22 Jan 2020

Today's Sports News: What you need to know

11:08 am on 22 January 2020

Latest - Manchester City's Sergio Aguero came off the bench to grab a 73rd-minute winner as they solidified their grip on second place in the English Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero  celebrates after scoring.

Sergio Aguero Photo: PHOTOSPORT

City's Brazilian Gabriel Jesus had a first-half penalty saved by Dean Henderson and the keeper, on loan from Manchester United, also produced a fine save to keep out a Raheem Sterling effort.

Pep Guardiola's side are on 51 points, 13 behind leaders Liverpool, who have two games in hand, and six points ahead of third-placed Leicester, who host West Ham United tomorrow.

Ten-man Arsenal managed a 2-all draw with fourth placed Chelsea.

There were wins for relegation threatened teams with Aston Vills beating Watford 2-1 and Bournemouth beating Brighton 3-1.

Southampton beat Crystal Palace 2-0 and Everton and Newcastle drew 2-2.


LA wants World Series titles stripped from Astros and Sox

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a resolution that asks commissioner Rob Manfred to strip the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox of their recent World Series titles and instead crown the Dodgers as the champions of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood.

LA Dodgers Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Dodgers lost the 2017 World Series to the Astros, four games to three, and the 2018 series to the Red Sox, four games to one.

The resolution cited the MLB investigation that showed the Astros used technology to steal signs in 2017 that led to the suspensions -- and subsequent firings -- of Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. The team also was fined $7.5 million and lost future draft picks.

The Astros' bench coach in 2017, Alex Cora, was linked to the scheme in a nine-page report released last week by MLB. He was hired to manage the Red Sox and led them to a world championship in 2018, before he and the team parted ways last week. An investigation into allegations the Red Sox cheated in 2018 is continuing.


Dhawan to miss tour

Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of India's tour of New Zealand with a shoulder injury, the country's cricket board (BCCI) said on Tuesday.

Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan.

Shikhad Dhawan Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Dhawan, a regular opening batsman for India's limited overs teams, hurt his left shoulder while diving on the field in the series-clinching one-day international win over Australia in Bengaluru on Sunday.

"An MRI of his shoulder was conducted, and the results have confirmed a grade II injury of his acromio-clavicular joint," the BCCI said in a statement

"His hand will be in a sling and he has been advised rest for some time. He will start his active rehab management in the first week of February at the National Cricket Academy."

Wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson has been named the replacement for the Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand, while Prithvi Shaw has earned his maiden ODI call-up.

Shaw, who made a test century on debut in 2018, is already in New Zealand with the India A team and impressed with a blistering 150 in a warm-up match on Sunday.

India will play five T20Is, three ODIs and two tests during the New Zealand tour.

The opening T20 game is at Eden Park on Friday.


Bronze for freeskier

Wanaka freeskier Luca Harrington has clocked up some massive airtime in the Lausanne 2020 halfpipe to claim a bronze medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Half pipe Freeskier


The 15-year-old placed first in the halfpipe qualification round and came out swinging in the finals, posting a best score of 80.66 to secure the bronze medal.

"Everything went to plan, the pipe was good, the sun was out and it was a great day. It was amazing out there and I'm just super grateful," said Harrington.

Andrew Longino from Canada placed first with a score of 94.00, while Hunter Carey from the USA took silver with a score of 86.00.

New Zealand also took out fourth place with Max McDonald scoring 76.00.

Harrington placed 10th in the men's slopestyle yesterday and says that spurred him on to the podium result.

"I got pretty nervous at the top of the halfpipe but as soon as I dropped in everything disappeared from my mind except me, my skis and the pipe. I'm so happy with how everything went today."

Harrington is now even more driven to achieve his goal of competing at the next Winter Olympic Games.

"Beijing 2022 is the dream so I'll be training everyday until then."

He'll compete in the big air event tomorrow alongside freeskiers Ben Barclay and Max McDonald, as well as snowboarder Mitch Davern.

The bronze medal is New Zealand's first individual medal of the Games, following the gold and bronze won in the mixed nation ice hockey by Katya Blong and Axel Ruski-Jones.

Bennett wins first stage

Irish champion Sam Bennett won the opening stage of Cycling's Tour Down Under, a 150km ride near Adelaide.

