Thursday, July 25, 2024

Sports Digest: England reaches another Euro final by beating Netherlands 2-1

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APTOPIX Euro 2024 Soccer Netherlands England

England’s Harry Kane celebrates in the arms of Ollie Watkins at the end of a semifinal match against The Netherlands  at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Dortmund, Germany on Wednesday. Martin Meissner/Associated Press

SOCCER

England reached a second straight European Championship final by beating the Netherlands 2-1 thanks to substitute Ollie Watkins’ stoppage-time winner on Wednesday at Dortmund, Germany.

Watkins, who came on for captain Harry Kane in a bold call by Coach Gareth Southgate, turned and smashed a fierce shot into the bottom corner in the first minute of added-on time.

England will play Spain in Sunday’s final in Berlin. It will be the nation’s first title match on foreign soil, having won the World Cup in 1966 and lost to Italy in the Euro 2020 final — both times at Wembley Stadium.

In an open first half, Harry Kane’s 18th-minute penalty canceled out Xavi Simons’ brilliantly struck opener for the Dutch in the seventh minute.

COPA AMERICA: Jefferson Lerma scored in the 39th minute, and Colombia played a man short the entire second half in a 1-0 win over Uruguay at Charlotte, North Carolina, to reach the final against Lionel Messi and Argentina.

Daniel Muñoz was ejected in first-half stoppage time for his second yellow card, but Colombia held on to reach the championship for the first time since winning its only Copa title as host in 2001. Colombia extended its unbeaten streak to a team record 28 games, one more than from 1992-94 and the longest current streak in men’s soccer.

In a contentious match that included seven yellow cards and one red, players from both teams pushed and shoved in a scrum on the field at the final whistle and some players went into the stands to scrap with fans.

BASKETBALL

NBA: The NBA has agreed to terms on its new media deal, an 11-year agreement worth $76 billion that assures player salaries will continue rising for the foreseeable future and one that will surely change how some viewers access the game for years to come.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the networks have the terms sheets, with the next step being for the league’s board of governors to approve the contracts.

The deal, which set NBA records for both its length and total value, goes into effect for the 2025-26 season. Games will continue being aired on ESPN and ABC, and now some will be going to NBC and Amazon Prime. TNT Sports, which has been part of the league’s broadcasting family since the 1980s, could be on its way out, but has five days to match one of the deals.

• Nicolas Batum is returning to the Los Angeles Clippers, with the team signing the veteran forward along with forward Derrick Jones Jr. and guard Kevin Porter Jr.

• Former NBA player Jontay Porter admitted that he schemed to take himself out of games for gambling’s sake, pleading guilty to a federal conspiracy crime in the scandal that already got him banned from the league.

“I know what I did was wrong, unlawful, and I am deeply sorry,” the former Toronto Raptors center said as he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Porter, 24, is free on $250,000 bond while awaiting sentencing set for Dec. 18.

Prosecutors estimated his sentence at a range from just under three and a half years in prison to a little over four years.

WNBA: Kahleah Copper scored 32 points, the seventh time she’s had over 30 this season, and the Phoenix Mercury beat the visiting Dallas Wings, 100-84.

Brittney Griner added 23 points for Phoenix

• A’ja Wilson had 24 points and 20 rebounds for her first career 20-20 game and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Storm 84-79 at Seattle.

• Ariel Atkins scored 26 points, including a key basket in the final minute, and the visiting Washington Mystics held off the Indiana Fever 89-84  to spoil Caitlin Clark’s 29-point performance.

Clark became the first WNBA player with 29 points, 13 assists, five rebounds, five 3-pointers, five steals and three blocks in a game.

• Sabrina Ionescu scored 21 points and made a key block on the final possession, Breanna Stewart had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and the New York Liberty beat the host Connecticut Sun 71-68 for sole possession of first place in the standings.

•  Chennedy Carter scored 19 points, Angel Reese secured her 14th straight double-double in the closing seconds to extend a WNBA record and Chicago Sky beat the visiting Atlanta Dream, 78-69.

Reese, who passed Candace Parker for the longest double-double streak in league history on Sunday, finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

FOOTBALL

NFL: Former Cleveland Browns star quarterback Bernie Kosar has been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson’s disease, according to a story in Cleveland Magazine.

The 60-year-old former player is on the list for a liver transplant, though University Hospitals hepatologist Anthony Post told the magazine that Kosar has improved since the year started.

AUTO RACING

NASCAR: NASCAR fined Bubba Wallace $50,000 for retaliatory contact against race winner Alex Bowman on the cooldown lap of the Chicago Street Race.

Wallace door-slammed Bowman’s car and sent it into the wall. Bowman said after the race he had spun Wallace during Sunday’s event and the retaliation was warranted.

Bowman also advocated for Wallace not to be punished. Bowman said Wallace “has every right be mad.”

ROAD RACING

DOPING: Kenyan runner Lawrence Cherono, a former winner of the Boston and Chicago marathons, has been banned for seven years for doping and trying to use fake documents to explain his failed drug test.

Cherono tested positive for the banned substance trimetazidine in 2022 and was suspended just before he was due to compete at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

He won the Boston and Chicago marathons in 2019 and his personal-best time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 4 seconds from 2020 remains the 12th-fastest in history. The ban is backdated to the start of his provisional suspension in 2022, but at the age of 35, it could still end his top-level career.

CYCLING

TOUR DE FRANCE: Leader Tadej Pogacar kept the yellow jersey but it was two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard who earned a psychological victory after a tough battle that ended in a stalemate in the mountains of the Massif Central.

The pair left all their rivals in their wake and Vingegaard, after closing a big gap to Pogacar in a brutal climb, outsprinted his rival to finish half a wheel ahead for the stage win.

True to his habit of attacking every time he gets the chance, Pogacar tried to move away alone about 32 kilometers from the finish. After getting dropped, Vingegaard kept his head cool and proved to be the fastest in the next ascent to catch his rival.

The pair then stayed together until the finish to gain time on Remco Evenepoel and Primoz Roglic. Evenepoel reached the finish 25 seconds behind, with Roglic 55 seconds off the pace, according to provisional results.

Evenepoel trails 1:06 behind Pogacar overall, with Vingegaard in third place, 1:14 back.

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