World Sports News in Brief

Brazil held 1-1 by Panama in lacklustre friendly

Sunday, 2019-03-24 07:26:29
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Panama's Michael Murillo in action with Brazil's Alex Telles - International Friendly - Brazil v Panama - Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal - March 23, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
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Brazil drew 1-1 with Panama in a friendly on Saturday, one of the poorest results and performances by the five-times world champions since Tite took over as coach in mid-2016.

Midfielder Lucas Paqueta gave Brazil the lead after 31 minutes, but Adolfo Machado equalised four minutes later with a looping header from what looked like an offside position.

* Switzerland survived a difficult first half and overcame the absence of forwards Xherdan Shaqiri and Haris Seferovic to beat Georgia 2-0 away in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday. Second-half goals from Bundesliga-based Steven Zuber and Denis Zakaria ended Georgia's unbeaten home run of eight matches as the Swiss ultimately ran out comfortable winners in the Group D match.

* Burundi qualified for the African Cup of Nations finals for the first time as they kept Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in check to get the point they needed in a 1-1 draw on Saturday. While Burundi needed only to draw, visitors Gabon, who hosted the last finals in 2017, had to win in Bujumbura to join Group C winners Mali in the expanded 24-team finals in Egypt in June and July.

* Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey is unavailable for Sunday's European Championship qualifier against Slovakia after failing to recover from a thigh injury, manager Ryan Giggs said on Saturday. The 28-year-old sat out Wales' friendly against Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday and was expected to be fit for their first Group E qualifier in Cardiff but has withdrawn from the national squad and returned to Arsenal for treatment.

* England's Callum Hudson-Odoi was stunned to be given the chance to make a record-breaking England debut as a substitute in their 5-0 drubbing of the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday. Hudson-Odoi replaced hat-trick hero Raheem Sterling with 20 minutes to go in the European Championship qualifier, becoming the youngest player to make his England debut in a competitive match at 18 years 135 days.

* French driver Jean-Eric Vergne won an incident-packed race for DS Techeetah at the Sanya ePrix in China on Saturday to become the sixth different winner in as many races in the Formula E this season. Nissan's Oliver Rowland finished second while BMW Andretti's Antonio Felix Da Costa was the third driver on the podium.

* Mexico scored three second-half goals in quick succession to defeat Chile 3-1 on Friday and give new manager Tata Martino a winning start to his tenure. The win is the first for the 56-year-old Argentine Martino, who led Atlanta United to the MLS Cup last season before being named as Mexico's head coach in January.

* South Africa's Kevin Anderson made a winning return to competition at the Miami Open with a hard-fought victory over rising Spaniard Jaume Munar on Saturday. After more than two months away from the court with an elbow injury, the world number seven outlasted the 21-year-old Munar 6-4 3-6 6-3 in their second round clash.

* Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open with a left knee injury, tournament officials said on Saturday. It is the second consecutive WTA event in which the American has been unable to continue, after her retirement from last week's tournament in Indian Wells with a viral illness.

* World number two Petra Kvitova was extended to three sets before the Czech overcame Croatia's Donna Vekic in the third round of the Miami Open on Saturday. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova finally prevailed 6-4 3-6 6-4 in the clash between two heavy hitters but had to fight to earn her triumph after more than two and a half hours.

* Ashleigh Barty came out on top in an all-Aussie clash against Samantha Stosur to reach the fourth round of the Miami Open on Saturday. Barty needed just 58 minutes to dispatch her veteran compatriot, 6-0, 6-3 to move into the round of 16.

* Ghana whitewashed Gabon 4-0 in the first leg of the penultimate round of the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers played at the Accra sports stadium on Saturday. Four goals were scored by Kwabena Owusu, Bernard Terkpetey and Osman Bukari (2).

Reuters, Xinhua