Mats Hummels’ return to the Germany national team on Tuesday went better for France than it did for his country. The experienced defender was recalled by Germany coach Joachim Low for the UEFA Euro 2020 for his leadership qualities, but he scored an own-goal to give France a 1-0 victory. “It was a struggle between titans,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. Hummels was attempting to stop Lucas Hernandez’s cross from reaching France forward Kylian Mbappe when he diverted the ball into his own net with his shin in the 20th minute. “I can’t fault him,” Low said. “It’s just bad luck. The ball in was fast. Maybe we should have attacked the throw in quicker, but it was hard for Mats to clear the ball.” There were chances at both ends, but France looked more likely to score, while Germany squandered opportunities. Ilkay Gundogan should have scored in the first half, but could not direct his shot on target. France had two goals called back for offside in the second half. Mbappe sent a curling shot inside the far post midway through the half and then set up Karim Benzema for another late in the match. Benzema was playing in his first competitive game for France since a World Cup quarter-final loss to Germany in 2014. Mbappe also had a penalty appeal waved off in between the offside goals — Hummels had timed his tackle perfectly when the 22-year-old Frenchman would have been through on goal. Germany had never previously lost an opening game in the group stage at the Euros. Low started with the same lineup from the 7-1 rout of Latvia in Germany’s final warm-up game, but his team had no answer to Paul Pogba, who disrupted the team’s buildup play. “It was important to start with a win. We were playing Germany, they really riled us, but we wanted this
Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday set the record for most career goals at the Euros. The Portugal great scored from the penalty spot in the 87th minute and then added another in injury-time to give the defending champions a 3-0 victory over Hungary. On the fifth day of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, this was the first match played in a full stadium. The 67,215-capacity Puskas Arena was packed with mostly Hungarian fans and they made their presence known throughout the match. Hungary is the only one of the 10 countries hosting matches at the tournament to allow full crowds. That gave Ronaldo plenty of witnesses to history. The Juventus forward was playing in his fifth European Championship, dating back to Euro 2004. He entered this year’s edition even with Michel Platini at nine goals. The 36-year-old Ronaldo also became the only player to score at five consecutive Euros. Ronaldo scored his first goal after Rafa Silva was fouled by Willi Orban in the area and the referee whistled for a penalty. Ronaldo, who had missed an easy chance near the end of the first half, shot to the right of goal and got his record. The second came when he combined with Silva in front of goal and then skipped around Hungary goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi before rolling the ball into an empty net with his left foot. Portugal defender Raphael Guerreiro scored the opening goal three minutes before Ronaldo’s first with a shot that deflected off a defender and wrong-footed Gulacsi.
At least two people were hospitalized on Tuesday after a Greenpeace protester crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at UEFA Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables atthe Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute. However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened. The pilot was arrested soon after landing. A Munich police spokesman told reporters that at least two people sustained head injuries and “both had to be taken to hospital, we don’t know yet how serious the injuries are.” The police spokesman said that the pilot appeared to have escaped injury, but “we are considering various criminal charges.” “Munich police has zero understanding for political actions that put lives at risk,” he said. UEFA also slammed the botched stunt. “This inconsiderate act — which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending — caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action,” it said in a statement. The stunt was a protest against German automaker Volkswagen, one of the sponsors of the tournament, Greenpeace wrote on Twitter. Greenpeace said they regretted any harm caused. “This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people,” it wrote on Greenpeace’s official German Twitter account. “We hope that everyone is OK and that no one was seriously injured.” “Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan,” it wrote.
