World Sports News in Brief

Rashford and Fernandes give United one foot in Europa semis

Friday, 2021-04-09 02:30:40
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Manchester United's Marcus Rashford in action. (Photo: Reuters)
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Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes secured a hard-fought 2-0 victory at Granada in the Europa League quarter-final first leg to put their side in the driving seat.

* Slavia Prague boosted their hopes of a first European semi-final since 1996 as Tomas Holes headed a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.

* Roger Ibanez crashed home a spectacular volley two minutes from time to give AS Roma a come-from-behind 2-1 away win over Ajax Amsterdam in their Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday (Apr 8). A missed penalty and a bad goalkeeping error cost Ajax dearly as they lost a halftime lead and now face a tough task in next Thursday’s return leg in Rome.

* This year's French Open has been postponed by a week due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will begin on May 30, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said on Thursday. The claycourt Grand Slam, which was postponed by four months last year and took place in front of limited crowds, will finish on June 13, two weeks before the expected start of Wimbledon.

* The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) launched a fund on Thursday (Apr 8) to try and buy a stake in the Premier League outfit if owner Mike Ashley sells. Newcastle's proposed 300 million pounds (US$412.47 million) takeover by a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium collapsed last year after the group declined independent arbitration.

* Nico Hulkenberg will be Aston Martin's official Formula One reserve and development driver this season, the team said on Thursday (Apr 9). The experienced German stood in for Mexican Sergio Perez and Canadian Lance Stroll last year when the Silverstone-based team competed as Racing Point, with both drivers testing positive for COVID-19.

* Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime has added Toni Nadal to his coaching team ahead of the European claycourt swing, the 20-year-old confirmed on Thursday. Speaking to reporters via Zoom, the world number 22 said Nadal, uncle and long-time coach to 13-time French Open champion Rafa Nadal, would start working with him ahead of the Monte Carlo Masters which starts on April 11.

* Rio de Janeiro abandoned plans to rename its famous Maracana Stadium in tribute to Pele on Thursday after a widespread outcry from fans.

* Azerbaijan will allow fans to attend Euro 2020 matches in Baku amid the COVID-19 pandemic with its Olympic Stadium set to be capped at 50% capacity, the country's football association (AFFA) said on Thursday. Azerbaijan did not qualify for the tournament and the AFFA said fans from countries taking part will be allowed to attend matches provided the requirements for a visa and COVID-19 mitigation are met.

* The UK’s sports governing bodies have backed the government's COVID-19 certification programme which could allow a full return of fans at stadiums without social distancing requirements from Jun 21. The certificate would show if a person had been vaccinated, had a recent negative test or natural immunity from a positive test taken in the last six months.

Reuters, CNA