Brazil 0 Argentina 1: Mercado makes the difference on Sampaoli’s debut

Argentina recorded a 1-0 friendly win over Brazil courtesy of Gabriel Mercado’s first-half winner in Melbourne. Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina reign began with a win as Gabriel Mercado’s goal secured a 1-0 friendly victory over great rivals Brazil at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday. The defender reacted quickly after Nicolas Otamendi’s header came back off the upright and tapped home to make the difference shortly before the break. Sampaoli fielded an attacking XI in his first game as Argentina boss, including Lionel Messi, Gonzalo …

Cavs gave up a ton of dunks to Durant in Game 1, and they should do it again

Suffice it to say, a lot of things went wrong for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their 22-point loss to the Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. They turned it over 20 times. They gave up 11 offensive rebounds. They got virtually no production from anyone outside Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. They lost track of guys on out-of-bounds plays, surrendering dunks and layups. Tristan Thompson was all but invisible. We could go on and on here, but you get the point. The Cavs…

Montreal Impact 4 Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (5-4 agg): Piatti scores two as Impact advance to Canadian Championship final

The MLS sides played a back-and-forth semifinal second leg, but the Impact’s experience ultimately prevailed The Montreal Impact rode a dominant first half to dispatch the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps 4-2 in the second leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals at Stade Saputo on Tuesday night, winning 5-4 on aggregate. Mauro Biello employed a starting XI that was close to his first choice-side, and in the opening 45 minutes the Impact looked very much like the more experienced team against a Whitecaps lineup full of youth and lesser-used…

Champions League 2017-18: Qualifying rounds & teams explained

With domestic campaigns in 2016-17 drawing to a close, more and more teams are booking their place in various stages of next season’s competition With the 2016-17 season nearly complete across Europe, only a few clubs are still fighting to book their place in next season’s Champions League. The route to next season’s final in Kiev will be much longer for some clubs than others, with the first qualifying round kicking off as early as June – a full two-and-a-half months before the group stage begins in September. Schweini wants Neymar at Bayern The draw for …

Biggest questions to consider for Stipe Miocic, Joanna Jedrzejczyk after UFC 211

It was billed as the fight card that could save what has been an underwhelming start to 2017 for the UFC.  Stacked with a pair of title fights on the marquee and plenty of potential for action, UFC 211 on Saturday in Dallas lived up to its end of the bargain from an entertainment standpoint.  That doesn’t mean it left fans, and experts alike, without a handful of important questions to consider as we move forward.  Is Stipe Miocic really that good or is the heavyweight division that bad?  With his first-round TKO of Junior dos Santos in the main event, Miocic exacted sweet revenge from his last defeat in 2014 and further distanced himself from the pack …

Fulham 1 Reading 1: Cairney levels tense play-off tie

Fulham and Reading played out a play-off draw in a tie that caught fire in the second half, Paul McShane seeing red for the visitors. Tom Cairney headed in a crucial equaliser as Fulham drew 1-1 with 10-man Reading in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final at Craven Cottage. Jordan Obita netted for the second straight match to put Reading in front early in the second half. But an error from goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi allowed Cairney to celebrate his 13th league goal of the season, ensuring the tie goes into Tuesday’s second leg level…

Barcelona and Juventus target Verratti intends to play for ‘top club’ in Spain or Italy

The highly-rated midfielder remains committed to Paris Saint-Germain for now, but has left the door ajar for a big-money move to be made in the future Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has conceded that he intends to play for a “top team” in Spain or Italy at some stage. The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from the French capital, with the likes of Barcelona and Juventus among his many admirers. Verratti has batted the transfer speculation…

Darkness halts play; half of field still on course

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Darkness halted play with about half the field still on the course at the Wells Fargo Championship. The second round will resume at 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday. An early morning storm that dropped 1.7 inches of rain on Eagle Point Golf Club delayed the start of the second round and forced Saturday’s finish, with two of the four leaders still needing to finish their rounds. Billy Hurley III (69) and Seamus Power (71) were tied at 5 under par, while John Peterson, who …

Two-big Spurs flipping script on small-ball, and it has them in control of Rockets

HOUSTON — If the San Antonio Spurs were going to drag this old-school, mid-range, two-big team – -particularly without Tony Parker — past the new-age, new-look Rockets, it was going to take everything going right. They were going to have to make shots to set their defense. They were going to have to protect the rim with physicality and pinpoint rotations. They were going to have to recover multiple times on each possession. They were going to have to live with a big James Harden night. And they were going …

Kerr tweets apology for playoff slow play

One day after losing a playoff at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, Cristie Kerr took to Twitter to apologize to fans for the glacial pace of the overtime session. Kerr and Haru Nomura battled blustery conditions during a playoff where they took more than two hours to play the par-5 18th hole six times in a row. Nomura eventually won with a birdie on the sixth extra hole, denying Kerr a chance for her second win in as many starts. Kerr’s deliberate play was noted on multiple occasions by commentator Judy Rankin during the broadcast, but Kerr…