Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 18th 2017 Contents A44 sports
guardian.co.tt Thursday, May 18, 2017
Pakistan bans and
fines spinner Nawaz
Cricket Board has banned left-arm
spinner Mohammad Nawaz for two
months and fined him 200,000 ru-
pees ($1,900) for violating its an-
The PCB said in a statement
yesterday that the ban, starting
from May 16, could be reduced to
one month if Nawaz fulfills certain
conditions that include no further
breach of its anti-corruption code.
Nawaz admitted to the PCB's
vigilance and security department
that "on one occasion" he was ap-
proached by bookmakers and he
didn't inform the cricket board in
time. The PCB didn't clarify when
exactly Nawaz was approached.
Nawaz has played three tests,
nine one-day internationals and
five Twenty20 internationals for
Pakistan, taking 19 wickets across
all the three formats.
The PCB initiated inquiries
into spot-fixing after its domes-
tic Twenty20 tournament---the
Pakistan Super League---ended in
March. Nawaz is the second player
to be banned by the PCB after tall
fast bowler Mohammad Irfan was
banned for one year.
The PCB is investigating Sharjeel
Khan, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed
and Shahzaib Hassan while another
left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar has
also been questioned by the PCB's
anti-corruption unit. (AP)
Nadal extends winning streak to 16
ROME---Rafael Nadal hardly had
to get his socks dirty to extend his
winning streak to 16 matches.
Back to being the best player on
tour over the last month, Nadal ad-
vanced from his opening match at the
Italian Open yesterday when Nicolas
Almagro retired in the first set with
an apparent injury.
Top-ranked Angelique Kerber,
meanwhile, lost her opening match at
the Foro Italico to Estonian qualifier
Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-0.
Kerber joined Andy Murray, the
top-ranked men's player, on the
sidelines after Murray's loss to Fabio
Fognini on Tuesday.
"Everybody knows I'm not a clay-
court specialist," Kerber said. "I was
not playing good last year as well. I
had a great year, but I mean, these
few weeks I was not playing good.
And this year it's the same."
Also, Olympic silver medalist Juan
Martin del Potro defeated British
player Kyle Edmund 7-5, 6-4.
Nadal was leading 3-0, 15-30 when
Almagro bent over toward the red clay
court and grasped his left knee.
Nadal went over to Almagro's side
of the net to ask what was wrong and
consoled his countryman. Almagro
then got some medical attention at
his chair but quickly retired from the
"It's difficult to see what's going
on now just after what happened,"
Nadal said. "He felt something on
The fourth-ranked Nadal remained
on court for a practice session.
Nadal has won consecutive clay-
court tournaments in Monte Carlo,
Barcelona and Madrid. He's aiming
for an eighth title at the Foro Italico
as he prepares for the French Open,
which starts in less than two weeks.
Madrid a draw away
from Spanish title
scored early in each half as Real
Madrid defeated ten-man Celta
Vigo 4-1 yesterday to retake the
Spanish league lead from Barce-
lona and move within a point of
its first league title in five years.
A draw at mid-table Malaga in the
final round on Sunday will allow Ma-
drid to lift the trophy and avoid its
longest title drought in La Liga since
The victory at Celta in a game post-
poned from February because of bad
weather gave Madrid a three-point
lead over Barcelona, which hosts
eighth-place Eibar in its final match
on Sunday. The Catalan club still has
a chance of winning its third straight
title because of a better head-to-head
Madrid played with an extra man
after the controversial sending off of
Celta forward Iago Aspas, who picked
up a second yellow in the 62nd min-
ute for an alleged dive inside the area
after a challenge by Madrid defender
Celta players loudly complained,
and there were more complaints a few
moments later when Ronaldo fell in-
side the other box in an apparent flop
- but was not shown a yellow card that
would have suspended him from the
Ronaldo opened the scoring at the
Balaidos Stadium after picking up the
ball just outside the area and firing
a firm left-foot shot into the corner.
The ball went through the legs of
defender Gustavo Cabral and gave
goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez no chance.
Ronaldo added to the lead after
halftime with a well-placed shot
from inside the area after receiving
a perfectly timed pass by Francisco
"Isco" Alarcon in a breakaway.
It was Ronaldo's 13th goal in his last
eight matches, and 24th in league. The
Portugal star missed the chance for a
hat trick in the 75th minute, incredibly
missing from close range with only
the goalkeeper to beat.
