World Cup Viewer’s Guide: Ronaldo and Neymar seek history
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Two of the best players in soccer start World Cup competition Thursday as Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar both seek history in Qatar. Ronaldo is attempting to become the first male soccer player to score in five different World Cups when he leads Portugal against Ghana. Neymar is the leader of a Brazil team seeking a record-extending sixth World Cup title. South Korea plays Uruguay and Switzerland faces Cameroon in other games. South Korea forward Son Heung-min will likely be wearing a Batman-style mask to protect the left eye socket he fractured earlier this month.
Embolo scores, Switzerland beat Cameroon 1-0 at World Cup
AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — Breel Embolo’s goal has lifted Switzerland to a 1-0 win over Cameroon at the World Cup. He kept his promise not to celebrate scoring against the country where he was born. The Swiss forward from Yaounde struck with a right-foot shot in the 48th minute Thursday. He was standing all alone eight meters (yards) out in the middle of the goalmouth to take Xherdan Shaqiri’s low pass. Embolo raised his hands in a gesture of apology as teammates rushed to him near the penalty spot. The 25-year-old forward left Cameroon with his family when he was five.
Aaron Rodgers says he’s been playing with broken thumb
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he’s been playing with a broken thumb for the past six weeks. Rodgers hurt his thumb on Oct. 9 during a foiled Hail Mary attempt on the final play of the Packers’ 27-22 loss to the New York Giants in London. The Packers have listed Rodgers with a thumb injury each week since. But the four-time MVP didn’t acknowledge publicly until Wednesday that it was broken. Rodgers says he’s played through worse injuries. And he says the thumb now feels the best it has since the Giants game.
Phillies’ Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery. The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team. Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost to Houston in six games. The two-time NL MVP hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.
Ohio State, Michigan get chance to add more lore to rivalry
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The highly anticipated matchup between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan with much at stake is almost here. The Buckeyes and Wolverines will play for the Big Ten East title and a spot in the conference championship game, where one of them will be big favorites and a win away from reaching the College Football Playoff. If The Game goes as expected on Saturday in the Horseshoe, it will join the long list of memorable moments in a series that dates to 1897.
Empty streets, cranes: the city built for Qatar’s World Cup
LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Less than a month before it is set to host the World Cup final, Lusail City is oddly quiet. The sleek district 20 kilometers north of Doha was built to accommodate World Cup fans and hundreds of thousands of host nation Qatar’s residents. It is home to the golden, bowl-shaped stadium where the World Cup’s final match will take place, but its empty streets are raising questions about how much use it will get once more than a million soccer fans leave the small Gulf Arab nation after the tournament.
England wary of World Cup upset against US
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — England scored six goals in its opening World Cup game against Iran, but it was the two it conceded that concern coach Gareth Southgate and provide hope for the United States. The tournament has already produced some shocking results, including Saudi Arabia’s win against Argentina and Japan’s upset over Germany. A win for the U.S. over England would not be on the scale of Saudi Arabia’s win, but Gregg Berhalter’s team is undoubtedly the underdog against one of the tournament favorites.
Promising Spain brings back the ‘tiki-taka’ at the World Cup
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — King Felipe VI was among those congratulating Spain after its 7-0 rout of Costa Rica in the World Cup opener as “La Roja” put on a masterclass of ball possession and efficient attacking to get off to a good start in its quest to win a second world title. The historic victory raised expectations about “La Roja’s” chances of succeeding in Qatar and winning soccer’s most coveted trophy for the first time since 2010. Spain plays Germany in their second Group E match on Sunday.
Seven Michigan St football players charged in tunnel melee
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Charges have been filed against seven Michigan State football players stemming from a melee in Michigan Stadium’s tunnel last month. That’s according to a statement from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office. Michigan State player Khary Crump faces the most serious charge — felonious assault. Charges against the six other players are misdemeanors. Five are charged with aggravated assault and one with assault and battery. The incident occurred on Oct. 29 when multiple members of Michigan State’s football team roughed up two Michigan players. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh had said earlier he expected the suspended Spartans to be charged.
Davis Cup: Fritz pulls US level with Italy in quarterfinals
MÁLAGA, Spain (AP) — Taylor Fritz has pulled the United States level with Italy at 1-1 in the Davis Cup quarterfinals after Frances Tiafoe lost his singles. The tie will be decided in doubles. No. 9-ranked Fritz beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6, 6-3 on the indoor hard-court in Málaga. Lorenzo Sonego struck first for Italy by using his big serve to defeat Tiafoe a 6-3, 7-6. Croatia and Australia have already advanced to the semifinals.