Typhoon prevents play
Yesterday’s OEC Kaohsiung ATP Challenger singles semi-finals were postponed because of Typhoon Usagi. Both semi-finals plus the final and the doubles final were rescheduled for today. Top seed Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan is due to take on No. 6 seed Matthew Ebden of Australia, while qualifier Yuki Bhambri of India faces No. 2 seed Jack Sock of the US. The doubles final pits top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia against the unseeded Bhambri and Wang Chieh-fu of Taiwan.
Osasuna earn first win
CA Osasuna beat Elche 2-1 on Friday for their first win of the Spanish league season, provisionally lifting them out of last place. The victory came in the home debut of new coach Javi Gracia, who replaced the fired Jose Mendilibar. Midfielder Emiliano Armenteros opened the scoring for Osasuna at Reyno de Navarra Stadium in the 16th minute, and Oriol Riera added another goal in the 48th. Elche were left without a victory through five rounds in their return to Spain’s first division. Armenteros drilled the ball off the far post and into the net to put Osasuna ahead after Elche’s defense failed to clear a series of rebounds. Osasuna’s Roberto Torres almost doubled the hosts’ lead 10 minutes later, but Elche dominated the rest of the first half and only goalkeeper Andres Fernandez’s efforts to tap shots by Yiadom Boakye and Eduardo Albacar over the bar kept Osasuna in front. Riera netted his own rebound after Raoul Loe set him up in the area. Albacar pulled one back for Elche from the penalty spot with three minutes to go.
Sterling case collapses
Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling was found not guilty of assault on Friday when the case collapsed after his former girlfriend gave “disappointing” evidence. Sterling was alleged to have attacked Shana Ann Rose Halliday following a row about a text message. However, the 18-year-old England international, who denied common assault, walked free from Liverpool Magistrates’ Court when the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew its case after magistrates refused to treat Halliday as a hostile witness. The court heard Halliday’s evidence contradicted earlier statements. Sterling and Halliday had gone out for a meal in Manchester on Aug. 8, but on the drive back to Liverpool an argument started about a text message on the player’s phone. The prosecution alleged Sterling assaulted Halliday twice in his car, but then withdrew its case when Halliday failed to support the prosecution’s case by giving “disappointing” evidence.
Life bans for internationals
Fourteen El Salvador international players were banned for life on Friday after being implicated in a match-fixing scandal, the country’s soccer federation chief announced. “The disciplinary commission of the El Salvador Football Federation has decided to ban from all football-related activities 14 internationals,” said Carlos Mendez, president of Fesfut. The 14 are among 22 players who were provisionally suspended at the end of last month. Of the eight others, seven were suspended for between 20 days and 18 months while one was cleared. The players involved have 15 days to appeal. The matches at the center of the investigation were the friendly against the US on Feb. 24, 2010, which the US won 2-1, and DC United’s 1-0 friendly win on June 19, 2010. The Gold Cup encounter against Mexico which El Salvador lost 5-0 on June 5, 2011, and the 4-1 friendly loss to Paraguay on Feb. 6 this year were also probed.