Sports – Daily News Egypt Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 30 Apr 2017 16:03:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bottas seals first ever F1 win in Russian Grand Prix Sun, 30 Apr 2017 13:46:00 +0000 The post Bottas seals first ever F1 win in Russian Grand Prix appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Mercedes pilot Valtteri Bottas has won the Russian Grand Prix ahead of German driver Sebastian Vettel, who had started in pole. The duo delivered an enthralling race after Bottas took the lead on the first lap.In a spectacular opening lap, Mercedes pilot Valtteri Bottas got off to the perfect start to take an immediate lead. Ferrari had held the top two positions on the grid, but four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen were surprised as third-placed Bottas overtook them straight away.

Bottas held on to the lead in a dramatic end to the race. With ten laps to go, Vettel began to close the gap and with fresher tires in blistering heat, looked to set to strike.But when Bottas, lapped Felipe Massa, Vettel was slowed down trying to squeeze back past.

Ferrari took second and third as Raikkonen kept Bottas’ Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at bay as the former champion missed out on a podium place.

Four cars failed to even make it lap seven. Williams’ Lance Stroll spun on the first lap, causing a crash that also took out Jolyon Palmer and Romain Grosjean, who came to blows over the incident. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo also had to retire with engine trouble.

And former World Champion Fernando Alonso had to pull out of the race before it had even started after his McLaren broke down on the formation lap. It meant the two-time champion has yet to finish a race in four attempts this season.

Read: Vettel stuns Hamilton to win season-opening Grand Prix

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Joshua wins world boxing title defense against ex-champ Klitschko Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:17:00 +0000 The post Joshua wins world boxing title defense against ex-champ Klitschko appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Anthony Joshua has knocked down ex-champ Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round to retain his heavyweight crown in front of 90,000 at Wembley in London. It was Britain’s largest attendance for a boxing event since 1939.The 41-year-old Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko was down on the canvas in round five before sending Britain’s Anthony Joshua to the mat for the first time in his career in round six.

Joshua, 27, fought back and dropped Klitschko twice with an uppercut and left hook combination before a flurry of punches in the corner gave the referee no choice but to stop the fight in the penultimate round and declare Joshua the undefeated WBA and IBF heavyweight world champion.

“What can I say? 19-0, three and a half years in the game. As I said, I’m not perfect but I’m trying and if you don’t take part you’re going to fail,” said Joshua. “As boxing states, you leave your ego at the door and you respect your opponent. So a massive shout out to Wladimir Klitschko.”

Britain’s Lennox Lewis, a former world heavyweight champion sitting ringside, tweeted that Klitschko should hold his head high.

US legend Sugar Ray Leonard called the fight “amazing” and said the opponents showed a “lot of heart.”

The fight matched two Olympic gold medalists (Klitschko 1996, Joshua 2012) who both stand 6-foot-6 and have impressive knockout records. Klitschko, who lost his title in his last fight, was trying to become a three-time champion at the age of 41 against Joshua, who had until tonight fought only 18 times but had 18 knockouts.

Joshua, 27, confronted Klitschko in the biggest fight the division has seen in years. It was the most significant heavyweight fight ever held in Britain and reportedly earns the pair upwards of 10 million pounds ($13 million, 12 million euros) each.

Joshua – the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist who was born in England to Nigeria-born parents – had never been beyond seven rounds, Klitschko has fought 12 rounds nine times.

The Ukrainian was last seen in a ring in November 2015 when he was outboxed in a defeat by Joshua’s burly compatriot Tyson Fury, ending his nine-and-a-half-year reign as champion.

Klitschko was bidding to become a three-time world heavyweight champion like his older brother, Vitali, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Muhammad Ali.

Joshua had tipped the scales at 17 stone, 12 pounds 2 ounces (113.4 kilograms) -10 pounds more than Klitschko and his heaviest ever pre-fight weight – at Friday’s weigh-in.

jbh/se (AP, AFP)

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Bayern briefly savor the one that didn’t get away Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:01:00 +0000 The post Bayern briefly savor the one that didn’t get away appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

It has been a noisy two weeks at Bayern Munich, but on Saturday there was a moment where it was welcomed. The Bavarian Bundesliga machine has made it five titles in a row – and that deserves recognition.Forty-five minutes was all it took. Wolfsburg battled and then were flayed, like most opponents who dare to stand in Bayern’s way. Luiz Gustavo epitomized Wolfsburg’s evening, playing well and then tearing himself (and nearly the referee Felix Zwayer) apart after his dismissal. The Bavarians got better with every goal, before spending the second half deciding how many goals they wanted to win their fifth consecutive league title by. Six goals on the day of title number five had a certain Bayern Munich ring to it.

Two weeks ago, Bayern were on for the treble. Now, the Bundesliga title is all the silverware the club will be left with at the end of the season. So great has their dominance been in recent years that it’s an assumption that another league title will follow. This is their 26th Bundesliga title, and their 13th in the last 20 years. It has been domestic dominance on the kind of level that has players from all over the world wanting to be a part of their set-up.

Kingsley Coman opted to be one of those permanently this week and spent Saturday evening toying with Wolfsburg, twice delivering for Bayern’s attackers after the combination of his pace and agility proved too much for Wolfsburg. Robert Lewandowski came here to win and become one of the best strikers in the world. His second against Wolfsburg was the perfect example of how the best strikers finish off great team moves. Lewandowski never looked like missing when he got the ball in the box.

Fait accompli

In truth, Bayern seemed bound to clinch the title in Wolfsburg from the moment the final whistle went at the earlier game in Leipzig. The Bayern fans watching that match in a bar near the Wolfsburg stadium cheered and then left fully confident, with a general muttering about today being the day.

And so it proved. Such is the nature of their season that a man who has largely been ordinary produced something extraordinary to start Bayern’s party – David Alaba’s free kick was worth waiting for. Try as Wolfsburg might, they were nothing more than extras in FC Hollywood’s latest award-winning performance.

Of late, the noise around Bayern Munich has been louder than usual as the season gets picked apart before it ends. Questions are asked about the pieces in the machine, as well as the man driving it. Can this team ever win the Champions League? How will the club deal with Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso’s retirement? How long can Arjen Robben continue to be the go-to man?

Read: Opinion: The league is not enough for Bayern

The quick comedown

But with the sun setting in Wolfsburg, the questions were forgotten for a moment. It was time to enjoy the present and not worry about the future. Bayern’s fans certainly did that. Philipp Lahm songs were sung, the Humba was danced and even Carlo Ancelotti sang a tune in front of the Bayern faithful.

And yet, by the time Bayern were in the mixed zone that moment had seemingly passed. Mats Hummels spoke professionally about how important the title was. Ancelotti wished Andries Jonker good luck for the upcoming relegation fight. And of a sudden, Bayern were gone – as if they hadn’t just breezed through and destroyed Wolfsburg on their way to another league title. But they did and it’s worth remembering that.

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Bundesliga: Top five talking points from Matchday 31 Sat, 29 Apr 2017 20:16:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Top five talking points from Matchday 31 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Bayern Munich may have captured the headlines this weekend, but there are plenty of other topics to discuss. Dortmund have opened a door up for Hoffenhiem to take third and Hasenhüttl can’t beat his former team.A missed opportunity for Dortmund

With struggling Cologne coming to town, Borussia Dortmund had a chance to bury Hoffenheim in their quest to secure a third place finish. That opportunity slipped through their fingers as they were unable to break down Peter Stöger’s blockade. It wasn’t for a lack of trying – they recorded 23 shots in the game, five of which came from the in-form Marco Reus. But their inability to get all three points this weekend makes their trip to Sinsheim all the more important.

Ingolstadt have Hasenhüttl’s number

Poaching coach Ralph Hasenhüttl from Ingolstadt was arguably the best move RB Leipzig completed in the summer. Ironically, Ingolstadt will be one of potentially two teams – Bayern Munich being the other – to score points against Leipzig in both of their league fixtures this season. Ingolstadt’s 1-0 win last December ended an eight-game winning streak for Leipzig, and their scoreless draw on Saturday became the result that handed Bayern the league title. Unfortunately for Ingolstadt, Leipzig have been just as generous to many other teams trying to avoid relegation, so the point they collected this weekend may not prevent them from going down.

