Bordeaux send warning
Yoann Gourcuff led Bordeaux to a 4-0 thrashing of Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night to open this year’s league program on a high and give a warning to French league leaders Lyon. Bordeaux now lie just a point behind the seven-time reigning champions after controlling a match that was peppered with classy goals to inflict PSG’s first defeat since losing to Rennes at the end of November. Souleymane Diawara opened the scoring when he got on the end of a Gourcuff free-kick after 10 minutes to glance home a header leaving PSG keeper Mickael Landreau no chance. Fernando Cavenaghi beat defender Zoumana Camara to a Mathieu Chalme long ball to fire home left-footed inside Landreau’s right hand post in the 35th minute. From then on, it was all Bordeaux who rounded off the scoring in the 70th and 87th minutes through Gourcuff and Fernando, though PSG’s Stephane Sessegnon had hit the post midway through the second half.
Tongan dies of heart attack
A Tongan rugby player, recently married and the father of two young children, died from a heart attack during a French third division match on Sunday. The 28-year-old Perigueux flanker Feao Latu collapsed just 15 minutes into the top-of-the-table match at Cahors and was pronounced dead at hospital, emergency services said. “It’s dreadful. We are completely shocked. All the players and all of the rugby family here have lived through a drama today. It’s hard to accept,” Perigueux club president Michel Macary said. Latu complained of feeling unwell in the 17th minute when Cahors had scored a try. While the players waited for the conversion, Latu fell to his knees and signaled to the bench and the club doctor for attention. Around a thousand spectators witnessed the drama at the Lucien Desprats Stadium in Cahors, with the match eventually called off.
Players won’t be celebrating
Japan coach Takeshi Okada issued a bizarre ban on three of his players from attending their “coming-of-age” ceremony yesterday. Okada refused to release the trio from training for the traditional ceremony for those who have reached 20 — the mark of adulthood in Japan and a day observed with a national holiday. “There’s no need for them to go to a coming of age ceremony,” Okada said. “I’m not going either.” Cerezo Osaka midfielder Takashi Inui, his club teammate Shinji Kagawa and Oita Trinita midfielder Mu Kanazaki have all been told they cannot leave Japan’s training camp in Kyushu. Twenty is also the legal age for drinking in Japan, a fact that will not be lost on Okada after several embarrassing drink-related incidents involving Japanese players in recent years. “Football is more important,” said Inui after hearing he would not get the chance to dress up. “I want to get as much as I can out of this camp.”
Hansen edges out McLardy
Anders Hansen birdied the final hole on Sunday to finish at 15-under 269 and beat Andrew McLardy by one stroke at the Johannesburg Open. The Dane shot a five-under 66 at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club East Course to hold off McLardy, who finished second for the second time in three years after a 68. Hansen had six birdies, including four straight from the sixth hole. Two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen (74), who started the final round just one shot behind, had nine bogeys — six on the back nine. But he entertained the crowd with a 240-yard albatross on the 18th.