan Drouin scored
the shootout winner and Montreal rallied to beat Columbus.
Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Tatar scored
third-period goals for the Canadiens (10-5-3), who trailed 1-0 after
two periods. Carey Price made 33 saves. The Canadiens have won six
of their last eight games (6-1-1).
Eric Robinson and Zach Werenski scored in
regulation for Columbus (6-8-4). Backup goalie Elvis Merzlikins, who
was recalled from the AHL on Monday, made 30 saves.
Rangers 3, Penguins 2, OT
New York (AP) — Kaapo Kakko scored his
second goal of the game 2:36 into overtime, giving New York a
victory over Pittsburgh.
Adam Fox had a goal in regulation and set up
Kakko's winner as New York recovered after blowing a two-goal lead
and improved to 5-1-1 in its last seven games. Alexandar Georgiev,
getting the start after Henrik Lundqvist played the previous three
games, finished with 30 saves.
Justin Schultz and Jared McCann scored for the
short-handed Penguins, who earned at least a point for the sixth
time in seven games (4-1-2). Matt Murray, making his seventh
straight start and 15th in 18 games this season, stopped 24 shots.
The Penguins were without star center Sidney
Crosby due to a lower body injury. The two-time MVP did not travel
with the team to New York after leaving in the third period of a 3-2
shootout win over Chicago on Saturday.
Avalanche 4, Jets 0
Winnipeg, Manitoba (AP) — Adam Werner
made 40 saves in his NHL debut and Nathan MacKinnon finished with
two goals and two assists as Colorado extended its winning streak to
Werner's shutout is shared with Pavel Francouz,
who started but only lasted 31 seconds before getting injured.
Rookie defenseman Cale Makar opened the scoring
for the Avalanche (11-5-2). Joonas Donskoi had a goal and two
assists, and Matt Calvert contributed a pair of assists.
It was the first time this season the Jets
(10-8-1) were shut out.
Connor Hellebuyck made 21 saves for Winnipeg,
which went 2-1-1 on a four-game homestand.
Coyotes 3, Blues 2, So
St. Louis (AP) — Nick Schmaltz and Conor
Garland scored in the shootout, and Arizona snapped St. Louis'
seven-game winning streak.
Garland's power-play goal tied it 2-all at 5:58
of the third period. St. Louis native Clayton Keller had a goal and
an assist against his hometown team.
Jaden Schwartz and Colton Parayko scored for
the Blues, but the defending Stanley Cup champions dropped to 0-2 in
shootouts this season.
Arizona improved to 3-0 in tiebreakers after
winning in a shootout for the second consecutive night. The Coyotes
topped Washington 4-3 on Monday.
Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves for Arizona. St.
Louis goalie Jordan Binnington stopped 20 shots.
Canucks 5, Predators 3
Vancouver, British Columbia (AP) — Elias
Pettersson scored two goals on his 21st birthday and Vancouver
snapped a four-game winless streak with a win over Nashville.
Tanner Pearson also scored twice for Vancouver,
his second into an empty net. Adam Gaudette also scored for the
Canucks (10-6-3), who are 1-3-1 in their last five.
Vancouver scored three times on the power play.
Filip Forsberg, Mikael Granlund and Calle
Jarnkrok scored for the Predators (9-6-3).
The teams combined for six goals in a wild
Red Wings 4, Ducks 3, OT
Anaheim, Calif. (AP) — Dylan Larkin
scored the tying goal during a 6-on-3 advantage with 37 seconds left
in regulation, and Dennis Cholowski scored with 2:56 on the clock in
overtime to send Detroit to its third straight victory.
After Ducks defensemen Brendan Guhle and
Korbinian Holzer took penalties 21 seconds apart in the waning
moments of regulation, Larkin scored from a sharp angle while the
Red Wings had three extra skaters on the ice with their goalie
Cholowski then got his second goal of the
season on a long shot past Ryan Miller, who made 32 saves for
Jakob Silfverberg, Josh Mahura and Cam Fowler
scored in the second period for the Ducks. Ondrej Kase and Adam
Henrique had two assists apiece, but Anaheim lost for the first time
in seven games this season when scoring at least three goals.
Filip Hronek and Andreas Athanasiou scored in
the second period for the Red Wings, and Jonathan Bernier stopped 24
shots against his former team.
Sharks 6, Oilers 3
San Jose, Calif. (AP) — Tomas Hertl
scored and extended his point streak to four games on his 26th
birthday, Evander Kane added his team-leading 11th goal of the
season and San Jose beat Edmonton.
Brent Burns, Patrick Marleau, Barclay Goodrow
and Timo Meier scored as San Jose matched its season-high goal
total. Erik Karlsson had three assists as the Sharks (8-10-1)
wrapped up a six-game homestand with their fourth straight victory
after losing seven of eight.
NHL points leader Leon Draisaitl had a goal and
an assist, extending his points streak to 10 games, and Zack Kassian
and Sam Gagner each added a goal for Pacific Division-leading
Kings 3, Wild 1
Los Angeles (AP) — Anze Kopitar extended
his point streak to four games, Jonathan Quick made 27 saves and Los
Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over
Kopitar and Sean Walker each had a goal and an
assist, and Jeff Carter also scored for Los Angeles. Kopitar has
five points (two goals, three assists) in the past four games.
Matt Dumba scored Minnesota's lone goal and
Devan Dubnyk stopped 32 shots.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and
Davis, James lead Lakers to best 10-game start since 2010
Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James drives on Phoenix Suns center
Aron Baynes (46) in the first half during an NBA basketball game,
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
The Associated Press
Phoenix (AP) — Anthony Davis had 24
points and 12 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma added 23 points and the Los
Angeles Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 123-115 on Tuesday night.
The Lakers (8-2) are off to their best 10-game
start since 2010 and bounced back from a home loss to Toronto on
Sunday. LeBron James added 19 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds.
Phoenix (6-4) trailed for a big chunk of the
fourth quarter but pushed ahead 113-111 on Devin Booker's fast-break
layup with 3:29 left. The Lakers responded with three straight
3-pointers — one from James and two more from Kuzma — to lead
120-113 and put the game out of reach.
The Suns were led by Ricky Rubio and Booker,
who both scored 21 points.
Hawks 125, Nuggets 121
Denver (AP) — Trae Young scored 15 of
his season-high 42 points in the fourth quarter and added 11 assists
to lead Atlanta past Denver.
Young finished seven points shy of his career
high set March 1 against Chicago last season. He was 13 of 21 from
the field and finished 8 for 13 on 3-pointers.
Jabari Parker had 20 points and nine rebounds,
and Alex Len scored 17 for the Hawks.
Will Barton led Denver with 21 points, Jokic
had 20 and Paul Millsap added 19.
Pacers 111, Thunder 85
Indianapolis (AP) — T.J. Warren scored
11 of his 23 points in the third quarter to lead Indiana past
Malcolm Brogdon had 20 points, six rebounds and
five assists, and Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and 16 rebounds for
the surging Pacers, who have won seven of eight, including four
Danilo Gallinari scored 14 points, Deonte
Burton had 13 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 11 points and
six rebounds for the Thunder, who have lost three of four and
remained winless on the road.
76ers 98, Cavaliers 97
Philadelphia (AP) — Joel Embiid scored
27 points, including the go-ahead dunk with 13.2 seconds remaining,
Philadelphia over Cleveland.
Josh Richardson added 17 points and Ben Simmons
had 15 for Philadelphia, which won despite missing 30 of 38 3-point
Jordan Clarkson and Kevin Love each had 20
points to pace Cleveland. Collin Sexton added 18 points.
Heat 117, Pistons 108
Miami (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 11 of
his 20 points in the fourth quarter, added 13 assists and Miami
wasted most of what was a 29-point lead before hanging on to beat
Kendrick Nunn also had 20 points for Miami,
while Bam Adebayo scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the
Heat. Goran Dragic also had 18 points.
Miami is 7-3, matching the third-best 10-game
start in Heat history.
Luke Kennard was 0 for 7 in the first half, but
recovered to score 22 for Detroit.
Bulls 120, Knicks 102
Chicago (AP) — Coby White made a
franchise-record seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Chicago
pulled away from slumping New York.
White missed his first five shots from the
field and began the final period with just four points. But the
rookie guard put on a dazzling show down the stretch.
White finished with 27 points. Zach LaVine had
25 for Chicago, and Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 17 points and
New York lost for the sixth time in seven
games. Marcus Morris scored 22 points for the Knicks, and RJ Barrett
finished with 21 points and nine assists.
Jazz 119, Nets 114
Salt Lake City (AP) — Donovan Mitchell
scored 30 points, Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 15 rebounds, and
Utah beat Brooklyn.
Mike Conley scored 18 points, Emmanuel Mudiay
added 15 and Jeff Green had 13 for the Jazz.
Utah went ahead for good after Gobert scored on
back-to-back possessions in the final 90 seconds.
Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 27 points on
Kings 107, Trail Blazers 99
Sacramento, Calif. (AP) — Bogdan
Bogdanovic had 25 points and 10 assists, Nemanja Bjelica added 19
points and 12 rebounds and Sacramento won its first game since
losing leading scorer De'Aaron Fox to an ankle injury, beating
Bjelica helped make up for the loss of Fox. He
made eight of his 14 shots and set a season-high for rebounds in his
first double-double of the season. Buddy Hield added 20 points.
Damian Lillard had 27 points and CJ McCollum
added 24 for the Blazers, who have lost five of six.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and
Seahawks knock 49ers from unbeaten ranks with 27-24 OT win
kicker Jason Myers (5) kicks the winning field goal during overtime
against the San Francisco 49ers. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
San Francisco 49ers
quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against Seattle Seahawks
defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson (99) during the second half. (AP
running back Chris Carson (32) runs for a second half touchdown. (AP
Santa Clara, Calif. (AP) — Russell
Wilson high-stepped his way down the sideline before hugging coach
Pete Carroll after Jason Myers' kick split the uprights.
After a wild overtime that featured a rare
Wilson interception, a missed field goal by San Francisco and a
questionable decision from 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, the Seahawks
had knocked the Niners from the ranks of the unbeaten and made sure
the NFC West would remain tight down the stretch.
Myers kicked a 42-yard field goal after Chase
McLaughlin missed a kick earlier in overtime, and the Seahawks
handed the San Francisco 49ers their first loss with a 27-24 victory
on Monday night.
"That was the craziest game I've ever been a
part of," Wilson said.
Myers gave Seattle (8-2) its second straight
overtime win after Wilson got the Seahawks into position with an
18-yard scramble on third-and-3. After being iced by a timeout,
Myers delivered one week after missing two field goals and an extra
point, moving Seattle on the heels of San Francisco (8-1) in the NFC
"We practice these situations every day," left
tackle Duane Brown said. "Russell Wilson is the best quarterback in
the league. When you have him under center, I don't care how much
time is on the clock. We feel like we have a chance."
The Seahawks blew an opportunity to win the
game on the opening possession of overtime when Wilson was
intercepted at the 4 by Dre Greenlaw.
It was Wilson's second interception of the
season and just the second red-zone interception in overtime in the
last 25 years, according to STATS, with Jacoby Brissett having the
other in 2017 against San Francisco.
Greenlaw returned it 47 yards to the Seattle 49
and the Niners moved the ball 20 yards before McLaughlin missed
badly to the left on a 47-yard attempt. McLaughlin had made his
first three field goals after being signed earlier in the week when
Robbie Gould went down with a quadriceps injury.
"Just rushed it a little bit, hit it a little
high and unfortunately missed it," McLaughlin said.
The teams then traded punts, the Seahawks took
over at their 36 with 1:25 remaining after Jimmy Garoppolo threw
three straight incompletions as San Francisco burned only 14 seconds
off the clock with Seattle out of timeouts.
"Definitely wish we had taken more time off the
clock, but was counting on us catching one of those balls," Shanahan
After the defenses dominated much of the game
with each team scoring a defensive touchdown and generating three
takeaways apiece in regulation, the quarterbacks traded late drives
for field goals that set the stage for overtime.
Wilson drove the Seahawks 47 yards before Chris
Carson was stuffed on third-and-1, leading to a 46-yard field goal
by Myers with 1:45 to play.
Garoppolo and the Niners took over from there
and used short passes to move the ball down to the 29 where
McLaughlin kicked a 47-yard field goal with 1 second left to tie it
Making a Point
The Seahawks shut down San Francisco's running
game, allowing only 3.2 yards per carry and forced Garoppolo into an
off night with his receivers contributing with several drops.
Garoppolo finished 24 for 48 for 248 yards, one touchdown and one
He was sacked five times and missed injured
tight end George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders, who left in the first
quarter with a rib injury.
"We wanted to prove we were the best defense on
the field today," Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "We
understood what people were thinking because of the last two weeks.
We felt like had something to prove."
Jadeveon Clowney had his biggest impact since
joining Seattle this season. He returned a fumble 10 yards for the
Seahawks' first touchdown, set up another with a strip sack and had
five quarterback hits on the day.
Bone Head Play
The 49ers got a defensive score of their own in
the fourth quarter. K'Waun Williams sacked Wilson, knocking the ball
loose to right tackle Germain Ifedi. Ifedi tried to run with the
ball but Fred Warner knocked it loose again and DeForest Buckner ran
it in 12 yards for the score.
"What was he thinking? He thought he was going
to score," coach Pete Carroll said.
The Seahawks were poised to take the lead into
halftime when D.K. Metcalf took a short pass from Wilson and ran it
inside the 5. But as he was fighting for more yardage, safety
Jaquiski Tartt ripped it out of his hands at the 2-yard line for an
impressive fumble recovery.
Diggs started in his first game for Seattle
since being acquired last month in a trade from Detroit.