The drop not discouraging Darmstadt

For a team that looked all but sure to be relegated, Darmstadt are not going down without a fight. Their 3-0 victory was the third on the bounce for the Lillies, and they have scored nine goals in their last four games. Many factors still have to fall in Darmstadt’s favor for them to avoid outright relegation: A continued losing streak from Augsburg is their best chance at survival, and of course they’d need all nine points from the next three games as well. But even if they go down, Darmstadt can go into next season with the belief that they belong back in the top flight.

Hertha backing into European competition

After their fifth loss in seven games, Hertha Berlin are becoming a poster club for how mediocre the Bundesliga mid-table can be. Their 2-0 loss to Werder Bremen was their ninth in 2017, tied with Darmstadt for the most in the German top flight. Yet they remain in fifth place because teams below them – namely Cologne, Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt – have been just as bad if not worse. Hertha remain in a strong position to qualify for the Europa League group stage, but their underwhelming second-half form does not provide an encouraging forecast for next season.

Strong comeback for Schulz

With depth issues late in the season, Borussia Mönchengladbach needed a few players to step up. Nico Schulz did just that, combining with Lars Stindl twice for a goal and an assist in Gladbach’s 2-1 win in Mainz. Schulz, 24, has been sidelined most of the season himself with various injuries, but with Gladbach veteran Oscar Wendt unavailable, the former German prospect finally got his chance. He took full advantage of the opportunity too, which could lead to a nice bump in playing time in the near future.

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F1: Vettel claims pole in Russia as Ferrari lock out front row Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:34:00 +0000 The post F1: Vettel claims pole in Russia as Ferrari lock out front row appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Ferrari followed up on their strong practice pace in Russia, securing first and second on the grid for the grand prix in Sochi. It seemed Raikkonen would be the polesitter on Sunday until Vettel undercut him at the last.Sebastian Vettel secured Ferrari their first pole position of the season on Saturday in Sochi. The Scuderia sealed the top two spots on the grid and froze Mercedes out in qualifying.

Russia’s track seemed to favor the scarlet cars, which had also topped the lap charts in Friday’s practice sessions.

“That was a Sebastian Vettel lap,” Vettel’s race engineer said over the radio when congratulating the German. “Yes yes yes yes yes yes,” Vettel responded after a cheer, adding his standard thanks in Italian aimed at the team.

For much of the session, it appeared that Kimi Raikkonen would roll back the years, having held the fastest lap until Vettel’s last-gasp lap to undercut him. The 2007 champion had not sat on pole since the French Grand Prix of 2008, back during his first stint at Ferrari.

Valtteri Bottas qualified third for Mercedes, while Lewis Hamilton was well off the lead pace in fourth. He made an error later in his flying lap, falling adrift after going faster than anyone in the first sector of the lap.

Williams’ Felipe Massa split the two Red Bulls, qualifying sixth in between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. Nico Hülkenberg was strong for Renault once more in eighth, with the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Sebastian ocon rounding out the top 10.

Home favoite Daniil Kvyat could only manage 13th in front of the Russian fans, two spots behind his Spanish Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz Jr.

Ferrari take their challenge to qualifying

After Vettel’s race wins in Melbourne and Sakir, Saturday’s result for Ferrari was another sign that they can get back to their winn. After three seasons of near-complete domination from Mercedes, the Italian outfit now appears a more consistent threat to the Silver Arrows at the front.

Mercedes even announced on Saturday that the team had rethought its policies on team orders, reacting to the more consistent threat posed by Ferrari this season. After three years of insisting (at least officially) that their two drivers were free to race, Niki Lauda suggested that in future, the slower driver would be asked to yield in any given race. Mercedes already did just this, albeit somewhat clumsily, at the last race in Bahrain, twice asking Valtteri Bottas to let Lewis Hamilton through.

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Listless Leverkusen looking over their shoulders after heavy Schalke defeat Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:18:00 +0000 The post Listless Leverkusen looking over their shoulders after heavy Schalke defeat appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Three quickfire first half goals helped Schalke to a 4-1 win over a Bayer Leverkusen side lacking any invention or organization. Leverkusen have struggled under new coach Tayfun Korkut and remain in relegation danger.Leverkusen 4 – 1 Schalke

(Kiessling 69′ – Burgstaller 6′, 50′ Höwedes 10′, Schöpf 18′)

A devastating 12 minute first half spell propelled Schalke back in to the Europa League picture and leaves hapless Bayer Leverkusen looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone. Early strikes from Guido Burgstaller, Benedikt Höwedes and Alessandro Schöpf did the damage while another Burgstaller effort ensured Tayfun Korkut will be the subject of extreme scrutiny.

Korkut was appointed in March as a firefighter but thus far the Turkish boss has been unable to extinguish the flames, winning just one of his nine games to date. Friday night’s demolition was another chapter in a book that makes for grim reading.

The hosts came in to the game knowing that adding another victory to Korkut’s tally would all but end any lingering relegation fears and started in appropriate fashion. Nabil Bentaleb dwelt on the ball in the first minute and Julian Brandt forced Ralf Fährmann into a smart save before Kevin Volland fired over from the edge of the box.

But familiar failings soon came to the surface as Schalke took the lead through Burgstaller with their first attack. Bentaleb atoned for his earlier error with a sensational ball that split the home defense from the middle of the park. Leon Goretzka had the presence of mind to ride a challenge before rolling across goal for the January signing to knock home.

It soon got worse with a much simpler goal from a much less likely source. Schalke skipper Höwedes powered home Schöpf’s corner to double the lead and register his first league goal of the campaign.

Provider turned scorer soon after as Schöpf bundled home from close range. Goretzka found himself in behind the hosts’ defense far too easily and looked for the Austrian, who was in acres of space at the back post. The cross deflected, forcing Bernd Leno in to a double save before Schöpf adjusted his feet to poke home.

Karim Bellarabi went close seconds after the break for Leverkusen as they attempted to find a foothold in the game but, as in the first half, any positivity for the home side was soon punctured by Burgstaller. This time the striker volleyed home left-footed at the back post following a free kick for his 8th goal in 15 Bundesliga games but, once again, the marking left a lot to be desired. If Burgstaller hadn’t scored there were several other white shirts queuing up behind him.

Stefan Kiessling stooped to nod in Bellarabi’s left-wing cutback with 20 minutes remaining but there was little indication that Leverkusen felt equipped to mount the most unlikely of comebacks. And so it proved, the game petering out to leave Schalke, now in 8th, looking towards Europe and Leverkusen four points off the relegation playoff spot, having played a game more than those below them.

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UK fans raise bowel cancer funds on #FootballShirtFriday Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:02:00 +0000 The post UK fans raise bowel cancer funds on #FootballShirtFriday appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Donate a small sum to a bowel cancer charity, then wear your favorite team’s jersey to the office with pride. This novel fundraising initiative in Britain attracted celebrities, players, and even some Bundesliga fans.Football fans around Britain could sport their team’s colors on Friday in exchange for a 2-pound (2.37-euro, $2.59) donation to the Bobby Moore Fund, a bowel cancer research charity in honor of England’s World Cup-winning 1966 captain.

Renonwned London actor and West Ham fan Ray Winstone, former Leicester midfield tiger Robbie Savage and TV sports presenter and reporter Hayley McQueen were among the prominent supporters of the initiative.

“As a football supporter, the allegiance with and belief you have in your own team is unwavering. We need to take that spirit and apply it to beating bowel cancer sooner. We will make progress and we will win,” the Bobby Moore Fund said of the event.

Clubs also took to Twitter on Friday to promote the action, including the Baggies, West Bromwich Albion. Bobby Moore’s old club West Ham didn’t miss the trick, either.

Moore’s battle with cancer

Bobby Moore was already associated with cancer by the time he won the 1966 World Cup. He survived testicular cancer in 1964 in his twenties and later returned to the pitch. In the 1990s he contracted bowel and liver cancer that ultimately could not be treated, and died aged 51 in 1993. His widow, Stephanie Moore set up the Bobby Moore Fund after his death.

“We want to see the whole nation get behind Football Shirt Friday, wearing their team’s colors and believing that together we can will beat bowel cancer,” she said. “We have made enormous progress in the last 50 years but sadly bowel cancer still kills 44 people in the UK every day.”

The mechanics are simple, fans could simply send the SMS “GOAL002” to a UK number – at the cost of a normal text message plus a 2-pound fee.

