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FOOTBALL

Korea readies itself for matchup against Canada

Korea will meet the Canadian national team for an international friendly next month.

According to the Korea Football Association, the Korean national team will host Canada on Nov. 11 at Cheonan Stadium in Cheonan, South Chungcheong, before meeting Uzbekistan four days after in the fifth match of the final round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.

Against Canada, ranked 103th in FIFA rankings, No. 47 Korea has a head-to-head record of one win, one draw and two losses.

The last time Korea met Canada was in 2002 when Korea lost 2-1 in the third-place match of Concacaf Gold Cup.

With many football teams around the world competing in qualifying round for the World Cup, a friendly against Canadians would provide an opportunity for a tune-up before the match against Uzbekistan.

By Choi Hyung-jo



BASKETBALL

James Harden’s preseason stats point to bright future

Preseason statistics often can be misleading.

That might not be the case with James Harden right now.

After three preseason games, Harden has three points-assists double-doubles - the most recent one Sunday in Shanghai, when he had 26 points and 15 assists to help the Houston Rockets beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-117 in an NBA Global Games matchup.

“We’re treating every game of preseason like the regular season in order to build good habits,” Harden said. “We don’t take the preseason lightly.”

Clearly not.

The Rockets are 3-0 in exhibitions so far this fall, scoring 131, 130 and now 123 points in those games. Harden is averaging 23.3 points and 12 assists in those three games.

And fans in China, where the Rockets are enormously popular anyway - thanks in large part to Yao Ming - have taken to Harden as well, with many sporting fake beards on Sunday to mimic his look.

“Great atmosphere,” Harden said.

They’ll be seeing even more NBA in China this season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Sunday an expansion of the NBA’s partnership with BesTV, one that will see up to 1,300 games per season broadcast in China.

“It’s a multimedia partnership that brings the very best in television and technology to the NBA in China,” Silver said.



BASEBALL

Toronto Blue Jays defeat Texas Rangers 7-6

TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 on Sunday night to sweep their AL Division Series while the Washington Nationals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 to even their NL series at 1-all.

Josh Donaldson, the reigning AL MVP, led off the 10th for Toronto with a double into the right-center field gap then raced home from second base after Rougned Odor bounced a double-play relay.

The wild-card Blue Jays are headed back to the AL Championship Series after beating Texas in an ALDS for a second straight year and will face the winner of the Cleveland-Boston series.

The Indians lead 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Monday following a postponement Sunday.

Donaldson had two doubles among his three hits and is batting .538 through four postseason games, all wins for the Blue Jays, who had to beat Baltimore in a wild-card game to get to the ALDS.

Closer Roberto Osuna threw two perfect innings to get the win. His appearance capped 4 and 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball by Toronto’s bullpen after starter Aaron Sanchez allowed six runs.

Edwin Encarnacion had a two-run homer and Russell Martin a solo shot in the first inning for Toronto, which swept a postseason series for the first time.

Shortstop Elvis Andrus hit a solo homer for Texas in the third and Odor added a two-run shot in the fourth. They were the only two homers of the series for the Rangers.

AP
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