Receiver Josh Gordon also made his Seahawks
debut after being claimed off waivers last week from New England. He
caught a 13-yard pass to convert a third down on the late field-goal
drive in the fourth quarter and another to convert a third down in
Seahawks: WR Tyler Lockett left with a bruised
leg and might have to stay in the Bay Area overnight. TE Luke
Willson left with a hamstring injury.
49ers: Sanders (ribs) left in the first
quarter. DT D.J. Jones was sidelined later in the first half with a
groin injury. LB Azeez Al-Shaair left with a concussion in the third
quarter. RB Matt Breida left in the second half with an ankle
injury. DL Ronald Blair left the game with a knee injury.
Seahawks: Week off before visiting Philadelphia
on Nov. 24.
49ers: Host Arizona on Sunday.
Top teams in good shape as Euro qualifying reaches climax
Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo during the Champions League Group D
soccer match between Lokomotiv Moscow and Juventus at the Lokomotiv
Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. (AP
With the Netherlands missing out on Euro 2016
and Italy absent from the World Cup in 2018, some of Europe's
traditional soccer powers have surprisingly failed to advance to
recent major international tournaments.
Don't expect any big shocks when qualification
for next year's European Championship wraps up over the coming days.
Six teams — Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland,
Russia and Ukraine — have already booked their places in the
tournament and the remaining 14 automatic qualifiers will be
determined after the final group games.
World champion France, European champion
Portugal, and heavyweights such as Germany, England and the
Netherlands are in good shape to finish in the top two in their
respective groups, ensuring spots in the Europe-wide finals taking
place in June and July.
There are big opportunities for Europe's
so-called lesser soccer nations, too. Finland, for example, needs
only to beat Liechtenstein to qualify for its first major
France, the World Cup winner last year, is tied
on points with Turkey in Group H and will secure a top-two finish by
beating Moldova on Thursday. In case of an upset in that game in
Paris, the French have another shot at qualification at Albania on
Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, is
guaranteed to advance in the defense of its title with wins over
Lithuania at home and Luxembourg away — the bottom two teams in
England needs one win from its final two games
— at home to Montenegro on Thursday and away to Kosovo on Sunday —
to top Group A.
And in Group C, Germany and the Netherlands are
tied on points and need a maximum of four points from their final
two qualifiers. Both have to play Northern Ireland, which is three
points behind in third place.
The last four qualifying spots for the 24-team
Euros will be decided in the playoffs in March.
Could Cristiano Ronaldo fail to qualify for a
UEFA would hate to see the Portugal star miss
out, but his team has lacked a spark in qualifying and is eight
points off Group B leader Ukraine.
Portugal is favored to beat Lithuania on
Thursday and Luxembourg on Sunday to secure second place.
Still, there's little margin for error. Dropped
points could allow Serbia to overtake, forcing Portugal into the
England will be playing its 1,000th men's
international in the match against Montenegro and the occasion will
be marked in a number of ways, including recognizing the notable
contributions of former players and managers. Players will wear
individual "legacy numbers" on their jerseys.
England manager Gareth Southgate is hoping a
line can be drawn following scenes last month when his players were
racially abused by some Bulgaria fans during England's 6-0 win in
Sofia. The game was stopped on two occasions by the referee.
England's match away to Montenegro in March was also marred by
racist chanting toward England's black players, notably Raheem
"The players will want to move on, really,"
Southgate said. "I think, for all of them, they dealt with it
brilliantly and it would be wrong not to discuss it at all but I
know that they want to get on with the football."
Kosovo, which was accepted as a member of UEFA
and FIFA only in 2016, is third in the group and could secure
automatic qualification with a win at the Czech Republic on Thursday
and a draw against England.
Finland is the only Nordic team never to have
qualified for a World Cup or a European Championship. That could all
change this week.
The Finns are second in Group J, five points
clear of both Armenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and will join Italy in
advancing to the finals with a win at home against last-placed
Liechtenstein on Friday or if Bosnia fails to beat the Italians.
Finland's second chance, if needed, comes against Greece on Monday.
Finland is coached by a primary school teacher,
Markku Kanerva, who led the country to a first ever European
Under-21 Championship in 2009 and is impressing with the senior team
a decade on.
Teemu Pukki has seven goals in qualifying as
the team looks to go further than it ever did with past greats such
as Sami Hyypia and Jari Litmanen.
Croatia at risk
Croatia is finding European qualifying harder
than last year's World Cup.
The Croatians lead the evenly matched Group E
but if they lose to Slovakia on Saturday the World Cup finalists
could end up relying on other results to go their way.
Another team in a fight to qualify is
Switzerland, which is third in Group D behind Ireland and Denmark,
but is a big favorite against Gibraltar.
The playoffs offer a last chance for
unsuccessful teams, but it's a complex process.
Sixteen teams who didn't qualify automatically
will be ranked according to their divisions from the 2018 Nations
League and put into four single-elimination brackets.
At the bottom end, there's the League D
playoff, which is guaranteed to hand one team its debut at a major
championship. Georgia and Belarus have secured a place in that
playoff mini-tournament and will likely be joined by Kosovo and
The highest division almost certainly won't
have enough unqualified teams to make a four-team bracket, so will
recruit extras from lower tiers. That could hand League A's Iceland
a fortunate draw with League C teams such as Bulgaria and Israel.
Walker scores 29 to lead Celtics past Mavericks 116-106
Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) drives to the basket against
Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry (30) during the first quarter of
an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (AP
The Associated Press
Boston (AP) — Kemba Walker made a trio
of key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 29 points,
Jaylen Brown added 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Boston beat the
Dallas Mavericks 116-106 Monday night in the Celtics' first game
since Gordon Hayward had surgery on his broken left hand.
Marcus Smart scored 17 points, Daniel Theis
chipped in with 11 and Brad Wanamaker had 10 for Boston, which won
its eighth straight game since a season-opening loss at
Jayson Tatum shot 1 for 18 from the field and
scored only five points for the Celtics.
Luka Doncic led the Mavericks (6-4) with 34
points, nine assists and six rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis scored
just four points on 1-of-11 shooting.
The Celtics released a statement during the
opening quarter that said Hayward had surgery Monday to repair a
fracture in his non-shooting hand. He was injured during their
previous game in San Antonio when he collided with LaMarcus Aldridge
as the Spurs' big man set a screen.
Clippers 98, Raptors 88
Los Angeles (AP) — Lou Williams scored
21 points, Kawhi Leonard just missed a triple-double in his first
game against his former team and Los Angeles beat the defending NBA
champion Toronto Raptors.
Leonard finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds
and nine assists to go with nine turnovers. Last season, he led the
Raptors to their first championship, averaging 30.5 points and 9.1
rebounds in 24 postseason games to earn his second Finals MVP honor.
Pascal Siakam had 16 points and 10 rebounds for
the injury-depleted Raptors, who had their three-game winning streak
snapped in the second game of a back-to-back.
The Clippers shot just 37% but dominated the
boards 66-38, led by 12 each from Patrick Beverley and JaMychal
Jazz 122, Warriors 108
San Francisco (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 25
points and 14 rebounds as Utah topped Golden State.
Donovan Mitchell added 23 points and Mike
Conley scored 22 for the Jazz, who improved to 7-3.
The injury-ravaged Warriors fell to an
NBA-worst 2-9 and their frustrations boiled over in the fourth
quarter. Draymond Green, back after missing five games with a torn
finger ligament, earned back-to-back technicals and an ejection for
arguing a blocking call with 8:28 left.
Less than a minute later, coach Steve Kerr was
given a technical after arguing a call.
D'Angelo Russell scored 33 points for Golden
State, his fourth consecutive game of 30 or more.
Rockets 122, Pelicans 116
New Orleans (AP) — James Harden scored
39 points, including 13 straight in the fourth quarter, and Houston
beat short-handed New Orleans.
Russell Westbrook had 26 points and Clint
Capela added 11 points and 20 rebounds to help the Rockets to their
fourth straight win.
JJ Redick had 24 points, Josh Hart scored 19,
and Jrue Holiday added 18 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for
the Pelicans, who played without leading scorer Brandon Ingram due
to a sore right knee.
New Orleans pulled to 97-93 on a four-point
play by Redick before Harden's scoring burst in a 2:10 span gave the
Rockets a 110-93 lead with 5:20 left.
Grizzlies 113, Spurs 109
San Antonio (AP) — Jaren Jackson Jr. had
24 points and Memphis put a damper on Tony Parker's jersey
retirement by beating San Antonio.
Parker's uniform No. 9 was lifted to the
rafters alongside fellow Big Three members Tim Duncan and Manu
Ginobili following the game. They led San Antonio to four of its
five championships and have the most wins (541) of any trio in NBA
Jackson was involved in two pivotal plays with
the Grizzlies up 111-109 in the final minute. His 3-pointer with
25.5 seconds left was overturned when replays determined he was out
of bounds. Jackson then blocked DeMar DeRozan's ensuing drive to
maintain Memphis' two-point advantage.
Memphis won a coach's challenge that overturned
a foul that would have put DeRozan on the line with the Spurs
Dillon Brooks had 21 points and Jonas
Valanciunas added 18 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis, which had
lost two straight and five of six.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 19 points, Rudy Gay
added 18 and DeRozan had 12 as San Antonio took its second
consecutive home loss.
Timberwolves 120, Pistons 114
Detroit (AP) — Andrew Wiggins scored 33
points and Minnesota spoiled Blake Griffin's return from injury,
Griffin played for the first time this season,
coming back from hamstring and knee issues. Derrick Rose also
returned to the Pistons lineup from a strained hamstring, but both
he and Griffin played limited minutes.
Griffin scored 19 points and Rose had just six.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 25 for the
Timberwolves, who led by 19 in the third quarter and snapped an
eight-game losing streak to the Pistons.
A 3-pointer by Detroit's Tony Snell made it
109-104, but Towns drew a double team at the other end and passed to
an open Wiggins, whose 3-pointer restored the lead to eight.
Luke Kennard led the Pistons with 25 points.
Munich to host multi-sport European Championships in 2022
Munich (AP) — Munich has
been awarded the 2022 edition of the multi-sport European
Championships, but swimming isn't confirmed on the program.
The announcement on Tuesday means the event
returns to Germany after Berlin hosted the athletics portion of the
inaugural championships in 2018, though most other sports were held
in the Scottish city of Glasgow.
Athletics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing
and triathlon are all confirmed.
European Championships Management, which
organizes the event, said aquatic events like swimming and diving
are out because the European swim federation, known as LEN, didn't
feel Munich's facilities were suitable.
"LEN have taken the decision to look
elsewhere," the ECM said, but added the other sports might consider
allowing LEN to host its championships in parallel somewhere else as
athletics did last year.
"The integration of LEN would be considered.
The joint city host format worked in 2018."
LEN, which committed "in principle" to 2022 in
an announcement from 2016, didn't immediately respond to a request
The 2022 events will use the Olympic Park in
Munich 50 years after the city held the 1972 Olympics.
"Once again we have the opportunity to present
Germany as a sport-loving and hospitable country," German Interior
Minister Horst Seehofer said in a statement.
The championships were created by European
sports federations keen to attract more attention to their events by
scheduling them together with a single TV rights package.
It also helps federations resist control by the
European Olympic Committees, which launched their own multi-sport
European Games in 2015.
McDavid scores hat trick, reaches 400 points in Edmonton win
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid scores past Anaheim Ducks
goaltender John Gibson during the third period of an NHL hockey game
in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Anaheim, Calif. (AP) — Although Connor
McDavid makes amazing goals look routine, the Edmonton Oilers' star
had a big milestone night on Sunday.
The All-Star center had a hat trick and became
the eighth NHL player to record 400 points before his 23rd birthday
in the Oilers' 6-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
It was the fifth hat trick of McDavid's career
and his first since Feb. 18, 2018, against Colorado. He also became
the 13th player in league history to reach 400 points in 306 or
"It's good. It helps when you get a win as
well," said McDavid, who is tied for second in the league in scoring
with 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists). "It's good to shoot a couple
and they were able to go in the net."
McDavid was one of five Oilers to have a
multi-point night. Leon Draisaitl had four assists to move into the
NHL scoring lead with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists).
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored twice for the
Oilers, who have won four of their last six. Zack Kassian had a goal
and two assists and Oscar Klefbom had a pair of assists.
"Tonight we were solid all the way through and
capitalized on opportunities," coach Dave Tippett said.
Mikko Koskinen made 31 saves for his seventh
win in 10 games. Four of the saves came when Edmonton was short
handed as it killed off all five Anaheim power-play opportunities.
The Oilers were 2 for 5 on the power play.
"Offense is something that hasn't come easy to
us as a group, but it is starting to pick up," McDavid said. "I
thought the penalty killing made the difference tonight."
Rickard Rakell and Max Jones scored for Anaheim
and John Gibson stopped 25 shots. The six goals Gibson allowed tied
"We said they were an opportunistic team. They
were. We said they were good on the power play. They were. We got
outplayed," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said.
McDavid reached the 400-point milestone with
9:06 remaining in the first period when his wrist shot beat Gibson
to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead.
His second goal ended up being highlight worthy
as he eluded Anaheim's Jakob Silfverberg, momentarily lost his
balanced and then deked Gibson to put a wrist shot past his stick
"Coming out of the zone, I tried to put a play
on the net. I'm always looking for the pass, probably too much,"
McDavid then completed the hat trick with his
fourth power-play goal of the season with 6:35 remaining. The fans
then pelted the Honda Center ice with hats that they received as
part of a Veterans Day giveaway.
Nugent-Hopkins notched the 17th multi-goal game
after coming in with only one goal. He put the Oilers on the board
88 seconds into the game when he took advantage of a turnover behind
the Anaheim net and jammed it past Gibson's short side. Edmonton's
James Neal pressured Anaheim's Korbinian Holzer to turn it over,
allowing Nugent-Hopkins to take advantage for his second goal of the
He then added a power-play goal at 7:45 of the
second period with a snap shot the found the upper left corner of
Rakell tied it at one when he was able when he
lifted a backhand over Koskinen's shoulder for his fifth of the
year. Jakob Silfverberg was able to gain possession behind the net
and fed it to a wide-open Rakell, who was playing in his 400th NHL
Steel got his first goal of the season early in
the third with a wrist shot that beat Kosskinen on his stick side.
