Fiji Time: 9:24 AM on Friday 27 November

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ronaldo unfit

LISBON, Portugal - Cristiano Ronaldo is unfit and will miss Portugal's opening 2016 European Championship qualifier against visiting Albania. Portugal coach Paulo Bento said Friday that the country's star forward, who has been playing for Real Madrid at the start of the Spanish league season, was ruled unfit to play in the September 7 match by the Portuguese Football Federation's medical department.

Liverpool debut

LONDON - Mario Balotelli and Adam Lallana could make their Liverpool debuts this weekend after being named in the Reds' squad for their Premier League clash at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Italian striker Balotelli is available for the first time since completing his transfer from AC Milan on Monday, while England midfielder Lallana has returned to fitness after missing the start of the season with a knee injury following his switch from Southampton.

Marchi wins

ALCAUDETE, Spain - Italy's Alessandro de Marchi sprinted home alone to win the seventh stage of the Tour of Spain on Friday as Spaniard Alejandro Valverde held the race lead.

Cannondale's de Marchi, 28, shook off his three breakaway rivals with 15km to go, holding off all their attempts to catch him after the mountainous 169km ride from Alhendin to Alcaudete.

Monkey taunts

SAO PAULO - Brazilian club Gremio has promised to help identify and punish the fans who taunted a player in the latest case of racism to taint the national game. The club said on Friday it will do all it can to find the fans responsible for monkey taunts directed at Santos goalkeeper Aranha in Thursday's Brazilian Cup match in Porto Alegre.

New signing

LONDON - Midfielder Giancarlo Gallifuoco has joined the ranks of Australians in the English Premier League, signing with Swansea on a free transfer. Gallifuoco was released by Tottenham at the end of last season after his contract expired and Swansea confirmed on their official website on Friday that he has now signed a one-year contract at the Liberty Stadium.

Otto leads

FIANO, Italy - Hennie Otto of South Africa shot a 10-under 62 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Italian Open on Friday, while Stephen Gallacher's late bid to qualify for the Ryder Cup also gained momentum. Otto, who won this event in 2008, carded nine birdies, one eagle and one bogey to move to 15-under at the Circolo Golf Torino. He was three shots ahead of Austria's Bernd Wiesberger.

Tomic injured

NEW YORK - Australian wildcard Bernard Tomic has pulled out of the US Open with a left hip injury, handing fourth-seeded David Ferrer a third-round berth. Tomic, 21, said he'd also been battling flu prior to his first round victory over Dustin Brown, and when the hip pain flared on Friday he opted to take a conservative approach. "For sure my biggest priority is to get this hip checked and see what the cause is and what problem it is," he said.

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