Australia beat New Zealand 1-0 in World Cup warmup

Australia beat New Zealand 1-0 in World Cup warmup
Australia's Jamie MaClaren, center right, and New Zealand's Tim Payne, center left, jump for a header during a friendly soccer international in Brisbane, on Sept. 22, 2022. (AP)
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Updated 23 September 2022

Australia beat New Zealand 1-0 in World Cup warmup

Australia beat New Zealand 1-0 in World Cup warmup
  • It was Australia’s last home match before the World Cup in Qatar

BRISBANE, Australia: Spain-based winger Awer Mabil scored his eighth goal in 29 appearances for Australia and the Socceroos beat New Zealand 1-0 Thursday at Suncorp Stadium.

In the 32nd minute, Australia midfielder Jackson Irvine poached the ball in New Zealand’s half and fed Mabil, who stepped around a defender and sent a long-range strike into the bottom corner of the net. Mabil plays for Spanish club Cadiz.

“Far from satisfied, to be honest,” Irvine said. “There’s a lot of things we could have done better, but at the end of the day, a win is a win.”

It was Australia’s last home match before the World Cup in Qatar. The teams play again on Sunday in Auckland. New Zealand did not qualify for the World Cup.

Australia advanced to their fifth consecutive World Cup in the final phase of qualifying after a penalty shootout win over Peru in Qatar in June. The Socceroos are in Group D and play play France, Tunisia and Denmark.


Newcastle back to winning ways with Fulham thrashing

Newcastle back to winning ways with Fulham thrashing
Updated 20 sec ago

Newcastle back to winning ways with Fulham thrashing

Newcastle back to winning ways with Fulham thrashing
  • A Miguel Almiron double and strikes from Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff complete a 4-1 win after a run of draws
  • Due to a number of injury issues, head coach Eddie Howe was forced into changes to his usual defensive and midfield lines

LONDON: It’s amazing what three points earned can do for the outlook on Tyneside.
While many began to question whether Newcastle United’s one win in their opening seven games, even with just one defeat, was a positive or negative start to the season, doubters have been silenced thanks to their dominant display against Fulham.
All three points were secured in southwest London thanks to a special Miguel Almiron double, as well as strikes from Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff, in a 4-1 win.
Bobby Decordova-Reid netted a late consolation for the hosts, who had Nathaniel Chalobah dismissed after just eight first-half minutes.
Due to a number of injury issues, head coach Eddie Howe was forced into changes to his usual defensive and midfield lines.
Joelinton and Matt Targett, both failing to be passed fit to start, found themselves benched with Longstaff and Sven Botman recalled. Jacob Murphy and Wilson were also restored to the Newcastle line-up, with Ryan Fraser and the injured Alexander Isak replaced.
And it was Wilson, back after a five-game lay-off, who could have opened the scoring within minutes of the off. A Dan Burn shot was brilliantly saved by the impressive Bernd Leno but the rebound was poked wide with the goal gaping by last season’s top-scorer Wilson.
The game was turned on its head after just seven first half minutes when Chalobah’s late challenge on Longstaff was deemed to be a red card after a VAR check. While home complaints were vociferous, it was the right call by referee Darren England, with Chalobah late and high on the United midfielder’s ankle.
Wilson made no mistake on 11 minutes, however — even if the goal, his third of the season, was a little cheeky, and much to the dismay of teammate Joe Willock.
A searching Willock cross-field pass found Kieran Trippier, whose ball in was headed goalwards by the former Arsenal man — and just as the ball was about to nestle into the far corner, Wilson popped up to turn in. To say Willock looked a little bemused in the celebrations is an understatement.
Newcastle and Wilson were just getting started. The frontman should have netted his and Newcastle’s second just before the half hour when Murphy teed up Willock to cross and Wilson on the turn flipped over Leno’s bar.
Often, when teams sit in this season, United have struggled to break down the opposition, but this time out the Cottagers’ backline crumbled under the pressure.
And it was orchestrator-in-chief Bruno Guimaraes, playing in a slightly freer, more advanced role, who unlocked the door — and created the Magpies’ second.
A one-two, which saw the Brazilian chip quite delightfully over the top, unleashed Almiron, who produced another goal-of-the season contender with a wonderfully controlled volley past the helpless, and rather isolated, Leno.
The floodgates were well and truly open for Newcastle — and they seemed in no mood to take their foot off the pedal.
On the stroke of half time, a looping Botman header looked set to ripple the net but for the acrobatics of Leno — the only man standing between Newcastle and an absolute rout — only for Longstaff to then smash home the rebound when it ricocheted back off the post.
Down and seemingly out, Marco Silva’s men were buoyed somewhat by some second-half changes, but the die was cast as United’s marauding frontline continued their rampage.
Willock, unlucky not to be on the scoresheet, was again denied by one-man wall Leno before Almiron added his second of the game just before the hour.
Again Willock was involved as he centered for the Paraguayan forward at the back post, who made it 4-0.
He was denied a memorable hat-trick by the offside flag before substitute Fraser also saw a deft chip chalked off for the same reason.
Three defensive changes, with Howe looking to rest bodies, saw Newcastle’s resolve loosen slightly and open the door and an all-too-willing Decordova-Reid, who headed home a late consolation to make things, from a scoreline perspective at least, a little less one-sided.
All-in-all, though, this was as one-sided as they come.
It’s onwards and upwards for the Magpies now, with just one loss in their opening two months of the campaign.
While a few more wins would have been welcomed by Howe and co, it’s hard to find fault with a team who are establishing themselves as one of the hardest teams to better in the English top-flight.


