Sturm Graz defeat PSG
Laurent Blanc’s first match in charge of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) ended in defeat as the French champions were beaten 3-1 by Austria’s Sturm Graz in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday. Robert Beric put the Austrians ahead on 26 minutes after capitalizing on an error from France under-19 defender Antoine Conte before Marco Djuricin doubled the hosts’ lead two minutes later. Sturm, who were far sharper having returned to training two weeks before their French counterparts, added a third on 76 minutes through Nikola Vujadinovic, while Hervin Ongenda netted a consolation strike with a fine lob five minutes from time. “I’m not going to tell you stories. We were very average in the first half. We played a team getting ready for the start of their league season, which is in about 10 days,” Blanc said afterwards. “The team we faced were much better physically prepared than us. It’s logical and we know it, but technically we could have done better than that. If we have to find something positive to take away, it was the second half with the youngsters who brought freshness to the team and revealed themselves.”
Dos Santos joins Villarreal
Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos has joined newly promoted Spanish side Villarreal from Mallorca, the club announced on Tuesday. An attacking midfielder, Dos Santos, 24, who was a member of Mexico’s Olympic gold medal side in London last year, has signed a four-year contract. Born in Monterrey, Dos Santos came through the junior ranks at Barcelona before joining English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 for a reported 6 million euros (US$7.68 million). He played just six league games before he was farmed out on loan to second-tier Ipswich Town and was later loaned out to Galatasaray in Turkey and Racing Santander. After apparently falling out with Tottenham and threatening to leave on a free transfer at the end of his contract, he joined Mallorca in August last year.
Thorn, 39, eyes comeback
Dual international Brad Thorn says he hopes to play Super Rugby for the Otago Highlanders again next year at the age of 39. Thorn, who has played rugby league for Australia and rugby union for New Zealand, told Fairfax media he hoped to finalize a contract with the Dunedin-based Highlanders over the next few days. The 38-year-old forward said he was “keen to play some more footy. I feel pretty good, but I just need a break.”
Drunken fan sparks riot
Two people were killed and several injured in chaotic scenes at a match in Papua New Guinea sparked by a drunken supporter attacking a security guard with a machete, reports said yesterday. The match in the Pacific nation’s central town of Wabag between Enga Mioks and Lae Snax Tigers was underway on Sunday when a fan was stopped by security officials on his way into the ground. The National newspaper said he pulled out a machete and killed a guard. The attack sparked a riot among spectators with another fan killed and several others stabbed, while the Tigers team bus was torched, along with two other vehicles. Some rugby league officials had to be flown out by helicopter after the main highway was blocked by angry Tigers supporters. Police arrested a man in connection with the initial killing, while the PNG Rugby League canceled all Enga home games until an investigation was completed.