Kevin Durant on Tuesday finished with 49 points while playing every minute of the game as the Brooklyn Nets rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 in Game 5 of their NBA playoff series. Durant also had 17 rebounds and 10 assists as the Nets seized a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series. He took over in the second half for the Nets, who were behind by double digits for most of the game and by 17 with seven minutes to go in the third quarter. The Nets then went on a 17-5 run and Durant sealed it with a clutch three-pointer and four key free throws in the final two minutes. Durant played all 48 minutes, shot 16-of-23 from the floor and finished just shy of his playoff career high of 50 points. “I wasn’t planning on playing every minute, but I told my coach that I felt good and let me ride it out,” Durant said. Nets coach Steve Nash said this will go down as one of Durant’s “signature” games. “He played the entire game and he barely missed,” Nash said. “It is ridiculous what he is able to do. To do it on a night like this when we are down bodies and we are wounded. This is what makes him one of the all-time greats. This is a signature performance.” “He is the best player in the world right now,” Bucks player Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “We got to beat him as a team. We got to keep doing our jobs and hopefully he is going to miss,” he added. Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 12 rebounds, while Khris Middleton added 25 points for the Bucks.
Andrei Vasilevskiy on Tuesday stopped 24 shots and Nikita Kucherov had three assists as the Tampa Bay Lightning rediscovered their scoring touch to beat the New York Islanders 4-2 in Game 2 of their NHL semi-final series. Victor Hedman tallied a goal and an assist, Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat scored early goals as the defending Stanley Cup champions leveled the best-of-seven series at 1-1. “We’ve got good leadership in our room, and they keep our team from getting too high or too low,” Point said. “I don’t know, it’s tough to put a finger on it really. It’s gone good so far, but we can’t be happy with just this one. It’s going to be a hard, long series. We’ve got to look at the next one.” The Lightning bounced back from a tight 2-1 loss in Game 1, the first time they have trailed in a Stanley Cup playoff series this spring. “We knew they were going to come with a good response after we got the first game,” Brock Nelson said. “I thought we did a pretty good job coming out of the gates 1-1, but it’s hockey. Bounces, breaks, whatever it may be, they were able to get a couple and get the lead, and we weren’t able to get it back.” Mathew Barzal also scored for the Islanders, while Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 shots. It is a familiar scenario for the Lightning. They lost the series opener twice, including in the Stanley Cup final, en route to winning the championship last season over the Dallas Stars. So the Lightning’s top guns were primed for a standout performance in front of a limited crowd of 14,700 on Tuesday in Tampa, Florida, after the Islanders shut them down in Game 1. Tampa Bay opened the scoring halfway through the first period of Game 2 when
Taiwan on Tuesday displayed much improved gameplay, but still bowed out without a win in their FIFA World Cup Asia Group B second-round qualifying tour, losing 2-1 to Kuwait after captain Wu Chun-ching scored from a header. Taiwan drew praise for a team effort and momentum on attack that produced a comeback in the second half to level the score at 1-1. They held the hosts through most of the game at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City. It was a much different performance from their first-leg match, in which Kuwait demolished Taiwan 9-0 on Nov. 14, 2019. On that occasion, Taiwan were in disarray and their defense crumbled under pressure. However, on Tuesday, Taiwan had a better organized defense and strength in midfield, while they launched attacking runs to trouble the hosts. Kuwait forward Yousef Nasser opened the scoring in the 14th minute, beating Taiwan goalkeeper Derek Shih on a low drive after a good buildup down the left side. Taiwan picked up their game with tough defense and mounted forays into the opposition zone, but could not find the net. Bader al-Motawa came close in the 38th minute, lobbing a shot from inside the box that bounced off a post, and a few minutes later supplied a free-kick for Hamad Al Harbi to put a header on target, but Shih denied him with an outstanding save to keep it at 1-0 going into halftime. Taiwan pushed onto the offense at the start of the second half and were rewarded in the 51st minute. Emilio Estevez Tsai swung in a cross from a free-kick, connecting with Wu, who found the back of the net with a brilliant header to equalize. Both teams pressed to find a winner and it was Nasser who succeeded, scoring his second goal with a shot from 20m out to beat Shih
