Player dies during game
Cristian Gomez, a player with Argentine club Atletico Parana, on Sunday died after collapsing during a second-division match. The Argentine Football Association match supervisor for the game, Ramon Gomez, said the 27-year-old defender collapsed on the field in the first half of the match against CA Boca Unidos. The official said the player was taken to General San Martin hospital in the city of Corrientes, where doctors were unable to revive him. The cause of death was not immediately known. Boca Unidos president Alfredo Schweitzer confirmed the death, but offered no details. “We are awaiting the medical report,” he said. Boca Unidos player Jose Vizcarra said Gomez seemed to die almost instantly. “When they took him off the field, it seemed he had already died,” Vizcarra said. The defender is the second player to die in just under two weeks in Argentina. Emanuel Ortega, a player for fourth-division team San Martin de Burzaco, died after hitting his head on a post used to support fencing at the stadium.
Darmstadt win promotion
SV Darmstadt 98 are set to join German second-division champions Ingolstadt 04 in the Bundesliga next season after beating St Pauli 1-0 on the last day of the season on Sunday. Tobias Kempe scored in the 78th minute for Darmstadt, who were promoted from the third division last season, to finish second with 59 points — one ahead of Karlsruher SC, who defeated TSV 1860 Munich 2-0. Karlsruher SC now face Hamburg SV in a two-legged playoff to determine which side plays topflight football next season. Darmstadt previously played two seasons in the Bundesliga, in 1978-1979 and 1981-1982, but the club dropped to fourth-tier level by 1998. Darmstadt also flirted with bankruptcy in 2008 before insolvency proceedings were withdrawn the following year. They are the third club to achieve promotion to the top division after being promoted from the third tier the season before. “It’s awesome, incredible, hard to find words,” Darmstadt coach Dirk Schuster said.
Schalke 04 sack Di Matteo
Schalke 04 have parted company with coach Roberto di Matteo after just two wins in their last ten games, according to a report on Sunday in Sport Bild magazine. Di Matteo has been in charge since October last year after his predecessor, Jens Keller, was sacked, but Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to strugglers Hamburg SV looks to have been the last straw for Schalke’s board. The 44-year-old, who coached Chelsea to the 2012 UEFA Champions League title, had steered die Konigsblauen up from 11th when he took charge to third in the table in February. However, a poor run of results saw them surrender a direct spot in the Champions League and their latest defeat left them sixth in the table and in the UEFA Europa League next season.
Stevens to leave Stuttgart
Coach Huub Stevens is to leave VfB Stuttgart despite rescuing the side from relegation for the second consecutive season with a 2-1 win over SC Paderborn 07 in the final round of fixtures on Saturday, the club said yesterday. The 61-year-old Dutchman, who took over the struggling side in November last year, completed a similar feat last season after taking charge in March last year and staving off relegation. “Huub Stevens is the coach of the century for a different club, but for us, he is the rescuer of the century,” director of sport Robin Dutt said.
FIFA WORLD CUP
Thailand win their opener
Thailand beat 10-man Vietnam 1-0 in Bangkok on Sunday to top Group F of Asian FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifying, a group which also includes Taiwan, Indonesia and favorites Iraq. Substitute Anon Pokkhao scored the only goal in the 80th minute at the Rajamangala National Stadium after Vietnam defender Minh Chau Nguyen had earned a second yellow card in the second half to give the hosts a man advantage. Taiwan begin their campaign against Indonesia at the Taipei Municipal Stadium at 7pm on June 11, before taking on Thailand at the same venue at 7:30pm on June 16. Iraq’s first qualifier is away to Indonesia on June 16.
Preston end their hoodoo
Preston North End ended their playoff hoodoo at the 10th attempt when they crushed Swindon Town 4-0 in the League One playoff final at Wembley in London on Sunday to win promotion to the Championship after four seasons away. Jermaine Beckford spearheaded the victory by sweeping in from close range in the third minute, before completing his hat-trick after 57 minutes. Paul Huntington also scored as Preston, who finished third in the table behind Bristol City and Milton Keynes Dons, sealed promotion after six semi-final and three final defeats across three divisions in the past 26 years. Preston, who won the League and Cup double in the first season of the Football League in 1888-1889, were always in control against Swindon, who finished 10 points below them in the table. It was their first win at Wembley since they beat Huddersfield Town with a penalty in the last minute of extra-time in the 1938 FA Cup final. Southend United won the League Two playoff final, beating Wycombe Wanderers 7-6 on penalties after a 1-1 draw on Saturday, while Norwich City were due to face Middlesbrough in the Championship decider at Wembley yesterday.
Betis secure promotion
Real Betis Balompie secured promotion to La Liga with two games to spare when a 3-0 victory at home to AD Alcorcon on Sunday guaranteed them first place in the second division and an immediate return to the top flight. Coached by the charismatic Pepe Mel, Seville-based Betis have 84 points, with Girona on 78 in second after they won 1-0 at home to UE Llagostera. Even if Girona win their final two games and draw level with the leaders, Betis will finish first thanks to a superior head-to-head record over the Catalan club. Real Sporting de Gijon, UD Las Palmas, Real Valladolid and Real Zaragoza occupy the four playoff places, with Sporting third (76 points), Las Palmas fourth (72), Valladolid fifth (69) and Zaragoza sixth (60). Betis went down after finishing 11 points adrift at the bottom of La Liga in 2013-2014, before Mel returned in December last year for a second stint in charge following a troubled spell at English club West Bromwich Albion. Second division top scorer Ruben Castro struck twice to put Betis 2-0 ahead at the Estadio Benito Villamarin on Sunday, the first a clever chip in the 21st minute and the second from the penalty spot seven minutes into the second half, his 32nd of the campaign. Jorge Molina bundled home a third for the hosts in the 65th minute and the final whistle set off wild celebrations on a warm and rainy evening in the Andalusian capital. Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, UD Almeria and Cordoba were the three sides relegated from La Liga this season.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given