Ex-convict stays to play
Russian Maksim Molokoedov, who was convicted of drug trafficking, will stay in the country to play second-division soccer after finishing his three-year prison term on Friday. The 25-year-old Molokoedov will play for Santiago Morning, where he has trained since last season under a special permit. Minister of Justice Juan Ignacio Pina on Friday said that Molokoedov’s expulsion order from the country had been revoked, clearing him to play for Santiago. Molokoedov, who played for Pskov-747 in the Russian second division, was jailed after being caught by border guards carrying 6kg of cocaine. “I’m very happy. I want to thank everyone who helped me to keep going and have the chance to succeed here in Chile,” Molokoedov said. Frank Lobos, a former midfielder with first-division team Colo Colo, discovered Molokoedov while training the prison soccer team.
Freiburg draw with Frankurt
Eintracht Frankfurt drew 0-0 with SC Freiburg on Friday to hold off the home side’s challenge for the Bundesliga’s last Champions League place. “The draw was fair,” Frankfurt manager Armin Veh said. “We didn’t allow anything in the first half, Freiburg were better in the second.” Frankfurt’s Stefan Aigner — who had a goal ruled out for being offside early on — could only hit the side netting after racing toward goal in the 17th minute. Freiburg improved after the break and almost scored from a corner in the 64th, when Stefano Celozzi cleared Jan Rosenthal’s header off the line. One minute later, he did it again, this time from Mattias Ginter. Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp denied Max Kruse in the 76th, Johannes Flum headed over with five minutes remaining and then drew another save from Trapp. Frankfurt remained fourth while Freiburg stayed three points behind ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.
Nice defeat Reims 2-0
OGC Nice won for the third time in the past four league games as they beat struggling Stade de Reims 2-0 on Friday to consolidate fourth place in the French league and move provisionally one point behind Olympique de Marseille. Midfielder Valentin Eysseric put Nice ahead in the 11th minute from the penalty spot and Argentine center-half Renato Civelli scored in the 85th after Reims left-back Aissa Mandi was sent off midway through the second half. Nice have lost only once in all competitions this year and are pressuring Marseille ahead of their trip to play bitter rivals Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday. Second-placed Olympique Lyonnais, which are three points behind PSG and two ahead of Marseille, host Lorient today. Reims are just one point and one place above the relegation zone.
Hannover signing ill with TB
Hannover 96 new signing Franca is suffering from tuberculosis (TB) and will be out of action for several months, but his career is not in danger, the club said on Friday. The Brazilian midfielder joined Hannover last month and is likely to have already been infected with the virus when he traveled from his homeland, Hannover said. “We are very sorry for Franca, but the most important thing is that he recovers and returns healthy,” sports director Joerg Schmadtke said in a statement. “After treatment he will continue his career as a footballer according to the doctors. That is important and good news for him and us.” Club officials said it was “unlikely” for other players to have the virus, but there will be blood tests in the coming weeks.