Leclerc takes Singapore GP pole as Verstappen aborts lap

Leclerc takes Singapore GP pole as Verstappen aborts lap
Updated 16 min 32 sec ago

Leclerc takes Singapore GP pole as Verstappen aborts lap

Leclerc takes Singapore GP pole as Verstappen aborts lap
  • “They told me to box and then I realized what was going to happen. We ran out of fuel,” Verstappen told broadcaster Sky
  • Leclerc clinched a season-leading ninth pole and finished .022 ahead of Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez and .054 clear of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton

SINGAPORE: Max Verstappen looked on course for pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday when his Red Bull team aborted his lap with just seconds left in qualifying because of a fuel issue and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took pole instead.
“Why? Why? Why?” Verstappen asked when told to box, before unleashing an expletive.
He soon found out why.
“They told me to box and then I realized what was going to happen. We ran out of fuel,” Verstappen told broadcaster Sky. “It is incredibly frustrating and it shouldn’t happen ... At least you (should) track that throughout the session to know you aren’t going to make it. We should’ve seen that way earlier.”
Verstappen starts eighth, although he’s won from 14th on the grid this season in Belgium.
He was well clear of Leclerc at the time splits but Red Bull called him in as he was about to go under fuel limit regulations. Drivers can be disqualified if they don’t have enough fuel left in the tank, which would have meant starting from last place.
Still, he was clearly displeased at what happened.
“I am not happy at all at the moment, I know of course it is always a team effort and I can make mistakes, and the team can make mistakes, but it is never acceptable,” he said. “Of course you learn from it, but this is really bad. It shouldn’t happen.”
Leclerc clinched a season-leading ninth pole and finished .022 ahead of Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez and .054 clear of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
“It was incredibly close, a really exciting session,” said Hamilton, who has a record 103 career poles but none this year. “A really clean qualifying session. It was so difficult to get that lap perfect.”
Perez is confident he can challenge for victory.
“It’s an opportunity tomorrow from the start to attack Charles and I’ll go for the win,” Perez said. “It’s quite disappointing to miss out by two hundredths but at the end of the day I think they did a fantastic job. Very happy.”
But Verstappen’s grid position deals a blow to his chances of wrapping up the title on Sunday on a street track difficult for overtaking. That gives Leclerc a good chance to win his fourth race of the season.
“I thought we wouldn’t get pole but it paid off and I’m really happy,” Leclerc said. “It was really, really special, every qualifying in street tracks are super on the limit.”
Leclerc called it “a matter of time before Max gets his title.”
Verstappen leads Leclerc by 116 points and will clinch his second straight title only if he scores 22 points more than Leclerc, his most realistic challenger.
He must win to secure the title Sunday, along with two other scenarios involving Leclerc. If Verstappen wins, Leclerc can finish no higher than ninth; if Verstappen wins and earns a bonus point for fastest lap, Leclerc can finish no higher than eighth.
The race buildup has seen bickering between teams over an alleged 2021 budget cap breach by Red Bull, which drew an angry response from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
Also, Hamilton was summoned to appear before the stewards for a potential jewelry breach shortly after third practice had ended at the Marina Bay Circuit.
The seven-time F1 champion was later cleared after being investigated for an alleged infringement of Appendix L, Chapter III of the FIA’s International Sporting Code, which includes a prohibition on the wearing of jewelry. The summons related to Hamilton’s nose stud, which he had previously removed when the FIA’s jewelry ban was applied.
Hamilton said he explained to stewards before qualifying started that he needs to keep the stud in due to complications linked to a blood blister on his nose. Hamilton said he has a doctor’s letter showing all this and stewards accepted his explanation after reviewing footage.
