Leverkusen net fastest goal
Bayer 04 Leverkusen scored the fastest goal of the season on Sunday and beat Hertha BSC 2-1 in the Bundesliga return for their new coach, moving up one place to fourth. In the late match, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim beat Augsburg 2-0 to move within two points of their opponents in eighth place. Stefan Kiessling notched his 15th goal of the season with a header 40 seconds after kickoff to give Leverkusen a flying start under interim coach Sascha Lewandowski. Lewandowski was co-trainer until he quit a year ago, leaving Sami Hyypia in sole charge of the team. Hyypia was fired last week. Leverkusen doubled their lead after Anis Ben-Hatira had hit the post for Hertha. Son Heung-min collected the rebound, launched a quick counterattack and found Julian Brandt, who chipped over goalkeeper Thomas Kraft. Sandro Wagner pulled one back for Hertha with a header in the 38th minute. Hoffenheim controlled their match against Augsburg and went ahead in the 19th minute when Sejad Salihovic curled a left-foot free-kick over the wall into the left corner. Augsburg goalkeeper Marwin Hitzdived dived to his left, but failed to turn the ball around the post. Salihovic now has 11 goals this season, 10 of them from free-kicks. Hoffenheim secured their 200th Bundesliga victory in the 41st minute. Hitz failed to punch a corner far enough and Tarik Elyounoussi fired at goal. Paul Verhaegh cleared on the line, but Jannik Vestergaard headed the ball back into the net.
Coach ruptures his Achilles
Torino’s last-gasp win over Genoa on Sunday was too much for their goalkeeping coach Beppe Zinetti, who got so carried away that he ruptured his Achilles tendon as he celebrated. Torino said in a statement on their Web site that Zinetti, 55, a former Serie A goalkeeper, would undergo surgery and would not be able to work for the rest of the season. “There was a hint of sadness lingering in the Torino dressing room, despite the extraordinary victory over Genoa,” the club said. Genoa were leading 1-0 until Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci scored in stoppage-time to give Torino a 2-1 win.
Cornet wins her fourth title
France’s Alize Cornet won her fourth career WTA Tour title on Sunday when she saved a match point on her way to a 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 7-5 victory over Italy’s Camila Giorgi in the Katowice final. Cornet, the world No. 22, added the Poland title to trophies at Budapest in 2008, Bad Gastein in 2012 and Strasbourg last year. The 24-year-old had knocked out world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals. “What a match. It was definitely a huge fight, which is what I expected, and I had to save a match point to win the title, so it feels very special,” said Cornet, who faced match point at 4-5 in the decider. “I gave everything I had. I’m so happy I could win here at this beautiful tournament in Katowice.” Sunday’s 3 hour, 11 minute match was the fifth-longest of the year and the longest WTA final since the 3 hour, 12 minute Osaka final in October 2012. Giorgi was contesting her first WTA Tour final.
Garcia upsets Jankovic
France’s Caroline Garcia opened her WTA Tour account in Bogota, Colombia, on Sunday, the world No. 74 taking her first title with a 6-3, 6-4 upset over Serbian top seed and former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic. Both Garcia and Cornet are members of captain Amelie Mauresmo’s Fed Cup team set to meet the US at the weekend in St Louis, Missouri.