sports Fri/Sat/Sun October 20~22, 2017 Messi joins ... LIONEL MESSI has joined Cristiano Ronaldo in

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Text of sports Fri/Sat/Sun October 20~22, 2017 Messi joins ... LIONEL MESSI has joined Cristiano Ronaldo in

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    Fri/Sat/Sun October 20~22, 2017

    LIONEL MESSI has joined Cristiano Ronaldo in the exclu- sive club of players who have scored 100 goals in European competition.

    Messi hit the century mark in UEFA club competitions Wednesday when he scored from a free kick to lead 10-man Barcelona to a 3-1 victory at home over Olympiakos.

    Messi curled his strike over the wall in the 61st minute. Goal- keeper Silvio Proto got a hand on the ball but couldn’t keep it out as Messi took his career tally in the Champions League to 97 goals. His other three were in the European Super Cup.

    Messi managed the feat in 122 European matches, 21 fewer than Ronaldo needed to score his 100th European goal in April. In total, Ronaldo has now scored 113 times in 151 European club matches after his goal earned Madrid a 1-1 draw with Totten- ham on Tuesday.

    The next highest scoring player in European competi- tion after Ronaldo and Messi is former Real Madrid forward Raul Gonzalez, who scored 76 times.

    “The numbers reinforce what we see day in, day out,” Barce- lona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “(Messi) keeps on hitting milestones that before seemed impossible.”

    After Barcelona had gone ahead thanks to an own-goal by Dimitris Nikolaou in the 18th, the hosts were left a man down three minutes before halftime after Gerard Pique got a second booking for using his arm to steer the ball into the net. The strike was disallowed.

    However, Barcelona contin-

    Messi joins Ronaldo in 100-goal club

    ued to outclass the Greek visitors despite playing with 10 men.

    Messi drew a foul from Niko- laou near the edge of the area to set up his free kick. Messi’s strike gave him 18 goals in 17 matches for Barcelona and Argentina this season.

    Messi also set up left back Lucas Digne to score in the 64th when he dribbled around a defender before cutting the ball back through the area for the defender to drive it home.

    Barcelona made it three wins from as many matches to lead Group D with nine points. It also extended its unbeaten run at home in the competition to 23 straight games.

    Olympiakos remained with zero points. Juventus has six points and Sporting Lisbon three

    after Juventus beat the Portu- guese side 2-1 Wednesday.

    Manchester United took advantage of an embarrass- ing mistake by the youngest goalkeeper ever to play in the Champions League to beat Ben- fi ca 1-0 and maintain its Group A lead.

    Belgian goalkeeper Mile Svilar, making his Champions League debut at age 18, was deceived by a long free kick taken by Marcus Rashford in the second half, going over the line while holding the ball with his arms outstretched in front of him.

    He misjudged Rashford’s shot and couldn’t stop his momentum after stepping back toward the goal to make the catch. The ball just crossed the line and the referee confi rmed the strike

    with the help of goal-line tech- nology.

    Manchester United reached nine points with its third straight win in Group A. It has a three- point lead over Basel.

    Cheslea salvaged a point against Roma in Group C when Eden Hazard headed in his second goal of the night in the 75th minute.

    Edin Dzeko’s double had briefl y put Roma in front but 2012 Champions League winner Chelsea remains two points ahead of the Italian club at the top of the group.

    Chelsea had made a blister- ing start at Stamford Bridge with David Luiz curling a shot into the bottom corner after 11 minutes.

    (SD-Agencies)

    Barcelona’s Lionel Messi kicks the ball to score during the Champions League match against Olympiakos at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, on Wednesday. SD-Agencies

    CHINA’S Liang Wenbo produced the fi rst 147 break of the season, the second of his career, on his way to winning a fi nal-frame decider against Tom Ford at the English Open in Barnsley on Wednesday.

    It was the fi rst 147 of the season and the 132nd in snooker history. Liang went on to win 4-3.

