Hosts Gabon must avoid defeat or face elimination

By Mark Gleeson
| LIBREVILLE

LIBREVILLE Defeat for hosts Gabon on Sunday will spell the end of their African Nations Cup participation but a win in their crunch Group A game against leaders Cameroon in Libreville will be enough to take them through to the quarter-finals.

Early elimination for the hosts threatens to put a dampener on a tournament struggling to fill stadiums and engender fervour among the local population.

Napoli put another dent in Milan's Champions League hopes

MILAN AC Milan's hopes of ending a three-season absence from the Champions League suffered a severe setback on Saturday when they lost 2-1 at home to Napoli, one of their rivals for qualification.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma nearly equalised with a stoppage-time header, which his opposite number saved, but Milan had left themselves too much to do after Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon scored in the first 10 minutes for the visitors.

Tears flow as Chapecoense return to action

By Andrew Downie
| CHAPECO, Brazil

CHAPECO, Brazil Thousands of fans gathered under a blazing sun in southern Brazil on Saturday as Chapecoense played their first match since most of their players were killed in an air crash in Colombia in November.

The friendly against Palmeiras was the first game of the season for both sides but it was much more about symbolism and emotion than sport for a club looking to bounce back from one of football's great tragedies.

Ghana book quarter-final spot, Egypt boost chances

PORT GENTIL, Gabon Ghana became the second side to book a quarter-final place at the African Nations Cup finals in Gabon when they edged Mali 1-0 in Group D at the Stade de Port Gentil on Saturday.

Experienced forward Asamoah Gyan grabbed the only goal of the game to become his country’s leading all-time scorer in the continental championship with an eighth career strike across six tournaments.

Clement praises '90-minute' Swansea after Liverpool stunner

LONDON New Swansea City manager Paul Clement praised his side's "90-minute" performance after the Welsh strugglers recorded a first ever league victory at Liverpool on Saturday.

Spain striker Fernando Llorente scored twice in quick succession after the break for the Swans and although Robert Firmino's double hauled Liverpool level, Gylfi Sigurdsson slotted in a 74th-minute winner to inflict Liverpool's first home league defeat of the season and lift Swansea out of the bottom three.

Biathlon union drops investigation into 22 Russian athletes

MILAN Biathlon's governing body (IBU) has dropped proceedings against 22 of the 29 Russians who were placed under investigation last month following the McLaren report due to lack of evidence, it said on Saturday.

The IBU, however, said it had opened a formal investigation into the Russian biathlon union (RBU) which had been given until Feb. 9 to provide a "detailed and fully documented report" on the remaining seven cases.

Guardiola blames missed chances, not referee for City draw

LONDON Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola disguised any feelings of injustice behind criticism of his side's finishing after watching them waste a chance to make up ground at the top of the Premier League on Saturday.

Guardiola must have been fuming inwardly after his side were denied a clear penalty when leading 2-1 against Tottenham Hotspur, 60 seconds before the visitors equalised to secure a 2-2 draw.

Egypt snatch late winner to eliminate Uganda

By Mark Gleeson
| PORT GENTIL, Gabon

PORT GENTIL, Gabon Abdallah El Said scored a last-minute winner to give Egypt a 1-0 victory over Uganda in African Nations Cup Group D on Saturday and eliminate the East Africans from the competition.

Egypt moved into second place in the standings on four points as they finally ended their goal drought at the tournament.

El Said was set up by Mohamed Salah just when it seemed the Egyptians were going to be held to a second successive draw, blasting through the legs of the Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango.

Leipzig win after opposing keeper sent off in third minute

BERLIN Second-placed RB Leipzig brushed aside Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday after opposing goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky was sent off after just three minutes.

Hradecky was one of two goalkeepers to be dismissed in the first half of Saturday's games after Werder Bremen's Jaroslav Droby was given his marching orders in his side's 2-1 home defeat by Borussia Dortmund.

Hoffenheim, the only team still unbeaten this season in any of Europe's big five leagues, continued their run with a 2-0 win at Augsburg.

Newcastle roar back to top of the Championship

LONDON Newcastle United roared back to the top of the English Championship with a 4-0 demolition of Rotherham on Saturday, although they were frustrated for 45 minutes by the bottom club.

Daryl Murphy opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time and when Matt Ritchie scored from close range soon after the restart the points were in the bag.

Ritchie struck again after Ayoze Perez got in on the act.

Rafa Benitez's Newcastle have 58 points from 27 games with Brighton and Hove Albion, who beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 on Friday, a point behind with a game in hand.

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