Following his team's 1-0 loss to the United States Wednesday at the World Cup and last-place finish in Group C, Algerian soccer player Rafik Saifi slapped a female journalist in the face in the interview zone. The reporter, Asma Halimi of the Alergian newspaper Competition, retaliated by striking Saifi in the mouth.

 

Halimi and Saifi previously had a dispute about an article she had written that was critical of the player.

 

Mesut Oezil scored in the 60th minute to give Germany a 1-0 win over Ghana and first place in Group D at the World Cup. Despite the loss, Ghana also advanced to the round of 16 -- taking second place in Group D with four points. The Americans will now play Ghana on Saturday (2:30 ET) in Rustenburg, South Africa, for a spot in the quarterfinals. Ghana won the final match of the opening round against the Americans to knock them out of the World Cup in Germany four years ago. Ghana is the first African team to make the knockout phase of the tournament.

John Isner of the United States and Nicolas Mahut of France could not finish the longest match on record in tennis history due to darkness for the second consecutive day. Their first-round match at Wimbledon has lasted more than nine hours — breaking the record of six hours, 33 minutes set in a 2004 French Open match. Isner and Mahut have played 118 games in the fifth set, which alone has lasted seven hours and six minutes. In the fifth set, both players have won 59 games, Isner has 70 aces, Mahut has 69 aces and there have been six overall break points.

In the 36th minute of Wednesday's World Cup game between the United States and Algeria, ESPN game announcer man Ian Drake — one of the two British play-by-play men hired out of the English Premier League for the



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Landon Donovan scored in the first minute of stoppage time to give the United States a dramatic 1-0 victory over Algeria Wednesday and catapult the Americans into the knockout round of the World Cup. Seconds after U.S. goalie Tim Howard made a save on an Algerian header, the Americans embarked on a breakout. Donovan pounced on the rebound of a saved shot a few feet in front of the goal and pounded it home to start the U.S. celebration. With England beating Slovakia 1-0, the United States needed to beat Algeria or it would have been eliminated from the tournament.

Controversial refereeing reared its ugly head in the United States' World Cup action again Wednesday. In the 19th minute, the Americans appeared to take a 1-0 lead over Algeria on a rebound goal by Clint Dempsey. However, the goal was waved off due to offsides, keeping the game scoreless. Replays indicated Dempsey was even with the final Algerian defender and the goal should have been allowed.

Forbes magazine recently conducted a poll of the most disliked active sports figures, and Eagles quarterback Michael Vick took top honors with a 69 percent dislike rate. He was followed by Raiders owner Al Davis (66 percent), Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (57) and golfer Tiger Woods (53). Check out the LEEInks blog for the complete list. Also, a statue of Mickey Mouse wearing a Red Sox uniform was vandalized in Southern California one day after the Lakers defeated the Celtics in the NBA finals.

Last week, offensive lineman Logan Mankins expressed his frustration with the Patriots by requesting a trade. As is often the case, money is the root of the player’s discontent. Other times, a lack of playing time leads to a request for change of scenery. And there are other reasons as well. We've compiled a list of 10 Boston athletes who requested, demanded or pushed to be traded by their behavior. Check it out at the LEEInks blog.

FIFA made its World Cup referees available to the media Monday, conducting a workout in front of the press and allowing interviews. However, the two referees who made the most controversial calls of the tournament were not there, and no one was allowed to discuss those calls. The media had varied reactions to the session, with some praising FIFA for attempting to be more transparent and others saying tournament organizers still haven't addressed the problem of the blown calls that have marred the event.

Singer Lady Gaga is not banned from the Yankees clubhouse, general manager Brian Cashman told the media Sunday. The scantily clad Yankees fan visited the locker room after Friday's loss to the Mets, drawing criticism and causing team management to clarify its rules regarding celebrity visits. Meanwhile, Gaga's memorable visit to the Mets' Citi Field on June 10, when she got mad at photographers snapping her picture and later flipped off the fans, is being recognized by the Mets.