Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 16, 1994 · Page 29
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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico · Page 29

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 16, 1994
Page 29
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' v , . SPORTS d Movies 8-9 Saturday, July 16, 1994 Albuquerque Journal Page 1, Section C Cemelbac -n NABF IMe ami! Albuquerque Bout By Rick Wright ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR PHOENIX This already has been an 'improbable, incredible year for Johnny lapia. Apparently, more is to come a lot more. Friday night, minutes after Tapia won the WorldCup Su,"lay USA94 Eik" ' TV Vf CTJasj, Ch.41)1:30 Sunday's matchup By Barry Wilner THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PASADENA, Calif. A look at the matchup for Sunday's World Cup final between Italy and Brazil: ITALY The Italians would be the first European team to win a World Cup mmm mrmmm staged in the Western Hemisphere. To do so, they must control the midfield and disrupt Brazil's sharp short passes that build the attack. Italy could do it because it has a strong group of halfbacks, led by Nicola Berti, Dino Baggio and Demetrio Albertini. Where Italy could suffer is on defense. Alessandro Costacurta is suspended, and he has been the team's most consistent defender throughout the tournament. Acting captain Paolo Maldini was sensational against Bulgaria. The weak link on the back line might be inexperienced Roberto Mussi, but he played well in the semifinals. The key for Italy will be the condition of star striker Roberto Baggio, the 1 993 world player of the year. Baggio injured a hamstring in the semifinals and is listed as "50-50" by team doctors. Look for more counterattacking than usual from Italy, with quick passes to the advancing midfielders and the strikers. Goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca likes to gamble, and it cost him a two-game suspension in the first round. But he's quick and confident and won't be intimidated by Brazil's waves of attack. BRAZIL To secure its first world title since 1970, Brazil must continue to do exactly what it has done for the past month: not back down. The Brazilians are at their best when they apply pressure with their maze-like ball movement and their speed. That means everyone except goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel from defenders Aldair, Branco and Mazinho to midfielders Zinho, Dunga and Rai to Bebeto and Romario. Romario's piercing runs down the middle gave Brazil numerous chances against Sweden in the semifinals. If he gets that much room Sunday, Italy will be in trouble. Look for someone always to be shadowing Romario when he doesn't venture outside. Also, watch for Bebeto, who might be more of a threat in the final than his prolific partner. Bebeto has the speed and passing skills to force defenders away from Romario, and he has the finishing talent to make teams pay if they relax on him. Taffarel has the best goals-against mark (0.5) of any goalie to make it past the first round. 21? Open Elementary for Watson iVeteran Leads by One lAfter Registering a 65 By Ron Sirak THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TURNBERRY, Scotland Just like that, ITom Watson is the favorite at the British ", ;Open. ! 11 All it took were two brilliant rounds over , ; the Ailsa Course at Turnberry to get the ador-; ing galleries, the nervous bookies and even -Watson thinking he just might win a record ' ! sixth British Open title. !t A playful Watson showed poise, passion and ,; most of all a long-lost putting stroke Friday ; and shot a 65 for a 7-under-par 133 after 36 ; holes for a one-stroke lead over Brad Faxon ' and Jesper Parnevik of Sweden. ; Not bad for a guy who came into the tourna-'. ment as a 66-1 shot with the legal bookies Next for Tapia North American Boxing Federation super flyweight title at America West Arena with a crushing right hand to the head of Oscar Aguilar, Top Rank, Inc., President Bob Arum said the Albuquerquean likely will fight a yet-to-be-named opponent for the now-vacant World Boxing Organization title Sept. 30. The WBO super fly title has On top of the world A Global ChampionsMp Italian goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca stops a ball during team practice Friday. Italy meets Brazil on Sunday in the final at the Rose Bowl. Brazil last won the World Cup in 1970, while Italy's last World Cup title was '82. Dazzling Brazil, Resurgent Italy Earn Title Spots By Barry Wilner THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PASADENA, Calif. In the World Cup, it simply doesn't get any better than this. Romario vs. Roberto. Soccer dynasty Brazil vs. soccer dynasty Italy. South America vs. Europe. And more. So much more. "Maybe this is the way it was meant to be," Italy coach Arrigo Sacchi says. "We have in the final two great soccer nations." They're two nations seeking an unprecedented fourth World Cup crown. On Sunday (1:35 p.m. MDT) at the Rose Bowl, where Super Bowl and college football championships have been decided, they'll settle who owns global soccer. here. They now have him as the top choice at 3-1 going into today's third round. "When I came off the eighth after making birdie, I British Open ON TV 8 a.m. today, Ch. 7 looked at someone and said: 'I bet the bookies are quivering now.' " What isn't quivering, at least for now, is Watson's putting stroke. It has been his failure to make those testy 4- and 5-footers that has kept him winless since 1987. On this day, he knocked in putts from all over the treacherous greens at Turnberry. He made seven birdies and two bogeys, holing birdie putts of 50, 20 and 15 feet and twice saving par with putts of 12 and 6 feet,. "It's not bad for a 44-year-old has-been, tz it?" Watson said. "No, I'm not a has-been. I still feel I can win." So do the huge, appreciative galleries who been stripped from Denmark's Johnny Bredahl. In the interim, Arum said, Tapia and Albuquerque flyweight Danny Romero Jr. will defend their NABF titles Aug. 19 in Albuquerque. Arum said Top Rank, ESPN and Albuquerque's Jones Intercable have agreed to a local blackout of that telecast. The site of the Sept. 30 WBO title fight, he said, is undetermined but likely will be Reno, Nev. Tapia, who just eight months ago was in jail for offenses related to a vicious cocaine "It'll be a great classic of international football, a clash of two three-time champions," adds Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Par-reira. "Finally, the world will have a four-time champion." What more could the first World Cup staged in the United States ask for? A sensational tournament capped by the most attractive matchup. Brazil won the last of its three titles in 1970, led by Pele, the greatest player soccer has seen. Italy won its third in '82 and is seeking to become the first European team to win a World Cup held in the Western Hemisp-shere. "Our people have waited too long for another World Cup," says Romario, whose superb scoring touch has guided Brazil into its first final since its last championship. "We have come to give the World Cup back to them." Romario is the most dynamic of Brazil's cast of stars. His counterpart is Roberto Baggio, the 1993 player of the year and, in the last three games, an unstoppable force for the Azzurri. Baggio, plagued by a hamstring problem, was thrust into the role played a dozen years ago by Paolo Rossi, whose scoring exploits carried Italy to the crown. carried him along. "It was a fun round of golf for me today," Watson said. "I depended on my feel, and my feel was right on." Faxon, who shot 65, had a chance to tie Watson one of his childhood heroes when he went to 6-under with a birdie at No. 17. But a 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe at 18 slid by on the low side of the hole. Strolling up the 18th fairway, Faxon, 33, told his playing partner, Gary Player, that when he was a child, "I had four balls on the putting green: Nicklaus, Watson, Player and myself. I'd spend hours putting at night just hoping to meet those guys and play with those guys. It's unbelievable how you can have a dream come true." Parnevik, who has won once in seven years on the European Tour, made four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys in his 66. "(Thursday), I struggled with my round of 68, one of those rounds when you are just MORE: See WATSON on PAGE C5 habit, was too emotional about Friday's victory over Aguilar the culmination of a comeback few thought possible to think seriously about the future. "I worked hard for this, damn hard," he said, tears streaming down his cheeks, as he hugged friends and family members. "I want to win that world title, and now it looks like I'll get that chance. "... But right now, I hurt my (left) hand a little, and I just want to make sure it's OK . . . Then, whatever Paul (Chavez, his manager and