In this paper, we present an ontology-based information extraction and retrieval system and its application in the soccer domain. In general, we deal with three issues in semantic search, namely, usability, scalability and retrieval performance. We propose a keyword-based semantic retrieval approach. The performance of the system is improved considerably using domain-specific information extraction, inferencing and rules. Scalability is achieved by adapting a semantic indexing approach and representing the whole world as small independent models. The system is implemented using the state-of-the-art technologies in Semantic Web and its performance is evaluated against traditional systems as well as the query expansion methods. Furthermore, a detailed evaluation is provided to observe the performance gain due to domain-specific information extraction and inferencing. Finally, we show how we use semantic indexing to solve simple structural ambiguities. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.