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(AP):Bayern Munich have beaten Union Berlin 2-0 in their first game for more than two months as the German Bundesliga’s restart continues.Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty and Benjamin Pavard with a header as Bayern remained unbeaten in 2020.It was Lewandowski’s 40th goal of the season in all competitions. That’s the fifth straight season he’s hit that mark.Bayern restored a four-point lead over second-place Borussia Dortmund, who beat rivals Schalke 4-0 on Saturday.The Bundesliga resumed Saturday after more than two months without any games because of the coronavirus pandemic. All games are being played without fans.
STARKVILLE – Dan Mullen believed in his special teams. The sixth-year coach backed both his kickers and punt returners prior to Mississippi State’s game against Arkansas.One made him look good. The other let him down.Mississippi State’s field goal unit played a vital role in the Bulldogs’ 17-10 win on Saturday. Jamoral Graham, on the other hand, mishandled a punt for the fourth straight game. Fred Ross took over for the true freshman after Graham’s fumble in the second quarter.Mullen hinted earlier in the week that, if healthy, Jameon Lewis would field punts for Mississippi State. The senior returned 22 last year. Lewis saw limited time on offense.“He’s still not 100 percent. To put him in that situation when he’s limited,” MSU coach Dan Mullen said. “We tried to limit him during the week. He was cleared for the Kentucky game and (Saturday), but he’s still not 100 percent.”Lewis caught his first pass since the LSU game on Sept. 20. It went for 2 yards.Ross fielded the first punts of his of his career against Arkansas. He fair caught each one, so he officially did not record a return.“Fred did a nice job catching the punts, though,” Mullen said. “In practice, everybody does a nice job.”Mullen has raved about both his kickers’ abilitiy during practice this season. Evan Sobiesk and Logan Cooke didn’t miss many kicks during their pregame routines. Sobiesk even converted a 50-yarder.The sophomore succeeded in the game as well. He drilled a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter to tie the game at 10.“I had faith in him,” Mullen said.It came after MSU decided to keep its offense on the field on the previous drive. The Bulldogs took their chances on fourth-and-one from the 22 rather than attempting a 39 yard field goal.“That was me. That had nothing to do with anything else,” Mullen said. “We had fourth-and-one at the 20. I thought we were moving the ball. I thought we’d have a good play called.”Instead, Arkansas stopped quarterback Dak Prescott on a rush.“As it shook out, I probably should have kicked form there,” Mullen said. “It’s much easier to make the call after the game.”Sobiesk’s make was the longest of the season for Mississippi State. He is still the only MSU kicker to make a field goal this season. He is now 5 of 6. His season-long prior to Saturday was 28 yards.Arkansas’ special teams didn’t come through in the fourth. The Razorbacks missed a 42-yarder early in the quarter.The Razorbacks decided not to attempt field goals later in the fourth, as well. They converted on fourth-and-three form their own 21 midway through thequarter.In the end, it didn’t matter. Arkansas nevercut the lead to less than a touchdown in the final 13 minutes.Mullen opted for true freshman Logan Cooke last week to attempt a 40-plus yarder against Kentucky. He wanted to get the first-year player confidence in a game situation.MSU hadn’t attempted a field goal when trailing in the second half this season. It now has experience in pressure situations.“That was a huge kick for us,” Mullen said.Contact Michael Bonner at (601) 961-7289 or mbonner @jackson.gannett.com. Follow @MikeBBonner on Twitter.
You only get two points for a win during the regular season in the National Hockey League, but some victories are better than others.For the Washington Capitals and their fan base, many of whom have stuck with them for 40 years since 1974, beating the Philadelphia Flyers has always seemed worth more than two points.On Wednesday night in front of a national television audience on NBC’s Rivalry Night, the Caps Braden Holtby stopped 21 shots to make Jason Chimera’s goal, just 3:13 into the game, stand up for a 1-0 victory in front of a sellout crowd at the Verizon Center.The triumph, the Caps seventh straight at home, puts them at 24-11-8 (56 points) for the season and they are a staggering 14-1-4 in their last 19 games. In addition, they are 23-1-3 this season when scoring first.Those are some good numbers there and holding the Flyers, a team that averages close to 29 shots a game, to just 21 on the cage is significant too. Overall the shot attempt battle was 55-54 for the Flyers, but Washington blocked 23 of those shots from Philadelphia (the duo of Brooks Orpik and John Carlson blocked nine of them).As mentioned above and on tv, this was rivalry night and the history between these two clubs is long. In the early days, truckloads of Flyers fans would invade the Capital Centre for Caps-Flyers tilts and the beer would flow and the fights would erupt in the stands. Nowadays, there are Philly fans in attendance, I could see a smattering of orange jersey’s and thankfully we never got to hear them cheer, but it is nothing like the old days. Still, there is a special vibe or air in the building when the neighbors from up I-95 come to town and the Capitals coaching staff recognized it before the game.