Kristine Lilly scored two goals yesterday, leading the United States past Denmark...

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Solo gets shutout as United States beats Denmark:

Kristine Lilly scored two goals yesterday, leading the United States past Denmark 4-0 in Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal, for a berth in the Algarve Cup final.

Richland native Hope Solo, a college standout at Washington, recorded a shutout despite not making a save. She had four saves in Friday’s 3-0 victory over Finland.

The Americans dominated in Group B, with a 3-0 record. They will play Group A winner Germany tomorrow for the title.

Blackburn gets to FA Cup semis:
Blackburn beat Leicester 1-0 to reach the English FA Cup semifinals for the first time in 45 years.

American goalkeeper Brad Friedel made one save and got the shutout. Paul Dickov scored on a penalty kick in the 83rd minute.

Newcastle reached the semifinals by beating Tottenham 1-0. Manchester United and Arsenal advanced with wins Saturday.

Batistuta to retire:

Gabriel Batistuta, who scored 56 goals in 77 games for Argentina, said he is retiring. The 36-year-old, who has been playing for Al-Arabi in Qatar, has been bothered by knee injuries. He retired from Argentina’s national team three years ago.

Referee fights fan on field:

Brazilian referee Luiz Carlos Silva punched a fan who attacked him on the field during a match in the Minas Gerais state championship between rivals America and Atletico Mineiro.


Julich makes history:

Team CSC rider Bobby Julich became the first American to win the Paris-Nice race, finishing in the main pack of cyclists that trailed Alejandro Valverde of the Iles Baleares team across the finish line.

Valverde won in a sprint and completed the seventh stage — an 84-mile ride that began and ended in Nice, France — in 3 hours, 28 minutes, 29 seconds. He finished second in the overall standings.

Julich, 33, placed third in last year’s Paris-Nice race.

“I’m like a good wine,” he said. “With a bit more age, I’ve become a better rider.”


Di Cecco, Skvortsova prevail:

Alberico Di Cecco of Italy beat Kenyans Philip Manyim and Daniel Yego to win the Rome Marathon. Di Cecco triumphed in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 2 seconds. Manyim was five seconds behind.

Silvia Skvortsova of Russia won the women’s race in 2:28:01.


Federer wins:

Top-ranked Roger Federer of Switzerland opened defense of his Pacific Life Open title with a methodical 6-3, 6-3 victory over American Mardy Fish in Indian Wells, Calif.

In an upset on the women’s side, Russian Evgenia Linetskaya, 18, defeated second-ranked Amelie Mauresmo of France 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in a third-round match. Linetskaya is ranked 44th.

Horse racing

Sweet Catomine triumphs:

Sweet Catomine won the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks by 3 lengths in Arcadia, Calif., and is expected to challenge males in the April 9 Santa Anita Derby.

Sweet Catomine, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly in North America, is a possible contender for the May 7 Kentucky Derby.

Corey Nakatani rode Sweet Catomine, who ran 1-1/16 miles in 1 minute, 44-2/5 seconds in the $300,000 Oaks. She paid $2.40 to win.

“This is a truly champion filly,” winning trainer Julio Canani said. “The best filly that ever lived. She’s going to prove it this year.”

Trainer apologizes for remarks:

Trainer Jeff Mullins apologized in an interview broadcast on the TVG racing network for negative remarks about bettors.

Mullins was quoted in the Los Angeles Times earlier this month as saying, “If you bet on horses, I would call you an idiot. I don’t bet; there’s a reason why they call it gambling.”

In the TVG interview, Mullins said, “Believe me, if I could take these things back I would.”

Harness racing

Profitable pacer is retired:

Gallo Blue Chip, the top pacer in terms of career earnings, has been retired. The 8-year-old gelding won 53 of 133 starts and made $4,260,959.


Beyer keeps title:

Markus Beyer retained his WBC super-middleweight title over Australia’s Danny Green with a narrow decision Saturday in Zwickau, Germany.


Wales wins:

Wales beat Scotland 46-22 in a Six Nations match, setting up a final match with Ireland on Saturday in Cardiff, Wales.

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