Mumbai Rockets ended the title defence of Hyderabad Hunters to set up a summit clash against Bengaluru Raptors in the Premier Badminton League here on Saturday. Mumbai Trump Sameer Verma played a brilliant match before Anders Antonsen finished off what was a dominant 4-2 win for the two-time runners-up. Mumbai will hope to be third time lucky in the final on Sunday after losses to Delhi Acers and Chennai Smashers in the first two seasons. The Rockets looked the better of the two teams for most part of the tie, racing ahead to 4-0 before P V Sindhu could finally open the Hunters’ account. It was, however, only a matter of time before Mumbai wrapped it up.
Norde strikes as Mohun Bagan pip Neroca
Sony Norde came to Mohun Bagan’s rescue as the star Haitian winger struck from a solo run to script a hard-fought 1-0 win over title contenders Neroca FC in their I-League clash here on Saturday. Both the teams tried their best to go one up but Mohun Bagan lacked cohesion while the Imphal outfit lacked the finishing touch. Norde, however, struck in the 79th minute with a clinical finish.
Momen downs compatriot Dessouky to win title
Top seed and world No. 4 number 4 Tarek Momen clinched the title in the $70,000 CCI International JSW Indian Squash Circuit here today after subduing fellow Egyptian Fares Dessouky 3-2 in a pulsating final. Momen got the better of his fourth-seeded compatriot 11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7 after a prolonged battle that lasted 80 minutes. — Agencies
Iran, Iraq power into Asian Cup knockout phase
Iran sank Vietnam and Iraq beat Yemen as the neighbours and arch-rivals powered into the Asian Cup Round of 16 ahead of their highly anticipated group decider next week. Sardar Azmoun (in pic) struck both goals in Iran's 2-0 win in Abu Dhabi, while teenager Mohanad Ali's early solo strike kick-started Iraq's 3-0 victory in Sharjah. Iran and Iraq will meet in Dubai on Wednesday to decide who tops Group D in a repeat of their combustible quarterfinal of 2015, which Iraq won on penalties. Saman Ghoddos and Mehdi Taremi went close for Asia's top-ranked team before Azmoun rose to head home a Ghoddos cross after 38 minutes.
Salah scores as Liverpool beat Brighton 1-0
Liverpool went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League and bounced back from two successive defeats in all competitions after a Mohamed Salah penalty gave them a 1-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion. The result put Liverpool on 57 points from 22 games, seven ahead of closest rivals Manchester City who are at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday. Salah produced a moment of trademark individual skill to win the spot kick he converted five minutes into the second half after Pascal Gross had fouled him following the Egyptian's neat footwork in the penalty area.
Lovren banned over outburst against Spain
Croatia defender Dejan Lovren has been banned for one international match over comments he made on social media about opponents Spain following his side's 3-2 Nations League win in November. Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller and Ajax Amsterdam defender Maximilian Woeber will miss both legs of their teams' respective Champions League Round of 16 ties after being banned for two European games following red cards last month. — Agencies