Sports News in Brief
CARDIFF - Wales rugby selectors overlooked Gavin Henson yesterday when the Six Nations champions named a 35-man squad featuring one uncapped player for the coming autumn Test matches. Henson has been performing well for London Welsh in the English Premiership as he looks to revive his career, but failed to displace fellow flyhalves Dan Biggar, James Hook, Rhys Priestland in the squad for games against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.
SAN FRANCISCO - Returning from the brink of elimination, the San Francisco Giants reached the World Series by beating St Louis 9-0 yesterday, ousting the reigning champions from the Major League Baseball playoffs. The Giants captured the best-of-seven National League Championship Series 4-3 after having trailed the Cardinals 3-1. For the second playoff series in a row, San Francisco advanced by winning the last three games. San Francisco will face the Detroit Tigers on Thursday in the Giants' ballpark.
Sevilla go up
MADRID - Sevilla moved up to joint fourth in the Spanish Liga yesterday with a 3-2 comeback home defeat of Mallorca, who fell down to eighth with their third straight loss. Sevilla are now level on 14 points with Real Madrid. Both teams are three points behind third-placed Malaga and eight behind joint leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Left-back Pedro Bigas gave Mallorca the lead in the 26th minute, against the run of play, taking advantage of a mistake by Sevilla's veteran keeper Andres Palop.
BASEL, Switzerland - Roger Federer eased to victory in the first round of his hometown Swiss Indoors event yesterday, beating Benjamin Becker of Germany 7-5 6-3. Federer, the defending champion who is seeking his sixth Basel title in seven years, served 10 aces against the 83rd-ranked qualifier. The top-ranked Swiss is heavily favoured to claim his seventh title this year after US Open champion Andy Murray pulled out with a back injury on Friday. The Briton's withdrawal elevated Juan Martin del Porto of Argentina to No.2 seed.
Messi on roll
MADRID - With Lionel Messi running rampant in attack, Barcelona must tighten a leaky defence against Celtic knowing a win today will provide total control of Group G in the Champions League. Messi scored his club record 21st career hat trick in Barcelona's wild 5-4 victory at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday. But it's been a decade since the Catalan team last conceded 11 league goals through the first eight rounds and Celtic will look to exploit the vulnerability at the Camp Nou after coming off a win at Spartak Moscow.
SHEFFIELD, England - A football hooligan was jailed for 16 weeks yesterday for assaulting a goalkeeper during a second-tier English league game following an all-day drinking binge. Aaron Cawley, a 21-year-old from Cheltenham, told police he was so intoxicated after drinking a mix of beer, cider and vodka that he doesn't remember joining a pitch invasion and shoving former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in the face during Sheffield Wednesday's match against Leeds last Saturday.