Analysis: Kicking woes cost several teams in NFL's Week 10
Tennessee Titans defensive back Joshua Kalu (46) blocks a 52-yard
field goal attempt by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (7)
on the final play of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in
Nashville, Tenn. The Titans won 35-32. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Adam Vinatieri's season-long struggles
persisted and quick healer Patrick Mahomes was kneecapped by Kansas
City's ugly special teams in a Week 10 slate where seven games
featured errant extra points or field goal flubs and follies.
Kicking wasn't one of the challenges the
Indianapolis Colts expected to face when Andrew Luck retired last
summer, not with the NFL's all-time leading scorer around. But
Vinatieri has missed 11 kicks, including six extra points.
His latest miss meant Indy needed to score a
touchdown after reaching the Dolphins' 16-yard line trailing 16-10
Sunday, but the Colts were stopped at the 8 on fourth down in the
final minute and Indy fell to 5-4.
Vinatieri has missed kicks in all four of those
He is 14 for 20 on PATs, a 70% clip that would
be the worst in NFL history for a kicker with at least that many
Colts coach Frank Reich said that while he
hasn't had any discussions with general manager Chris Ballard about
Vinatieri's status with the team, "everybody is held accountable"
and "there is an expectation" for better accuracy.
The league's reigning MVP, Mahomes, returned
much sooner than expected from a gruesome right knee injury and
threw for a season-best 446 yards and three touchdowns at Tennessee
just 3½ weeks after dislocating his right kneecap in Denver.
In a game that featured missed PATs by both
teams, the Chiefs led 29-20 in the closing minutes but couldn't
reach the end zone late and were forced to attempt three field goals
in the final 3:19. Harrison Butker's 39-yarder gave K.C. a 32-27
The Chiefs had the chance to salt away the
victory when they lined up facing third-and-2 at the Tennessee
29-yard line with 1:36 remaining, but Mahomes was sacked and Butker
trotted out for a 47-yard try that would give K.C. an eight-point
But snapper James Winchester delivered the ball
sooner than holder Dustin Colquitt was expecting and Colquitt
chucked the ball away.
"I looked back, Dustin was looking forward,
then I started to see him look back, but I had already started the
snap," Winchester said.
The intentional grounding call on Colquitt gave
the Titans the ball at their 39 and it took them just three plays to
score the go-ahead touchdown on Ryan Tannehill's 23-yard scoring
throw to Adam Humphries with 23 seconds left.
Mecole Hardman returned the ensuing squib kick
to the 38 and Mahomes put the Chiefs in position for a game-tying
field goal with a 23-yard pass to Demarcus Robinson with 10 seconds
left and a 5-yard pass to Robinson before Butker came out again with
3 seconds left for a 52-yard attempt to force overtime.
Joshua Kalu raced around from Butker's right
and got his left hand on the ball for the block.
"I have no idea what happened on that last
one," Winchester said.
The Week 10 follies began with Raiders kicker
Daniel Carlson missing an extra point with 66 seconds remaining that
left Oakland clinging to a 26-24 lead over the Chargers on Thursday
night. But Philip Rivers missed his last six passes before throwing
an interception with 20 seconds left.
Other missed that loomed large:
— Steve Hauschka missed a 34-yard field goal
with 16 seconds left in the first half and a 53-yarder with 17
seconds left in the fourth quarter of Buffalo's 19-16 loss to
— The Giants missed a 2-point try and an extra
point in their 34-27 loss to the Jets.
— The Rams missed a field goal in their 17-12
loss at Pittsburgh that had them trying to go for a touchdown in the
final minute instead of a field goal attempt.
— And Dallas missed a field goal that had them
trying a "Hail Mary" from midfield at the end of their 28-24 loss to
One game that didn't feature a missed kick was
Green Bay's 24-16 win over Carolina at snowy Lambeau Field, but it
did feature a curious call: going for 2 after Christian McCaffrey
found the end zone on a 3-yard run with 11:58 remaining. Instead of
kicking an extra point — the snow wasn't sticking at that point —
Ron Rivera elected to go for 2 and Kyle Allen's throw to Greg Olsen
"That was purely analytics, 100 percent,"
Rivera said. "The thing is, if you get it there and you score at the
end, then you're kicking to win the game. If you don't get it there,
you get an opportunity to go for two again, which we felt pretty
good about the play we had called the first time and we felt good
about having the second one. It most certainly was just following
the analytics of it."
McCaffrey was stopped inches short on the
game's final play, the second time this season he was denied just
shy of the goal line with the game on line.
US women beat Costa Rica 6-0 in 2019 finale
U.S. midfielder Julie Ertz (8) attempts a shot on goal off a corner
kick, against Costa Rica defender Lixy Rodriguez (12) during the
first half of an international friendly soccer match Sunday, Nov.
10, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Jacksonville, Fla. (AP) — The U.S.
women's soccer team closed out the year with a one-sided victory
over Costa Rica, giving the Americans 20 wins in 2019. It was the
second win in two matches for new coach Vlatko Andonovski.
Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian scored in the
first 10 minutes and Lynn Williams came off the bench to add a pair
of second-half goals in the United States' 6-0 victory over Costa
Rica on Sunday night at TIAA Bank Field. The U.S. was 20-1-3 in
2019, finishing with a 23-match unbeaten streak.
Lloyd started the scoring in the fourth minute,
taking a long pass from Rose Lavelle and drilling a shot from the
left side of the box past goalkeeper Noelia Bermudez. Lloyd scored
twice in a 3-2 victory over Sweden on Thursday night.
Brian added a goal in the 10th minute, taking
Lavelle's pass and sending a scorching shot into the corner of the
net. It was especially gratifying for Brian, who grew up in nearby
St. Simons Island, Georgia, and conducts camps in the Jacksonville
area during the offseason.
"It means a lot to score a goal here," Brian
said. "It's been a really long year and a great year and to cap it
off here in Jacksonville with a goal is great. Growing up here and
coming here in front of family and friends and be able to score a
goal is really great. I had over 30 friends and family members here.
"I don't have a home here anymore but I come
back in the offseason to train and to play so this is my soccer
home. Yes, my heart is still here."
Andonovski made several substitutions at
halftime and it quickly paid dividends.
Williams converted in the 50th minute off a
pass from Tobin Heath. Williams added a second goal in the 68th
minute, taking an assist from Jessica McDonald. Williams narrowly
missed a hat trick when her point-blank shot was caught by Bermudez
late in the game.
Williams said she tries to take advantage of
her playing time on the field.
"Any time I get a chance on the field at all,
it's a blessing," Williams said. "If my role is to come off the
bench and provide a spark, I'll take it. I'm always going to want to
start but I know I have a lot of work to put in and I view it as I
have a lot to learn wherever they play me."
That's what Andonovski is looking for in
Williams' contribution coming off the bench.
"Lynn did what she's supposed to do — come off
the bench and provide a spark," the U.S. coach said. "She stretched
the lines for us. Ultimately, she did what every 9 is supposed to
do, score goals for us. She checked all the boxes. It's very
comforting and nice to see her doing well in this environment and
growing as a player."
Christen Press also added a second-half goal
and the team's final goal was a Costa Rica own goal.
The closest Costa Rica came to scoring was when
Melissa Herrera hit the cross bar on a shot in the 62nd minute and
teammate Priscilla Chinchilla did the same in the 76th minute.
Costa Rica, ranked 38th in the world, has never
beaten a USA team, having lost 15 consecutive matches. The next time
the two teams will meet will be on February 3, 2020 when they play
in Houston in the final Group A game in Olympic qualifying.
Even with the lopsided win, Andonovski said
there are areas that the U.S. must improve on in the months ahead.
"I don't want to sound arrogant by any means,
but there are things we can grow, that's the coach in me," he said.
"Regardless of how well we do, we can always find clips where we can
do better in the future. But what is great about this team is that
they want to get better. They don't want to settle for where they
"If you ask me about the result, I'm extremely
happy with the result, but we do have to get better."
Borussia Dortmund hurting after heavy loss in Munich
Bayern's David Alaba, front right, and Bayern's Joshua Kimmich,
left, celebrate after Bayern's Robert Lewandowski scores his side's
opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, in Munich, Germany, Saturday,
Nov. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Berlin (AP) — Borussia Dortmund is
hurting again after another heavy Bundesliga defeat in Munich.
Dortmund lost 4-0 in the "der Klassiker"
against rival Bayern Munich on Saturday, being fortunate not to
concede more goals.
Dortmund's lackluster performance has been
criticized following sporting director Michael Zorc's call for a
"men's soccer" type of performance in the buildup for the game.
Instead, Dortmund delivered what Kicker magazine called "scaredy-cat
"A lot of our players just weren't there
today," Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said. "That's the biggest
Zorc was even more critical of the performance.
"That wasn't football at all, to be honest," he
said. "Bayern were on top and better in every respect. Bayern
completely took over after 15 minutes and we were second-best at
everything. That's why Bayern also deserved to win by this score."
It was Dortmund's fifth consecutive heavy
defeat in Munich. It lost 5-0 in April, 6-0 last year, 4-1 in 2017
and 5-1 in 2015. In its last six games in Munich, Dortmund has been
"It was beautiful that the talk before the game
was of men's football," said Bayern forward Thomas Müller, who set
up two goals. "As I'm a bit older now, 30, I know that it gives you
a bit extra inspiration. The way I see it, that's why we are German
champions seven times in a row. It's always wonderful when the
Dortmunders come to Munich and we play like we did today."
Bayern appeared to be in crisis after firing
coach Niko Kovac following the team' 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt
— its heaviest league defeat in over 10 years.
But Kovac's dismissal seems to have come as a
relief to some players, and interim coach Hansi Flick has now
overseen two wins from two competitive games, with no goals
conceded. Bayern reached the last 16 of the Champions League with a
2-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday.
Bayern's will to win on Saturday contrasted
sharply with Dortmund's, which will be under increased pressure
after it appeared to have turned a corner following a series of
Dortmund had strung together three consecutive
wins — over league leader Borussia Mönchengladbach in the German
Cup, previously unbeaten Wolfsburg in the league, and Inter Milan in
the Champions League, when the team displayed great morale to come
back from two goals down and win 3-2.
But there was none of that in Munich on
Saturday, and Favre and his superiors are left wondering how to
consistently get the best from the talented but fallible team.
"We expected a lot from this game," Zorc said.
"Then we delivered what is basically a non-performance. I'm
disappointed. You can't even say that it was just a lack of
challenges. We were also bad when we had the ball, we gave it away
and simply made it too easy for Bayern. That was a huge
No. 1 LSU holds off No. 2 Alabama 46-41
running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) dives over Alabama's Raekwon
Davis (99) and Markail Benton (36) to score a touchdown in the first
half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in
Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
The Associated Press
Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP) — Joe Burrow
passed for 393 yards and three touchdowns and No. 1 LSU snapped an
eight-game losing streak to No. 2 Alabama with a 46-41 victory
The Tigers (9-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference,
No. 2 CFP) are no longer second fiddle in the SEC West, or maybe in
the playoff rankings. And Burrow stamped himself as the Heisman
Trophy front-runner with a gutty performance when he answered every
challenge from 'Bama.
The Crimson Tide (8-1, 5-1, No. 3 CFP) rallied
from a 33-13 halftime deficit to three times to pull within a
touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The showdown lived up to its billing as a duel
between two high-powered offenses and star quarterbacks with
President Donald Trump attending. Tua Tagovailoa launched an 85-yard
touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith with 1:21 left after the Tigers' own
Justin Jefferson recovered the onside kick and
LSU ran out the clock.
Burrow completed 31 of 39 passes and ran for 64
yards. Clyde Edwards Helaire ran for three touchdowns and caught a
Tagovailoa, 20 days removed from ankle surgery,
was 21 of 40 for 418 yards and four touchdowns with an interception
and a fumble.
No. 13 Minnesota 31, No. 5 Penn State 26
Minneapolis (AP) — Minnesota's Jordan
Howden picked off Sean Clifford's pass in the end zone with 1:01
left, the third interception thrown by Penn State's quarterback, and
the Gophers beat the Nittany Lions for their first victory over a
top-five team in 20 years.
Tanner Morgan passed for 339 yards and three
touchdowns to direct a dismantling of Penn State's staunch defense.
Minnesota (9-0, 6-0, No. 17 CFP) not only remained undefeated, but
stayed on track for its first trip to the Big Ten championship game.
The first sellout crowd for the Gophers at home
in four years swarmed the field after the clock ran out, reveling in
the biggest step forward yet under coach P.J. Fleck in his third
season. The Gophers scrambled the College Football Playoff picture,
too, after Penn State (8-1, 5-1, No. 4 CFP) emerged with a top-four
spot in the first edition of the rankings.
Rashod Bateman got the Gophers going with a
66-yard score on their first possession and finished with seven
catches for 203 yards, the second-most in program history. Tyler
Johnson had seven receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown, too, as
Minnesota made enough early gains to hold up during the late rally.
Clifford went 23 for 43 for 340 yards and one
Antoine Winfield Jr. had the first two picks in
the first half, matching the FBS lead and setting the Minnesota
record with seven on the season. Both were inside the 10.
No. 9 Oklahoma 42, Iowa State 41
Norman, Okla. (AP) — Parnell Motley
intercepted Brock Purdy's two-point conversion pass with 24 seconds
left and Oklahoma held off Iowa State.
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell went for the
victory on the two-point try after Charlie Kolar caught a 13-yard
touchdown pass to pull the Cyclones — down 42-21 in the second half
— within one.
