October 12, 2013

Sports Digest

SOCCER

U.S. shuts out Jamaica to clinch first in CONCACAF

Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore scored second-half goals as the United States beat Jamaica 2-0 at Kansas City, Kan., to clinch first place in their World Cup qualifying group.

The sides played to a stalemate through 77 minutes before Alejandro Bedoya got the ball on the wing and crossed to Zusi, whose shot from 12 yards beat goalie DuWayne Kerr.

Edgar Castillo, like Zusi a second-half substitute, found Altidore in front of an open net for another goal in the 81st minute. Altidore scored in his sixth straight international start.

Honduras won 1-0 at home against Costa Rica on Jerry Bengtson's 65th-minute goal and ensured itself of no worse than fourth place in CONCACAF and a playoff against Oceania champion New Zealand.

Raul Jimenez scored on a 16-yard bicycle kick in the 85th minute and Mexico beat visiting Panama 2-1 to revive its hopes of qualifying for its sixth straight World Cup. The Mexicans are three points behind Honduras with one game left.

Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Colombia qualified for the World Cup, while England and Russia won and moved into position to clinch berths next week.

Germany defeated Ireland 3-0 at Cologne to reach soccer's biggest tournament for the 16th straight time. Belgium earned its first berth since 2002, winning 2-0 at Croatia, and Switzerland clinched its group with a 2-1 victory at Albania.

In South America, Colombia (8-4-3) trailed by three goals but rallied for a 3-3 draw at home against Chile to earn its first berth since 1998.

Fourteen of the 32 spots at next year's tournament in Brazil are set. The United States, Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and South Korea already had qualified, and Brazil gets an automatic berth as host.

England maintained its group lead, beating Montenegro 4-1 at Wembley Stadium on second-half goals by Wayne Rooney, Andros Townsend and Daniel Sturridge plus an own goal.

GOLF

PGA: Brooks Koepka surged to the top of the leaderboard in the Frys.com Open with a 7-under 64, giving him a one-shot lead over Jason Kokrak going into the weekend at San Martin, Calif.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Larry Nelson shot his age, 66, for a share of the lead in the SAS Championship, while Nick Faldo failed to finish the round in his first regular Champions Tour event in Cary, N.C.

Nelson's 6-under 66 joins Russ Cochran and Mark Mouland atop the leaderboard at Prestonwood.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Paul Waring shot an 8-under 63 to tie for the lead with fellow Englishman David Lynn and South Africa's Hennie Otto after the second round of the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura.

LPGA: Ilhee Lee of South Korea kept her lead in the LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, while 18-year-old American Lexi Thompson shot an 8-under 63 and was one stroke behind after two rounds.

TENNIS

SHANGHAI MASTERS: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic overcame tough challenges in their quarterfinals and moved a step closer to a possible showdown in the final of the tournament.

GENERALI LADIES: Top-seeded Angelique Kerber defeated Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at Linz, Austria, to secure the final spot in the season-ending WTA Championships.

JAPAN OPEN: Former champion Samantha Stosur reached the semifinals, beating Misaki Doi of Japan 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in Osaka.

ATP: Tunisia's tennis federation ordered the country's top player, Malek Jaziri, to withdraw from a match against an Israeli at a tournament in Uzbekistan.

Jaziri was to play Israel's Amir Weintraub in the quarterfinals of an ATP Challenger tournament in Tashkent. He withdrew before the match and Weintraub advanced to the semifinals of the lower-tier event.

BOXING

FEATHERWEIGHT: Orlando Cruz, who came out last year as the first openly gay boxer, takes on Orlando Salido in Las Vegas on Saturday for a piece of the featherweight title on the undercard of Timothy Bradley's fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. He'll do it wearing rainbow colors on his boxing trunks.

OLYMPICS

USOC: The U.S. Olympic Committee board revised its non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation, a nod to its disapproval of the Russian anti-gay law recently passed by the Olympic host country.

At his annual address to the USOC Assembly on Friday, CEO Scott Blackmun said the federation is not in the business of trying to influence Russian policy.

"The fact that we do not think it is our role to advocate for a change in the Russian law does not mean that we support the law, and we do not," Blackmun said.

-- From news service reports

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