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Saturday, Aug. 7, 2004

SOCCER

Vissel releases Ilhan

KOBE (Kyodo) J. League first division club Vissel Kobe on Friday announced the departure of Ilhan Mansiz after the Turkish striker missed much of the first stage of the J. League season due to a knee injury.

Kobe also announced the acquisition of Czech midfielder Pavel Horvath on a contract running through Jan. 1 to fill the void left by Ilhan, who appeared in just three league matches since joining Kobe in February for a J. League record fee of $4.5 million.

No game for Urawa

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Boca Juniors beat PSV Eindhoven 1-0 Thursday in a friendly that had to be abandoned late in the second half because of lightning.

Mauro Boselli scored in the seventh minute for the Argentine club, putting in a rebound following a scramble in the box.

With heavy rain accompanied by lightning in the area surrounding Old Trafford, English referee Mark Halsey stopped the Vodafone Cup match in the 79th minute. Manchester United's game against the J. League's Urawa Red Diamonds, due to kickoff later Thursday night, was called off.

PSV manager Guus Hiddink agreed with the move.

"I think it's a good decision, because the flashes were coming on, and I think one or two seconds after, big thunder came," Hiddink said.

Boca won the tournament with two victories. Manchester United went 1-0, Urawa 0-1 and PSV 0-2.

United manager Alex Ferguson said calling off the second game was the right decision.

"I feel for Urawa, because they traveled 14 hours to get here," Ferguson said. "It's very unfortunate for them. But the most important thing is the safety of the players and fans. The referee has made the right decision, I feel. You don't know how bad it's going to get."



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