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Soccer DAILY REPORT

Scolari Will Tackle Coaching Portugal

November 28, 2002|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Luis Felipe Scolari, the no-nonsense coach who led Brazil to its fifth World Cup triumph less than five months ago, has reached an agreement to be Portugal's national coach through the 2004 European Championship, which is in Portugal.

Word of the agreement came from Scolari's agent, Asaz Felenger, who Wednesday told the Lisbon radio station TSF that Scolari and Gilberto Madail, chairman of the Portuguese soccer federation, had come to terms during a recent meeting.

"Each gave the other his word," Felenger said. "Scolari will be Portuguese national coach until July 2004, until after Euro 2004."

A federation spokesman declined to confirm the report, saying only that "talks are going well and ... we may announce a deal within days."

Athens 2004

The men's and women's soccer gold-medal matches at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games could take place in the port city of Piraeus after the Hellenic Olympic Committee agreed Wednesday to lease historic but derelict Karaiskakis Stadium back to its former occupant, the Greek first division club Olympiakos, for 50 years.

Under terms of the deal, Olympiakos will pay for the cost of refurbishing the stadium, which will seat 33,000 when complete.

Evangelos Venizelos, Greece's minister of culture, said the stadium would be a front-runner to stage the gold-medal games, but the final decision will be up to FIFA.

A Wizard Tour

Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards will travel to South Africa for a three-game tour, Feb. 4-17, with matches being planned against teams from the South African Premier League.

The Wizards, MLS champions in 2000, will play the Moroka Swallows in Mafeking on Feb. 12 and Ajax Cape Town on Feb. 15 in Cape Town. Details are being completed for a game in Johannesburg.

USA Schedule

Although no announcement has been made by U.S. Soccer, the U.S. national team will play Argentina in Miami on Feb. 8 and Jamaica in Kingston on Feb. 12, according to reports from those countries.

Last week, Ole, an Argentine sports daily, reported that Coach Marcelo Bielsa's squad would play Mexico in Los Angeles on Feb. 4 and the U.S. in Miami four days later.

In addition, the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper Tuesday quoted Horace Burrell, president of the Jamaican soccer federation, as saying that the Reggae Boyz will play host to the U.S. at the National Stadium in Kingston on the afternoon of Feb. 12.

Champions League

Thierry Henry, Arsenal's French striker, scored a hat trick Wednesday as the English champions routed AS Roma, 3-1, in the European Champions League in front of 70,000 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

Arsenal fell behind to a fourth-minute shot by Antonio Cassano that went in off the post, but Henry tied it two minutes later and put the game away with goals in the 70th and 75th minutes.

Newcastle United, another English Premier League team, was soundly beaten, 4-1, on its own ground by Inter Milan, after Welsh striker Craig Bellamy was ejected for a retaliatory foul on Marco Materazzi only five minutes into the match.

"It was irresponsible and unprofessional, and for that the club has suffered," Newcastle Coach Bobby Robson said of Bellamy's red card. "Those only are the only two words I would use."

Inter's goals came from Domenico Morfeo, Matias Almeyda, Hernan Crespo and Alvaro Recoba. Newcastle got a consolation goal from Peru's Nolberto Solano.

Barcelona stretched its unbeaten run in the Champions League to nine games when it defeated Bayer Leverkusen, 2-1, in Germany, where Javier Saviola and Marc Overmars scored in the second half to offset Dimitar Berbatov's goal for Leverkusen.

In Spain, Ajax Amsterdam got an 88th-minute goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and appeared set for victory, but Miguel Angel Angulo scored in the final minute to earn Valencia the 1-1 tie.

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