CSKA edge Lokomotiv
CSKA Moscow edged nine-man local rivals Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 on Sunday to stay top of the league thanks to goals from Swedish midfielders Rasmus Elm and Pontus Wernbloom. CSKA now have 33 points from 14 matches, one point ahead of Anzhi Makhachkala in second, while champions Zenit St Petersburg are third on 30. There was little to divide CSKA and Lokomotiv on the synthetic pitch at Moscow’s Luzhniki Arena until Elm beat Lokomotiv’s Croatian goalkeeper Dario Kresic with a well-struck free-kick in the 29th minute, but Lokomotiv leveled just four minutes later when defender Andrei Yeshchenko fired home from outside the area with a help of a slight deflection. The turning point came eight minutes after the break when Lokomotiv defender Dmitry Tarasov was sent off for a second bookable offense. Lokomotiv then suffered a killer blow when substitute Maicon went off injured in the 80th minute after coach Slaven Bilic had made his third substitution, reducing Lokomotiv to nine men. Smelling blood, CSKA upped the pressure and in the second minute of stoppage-time Wernbloom netted the winner, turning Sergei Ignashevich’s powerful 25m shot into the goal. “It was a really tough win, as we failed to show our best play in attack today,” CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky said.
Twente beat Feyenoord
Goals from Nacer Chadli, Dusan Tadic and Luc Castaignos gave Twente a 3-0 win against Feyenoord in the Dutch league on Sunday. The prettiest goal was the first, with Tadic dribbling past four Feyenoord players, before passing for Chadli to finish. Castaignos scored after controlling a long-range pass and Tadic found the net from a free-kick. “We scored at the right times and didn’t give much away,” Twente coach Steve McClaren said. PSV Eindhoven gave Heracles Almelo a 4-0 drubbing, while defending champions Ajax lost 2-0 at home to Vitesse to drop to fifth place in the standings. Wilfried Bony scored twice for Vitesse against a lackluster Ajax.
Greens win Athenian derby
A goal from Spanish striker Toche earned Panathinaikos a 1-0 victory over AEK in a nervy Athenian derby on Sunday as the Greens moved into the top six of the Super League. Toche guided home Lazaros Christodoulopoulos’ precise left-wing cross from close range after 24 minutes to clinch three vital points for Jesualdo Ferreira’s stuttering side, who have endured a slow start to the season. Panathinaikos had goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to thank after the Greece international pulled off a string of saves in the second half to deny the visitors an equalizer. The result saw Panathinaikos move into sixth spot with 12 points from nine games, while struggling AEK remain bottom of the 16-team table with just five points. PAOK stayed in touch with a 2-1 win at Panionios on Sunday, Stefanos Athanasiadis taking his tally for the season to seven with a first-half brace.
Sporting beaten in Setubal
Sporting’s poor start to the season continued as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at 10-man Vitoria Setubal on Sunday, leaving the traditional powerhouse just one point above the relegation zone. Pedro Santos put Setubal ahead in the 27th minute. Jeffren Suarez leveled for Sporting three minutes before halftime, but Setubal striker Albert Meyong netted in the 68th minute from a pass by Cristiano Moraes. Setubal held on even though Bruno Lourenco left the team a man down in the 76th minute after his second booking.
Elfsborg win championship
Elfsborg sparked wild celebrations after they were crowned Swedish champions following a 1-1 draw with Atvidaberg on Sunday. Elfsborg finished on 59 points, two ahead of surprise runner-ups Haecken, who beat Sundsvall 2-1. Malmo finished third on 56 points, with AIK narrowly missing out on European soccer next season as they finished fourth on 55. “I feel great,” a delighted Elfsborg coach Jorgen Lennartsson told C More TV. Elfsborg started the day with a two-point lead over nearest rivals Malmo FF, who had traveled to Stockholm hoping to beat AIK and that Elfsborg would slip up, but a Stefan Ishizaki goal on the half-hour gave Elfsborg the lead, and when Malmo conceded a goal to AIK’s Mohammed Bangura after 33 minutes in Stockholm, their title challenge was all but over. Viktor Lundberg netted what was to prove the final league goal at the Rasunda stadium to give AIK a 2-0 victory. In Boras, Viktor Prodell scored an equalizer for Atvidaberg, but that could not dampen the celebrations of the Elfsborg fans.
Toure heads award list
Last year’s winner Yaya Toure heads a list of candidates for the African Footballer of the Year award, which will be announced next month, the Confederation of African Football has said. Toure is joined by fellow Ivory Coast internationals Didier Drogba and Gervinho on the 10-man shortlist. Newcastle United striker Demba Ba, Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel and the former Arsenal midfielder Alexandre Song ensure a strong representation of players who competed in England’s Premier League this year. Toure and Drogba are likely to find their toughest challenge from Morocco’s Younes Belhanda, who proved the key player in Montpellier Herault’s Ligue 1 success earlier this year. Captain Chris Katongo was the only member of the African Nations Cup winning Zambia squad that made the list, which will be cut to three before the award is made in Accra on Dec. 20.
Esperance draw with al-Ahly
Esperance of Tunisia on Sunday took a massive step toward retaining their CAF Champions League title by forcing a 1-1 draw at al-Ahly of Egypt in the first leg of the final. It would even have been a bigger advantage for the Tunisian champions going into the return match in Tunis in two weeks if six-time winners al-Ahly had not fought back to draw level two minutes from time. The second leg on Nov. 17 is delicately balanced because Esperance will be without stars Harrison Afful and Sameh Derbali, who both received a booking in this encounter and so will be suspended after they accumulated two each in the competition.
Fluminense, Sao Paulo draw
Fred scored his league-leading 17th goal as Fluminense held Sao Paulo to a 1-1 draw and increased their lead over Atletico Mineiro in the Brazilian championship on Sunday. Fluminense moved closer to their second title in three years by opening a nine-point advantage with four rounds left. Ronaldinho’s Atletico Mineiro had their chances significantly diminished after a 1-0 loss to Coritiba. Palmeiras, the team with the most national titles, are in serious danger of relegation after drawing 2-2 with Botafogo at home. Argentine striker Hernan Barcos scored both goals for Palmeiras, while Uruguayan midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro netted one of Botafogo’s goals. Argentine forward Juan Martinez scored in Corinthians 2-0 win over Atletico Goianiense, who were demoted to the second division following the loss.