WORLD SPORTS AT 2330 GMT:
Six first-half goals set Belgium on its way to a record-tying victory and a place in next year's European Championship. Three late goals revived the Netherlands' chances of being at the continent-wide tournament, too. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 700 words, photos.
IRAN-WOMEN AT MATCH
TEHRAN, Iran _ Thousands of flag-draped Iranian women cheer and blow horns inside a Tehran stadium, watching the first FIFA soccer match they have been allowed to freely attend in decades. Iran, facing pressure from the soccer body, allocates 4,000 tickets for women. Amir Vahdat and Mehdi Fattahi. SENT: 750 words, photos.
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands _ Northern Ireland defender Paddy McNair snapped at the heels of Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong for 93 minutes. It still wasn't quite enough. Deep in stoppage time, De Jong sprinted past an exhausted McNair and into the heart of the Northern Ireland defense before laying off a perfectly weighted pass for Memphis Depay to score his second goal in 15 minutes and seal a 3-1 win for the Dutch in Thursday's European Championship qualifier. By Mike Corder. SENT: 550 words, photos.
SINGAPORE _ Brazil was held to a 1-1 draw by Senegal on Thursday in a friendly in Singapore that marked Neymar's 100th match with the national team. Roberto Firmino opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a lob over the goalkeeper, but Famara Diedhiou equalized from the penalty spot just before the end of the first half. SENT: 400 words, photos.
In response to the NBA defending Daryl Morey's freedom of speech, Chinese officials took it away from the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. All of the usual media sessions that were to be part of the teams' preseason game on Thursday - including a news conference from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and postgame news conferences with the teams - were canceled. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 700 words, photos.
STUTTGART, Germany _ There was only one way for Simone Biles to finish off yet another dominant world championship performance. She dropped the mic. Biles marked her fifth all-around world title by ending her floor routine with a mic-drop gesture - a nod to her social-media following. Biles said the idea came from Twitter, and it was certainly fitting on a day when no rival came close. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 600 words, photos.
SHANGHAI _ Roger Federer saved five set points in the first set as he scrambled to a 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over 13th-seeded David Goffin on Thursday and advanced to the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals. Second-seeded Federer holds a 10-1 winning record against Goffin, including all three matches they've played this year. By Sandra Harwitt. SENT: 400 words, photos.
TEN--UPPER AUSTRIA LADIES
LINZ, Austria _ Top-seeded Kiki Bertens overcame a slow start to beat Alison Van Uytvanck 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 Thursday and set up a quarterfinal against American teenager Coco Gauff at the Upper Austria Ladies. Bertens saved five of the six break points she faced to close out the win in just under two hours. SENT: 250 words.
RGU--RUGBY WORLD CUP-TYPHOON
TOKYO _ Well before a potentially devastating typhoon was expected to hit Japan, it ruined Italy's Rugby World Cup quarterfinal ambitions and the hopes of one of the sport's longest-serving veterans. It was still bright and sunny in Tokyo on Thursday when tournament organizers took the unprecedented step of canceling two games scheduled for Saturday - the Pool C decider between England and France in Yokohama and the Pool B game between defending champion New Zealand and Italy in the city of Toyota - because of the anticipated impact of Typhoon Hagibis on the weekend. By John Pye. SENT: 800 words, photos.
GLF--RYDER CUP-ROAD TO ROME
ROME _ When the European Tour last came to Rome back in 2002, Francesco Molinari was a teenage amateur just pleased to make the cut and golf was a relatively unknown sport in Italy. Fast forward 17 years and Molinari is a major champion , a Ryder Cup hero and the poster boy of this week's Italian Open. His achievements have helped boost golf's popularity as the country prepares to host the 2022 Ryder Cup on Rome's outskirts - an idea that would have been unthinkable two decades ago. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 900 words, photos.
LONDON _ Test cricket has taken a back seat in English cricket in recent years, with the country intent on improving its fortunes in the white-ball formats. Chris Silverwood is keen to redress that balance. SENT: 500 words, photos.
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