•     MADRID, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Polideportivo Ejido produced the shock result of the night in the first leg of the round of 32 of the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) as they beat Villarreal 5-0.

        Ejido was relegated to the third tier of Spanish football last season. But that didn't stop the team from the south of Spain virtually assuring their place in the last 16 of the knockout competitions by taking apart a side that is currently fourth in the Primera Liga and competing in the Champions League.

        The last 32 of the King's Cup is played over two legs with the side from the lowest category having the advantage of playing the first game at home.

        However, Ejido was not the only team able to take advantage of their home turf. Murcia, a team relegated from the Primera Liga last season, beat Racing Santander 2-1, while Sevilla crashed 1-0 away to Ponferradina, who, like Ejido plays in Spain's third tier.

        Although Celta Vigo drew 2-2 at home to Espanyol, no other lower league sides enjoyed much Cup success. Elsewhere fourth tierside Portugalete, lost 1-4 at home to Valencia, for whom Fernando Morientes scored a hat-trick.

        Second division pace-setters Hercules crashed 5-1 against Valladolid and Castellon went down 0-2 at home to Betis, while a goal on the stroke of half-time saw Atletico Madrid win 1-0 in Orihuela's home ground and Deportivo la Coruna won 2-1 away to Second Division Elche.

        There was some crowd trouble in Vallecas in the game between Rayo Vallecano and Almeria in a match Almeria won 2-1 thanks to two goals from Argentine forward Esteban Scolari.

        The night also saw four ties between Primera Liga sides. In SanMames, goals from Ion Velez and a David Lopez free kick put Athletic Club Bilbao on their way to a 2-0 home win over a poor Recreativo Huelva.

        Malaga and Mallorca drew 1-1 with both goals coming in the first minute of the first half. Sporting Gijon continued their excellent recent form with Omar's 10th minute goal handing them the triumph against Numancia in Soria and finally Getafe and Osasuna produced a dull 0-0 to end the day's matches.

        Real Madrid visit Real Union on Thursday and the return legs are in two week's time.

  • NBA Openning Night - [Sports news]

    2008-10-29 | Tag:NBA


    Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce drives to the hoop being defended by Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James in first quarter action during their NBA Basketball game in Boston, Massachusetts October 28, 2008. [Agencies]  More Photos

  • Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball during the first round match of men's singles against Dmitry Tursunov of Russia at BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France, Oct. 28, 2008. Djokovic won 2-0 (6-2,4-3). (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)


    Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball during the first round match of men's singles against Dmitry Tursunov of Russia at BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France, Oct. 28, 2008. Djokovic won 2-0 (6-2,4-3).(Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)


    Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball during the first round match of men's singles against Dmitry Tursunov of Russia at BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France, Oct. 28, 2008. Djokovic won 2-0 (6-2,4-3).(Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)


    Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball during the first round match of men's singles against Dmitry Tursunov of Russia at BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France, Oct. 28, 2008. Djokovic won 2-0 (6-2,4-3). (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)

  • Barcelona's Bojan Krkic celebrates scoring a goal during his team's Champions League quarter-final first leg soccer match against Schalke 04 in Gelsenkirchen April 1, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)
    Photo Gallery>>>

    MADRID, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- A second half goal from FC Barcelona's young striker Bojan Krkic gave his side a 1-0 Copa delRey (King's Cup) triumph away to Benidorm on Tuesday.

    Although both sides have to play the second leg of the tie in two week's time, anything other than a comfortable win for Barcelona against a side from the third tier of Spanish football would be a major surprise.

    Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola took the opportunity to give youngsters such as Victor Sanchez and Sergio Busquets a place in his starting line-up and give a rare outing to veteran defender Sylvinho. But there were plenty of first team regulars in the Barcelona 11.

    Nevertheless the football on display was less than impressive, although Barcelona were always the better side on a pitch that had been affected by the heavy rain.

    Brazilian full back Dani Alves was Barcelona's best player in the first half. But despite his efforts down the right, the half time whistle was blown with no change to the original score.

    That changed after 55 minutes, when Bojan scored the only goal of the game. The 18-year-old has not had as many first team chances this season as he may have expected, but that did not stop him reacting quickly to a pass from Sanchez to fire home the only goal of the match.

