Dortmund, Aug 4 (AP/UNB) — Jadon Sancho starred as Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the season-opening German Supercup on Saturday.
Sancho scored one goal and brilliantly set up Paco Alcacer for the other as Dortmund secured a morale-boosting victory over its old rival and delivered a statement of intent for the season ahead.
"We know that we still have a tall task ahead of us for the championship," Dortmund team official Sebastian Kehl said.
Dortmund is bidding to end Bayern's unprecedented seven-year reign as German champion and significantly boosted its squad with summer signings though only Nico Schulz was able to start as injuries took their toll.
Instead it was left to Sancho to carry on where he left off last season as the 19-year-old England forward produced another sparkling performance.
"All the defenders, even Bayern's defenders - when he has the ball at his feet, they're a little bit afraid," Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel said. "Jadon has a lot quality. He's really fast, technically he's very good. He can score, make passes, so he's really complete."
The game, a curtain-raiser for the coming season, was sold out, watched by more than 81,000 fans at the Westfalenstadion.
They were barely given time to settle as the game began with an outstanding save from Bayern captain Manuel Neuer to deny Dortmund counterpart Marco Reus.
The next big chance also fell to Dortmund. Neuer rushed out of goal and Alcacer tried scooping the ball over him toward the unguarded net. Fans stood up and watched as the ball went wide.
Robert Lewandowski replied with Bayern's first effort, which was deflected away, before Neuer saved again to deny Raphael Guerreiro.
Bayern improved through the half with Niko Kovac's side looking assured on the ball.
"We didn't take our chances," Kovac complained.
Alcacer broke the deadlock after the break, all thanks to Sancho. He eluded three Bayern defenders, then played the ball through Niklas Süle's legs for Alcacer to sweep it inside the right post.
Bayern sought a response and was only denied through desperate defending with Marwin Hitz saving and Manuel Akanji blocking on the line before the ball was cleared away.
Sancho then struck on a counterattack in the 69th after Guerreiro played the ball over the Bayern defense. The young forward stayed calm before slotting the ball through Neuer's legs.
Of all Dortmund's summer signings, only Schulz could play. Mats Hummels was denied a quick reunion with his former Bayern teammates due to muscular problems, Julian Brandt was out with a groin problem, Thorgan Hazard with an ankle injury and Mateu Morey with a shoulder injury. Goalkeeper Roman Bürki was also out.
Atlanta, Aug 4 (AP/UNB) — Atlanta United is back in a familiar spot.
Pressing the attack right from the start, the reigning MLS Cup champions scored a pair of own-goals in the first half and got a penalty kick from Josef Martinez to finish off a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday, pushing the reigning MLS Cup champions into a tie for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
"This is the goal," first-year coach Frank de Boer said. "We want to be on top. We want to be the hunted."
United (12-9-3) pulled even with Philadelphia at 39 points, stretching its home unbeaten streak to 10 games in a matchup between two of the league's top teams. Atlanta has never allowed a goal to the Galaxy, recording three straight shutouts since entering the league in 2017.
With the upper deck opened up and another MLS record crowd of 72,548 rocking Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the home team responded with one of its best performances in what has been an up-and-down season.
The Galaxy (12-10-1) provided plenty of help.
In the 23rd minute, Florentin Pogba retrieved a long ball at the Atlanta end of the field and worked it up to Ezequiel Barco racing through the midfield. Barco slid a nifty pass to Pity Martinez, who broke into the clear down the right side. Martinez tried to work the ball in front, where both Barco and Josef Martinez were lurking, but the pass struck defender Dave Romney, sliding across the area on his back, and deflected past helpless goalkeeper David Bingham.
Atlanta made it 2-0 with a nearly identical play in the 43rd. This time, Justin Meram sprinted free down the left side and looked to get the ball to Josef Martinez, who was open in front of the net. Defender Giancarlo Gonzalez slid across to block the pass and wound up doing the same thing as Romney — deflecting the ball past Bingham.
"Some would say, 'Ahh, it's unlucky on their part and lucky for Atlanta,'" Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan said. "No, that's hard work and being in the right spot at the right time, the good delivery of the crosses. That's down to us. That's us creating our own luck."
Indeed, United had plenty of chances to score a goal of its own in the opening half. Barco put a blistering ball off the crossbar, while Pity Martinez had a shot ricochet off the far post after Bingham just got a piece of it.
Barco, Josef Martinez and Pity Martinez have rarely gotten a chance to play together this season because of injuries and international commitments.
The trio showed what they're capable of by creating numerous chances in the Galaxy's zone.
"Suddenly," de Boer said, "the puzzle looks like it could work."