Celebrities in Britain got on board in support, including daytime TV brainbox Rachel Riley, sporting an impressive vintage of Manchester United shirt dating back to the 1986 season, the year when Scottish manager Alex Ferguson took over from Ron Atkinson – Genesis for Manchester United’s modern-era success.

Even the Bundesliga was represented, at least for kids in one lucky classroom with a Schalke supporter at the white board.

Cancer research fund in spotlight

Cancer and cancer research also made the headlines in the UK for other reasons on Friday, with the release of a report criticizing the specialist Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), a special fund designed to provide costly and experimental treatments not currently available on Britain’s NHS health service. Specialists argued that the 1.2-billion-pound fund had only modest success in prolonging people’s lives while sometimes delivering major side effects or quality of life setbacks. The fund has since been stopped and relaunched with revisions.

According to Britain’s NHS, cancer is the country’s most common cause of premature death, responsible for 42 percent of such cases.

In Germany, roughly half a million new cancer patients are diagnosed each year. Survival rates and treatment quality are improving, but the number of cases is also rising given Germany’s aging population. After heart disease, cancer is Germany’s second most common cause of death.

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What to watch out for on Bundesliga matchday 31 Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:50:00 +0000 The post What to watch out for on Bundesliga matchday 31 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Can Leipzig make Bayern work for their fifth title in a row? Can Dortmund break the habit that’s cost them already this season? And will the league’s form horse hold on in the home straight? Here’s what to watch out for.Leipzig looking to keep it alive

The Bundesliga title has seemed out of the Red Bulls’ reach since they lost in Munich just before the winter break but with four games to go, they are just about still alive. Last weekend they failed to capitalize on Bayern’s Saturday slip up in Mainz, drawing with Schalke on Sunday after the opportunity to cut the gap to six points presented itself.

Leipzig host lowly Ingolstadt on Saturday before Bayern travel to Wolfsburg in the late game. With Bayern’s patchy form (no wins in five), a victory for RB might just turn up the heat ever so slightly on a Bayern side that have shown they’re capable of collapse once this week already. To lose the title would be a different level of capitulation but Leipzig must at least make them work for it – if they fail to win, three points for Bayern will make it five titles in a row.

White-hot Werder’s big chance to cut Europa gap still further

If Leipzig were the story of the first half of the season, Bremen have been the team of the second half. The Green-Whites are top of the Bundesliga form table and haven’t lost a game since February 11. Their run of eight wins and two draws in the last 10 has propelled them from the relegation playoff spot on matchday 20 up to 7th, a spot likely to be good enough to make the Europa League.

Bremen host Hertha Berlin on Saturday. The capital club sit two places and four points above the northerners and with games against Dortmund and Hoffenheim to close out the season, this is Bremen’s biggest opportunity to ensure they are in the European shake-up come May 20.

Dortmund need to regain focus after rescuing season

Their scintillating comeback win over Bayern in the German Cup rescued their season and will undoubtedly have boosted a side who’ve had a tough time of late. But, as Sokratis Papastathopoulos said after Wednesday’s win, BVB can’t afford to let their focus slip in the way they have before this term. After hammering Benfica 4-0, they lost to Hertha; after beating Leipzig, they lost to Darmstadt; after beating Bayern in November they lost their next league match to Frankfurt.

They host Cologne on Saturday before Hoffenheim’s visit next weekend. Any points dropped before that one may well put Julian Nagelsmann’s side in the box seat for automatic Champions League qualification.

The battle for breathing space

It may not be the neutral’s choice but probably the biggest game of the weekend is at the Augsburg Arena where Manuel Baum’s men host Hamburg. Augsburg sit in the relegation playoff spot just a point behind their opponents, making a head-to-head absolutely critical. And tense.

Hamburg have recovered, to some extent at least, from a disastrous start to the season that saw them fail to pick up a win until December. A decent spell in the new year saw them start to pull away from trouble before a shock loss to doomed Darmstadt last week put them right back in the mire. Augsburg don’t have the resources of HSV but have long been punching above their weight in the top flight. But with fixtures against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Dortmund and Hoffenheim to come, it looks increasingly like win or bust for the Bavarians.

Bundesliga Matchday 31 in full:

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Schalke (Friday 20:30 CEST)

Borussia Dortmund vs. Cologne (Saturday 15:30 CEST)

Darmstadt vs. Freiburg

Mainz vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach

RB Leipzig vs. Ingolstadt

Werder Bremen vs. Hertha Berlin

Wolfsburg vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday 18:30 CEST)

Augsburg vs. Hamburg (Sunday 15:30 CEST)

Hoffenheim vs. Frankfurt (Sunday 17:30 CEST)

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Richard McLaren: ‘The IOC have to react quickly’ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:40:00 +0000 The post Richard McLaren: ‘The IOC have to react quickly’ appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The author of a report investigating allegations of state-sponsored Russian doping says the IOC ‘can’t just drag their feet’ in reacting to his conclusions. McLaren was speaking at a discussion in German parliament.DW: You just said that you are a bit frustrated with the situation. Could you explain why?

Richard McLaren: Well, I think it is he subjects matter of today’s discussion, why are the action, reaction and steps so slow? I think you heard some of the explanations, if you were in the hearing room. I did my report very quickly and the follow up has been slow. That’s the frustration.

And we don’t have enough time because the next Olympic games are within one year. So what are your expectations towards the institutions to react now?

I think they have to react quickly, because there is an increasing pressure on them to respond. So they can’t just drag their feet. I am in the process of trying to assist the IOC in speeding up its work and hopefully that will occur.

What do you think about the reactions from Russia to your revelations?

Well, I think the Russians haven’t really challenged the core of what I had to say, but they have dealt with all the officials that were named in the report. None of them occupy the positions in which they were when I was examining the system. I understand, although I haven’t ahd this confirmed directly, that most of them have been terminated from their positions. So I think the Russians have taken the report seriously and have taken active steps. I’d like to see what their new anti doping code is, which is yet to be revealed, and some of the other steps they have been talking about, but have yet to be produced.

What do you think about the fact that your report was doubted by many people from the sports world?

I wouldn’t agree with you that it was doubted by many people, but it certainly was challenged. That’s a legitimate role for anybody to feel free to do. I think that the credibility of the report and its contents stand today unchallenged and completely reliable.

Is there one thing you wish on the restructuring in the institution of sports after your report?

I don’t think my report has much to do with the restructuring of the institutions. That’s a much more complicated problem then the investigation that I conducted and I didn’t express any views about that.

Question from SID: In your opinion, who is responsible for the lack of consequences?

McLaren: I don’t think it’s a single individual or a single organization. It’s international federations that receive information and don’t act on it. It’s the IOC in being slow, but there have been some reasons why they have been slow, its when its not as supportive of the report, as they could have been. It’s a combination of a number of things.

SID: What are the next steps necessary for you to not be frustrated anymore?

Fast action! 57 days to do the first report, equally quick action on the part of the sports bodies.

You just said that you’d meet with Thomas Bach, the IOC president. What are you expectations when you meet him?

I think, I’ll answer that question when I’ve met him. I am encouraged by the correspondence we had and I think it will be a positive meeting. I am looking forward to having it. It’s coming up shortly.

Richard McLaren is a lawyer who specializes in sports. In 2015 he was a member of an independent WADA commission set up to investiage allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russian sports. The Canadian has preciously investigated drug use in Major League Baseball

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Sharapova marks comeback from ban with victory Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:29:00 +0000 The post Sharapova marks comeback from ban with victory appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The former world number one Maria Sharapova had spent the last 15 months away from the tennis court serving a doping ban. Sharapova faced Italian Roberta Vinci in the first round of the Stuttgart Grand Prix.  Maria Sharapova arrived to polite applause from the fans for her comeback match from a doping ban but left with a victory amid massive cheers. The Russian star showed only a little rustiness in the beginning as she ousted Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-3 with the help of 11 aces and 24 winners – to her opponent’s six.

The 30-year-old Sharapova, three-time winner on Stuttgart’s clay courts, received a controversial wild card for the German tournament, having had no ranking points after more than a year out following her suspension.

“It’s the best feeling in the world, those first few seconds before you enter the arena. To know you were walking back out there was
special. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” she said.

