27 Oct 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:28 am on 27 October 2021

Latest - Chelsea and Arsenal moved into the League Cup quarter-finals with victories over fellow Premier League sides Leeds United and Southampton, while third-tier Sunderland also progressed.

Chelsea's English defender Reece James celebrates scoring the winning penalty during the English League Cup third round football match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in London on September 22, 2021.

Reece Walsh Photo: AFP

Chelsea needed penalties to get past Southampton at Stamford Bridge after the game ended 1-1 following 90 minutes.

Thomas Tuchel's side took the lead through a Kai Havertz header just before the break.

Reece James slotted in the decisive spot-kick as Chelsea ran out 4-3 winners on penalties after Theo Walcott and Will Smallbone failed to score for the Saints.

Arsenal eased through with second-half goals from Calum Chambers and Eddie Nketiah in a 2-0 win over struggling Leeds.

League One Sunderland also enjoyed a shootout win, defeating Championship (second-tier) Queens Park Rangers 3-1 after the game in London had ended goalless.

Tomorrow Liverpool play Championship side Preston North End, West Ham United host holders Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur visit Burnley.


Ferguson out of World Cup

Black Caps pace bowler Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the Twenty20 World Cup due to a calf muscle tear.

Lockie Ferguson bowls.


New Zealand Cricket said the 30-year-old felt tightness in his right calf after a training session and an MRI scan ahead of their tournament opener against Pakistan revealed a grade two tear which would rule him out for up to four weeks.

He's been replaced in the 15-player squad by Adam Milne, who travelled with the team.

"It's a real shame for Lockie to have this happen on the eve of the tournament and the entire team is really feeling for him right now," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said in a statement

"He's a massive part of our side and has been in such good form - so to lose him at this time is a blow.

"However, we are fortunate to have a like-for-like replacement in the form of Adam who has been with the squad training for the past two weeks."

De Kock in the eye of a storm

South Africa's Quinton de Kock hurled himself in the eye of a storm after skipping today's Twenty20 World Cup match against West Indies and defying a team order to take a knee which could jeopardise his further participation in the tournament.

Quinton de Kock of South Africa


South Africa captain Temba Bavuma revealed at the toss that de Kock had withdrawn from the Group I match in Dubai over "personal reasons".

De Kock's move came hours after Cricket South Africa instructed the team to adopt "a consistent and united stance against racism" by taking the knee prior to the start of their remaining matches.

"As a team, we obviously were surprised and taken aback by the news," Bavuma said after their campaign-reviving eight-wicket victory against the defending champions.

"Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat, but the role he plays from a senior point of view... not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously something I wasn't looking forward to.

"In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He's a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions."

De Kock had declined to take a knee in the past calling it "my own personal opinion".


France excited to take on All Blacks

Stand-in captain Antoine Dupont does not believe his new role will affect his performance and is eager for his French side to benchmark their progress against New Zealand in their clash in Paris next month.

France's Antoine Dupont


Dupont, considered arguably the best halfback in the world, has been named captain with regular skipper Charles Ollivon likely to be out until next year with a knee injury.

France host Argentina on Nov. 6, and then Georgia and New Zealand on consecutive weekends after that, and Dupont believes the last of those clashes will be key with the two sides to also clash at the Stade de France in the opening game of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"It is always an important and big game when we play New Zealand, and unfortunately the last few matches against them were not good for France," Dupont said.

"We will try to match them and, of course, the perspective of the 2023 World Cup makes it even more exciting for us. As with all games, we aim to win.

Dupont believes coach Fabien Galthie has France on the right track after they finished second in the 2021 Six Nations and narrowly lost a series in Australia.


BoP-Northland game rescheduled

Bay of Plenty will play their postponed NPC match against Northland at Rotorua Stadium on Wednesday 3 November at 7.05pm.

Originally scheduled to be played on Sunday 24 October at Tauranga Domain, the match was postponed following the death of Bay of Plenty player Sean Wainui.

To provide Northland with adequate preparation time for their mid-week match against Bay of Plenty, their Week 9 match this weekend against Southland at Rugby Park in Invercargill has been shifted forward one day to Saturday 30 October (2.05pm kick off).