    Benidorm worked hard, but lacked the quality to trouble Barcelona and although the visitors took their foot off the gas and failed to add any further goals, their place in the last 16 is all but assured.
  •     LONDON, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian striker Ronaldo has revealed he would rather remain in his homeland and earn a contract with Flamengo than join a European club.

        The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year is on the brink of a return to football after recovering from a career-threatening knee injury sooner than expected.

        Ronaldo sustained the injury eight months ago while playing for AC Milan and, since becoming a free agent in the summer, offers have been pouring in for the 32-year-old.

        Paris St Germain are among the European outfits reportedly keento acquire his services but Ronaldo, who has been training with Flamengo, is hopeful he will be playing for his boyhood club next term.

        In Rio de Janeiro, he told the Bem Amigos show on Spor TV: "If everything is okay, I want to stay [at Flamengo].

        "I've been in Europe for 16 years. Flamengo are my favorite, but I don't want to play there as a favor. I want to deserve to play there."

        Ronaldo, however, revealed he is thinking about retiring if he cannot get back into top shape.

        "I could hang up the boots," he said. "If I think I am not fine, I will retire. It's useless if you are physically fit but you are not fast.

        "I already lost some weight but I must lose more."

        And the former Barcelona and Real Madrid front-man - a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and 2002 - has not given up hope of an international recall.

        He added: "I am a wounded soldier who is recovering, but not dead.

        "The national team is part of my life. I have big history with it, with a number of titles and defeats. I am making a big sacrifice and I do dream of the national team."

  •     LONDON, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Diego Maradona is on the brink of taking over as Argentina coach but may not be in charge when the team play Scotland next month, reports said here on Wednesday.

        Maradona revealed he is on the verge of accepting the job after meeting with Argentinian Football Association Julio Grondona, the sportinglife.com said.

        Under current plans the former Barcelona and Napoli forward will not lead Argentina when they visit Scotland at Hampden Park on Wednesday, November 19, although he is due to be at the match.

        Sergio Batista - who coaches the Argentina Under-20 team as well as guiding the Olympic side - is expected to be at the helm.

        Argentina has been without a coach since Alfio Basile stepped down for personal reasons on October 16.

        Maradona has little coaching experience, having been in charge of Deportivo Mandiyu for two months in 1994 and Racing Club for four months in 1995.

        But he is likely to be able to call on the experience of former Argentina coach Carlos Bilardo, the boss of the 1986 and 1990 World Cup teams, who has been lined up as technical director to the national team.

        AFA secretary Luis Segura said: "The appointment will be official when the AFA's committee approves it.

        "And the next meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday.

        "I believe there will not be any more meetings with the other candidates."

        Earlier, 1986 World Cup winner Maradona told Radio La Red: "My first job will be watching the players. I'll try to talk to them one by one and then work at the training camp in Ezeiza with them.

        "I arrived from Georgia at 10am and three hours later I was having a shower to meet Julio. As I was going to the meeting, I thought it was some kind of hidden camera (show).

        "The direction Julio wants for the national team is the same Bilardo and I have.

        "My job will be watching the players and picking up the ones who are in the best form."

        Maradona faces the task of helping Argentina improve their form, having won just one of their last seven World Cup qualifiers to lie third in the South American Zone.

  •     PARIS, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- American Andy Roddick and Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro boosted their chances of qualifying for next month's Masters Cup in Shanghai by winning their second-round matches at the Paris Masters on Tuesday.

        Serb's third seed Novak Djokovic was leading 6-2, 4-3 against Dmitry Tursunov when the Russian retired with an injured right shoulder while seventh-seeded Roddick beat Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-4.

        The rising star Del Potro, winner of four titles this season, swept past Croat Mario Ancic 6-0, 6-4 to reach the last 16.

        Del Potro, on course for a quarterfinal against Murray, said he had to admit Shanghai was on his mind - as well as a Davis Cup final against Nadal's Spaniards.

        Three spots for next month's Masters Cup are still up for grabs in Paris with Roddick, Del Potro and France's Gilles Simon, eighth in the ATP Race, occupying the remaining places at the start of the tournament.