“This is what I’ve done for so long. When you compete you block everything else out. I’m a competitor, that’s when I’m at my best.”
Sharapova now has at least one more chance in Stuttgart to knock her game further into shape, and has also been granted wildcard entries for Rome and Madrid.

Her opponent, Vinci had been among the athletes who had been critical of tournament organizers who handed Sharapova a wildcard entry because she had lost all ranking points during the ban imposed after she tested positive for meldonioum at last year’s Australian Open.

Sharapova refused to be drawn into the debate, insisting only that “I am not offered trophies on silver platters. I still have to win

She said it was “my job to perform well on the court” and not to build bridges after criticism from other players on the wildcard, or
to ask tournaments for wildcards.

Eugenie Bouchard attacked Maria Sharapova as a “cheater” over her return from a drugs ban and suggested the Russian should be kicked out of tennis for life. Bouchard said the Women’s Tennis Association was sending the wrong message in allowing the five-time Grand Slam-winner to return to professional play.

Sharapova, 30, has pleaded that she had been taking meldonium, once a permitted substance for athletes, for medical reasons for 10 years. She says she didn’t know it had been added to the list of banned substances last year.

Sharapova will learn on May 16 whether she will receive a wildcard for the French Open, the year’s second Grand Slam. Another clay court tournament, Sharapova won at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014.

hf/msh (AFP, dpa)

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Fragile Dortmund take big step towards overcoming growing pains Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:49:00 +0000 The post Fragile Dortmund take big step towards overcoming growing pains appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

An unlikely comeback at the home of their rivals proves that Dortmund can be a team for now and not just for the future, writes DW’s Matt Pearson. But to silence their doubters, they need to go one step further.As the final whistle blew on a pulsating German Cup semifinal that featured sublime skill and outrageous errors in equal measure, Dortmund’s players were mobbed by coaching staff and substitutes insulated against a cold Munich night by their black puffer jackets.

The huddle bounced while a couple of players cut shapes in front of the small corner of the Allianz Arena that was making all the noise. It all looked very much like a cup final celebration.

The men in yellow and black deserved to savor every moment of their joy after overcoming a situation that an hour or so earlier had looked insurmountable. The visitors started Wednesday’s game in an energetic and enterprising fashion and deservedly took an early lead through Marco Reus, the team’s intense pressing rewarded when Javi Martinez was hurried into a backpass so undercooked it’s a wonder the health inspectors weren’t called in.

But then the cracks that have often shown in this young BVB side started to reveal themselves again, as Bayern roared back to regain control and take the lead. Arturo Vidal snapped in to tackles, Thiago schemed and Xabi Alonso sauntered in to pockets of space that enabled him to ping cross-field balls in such a sedate, composed fashion that it was impossible not to question whether he ever needs to retire, let alone at the end of this season. One such ball made the second goal, eventually scored by Mats Hummels, as if Dortmund fans weren’t suffering enough.

It felt like Dortmund’s callow fragility had been exposed once again, just as it had been in this stadium earlier this month. But, after surviving a Bayern onslaught either side of the break, the Ousmane Dembele-inspired visitors took their chances in the second period and booked a trip to Berlin.

Greek center back Sokratis Papastathopoulos told DW that, after the attack on their team bus and the Champions League exit that followed, this was an enormously satisfying and important victory for BVB.

“It’s a very big win because the last two or three weeks were very hard for us and now we have the chance to win one title and we are happy,” he said after the game. “It’s a young team and this is a big experience but now we have to win the final. It’s a big chance we have to win – we are the favorites and I’m happy about this but we have to win in Berlin.”

The refusal to let his team rest on their laurels bodes well for Dortmund, who have struggled for consistency this year after an off-season where they again lost several key men.

A cup win, something they are now heavy favorites to achieve, and Champions League qualification would be considered a success for a club who are so clearly looking to the future, at least in terms of player recruitment and retention. The margins are fine, had Arjen Robben’s shot gone an inch to the left after Roman Bürki’s second half blunder it might’ve been all over. Instead it clipped the woodwork. Those tiny differences between success and failure are something Bayern’s players are only too aware of.

“We set ourselves targets at the start of the season and we’ve not met them,” said David Alaba after the game, just a few days before his side could wrap up a fifth successive Bundesliga title. “That’s a bitter pill to swallow after so many months of hard work for which we’ve not been rewarded.”

For the away fans heading out of the Allianz Arena and in to the Munich night, it’s about time Bayern had to take that kind of medicine. While Dortmund are not yet able to challenge the champions-elect over a season, in Dembele, Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the rest, they’ve got a side that can beat anyone in Europe on their day. And Wednesday was theirs.

As the chant went on the trains back to the center of Munich – Dortmund are going to Berlin.

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Dembele fires Dortmund to Cup Final Wed, 26 Apr 2017 17:51:00 +0000 The post Dembele fires Dortmund to Cup Final appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Dortmund progress to the German Cup Final after an Ousmane Dembele-inspired comeback in the Allianz Arena, beating Bayern Munich 3-2. Bayern dominated large parts of the game after Marco Reus gave Dortmund an early lead.Ousmane Dembele inspired a sensational comeback as Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena to progress to a record fourth consecutive German Cup Final.

Despite taking a first-half lead through Marco Reus, Dortmund looked like suffering a repeat of their recent heavy league defeat as goals from Javi Martinez and Mats Hummels gave a dominant Bayern a 2-1 halftime lead. But after Sven Bender’s defensive heroics after the break, 19-year-old Dembele first set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to equalize before firing home a stunning winner.

Aubameyang had returned to the starting line-up after starting on the bench against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Julian Weigl replaced the injured Nuri Sahin in midfield. Lukasz Piszczek also returned at the back as Dortmund lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.

Jerome Boateng aside, Carlo Ancelotti had a full squad at his disposal and, perhaps in acknowledgement of the importance of this competition following Bayern’s Champions League exit, started with his strongest possible XI, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Robert Lewandowski leading the line.

Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel had said his team were “ready to deliver a big performance” in the Allianz Arena and they could have been ahead inside five minutes but Aubameyang couldn’t connect with Raphael Guerreiro’s cross in the six-yard-box.

Just as Bayern were easing their way into the game, Dortmund did take the lead. Guerreiro pounced on a lose backpass from Martinez but his shot hit the post, but Marco Reus was on hand to tap home the rebound.

Bayern dominate

The lead lasted barely ten minutes as Martinez, making up for his earlier error, drew Bayern level with a powerful header. He almost repeated the same trick shortly after, but this time the Spaniard’s header came back off the upright, as Bayern took control.

As half-time approached, the hosts got their reward for their increasing dominance when center-back Hummels, left unmarked in the box after advancing for a corner, tucked away Ribery’s pass with all the finesse of a top striker. Indeed, Dortmund were fortunate to go into the break only one goal behind after Roman Bürki saved one-on-one with Lewandowski in first half injury time.

Tuchel replaced Gonzalo Castro with Erik Durm in the second half but, for the next fifteen minutes, it only seemed to have the effect of emphasizing Bayern’s dominance. While those in yellow chased and worked, their red-shirted tormenters seemed to toy with them at will.

Dortmund heroics

Just after the hour-mark, the otherwise solid Bürki inexplicably played a short pass into the path of Thiago Alcantara who squared to Lewandowski in the area but the Pole, with the goal at his mercy, forwarded the ball onto Robben whose shot was heroically saved on the line by Bender.

Tuchel had spoken of needing a bit of luck in order to win in Munich and, despite the score, his team were getting it. Going forward however, Dortmund simply weren’t posing enough of a threat. Until Dembele decided enough was enough.

First it was his sumptuous cross which found Aubameyang at the back post. It was a wonderful ball and, this time, the Bundesliga’s top scorer made no mistake. Five minutes later, the provider turned scorer.

When Reus miscontrolled in the Bayern box, it looked like the chance has gone. But the German still managed to find Dembele who curled a brilliant shot into the top corner to turn the tie on its head and set up a Berlin date with Eintracht Frankfurt.

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Raids at Newcastle, West Ham in tax agency probe Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:55:00 +0000 The post Raids at Newcastle, West Ham in tax agency probe appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The two English clubs’ grounds have been raided as part of a tax fraud investigation. Around 180 officers were involved in a coordinated operation in the UK and France. Several arrests were made, authorities said.The UK’s tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), announced a joint operation with French authorities on Wednesday.

