World Sports News in Brief

Italy beat Greece to secure Euro 2020 qualification

Sunday, 2019-10-13 06:43:43
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Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group J - Italy v Greece - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - October 12, 2019 Italy's Leonardo Bonucci and team mates celebrate at the end of the match. (Photo: Reuters)
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Italy secured a place at next year’s European Championship finals with three games to spare thanks to a 2-0 win over Greece at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

A second-half penalty from Chelsea midfielder Jorginho gave the hosts the lead before Federico Bernardeschi drilled in the winner 12 minutes from time. Roberto Mancini’s side have won all seven of their qualifying matches and top Group J on 21 points, having ended fifth-placed Greece’s slim hopes of qualification.

* Norway striker Joshua King scored a stoppage-time penalty to snatch a 1-1 draw at home to Spain in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday, ending Spain's 100% record in Group F and making them wait to seal their place in next year's tournament. Spain top the group with 19 points after seven games, Sweden are second on 14 after thrashing Malta 4-0 away and Romania are third on 13, having beaten the Faroe Islands 3-0 earlier on Saturday. Norway have 10 points.

* England's Matthew Fitzpatrick finished with an impressive four birdies in his final six holes on Saturday to hold a one-shot advantage heading into the final round of the Italian Open. Fitzpatrick, currently sixth in European Tour's Race to Dubai standings, carded a three-under-par 68 in the third round to move up to 13-under overall at the Olgiata Club in Rome.

* American teenage sensation Coco Gauff progressed to her maiden WTA final as she eased past Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-4 at the Linz Open on Saturday. The 15-year-old Gauff became the youngest player to reach a WTA final since Czech Republic's Nicole Vaidisova won the Tashkent Open in 2004, also aged 15.

* Simone Biles claimed a record-equalling 23rd medal at the gymnastics world championships on Saturday, leading an American one-two finish in the vault final in Stuttgart. Biles produced two breathtaking vaults - a Cheng and an Amanar - to finish with an average score of 15.399 inside a packed arena. The 22-year-old has now matched Belarusian Vitaly Scherbo's record tally of 23 world medals and she can surpass him later on Saturday if she takes another medal in the asymmetric bars final.

* Ireland defender John Egan saw his early header come back off a post in his competitive international debut as the Group D leaders were held to a 0-0 draw by Georgia in a drab Euro 2020 qualifier in Tbilisi on Saturday. The draw leaves Ireland on 12 points after six games, three ahead of Denmark, who meet third-placed Switzerland (eight points) in Copenhagen later on Saturday, with the Swiss also having an extra game in hand over both of their group rivals.

* Russia's Daniil Medvedev remarkably reached his ninth final of the season as he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(5) 7-5 at the Shanghai Masters on Saturday. US Open runner-up Medvedev, chasing his fourth ATP Tour title in a breakthrough 2019 season, will meet Germany's Alexander Zverev in Sunday's final.

* Britain's Heather Watson reached her first WTA final in over three years by overcoming Russian Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 6-4 in the Tianjin Open on Saturday. She will face Sweden's Rebecca Peterson, who recovered from an opening-set bagel to beat Tunisia's Ons Jabeur 0-6 6-4 7-5 in other semi-final.

* Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge made athletics history on Saturday when he became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, stretching the limits of human endeavour and passing a milestone few thought could be reached for decades if at all. Guided by green laser beams shone onto the road and helped by 41 world class athletes choreographed into rotating teams of pacemakers, the Olympic champion and world record holder smashed the barrier by 20 seconds, finishing in one hour 59.40 minutes.

Reuters