SpaceX to launch super-computer to space

13 Aug

SpaceX is poised to launch an unmanned cargo ship toward the International Space Station Monday, including a super-computer that could direct astronauts on future deep-space missions.The liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon cargo ship, i…

American Justin Thomas wins PGA Championship

13 Aug

Justin Thomas made two spectacular birdies in the final six holes Sunday to win the PGA Championship, the 14th-ranked American taking his first major title in a back-nine shootout thriller.On a day that saw five players share the lead at one stage, Tho…

Mixed emotions as Bolt bows out

13 Aug

Jamaican Usain Bolt said Sunday he was sad but also excited to bow out of athletics, adding that his disappointing world campaign in London would not change his career achievements.Bolt brought down the curtain on his glittering career in dramatic fash…

Ronaldo sent-off, but Real roll over Barcelona

13 Aug

Real Madrid made light of a red card for Cristiano Ronaldo to deal a further blow to Barcelona by winning 3-1 in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.Ronaldo, only introduced as a second-half substitute, was shown two quickfire yellow cards…

Zverev stuns Federer to win Montreal Masters

13 Aug

Alexander Zverev shocked second seed Roger Federer in straight sets in the Montreal Masters final to win his fifth title of the season on Sunday and announce himself as a dangerman for the US Open.The 20-year-old German used his booming serve to overpo…

Turkey policeman stabbed to death by IS suspect

13 Aug

An officer was stabbed to death near a police station in Istanbul on Sunday by a suspected member of the Islamic State group, Turkish media said. The attacker, who was suspected of preparing to carry out a suicide bombing, was shot dead after killing t…

‘More alive than ever’, says Neymar after scoring debut

13 Aug

Neymar wasted no time in making an impact on the field for Paris Saint-Germain, scoring on his debut in a 3-0 win at Guingamp on Sunday and declaring himself to be “feeling more alive than ever”.

The Brazilian world record signing was handed a start by coach Unai Emery for the game in Brittany, two days after international clearance came through for his 222 million-euro ($261 million) switch from Barcelona.

The 25-year-old, at home in PSG’s all yellow change kit, played a part in the own goal scored by Jordan Ikoko that gave the away side the lead early in the second half.

He then set up the second goal for Edinson Cavani with a superb pass in behind the Guingamp defence before completing a comfortable victory with his team’s third goal eight minutes from the end as PSG made it two wins from two to start the French season.

“People think that leaving Barça is to die, but no, it’s the opposite,” Neymar told reporters.

“I’m more alive than ever. I play, I’m very happy, and football is the same. Only the country, the city and the team change, but football is the same.”

Despite the many distractions of the last couple of weeks, including trips to China, Portugal and the French Riviera and glitzy presentations to the media and PSG fans, Neymar lasted the full 90 minutes.

He had taken the place of Javier Pastore in the Paris side in the only change from last week’s 2-0 win over Amiens, completing a 350 million-euro front three with fellow South Americans Cavani and Angel Di Maria.

Neymar was one of four Brazilians in the PSG line-up, not including Brazil-born Italy midfielder Thiago Motta, for the game played before a sell-out crowd at the 18,000-capacity Stade du Roudourou.

Guingamp, a sleepy little town 500 kilometres west of Paris with a population of barely 7,000, may have been a slightly incongruous setting for such an occasion but the match was broadcast live in more than 180 countries according to his new club.

That was a sign of the interest generated worldwide by Neymar’s transfer, which Qatar-owned PSG hope will help them conquer Europe after so far coming up short in the Champions League in recent seasons.

– ‘Quality players’ –

Emery’s side are also desperate to regain the French crown after losing out to Monaco last season.

“I’m very happy. The main thing was to win. The team played well and I played well,” Neymar, speaking in Spanish, told Canal Plus, after the match.

“We are trying to improve all the time and we’ll get to know each other better yet, but it is easy to play with players of such quality.

“It is always very important to score, not just in the first game. I am very calm. This is a very big challenge for me as a person, but we have a great team and the season has just started.”

Neymar, playing mainly as an inside left, threatened sporadically in the opening stages before his cross in the 35th minute found compatriot Marquinhos, who headed against the woodwork.

He then watched as a Cavani free-kick was tipped over by Karl-Johan Johnsson as the first half ended goalless.

But PSG needed just seven minutes of the second half to get the breakthrough with Neymar involved in the build-up as Ikoko — a former PSG player — tried to play the ball back to Johnsson and succeeded only in passing it into his own net.

Neymar then released Cavani with a delightful pass as the Uruguayan slotted home the second goal just after the hour mark.

All that was missing was a goal of his own and that arrived eight minutes from the end as Neymar finished from close range following a Cavani cutback.

PSG are second in the fledgling table, behind Lyon on goal difference. They are one of five teams to have maximum points after two games.

Lazio stun Juventus to win Italian Super Cup

13 Aug

Lazio defeated Juventus for the first time in four years with a 3-2 triumph in the Italian Super Cup on Sunday with victory secured by an injury-time goal from substitute Alessandro Murgia.Ciro Immobile had given Lazio a 2-0 lead with a 31st-minute pen…

US-backed Syria forces battle IS in Raqa Old City

13 Aug

US-backed fighters fought pitched battles Sunday with Islamic State group jihadists inside their Syria bastion Raqa, an AFP correspondent said.The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Arab-Kurd alliance, first entered Raqa two months ago and have since captur…

Back spasms could sideline McIlroy until next year

13 Aug

Rory McIlroy might not play again until next year because of back spasms he has been battling much of the season, the four-time major champion from Northern Ireland said Sunday.World number four McIlroy completed a disappointing major season with a thr…

Svitolina destroys Wozniacki in WTA Toronto final

13 Aug

Elina Svitolina crushed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-0 to win the Toronto WTA trophy on Sunday, capturing her fifth title of 2017 and her second final of the season over the former world number one.Fifth seed Svitolina, of the Ukraine, needed just 77 minu…

Felix wins 16th world medal as US win 4x400m relay

13 Aug

Allyson Felix won her 16th world career medal as the United States won the 4x400m relay on Sunday.Felix ran an outstanding second lap as the quartet, also comprising Quanera Hayes, Shakima Wimbley and Phyllis Francis, timed 3min 19.02. Britain, in 3:25…

US ‘horrified’ by killing of Syrian rescuers

13 Aug

The United States expressed sadness and horror Sunday over the killing of seven members of Syria’s White Helmets rescue service in a jihadist-held town near Idlib.The seven were killed Saturday by unidentified assailants in a raid on their base in Sarm…

Peerless Semenya claims third world 800m title

13 Aug

South African Caster Semenya, dogged by gender accusations since shooting to fame in 2009, won a third world title in the women’s 800m on Sunday.Semenya, the defending Olympic champion and also world champion in 2009 and 2011, timed 1min 55.16sec, the …