ADVANTAGE: The world No. 4, who has physiotherapist Victoria Kao as his mentor, cheerleader and critic, said he was lucky Taiwan kept COVID-19 at bay for so long
It is an unorthodox approach, but Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen is hoping his decision to go without a coach will help him win badminton gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The world No. 4 has flourished since parting ways with a full-time coach in 2019, with his physiotherapist Victoria Kao filling the role of mentor, cheerleader and critic. With Kao in his corner, Chou won his first Super 1000 title at the 2019 Indonesia Open, and lifted the Taipei Open trophy for a record third time. Now Chou, who reached the last eight at Rio 2016, has set his sights on winning Taiwan’s first Olympic badminton medal. “Taiwan’s strength has increased a lot, and there is a very good chance of winning,” Chou, 31, said in an interview. “I’ve grown and improved a lot since 2016,” he added. “I feel I have the chance to win a medal, even the gold medal.” Chou is to be heading to Tokyo alongside women’s world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying and doubles duo Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin, who are ranked third globally. Despite a strong badminton pedigree, Taiwan has yet to bring home an Olympic medal, but the team are to arrive in Tokyo at something of an advantage. While so many other governments failed to adequately prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan stopped its initial outbreak and kept infections out for a year, allowing its athletes to live largely as normal. “I feel God has given Taiwanese athletes a psychological advantage here,” said Chou, a devout Christian. “Athletes in some other countries have to stop training, or take coronavirus tests before they can attend any trainings.” After a year of calm, a surge in cases over the past month prompted the government to raise the pandemic alert to level 3 and tighten social distancing rules. As a result, Olympic athletes have been secluded
The Montreal Canadiens’ rich history did not mean much when it came to facing upstart Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night. Shea Theodore had a goal and an assist, Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves and the Knights beat the Canadiens 4-1 in the first game of the Stanley Cup semi-final. Vegas’ fifth-straight victory in the playoffs ended Montreal’s post-season win streak at seven. Game 2 is tonight. Theodore’s first-period goal gave Vegas a 1-0 lead and marked the first time the Canadiens trailed in a span of 437 minutes and 53 seconds, the NHL’s second-longest playoff run. “The first goal was huge, and at the right time, too, in the first period for us with how we were playing,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “Gave us a little bit of an opportunity to take a deep breath and kind of gather ourselves and find our game. Thankfully [Fleury] was our best player, gave us a chance to get our legs, and then I really liked our game in the second and third.” Fleury, whose 90th career playoff win leaves him two shy of tying Grant Fuhr for third place all-time, has now allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 13 playoff appearances this season. Alec Martinez, Mattias Janmark and Nick Holden also scored for the Golden Knights, who were vividly fueled by an announced crowd of 17,884 glow-stick-waving fans. The goals from Theodore, Martinez and Holden marked the first time this postseason a team got three goals from defensemen in a single game. “We talked about making sure the [defensemen] were getting up in the play to make sure we had good gaps if pucks were turned over, but ended up being that we were able to jump and get some pucks, and obviously score some goals and make some plays,” Holden said. “That’s always
