easy days for spain, italy in cup qualifiers
Former champions Spain and Italy eased to comfortable 4-0 wins Saturday over weak opponents in European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
A Spain side missing injured Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Jordi Alba tacked on some late goals to trounce Macedonia. Italy eased up after a first-half barrage at Liechtenstein to remain tied atop Group G with 10 points each.
Ireland seized control of Group D with a 1-0 win over Austria. Serbia scored in the last five minutes of regulation for a 1-1 tie with rival Wales.
Croatia led Group I after Marcelo Brozovic scored twice in a 2-0 win over Iceland.
Only the group winners automatically secure spots for the World Cup in Russia. The second-place teams must go through a playoff to make it to the tournament.
tennis: fed cup
Czech Republic, France tied at 1
Caroline Garcia ensured a suspenseful second day in the Fed Cup final by downing two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 to draw host France level with the defending champion Czech Republic 1-1 in Strasbourg.
Garcia's victory restored some hope in the French camp after sixth-ranked Karolina Pliskova, this year's U.S. Open runnerup, won a marathon third set against Kristina Mladenovic to give the Czechs the first point with a 6-3, 4-6, 16-14 win.
Today is reverse singles and doubles. The Czechs are favorites to become the first team to win three straight Cups since Spain from 1993-95.
Alpine skiing: American Mikaela Shiffrin won the first women's World Cup slalom of the season with a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 52.71 seconds, 0.67 ahead of Switzerland's Wendy Holdener in Levi, Finland. The victory in northern Finland earned Shiffrin an usual prize: a reindeer. She got one for her previous win in Finland in 2013 and called him Rudolph. She is going to call this one Sven, after the reindeer in the movie Frozen.