Jalen Hurts passed for 273 yards and three
touchdowns and ran for 68 yards and two more scores for the Sooners
(8-1, 5-1 Big 12, No. 9 CFP).
CeeDee Lamb had 167 yards and two touchdowns
receiving and Kennedy Brooks ran for a season-high 132 yards to help
Oklahoma bounce back from a loss to Kansas State two weeks ago.
Oklahoma extended its November winning streak to 18 games and set up
a showdown at league-leading Baylor next week.
Purdy passed for 282 yards and five touchdowns
and Breece Hall rushed for 110 yards for the Cyclones (5-4, 3-3)
No. 3 Ohio State 73, Maryland 14
Columbus, Ohio (AP) — Justin Fields threw for
three touchdowns and ran for another in the first half and Ohio
State hardly missed suspended defensive star Chase Young.
A team that gave the Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0 Big
Ten, CFP No. 1) headaches last season was no trouble this time, even
without the fierce pass rushing of Young. The preseason All-American
was suspended Friday while Ohio State investigates a possible NCAA
violation involving a loan.
J.K. Dobbins rushed for 90 yards and two
touchdowns as the Buckeyes built a 42-0 halftime lead and the
backups added to it in the second half. Fields tossed touchdown
passes to Binjimen Victor, K.J. Hill and Chris Olave before taking a
seat in the second half. His backup, Chris Chugunov threw another
one in the third quarter. Ohio State piled up 705 yards of offense
and 40 first downs.
Maryland dropped to 1-6 in the Big Ten and 3-7
No. 4 Clemson 55, North Carolina State 10
Raleigh, N.C. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence
threw for two scores and ran for another in a dominating first
quarter and Clemson routed North Carolina State to wrap a trip to
Atlantic Coast Conference title game.
The reigning national champion Tigers learned
this week that they were on the outside looking in for the first
rankings for the four-team College Football Playoff. Yet coach Dabo
Swinney had said the Tigers (10-0, 7-0, No. 5 CFP) were in a "good
spot" and needed to focus instead on finishing strong.
Starting that way was enough against the
Wolfpack (4-5, 1-4) as Clemson extended its school-record winning
streak to 25 games. By halftime, Clemson led 42-0.
That first half was highlighted by 6-foot-4,
330-pound left guard John Simpson taking a goal-line handoff and
plowing in for a 1-yard touchdown. Near the end of the game, Clemson
added a 1-yard scoring run with 11 seconds left before letting
linebacker James Skalski unsuccessfully kick the extra point.
No. 6 Georgia 27, Missouri 0
Athens, Ga. (AP) — Jake Fromm threw two
touchdown passes to George Pickens and Georgia posted its third
shutout, dominating a Missouri offense missing two of its biggest
Georgia (8-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference, No.
6 College Football Playoff) moved closer to its third straight berth
in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs can clinch the SEC East
by beating No. 12 Auburn next week. Missouri (5-4, 2-3) fell to 0-4
in road games with its third straight loss. Quarterback Kelly Bryant
and leading receiver Johnathon Johnson did not play.
Fromm capped Georgia's opening drive with a
25-yard scoring pass to Pickens. The freshman also made a leaping
grab for an 18-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
No. 11 Baylor 29, Tcu 23, 3ot
Fort Worth, Texas (AP) — Denzel Mims
made a leaping 4-yard touchdown catch in the third overtime for
Baylor, capping another comeback victory that kept the Bears
Charlie Brewer also threw a 20-yard touchdown
pass to Mims on fourth down in the second overtime to extend the
game. Brewer had a 3-yard scoring run in the first overtime.
The Bears (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) finally won on
Grayland Arnold's interception of Max Duggan's fourth-down pass in
the end zone.
Baylor forced overtime when John Mayers kicked
a 51-yard field goal with 36 seconds left in regulation. The ball
just cleared the crossbar to tie it at 9. TCU (4-5, 2-4) led 9-0
after Jonathan Song made two field goals at the end of the first
No. 15 Notre Dame 38, Duke 7
Durham, N.C. (AP) — Ian Book rushed for
a career-best 139 yards and threw four touchdown passes for Notre
Book finished 18 of 32 for 181 yards passing,
Chris Finke caught touchdown passes of 18 and 6 yards, and Chase
Claypool and George Takacs also had short scoring catches.
C'Bo Flemister rushed 2 yards for a TD for the
Fighting Irish (7-2, No. 15 CFP). In winning their second straight
and fifth in six games, they rolled up 469 total yards, led 21-0
before the Blue Devils picked up their second first down and kept
them at bay the rest of the way.
Quentin Harris was 16 of 28 for 102 yards for
Duke (4-5) with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Young late in the
second quarter. The Blue Devils have lost three straight and four of
five since starting 3-1.
No. 16 Wisconsin 24, No. 18 Iowa 22
Madison, Wis. (AP) — Jonathan Taylor
rushed for a season-high 250 yards and Danny Davis ran for a
touchdown and caught a scoring pass for Wisconsin.
Taylor became the first running back this
season to rush for more than 100 yards against Iowa as Wisconsin
(7-2, 4-2 Big Ten, No. 13 College Football Playoff) held on to the
Heartland Trophy, given each year to the winner of this game.
Wisconsin has beaten Iowa four straight times.
Quintez Cephus caught five passes for 94 yards
and a score to help Wisconsin stay in contention for the Big Ten
West crown. Nate Stanley passed for 208 yards and two TDs for Iowa
(6-3, 3-3, No. 18 CFP).
No. 17 Cincinnati 48, Connecticut 3
Cincinnati (AP) — Desmond Ridder threw
for a pair of touchdowns and Michael Warren II ran for two more
scores during a dominant opening half, and Cincinnati remained the
only unbeaten team in American Athletic play.
The Bearcats (8-1, 5-0) retained the inside
track for the conference title by ending their recent trend of slow
starts. They led 38-0 at halftime against the conference's lowliest
UConn (2-8, 0-6) had two players ejected while
losing its 17th straight conference game. The Huskies have dropped
24 of their last 25 against FBS teams. They fell to 0-9 at Nippert
Texas 27, No. 20 Kansas State 24
Austin, Texas (AP) — Cameron Dicker
kicked a 26-yard field goal as time expired to lift Texas past
Kansas State as the Longhorns maintained their hopes of returning to
the Big 12 championship game.
Dicker has won games on the final play twice
this season. His 33-yarder to beat Kansas on Oct. 19 capped a wild
Texas (6-3, 4-2) had lost two of its previous
three games. The victory over the Wildcats (6-3, 3-3, No. 16 College
Football Playoff) made the Longhorns bowl-eligible and kept them in
the hunt for a berth in the league championship with three games
Keaontay Ingram rushed for 139 yards and two
second-half touchdowns for the Longhorns. Kansas State rallied to
tie it on Joshua Youngblood's 98-yard kickoff return and Blake
Lynch's 45-yard field goal.
No. 21 Boise State 20, Wyoming 17, Ot
Boise, Idaho (AP) — Chase Cord threw for 190
yards and a touchdown, Eric Sachse kicked a 28-yard field goal in
overtime and Boise State rallied to beat Wyoming.
Boise State (8-1, 4-0, No. 22 CFP) kept its New
Year's Day bowl hopes alive as the Group of 5 representative despite
playing without injured starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier.
Wyoming (6-3, 3-2), now 0-7 against the Broncos
in Boise, failed to hold onto a halftime lead for the second time
this season. The Cowboys also squandered a 14-6 advantage at the
intermission against San Diego State in a 26-22 loss.
The Cowboys were also without their starting
quarterback, Sean Chambers, who went out for the season with a knee
injury in Wyoming's previous game against Nevada. Tyler Vander Waal
finished 15-of-23 passing for 160 yards.
In the extra period, Boise State's drive
stalled at the 11 before Sachse made his kick.
Wyoming could only muster five yards on its
first three plays of overtime and Cooper Rothe attempted a 37-yard
field goal that fell short to the right.
Virginia Tech 36, No. 22 Wake Forest 17
Blacksburg, Va. (AP) — Hendon Hooker
accounted for 311 yards of total offense and ran for a touchdown to
help Virginia Tech beat Wake Forest.
The Hokies (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference)
overcame a 0-6 halftime deficit, scoring 30 second-half points to
beat a ranked team for the first time since last year at then-No. 22
Deshawn McClease scored touchdowns on
back-to-back possessions in the third quarter. His 6-yard touchdown
run with 7:02 remaining in the quarter gave the Hokies a 20-17 lead.
He had 59 of the Hokies' 228 yards rushing. Hooker completed 15 of
23 for 242 yards and rushed for 69 yards.
Jamie Newman completed 16 of 35 passes for 238
yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Wake Forest
(7-2, 3-2). Kendall Hinton caught eight passes for 162 yards.
No. 23 SMU 59, East Carolina 51
Dallas (AP) — Shane Buechele threw five
touchdown passes, Xavier Jones broke one of Eric Dickerson's school
records and SMU bounced back from its first loss.
The Mustangs (9-1, 5-1 American Athletic)
played from ahead and kept it that way in a second straight game
with more than 1,000 combined yards. SMU had fallen behind and
failed to close the gap last week in a 54-48 loss to No. 19 Memphis.
Buechele threw for 414 yards as the Mustangs
finished with 636 total yards to 644 for the Pirates (3-7, 0-6).
Kylen Granson caught three touchdowns passes, including a 31-yarder
on fourth-and-20 with SMU leading 45-44 midway through the fourth
quarter. Granson had 138 yards on seven receptions, and James Proche
finished with 14 catches for 167 yards.
Jones, who ran for 157 yards, had three rushing
touchdowns for the third time this season, giving him 18. His total
touchdowns reached 20, one more than Dickerson had in 1981 — all on
the ground. East Carolina's Tyler Snead caught 19 passes for 240
Nevada 17, No. 24 San Diego State 13
San Diego (AP) — Wide receiver Elijah
Cooks threw a 50-yard pass on a trick play to set up Devonte Lee's
go-ahead, 1-yard run with 10:31 to go that lifted Nevada past San
The Wolf Pack surprised the Aztecs with a
reverse, with running back Toa Taua flipping the ball to Cooks, who
stopped and threw a strike to Brendan O'Leary-Orange at the SDSU 5.
Three plays later, Lee burst into the end zone for a 17-10 lead.
The Wolf Pack (6-4, 3-3 Mountain West) became
bowl eligible and defeated the Aztecs for the second straight
season. SDSU (7-2, 4-2) struggled in its first action since jumping
into The Associated Press Top 25 two weeks ago. The Aztecs, whose
four-game winning streak was snapped, still lead the West Division.
SDSU's Matt Araiza kicked a 44-yard field goal
with 3:46 to go. The Aztecs got the ball back but the drive fizzled
near midfield and they turned it over on downs with 1:25 to go.
Man United beats Brighton 3-1 in Premier League
Brighton's Dale Stephens, center, duels for the ball with Manchester
United's Anthony Martial during the English Premier League soccer
match between Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion, at the
Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, , Sunday, Nov. 10,
2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Wolverhampton, England (AP)
— Marcus Rashford struck off the underside of the crossbar to
complete Manchester United's 3-1 victory over Brighton in the
Premier League on Sunday.
Andreas Pereira put United ahead in the 17th
minute before Davy Propper scored an own goal inside two minutes.
Rashford netted in the 66th just after Lewis Dunk had reduced the
deficit as United rose to seventh in the standings.
Brighton never looked like securing their first
ever win at Old Trafford, where Scott McTominay's serious-looking
injury late on was a concern.
It was a better afternoon for fellow academy
graduate Brandon Williams, who left to a standing ovation after
impressing on his first Premier League start.
United showed few signs of fatigue after
beating Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday and
unnerved the Brighton backline from the outset.
Rashford was unable to follow a superb, weaving
run with a fitting finish with the hosts' first clear-cut chance,
but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side would make the breakthrough in the
Victor Lindelof and Fred were involved in a
move that ended with Andreas Pereira racing through the middle.
Dale Stephens' tackle looked to have ended that
attack, only for the ball to fall kindly for Martial, with the
Frenchman cutting back for the Brazilian to hit a strike that went
in off the Brighton midfielder.
Matters would soon get worse for Graham
Potter's side after Dunk was booked for a late, clumsy challenge on
Daniel James. Fred produced a fine delivery from the resulting free
kick, leading to a bundling McTominay effort being prodded over the
line by Propper.
The VAR checked Harry Maguire's involvement
and, 140 seconds after the ball crossed the line, Old Trafford was
able to celebrate fully.
It was a rare set piece goal by United against
an Albion side looking far more threatening from dead balls.
Martial saw a handball appeal rejected and
Pereira was denied from distance as United returned from the break
strongly, but there were a few nervy moments when the stadium
announcer confirmed that the VAR was checking for a red card.
Williams and his teammates were relieved to see
his high foot on Steven Azalte remain a booking.
Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan was equally
relieved when he failed to deal with a Fred shot and it bounced back
off the bar - a let-off Brighton capitalised on as Pascal Gross
swung over a corner that Dunk was all too easily able to meet with a
thumping header home.
But rather than wilt, United rallied and within
two minutes restored their two-goal cushion.
Fred's pass put Martial behind the Brighton
backline and the Frenchman kept his composure when forced wide,
playing back for Rashford to smash home off the underside of the
Only the England forward will know how he
failed to score a quickfire second. James superbly raced down the
right and sent a low cross over to Rashford, who inexplicably
screwed wide at the far post with the goal at his mercy.
It was a remarkable miss but United were
undeterred as Williams and James quickly had attempts, before
Rashford followed some wonderful footwork with a shot saved at the
near post by Ryan.
Martial and Rashford both went close as the
match came to a disappointing end as McTominay went down with an
injury that saw him leave on a stretcher.
