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U.S. men’s soccer team earns tie with El Salvador

Sun., March 29, 2009

Jozy Altidore started the comeback in the 77th minute and Frankie Hejduk scored the tying goal in the 88th as the United States rallied for a 2-2 draw at El Salvador in a World Cup qualifier Saturday night at San Salvador, El Salvador.

Tiny El Salvador, ranked just 106th in the world, built a 2-0 lead against the No. 17 Americans before a boisterous crowd of 30,500 at Estadio Cuscatlan on goals by Eliseo Quintanilla in the 15th minute and Crisian Castillo in the 72nd.

The United States (1-0-1), seeking its sixth straight World Cup berth, leads the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region with four points heading into Wednesday’s qualifier at Nashville, Tenn., against Trinidad and Tobago (0-0-2), which rallied at home to tie Honduras (0-1-1) on Saturday.

Europeans fare well: World Cup champion Italy moved into strong position to qualify for the 2010 tournament with a victory, and fellow European powers Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands also picked up wins. Other winners included Russia, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico and Togo. Ireland tied Bulgaria 1-1.


O’Hair in front

Sean O’Hair survived a windy, rugged test at Bay Hill and wound up in the final group with Tiger Woods for the second straight year – with one big difference. This time, the tournament is in his hands.

Despite three bogeys in the last four holes, O’Hair had a 1-over-par 71 and a five-shot lead over Woods going into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.

O’Meara in front at Cap Cana: Two-time major winner Mark O’Meara roared into position for his first Champions Tour win, matching the Cap Cana Championship scoring record with a 7-under 65 at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic.

Eduardo Romero and Keith Fergus joined O’Meara atop the leaderboard at 8-under 136.

Shin with one-stroke lead: Jiyai Shin moved into position for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and fifth in eight months, shooting a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the J Golf Phoenix LPGA International in Phoenix.

Wendy Ward of Edwall, Wash., shot a 71 and was tied for 27th.


Arenas returns

Gilbert Arenas nearly had a heroic finish to his first game in almost a year. Instead, Kwame Brown blocked Agent Zero’s shot in the final seconds to help preserve the Detroit Pistons’ 98-96 victory over the Wizards in Washington.

Arenas finished with 15 points and 10 assists in 30 minutes in his first game since April 27, 2008. The three-time All-Star had missed 156 of his team’s previous 173 games, including playoffs, thanks to a knee injury that spawned two overeager comeback attempts and three surgeries over an 18-month span.

Roy leads Blazers to win: Brandon Roy had 21 points and eight rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers to an 86-66 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Portland.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points for the Blazers, who have won six straight over Memphis.


Sabres rally to win

Toni Lydman scored on Buffalo’s fifth shootout attempt, and Ryan Miller stopped each of Montreal’s five tries to lead the Sabres to a 4-3 win over the Canadiens at Montreal.

Lydman put a shot through Carey Price’s legs after the goalie turned aside the first four shooters he faced.

Panthers down Stars: Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton each scored in the final minute of the second period, and the Florida Panthers beat the reeling Stars 6-3 in Dallas.

The Panthers moved within a point of Montreal for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Horse Racing

Well Armed victorious

Well Armed ran away with the $6 million Dubai World Cup and claimed the richest prize in horse racing in an upset that left the favorites deep in the pack at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The 14-length victory – nearly double the record Dubai World Cup margin set last year by Curlin – was so comfortable that jockey Aaron Gryder patted the 6-year-old gelding’s neck 10 strides before the finish.

Quality Road wins again: Quality Road held off previously unbeaten Dunkirk in the stretch to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., giving the colt his second graded stakes win in as many starts.

Barbaro’s brother Nicanor runs second again: Barbaro’s little brother is still waiting for his first win. Nicanor finished second in an eight-horse maiden race at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., falling short of breaking his maiden for the third straight time.


Richardson, Sullivan win

Kaylin Richardson and Marco Sullivan won downhill events at the U.S. Alpine Championships in Girdwood, Alaska.

Richardson finished in 1 minute, 10.18 seconds to edge Julia Mancuso (1:10.53). Sullivan finished in 1:08.07, ahead of Erik Fisher (1:08.44).

Auburn wins men’s swimming and diving title: Auburn won the 400-yard freestyle relay to complete a final-day rally past Texas to win the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championship at College Station, Texas.

Debuting team takes F-1 pole: Brawn GP became the first Formula One team in 39 years to take the pole position in its debut race when Jenson Button secured the spot for today’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia.

Ethiopian, Kenyan take cross country titles: Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam of Ethiopia won the men’s 12-kilometer race at the World Cross Country Championships, and Florence Jebet Kiplagat of Kenya took the title in the women’s 8-kilometer race at Amman, Jordan. Gebremariam won in 35 minutes, 2 seconds, and Kiplagat finished in 26:13.


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