World Sports News in Brief

Last-gasp Draxler header gives PSG first victory of season

Thursday, 2020-09-17 08:15:12
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Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v Metz - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - September 16, 2020 Paris St Germain's Julian Draxler in action with Metz's Mamadou Fofana. (Photo: Reuters)
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Paris St Germain earned their first win of the Ligue 1 season as Julian Draxler headed home deep in stoppage time to give the depleted French champions a 1-0 home win over Metz on Wednesday (Sep 16).

PSG’s disciplinary problems continued, however, as they had another player sent off after three were dismissed in Sunday’s ill-tempered defeat by Olympique de Marseille, including world record signing Neymar. Having lost their first two matches of the campaign to Lens and Marseille, PSG are 15th in the Ligue 1 standings on three points after three games.

* Paris St Germain's Neymar has been given a two-match ban for striking out at Olympique de Marseille's Alvaro Gonzalez in last Sunday's fiery 1-0 defeat in Ligue 1, organisers said on Wednesday.

* Hungarian champions Ferencvaros progressed to the Champions League playoff round for the first time after winger Myrto Uzuni went from villain to hero in their shock 2-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday. Norway's Molde advanced after a 6-5 penalty shootout win over Qarabag following a goalless stalemate while Maccabi Tel Aviv's 1-0 home defeat of Dinamo Brest earned them a clash with Salzburg.

* Jorge Martin's Moto2 championship hopes have suffered another blow with the Spaniard's Red Bull KTM Ajo team replacing him for Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after he continued to test positive for COVID-19.

* This week's US Open at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York, would likely have been played in December in Los Angeles had the British Open not been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States Golf Association said on Wednesday. The USGA, whose flagship event was originally set for mid-June, only settled on a September date once organisers of the British Open, which were also considering rescheduling for the same month, decided to cancel the 2020 edition.

* Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona eased to a 3-1 victory over Girona in their second pre-season friendly under Ronald Koeman on Wednesday. Barca play promoted La Liga side Elche in their final pre-season game on Saturday before beginning their league campaign the following weekend at home to Villarreal.

* Nine-times champion Rafa Nadal showed little signs of rust when he played his first match in 200 days as he beat fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1 6-1 in the Italian Open in Rome on Wednesday. Nadal, who received a bye into the second round, has not played a tournament since winning his 85th singles title in Acapulco, having skipped the Western & Southern Open and the US Open in New York due to COVID-19 concerns.

* Cypriots Omonoia Nicosia reached the Champions League playoff round for the first time with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over 1991 European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade after the match ended 1-1 following regular and extra time on Wednesday. Their reward will be a two-legged tie with Olympiakos Piraeus after Brazilian goalkeeper Fabiano saved two penalties in the shootout to stun Serbian champions Red Star.

* Manchester United women's captain Katie Zelem has been withdrawn from England's training camp after testing positive for COVID-19, the FA said on Wednesday.

* Primoz Roglic took a giant leap towards a maiden Tour de France title when he extended his overall lead after the 17th stage on Wednesday, an unforgiving mountain rollercoaster dominated by Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez. Lopez prevailed at the end of the 170km trek from Grenoble, 15 seconds ahead of Roglic, who extended his advantage over fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar to 57 seconds, four days before the final parade in Paris.

* Top seed Simona Halep overcame a couple of hiccups in her first match at the Italian Open in Rome to beat wildcard Jasmine Paolini 6-3 6-4 and move into the third round on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Belarusian Victoria Azarenka beat American Venus Williams 7-6(7) 6-2 to set up a second-round clash with third seed Sofia Kenin.

* World number one Novak Djokovic turned the page on his contentious US Open exit and began his claycourt season with a convincing 6-3 6-2 victory over wildcard Salvatore Caruso in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.

* The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cost club football US$14 billion this year worldwide, around one third of its value, a leading official at global football body FIFA said on Wednesday. Olli Rehn, who heads the FIFA committee set up to tackle the effects of the pandemic, said that FIFA, along with financial consultants, had estimated the club game to be worth between US$40 billion and US$45 billion worldwide.

* Ten clubs in England's Football League will be allowed to admit up to 1,000 fans in this weekend's games as part of a pilot scheme to test the return of supporters, the EFL said on Wednesday. Among the games where fans will be allowed, Norwich City face Preston North End and Middlesbrough are up against Bournemouth in the second tier Championship.

* Aston Villa have completed the signing of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal on a four-year deal, the Premier League club said in a statement on Wednesday. The 28-year-old spent 10 years at the club and played only 39 first-team matches for them in all competitions, including 23 in the 2019-20 campaign filling in for the injured Bernd Leno.

* American teen Coco Gauff arrived in Rome on the heels of two early exits in New York and was glad to get her season back on track with a victory over Ons Jabeur at the Italian Open in her first Tour-level main draw match on clay. The 16-year-old made the fourth round of this year's Australian Open and reached the same stage at Wimbledon last year but suffered a first-round exit at her home Grand Slam at the US Open two weeks ago.

* Three individuals from Hamilton Academical have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating for 10 days, the Scottish Premiership club has said.

* Coming into just his second Tour level match Lorenzo Musetti did not expect to beat three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka at the Italian Open on Tuesday but the teenager says he fully deserved his stunning 6-0 7-6(2) victory. A straight-sets loss to Andrey Rublev in Dubai in February was Musetti's only Tour-level appearance before the claycourt matchup against Swiss Wawrinka, who counts the French Open among his three major titles.

* Defending champion Egan Bernal has withdrawn from the Tour de France ahead of stage 17, his Ineos Grenadiers team announced on Wednesday. The 23-year-old will focus on his recovery from the Tour, and reset his goals for the rest of the season, his team said.