Spain on Monday opened their UEFA Euro 2020 campaign with a goalless draw against Sweden in Seville, Spain, after their preparations were badly affected by COVID-19, while Patrik Schick scored one of the championship’s great goals in the Czech Republic’s 2-0 win over Scotland. Elsewhere on day four of the tournament, Slovakia edged out 10-man Poland 2-1 in Saint Petersburg. They lead the early Group E table ahead of Spain and Sweden, after the Scandinavians held on for a point at Estadio La Cartuja, with Alvaro Morata wasting the hosts’ best opportunity. “There are no doubts about a striker like Morata,” Aymeric Laporte said of his teammate. “We know what he can do, it didn’t go in for him today it’s true, but in the next game he can score three and shut everyone’s mouth.” Jordi Alba captained Spain in the absence of Sergio Busquets, who is still self-isolating at home after testing positive for COVIS-19. Defender Diego Llorente was only allowed to rejoin the group on Saturday after giving a fourth consecutive negative test and was an unused substitute. The squad was forced to train individually and their last friendly against Lithuania was passed over to the under-21s. The Scots, absent from major tournament finals since the 1998 World Cup, were sunk by Bayer Leverkusen striker Schick in front of 12,000 fans at Hampden Park in England. The home side started the Group D contest brightly in Glasgow, but fell behind shortly before half-time as Schick headed home a cross from Vladimir Coufal. There was even better to come from the 25-year-old Schick, as he struck a high, curling shot from just inside the Scotland half over the head of back-pedalling Scottish goalkeeper David Marshall and into the net. “The ball bounced back, the goalkeeper was quite high, I took a look, I saw he was out there so
Trae Young on Monday poured in 25 points and added 18 assists as the Atlanta Hawks rallied to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of their second-round Eastern Conference playoff series. Young shot eight of 26 from the floor and drained three threes, but he had plenty of help from his supporting cast as all five Hawks starters finished in double figures to level the best-of-seven series at 2-2. His 18 assists equaled a career high, but he also busted out from under the watchful eye of Philadelphia’s defensive specialist Ben Simmons, who was given the task of guarding him. The fifth-seeded Hawks overcame an 18-point first-half deficit then traded leads with the Sixers down the stretch, but managed to hold on for the victory. “This team never gives up, no matter what the score is,” Young said. “I love the way we fight and I’m proud of our team tonight.” Game 5 is tonight. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, John Collins finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Clint Capela had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Atlanta. Tobias Harris had 20 points, and Joel Embiid recorded 17 points and 21 rebounds for the top-seeded 76ers, who were outscored 54-38 in the second half. Simmons delivered 11 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks. Embiid, who averaged 35.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists over the first three games of this series, is playing with a tear in his right lateral meniscus. Young and Bogdanovic combined for seven threes as the Hawks improved their scoring from beyond the arc. Atlanta committed just four turnovers, compared with 12 for the 76ers. Elsewhere, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 62 points as the Los Angles Clippers breezed to a 118-104 win over the top-seeded Utah Jazz in Game 4 of their Western Conference series. They each scored
Argentina superstar Lionel Messi on Monday scored a stunning free-kick, but Chile hit back to earn a 1-1 draw in the Copa America. Messi’s magical left foot gave dominant Argentina a deserved first-half lead, but Eduardo Vargas equalized in the second half after Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved veteran midfielder Arturo Vidal’s penalty. Despite Argentina’s dominance, Messi said: “We weren’t calm, we didn’t have control of the ball.” Houever, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni saw things differently. “We deserved to win, but in the end we drew. In any case, it’s only the start of a very tough tournament,” Scaloni said. “I would be worried if the team wasn’t creating chances. The important thing is we are.” Argentina were in total command and got the goal their domination deserved on 33 minutes into the Group A game in Estadio Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro. Inevitably it was Messi who scored, curling a free-kick just beyond goalkeeper Claudio Bravo’s dive. Chile started the second half with more intent and Erick Pulgar played Vargas into the area, but his shot on the stretch was saved by Martinez. However, Vidal stormed in to try to fire home the rebound and was caught by Nicolas Tagliafico as he shot. Referee Wilmar Roldan consulted the video assistant referee and then awarded a penalty. Martinez tipped Vidal’s effort onto the crossbar, but Vargas was quickest to the ball to head home the equalizer. “This team didn’t want to be beaten, even though they didn’t play well. This group of players are defiant,” Chile coach Martin Lasarte said. In Monday’s other game, Angel Romero scored twice as Paraguay bounced back to beat 10-man Bolivia 3-1 and top Group A.