        Elsewhere, 15th-seeded Fernando Verdasco outlasted Spanish countryman Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-2, and 16th-seeded Gael Monfils topped Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 to set up a possible match against top-ranked Rafael Nadal.

        In first-round action, new Lyon Grand Prix champion Robin Soderling won his sixth straight match against Josselin Ouanna of France 6-3, 6-4 to set up an eighth career meeting with Roger Federer.

        Soderling was 0-7 against Federer, who won his 57th career title at the Swiss Indoors on Sunday.

  •     WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Major League Baseball's 104th World Series was on hold as gusting winds, rain and even snow swept through the Philadelphia area on Tuesday.

        Game Five between Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays was suspended because of heavy rain on Monday with the score tied at 2-2. The Game will resume on Wednesday and will have 3 1/2 innings to settle the winner.

        With cold rain falling and a chance of snow showers in the forecast, MLB announced that Game Five would not resume on Tuesday. It is now tentatively scheduled to resume on Wednesday evening.

        MLB commissioner Bud Selig said they would try to finish game five on Wednesday, weather permitting, but there were no guarantees.

        "While obviously we want to finish game five as soon as possible, the forecast for today does not allow for us to continue the game this evening," said Selig.

        Steady rain made the Citizens Bank Park field treacherous and threatened the safety of the players, leading Selig to suspend Monday's game -- unprecedented in the 104-year history of the Fall Classic.

        The Phillies are on victory away from clinching their second title in its 125 history, holding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

  •     BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang will leave on Wednesday for the United States to seek advice on the Achilles injury that ripped him off the chance to defend his 110-meter hurdles title at the Beijing Olympics in August.

        The 25-year-old Athens gold medallist will meet five medical experts in three cities, China Youth Daily reported on Wednesday.

        "Many think that Liu's arrival is seeking a good cure, but truth is that we want the experts to take a look at Liu's foot and hear from them on the injury," Feng Shuyong, one of the top officials with China's athletics authorities, was quoted by the newspaper as saying on Wednesday.

        "We are trying the Chinese traditional and western medicine both and it is working pretty well now," said Feng. "We want to know whether the foreign experts make the same diagnose and offer the similar treatment on Liu."

        "After the trip, Liu will consult the Chinese doctors and weigh up all the options to see whether we need to improve the cure."

        Liu was a strong favorite to win a gold medal in 110m hurdles at the August Games, but withdrew after pulling up limp at the start of his first heat.

        Since the Olympic woes, Liu has only opened two of his training sessions to the public in order to shun the limelight that could interfere with his recovery.

        According to Liu's coach Sun Haiping, the Shanghai native has come back well but needs more work to get to where he was before the Beijing Games.

        "Rest without any rehabilitation training is absolutely not working, which could rule him out of tighter training and competition. So we also hope the experts could provide some useful advice on the rehabilitative training," Sun told China Youth Daily.

        "Now, Liu is able to jog in light training," the coach added.

        Earlier, some experts suggested Liu return next June and the two stops of the IAAF Grand Prix series in the United States could lead him up to the world championships next August.

        "It is not all the Achilles' heel that matters," Sun stressed, "it is also about the mindset thing. It's been around 70 days after the Olympic exit. Liu seems that he is doing fine with it, but in fact the shadow of the setback which was cast on him is huge."

        "The coach, the family and his friends all talk to him and that helps. However, we know about athletes and we will get him a psychologist if he needs."


  • Marat Safin of Russia reacts during the first round match of men's singles against Juan Monaco of Argentina at BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France, Oct. 27, 2008. Safin lost 0-2(0-6,6-7). (Xinhua Photo)


    Marat Safin of Russia returns the ball during the first round match of men's singles against Juan Monaco of Argentina at BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France, Oct. 27, 2008. Safin lost 0-2 (0-6,6-7). (Xinhua Photo)


    Juan Monaco of Argentina returns the ball during the first round match of men's singles against Marat Safin of Russia at BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France, Oct. 27, 2008. Monaco won 2-0 (6-0,7-6). (Xinhua Photo)


    Juan Monaco of Argentina returns the ball during the first round match of men's singles against Marat Safin of Russia at BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, France, Oct. 27, 2008. Monaco won 2-0 (6-0,7-6). (Xinhua Photo)