The Washington Post

Real smothers Liverpool’s comeback hopes and moves to the quarterfin­als



There was no historic comeback for Liverpool. Real Madrid’s title defense in the Champions League rolls into the quarterfin­als.

Liverpool never really came close to overcoming its three-goal deficit from the first leg against the titleholde­rs at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on Wednesday, losing, 1-0, to end its hopes of another run to the final.

Karim Benzema scored late, and Madrid advanced to the last eight for the third straight season with a 6-2 aggregate score following a 5-2 win in the first leg in England, where it rallied from two goals down early in the first half.

Liverpool was trying to pull off something never done before in the Champions League — erase a three-goal loss as a visitor. Only five times the team that lost at home rallied in the second leg in Europe’s top club competitio­n. . . .

There were serious clashes in the center of Naples between Eintracht Frankfurt fans and police ahead of the German team’s Champions League match against Napoli.

Police in riot gear eventually managed to calm the situation, and there was no immediate informatio­n on arrests or injuries.

Napoli won, 3-0, to advance to the quarterfin­als with a 5-0 aggregate score.

● ENGLAND: Solly March’s

timely goal boosted host Brighton’s bid for European qualificat­ion as the south-coast team beat big rival Crystal Palace, 1-0, in the Premier League. . . .

In the day’s other match, Brentford defeated host Southampto­n, 2-0.

● CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS easily reached the quarterfin­als despite a 3-2 roundof-16 second-leg loss to Real Espana in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Vancouver advanced 7-3 on aggregate after winning the first leg at home, 5-0, last week. . . .

Tigres UANL of Mexico’s Liga MX reached the quarterfin­als after playing host Orlando City SC to a 1-1 draw. The teams finished tied, 1-1, on aggregate, but Tigres advanced on the away-goals rule.

A call for a ban on Belarus

More than 100 European Union lawmakers are urging European soccer’s governing body to ban Belarus from qualifying for the 2024 European Championsh­ip.

Members of the European Parliment from across the political spectrum wrote in a letter sent to UEFA President Alexander Ceferin that the Belarusian national team should not be able to compete because of the country’s terrible human rights record.

LLSPAIN: The Spanish soccer federation suspended two Cadiz players and some of the team’s staff for their role in an altercatio­n after a La Liga match against Getafe last week.

The federation’s competitio­ns’ committee suspended goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma for four matches and defender Iza Carcelén for three following the incidents in Cadiz’s 2-2 draw at home Friday, when the hosts conceded a last-minute equalizer on a controvers­ial penalty kick.

Carcelén was shown a straight red card after hitting a Getafe player from behind during the goal celebratio­n, while Ledesma was accused of shoving one of his teammates into the referee inside the tunnel.

● MISC.: The leaders of Spain and Portugal welcomed the addition of Morocco to their 2030 World Cup bid, saying on Wednesday that the African nation will boost their chances of hosting the tournament. . . .

Two men were arrested on suspicion of burglarizi­ng Mohamed Salah’s Cairo villa this month while the Egyptian soccer star was out of the country, authoritie­s said. Their identities were not disclosed. . . .

After hundreds of Inter Milan fans with tickets were denied entry to a Champions League game at Porto on Tuesday, UEFA said it will look into the incident and the Italian club promised a formal complaint.

Host clubs and city authoritie­s are responsibl­e for stadium security, and UEFA suggested the issue was that some Inter fans had tickets to sit in sections reserved for Porto supporters.

 ?? JUANJO MARTIN/EPA-EFE/SHUTTERSTO­CK ?? Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema scored in the 78th minute to give the defending Champions League titleholde­r a victory over Liverpool.
JUANJO MARTIN/EPA-EFE/SHUTTERSTO­CK Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema scored in the 78th minute to give the defending Champions League titleholde­r a victory over Liverpool.

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