Hiroshima stay top of league
Sanfrecce Hiroshima maintained their lead in the J-League standings on Saturday after earning a point in a 0-0 draw at Yokohama F Marinos. Hiroshima, chasing a first J-League title, are three points clear of Vegalta Sendai with six games remaining. Sendai beat Gamba Osaka 2-1 thanks to a late winner by Takayuki Nakahara. Third-place Urawa Reds saw their title hopes take a hit after a 2-1 defeat by last-place Consadole Sapporo. Urawa trail Hiroshima by six points. In other matches, Yoichiro Kakitani scored from the penalty spot with four minutes left as Cerezo Osaka beat Sagan Tosu 3-2. Dutra scored a hat-trick to lead Kashima Antlers to a 5-1 thrashing of FC Tokyo while Albirex Niigata and Vissel Kobe finished 0-0 as did Nagoya Grampus and Omiya Ardija. Jorge Wagner scored the lone goal as Kashiwa Reysol beat Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 and Shimizu S-Pulse also defeated Jubilo Iwata 1-0 thanks to Daisuke Muramatsu’s first-half goal.
Stirling stun Rangers
Rangers suffered their first league defeat of the season after being demoted to Scotland’s fourth tier, losing 1-0 to struggling Stirling Albion on Saturday. Rangers, 54-times Scottish champions, were forced to relaunch in the third division after collapsing under crippling debts. They are overwhelming favorites to win promotion, but have slipped to third in the table after an underwhelming start that has included three league draws to add to Saturday’s defeat. Stirling, who began the day bottom of the table, claimed victory thanks to a goal from Brian Allison after 10 minutes.
Chelsea act on Cole tweet
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole will face disciplinary action from the club after his foul-mouthed Twitter rant against the English Football Association (FA), manager Roberto Di Matteo said on Saturday. Di Matteo told reporters after the 4-1 Premier League win over Norwich City that the England left-back would be punished by Chelsea. He is also likely to be disciplined by the FA. “We’ve got a social media policy at the club and there’s going to be a disciplinary process — action — against the tweet and that’s how I’ll leave it,” Di Matteo said. Cole called the FA a “bunch of t***s” on Friday after being accused of “evolving” his statement supporting Chelsea teammate John Terry’s defense against the charge he racially abused Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand during a match. Although Cole removed the tweet and “unreservedly apologized” within hours of posting it, the matter is clearly far from over.
Danciulescu breaks record
Dinamo Bucharest striker Ionel Danciulescu broke the record for most appearances in the Romanian league when he played in his 491st match in the 2-2 draw at Gaz Metan Medias on Saturday. Danciulescu, who made his league debut exactly 19 years ago for Electroputere Craiova, also played for Dinamo’s bitter city rivals Steaua between 1998-2001. “Records? I don’t really care about them,” he told local media. “I just want to play well and help my team achieve good results.” Danciulescu, who turns 36 in December, broke the previous record of 490 appearances set by former Steaua Bucharest and Universitatea Craiova defender Costica Stefanescu between 1969-1988. The striker is also the second highest scorer in the league with 210 goals, 148 for Dinamo, behind Dudu Georgescu (252). Danciulescu has won eight caps for Romania.