ATHLETICS Burrito blamed for ban Shelby Houlihan, the US record holder in the 1,500m and 5,000m, said that she has been banned for four years. Houlihan’s announcement on her Instagram account on Monday arrived days before the start of US Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon, for the Tokyo Games. The 28-year-old said she was notified that a test sample returned a finding for the anabolic steroid nandrolone. She said she has since learned it has “long been understood by WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] that eating pork can lead to a false positive for nandrolone... Pig organ meat [offal] has the highest levels of nandrolone.” “We concluded that the most likely explanation was a burrito purchased and consumed approximately 10 hours before that drug test from an authentic Mexican food truck that serves pig offal,” Houlihan wrote. “I did everything I could to prove my innocence.” She said she passed a polygraph and had a hair sample analyzed, but was told on Friday last week that the Court of Arbitration for Sport, “did not accept my explanation.” BADMINTON Markis Kido dies at 36 Indonesian doubles badminton champion Markis Kido has died at the age of 36 after collapsing during a casual match, the Indonesian Badminton Association said. Kido, who won gold in the men’s doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, passed out while playing in Jakarta on Monday evening, and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, the association said. Kido’s longtime doubles partner Hendra Setiawan described him as an “amazing and very talented player.” In an online tribute, Setiawan wrote: “Thank you so much for being a great partner in victory and defeat.” The cause of Kido’s death was not made public, but he had high blood pressure, the association said in a statement, citing his mother, Zul Asteria. “He seems to
‘SPECIAL CORNER’: The Serb left the court after losing the first two sets to compose himself just as he had done in his wins over Lorenzo Musetti and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic has set his sights on the “Golden Grand Slam” of all four majors and the Olympic title, saying: “Everything is possible.” The world No. 1 on Sunday captured a second French Open and 19th Grand Slam with a 6-7 (6/8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. It allowed him to become the first man in the Open era, and only third in history, to claim all four Grand Slam titles on multiple occasions. Now he has targeted being the third man to complete a calendar Grand Slam after Don Budge in 1937, and Rod Laver in 1962 and 1969. On top of that, he also wants the Olympic gold medal to complete the “Golden Grand Slam.” “Everything is possible. Definitely in my case I can say that what I’ve been through in my career, in my life, this journey has been terrific so far,” Djokovic said. “I’ve achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve. So everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam.” The “Golden Grand Slam” has never been achieved by a man, while in the women’s game, only Steffi Graf in 1988 has swept all four majors and Olympic gold in the same year. In Graf’s case, Olympic gold came in Seoul. For Djokovic, the opportunity comes in Tokyo next month. “Obviously, his goal and our goal is to win the Olympics, and then win the Grand Slam. That would be the absolutely top of this year, but it’s still far away from us,” Djokovic’s longtime coach Marian Vajda said. “We have to still focus on the next one, but overall he’s set up for this year. His priority is Wimbledon, Olympics and US Open.” Djokovic is already halfway to a calendar
Matilda Castren on Sunday became the first Finnish winner in LPGA Tour history in the LPGA Mediheal Championship, pulling away on the front nine at foggy Lake Merced and holding off Taiwan’s Min Lee by two strokes. “It’s a huge honor to be a winner as a rookie, and especially first one from Finland,” Castren said. “That’s a really big honor.” Two strokes behind Lee entering the final day, Castren birdied the first three holes, eagled the par-five fifth and birdied the par-five ninth for a front-nine 30. She followed with eight straight pars and holed a three-foot birdie putt on the par-five 18th for a seven-under 65. “It’s been a dream of mine to win since I was a little girl, and to see it happen and just to win, it’s such an amazing feeling,” Castren said. “There is nothing that compares to it. One of my thoughts was: ‘Well, I don’t have to go to Q-school [qualifying school] this fall.’” The 26-year-old won in her 15th career LPGA Tour start. She finished at 14-under 274 after tying for 30th last week in the US Women’s Open. “I was definitely nervous, so my mindset was just going in thinking one shot at a time, one hole at a time, and see what happens, and just trying to enjoy the day because it was my first time in the final group,” Castren said. “I thought it was great for experience no matter what happened. It just turned out I had a great day on the course and got the trophy.” Lee finished with a 69. She cut Castren’s lead to one with a birdie on the par-five 15th, but dropped a stroke with a two-putt bogey on the par-three 17th. “I think I’m playing good today,” Lee said. “Obviously, she played much better on the front, so
