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Soccer Capsules: Tigres hold top spot in Mexico with win over Toluca

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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013 9:30 pm

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Juninho scored the opening goal as Tigres beat Toluca 4-1 on Sunday to maintain top place in Mexico's first division in the sixth round in the Clausura tournament.

Juninho scored in the 34th, captain Lucas Lobos slotted in a penalty in the 50th and, after Edgar Duenas briefly gave Toluca hope of a comeback with a goal in the 78th, Luis Garcia and Emanuel Villa finished it off with goals in stoppage time.

America moved within a point of Tigres in second spot with an unlikely 2-1 win over Tijuana on Saturday, dropping Tijuana to third place.

In other weekend results, Santos Laguna lost 1-0 to Pachuca, Atlas had a 2-1 win over Atlante, Puebla defeated San Luis 3-1, Chivas and Morelia had 1-0 wins over Monterrey and Leon respectively, while the Cruz Azul vs. Pumas and Queretaro vs. Jaguares matches ended in 1-1 draws.

America held on with nine men for the majority of the game to secure the improbable victory against Tijuana.

Oswaldo Martinez drove a penalty in to give America the lead in the 12th minute, but then Rubens Sambueza was sent off in the 21st and Aquivaldo Mosquera followed him in the 38th.

Tijuana dominated possession, but America's Paul Aguilar increased the lead in the 54th with a swerving long-range shot.

Paraguayan Pablo Aguilar reduced the margin in the 75th and Tijuana pressed hard for the equalizer, but America 'keeper Moises Munoz made a string of excellent saves late in the game.

Pachuca's Hector Herrera tapped into an open net in the 10th to secure his team's victory over Santos Laguna.

Atlas moved into fourth place after Edson Rivera flicked the ball over a defender and volleyed into the corner of the net for the winner in the 68th against Atlante.

Jahir Barraza redirected a long-range shot to put Atlas in the lead after five minutes but Facundo Erpen headed into his own net to equalize for Atlante in the 64th.

Elsewhere, American DaMarcus Beasley netted twice in the final 10 minutes for Puebla against San Luis.

Felix Borja put Puebla into the lead after two minutes, but Ricardo Jimenez equalized in the 14th.

Chivas recorded their first win of the season, with Rafael Marquez Lugo getting the only goal in the 66th.

Relegation strugglers Queretaro salvaged a point against Jaguares when Amuary Escoto equalized in the 82nd.

Jagaures had taken the lead in the 42nd through Uruguayan Jorge Rodriguez.

American Beasley scores twice for Puebla

American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley scored his first two goals of the season, leading Puebla to a 3-1 win at San Luis in the Mexican Clausura.

The 30-year-old, a veteran of three World Cups, entered in the 57th minute Saturday night and scored the tiebreaking goal in the 82nd when he chested Isaac Romo's cross and scored on a right-footed shot from the edge of the 6-yard box.

Beasley got his second goal in the 88th when he ran onto a pass from Felix Borja in the penalty area and beat goalkeeper Oscar Perez with a right-footed shot from 15 yards.


Dike, Richards tear knee ligaments

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Timbers forward Bright Dike will miss a significant part of the Major League Soccer season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The 26-year-old was injured in Tuesday's preseason match against Seattle. The Timbers said Friday that he will have surgery Monday.

Dike, who made his debut for Nigeria in a November exhibition against Venezuela, scored five goals in 12 MLS games last season. He missed much of the 2011 season after rupturing his right Achilles' tendon that February during a preseason game against the Ventura County Fusion.

Timbers forward Brent Richards had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Feb. 5 to repair a torn ACL and lateral meniscus tear and is expected to be sidelined for six months. He was hurt during training Jan. 26 in Portland.


Blatter surprised at reform advisers' criticism

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — FIFA President Sepp Blatter expressed his surprise Sunday at public criticism of soccer's governing body by its own anti-corruption advisers and said they were sometimes working outside their mandate.

Blatter said the independent advisers, who Blatter invited in to help FIFA reform in 2011, were on occasion making demands and not recommendations.

"From time to time I realized that it is a deviation of the original objective and they are not coming with solutions, not recommendations, they are coming with decisions that we have (to take) ... and we must," Blatter said. "But that is not what we have asked for. We have asked to give us solutions and we bring these solutions to the (FIFA) Congress.

