Houston Chronicle Sunday

Austin FC blanked in inaugural match

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Corey Baird scored in the 61st minute, and Los Angeles FC sent expansion Austin FC to a 2-0 defeat Saturday in the first match for Major League Soccer’s 27th team.

Jose Cifuentes added a goal into an open net in the 91st minute for LAFC.

In other MLS season openers:

• Jimmy Maurer made six saves to help FC Dallas secure a point in a 0-0 tie with the Colorado Rapids.

• Gadi Kinda and Daniel Salloi each scored second-half goals as Sporting Kansas City beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1

• Mason Toye scored in the third minute and Montreal led the rest of the way in a 4-2 win over Toronto.

• Brad Guzan had three saves to help Atlanta United to a tie with Orlando City.

BOXING Apochi prevails in title eliminator

Houston cruiserwei­ght Efetobor Apochi (11-0, 11 KOs) stopped previously unbeaten Deon Nicholson (14-1, 13 KOs) at the 1:12 mark of the third round in a WBA title eliminator at the

Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles.

Apochi floored Nicholson with a double right uppercut in the second round before blasting him to the canvas again in the third with a right cross. Nicholson beat the count but stumbled backward on unsteady legs, prompting the referee to halt the bout.

Apochi is now the mandatory challenger for WBA titleholde­r Arsen Goulamiria­n (26-0, 18 KOs).

PRO FOOTBALL Five more teams to skip workouts

Players on five more NFL teams said they’ll skip in-person voluntary workouts because of COVID-19: the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. In other news:

• Pittsburgh man DeVincent Spriggs apologized after accusing Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald of assaulting him at a nightclub last weekend, calling it a case of mistaken identity.

PRO HOCKEY Marleau ties Howe in games played

San Jose forward Patrick Marleau tied Gordie Howe’s NHL record for career games played, appearing in his 1,767th as the Sharks faced Minnesota.

He could break Howe’s mark Monday in Las Vegas.

MOTOR SPORTS Nemechek denies Busch elusive win

John Hunter Nemechek passed teammate Chandler Smith with 17 laps to go and outran team owner Kyle Busch to win Saturday’s NASCAR Truck Series race at Richmond Raceway.

Nemechek, already the series points leader, gave Kyle Busch Motorsport­s its fourth straight win in the series but deprived Busch of a victory at the only track where he hasn’t won in the Truck Series.

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