Santos secured its second Brazilian championship in three years, defeating Vasco 2-1 yesterday behind goals by Ricardinho and Elano in Sao Jose do Rio Preto...

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Santos triumphs:

Santos secured its second Brazilian championship in three years, defeating Vasco 2-1 yesterday behind goals by Ricardinho and Elano in Sao Jose do Rio Preto.

The title restores Santos as one of Brazil’s most successful clubs. After an 18-year title drought from 1984 to 2002, the team made famous by Pelé starting in the 1950s won the 2002 championship and finished second last year.

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Marco Brito scored Vasco’s goal in the 60th minute to close out scoring.

Santos, which finished with a league-best 103 goals, saw the return of Robinho. His mother was released unharmed Friday, 40 days after being kidnapped.

Santos earned 89 points in 46 matches. Atletico Paranaense finished three points behind.

FIFA voids signing of woman by men’s team:

FIFA, the sport’s governing body, rejected the signing of a woman player by a professional men’s team in Mexico.

“There must be a clear separation between men’s and women’s football,” FIFA said in a statement from its Swiss headquarters.

Maribel Dominguez signed a two-year deal Wednesday with the second-division club Celaya, which deferred to FIFA on whether a woman could play in the league.

In another ruling, FIFA said leagues must finish their schedules three weeks before the start of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. League matches must be completed by May 14, 2006. The World Cup starts June 9, 2006.

Arsenal wins:

Defender Sol Campbell scored from 25 yards with 14 minutes left to lift Arsenal past Portsmouth 1-0, moving the defending champion back into second place in the English Premier League.

Arsenal moved past Everton with 38 points. Chelsea leads the league with 43 points. Everton has 37.

Beckham sits out game:

England captain David Beckham sat out Real Madrid’s Spanish-league game with Racing Santander on Saturday because he hadn’t trained well, coach Mariano Garcia Remon said.

Beckham watched Real Madrid’s 3-2 win from the bench.


Woods wants privacy:

American Tiger Woods, a winner of eight major tournaments, told the Times of London he would like to be able to move around and not be recognized.

“I’ve always wanted anonymity,” he said. “That has nothing to do with golf, more life in general. The ideal world: to be able to compete and play and still not be recognized. That would be the greatest thing ever.”


Worldstars lose in Sweden:

The Worldstars, a team of locked-out NHL players backed by the International Management Group, lost 6-4 to host Linkoping of the Swedish Elite League. The Worldstars dropped to 5-3 on their 10-game tour of Europe.

Linkoping’s all-NHL line of Vancouver’s Brendan Morrison, Boston’s Mike Knuble and Florida’s Kristian Huselius combined for three goals and four assists.

Toronto’s Tie Domi led the Worldstars with two goals.


Henin-Hardenne loses again:

Former No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne lost a second straight exhibition match in her comeback, falling 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to Elena Dementieva in Brussels, Belgium.

Henin-Hardenne, recovering from the effects of a viral illness, is preparing to defend her title at next month’s Australian Open.

Henin-Hardenne dropped from first to eighth in the WTA Tour rankings this year.

U.S. players sweep:

Timothy Neilly of Tampa, Fla., and Jessica Kirkland of Dayton, Ohio, won the 18s singles titles in Key Biscayne, Fla., to give the United States its first sweep since 1974 at the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships.

Neilly, 17, beat Donald Young of Atlanta 6-4, 7-5 to become the Orange Bowl’s first black 18s male champion in the event’s 58 years. Young also is black.

Kirkland, 17, defeated Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 6-2, 6-0.

Horse racing

Splendid Blended wins:

Splendid Blended beat Sharp Lisa by 2 lengths to win the $389,000 Hollywood Starlet for 2-year-old fillies in Inglewood, Calif. Splendid Blended, ridden by Kent Desormeaux and trained by Neil Drysdale, ran 1-1/16 miles in 1 minute, 41-4/5 seconds. She paid $4.60 to win in the Grade I race.


Garcia earns title:

Hawaii’s Sunny Garcia, 34, clinched a record sixth Triple Crown of Surfing title when he placed second in the Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters in Haleiwa, Hawaii. It was his first Triple Crown title since 2000.

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