Not even a sore hamstring stopped Lionel Messi from helping Barcelona rally Wednesday for a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain and a place...
Messi helps lift Barcelona
Not even a sore hamstring stopped Lionel Messi from helping Barcelona rally Wednesday for a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain and a place in the Champions League semifinals.
Barcelona advanced on the away-goals rule after its 2-2 draw in Paris last week meant the quarterfinal finished 3-3 on aggregate. But Barca showed just how much it depends on Messi against major opponents.
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Messi, who injured his right leg after scoring in their first match, was only cleared to play an hour before kickoff. He came on in the 62nd minute with his team losing 1-0 after Javier Pastore’s goal, and struggling to find its form.
It took him nine minutes to start the decisive move that Pedro Rodriguez finished to put Barcelona into a sixth straight semifinal and on course for a fourth Champions League title in eight seasons.
In the other match, Bayern Munich beat Juventus 2-0 to go through on 4-0 aggregate to join Barcelona, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals.
Monterrey ousts Galaxy 1-0
Aldo De Nigris scored in the 81st minute and two-time defending champion and host Monterrey beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0, sending the Mexican team to the CONCACAF Champions League final with a 3-1 aggregate score in the two-game semifinal. Monterrey will face fellow Mexican club Santos Laguna in a rematch of last year’s final. Santos Laguna advanced Tuesday, tying Sounders FC 1-1 for a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Sisters rejoin Fed Cup team
Serena and Venus Williams will lead the U.S. Fed Cup team against Sweden on hard courts at the Delray Beach (Fla.) Tennis Center on April 20-21. The team also will include No. 16 Sloane Stephens and No. 27 Varvara Lepchenko.
Martin Alund of Argentina wore down Lleyton Hewitt of Australia 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston before rain washed out the rest of the day’s schedule.
Zeller, point guards off to NBA
Indiana 7-footer Cody Zeller and two point guards were among the latest standout underclassmen to enter the NBA draft.
Joining Zeller were Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams and Missouri’s Phil Pressey.
Zeller, a sophomore who led the Hoosiers in scoring (16.5 points) and rebounding (8.1), was a second-team All-American and is projected to be a top-10 pick in the June draft.
Buffs QB to miss season
Colorado quarterback Jordan Webb will miss the 2013 season after tearing a ligament in his right knee at spring practice. Webb tore the ACL in a noncontact drill.
Colorado said Webb, a fifth-year senior, will work with the compliance office to try to gain a sixth year of eligibility.
Hurd will plead guilty
Former Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd will change his plea to guilty Thursday in Dallas in his federal drug case, his lawyer said. Hurd is charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana.
Hurd prefers to “vigorously contest” the sentencing in the coming months, arguing that he was not involved in alleged drug trafficking as much as described by the government, attorney Jay Ethington said.
“He’s a marijuana freak,” Ethington said. “He loves marijuana. He’s addicted to high-grade marijuana.”
Velazquez will ride Verrazano
John Velazquez will ride unbeaten Verrazano in the Kentucky Derby.
The jockey’s agent, Angel Cordero, confirmed Velazquez will be aboard the Wood Memorial winner in the Derby on May 4.
Jarrett headlines Hall nominees
NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett headlined the 25 nominees announced for next year’s Hall of Fame class — a list that finally includes track magnate Bruton Smith.
Only five nominees are new to the list, with the other 20 carrying over from last year. Joining Jarrett and Smith as the new nominees were engine builder Maurice Petty, five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion Larry Phillips and 1960 NASCAR champion Rex White. Five people will be selected for induction into the fifth Hall of Fame Class in May 22 voting.
• Top-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland beat Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the second round of the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco.
• Denver Broncos backup tackle Chris Clark signed his $1.32 million restricted free-agent tender.
• The Houston Texans agreed to a one-year deal with linebacker Tim Dobbins.
• Arizona signed free-agent guard Chilo Rachal.
• The New England Patriots signed former Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Tommy Kelly.
• Coach Joe Mihalich is leaving behind 15 successful seasons at Niagara to take over Hofstra’s troubled men’s basketball program.
• Kansas State rewarded men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber for winning a share of the school’s first conference championship in 36 years with a raise to $1.75 million next season and a one-year contract extension.
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