Suzuki shoots 67 to win Japan Classic by 3 strokes
Japan's Ai Suzuki watches her shot
during the second round of the LGPA Japan Classic golf
tournament in Otsu, Shiga prefecture, western Japan Saturday,
Nov. 9, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)
Shiga, Japan (AP) — Overnight leader Ai
Suzuki shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 on Sunday to win the Japan
Classic by three strokes for her first LPGA career victory.
Suzuki carded her fifth birdie of the day on
the par-5 18th hole at the Seta Golf Course to finish with a
17-under 199, three shots ahead of Hyo Joo Kim (66).
"This one is special because it's a US LPGA
tour event," Suzuki said through a translator. "It's beyond Japan,
an International event."
Suzuki is the second straight Japanese winner
of the Japan Classic following Nasa Hataoka. With the win, Suzuki, a
regular on the JLPGA, becomes eligible for LPGA Tour membership.
"It was my dream so I feel like I want to
challenge," Suzuki said. "But I can't speak English so I need to
talk to my family because I need their support."
Minjee Lee finished in third place at 11-under
205 after shooting a 68 in the final event of the LPGA Tour's Asia
Jennifer Kupcho of the United States was tied
for fourth with Jin Yang of China after a 68 left her seven strokes
"I was hitting the ball really well," Kupcho
said. "Gave myself a lot of putts. I even missed a couple, left them
on the lip," Kupcho said. "I played really well this week and I'm
pretty happy with it."
Gaby Lopez, who started the final round in
second place three strokes back, offset a pair of birdies with two
bogeys for an even-par 72 that left her tied for sixth place with
three others including two-time Japan Classic winner Shanshan Feng
Lexi Thompson, making her first start since the
Indy Women in Tech Championship in September, was tied for 24th
place after a 71.
India 174-5 in Twenty20 decider vs Bangladesh
K.L. Rahul raises his bat after scoring fifty runs during third
Twenty20 international cricket match against Bangladesh in Nagpur,
India, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Nagpur, India (AP) —
Shreyas Iyer and Lokesh Rahul scored attacking half-centuries as
India reached 174-5 in the third Twenty20 against Bangladesh on
The three-game series is currently tied at 1-1.
Iyer scored a career-best 62 runs off 33 balls
— with three fours and five sixes — while Rahul made 52 off 35 balls
as they rescued India's innings after a double blow early on.
Put into bat, India made a poor start with
big-hitting Rohit Sharma (2) and Shikhar Dhawan (19) falling
Bangladesh won the first T20 by seven wickets,
its first-ever win over India in the T20 format.
India beat Bangladesh by eight wickets in the
second T20 to level the series 1-1.
Els adds 2 more Presidents Cup rookies with captain's picks
Jason Day of Australia watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during
the first round of the Zozo Championship PGA Tour at the Accordia
Golf Narashino country club in Inzai, east of Tokyo, Japan,
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Sungjae Im of South Korea tees off during the HSBC Champions golf
tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai
Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Ernie Els filled out his International team
already loaded with newcomers by choosing two more Presidents Cup
rookies with his captain's picks Wednesday night.
Els took a pair of 21-year-old rookies, Joaquin
Niemann of Chile and Sungjae Im of South Korea, with two of his
picks. That will give the International team six rookies as it tries
to end a streak of seven straight losses to the Americans.
He also took Jason Day of Australia and Adam
Hadwin of Canada. Day is playing the Presidents Cup for the fifth
time, but first as a captain's pick. Hadwin made his debut in 2017
at Liberty National, a loss so bad the Americans nearly clinched it
before Sunday singles.
Els said he was not afraid to play anyone, and
he had no plans to hide anyone by sitting them out.
"I'm picking guys to play, to get enough points
to get over the line," Els said. "And that's what the players'
mission is — to get enough points to get the cup back."
U.S. captain Tiger Woods makes his four picks
Thursday. Woods, the Masters champion who captured his 82nd career
PGA Tour victory two weeks ago in Japan, is expected to pick
himself. He would be the first playing-captain since Hale Irwin at
the inaugural Presidents Cup in 1994.
The Presidents Cup is Dec. 12-15 at Royal
Melbourne in Australia, where the International team of players from
every continent but Europe won for the only time in 1998. The United
States won the last time it was Royal Melbourne in 2011.
Els said he relied some on statistics, but he
leaned just as heavily on a long run of good golf. Unlike the Ryder
Cup, where the captain's picks are decided two weeks before the
matches, the Presidents Cup is still six weeks away.
Im was the PGA Tour rookie of the year last
season, the only rookie to reach the Tour Championship. His only
victory this year was at the Genesis Championship on the Korean
Tour. Niemann, the first player from Chile to be in the Presidents
Cup, earned his PGA Tour card the year he turned pro. He won at the
Greenbrier last month for his first PGA Tour victory.
"We're really going to lean on you," Els told
Niemann during a conference call.
Day was the obvious choice, even though he
failed to win for the second time in the last three PGA Tour seasons
and has dropped to No. 29 in the world ranking. Day is 1-7-2 in his
last two Presidents Cup.
Hadwin has a pair of runner-up finishes this
year, most recently in the Safeway Open.
"I'm hungry for a second shot," said Hadwin,
part of the International team what was soundly beaten at Liberty
National in 2017.
The rest of the International team features
Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman,
along with Presidents Cup rookies Abraham Ancer of Mexico, Li
Haotong of China, Cameron Smith of Australia and C.T. Pan of Taiwan.
"These guys are world-class players and they've
proven themselves," Els said. "Take age out of the equation. They're
got one hell of a big future in this event. I'm real excited by the
new blood that's coming in. It balances the team."
Among picks Els considered were Corey Conners
of Canada, Byeong Hun An of South Korea, and South Africans Branden
Grace and Erik van Rooyen.
The Presidents Cup has been a lopsided affair
since it began in 1994, patterned after the Ryder Cup to give
international players from outside Europe a chance to compete in a
team event. The United States leads the series 10-1-1, with the tie
coming in South Africa and Els and Woods tied a playoff match in
This is for you, South Africa: Springboks start trophy tour
South African Springbok rugby captain
Siya Kolisi with the Web Ellis trophy arrives back on home soil at
the O.R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. South
Africa beat England in the Rugby World Cup final Saturday 32-12. (AP
Africa (AP) — Telling ordinary South Africans that the victory
and the trophy was for them, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and his
team have started a five-day tour where they will carry the Rugby
World Cup across the country.
On a sunny morning, Kolisi stood Thursday at
the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the seat of South Africa's
government, and said the support of ordinary South Africans was "the
most important thing." He told the celebrating crowd, "thank you,
South Africa, this is for you," referring to the golden trophy
resting on a pedestal nearby overlooking the capital city.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was
present to congratulate the Springboks. He joked he was glad it
wasn't an election year in South Africa because the Springboks
"would have won."
South Africa beat England in Saturday's final
in Japan to clinch a third World Cup title.
DeAngelo, Lundqvist lead Rangers to 5-1 win over Red Wings
New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) skates against Detroit
Red Wings center Christoffer Ehn (70) during the first period of an NHL
hockey game, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New
York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Vin A. Cherwoo
New York (AP) — After a bad loss in their
last game, the New York Rangers bounced back with a big win.
Tony DeAngelo had a goal and an assist in New
York's three-goal second period, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 shots
during his first start in 10 days, and the Rangers beat the struggling
Detroit Red Wings 5-1 night.
New York was coming off a 6-2 defeat against an
Ottawa team that had been winless on the road this season.
"We had to have a performance like this after what
happened last game," Lundqvist said. "You need to learn from our ups and
downs and I think we did."
Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome also had a goal and
an assist apiece, and Chris Kreider and Greg McKegg scored to help New
York win for the fourth time in six games. Lundqvist, after sitting out
the previous three games, made 24 saves over the final 28:06.
"It was really important (to get the win)," Panarin
said through a translator. "We played more simple, with less mistakes."
Valtteri Filppula scored and Jimmy Howard finished
with 26 saves, but the Red Wings' fourth straight loss dropped them to
1-11-1 in their last 13 games.
"It's frustrating," Dylan Larkin said. "It's night
after night. We try different things, different lineups. It was special
teams tonight. Seems like it's a different story every night. We can't
really seem to generate a full 60 minutes, full complete game."
Trailing 3-1 in the second, the Red Wings picked up
the pressure. They outshot the Rangers 15-3 over a 16½-minute stretch,
but couldn't beat Lundqvist.
The Rangers' goalie credited his team's defensive
effort in limiting Detroit's bona fide scoring chances.
"I think that was the most structured game I've had
in front of me so far this year," Lundqvist said. "We were in the right
place, and the few chances they had I felt we were there to help out on
rebounds and didn't give them too much room."
McKegg pushed the lead to 4-1 at 8:44 on the
Rangers' third shot of the period. With the Red Wings on a power play,
he brought the puck up the left side and sent a shot that went off the
shaft of Howard's stick and up in the air. With the goalie unaware where
the puck was as it lay in front, McKegg skated up and put it in for New
York's third short-handed score of the season.
The Rangers also had two power-play goals and one
at even strength, and held the Red Wings to 0 for 2 on their power play.
"Penalty killing and power plays is going to be the
difference a lot of nights," Lundqvist said. "We know that and we
continue to work on it in practice and talk before games. It's such a
big part of winning and it's nice when we take care of business like
Panarin added an empty-netter with 2:37 left for
his seventh goal and 14th point, both team highs.
After a scoreless first period, the Rangers took
control with three goals in the first 8:49 of the second — including two
on their first three shots.
DeAngelo got New York on the board with a
power-play goal, knocking in the rebound of Brendan Lemieux's shot in
front for his sixth at 4:25.
Kreider made it 2-0 as he beat Howard up high on
the glove side from the right side for his third at 6:04.
The Rangers made it 3-0 with their second
power-play goal of the period as Adam Fox's shot deflected off Strome's
right shoulder and in at 8:49. Strome has five goals and six assists in
his last eight games.
Just 52 seconds later, Filppula put the puck past
Lundqvist on an odd-man rush to pull the Red Wings to 3-1.
Red Wings: Host the Boston Bruins on Friday
Rangers: At the Carolina Hurricanes on
Bucks hold off Clippers 129-124 for 4th win in a row
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dribbles past Los Angeles
Clippers' Maurice Harkless during the second half of an NBA basketball
game Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose
Los Angeles (AP) — The numbers are adding up
quickly for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The reigning NBA MVP had 38 points and 16 rebounds
to help the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 129-124 for
their fourth victory in a row.
It's what he's done to start the season that really
Antetokounmpo became the first player in league
history with 200 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists in the first eight
games of a season.
"He played the whole fourth quarter and was
fabulous," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
Antetokounmpo had 13 points in 12 minutes during
the fourth as Milwaukee repelled several threats by the Clippers, who
kept getting within four only to come up short.
"Guys were physical with me but at the end of the
day you've just got to keep doing what you're doing," Antetokounmpo
said. "I was trying to make plays, try to stay aggressive. That's what
my teammates wanted me to do."
Antetokounmpo just missed a triple-double with nine
assists. He's posted at least 10 rebounds and five assists in each of
the first eight games this season, the first player to do that since at
"He's a beast," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
George Hill scored 24 points off the bench and hit
six of the Bucks' 18 3-pointers.
The Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard, who rested
for the first half of a home back-to-back. He'll play against Portland
on Thursday night.
"When he sits out we've just got to step up," said
Lou Williams, who had 34 points and 11 assists.
Montrezl Harrell had a career-high 34 points and 13
rebounds in his first start of the season.
"It don't mean nothing," he said in a low voice.
Patrick Beverley added 20 points and 10 rebounds in
the Clippers' first home defeat.
Led by Hill and Kyle Korver with 14 points, the
Bucks' reserves outscored the Clippers' bench 47-20, the first time
that's happened to Los Angeles this season. Harrell and Williams being
in the starting lineup reduced much of the bench production.
Los Angeles starter Landry Shamet had just two
points coming into the fourth, but made four 3-pointers and finished
with 14 points. The last one put the Clippers within two with 23 seconds
"If we came up with one or two more stops, the game
might have been different," Harrell said.
The Bucks finished it off at the free throw line,
and the Clippers couldn't connect on multiple chances during their last
"They had us on our heels the whole game," Williams
said. "We just weren't as sharp as we'd like to be."
The Clippers closed within four early in the
fourth, but Antetokounmpo reeled off seven straight points to keep the
Bucks ahead 115-103.
"I just know he's always around the rim," former
Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe said of Antetokounmpo. "Even though it's a
bad play or whatnot, he's going to be under the rim, so I just find a
way to get it to him."
Bledsoe added 20 points, and Brook Lopez had 11
points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks.
The Clippers erased an 11-point deficit in the
third. They forced three ties, but each time Antetokounmpo answered for
the Bucks. He dunked, hit a 3-pointer and made two free throws.
Milwaukee outscored the Clippers 15-6 to take a
98-89 lead into the fourth.
The Bucks opened the second on a 30-11 run, hitting
five 3-pointers, for their largest lead of 17 points. Hill scored 14 to
help the Bucks lead 70-59 at halftime. They closed with three
consecutive 3s, two by Hill and the last by Korver, who beat the buzzer.
Calling plays in NFL a challenge for some rookie NFL coaches
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, file photo, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur
celebrates with quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) after a touchdown during the
first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, in Kansas
City, Mo. Being a rookie head coach in the NFL is challenging enough, and
also calling plays for the offense only increases the difficulty. Having
Rodgers has helped ease the growing pains for LaFleur. (AP Photo/Charlie
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, file photo, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff
Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the first half of
an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP
Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor
looks on during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore
Ravens, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, file photo, Cleveland Browns players encourage head
coach Freddie Kitchens to throw a challenge flag during an NFL football game
against the Seattle Seahawks, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)
Teresa M. Walker
Maybe Sean McVay made it all look just too easy.
