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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rafa Marquez scored on a header in the 89th minute and Mexico beat the United States 2-1 Friday night, the Americans' first home loss in World Cup qualifying since 2001. Miguel Layun put Mexico ahead in the 20th minute, and Bobby Wood tied the score in the 49th. The United States dominated the second half before Marquez, unmarked and drifting across the penalty area, got the back of his head on Layun's corner kick and lifted the ball over goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Tim Howard started in goal but injured his right leg on a goal kick and was replaced in the 40th minute. The United States had beaten Mexico four straight times by 2-0 scores in home qualifiers — all at Columbus — and the Americans had been 30-0-2 at home in qualifying since a 3-2 loss to Honduras at Washington's RFK Stadium in September 2001.

MORE SOCCER: Serge Gnabry scored a hat trick in his debut for host Germany as the World Cup champion overwhelmed San Marino 8-0 in a qualifier and strengthened its lead atop Group C. …Poland took control of Group E with a 3-0 victory over host Romania in a World Cup qualifier. Poland's star striker, Robert Lewandowski, needed medical attention in the second half as he collapsed after a flare was thrown in the 55th minute, but returned several minutes later.

ET cetera

AUTOS: Alex Bowman won the pole for the Sprint Cup Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., leading a trio of drivers not in the playoffs to the top of the leaderboard. He turned a lap at 140.521 mph to win the first pole of his career. He has been a solid substitute for Dale Earnhardt Jr., out with a concussion. Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott qualified second and third as Chevy swept the top three. The next three spots went to drivers racing for the championship: Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Martin Truex wrecked during practice, and his backup car couldn't pass inspection before qualifying began, so he will start last in Sunday's race.

SWIMMING: Russia's Vitaly Melnikov was banned for eight years for a second positive doping test — a growth hormone — during training for Olympic qualifying.

OBITUARY: Former super lightweight world boxing champ Pedro "Perico" Fernandez died Friday at 64 in Zaragoza, Spain. No cause was released.

Times wires

Sports in brief 11/11/16 [Last modified: Friday, November 11, 2016 10:18pm]
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