Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel won the Italian Grand Prix at a canter on Sunday to move 53 points clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the Formula One championship after six victories from 12 races.The triple champion, who celebrated his 32nd career win and third at Monza to boos from Ferrari fans, led from pole position with the possibility of rain – which never came – looking more of a threat than his rivals.Alonso finished runner-up – 5.4 seconds behind – with Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who is leaving Formula One at the end of the season, taking third place in his final grand prix on European soil to deny Ferrari’s Felipe Massa a place on the podium.It was Webber’s first appearance on the Monza podium.Vettel now has 222 points to Alonso’s 169, with Lewis Hamilton – last year’s Italian GP winner who finished ninth for Mercedes at the fastest circuit on the calendar – on 141 with seven races remaining.“Fantastic race,” said Vettel in a podium interview with former Ferrari champion John Surtees, to boos and whistles from the massed ranks of Ferrari faithful who flooded the pit straight with their red flags and shirts.“But you can hear the difference when you don’t win here in a red suit,” added the German, who had to manage a tyre problem in his first stint and mechanical worries in the closing laps.“We had problems with the gearboxes at the end, but I was OK because I had a good cushion and it was a fantastic win.”Vettel took the first victory of his F1 career at Monza for Toro Rosso, an Italian team, and Sunday’s reception was far less enthusiastic with Alonso left in no doubt that he was the crowd’s hero.“Second place is good, to have this podium ceremony which is the most spectacular podium of the year. Hopefully we’ll come back next year and have first place,” said the Spaniard, who had started in fifth place and behind Massa.“I think we extracted the maximum from the car,” added Alonso, who has stood on the Monza podium in all of his four years with Ferrari.The Brazilian, who was second at the end of the first lap with Alonso fourth, did his duty and let Alonso through without a fuss on lap eight once the Spaniard had passed Webber with a bold move that clipped the Red Bull’s front wing.Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg was fifth for Sauber with compatriot Nico Rosberg sixth for Mercedes and Australian Daniel Ricciardo seventh for Toro Rosso.France’s Romain Grosjean was eighth for Lotus, with Britain’s Jenson Button 10th to take a point for McLaren on a weekend in which the Woking team celebrating their 50th anniversary.Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, who ended a 27-race streak in the points with a retirement in Belgium last month, had a first lap collision and suffered his second successive grand prix without a point after finishing 11th.Driver and constructor standings after the Formula One Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo di MonzaDrivers Points 1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 2222. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1693. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1414. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1345. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1306. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1047. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 798. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 579. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 4810. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 36Constructors Points1. RedBull – Renault 3522. Ferrari 2483. Mercedes 2454. Lotus – Renault 1915. McLaren 666. Force India – Mercedes 617. Toro Rosso – Ferrari 318. Sauber – Ferrari 179. Williams – Renault 110. Marussia – Cosworth 0
By Nemanja BjedovTHE first match between AEL and APOEL was played in 1931, making the duel the oldest one in Cypriot football as the two sides go head-to-head on Saturday at 7pm in the second round of the national championship at the Tsirion Stadium in Limassol.“This is the first important match of the season for us against a very good team such as APOEL. We need to be very serious because this is a crucial game for us. Although it is only the second round of the league it will give us a good picture of our potential,” said AEL midfielder Georgios Eleftheriou.Defending champions APOEL have the upper hand in matches against AEL, with the Nicosia giants winning 33 times, while AEL have won 24 matches and 19 ending in a draw.“I hope we have a good match. We worked really well this week preparing for APOEL and we have our game plan and we should do well,” said AEL’s Brazilian defender Diego Gaucho.“We will do everything we can to record a victory and earn three points.”APOEL coach Paulo Sergio will not be able to count on influential Brazilian midfielder Gustavo Manduca and Tunisian Selim Benachour for the match as they are both out injured, while the duo are also doubtful for the Nicosia side’s first match in the Europa League group stage against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday in Israel.Elsewhere, tonight at 8pm, Nea Salamina host newcomers AEK Kouklion, who upset AEK Larnaca on the opening day with a 2-1 victory, while Omonia take on Enosis Neon Paralimni in what should be one-way traffic at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.On Sunday afternoon at 6pm AEK face Ethnikos Achnas in Larnaca, while Anorthosis meet cup holders Apollon Limassol at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium. Newly promoted Aris meet Doxa Katokopia in Limassol an hour later.Anorthosis coach Jorge Costa has selection problems as Yiannis Okkas, Valentinos Sielis and George Galamaz are all set to miss the Apollon test, with the visitors from Limassol coming to Larnaca wanting to maintain their confidence ahead of their Europa League group stage opener on Thursday at home against Turkey’s Trabzonspor.In the final match of Round 2, on Monday evening at 7pm, Ermis host Alki in a minor Larnaca derby at the Ammochostos Stadium.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather (48-0) will put his unbeaten record on the line when he steps into the ring to face Andre Berto in Las Vegas on Sept. 12 in what could be the final fight of his career, it was announced on Tuesday.Mayweather, who beat Manny Pacquiao in May in what was billed as the “Fight of the Century”, will risk his WBC and WBA welterweight world titles against the power-punching, two-time welterweight world champion Berto (30-3) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.A victory for Mayweather would match the record of the late heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, who retired in April 1956 with an unblemished record of 49-0.“I’m ready to get back in the ring on September 12 and prove again to the whole world why I’m ‘The Best Ever,’” said the 38-year-old Mayweather.“I always bring my A-game and this fight against Andre Berto is no exception.“He’s a young, strong fighter who is hungry to take down the best. Forty-eight have tried before and on September 12, I’m going to make it 49.”Haitian-American Berto, who has lost three of his last six fights, sounded a confident note about finding the range against the elusive Mayweather, rated one of the greatest defensive fighters of all-time.“I’m coming to kick Floyd’s ass on September 12,” said Berto, 31, who has won his last two bouts.“Best believe that I plan to bring it to Floyd and I’m not concerned about what 48 other fighters have been unable to do. Somebody is getting knocked out and it won’t be me.”The match will be the sixth and final fight of a record-breaking deal between Mayweather and Showtime Networks, leading to speculation it could be the farewell match for the American.A world champion in five divisions, Mayweather made a reported $220 million from his unanimous decision over Pacquiao in what the most lucrative fight ever staged generating close to $600 million in revenue.Two other world championship fights are also planned for the pay-per-view telecast.Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2) will risk his WBO junior lightweight title in a rematch against the boxer he dethroned, four-time world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13-2).Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1-1) will make the first defense of his WBC super middleweight title against mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs).
