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17/06/2015

record and its threats to use nuclear

TURIN, Italy -- Ten-man Benfica returned to the Europa League final following a 0-0 draw at tournament-favourite Juventus on Thursday, advancing on 2-1 aggregate. Nerlens Noel Authentic Jersey . Juventus created numerous chances but either couldnt find the target or was denied by Benfica goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who had a standout performance. Even when Benfica was reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute as Argentine midfielder Enzo Perez picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Arturo Vidal, Jorge Jesus squad maintained its composure. "Were a squad that tries to defend to perfection, and we more than deserved to advance," Benfica defender Guilherme Siqueira said. Its the third time Benfica has reached the final, having been runner-up in 1983 and last year, when the Portuguese side was beaten by Chelsea. In the May 14 final back in Turin, Benfica will face Sevilla, which scored in added time of a 3-1 loss at Valencia to advance on the away goal rule. With Diego Maradona watching from the tribune, Juventus controlled for long periods and came close to scoring the lone goal it needed. Andrea Pirlo shot high eight minutes in and a bicycle-kick attempt from Carlos Tevez also went high in the 24th. In the 43rd, a header from defender Leonardo Bonucci went just wide following a free kick from Pirlo, and Tevez couldnt quite reach it at the far post. In first-half added time, Paul Pogba inspired another chance for Juventus, leading to a header from Vidal that beat Oblak, but defender Luisao cleared the danger off the line. A downpour accompanied by hail greeted the squads at the start of the second half, and Benfica came close with a shot from Rodrigo that sailed over the bar in the 50th. Pirlo found the target with a splendid free kick in the 62nd but Oblak made a leaping save in the top right corner. Juventus substitute Pablo Osvaldo thought he scored in the 81st but was ruled offside. There was a brief skirmish between the benches in the final minutes, resulting in red cards for Juventus forward Mirko Vucinic, who did not play, and Benfica forward Lazar Markovic, who had just exited and will now miss the final. Benfica actually ended with nine men, as defender Ezequiel Garay was carried off on a stretcher following a collision, and all three substitutions were used. The referee let the match continue for eight minutes of added time but even that wasnt enough for Juventus, which can console itself by clinching its third successive Serie A title with a win over Atalanta on Monday. Julius Erving 76ers Jersey . 1 Jelena Jankovic highlighted Mondays opening-round winners at the $2 million Dubai Duty Free Championships. Maurice Cheeks 76ers Jersey . -- Barry Bonds is all set to return to the San Francisco Giants. PYONGYANG, North Korea -- Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized a game with former NBA players. The former basketball star issued the apology through publicist Jules Feiler in an email message to The Associated Press, a day after he sang "Happy Birthday" to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the start of the friendly game. Rodman has been slammed for not using his influence with Kim to help free Kenneth Bae, the missionary in poor health who is being confined in North Korea for "anti-state" crimes. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Rodman implied Bae was at fault. "I want to apologize," Rodman said Thursday. "I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. Its not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. Its not an excuse, its just the truth." Rodman said he wanted to apologize first to Baes family. "Im very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. Im truly sorry." In the interview, Rodman was asked whether he would raise the issue of Bae during his visit. "Kenneth Bae did one thing," Rodman replied. "If you understand what Kenneth Bae did -- do you understand what he did in this country?" Asked to explain, Rodman declined to respond. Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary and tour operator based in China, has been detained for more than a year. North Korea sees missionary work as a threat to its authoritarian government. Baes sister, Terri Chung, welcomed Rodmans apology. "I think its good to see him recognize the gravity and the urgency of Kens plight," she said from her home in Edmonds, Washington. "Its nothing he can make light of or play games with." "I just want to make sure that everyone -- not just Dennis Roodman -- everyone knows about Kenneth Baes plight and how precarious it is," she said. Moses Malone 76ers Jersey. . The U.S. State Department distanced itself from Rodman and said it did not want to "dignify" his activities or comments in Pyongyang by commenting on them. But spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the department was open to speaking with Rodman on his return. "We have not reached out to him. Weve said before, if he wants to reach out to us, were happy to hear from him and what he has to say," she told reporters. Rodman dedicated the game to his "best friend" Kim, who along with his wife and other senior officials and their wives watched from a special seating area. The capacity crowd of about 14,000 at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium clapped loudly as Rodman sang a verse from the birthday song and then bowed deeply to Kim, seated above him in the stands. Rodman said he was honoured to be able to play the game in the North Korean capital and called the event "historic." Some members of the U.S. Congress, the NBA and human rights groups, however, say he has become a public relations tool for North Koreas government. The governments poor human rights record and its threats to use nuclear weapons against rival South Korea and the United States have kept it a pariah state. Kim shocked the world in December by having his uncle, once considered his mentor, executed after being accused of a litany of crimes including corruption, womanizing, drug abuse and attempting to seize power. Rodman has refused to address those concerns while continuing to forge a relationship with Kim. Rodman is the highest-profile American to meet Kim, who inherited power after the death of his father in late 2011. Rodman has said he is not a statesman and instead is seeking only to build cultural connections with the North through basketball that may help improve relations between Pyongyang and Washington. Along with Rodman, the former NBA players included ex-All Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker. Also on the roster were Craig Hodges, Doug Christie, Charles D. Smith and four streetballers. cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys from china ' ' '