- Coronavirus caused widespread cancellations, postponements, and suspensions of play in one of the most apocalyptic days in sports history.
- A handful of international soccer events were still played as scheduled.
- Manchester United (-132) extended their unbeaten streak in a 5-0 win over Austrian Club LASK (+370)
- FC Basel 1893 (+433) scored the upset of the day with a 3-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt (-146)
- A Brazilian soccer match between Gremio FB Porto Alegrense and SC International ended in a draw (+190) after eight players were assessed red cards during a brawl.
- Hideki Matsuyama tied a course record at THE PLAYERS Championship, shooting nine under par in the first round before the event was ultimately canceled.
INDIANAPOLIS – Coronavirus has made its presence known throughout the world.
Thursday was marked by widespread sports cancellations as officials try to do their part to control the disease’s spread and protect their athletes and fans.
It started off with Division I conferences announcing that they would cancel their conference championships early in the afternoon, but quickly spread to other sports as well, and by the end of the day, it was easier to count the leagues that hadn’t been canceled or suspended than the ones that had.
Some of the most notable leagues affected include:
- NCAA (all winter and spring sports canceled)
- NBA (season suspended indefinitely)
- MLB (spring training canceled and season start date pushed back at least two weeks)
- PGA (all events canceled through April 5)
- MLS (all events suspended 30 days)
- NHL (season suspended indefinitely)
- XFL (remainder of the season canceled)
- Champions League (postponed until further notice)
- Premier League (postponed until further notice)
- Europa League (postponed until further notice)
The virus has also had an effect on legislative efforts to legalize sports betting in the United States. This is because several states suspended their legislative assemblies in response to COVID-19 fears.
There were still a few events that went on as planned yesterday, however.
International Soccer – UEFA Europa League
Manchester United (-132) vs. LASK (+370) – Manchester United 5, LASK 0
Manchester United extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games with a 5-0 demolition of LASK, the reigning runners-up of the Austrian League. While United won comfortably, the final score is misleading, as two of their goals came in stoppage time with the result no longer in doubt.
Istanbul Basaksehir FK (-111) vs. FC Copenhagen (+310) – Istanbul Basaksehir FK 1, FC Copenhagen 0
The match was a defensive stalemate prior to an Edin Visca penalty in the 88th minute to propel Istanbul to victory.
FC Basel 1893 (+433) vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (-146) – FC Basel 1893 3, Eintracht Frankfurt 0
FC Basel got goals from Samuele Campo, Kevin Bua and Fabian Frei to cruise to a three-goal victory despite possessing the ball for only 35 minutes. Bua played very well after substituting for Raoul Petretta in the 68th minute, tallying one assist and one goal.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk (+350) vs. VfL Wolfsburg (-133) – FC Shakhtar Dontesk 2, VfL Wolfsburg 1
Wolfsburg outshot Shakhtar Donetsk 17-9, but was only able to create four shots on goal, to Shakhtar’s six. A missed penalty kick from Wolfsburg’s Wout Weghorst during first half stoppage time proved to be the deciding factor.
Bayern Leverkusen (+128) vs. Glasgow Rangers (+220) – Bayern Leverkusen 3, Glasgow Rangers 1
Leverkusen dominated from start to finish, getting one goal each from striker Kai Havertz, midfielder Charles Aránguiz, and forward Leon Bailey. Seven yellow cards were assessed over the course of the game.
Olympiacos Piraeus (+199) vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (+170) – Olympiacos 1, Wolverhampton 1 – (Draw +190)
Despite a 28th minute red card assessed to center back Rúben Semedo, Olympiacos managed to force a draw with Wolverhampton. Olympiacos scored first on a chip shot from Youssef El-Arabi in the 54th minute, but were answered quickly with a free kick goal from Wolverhampton’s Pedro Neto in the 67th minute.
International Soccer – Copa Libertadores
Club Nacional de Football (-417) vs. Estudiantes de Merida (+800) – Club Nacional 1, Estudiantes 0
Fellipe Carballo’s goal in the 69th minute was the only scoring action of the day. The two teams combined for nine yellow cards, but no red cards on the day. Estudiantes only managed five shots for the entire game.
Gremio FB Porto Alegrense RS (+110) vs. SC Internacional RS (+265) – Porto Alegrense 0, SC Internacional 0 – (Draw +190)
Eight players were assessed a red card after a brawl between the rival clubs, but neither side managed to score a goal. Their rivalry is one of the fiercest in Brazil, with ESPN’s Tim Vickery describing it as “a Brazilian derby with Uruguayan intensity.” The result was undoubtedly a disappointment for diehard bettors.
Racing Club Avellaneda (-556) vs. Alianza Lima (+1050) – Avellaneda 1, Alianza Lima 0
The score doesn’t do justice to how dominating a performance it was for Racing, who held the ball for 71% of total possession game and totaled 27 shots, with nine being on goal. The match’s only goal came off Nicolás Reniero’s left foot in the 56th minute.
PGA Tour First Round
Although the event was ultimately canceled, Hideki Matsuyama (+2800) tied a course record in the opening round of THE PLAYERS Championship, finishing nine under par for the day. Matsuyama finished with eight birdies, but the highlight of his day came on a brilliant 25-foot putt for eagle on the ninth hole. Harris English (+12000), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+17000) and Si Woo Kim (+26000) tied for second on the day at seven under par.
News tags: Bayern Leverkusen | Christiaan Bezuidenhout | Club Nacional de Football | Coronavirus | Eintracht Frankfurt | English Premier League | Estudiantes de Merida | Europa League | FC Basel 1893 | FC Copenhagen | FC Shakhtar Donetsk | Glasgow Rangers | Gremio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense | Harris English | Hideki Matsuyama | Istanbul Basksehir FK | LASK | Manchester United | MLB | MLS | NBA | NCAA | NHL | Olympiacos Piraeus | PGA | Si Woo Kim | Sport Club Internacional | Sports Betting Recap | UEFA Champions League | VfL Wolfsburg | Wolverhampton Wanderers | XFL
With a dual background in English and sports performance and business analytics, Carter aims to write stories that both engage and inform the reader. He prides himself on his ability to interweave empirical data and traditional narrative storytelling. When he isn’t keeping readers up to date on the latest sports betting legal news, he’s banging his head against a wall regretting his decision to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.