“I was talking to [assistant coach] Lane Lambert and he said it’s ramped up a little bit when the Flyers are in town…we haven’t played a lot of our Metro division – people like the Rangers, the Flyers…so we could tell there’s a different energy in the building when those teams come in,” said Caps Coach Barry Trotz about his first home game against Philadelphia.The Flyers had won the last four games, head to head, dating back to last season, so this was an important victory for the Capitals fan base. To many, Caps vs. Flyers is like Ravens-Steelers or Redskins-Cowboys in the NFL. Both teams respect each other, but they don’t like each other and when it comes to the fans, well they flat out despise the other fan base. So it was no surprise that down the stretch the Washington crowd was more into it than normal and their support seemed to energize the Caps players.As for the game, it was an uneven one. Washington dominated early but couldn’t bury some great chances on Flyers 33 year old rookie goalie, Rob Zepp. The Zepper stopped Alex Ovechkin cold early on in a one on one situation and that seemed to help Philly, who was in jeopardy of being run out of the building, settle down. The game went back and forth for the sixty minutes with both sides carrying the play at various times.Philadelphia had a stretch in the middle frame when it looked like they might take over the game but following a hard hit by Wayne Simmonds on Matt Niskanen in the neutral zone, Niskanen buried Scott Laughton with a hard, clean check that knocked #49 from the contest. Afterwards Trotz felt that the hit by Niskanen, who had the primary assist on Chimera’s goal, energized his club.Overall the Caps had 26 shots on net but I thought they were too sloppy. There were far too many back passes that resulted in turnovers and the Washington top line of Nicklas Backstrom, Ovechkin, and Andre Burakovsky just didn’t look in sync. Burakovsky seems to be a bit intimidated by his linemates and is getting rid of the puck like it is a hot potato too often. The young Swede needs to settle down and carry the puck more, which is one of his strengths and allows him to create scoring chances.At the end of the night, though, it was the Capitals vastly improved defensive play that allowed them to get another low scoring victory. Holtby, in his 26th straight contest and 20th straight start, was excellent again and when he needed assistance, guys like Orpik helped him out. #44 tied up Vincent Lecavalier’s stick late in the contest at the side of the net to prevent Vinny from notching a game tying tap in.So now it is on to Nashville to face Trotz’ former team, the Predators, on Friday night. Trotz, in his post game presser, mentioned he chatted with Preds GM David Poile on Wednesday and that Poile was hopeful the Caps would beat Philly because he doesn’t like them. Poile was the Caps GM from 1982 to 1997, so he has a long history with the black and orange.Trotz and the Caps did their former boss and more importantly, their fan base, proud on Wednesday night with a victory that now puts the Flyers 15 points behind the Capitals in the standings. It will be very difficult for Philadelphia to make the playoffs now.Combine that fact, with the 1-0 blanking of the Broad Street Bullies, and you can bet that the food will taste better for several days.Notes: Pekka Rinne, the Predators goalie and MVP, was injured in Tuesday’s game vs. Vancouver. Trotz stated that Rinne is out a couple of weeks so Washington gets a break and won’t have to face the super net minder in the Music City on Friday…Washington won the face off battle, 34-25, and Jay Beagle went 10-2…the Caps killed off all three Flyers man advantage situations while they went 0 for 2 with the man advantage (Ovechkin hit a post on one power play)…Carlson and Orpik led the Caps in ice time with 24:45 and 24:40, respectively…since Tom Wilson was a +1 on Wednesday, there is not a single active Capitals player with a negative +/- rating this season.
Nigeria Police Force came from two sets down to beat Imo Babes 3-2 (25-22, 17-25, 19-25, 25-20, 15-8) in the women’s category on Day 6 of the National Volleyball League Division One in Bauchi.Nigeria Police Force started the game well by winning the first set 25-22, but could not maintain the momentum as Imo Babes won the second (25-17) and third set (25-19).The Taiwo Oladipupo led Nigeria Police team came out smoking to win the fourth set by 25-20 and eventually secure a win in the match by snatching the fifth set by 15-8.Head coach of Nigeria Police, Taiwo Oladipupo admitted that Imo Babes gave his team a stern examination but blamed his players for underrating the opponent and failing to “play to instructions”.“I must admit that Imo Babes made me very uncomfortable and made me unbalanced after they won the second and third sets of the match. They showed determination and zeal to beat us but my girls were the better side; we took advantage of their lapses in the fourth set and won the game.“We could have easily beaten them but my players underrated them and did not play according to instruction. This almost cost us the game but I am happy we eventually won”, he addedThe coach of Imo Babes, Uche Ogbonna commended his team for putting up a strong fight against the Police team.“I commend my players for their exceptional performance today; the crowd cheered us because they were happy with what they saw in our team. We lost to a more experienced and lessons have been learnt”.Meanwhile, Niger Brass secured their first win after beating ABM of Katsina 3-2 (18-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-17, 15-13)Other results are:Sunshine Spikers v Offa VC 3-0 (25-18, 27-25, 25-15)COAS Spikers v Kada Kings 3-2 (25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 12-25, 15-7)Related