Russia defeat Serbia 2-1
Russia recorded a 2-1 win in a friendly match with Serbia played in the German town of Burghausen on Wednesday. Pavel Pogrebnyak and Roman Pavlyuchenko scored one apiece for Russia, while Hertha Berlin striker Marko Pantelic was on target for Serbia. In the 12th minute Russia went into a 1-0 lead through Pogrebnyak, who fired a 35m free-kick inside the left post, the ball flying in off the woodwork. Russia dominated the play, but Pantelic nevertheless leveled at 1-1 five minutes before the break, clipping in from close range past helpless goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev following a mix-up in the defense. But three minutes after the restart Pavlyuchenko made it 2-1, firing in from 7m following a short Dmitry Sychev cross from the left.
Hayden returns to Australia
Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden will return to Australia from the West Indies after failing to recover from an Achilles’ tendon injury, Cricket Australia said yesterday. Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said the decision to send Hayden home was made to ensure his fitness during Australia’s upcoming international schedule. “Matthew Hayden’s right Achilles’ tendon injury has not made sufficient progress during his time in the West Indies and as such he will not be able to participate in the second Test and was highly unlikely to be available for the third Test,” Kountouris said in a statement. “With the large volume of cricket to be played over the next 18 months it was decided he should return to Australia to undergo rehabilitation and consult specialists.”
Riise earns Norway a draw
John Arne Riise converted an 85th-minute free-kick to give Norway a 2-2 draw in a friendly against Uruguay on Wednesday, twice rallying from a one-goal deficit. Riise’s free kick came after Azar Karadas was fouled shortly after entering the game to replace captain Martin Andresen. Norway had most of possession early, but Ajax striker Luis Suarez put Uruguay ahead in the 43rd minute, capitalizing when defender Jon Inge Hoeiland slipped. Tarik Elyounoussi replaced Per Ciljan Skjelbred to start the second half and it paid dividends five minutes in when he converted off a long throw from Riise. Sebastian Eguren of Villarreal restored Uruguay’s lead in the 69th minute, heading a ball from Bruno Silva past goalkeeper Rune Jarstein.
Taiwan suffer loss to Aussies
Australia began their Women’s Asian Cup campaign with a 4-0 win over Taiwan yesterday. Australia rested many of their top players for the approaching Group B games against Japan and South Korea. Heather Garriock scored two goals in the first half, with her opening goal in the 18th minute coming just before a tropical downpour. After Taiwan spurned a good opportunity early in the second half, Jenna Tristram made up for hitting the bar in the opening half by converting in the 50th minute at the second opportunity. Substitute Lisa De Vanna completed the scoring in the 80th minute.
Ochoa pulls out of the Ginn
World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa pulled out of the USLPGA’s Ginn Tribute tournament because of an illness in her family. Ochoa said on Wednesday she was leaving for Mexico so she could spend time with her sick uncle. “I am very sorry to have to withdraw, but my uncle is very ill,” Ochoa said. “I need to be with my uncle and my family right now.”