McVay coached the Los Angeles Rams to the playoffs each
of his first two seasons, including the Super Bowl in February. He proved
such a perfect match with quarterback Jared Goff that six of eight NFL teams
hiring this offseason turned to offensive-minded coaches to turn their
Adding play calling to a rookie head coach's job
description, it turns out, can be too difficult for newcomers to handle
along with basic game management.
Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay and Kyler Murray in Arizona
have eased the growing pains for Matt LaFleur and Kliff Kingsbury. Zac
Taylor in Cincinnati and Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland, on the other hand,
are being second-guessed for trying to do too much halfway through their
first seasons. And neither is willing to lighten the load and hand off
"No. It is not happening," Kitchens said Monday. "I am
calling the plays. I am the head coach. That is not happening."
Taylor is the first Bengals coach to lose his first
eight games, and his big change at Cincinnati's bye is benching veteran Andy
Dalton for rookie Ryan Finley. Taylor will continue to call plays for the
NFL's last winless team.
"We've won zero games and have not scored enough
points," Taylor said. "And that 100 percent falls on me. But I do like the
communication we have as a staff. The play calls come out of my mouth. We
have great chemistry as a staff. We put a good plan together, and we are all
on the same page when the calls come out regardless of who call it."
Neither Kitchens nor Taylor had ever been head coaches
at any level until this season, and they have little experience calling
plays. At least Kitchens can point to how Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield
blossomed over the second half of last season once Kitchens was promoted to
offensive coordinator from running backs coach.
Taylor called plays for the final five games in 2015
with the Miami Dolphins and was offensive coordinator in college at
Cincinnati in 2016. The Bengals hired Taylor after he was assistant wide
receivers coach in 2017 and quarterbacks coach in 2018 with the Rams — and
McVay, who calls his own plays.
And Taylor uses a play-action system similar to the
Rams that is heavily dependent on a decent run game. Unfortunately, the
banged-up Bengals rank last in the NFL averaging 59.5 yards rushing a game
and have been held under 35 yards four times. Cincinnati's offensive line
has struggled so much Taylor has had to keep tight ends in to help block.
The Browns are 2-6 after being popular picks to win the
AFC North. Injuries have been a big issue. But Kitchens has appeared
overwhelmed at times on the sideline. Kitchens was criticized heavily for
not calling a running play inside the 10 late in a 20-13 loss to the Rams in
September. Mayfield threw four times, the last intercepted in the end zone.
The Browns coach took the blame for his play-calling in that fourth quarter.
More than a month later, Kitchens called a shovel pass
New England intercepted on its way to a 27-13 win. Worse, the Browns'
offense ranks 25th, scoring 19 points a game.
"Everything about the program should reflect on me and
I will accept it," Kitchens said. "But I also have a hand in fixing it."
Arizona hired Kingsbury in part because he coached the
2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes during his tenure as head coach at Texas Tech.
The Cardinals drafted Murray with the No. 1 pick overall in April, and the
duo has helped the Cardinals start 3-5-1.
Still, Kingsbury has had his growing pains.
"I'm used to 80 or 85 snaps, and now you're getting 65,
maybe 70, so you have to make sure when you look at that sheet, you're not
just calling something to get it called or playing really fast because
you're trying to out-maneuver them with tempo," Kingsbury said. "You have to
make sure you have a point to every play, and that's helped me throughout
this first month and a half get adjusted."
Then there's LaFleur who is working with the
35-year-old two-time MVP in Rodgers. LaFleur was the Rams' coordinator in
McVay's rookie season and only called plays in 2018 as Tennessee's
coordinator before Green Bay hired him. But the Packers are 7-2, and LaFleur
says the relationship between quarterback and coach is critical.
"The way I view the quarterback is, it's an extension
of the coaching staff," LaFleur said. "And so yeah we got to be on the same
page. I think that just like any relationship, it takes time to make sure
the communication is on point."
Faster for some than others.
Charles Howell III takes family on 'once-in-a-lifetime' trip
this June 27, 2019, file photo, Charles Howell III drives during the
first round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament, in Detroit.
Howell turned the Asian swing on the PGA Tour into a five-week working
vacation to let his two elementary-school children see more of the
world. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Shanghai (AP) — Not long after Charles
Howell III finished his final round in Las Vegas, he packed up for a
trip to Asia he never imagined taking.
It wasn't just for golf. And he wasn't alone.
Howell took his wife and two children on a
five-week tour of Asia that isn't over yet. It started with a week in
Hong Kong, and his family followed him to PGA Tour stops in South Korea,
Japan and mainland China. This week, they're off to Thailand
before returning home to Florida.
"We just decided to do something we've never done,"
Howell said. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. They're old enough to
get it and love it and appreciate it, but young enough where we can
still manage to make it work."
His children, Ansley Grace and Chase, are in third
and second grade. Howell said they would Facetime with their teachers in
their morning (evening in Florida), do their school work and then head
off for adventures they can't find inside the gates of Isleworth.
"We thought the kids would learn from this
real-world experience in other countries with different languages,
different currencies, different beliefs," he said. "It's been more fun
than I thought it would be."
That came at the start of their working vacation in
Hong Kong, where tensions have been running high the last five months
amid pro-democracy protests.
"With what's going on in the world, walking
straight out of a department store into a 20,000-person protest," Howell
said. "The kids talked to some of them and they explained what they were
doing. And then the temples, the religions, it was just incredible."
Howell took his son to play Hong Kong Golf Club,
but that was the extent of his golf outside the three tour stops, where
his best finish was a tie for eighth in the ZoZo Championship, the PGA
Tour's first official event in Japan.
"If my family wasn't here, I would definitely not
have played three in a row," Howell said. "I wanted the kids to see the
world isn't the border of the United States, that the border isn't the
back gate at Isleworth."
The final stop was Thailand, primarily for
the kids to see the elephants. Howell is friends with Kiradech
Aphibarnrat, who told him he would love his home country. Nothing on the
trip has disappointed thus far.
Mete scores twice as Canadiens beat Bruins 5-4
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask makes a save against Montreal
Canadiens' Tomas Tatar during the first period of an NHL hockey game
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal (AP) — A video
review left Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy seeing red.
An overturned goal on a coach's challenge for
offside in the third period gave Montreal momentum, and the Canadiens
went on to beat Boston 5-4 on Tuesday — a rare regulation loss for the
It looked as if Cassidy's team went up 5-4 when
Charlie Coyle beat Carey Price. But the officials held a lengthy video
review on Claude Julien's challenge and determined Coyle was offside on
the zone entry during the play.
"The rule was put in place specifically for
egregious (calls)," Cassidy said. "They're over there for three minutes.
What is the purpose for this rule? You either find something or you
don't. Now you're looking for something for it to be offside. You know
it's going to go the other way and it did.
"It was a big part of the game and it didn't go our
Down 4-3 in the third, the Bruins tied the score
when Sean Kuraly surprised Price on a wraparound at 3:03. It looked as
if Boston was taking over — until Coyle's goal was overturned.
Ben Chariot scored and gave Montreal (8-5-2) the
win with a wrist shot from the face-off circle just a few minutes later.
The Canadiens have won four of their last five.
"Our video guys saw the puck on the line and the
skates across it," said Julien, who coached his 1,200th NHL game. "If we
don't win that challenge, they have a one-goal lead and a two-minute
power play. It could have gone their way.
"We were right and we stopped Boston's momentum.
From there, we got better."
The Bruins (11-2-2) saw their six-game win streak
come to an end as they lost in regulation for the first time since Oct.
10, in Colorado against the Avalanche.
Boston was playing the second game of a
back-to-back and it showed, going down 3-1 in the first period.
The Canadiens scored just 1:13 into the game when
Victor Mete scored off a rebound of a shot by Jeff Petry under Tuukka
Rask's glove for his first of two goals in the game.
David Pastrnak netted the equalizer six seconds
into a Boston power play, a one-timer at 14:55. Pastrnak, the NHL
scoring leader, extended his career-high point streak to 13 games.
Montreal was back in it two minutes later. A
breakout pass by Brendan Gallagher led to a 2-on-1, with Tomas Tatar
shooting off the post and in.
After Artturi Lehkonen forced a turnover, Paul
Byron went between Rask's pads to make it 3-1 Canadiens at 17:16 with
his first goal of the year.
It was hardly a goaltending battle, with Price
stopping 21 of 25 shots, while Rask gave up five goals on 31 shots.
"It's one of those nights where instead of a hockey
puck, it feels like a golf ball out there," said Rask, who suffered his
first regulation defeat. "I was just not tracking it well. Tough night
for me. Couldn't really make a save."
The Bruins clawed their way back in the second
period with the help of Connor Clifton and Anders Bjork.
The Canadiens failed to clear their zone and
Clifton made them pay with his first NHL goal at 7:17 to make it 3-2.
Boston evened the score at 18:13 when Bjork was
first to a loose puck in the crease. Mete gave Montreal the 4-3 lead 42
seconds later with a shot from the point.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara played his
1,500th game. Bell Centre fans gave Chara, who is usually booed in
Montreal, a rare ovation for the accomplishment. The 42-year-old is the
21st player to reach that mark.
"I really appreciated it and it was very classy,"
Chara said of the fan reaction. "It's something I will definitely
remember. That just shows they are very passionate fans. We had some
battles, it's a good rivalry. Lots of history with both teams. Always
fun to play these games."
Notes: Ryan Poehling made his season debut
with Jesperi Kotkaniemi (groin) on the disabled list. ... Boston had won
five straight games in Montreal.
Bruins: At Detroit Red Wings on Friday.
Canadiens: At Philadelphia Flyers on
Russia, US go toe-to-toe at anti-doping meeting
Feb. 18, 2014, file photo, a Russian skating fan holds the country's
national flag over the Olympic rings before the men's 10,000-meter speed
skating race at Adler Arena Skating Center during the Winter Olympics in
Sochi, Russia. Formed with good intentions, the World Anti-Doping Agency
finds itself at a crossroads as it celebrates its 20th anniversary at a
conference this week in Poland. It’s an agency riven with conflicts that
have hindered its fight against drugs and exacerbated its 4-year-old
struggle in the high-profile case against Russia. (AP Photo/David J.
Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, Travis Tygart, the chief executive officer of the
U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP
Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Feb. 5, 2018 file photo, Russia's sports minister Pavel Kolobkov attends a
press conference in Moscow. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
Katowice, Poland (AP) — The fight was about
The United States delivered haymakers. Russia came back
The proverbial blows were delivered Wednesday in a vast
conference room in Poland during a pair of 3-minute speeches that cut
through the tedium of an otherwise sleepy rule-making forum held by the
World Anti-Doping Agency.
Those speeches — one from Travis Tygart of the U.S.
Anti-Doping Agency, the other from Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov —
illustrated the wide gap in perceptions about what, exactly, has transpired
over the past five years in the wake of a government-backed doping scheme in
Russia that has upended the Olympic world and, most recently, imperiled the
country's eligibility for next year's games.
"We cannot allow one country's proven state-sponsored
doping system to steal medals and glory from clean athletes," Tygart said.
"The Tokyo Games will be at least the fifth Olympic Games where state
doping, and not clean athletes, are the issue."
Not far from Tygart sat Kolobkov, whose turn at the
microphone came about a half-hour later and was filled with familiar Russian
"Now, there has become a vital need for a new
generation of athletes," Kolobkov said, reminding the audience "that sport
is out of politics, that sport unites."
Russia, with occasional encouragement from WADA and the
International Olympic Committee, has often portrayed the push for harsh
sanctions as being driven by political interests in the West.
Tygart and many of his Western counterparts have turned
to the evidence from a pair of WADA-backed investigations — one in 2015 and
one in 2016 — that uncovered a state-sponsored doping system designed to win
medals at the Sochi Olympics and other major events.
WADA has struggled to bring the country back in line.
It agreed to reinstate a reconfigured Russian
anti-doping agency in exchange for data from the Moscow testing laboratory
that would be used to corroborate cases stemming from the scandal.
But earlier this year, proof emerged that the data has
been tampered with, leading to a new investigation, the results of which
should be revealed later this month.
The Russian imbroglio is not a major agenda item this
week, but there was no pretending the issue — the corruption as well as the
way WADA and the IOC have handled it — hasn't been front and center at this
"We must have a strong, independent WADA — not a weak
service provider some have enjoyed over the last several years," Tygart
said, as WADA President Craig Reedie and many of the agency's executives
America's newly appointed White House anti-doping
representative, Kendel Ehrlich, piled on in her own speech later, saying the
Russia scandal has dragged on far too long.
"We recognize the need for process, but also recognize
the need for swift action to preserve the reputation of WADA," she said.
Also speaking: the Russian anti-doping agency's new
CEO, Yuri Ganus.
Ganus has been critical of his own country in his quest
to make sure his agency isn't penalized for the acts of others. His main
argument is that the misdeeds in Russia were committed under previous
management. He called for WADA to take a "wise and differentiated approach
in deciding on this issue."
"Independence is determined by the length of the dog's
leash," Ganus said.
WADA's decision, which could, in turn, be appealed to
the Court of Arbitration for Sport, could very well determine whether Russia
will be allowed to compete next year in Tokyo.
One thing the Russians and Americans have in common:
They view it as a cut-and-dried case.
"We discharged all the obligations that depended on
us," Kolobkov said. "Throughout these years we have been in closer
cooperation with WADA than ever before."
Hamilton clinches F1 championship No. 6 at US Grand Prix
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, left, of Britain, celebrates as Mercedes
driver Valtteri Bottas, middle, of Finland, and Red Bull driver Max
Verstappen, of the Netherlands, watch following the Formula One U.S.
Grand Prix auto race at the Circuit of the Americas, Sunday, Nov. 3,
2019, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
By JIM VERTUNO
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lewis Hamilton could
have settled in for a nice Sunday drive to win the Formula One
There was no chance he was going to do that. Not
with history at his fingertips.
