Kevin Gameiro’s hat-trick guided Paris Saint-Germain to a 3-1 victory over AC Ajaccio on Sunday to maintain their three-point lead atop Ligue 1.
The France international opened the scoring in the second minute by flicking home Nene’s corner after it was redirected to him at the far post by Sylvain Armand.
Carl Medjani equalized from Arnaud Maire’s cross in the 24th minute, before PSG went ahead for good in the 50th minute when midfielder Mohamed Sissoko set up Gameiro to score his second.
Three minutes later, Gameiro tapped in a cutback from Clement Chantome to complete his impressive day and become the top scorer in the league with eight goals.
“Ajaccio troubled us in the first half, but the most important thing is the victory,” Gameiro said.
“We consolidated first place. We must keep going to stay in the lead as long as possible,” he said.
PSG lead Olympique Lyonnais and Montpellier Herault as they chase their first league title since 1994. They have quickly gelled as a team following an investment of 85 million euros (US$117 million) made this summer to sign nine players.
“We went back to the dressing room with the score tied and I didn’t like it,” PSG coach Antoine Kombouare said. “The most important thing is that we showed a different face after the break. We played with our qualities and made the difference with our game.”
Also on Sunday, Stade Rennais defeated Lorient 2-0 to climb to fifth place, while Valenciennes routed mid-table Sochaux-Montbeliard 3-0 to move out of the relegation zone.
In Rennes, Jires Kembo-Ekoko curled a free-kick from 25m into the top corner in the 10th minute.
The Rennes striker nearly doubled the lead on another set piece in the 18th minute, but Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard jumped to make the save. Instead, Burkina Faso forward Jonathan Pitroipa made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute by converting a penalty after Lorient fullback Arnaud Le Lan had tripped Kembo-Ekoko.
“We stifled Lorient,” Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti said. “We prevented them from playing. The players pressed high up the pitch relentlessly.”
Meanwhile in Valenciennes, Vincent Aboubakar controlled a throw-in from Gaetan Bong, spun and fired home in the 43rd minute.
Algeria midfielder Foued Kadir added a second goal on a counterattack in the 71st minute, before Aboubakar sealed the win with a close-range effort four minutes later.
“We’re happy and relieved tonight,” Valenciennes coach Daniel Sanchez said. “Our first half was average, but that goal just before halftime did us a lot of good. We were more ambitious and relaxed in the second half.”
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
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