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Posted 9:40 pm, 12/05/2018

Belgium reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 32 years by holding off five-time champion Brazil 2-1 [url= http://www.thecoltsfootball...ntic]Youth Darius Leonard Jersey[/url] , sending Neymar home without living up to the expectations of being soccer’s most expensive player.

Belgium scored the decisive goal on a counterattack just after a corner had been taken by Neymar. Romelu Lukaku surged forward with the ball and Kevin De Bruyne put it in the net to give Belgium a 2-0 lead in the 31st minute.

Fernandinho’s trailing arm inadvertently helped Belgium captain Vincent Kompany’s header land in his own net in the 13th minute.

Renato Augusto reduced the deficit in the 76th with a header.

But it was too late for Brazil.

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) " Antoine Griezmann’s fluke goal helped France earn a place in the World Cup semifinals.

Griezmann scored with a shot that bounced off the hands of the opposing goalkeeper and into the net, giving France a 2-0 victory over Uruguay.

The 1998 champions will next face Belgium on Tuesday in St. Petersburg.

Griezmann’s shot in the 61st minute went right into the hands of Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. But the ball popped off his palms and looped over his head and into the net.

Raphael Varane gave France the lead with a header in the 40th minute.

NBA

LAS VEGAS (AP) " Tony Parker is done in San Antonio.

Parker agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets, ending a 17-year run with the Spurs. And he’s not the only veteran on the move, with Oklahoma City and Carmelo Anthony having mutually agreed they will part ways and Dwight Howard set to sign with the Washington Wizards once he clears waivers.

All of those deals were confirmed to The Associated Press by people involved in the negotiations. Each of the people spoke on condition of anonymity because none of the moves were finalized " but the Parker move was confirmed by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who thanked his now-former point guard in a statement released by the team.

Anthony has likely played his last game for the Oklahoma City Thunder " with the sides having mutually decided that he will not be on the team next season. It remains unclear how that departure will actually happen, as in whether it will be through a buyout, the Thunder waiving him or a trade.

Howard started the day on Charlotte’s roster, then was traded to Brooklyn " a deal agreed to days ago, but one that couldn’t be completed until the league’s offseason moratorium on player movement ended. The Nets will buy him out [url= http://www.packerscheapstor...p]Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey[/url] , which will pave the way for Howard to eventually sign with the Wizards.

BASEBALL

DETROIT (AP) " Jordan Zimmermann denied Bartolo Colon’s bid at baseball history, striking out 11 batters in eight innings as the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 3-1.

Colon was trying to become the winningest Latin-American pitcher in major league history. He remains tied with Dennis Martinez with 245 career victories.

He pitched well, allowing three runs " including homers by James McCann and JaCoby Jones " in an eight-inning complete game, but Zimmermann was better. The Tigers’ right-hander allowed one run and four hits and struck out 10 or more for the first time since his no-hitter for Washington against Florida on Sept. 28, 2014.

AUTO RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) " Justin Haley started last and crossed the finish line first.

It would have been a stellar run in just his second Xfinity Series race " if only he could have kept two tires above the double-yellow line at Daytona International Speedway.

Kyle Larson was declared the winner of the Firecracker 250 when Haley’s late pass in overtime was ruled illegal.

A full-time driver in the Trucks Series, Haley used an aggressive and impressive move to complete a stunning pass that looked as if it would lead him to victory lane. But Haley inadvertently crossed the yellow line around the inside of the famed track, and NASCAR ruled it improper. up 18th.

Larson edged Elliott Sadler at the line, giving the Cup Series regular three wins in four starts this year in the second-tier series.

GOLF

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) " Kelly Kraft shot a 7-under 63 in the second round of A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier to take a one-stroke lead over first-round leader Webb Simpson and Anirban Lahiri.

Kraft posted his career-best round at the Old White TPC in West Virginia. He was at 13-under 127.

Lahiri overcame poor play off the tee to shoot a career-low 61. Simpson made five birdies after a lousy start and shot 3-under 67. Both were at 12 under.

Jason Kokrak shot 64 and was at 11 under. Whee Kim of South Korea and Harold Varner III were at 10 under. Kim shot 68 and Varner shot 64.

ONEIDA, Wis. (AP) " Sei Young Kim birdied her first four holes to shoot a 7-under 65 and surge to the lead after the second round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

Kim was at 16-under 128 " tied for the tour’s lowest of the season " and four shots ahead of Yu Liu.

Jump-started by an eagle on the par-5 third [url= http://www.philadelphiaeagl...]Authentic Richard Rodgers Jersey[/url] , Liu made a big move with the day’s best round with a 63 to get to 12 under and grab sole possession of second place.

