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Lionel Messi leads FC Barcelona to Champions League semifinals

The Argentine star scores on a pair of penalty kicks to propel FC Barcelona to a 3-1 victory over AC Milan.

April 03, 2012|Wire reports
  • FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, celebrates with teammate Cesc Fabregas after scoring against AC Milan in a Champions League quarterfinal match on Tuesday.
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, celebrates with teammate Cesc… (Manu Fernandez / Associated…)

Lionel Messi converted a pair of penalty kicks in the first half to lead defending champion Barcelona over AC Milan, 3-1, Tuesday night and into the Champions League semifinals for the fifth straight season.

In Munich, host Bayern beat Marseille 2-0 on goals by Ivica Olic in the 13th and 37th minutes for a 4-0 aggregate win.

Following a 0-0 tie last week in the first leg of the total-goals series, Messi opened the scoring in the 11th minute after Luca Antonini slid into him from behind. The 24-year-old became the youngest player to score 50 Champions League goals.

Antonio Nocerino tied it in the 32nd, putting visiting Milan ahead on away goals in the two-game series. Nocerino scored off a pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who returned to Camp Nou for the first time since leaving for Milan in August 20101.

Messi got his second penalty kick in the 41st minute after Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers called Alessandro Nesta for yanking Sergio Busquets down inside the penalty area. It was Messi's 58th goal of the season and his 14th in the competition, tying the European Cup record set by Milan's Jose Altafini in 1962-63.

Andres Iniesta got the final goal on a curling shot in the 53rd, and Barcelona became the first team to reach the final four in five straight years since Real Madrid accomplished the feat en route to five consecutive titles from 1956-60.

Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx and Amy Rodriguez scored to power the United States to a 3-0 victory over Brazil in the three-team Kirin Cup at Chiba, Japan.

Lloyd picked up a loose ball from Christie Rampone's free kick in the 18th minute and scored from close range. Boxx doubled the lead five minutes later with a header off Lauren Cheney's free kick. Rodriguez completed the scoring in the 83rd, slotting home a loose ball from a free kick by Cheney.

Jimenez appeals MLB suspension

Cleveland Indians pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is appealing his five-game suspension.

The players' union said in a statement that Jimenez had requested an appeal of his ban for intentionally throwing at Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki during a spring training game Sunday. Major League Baseball suspended and fined Jimenez on Monday.

Jimenez is scheduled to start Cleveland's second game of the season Saturday against Toronto.

Manager Manny Acta said before the Indians played their Class-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats, that Jimenez "is going to be able to pitch, and then we'll go from there."

Boston Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey will have surgery on a ligament in his right thumb that could sideline him for a significant portion of the season.

The Tampa Bay Rays said closer Kyle Farnsworth is experiencing soreness in his right elbow and will miss the start of the season.

Tiger Woods got a featured time for his first round Thursday in the Masters, playing just behind defending champion Charl Schwartzel and just ahead of No. 1-ranked Luke Donald.

Woods will play his first two rounds with Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain and Sang-Moon Bae of South Korea. They are scheduled to tee off on Augusta National at 7:35 a.m. PDT.

Two-time champion Phil Mickelson drew the last tee time of the day, playing with Hunter Mahan and Peter Hanson in a 10:53 a.m. PDT pairing.

The NHL fined Edmonton Coach Tom Renney for his critical comments after the Oilers' 2-0 loss to the Kings on Monday night.

Renney was docked $10,000 for suggesting the Oilers didn't get more calls in their favor because "maybe they need Hollywood in the playoffs," referring to the NHL.

Doctors amputated the foot of a man shot during raucous street celebrations in Lexington, Ky., after Kentucky won the NCAA basketball championship. Police were trying to find the shooting suspect.

Harold Calloway, 31 , was shot about 2 a.m. Tuesday as Kentucky fans were celebrating the Wildcats' 67-59 victory over Kansas on Monday night.

The celebrations around Lexington went on into the early-morning hours. Police said more than 50 people were arrested.

Organizers say San Diego State and Syracuse will play in the inaugural Battle on the Midway basketball game on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum on Nov. 9.

The Midway has been berthed on San Diego Bay since 2004.

Washington guard Tony Wroten said he will declare for the NBA draft and hire an agent, ending his collegiate career after one season during which he was the Pac-12 freshman of the year but could not help the Huskies reach the NCAA tournament.

Wroten made his announcement less than 48 hours after teammate Terrence Ross announced his intention to leave Washington following his sophomore season.

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