Lavolpe Gets First Win With Mexico

Times Staff Writer

Ricardo Lavolpe achieved his first success as Mexico’s coach Wednesday night when goals by Pavel Pardo and Jesus Olalde earned the Tricolores a 2-0 victory over Bolivia in front of almost 40,000 fans at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas.

Mexico outshot the South Americans, 22-9, and dominated play from the start.

The opening goal came in the 31st minute after Pardo and Ramon Morales exchanged passes. Olalde clinched the victory with a 16-yard shot in the 72nd minute.

In its first two games under Lavolpe, Mexico had lost, 1-0, to Argentina in Los Angeles and been tied, 0-0, by Colombia in Phoenix.


Necaxa Prevails

A goal by Adelino Batista 67 minutes into Necaxa’s CONCACAF Champions Cup match against Arnett Gardens of Jamaica on Wednesday night gave the Mexican team a 1-0 victory at Estadio Olimpico in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and advanced it to the quarterfinals.

There, Necaxa will play either the Galaxy or CD Motagua of Honduras, who tied their first game, 2-2, in Honduras last week and play again on Sunday afternoon at Cal State Fullerton.

Cienfuegos Finale

Mauricio Cienfuegos, the last of the original Galaxy players along with Cobi Jones, will retire at the end of this season. The 35-year-old Salvadoran playmaker made the announcement Wednesday afternoon at the Galaxy’s new stadium in Carson.

“I have come to the decision that this is the year for me to begin my transition from a player to a coach,” Cienfuegos said at the Home Depot Center, where the veteran midfielder will be honored July 6 during a match between El Salvador and Mexico that will mark his final appearance with the national team in the U.S.

Champions League

Ajax Amsterdam, Inter Milan and Valencia claimed the final three quarterfinal berths in the European Champions League on Wednesday.


Ajax got a goal from Andy van der Meyde in the opening minute, gave up a goal to Antonio Cassano and then held on to tie AS Roma, 1-1, in Italy to secure its place in the final eight.

Inter Milan had little difficulty beating Bayer Leverkusen, 2-0, in Germany, on goals by Obafemi Martins and Emre Belozoglu.

Valencia, the only quarterfinalist never to have won the European Champions Cup although it was a finalist in 2000 and 2001, got two goals from Norwegian striker John Carew as it eliminated Arsenal, 2-1, in Spain. Thierry Henry scored the English champions’ lone goal.

AC Milan, Barcelona -- which beat Newcastle United, 2-1, Wednesday -- Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid also are in the last eight, with the quarterfinal draw scheduled for Friday.


Quick Passes

Don Garber, Major League Soccer’s commissioner, said that the league would begin its eighth season as scheduled April 5 despite the probability that the United States and its allies will be at war with Iraq.

CONCACAF announced that regional qualifying for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games would begin Sept. 6 and that Suriname, a late addition to both the men’s and women’s fields, would play Guatemala in the men’s preliminary round. CONCACAF said the final round for both men and women would be played in Mexico from Feb. 2 to 12, 2004.