Atlanta sealed the victory in the 72nd after a video review showed that Emerson Hyndman was knocked down in the area by Gonzalez while going for a rebound after Bingham made a brilliant save to deny Josef Martinez.
That sent Martinez to the spot for the penalty kick, which he ripped inside the left post for his 18th goal of the season while Bingham dove to the right.
The big crowd was denied a chance to see the Galaxy's top scorer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker, who has 16 goals, was suspended for the match for an accumulation of yellow cards after picking up his fifth in a 4-0 loss at Portland last weekend.
LA also was missing another key player, defender Diego Polenta, who was suspended for picking up red card after the final whistle against the Timbers.
"Without Ibra, we lose a lot," Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said. "But we know it can happen during the year when Ibra cannot play, like today, and we need to figure it out."
The Galaxy needed all the help it could get against Atlanta, which has outscored LA 9-0 in their three meetings.
Josef Martinez had the spotlight all to himself, and he delivered his 68th league goal over the last three seasons, matching Bradley Wright Phillips (2014-16) for the most prolific three-year scoring run in MLS history. With 10 games left in the regular season, Martinez should easily claim that mark all to himself.
The 2018 MVP also has scored in nine straight league games, matching the mark initially set by Diego Valeri in 2017 and equaled last season by Martinez.
"The important thing is to win," Martinez said through a translator. "Those are just numbers."
Atlanta United has a quick turnaround before traveling to Orlando for the U.S. Open Cup semifinals Tuesday night.
United has placed heavy importance on the normally obscure tournament, seeing it as perhaps the best chance to return to the CONCACAF Champions League in 2020.
Atlanta would host the final if it beats Orlando. The Open Cup winner receives one of four U.S. berths in the Champions League.
Greensboro, Aug 4 (AP/UNB) — The rounds are starting to repeat for Byeong Hun An: No bogeys, a bunch of birdies and more time atop the Wyndham Championship leaderboard.
An shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday for a one-stroke lead after three rounds at the PGA Tour's final event before the playoffs.
An, who was at 17-under 193, has held or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds and has yet to play a hole worse than par. The 27-year-old South Korean with three international victories has put himself in position to claim his first win on tour.
"It feels similar to yesterday, to be fair," An said. "I had some nice shots here and there, but scrambled well today. Another bogey-free (round). I'm quite happy with it — a 66 out here, and I have a lead."
Former Wyndham winner Webb Simpson and Brice Garnett were tied for second, with Simpson shooting a 65 and Garnett a 66. Ryan Armour was 15 under following a 65.
"One shot is basically nothing," An said. "It's not that big of a lead. It's just one shot."
Overall, it was yet another low-scoring day at Sedgefield Country Club. For a while midway through An's round, six players were tied for the lead at 13 under.
"I wouldn't be surprised if somebody shot 8, 9, 10 under, a guy who's within striking distance," Simpson said. "I've got to keep the pedal down, and if I don't shoot a low one, I'm not going to win."
An started to get some separation from the crowd with three birdies in the four-hole span from Nos. 5-8, moving to 16 under.
Then came his best shot of the day, a 50-foot birdie putt on the par-4 14th. He closed with four straight pars.
Simpson — a native North Carolinian who named his daughter Wyndham after his first career victory came here in 2011 — strung together three birdies around a bogey midway through his back nine to move to 16 under.
If nothing else, he's in good position to claim his fifth top-10 finish in six years at this tournament.
Garnett made the turn at 15 under following back-to-back birdies, then rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th to pull even with Simpson and saved par on the 18th after rolling his third shot from a greenside bunker to within 3 feet from the flagstick.
"I was just trying to get the putt (on 17) somewhere around the hole," Garnett said. "Fortunately, the putt had some eyes and drifted in. Huge momentum going into tomorrow."
Armour climbed into contention with six birdies in a 10-hole stretch midway through his round that put him two strokes back.
And Viktor Hovland finished his season-best round with a birdie on the 18th after landing his 150-yard approach shot some 3 feet from the flagstick. He was tied for fifth with J.T. Poston and Paul Casey at 14 under.
After winning the U.S. Amateur last year, Hovland turned pro two months ago after tying for 12th at the U.S. Open.
"I just try to tell myself that I don't have anything to lose," Hovland said. "I'll be on the Korn Ferry Tour no matter what happens kind of unless I play really well tomorrow, and to be in the spot where I am right now after college, that's a pretty good spot to be in."
It wasn't a low-scoring day for everyone, though: Jordan Spieth had three double-bogeys and a bogey during a birdie-free 77 that left him at 2 under for the tournament. It came two days after he flirted with a career-best round, putting just 23 times during his first-round 64.
