Sports in Brief: Bayern Munich tops Real Madrid

Posted: April 26, 2012

Bayern Munich beat Real Madrid, 3-1, on penalties Wednesday in Madrid to secure its place against Chelsea in the Champions League final. Bayern became the first team to play the final at its home ground after Bastian Schweinsteiger beat goalkeeper Iker Casillas with the final spot kick to reach its second final in three seasons.

In the shootout, Manuel Neuer saved from Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka to put Bayern on course before counterpart Casillas denied Toni Kroos and Philipp Lahm to drag Madrid back into it.

But after Xabi Alonso scored Madrid's first, Sergio Ramos sent his shot high over the bar, and Schweinsteiger sent his shot straight down the middle for the win.

Madrid's players left the field with their heads hanging low and some in tears. "It's a big blow for us. It was a very exciting game, but penalties are always a lottery," Casillas said. "We played well, but Bayern are a great team."

Bayern, a four-time champion of European soccer's top club tournament, will play Chelsea at Allianz Arena on May 19. Chelsea eliminated defending champ Barcelona Tuesday.

NCAA: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said BCS officials were narrowing the field of possible changes to college football's postseason and the Rose Bowl is not standing in the way of progress.

Delany has been meeting with his fellow commissioners, Notre Dame's athletic director, and other college football officials in Hollywood, Fla., on overhauling the Bowl Championship Series.

Among the options being discussed is a four-team playoff that could be held separate from the bowls. Delany said there was "pretty high expectation that there's going to be change."

HORSE RACING: Jockey Patrick Valenzuela said he would resume his career Thursday at Hollywood Park after briefly retiring. The 49-year-old rider had called it quits in November, citing gall bladder surgery and weight issues.

Valenzuela, whose career has been marred by suspensions for drug and alcohol abuse, last rode Nov. 13 at the Inglewood, Calif., track. After not honoring his commitments the next two days, he was fined $1,000 for taking off his mounts without contacting the stewards. His agent, Tom Knust, said the jockey met with the stewards recently and was cleared to ride, although he must continue making himself available for drug testing at any time.

Valenzuela has two mounts Thursday, opening day of the track's spring-summer meeting. He will ride Eclipse Award winner Acclamation in Friday's Inglewood Handicap, and has three other mounts on that night's card.

TENNIS:Rafael Nadal overcame a sore knee to open his bid for a seventh Barcelona Open title with an easy 6-1, 6-2 win over Guillermo Garcia Lopez in the second round. Nadal had a bye in the first round after defeating Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday and said his left knee "hurts a bit, but that's normal ... there's no problem."

Fellow Spaniard David Ferrer also advanced to the third round with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Serbian wild card Filip Krajinovic. Canada's Milos Raonic ousted Russia's Igor Andreev, 6-4, 6-1, while Japan's Kei Nishikori overcame Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.

AUTO RACING: NASCAR Sprint Cup regular Kurt Busch will run the Nationwide race at Iowa Speedway on May 20 in Des Moines. Busch will be the first Sprint Cup champion to run on Iowa's 0.875-mile oval.

Danica Patrick, Sam Hornish Jr., Austin Dillon, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who won both Nationwide races at Iowa in 2011, are also slated for the race. The May event will be the first of four Nationwide and Camping World Trucks series races in Iowa this season. The track will also host an IndyCar race in June.

- Associated Press

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