Brazilian forward Ailton scored his sixth goal Sunday to lift Schalke past rival Borussia Dortmund 1-0 and even with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga standings. \nAilton slipped behind a defender in the 17th minute and sidefooted a through pass between goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller's legs to decide the derby between two teams that play just 40km apart. \nSchalke is now being touted as Bayern's main challenger for the Bundesliga title. \n"I don't mind the players talking about the title -- what do you think I want?" Rangnick said. "Stuttgart plays Bayern next week. Who's to say we won't be on top then?" \nSchalke moved to 33 points in 16 rounds, the same as Bayern, although the Bavarians have a big edge in goal difference. Stuttgart is at 30 in the tight title race with next weekend the final round before the Bundesliga takes a two-month winter break. \nSchalke, impressive before the break, was lucky to survive a shaky second half against crisis-ridden Dortmund. \nDortmund wasted a big chance in the 56th minute as Schalke's Marcelo Bordon headed clear following a bobble from goalkeeper Frank Rost, which Czech forward Jan Koller pounced upon. Another attempt cracked off the crossbar. \nDortmund, Germany's second biggest club and the 1997 Champions Cup winner, fell to 14th and in a relegation battle during a year when it is also struggling financially. \nSchalke, which spent the most money on new players in the league, has gotten lucky on almost all its new acquisitions. \nAilton, last year's scoring leader with 28 goals at Werder Bremen, has been rounding into form, while Kaiserslautern castoff Lincoln has drawn praise as the team's playmaker. Two highly respected defenders, Bremen's Mladen Krstajic and Stuttgart's Marcelo Bordon, have also shored up the defense. \nIn Sunday's second match, Kaiserslautern beat Mainz 05 2-0 behind a score from Kamil Kosowski and an own-goal from Mathias Abel. \nNineteen-year-old Salomon Kalou scored with four minutes remaining to give Feyenoord Rotterdam a 2-1 victory over NEC Nijmegen, keeping it in fourth place in the Dutch first division, 11 points behind Eredivisie leader PSV Eindhoven. \nPSV beat De Graafschap Doetinchem 4-0 on Saturday for its fifth straight victory and 12th straight shutout, improving to 41 points, five clear of AZ Alkmaar, who is in 2nd place. Alkmaar kept pace with PSV, beating ADO The Hague 2-0 with goals from Martijn Meerdink and substitute striker Ali Elkhatabi. \nHeerenveen remained in fifth, five back of Feyenoord, despite a 2-2 draw in Tilburg. Defender Jos van Nieuwstadt equalized two minutes into injury time for Willem II after Heerenveen's Finnish fullback Hannu Haarala was ejected for a second yellow card in the 89th minute. \nAnd Vitesse Arnhem climbed into sixth, a point behind Heerenveen, with a 2-1 victory over FC Utrecht on a last-minute free-kick winner by Theo Janssen. \nAjax remained in third, 10 points behind PSV, with Friday's 2-1 victory over RKC Waalwijk. In other games Saturday, Roda JC beat Groningen 5-1, RBC Roosendaal drew 0-0 with NAC Breda and FC Twente beat Den Bosch 4-0. \nReal Madrid played without four regulars and settled for a 0-0 draw with Villarreal, leaving it nine points behind Spanish league leader FC Barcelona after 14 games. \nAlready without Zinedine Zidane who was injured and suspended Luis Figo, Madrid coach Mariano Garcia Remon rested Raul Gonzalez and Roberto Carlos heading into tomorrow's Champions League match against AS Roma. The result was a disappointing performance that left Madrid in second but dropped it further behind their front-running rival. \nSpanish striker Raul Tamudo's goal earned Espanyol a 1-0 victory over Zaragoza, while Brazilian forward Julio Baptista scored his sixth goal of the season in Sevilla's 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. \nCharlton beat London rival Crystal Palace 1-0 with an injury time winner from substitute Dennis Rommedahl. \nThe win was Charlton's second away win of the season and lifted the club three places to 10th. Charlton goalkeeper Dean Kiely saved a 57th-minute penalty from Andy Johnson. \nAki Riihilahti hit the bar for Palace and Jerome Thomas and Matt Holland went close for Charlton. \nRangers squandered the chance to regain the top spot of the Scottish Premier League by drawing 1-1 with Inverness Caledonian. \nInverness took the lead through Graham Bayne after three minutes, with Dado Prso equalizing for Rangers six minutes into the second half. \nCeltic has 41 points, Rangers 40, Aberdeen 34 and Hibernian 27. \nZlatan Ibrahimovic scored the match-winning goal in the 75th minute to help Juventus rebound from an early deficit and beat Lazio 2-1, restoring its four-point lead atop the Italian league. \nAC Milan had cut Juve's advantage to one point with a 2-1 comeback victory at Parma on Saturday. \nMacedonian striker Goran Pandev put Lazio in the lead in the 11th minute at Stadio delle Alpi, beating three defenders, including Fabio Cannavaro and Lilian Thuram, before launching an accurate angled shot. \nIn the 40th minute, Juve's new Uruguayan midfielder Ruben Olivera converted a header off a pass from Mauro Camoranesi. \nIbrahimovic, who bounced a header off the crossbar eight minutes in, sealed the match with a deflection on a play largely created by attacking midfielder Olivier Kapo of France. \nLiedson Muniz scored twice to lead Sporting over next-to-last placed Academica 3-2, moving it into second place and within a point of Portuguese league leader Porto. \nThe victory gave Sporting 24 points, moving it past Boavista and right behind Porto, which lost 1-0 to Beira Mar on Friday. \nSoren Berg scored a late goal to give OB Odense a 2-1 win over Brann of Norway in the Royal League. \nIt was the first loss in round-robin play for the Norwegian Cup champions, but they kept the lead in Group 3 with six points. \nChris Sorensen also scored for OB at home, netting a free kick from 25m early in the match. Bengt Saternes, who had a hat trick in the Norwegian Cup final last month, headed in the equalizer for Brann later in the first half. The top two teams in each group advance to the second round. \nIn an all-Danish Group 2 match, FC Copenhagen drew 1-1 with Brondby. Thomas Kahlenberg scored for Copenhagen just before halftime, but Elrio van Heerden replied for Brondby in the 78th before 21,763 fans, the biggest crowd of the day. \nIn Group 1, Swedish striker Fredrik Berglund scored two goals and set up a third for Jess Thorup as Esbjerg blanked Swedish Cup champion Djurgarden 3-0 at Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm. \nTop division club La Louviere said yesterday it would appeal against a soccer federation ruling which allowed a defeat against Anderlecht to stand even though one goal was scored with a ball which burst in mid-air. \nAnderlecht beat La Louviere 2-1 last month, but was only able to claw back into the game when midfielder Walter Baseggio scored with a thunderous drive which literally kicked the air out of the ball.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there