trainer) says, goes." -J THE ASSOCIATED PRESS "Paolo Rossi was my idol, and I celebrated Italy's victory in 1982 rallying in the streets with an Italian flag," Baggio says. "I hope to give Italian fans the same chance." To win, Italy must apply some of the principles used by Sweden in the semifinals but forgo crawling into a defensive shell, as the Swedes did. Italy's midfield, led by Dino Baggio, Nicola Berti and Demetrio Albertini, can play with anyone. It can offset some of Brazil's elegant short passing schemes and turn the flow the other way. Then Baggio, Pierluigi Casiraghi and Giuseppe Signori can apply the finish. That probably is the plan for Italy, which will miss suspended Alessandro Costacurta, its best defender in this tournament, and hopes veteran Franco Baresi can return to the defense after arthroscopic knee surgery during the first round. The plan for Brazil is simple. It's always the same. "Brazil will attack," coach Carlos Alberto Parreira says. "That is the only way we play soccer." No one attacks like Brazil, either. MORE: See WORLD'S on PAGE C5 THE ASSOCIATED A -v ! - -- -'-' '- :,; " - - ' .:! PRESS Tom Watson leaves the 18th green smiling Friday after compiling a two-day total of 7-under-par 133. Chavez said he doubted Tapia's hand injury was serious but said he'll take Tapia to a doctor Monday in Albuquerque. "When Johnny came back in the gym seven months ago, I never dreamed he'd come back this far this fast," Chavez said. "He's just amazing . . . It's his determination that's gotten him where he is." Friday, Tapia (26-0-1, 16 knockouts) was determined to make short work of the stub- MORE: See TAPIA on PAGE C5 Bashed From Top To Bottom 7-Run 1st Leads Dukes Over Sox By Mike Hall JOURNAL SPORTS EDITOR The Albuquerque Dukes played some good, old-fashioned Chicago-ward-politics-style baseball Friday night at the Sports Stadium. They voted early and often, storming to a 10-3 Pacific Coast League victory over the Colorado Sky Sox. The Dukes must have read the pregame notes. Item: "When they (the Dukes) score more than one run in the first inning, they're 16-1." Make that seven runs in Friday's first. Make that item now 17-1. Sky Sox Dukes 10 starter Ryan Sky Sox 3 Hawbhtzel came in with TODAY PCL Hall Of Dukes vs. Sky Fame numbers. Sox, Sports Stadi-He had a 2.42 um, 7 p.m. ERA over his RADIO last three starts KOB, 770 AM and really, truly had walked only three batters in his last five starts. Friday, Hawblitzel walked two in the first inning, but that wasn't the whole problem. Ron Coomer ripped a two-run double, and Mike Busch and Tom Price belted two-run homers, both carrying around 400 feet to left field. "It's always nice to play with a lead," said Prince, who also caught an effective Jody Treadwell. The starting pitcher went six innings, giving up two runs while scattering 10 singles. "He changed it up well," said Prince. The Dukes added three more runs in the fourth, with the big blow coming on Coomer's right-field triple that scored Jose Offerman. That ran Coomer's RBI total on the season to 77. Friday's contest was one that allowed fans to ask great, burning baseball questions like: How come the Dukes scored 10 runs on 13 hits, while the Sky Sox scored only three runs on 14 hits? Answer? That's baseball. Or, how come the Sox's Alan Cock-rell was credited with a base hit when Coomer couldn't get the ball out of his glove in time to make a throw? Answer? Because. No, not really. He gets a hit because it's tough to charge a glove maker 1,500 miles away with an error. Dukes manager Rick Dempsey, though pleased with the win, was worried about some shaky fielding. The Dukes had three errors. He said he wasn't talking about Coomer being unable to get the ball out of his glove. "That happens," said Dempsey, "but I worry about things like the bad throws. That's a lack of concentration." DUKES NOTES: Entertainer Myron Noodleman began his weekend run at the Sports Stadium. Friday's best bit involved Noodleman and Dempsey engaging in dueling signs (to the tune of Dueling Banjos) in the middle of the fifth inning. Dempsey threw in a couple of improvised moves that proved he has spent much more time in a baseball uniform than Noodleman. . . . Tonight's pitchers will be righthander Gary Wayne (0-1, 4.58 ERA) for the Dukes and right-hander Rodney Pedraza (1-2, 8.22) for the Sox. ... Albuquerque is 24-9 when it scores one run in the first inning. J

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