Bennett, who won three stages of the Giro d'Italia and two on the Vuelta a Espana last year, won the sprint finish

Of the New Zealanders taking part, George Bennett was 21st, Jack Bauer 53rd and Shane Archbold 108th.

Sri Lanka on top

Captain Angelo Mathews struck an unbeaten 92 as Sri Lanka posted 295 for four at the close of the third day of the first cricket test against Zimbabwe, putting his side in the driving seat at the Harare Sports Club.

Sri Lanka trail Zimbabwe's first innings total of 358 by 63 runs, but have six wickets in hand to pass that on day four and leave their hosts likely needing to bat out their second innings to save the test on what is a slow wicket.

Mathews has taken 253 balls on his way to what he hopes will be a 10th test century and first in over a year. He will be joined at the crease by Dhananjaya de Silva (42 not out) as the pair share an unbeaten fifth wicket stand of 68.

The second test will also be played at the Harare Sports Club, starting on Jan. 27.


De Kock to captain Proteas

Quinton de Kock has been named as the new captain of the South Africa One-Day International cricket side, taking over from Faf du Plessis, who is dropped altogether for the three-match series against England next month.

Quinton de Kock of South Africa.


Du Plessis led South Africa in their disastrous 2019 World Cup campaign and has hinted at international retirement from all formats following the Twenty20 global finals in Australia later this year.

De Kock leads a 15-man squad with five uncapped players in seamers Lutho Sipamla and Sisanda Magala, spinning all-rounder Bjorn Fortuin, opening batsman Janneman Malan and wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne.

Magala, leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, seamer Lungi Ngidi and hard-hitting opening batsman Jon Jon Smuts must pass fitness tests before they can join the squad.

Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada will be rested for the series, while allrounders Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius have also not been able to force their way in.


Borthwick to coach Leicester

England assistant coach Steve Borthwick will take over as Leicester head coach at the end of the international season.

Geordan Murphy will take on a new role as director of rugby at the Tigers, who would be bottom of the Premiership but for Saracens' 35 point deduction for breaching the salary cap regulations.

The Rugby Football Union announced yesterday that Borthwick would be leaving his position, with Melbourne Storm coach Jason Ryles set to join Eddie Jones' backroom staff in November.

Borthwick, 40, is changing roles from forwards coach to skills coach for England's Six Nations campaign starting against France on Feb. 2.


Chicharito moves to LA

Mexico's all-time leading scorer Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez has joined Los Angeles Galaxy from La Liga's Sevilla.

Hernandez, who has netted 52 goals in 109 international appearances, will be counted on to fill the void left when Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic left the MLS club last November after two seasons.

Hernandez, a veteran of three World Cups, was signed as a "Designated Player" -- each MLS club is allowed three such contracts -- which means only a portion of his salary counts against the team's salary budget allowable under league rules.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the Los Angeles Times reported that Hernandez's contract is for three years, including an option for a fourth, and that he will be paid an annual base salary of $9 million.

Hernandez began his professional career with Chivas Guadalajara in 2006 and then secured a transfer to the Premier League with Manchester United in 2010.

After scoring 59 goals with Manchester United across all competitions, Hernandez joined La Liga's Real Madrid on loan in 2014. The following season, he made a permanent transfer to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, where he enjoyed some of the most productive years of his career.

Hernandez ended his time in Europe with stints at West Ham United in England (2017-19) and Sevilla in Spain (2019).


Montana picks his team

Joe Montana was a precision passer in his NFL career, and now the Hall of Fame quarterback is showcasing his accuracy in a playful way as he guaranteed his team will win the Super Bowl showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Having played for both the 49ers and Chiefs during a career in which he established himself as one of the all-time greatest quarterbacks, NFL fans on Twitter and sports talk radio shows have already dubbed the 54th Super Bowl on Feb. 2 in Miami as the Joe Montana Bowl.

Montana, who won four Super Bowls with the 49ers and later played for the Chiefs, took to Twitter to offer his prediction for the National Football League championship.

"You heard from me first," Montana posted on his @JoeMontana Twitter account along with a photograph of framed 49ers and Chiefs jerseys. "I GUARANTEE my team will win the SUPER BOWL!!"