Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
London sides Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal also made winning starts as did fellow Premier League club Leicester City. Villarreal and Turkey’s Sivasspor played out an eight-goal thriller in Group I, with the Spanish side grabbing a 5-3 win thanks to a late double from striker Paco Alcacer.
* Gareth Bale started for Tottenham Hotspur for the first time in seven years and helped them to a 3-0 win over Austria’s LASK in their first match of the Europa League group phase on Thursday.
* Arsenal scored twice in four minutes to win 2-1 at Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday and spare goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s blushes after his blunder handed the Austrians a shock lead.
* Sebastian Munoz had an eventful opening round that included two eagles in an eight-under-par 64 that gave him a one-shot lead at the Zozo Championship on Thursday while Tiger Woods’ bid for a record 83rd PGA Tour win got off to a stuttering start. World number three Justin Thomas got hot on the back nine, finishing eagle-birdie-birdie for a seven-under 65 to climb into a tie for second with England’s Tyrrell Hatton.
* Dan Martin claimed victory on stage three of the Vuelta a Espana as early race leader Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma also put in a strong showing to remain in red on Thursday. The 166km Lodosa to Vinuesa route featured two categorised climbs which ultimately decided the outcome of the stage.
* Tao Geoghegan Hart thrust himself into contention to become Britain’s latest Grand Tour winner with a superb ride on a dramatic 18th stage at the Giro d’Italia on Thursday.
* Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones will equal the world record for most test caps when he leads the side against France in Paris on Saturday. The lock will play his 148th test, which includes nine for the British & Irish Lions, to move level with retired former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, and will have the chance to take the outright top-spot when Wales host Scotland in the Six Nations the following weekend.
* Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will leave the Haas Formula One team at the end of the season, the US-owned outfit said on Thursday.
* The cancellation of the 2020 badminton junior world championships in Auckland highlighted the complexities of trying to organise sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic, Badminton New Zealand’s chief executive said on Thursday. The World Badminton Federation and Badminton New Zealand announced the cancellation of the Jan. 11-24 event, which had originally been scheduled for Sept. 28-Oct. 11 before being moved to early next year due to the pandemic.
* Penrith Panthers will ride a 17-match winning streak into the National Rugby League final this weekend looking to bag a first title since 2003 and ruin what might be the last outing for Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith. The 2020 season will come to a climax in front of 40,000 fans at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium in a “grand final” that matches the two best teams from the novel coronavirus-disrupted campaign in what will be Smith’s record-extending 430th NRL game.
* The second leg of the African Champions League semi-final between Egypt’s Zamalek and Raja Casablanca has been postponed by a week after eight players in the Moroccan club’s squad tested positive for COVID-19, the Confederation of African Football said on Thursday.
* Racing Point have Nico Hulkenberg on standby at this weekend’s Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix but the team expect Lance Stroll to race after the Canadian was cleared of COVID-19.