The Maine Mariners lost their fifth straight, falling to the Newfoundland Growlers 5-0 Wednesday night at St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The Mariners, who play  Friday and Saturday at Newfoundland, have lost three times to the Growlers this month. They were beaten 3-1 and 5-2 at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Maine was shut out for the first time this season.

Michael Joyaux and Orrin Centazzo scored in the first period, Zach O’Brien and Nolan Walker in the second and Taylor Egan in the third.

Defenseman Tommy Miller had four assists.


Mariners goalie Peter Thome was pulled after two periods, making 13 saves. Josh Boyko played the third period and allowed one goal, making four saves.

Growlers goalie Luke Cavallin made 38 saves for the shutout.


AUSTRALIAN OPEN: The Australian government confirmed that Novak Djokovic had been granted a visa to compete in the Australian Open in January a year after he was deported over his stance against COVID-19 vaccination.

The 21-time Grand Slam singles champion had his visa canceled on public interest grounds on Jan. 14 and lost an appeal against deportation in the Full Federal Court.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said he had approved Djokovic’s application to revoke the cancellation decision because the ground for canceling the visa no longer existed. The visa ban could have lasted for three years.


ATP FINALS: Five-time champion Novak Djokovic eased into the final four with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Andrey Rublev at Turin, Italy.

The second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Rublev on Friday in their final group match with a spot in the semifinals at stake as both players are at 1-1 in the Red Group after the Greek player beat Daniil Medvedev.

Tsitsipas squandered three match points in the second set but managed to win 6-3, 6-7 (11), 7-6 (1).


WORLD CUP: Lionel Messi played the entire game in Argentina’s final World Cup warm-up and scored in a 5-0 rout of the host United Arab Emirates as the pretournament favorites stretched their unbeaten run to 36 games.

Messi scored his team’s fourth goal right before the break, having also set up Julian Alvarez to open the scoring in the 17th minute. Angel di Maria scored twice in between.


Ansu Fati will start in Spain’s final warm-up before the World Cup on Thursday, with Alvaro Morata, Hugo Guillamon and Marcos Llorente not playing after missing practice time this week.

Coach Luis Enrique said he hopes Fati will be able to play the full 90 minutes of the game against Jordan ahead of the trip to Qatar.

“I ask you not to refer to Ansu as a player who is coming off injuries,” Luis Enrique said. “I see him in better condition than in June, when he couldn’t be with us.”

MANCHESTER UNITED: Hours before Cristiano Ronaldo’s highly anticipated tell-all interview with Piers Morgan was finally broadcast, Manchester United was pulling down a giant mural outside Old Trafford containing an image of the Portugal superstar.

Surely they knew what was coming.

Few at United were spared in a scathing condemnation of the club that Ronaldo delivered in the first part of a 90-minute interview that went out on TalkTV.


Past and present teammates. Former managers. The people who run the club. They all got a blast from the one of the world’s biggest sporting superstars, whose days at United are now surely numbered.

Excerpts from the interview had already been released on Sunday, including clips where Ronaldo said he felt “betrayed” by United and that he didn’t respect Manager Erik ten Hag.

MLS: Major League Soccer’s 10-year partnership with Apple will kick off next Feb. 1 with the launch of MLS Season Pass.

The announcement came less than two weeks after the MLS Cup and just ahead of the start of the World Cup.

The rights deal, which was first announced in July, allows fans to watch every game without local blackouts or restrictions. The service will be available in over 100 countries exclusively through the Apple TV app beginning next year.

• New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced plans for a 25,000-seat stadium for Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club on an underdeveloped parcel of land adjoining the New York Mets’ home.

The $780 million stadium, slated to open in 2027 in the neighborhood known as Willets Point, will anchor a 23-acre redevelopment project that will also include 2,500 units of affordable housing, a new public school and a hotel, officials said.

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