Sun, Feb 01, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Dortmund starts league play with loss

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL Schalke started the second half of the season with a road win over Dortmund as the Bundesliga heats up


Schalke's striker Ebbe Sand, center, of celebrates with midfielder Sven Vermant after he scored against Dortmund in the last minute during their Bundesliga match at Dortmund's Westfalenstadion, Friday.


Borussia Dortmund wasted two penalties and conceded a late goal in a stormy match Friday to kick off the second half of the Bundesliga season with a 1-0 loss at home to Schalke.

Both teams finished the match with 10 players.

Substitute Ebbe Sand ended a long scoring slump to notch the winner in the 89th minute for his first goal of the season. The Danish striker used a fast Schalke counterattack to break free and chip the ball over the advancing Dortmund goalkeeper Guillaume Warmuz.

Dortmund wasted an unjustified penalty after eight minutes. German international Torsten Frings took a dive over the advancing Schalke goalkeeper Frank Rost's outstretched hand but Dortmund was awarded the penalty. Striker Jan Koller took it but shot straight at Rost.

The home team, playing before a capacity crowd of 83,000 on a cold evening, got into more trouble when star midfielder Tomas Rosicky was sent off for a hard tackle from behind two minutes before halftime.

Minutes earlier, Rosicky had earned a yellow card for another dive in the Schalke penalty area.

Rosicky has been the target of transfer speculation. Dortmund needs to raise cash and the talented Czech international has been linked with Chelsea, but his move is not expected before the end of the season.

With Schalke dominating the match and squandering scores of chances, Dortmund suddenly got another opportunity from the spot when Thomas Klaesener handled the ball in front of the Schalke goal in the 73rd.

Klaesener was also sent off, while Frings took the penalty shot this time. He sent a low ball to the left and Rost dived to palm it away.

"I didn't have much luck before in stopping penalties but today I stopped two," Rost said.

French league

French first division leader Monaco took a 1-1 draw Friday with Paris Saint-Germain, which lost a chance to inch its way closer to the top.

At the start of the 22nd round, Monaco has 48 points. PSG holds the third slot with 40 points.

Monaco's Sebastien Squillaci opened the score with a header in the 26nd minute. Gabriel Heinze of PSG matched the goal in the 31st minute.

On Saturday, defending champion Lyon, which is second in the standings with 41 points, has a chance to leave PSG further behind when it plays Toulouse. In other matches, Sochaux vs. Marseille and Auxerre vs. Bordeaux.

Scottish premier league

It just gets worse for Partick Thistle.

Mired in last place in the Scottish Premier League with 16 losses from 21 games, Thistle now face up to Dutch twin brothers Ronald and Frank de Boer.

The twins have joined up again, this time at Scottish club Rangers.

Frank de Boer joined Ronald at Rangers from Galatasaray earlier this week and will make his debut on Sunday against Thistle.

"He has got leadership qualities, a sackful of winner's medals and Dutch caps," Rangers manager Alex McLeish said.

"He is technically an excellent player and I think he is also a great competitor."

De Boer has not played since December and moved to Scotland in a bid for more playing time to make the Dutch team for the Euro 2004 finals.

"We have looked at Frank in training this week and he has worked very hard," McLeish said. "We put the players through the mill and he has coped well with that.

"He doesn't seem to have lost much fitness despite not playing since December."

The de Boer brothers have also played together at Ajax and Barcelona. Ronald de Boer, a striker, joined Rangers in August 2000.

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