Messi maintains scoring touch, racks up hat trick in Championship League opener

Lionel Messi scored three goals as Barcelona opened Champions League play at home with a 4-0 win over Ajax on Wednesday.

Messi, the four-time FIFA world player of the year, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a perfectly placed free kick. He made it 2-0 in the 55th by hitting on the break.

Neymar, in his European debut, set up Gerard Pique to add Barcelona’s third goal in the 69th before Messi completed his hat trick in the 75th.

Messi’s goals leave him nine goals short of Raul Gonzalez’s all-time record of 71.


NBA: Wizards center Emeka Okafor is out indefinitely with a herniated disc, and Washington forward Chris Singleton will be sidelined approximately 6 to 8 weeks with a broken bone in his left foot.


MOSELLO OPEN: Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and American Sam Querrey advanced to the quarterfinals at Metz, France.

Tsonga defeated fellow Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-4, and Querrey moved on when wild card Paul-Henri Mathieu retired with a right thigh injury while trailing 6-2.

Tsonga will meet Tobias Kamke, who beat Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Also, Carlos Berlocq of Argentina and Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Albano Olivetti moved into the second round with straight-set wins.

ST. PETERSBURG OPEN: Third-seeded Janko Tipsarevic lost to Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (3 ), 6-3 in the first round at St. Petersburg, Russia.

KOREA OPEN: Already a two-time winner this year, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova reached the quarterfinals at Seoul, South Korea, by beating wild card Lee Ye-ra of 6-4, 6-1.


AMERICA’s CUP: The Cup is staying in America for at least one more day, thanks to the strong wind and tide on San Francisco Bay.

Not long after Emirates Team New Zealand reached match point against powerhouse Oracle Team USA, Race 12 was postponed because the wind blowing in through the Golden Gate Bridge exceeded the limit.


GIRLS’ SOCCER: Brooke Downey and Becca Siegel scored in the opening minutes of the second half to lift Berwick Academy (2-1) to a 3-1 victory over Bancroft (0-1) at Worcester, Mass.

FIELD HOCKEY: Sarah Dube scored the equalizer with 20 seconds left in regulation and Lexi Crites added the winner on a penalty corner as time expired in overtime to lift Kents Hill to a 2-1 victory over Hebron Academy on Wednesday.

BOYS’ SOCCER: Stephen Terenzio scored twice within a minute to give Berwick Academy a 2-0 victory over Lexington Christian Academy in South Berwick.

Erik Wisniewski had two saves for the Bulldogs.

— From staff and news services

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