World Sports News in Brief

Spurs sack Pochettino as Mourinho linked to the job

Wednesday, 2019-11-20 07:44:22
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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino applauds the fans after the Champions League Group B match between Crvena Zvezda and Tottenham Hotspur at Rajko Mitic Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia, on November 6, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
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Tottenham Hotspur sacked manager Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday, six months after he led the club to the Champions League final and after five years in charge, saying that it was a move made reluctantly after a disappointing start to the season.

Former Manchester United and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has already been linked to the job, with Sky Sports reporting that talks between the Portuguese and Spurs were at an advanced stage with both sides confident a deal could be reached by Wednesday.

* Canada became the first nation to reach the quarter-finals of the revamped Davis Cup as they beat the United States for the first time at the 16th attempt on Tuesday. The 18 nations taking part at La Caja Magica are split into six groups with the group winners and two best runners-up moving through to the quarter-finals on Thursday and Friday.

* Christian Benteke and Kevin De Bruyne scored two goals each as Belgium thrashed Cyprus 6-1 in their Euro 2020 Group I qualifier at the King Baudouin Stadium on Tuesday. Belgium finish top of their pool with a perfect 10 wins from 10 games, scoring 40 goals in the process, as Yannick Carrasco and an own goal from Kypros Christoforou completed the rout of Cyprus.

* Georginio Wijnaldum struck a hat-trick as the Netherlands, who had already booked a spot at Euro 2020, eased to a 5-0 victory over Estonia in their final Group C qualifying clash at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Tuesday.

* Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick as already-qualified Germany came from a goal down to crush Northern Ireland 6-1 in their final Euro 2020 qualifier on Tuesday and finish top of Group C. The Germans, who had already made sure of their spot in next year's tournament with Saturday's 4-0 win over Belarus, finished on 21 points, two ahead of second-placed Netherlands.

* Nick Kyrgios returned from a two-month break to launch Australia's Davis Cup challenge on Tuesday and believes they can win the trophy for the first time since 2003. Playing his first match since September because of a shoulder problem, the 24-year-old eased to a 6-4 6-4 victory over Colombia's lowly-ranked Alejandro Gonzalez.

* Ethiopia caused the first real shock of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they came from behind to stun the Ivory Coast with a 2-1 victory in their Group K clash in Bahir Dar on Tuesday. Madagascar continued their fine recent form in the other game in the pool with a thumping 6-2 victory over Niger in Niamey. The win is the biggest ever on the road in Nations Cup qualifiers for Madagascar and puts them top of the group with a full haul of six points from their two games.

* Diego Maradona has left his position as coach of Argentine side Gimnasia y Esgrima, bringing a premature end to yet another coaching job for the World Cup winner. Maradona, who won the World Cup in 1986 and is often referred to as one of the greatest players of all time, took over the club from La Plata, just outside Buenos Aires, charged with helping them avoid relegation.

* Britain's Leon Smith could be the envy of the other 17 Davis Cup captains this week with three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray up his sleeve as a surprise second singles player. With Murray having undergone hip-resurfacing surgery in January in a bid to salvage his career, Smith was planning for the Madrid finals without the team's talisman. But the 32-year-old Scot's return to top form has been faster than expected with Murray winning the European Open title in Antwerp last month.

* Syria maintained their perfect start to the second of round of Asian qualifying for the 2022 World Cup on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over the Philippines that keeps Fajr Ibrahim's side in pole position to advance to the next phase. Iraq and Bahrain played out a scoreless draw that leaves Srecko Katanec's Iraqis in top spot in Group C, two points ahead of Bahrain and a further three clear of Iran.

* Brazil returned to triumphant form after a five-game winless streak on Tuesday with the recalled Philippe Coutinho starring in a 3-0 win over Korea Republic. The match extended Korea Republic’s poor run, with the Asian side now having gone three games without scoring. The friendly was Brazil’s last before they begin their qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup in March next year.

* Luis Enrique has been reappointed Spain coach, having resigned from the role in June as his late daughter battled cancer, Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales said on Tuesday. Rubiales said Robert Moreno, the former assistant coach who steered Spain to Euro 2020 qualification after Luis Enrique left, wanted to stand down so that he could return.

* Construction work has been completed at Tokyo's National Stadium, set to be the centrepiece of next year's Olympic Games, the site's owners said on Tuesday. The Japan Sports Council said the final work had been completed on Thursday with just the final quality and safety checks remaining before the stadium opens next month.

* Hosts Egypt proved too strong for South Africa, defeating them 3-0 in the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal on Tuesday to reach the final and qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in style. The Pharaohs scored three times after the break to secure their place at next year's Olympics, and set up a clash with Cote d'Ivoire in next Friday's final.

* Spanish Liga Santander club Osasuna have confirmed that coach Jagoba Arrasate has signed a new contract to extend his stay until the end of June 2022. The new deal is a reward for the excellent work Arrasate has done in a year and a half at Osasuna in which he has led them to promotion back to the Liga Santander from the second division and established then in a mid-table position on their return to the top-flight.

Reuters, Xinhua