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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Real Madrid Stretches Lead at Top

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain -- Two moments of inspiration on either side of half time from striker Raul Gonzalez enabled Real Madrid to maintain its nine-point lead in the Spanish championship with a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad.

A defense-splitting ball from Predrag Mijatovic set Gonzalez up for the first goal, and Roberto Carlos rifled home the second after being put through by a cheeky back-heel from the teenager.

But the leaders' weakness in the air was once again exposed toward the end when Mutiu Adepoju pulled one goal back from a corner.


Sampdoria, twice referred to the Italian soccer federation's disciplinary committee for protesting a four-match ban slapped on Yugoslav defender Sinisa Mihajlovic, completed a hat-trick Monday.

The federation said it had referred the third-placed club as a whole after fans protested in Genoa on Sunday.

Some held up a large banner with the word "Thieves" on it while flyers distributed before the game against Reggiana urged Sampdoria players to tap the ball around between themselves for 30 seconds while the crowd stayed silent for a minute.

When the referee started the match, the Sampdoria players kept the ball to themselves in a silent stadium.

The club's Swedish coach Sven-Goran Eriksson commented later he thought 30 seconds might have been stretching things a bit "because we're not that strong in defense."

But Reggiana coach Francesco Oddo was impressed after his team lost 3-0. "Was it a protest?" he said. "I thought it was a tactic. They scored a goal after about a minute."