World Sports News in Brief

Extra-time Fernandes penalty sends United into Europa semis

Tuesday, 2020-08-11 11:05:43
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Europa League Quarter Final - Manchester United v FC Copenhagen - RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne, Germany - August 10, 2020 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes scores their first goal from the penalty spot, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease. (Photo: Reuters)
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Manchester United were forced to dig deep to reach the Europa League semi-finals as Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes converted a 95th-minute penalty to secure a 1-0 win over a stubborn FC Copenhagen side after extra time on Monday (Aug 10).

United, who won Europe’s second-tier competition in 2017, will meet Sevilla or Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday for a berth in the final after grinding down the Danes and their inspired goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson in an entertaining game.

* Inter Milan's Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku scored and tormented the Bayer Leverkusen defence as he led his side into the Europa League semi-finals with a 2-1 win on Monday. Inter will set up a semi-final against Shakhtar Donetsk or FC Basel who meet on Tuesday.

* England women's soccer coach Phil Neville is on Football Federation Australia's three-person shortlist for the vacant 'Matildas' job, Britain's Daily Mail has reported. Neville, who guided England to the Women's World Cup semi-finals in France last year, is set to leave his role with the team at the end of his contract in July 2021.

* Aryna Sabalenka fended off Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2 on Monday to advance to the second round of the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky, the first WTA Tour event in the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the circuit in March.

* Liverpool have signed Greece defender Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos Piraeus on a long-term contract, the Premier League champions announced on Monday. The 24-year-old left back made 46 appearances for Olympiakos in all competitions last season as they won their 45th Greek Super League title.

* Leeds United have re-signed English winger Jack Harrison on a season-long loan deal, the newly promoted Premier League club announced on Monday. The 23-year-old has spent the previous two campaigns on loan at Elland Road making 91 appearances and scoring 10 goals in all competitions and Leeds said they completed his loan deal with a view to signing him permanently.

* Former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova has joined a growing list of players who have decided not to play in this year's tournament due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. The Russian world number 32 on Monday announced her decision on Instagram where she also said she would skip the Western & Southern Open which is being held in New York this year instead of Cincinnati as a lead-up to the Aug 31-Sep 13 US Open.

* Germany agreed on Monday to extend a ban for spectators in stadiums at Bundesliga soccer matches until at least the end of October due to the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said.

* Villarreal have signed Japanese playmaker Takefusa Kubo on loan from Real Madrid for next season, the La Liga club said on Monday. Kubo, 19, impressed last season in his debut campaign in the top-flight on loan at Real Mallorca although was unable to prevent the team from being relegated a year after winning promotion.

* MotoGP will end its 2020 season in Portugal with an extra race to be run on its reserve track in Portimao on Nov. 22, the promoters said on Monday. The Algarve International Circuit will host MotoGP's first race in Portugal since 2012 and will see KTM Tech 3 rider Miguel Oliveira race on home turf in the premier class for the first time.

* This year's postponed Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race will be run without spectators in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its organisers said on Monday. The French race, usually held in June at the Sarthe circuit and now in its 88th edition, was attended by 250,000 people in 2019, with a large number coming from Britain.

* Italian lender Intesa Sanpaolo on Monday said it has become the banking partner of Bergamo-based Serie A soccer club Atalanta BC after taking over local rival UBI Banca. Atalanta is the only Italian team left in the Champions League tournament and Intesa's move comes ahead of Wednesday's quarter-final game against Paris St. Germain FC.

* Atletico Madrid’s fears of further disruption to their trip to the Champions League ‘Final Eight’ tournament in Lisbon have been eased after the rest of the squad tested negative for COVID-19, following two positives the previous day. The club’s morning training session was postponed due to the positive cases and their plans to travel to Lison were put on hold, but the club said in a statement they would have one final session before flying out on Tuesday, a day later than planned.

* French soccer champion Paris Saint Germain has signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with Chinese consumer electronics and home appliances company Hisense, the companies said on Monday.

Reuters