Gladbach grab a point
Borussia Munchengladbach avoided another defeat in the Bundesliga by drawing 2-2 with Bochum in the first game under interim coach Christian Ziege on Friday. Munchengladbach earned their first point since beating Werder Bremen 3-2 at home on Aug. 30 to climb out of the cellar for at least one night with four points after eight matches. Steve Gohouri’s header opened the scoring for the guests on the half-hour mark. Bochum found their rhythm in the second half and Christoph Dabrowski equalized in the 55th minute. The hosts grabbed the lead in the 77th minutes after Sinan Kaloglu’s header. But Ziege’s team did not drop their heads and evened things just two minutes later when Bochum goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes could not hold Thomas Kleine’s shot off a corner and allowed the ball to cross the goal line. Gladbach sporting director Ziege took over head coach duties on a temporary basis after coach Jos Luhukay was sacked two weeks ago.
Pedrosa claims pole position
Dani Pedrosa seized pole position ahead of today’s Malaysian MotoGP after a fierce duel with newly crowned world champion Valentino Rossi in wet track conditions. The Spaniard rocketed his Honda around the 5.5km Sepang track in 2 minutes, 1.548 seconds yesterday to finish 0.409 seconds ahead of his Italian rival Rossi on a Yamaha. Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha finished third, while Australian Ducati rider Casey Stoner could only manage seventh. Pedrosa also snatched pole in Sepang last year and went on to secure third place.
Heskey wants return to Reds
Wigan Athletic striker Emile Heskey hopes his impressive England form has opened up a route back to Liverpool. The 30-year-old Heskey, who can leave on a free transfer at the end of the season when his contract expires, left Liverpool in 2004 after more than 100 appearances and moved to Birmingham City. After three years out of the England team, his international career was revived last year under Steve McClaren and has been maintained by Fabio Capello. Heskey made his 50th appearance for England in Wednesday’s 4-1 win against Belarus. “A move to Liverpool would be lovely. Who knows what will happen. Let’s see how it goes,” Heskey said on Friday.
West Indies to host Twenty20
The West Indies will host the World Twenty20 Championship in 2010, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday. The event will be held in place of the Champions Trophy that was to be hosted by West Indies in 2010, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said at a press conference. “With the Champions Trophy set to be hosted by Pakistan in 2009 after its cancellation this year, we decided to have a Twenty20 World Championship instead in April-May 2010 in West Indies,” he said.
Palestine to return home
Palestine are set to play their first international match on home soil. Palestine will host Jordan in a friendly on Oct. 26 at the Ram Stadium in Gaza City after 10 years of playing home games in Jordan and Qatar, FIFA said on Friday. The renovated stadium will be opened by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, after the world governing body paid to have it upgraded to international standard. “It is very important to FIFA that countries are able to play their home matches in their own stadium,” FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola said.
Boise State beats Hawaii
Kellen Moore threw three touchdown passes and cornerback Brandyn Thompson had three interceptions to lead No. 15 Boise State to a 27-7 victory over Hawaii on Friday night. The Broncos (6-0, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference) intercepted Hawaii’s Inoke Funaki five times, turning three of them into 17 second-half points that put the game away. The Broncos’ smothering defense pressured Funaki all night, sacking him five times and holding the Warriors (3-4, 2-2) to just 288 total yards. Moore finished 25-of-34 for 256 yards. The left-hander’s three touchdown passes gave him 16 on the season and 11 over the last four games. The victory was Boise State’s 17th straight at home and avenged a bitter loss to the Warriors last year that cost them the WAC title.
Porter, Bly fined US$20,000
Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter and Denver Broncos cornerback Dre’ Bly were each fined US$20,000 by the NFL on Friday for inappropriate comments about officials. Porter was critical of beleaguered referee Ed Hochuli and his crew in last Sunday’s loss against the Houston Texans. On the first play of the Texans’ drive for the winning touchdown late in the game, Porter stripped quarterback Matt Schaub. Hochuli ruled the play an incomplete pass rather than a fumble, saying Schaub’s arm was moving forward when hit. “I know for sure that I had both his arms when the ball came out,” Porter said after the game. “I’m looking for an apology or something on Tuesday or Wednesday on NFL Network, but it will be too late by then. The game’s over ... I thought we won the game, actually, but they kept getting calls.”
■ ICE HOCKEY
Yzerman to serve as director
Steve Yzerman, who sparked the Detroit Red Wings to three NHL titles, was set to be named executive director of Canada’s 2010 Winter Olympic hockey team yesterday. Yzerman will replace NHL icon Wayne Gretzky, who had the post for the past two Olympics, masterminding Canada’s 2002 Winter Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City that snapped a half-century Olympic title drought. Gretzky was not interested in returning to the executive director role but the all-time leading scorer in NHL history, now a coach and part-owner for the NHL Phoenix Coyotes, did say he would be interested in an advisory role. “The Great One” also did not rule out taking the coaching post for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics as the Canadians try to bounce back from 2006 disappointment at Turin with gold on home ice. Yzerman, in his third season as a vice-president with the Red Wings, finished sixth on the all-time scoring list when he hung up his skates.
Puma leads Ocean Race
US outsiders Puma Ocean Racing were leading the Volvo Ocean Race around the world on Friday as the eight yachts approached the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic, despite pressure from Swedish favorite Ericsson 4. Spain’s two Telefonica yachts were trailing in seventh and eighth position, more than 200 nautical miles behind the leaders, on the seventh day of the race that started in the Spanish Mediterranean port of Alicante. “There are minefields everywhere and there is nothing traditional’ about this leg so far at all,” said Puma skipper Ken Read. The boats are expected in Cape Town, South Africa on November 3 at the end of the first of the 10 legs of the race. After 68,524km, the finish line is in St Petersburg, Russia, where the teams are expected next June.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path