Sports-On This Day... April 2

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April 1 (Reuters) - ON THIS DAY -- April 2

April 2, 1996

ICE HOCKEY - Vancouver Canucks' Pavel Bure works out with team conditioning coach Peter Twist as he rehabilitates a serious knee injury sustained in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Vancouver, Canada.

Bure, nicknamed the Russian Rocket for his speed, was one of the Canucks' greatest-ever players and holds the franchise record for most playoff goals (34) and most short-handed goals (24).

His career was cut short by a series of knee injuries and he was forced to retire in 2005.

April 2, 1997

SOCCER - Police protect Argentina head coach Daniel Passarella as he carries forward Julio Cruz, who was punched by a Bolivian staff member during a 1998 World Cup qualifying match in La Paz, Bolivia.

Cruz was struck after allegedly abusing members of the Bolivian staff during the ill-tempered match and was carried to the locker room.

Argentina goalkeeper Ignacio Carlos Gonzalez was also headbutted by opposing striker Demetrio Angola in the game, which Bolivia won 2-1.

April 2, 1999

SWIMMING - Australian head coach Don Talbot in a media conference after his appeal against FINA's decision to disqualify the Australian men's relay team was dismissed at the fourth world swimming championships in Hong Kong.

Australia were disqualified from the men's 4x200 meters freestyle event for not swimming in the correct order during the heats.

Talbot appealed the decision saying officials did not allow the team to correct the order before the race, but his arguments were rejected.

Despite the setback, Australia topped the medal chart with nine gold, 11 silver and seven bronze medals.

April 2, 2002

SOCCER - Real Madrid defender Roberto Carlos is challenged by Bayern Munich striker Roque Santa Cruz during Real's 2-1 Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat at the Olympic Stadium, Munich.

Real still progressed to the semi-finals after goals from Ivan Helguera and Guti secured a 2-0 win for the Spanish side in the return leg in Madrid.

They went on to beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in the final to win their ninth European Cup, with France midfielder Zinedine Zidane scoring the winning goal.

April 2, 2010

BASEBALL - Los Angeles Angels' designated hitter Hideki Matsui prepares to bat in his new home stadium during a MLB pre-season game against the San Diego Padres in Anaheim, California.

Matsui, one of Japan's most well-known baseball players, played 145 games with a .274 batting average in his one-year stint with the Angels.

He was the MVP of the 2009 World Series during his final season with the New York Yankees, hitting .615 with three home runs in a 4-2 series win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

April 2, 2011

CRICKET - Indian players celebrate after winning their second World Cup title with a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai.

Half-centuries from Gautam Gambhir (97) and MS Dhoni (91 not out) guided India to victory in the first-ever all-Asian Cricket World Cup final.

Yuvraj Singh was named the player of the series after scoring 362 runs and taking 15 wickets.

April 2, 2011

SOCCER - Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney kisses the ball after scoring a hat-trick in a 4-2 Premier League victory over West Ham United at Upton Park.

Rooney swore into a pitchside camera after scoring his third goal.
He was later suspended by the Football Association for two matches and missed United's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City as a result.

United were beaten by City in the FA Cup game but went on to win the league that season for the 19th time, moving one ahead of Liverpool in the list of all-time English top-flight titles.

April 2, 2013

SOCCER - Paolo Di Canio, who replaced Martin O'Neill as Sunderland head coach, poses for photographs during a media conference at the club's training academy in Sunderland.

Di Canio's appointment was met with anger from a section of fans due to his controversial political views but Sunderland picked up eights points in seven games to finish three points clear of 18th-placed Wigan Athletic and avoid relegation.

The Italian was sacked after Sunderland failed to win any of their first five league games the following season.

April 2, 2019

SOCCER - Juventus players celebrate after defeating Cagliari 2-0 in a Serie A match marred by racial abuse directed at Italian striker Moise Kean at the Sardegna Arena, Cagliari, Italy.

Kean was targeted after he scored Juventus' second goal and celebrated in front of Cagliari's fans.

However, Italian top-flight authorities decided against sanctioning Cagliari, stating the chants had 'objectively limited relevance to race.'

Juventus went on to win Serie A but were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia and Champions League by Atalanta and Ajax respectively, while Kean moved to Premier League side Everton in the close season.

April 2, 2019

ATHLETICS - Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world since running 100 meters in 9.58 seconds, did not even break a sweat as he won a short race against a moto-taxi at a sponsored event in Lima.

The Jamaican sprinter left the moto-taxi behind from the starting line and celebrated the victory by breaking into his trademark 'lightning bolt' pose.

The eight-times Olympic gold medallist, who set the current world record for the 100 metres in 2009, retired from athletics in 2017.

(Compiled by Arvind Sriram and Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)