World Sports News in Brief

Ten-man Leipzig held to 2-2 home draw by Hertha

Thursday, 2020-05-28 09:03:43
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Bundesliga - RB Leipzig v Hertha BSC - Red Bull Arena, Leipzig, Germany - May 27, 2020 Hertha BSC's Krzysztof Piatek scores their second goal from the penalty spot, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
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RB Leipzig's faint title hopes faded further as they fought out a 2-2 home draw with Hertha Berlin after conceding a late equaliser from the penalty spot, having been reduced to 10 men in a see-saw Bundesliga encounter on Wednesday (May 27).

The result left Leipzig third on 55 points from 28 games, nine behind leaders Bayern Munich and two adrift of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, while Hertha moved up one place to 10th on 35 points.

* Australia's National Rugby League football competition will on Thursday resume after a two-month hiatus as the number of coronavirus cases in the country slows and social restrictions are eased.

* Augsburg and bottom club Paderborn played out a 0-0 draw in their Bundesliga relegation battle on Wednesday despite a string of good chances for both sides. Augsburg coach Heiko Herrlich was making his home debut in the club's 300th Bundesliga game and his team secured a valuable point that kept them 12th on 31 points, four above the relegation playoff spot with six games left in the season.

* Fortuna Duesseldorf boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga as goals from Rouwen Hennings and Kenan Karaman helped them come from behind to beat Schalke 04 2-1 at home in a scrappy contest on Wednesday. The result left Fortuna 16th, the relegation playoff spot, on 27 points from 28 games, one behind Mainz who stayed in the safety zone with a 1-1 draw at Union Berlin. Schalke, who extended their winless league run to 10 matches, stayed ninth on 37 points.

* Marcus Ingvartsen netted a well-taken free kick to earn 10-man Union Berlin a battling 1-1 draw against fellow strugglers Mainz in their Bundesliga clash at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei on Wednesday. Mainz are now a point above the relegation playoff place with 28 from as many games, while Union are three points above them in 13th.

* Christoph Baumgartner scored two goals and set up a third as Hoffenheim snapped a seven-game winless run in the Bundesliga with an entertaining 3-1 victory over visitors Cologne on Wednesday which both teams ended with 10 men. Hoffenheim moved back into European contention in seventh place on 39 points with six games left in the season which restarted 11 days ago after a break of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* World TeamTennis said on Wednesday it had several options for where to stage its 2020 season but selecting the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia was an easy decision as it was the only site that could include fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Las Vegas, Austin, Jacksonville and Carlsbad were among the other locations being considered as a single-site host for the season but none were able to commit to allowing fans to attend when the mixed-gender professional tennis league kicks off on July 5.

* Formula One's governing body hailed a major step forward on Wednesday after approving a package of cost-cutting measures including a US$145 million budget cap from next year. The measures, rubber-stamped by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council by an online vote, aim to create a more level playing field for the 10 teams and a more sustainable future.

* Rangers have agreed a permanent deal for Ianis Hagi after exercising their option to buy the winger from KRC Genk, the Scottish Premiership club said on Wednesday. Ianis, son of former Barcelona and Real Madrid midfielder Gheorghe, scored three goals in 12 appearances for Rangers after joining the club on a six-month loan deal in January.

* Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime is the latest player to sign up for the Ultimate Tennis Showdown taking place in Nice next month, joining the likes of David Goffin and Fabio Fognini. The event, thought up by Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of Serena Williams, offers a chance for professionals to compete while the ATP Tour remains shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

* Players in the Romanian league could be banned for up to 12 matches for spitting when the season resumes after the novel coronavirus stoppage, according to a new protocol prepared by the Romanian FA (FRF) and the country's professional league. The FRF hopes to resume the domestic top-flight campaign on June 13 but the decision needs government approval. The FRF suspended all football competitions in mid-March.

* Shuttlers will keep ranking points they earned during the original Olympic qualification period before the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the Tokyo Games to be postponed, the Badminton World Federation said on Wednesday. Rankings at the end of April should have been the cutoff to decide which badminton players will be at the Tokyo Games. The governing body said an extended Olympic qualification period will be introduced in 2021 and will include only those tournaments that were postponed, cancelled or suspended due to the pandemic this year.

* Australian Jack Miller will step up to Ducati's main MotoGP team next season with an option on 2022, the Italian manufacturer said on Wednesday. The 25-year-old is currently with the non-works Pramac Ducati team. Miller will be the third Australian to ride for the official Ducati team after Troy Bayliss and two-times MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner.

* The governing body for motorsport in Britain aims to resume racing activities without spectators from July 4, it said on Wednesday. Motorsport UK suspended all its events throughout the country from March to the end of June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Premier League soccer clubs on Wednesday voted unanimously to return to contact training, including tackling, as the English top flight moved a step closer to a resumption after the shutdown caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

* A series of professional tennis events will take place in Britain from early July as the sport continues to emerge from the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Lawn Tennis Association said four British Tour events would be held between July 3-26, subject to confirmation of government requirements.

* As Japan’s sports teams prepare a cautious return to action after novel coronavirus suspensions, a company has developed an app that allows fans to cheer remotely for their teams playing in empty stadiums. Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league is scheduled to resume on July 19, with J.League soccer expected to start a couple of weeks later, but no fans will be allowed into stadiums amid fears of new coronavirus infections.