Japan gets 2 late goals to beat Germany 2-1 at World Cup
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup. Ilkay Gündogan had given four-time champion Germany the lead with a first-half penalty. But Doan pounced on a rebound to equalize in the 76th minute after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer blocked a shot from Takumi Minamino. Then Asano sprinted clear of Nico Schlotterbeck and beat Neuer from a narrow angle in the 83rd. Both Doan and Asano play for German clubs. It was the first competitive meeting between the two nations.
Germany players cover mouths at World Cup in FIFA protest
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Germany’s players covered their mouths for their team photo before their opening World Cup match in an apparent rebuke of FIFA’s clampdown on plans to wear armbands to protest discrimination in host nation Qatar. The team lined up in the traditional formation before Wednesday’s game against Japan and each of the 11 players covered their mouth with their right hand. It seemed to be a response to FIFA’s warning to the seven European federations that players would be penalized if they wore colorful “One Love” armbands as a symbol for inclusion and diversity. Qatar has been under scrutiny for its human rights record and laws criminalizing homosexuality.
Big upset puts global spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s players
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s shocking upset of Lionel Messi and Argentina suddenly put the Green Falcons in the international spotlight. Saudi Arabia has no big names like Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. The squad is instead full of domestic league players under a French coach that has jumped around several teams. Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari became instant national heroes with second-half goals in the 2-1 victory over the Argentines. Both play for Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia’s top league. And so does goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais. He preserved the win with a pair of late saves.
Prayers go on, sometimes out of sight, in prep football
WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Across America, most high school football seasons are winding down. It will wrap up the first year since the Supreme Court ruled it was OK for a public school coach near Seattle to pray on the field. The decision prompted speculation that prayer would become an even bigger part of the game-day fabric, though that hasn’t seemed to be the case. Outside Detroit, coaches have found ways for their diverse rosters to pray if they wish. Some keep it behind closed doors to avoid potential anti-Islamic jeers from fans in other communities.
Denmark reignites European dispute with FIFA at World Cup
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — European soccer has again showed public frustration with FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the World Cup. This time it was in the Denmark camp. Danish soccer federation president Jesper Møller pledged he wouldn’t vote for Infantino in March when he runs unopposed for re-election and also hinted at wishing to walk away from FIFA membership. European criticism of Infantino has intensified at the World Cup amid a dispute about wearing captains armbands that back an anti-discrimination campaign. Infantino berated European society and media for criticism of World Cup host Qatar in an eve-of-tournament news conference.
Where will Ronaldo go after leaving Manchester United?
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo has left Manchester United with immediate effect. Where will he turn up next? The Portugal star has put himself on the market with his explosive pre-World Cup interview that led to the termination of his contract on Tuesday. As a free agent the 37-year-old forward now has the chance to impress potential suitors and prove he can still produce on the highest level for his country in Qatar.
Pep Guardiola extends Manchester City contract until 2025
Pep Guardiola has signed a new contract with Manchester City that will keep him at the Premier League club until 2025. The Catalan manager’s current deal was set to expire at the end of the season, but he has committed to a further two years at the Etihad Stadium. Guardiola joined City in 2016 and has overseen the most successful period in its history winning four league titles and nine major trophies in total. But he has so far failed to win the Champions League with City.
Britcher, Sweeney giving women’s doubles luge a try for US
Summer Britcher and Emily Sweeney have been USA Luge teammates for years. They’ve traveled together, competed together, gone to the Olympics together and even stood on World Cup podiums together. Being on a sled together was not part of the plan. Until now. The veterans are still going to slide in singles, but now they’ve paired up in doubles with an eye on the 2026 Olympics in Italy.
No. 3 Michigan vs No. 2 Ohio St the Big Ten clash of titans
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The stakes could hardly be higher when No. 3 Michigan visits No. 2 Ohio State. A win for 11-0 Ohio State or 11-0 means a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship and keeping national championship hopes very much alive. Both teams enter unbeaten for the first time since 2006. It’s arguably the biggest game in the series since 2016, when Ohio State and Michigan held the same rankings as they do now.
Jury: NCAA not to blame in ex-USC football player’s death
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles jury has rejected a claim by the widow of a former USC football player who said the NCAA failed to protect him from repeated head trauma that led to his death. The jury found Tuesday that the NCAA was not negligent in the death of Matthew Gee. Lawyers for the widow of Gee, a linebacker on the 1990 Rose Bowl-winning squad, say he endured an estimated 6,000 hits as a college athlete. They say this caused permanent brain damage and led to cocaine and alcohol abuse, which eventually killed him at age 49. The NCAA said it had nothing to do with his death.