Fri, Jan 08, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■DAKAR RALLY

Sainz takes over lead

Carlos Sainz took over the lead in the Dakar Rally as Volkswagen swept the podium in a taxing fifth stage north through the foothills of the Atacama Desert on Wednesday. Mark Miller of the US won his first Dakar stage, the grueling 483km stretch from Copiapo to Antofagasta over rocks and the dust-like sand in 5 hours, 6 minutes, 15 seconds. Teammate Sainz finished 2:10 behind, and Qatar’s Nasser al-Attiyah was third, 4:27 back. Sainz led al-Attiyah by 4:37 overall and Miller was 9:39 off the pace in third. In motorbikes, defending champion Marc Coma’s Sherco blew a rear tire while leading by six minutes, allowing Contardo Lopez to win the stage on an Aprilla in 5:52:40. Cyril Despres’ KTM was 1:30 behind, allowing the Frenchman to extend his overall lead to 37:37 on Lopez. Rally great Stephane Peterhansel, who started the day as overall leader, stalled twice with mechanical problems and finished more than two hours behind Miller.

■SOCCER

Vieira joining Man City

Patrick Vieira confirmed yesterday he was leaving Inter to join Manchester City in a bid to secure more first team action and gain a place in France’s World Cup squad. “I set myself an objective, I want to go to the World Cup,” the 33-year-old former France captain told television channel Eurosport. “The important thing for me is to go to Manchester City and to show the coach [Roberto Mancini] I’m the same player than when he was in charge of Inter,” he said. “After a year in Turin and three and a half years in Milan, it’s over. To go to the World Cup I need playing time and I can’t reach my objective with Inter where I’m not a first choice player.”

■SOCCER

Atletico take Cup beating

Atletico Madrid’s miserable season took a turn for the worse when they were reduced to 10 men and beaten 3-0 at second division Recreativo Huelva in their King’s Cup last-16 first-leg match on Wednesday. Atletico were two goals behind and down to 10 men inside half an hour. Bruno Fornaroli gave the home side the lead on 14 minutes before Tomas Ujfalusi was shown a straight red card. The visitors’ misery deepened when Cedric brought Aitor down in the penalty area and Jeronimo Barrales scored from the spot. Recreativo easily contained a toothless Atletico in the second half and Daniel Candeias added a deserved third. The result left Atletico on the verge of elimination before next week’s second leg. In other King’s Cup games Deportivo Coruna won 2-1 at La Liga rivals Valencia, while Villarreal surrendered the lead to draw 1-1 at struggling second-tier side Celta Vigo. Third-tier Alcorcon, who dumped Real Madrid out in the last round, fell 3-1 behind at home to Racing Santander but scored a late goal to keep alive their hopes.

■SOCCER

Fergie Jr takes Preston job

Darren Ferguson, the 37-year-old son of Manchester United boss Sir Alex, on Wednesday returned to management as manager of Championship side Preston. Ferguson, who left Peterborough in November was installed as the successor to Alan Irvine. “I’m very, very ambitious and with my name I cannot afford to fail,” he told reporters, shrugging off the inevitability of comparisons with his illustrious father. “Pressure is there in any walk of life but you’ve got to try and be successful. If you win enough games you will be fine, if you don’t then you will be under pressure.”

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