Ronaldo scores winner
Ronaldo had a penalty saved, then scored the winner in Corinthians’ 2-1 away victory over Cruzeiro in the Brazilian championship on Sunday. The three-time FIFA Player of the Year set up Jorge Henrique for the first in the 23rd minute and could have increased the lead five minutes later from the penalty spot after defender Leonardo Silva stopped a shot on the line with his hand and was sent off. Ronaldo, however, checked his slow run-up and took a weak penalty, allowing goalkeeper Fabio to make an easy save. “I kicked badly, I didn’t want to score against Cruzeiro, but later I changed my mind and ended up scoring,” said the 32-year-old Ronaldo, who began his professional career with the team from Minas Gerais State 15 years ago. Ronaldo, who was feted by the club before kickoff, scored the winner in the 77th minute. Meanwhile, Atletico were held 0-0 at fourth-placed Vitoria, while Palmeiras beat Santo Andre 1-0 for their fourth successive win under caretaker coach Jorginho. Gremio beat bitter city rivals Internacional 2-1 in the Porto Alegre derby. Argentine former Barcelona striker Maxi Lopez scored the winner after Brazil striker Nilmar had put Internacional ahead and midfielder Souza had equalized. Title holders Sao Paulo climbed to 12th with their third win, 2-1 at home to Santos.
Monomotapa stun Sahel
Monomotapa continued their giant-killing run in this year’s African Champions League, opening their campaign in the group phase with a 2-1 win over favorites Etoile Sahel on Sunday. Darryl Nyandoro’s goal on the hour mark ensured a winning start in Group B for the rookies, who overcame the tough economic conditions in their country to reach the league phase with several upset results in the earlier knockout rounds. Monomotapa surprised their Tunisian visitors, who were African champions two years ago, with their opening goal in the first minute from Daniel Kamungenga. Etoile equalized in the 49th minute from Ahmed Akaichi, but it took just 10 minutes before Monomotapa restored their lead and then held on for all three points in Harare. TP Mazembe Englebert from the Democratic Republic of Congo scored a 2-0 home win over Nigeria’s Heartland FC in Lubumbashi on Sunday in the other Group B encounter.
Nakamura labeled a ‘nerd’
The media have labeled Espanyol’s clean-living new Japanese signing Shunsuke Nakamura a “soccer nerd” a week after his arrival in the country. Spanish newspaper AS noted that the 31-year-old never touches alcohol, never goes to bed before going through a rigorous set of stretching exercises and watches nothing but soccer on TV. “You [Nakamura] really are soccer crazy,” Monday’s Nikkan Sports quoted the Madrid-based tabloid as saying. The Japan playmaker joined Espanyol on a two-year deal from Scotland’s Celtic last month.
Aurora field a 12-year-old
Top flight side Aurora handed a debut on Sunday to new starlet Mauricio Baldivieso — just 12 years old — in a 1-0 loss to FC La Paz. Mauricio came on six minutes before the break, sent into the fray by proud father Julio “Emperor” Cesar Baldivieso, who coaches the club. Mauricio had a somewhat brutal introduction to the professional game as he picked up an ankle knock within five minutes from a ferocious tackle by La Paz’s Henry Alaca, but to the delight of Aurora’s fans, the youngster was able to resume after treatment. “I am proud — he has a lot of talent,” his father said.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
OLYMPICS Delay pushes rower to retire British rowing gold medalist Tom Ransley on Friday announced his retirement after deciding that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year was a step too far. The 34-year-old was part of the men’s eight who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also a bronze in the 2012 London Games. “I have used up everything I had and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far,” he told the BBC. The years of early starts, of three training