SOCCER

Timbers start fast, top Crew for MLS Cup

Diego Valeri scored at the 27-second mark for the fastest goal in MLS Cup history and the Portland Timbers won the league title for the first time, beating the Columbus Crew 2-1 on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

Rodney Wallace made it 2-0 in the seventh minute, and the Crew’s Kei Kamara scored in the 18th off a scramble in front of the goal.

Just after the opening whistle, Columbus midfielder Wil Trapp sent a back pass to goalkeeper Steve Clark, who tried to move the ball from his right foot to the left for a clearance. But Clark didn’t see Valeri closing and the midfielder poked the ball away from him and into the goal.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The U.S. women’s soccer team abruptly canceled a victory tour exhibition game against Trinidad and Tobago because of poor field conditions at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

BIATHLON

WORLD CUP: Clare Egan of Cape Elizabeth finished 45th in the women’s 10-kilometer pursuit race at Oestersund, Sweden.

Egan started in 16th place after the best finish of her World Cup career Saturday in the 7.5-kilometer race. She finished with a time of 34:46.7, with five penalties.

Kaiser Makarainen of Finland won the race with a time of 30:45.1.

GOLF

PGA TOUR: Bubba Watson wasn’t even planning to play in the Hero World Challenge. He left no doubt who was going to win.

With two quick birdies, Watson was never seriously challenged at Albany Golf Club in Nassau, Bahamas, and sailed home to a 6-under 66 for a three-shot victory over Patrick Reed.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Marc Leishman picked up his maiden European Tour title with a six-stroke victory at the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City, South Africa.

The Australian carded a 5-under 67 to finish at 19-under 269.

BASEBALL

MAJOR LEAGUES: The Oakland Athletics filled a key need a day before the start of the winter meetings, agreeing to a $22 million, three-year contract with free-agent reliever Ryan Madson, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said.

 Free-agent pitcher Mike Pelfrey finalized a $16 million, two-year contract with Detroit, which also added catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the major league minimum of $507,500.

SKIING

Men’s world cup: Austria’s Marcel Hirscher held on to his first-run lead to easily win a World Cup giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colorado, on a day when American Ted Ligety and some other top rivals crashed.

Fresh off his surprise super-G win the day before, Hirscher made it through the extra grippy snow conditions in a combined time of 2 minutes, 32.58 seconds. He beat Victor Muffat-Jeandet of France by 0.98 seconds. Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen was third.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Lindsey Vonn won a super-G race to complete a sweep of World Cup races in Lake Louise, Alberta, for the third time in her career.

The American finished in a time of 1 minute, 19.79 seconds, beating Tamara Tippler of Austria by 1.32 seconds. The margin of victory was the largest in a women’s super-G since 1997, according to information provided by the U.S. Ski Team.

Another Austrian, Cornelia Huetter, was third.

– From staff and news services