AP Sports SummaryBrief at 2:49 p.m. EST
Live updates | France-Morocco in the World Cup semifinals
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Theo Hernandez scored in the fifth minute to give France a 1-0 lead over Morocco at halftime in the World Cup semifinals. The left back scored from close range after Kylian Mbappé’s goal-bound shot deflected off teammate Olivier Giroud and into the path of Hernandez. It was the first goal Morocco has conceded by an opposition player in the tournament. The other goal the team allowed was an own-goal. Jawad El Yamiq hit the post for Morocco with an overhead kick in the 44th minute at Al Bayt Stadium. The winner will play Argentina in in the final on Sunday at Lusail Stadium.
Former Arizona coach Miller not sanctioned in NCAA case
Former Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller escaped sanctions when a report from the Independent Accountability Resolution Process largely accepted the program’s self-imposed penalties stemming from a NCAA rules violations case that dates back to 2017. Arizona’s athletics program was put on three years of probation through 2025. The school announced a one-year postseason ban in December 2020, which took effect for the 2020-21 season. The IARP report said former assistant coach Emanuel Richardson was given a 10-year show cause penalty after he “solicited and accepted $20,000 in cash bribes and paid $40,000 for a fraudulent academic transcript.” Miller emerged largely unscathed from the report. He is now the head coach at Xavier.
Alex Ovechkin reaches 800 career goals with hat trick
CHICAGO (AP) — Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has become the third NHL player to score 800 career goals. He scored three times at Chicago on Tuesday night. Ovechkin scored on his first two shots, beating Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek 24 seconds into the game before stuffing one home on a power play with 11:46 left in the first period. The 37-year-old winger then completed his 29th career hat trick when he knocked Anthony Mantha’s pass over a sprawled Mrazek 6:34 into the third. The rest of the Capitals jumped off the bench to celebrate after the milestone goal, and hats rained down on the ice from the crowd of 16,181 at the United Center. Fans then chanted “Ovi! Ovi!” — drawing a wave from Ovechkin. Washington beat Chicago 7-3.
AP source: Carlos Correa, Giants reach $350M, 13-year deal
Star shortstop Carlos Correa and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to a $350 million, 13-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations has told The Associated Press. The 28-year-old Correa also was a free agent one year ago after leaving the Houston Astros, and he reached a $105.3 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. That agreement gave him the right to opt out after one year and $35.1 million to hit the market again. Correa batted .291 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in his one season with Minnesota.
NFL discussing ejections on roughing-the-passer penalties
IRVING, Texas (AP) — The NFL is considering ejections for roughing-the-passer penalties and hits on defenseless players, although league executive Troy Vincent is expressing caution on how such rulings would be enforced. Vincent says ejections were part of a discussion at the NFL owners meetings including roughing-the-passer calls among reviewable plays. Any changes wouldn’t happen until the offseason. Vincent says such changes would have to be weighed against the length of games and other factors.
Messi evokes Maradona comparisons on road to World Cup final
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi has gone into full-on Diego Maradona mode at the World Cup. He has carried Argentina’s class of 2022 into the World Cup final in the same way Maradona led the team to the title in 1986. There have always been echoes of Maradona in Messi because of his size, his dribbling skills, his quick feet and his wand of a left foot. Add in the leadership and fighting qualities he has shown throughout the tournament and it really does feel like Messi is imbued with the spirit of Maradona as he closes in on soccer’s ultimate prize.
Mbappe attends to fan ahead of World Cup semifinal match
AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappe has attended to a fan who was apparently struck by a stray practice ball ahead of the World Cup semifinal match between France and Morocco. Mbappe was seen checking on the welfare of a France supporter who appeared to be dazed after the incident at Al Bayt Stadium. The French players had been warming up on the field before the match started. It is not clear if Mbappe was the one who hit the errant shot into the stands but he quickly went over to check on the man.
Inquiry finds widespread misconduct in women’s pro soccer
An investigation commissioned by the National Women’s Soccer League and its players union found “widespread misconduct” directed at players dating back to the beginnings nearly a decade ago of the top U.S. women’s professional league. A report detailing the results of the year-long investigation was published a little over two months after the release of U.S. Soccer’s own report on a separate investigation. Both investigations found instances of sexual abuse and manipulation within the league.
Brock Purdy, 49ers aim to clinch NFC West in Seattle
The Brock Purdy show is hitting the road in prime time. After outplaying Tom Brady and dominating the Buccaneers in his first career start, Purdy leads the San Francisco 49ers against Seattle on “Thursday Night Football.” Purdy, the last pick in this year’s draft, can follow up a spectacular performance by helping the 49ers secure the NFC West. A victory over the Seahawks would clinch the division title for San Francisco, which turned to Purdy after losing Jimmy Garoppolo to a foot injury on Dec. 4. Purdy will try to play through an oblique injury, and the Niners won’t have wide receiver Deebo Samuel because of knee and ankle injuries.
Wife: Journalist Wahl died of aortic aneurysm at World Cup
NEW YORK (AP) — Grant Wahl died of a ruptured blood vessel when he was stricken while covering a World Cup match last weekend, according to an autopsy of the well-known American soccer writer. Wahl’s wife, Dr. Céline Gounder, says an autopsy was conducted by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office. She writes “Grant died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium,” a reference to the wall that surrounds the heart. She says “no amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him.”
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