Meanwhile, two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso will start behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and from fifth place in his record 350th F1 race on Sunday, which will be one more than 2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen.
McLaren’s Lando Norris was sixth and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly qualified seventh ahead of Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) in 10th.
Williams driver Alex Albon, racing just three weeks after being hospitalized with appendicitis and then suffering respiratory failure, qualified 19th.
He went out of Q1 with Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon — who have a combined 19 F1 wins. Bottas starts from 16th spot with Ricciardo 17th and Ocon 18th.
Earlier Saturday, Leclerc led a rain-hit third and final practice ahead of Verstappen. Half the session was lost as marshals swept water off the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) track, which mostly dried out for qualifying.
Midway through Q2, some drivers changed to the quicker slick tires while other stayed on intermediaries. Mercedes driver George Russell starts 11th after being knocked out of Q2 with four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin).


Gallagher haunts Palace as Chelsea boss Potter seals first win

Gallagher haunts Palace as Chelsea boss Potter seals first win
Updated 30 min 9 sec ago

Gallagher haunts Palace as Chelsea boss Potter seals first win

Gallagher haunts Palace as Chelsea boss Potter seals first win
  • Potter was taking charge of Chelsea for just the second time since replacing the sacked Thomas Tuchel in September
  • The former Brighton boss had overseen a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg in the Champions League

LONDON: Graham Potter earned his first win as Chelsea manager after Conor Gallagher returned to haunt Crystal Palace with the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Potter was taking charge of Chelsea for just the second time since replacing the sacked Thomas Tuchel in September.
The former Brighton boss had overseen a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg in the Champions League and was seconds away from another frustrating result until England midfielder Gallagher rode to the rescue.
Odsonne Edouard had put Palace ahead early on before former Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalized with his first goal for Chelsea late in the first half.
That set the stage for Gallagher to come off the bench and win it for Chelsea deep into stoppage-time, in the process breaking the hearts of the team he played for on loan for the whole of last season.
“It’s a very special moment to come on and get the winner. It was written in the stars. Everyone knows how much I loved it at Palace but I’m just buzzing to get my first goal,” Gallagher said of his maiden strike for Chelsea.
Relieved to get off the mark after a tricky test in south London, Potter said: “We’re delighted with the result. It’s a tough place to come. I thought we started quite well but conceded from the first action into the box.
“Credit to the boys, they recovered well and did not let their heads go down. It was nice to get an equalizer and get back in the game.
“There’s character, that’s for sure. They could’ve felt sorry for themselves after conceding the goal but the players stood up all the way through.
“There was a collective spirit among the players. We are delighted with the three points.”
Edouard met Jordan Ayew’s seventh-minute cross and lifted the ball past Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner.
Raheem Sterling was inches away from a quick equalizer when the Chelsea forward pounced on his own rebound and watched his second effort hit the post.
Palace were furious when Ayew looked through on goal, only to be stopped in his tracks by Thiago Silva, with the Chelsea defender escaping with just a booking.
Silva’s presence on the pitch proved vital moments later when Reece James found the Brazilian at the edge of the area and he nodded the pass in the direction of Aubameyang, who spun and fired past Vicente Guaita.
Palace nearly went back in front after half-time when Michael Olize battled his marker before picking out Wilfried Zaha, who could not beat Kepa with a powerful strike.
Gallagher was warmly received by Palace fans when he stepped on the pitch in the 76th minute.
But those friendly sentiments were quickly forgotten when he curled in the decider to spark jubilant celebrations among Potter and his backroom staff.


