Ricardo Pepi was the hero on Wednesday, converting the game-winning penalty as MLS All-Stars prevailed against Liga MX All-Stars in a shoot-out.

The annual showdown, typically pitting MLS' best against an elite European club, finished 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes in Los Angeles midweek.

But Dallas sensation Pepi settled the contest in the shoot-out after Orlando City star Nani had spurned an earlier opportunity to win it, miscuing his effort into the stands.

It was the 25th MLS All-Star Game and the first involving All-Stars from two different leagues, though it was the second time Liga MX had been involved after MLS All-Stars beat Chivas Guadalajara 3-1 in 2003.

Liga MX All-Stars opened the scoring via Jonathan Rodriguez, who controlled the ball off his chest before half-volleying into the bottom corner in the 20th minute.

Jesus Murillo restored parity for MLS All-Stars eight minutes into the second half when the Los Angeles FC centre-back's towering header beat Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.

The 18-year-old Pepi then showed nerves of steel from the spot to lead the MLS team to their 10th victory in the All-Star game.

Jamaica sprint sensation, Elaine Thompson-Herah, insists breaking Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding record isn’t a target but believes it remains very much within reach.

Thompson-Herah demanded the world sit up and take notice when she eclipsed another longstanding record held by the American at the Olympics a few weeks ago.

The Jamaican’s 10.61, winning time at the Games, run into a -0.6 wind erased Florence-Joyner’s 1988 Olympic record of 10.62.  Just a few weeks later, however, and the athlete obliterated that mark, clocking 10.54 in another dominant showing against a quality field, this time in Eugene, Oregon at the Prefontaine Classic.

This time the wind speed recorded for the race was +0.9.  Now, only Griffith-Joyner’s mark of 10.49 remains on the horizon and there is little doubt, for the first time in decades, it could be eclipsed.

"Going to Prefontaine there was no intention of breaking that record," Thompson-Herah said.

"It was a normal race day and I came out if with a PB after a tiring championship,” she added.

"10.5 is definitely in my reach but I wouldn't say it's a target right now.

"On a perfect day and perfect weather, if I get that, I would definitely challenge it.”

 

Afghan Paralympic athletes Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli are in a "safe place" after being evacuated from their homeland.

The two Para-taekwondo athletes were due to represent their country in the Tokyo Games, but could not leave Afghanistan after the Taliban took control.

Khudadadi and Rasouli were among thousands trying to flee their country, so the Afghan flag was carried by a volunteer at Tuesday's opening ceremony in the Japanese capital.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on Wednesday confirmed the two athletes had left Afghanistan.

"Efforts have been made to remove them from Afghanistan, they are now in a safe place," IPC spokesman Craig Spence said during a news conference.

"I'm not going to tell you where they are because this isn't about sport, this is about human life and keeping people safe.

"Obviously they've been through a very traumatic process, they're undergoing counselling and psychological help.

"We are being kept in the loop about their whereabouts and their well-being."

Australian cyclist Paige Greco won the first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in style on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old claimed the 3,000metres individual pursuit title at the Izu Velodrome in a world record time of three minutes, 50.815 seconds.

Wang Xiaomei of China won silver and Germany's Denise Schindler took bronze as Greco stole the show.

Greco said: "It means so much. When I think about all the people that helped me get here, the staff and all my friends and family, it's amazing. I owe it all to them.

"It feels amazing. I still can't believe it. I keep looking down and seeing [the gold medal]. It's not really sunk in yet."

Grego competed in athletics at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio and only made her para-cycling debut two years ago.

She will also go for gold in the C1-3 time trial on August 31 before competing in the C1-3 road race four days later.

A chorus of disgruntled Jamaica track and field fans have turned their ire towards sporting goods manufacturer Nike for what they deem to be disrespect of top-rated women’s sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah.

The athlete’s exploits over the past few weeks have astonished the majority of the track and field world.  A truly dominant performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics saw her not only successfully defend her title in both the 100 and 200m but set the second-fastest times ever recorded over the distance.

For good measure, she added a 4x100m relay gold medal to the mix to leave the game with three medals.  Scrolling through the social media feed of her sponsor @Nike, on both their Twitter and Instagram main feeds, you would never know any of those accomplishments had occurred.

The feed did, however, during the period, congratulate the USA Women’s Basketball team, 800 metre runner Athing Mu and Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge who are all sponsored by the brand.

