Tue, Oct 28, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Soccer Shorts

AGENCIES

■PALESTINE

Palestine draw at home

Palestinians finally got to play international soccer on home soil on Sunday, drawing 1-1 with Jordan in front of packed stands. The Palestinian team, recognized by FIFA a decade ago, played at a new 6,500 seat stadium in the occupied West Bank town of al-Ram, near Jerusalem, in a match attended by FIFA president Sepp Blatter. The stands overflowed with fans and hundreds also watched from rooftops of vehicles and nearby homes as the Palestinians took an early lead, when in the fourth minute Ahmed Kashkash broke through the Jordanian defense. Kashkash rounded advancing keeper Loay Amayrah and slotted the ball home from the edge of the area. Jordan equalized with a goal in the 48th minute, when with the Palestinian defense in disarray, Raed Nawatir had an easy task putting the ball away after sending goalkeeper Mohammed Shobeer in the wrong direction.

■GREECE

Aris down the champions

Spanish striker Javito scored a first-half goal on Sunday to help Aris beat visiting Olympiakos 1-0 in the Greek league. It was the first defeat this season for the defending champions, who still top the league with 16 points. PAOK beat Levadiakos 3-1 on Saturday to be second with 15 points. Aris controlled play throughout, with Javito scoring with a header in the 18th minute. A disorganized Olympiakos had their best chance in the 90th minute, when a blistering shot by Fernando Belluschi from inside the area sailed over the crossbar. Panathinaikos drew 2-2 at home with Iraklis. Panathinaikos is fourth with 11 points, but has a match in hand. Panathinaikos took the lead in the 33rd minute after a header by Vangelis Mantzios. Iraklis leveled in the 62nd minute when Manolis Papasterianos scored with a deflected shot off Panathinaikos defender Loukas Vyntraon after a counterattack. Two minutes later, 25,000 Panathinaikos fans at Athens Olympic Stadium were silenced when Kiko Raton gave Iraklis a 2-1 lead off a pass from Papasterianos. But Dimitris Salpingidis equalized just seconds before the final whistle after a cross by Sotiris Ninis. Also on Sunday, it was Thrasivoulos 3, AEK 3; Xanthi 2, Panserraikos 1; and Ergotelis 2, Panionios 5.

■PORTUGAL

Nacional join Leixoes at top

Nacional Madeira joined Leixoes at the top of the Portuguese Premier League table after a 1-0 win at home over Vitoria Setubal on Sunday. Brazilian striker Nene gave Nacional victory with a penalty after Setubal defender Auri handled after 78 minutes. The two unheralded teams have 13 points from six games. Benfica, who beat Naval 2-1, are a point behind. Champions Porto, who suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season when they were beaten 3-2 at home by neighbors Leixoes on Saturday, dropped to fourth spot two points behind the leaders.

■ARGENTINA

River Plate lose again

River Plate’s miserable run continued on Sunday when they lost 1-0 at Gimnasia-Jujuy in the Argentine championship, their third such defeat in a week. At the other end of the table, leaders San Lorenzo’s run of six wins came to an end in a 2-1 defeat by Racing Club. Beaten 1-0 by arch-rivals Boca Juniors the previous Sunday and then at home by Mexican side Guadalajara in the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday, champions River remained 19th in the 20-team table. Diego Simeone’s team have won only once in 11 league games and are ahead of bottom-of-the-table Rosario Central on goal difference.

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