Defending champion Katherine Kirk, who led after shooting 10-under 62 in the first round, couldn’t get her putting going, though, and settled for 71. She is one of five players who are five shots off the pace at 133.

Sung Hyun Park, who won her second career major at last week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and could have moved to No. 1 in the world rankings with a win, missed the cut by five shots at 1-over 1

NEW YORK " For virtually every day in the last month, either the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees woke up in first place in the AL East standings.

Since the wild-card play-in game was added in 2012, the premium is placed on being a division winner and whichever team finishes second in the AL East appears likely to host the wild-card game.

Neither team is ready to focus on playoff scenarios, but the Red Sox and Yankees are anticipating a vibrant atmosphere Friday night for the opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

“We know where we’re at,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “They’re not getting away. We’re not getting away. It’s half the season. This is a three-game series. We go out there with the same mindset. Win the series.”

The season series is tied at three games apiece.

Boston took two of three April 10-12 when the Yankees began 9-9 and fell 7 1/2 games out. The Yankees took two of three a month later [url= http://www.losangelesramste...]Authentic Joseph Noteboom Jersey[/url] , missing the sweep when J.D. Martinez homered off Dellin Betances in the series finale.

Since the last meeting, the Red Sox (55-27) are 29-16 while the Yankees (52-26) are 26-15. The teams were tied atop the division following the last meeting and the margin has not been more than 2 1/2 games since the last series.

“They’re a great team,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve played some really competitive games with them already. If we’re going to win the division, that’s the team we’re going to have to beat out. They’re a really good opponent chasing after the same thing we’re after and we embrace the competition.”

The Red Sox enter the series on a four-game winning streak and with six wins in their last seven games, a stretch that has seen them get 52 runs while hitting .331 (83-for-251). They scored 22 runs and hit nine homers in a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels.

Martinez was quiet in Thursday’s 4-2 win but leads the majors with 25 homers and is hitting .448 (13-for-29) in his last seven games.

Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered Thursday and both enjoyed improved results on the homestand. Devers was 8-for-22 while Bradley was 8-for-17.

“We’re playing well. We’re pitching well. We’re swinging the bats a lot better than 10 days ago,” Cora said “So as always, it should be fun. I’ve been saying it all along since last year: The stadium is alive. The (Yankees) fans are buying into the concept. They love that team.”

The Yankees are returning from a 2-4 road trip through Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. During the trip, the Yankees were blanked twice and scored 17 runs while batting .175 (40-for-229) and going 10-for-57 (.175) with runners in scoring position.

“We feel like we’ve got a really good team, they’ve got a really good team,” Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said. “We’ve been right there with them, within a game or two [url= http://www.losangelesramste...]Authentic Brian Allen Jersey[/url] , it seems like all year and it will probably be like that for the next few months, too.”

The Yankees own the majors’ best home record at 29-11 and enter the series with 13 wins in their last 18 home games since the last meeting with the Red Sox.

One player who enjoyed a good trip was Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton is hitting .306 this month and batted .417 (10-for-24) on the trip.

Stanton and the rest of the Yankees will contend with three left-handed starters as the Red Sox are slated to start Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale and David Price. The Yankees are 18-5 in games started by lefties and are hitting .262 off southpaw starters.

Rodriguez, who will start Friday, is 9-2 with a 3.86 ERA and is coming off a rare loss. He allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in four innings of Saturday’s 7-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

Despite matching his second-shortest outing of the season, Rodriguez is 6-1 in his last seven starts.

Rodriguez is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 10 career starts against the Yankees. He started the last meeting on May 10 and held the Yankees to one hit and no runs in five innings while getting eight strikeouts in a 93-pitch outing.

The Yankees will counter with CC Sabathia, whose charitable foundation raised $1 million in a softball game Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

Sabathia is seeking his 242nd career win, which would break a tie with Herb Pennock for 56th place on the all-time list. He also is making his 524th career start.

Sabathia is coming off two tough-luck losses to the Tampa Bay Rays. After allowing three runs on 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings June 17, Sabathia allowed two runs (one earned) on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings in last Friday’s 2-1 loss.

Sabathia was originally slated to start Wednesday but the Yankees opted to line him up for the Red Sox.

The left-hander is 17-13 with a 4.20 ERA in 40 career starts against Boston and 15-9 with a 4.27 ERA in 33 starts in the rivalry since becoming a Yankee in 2009. He opposed Rodriguez last month and allowed four runs on nine hits in four innings in a game the Red Sox won 5-4.

After this weekend’s series, the teams will next meet Aug 2-5 for a four-game set at Fenway Park.

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