World Sports News in Brief

Ferrari tops Canada practice after Hamilton hits wall

Saturday, 2019-06-08 07:38:14
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Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the pits during the Formula One F1 - Monaco Grand Prix race - Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco - May 26, 2019. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)
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Charles Leclerc posted the fastest time in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix on Friday as Ferrari took advantage of some Mercedes misfortune with world champion Lewis Hamilton watching from the pits after clipping the wall.

Leclerc lapped the island circuit in the day’s best time of one minute 12.177 seconds, 0.074 ahead of his team mate, four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel. That provided Ferrari with a much-needed boost as they look to revive their challenge to Mercedes in Canada. Mercedes have dominated this season so far with Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas winning all six races, crossing one-two in five of them.

* Patrik Schick scored twice as the Czech Republic fought back after conceding an early goal to beat Bulgaria 2-1 at home on Friday, securing their first points of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. The win moved the Czechs into second in Group A on three points, three behind early leaders England, who beat them 5-0 at Wembley in their opening match.

* Poland beat North Macedonia 1-0 away on Friday to remain top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group G with their third win in three games while Israel beat Latvia 3-0 thanks to an Eran Zahavi hat-trick. Poland are on nine points, two ahead of Israel, in second place after Zahavi's superb performance earned them a comfortable victory in Latvia. Austria are fourth on three points, one ahead of the Slovenia and one behind third-placed North Macedonia.

* Spain eased to their third win from three games in their Euro 2020 qualification campaign by beating the Faroe Islands 4-1 away on Friday to stay two points clear at the top of Group F. Spain top the group with nine points from three games while Sweden are second with seven after a straightforward 3-0 win at home to Malta. Romania are third on four points after snatching a 2-2 draw at Norway after trailing by two goals.

* Two goals each from midfielder Viktor Tsygankov and forward Yevhen Konoplyanka helped Ukraine to an impressive 5-0 home win over Serbia in their Euro 2020 Group B qualifier on Friday. The result kept the Ukrainians top of the group on seven points from three games, three ahead of Luxembourg who drew 1-1 at Lithuania in the section's other fixture.

* Italy coach Roberto Mancini encouraged his players to be fearless when pulling on the national team shirt ahead of a crucial Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Greece and Bosnia. The Azzurri won their opening two qualifiers against Finland and Liechtenstein in March to go top of Group J on six points. Yet Mancini’s side are likely to face much sterner tests with a trip to Athens on Saturday before the visit of Bosnia next Tuesday, with both sides breathing down Italy's neck after taking four points from their opening two games.

* Novak Djokovic's hope of winning a fourth straight Grand Slam title was in jeopardy at the French Open on Friday when rain interrupted his semi-final against Austrian Dominic Thiem. The 32-year-old Serb will return to court at midday on Saturday trailing 6-2 3-6 3-1 and with plenty of work to do if he is to get a crack at Rafael Nadal in the final.

* Brazil have called up Chelsea forward Willian to replace the injured Neymar for this month’s Copa America, the Brazilian Football Confederation said on Friday. Neymar withdrew from the squad on Thursday after rupturing ligaments in his right ankle near the start of Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over Qatar the night before.

* The Republic of Korea substitute Hwang Ui-jo claimed the only goal in a scrappy 1-0 win over regional rivals Australia in Busan on Friday. With both sides eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Asian Cup in January, Friday's friendly was an opportunity to tinker with formations and personnel with the clock ticking down to the second round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers in September. Next up for the Koreans is a friendly against Iran on Tuesday.

* Kevin De Bruyne is concerned about the risk of picking up another injury when Belgium take on Kazakhstan on Saturday and Scotland next week in Euro 2020 qualification. The Manchester City midfielder battled through the season as he suffered two serious knee injuries and then a hamstring problem, limiting his contribution to his club's sweep of three domestic trophies.

* Australian Ashleigh Barty ended 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova's run at the French Open to reach the final with a rollercoaster 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3 victory on Friday. The eighth-seeded Barty, the first Australian woman to play a final here since Sam Stosur in 2010, will take on Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova on Saturday.

* Serena Williams is likely to go into Wimbledon without playing a warm-up event because she is still injured, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou has said. After a third-round exit at the French Open, Williams said she felt so short in matches, she was considering seeking a wildcard at one of the grass-court events and 'see what happens'.

* English Premier League side Chelsea have filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a transfer ban imposed by world soccer governing body FIFA, the CAS said on Friday. The Europa League champions were sanctioned in February for breaching rules regarding the international transfer and registration of players under 18. The transfer ban prevents Chelsea from signing players in the close season and in the January transfer window in 2020.

* Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante will miss France's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Turkey and Andorra due to a knee injury, the French Football Federation (FFF) has said. Kante was injured in training before Chelsea faced Arsenal in last week's Europa League final but played the full 90 minutes as his side beat their London rivals 4-1.

* Ukraine reached their first semifinal at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Poland as they overcame Colombia 1-0 on Friday in Lodz. Ukraine set up a semifinal clash against Italy who defeated a 10-man Mali 4-2 in another quarterfinal on Friday.

* Li Ke became the first naturalised footballer played for China as the hosts beat the Philippines 2-0 in an international friendly match in Guangzhou on Friday evening. Li started for China and played a quality 55 minutes on his debut.

Reuters, Xinhua