Hamilton wrapped up his sixth career F1
championship with a second-place finish at the U.S. Grand Prix, a race
he led late until surrendering the position to Mercedes teammate
Valtteri Bottas in the final laps.
The 34-year-old British driver moved with one of
the record seven titles won by Germany's Michael Schumacher. Hamilton
has won the last three championships and locked this one up with two
"Still we rise!" Hamilton shouted to his team over
the car radio after the checkered flag.
Once he parked, Hamilton stood on his car and
grabbed his head in both hands, then draped himself in a Union Jack
flag. Minutes later, rival Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, whose run of
four straight titles was ended by Hamilton in 2014, embraced him with a
handshake and a hug.
The sixth championship moves Hamilton past
Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio, the "Godfather" of F1 drivers who won
five titles in the 1950s.
"It's an honor to be up here with these (past)
greats," Hamilton said.
Hamilton has been a dominant force at the Circuit
of the Americas, with five wins here since it opened in 2012, but a poor
qualifying left him starting from the third row in fifth. He said after
qualifying he'd need a "miracle" to win, then tried to make it happen.
Hamilton avoided trouble at the start as the cars
bolted uphill into the blind left turn that can turn the field into a
demolition derby. He stayed clear of the dangerous traffic and gave Red
Bull's Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Leclerc plenty of room to avoid a
Hamilton turned the race on its head with a bolt to
third on the first lap when he passed the Ferraris of Vettel and Charles
Leclerc. That made the championship all but inevitable, as a finish as
low as eighth would clinch it.
Hamilton wasn't going to settle for that.
He secured the 2015 title on the same track when he
fought off Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the final laps to get the
victory. He was somewhat disappointed in in 2017 and 2018 when he
clinched those titles in Mexico City without reaching the podium either
That made a podium Sunday a must.
"My dad taught me when I was like 6 or 7 years old
to never give up. That's our family motto," Hamilton said. "That's all
was thinking all day, 'How could I win this race?'"
Bottas was the only driver still mathematically in
the hunt for the title, but just barely. Bottas had to win and have
Hamilton fade to his worst finish of the year in order to extend the
championship to the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks.
Bottas started from pole and was off and running
with a good start. Hamilton grabbed the lead when Bottas pitted for
tires and he wouldn't let it go without a fight.
Hamilton defended against a Bottas pass attempt
with six laps remaining before finally surrendering the spot on the next
"Winning it was the only thing I could do to try to
maintain the title hopes," Bottas said. "I did my part but Lewis was
still strong, as he always is."
Verstappen was looking to pass Hamilton on the
final lap, but a yellow flag caused by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen ended
the threat and gave Mercedes the 1-2 finish.
The Circuit of the Americas had a special parking
spot next to the podium reserved for the championship car.
There was only one car that could be. It was a
silver Mercedes No. 44.
"I remember watching this sport when I was
younger," Hamilton said. "It's beyond surreal to think that this
journey, that my life journey has brought me to this point."
Djokovic dominates Shapovalov to win 5th Paris Masters title
Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning the final match of the Paris
Masters tennis tournament in Paris, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Djokovic
defeated Denis Shapovalov of Canada 6-3/6-4. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
By JEROME PUGMIRE
PARIS (AP) — Novak Djokovic beat a nervous
Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4 Sunday to win his fifth Paris Masters final
and 34th overall Masters title to move one behind all-time leader Rafael
Shapovalov had a walkover into his first Masters
final because the second-ranked Nadal pulled out of their semifinal with
an abdominal strain.
The odds looked heavily stacked against the
20-year-old Canadian and the top-ranked Djokovic never appeared troubled
on his way to a fifth ATP title this year — putting him level with
Dominic Thiem — and his 77th overall.
Djokovic served out the match with a love hold,
hitting a forehand winner before turning to look at his box and raising
his arms in triumph.
"It was my best serving performance of the
tournament," Djokovic said. "Denis maybe lost his focus a bit."
Shapovalov entered the match with only one career
title — a modest ATP 250-level tournament in Stockholm last month — and
having lost his three previous encounters against a 16-time Grand Slam
winner considered among the all-time greats of tennis.
The big-serving left hander looked tense, making
three unforced errors in his first service game and slipping quickly to
3-0 down against a composed Djokovic playing in his 50th Masters final
and 111th overall.
Even though Shapovalov held his next serve, it was
inconsistent with a double fault, a mistimed ball toss and an ace. After
botching a return on Djokovic's opening serve of the seventh game he
whacked his racket into the ground in frustration.
Dropping only four points on his serve in the first
set, Djokovic clinched it with another dominant serving game which
included two aces and concluded with a volleyed forehand winner at the
Shapovalov was up against it right from the start
of the second set, saving a break point with an ace. Unforced errors
resurfaced in the seventh game and Djokovic ruthlessly punished him with
a break for a 4-3 lead.
Djokovic saved his first break point of the match
at 30-40 in the next game when Shapovalov returned a sliced serve well
With that, the briefest glimmer of hope was gone.
"I'm sure the best things are yet to come for you,"
Djokovic sportingly said to Shapovalov during the trophy ceremony.
Djokovic has won every final he's played at Bercy
Arena except for last year's against Karen Khachanov, which came after a
grueling three-hour semifinal against 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger
This year, Djokovic did not drop a set and heads to
the upcoming ATP Finals in London looking to secure the year-ending No.
1 ranking for a sixth time. That would move him two ahead of Nadal, one
ahead of Federer and Jimmy Connors, and into a tie with record-holder
Nadal is also in strong contention to finish the
year as No. 1 but it remains uncertain whether the injury-hit Spaniard
can play at the ATP Finals, which start Nov. 10.
Schär wins 3rd straight NYC Marathon women's wheelchair race
Participants in the wheelchair division make their way across the
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the start of the New York City Marathon,
Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Julius Motal)
NEW YORK (AP) — Manuela Schär of
Switzerland has won her third straight women's wheelchair title at the
New York City Marathon, giving her eight consecutive marathon major
After rolling ahead of the record pace for much of
Sunday's race, Schär crossed the finish about a minute off the mark at 1
hour, 44 minutes and 20 seconds.
Daniel Romanchuk of the United States repeated as
men's wheelchair champion in another tight finish over Switzerland's
Romanchuk held off Hug with a final sprint through
Central Park, crossing the finish line in 1 hour, 37 minutes and 24
seconds. Hug was one second behind for a second straight year, and
Germany's David Weir and American Aaron Pike were also within 10
Last year, Romanchuk became the first American and
youngest competitor to win the men's division as a 20-year-old. He
followed with victories this year at the Boston and London Marathons.
Hug took the New York title in 2016 and 2017.
Desisa drops out of NYC Marathon after taxing win in Doha
In this Oct. 6, 2019, file photo, Lelisa Desisa,
of Ethiopia, wins the men's marathon at the World Athletics
Championships in Doha, Qatar. The IOC is seeking to relocate next
summer’s Olympic marathon from steamy Tokyo to the cooler northern city
of Sapporo after seeing competitors collapse in extreme heat at the
world championships in Qatar. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)
By JAKE SEINER
NEW YORK (AP) — Reigning men's champion
Lelisa Desisa has dropped out of the New York City Marathon after
completing just seven miles, perhaps hurting following a grueling
victory at the sweltering world championships last month.
Desisa, who is from Ethiopia, was in 17th place at
the seven-mile mark before leaving the course Sunday. It was 45 degrees
F (7 degrees C) at the start of the men's race, ideal for marathoning.
Desisa was attempting to defend his title 29 days
after winning worlds in Doha, Qatar, in boiling conditions he described
this week as "dangerous." With a temperature of 84 degrees F (29 degrees
C) for the midnight start, 18 of 73 men didn't finish that race.
Conditions were even worse for the women's marathon
in Doha, where 28 of 68 starters failed to finish.
Shortly after, the IOC announced plans to move next
year's Olympic marathon from steamy Tokyo to the cooler northern city of
Sapporo, leading to a spat with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. She
conceded to the IOC on Friday.
Nationals fans rejoice in red as hometown heroes are honored
Fans cheer as Washington Nationals first
baseman Ryan Zimmerman holds up the World Series trophy during a parade
to celebrate the team's World Series baseball championship over the
Houston Astros, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick
FELDMAN and LYNN BERRY
WASHINGTON (AP) — The song "Baby Shark"
blared over loudspeakers and a wave of red washed across this
politically blue capital Saturday as Nationals fans rejoiced at a parade
marking Washington's first World Series victory since 1924.
"They say good things come to those who wait.
Ninety-five years is a pretty long wait," Nationals owner Ted Lerner,
who is 94, told the cheering crowd. "But I'll tell you, this is worth
As buses carrying the players and team officials
wended their way along the parade route, pitcher Max Scherzer at one
point hoisted the World Series trophy to the cheers of the crowd.
At a rally just blocks from the Capitol, Scherzer
said his teammates grinded their hearts out to "stay in the fight." And
then, after backup outfielder Gerardo Parra joined the team, he said,
they started dancing and having fun. And they started hitting. "Never in
this town have you seen a team compete with so much heart and so much
fight," he said.
And then, after he spoke, the Nats danced.
Team officials, Nationals manager Dave Martinez and
several players thanked the fans for their support through the best of
times and staying with them even after a dismal 19-31 start to the
season. "I created the circle of trust and I trusted these guys," he
The camaraderie among the players was a theme heard
throughout the rally. "It took all 25 of us, every single day we were
pulling for each other," said pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the World
Nationals veteran slugger Howie Kendrick, 36, said
that when he came to the Nationals in 2017, "I was thinking about
retiring. This city taught me to love baseball again."
Another veteran, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman,
choked back tears as he recalled how he and the fans grew up together.
He was 20 when he joined the Nationals during their first season, in
"I got guys that come up to me now that are 30
years old and said I've been their favorite player since they were a
little kid, which is disturbing — basically like Juan," he said.
It was a reference to Juan Soto, the left fielder
who turned 21 during the series.
Washington had been thirsting for a World Series
championship for nearly a century. The Nationals gave them that by
winning in seven games over the Houston Astros; the clincher came on the
road Wednesday night.
"I just wish they could have won in DC," said
Ronald Saunders of Washington, who came with a Little League team that
was marching in the parade.
Nick Hashimoto of Dulles, Virginia, was among those
who arrived at 5 a.m. to snag a front-row spot. He brought his own baby
shark toy in honor of Parra's walk-up song, which began as a parental
tribute to the musical taste of his 2-year-old daughter and ended up as
a rallying cry that united fans at Nationals Park and his teammates.
As "Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo" played on
a crisp morning, early risers joined in with the trademark response —
arms extended in a chomping motion. Chants of "Let's go Nats!" resonated
from the crowd hours before the rally.
Kimberly Ballou of Silver Spring, Maryland, said
sports "is a unifier" that transcends race, gender and class and brings
The crowd along the route was deeply packed. Cheers
went up and fans waved red streamers, hand towels and signs that said
"Fight Finished" as the players rode by on the open top of double-decker
buses. General Manager Mike Rizzo, a cigar in his mouth, jumped off with
the World Series trophy to show the fans lining the barricades and slap
high-fives. Manager Martinez also got in on the fun.
"We know what this title means to DC, a true
baseball town, from the Senators to the Grays and now the Nationals,"
Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "By finishing the fight you have brought a
tremendous amount of joy to our town and inspired a new generation of
players and Nationals fans."
Bowser added: "We are deeply proud of you and I
think we should do it again next year. What do you think?" Then she
started a chant of "Back to back! Back to back!"
Martinez said he liked to hear the mayor pushing
for back-to-back championships and said: "I get it. I'm all in. But let
me enjoy this one first. I don't know if my heart can take any more of
this right now. I need to just step back and enjoy this."
Martinez, who had a heart procedure recently, said
that during the Series, as things heated up, players and fans shouted at
him to watch out for his heart. "All this right here has cured my
heart," he said.
And as the "Baby Shark" theme played once more,
team owner Lerner told the team's veterans, "From now on, you can call
me 'Grandpa Shark.'"
President Donald Trump has invited the Nationals to
the White House on Monday, though relief pitcher Sean Doolittle doesn't
plan to attend.
"There's a lot of things, policies that I disagree
with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive
rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide
in this country," Doolittle told The Washington Post.
Doolittle found support from Larry Stokes of Boyds,
Maryland, citing Trump's stand on immigrants. "They're playing this
game, but he doesn't like immigrants," Stokes said.
But to fan Bridget Chapin, who came from Burke,
Virginia, with her husband, Mark, "Regardless of how you feel, you go to
the Oval Office. I'm really weary of athletes making political
statements. I watch sports to get away from all that."
The president attended Game 5 in Washington and was
greeted with loud boos when he was shown on the giant video screen
during a tribute to veterans. The boos more than overwhelmed a
scattering of cheers.
Delores Smith of Washington, a longtime baseball
fan who said she had an uncle who pitched in the Negro Leagues, said the
World Series was "a big win" for the city. "This is the first time in a
long time that I've seen the whole city come together. There's no
fussing about Trump."
Even with the threat of stars leaving for free
agency — as outfielder Bryce Harper did after 2018 — fans hoped the
Nationals' success would continue.
"I don't think it's going to be our last time. This
team, even when our last superstar left, this team rallied around, they
played as a team," Larry Stokes said.
Fans — and shortstop Trea Turner — urged the
Nationals to re-sign third baseman Anthony Rendon, who was greeted with
chants of MVP.
Nationals top Astros in Game 7 to win 1st World Series title
Nationals celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series against
the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The Nationals
won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Max Scherzer celebrates after Game 7 of the baseball World Series
against the Houston Astros Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, in Houston. The
Nationals won 6-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
By BEN WALKER
HOUSTON (AP) — Stephen Strasburg paraded the MVP
trophy for delirious fans packed behind the dugout. Max Scherzer
tearfully hugged his teammates. Gerardo Parra did the Baby Shark chop,
Sean Doolittle flapped snow angels next to the mound.
