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Monchengladbach stun Bayern to enter German Cup last 16******
BERLIN, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Bayern Munich were knocked out of the second round of the German Cup for the second successive year, after a faultless Borussia Monchengladbach side whitewashed the German giants 5-0 on Wednesday.
The Foals established a three-goal lead within 21 minutes before a quickfire second-half brace from Breel Embolo put the game to bed.
Borussia made a fairytale start in front of their home crowd as Kouadio Kone latched onto Embolo's assist from close range to beat Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with less than two minutes played.
The hosts should have doubled their advantage in the ninth minute, but Jonas Hofmann missed the target with only Neuer to beat. Two minutes later, Neuer was called into action once again as he had to tip Embolo's dangerous effort over the bar.
Bayern were visibly shocked and had to suffer another setback with 15 minutes gone as Ramy Bensebaini slotted home following a combination with Hofmann to make it 2-0.
To make things worse, Bayern conceded a penalty in the 21st minute when Lucas Hernandez fouled Embolo inside the box. Bensebaini stepped up and made no mistake to make it 3-0 from the spot.
Bayern first clear-cut chance came 35 minutes into the game as Leon Goretzka's long-range attempt forced Yann Sommer into action for the first time.
After the restart, Bayern tried to take the upper hand, but things went from bad to worse in the 51st minute as Embolo had enough space to control a long ball between Bayern defenders Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano before nutmegging Neuer from the edge of the box.
Embolo remained in the thick of things and wasn't done with the scoring after Luca Netz's through-ball allowed the Swiss international to overcome Neuer for the second time in the 57th minute.
Bayern tried to respond but was never able to do any damage to Monchengladbach's well-positioned defense. The Foals stood firm for the remainder of the game to inflicted a heavy defeat.
"This is one of those nights you will never forget. We played very, very well and outplayed Bayern. And that is, something very special. I think we really impressed Bayern tonight. They really had no answer over 90 minutes," Monchengladbach's sporting director Max Eberl said.
With the result, Bayern Munich can now fully focus on the UEFA Champions League and the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, Borussia advance into the last 16.
Elsewhere, Bayern Leverkusen also crashed out of the German Cup after losing 2-1 to second division outfit Karlsruhe.
Bochum booked a place in the last 16 after beating league rivals Augsburg 5-4 on penalties.
Union Berlin needed extra-time to see off resilient third division side Waldhof Mannheim 3-1, and Anthony Modeste's second-half brace secured Cologne a 2-0 win over Stuttgart. Enditem
Indonesia sweeps China to claim 14th Thomas Cup title******
AARHUS, Denmark, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese men's badminton team lost three straight games in the Thomas Cup final to Indonesia, who claimed a record 14th title here on Sunday in the Ceres Arena.
The Indonesian shuttlers showed good form in all three games against defending champion China to lift the trophy, their first since 2002.
Lu Guangzu fought a good start in the opener against the 5th-ranked Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, winning the first set 21-18. However, the Chinese talent lost the following two 21-14, 21-16 as Ginting secured the first point for Indonesia.
Lu told Xinhua in the post-match interview that he was dragged into Ginting's pace and couldn't return proper shots.
"I was honored to be the first to play and I'm very grateful to have the trust from coaches and teammates," said Lu. "I tried my best to win back some points but Ginting took control of the game in the second the third set."
"I was preparing to fight Lu Guangzu or Shi Yuqi yesterday. I did not know who would show up in the opener," said Ginting. "I played Lu twice before. I supposed it would be a very tough and exciting match today because the final is so much different."
"I'm happy that I released myself from pressure. I was a bit nervous in the first set. I tried to calm down and pushed him as much as possible in the following rally, and it worked," said the top Indonesian player.
In the doubles match, Chinese pair He Jiting and Zhou Haodong lost two straight sets to Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto 21-12, 21-19, which meant Indonesia was only one win away from the eventual victory.
"Our opponents are old partners, but we are newly paired in this tournament. They did a better job today in serving, attacking, everything," said Zhou.
In the next singles match, Li Shifeng had a depressing 0-6 start in the first set against Jonatan Christie and lost 21-14. The 21-year-old Li equalized 21-18 but could not turn China's fortune around as Christie clinched the decider 21-14.
The Indonesian team keeps the highest winning record of Thomas Cup titles (14) and China has won 10 times, including five consecutive crowns from 2004 to 2012. Enditem
Sport is "great healer": Houston looks into World Table Tennis Championships amid pandemic******
HOUSTON, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- A lack of a large fan base locally. Challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. All can't stop the Houston organizers from dreaming big about the World Table Tennis Championships.。
"Our goals now are to put on magnificent world championships in spite of a pandemic," Janice Burke, the CEO of Houston Sports Authority, said of the upcoming World Table Tennis Championships in the largest city in Texas.。
The Championships, running from November 23 to 29, marks the first time that the sport's prestigious event has been staged in the Americas.。
"We are pleasantly surprised ticket sales went better than we expected...Right now we are expecting at least 23,000 to 27,000 people to attend," Burke told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview.。
As for concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, Burke said there would be no mandatory requirements for mask-wearing and vaccination, though organizers "strongly encourage" all the attendees to take such precaution measures.。
The George R. Brown Convention Center, the venue of the Championships in downtown Houston, has designed a corridor separating athletes from audiences and installed a special system to clear viruses in the air, according to Burke.。
She said athletes from up to 90 countries and regions across the world are coming to Houston, where thousands of local volunteers have already signed up to be part of the event.。
The Chinese community, representing "a large part in Houston", is passionate about the sport and "has really helped us", she added.。
"Our community has been very excited...everyone has embraced this event," Burke observed, "I think it goes to the international nature of our city...we have so many different emigrants and different communities that come together and live together."
The city's sports chief also noted that the upcoming Championships coincides with the 50th anniversary of the legendary Sino-U.S. Ping-Pong Diplomacy and thus becomes "a special moment of remembrance."
"People should not forget that the modern era of the close friendship between China and the United States began with Ping-Pong Diplomacy, and the younger generation needs to remember this important and wonderful history," she said, "I think it's very important to learn from the past."
Fifty years ago, the U.S. table tennis team was invited by its Chinese counterpart to visit China at the conclusion of the 31st World Championships in Nagoya, Japan. The U.S. players landed in Beijing on April 10, 1971, becoming the first U.S. group to visit China since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.。
The Chinese team paid a return visit the following year. The mutual visits broke the ice in two decades of estranged China-U.S. relations and eventually led to the normalization of bilateral ties.。
"Throughout history, sports can be that great healer," Burke said when looking ahead to the Championships, citing former South African President Nelson Mandela's thoughts on how sports can unite an entire nation and heal hurts between different cultures.。
"I believe that sports can unite and can create really strong friendships that you would never expect. And so I'm really pleased that we can be an extension of that here in Houston," she concluded. Enditem。