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Sports in brief

SOCCERU.S. women advance

Lauren Cheney scored in the 17th minute and Abby Wambach got goals in the 33rd and 50th as the United States stayed alive in qualifying for next year's Women's World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica last night in Cancun, Mexico. The U.S. had been 19-0 in qualifying before Friday's stunning 2-1 defeat to Mexico in the semifinals of the North and Central American and Caribbean region. That defeat forced the two-time champions into a must-win third-place game against Costa Rica. The United States. now will play Italy in a home-and-home, total-goals series for the final berth in the tournament. The first match is at Padova on Nov. 20 and the second at Bridgeview, Ill., on Nov. 27.

AUTO RACINGJohnson gets new crew

Four-time defending NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson had a major shakeup to his race team when Hendrick Motorsports gave him teammate Jeff Gordon's pit crew for the final two races of the season. The swap comes a day after Johnson's crew was benched mid-race at Texas Motor Speedway after a shaky performance on pit road.

CYCLINGContador to be probed

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will be investigated for alleged doping during this year's race. Contador tested positive for banned anabolic agent clenbuterol in the final week of his third Tour victory in July. The decision comes after deliberation between the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency. - AP

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