Tue | Aug 22, 2017

More sports in brief

Published:Tuesday | May 9, 2017 | 5:00 AM

 

Chelsea inch closer to EPL title

LONDON, England (AP): Chelsea was one more win away from taking the English Premier League title after beating Middlesbrough 3-0 yesterday.

The Blues have the chance to claim their second league title in three seasons when they face West Brom on Friday. They moved seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham, and all but consigned Middlesbrough to relegation.

Goals came from Diego Costa, Marcos Alonso, and Nemanja Matic in an attack masterfully orchestrated by Cesc Fabregas at Stamford Bridge.

"We have the possibility to do this on Friday but it won't be easy because West Brom is a really good team, a physical team, and we must pay great attention," Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said.

With this result, Middlesbrough have become the second team relegated from the Premiership, as they still have 28 points. Hull City sits ahead of them in 18th place on 34 points, with Swansea in 17th on 35. Each have only two more games to play.

NKorea to host Malaysia in soccer after diplomatic dispute

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP): North Korea has finally been approved to host a 2019 Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia following political tensions between the countries.

The Asian Football Confederation says the game can go ahead in Pyongyang on June 8 after the Malaysian football federation confirmed it was not subject to "government travel restrictions."

Diplomatic tensions escalated amid investigations into the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother in Kuala Lumpur. Both countries imposed travel bans on the other's citizens.

The original March 28 qualifier was postponed and a neutral venue sought.

The game opens both teams' program in a four-nation Asian Cup qualifying group that also includes Lebanon and Hong Kong.

Bouchard eliminates Sharapova at Madrid Open

MADRID, Spain (AP): Motivated more than usual, Eugenie Bouchard used her game to send a message to Maria Sharapova by defeating the Russian 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in a thrilling second-round match at the Madrid Open yesterday.

Bouchard, one of the most outspoken players against Sharapova's return to tennis following a doping ban, jumped up and down after converting her second match point in just under three hours.

The players casually shook hands at the net and exchanged brief plaudits.

It was their first meeting since Bouchard called Sharapova a cheater and said she should have been banned for life from the sport after testing positive for meldonium at last year's Australian Open.