SPORTS IN BRIEF

The Herald (Rock Hill) - - Scoreboard -

Tal­iban, crim­i­nals threaten young Afghan Messi fan

A young soc­cer fan in Afghanistan who shot to fame two years ago af­ter he was pho­tographed in a Lionel Messi shirt made from a plas­tic bag has been forced to flee with his fam­ily to the cap­i­tal af­ter crim­i­nal gangs and the Tal­iban threat­ened to kill or kidnap him, his mother said Fri­day.

Since be­com­ing an in­ter­net sen­sa­tion, Shafiqa Ahmedi said her now 7-year-old son Mur­taza, who met his hero in De­cem­ber last year, has not been able to at­tend school and now they are liv­ing in an un­heated room in Kabul.

“I wish Mur­taza had never be­come so fa­mous,” she said.

Crim­i­nals threat­ened to kidnap Mur­taza af­ter de­mand­ing money, as­sum­ing the boy’s brush with fame re­sulted in a wind­fall of money.

Soc­cer

Mor­gan top US player: Alex Mor­gan has been named U.S. Soc­cer’s Player of the Year for a sec­ond time af­ter lead­ing the na­tional team with 18 goals in 19 games and help­ing it earn a spot in the World Cup next year in France. De­fender Tierna David­son, who started in her first nine na­tional team ap­pear­ances, was named Young Player of the Year. The 19-yearold’s col­lege sea­son at Stan­ford was cut short when she broke her an­kle in Septem­ber.

The de­fend­ing cham● pion United States is the top-ranked team for Satur­day’s Women’s World Cup draw. Ger­many is No. 2 in the 24-team draw, fol­lowed by host na­tion France and Eng­land. Canada and Aus­tralia com­plete the list of top-seeded teams. The June 7-July 7 tour­na­ment will be played in nine cities in France with the fi­nal in Lyon.

Golf

Tie at QBE Shootout: The teams of Bryson DeCham­beau-Kevin Na, Brian Har­man-Pat­ton Kizzire and Emil­iano Gril­loGraeme McDow­ell shot 13-un­der 59 in scram­ble play Fri­day to share the first-round lead in the QBE Shootout in Naples, Florida. LPGA Tour player Lexi Thomp­son and Tony Finau were two strokes back at 61 with Charley Hoff­man-Gary Wood­land and Charles How­ell IIILuke List. De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Steve Stricker and Sean’ O’Hair shot 62.

The teams will play mod­i­fied al­ter­nate shot Satur­day, and close with bet­ter ball Sun­day.

Charl Schwartzel ● holed out from the fair­way for an ea­gle on the 17th on his way to an 8-un­der 63 and a one-shot lead af­ter the sec­ond round of the South African Open in Jo­han­nes­burg. The 2011 Masters cham­pion moved to 12-un­der over­all and re­placed overnight leader Louis Oosthuizen at the top of the leader­board. Madal­itso Muthiya (68) is sec­ond at 11 un­der.

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