Ronaldo hadn't played an away
match in the league since March, a
run of four straight games.
Celta, with nothing left to play for,
improved after conceding the first
goal and started to threaten, with
Aspas creating a series of chances.
But its hopes of a comeback started
to sink after Ronaldo found the net
for the second time, and then sank
further after Aspas was dismissed.
Celta's lone goal was scored by John
Guidetti with a shot from outside the
area in the 69th, just a minute before
Karim Benzema restored Madrid's
two-goal lead from close range after
a left-flank cross by Marcelo. Toni
Kroos completed the scoring in the
Celta had eliminated Zinedine
Zidane's team from the Copa del
Rey quarterfinals this year, beating
Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu
Stadium and drawing 2-2 at the Balai-
dos. It reached the semifinals of the
Europa League, being eliminated by
The game against Celta was origi-
nally scheduled to be played on Feb.
5 but was postponed because heavy
winds damaged the roof of the Balai-
dos, making it unsafe for players and
Madrid wanted to avoid Celta so
late in the season, but there were no
other dates available as Celta was in
the Europa League and Madrid in the
Champions League. Madrid will play
Juventus in the Champions League
final on June 3. (AP)
Monaco wins 1st French
league title in 17 years
PARIS--- Monaco sealed its first
French title since 2000 and an
eighth overall yesterday with
a 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne.
With one match left to play this
weekend, Monaco has an unas-
sailable six-point lead over sec-
ond-place Paris Saint-Germain,
the defending champions.
Despite losing to Juventus in the
Champions League semifinals, Mo-
naco has thrilled Europe with its
attacking football, scoring 155 goals
in all competitions and reaching
104 in the league, two more than
PSG's league tally last year.
Led by the strike duo of Rad-
amel Falcao and rising star Kylian
Mbappe, Monaco averaged nearly
three goals per game this season to
end PSG's four-year dominance.
Unbeaten in the league in 2017,
Monaco has also scored in its last 31
league games, a new record during
a single season.
Italian Cup title puts
Juventus in line for treble
ROME---Juventus secured the
first title of a possible treble by
winning the Italian Cup with an
authoritative 2-0 victory over
Lazio in the final yesterday.
Dani Alves gave Juventus an lead
early in the first half with a volley
following a long cross from Alex
Sandro. Then Leonardo Bonucci
was left unmarked to tap in fol-
lowing a corner in the 25th minute.
Juventus can clinch the Serie A
title this weekend, and then fac-
es Real Madrid in the Champions
League final next month.
The Bianconeri became the first
club to win three straight Italian
Cups and brought their record title
collection to 12 in the competition.
After being beaten by Roma on
Sunday, its first Serie A loss since
January, the victory gave Juventus
a boost of confidence for the June
3 European final against defending
champion Madrid and Cristiano
Italy President Sergio Mattarella
was in attendance at the Stadio Ol-
impico and fans of both clubs put
on a show with colorful pre-match
As has been the case for most of
the season in Cup matches, Juven-
tus captain Gianluigi Buffon was
rested and Neto played in goal.
Man U in 0-0 draw
SOUTHAMPTON, England--- Ser-
gio Romero showed Manchester
United will be in safe hands in
the Europa League final by sav-
ing an early penalty and produc-
ing many other great stops in
a 0-0 draw at Southampton in
the Premier League yesterday.
Filling in for David de Gea, the
Argentina goalkeeper tipped aside
Manolo Gabbiadini's sixth-min-
ute spot-kick that was awarded
for a handball against Eric Bailly,
which appeared to happen outside
Romero was busy early in the sec-
ond half as he preserved his clean
sheet for United, which fielded a
slew of fringe players --- including
Wayne Rooney --- a week out from
the Europa League final against
Ajax in Stockholm.
United manager Jose Mourinho
has already said Romero will start
in the final ahead of regular goal-
keeper David de Gea, as he has done
throughout the European compe-
Anthony Martial came closest to
scoring for United, curling a shot
against the post in the 71st minute.
The game had little significance
for either side, with United guar-
anteed to finish in sixth place and
Southampton currently in eighth
place and unable to finish any
United, criticized for playing
cautiously under Mourinho, has
scored just two goals in its last
five games. Southampton's wait
for a home goal moved past the
six-hour mark, hardly a great sta-
tistic for under-pressure manager
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is congratulated by teammates after scoring his first goal during a Spanish La Liga
soccer match between Celta and Real Madrid at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo, northern Spain, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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