Sports-On this day… March 21

(Reuters) – ON THIS DAY — March 21

March 21, 1996:

SOCCER – Paris St Germain forward Pascal Nouma goes down in the penalty area following a challenge by Parma defender Antonio Benarrivo during their UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final second leg match in Paris.

Brazilian midfielder Rai converted the resulting spot kick, the first of his two penalties in the 3-1 victory, as PSG overturned a 1-0 defeat in the first leg in Parma to complete a 3-2 aggregate win.

The French side beat Spain’s Deportivo la Coruna 2-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals and Rapid Vienna 1-0 in the final to lift their first major European title.

The Cup Winners’ Cup, which began in the 1960-61 season, was consigned to history in 1999.

March 21, 1996:

BOATING – Japanese adventurer Kenichi Horie leaves the bay of Salinas in Ecuador on board his cigar-shaped vessel — Malt’s Mermaid — which was made using 27,000 aluminium beer cans.

Horie, a national hero in Japan hailed as the seafaring version of U.S. aviator Charles Lindbergh, reached Tokyo in 148 days, setting a Guinness World Record for the fastest-ever crossing of the Pacific Ocean in a solar-powered boat.

Now 81, Horie first shot to fame in 1962, when he became the first Japanese to sail solo across the Pacific.

March 21, 1998:

CYCLING – Germany’s Erik Zabel celebrates after defending his Milan-San Remo cycling classic crown. Team Telokom’s Zabel won the final sprint ahead of Frenchmen Emmanuel Magnien and Frederic Moncassin to emerge triumphant in the 89th edition.

Zabel won back-to-back titles again in 2000 and 2001, equalling Italian Gino Bartali’s feat of four wins. Only Italian Costante Girardengo (six) and Belgian Eddy Merckx (seven) have more titles in the race.

In 2007, Zabel admitted to using the banned substance erythropoietin (EPO) at the 1996 Tour de France, becoming one of the biggest names in cycling to come clean about doping. Years later he admitted to persistent doping between 1996 and 2003.

March 21, 1999:

SOCCER – Manchester United’s Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates after scoring a goal in their 3-1 Premier League victory over Everton at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer, United’s current coach, scored the most important of his 18 goals that season with an injury-time winner against Bayern Munich in the Champions League title clash to secure a treble that also included the league and FA Cup trophies.

“It was a fantastic end to a great season. The team spirit, the quality of the play, the times we had to dig out results, the times we had to stick together… we had a fantastic season,” he said on the 20th anniversary of the triumph.

March 21, 2000

GOLF – Tiger Woods won the first of his four back-to-back Bay Hill Invitational (now called the Arnold Palmer Invitational) titles in Florida in 2000 at the age of 24.

Woods was at the peak of his powers, winning his third title of a stellar year at Bay Hill. He won three majors that year, the Open Championship, the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open, becoming the youngest golfer to achieve a career Grand Slam.

March 21, 1999

SOCCER – Tottenham Hotspur celebrate after beating Leicester City 1-0 at Wembley Stadium to win the Worthington League Cup final thanks to a goal from Danish midfielder Allan Nielsen.

Spurs beat Liverpool and Manchester United en route to the final, where they went down to 10 men for the final half hour after left back Justin Edinburgh was sent off.

Nielsen sealed victory in the 92nd minute with a diving header.

Leicester boss Martin O’Neill led the Foxes back to the final the following year where they beat Tranmere Rovers to win the title.

March 21, 2003

FORMULA ONE – Ferrari (NYSE:) Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello of Brazil speeds during a practice session at Sepang International Circuit.

Barrichello, an accomplished driver who started more than 300 races and finished on the podium 68 times, was destined to play second fiddle to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.

The duo were criticised the previous season when Barrichello let Schumacher beat him to the finish on the final straight of the Austrian Grand Prix, leading the FIA to ban “team orders” from the 2003 season to after the 2010 championship.

March 21, 2009

RUGBY – Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll, regarded as one of the game’s greats, celebrates winning the Six Nations Championship with fans in Cardiff.

O’Driscoll scored a try in the final game against Wales as Ireland won the Grand Slam with a narrow 17-15 victory.

He retired after helping Ireland secure the Six Nations title again in 2014 and holds the all-time record for the most tries at the tournament with 26.

March 21, 2003

SOCCER – Leeds United caretaker manager Peter Reid sits in the stands at Elland Road stadium following Terry Venables’ departure from the post.

Venables was sacked by cash-strapped Leeds eight months into his tenure following disagreements with the board over player sales, with the club wallowing in the bottom half of the standings.

Reid was hired on an interim basis and oversaw some famous wins to keep Leeds in the top flight, including a 3-2 victory at Arsenal that ended the London side’s hopes of winning back-to-back league titles.

March 21, 2003

Sachin Tendulkar leads the Indian cricket team down the red carpet as they are welcomed outside their hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa ahead of the 50-overs World Cup final against Australia.

Tendulkar, the tournament’s top scorer, plundered 669 runs — including a century and six half-centuries — to take India to their second World Cup final.

Defending champions Australia, however, batted first and set India a target of 360. Tendulkar was caught and bowled by Glenn McGrath for four runs in the first over of the final as India fell 125 runs short.

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