Tue, Mar 24, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■SOCCER

Olympiakos claim title

Olympiakos won a fifth straight Greek league title and their 12th in the last 13 seasons by beating Panionios 3-2 on Sunday. Dudu scored one goal and set up another for Matt Derbyshire. Predrag Djordjevic also scored for Olympiakos, while Lourenco da Silva and Anderson Gonzaga scored for Panionios. With three rounds to go, Olympiakos have 65 points, 11 ahead of Panathinaikos and PAOK Thessaloniki. Panathinaikos were held to a 1-1 draw at Asteras and PAOK beat last-place Thrasivoulos 2-1. Meanwhile, around 60 fans clashed with police inside the Olympic stadium in Athens and police said they had used tear gas to disperse the crowd. Police said they had also clashed with dozens of fans outside the stadium, where AEK were hosting Levadiakos.

■RUGBY LEAGUE

Match called off after death

Celtic Crusaders and Wakefield Wildcats called off their Super League clash on Sunday following the death of a 21-year-old player in a reserves fixture between the clubs. Crusaders and Wildcats second strings were playing at Maestag, South Wales, when Wakefield’s Leon Walker collapsed in the 63rd minute. He was airlifted to a hospital in nearby Swansea, but was pronounced dead upon arrival. Walker signed for Wakefield in November having spent three years at Salford City Reds, where he earned representative honors with Yorkshire and England in 2007. “This is a tragic loss for all involved with rugby league. Clearly everybody at the club is devastated by this news and all our sympathies and prayers are with the family at this time,” Wakefield chairman Ted Richardson said.

■SOCCER

Capello calls up Baines

England coach Fabio Capello handed Everton defender Leighton Baines a surprise call-up to his squad for the friendly against Slovakia and World Cup qualifier against Ukraine. Capello also named Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster, Tottenham defender Ledley King and his White Hart Lane team-mate Aaron Lennon in the 24-man squad. Uncapped left-back Baines comes in for injured Manchester City star Wayne Bridge. The former Wigan player has been watched several times by Capello and scored a superb free-kick in Saturday’s defeat at Portsmouth to finally claim his first goal for Everton since joining the club two seasons ago. King’s presence in the squad for the first time under Capello was also a surprise given that the Tottenham center-back is rarely able to train because of a long-term knee injury. With Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard back for the first time since the qualifying win in Belarus last October and Rio Ferdinand fit, England should be at full strength against Slovakia at Wembley next weekend.

■SOCCER

Coach needs police help

French coach Henri Michel left Super Stadium near Pretoria in a police vehicle on Sunday after Mamelodi Sundowns became the latest victims of a shock-riddled South African FA Cup. The defending champions lost 1-0 after extra time to Platinum Stars in a second round tie settled by a harsh 95th-minute penalty that Colombian Luis Renteria converted. When the final whistle sounded a mob chanting “Michel must go” tried to jump over a security fence, but police and security officials quickly defused the situation. Defeat was the final straw for some success-spoilt Sundowns supporters with the Cup exit to unfashionable Platinum ending their last hope of collecting silverware this season.

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