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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Manchester Draws, Falls Farther Behind


LONDON -- Newcastle won 1-0 at Coventry to move nine points ahead of second-place Manchester United in the Premier League, capitalizing on United's scoreless draw with Aston Villa.

Newcastle, looking more and more like the eventual champion, has 51 points in 22 games to 42 for Manchester United in 23 starts. Tottenham Hotspur holds third place with 41.

On Friday, the London-based Spurs were suspended for one year from European Cup play for fielding a weak team in last season's Intertoto Cup. Premier club Wimbledon was also banned for a year by Europe's soccer body, UEFA.

The clubs are appealing with the support of the league and the English FA, which had both approved the use of understrength teams to attract entries.

In Sunday's only Premier League match, Steve Watson put Newcastle ahead 1-0 in the 44th minute of the first half when Coventry winger John Salako failed to clear the ball.

Watson got control of the loose ball near the 18-meter line and moved in unhindered to score from six meters.

The victory was Newcastle's first away from home in three months and makes up for a hard-fought 2-0 loss last week to Arsenal in the League Cup quarterfinals.

Liverpool slipped into fourth place at 39 points with a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday when Ian Rush tied the match in the 87th minute. Arsenal's 3-2 win at Middlesbrough was probably the best match of the nine Saturday in the Premier League.

Arsenal went ahead 1-0 on a Paul Merson goal early, but goals by Brazilian Juninho in the 38th -- his second since coming to England late last year -- and another by Philip Stamp in the 56th game Middlesbrough a 2-1 lead.

David Platt saved London-based Arsenal with the tying goal in the 60th minute, and Dutch international Glenn Helder got the winner in the 62nd.

Nottingham Forest picked up its win on a Colin Cooper goal in the 44th for a 1-0 win over Southampton.

In Scotland's Premier Division, Celtic defeated Aberdeen 2-1 in Sunday's only game. Billy Dodds gave Aberdeen a 1-0 in the 18th minute, but John Collins and Pierre Van Hooydonk scored second-half goals to lift Scotland's second-place team.


In Port Elizabeth, South Africa, four-time champion Ghana lived up to its billing as favorite with an impressive 2-0 defeat of Ivory Coast in the African Nations' Cup on Sunday.

Goals in each half from European-based strikers Tony Yeboah and Abedi Pele Ayew gave the Black Stars their Group D win and, after the late withdrawal from the tournament of defending champion Nigeria, Ghana appears to be the side to beat.

Surprisingly, Ghana's win was its first against the Ivory Coast in seven meetings since 1970.


Brazil and Mexico are the first two teams to qualify for the semifinals of the Gold Cup soccer tournament.

A goal by substitute Eustacio Rizo with two minutes left gave Mexico a 1-0 victory over Guatemala in San Diego on Sunday and first place in Group A. Brazil routed Honduras 5-0 in Los Angeles and won Group B.

Mexico will meet the best second-place team in the nine-nation tourney. Brazil will face the winner of Group C.

The regional tournament features eight teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean. World Cup champion Brazil is a guest team.


Tight defense and the absence of AC Milan star George Weah helped last-place Cremonese hold the Red-and-Black to a 0-0 draw Sunday, shrinking Milan's lead in the Italian first division at the season's midpoint.

Weah, named FIFA's player of the year Jan. 8, is playing with his native Liberia in the African Cup. His replacement, Italian international Marco Simone, was ineffective and was substituted in the second half.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)