Almost out of contention in May, champs in October.
Howie Kendrick, Anthony Rendon and the Washington
Nationals completed their amazing comeback journey — fittingly with one
last late rally on the road.
In Game 7 of the World Series, no less.
Kendrick and Rendon homered in the seventh inning
as the Nationals overcame a two-run deficit, rocking the Houston Astros
6-2 Wednesday night to win the first title in franchise history.
With all eyes on Scherzer and his remarkable
recovery after a painkilling injection, these Nationals truly embraced
their shot in the only Series when the road team won every game.
Even more against the odds: Juan Soto and
Washington came from behind to win five elimination games this
postseason, an unprecedented feat.
"What a story," said Ryan Zimmerman, the only
player who's been a part of every Nationals team.
"The way this game went is the way our whole season
Strasburg, new lefty Patrick Corbin and the Nats
brought the first World Series championship to the nation's capital
since ol' Walter Johnson delivered the crown for the Senators in 1924.
This franchise started out as the Montreal Expos in
1969 when the major leagues expanded beyond the border, putting a team
with tricolor caps at jaunty Jarry Park. They moved to D.C. in 2005,
ending Washington's three-decade-plus wait for big league baseball after
the Senators skipped town to become the Texas Rangers.
But the incredible path these wild-card Nationals
with the curly W logo took, well, no one could have imagined.
Because in one topsy-turvy week, they put aside the
pain of past playoff failures and upended heavily favored Houston. Quite
an ending to a season that began back in February with the Nationals and
Astros working out side-by-side at the spring training complex they
share in Florida.
"Resilient, relentless bunch of guys," manager Dave
Martinez said. "They fought all year long."
Having lost star slugger Bryce Harper in free
agency and beset by bullpen woes, Washington plummeted to 19-31 in late
May. It got so bad there was talk the Nationals might fire Martinez and
trade away Scherzer.
Instead, they stuck with the mantra that sprung up
on T-shirts — Stay In The Fight.
"That was our motto," Scherzer said.
And months later they finished it, indeed.
Shut out on one hit by Zack Greinke going into the
seventh, they still found a way to win.
"Guess what? We stayed in the fight. We won the
fight!" Martinez shouted during the trophy celebration on the field.
"We were down and out. We were 19-31. We didn't
quit then, we weren't going to quit now," he said.
Strasburg earned the World Series MVP award with a
pair of wins, including Game 6.
"It's almost like we've done it so many times that
we have to get punched in the face to kind of wake up," he said.
As pitcher Aníbal Sánchez told Scherzer while
hugging him in the middle of the diamond: "We won one. We finally won
For the 43,326 revved-up fans at Minute Maid Park,
it was a combination of shock and disappointment. So close to seeing
José Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer and their Astros add to the
title they won in Game 7 at Dodger Stadium two years ago, they watched
this chance suddenly vanish.
"I've got a group of heartbroken men in there that
did everything they could to try to bring a World Series championship to
this city. And we fell one win shy," Astros manager AJ Hinch said.
"Let's be honest, there's 28 other teams that would
love to have our misery today," he said. "And I just told our team, it's
hard to put into words and remember all the good that happened because
right now we feel as bad as you can possibly feel," he added.
President Donald Trump, greeted with chants of
"Lock him up!" when he attended Game 5 in Washington, tweeted his
congratulations to the Nationals from the White House.
"Game 7 was amazing!" Trump tweeted.
Washington kept pulling away after taking the lead,
with the sensational Soto hitting an RBI single in the eighth and Adam
Eaton adding a two-run single in the ninth off rookie José Urquidy.
Acquired from Arizona at the July trade deadline,
Greinke was in complete control until Rendon — a Houston prep and
college star — hit a solo homer with one out in the seventh that trimmed
it to 2-1.
"Just gave us a little bit of hope," Nationals
leadoff man Trea Turner said.
When Soto followed with a one-out walk, Hinch
decided to make a move. He'd had ace starter Gerrit Cole warming up
earlier, but left him in the bullpen.
"I wasn't going to pitch him unless we were going
to win the World Series and have a lead," Hinch said. "He was going to
close the game in the ninth."
Instead, Hinch signaled for reliable reliever Will
Kendrick connected on the second pitch, slicing a
drive that hit the screen attached to the right field foul pole for a
3-2 lead. Just like that, everything had changed for the team in orange
that led the majors with 107 regular-season wins, and the ballpark fell
For Kendrick, another timely blow. At 36, playing
on the oldest team in the majors, he was the NL Championship Series MVP
against St. Louis after hitting the winning grand slam in the 10th
inning of the deciding Game 5 in the Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
Then again, this was nothing new for the Nationals.
Washington rallied in the eighth to beat Milwaukee
in the wild-card game and took the last two to beat Los Angeles in the
NLDS, setting up a sweep of the Cardinals in the NLCS.
"This is now the most 2019 Nats thing to ever
happen," Doolittle said. "Another elimination game, another
Far away, a sizable crowd poured into Nationals
Park for a watch party. That was the stadium where Houston hammered the
Nats for three games last weekend in taking a 3-2 edge, but their luck
changed in Texas.
They won the last two against a team that posted
the best home record in the majors (60-21) over the last two decades.
Houston earned home-field advantage throughout the postseason, but it
didn't help in the end as the Astros went a stunning 0-4 in their own
ballpark during the Series.
Martinez said Soto, who turned 21 last week,
celebrated with his first beer. Meanwhile, the skipper, who had a heart
procedure six weeks ago and can't resume his six-cups-a-day coffee
habit, headed back to the clubhouse for a special treat.
"I am," he said, "going to smoke a cigar."
With Greinke and Scherzer grunting on every pitch,
Game 7 started as a classic duel.
Yuli Gurriel put the Astros ahead with a home run
in the second and Carlos Correa added an RBI single off Scherzer that
made it 2-0 in the fifth.
Scherzer was done after the fifth. Only a few days
earlier, the three-time Cy Young Award winner had been unable to lift
his right arm due to nerve irritation near his neck.
Corbin, the $140 million starter, threw three
scoreless innings in relief.
Daniel Hudson, released by the Angels in March,
closed for the Nationals, who made Houston pay for stranding so many
runners all game. Hudson struck out Michael Brantley for the last out,
then threw his glove to start the celebration.
The Astros breezed to the AL West title, edged
Tampa Bay in a five-game ALDS and topped the Yankees in the ALCS. They
had a front-office fiasco in October, which led to the firing of an
executive for a boorish rant at female reporters during a clubhouse
"Yeah, the ultimate goal is to win the World
Series, and we fell short to a great team. You can't hang your head low
about that," Springer said. "You move on and start getting ready for
The Nationals became the first wild-card team to
win the Series since Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in 2014. The last
six champs have clinched on the road.
The Astros and Nationals open exhibition play with
a World Series rematch on Feb. 22 at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. They
met in their Grapefruit League opener this year and Scherzer gave up a
home run to the first batter of the game.
Arsenal, PSG, Glasgow into Women's Champions League last-8
Arsenal's Louise Quinn, left and Slavia
Praha's Laura Zemberyova vie for the ball, during the Women's Champions
League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Arsenal and Slavia
Praha, at Meadow Park, in Borehamwood, England, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.
(Tess Derry/PA via AP)
LONDON (AP) —
Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk both scored hat tricks as
Arsenal beat Slavia Prague 8-0 on Thursday to advance to the Women's
Champions League quarterfinals 13-2 on aggregate.
Kim Little also netted from a penalty and Jill
Roord scored in the first half.
Adding to her four goals in the first leg, Miedema
now has 52 goals in 50 starts for Arsenal, the last English team in the
competition after Manchester City's exit to Atletico Madrid on
But Scottish champion Glasgow City is through to
the last eight after beating Brondby in the competition's first penalty
shootout in a two-legged game for five years.
Glasgow's 2-0 lead from the first leg was wiped out
by the Danish visitors in regulation time before goalkeeper Lee
Alexander saved twice in the shootout and Jo Love sealed a 3-1 win on
Also Thursday, Paris Saint-Germain beat Icelandic
side Breidablik 3-1 to advance 7-1 on aggregate.
Also in the quarterfinal draw are defending
champion Lyon, Barcelona, Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich.
Australia beats Sri Lanka by 9 wickets to clinch T20 series
Lanka's Lasith Malinga, left, celebrates the wicket of Australia's Aaron
Finch during their T20 cricket match in Brisbane, Wednesday, Oct. 30,
2019. (Darren England/AAP Image via AP)
BRISBANE, Australia (AP)
— Steve Smith and David Warner steered Australia to a nine-wicket
victory over Sri Lanka and a 2-0 Twenty20 series win on Wednesday.
Needing only 118 runs for victory, Smith (53 from
36) and Warner (60 from 41) combined in their first partnership for
Australia on home soil since the 2017 Boxing Day test to give the hosts
victory with 41 balls to spare.
Australia beat Sri Lanka by 134 runs in the first
match of the series in Adelaide on Sunday. The teams play the third and
final match on Friday in Melbourne.
Billy Stanlake, 2-23 from four overs, led Australia
on his home ground, while Pat Cummins, Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa also
picked up two wickets each.
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat, scoring
117 runs in its innings.
Warner's total followed his unbeaten first-game
"It's exciting for us, exciting for the public as
well just to watch him play T20 cricket," Stanlake said of Smith's
highest T20 total at home. "They don't get to see him do that too much.
He's an absolute class player, we saw how good he was tonight again."
Stanlake made the most of his call-up with Mitchell
Starc granted leave to attend his brother's wedding.
Sri Lanka assistant coach Rumesh Ratnayake said the
team needed to fix its attitude ahead of Friday's match at the Melbourne
"Disappointed is too nice a word I think ... I'm
gutted really," the 23-test veteran said. "We're going to rectify it,
revisit it in meetings and see what went wrong but it's intent which I
feel was not there."
Australia will host Pakistan in a three-match T20
series beginning Sunday in Sydney.
European soccer weekend: What to watch in the main leagues
Arsenal's David Luiz, front left, celebrates with teammates after scoring
his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match
between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates stadium in London,
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Leila Coker)
By Associated Press
What to watch in the leading football leagues in Europe
Arsenal hosts Wolverhampton on Saturday after sliding
to fifth in the Premier League by collecting only one point from its last
two games. That came from a draw against Crystal Palace after throwing away
a lead and seeing captain Granit Xhaka run into dispute with his own Arsenal
North London rival Tottenham is faring even worse,
traveling back to Merseyside on Sunday to play Everton after losing at
Liverpool a week earlier to remain winless on the road in the league since
January and in 11th place.
Leader Liverpool is at Aston Villa on Saturday holding
a six-point lead over champion Manchester City, which hosts Southampton. The
south-coast club was thrashed 9-0 in the last round by Leicester, which is
flying high in third place.
The 11th round opens with Manchester United only ahead
of opponent Bournemouth on goal difference and 15 points behind Liverpool in
— By Rob Harris in London.
With Lionel Messi coming off his best performance of
the season, Barcelona is at Levante on Saturday chasing a sixth consecutive
Messi scored twice and had two assists in the
champion's 5-1 rout of Valladolid on Tuesday. Barcelona is one point in
front of Real Madrid at the top of the standings.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have a game in hand because
their "clásico" match scheduled for last weekend was postponed until
December because of a separatist rally in the Catalan capital.
Real Madrid, which routed Leganés 5-0 on Wednesday,
hosts Real Betis on Saturday when fourth-place Atlético Madrid visits
Surprise performer Granada, Atlético and Sevilla are
two points behind Barcelona. Granada hosts sixth-place Real Sociedad on
— By Tales Azzoni in Madrid
Edinson Cavani could make his first start since late
August when league leader Paris Saint-Germain travels to struggling Dijon on
He needs just five more goals to reach 200 for PSG and,
if selected ahead of Mauro Icardi, the club's all-time leading scorer will
be confident of getting chances against the league's last-place side.
Cavani came on as a substitute in Sunday's 4-0 home win
against Marseille but has not started a game since sustaining a hip injury
on Aug. 25.
However, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel will be without
injured midfielders Marco Verratti (calf) and Ander Herrera (ankle), while
center half Thiago Silva is ill and has also been left out.
Although PSG has already lost two league games, there
is little competition at the top and the defending champion has an
eight-point lead over second-place Nantes.
Boosted by an 8-0 home win in the League Cup on
Wednesday night, Nantes travels to play Bordeaux on Sunday.
Third-place Lille is one point behind Nantes and on
Saturday is away at Marseille, which has won only one of its past seven
— By Jerome Pugmire in Paris.
Juventus is unbeaten ahead of the Turin derby against
Torino at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
Roma and Napoli are both on five-match unbeaten runs
ahead of Saturday's lunchtime meeting, but experiencing mixed fortunes.
While Roma has gained confidence and climbed to fourth under new coach Paulo
Fonseca, Napoli has sunk to sixth.
Second-place Inter Milan visits Bologna on Saturday and
struggling AC Milan hosts Lazio the following day.
—By Andrew Dampf in Rome.
Promoted Union Berlin hosts Hertha Berlin in the
highlight of the German league's 10th round on Saturday. It's the first
meeting of the capital's biggest clubs in the Bundesliga and it comes one
week before the city celebrates 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Union warmed up with a 3-1 win at Freiburg in the
German Cup on Tuesday, while Hertha has a day less to recover after a
penalty shootout win over Dynamo Dresden on Wednesday.
The clubs previously enjoyed a friendly relationship
going back to when the city was divided, but the rivalry has developed in
recent years, particularly since the sides competed in the second division.
League leader Borussia Mönchengladbach visits Bayer
Leverkusen, also Saturday, when defending champion Bayern Munich visits
coach Niko Kovac's former side Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund
hosts Wolfsburg, the only unbeaten side remaining in the league.
Also Saturday, Leipzig welcomes Mainz and Freiburg
visits Werder Bremen.
— By Ciarán Fahey in Berlin.