UEFA Cup co-favorites Lazio and Liverpool marched forward to the fourth round of the UEFA Cup on Thursday, but another favorite Betis went out and was joined by slumping English side Leeds. \nLazio advanced on a 3-2 aggregate over the two legs despite an embarrassing 1-0 loss to Sturm Graz with Hungarian Imre Szabics scoring an 87th-minute winner. Lazio fielded a second team, saving itself for its weekend league showdown with Juventus. \nLiverpool rode Michael Owen's 21st-minute goal in a lackluster 1-0 victory over Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem. The English advanced on a 2-0 aggregate and hope to duplicate their trophy in the 2001 UEFA Cup after being eliminated this year from the high-profile Champions League. \nSpain's Betis, among the favorites with Lazio and Liverpool, took an exit with a 2-0 loss to Auxerre on goals by Teemu Tainio and Yann Lachuer. \nThe French advanced 2-1 after also being knocked out of the Champions League. \nAnother Spanish side had \nbetter luck. \nMalaga won 2-1 at England's Leeds on two goals by Panama's Julio Cesar Dely Valdes. The first-leg game in Spain ended scoreless. Valdes got the clinching goal in the 80th minute after giving Malaga a 1-0 lead in the 14th. Eirik Bakke equalized for Leeds in the 23rd. \nScottish side Celtic advanced to the final 16 on the away-goals rule despite its 2-1 defeat at Celta de Vigo. \nWelsh forward John Hartson's 37th-minute strike proved crucial as the Scottish team went through 2-2 on aggregate. Goals in each half by Jesuli Mora and Benni McCarthy could not save the Spanish. \nThe result means that Celtic, Champions Cup winners in 1967, will extend a European campaign past December for the first time in 23 years. \nThursday's third-round, second-leg matches trimmed the UEFA Cup field to 16 survivors. They resume play on Feb. 20 in the fourth round of Europe's No. 2 cup competition. \nFifteen games were on tap Thursday. The 16th game was played on Tuesday when Polish side Wisla Krakow defeated Germany's Schalke 4-1 to advance 5-2. \nIn other matches, Hertha Berlin held Fulham to a 0-0 draw in London, allowing the Germans to advance. Luis Boa Morte had Fulham's best chance when he hit the outside of the post in the first half on a shot from 6m. \nAt Lyon, France, Mustafa Ozkan scored in the 4th minute as Turkish side Denizlispor defeated Lyon 1-0 and advanced 1-0 on aggregate.
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
Zhu Ting stands tall in China — and not just because she is 1.98m tall. The 25-year-old farmer’s daughter has emerged from a poor village life to become a totem of the country’s sporting ambitions. As captain and figurehead of China’s women’s volleyball team, the reigning Olympic champions, Zhu is one of the country’s biggest stars. State television once feted her as “an invincible and dominant superhero.” A nurse fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in March posted a photograph of herself wearing a white protective suit with a picture of the volleyball star drawn on it — also scribbled were the words: “Proud that
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of