Across the two countries, 180 officers were involved in a series of raids connected to the football industry and suspected tax fraud.

“HMRC has arrested several men working within the professional football industry for a suspected Income Tax and National Insurance fraud,” HMRC said in a brief statement. “National Insurance” is a part of the British tax system, paid in part by employees and in part by employers. It is used primarily to fund state benefits.

“Investigators have searched a number of premises in the North East and South East of England and arrested the men and also seized business records, financial records, computers and mobile phones,” it continued.

West Ham is based in London in England’s southeast, Newcastle is in the northeast near the Scottish border.

The statement did not elaborate on who had been arrested in the operation, which also involved raids in France.

“The French authorities are assisting the UK investigation, have made arrests and several locations have been searched in France. This criminal investigation sends a cear message that, whoever you are, if you commit tax fraud you can expect to face the consequences,” HMRC said.

“As this is an ongoing investigation HMRC is unable to provide further detal at this time,” it concluded.

Both Newcastle and West Ham have purchased players from French clubs in recent years. But HMRC’s initial information did not hint at the reason for the raids beyond the suspicion of tax evasion.

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German Cup: Hrgota the hero as Frankfurt beat Mönchengladbach to reach final Tue, 25 Apr 2017 22:00:00 +0000 The post German Cup: Hrgota the hero as Frankfurt beat Mönchengladbach to reach final appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Eintracht Frankfurt have booked their place in the final of the German Cup after a penalty shootout win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Frankfurt will face Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund in the May 27 showpiece.Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (Frankfurt win 7-6 on pens)
(Hofmann 45‘ +2 – Tawatha 15‘)

It may have taken 120 minutes plus the drama of 16 penalties, but Frankfurt have made their first German Cup final since 2006 – with Branimir Hrgota’s penalty sealing victory at the end of a long night in Mönchengladbach.

Before the game, Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac spoke of the club having a chance to “write history” as it seeks its first major silverware since they last won the same competition in 1988.

Whoever prevails in the second semifinal when Germany’s most famous two clubs meet at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday is irrelevant for now; the prestige of reaching the final is one Frankfurt could have barely imagined 12 months ago when Kovac was in the process of steering the club clear of relegation in the Bundesliga. Now they stand on the cusp of qualification for Europe, either through the league or the Cup.

Frankfurt started the game at breakneck speed, with wave after wave of attack in the opening minutes pinning the home side back. Gladbach couldn’t live with the visitors’ direct approach, which saw the excellent Marco Fabian and Hrgota both going close inside the opening three minutes.

The hosts failed to heed the warning and, after 15 minutes of being run ragged at the back, they conceded the opening goal. Frankfurt’s American attacker Timothy Chandler raced down the right flank and his cross found its way to Taleb Tawatha on the far side, and the Israeli barely broke stride as he lashed a fine shot first time into the back of the net.

Gladbach, who were missing several key players through injury, managed to steady the ship, but struggled to create any chances to reward their possession. The closest they came was almost an extraordinary goal by Jonas Hofmann, who helped on Yann Sommer’s punt downfield and, with Lukas Hradecky well out of his goal, Hofmann could only watch as the ball trickled centimeters wide.

Hofmann’s moment was to come a few minutes later though, seconds before halftime. Despite a hint of offside, he tucked Ibrahima Traore’s cross in from close range, with the foot of Frankfurt captain David Abraham’s just about keeping Hofmann onside.

With both sets of players tiring, the rest of the game was an unremarkable affair, as it drifted with a sense of inevitability towards extra time and then penalties. The tension was rising as both sides successfully dispatched their first six penalties. Both sides missed their seventh spot kicks and Gladbach missed their eighth, allowing Hrgota to step up and seal Frankfurt’s place in the final.

Frankfurt will go into the final as big underdogs, but merely making it this far demonstrates the club’s upward trajectory and, who knows, they may even write a little more history in Berlin next month

As it happened:

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German Cup clash likely to be season-defining for Bayern and Dortmund Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:27:00 +0000 The post German Cup clash likely to be season-defining for Bayern and Dortmund appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

With both teams out of Europe, the German Cup has come in to even sharper focus for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. The two clash in a semifinal that’s likely to define the success of this season for both.The third meeting of Germany’s big two this term comes less than three weeks after their last match in Munich, when Bayern brushed Dortmund aside 4-1. The Bavarians also beat Thomas Tuchel’s men in last year’s cup final, though they needed penalties to seal the double in Berlin last May.

With the title all-but secured for a fifth successive year, the hosts will inevitably want to send off retiring stalwarts Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso in style at the showpiece event in the Olympic Stadium next month.

“A final like that would, of course, be a very, very nice way to end,” Lahm admitted, ahead of Wednesday’s match.

But the Bayern skipper accepts that Bayern’s domestic dominance is such that, following their Champions League exit to Real Madrid, “a good or very good season” for the club now hinges on the cup.

Although Lahm only has a few games left “now is not the time to be sentimental,” he said, adding: “Now we have the cup semifinal, something to look forward to. They are always top duels with Dortmund.”

Despite their last Munich meeting proving a lopsided affair, Thomas Tuchel sees things differently this time around.

“Two weeks ago we had no chance,” he said on Tuesday. “Now we feel ready for a big performance.”

The Dortmund coach, who said he was “endlessly sad” about the retirements of Alonso and Lahm, was primarily referring to his club’s improving injury situation – though they are still without Nuri Sahin (who extended his contract to 2019 on Tuesday), Marc Bartra, Andre Schürrle and Mario Götze – but the form book also gives Dortmund some hope.

Bayern, who could wrap up the Bundesliga title on Saturday in Wolfsburg, haven’t won any of the four games since they beat Dortmund. But their opponents have responded relatively well to that loss, the Champions League exit to Monaco and the bus attack that blighted the first leg of that tie, winning their last two Bundesliga games since and scoring six in the process.

Tuchel is also relying on his men having learnt the lessons of the previous meeting.

“It’s like going down a black run,” he said. “The probability is high that you do better the second time.”

Carlo Ancelotti’s men will be without Manuel Neuer and David Alaba is doubtful but center backs Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are likely to start on Wednesday.

A fortnight ago, this game was almost an afterthought – now it’s the match that could define the seasons of Germany’s big two.

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Sharapova to return from doping ban, but not everyone’s happy Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:54:00 +0000 The post Sharapova to return from doping ban, but not everyone’s happy appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Maria Sharapova is set to return to action on Wednesday after serving a 15 month suspension for doping. But the Russian player’s comeback is far from universally popular among her fellow players.Sharapova’s ban, for taking banned substance Meldonium, expires at midnight on Tuesday and she has been granted a wild card entry to the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she will face Roberta Vinci in the opening round on Wednesday.

With tennis ranking points accrued over a 12 month period, Sharapova currently has no world ranking, leading Vinci to suggest her opponent was receiving preferential treatment.

“She is a great player and I have nothing against her. She paid for her mistakes,” Vinci, 34, said on Monday. “She can return to play but without any wild cards, without any help.”

The Russian player’s suspension for using the heart drug meldonium after it was banned at the beginning of 2016, ends just in time to enter the opening round of the indoor clay tournament she won three times in a row from 2012-14.

Vinci joined the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Dominika Cibulkova, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Angelique Kerber – who has previously called the wild card “a little bit strange” – in speaking out against wild cards for players who return from a doping suspension.

“I know [Sharapova] is important for the tennis, for the WTA, for everything,” Vinci said. “She is a great person, a great player, a great champion, but this is my opinion.”

Sharapova’s comeback – and the storm over Ilie Nastase’s recent comments – has somewhat overshadowed the tournament, which will feature eight of the world’s top ten female players.

mp/mf (AP/Reuters)

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Williams accuses Nastase of racist comments as Fed Cup storm grows Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:02:00 +0000 The post Williams accuses Nastase of racist comments as Fed Cup storm grows appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Serena Williams has accused Romanian tennis great Ilie Nastase of racially abusing her unborn child. The pregnant American wasn’t the only victim of Nastase’s comments, with the British Fed Cup team also targeted.Williams, the world number 1 and winner of 23 grand slam titles, responded on Monday to comments Nastase made at a press conference last week.

“Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” the Romanian said.

“It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and (my) unborn child,” Williams, 35, wrote on Instagram. Williams is black. Her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is white.