Bayern’s Mueller, Kimmich Covid positive ahead of Dortmund showdown

Bayern’s Mueller, Kimmich Covid positive ahead of Dortmund showdown
Updated 45 min 6 sec ago

Bayern’s Mueller, Kimmich Covid positive ahead of Dortmund showdown

Bayern’s Mueller, Kimmich Covid positive ahead of Dortmund showdown
  • Both will miss the side's upcoming Champions League game against Viktoria Pilsen

BERLIN: Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Mueller have tested positive for Covid-19, just a week before they travel to face Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
The German champions confirmed the news late on Saturday afternoon, with the statement saying both players have “no symptoms” and are currently in home isolation.
Both will miss the side’s upcoming Champions League game against Viktoria Pilsen, but may still be able to play in Saturday’s game against Dortmund.
They took part in Bayern’s dominant 4-0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night.
Bayern on Friday welcomed back captain Manuel Neuer and midfielder Leon Goretzka, who had been in Covid isolation for a week after testing positive while on Germany duty.
Kimmich and Mueller were also in Germany’s Nations League camp.
Kimmich, who had previously remained unvaccinated due to “fears and concerns” with the vaccine, was vaccinated early in 2022.


Riyadh’s King Fahd International Stadium to host Saudi Games opening ceremony

Riyadh’s King Fahd International Stadium to host Saudi Games opening ceremony
Updated 44 min 50 sec ago

Riyadh’s King Fahd International Stadium to host Saudi Games opening ceremony

Riyadh’s King Fahd International Stadium to host Saudi Games opening ceremony
  • The games are set to be the largest sporting event hosted in the Arab world to date

RIYADH: The first edition of the Saudi Games will begin in Riyadh on October 27 under the patronage of King Salman, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday. King Fahd International Stadium will host the ceremony.

The games are set to be the largest sporting event hosted in the Arab world to date, in terms of the number of participants and the amount of prize money on offer.

Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal expressed his gratitude to King Salman for his generous sponsorship of the event, which he said was a clear sign of the country’s leaders’ interest in and support for sports.

“These projects will positively affect our youth,” Prince Abdulaziz said. “This tournament is one of the most important programs to emerge from Saudi Vision 2030. I wish good luck to all our participants.”

The Saudi Games will provide more than 20,000 athletes the chance to participate in the qualifying phase.

More than 6,000 athletes and 2,000 technical and administrative supervisors will participate in the tournament proper on behalf of 200 clubs from across the Kingdom.

Individuals participating under the flag of the Olympic and Paralympic Committee will be grouped into one category, and will also be competing in 45 individual and team sports, including five sports for Paralympians.

Participants will be competing for the highest prize money in the history of the region with more than SR200 million (around $53 million) on offer. Gold-medal winners will receive SR1 million, with silver- and bronze-medal winners awarded SR300,000 and SR100,000 respectively.

-ENDS-