Rosberg wins Suzuka pole
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg put himself in the best possible position to widen his lead over Formula One title rival and teammate Lewis Hamilton by securing pole position yesterday for today’s Japanese Grand Prix. Rosberg clocked a time of 1 minute, 30.647 seconds on his final flying lap at the Suzuka circuit to beat Hamilton by just 0.01 seconds. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was a close third followed by teammate Sebastian Vettel, who was handed a three-place grid penalty and is to start in seventh. With five races remaining, Rosberg holds a 23-point lead over Hamilton, who is seeking a third straight victory in Japan. Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo qualified fifth and sixth.
Eligibility probe opened
FIFA is investigating complaints from Chile and Peru that Bolivia fielded an ineligible player against them in World Cup qualifying matches. FIFA is “gathering the necessary information and documentation to evaluate the situation and decide on potential next steps,” the world soccer body said on Friday. If FIFA rules for Chile, the Copa America champions could gain two points in their ailing bid to reach the 2018 tournament in Russia. Chile, who lost 3-0 against Ecuador on Thursday, are five points off a direct qualification place at the midway stage of the 10-team South American group. The top four advance and the fifth-placed team, currently Argentina, enter a playoff against a team from Oceania. The complaints from Chile and Peru are about Paraguay-born defender Nelson Cabrera, who previously played for Paraguay. Bolivia used the 33-year-old Cabrera as a late substitute in beating Peru 2-0 in La Paz on Sept. 1 and five days later in a 0-0 draw against Chile in Santiago. FIFA typically awards a 3-0 default loss against teams judged to have fielded ineligible players.
China boss urges confidence
The head of Chinese soccer told the national team not to lose confidence after their loss to war-torn Syria jeopardized hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. The national side’s 0-1 defeat on Thursday before a home crowd of 40,000 in Xian enraged fans, spurring many to call for the sacking of Chinese Football Association president Cai Zhenhua. He has ignored the calls so far and sought to reassure Team Dragon players that they “absolutely must not lose confidence because of this loss,” the Xin Kuaibao newspaper reported yesterday. “We still have seven games, you must bring out your fighting spirit. Especially at times like this [after a loss], you mustn’t give up.”
Transgender player debuts
The National Women’s Hockey League’s first transgender player scored a goal in her debut. Buffalo forward Harrison Browne was named the game’s second star in the Beauts’ 4-1 loss against the Boston Pride on Friday night. “It was unreal,” Browne said. “I’ve never felt something like that before.” Up until the season-opening game on Friday, the 23-year-old went by the name of Hailey Browne. That changed when she announced she prefers to be known as Harrison and identifies as a male in a story first published by ESPN. “I was just excited,” Browne said, adding that she had previously revealed her gender identity, but had not changed her name. “I’ve been out for a long time. I’m not scared about it. It’s nothing new to me.”
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
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
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very
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