Hannover edge Frankfurt
Hannover 96 edged fellow strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 away with an attacking display that produced three goals in the first half an hour on Thursday to take a huge step toward staying in the top tier. Their second straight league win after four consecutive defeats lifted Hannover to 12th place with 35 points, behind Frankfurt on goal-difference, and put eight points between them and the relegation playoff spot with three games left. Hannover got off to a flying start with Leon Andreasen charging through the Frankfurt defense to head in the opener after two minutes following good work from Christian Pander, but Martin Lanig drew the hosts level in the 13th minute. However, Hannover attacked at every possible opportunity and struck twice more in nine minutes with Lars Stindl heading in a Pander free-kick in the 20th minute and Ivorian forward Didier Ya Konan slotting home to give them a two-goal cushion at halftime. Eintracht, who could have guaranteed their safety with a victory, started the second half poorly as Hannover’s Andreasen and substitute Szabolcs Huszti hit the woodwork. Alex Meier cut the deficit against the run of play when he headed in from close range, but that was Eintracht’s last effort, while Hannover missed more chances in the final minutes.
Neymar, Alba out injured
A nightmare eight days for Barcelona was compounded on Thursday when forward Neymar and defender Jordi Alba were ruled out for up to a month with foot and thigh-muscle injuries respectively. Brazil international Neymar has a bruise on his left foot which has caused a buildup of fluid, while Spain leftback Alba has a strain in his right thigh, Barca said on their Web site. The injuries were sustained during Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final defeat to Real Madrid, with Neymar sidelined for about four weeks and Alba for three to four weeks, leaving them in a race to regain fitness before the end of the season. If they recover within the estimated time frame, they should return for Barca’s final La Liga match at home to La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid on May 18, the club added. The Catalan side’s 2-1 defeat by Real in the Copa del Rey showpiece followed their UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Atletico a week earlier and a shock 1-0 La Liga defeat at Granada last weekend.
Fans clash on busy highway
Police said at least 17 supporters of two rival Croatian clubs have been injured, two seriously, as they clashed on a busy highway. The supporters of Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split fought each other with baseball bats and iron bars on Wednesday on the highway linking Zagreb with Split on the Adriatic coast. Police said they were traveling in vans in the opposite direction when the encounter occurred. The motive of the fight between the fans of the two biggest rivals in Croatia was not immediately clear, but such clashes have often happened in the past. Police said several participants were arrested and several vehicles they were traveling in were demolished.
Beijing to host gala match
Brazil and Argentina will hold a South American Superclassico gala match on Oct. 11 at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, the countries’ respective federations said on Thursday. Brazil won the last two editions of the occasional friendly series in 2011, but there was no game last year, with Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari keen to give his players a free week in an already crammed schedule.
“Road Runner” Alphonso Davies lived up to his nickname with another lightning sprint on Saturday as Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead in the Bundesliga. Having defeated second-placed Borussia Dortmund 1-0 away in midweek, Bayern enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Fortuna Duesseldorf. Defender Mathias Joergensen scored an early own-goal before Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandowski (2) and Davies scored for Bayern. With five games remaining, the defending champions, who have won their past eight league games, are comfortably on course for an eighth straight league title. Davies scored the best goal of the game when the fleet-footed defender pressed Duesseldorf into making a mistake, barged
The losing captain thanked the winning team’s players for their personal sacrifices leading into the match and a charter flight pilot received a big round of applause when his plane beat incoming fog to touch down after midnight following another game as feel-good stories off the field matched those on it as the National Rugby League (NRL) restarted its season in Australia over the weekend. The New Zealand Warriors’ 18-0 win over St George Illawarra was the Auckland-based team’s first of the season after three rounds and it could not have come at a better time. Due to international travel restrictions
Taiwan Steel celebrated a big win over Tatung in the Taiwan Premier League yesterday, while undefeated Taichung Futuro remained at the top of the table, although their lead is only one point. Four of the eight teams were in action, completing matches postponed the previous weekend due to rain, with Taipower and Hang Yuan playing out a scoreless draw in Kaohsiung. Taiwan Steel are sorting out their early-season problems as they chase the leaders and it showed against defending champions Tatung at the Jhubei Stadium in Hsinchu County. Haitian striker Benchy Astama netted a brace and midfielder Kuo Po-wei’s outstanding solo effort sent
DISTANCING RULES: The government said social distancing should be maintained during disputes and celebrations, but conceded it would not be possible during play The Premier League on Saturday was given British government approval to press ahead with its June 17 restart, although players will have to stay apart during goal celebrations and disputes to maintain social distancing. Further details of the league’s plans for dealing with COVID-19 cases have been disclosed with clubs likely to have to play even if they only have 15 fit squad members. In a further boost to the league’s restart plans, there were no positives in the fourth round of twice-weekly testing. Tests were conducted on 1,130 players and club personnel on Thursday and Friday as contact training resumed. The season