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City's Europe hopes get a boost

sports Updated: Apr 27, 2011 00:10 IST

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Edin Dzeko's first Premier League goal earned Manchester City a 1-0 win over Blackburn on Monday which strengthened his team's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

City were heading for a disappointing draw against their relegation-threatened hosts when substitute Dzeko, who had only been on the pitch three minutes, finished well after the Rovers defence failed to clear a dangerous ball by David Silva in the 75th minute.

It sent City four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race for the Champions League and increased Blackburn's relegation worries. Rovers will feel hard done by but they have now won just three times in 17 league attempts under manager Steve Kean.

City could even overtake Arsenal, who currently lie third, after moving to within five points with a game in hand.

Peru-Czech Republic to play in Japan
Tokyo: Peru and Czech Republic will travel to disaster-hit Japan for friendly soccer internationals in June after receiving reassurances over potential health risks amid the current nuclear crisis. Last month's deadly earthquake and tsunami left 28,000 people dead or missing, also triggering a nuclear crisis at a power plant north of Tokyo.

Peru and the Czechs have agreed to travel after being reassured by the Japan Football Association (JFA) that the players and officials would be in no danger. "We gave the relevant data about radiation levels and aftershocks," said JFA General Secretary Kozo Tashima. "They are convinced it is safe to come."