Tue, Feb 21, 2012 - Page 18 News List

SOCCER SHORTS

Agencies

NETHERLANDS

Twente cruise, leaders lose

Steve McClaren’s Twente enjoyed an excellent day as they cruised to a 4-1 win at Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch League on Sunday, while leaders PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar both suffered 3-0 defeats. Midfielder Leroy Fer struck after six minutes to put Twente ahead, before second-half goals from Luuk de Jong and Ola John settled the match. Ten minutes before time, Twente’s Peter Wisgerhof was sent off for denying a clear scoring opportunity, but Wilfried Bony missed the penalty. Nacer Chadli made it 4-0, before Mike Havenaar scored a consolation goal. PSV remain top with 45 points after 22 matches on goal-difference ahead of Alkmaar. Heerenveen, 1-0 winners over NAC Breda on Friday, are third with 43 points, one ahead of Twente, who have a game in hand. South Korean Suk Hyun-jun opened the scoring for Groningen against PSV after 29 minutes and Leandro Bacuna doubled the lead early in the second half. After PSV’s Stanislav Manolev received his second booking, Suk scored his second to seal the victory. Alkmaar were reduced to 10 men after 15 minutes when Niklas Moisander received a red card, before Alexander Gerndt converted a penalty to open the scoring. Six minutes later, Gerndt made it 2-0 and before the interval Edouard Duplan added a third. Sixth-placed Ajax moved to 40 points after a 4-1 win over NEC Nijmegen, with Dmitry Bulykin scoring twice.

PORTUGAL

Porto keep up pressure

Marc Janko’s impressive start with Porto continued on Sunday as the Austria international contributed a goal in a 3-1 victory over Setubal to keep the pressure on leaders Benfica. Janko collected a Joao Moutinho pass and squeezed through the Setubal defense to open the scoring after three minutes for his third goal in three games. Fernando took a Hulk pass to score the second in the 26th minute, before Albert Myeong pulled one back for Setubal in the 75th minute after Hulk and Moutinho had both exited the match. Silvestre Valera converted Cristian Rodriguez’s 79th-minute cross to seal a win that moved the defending champions to within two points of Benfica. Sporting coach Ricardo Sa Pinto made a winning start after Pacos Ferreira defender Ricardo’s 36th-minute own-goal lifted the Lisbon club to a 1-0 win that put them joint fourth.

ITALY

Gattuso ready to play for free

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso says he is willing to play for free once he comes back from a serious eye problem. Gattuso has not played since colliding with teammate Alessandro Nesta in Milan’s Serie A opener on Sept. 9. He has been diagnosed with myasthenia — an autoimmune neuromuscular disease. Gattuso’s contract expires at the end of the season, but he said: “I’m ready to play for free even. I’ve told [vice president] Adriano Galliani that it’s not a matter of money. I want to return to doing what I love. I live for football ... at the age of 34, I have never thought about stopping.”

SPAIN

Banega runs himself over

Valencia’s Argentine star Ever Banega will be out of action for about six months after reportedly being run over by his own car. Sports daily Marca said that the midfielder forgot to apply the handbrake when he stopped at a gas station following a training session and his car rolled backwards over his foot. A club spokesman would only confirm that Banega had broken his tibia and fibula in his left leg in a car accident, and that he was undergoing surgery yesterday.

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