Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 5th 2018 Contents sports A39
Friday, January 5, 2018
Ousmane Dembele made his return from a long injury layoff
as a second-half substitute in Barcelona’s 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo
in the Copa del Rey yesterday.
The 20-year-old France forward ruptured a thigh tendon in
his left leg on September 16 in his third appearance with the
team after his transfer set a record for the Spanish club.
His move from Borussia Dortmund in the summer could
potentially cost nearly 150 million euros ($180 million) as Bar-
celona seeks to fill the void in its attack left by Neymar after he
forced his exit to Paris Saint-Germain.
Dembele went on in the 72nd minute for reserve team
striker Jose Arnaiz, who opened the scoring. He took over as
Barcelona’s centre forward, but offered little more than a shot
that drew a save from goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez in the 78th.
Arnaiz struck for Barcelona in the 15th min-
ute when he drilled in a low cross from Andre
Gomes, who started the counterattack by re-
covering possession. It was the 22-year-old
Arnaiz’s third goal in
three cup matches this
Celta forward Pione
Sisto levelled in the
31st after a long team
buildup that appeared
to have finished in a
shot by Iago Aspas that
hit the post. But the ball
ricocheted off the woodwork and the leg of
goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen before falling to
Sisto, who fired it over the goalkeeper from
a tight angle.
Denis Suarez missed a great chance
for Barcelona in the 58th when Nelson
Semedo found him arriving all alone at
the far post, and Sergio Busquets hit the
crossbar with a shot moments later.
Barcelona’s unbeaten streak reached
26 straight matches.
Celta also held Barcelona to a 2-2
draw at Camp Nou in the Spanish
league last month.
Superb strikes from
Pedro Obiang and then
Heung-Min Son re-
sulted in Tottenham’s derby with West
Ham ending 1-1 at Wembley.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah wins African Player of the Year
Mohamed Salah is the African Player of the Year for 2017, a
reward for success on all fronts for the Egypt forward after he
inspired his country to a long-awaited World Cup place and
had a phenomenal start to his career at Liverpool.
Salah won ahead of Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Sene-
gal and Borussia Dortmund and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick
Aubameyang, the other finalists yesterday’s awards ceremony.
The 25-year-old Salah had a memorable year, first as part
of the Egypt team that made the African Cup of Nations final
Salah was joint top-scorer in the final round of qualifiers
as Egypt reached the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic advanced Switzer-
land into the Hopman Cup final with straight-set singles
victories over their American opponents yesterday.
Federer beat Jack Sock 7-6 (5), 7-5 before Bencic de-
feated CoCo Vandeweghe 7-6 (6), 6-4 to give Switzer-
land a winning 2-0 edge and first place in Group B.
Switzerland will play the Group A winner in tomor-
row’s final at Perth Arena. Germany, which has won
both its group matches, can advance to play Switzer-
land if it beats Australia today.
Federer waited until the 11th game of the second
set to hit his best shot of the tournament, a forehand
down the line that Sock got his racket on, but could
only dump into the net.
Sharapova, Halep advance to semis
Maria Sharapova continued her preparations for an
Australian Open return by beating Zarina Diyas 6-3,
6-3 yesterday to advance to the Shenzhen Open
semi-finals along with top-seeded Simona Halep.
The five-time major winner dictated play against
Diyas, hitting 24 winners and five aces to
clinch victory in just under 90 minutes
“I didn’t play my best tennis, and
there’s certainly a lot of things to im-
prove on,” Sharapova said. “The great
thing is that I’m through and have an-
other chance to play tomorrow.”
She will play defending champion
and No.6-seeded Katerina Siniakova
for a place in the final. Siniakova beat
Kristyna Pliskova 6-2, 6-2.
Sharapova missed the last Australian
Open during a doping ban that dated
back to a failed test for meldonium at Mel-
bourne Park in 2016, and is keen to make a
return to the season’s opening major which
starts January 15.
Top-ranked Halep also eased into the
semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Aryna
Halep’s 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over local fa-
vourite Duan Yingying on Wednes-
day ensured she will retain the No. 1
ranking for the Australian Open.
Murray out of Aussie Open
Andy Murray needed only a couple of days in Australia
to realise the hip problem that has kept him out of com-
petitive tennis since Wimbledon was not going to im-
prove in time for the season’s first major.
The five-time finalist withdrew from the Australian
Open yesterday, two days after pulling out of a tuneup
event in Brisbane before his first match.
Confirmation of his absence came hours after Kei Ni-
shikori announced that he, also, wouldn’t have enough
time to fully recover from a torn wrist tendon before
the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Murray was preparing to leave Australia at the same
time as injured former champions Novak Djokovic and
Rafael Nadal were on the way to Melbourne.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley
said he understood Murray’s early decision.
Belinda Bencic, left, and Roger Federer of Switzerland clap
hands during their mixed doubles match.
Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele chases the ball during a Copa del
Rey round of 16, 1st leg match between Celta and Barcelona at
the Balaidos Stadium in Vigo, Spain, yesterday.
Dembele returns for
Barcelona in 1-1 draw
Leganes 1 v 0
Espanyol 1 v 2
Numancia 0 v 3 Real
Tottenham 1 v
1 West Ham
Federer, Bencic into
Hopman Cup final
Links Archive January 4th 2018 January 6th 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page