Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Digest

Article excerpt

Final spots in World Cup on line

The last nine places in the 2018 World Cup will be settled over the next week on five continents, starting Thursday.

Two-leg playoffs will determine four slots in Europe and two intercontinental berths. In Africa, three groups remain contested. Tunisia needs only a draw at home against last-place Libya, while Morocco needs a point at second-place Ivory Coast to hold off the Elephants. In a foursome that required a replay, every team in Group D remains in the hunt (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands and South Africa).

The qualifying begins with two European matches on Thursday, with Northern Ireland facing Switzerland and Croatia playing Greece. The second leg in both series will be next week. (Washington Post)

Red Sox prospect dies of cancer * The Boston Red Sox say 17-year-old catching prospect Daniel Flores died Wednesday from complications during treatment for cancer.

Flores was signed out of Venezuela in July. He was considered one of the top young players in the Red Sox farm system, though he had yet to play a game in the minors.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski called it "extremely saddening" to "see the life of a young man with so much promise cut short." (AP)

UCLA trio confined to hotel * The three UCLA basketball players questioned over shoplifting allegations in Hangzhou, China, could face a lengthy legal limbo depending on the actions of authorities handling their case, an expert in Chinese law said.

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill have remained in a hotel in Hangzhou to await further developments in the legal process while their teammates traveled to Shanghai for the team's season opener Friday against Georgia Tech.

The trio will not play against the Yellow Jackets and could miss additional games. …

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