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Barcelona's Ronaldinho Has Three Goals in Win

October 16, 2003|Jim Barrero | Times Staff Writer

Barcelona's slow start in the first round of the UEFA Cup became a distant memory Wednesday after Ronaldinho's hat trick led the Spanish club to an 8-1 victory over visiting Puchov of Slovakia.

Barcelona, which had tied Puchov, 1-1, in the first leg of the series, advanced to the second round, along with other powers such as Liverpool and Parma.

Liverpool and Parma, both former champions, also had endured 1-1 ties in their first games only to come away with 3-0 decisions Wednesday.

Liverpool, without injured striker Michael Owen, defeated Olimpija Ljubljana of Slovenia, and Parma, getting two goals from Alberto Gilardino, knocked off Metalurh Donetsk of Ukraine.

Among other teams advancing were Benifica, AS Roma, Borussia Dortmund, Valencia, Newcastle and Manchester City.

U.S. Open Cup

Damani Ralph scored in the 68th minute to lead the Chicago Fire to a 1-0 victory over the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at East Rutherford, N.J.

Ralph took a pass from Evan Whitfield and scored on a shot between goalkeeper Jonny Walker and defender Eddie Pope. Chicago won its third Open Cup title in six years.

Arsenal Incident

Five Arsenal players have acknowledged acting improperly during last month's English Premier League game against Manchester United, the Football Assn. said.

Ashley Cole, Patrick Vieira, Ray Parlour, Martin Keown and Lauren have "admitted" to various misconduct charges, the FA said.

Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo of United denied charges of improper conduct.

Maldini's Move

Former Italy captain Paolo Maldini says "nothing has changed for me" in regard to a possible return to the national team for Euro 2004.

His reaction came a day after Italy Coach Giovanni Trapattoni told reporters in Milan that there was an outside chance that Maldini would come out of international retirement.

Maldini has not played for the national team since a 2-1 loss to South Korea at the 2002 World Cup.

Barthez Interest

Alain Perrin, coach of French league team Marseille, has confirmed the club's interest in acquiring Manchester United and France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, according to the sports daily L'Eqiupe.

Barthez, who has made 63 appearances for the national team, has been United's second-choice goalkeeper this season behind American Tim Howard.

Quick Passes

Edson Buddle scored in the 68th minute to give the United States under-23 national team a 1-0 victory over Haiti in a friendly at Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was the U.S. team's last game before Olympic qualifying.... Manuele Blasi, a midfielder playing for Parma on loan from Juventus, failed a doping test last month, Italian soccer federation officials said. Blasi faces a ban of up to one year.... Euro 2004 qualifying teams England and Denmark will meet in a friendly Nov. 16 in Manchester, England, at Old Trafford.... Sammy McIlroy resigned as Northern Ireland's coach and will take over at Stockport, a second-division English team. Northern Ireland was winless and goalless in eight Euro 2004 qualifying matches.

Times wire services contributed to this report.

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