Mon, Jul 28, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ SOCCER

Di Natale downplays penalty

Udinese forward Antonio Di Natale said on Saturday he has put last month’s costly Euro 2008 penalty miss against Spain well and truly behind him. Di Natale was one of two Italy players to miss penalties in the quarter-final shoot-out that Spain won before going on to lift the trophy in Vienna. But Di Natale, whose only start in the competition came in Italy’s embarrassing opening 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the Netherlands, says he is not letting that affect him ahead of the new season. “I feel calm and collected. I realize I can’t live off memories, obviously I look back at the good ones but like everyone I have to start from scratch again,” he said.

■ SOCCER

United to tour South Africa

Sir Alex Ferguson insisted Manchester United will tour South Africa again after winning Vodacom Challenge on Saturday — but admitted that plans to return in 2010, World Cup year, are unlikely to bear fruit. Goals from Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Tom Cleverley and Fraizer Campbell sealed a 4-0 win against Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld to complete United’s three-game tour of the country. United immediately flew out of Johannesburg for a game against Premier League rivals Portsmouth in Abuja, Nigeria, on Sunday, but Ferguson admitted that he is keen for the club to make another visit to South Africa in the near future.

■ SOCCER

10 injured in Budapest riots

At least 10 people were injured Saturday when supporters of Budapest football club Honved clashed with fans of Austria’s Sturm Graz during a match in the Hungarian capital. While Sturm Graz qualified for the Intertoto Cup during the 3rd round after winning 0-0, and then 2-1 late on Saturday in Budapest, rival supporters clashed throughout the day. Police detained an Austrian man after he damaged a police car. During the match, Austrian supporters threw smoke bombs in the stadium where the two clubs faced off. Sturm Graz chief Hans Rinner said he regretted the use of the devices by supporters of his club, but said Honved Budapest stewards had “clamped down brutally” on thousands of Austrians.

■ VOLLEYBALL

US upsets Brazil in semis

The US upset five-time defending champion Brazil 25-23, 25-22, 27-25 on Saturday to reach the World League volleyball final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Clayton Stanley had three aces to lead the US with 16 points, while Brazil’s Dante Guimaraes Amaral picked up 17. Serbia also advanced to yesterday’s final, beating Russia 25-19, 25-19, 25-23 behind 22 points from Ivan Miljkovic. The last time Brazil failed to win the World League title was in 2002, when it finished second. “We made several of the same mistakes we have made in the past and in a match like this one they can make all the difference,” Brazil’s Andre Heller said.

■ VOLLEYBALL

Messi hits hat-trick in win

Argentine star Lionel Messi, currently at the center of an Olympic Games club-or-country row, hit a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 5-1 pre-season friendly win over Scotland’s Dundee United on Saturday. Messi found the target in the 51st, 75th and 78th minutes while Thierry Henry (26) and Samuel Eto’o (60) added to the scoreline after the Scots had taken a shock lead. Barcelona insist that Messi cannot play in the Beijing Olympics as he’s wanted for the club’s opening Champions League qualifier.

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