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Saturday, May 2, 2009

First-leg edge to Hamburg

BREMEN, Germany (AP) Hamburg won 1-0 at Werder Bremen on a 29th-minute goal by Piotr Trochowski on Thursday night in the first leg of an all-German UEFA Cup semifinal.

News photo
Upended: Werder Bremen's Alexandros Tziolis (left) collides with Hamburg's David Jarolim during their UEFA Cup semifinal match on Thursday night. Hamburg won 1-0. AP PHOTO

Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese, who stopped three penalty kicks when Werder eliminated Hamburg in the semifinals of the German Cup last week, made good saves, including one from Ivica Olic early in the game. The goalkeeper also turned away striker Paolo Guerrero's low shot in the 22nd.

The second leg of the total-goals series will be in Hamburg on May 7, and the winner will advance to the final on May 20 in Istanbul. Hamburg has not be in a European final since winning the 1983 Champions Cup.

In the other semifinal, Shakhtar Donetsk played a 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kiev.

Dynamo took the lead in the 22nd minute when Shakhtar defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy put Oleksandr Aliyev's powerful free kick into his own net while struggling with Artem Milevskiy at the far post.

Fernandinho tied the score in the 68th for Shakhtar, which hosts the second leg May 7.

Serie A breaks away

MILAN , Italy (AP) Italy's Serie A clubs plan to break away from the second-tier Serie B and create their own independent top flight, similar to England's Premier League.

All but Lecce of the 20 clubs in Serie A issued a statement on Thursday saying they would be breaking away to set up the "Serie A football league."

"We've made a new first division," Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini told ANSA news agency. "Am I satisfied? No, but it is necessary."

Clubs such as Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan have long campaigned for greater autonomy and have looked enviously at England's Premier League, which created a financial revolution that made its clubs the richest in the world after it broke away from England's Football League in 1992.

Italian clubs have come in for scathing criticism after only Udinese, in the UEFA Cup, reached the quarterfinals of a European competition this season. In response, clubs have said they are unable to compete with the wages offered by English and Spanish sides.

Maurizio Beretta, a former journalist, has been chosen to set up the new league, the statement said.

"The mandate is clear," he told reporters. "To start building a first division. There are various aspects to sort out. The mechanism will be put in place over the next 12 months."

AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani told ANSA: "We will start work on this league straight away, because it has to be in operation by July 1, 2010. We have told the president of the Italian federation."

Ruling suspended

ROME (AP) The Italian Olympic Committee has suspended a ruling by the Italian soccer federation that had ordered Juventus to play its next Serie A home match in an empty stadium as punishment for fans' racist insults.

CONI's high court said on Thursday it would meet again on May 14 to make a decision on the case.

An Italian sports judge ruled last week that Juventus must play against Lecce on Sunday in an empty stadium.

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