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Ronaldo scores 70th as Real beats Liverpool 3-0

Ronaldo gets 70th Champions League goal as Real Madrid beats Liverpool 3-0; Arsenal hits back
Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press

PARIS - Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 70th Champions League goal and Mario Balotelli again failed to deliver as Real Madrid cruised to a 3-0 win at Liverpool on Wednesday to take complete control of Group B with a third straight win.

While Tuesday night's 40-goal bonanza never looked like being matched, there was still drama elsewhere as Arsenal scraped a 2-1 win at Anderlecht with late goals from defender Kieran Gibbs and forward Lukas Podolski — a peripheral player this season.

AP PHOTOS: Small Paraguay soccer team hits it big

AP PHOTOS: Small Paraguayan soccer club in big time by beating region's Goliath, Boca Juniors
Pedro Servin, The Associated Press

CAPIATA, Paraguay - They don't get much smaller than Paraguay's Deportivo Capiata — or bigger than Argentina's legendary Boca Juniors.

So when Capiata, a soccer club formed six years ago in an Asuncion suburb with a stadium holding just 7,000 fans, beat Boca 1-0 at its famed La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, it was a shocker for the ages.

Rochdale uses confiscated marijuana lights on turf

English third tier club Rochdale uses confiscated marijuana lights to grow turf on its pitch
The Associated Press

LONDON - Powerful lights confiscated by police during marijuana raids are now being used by the groundsman of English third tier soccer club Rochdale to help the turf grow on its field.

Police donated the lights to the club last week to avoid having to pay for their disposal.

Oli Makin bolted together two old goalposts, attached the lights and placed the rig over damaged areas of the field, such as the goalmouth.

Makin says "we wouldn't be able to buy the rigs that Premier League clubs have because of the cost — the small ones cost 30,000 pounds ($48,000)."

Sunderland offers to refund fans after 8-0 loss

Sunderland offers to refund travelling fans after 8-0 thrashing at Southampton
Jack Bezants, The Associated Press

Sunderland says its players have offered to refund the ticket of every fan who attended its humiliating 8-0 defeat at Southampton in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Captain John O'Shea says on the club website that "we win and lose as a team, players, staff and fans, however we wanted to acknowledge and thank the supporters who travelled such a long way to give us their backing, and despite everything, stayed with us until the final whistle."

Ebola: Africa's image takes a hit

Ebola perceptions: Disease ravages small part of Africa, but whole continent seen as affected
Christopher Torchia, The Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG - In the United States, some parents fearful of deadly Ebola pulled children out of a school after the principal returned from Zambia, an African nation far from the area hit by the disease. In Geneva, a top U.N. official warned against anti-African discrimination fueled by fears of Ebola. The disease has ravaged a small part of Africa, but the international image of the whole continent is increasingly under siege, reinforcing some old stereotypes.

Southampton, City enjoy big wins in Premier League

Southampton crushes Sunderland 8-0, Man City beats Spurs 4-1 in English Premier League
Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

MANCHESTER, England - Southampton crushed Sunderland 8-0 in one of the biggest wins in the Premier League's 22-year history, overshadowing Sergio Aguero's four-goal haul in Manchester City's latest thrashing of Tottenham on Saturday.

Another drone flies over match in Albania

Drone with flag flies over match in Albania, 3 days after Belgrade brawl halts Euro qualifier
The Associated Press

TIRANA, Albania - A drone carrying an Albanian flag has flown over a stadium in southern Albania during a domestic soccer league game — three days after a similar stunt in Serbia triggered an on-pitch brawl and saw a European Championship qualifying match abandoned.

TV footage of Friday's match in the southern city of Vlora showed the remote-controlled device carrying a flag during the match between local Flamurtari and Skenderbeu. The game was not interrupted and ended 1-1.

Official calls Argentine brawl 'national disgrace'

Club official calls brawl in Argentina that saw 12 players ejected a 'national disgrace'
The Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - An official at Argentine soccer club Deportivo Roca, which was involved in a chaotic brawl in a match in which 12 players were ejected and the game suspended, calls the incident a "national disgrace."

Speaking Friday with The Associated Press, Guillermo Vallejos says the brawl between his club and fellow third-division team Cipolletti "could have become a tragedy."

Capello not getting paid, Russia struggling

Russia's struggles on the field seem to coincide with Fabio Capello's lack of paychecks
The Associated Press

MOSCOW - If Fabio Capello took over as coach of Russia's national soccer team for the money, he came to the wrong place.

The veteran Italian coach, who led England at the 2010 World Cup and then took over Russia two years later, has not been paid since June.

And since that time, the national team has won only one of six competitive matches.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who played a crucial role in attracting Capello in 2012, seems to think the team's struggles and the coach's missing paychecks are related.

South Africa reluctant to host 2015 African Cup

South African sports ministry reluctant to step in as 2015 host of troubled African Cup
The Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa is reluctant to step in as a last-minute host for next year's African Cup of Nations because the sport ministry fears Ebola and unplanned staging costs.

"There are just too many factors to consider for South Africa," the department of sport and recreation said in a statement on Friday.

Morocco, the original host of the African Cup scheduled for January and February, wants it postponed because of Ebola and may give up the tournament completely.

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