As a result of this change Otago's non-competition match against Wellington at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin has been changed to Sunday 31 October, and has also been moved to the earlier time of 1.05pm.

OGS still at United

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been given a chance to turn things around at the club and sort out the aftermath of Monday's 5-0 hammering at home to Liverpool.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Photosport

Despite speculation that he was set to be replaced after nearly three years in the position, Solskjaer remains in his post and multiple sources have told Reuters that he will be in charge for this weekend's game against Tottenham Hotspur.

United's players and staff were due back at their Carrington training ground today as the Norwegian manager begins the task of dealing with the shocking performance against Liverpool and getting ready for Saturday's trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

After the trip to Spurs, United travel to Italy to face Serie A side Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday. United are top of group F at the halfway stage and are in a strong position to make it into the last 16 of the competition.

Those two games are followed by a home clash with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, when Solskjaer can ill-afford a repeat of the Liverpool debacle.

Sources close to the club said that United did not want to make a knee-jerk decision and are now focused on fixing the problems with the team's performances and results.


Walter Smith dies

Walter Smith, the former Scotland, Rangers and Everton manager, has died at the age of 73.

Rangers, with whom the former Dundee United defender had two spells as manager from 1991-98 and 2007-11, offered their condolences to his family in a statement.

Smith won 10 league titles with Rangers, including seven in a row, as well as five Scottish Cups and six League Cups. He also took Rangers to the 2008 UEFA Cup final.

He remains the club's second most successful manager after Bill Struth.

Smith was assistant to Alex Ferguson, then Scotland manager, at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and became manager of the national team in 2004, following on from German Berti Vogts.

He returned to Rangers in 2007 after Scotland failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals.

Smith's four year stint in the Premier League with Everton ended with his dismissal in March 2002.


Firebirds on top

The Wellington Firebirds have netted 16 out of a possible 20 points from the opening round of the first-class Plunket Shield championship to take an early lead on the points table.

Canterbury's Tom Latham

Tom Latham Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Firebirds comfortably completed a six-wicket win over the Otago Volts at the Basin Reserve, while in Christchurch Canterbury and the Central Stags remained locked in battle until bad light finally brought down the curtain on a weather-disrupted final session at Hagley Oval.

The Stags had the better of the match against the defending champions and were on course to take top spot with a full 20 points - if they could only take Canterbury's last five wickets in the session on a flat featherbed of a pitch.

However, Black Cap Tom Latham's 21st first-class century (sixth for Canterbury) earlier in the afternoon had made the Stags' task more complicated. Latham reached 104 and batted for almost four hours to help his side secure a draw, Canterbury just five down at tea when wet weather drifted into play.

The Stags will head into their second round in Dunedin in second spot for their trouble, after a full bag of eight bonus points to Canterbury's five at Hagley Oval.

Canterbury heads to the Basin Reserve to take on the early leaders.

Sailing wants to be back at Paralympics

Sailing is charting a course to be reinstated at the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028, with a focus on improving diversity, inclusion, affordability and development.

World Sailing, the international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee, said it would also include a #BacktheBid social media drive.

"This campaign is pulling all our efforts together and utilising some of our wonderful sailors," World Sailing Chief Executive David Graham said.

It has set out priorities to support the growth of the sport and to meet criteria set by the International Paralympic Committee for inclusion in the Los Angeles Games.

Para sailing was dropped in 2015 from Tokyo 2020 and an attempt to get it reinstated for Paris was rejected, with the IPC deciding that the 2024 programme would remain unchanged.

World Sailing also wants to broaden the range of physical, sensory and intellectual disability types that participate.

Para sailing made its Games debut in 1996 as a demonstration sport and then featured from Sydney in 2000 to Rio in 2016.


Serena Williams card fetches top dollar

An autographed Serena Williams rookie card printed in 2003 has become the most expensive women's sports card after fetching $62,000 at auction.

The previous record was $48,000 for a rookie card of former U.S. soccer player Mia Hamm sold in June.

ESPN reported the Williams card was bought by alternative-asset trading platform Alt on behalf of a private client.

The 40-year-old Williams, who is still hunting a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, has not competed since limping out of her first-round match at Wimbledon in August.