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Monday Ticker: Toluca wins Apertura title, Jamaica captures Digicel Cup and surgery for Gattuso

TolucaKeeper (AP) 

by GIANFRANCO PANIZO

After 13 consecutive made penalty kicks, Cruz Azul's Alejandro Vela stepped to the spot hoping to find the magic he found when he scored in regulation.

Toluca goalkeeper Hernan Cristante had other ideas.

Cristante saved Vela's penalty kick to help Toluca narrowly defeat Cruz Azul, 7-6 on penalty kicks, en route to its ninth Mexican championship.

Sunday's second leg ended 2-0 in favor of Cruz Azul, but the Diablos Rojos (Red Devils) had won by the same score on Thurdsay. With the aggregate score even, the game went to penalty kicks.

Cruz Azul now ends 2008 on a bitter-sweet note as they lost both the Apertura final and Clausura final. The Clausura loss came to Santos earlier this year.

Here are some other stories to get your day going:


Jamaica captures Digicel Cup

Jamaica won its fourth Caribbean football championship and $120,000 on Sunday night as'The Reggae Boyz' beat Grenada, 2-0, in the Digicel Cup Final in Kingston.

A pair of penalties were awarded to Jamaica after near identical build-up plays. Forward Eric Vernon, 28, was fouled in the Grenada penalty area on both occasions, granting Jamaica the spot kicks.

Luton Shelton converted both penalty kicks, in the 17th minute and 69th minute respectively. 

With Jamaica eliminated from World Cup qualifying in November, they will now focus on 2009's Gold Cup.


Owen offered new contract

It seems Newcastle United have had a change of heart. Toon has offered oft-injured forward Michael Owen a new contract and are awaiting a response from the England international.

Magpies manager Joe Kinnear expressed his desire in keep Owen.

""I will fight like hell to keep him," Kinnear said. 

The former Real Madrid striker has been linked with numerous EPL sides during the winter transfer window including Aston Villa and Liverpool.


Gattuso undergoes ACL surgery

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso will be out for six months after undergoing knee surgery earlier this morning. The World Cup winning player tore the ACL in his right knee on December 7 against Catania.

"AC Milan would like to communicate that Rino Gattuso was operated on today by Professor Martens and his team," read a statement on AC Milan's website.

Gattuso, 30, will not only miss the rest of Milan's season but he'll also be out during Italy's World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro on March 28 and Ireland on April 1.

What do you think about these stories? Happy to see Toluca win the Apertura? Will Jamaica be a contender in the Gold Cup 2009? Want to see Owen return to troubled Newcastle? Who will replace Gattuso at Milan?

Share your thoughts below.

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