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Dynamo earn berth in East semifinals

October 24, 2011

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Adam Moffat scored in the first half as the host Houston Dynamo beat the Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-1, last night to secure a spot in the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals against Philadelphia. Bobby Boswell and Carlo Costly also scored for the Dynamo, who cruised against a Galaxy team that rested stars David Beckham and Landon Donovan before the playoffs. Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear earned his 100th MLS victory. Houston needed to win its season finale to avoid playing in the wild-card round . . . Manchester City routed crosstown rival Manchester United, 6-1, opening a 5-point lead in the English Premier League with its highest-scoring win at Old Trafford since 1926. Mario Balotelli starred a day after escaping a fire at his home in suburban Manchester, putting City ahead in the 22d minute, then doubling the lead in the 60th.

Monfils takes home Stockholm crown

Top-seeded Gael Monfils beat Jarkko Nieminen, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, in the Stockholm Open final for his first title of the year. It was the 10th-ranked Monfils’s fourth career ATP Tour crown. Nieminen played well in the second set but Monfils rolled through the third . . . Top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic beat defending champion Viktor Troicki, 6-4, 6-2, in the first all-Serb ATP final to win the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, and Dominika Cibulkova won her first career WTA title, rallying to beat Kaia Kanepi, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-5, for the women’s crown . . . Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka won the Luxembourg Open, beating unheralded Monica Niculescu, 6-2, 6-2.

US softball team captures gold medal

Pan American Games
The United States softball team won its sixth straight gold medal in Guadalajara, Mexico, beating Canada, 11-1, in four innings. Second baseman Lauren Gibson scored three runs and had two hits, including a home run. The gold was one of seven for the Americans on Day 9 of the competition, including two from water skier Regina Jaquess in the slalom and jump events. Americans Jonathan Travers (slalom) and Freddy Krueger (jumps) also earned gold. The other American golds came from equestrian riders (Hannah Burnett, Shannon Lilley, Lynn Symansky, Buck Davidson, Michael Pollard) in the team competition, and from Sarah Haskins in the women’s triathlon. Losers of their first two games, the US women’s basketball team beat Mexico, 87-58.

IndyCar drivers, officials meet today

Motor sports
Most of the IndyCar drivers are expected to attend a meeting today in Indianapolis to discuss safety concerns with series officials, including CEO Randy Bernard. The meeting comes eight days after two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was killed during the season-ending race at Las Vegas. Funeral services for Wheldon were held Saturday in his adopted hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla. The city of Indianapolis held a public memorial service yesterday . . . Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, 24, died after crashing and being hit by two other riders at the Malaysian MotoGP motorcycle race in Kuala Lumpur. After the crash, Simoncelli was taken to a medical center where he died of chest, head, and neck injuries. The race, the second-to-last of the season, was canceled.

Ligety finishes US weekend sweep

Winter sports
World champion Ted Ligety completed an American double at the season-opening World Cup weekend in Soelden, Austria, by winning the giant slalom, a day after Lindsey Vonn took the women’s race for her first GS title. Bode Miller, who won the opener in 2003 and ’04, took ninth for only his second top-10 finish in giant slalom since October 2008. Ligety confirmed his status as the leading giant slalom skier by earning his first win on the Rettenbach glacier and his ninth overall. Alexis Pinturault of France took second, and Austria’s Philipp Schoerhofer third . . . American short-track speedskater Katherine Reutter won her second 1,500 meters World Cup gold in two days at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, while J.R. Celski earned bronze in the men’s 1,500 behind South Koreans Noh Jinkyu and Kwak Yoon-gy.

Quinnipiac players due back in court

A Connecticut judge is scheduled to take up the case of two Quinnipiac University basketball players charged with assault after an on-campus fight last month. Senior James Johnson, the team’s leading scorer a year ago, and sophomore Ike Azotam of Boston have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault charges. They are due back in court today. Attorney Thomas Lynch says Azotam was misidentified by witnesses, and he’s hopeful those charges will be dismissed . . . Host New Zealand won the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, beating France, 8-7, to become the third country to win the title twice. South Africa and Australia also are two-time winners . . . Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong crashed and hit his head with about a mile to go in the mountain-bike ride and faded from second to 23d in the running leg of the XTERRA World Championship in Kapalua, Hawaii, with Austria’s Michael Weiss finishing strong to win the off-road triathlon.

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