The last straw for many, however, would have been the placement of an ad featuring USA sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson ahead of her return to the track at the Prefontaine Classic last week.  The much-hyped ad featured Nike’s caption ‘No more waiting. Let the @carririchardson_ show begin.’  The race featured both Thompson and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, another Nike-sponsored athlete and Olympic silver medallist.  Richardson is yet to win a medal and missed out on the chance of doing so at the Olympics after incurring a brief suspension for testing positive for marijuana.

Thompson summarily dismissed Richardson, and the rest of the field for that matter, after winning the race in a mind-blowing 10.54, with Richardson failing to live up to the pre-race hype after finishing in 9th position.  The Jamaican’s time smashed the already impressive 10.62 mark she set at the Olympics and was just 0.5 seconds outside of Florence Griffith Joyner’s long-standing world record.  The irony of the situation was not lost on the Jamaica track fans on social media and they made their feeling known by commenting on the post with the Richardson ad on the company’s IG page.

blkdynamit.snkr

The ppl hype her is she the Olympics double double champion and the fastest female in the world? I thought it was Elaine? ??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️

makonem_theheir

She just got smokedddd.. Not even top 4.?????.. I guess the show got postponed

jovem_rei._

All of this for last place sis?

The company has congratulated Thompson-Herah on its “Nike Running” page, which has 5.7M followers, but not their main @Nike page which has 170M followers.  Some fans have started a campaign to boycott the brand.

Pakistan levelled their Test series against the West Indies as a Shaheen Afridi masterclass led them to a 109-run victory in Kingston on Tuesday.

Shaheen's career-best bowling figures of 6-51 helped put the balance firmly in Pakistan's favour heading into the final day, and he was on point again with another four wickets to round off the triumph.

The Windies needed 280 runs at the start of the day's play, with nine wickets remaining, but after meeting initial resistance, Shaheen struck to get the ball rolling.

He finished with figures of 4-43 for the innings, taking his match haul to 10 wickets.

Alzarri Joseph (17) was the first Windies batsman to fall, with Nkrumah Bonner and Roston Chase swiftly following suit, both to Hasan Ali (2-37).

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite, who scored 39 from 147 deliveries (and 250 minutes at the crease), was dismissed early in the afternoon session, leaving Pakistan on the verge of victory before tea, yet the Windies fought back again, with a rain delay then threatening to halt their procession.

Thankfully for the tourists, the inclement weather did not hold, and when they returned for the final session, it was Shaheen who offered the inspiration, drawing an edge from the impressive Kyle Mayers (32), with Jason Holder's subsequent dismissal on 47 leaving the Windies with little chance.

Shaheen finished things off, sending Kemar Roach and Joshua Da Silva packing in the space of two overs to ensure the series ended on level terms.

West Indies' wait goes on

In 2005, 2011 and now 2021, the Windies have taken the lead in a two-match home Test series against Pakistan, only for the tourists to hit them back on each occasion.

The Windies have now not beaten Pakistan in a Test series – home or away – since 2000.

Career-best bowling figures from Shaheen Afridi and brilliance from Mohammad Abbas put Pakistan in a strong position in the second Test against West Indies.

Shaheen's 6-51 helped the tourists to skittle their hosts for 150 after having declared at 302-9 in their first innings.

Pakistan followed up with 176-6 declared to seize control of the match, the Windies needing 280 on day five to avoid defeat.

Pakistan set up a strong day four when they tore through West Indies' middle order, taking four wickets for the loss of just 11 runs in Kingston on Monday.

Shaheen accounted for Kieran Powell (5) and Kraigg Brathwaite (4) early doors, with Roston Chase (10) and Alzarri Joseph (4) mustering just 14 between them.

Jermaine Blackwood's 33 steadied the ship until Abbas was unleashed, Nkrumah Bonner (37) and Kyle Mayers (0) falling to successive deliveries before Blackwood and Joshua Da Silva (6) followed.

With their opponents all out for 150, Pakistan built a strong second innings as Imran Butt (37) and Babar Azam (33) led the way before they declared at 176-6.

Powell and Brathwaite's stand of 34 got the West Indies' chase off to a promising start, but the former was run out after a somewhat lethargic attempt to get his bat down as they chased a third off an extra cover drive.

Still, after reaching 49 at stumps, the final day promises to be a riveting affair.

West Indies undone in torrid 10 minutes

A 60-run fifth-wicket partnership between Blackwood and Bonner kept Pakistan frustrated until Shaheen and Abbas produced some sensational bowling.

Their efforts mean Babar's men still have a chance of levelling the series.

