Derby turns ugly
Three players were sent off as Sao Paulo and Corinthians drew 1-1 in a bad-tempered Brazilian derby on Sunday where rivalries were fueled by a row over tickets. Corinthians were furious after being allocated only 10 percent of the tickets by Sao Paulo for the Paulista championship game at the Morumbi. The row had simmered all week, with Corinthians describing their rivals as “elitist.” The bad feeling spilled over onto the pitch as the match produced 11 yellow cards. Corinthians midfielder Tulio was first to be sent off for punching an opponent after the two tangled in the 38th minute. Sao Paulo’s Wagner Diniz followed after halftime for a tackle from behind. Borges put Sao Paulo ahead following a neat move in the 75th minute, but Andre Santos leveled five minutes later, only to be sent off shortly afterwards for a second bookable offense. Gremio forward Jonas scored twice in six minutes to help his side win 2-1 at Avenida in the Rio Grando do Sul championship in southern Brazil. The game was held up three times in the first half as the paper thrown onto the field by fans caught fire, also burning advertising hoardings.
Ajax bag rare victory
Ajax earned their first win in five matches on Sunday by beating 10-man Feyenoord 2-0 in the Dutch league. Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen converted Kennedy Bakircioglu’s free-kick in the 52nd minute to put Ajax in front. Midfielder Urby Emanuelson, who had hit the post with a free-kick in the 73rd minute, added the second in the 90th minute after taking a pass from Luis Suarez. Dwight Tiendalli was sent off in the 82nd minute after picking up a second yellow card. Also on Sunday, Gonzalo Garcia and Marcus Berg scored a goal each as FC Groningen beat Heracles Almelo 2-0. NEC Nijmegen and SC Heerenveen drew 1-1, with Youssef El-Akchaoui’s 39th minute goal canceling out Viktor Elm’s opener. Sparta Rotterdam drew 0-0 with Vitesse Arnhem.
Panathinaikos go second
Panathinaikos moved back to second place despite a 0-0 draw at Iraklis in the Greek league on Sunday. The Athenians now have 43 points, the same as PAOK, who beat Levadiakos 3-0 on Saturday. Olympiakos lead the league with 57 points after their 2-1 win over Aris on Saturday. After an action-free first half, Panathinaikos charged forward in the second, squandering a major scoring chance in the 58th minute when a shot by midfielder Clayton sailed over the crossbar with Iraklis goalkeeper Wojciech Kowalewski out of position. In the 78th minute, Vangelis Mantzios thought he had scored for Panathinaikos, but referee Anastasios Kakos disallowed it for offside. Six minutes before the end of the game, Panathinaikos wanted a penalty when Grigoris Papazacharias handled inside Iraklis’ area, but the referee played on. Also on Sunday, it was OFI Crete 1, Asteras 1; Panthrakikos 0, Larissa 1; and Panserraikos 1, Xanthi 0.
Porto maintain their lead
Porto eased to a 3-1 home victory over Rio Ave in the Portuguese Premier League on Sunday to retain their one-point lead over Benfica, who kept the pressure on the leaders with a 3-2 win against Pacos de Ferreira. Argentine Ernesto Farias score twice in the champions’ victory, while his compatriot Lucho Gonzalez added the other. Benfica’s goals all came in the second half through Oscar Cardozo, Ruben Amorim and Angel di Maria, but the hosts were given a late scare when Pacos scored their second goal in injury-time.