England on Sunday launched their bid for Euro 2020 glory with a 1-0 win over Croatia, as Denmark’s team doctor confirmed Christian Eriksen had suffered a cardiac arrest and was “gone” before being resuscitated. Raheem Sterling scored at a sun-baked Wembley Stadium in London as England won their opening game of a European Championships for the first time at the 10th attempt, but the action on the pitch was overshadowed by the fallout from the shocking events in Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium the previous day. Inter star Eriksen suddenly collapsed in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s Group B game against Finland, lying motionless as medics administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the crowd looked on aghast. The game was temporarily suspended awaiting updates on Eriksen’s health, but resumed later in the evening after reports filtered through that the player was in a stable condition and awake. It ended in a 1-0 win for debutants Finland. “He was gone, and we did cardiac resuscitation, and it was cardiac arrest,” Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen told a news conference on Sunday, adding that so far there was no explanation for what happened. “How close were we? I don’t know. We got him back after one defib [defibrillation], so that’s quite fast,” he said. Players in the Denmark team were given the option to continue the game or postpone the match, but head coach Kasper Hjulmand said he regretted the decision to carry on. “I honestly don’t think that we should have been on the pitch again,” Hjulmand said. Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite called the incident “one of the scariest moments of my life.” “I’m grateful that he’s stable and alive. Right now, that’s all that matters. Hope to see you soon my friend,” Braithwaite wrote on Twitter. Manchester City’s Sterling scored his first goal at a major tournament as England gained a measure of revenge
Chris Paul and Devin Booker on Sunday combined for 71 points as the Phoenix Suns completed a four-game sweep of the Denver Nuggets to reach the NBA semi-finals for the first time in 11 years. Paul scored 37 points, while Booker finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds as the Suns beat the Nuggets 125-118 to capture the Western Conference second-round series 4-0. “I have been waiting for this for a very long time,” Booker said. “A lot people say I haven’t played meaningful basketball. This is my time to prove it.” The Suns used a balanced attack to overpower the Nuggets and NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, who was slapped with a flagrant foul and ejected from the game in the third quarter. Jokic finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. “They beat us. They whipped our butts,” Jokic said. “We have to hold our heads up. If someone beats you, accept it and try to get better. The whole season was great until [the] last four games.” The Suns next play either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Utah Jazz for a spot in the NBA Finals. “We showed what you can do when you come together as a team,” Paul said. Mikal Bridges scored 14 points, Deandre Ayton had 12 points and Jae Crowder had 10 rebounds for the Suns. Denver’s Will Barton had 25 points, Michael Porter scored 20, Monte Morris finished with 19 and Facu Campazzo 14 in the loss. Elsewhere, Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 34 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks evened their Eastern Conference second-round series with a 107-96 rout of the Brooklyn Nets, who lost Kyrie Irving to an injury. Antetokounmpo delivered his best performance of the post-season, shooting 14 of 26 from the field and scoring 12 points in the third quarter for the Bucks, who have won
Star forward Neymar on Sunday netted a penalty and created a second as hosts Brazil eased to a 3-0 victory over a depleted Venezuela in the opening match of the Copa America. Centerback Marquinhos opened the scored midway through the first half and Gabriel Barbosa sealed the Group B win a minute from time. In a tournament already delayed by one year, and moved from its original hosts Argentina and Colombia due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was fitting that the coronavirus should take center stage right up to the tournament kickoff. Played at an empty Estadio Mane Garrincha in Brasilia due to COVID-19 restrictions, Brazil made light of the continent’s minnows, who arrived with a makeshift side missing eight players who were ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19 the day before. Venezuela called up 15 emergency replacements, but could still only name seven out of a possible 12 substitutes. “It’s not just being without key players, we didn’t have time to prepare better for this team,” Venezuela coach Jose Peseiro said. The game went ahead and, predictably, reigning champions Brazil were well on top. “The three points are important. We had to start well regardless of our rivals having players out,” Brazil captain Casemiro said. Edwin Cardona scored the only goal of the game as Colombia held on under second-half pressure to begin their Group B campaign with a 1-0 win over Ecuador — who thrashed them 6-1 the last time the sides met in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in November last year. Colombia’s goal was a thing of beauty, with Cardona taking a short free-kick to Juan Cuadrado, who chipped the ball into the penalty area for Miguel Borja to head down into the path of Cardona, who volleyed home. It was initially disallowed for offside, but a review showed that while three Colombia players were
