Sports-On this day… April 5

April 4 (Reuters) – ON THIS DAY — April 5 April 5, 1998 RUGBY – France celebrate with the Five Nations trophy after completing back-to-back Grand Slams with a commanding 51-0 win over Wales in London. Wales, playing their home games at Wembley due to the construction of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, beat Ireland and Scotland earlier in the tournament but were no match for France, falling to their largest ever ‘home’ defeat. The tournament — which featured France, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales — would later become the Six Nations with the addition of Italy in 2000. April 5, 1998 SOCCER – Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer celebrates after scoring the winner in an FA Cup semi-final match against Sheffield United at Old Trafford, Manchester. Shearer, the Premier League’s record goal scorer, sealed a 1-0 win to send Newcastle to the final for the first time since 1974 where they were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal, who became the second English team to complete two league and FA Cup doubles. Newcastle also reached the final of the FA Cup the following season but lost 2-0 to Manchester United. April 5, 2005 SOCCER – Liverpool supporters hold up a banner paying homage to the 39 fans killed during the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 ahead of the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Juventus at Anfield. The match marked the first meeting between the two clubs since the disaster, which resulted in English clubs being banned from European competition for five years. Fabio Cannavaro’s header gave Juventus an important away goal but Liverpool held on for a 2-1 victory before shutting out the Italian side in the second leg in Turin, progressing to the semi-finals after a 0-0 draw. April 5, 2006 SOCCER – Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas celebrates after the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Juventus at the Delle Alpi Stadium. Fabregas, who became a regular starter for Arsenal following Patrick Vieira’s move to Juventus in the close season, scored the opener in a 2-0 first-leg win at Highbury. Arsenal held on for a 0-0 draw in the return leg to reach the semi-finals. Fabregas, who now plays for Monaco, was made Arsenal captain in 2008 and the Spaniard spent two more seasons with the club before moving back to boyhood club Barcelona in 2011. April 5, 2007 SOCCER – Tottenham Hotspur fans clash with Spanish riot police during their side’s UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg match at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville, Spain. Local television reported that Spurs fans entered an unauthorised part of the stadium and threw seats and missiles at the police before being removed from the venue. Sevilla won the game 2-1 and held on for a 2-2 draw in the return leg at White Hart Lane before defeating Osasuna in the semi-finals and Espanyol in the final to lift their second consecutive UEFA Cup. April 5, 2009 GOLF – Brittany Lincicome, her caddie Tara Bateman, and her father Tom Lincicome jump into the lake next to the 18th green to celebrate winning the Kraft Nabisco LPGA tournament in Rancho Mirage, California. Trailing by one stroke heading into the 72nd hole, Lincicome sank a six-foot eagle putt to win her first career major, one stroke ahead of American compatriots Cristie Kerr and Kristy McPherson who both tied for second. Lincicome won the tournament again in 2015, defeating Stacy Lewis in a sudden-death playoff. April 5, 2010 BASEBALL – U.S. President Barack Obama throws the ceremonial first pitch before Major League Baseball’s opening game between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies in Washington. The Phillies, playing their opening game on the road for the first time since 2004, cruised to an 11-1 victory, their biggest win in a season opener since 1884. While Obama’s pitch was well off target, All-Star pitcher Roy Halladay had a Phillies debut to remember with nine strikeouts. April 5, 2010 GOLF – Tiger Woods practices ahead of his return from a four-month hiatus at the 2010 Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Woods, a four-times Masters champion at the time, was playing his first event after taking an ‘indefinite break’ from the tour and showed little signs of rust with a four-under 68 in the first round — his best start at the Masters. However, the American struggled for consistency and eventually finished fourth, five strokes behind Phil Mickelson, who lifted his third Masters trophy. April 5, 2012 CRICKET – England’s Kevin Pietersen, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann and captain Andrew Strauss appeal for a wicket during their eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final test match in Colombo. After losing the first test by 75 runs, England hit back in the second game with Pietersen’s 151 in the first innings and Swann’s 10-wicket match haul helped the visitors level the series and stay at the top of the test rankings. However, they relinquished the number one ranking to South Africa later that year after losing 2-0 to the Proteas at home. April 5, 2015 CURLING – Sweden celebrate with the trophy after defeating Norway 9-5 in the gold medal match at the World Curling Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sweden skip Niklas Edin helped his side score three points in the first, third and seventh ends to secure the victory and avenge their defeat by Norway in the previous year’s final. Edin led Sweden to back-to-back world championship gold medals in 2018 and 2019, as well as a silver medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. (Compiled by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)

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