Mexico, Panama advance
Mexico booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Martinique, while Panama also advanced from Group A after a goalless draw with Canada. Mexico, who were stunned by Panama in the group opener, but got their bid for a third consecutive Gold Cup title back on track by winning their remaining games, went ahead in the first half through Marco Fabian and Luis Montes, before Kevin Parsemain’s penalty made it 2-1. Martinique had opportunities to equalize in the second half, but could not make the breakthrough and Miguel Ponce scored from close range in the 90th minute to make the game safe for Mexico. In the earlier Group A match, Panama settled for a 0-0 draw with Canada to top the group on seven points.
Hamburg SV lift the Cup
Hosts Hamburg SV claimed a 2-0 win over Danish champions Copenhagen in Sunday’s final of the Nord Cup, while Eintracht Braunschweig enjoyed a 2-1 playoff victory over Bundesliga rivals VfL Wolfsburg. Germany midfielder Marcell Jansen put Hamburg ahead with an early goal, while former Chelsea midfielder Michael Mancienne put the result beyond doubt with the decider on 50 minutes to win the pre-season tournament for the hosts. In the third-place playoff, newly promoted Braunschweig raced into a 2-0 lead with goals by midfielder Kevin Kratz and Canada international Simeon Jackson, before new signing Stefan Kutschke pulled a goal back for Wolfsburg.
Ref given YouTube lessons
A Lebanese referee jailed for accepting sex in exchange for agreeing to fix matches testified yesterday that a Singaporean businessman used YouTube to show him how to fix a game. Ali Sabbagh, speaking on the first day of the trial of Eric Ding Si Yang, said the businessman sent him “20 to 30” YouTube links to “teach me how to make wrong decisions.” “The videos had too many decisions where the decision made by the referee is not the right decision,” Sabbagh said. Ding is accused of providing Sabbagh, 34, and two other Lebanese officials with women who gave them free sexual services ahead of a match in Singapore in April in which they were supposed to officiate. Sabbagh and the other two officials were pulled out and placed under investigation before the match. Sabbagh was found guilty last month and sentenced to six months in jail.
Clubs angry about league
The nation’s top clubs are up in arms against the national federation over moves to stage a cash-rich franchise-based tournament inspired by cricket’s popular Indian Premier League early next year. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) and its commercial partner, IMG-Reliance, plan to hold the eight-city tournament from January to March featuring international and local stars, but the clubs have declined to release their players for the tournament, which they say will threaten their existence and ruin the I-League. Valanka Alemao, the chief executive officer of club Churchill Brothers, vigorously opposed the proposed tournament. “I do not understand why the AIFF wants to hold a new league,” he said. “This new entity will eventually supersede the I-League and cause the slow death of existing clubs. The common goal should be to improve Indian football. How does it help if you get some retired or semi-retired players to grab a few eyeballs for a minute?”
Fan grabs four foul balls
A baseball fan at Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, caught four foul balls, a once-in-several-lifetimes achievement. Greg Van Niel, a season-ticket holder who was not sitting in his usual seat, grabbed the four souvenirs during the Indians’ 6-4 win. “Three of them were catches and one was a ball I picked up off the ground,” Van Niel told the team. “The third one I think was the hardest one — I think I ended up sprawled across a few rows, and I got some cheese on myself, but the other ones were just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.” Van Niel tossed the “pick-up” ball to another fan and he planned to give the three other balls to children who were part of his group. He posed for a photograph for the Indians clutching three of the souvenirs in his right hand. He said he had never caught a foul ball before his amazing one-day haul.
Melancon on All-Star team
Pittsburgh pitcher Mark Melancon has been picked as a replacement for the NL All-Star team, giving the Pirates five players in the game for the first time since 1972. NL manager Bruce Bochy also selected Sergio Romo, his San Francisco Giants closer, as a replacement pick on Sunday. Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke and Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, both on the original NL All-Star roster, are hurt and will miss today’s game at Citi Field. Baltimore pitcher Chris Tillman was picked by AL manager Jim Leyland of Detroit to replace Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who started on Sunday. Under baseball’s labor contract, pitchers who start on the Sunday before the All-Star game may opt not to participate. Verlander was the starter and loser of last year’s All-Star game at Kansas City.
Post-bout riot kills 17
Seventeen spectators were crushed to death at a boxing match in remote eastern Indonesia after supporters of the loser started a riot, police said yesterday. “Seventeen people died in the crush, 12 of whom were women, and another 38 were injured and have been hospitalized for treatment,” Papua provincial police spokesman I Gede Sumerta Jaya said. About 1,500 people had watched the local championship match late on Sunday night at a stadium in the town of Nabire, when supporters angered by the outcome began throwing chairs. “Everyone else made a quick dash for the exit in fear the violence would get out of control, and dozens of people were trampled on,” Jaya said. A witness, who did not want to be named, was quoted by news Web site Detik.com as saying: “There are five gates to the stadium, but only two were in operation during the match.”
Racer dies in crash
A motorcycle racer trying to top 482kph died after losing control and zooming off a runway at a former US air base. Bill Warner, 44, was clocked at 458kph before he lost control, said Tim Kelly, race director for the Loring Timing Association. Warner was conscious and talking after the crash, but died about an hour and 15 minutes later, Kelly said. Riding his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa, Warner previously hit 500kph on the same course in 2011, using 2.4km of pavement. That is considered to be the world land speed record for a conventional motorcycle, Kelly said. This time he was trying to hit 482kph using just 1.6km of pavement, Kelly said.