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Originally published Monday, March 5, 2012 at 7:31 PM

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Japan beats U.S. women — again | Soccer

Japan beat the U.S. women's soccer team 1-0 in Portugal in a rematch of last year's Women's World Cup final — won by Japan — in Germany.

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Soccer

Japan beats U.S. women — again

Japan beat the U.S. women's team, as was the case last summer. And this time, the Japanese didn't need penalty kicks to prevail.

Megumi Takase scored on a 6-yard header off Aya Miyama's corner kick in the 84th minute to give Japan a 1-0 victory Monday in Faro, Portugal, in a rematch of last year's Women's World Cup final.

Japan, which advanced to Wednesday's Algarve Cup final against Germany, became the first team to shut out the United States since the Americans and South Korea played to a scoreless draw in 2008.

"I think they played like the best team in the world," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said of the winners.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, a former Washington Huskies standout from Richland, made three saves. The Americans needed a win or a draw to reach the Algarve Cup final.

Japan ended an 11-match unbeaten streak for the Americans, who hadn't lost since the Women's World Cup final.

When the teams played in Germany in July, the match was tied at 2 before Japan won 3-1 on penalty kicks for its first World Cup title.

The United States and Japan will meet in an exhibition April 1 in Sendai, Japan.

Wallace tears Achilles tendon

Defender Anthony Wallace of the Major League Soccer Colorado Rapids is expected to miss from six to nine months after tearing the Achilles tendon in his left leg at practice Sunday.

Wallace, 23, is scheduled to have surgery Thursday.

Hockey

Yzerman to seek Olympic repeat

Steve Yzerman, a Hall of Fame player who is general manager of the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning, will lead Canada's program at a second consecutive Winter Olympics.

Hockey Canada appointed Yzerman to be executive director of the defending Olympic gold medalists.

Yzerman, 46, assembled the squad that won it all at the 2010 Vancouver Games and he will go for the repeat at the Sochi Games in 2014.

Boxing

Agent puts wrong fighter in ring

A Filipino promoter said he intends to file a complaint to the Mexican Boxing Commission against an agent who sent the wrong boxer to fight IBF international featherweight champion Rey Bautista.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said his organization intends to sue the agent, Hugo Correa of Mexico.

Bautista (33-2) was expected to fight Genaro "Poblanito" Garcia (38-8). Instead, a heavier boxer with a poorer record, Genaro "Panterita" Garcia, turned up.

There was a bout, but ALA Promotions said beforehand tickets would be refunded. Garcia (10-12) was knocked out in the second round Saturday in the Philippines.

Auto racing

Drivers dismiss boycott reports

Several IndyCar drivers dismissed any notion of boycotting Texas Motor Speedway, and said the issue has been blown out of proportion.

"I want to stop all this nonsense discussion about boycotting. It's absurd, it's ridiculous and we are professionals and will race there," Helio Castroneves said after the first day of spring-training testing at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

Eddie Gossage, president of the Texas track, reacted angrily last week to rumors drivers discussed skipping a June 9 race over concerns with how the fence surrounding the oval is constructed.

"It's absolutely irresponsible of those drivers, and they deserve — because of the way they conduct themselves sometimes — they deserve where they stand now in the food chain of motor sports," Gossage was quoted as saying by the website Racin' Today.

Justin Wilson, who serves along with Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan as a driver representative for the series, said Monday a boycott was never discussed.

Elsewhere

• Two women from Alaska — Aliy Zirkle of Two Rivers and Kelley Griffin of Wasilla — were the first two mushers to leave the Rohn checkpoint in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The first musher to arrive at the Rohn checkpoint, which is 787 miles from the finish line in Nome, was Hugh Neff of Tok, Alaska.

• Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen led a sprint finish to win a wind-swept second stage of the Paris-Nice race in France. Briton Bradley Wiggins of the Sky Procycling team has the overall race lead.

It was the 100th career individual-stage or race victory for Boonen, 31, who competes for the Omega Pharma-Quick-Step team.

Kevin Mazeika has been selected to continue as coach of the U.S. men's gymnastics team at this summer's London Olympics.

Mazeika was the coach for the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and the Americans came away with team medals at both — the silver in Athens and bronze in Beijing.

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