Sports briefs: Mexico fires coach after World Cup loss
Soccer • After an embarrassing home loss against Honduras at Estadio Azteca, Jose Manuel De la Torre has been fired as the manager of Mexico and will be replaced by Luis Fernando Tena, the coach who led Mexico to an Olympic gold medal.
Mexico, which has been struggling in World Cup qualification with De la Torre as coach, lost 2-1 against Honduras on Friday night. It was only their second loss at home in the history in World Cup qualifying matches played at Azteca and the first since June of 2001 when Costa Rica beat El Tri in a game remembered as the "Aztecazo."
Mexico earlier tied 0-0 at Azteca with the United States.
The Mexican Soccer Federation sent out a press release around 3 on Saturday morning saying: "We made the decision to make a change and Luis Fernando Tena will be appointed as the new head coach."
• Time had just about run out when U.S. player Jozy Altidore bumped Michael Umana in front of Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez.
Out came the yellow card. And Altidore is out for Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier against Mexico at Columbus, Ohio.
Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler also are suspended after getting yellow cards in Friday night's 3-1 loss at Costa Rica. And Michael Bradley has been ruled out after spraining his left ankle. "We're going to have to have guys step up, there's no question," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "I think we've talked about it over the last three years: We build toward this every game, so a guy can step in and not miss a beat and get the cohesion right."
He was particularly perturbed by Altidore's card.
"It was absolutely not necessary," Klinsmann said.
Sweden and Spain win at Euro basket
Basketball • Jeffery Taylor scored 25 points and Sweden upset Russia 81-62 for its first win at the European basketball championship on Saturday at Slovenia.
Russia, the Olympic bronze medalist last year and bronze medalist at the Europeans two years ago, now looks unlikely to make the second round after three straight defeats. Sweden is 1-2.
Also Saturday, defending champion Spain limited the Czech Republic to two points in the final quarter in Celje and ran away with a 60-39 victory despite its own poor shooting.
Ratto wins rainy 14th Spanish Vuelta stage
CYCLING • Daniele Ratto of Italy withstood cold and rain in the Pyrenees to win a grueling 14th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Saturday, while Vincenzo Nibali withstood his rivals' attacks to protect his overall lead.
Ratto, a Cannondale rider, broke away from the group and had time to savor his hard-earned victory as he made his final push to the summit finish of the 97-mile route that started in Baga and finished in the principality of Andorra.
"It's strange me being a sprinter winning a stage in the high mountains," said Ratto, who added he was accustomed to the bad weather because he lives in the mountains. "The downhill stretch with rain helped me. I went for it and it worked out well," he said.
Behind Ratto, Nibali increased his lead over rivals Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez.
From wire reports