AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP)Gareth Bale converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute to offset Tim Weah’s first-half goal and give Wales a 1-1 draw against the United States in the return to the World Cup for both nations.
Weah, a son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberian President George Weah, scored after a pass from Christian Pulisic in the 36th minute.
Back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the United States appeared headed to victory. But Walker Zimmerman plowed into Bale from behind with the Welsh star’s back to the goal, and referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim of host Qatar pointed to the penalty spot.
Bale put his kick to the left of goalkeeper Matt Turner’s outstretched arm for his 41st goal in 109 international appearances, salvaging a point for Wales in its first World Cup match since 1958.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) – Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford put last year’s European Championship loss behind them, combining to score three goals in England’s 6-2 rout of Iran at the World Cup.
Both players missed penalties in the shootout loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final and were then subjected to racist abuse. A year later, Saka scored twice at Khalifa International Stadium and Rashford came off the bench to add another with his first move of the match.
Hundreds of fans missed the start of the match because of an issue with digital tickets. When they eventually made their way to their seats, they witnessed an utterly dominant display from England.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) – Cody Gakpo and substitute Davy Klaasen scored late to give the Netherlands a 2-0 victory over Senegal at the World Cup.
The University of Virginia canceled its game against rival Virginia Tech scheduled for Saturday following the slaying of three football players on campus just over a week ago.
The university made the announcement two days after a nearly two-hour memorial service to remember Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry. The three were fatally shot on Nov. 13 after a field trip to see a play in Washington.
Authorities have said Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a UVA student and former member of the football team who was on the trip, began shooting at students on the bus as it pulled to a stop at a campus parking garage.
Virginia also canceled a game against No. 23 Coastal Carolina last Saturday.
Neither the Cavaliers (3-7, 1-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), under first-year coach Tony Elliott, nor the Hokies (3-8, 1-6), under first-year coach Brent Pry, have anything to lose by not playing their Commonwealth Cup matchup, the last scheduled game for both.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Attorneys asked a jury to award $55 million to the widow of a former USC football player in a landmark case accusing the NCAA of failing to protect him from repetitive head trauma that led to his death.
Matthew Gee, a hard-hitting linebacker on the 1990 Rose Bowl-winning squad, endured countless blows that caused permanent brain damage and led to cocaine and alcohol abuse that eventually killed him at age 49, his lawyers said in closing arguments. His widow, Alana Gee, was in the courtroom.
In the first case of its kind to go to a jury, the attorneys told Los Angeles Superior Court jurors that the NCAA, the governing body of college athletics in the U.S., had known about effects of head trauma in sports since the 1930s but failed for decades to notify players of the risks or put rules in place to protect players.
A lawyer for the NCAA said Gee experienced a sudden cardiac death brought on by long-standing hypertension and acute cocaine toxicity. He discussed a raft of Gee’s other serious health problems, which he said were not related to football.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
NEW YORK (AP) – Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver are among 14 newcomers on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Hall of Fame ballot in what could turn into an evaluation of the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal.
R.A. Dickey, Huston Street, Francisco Rodriguez, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Cain also are new to the ballot, joined by Jacoby Ellsbury, Jayson Werth, Mike Napoli, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta and Andre Ethier, the Hall and the BBWAA said.
Holdovers include Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner. Rolen received 249 of 394 votes last year (63.2%), when David Ortiz was elected with 307 votes (77.9%), 11 more than the 75% needed. Helton was on 205 ballots (52%) and Wagner 201 (51%).
BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.
A nine-time All-Star, Beltran had 435 home runs, 1,587 RBIs and 312 stolen bases for Kansas City, Houston, the New York Mets, San Francisco, St. Louis, the Yankees and Texas. He was the only Astros player mentioned by name in a January 2020 report by Major League Baseball regarding the team’s illicit use of electronics to steal signs during Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series title.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Brown University freshman Olivia Pichardo is making history as the first woman to make a Division I baseball roster.
Brown coach Grant Achilles announced Pichardo made the varsity roster for the upcoming season as a walk-on utility player, saying she had the most complete walk-on tryout he’d witnessed as a coach.
Pichardo was a pitcher and outfielder for the USA Baseball Women’s National Team and played club baseball in New York. She spent two weeks with the Brown program this fall, going through practice and workouts with current players, and working out as a middle infielder, outfielder and pitcher.
DENVER (AP) – Melvin Gordon’s butterfingers finally cost him not just his starting job in Denver but his roster spot altogether.
The Broncos waived their veteran running back a day after his fumble at the goal line proved costly in their 22-16 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders that sent them tumbling into the AFC West basement at 3-7.
Gordon had two touchdown runs this season to go with five fumbles, two of which he lost. That gave him 26 career fumbles, 18 of them recovered by opponents. Nobody in the NFL has more fumbles or lost fumbles than Gordon over the past decade.