Ref quits after attack
Referee Bachir Awasa was glad to have escaped alive after being assaulted by players and staff in a domestic second-division match last weekend, but has decided to quit following the experience. Awasa was kicked and chased around the pitch in Beirut after showing a red card to an al-Nahda player in Saturday’s match against al-Salam Zgharta. “From the reaction of the players and the staff I expected to be harmed in a grave way ... to be honest I did not expect to get out alive,” the referee told al Jadeed television on Friday. “Usually, whenever we issue a red card we expect a reaction from the player ... and indeed that is what happened. He ran after me and attacked me. When he tried to hit me I tried to run and then coach Mahmoud Seif Eddine also attacked me and other staff ran after me and things got out of hand and I tried to run from one place to the other.”
Nuremberg down Augsburg
Hiroshi Kiyotake scored the opening goal and drew a foul that led to the winner as Nuremberg beat Augsburg 2-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday. The Japan midfielder curled a left-foot shot inside the far post in the 21st minute after a good pass from Alexander Esswein. Augsburg equalized in the 36th when Tobias Werner headed a cross and Nuremberg goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer caught the ball before dropping it and letting it trickle through his legs, and across the line. Esswein scored Nuremberg’s winner in the 54th minute after Kiyotake was brought down on the edge of the box. Esswein drilled his free-kick through the wall after one of his teammates moved to create a gap. Nuremberg moved 10 points above the relegation playoff spot, occupied by Augsburg..
Player puts sick son first
A Greek player has given up playing in the top-flight Super League and joined a fifth-division German team in order to be near his sick son, Athens sports daily Goal News said on Friday. Former Levadiakos defender Giannis Alexiou, 28, has switched to KFC Uerdingen 05 after his new-born son Thanos was diagnosed with a rare lung disease, hyperoxaluria type 1, and had to be taken to a children’s hospital in Athens. Months of therapy in Athens and Thessaloniki failed to cure the child, prompting Alexiou to take his son to Germany, where his condition is being treated. “The only thing that mattered was the child and not my career. I did not come to Germany to quit football, either. I’m here to be near my child,” Alexiou said. With bitterness he spoke about his former team, where he was asked to accept a 30 percent pay cut at a time when he needed funds to pay his son’s medical bills. Alexiou said Livadiakos had also promised to help pay 25,000 euros (US$32,500) of medical bills, but failed to do so.
Late strike earns Betis win
Striker Ruben Castro scored late to give Real Betis Balompie a 2-1 win over CA Osasuna on Friday, as the Andalucian side rose to provisional fifth place in the Spanish league. Jorge Molina gave Betis the lead on a rain-soaked home pitch when he headed in Joel Campbell’s cross in the 19th minute. Osasuna made two substitutions at halftime and came back into the game, with Francisco Silva equalizing in the 73rd minute on the break. However, Betis coach Pepe Mel sent on Dorlan Pabon in the 78th and a minute later the Colombian threaded a perfect through pass for Castro to roll under the goalkeeper.