Champions rewarded

LALITPUR: National Sports Council (NSC) on Friday felicitated the winners of the ACC Under-17 Elite Cup cricket tournament and Prime Minister Cup Invitational Football champions. Minister for Youth and Sports, Gopal Shakya, handed over the cash prize of Rs 5,000 each to the 16-member cricket and 28-member football squads. The cricket team included 14 players and one each coach and official, while the football squad consisted of 20 players, three coaches, two officials and three-member medical team. The NSC gave away a total of Rs 220,000 to the players and officials. While the full squad of football team received the award, assistant coach of cricket team, Manjoor Alam Khan, was not included in the list. — HNS

Man U draw FC Porto

NYON: Holders Manchester United were handed arguably the plum pick of the Champions League quarter-finals draw after being pitted against 2004 champions FC Porto here on Friday. While 2006 finalists Arsenal were drawn to play Spanish side Villarreal, semi-finalists the same year, an all-English quarter-final will see Liverpool take on Chelsea at Anfield before travelling to Stamford Bridge a week later. In the other quarter-final, 2006 winners Barcelona welcome Bayern Munich to the Nou Camp before playing the second leg in Germany. — AFP

Federer enters semis

INDIAN WELLS: World No 2 Roger Federer battled past Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) to book a semi-final meeting with Andy Murray at the Indian Wells hardcourt tennis tournament. World No 4 Murray spoiled Ivan Ljubicic’s 30th birthday celebrations with a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6) victory. In women’s semi-finals, Ana Ivanovic of Serbia faces Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who upset Agnieszka Radwanska 7-6 (10/8), 6-4. Ivanovic advanced on a walkover when Austrian Sybille Bammer pulled out with a shoulder injury. Russian Vera Zvonareva will face Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the other semi-final. — AFP

Lopez gets call-up

MADRID: Spain coach Vicente del Bosque on Friday gave Villareal keeper Diego Lopez his first call-up for World Cup qualifiers against Turkey at home on March 28 and away four days later. The 27-year-old was listed as the Spanish squad’s third keeper after Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and usual substitute Jose Reina of Liverpool. Spain will be without Barcelona captain Carles Puyol who is still recovering after he sprained his ankle during the Catalan club’s 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on March 7 in the Spanish league. — AFP