The panel of advisers, chaired by Mark Pieth, said in a report last week that the Union of European Football Associations was resisting reform and called on FIFA to "demonstrate leadership" and not undermine efforts to reform the body.

Some of the advisers' proposals include term limits for the FIFA president and executive committee members. They suggested all FIFA committee members should be vetted for integrity by an independent group at its Zurich headquarters.

-- Gerald Imray


Ronaldo center stage as Champions League resumes

LONDON (AP) — As a player who relishes being center stage, Cristiano Ronaldo will be in his element this week when the Champions League resumes with a blockbuster last-16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United.

United transformed Ronaldo from a prodigiously talented yet hit-and-miss winger to one of football's most devastating goalscorers in his six years in the Premier League.

He has blossomed even further since his world-record transfer to Madrid in 2009, leaving United manager Alex Ferguson with the unenviable task of taming the player he nurtured into one of the world's most complete footballers.

Ferguson has been showering his former protege with praise in the build-up to Wednesday's match and, as a self-confessed regular watcher of Madrid's matches, will have seen Ronaldo score a 20th hat trick for the Spanish giants in a league win over Sevilla on Saturday.

"(Zinedine) Zidane was a fantastic player, (Luis) Figo was a fantastic player but not as good as Ronaldo," Fergsuon said, comparing Madrid greats of the past decade.

"He's beaten all the records there. He's beaten (Alfredo) Di Stefano, (Ferenc) Puskas, Hugo Sanchez, all their records. He is indelibly printed in their history now. Ronaldo is pivotal to everything they do."

After a two-month break, Europe's top competition returns with three other last-16 first legs this week — Celtic vs. Juventus and Valencia vs. Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, before Shakhtar Donetsk hosts Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

All eyes, though, will be on the Santiago Bernabeu for the game between two of Europe's biggest clubs.

"It's a match the world is waiting for," Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said Sunday. "They are not waiting for other matches in the Champions League. So I hope we can give the world of football what they're waiting for."

Madrid's hopes of retaining the Spanish league title are almost over as it trails Barcelona by 16 points, and the widespread opinion in Spain is that Mourinho's job depends on the club winning Europe's top prize for a record 10th time.

"I think Jose has set his sights on the European Cup this year, there's no doubt about that," Ferguson said of his friend and rival Mourinho, who is bidding to become the first coach to win the Champions League with three different clubs.

United has no such worries domestically, leading the Premier League by 12 points with just 12 games left, so much of Ferguson's attention could also shift to Europe and adding to the club's haul of three titles in the competition.

Ferguson has won just two of his 14 meetings with Mourinho, with the two coaches now great friends away from the football pitch having initially had an uneasy relationship.

"I want to win and he wants to win," Mourinho said. "But I believe the loser, in the middle of being a bit sad, will have a little bit of space to feel a little bit happy because their friend has won."

Madrid's major injury loss is goalkeeper Iker Casillas, out with a broken hand, but United don't have any major concerns.

David Beckham — another Man United great — won't be making his return to Champions League action this week, despite being included in PSG's squad for the knockout stages.

The former England captain is expected to travel with the French team to Valencia but isn't fit enough to play in PSG's biggest game in Europe in more than a decade.

"He needs two weeks of training to be fit," PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said Thursday about Beckham, who could therefore be available for the second leg.

PSG, the French league leader, is one of Europe's "nouveaux riches" and is looking to make its mark in the Champions League after spending heavily over the past two seasons under its wealthy Qatari owners.

New coach Ernesto Valverde has Valencia playing better than during its inconsistent start this season under former manager Mauricio Pellegrino, with the team having only lost one of its last seven Spanish league games.

Shakhtar Donetsk, which progressed to the last 16 at the expense of reigning champion Chelsea, may be rusty going into its home match against Dortmund as the Ukrainian league is in the middle of its winter break.

Former winner Dortmund, though, is also struggling after a 4-1 home loss to Hamburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

"Right now, I don't have any optimism in me," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said after the match.

Celtic will need to summon the kind of inspired of display it produced in beating Barcelona in the group stage when the Scottish team plays its first knockout match in the Champions league in five years.

Juventus is top of the Italian league, warmed up for the trip to Parkhead by beating Fiorentina 2-0 on Saturday and is unbeaten in European competition in 16 games.

-- Steve Douglas

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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