LONDON -- World and European champion Spain romped to a 24th straight qualifying win on Friday, although no one in the country was able to see it. Pedro Rodriguez scored a hat trick as the worlds best team routed host Belarus 4-0 in one of a group of big wins for Europes leading nations in 2014 World Cup qualifying. Yet, celebrations were muted in the debt-ridden country after no broadcaster paid to televise the national teams match for the first time in 29 years. Spains wasnt the most convincing win of the third round of regional qualifiers, with Germany handing Ireland its worst loss since 1971, 6-1 at Dublin. Wayne Rooney celebrated being handed the temporary England captaincy by scoring twice in a routine 5-0 win over San Marino, taking his goal total in international matches to 31, fifth on the countrys all-time list. But Italy was again unconvincing in beating Armenia 3-1, and the Netherlands managed only a comfortable 3-0 win over Andorra, which is 201st in the rankings. However, Euro 2012 semifinalist Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, couldnt make the most of its dominance against Russia and lost 1-0 in a match between the top two teams in Group F. The Portuguese are three points behind Russia, which is unbeaten under new coach Fabio Capello and has three straight wins in qualifying. Also, Belgium enhanced its burgeoning reputation as a growing force in Europe with a 3-0 win in Serbia, which lost a home World Cup qualifier for the first time in more than 10 years. Sweden and the Czech Republic needed second-half rallies to avoid draws against weak competition, beating Faeroe Islands 2-1 and Malta 3-1, respectively. The victory for the Swedes left them second in Group C, three points behind Germany ahead of their meeting in Berlin on Tuesday. The third straight qualifying victory for Germany was launched by Marco Reus goals in the 32nd and 40th minutes before Mesut Oezils penalty kick and goals by Miroslav Klose and Toni Kroos (two) turned it into a rout. Spain warmed up for its Group I match against France, which surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to Japan in a friendly on Friday, by stretching its winning run in qualifying that dates back to September 2007. Pedro set up Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba for the opener before scoring the remaining three goals himself in Minsk, putting Spain ahead of France on goal difference. Both countries have six points and only one team qualifies automatically from each group. Spain, seeking an unprecedented fourth straight major international tournament trophy, is enjoying a golden era in its soccer history, but that still didnt persuade broadcasters to pay for coverage. The blackout came after the producer, Sport Five, failed to reach a deal with any Spanish television channel. This was the first time a Spain match was not broadcast at home since 1983, when the team visited Malta. Rooney was playing for England for the first time since Euro 2012 and was given the captains role with Steven Gerrard suspended and Frank Lampard sidelined with injury. Rooney marked the occasion by joining Manchester United teammate Danny Welbeck in scoring twice at Wembley Stadium. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also scored for the hosts, who moved to the top of Group H. It wasnt such a good night for Oxlade-Chamberlains Arsenal teammate, Theo Walcott, who will spend the night in a hospital after colliding with goalkeeper Aldo Junior Simoncini early in the game. Russias winner against Portugal came with its only shot on goal in the first half, Alexander Kerzhakov scoring in the sixth minute. Ronaldo, who has scored six times in his last three Spanish league games for Real Madrid, barely had a sniff in Moscow. "Maybe we werent as calm as we usually are," said Portugal coach Paulo Bento, whose team is the only leading European nation not to be atop its group at this stage. Eddie Johnson scored two goals for the United States, including the winner in second-half injury time, in a 2-1 victory over Antigua and Barbuda. The road win put the Americans in position to advance to CONCACAFs final qualifying round if they draw with Guatemala on Tuesday night in Kansas City, Kan. Guatemala beat Jamaica 2-1 on Friday night. In Group B, Mexico was held scoreless for more than 75 minutes by Guyana, but wound up winning 5-0 to stay perfect. Costa Rica held onto second place in the group by winning 1-0 at El Salvador. Canada beat undermanned Cuba 3-0 in Group C. The Cubans had only 11 players for the game, and finished with 10 after striker Roberto Linares was ejected for a challenge that crumpled captain Kevin McKenna. Four players left the team in Toronto. In the other Group C game, Honduras and Panama tied 0-0. In South American qualifying, host Argentina took the overall lead with 17 points as Lionel Messi scored two second-half goals and Sergio Aguero added another. Messi scored in the 66th and added another with a free kick in the 80th while Aguero scored in the 75th. Alejandro Chumacero scored in the second half to lift host Bolivia into a 1-1 draw with Peru, while Colombia beat Paraguay 2-0. Radamel Falcao scored two second-half goals as Colombia improved to 16 points in eight matches -- among the leaders in qualifying -- and left Paraguay with only four points from five matches, the worst record among the nine teams. Felipe Caicedo scored twice as Ecuador defeated Chile 3-1 in Quito. Ecuador improved to 16 points, Chile has 12. Cheap NFL Jerseys . So when they got one Monday night, they made the most of it. DJ LeMahieu had a career-best four hits, Jeff Francis pitched effectively into the sixth inning and the Rockies beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-6. cheap jerseys from china .C. - Watching the British capture 22 gold medals and counting at the London Olympics has inspired Luke Donald. http://www.cheapnfljerseysforsale.us.com/ . It is the first time Canada has won a medal in the boccia BC4 competition. Marco Dispaltro of St-Jerome, Que. wholesale jerseys china . PETERSBURG, Fla. Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping . Bautista said before Tuesday nights game against the New York Yankees that the recovery period is three to four months and he would be ready to play long before the start of spring training next year.WASHINGTON D.C. – As head coach of the San Jose Sharks, Ron Wilson used to target a certain explosive and often untamed defenceman from the Calgary Flames. "In San Jose, we used to kind of take advantage when Dion was on the ice," Wilson said, following practice on Thursday. "We scored a lot of goals when he was on the ice. He got a lot of hits, but we scored a lot of goals." Once a bombastic blueliner searching for the big hit, Dion Phaneuf has gradually evolved into a safer, smarter version of his former self, one not entirely consumed by the quantity of bone-crunching collisions.  "Hes not running around looking for big hits," Wilson said of the shift in Phaneufs game from those early days with the Flames. "Hits dont add up to anything in the standings; theres not a column for hits, although some [in the media] talk about how many hits somebody had as having a big impact on the game. There are certain nights it does, but most nights its who scores the most goals wins the game, not who has the most hits. Trying to get Dion to understand that I think has been a bit of a process." The stats lay claim to Wilsons assessment. As a rookie in 2005-2006, Phaneuf finished third amongst all defencemen in hits (203), followed by seventh (197)and sixth (194) the next two years. Over the course of the following four seasons, he dropped out of the top ten entirely, 12th last season (186) and 26th so far in 2011-2012. Less inclined to chase the big hit, Phaneuf has steadily grown into a stable shutdown defenceman for the Leafs, one capable of logging over 25 minutes a game, consistently against the oppositions best line. "I think its his positioning and patience with his physical play thats enabled him to do a better job defensively," Wilson said, also noting Phaneufs improved use of the stick and general disinclination for chasing the puck in the defensive zone.  "I think a lot of it has to do with what weve told him, our likes and dislikes." Wilson also attributes Phaneufs more recent evolution to subtle changes in the rulebook, specifically Rule 48 in which "targeted" hits to the head are not permitted, although allowed if the opponent puts himself in a "vulnerable" position. "This year in particular, the rules kind of in a way discourage the kind of hits that Dion used to be looking for," Wilson said, "those open-ice hits in the neutral zone where he mightve come up a little bit higher. Rather than get caught in those situations I think hes dialed it down a little bit. He nails guys closer to the boards who have their head down. Hes not leaping into the hits anymore." Such an example was made thunderously clear at Madison Square Garden on Monday night; Phaneuf delivered a devastating left shoulder to the head of Rangers defenceman Michael Sauer, a legal hit which drew no call. In conversation with the Leaf Report on Thursday afternoon, Phaneuf conceded to working on "little things in the defensive zone that make the game easier" duuring the course of his NHL career, specifically a more active stick.dddddddddddd "I think the biggest thing from when you start to now," he said, "is how you use your stick. You look at the top [defencemen] in the league; theyve all got real good sticks. I think thats something that comes with experience and something that Ive definitely worked over the last few years and I feel a lot better about in my game. "The games changed from then til now so theres lots different in that aspect. Every year it seems to get faster. But like I said, the biggest thing from when I started til now is probably my stick and where its positioned and thats something that Ive had to work on and I feel good about." Phaneuf was dominant in October alongside partner Carl Gunnarsson, totaling 11 points and a plus-7 rating, while logging nearly 27 minutes a game. Those numbers dipped in November (7 points, minus-7, 25 minutes a game), something Wilson attributes to an influx of inexperienced players in the lineup, although it was evident that at times Phaneuf did struggle.  Offensively, hes picked up right where he left off in the second half last season. Phaneuf has 18 points through the opening 28 games, on pace for the second highest total (52) of his career (60 in 2007-2008). Hes not scored as much as in the past (three goals), but piled up assists (15) instead. "From when I started til now, the biggest thing is when the shots not there, Im looking for a shot-pass more than when I started," he said, upon some reflection. "I feel like I move the puck probably more than when I started; [In the past] Id shoot the puck maybe more into situations that might get blocked. But thats also changed from when I started til now; the amount of shots blocked is crazy. The guys are in the lanes a lot more and a lot more willing to block shots from seven years ago til now." Now in his second full season with the Leafs – also second as captain – Phaneuf generally looks and acts the part of a more refined leader, from his dealings with the media to his outward enthusiasm and volume amongst teammates. Despite a glut of injuries in November, the Leafs still somehow managed to post a 7-6-1 record, proof of depth within the organization certainly, but also leadership keyed by Phaneuf within the room.  The fohawk and brash exterior of his Calgary days have quieted at an age when defenceman generally graduate to their NHL peaks. "Its a process," he concluded. "Im sure you can ask guys that have played 1200 games, they still want to get better. You stop improving, you stop getting better, you kind of plateau. I definitely am working on both ends of the rink and both sides of the game, but I feel Ive grown in both areas. "I just want to keep improving. I want to keep getting better. I want to contribute in whatever way that I can to help this team win games and thats the bottom line. Personal statistics, to be honest with you, Id take less personal stats for us to win hockey games. Thats all that matters." ' ' ' 

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