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VOLLEYBALL

Bluefangs fail to make finals in defeat by Rush & Cash

Daejeon Samsung Bluefangs were defeated by defending champions Ansan OK Savings Bank Rush & Cash on Monday in the men’s volleyball semi-final match with a score of 3-1.

It was a long journey for the Bluefangs in the playoff. Before playing the first match against Rush & Cash last Saturday, the Bluefangs had to overcome the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos in a pre-playoff match, after the point difference between the Bluefangs and the Jumbos at the end of the regular season was less than three points. Coming out of the hard-fought match against the Jumbos last Thursday, the Bluefangs only had Friday to take a breather before challenging Rush & Cash. However, their shot at the V-League title came to a halt after Monday’s game, the first time the Bluefangs have been unable to reach the finals in 11 years.

Rush & Cash, who have been struggling with incessant injuries throughout the season, finished second in the regular season with 23 wins and 13 losses. Despite their struggle, Rush & Cash acquired a chance to take a shot at their second consecutive V-League title. Rush & Cash middle blocker Robertlandy Simon Aties led yesterday’s match with 26 points while outside hitter Song Myung-geun added 20 on the board.

Rush & Cash will play Cheonan Hyundai Capital Skywalkers on Friday in the finals for the V-League Championship title. The Skywalkers have set a new V-League record this season with a 18-game winning streak.

By Choi Hyung-jo


FOOTBALL

Overhead kick goal keeps Leicester at top of league

LEICESTER, England (AP) - Shinji Okazaki’s overhead kick gave league leader Leicester a 1-0 victory over Newcastle on Monday, a goal as spectacular as his team’s improbable Premier League title challenge.

As Leicester restored its five-point lead at the summit over Tottenham, former Real Madrid and Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez made a losing start to his reign as Newcastle manager.

Newcastle is facing relegation, one point from safety, while Leicester is on track for a first-ever league title a year after being bottom of the standings before narrowly avoiding the drop.

“We had to dig in today,” Leicester captain Wes Morgan said. “It wasn’t a pretty game but the most important thing is we came out with the three points.”

Okazaki’s fifth goal of the league campaign came from Leicester’s only shot on target in the 25th minute. Newcastle failed to clear Riyad Mahrez’s free kick and when Marc Albrighton sent the ball back in, Jamie Vardy headed across for Okazaki to execute the acrobatic finish from six yards.

“A special goal and a special moment,” midfielder Danny Drinkwater said. “We got the goal and sat back.” AP

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