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Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010

Kagawa settles derby with stunning double

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (Kyodo) Shinji Kagawa continued his sensational start to his European career as the Japanese international blasted two goals in Borussia Dortmund's 3-1 victory over Schalke 04 on Sunday.

News photo
Remember the name: Shinji Kagawa celebrates his second goal for Borussia Dortmund against Schalke on Sunday. AP PHOTO

"I'm just really having fun right now," Kagawa said. "I don't think we could have asked for a better result."

Before a crowd of more than 60,000, Kagawa took center stage at the AufSchalke Arena midway through the first half and never let up as he netted for the second straight game.

Kagawa opened the scoring in the 20th minute and doubled the lead for Jurgen Klopp's side in the 58th minute as Dortmund won away in the Ruhr derby for the first time in five years.

Dortmund has won three in a row to climb to third in the Bundesliga, three points behind leader Mainz. The 21-year-old rising star, mobbed by local media after the game, drew the highest praise from his manager.

"Shinji's just done something incredible in the biggest derby in Germany," said Klopp.

"He had a phenomenal game. If there's anyone in Japan who hasn't seen the match yet, they should. He hasn't been with us for very long, but already his teammates are confident in giving him the ball.

"People in Dortmund will never forget him now."

For his first goal, Kagawa dissected the Schalke defense with sheer pace before his deflected left-foot shot put the visitors up 1-0.

Kagawa again struck with his left foot on the other side of halftime, volleying home a cross from Jakub Blaszczykowski as his injured international teammate, Schalke's Atsuto Uchida, watched from the stands.

"We delivered a great performance and everyone was out there backing each other up," Kagawa said. "We've got some momentum going for us but I hope we can keep it up.

"There are a lot of good, young players on this team so I have to keep fighting for my place on the team."

Messi out two games

BARCELONA , Spain (AP) Lionel Messi will miss at least two games after damaging ligaments in his right ankle during Barcelona's 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona said medical exams performed Monday on the Argentina international's ankle ruled out any fracture.

Messi will miss Spanish League matches against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday and Athletic Bilbao three days later. Barcelona plays Rubin Kazan in the Champions League on Sept. 29.

The 23-year-old world player of the year has scored seven goals in six games this season. He was injured after a challenge from Atletico defender Tomas Ujfalusi during added time in Sunday's game.

Ujfalusi, who was shown a straight red card, apologized for the clash.

"I wanted to publicly apologize because, sincerely, it was never my intention," the Czech Republic defender said Monday. "With the speed we were both going I couldn't stop. I just sent him a message now through the phone of (Sergio Aguero) to apologize."

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