“I have said it once and I’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go. Yes, we have broken down so many barriers – however there are a plethora more to go.

“This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what’s right.”

Williams, who won this year’s Australian Open while pregnant, also referred to Nastase’s “sexist comments against my peers” – a reference to his verbal abuse directed at British player, Johanna Konta, British captain Anne Keothavong and the chair umpire during Fed Cup matches over the weekend.

Nastase, Romania’s Fed Cup coach, reportedly called the British players “f***ing bitches” amid a string of insults during the Romania vs Britain clash that forced a suspension of play and reduced Konta to tears.

“I think nobody should have to put up with – in life or in any way – to feel verbally threatened and subjected to that sort of abuse,” the British player said over the weekend. “I’ve never had anything like that before, I’ve never been in an environment like that before.”

Nastase has a history of scuffles with British tennis players, having attacked David Lloyd with a racket in a Davis Cup tie in 1978. He was disqualified four times when he was playing in the mid 70s and once called a line judge at Wimbledon “a member of the SS.”

While the 70-year-old, who was nicknamed Nasty in his playing days after a string of on-court outbursts, accepted he lost his temper over the weekend, he also called his punishment “crazy” and rejected the suggestion that his comments towards Williams’ unborn child had been racist.

“I want to know what word I used is racist?” he said Monday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

The former French and US Open champion was backed by George Cosac, the chairman of the Romanian Tennis Federation, who has suggested Nastase was picked on by British officials during the match.

His latest comments have also drawn widespread condemnation, including from his fellow Romanian sporting great Nadia Comaneci: “Ilie has been my friend for many years, but I can not condone or defend his recent ugly and very offensive remarks,” the 55-year-old five-time Olympic gold medallist wrote on Twitter.

mp/mf (Reuters/AP)

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Gladbach and Frankfurt seek dream ticket to Berlin Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:23:00 +0000 The post Gladbach and Frankfurt seek dream ticket to Berlin appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The smaller fish get to share a semifinal pond. Either Bayern Munich or Dortmund await the winner in the final in Berlin. The Foals have home advantage, but Frankfurt say they’ve nothing to lose.Neither side has any illusions ahead of Tuesday’s German Cup semifinal, whoever makes it to the final in Berlin will be the rank outsider against either Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.

“When there’s Bayern, Dortmund and Frankfurt in the hat along with you, it’s obvious what we thought – what Frankfurt thought too,” Gladbach’s coach Dieter Hecking told reporters on Monday, recalling the draw. “We have both got our wish. Perhaps with a slight advantage to us, seeing as we’re playing at home.”

Frankfurt’s Nico Kovac concurred that Gladbach – also the wealthier of the two sides with the better stocked squad – should have a slight edge at the Borussia-Park. The bookmakers see it similarly.

“But this is a cup semifinal,” Kovac said. “We have more to gain than to lose, whereas Mönchengladbach started this season with rather different goals.”

Whatever the two teams’ initial targets for the campaign, Frankfurt have the slightest edge in the Bundesliga right now. The Eagles sit ninth, one place and two points above Gladbach, thanks to back-to-back league defeats for the Foals.

Both sides could still hope to qualify for Europe via the league, but a win on Tuesday and then an upset in the final in Berlin on May 27 offers an alternative route to continental competition.

Frankfurt’s quarterfinal:Marco Russ makes emotional comeback in Frankfurt’s German Cup win

Gladbach’s quarterfinal:German Cup: Bayern cruise, Gladbach through as Hamburg pay the penalty

Eberl appeals to own fans

Gladbach’s sporting director Max Eberl even issued a plea to the club faithful ahead of Tuesday’s game, in response to recent booing of young star Mahmoud Dahoud. Dahoud, like Marco Reus before him, will be moving on to Borussia Dortmund next season.

“The crowd’s the 12th man,” Eberl said. “But it can’t be an obstruction.”

Gladbach face enough obstructions before the game, with eight unavailable through injury. They include playmaker Raffael, Fabian Johnson, Christoph Kramer, Tony Jantschke at the back, and forwards Thorgan Hazard and Josip Drmic. Despite being broadly reinvigorated since Hecking took charge mid-season, the Foals form has faltered amid the absentees.

Frankfurt’s disabled list is less extensive but will most likely include key attacking threat and captain Alex Meier, as well as Japanese international Hakoto Masebe.

Kovac brothers seek return to Berlin

Both clubs romanticized the appeal of the cup, especially for fans, with Hecking talking up supporters’ dreams of the pilgrimage along the A2 Autobahn that provides a straight shot from Berlin all the way west to Gelsenkirchen. “You hear about that all the time,” he said.

Frankfurt’s Niko Kovac said it offered the club a chance to “write history.”

“We have a particular desire, as anyone can understand, because we were both born in Berlin,” he said of himself and his brother Robert.

During their time with Bayern Munich, the Kovac brothers won the 2003 German Cup, but both sat out the final on the bench.

Gladbach have not made the final since their last cup victory, in 1995. Frankfurt, meanwhile, last won the trophy in 1988 but were runners-up in 2006.

The pair’s most recent meeting in the Bundesliga was a forgettable goalless draw on April 1. To give an idea of the game’s pace, Gladbach won their first corner of the entire match three minutes into stoppage time in the second half.

Frankfurt’s board member Axel Hellmann also stressed the financial gains on offer for a win on Tuesday.

“It would be worth 5 million euros,” he calculated. “A sum that would be a good step forward when putting next season’s budget together.”

If the winner could then pull off the unthinkable against either Dortmund or Bayern, who meet in the second semi on Wednesday evening, that figure could rise far further.

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Unruly fans prompt probe against Frankfurt, Cologne, HSV Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:53:00 +0000 The post Unruly fans prompt probe against Frankfurt, Cologne, HSV appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

A smokebomb and obscene banners in the stands could land three Bundesliga clubs in hot water with Germany’s football association. The DFB is considering punishments for Frankfurt, Cologne and Hamburg after weekend games.Three Bundesliga clubs could face sanctions from the DFB thanks to the misbehavior of their more radical supporters in the stands. The German football association said on Monday that it had launched investigations against Hamburg, Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Cologne, saying that it expected all three clubs to promptly submit written statements on the incidents.

Only one of the three incidents had a palpable impact on the pitch.

When Hamburg supporters let off a smoke bomb early in the game against Darmstadt, the referee was forced to stop play for a few minutes until the air was clear. The smoke wafted on to the pitch, clouding over the goal that Hamburg’s keeper Christian Mathenia was guarding.

Cologne ultras hit Hopp way below belt

To the south and west in Cologne, it was an incendiary message – one the home club stressed it had not approved – that garnered the DFB’s attention.

Fans took aim at the owner of visitors Hoffenheim, SAP software company co-founder Dietmar Hopp. One large banner portrayed a skantily-clad woman holding a handbag labeled SAP in one hand and a piece of paper purporting to be a “birth certificate” in the other. It said: “Name: Dietmar Hopp. Mother: whore. Father: Nazi.”

The Billy Goats’ spoting director Jörg Schmadtke called the banner “an insult whose lack of respect cannot be overstated.” Cologne’s club president Werner Spinner said after the game that he had apologized to Hopp.

“These insults are unacceptable and they do not reflect the values we stand for at FC Cologne,” Spinner said. Hoffenheim’s Alexander Rosen spoke of a “new dimension of hate.”

Dietmar Hopp, the SAP software mogul who bought the tiny village football club he played for as a kid and propelled it all the way to Germany’s top flight, is one of the first symbols of the Bundesliga’s new generation of clubs built on corporate cash. To fans of teams like FC Cologne, who like to refer to themselves as teams with “tradition,” these newcomers are “plastic clubs.”

The issue has arguably been pushed even further to the forefront this season, given the success of Red Bull-backed RB Leipzig.

Tensions were also high in Cologne with the presence of the right-wing political party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which held its party conference in the city center ahead of September’s general election.

The party’s presence at the Maritim Hotel was met with protests in Cologne. Another banner under the image, addressed to Hopp, asked: “In the Maritim tomorrow? Your father would be proud.” Hopp’s father Emil was in the SA during World War II.

