’Keeper, 17, foils Inter
Inter suffered another San Siro letdown when they were foiled by 17-year-old Udinese goalkeeper Simone Scuffet in a goalless draw on Thursday. Watched by club president Erick Thohir, who flew in from his native Indonesia on a rare visit to watch his team, Inter were jeered off the field by their fans after another frustrating evening in Serie A. Scuffet, who has performed impressively for Udinese since being drafted into the side last month following an injury to Zeljko Brkic, capped his display with a stunning close-range save to deny Estebian Cambiasso in the 87th minute. The teenager also foiled Hernanes twice and intercepted a dangerous header across goal by Mauro Icardi. Inter, beaten 2-1 at home by Atalanta BC on Sunday after hitting the woodwork four times, are fifth in the Serie A with 48 points from 30 games.
Rennes move to semis
Stade Rennais shrugged off their Ligue 1 struggles to reach the French Cup semi-finals on Thursday with a 2-0 win over high-flying LOSC Lille Metropole. Polish international Kamil Grosicki and Romain Alessandrini scored the goals that gave Rennes a last-four clash against second division Angers SCO. The result also brought an end to Lille’s eight-match unbeaten run, a stretch that has helped them into third spot in the Ligue 1 table. AS Monaco routed second division RC Lens 6-0 on Wednesday to also reach the semi-finals and keep their outside hopes of a league-and-cup double on track. Argentine winger Lucas Ocampos scored Monaco’s opener after 17 minutes and added his second of the night in the 69th minute. Dimitar Berbatov, Emmanuel Riviere, Fabinho and Geoffrey Kondogbia were also on target for Monaco. In the semi-finals, to be played on April 15 and 16, Monaco are to face En Avant de Guingamp.
Violence bill approved
Mexico’s lower house of congress approved legislation on Thursday to impose up to four years in prison for fan violence at sporting events, days after soccer aficionados fought police at a game. The bill calls for prison terms ranging between three months and four years for acts such as storming fields, throwing harmful objects, attacking people, bringing weapons into stadiums, inciting violence and participating in brawls. The bill requires clubs to create a registry of violent fans who would be barred from attending events. On Saturday last week, fans of Mexico’s most popular soccer club, Chivas de Guadalajara, fought with police after authorities sought to put out flares during a game against their western city rivals Atlas. About 40 people were injured and 12 detained.
Weepu heart issue identified
A minor stroke suffered by former All Blacks scrumhalf Piri Weepu this month may have been caused by a hole in his heart, the Auckland Blues said yesterday. Weepu was ruled out of all rugby for at least four weeks on Thursday after doctors, attempting to find the cause of his migraine-like symptoms, discovered he had suffered a minor stroke on March 1. The 30-year-old played three Super Rugby games before he had a scan on Monday. A spokesman for the Blues told local media yesterday that further checks had discovered a small hole in his heart, which is likely to have caused the stroke. The 71-Test World Cup winner is to see a cardiologist next week to determine the next course of treatment.