Sports News Roundup: Soccer-Petrakov Dedicates Ukraine Victory to Those Fighting Russia; Tennis-Pressure is now on Cilic, not me, says Norwegian Ruud and more

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Here is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Soccer-Petrakov dedicates Ukraine victory to those who fight against Russia

Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov said Wednesday’s World Cup qualifying win over Scotland was a victory for his compatriots who are “fighting to the last drop of their blood”. The 3-1 triumph at Hampden Park leaves Ukraine knowing that a win against Wales on Sunday in Cardiff will see them through to the World Cup final for the second time as an independent nation.

Tennis-Pressure is now on Cilic, not me, says Norwegian Ruud

Norway’s eighth seed Casper Ruud will feel much less pressure in his French Open semi-final against Grand Slam winner Marin Cilic on Friday following his quarter-final win over Danish teenager Holger Rune on Wednesday. Ruud became the first tennis player from his country to reach the last four of a Grand Slam when he beat Rune 6-1 4-6 7-6(2) 6-3 and ended the sensational run of the 19-year-old player who was playing his first French Open.

Football – “We didn’t show up”: Scotsman Robertson apologizes after loss to Ukraine

Scotland captain Andy Robertson regretted his side’s weakness in Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine and apologized to fans after defeat in Glasgow ended their hopes of a first appearance at the centerpiece of world football in 24 years. Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko, Roman Yaremchuk and Artem Dovbyk propelled Ukraine to a 3-1 win in the national team’s first competitive match since Russia invaded their country. They will face Wales on Sunday for a place in the final in Qatar.

Football-Messi’s Argentina outclasses Italy to win ‘Finalissima’

Argentina marked the Champions Cup revival in style as an inspired Lionel Messi helped them edge Italy 3-0 in a heavyweight clash dubbed ‘Finalissima’ at a noisy stadium in Wembley Wednesday. First-half goals from Lautaro Martinez and Angel di Maria put the South American champions in complete control of an Italian side who were back at Wembley 11 months after beating England to win the delayed Euro 2020.

Brazilian soccer icon Pelé calls on Putin to stop ‘nasty’ Ukraine invasion

Brazilian soccer legend Pele on Wednesday made a public appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his ‘wicked’ and ‘unjustifiable’ invasion of Ukraine, minutes before the Ukrainian national team playing a qualifying match for the World Cup. “I want to use today’s match as an opportunity to make a demand: Stop this invasion. No argument exists that can justify violence,” Pele said in a statement posted on Instagram.

Macron backs interior minister as criticism mounts over Champions League mess

French President Emmanuel Macron backed his Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin as pressure mounted against the government over France’s handling of last weekend’s Champions League soccer final in Paris, which was marred by crowd unrest.

Government spokeswoman Olivia Gregoire said Darmanin had “full confidence” in Macron despite chaotic scenes in the showpiece of the European football season between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Football-Ukraine beat Scotland to keep World Cup dream alive

Ukraine kept their dream of reaching the World Cup final alive by beating Scotland 3-1 in their qualifier at Hampden Park on Wednesday in their first match since Russia invaded their country. Ukraine will now face Wales on Sunday in Cardiff, with the winner taking part in November’s final in Qatar. The defeat means Scotland remain without a World Cup appearance since 1998.

Olympic track and field champion Jacobs withdraws from Rome, Oslo Diamond League meets

Olympic sprint champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs has withdrawn from this month’s Diamond League meetings in Rome and Oslo after failing to recover from a muscle injury, the Italian athletics federation has announced. The 27-year-old, who became the first Italian to win Olympic 100m gold in Tokyo last year, was injured during his 100m win in Savona, Italy in May and also missed the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene last weekend.

Football-Ronaldo, De Bruyne among nominees for player of the year

Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne were named among six nominees for the English Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award on Wednesday. De Bruyne is the current holder of the award, having won it the past two seasons, while Ronaldo won the award twice during his first stint with Manchester United in 2007 and 2008.

NBA-Potent Warriors offense takes on Celtics’ rugged defense in NBA Finals

The explosive and experienced Golden State Warriors will look to overcome the stifling Boston Celtics defense when the teams meet in what is expected to be a very competitive NBA Finals. The Warriors, playing in their sixth Finals in eight years and having won three titles in that span, have home-court advantage and will be the most rested team after finishing the Dallas Mavericks in five games in the previous round.

(With agency contributions.)

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