Read: Bundesliga: Hoffenheim grab deserved leveler as European dream comes true

Read: Opinion: Under Nagelsmann, Hoffenheim are well-primed for European football

Frankfurt banner against police

Down in Frankfurt, meanwhile, fans took aim at German police – apparently in a bid to protest recent efforts to ban ultras who committed vandalism from the ground. “For every stadium ban… a dead cop!” the message, placed right behind the goal, read.

Eintracht’s board member Axel Hellmann told mass-circulation German daily Bild that the club would be formally apologizing to police.

“Whatever criticisms you might have of the police in certain instances, this shames us right to the core,” Hellmann said.

Eintracht wound up 3-1 winners against Augsburg.

Like Cologne’s, and indeed Hamburg’s, part of Frankfurt’s fan base has something of a reputation in the Bundesliga.

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Last-gasp Messi seals memorable ‘Clasico’ win for Barcelona Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:52:00 +0000 An entralling encounter between Spain's biggest clubs saw end-to-end action, a bloodied superstar and a last-minute winner.

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An entralling encounter between Spain’s biggest clubs saw end-to-end action, a bloodied superstar and a last-minute winner. The race for the La Liga title is wide open once more.These were 90 minutes no-one at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on Sunday will ever forget. Lionel Messi notched his 500th goal for FC Barcelona with the final kick of the game to give the Catalans a 3-2 win over Real Madrid.

The home side had started the game strongly, creating several chances and taking an early lead. But the advantage only lasted five minutes as Messi, left with a bloodied mouth after an elbow from Marcelo, put Barcelona back on level terms.

In an end-to-end affair, Ivan Rakitic then gave Barca the lead with a stunning, curling effort in the 72nd minute. Moments later, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos was sent off a harsh tackle on Messi.

But Real kept pushing forward while down a man. James Rodriguez, on as a substitute in the 81st minute, smashed Vieira’s cross home from close range to make it 2-2.

With one last attack in the final minute of stoppage time, Barcelona hit the hosts on the counter attack. Sergio Roberto’s brilliant run through the midfield opened up the left side for Jordi Alba’s low feed to Messi inside the penalty area. Messi calmly slotted his shot into the bottom-left corner to put Barcelona ahead.

“(Messi) is the best of all time and I have seen a lot of football matches and videos,” said FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.

Messi’s 500th goal was the final kick of the night. He heads the scoring charts in Spain with 31 for the season and has scored the most goals in “El Clasico”.

The two rivals are now tied atop La Liga with 75 points each with five weeks remaining in the season. Barcelona have the advantage in the head-to-head but Real Madrid have a game in hand.

“There will be much more of a title race, but it is still in our own hands,” said Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

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Frantisek Rajtoral, former Czech Republic and Hannover defender, found dead Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:36:00 +0000 The post Frantisek Rajtoral, former Czech Republic and Hannover defender, found dead appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Rajtoral’s club Gaziantepspor in Turkey announced that the defender, who played 14 times for his country, was found dead in his home. The club chairman said players raised the alarm when he didn’t turn up for training.Right-back Frantisek Rajtoral was found dead in his home in Turkey on Sunday, aged 31. Rajtoral played 14 times for the Czech Republic between 2012 and 2014; he was part of the squad that reached the quarterfinals at Euro 2012.

He also spent half a season on loan with Bundesliga club Hannover 96 in the 2013/14 campaign, when Hannover were relegated to the second tier of German football under coach Tayfun Korkut.

“RIP! We mourn our former player Frantisek Rajtoral, who died today at aged 31,” the club wrote on Twitter, adding a hashtag that translates as “never alone.”

Rajtoral had joined Gaziantepspor in Turkey in 2016, but made his name at Viktoria Plzen, winning two Czech league titles with the side.

In a statement, Plzen wrote: “Rest in peace Rajt, we will all miss you so much, we will never forget you.”

UEFA also issued its condolences via Twitter.

According to Turkish media reports, Rajtoral was found hanged in his home. Gaziantepspor’s club chairman Ibrahim Kizil told reporters in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep that it appeared he had committed suicide. Kizil said the club was not aware of any problems.

Teammates sounded the alarm on Sunday when Rajtoral didn’t show up for training.

msh (Reuters, SID)

Depression in football – a DW special report

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Keitany breaks London Marathon record Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:53:00 +0000 The post Keitany breaks London Marathon record appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

The 35-year-old won the London Marathon for a third time and broke the women’s only record of Briton Paula Radcliffe, completing the 42.2-kilometer race in two hours and 17 minutes.Mary Keitany won the London Marathon for a third time and broke the women’s only record of Paula Radcliffe. The 35-year-old shaved 14 seconds off Radcliffe’s record with a time of 2:17:01, but the Briton still holds the best time in a mixed gender event.

Keitany took advantage of the fact that last year’s winner Jemima Sumgong is currently suspended for testing positive for the blood booster EPO. She was leading at a strong pace throughout and was on track to break the outright world record at the halfway mark.

The pace eased up in sunny conditions, but she still finished well ahead of three-time Olympic gold medal winner Tirunesh Dibaba, 55 seconds behind. Fellow Ethiopian, Aselefech Mergia, finished the race in third place.

“It was very fast pace and I tried to follow it,” Keitany said. “I think the course has changed a little bit and it felt better than before. The weather was really good this year.

“I’m very happy with the finish time. Parts of the course are hilly but I train in a very similar area in Kenya so it was not too different for me.”

Meanwhile, Daniel Wanjiru completed the course in 2hrs 5min 48sec to add to his success at the Amsterdam Marathon last year.

The Kenyan burst clear mid-race and had built enough ground to win with a nine second lead to beat Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia who made up impressive ground in the final 12 kilometers.

With Bekele charging down towards the final straight, Wanjiru glanced over his shoulder nervously, but had enough in the tank to finish in first. His countryman, Bedan Karoki, finished in third place.

rd/ft (AFP)

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Bundesliga: Huntelaar earns Schalke point against Leipzig, Freiburg win at the death Sun, 23 Apr 2017 12:29:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Huntelaar earns Schalke point against Leipzig, Freiburg win at the death appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Second-placed RB Leipzig failed to take advantage of Bayern’s slip yesterday, drawing 1-1 at Schalke, who were coming off the back of European exit. Earlier, Freiburg scored late on to beat Leverkusen 2-1.Schalke 1-1 RB Leipzig

(Huntelaar 46′ – Werner 14′)

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s second-half equalizer earned Schalke a share of the spoils against second-placed RB Leipzig. The Dutchman scored less than a minute after the restart to net a point which gives the Royal Blues a bit of breathing space from the relegation fight.

But RB Leipzig will be disappointed that they didn’t convert a comprehensive first-half performance into three points. With Bayern Munich slipping at home to Mainz, the chasers had a chance to cut the gap to six points with four games left. The afternoon started brightly with the opener coming inside the first quarter of an hour.

Timo Werner punished a basic defensive mistake from Benedikt Höwedes, who was too close to the striker, and the youngster nodded in his 17th goal of a remarkable campaign.

Leipzig asserted their dominance as they know how: high-pressing and quick transitions. Emil Forsberg was one-on-one with Ralf Fährmann on 19 minutes but scuffed his finish wide of the target. The Swede and Werner combined on 32 minutes, but the referee flagged for offside as Leipzig’s top scorer steamed through on goal.

But Hasenhüttl’s side were caught napping at the start of the second period. Schalke lumped the ball into the box from the right-side and Huntelaar was presented with a free header to bring the Royal Blues back on level terms.

Schalke struggled to push on for a second, but threatened at set pieces with Coke heading off target twice in a minute. It ended in a draw in Gelsenkirchen with Markus Weinzierl’s side in 11th and Leipzig eight points off champions Bayern.

Freiburg 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen

(Petersen 11′, Stenzel 88′ – Volland 60′ pen)

Borussia Dortmund loanee Pascal Stenzel came off the bench to score the winner and send Freiburg back into the top six. The 21-year-old was on the field for the best part of 150 seconds before he combined with Havard Nielsen and then proceeded to finish off from a tight angle.

After a heavy defeat in Leipzig last week, Christian Streich’s side needed to make home advantage count in the hunt for European qualification. Freiburg’s energetic start appeared to catch Leverkusen still in the traps. Nils Petersen held his run on the attack in the 11th minute, then battered the ball with venom into the top corner leaving Bernd Leno helpless.

