World Sports News in Brief

Late strikes secure Valencia much-needed win over Villarreal

Saturday, 2021-03-06 09:56:52
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Goncalo Guedes celebrates his goal for Valencia against Villarreal, La Liga, Mestalla, Valencia, March 5, 2021. (Photo: Getty)
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Valencia scored twice in the last five minutes through Carlos Soler and Goncalo Guedes to beat visiting neighbours Villarreal 2-1 in La Liga and claim a much-needed three points for under-pressure coach Javi Gracia on Friday.

* Bundesliga basement club Schalke 04 drew 0-0 at home to Mainz 05 in their relegation derby on Friday in coach Dimitris Grammozis' debut on the Royal Blues' bench.

* Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the Doha Open Friday (Mar 5) ahead of her semi-final clash with Garbine Muguruza, blaming injury which was on display as she battled through her last-eight tie against Elina Svitolina. The eighth-seeded Belarusian was scheduled to face Garbine Muguruza, who received a walkover into Saturday's final.

* Arsenal have reported a loss of 47.8 million pounds (US$65.97 million) in the last financial year as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted schedules and forced games to be played in empty stadiums, the Premier League club said on Friday.

* Britain's grassroots rugby union clubs will receive more than 40 million pounds (US$55.39 million) in support funds amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Sports Ministry announced on Friday. The government will also provide up to 5.5 million pounds to help England's second-tier Championship, which kicks off on Saturday after 11 teams agreed to invest in mandatory COVID-19 testing.

* Stefanos Tsitsipas, a semi-finalist at last month's Australian Open, reached the final four of the ATP Rotterdam tournament on Friday (Mar 5) with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Karen Khachanov. The second-seeded Greek will next play another Russian in fourth seed Andrey Rublev who battled past French qualifier Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (2/7), 6-4.

* Petra Kvitova withstood some inspired tennis from Jessica Pegula and high winds to win 6-4, 6-4 on Friday and reach the final of the Qatar Open where she will face Garbine Muguruza.

* Former world number one Roger Federer said on Friday he was excited to return to competitive tennis at next week's Qatar Open after a year-long absence. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played a tournament since his Australian Open semi-final exit against Novak Djokovic last year, undergoing two knee surgeries since.

* Formula One's governing body extended Pirelli's contract as sole tyre supplier by one year to 2024 on Friday to reflect disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

* The Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix in Baku will go ahead without spectators in June after being cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Friday. A statement said it was still too soon for fans to attend safely, and tickets from 2020 would be valid for 2022 provided no refund had been sought.

* Bayern Munich's attacking midfielder Jamal Musiala on Friday signed a professional contract that will keep him at the German champions until 2026. Musiala joined Bayern's Under-17s in 2019 from Chelsea and has quickly developed to earn playing time with the senior team and is also expecting a call-up from the German national side.

* Formula One confirmed on Friday (Mar 5) that the vacant May 2 slot in the record-breaking 23-race championship calendar, will be filled by the Portuguese Grand Prix. The Portimao circuit, in the Algarve, will host a Grand Prix for the second time in its history.

* Formula One team Williams had to abandon the unveiling of their 2021 car via an augmented reality app on Friday after they were targeted by hackers. The British team had hoped to allow fans to project the new machine into their homes but instead they had to pull the plug just an hour before the innovative launch.

Reuters, CNA