Breda stun leaders PSV
Leaders PSV Eindhoven suffered a stunning 4-2 defeat at NAC Breda in the Dutch league on Friday as they missed the chance to go six points clear. Breda twice came from behind before goals by Ali Boussaboun and Matthew Amoah, with his second of the match, wrapped up the victory despite Kees Luijckx being sent off in the 74th. Twente Enschede would move level on 34 points with PSV at the top if they won at NEC Nijmegen yesterday. PSV took the lead through Jonathan Reis after 15 minutes before Amoah set up Leonardo to equalize on the half-hour, but Balazs Dzsudzsak put the visitors in front again in the 33rd. Amoah then headed home his first goal four minutes before the interval to leave the scores level at halftime. Boussaboun put Breda ahead five minutes into the second half and, after Luijckx was dismissed for a second booking, Amoah scored again 11 minutes from time to wrap up the points.
Portuguese refs pull out
A group of Portuguese referees has joined Polish match officials in withdrawing from plans to replace striking referees in this weekend’s Scottish Premier League matches. Poland’s football association backed out of an agreement reached on Thursday to send 12 match officials to Scotland to cover for referees who went on strike to protest clubs’ criticism of their recent performances. The Scottish Football Association said on Friday that all six topflight matches were still on, although a First Division game between Greenock Morton and Falkirk has been postponed. However, later Friday, Portuguese referees who had been brought in had also returned home. They were due to officiate in Hibernian’s home game against St Johnstone yesterday and the match today between Motherwell and Hearts. Israeli officials were due to run yesterday’s matches between Hamilton and St Mirren, and Kilmarnock and Aberdeen. A delegation from Luxembourg were to take charge of the weekend’s biggest matches. The officials were to take charge of Celtic’s home match against Inverness yesterday and Rangers’ visit to Dundee United today.
Van Gaal safe: Rummenigge
Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal’s job is safe despite the team being 14 points behind Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund close to the halfway mark of the season, according to club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “Van Gaal is not wobbling at all,” Rummenigge told yesterday’s edition of Bild newspaper. Rummenigge said the board remains convinced of Van Gaal’s qualities. “We have to go through this difficult stage together. Anything else would not be Bayern-like. After all, we are still on course in the German Cup and the Champions League,” Rummenigge said. Bayern won the domestic double last season and reached the Champions League final but the Bundelsiga title now appears out of reach.
Charisteas quits Arles
Greek striker Angelos Charisteas has agreed to quit Arles-Avignon by mutual consent, having failed to relaunch his career with the French first division strugglers. Charisteas, 30, joined Arles from Bundesliga side Nuremberg in the hope of reigniting his career after two frustrating years. However promoted Arles have won only one match in 14 starts, and the Greek striker failed to make an impact. Charisteas and the club reached agreement to bring his contract, due to expire at the end of the season, to an end with immediate effect.
Dodgers resign Garland
The Los Angeles Dodgers strengthened their starting rotation on Friday by signing former All-Star pitcher Jon Garland to a one-year contract with a vesting option for 2012. The 31-year-old, who returns to the Dodgers after playing for the San Diego Padres last season, will link up with fellow pitchers Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda and Ted Lilly in Los Angeles. “We’re very pleased to have Jon join this group and give us five very strong starters going into spring training,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement. Each of the quintet won at least 10 games last season, with Garland going 14-12 for the Padres with a 3.47 ERA.
Ricciardo gets reserve spot
Australian Daniel Ricciardo will drive for Toro Rosso in Friday morning free practice sessions as their official reserve at Grand Prix next season, the Formula One team said. Their race lineup of Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi and Spain’s Jaime Alguersuari will remain unchanged, although each will have to give up a Friday session in turn. “When our team was created, its stated aim was to bring on young drivers from the Red Bull Junior Program, so Daniel’s appointment as our third driver is an obvious one,” team principal Franz Tost said on Friday. “Although Daniel has done some F1 testing already, running on Fridays at the Grand Prix will give him a valuable insight into the additional pressures of doing it for real during a race weekend. I am also sure that having a hungry youngster on the books will keep our current driver pairing nice and sharp.”
Contador submits documents
Three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has submitted documents which he says prove that a piece of contaminated meat is to blame for his failed dope test, a source close to the Spaniard said on Friday. The source, who is not authorized to speak publicly about the case and therefore declined to be named, said Contador handed over all “necessary documents” to the Spanish federation on Friday. Contador, who failed a test for the banned anabolic agent clen-buterol during this year’s Tour, could lose his title if found guilty by the Spanish federation, who are expected to announce a decision within three months. The 27-year-old Contador, one of only five men with victories in all three grand Tours — the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana — could face a two-year ban from the sport.
Machata wins season-opener
Germany’s Manuel Machata drove his two-man bobsled to a win at the first World Cup race of the season in Whistler, British Columbia, on Thursday at the Vancouver Olympic track. Machata — a World Cup rookie — and brakeman Andreas Bredau finished two runs in 1 minute, 44.06 seconds. There was a tie for second with Canada’s Lyndon Rush and brakeman Neville Wright, along with Germany’s Karl Angerer and Christian Friedrich, 0.19 seconds off the pace.
Montgomery edges Bromley
Canada’s Jon Montgomery won the World Cup skeleton season-opener on Friday night in Whistler, British Columbia, sliding to victory on the same track where he won gold at the Vancouver Olympics. Montgomery’s two-run time was 1 minute, 47.56 seconds. Britain’s Kristan Bromley was second, while Alexander Tretyakov of Russia finished third.
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
It is the land of the world champions, but is it really a soccer country? That is the question that some in France have been asking this week while its European neighbors work to bring the sport back after the COVID-19 shutdown. Debate has raged ever since Ligue 1 decided in late April to bring a premature end to the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed. By contrast, two weeks have passed since the Bundesliga restarted, while Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday confirmed that Serie A would return on June 20, and La Liga and the English Premier
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of