Sports News Roundup: Soccer-Portugal can count on Ronaldo in Qatar, Silva says; Rugby-World Cup-winning Demant calls for more support for Black Ferns and more
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Soccer-Portugal can count on Ronaldo in Qatar, Silva says
Cristiano Ronaldo retains the support of his Portugal teammates despite his recent problems, midfielder Bernardo Silva said as the side prepare for their eighth World Cup tournament in Qatar. "The reality is when you’ve got a player like Cristiano, it’s natural that sometimes you play for him because he can win you the game in the final minutes," Silva told the FIFA website.
Rugby-World Cup-winning Demant calls for more support for Black Ferns
New Zealand's women's Rugby World Cup-winning captain Ruahei Demant praised the backing her Black Ferns team received on their way to winning the title but called for more support to help further grow the sport. The tournament hosts handed favourites England a 34-31 defeat in the final at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday in front of a record crowd of 42,579 to successfully defend their title.
Soccer-Leicester beat West Ham 2-0 after Maddison injury scare
Leicester City beat West Ham United 2-0 with goals from James Maddison and Harvey Barnes on Saturday to complete a hat-trick of away wins in the Premier League, though Maddison gave England fans a brief scare when he went off for treatment. Leicester, who lost their first five away games this season, needed just eight minutes to take the lead when a counter-attacking move finished with an unmarked Maddison firing his shot into the roof of the net at the far post.
NBA-Suspended Nets guard Irving to miss sixth straight game, report says
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving's team-imposed, minimum five-game suspension for promoting an anti-Semitic documentary will extend to a sixth game, according to an ESPN report on Saturday. The Nets' game on Saturday at the Los Angeles Clippers marked the fifth contest of the suspension imposed on Irving but head coach Jacque Vaughn said in the report he would not be reinstated for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Soccer-Nunez and Firmino on target as Liverpool prove too strong for Saints
Liverpool's South American strikers Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino propelled the team to a 3-1 home win over Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday in their final match before the season pauses for the World Cup. The victory took Liverpool into sixth place in the league standings on 22 points after 14 matches although Brighton & Hove Albion can climb back above them when they play Aston Villa on Sunday. Southampton are 19th on 12 points after 15 games.
Soccer-Slick Bournemouth outclass struggling Everton again
Bournemouth thumped Everton for the second time this week as goals from Marcus Tavernier, Kieffer Moore and substitute Jaidon Anthony gave them a 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday in their final Premier League game before the World Cup. The hosts had snapped a run of four straight losses by knocking Everton out of the League Cup with a 4-1 home victory on Tuesday and they outclassed the Merseysiders again, condemning them to a fifth league defeat in seven matches.
Motor racing-Russell the star as Mercedes win Sao Paulo sprint
George Russell gave Mercedes their first win of the Formula One season in the Sao Paulo sprint on Saturday, with seven-times world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton joining him on the front row for Sunday's Brazilian grand prix. The 100-km race set the grid for the main event at Interlagos, the penultimate grand prix of the season, but also carried important points for some of the top eight finishers.
Tennis-Australia knocks out Britain to set up BJK Cup final clash with Switzerland
Australia edged hosts Britain 2-1 in the semi-finals of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals on Saturday to move into the final where they will look to win their first title since 1974 when they take on Switzerland. Storm Sanders was Australia's hero after she won the first singles rubber before returning for the deciding doubles match alongside 38-year-old Samantha Stosur.
Mixed Martial Arts-Pereira stuns Adesanya to claim UFC middleweight crown
Brazil's Alex Pereira pulled off a stunning comeback to knock out Israel Adesanya in the fifth round and claim the UFC middleweight title and Zhang Weili choked out Carla Esparza to regain the strawweight belt at UFC 281 at Madison Square Garden.
Behind on the judges' scorecards and running out of steam, Pereira unleashed a stunning combination of strikes in the final round to dethrone Adesanya, who had held the title for 3-1/2 years, in only his eighth professional MMA bout.
Soccer-Arteta hopes World Cup break will not disrupt Arsenal's season
Manager Mikel Arteta said he is hoping the World Cup break does not impede Arsenal's momentum, after the north London club defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 on Saturday to take a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League. Captain Martin Odegaard scored both goals as Arsenal beat Wolves to get to 37 points, extending their lead over second-placed Manchester City, who lost at home to Brentford earlier in the day.
(With inputs from agencies.)