OPPORTUNITY: After winning a Symetra Tour title last month, Lee was in position to become the first to follow a Symetra victory with an LPGA Tour win in her next start
Taiwan’s Min Lee on Saturday capped a stellar outing by rolling in a 15-foot putt for a birdie on 18 to grab a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the LPGA Mediheal Championship. Lee birdied three of her final four holes, including the par-five 18th, for a four-under-par 68 and a total of nine-under 207. “I just tried to play my game and tried to be smart on the golf course, because the golf course is very hard,” Lee said. “There are some pin placement that you want to be on the fat side of the green if you miss it.” The 26-year-old Lee also made birdie on the par-three 17th hole and the par-five 15th at the Lake Merced Golf Club outside San Francisco. Lee is trying to win for the first time on the LPGA Tour. She won the Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship two weeks ago in Florida on the developmental Symetra Tour with an eight-under-par 211, putting her in position to become the first player to follow a Symetra Tour victory with an LPGA Tour win in her next start. “I don’t really thinking about making a record or breaking a record or something,” Lee said. “I just try to play my game. I play well, that’s good and everything comes together.” Fellow Taiwanese Hsu Wei-ling, who won the Pure Silk Championship last month, was tied at 39th place with a one-over 217. She had birdies on the fourth, seventh and 18th holes, but shot bogeys on the fifth, eighth, 13th, 15th and 16th, leaving her with a two-over 74 in the third round. Finland’s Matilda Castren, who shot a 69, and Lauren Kim (71), are tied for second. The 26-year old Kim has exceeded her expectations coming into the week. “Oh, gosh, probably pretty nervous,” she said after being asked what
Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen remained in hospital, but is in “stable” condition after collapsing in his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland on Saturday, the Danish Football Union (DBU) said yesterday. “This morning we have spoken to Christian Eriksen, who has sent his greetings to his teammates. His condition is stable, and he continues to be hospitalized for further examination,” the soccer body posted on its official Twitter account. The DBU also said that the team and staff had “received crisis assistance and will continue to be there for each other after yesterday’s incident.” The Inter Milan star suddenly collapsed in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 game against Finland, lying motionless as medical personnel administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He was lying on the field for about 15 minutes before being carried off the pitch on a stretcher and rushed to a hospital. The Group B game — just the third of the month-long tournament, which began a year behind schedule on Friday — was stopped just before halftime with the score goalless and suspended for nearly two hours before restarting. After the shocked teams joined in a group huddle, the Finns claimed a 1-0 win in their first major tournament match, with Joel Pohjanpalo scoring the winner on the hour mark. UEFA said the decision to restart was made “following the request by players of both teams,” and supporters cheered as the game recommenced. Earlier, Eriksen’s teammates were in tears as they formed a circle of red shirts around the stricken 29-year-old midfielder as the medics worked to save his life. He was later able to speak to his teammates. “We’ve been in contact with him, and the players have spoken to Christian. That’s the great news. He’s doing fine, and they are playing the game for him,” DBU director Peter Moeller told Danish television. Eriksen was voted man
Barbora Krejcikova yesterday completed a singles-doubles title sweep at the French Open, when she lifted the women’s doubles trophy with compatriot Katerina Siniakova, beating Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 6-2. Krejcikova on Saturday defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 at the conclusion of only her fifth appearance in a Grand Slam singles main draw. Krejcikova became the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles title in Paris since France’s Mary Pierce completed the feat in 2000. The 25-year-old Krejcikova, who will climb to 15th in singles following her maiden Grand Slam singles title, would return as the world No. 1 doubles player when the rankings are updated on today. The newly crowned champion hailed her mentor and former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna who died in 2017, saying: “At the end of her life, I had to be there.” After Saturday’s final, Krejcikova said she owed her success to Novotna, who died of cancer at age 49. “When I was 18, I actually finished juniors, I didn’t really know what to do. I went to her house with my parents. She was always very nice. We just had a really special bond,” Krejcikova said. “She taught me so many things that I just felt at the end of her life I have to be there. I just have to really support her,” she added. Novotna won 24 singles titles in her career with the 1998 Wimbledon trophy the highlight. The new champion said she learned many life and sport lessons from the world No. 2, whose own best run in Paris ended in semi-final losses in 1990 and 1996. “She told me like: ‘I have a court on Thursday in this club at this time. If you want to come, you can come, we can look at you, have a hit,’” Krejcikova said. “I was sick for one