Tue, May 08, 2012 - Page 18 News List

SOCCER SHORTS

Agencies

POLAND

Slask Wroclaw claim title

Slask Wroclaw on Sunday won one of the tightest title races in recent history, bringing the trophy to their southwestern city for the first time since their debut title in 1977. Slask wrapped up their impressive run in the 16-club Ekstraklasa with a 1-0 win away to last season’s champions Wisla Krakow, who finished the season in seventh place. Their 51st-minute scorer was Rok Elsner, a Slovenian and French dual citizen who signed for Slask in 2010, and who had previously failed to find the net this season. Slask notched up 56 points over the season, just one ahead of runners-up Ruch Chorzow, who beat Lechia Gdansk 2-1 away. With 53 points, meanwhile, Legia Warsaw secured Poland’s third berth in European competition after beating Korona Kielce 1-0 away thanks to a 64th-minute goal from teenager Rafal Wolski. Last week, rising star Wolski earned his first senior call-up from Poland manager Franciszek Smuda for the Euro 2012 host nation’s squad.

NETHERLANDS

Feyenoord finish in second

Feyenoord earned a Champions League berth on Sunday after beating SC Heerenveen 3-1 in the final round of the Dutch league. Otman Bakkal, Sekou Cisse and Elvis Manu scored as Feyenoord finished second, one spot in front of PSV Eindhoven, who beat last-placed Excelsior Rotterdam 3-1. That defeat relegated Excelsior. Heerenveen and PSV will feature in the Europa league next season. Ajax, who secured their 31st league title on Wednesday last week, beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-1 with Andre Ooijer scoring in his last game before retiring. Dmitry Bultkin and Jan Vertonghen also found the net. Steve McClaren’s Twente will play Waalwijk in the playoffs for a Europa League spot after losing at VVV-Venlo 4-2. AZ Akmaar secured their Europa League spot with a 1-0 win over Groningen, while RKC Waalwijk lost 3-2 at NAC Breda. De Graafschap will participate in the relegation playoffs against lower division side Den Bosch after beating ADO The Hague 5-3.

BELGIUM

Anderlecht claim 31st title

RSC Anderlecht celebrated their 31st Belgian league title on Sunday after a 94th-minute penalty secured a 1-1 draw at home to nearest challengers Club Brugge KV. Anderlecht trailed to a 71st-minute tap-in from Maxime Lestienne, but won a penalty in stoppage-time when Michael Almeback was judged to have pushed Dieumerci Mbokani, allowing Guillaume Gillet to level with the final kick of the match. With two games left to play, Anderlecht have an unassailable seven-point lead over Brugge in the title playoffs. Anderlecht secured a qualifying spot for next season’s Champions League, but the race for second continues.

UKRAINE

Shakhtar retain the cup

Reigning champions Shakhtar Donetsk won their eighth national cup when they beat city rivals Metalurg 2-1 after extra-time in Kiev on Sunday. Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira put Shakhar into the lead in the 23rd minute when he lobbed the ball into the net over Metalurg goalkeeper Alexander Bandura, but Metalurg’s Nikolai Morozyuk pulled the scores level in the 69th minute with a well-struck free-kick, helped on its way by a slight ricochet. However, Shakhtar defender Alexander Kucher scored the winning goal in the 104th minute, sending home a rebound after Bandura parried a powerful shot by Yaroslav Rakitsky.

This story has been viewed 1400 times.
TOP top