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Sports in brief

Published Nov. 14, 2017



DUBLIN — Christian Eriksen scored a superb hat trick as Denmark qualified for next year's World Cup with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Ireland in their playoff Tuesday.

With last week's first leg having finished 0-0, Ireland made an ideal start to the return match by taking the lead in the sixth minute through defender Shane Duffy.

But Denmark's players gradually took control in midfield and were rewarded when Andreas Christensen's effort went into the net off Ireland's Cyrus Christie in the 29th minute. Eriksen then put the visitors ahead in the 32nd minute and scored two more after the break.

Nicklas Bendtner turned it into a rout when he converted a penalty in the 90th minute.

Next year's tournament in Russia will be Denmark's fifth World Cup appearance and first since 2010.

CORRUPTION TRIAL: Fox Sports partnered with a South American marketing firm to make millions of dollars in bribes to high-ranking officials in exchange for broadcasting rights to major tournaments, the marketing company's former CEO testified at a U.S. corruption trial. Alejandro Burzaco, former CEO of the firm based in Argentina, testified that Fox and other broadcasters were involved in a scheme to pay bribes through sham contracts that secured rights for the Copa America and other events.

NEW TOURNEY?: The U.S. Soccer Federation is looking into the possibility of an event next year involving nations that did not qualify for the World Cup.


Federer alive in London

A day after the ATP Finals lost Rafael Nadal to injury, Roger Federer lifted spirits by extending his stay to the weekend. The 19-time Grand Slam champion guaranteed his place in Saturday's semifinals by defeating Alexander Zverev 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-1 in London. With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray also absent due to injuries, the top-ranked Nadal's withdrawal left Federer as the only member of men's tennis' big four in the tournament. Zverev, who won his opening match against Marin Cilic, will face Jack Sock on Thursday to decide who will join Federer in the final four. Sock recorded the United States' first victory at the event for 10 years by defeating Cilic 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in the early match.


AUTOS: Justin Allgaier will have a new crew chief in the Xfinity Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. Veteran Billy Wilburn will call the shots as Allgaier drives for his first NASCAR title. Jason Burdett has been suspended for the final race because of an unattached brake cooling hose found during inspection after Phoenix.

DOPING: The World Anti-Doping Agency's compliance review committee has recommended to the organization's leaders that they not recertify Russia, meaning the country would remain noncompliant with global sports' accepted anti-doping code and could continue to be barred from major events like the New York City Marathon, the world track and field championships and the Paralympics.

WNBA: The New York Liberty is for sale. One of the league's original franchises, the Liberty has been owned by James Dolan and Madison Square Garden since the league was founded in 1996 and started play the next year.

Times wires