"I putted my (butt) off for two days to be able to be where I was at, and you can't exactly fix your ball striking in a day," Spieth said. "It's just too much to try and force it. So this extra day could serve me really well through the playoffs."
Birmingham, Aug 4 (AP/UNB) — Steve Smith frustrated England once again as Australia took a slender 34-run lead in the first Ashes test after reaching 124-3 in its second innings at stumps on day three.
Smith, who hit 144 in Australia's first-innings 284, was 46 not out off 61 balls on Saturday. Travis Head is 21 not out in a fourth-wicket partnership of 49 so far.
The pair came to Australia's rescue after Stuart Broad took his 450th test wicket when David Warner was caught behind by Jonny Bairstow for 8 on review. Cameron Bancroft tamely sent the ball to Jos Buttler at short leg for an easy catch off Moeen Ali for 27-2.
England broke through again to make it 75-3 when Ben Stokes forced an edge behind by Usman Khawaja (40), with Australia still trailing.
Smith took a single off Ali at the end of the 22nd over to bring the two teams level before helping to build the small lead. To stop that growing Sunday into something to worry England on a deteriorating wicket — anything over 150 could prove uncomfortable — the hosts need to get Smith out.
England knows that won't be easy.
"You hope he (Smith) makes mistakes," England allrounder Chris Woakes said, "it's a tricky one."
Australia pacer James Pattinson did not want to put a number on how many runs Australia need to win, but added: "Anything over 150 I think. We want to bat all day tomorrow and try to grind England into the ground a bit."
Earlier Saturday, Woakes and Broad ushered England to a 90-run first-innings lead with 374 all out following a middle-order collapse on the third day.
Rory Burns added only eight runs to his overnight score before departing for 133, one of four wickets to fall in the morning as the hosts slipped from 282-4 to 300-8.
A 65-run stand between Woakes (37 not out) and Broad for the ninth wicket added to the lead before England was dismissed and an early tea taken.
When Broad was out for 29 from 67 deliveries, succumbing to Pat Cummins' short-ball tactic, Woakes was left with Jimmy Anderson for company.
England's record wicket-taker, moving gingerly after suffering a calf complaint earlier in the test, contributed three before spooning Lyon into the leg-side, ending a labored final wicket stand during which Woakes turned down a number of singles. While Anderson was able to bat, he did not bowl in Australia's second innings on Saturday. Anderson visited the nets during the lunch break to have a bowl, raising expectations he may play some part.
England's morning wobble saw Burns, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Bairstow also dismissed in quick succession. Stokes was the only batsman to show any fluency, reaching 50 before he aimed a cut at Cummins and nicked through to Tim Paine.
After more than seven hours in the middle, Burns was undone by Nathan Lyon's off spin, edging to Paine who held on instinctively.
Moeen went for a five-ball duck, and Bairstow managed only eight before steering Peter Siddle to Warner at slip.
Milton Keynes, Aug 4 (AP/UNB) — Hinako Shibuno's dream debut continued Saturday in the Women's British Open when she shot a 5-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.
The 20-year-old Shibuno, a rookie on the Japan LPGA Tour who is making her LPGA Tour and major championship debut, birdied six of the final holes in the round to get to 14-under 202.
"It's definitely exceeding my expectations," said Shibuno, nicknamed Smiling Cinderella. "I came in wanting to make the cut, so right now I feel like I'm doing something very incredible."
Overnight leader Ashleigh Buhai started with a three-shot lead at Woburn Golf Club and stretched it to five when Shibuno bogeyed Nos. 5 and 9.
"I was pretty upset after the three-putt bogey on the ninth," Shibuno said. "But after the second shot on the 10th hole, I was able to bring myself back."
Buhai stumbled with three bogeys in five holes. The 30-year-old South African, who has never won on the LPGA Tour, had a 72 to drop to second at 12 under.
"I played my first nine holes probably the best ball-striking I could have had. Hit really good shots," Buhai said. "Turned 2 under, birdied my 10th to go to 3- nder and hit two poor wedge shots on 11 and 12, normally my strong point. Let the three-putt rattle me on No. 12.
"I'm still here, two shots behind going into the final round playing in the final group. If you told me at the beginning of the week, I would have taken it."
Second-ranked Sung Hyun Park was another shot back after a bogey-free 68.
Top-ranked Jin Young Ko and Americans Morgan Pressel and Lizette Salas were tied for fourth on 10 under. Ko (68) is seeking her third major title of the year after winning the Evian Championship last week in France. Pressel had a 66, and Salas shot 70.
Defending champion Georgia Hall was 10 shots back after a 74.