Kamper fires Bielefeld
Second-half substitute Jonas Kamper scored in the 79th minute and Arminia Bielefeld beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 on Friday to drop the 1997 European Champions League winner into the Bundesliga's relegation zone. Kamper's long-distance shot came seconds after he entered the game and gave Bielefeld only its second victory in 15 league matches. "I believe it is going to be hard for us -- our situation is dangerous," Dortmund defender Christoph Metzelder said. With seven rounds to play, Dortmund fell to 16th place, one behind Bielefeld and at the top edge of relegation.
■ United Kingdom
Red Devils the richest
Manchester United is the most valuable team in world soccer and Ronaldinho the highest-earning player, according to a survey by Forbes magazine. The Premier League club is worth US$1.453 billion, according to the American business magazine. Manchester United has only the fourth-highest annual revenue at US$310 million, but is ranked first overall in financial value because of "superior growth prospects," Forbes said. Barcelona star Ronaldinho moved to the top of the richest soccer player list, relegating David Beckham to second. The Brazilian is worth US$29.5 million, according to Forbes, with Beckham at US$29.1 million.
Barca heading to China
Giants Barcelona, spearheaded by Ronaldinho, are planning pre-season matches this summer in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo, a report said yesterday. The European champions are expected to travel to China to play Guoan in Beijing on Aug. 5, followed by a match against Marinos FC in Tokyo on Aug. 7. They plan to end their tour in Hong Kong with a game on Aug. 9 or 10 against the Caroliners or another local side, the South China Morning Post said, citing vice-president Ferran Soriano.
■ United Kingdom
Robben needs operation
Chelsea's Dutch winger Arjen Robben needs an operation on his knee and could be out for the rest of the season. "Robben will be out for a long time," manager Jose Mourinho told the club's official Web site on Friday. "For me it is a bit difficult to accept because he played two [Euro 2008 qualifying] matches for his country [in a week] and on Thursday he came here injured." Netherlands were held to a 0-0 draw by Romania last Saturday before winning 1-0 in Slovenia on Wednesday. Robben's loss will be softened for Chelsea by the news that England midfielder Joe Cole is poised to return to full training after a long absence. The Londoners have already won the League Cup and occupy second place in the Premier League. They are also through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Police push for weak beer
Austrian police want fans to drink weak beer served in plastic cups at the 2008 European Championship to reduce potential violence. Authorities said on Friday they're pressing co-hosts Austria and Switzerland to consider special ``Euro 2008 beer'' and ``Euro 2008 mugs.'' Translation: Low-alcohol strength beer in cups that can't be used as projectiles. ``We're close to working out a light beer with the beer industry,'' Vienna police spokesman Peter Jedelsky said after meeting with security organizations. The plastic cups would be branded with the tournament logo and serve as souvenirs. Jedelsky said the cups ``wouldn't inflict pain on anyone.''
■ Rugby Union
Llanelli knock out holders
Llanelli Scarlets overwhelmed holders Munster 24-15 to reach the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup on a memorable night at Stradey Park on Friday. The Welsh team, who have never reached the final of Europe's premier club competition, were worthy winners against a Munster side hard-hit by the absence of injured captain Paul O'Connell. Llanelli's reward is an away semi-final against Leicester or Stade Francais, who meet today.
Loeb leads in Portugal
Sebastien Loeb of France took the lead at the Portuguese Rally on Friday after finishing the first stage in 1 hour, 25 minutes, 39 seconds. Ford driver Marcus Gronholm of Finland was second in 1:25:42.1. Defending world champion Loeb, driving a Citroen, now leads Gronholm by an overall 3.1 seconds. Gronholm picked up speed in the afternoon after he damaged his shock absorber in the morning session but was unable to catch Loeb.
Rogers faces long lay off
Detroit Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers is expected to be out for three months after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder, MLB.com reported on Friday. The 42-year-old left-hander pitched brilliantly in the post-season and his absence will be a blow for American League (AL) champion Detroit. Rogers, an 18-year veteran, was 17-8 with a 3.84 earned run average in the regular season. He pitched 23 innings in the post-season and yielded no earned runs, beating the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins in the AL playoffs and St Louis in Game Two of the World Series, which was won 4-1 by the Cardinals. Rogers will rest for about a month and is expected to resume throwing in six to eight weeks.
Inzamam says sorry
Pakistan's World Cup captain Inzamam-ul-Haq publicly apologized to the nation yesterday for the debacle in the West Indies, but said if their angry fans didn't stop criticizing the national team, it could not win any major tournaments. "If the media and people keep on criticizing the team, I am sure we can't win any big tournaments," Inzamam said. Pakistan were eliminated from the World Cup after losing to unfancied Ireland. Inzamam also hit out at the grassy wicket in Jamaica, where his team was bowled out for 132 against the Irish. "You all must have seen matches [in the World Cup], that wicket [Jamaica] was different and the toss played a crucial role. It was not a matter of a big or small team, the ball did a lot on that wicket after we lost the toss."
Hammer retains title
Sarah Hammer of the US retained her title in the women's 3,000m individual pursuit on Friday, beating Britain's Rebecca Romero at cycling's world track championships. Hammer finished in 3 minutes, 30.213 seconds, 3.196 seconds ahead of Romero. Chris Hoy of Britain won the Keirin race with Theo Bos of the Netherlands finishing second and Ross Edgar of Britain third. In other events, Edward Clancy, Thomas Geraint, Paul Manning and Bradley Wiggins won the team pursuit for Britain, finishing in 3:57.468, 5.812 seconds ahead of Ukraine's Lyubomyr Polatayko, Maksym Polischyuk, Vitaly Popkov and Vitaly Schedov. Wong Kam-po of Hong Kong won the 15km scratch with Wim Stroetinga of the Netherlands second.
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7