Holders Real Madrid kept alive their dream of a record-extending 11th European crown when Javier Hernandez’s late strike against 10-man Atletico Madrid secured a 1-0 win and a Champions League semifinal place on Wednesday.After last week’s quarterfinal first leg at the Calderon ended 0-0, a tense return at the Bernabeu appeared to be heading for extra time until James Rodriguez slipped a pass through to Cristiano Ronaldo in the 88th minute.The Portugal forward unselfishly squared for Hernandez and the Mexican striker stroked the ball past Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak to secure a 1-0 aggregate victory, Real’s first win over Atletico in eight matches this season.It was a bitter blow for Atletico, who went toe to toe with the team that beat them in last year’s final until their Turkey playmaker Arda Turan was dismissed for a second booking 14 minutes from time and Hernandez applied the killer blow.Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, missing injured regulars Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric, started with Hernandez up front with Ronaldo and centre back Sergio Ramos pushed forward into a defensive midfield role.Seeking to become the first team to retain the trophy in the Champions League era, Real had the upper hand in terms of possession and chances in a cagey first half. Ronaldo forced a good save from Oblak with a 32nd-minute free kick before racing through with a clear site of goal a minute before halftime.Oblak was again equal to the challenge, racing out to block Ronaldo’s fierce shot and deflect the ball away for a corner.Real threatened immediately at the start of the second period when Isco threaded a pass through for Hernandez but he scuffed his shot wide of the far post.Atletico hopes suffered a massive blow when Arda picked up a second yellow for a foot-up challenge on Ramos and he was distraught as he trudged off to a cacophony of whistles.The draw for the semifinals is on Friday, with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus joining Real in the pot. –Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith
Renowned Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykanen died on Monday at the age of 55. Nykanen won several Olympic gold medals, first in Sarajevo in 1984 and three in Calgary in 1988, Xinhua reports.Additionally, Nykanen won six world championships in ski jumping.The death of Nykanen was reported by several Finnish media agencies and confirmed by his family to national broadcaster, Yle. Finnish Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho praised Nykanen as a great sports hero.After he retired from skiing, Nykanen became an entertainer and published music albums. Nykanen married six times, with five persons. He had three children, newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported.He had a alcohol problems. In 2009 Nykanen was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault.