Stuttgart continue revival
VfB Stuttgart continued their revival under new coach Thomas Schneider with a 1-0 win at Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga on Friday. Christian Gentner scored in the 49th minute when he met Alexandru Maxim’s corner at the near post to head past Thomas Kraft. Kraft displayed fantastic reflexes to deny Gentner before the break, when he tipped over the Stuttgart player’s powerful header in a rare attack for the visitors. The home side dominated the game, but failed to convert possession into clear-cut chances. Adrian Ramos illustrated his side’s wastefulness when he blasted over from a promising position in the 25th. Stuttgart had goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to thank for securing the win with a string of saves in the second half as Hertha’s pressure failed to yield an equalizer.
PSG take top spot
Brazil forward Lucas scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to help the Ligue 1 champions snatch top spot with a 2-0 win at Girondins de Bordeaux on Friday. Lucas, who joined the club from Sao Paulo in January, added to Blaise Matuidi’s first-half opener as the visitors secured a deserved victory at Chaban Delmas. PSG have 11 points from five games and lead second-placed AS Monaco, who take on Lorient today, by one point. Laurent Blanc’s side were always in control and went ahead when Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s through ball found Matuidi and he beat ’keeper Cedric Carrasso from close range on the half hour. PSG made it 2-0 in the 64th minute when Marco Verratti released Lucas on the left and he coolly wrong-footed the ’keeper.
Cheetahs down Lions
Riaan Smit slotted a penalty three minutes from time to give the Cheetahs a 26-23 win over the Lions on Friday in a South African Currie Cup catfight. They were the only points scored by the hosts during the second half in Bloemfontein after turning over with a 23-3 advantage. Right-wing Smit did not miss a kick at goal, steering two conversions and four penalties between the posts at Free State Stadium. Center Johann Sadie and outstanding scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius were the Cheetahs’ try scorers on a perfect early spring night for rugby. Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies, yellow-carded on 30 minutes for throwing the ball away, also gave a perfect goal-kicking display. The discarded Springbok playmaker kicked three penalties and converted tries by replacement back Ruhan Nel and left wing Anthony Volmink. The Lions impressed at scrum time, with former Springbok C.J. van der Linde giving tight-head Rossouw de Klerk a torrid time before the Cheetah was substituted. Victory lifted the Cheetahs to second spot, behind title-holders Western Province on points difference, and the Lions are a point behind in third place.
Jovanovksi wins second title
Top-seeded Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia earned her second career WTA title yesterday by outlasting Olga Govortsova of Belarus 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 in the final of the Tashkent Open. Jovanovski was broken twice in the first set, but bounced back by breaking her opponent three times in the second. Both players finished with five breaks of serve each in a match that lasted nearly three hours. The 21-year-old Jovanovski also won a tournament in Baku last year, while the 113th-ranked Govortsova was looking for her first WTA title. She made her first Grand Slam appearance at this year’s US Open.