    The rolling prize fund for a 147 at the fi nal stages of a ranking event goes up by 5,000 pounds (US$6,800) every tournament and has been building since Judd Trump’s max at last season’s China Open. If nobody else com- piles a perfect break this week then Liang will take the 40,000 pounds, as well as the 2,000- pound high break prize.

    Meanwhile, Ronnie O’Sullivan was allowed to wear trainers as he raced into the third round of the English Open with a 4-1 win against Mark Davis.

    The fi ve-time world champion courted controversy in his open- ing round win over Zhang Anda by wearing blue trainers due to a sprained ankle and he was instructed by World Snooker to correct his footwear.

    In response, O’Sulivan threat- ened to pull out of the tourna- ment and posted a picture of his injured ankle on Twitter and the game’s governing body allowed O’Sullivan to wear trainers again, saying he would be exempt from “standard dress code protocol” in order to “help manage the effects of an ankle injury.”

    Michael White knocked out Ding Junhui after racing into a three-frame lead. Ding replied with breaks of 81 and 86 but a 95 from White clinched the vic- tory. (SD-Agencies)

    FORMER England women’s manager Mark Sampson made remarks that were “discrimina- tory on grounds of race” towards Eni Aluko and Drew Spence.

    Independent barrister Katharine Newton concluded in her fi nal report — published Wednesday — that Sampson was not racist, but that he twice made “ill-judged attempts at humor” towards the England pair.

    Football Association (FA) chief

    executive Martin Glenn “sincerely apologized” to Aluko and Spence over Sampson’s remarks, calling them “not acceptable.”

    The report found no evidence, however, to support allegations that Aluko was sub- jected to “a course of bullying and discriminatory conduct” by the then national team boss.

    Sampson was dramati- cally sacked last month after FA chiefs were alerted to what it termed an “inappropriate” rela- tionship he had with a player in his previous job in 2013.

    That followed weeks of speculation about his

    position after it emerged he had already been the subject of two FA investigations into

    allegations of discrimination by Chelsea striker Aluko.

    Aluko claimed Sampson had told her to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring the Ebola virus to the friendly against Germany at Wembley in November 2014. Sampson denied that claim, along with another allegation that he asked a mixed-race player — Spence — if she had been arrested before. (SD-Agencies)

    JAMES HARDEN had 27 points and nine assists, and the Hous- ton Rockets made it a perfect two-game road trip to start the season despite playing this one without Chris Paul, beating the Sacramento Kings 105-100 Wednesday night.

    While he didn’t shoot espe- cially well, Harden hit a trio of dagger 3-pointers with 8:13, 6:00 and 5:13 left — the second of which put Houston ahead 89- 79. He also had a key left-handed layup late and fi nished 8 for 21 and 4 of 14 from 3-point range.

    Sacramento forced the Rock- ets into a shot-clock violation

    and the Kings got the ball back with just less than a minute remaining and down 96-92. Willie Cauley-Stein made one of two free throws with 41 seconds left and Harden found Clint Capela for an alley-oop dunk moments later.

    After the Kings stole the inbounds pass from Eric Gordon with 25 seconds left and down 98-95, it was initially ruled Sacramento ball but the play went to replay review and a foul was issued to George Hill instead. Gordon converted two free throws.

    Capela had 22 points and

    matched his career high with 17 rebounds. Paul sat out with a bruised left knee that limited him during Houston’s stunning comeback 122-121 win at Golden State on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, Damian Lillard scored 27 points and the Port- land Trail Blazers opened the season by handing the Phoenix Suns the most one-sided loss in the franchise’s 49-year history, 124-76.

    The 48-point rout exceeded Phoenix’s previous record, a 44- point loss to Seattle (151-107) April 2, 1988.

    (SD-Agencies)

    Liang Wenbo

    Liang produces first 147 break of the season

    Former England women’s manager Sampson ‘racially abused players’

    Harden leads Rockets past Kings for 2nd victory

    Houston Rockets guard James Harden (R) drives around Sacramento Kings defender DeAaron Fox during their game in Sacramento on Wednesday. SD-Agencies

    Mark Sampson