Thursday's Sports in Brief



BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The 83,000 screaming fans were not disappointed in Lionel Messi and his Argentina team’s first international match since lifting the World Cup title last December.

Messi’s Argentina beat Panama 2-0 with two late goals Thursday night at the Monumental de Nunez Stadium in Buenos Aires, in the first of two matches for the team to celebrate its triumph in Qatar.

Thiago Almada opened the scoring in the 78th minute, pushing the ball into an empty net after a free kick taken by Messi hit the post. Eleven minutes later, the Argentine great netted the second with another free kick to the delight of the capacity crowd. It was Messi’s 800th goal in his professional career. If he scores another in Argentina’s next friendly against Curacao on Tuesday, he will hit the mark of 100 goals for the national team.

NAPLES, Italy (AP) — Harry Kane became England’s leading scorer of all time — and his record-setting goal just had to come from the penalty spot.

Kane tugged on his England jersey and roared with delight in an emotional celebration after converting a spot kick during the 2-1 win over Italy in European Championship qualifying. It was his 54th goal for the national team, one more than Wayne Rooney.

Rooney scored his 53 England goals from 2003-2018. Kane made his England debut in 2015 and has reached the landmark having played 39 fewer games than his fellow striker.


Track and field banned transgender athletes from international competition while adopting new regulations that could keep Caster Semenya and other athletes with differences in sex development from competing.

In a pair of decisions expected to stoke outrage, the World Athletics Council adopted the same rules as swimming did last year in deciding to bar athletes who have transitioned from male to female and have gone through male puberty. No such athletes currently compete at the highest elite levels of track.

Another set of updates, for athletes with differences in sex development (DSD), could impact up to 13 current high-level runners, WA President Sebastian Coe said. They include Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion at 800 meters, who has been barred from that event since 2019.


BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — A confrontation between two players in the postgame handshake line following Bowling Green’s win over Memphis in the Women’s NIT has been referred to campus police.

As the teams walked toward center court following Bowling Green’s 73-60 win in the Round of 16 game, Memphis’ Jamirah Shutes stopped to talk with Falcons’ player Elissa Brett. After a short conversation, Shutes appears to throw a punch at Brett’s face. Brett fell toward the scorer’s table and onto the sideline.

There was no immediate word about what caused the confrontation or if any player was seriously injured.

Bowling Green said in a statement that the incident is in the hands of the campus police.


A trio of NL pennant hopefuls are suddenly dealing with injuries to some pretty important players.

The Philadelphia Phillies lost slugging first baseman Rhys Hoskins when he damaged his left knee fielding a grounder in a spring training game. He needs surgery for a torn ACL and is expected to miss a significant amount of time.

St. Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (groin) and Atlanta Braves closer Raisel Iglesias (inflamed shoulder) also will begin the season on the injured list.

The Phillies didn’t say how long Hoskins is expected to be out. Hoskins, who turned 30 last week, hit six homers in Philadelphia’s playoff run last season. The Phillies lost to the Houston Astros in the World Series.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady acquired an ownership stake in the WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces.

He attended an Aces game on May 31 and later sent Las Vegas star Kelsey Plum a jersey and other gifts.

“I am very excited to be part of the Las Vegas Aces organization,” Brady said in a statement. “My love for women’s sports began at a young age when I would tag along to all my older sisters’ games — they were by far the best athletes in our house! We celebrated their accomplishments together as a family, and they remain a great inspiration to me.

“I have always been a huge fan of women’s sports, and I admire the work that the Aces’ players, staff, and the WNBA continue to do to grow the sport and empower future generations of athletes. To be able to contribute in any way to that mission as a member of the Aces organization is an incredible honor.”

Brady announced his retirement Feb. 1 at age 45. He won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Buccaneers and owns multiple passing records over a 23-year career.

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