BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Undefeated Saen Sor Ploenchit of Thailand retained the WBA flyweight championship with a 12-round split decision over Leo Gamez of Venezuela Sunday.

Saen's reach advantage and stamina made the difference. The light-hitting Thai, who had only five knockouts in 24 previous fights, had Gamez on the ropes in nearly every round. But the challenger charged back with uppercuts and overhand rights.

It was Saen's eighth defense of the title he won from David Griman of Venezuela in February 1994.

Gamez, a former junior flyweight and strawweight champion, sustained his fifth loss against 29 victories and two draws.

American judge Art Lurie scored it 117-111 for Saen, Mexican Hector Hernandez favored the Thai 116-113 and American Lou Tabat gave the fight to Gamez 115-113.

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Cantona Scores Winning Goal For Manchester; Villa Wins League Cup

MANCHESTER, England (AP) _ Eric Cantona took advantage of a referee's blunder to lead Manchester United to a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Sunday and into a three-point lead atop the English soccer standings.

Aston Villa won the League Cup for the second time in three years by downing Leeds 3-0.

Before 50,000 fans at Old Trafford, referee Gerald Ashby awarded Manchester United a goal kick instead of the Spurs a corner kick after a cross by Andy Sinton had sliced off a Reds defender.

The Spurs players ran to take the corner but Cantona took the ball from the goal kick, shrugged off two defenders on a 40-yard run and drove home a low, left-footed shot in the 51st minute for the only goal of the game and his fifth in five games.

In other games, Newcastle, which once had a 12-point lead in the standings, lost 2-0 at Arsenal, and Nottingham Forest defeated Liverpool 1-0.

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High School Football Coach Considered One Of Country's Best Is Dead

WESTFIELD, N.J. (AP) _ Lou Rettino, cited by his peers this year as the top U.S. high school football coach of the past decade, has died.

Rettino, 54, was stricken with stomach cancer. He died Friday in his sleep at his home. Funeral services will be Wednesday.

He amassed 216 victories during a 31-year career as a high school coach, the 10th highest victory total in New Jersey history. His overall record was 216-56-6.

Rettino is a member of the Villanova Hall of Fame and played briefly for the Green Bay Packers under Vince Lombardi.

He spent most of his career at Union High School _ 1977-1995 _ and created a highly successful football program. His record at Union was 171-23-5, and included 10 North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 playoff titles.

Rettino was scheduled to coach the North in the New Jersey North-South all-star game June 29. Rettino's son, Louis Jr., will represent his father.

It was at the 1993 North-South game where Rettino, diagnosed with cancer, collapsed.

Rettino played high school football at St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City and played fullback and linebacker at Villanova. He appeared in the Sun Bowl in 1961 and the Liberty Bowl in 1962.

He played briefly for the Packers in 1963 before leaving the NFL to coach high school football.

In addition to his son, Rettino is survived by his wife, Elvira, and two daughters.

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Suzuki Birdies Final Two Holes, Wins Novell KSB Open Golf

OKAYAMA, Japan (AP) _ Toru Suzuki birdied the final two holes Sunday for a one-stroke victory over American Brian Watts and Eduardo Herrera of Colombia in the $654,000 Novell KSB Open golf tournament.

Suzuki's 5-under-par 67 gave him a 13-under 275 total, worth $118,000.

It was his third title in a seven-year career, but he had been winless since taking the Nikkei Cup in July 1994.

Starting the final round two strokes behind Herrera, Suzuki sank six birdies against one bogey on the windy, twisting 6,948-yard, par-72 Kinojo Golf Club course.

He caught Herrera and Watts with a 6-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole, and won by rolling in a 5-foot birdie putt at the 18th.

Herrera, the 1986 world amateur champion, had a 70 and Watts shot a bogey-free 67, both finishing at 276.

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Ethiopians Dominate Rome Marathon

ROME (AP) _ Moges Taye outkicked fellow Ethiopian Belay Wolashe in the shadow of the Colosseum on Sunday and won the Rome Marathon.

Taye was timed in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 2 seconds _ two seconds ahead of Wolashe on a sunny but cool day.

Francesco Ingargiola of Italy was third at 2:12:36.

Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia won the women's division at 2:29:05.