Former Manchester United greats Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand lambasted their old team after they plunged to a 2-0 defeat at bitter rivals Liverpool in a Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday.“It was shambolic … so bad,” Scholes told BT Sport after United were sunk by a first-half penalty from Daniel Sturridge and a 73rd-minute goal by Roberto Firmino. “Tonight was a disaster.“Liverpool had a way of playing. United? I didn’t have a clue what they were trying to do.“United have spent 250 million pounds (under manager Louis van Gaal) … they are sixth in the Premier League and have ended up in the Europa League,” added former England midfielder Scholes.“They should be competing with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich (in the Champions League). United didn’t need a new philosophy, they had one for 20-odd years that worked,” he added in reference to the 38 major trophies won under Alex Ferguson before he retired in 2013.Ferdinand, a former United and England team-mate of Scholes, was equally scathing of Van Gaal’s side.“The fairytale has gone,” he said. “The players he has let go, Angel Di Maria, Nani, Patrice Evra, Javier Hernandez, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck, Rafael, Darren Fletcher, are they worse than the players out there?“They are better than that team out there today, that’s the problem.”Van Gaal, who has been under fire for most of the season because of United’s poor results and a perceived lack of entertaining football, said Liverpool deserved their victory.“They played very good in the first half and we could not cope with their pressure,” the Dutchman added.“(United goalkeeper) David De Gea was fantastic but we conceded a cheap penalty and in the second half we changed the shape. We had much more contribution to the game but didn’t create enough.Liverpool’s 2-0 victory was payback for the fans, manager Jurgen Klopp said after the game.The show, he said, was a reward for supporters who had endured inconsistency since Klopp took charge in October.“It was a great atmosphere, I am so pleased for all of the people who have had harder times with us this season,” the former Borussia Dortmund boss told BT Sport television. “Tonight was the first part of paying them back.“The atmosphere was unbelievable, really great, and I want to say thank you to everyone involved. That was Liverpool how I knew it before I came here.“We were really good from the first second, everything was there but we could have scored more,” Klopp said.“That sounds crazy I know but we had the chances. In the end, 2-0, if you said this before the game, of course I take it.”
A Brazilian court has authorised the release of Ireland’s Kevin James Mallon, a director of sports hospitality company THG who was arrested on August 5 for the alleged illegal scalping of Olympic tickets, the local G1 news site reported.Mallon was being held along with the former head of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) Patrick Hickey, who is still detained in a Rio prison.Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) appeals court officials were not available to confirm the G1 story on Saturday.Brazilian police said earlier in August they uncovered emails between Hickey and THG executives discussing tickets they planned to sell at inflated prices, which would earn them as much as 10 million reais ($3.09m) in profit.On Friday, a source in the Rio state security services told Reuters that a Rio de Janeiro court will return the passports of three members of the OCI who will be allowed to leave Brazil.Meanwhile, Kenya has arrested three top members of its Olympic committee, a Reuters witness said, after mismanagement of the contingent nearly derailed the country’s participation in the Rio Games.The east African nation notched up its biggest ever haul of medals in Brazil but doping and organisational challenges had plagued its preparations in the run-up to the event.On Friday, chef de mission Stephen Arap Soi and assistant secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) James Chacha were taken to a police station in Nairobi upon arrival from the Olympics, alongside the body’s Secretary General F. K. Paul, according to the witness.Another official, Chief Executive of Athletics Kenya Susan Kamau, told Reuters she too was questioned by police but shortly released.With six golds, as many silvers and one bronze medal, Kenya finished second only to the United States in the athletics table, making South America’s first Olympic Games its best outing so far.But its athletics pedigree has been tainted with up to 40 runners failing dope tests in the past four years.At the Games, Kenya’s Olympic committee sent home a sprinting coach after he was accused of posing as an athlete to doping testers. The coach said he had borrowed an accreditation pass to seek a meal in the athletes’ village.Kenya’s athletics manager was also sent home from the Olympics and is being detained while police investigate allegations that he had warned athletes before the Games about drugs tests in return for cash. He denies any wrongdoing.On Thursday, Sports Minister Hassan Wario said he had disbanded NOC-K and set up a committee to probe mismanagement. It will report its findings by September 30.
