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Ronaldo leads Real Madrid to UEFA Super Cup

Moving on from a frustrating World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo began the new season as the last one ended for Real Madrid — with goals and a trophy.

The Portugal forward netted both goals as the European champions convincingly overcame Europa League winner Sevilla with a 2-0 victory to collect the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday in Cardiff, Wales

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Ronaldo swept the ball in at the far post in the 30th minute after racing onto Gareth Bale’s cross, and the world player of the year powered in another four minutes into the second half after being setup by Karim Benzema.

“I didn’t feel any pain — I felt pretty good,” said Ronaldo, who scored just once in three World Cup games after arriving in Brazil hampered by a left leg injury. “I felt happy to help the team win the trophy … we played better, with more intensity.”

Manchester United names Rooney captain

Manchester United named Wayne Rooney as its new captain shortly after the team beat Valencia 2-1 in manager Louis van Gaal’s first home game in charge of the English Premier League club.

Rooney will wear the armband in United’s season opener against Swansea City with Darren Fletcher named the vice-captain. The striker takes over the captaincy from Nemanja Vidic, who joined Italian club Inter Milan in the offseason.


Phoenix clinches home-court advantage

Candice Dupree scored 18 points as Phoenix beat the New York Liberty 76-64 at Madison Square Garden, giving the Mercury home-court advantage throughout the WNBA playoffs.

Diana Taurasi had 14 points, Brittney Griner scored 12 and Erin Phillips had 11 for Phoenix (27-4), the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Dupree moved into 20th place on the league’s career scoring list with 4,247 points.

Tina Charles scored 16 of her 26 points in the first quarter to keep New York (13-18) competitive early.

Los Angeles clinches playoff berth

Kristi Tolliver scored 20 of her 29 points in the second half as the Los Angeles Sparks won in Minnesota, 71-63, and clinched a playoff spot.

Candace Parker scored 16 points for Los Angeles (15-17). The Sparks are battling San Antonio (14-18) for third place in the Western Conference. The Seattle Storm (12-20) is two games back of San Antonio. Minnesota has second place in the West sewn up.

Maya Moore scored 20 points for Minnesota (24-8), which has lost two straight.


Djokovic wins opener in Cincinnati tournament

Novak Djokovic had a ragged start in the one tournament that has eluded him.

The top-ranked player beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in his opening match at the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, outside Cincinnati. It’s the only Masters series event he has never won, finishing as the runner-up four times.

“Let’s be honest: I don’t enjoy playing bad,” Djokovic said. “I don’t enjoy missing a lot of balls from the baseline. That was frustrating for me.”

While Djokovic moved on, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Venus Williams left their winning touch in Canada. Both followed successful tournaments last week with early exits. Tsonga fell to Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-4. Williams lost to Lucie Safarova 6-7 (6-2), 6-3, 6-4 in the first round

The tournament lost the defending women’s champion when Victoria Azarenka withdrew because of an injured right knee. Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal withdrew before the tournament because of an injured wrist.


• UCLA receiver Devin Lucien left practice in an ambulance after injuring his head. Bruins coach Jim Mora was visibly concerned about Lucien after the afternoon practice at training camp in San Bernardino. Lucien is an athletic junior known for acrobatic catches in practices and games. Mora believes Lucien was injured when he hit his head on the ground while making a catch. Mora didn’t immediately know the extent of Lucien’s injury.

• UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has injured his leg, forcing the postponement of his title fight with Daniel Cormier to Jan. 3. Jones (20-1) was scheduled to fight Cormier (15-0) at UFC 178 in Las Vegas on Sept. 27 in the mixed martial arts promotion’s most anticipated fall event. They generated major publicity for their bout last week when they scuffled during a promotional event in the MGM Grand casino lobby.

• A former Ohio high-school football player found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl after an alcohol-fueled party two years ago returned to the field with his old team. Ma’Lik Richmond played for Steubenville High School in a scrimmage against Cambridge, WTOV-TV reported. Richmond and fellow athlete Trent Mays were adjudicated delinquent in the August 2012 assault on a West Virginia girl. Richmond was sentenced to one year in juvenile detention and Mays, who was also found guilty of using his phone to take a naked picture of the underage girl, was sentenced to two years.

Times staff and news services

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