Zambia lift the Cosafa Cup
Early and late goals from free-kicks gave Zambia the Cosafa Cup on Saturday with a 2-0 win over holders Zimbabwe. Alex N’gonga scored after four minutes and substitute Kabaso Chongo sealed success two minutes into stoppage-time in the Zambian mining city of Ndola, but the scoreline was cruel to Zimbabwe, who won far more possession, only to be foiled by some great goalkeeping by Danny Munyau and their own poor finishing. It was the fourth southern African national team championship title for Zambia, matching Zimbabwe’s record and Zambia coach Herve Renard got the revenge he craved for 2005 and 2009 final defeats by Zimbabwe. It was his second trophy in charge of the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets), having defied the odds to win the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon last year. N’gonga, elevated to the starting lineup after making a big impact when he came on against South Africa in the semi-finals, struck on four minutes. The position of the free-kick — near the touchline — hardly spelled danger to Zimbabwe, but as the kick flew goalward, the defensive wall pushed forward and the ball bounced once before flying over Maxwell Nyamupangedengu into the corner. Chongo then landed the killer blow. His goal was a carbon copy of the first as he glided the ball across the face of the goal and into the far corner.
Giants’ Will Hill suspended
New York Giants safety Will Hill has been suspended for the first four games of the NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the team announced on Saturday. It will be the second ban without pay for the 23-year-old defensive back, who was suspended for four games last year as a rookie for taking a performance-enhancing substance he later identified as Adderall. No details were announced about the substance involved in the latest setback, part of league policy to ensure privacy for players. Hill will be allowed to participate in pre-season workouts and games, but cannot return to the Giants’ active roster during their 16-game season until Sept. 30, a day after New York face Kansas City. Hill made 38 tackles in 12 games last season.
Jonathan Brownlee triumphs
Jonathan Brownlee won his third straight world series triathlon when he edged brother Alastair in Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday. Meanwhile, world series leader Anne Haug powered home in the women’s race before an adoring home crowd cheering the first German champion in five years. Britain’s Brownlee brothers were credited with the same time, but Jonathan was given the win to go with victories in Yokohama, Japan, and Madrid this year. The Brownlees and series leader Javier Gomez of Spain, the only men to win races this year, dominated the race from midway through the bike section. The Brownlees left behind Gomez with a kilometer left on the run, before Jonathan came from behind to pip Alastair.
USC-based swimmers shine
The opening day of the swimming world championships in Barcelona, Spain, could have doubled for a Trojan Swim Club meet. American swimmer Haley Anderson, a recent graduate of the University of Southern California (USC), won the first gold medal of the championships in the 5km open water and USC-based Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia quickly followed by taking the men’s event. Meanwhile, in the diving China had a golden start after Wu Minxia and Shi Tingmao won the women’s 3m synchronized springboard.