 

Akeem Auguste made the most of excellent batting conditions to record a sparkling century as the West Indies Rising Stars U19s High-Performance Camp continued this past weekend.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has forged a new partnership with digital inventory management specialists, Horizm to value and unlock revenues from CWI’s website and social media channels.

Fawad Alam dragged Pakistan past 300 with his fifth Test century before their bowlers made early inroads against West Indies on the third day of the Second Test in Kingston.

New England Revolution have stretched their lead to 15 points in the MLS Eastern Conference after a 4-1 triumph over Cincinnati on Saturday.

First-half goals from Tajon Buchanan, Emmanuel Boateng and Adam Buksa helped New England open up a 3-0 half-time lead and they never looked back.

Canada international Buchanan was critical, pouncing on a rebound to fire home the opener from close range, before dribbling in the box and providing the pass for Boateng's first-time effort.

Cincinnati pulled a goal back from record signing Brenner's 54th-minute strike but Buksa added a second on the hour, from Gustavo Bou's assist, to seal a comfortable win.

Revolution have now won four straight matches and are unbeaten in eight games. New England have scored a league-leading 44 goals this year and turned it on without injured star midfielder Carles Gil.

Benji Michel scored a 51st-minute winner as Orlando City snapped their three-game winless run with a 1-0 win over Chicago Fire to move up to second in the east.

Orlando were not helped when Nani was substituted on the half hour, but found a winner when Michel drove home after Tesho Akindele's steal.

Quinn Sullivan netted an 87th-minute equalizer to keep Philadelphia Union in touch with Orlando after a 1-1 home draw with Montreal.

Djordje Mihailovic had put Montreal ahead on the stroke of half-time before Sullivan's leveler which leaves Union two points behind Orlando.

Inter Miami continued their form resurgence with a 3-1 victory over Toronto, moving them up to 11th in the east and leaving the Canadians in last.

Mexican midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro netted a double while Robbie Robinson also scored as Inter claimed their third win in four games.

Damian Moreno scored a late winner as Atlanta United claimed their fourth consecutive win, edging DC United 2-1.

Houston Dynamo snapped their four-game losing run with 2-2 draw with Dallas in their Texan showdown, while Austin climbed off the foot of the Western Conference with a 3-1 home win over Portland Timbers.

Colorado Rapids claimed a third straight win, getting past Real Salt Lake 2-1 in the Rocky Mountain Cup while Vancouver came from behind to win 2-1 over LAFC.

After numerous delays, New York Red Bulls' derby with New York City was postponed with the pitch deemed unplayable after inclement weather as Hurricane Henri approached.

There was no play on the second day of the second Test between West Indies and Pakistan, with the weather frustrating the sides after Friday's gripping action.

Repeated inspections of a wet outfield did not yield suitable conditions, as rain continued to fall throughout Saturday.

It meant Pakistan remained on 212-4, as they were at stumps the previous day having staged a recovery from a rocky start.

West Indies had the tourists on the ropes in Kingston when they were put in to bat and remarkably reduced to 2-3.

Yet a huge partnership between Fawad Alam and Babar Azam lasted for 298 balls and 158 runs and was only ended when the former retired hurt with cramps.

That stand brought Pakistan firmly back into contention, and they would have hoped to set a big total on day two, only for the rain to intervene.

West Indies won the first match of the two-Test series.

San Jose Earthquakes trumped LA Galaxy 2-1 to extend their unbeaten streak away from home to six matches and 10 in total in MLS.

The Earthquakes carried a five-match unbeaten away run (W1 D4) into Friday's contest – their longest streak since going six straight games (W4 D2, including play-offs) without a road loss from September 2012 to March 2013.

San Jose matched that run thanks to Nicholas Hamalainen's 71st-minute own goal against rivals the Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Jeremy Ebobisse put the Earthquakes ahead seven minutes into the second half before the Galaxy's Victor Vazquez restored parity with 25 minutes remaining, having scored from a corner.

Only three of the last 41 MLS matches the Galaxy had played at Dignity Health Sports Park dating back to September 2018 ended in a draw (W24 L14). 

That theme continued after the ball took a wicked deflection off Hamalainen and into the back of the net 19 minutes from the end.

The Earthquakes – unbeaten home or away since losing 3-1 to the Galaxy on June 26 – are seventh in the Eastern Conference, 13 points behind leaders Seattle Sounders.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy are third in the east and nine points better off than the Earthquakes after 21 games.

Half-centuries from Babar Azam and Fawad Alam wrested the early initiative from the West Indies and put Pakistan in a position of strength at the end of the first day of the second Betway Test at Sabina Park on Friday.

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