Controversial Cani goal earns Villarreal victory over Recre; Inter fall to Sampdoria in Cup semi-finals

Villarreal 2 – Recreativo Huelva 1 (La Liga, April 23, 2009) The Yellow Submarine’s defence were caught out inside 60 seconds, failing to clear their lines with Javier Camunas sliding home the opener. But Recre could not hold out until the break, Joseba Llorente collecting a ball over the top and chipping the keeper with a superb lob. Villarreal turned the game around in the 66th minute, Cani picked up the ball on the right hand side of the box, beat a defender and then lifted the ball over the keeper with a delicate chip (over the line?) into the near post.

Sporting Gijon 0 – Espanyol 3 (La Liga, April 23, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The Catalans took a 25th minute lead, Nene cracking home a perfect left-footed volley into the far bottom corner. The visitors grabbed a second 16 minutes from time as Roman Martinez settled their nerves. Jose Callejon wrapped things up two minutes later, before Gijon’s misery was compounded on 78 minutes when Torres David Barral was given his marching orders.

Racing Santander 5 – Atletico Madrid 1 (La Liga, April 23, 2009) Racing tore through Atletico’s porous defence in the first half, Christian Fernandez bundling home the opener from a free-kick after 9 minutes before Ezequiel Garay headed home the second from a similar free-kick just six minutes later. Mohammed Tchite then put the game to bed with a third before the break, again taking advantage of poor defending through Atletico’s soft centre. Diego Forlan pulled a goal back from the spot after Kin Ageuro was fouled on the hour mark, but Racing quickly restored their 3-goal cushion as Pedro Munitis netted the hosts fourth with a cute lob. Nikola Zigic added a humiliating fifth three minutes from time.

Mallorca 2 – Valladolid 0 (La Liga, April 23, 2009) A brace from Alhassane Keita helped Mallorca beat Valladolid as they continued their climb away from the relegation zone.

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Inter Milan 1 – Sampdoria 0 (Agg. 1-3) (Coppa Italia, April 23, 2009) Trailing 3-nil from the first leg, after 27 minutes Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled a goal back with a stunning opener for Inter against Samp, collecting the ball on the edge of the D, controlling on his thigh and crashing a volley into the far corner. Inter were frustrated in the second half and had Marco Materazzi sent off at the death.

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Borac 0 – Partizan Belgrade 2 (Serbian Superliga, April 23, 2009) Serb wonderkid Adem Ljajic opened with a belter for Partizan, smashing a shot from right to left from 20-yards. Diarra capped the win with a second in the 75th minute.

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Helsingborg 1 – Halmstad 3 (Allsvenskan, April 23, 2009) Emil Salomonsson scored an own goal to hand Helsingborgs the lead but Nascimento Anselmo brought them level after 69 minutes before efforts from Joe Sise (80) and substitute Mikael Rosen (90) secured the points.

Hammarby 0 – IFK Gothenburg 1 (Allsvenskan, April 23, 2009) Robin Soder sealed the win with his strike 10 minutes into the second half.

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FC Nordsjaelland 1 – Brondby 2 (SAS Ligaen, April 23, 2009) Samuel Holmen broke the deadlock after 36 minutes before Bajram Fetai levelled five minutes after the restart. Michael Krohn-Delhi then produced the winner on the hour to put the visitors on 58 points.

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KC Wizards 1 – New York Red Bulls 0 (MLS, April 23, 2009) An early penalty from Claudio Lopez was enough to give hosts Kansas City three points against the Red Bulls and lift them into top spot in the East.

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Nacional 4 – River Plate 2 (Copa Libertadores, April 23, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) River took the lead through a Radomel Falcao penalty after 41 minutes, but Nacional leveled with a penalty of their own by Fabio Escobar in first half stoppage time. River pushed forward only for Diego Buonanotte to be dismissed just before the hour mark. Jorge Nunez scored in the 65th and 78th minutes, while Carlos Ruiz struck after 73 minutes to put Nacional three in front. River’s Marcelo Gallardo scored from a free-kick in the 81st minute to cut the deficit, but it was too little too late as the Argentines crashed out.

Deportivo Cuenca 1 – Boca Juniors 0 (Copa Libertadores, April 23, 2009) Boca suffered a surprise away defeat in Ecuador, Edison Preciado Bravo beat Roberto Abbondanzieri 13 minutes from time after taking advantage of a lapse of concentration by the Boca defence.

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Brazil 0 – Colombia 2 (South American U17 Football Championship, April 21, 2009) After Brazil had an early shout for a penalty turned down despite the ball clearly hitting a Colombian hand, the Samba Boys went on the lose their first match of the games. Juan Saiz fired Colombia ahead in the 23rd minutes before Edwin Cardona crashed home a beautiful second midway through the second half.