MK Dons win Cup showdown
A stoppage-time winner from Jon Otsemobor earned MK Dons a 2-1 home victory against AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup second round on Sunday in a tie loaded with historical significance. MK Dons, as they have been known since 2004 after the original 1988 FA Cup winners Wimbledon were moved about 95km north to Milton Keynes from their southwest London home, took the lead on the stroke of halftime through Stephen Gleeson. AFC Wimbledon, the London club formed in 2002 by disgruntled Wimbledon fans and who have since gained five promotions to return to the Football League, equalized on the hour through Jack Midson and came close to earning a late victory in the first ever match between the two clubs. The fourth-tier side, backed by a large traveling contingent, despite many who boycotted the match in protest at the way MK Dons effectively took Wimbledon’s place in the Football League, seemed set for victory when Steven Gregory went through in the last minute, but his shot crept agonizingly wide. In a thrilling finale, MK Dons, who play in the third tier, then snatched a place in the third round when Otsemobor’s clever flick sent the ball past goalkeeper Neil Sullivan.
Velez Sarsfield clinch title
Velez Sarsfield won Argentina’s Inicial championship when they beat Union de Sante Fe 2-0 and Lanus lost 1-0 at River Plate on Sunday. Velez have 38 points from 18 matches, an unassailable five-point lead over second-placed Lanus, clinching their ninth league crown with a match to spare. The season is divided into two 19-match championships, the Inicial and the Final which kicks off in February after the summer recess, with the two winners meeting in a grand final in June unless the same team wins both. In previous seasons there were also two championships, the Apertura and Clausura, but no overall winners.
Tijuana claim first title
Club Tijuana won their first Mexican league championship on Sunday five years after being founded and less than two since their promotion to the first division. Two goals in two minutes from substitute Richard Ruiz and Colombian Duvier Riascos midway through the second half gave the small border town club a shock 2-0 win away to favorites Toluca in the second leg of the final. Tijuana, coached by Argentine Antonio “Turco” Mohamed, won 4-1 on aggregate after beating Toluca, who were looking to equal CD Guadalajara’s record 11 titles, 2-1 at the Caliente on Thursday last week. “This is a huge satisfaction, we’ve been preparing for this for six months, no one gave a cent for this team, but our humility and work were reflected on the pitch today,” Tijuana captain Javier Gandolfi told Televisa.
Vitesse join Twente at top
Brazilian Jonathan Reis scored twice on Sunday to inspire Vitesse to a 3-0 home win over struggling Roda JC Kerkrade in the Dutch League, taking his side level at the top of the table with Twente. Both teams have 34 points from 15 games, but Twente, who beat 10-man ADO Den Haag 2-0 on Saturday, are ahead on goal-difference. PSV Eindhoven, who were beaten 3-1 at Ajax, slipped to third on 33 points, while Ajax are fourth on 30. Marco van Ginkel put Vitesse ahead with a fierce drive after 10 minutes and three minutes before the break a fine pass from Wilfried Bony allowed Reis a free run to double the lead. Reis settled the match after 62 minutes, netting the rebound after a volley from Bony hit the bar.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has welcomed Ferrari’s U-turn to support a Formula One engine freeze from 2022. The move gives Red Bull a chance to continue using Honda power after the Japanese supplier exits next year. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s final practice for today’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner said that Ferrari’s decision was encouraging for F1 and everyone involved in the business end of the sport. “It’s positive news,” he said. “I think all the manufacturers, all the CEOs of the automotive industry, they all recognize the investment and cost of these engines, particularly with the new technology coming for 2026,
An influx of soccer players to India from Australia has highlighted changing fortunes as the Indian Super League (ISL) flourishes and the A-League hits lean times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just two Australians played in the Indian Super League last year, but 10 were among the 11 teams when the competition got under way in a bio-secure “bubble” in Goa last week. Non-Australian A-League players have also made the move, including English striker Adam Le Fondre — last season’s second-highest goal-scorer with Sydney FC — along with German defender Matti Steinman and Aaron Holloway of Wales. Much of the change is down to
‘YOU’RE CHAMPIONS’: Pope Francis told the NBA delegation that they had become models of teamwork, while remaining humble and preserving their own humanity Pope Francis on Monday met with NBA players at the Vatican, lauding them as “champions” and saying he supported their work on social justice. The five players — Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver — were joined in the delegation by National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts and two other union executives, Sherrie Deans and Matteo Zuretti. “We’re here because, frankly, we’re inspired by the work that you do globally,” Roberts told the pope during the meeting in the Vatican Apostolic Library. The union said that the players spoke about their “individual and collective efforts addressing
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Sunday scored twice to bring his tally to 10 league goals this season before limping off with a muscle strain as AC Milan stayed top of Serie A with a 3-1 win at 10-man SSC Napoli. Milan move back two points ahead of US Sassuolo — 2-0 winners earlier at Hellas Verona — with AS Roma third after Henrikh Mkhitaryan netted a brace in a dominant 3-0 win over Parma. “For me Zlatan is stronger now than 10, 12 years ago,” Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso said of his former Milan teammate. “Milan strongly believes in Ibra, his teammates trust