Sun, Aug 23, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Sport Briefs

AGENCIES

■SOCCER

Schalke draw and go top

Schalke 04 provisionally moved top of the Bundesliga on Friday with a 0-0 draw at Hoffenheim. They are a point ahead of champions VfL Wolfsburg, who have six points and host Hamburg SV today. Schalke looked a shadow of the team that made an explosive start to the season with two comfortable victories. Hoffenheim, who have yet to win this season, gradually upped the tempo, with strikers Vedad Ibisevic and Chinedu Obasi gaining more space, but failed to carve out any clear chances. Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick brought on a third striker in the second half by adding Demba Ba to replicate the trio that took them top at the halfway mark last year, but to no avail.

■SOCCER

Refs to use vanishing spray

Mexican referees are to use a vanishing spray to mark a line on the pitch to ensure defensive walls keep the right distance at free-kicks. The Mexican Football Federation said in a statement the spray, called “AeroComex Futline,” would come into use from this weekend’s first division matches, which include champions Pumas UNAM’s visit to Tecos UAG. Argentina has been using such a spray, carried in an aerosol can, in the first division since the beginning of the year. The white markings made by the non-toxic water-based spray disappear in a matter of minutes.

■FOOTBALL

Burress pleads guilty

Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress pleaded guilty to a gun possession charge on Thursday and agreed to a two-year prison sentence in what the Super Bowl hero’s lawyer called an agonizing decision. Burress, 31, caught the winning touchdown in the Giants’ Super Bowl victory in February last year, but his career unraveled the following season when he accidentally shot himself in the leg in a New York City nightclub in November. He was released by the team and stands to lose millions of dollars in salary. After his guilty plea, the National Football League suspended Burress and told him he was ineligible to sign with any team until he completes his jail term, the NFL said in a statement.

■BASEBALL

Cubs sold to Ricketts

The Chicago Cubs, whose century of Major League Baseball championship futility is the longest title drought in US sports history, are at last to be sold to the Ricketts family. The Tribune Company on Friday said it had a definitive agreement to sell all but a 5 percent stake in the team and historic Wrigley Field ballpark to the Ricketts, the culmination of long and convoluted negotiations. The Ricketts will also acquire a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, with the total deal worth at least US$845 million. The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908.

■BASEBALL

Taoyuan rout Germans 16-0

Taoyuan routed Ramstein Air Force Base of Germany 16-0 in a Little League World Series contest shortened to four innings because of the 10-run rule on Friday. Kao Yu-chieh had a three-run homer as Taiwan scored 12 times in the first two innings. Offering a faint smile, Kao tilted his head and tugged nervously at the buttons on his jersey when asked about his big blast. “I told myself relax, take your time, and I did it,” the 12-year-old catcher said through interpreter Yeh Ming-huang. In the US’ pool, Warner Robins of Georgia beat Urbandale of Iowa 11-3, and Staten Island of New York beat Mercer Island of Washington 10-2.

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