Thu, Jan 26, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Wigan reaches League Cup final


Jason Roberts scored in the 29th minute of extra time on Tuesday, a goal that put Wigan into the League Cup final despite a 2-1 loss to Arsenal.

Wigan won the first leg two weeks ago 1-0.

Roberts' late goal at Highbury -- in the final minute of 30 minutes of extra time -- leveled the two-legged series 2-2 and put Wigan into the final on away goals.

Wigan will face either Manchester United or Blackburn in the final. Those two drew 1-1 in their first-leg semifinal and play today. It will be Wigan's first appearance in a major cup final.

Robin van Persie scored on a curling free kick in the 18th minute of extra time to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead and what appeared to be a berth in next month's final in Cardiff, Wales.

Arsenal went ahead in the 65th on Thierry Henry's header from a cross off the right side by Kerrea Gilbert.

Wigan goalkeeper Mike Pollitt kept his club in the match.

After Wigan defender Stephane Henchoz was called for a handball, Jose Antonio Reyes was stopped on a penalty in the 22nd when Pollitt dived to his left to get both hands on Reyes's spot kick.

Pollitt also stopped Henry several times on diving saves before the Frenchman scored.

Arsenal fielded a full-strength team, unusual for the Gunners in the League Cup, a distant second in prestige to the FA Cup. It was Henry's first appearance in the competition in over six years.

Claudio Pizarro scored twice and Bayern Munich escaped against Mainz 05 with a 3-2 extra-time victory in the German Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Pizarro's game-winner in the 114th minute deflected in off the left post to keep Bayern in the hunt for a treble this season, including the Bundesliga and Champions League crowns.

"They were very close to the upset, but then we struck back ice-cold," said Bayern 'keeper Oliver Kahn.

Bayern remained victorious in every match its played in any competition at its new Allianz Arena, which opened this month.

In today's quarterfinals, it is: Arminia Bielefeld versus Kickers Offenbach, 1860 Munich versus Eintracht Frankfurt; and St. Pauli versus Werder Bremen.

Lazio and defending champion Inter Milan traded goals one minute apart and settled for 1-1 in their Italian Cup first-leg quarterfinal on Tuesday.

Dejan Stankovic put Inter in front in the 26th minute at Stadio Olimpico with a low left-footed shot from inside the area.

Christian Manfredini tallied the equalizer with a lob past goalkeeper Francesco Toldo.

The draw stretched Inter's unbeaten streak to 18 matches in all competitions while Lazio extended its own streak to eight -- two in the Italian Cup and six in Serie A.

Both sides were a player down from the fourth minute after veteran Lazio forward Paolo Di Canio and Inter's Nicolas Cambiasso were ejected for fighting.

Lazio striker Igli Tare struck the crossbar in the 43rd, and two more Lazio chances went begging in the second half when newly signed Stefano Mauri and Tare headed wide from a few meters.

Today, AC Milan hosts Palermo and Udinese takes on Sampdoria. AS Roma is at Serie A leader Juventus tomorrow.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes was ruled out for the rest of the season on Tuesday because of an eye condition.

Manchester United also has lost Ireland defender John O'Shea for six weeks with a rib injury.

Scholes hasn't played since Dec. 28 because of blurred vision. It was initially reported that he was suffering from a bang on the head, but Man United said the former England international had a "non football related condition."

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