Sports Briefs

first_imgFonte hands in transfer request SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP): Southampton captain Jose Fonte wants to leave after handing in a transfer request, the English Premier League club said yesterday. The 33-year-old Portugal defender has rejected opportunities to extend his contract which runs for another 18 months, director of football Les Reed said. “He’s had several opportunities to improve the contract situation. He’s reserved his right not to do that,” Reed told the BBC. “He’s made it very clear he would like to explore the opportunities for a transfer.” Fonte, who won the European Championship with Portugal in July, has been at Southampton since 2010. German football chief speaks out against enlarging World Cup FRANKFURT, Germany (AP): Germany’s football president is against enlarging the World Cup. Reinhard Grindel says in an interview published on the federation’s website that FIFA proposals to enlarge the tournament from 32 teams to 40 or 48 “have considerable weaknesses that are also clearly shown in FIFA factsheets.” Grindel says, “At the DFB, we’re fundamentally convinced that the tried and tested model of 32 participating nations should be held. The world championships were always tournaments that inspired. Why should that change?” The DFB president warns that the quality of the tournament could suffer in football’s core markets if more participants are added, and that conflicts could emerge between national teams and clubs “if we overburden the players.” Chapecoense to play first game since crash RIO DE JANEIRO (AP): Brazilian football club Chapecoense, which lost most of its team in an air crash in November, will make a return later this month for a friendly match against defending league champions Palmeiras. The match will be held on January 21 in Chapecoense’s 20,000-seat Arena Conda in Chapeco, a city of 200,000 about 800 miles south of Rio de Janeiro. Chapecoense coach Vagner Mancini is still signing players to replace the 19 that died on a Colombian hillside on November 28. Chape, as the team is known, will play their first official match on January 26 against local rivals Joinville. Welbeck could return for Arsenal LONDON (AP): Arsenal face being without holding midfielder Francis Coquelin for up to a month because of a hamstring injury, and striker Danny Welbeck is close to a comeback. Coquelin was replaced 28 minutes into Arsenal’s 3-3 draw against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Tuesday. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Coquelin “is out for three or four weeks.” Wenger says Welbeck, who has not played this season because of a left knee injury, could return in the FA Cup match at Preston tomorrow. Wenger added: “Physically his fitness is at quite a good level, but of course the ideal way is to give him two or three games with the under-23s. But the situation is not always ideal. Sometimes you have to hurry up.”last_img read more

Panthers Blank Rangers, 3-0

first_imgSUNRISE, Fla. — The Florida Panthers keep setting franchise records.Roberto Luongo stopped 40 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Panthers beat the New York Rangers 3-0 Jan. 2. for their franchise-best eighth straight win.Brandon Pirri, Vincent Trocheck and Logan Shaw each scored to help Florida regain first place in the Atlantic Division.The Panthers also set a franchise mark with their sixth consecutive home win and snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Rangers, beating them for the first time since April 23, 2013.Luongo got his seventh straight win, breaking his own Panthers franchise consecutive wins record, and tying Lorne Chabot and Harry Lumley for 11th place in NHL history with 71 career shutouts.“I’m more worried about the standings list than career accomplishments. Our goal is to be in the playoffs,” Luongo said.The Panthers have won 14 of their past 17.“It’s awesome. It couldn’t go any better for us right now, but we’ve got to keep playing,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’ve got more than half the season left to go. They’re great wins, but we’ve got to do it every night.”The announced crowd of 20,289 at the BB&T Center was the largest this season.Henrik Lundqvist made 15 saves for the Rangers, who have lost eight of their past nine on the road and 10 of their past 14 overall (4-8-2).“This team today, they had some really good skills,” Lundqvist said. “If we get (a goal) there in the second, it’s a different game.”The Panthers led 3-0 after two periods despite being outshot 24-12.“There’s no doubt that Luongo had a good night tonight, but you’ve got to find a way to make it harder on him,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “Better screens, more people at the net. Yes, he did have a good night, but at the end of the day we had some looks and we didn’t capitalize.”Ahead 1-0, the Panthers doubled their lead early in the second. Alex Petrovic shot from the point and Lundqvist stopped the shot with his blocker but the puck bounced off Trocheck’s leg and into the net at 4:41.Pirri’s power-play goal gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead little past the midpoint of the period. Pirri’s shot from the right circle got past Lundqvist with 8:42 remaining in the second, giving the Panther three goals on 10 shots.The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on the goal by Shaw with 25 seconds left in the first. Corban Knight passed from the left circle to Shaw in the slot, who redirected the puck past Lundqvist on the short side.(PAUL GEREFFI) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more