More pictures from last night …
PNG Football Association in partnership with FIFA will launch the FIFA ‘Live Your Goals’ concept this Sunday at the Bisini Soccer Oval in Port Moresby to encourage women in football.The objective of the campaign is to increase participation of girls and women, increase the popularity of women’s football locally, nationally and globally, spark, foster and generate excitement about women’s football.Moreover, creating the best platforms for women’s football to thrive, with more females becoming lifelong participants in the sport, ensure that football is the number one sport for females across the globe in terms of participation and popularity.In the lead up to the launching, a FIFA women’s coaching workshop is currently being conducted at the Ritta Flynn complex where women coaches from around the provinces are involved to better roll out the program at the provincial level.The workshop is conducted by former Italian player, coach and football legend, FIFA technical director Carolina Morace.PNG Football Association senior vice-president Linda Wonuhali addressed the participants at the workshop stating that the coaching course is a platform through which the legacy programs will be channeled.“The coaching course is a way forward for development of football in the country for our young girls. Football has gained momentum as a direct result of the upcoming world cup and we hope more women and girls will be inspired to play football,” said Wonuhali.There is already a strong focus on women’s football development in the country and the legacy aspect of maintaining these commitments will be through the implementation of these legacy programs, she added.
In the Southern conference, the Boromas made it two from two wins with a 20-7 win over the Gaigais on Wednesday this week in the nation’s capital.Tomorrow’s matches will see the Gaigais play Oro while the Stingrays take on Boromas.The Southern Conference points ladder:Boromas (10), Gaigais (5), Oro Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels (4), Daru Stingrays (1).For the Northern conference, the Hammerheads also notched up their second consecutive win after defeating the Tiger Sharks 12-10 at SCUM oval, Lae.In today’s matches, the Hammerheads go up against the Madang Malabos and the Sharks play the Kilituas from Eastern Highlands.The Northern conference points ladder:Hammerheads (8), Malabos (4), Sharks (2), Kilituas (1).Lastly, in the New Guinea Islands (NGI) conference, the home side Rabaul Kaias defeated the Kimbe Rebels 41-24 to lead the pool.The New Ireland Drongos will play the Kaias today.The NGI conference points ladder:Kaias (5), Drongos (4), Rebels (1), Black Orchids (0).
The team in alphabetical order is:1. David Mead – Catalans Dragons2. Dilbert Isaac – PNG Hunters3. Enock Maki – PNG Hunters4. James Segeyaro – Cronulla Sharks5. Junior Rau – PNG Hunters6. Justin Olam – Melbourne Storm7. Kyle Laybutt – North Qld Cowboys8. Lachlan Lam – Sydney Roosters9. Moses Meninga – PNG Hunters10. Nene Macdonald – St George Illawarra Dragons11. Nixon Putt – PNG Hunters12. Rhadley Brawa – PNG HUnters13. Stanton Albert – PNG Hunters14. Tom Butterfield – East Tigers15. Watson Boas – PNG Hunters16. Wellington Albert – Widnes Vikings17. Zev John – Melbourne StormThe team assembles in Port Moresby next Tuesday. The 1st game against England Knights is in Lae on October 27. The second is in Port Moresby on November 3, 2018.(Filepic)
Johanna Konta kept the flag flying for British women at Wimbledon on Friday, reaching the last 16 with a comfortable victory over Greece’s Maria Sakkari, and said she aimed to go all the way at this year’s championships.Konta is the last British woman left in the singles draw after Heather Watson lost to Victoria Azarenka on Centre Court. The sixth seed, who will next play France’s Caroline Garcia, is one of the favourites to lift the title.“I’m much taking it one match at a time – but definitely working towards staying involved for a full two weeks,” she said after her 6-4 6-1 third-round victory over Sakkari.“I definitely believe in myself, the fact that I can keep improving, I can keep getting better.”The 26-year-old announced her intentions from the first game of the match when she twice drew Sakkari into the net before passing her with crisp cross-court winners to break serve.Roared on by a packed Court One crowd, she grew stronger and stronger as the match progressed, dominating the baseline duel.A nervous-looking Sakkari, aged 21 and ranked 101 in the world, compounded her plight with a string of unforced errors, spraying the ball long and wide on decisive points.Konta once said that if she had a house, she would remortgage it to go see rock band U2. As chance would have it, Bono and company are playing in London this weekend, just a few miles away from SW19, but she said she would not be taking time out from her Wimbledon regime to see them.“I’m actually seeing them a few weeks later,” she smiled. “I didn’t have to mortgage my house either.”