Fluminense win derby
Brazil international striker Fred scored with an early volley to give Fluminense a 1-0 win over Flamengo and put them six points clear at the top of the Brazilian championship on Sunday. Fred struck in the 18th minute of the “Fla-Flu” derby at the Engenhao from a cross by former Barcelona, Chelsea and Portugal midfielder Deco and then withstood the attacks of opponents who enjoyed more possession and chances on goal. Fluminense, who have won 17 of their 27 matches, lead on 59 points with 11 matches to go after their closest challengers Atletico Mineiro were held 1-1 away by lowly Portuguesa on Saturday. Fred’s team needed some strong goalkeeping from Diego Cavalieri to keep the three points, including a penalty save from Argentine substitute midfielder Dario Bottinelli three minutes from time. Flamengo had fullback Ramon sent off in stoppage-time for a second booking after a foul on Marcos Junior. “We had good chances to equalize and even turn the game around, but sadly we didn’t score in the first half and conceded one. Flamengo deserved at least a draw, that would have been fair,” striker Wagner Love told reporters.
PSV hit VVV-Venlo for six
Debutant Juergen Locadia and Dries Mertens both scored hat-tricks to inspire PSV Eindhoven to a 6-0 win against 10-man VVV-Venlo on Sunday to close in on leaders Twente. Belgian international Mertens opened the scoring midway through the first half with a well-placed drive from distance and doubled the lead 10 minutes before the break with a superb volley. The hosts’ Uche Nwofor was sent off after 65 minutes for a second booking after which PSV scored four more, with Mertens grabbing his third and 18-year-old Locadia scoring three times in 11 minutes on his league debut for PSV. PSV climbed to third with 15 points, three behind Twente, who suffered a 1-0 defeat at Ajax on Saturday. US international Jozy Altidore scored his eighth league goal of the season for midtable AZ in an enthralling 3-3 draw against RKC Waalwijk. Waalwijk came from behind twice and took the lead through Henrico Drost early in the second half, before Adam Maher salvaged a point for AZ with four minutes remaining. Michael de Leeuw scored a hat-trick for Groningen in a 3-2 win over Roda JC Kerkrade, while struggling PEC Zwolle, who began the day bottom of the table, beat Willem II Tilburg 1-0 to clinch their first win of the season.
Olympiakos set the pace
Olympiakos Pireaus continue to set the pace in the Greek Super League after securing a hard-earned 1-0 win at Atromitos, as Panathinaikos’ struggles continued with a 0-0 draw and AEK parted company with coach Vangelis Vlachos. Leonardo Jardim’s Olympiakos made it five wins from five courtesy of Spanish midfielder David Fuster’s first-half goal on Saturday, keeping them three points ahead of Panionios, who defeated AEK 1-0 on Sunday thanks to a 16th-minute strike by Leonidas Kabantais. That result spelled the end of Vlachos’ tenure at AEK.
Academica claim first win
Academica won 2-0 at CS Maritimo on Sunday for their first league win of the season after four straight draws. Striker Wilson Eduardo opened for Academica 11 minutes in with an individual effort to beat Maritimo goalkeeper Romain Salin. Mario “Marinho” Correia then doubled the advantage two minutes before halftime when he dribbled through the defense and fired home.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7