In the starting eleven for the 12th time this season, 17-year-old Kai Havertz was the source of inspiration for the visitors. The teenager’s header threatened the Freiburg goal on the half hour mark before Alexander Schwolow prevented him from sliding the ball under the keeper and into the net. Havertz aside, Leverkusen were lacking speed and zip in attack.

Although Tayfun Korkut rang no changes at the break, his side improved and created the lion’s share of the chances. Just on the hour mark, Alexander Igjnovski jumped unnecessarily into a challenge and fouled Kevin Volland in the box. The Leverkusen striker converted the penalty – his sixth of the season.

Streich’s side gained supremacy soon after with Florian Niederlechner keen to add to his nine-goal haul for this season. Less than a minute after Caglar Soyuncu came close from distance, the Freiburg striker failed to convert after Janik Haberer’s low-driven cross had removed Leno from proceedings.

Two of Freiburg’s substitutions, Nielsen and Stenzel, completed the damage on Leverkusen with two minutes to go. The Werkself are four points above the drop zone and face Schalke, Ingolstadt, Cologne and Hertha before the end of the campaign.

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Bundesliga: Top five talking points from Matchday 30 Sat, 22 Apr 2017 19:25:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Top five talking points from Matchday 30 appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Some normality is returning to Borussia Dortmund but the situation is far from normal in Munich. With Werder Bremen pushing for Europe and Hamburg still struggling, here are the top talking points on Matchday 30Normality returning to Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund have endured a tough two weeks but delivered a performance away at Borussia Mönchengladbach which suggested they are returning to normality.

A visibly pleased Thomas Tuchel praised his team’s “winning mentality” which showed great resilience to turn the game back in their favor against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Mikel Merino proved an ample replacement for the injured Nuri Sahin and Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembele linked up well. Bundesliga top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 27th goal of the season and secure three points which allow Dortmund to leapfrog Hoffenheim into third place.

Attention now turns to the German Cup semifinal away at Bayern Munich. Tuchel admitted his team was outclassed in a 4-1 defeat in the Allianz Arena earlier this month but also said he believed that the cup meeting between the two would be a better indication of his team’s qualities. Now finally, some normality is returning.

Crisis in Munich?

Bayern Munich felt understandably aggrieved in Madrid on Tuesday night when a string of refereeing decisions went against them and saw them knocked out of the Champions League. But with an eight-point lead in the Bundesliga and a cup semi-final against a vulnerable Borussia Dortmund to come, it would have been wrong to speak of a crisis in the Bavarian captial. Now, however, after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Mainz, Bayern’s lead could be cut to six points if RB Leipzig beat Schalke tomorrow. And should Dortmund knock them out of the cup on Wednesday, emergency talks could be held on Säbener Strasse.

Ancelotti was recruited with the Champions League specifically in mind – the big-eared trophy which Jupp Heynckes won in 2013 but which Pep Guardiola, for all the progress made, failed to bring home. Whether those in charge in Munich believe Ancelotti is also the right man to oversee the all-important transition to Bayern’s new generation is debatable.

But with Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm hanging up their boots at the end of the season and the likes of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Rafinha not getting any younger, transition must be the key word. Uli Hoeness has made no secret of his admiration for Julian Nagelsmann, but the 29-year-old wouldn’t abandon Hoffenheim now, would he?

Hamburg are making life hard for themselves

On paper, Hamburg’s final five games of the season were straightforward. What’s more, games against Darmstadt, Augsburg, Mainz and Wolfsburg represent four winnable ‘six-pointers’ against the teams around them. Markus Gisdol would feel confident of getting a result away at inconsistent Schalke as well.

But football isn’t played on paper and Hamburg’s season run-in has misfired with a defeat against Darmstadt which neither they nor their guests saw coming. Visiting coach Torsten Frings admitted ahead of kick off that his team were already “as good as relegated” with a 14-point gap to make up in just five games. The Lillies travelled north without having won a game on the road this season, while Hamburg, for all their troubles, were unbeaten at home in the league since Borussia Dortmund beat them 5-2 back on November 5.

As impressive as wins over RB Leipzig, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hoffenheim are, these were games where Hamburg could sit tight and hit superior opposition on the counter-attack. But relegation battles are won by teams who take the initiative against those around them. Hamburg still have their own fate in their own hands but a repeat of today’s result against their direct relegation rivals could be disastrous.

Bremen’s astonishing turnaround

When Matchday 20 came to an end in February, Werder Bremen were 16th – three points adrift of safety after a run of four straight defeats and two draws. Ten games later, Werder Bremen are sixth and on course to qualify for the Europa League after a run of eight wins and two draws.

Alexander Nouri has overseen an astonishing turnaround – and that despite injuries to key attacking players, particularly top scorer Serge Gnabry who has missed most of the current unbeaten run with a back problem. But the fact that others have stepped up to share the burden of goal scoring is testament to the belief which is now flowing through this squad. First, Thomas Delaney scored a hat trick in a 5-2 win away at Freiburg, before Max Kruse trumped the Dane with a four-goal haul in Ingolstadt this weekend.

A club of Bremen’s size and pedigree should be competing in Europe and attracting top players, and Europa League qualification would provide the perfect incentive for the likes of Gnabry to stay and continue to develop.

Cologne aren’t ready for Europe

Cologne exceeded all expectations in an impressive first half of the season which saw them consistently rooted in the top six, performances which had their fanatic supporters dreaming of Europe. But the management team around coach Peter Stöger and sporting director Jorg Schmadtke were right to remain grounded and stick to their stated aim of repeating last season’s ninth place finish.

Cologne are operating with one of the smallest squads in the league and a limited budget and have benefited hugely from the inconsistency of the teams around them – some of whom (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen) have clearly been hampered by their European duties. The Billy Goats have also been overly-reliant on the outstanding Anthony Modeste (23 goals) and have looked short of options when opponents have man-marked the Frenchman.

Nevertheless, steady progress is being made and Friday night’s performance against high-flying Hoffenheim demonstrated what Cologne are capable of – they could easily have been two or three goals up before Kerem Demirbay’s late equalizer. But as much as their legions of loyal supporters deserve European football, Cologne are still not equipped to deal with the strains of the Europa League.

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Opinion: Under Nagelsmann, Hoffenheim are well-primed for European football Sat, 22 Apr 2017 18:58:00 +0000 The post Opinion: Under Nagelsmann, Hoffenheim are well-primed for European football appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Julian Nagelsmann’s highly-impressive Hoffenheim team will compete in European football next season. When they attempt to make their mark, they are as well-placed as others to compete, writes DW’s Ross Dunbar.History was written in the most dramatic of circumstances. Kerem Demirbay, Hoffenheim’s most outstanding player, finished off with a composed side-foot finish like he had ice running through his veins. With that goal, and a point against Cologne, Hoffenheim confirmed their first-ever appearance in European competition.

There can be no arguments: Hoffenheim are there on merit. There are enough platitudes for the job that Julian Nagelsmann has done at the southwestern club, who were joint-bottom when he was appointed.

Others have come and gone over the last few seasons: Mainz, Augsburg, Wolfsburg, Stuttgart and Hannover were unable to turn brief adventures to Europe into a permanent top six berth. Hoffenheim, ever-present in the Bundesliga since 2008, aspire for different fortunes and Nagelsmann has cultivated one of the most dynamic, tactically-sound teams in Germany.

Stronger foundations than Leipzig

Comparisons to Bayern Munich are futile given the sheer economic power of the German champions. One marquee addition to bolster Carlo Ancelotti’s insipid side has the potential to blow away the competition. How Borussia Dortmund move forward after this transitional season remains to be seen.

But there is an argument to be made that Hoffenheim are better shaped up for European competition than second-placed RB Leipzig. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s sharp pressing game plan is akin to that of Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund and was dysfunctional without specific players at points this season. In European competitions, there are possession-based teams who can counter that, and those teams will certainly be in greater numbers than in the Bundesliga.

Nagelsmann has an aptitude at shifting and shaping his side’s formation based on the situation. He is strategically-minded, always on the attack and orchestrates a team which is not based on any one individual. This will be prevelant when the club tries to replace the Bayern-bound pair of Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Süle. Frustrating, indeed, but not enough to paralyze them.

The 29-year-old tinkers with his strategy week-after-week like a grandmaster on a chess board. Whether it is making his attack sharper or his defense more robust, Nagelsmann has routinely shown he has the answers to the questions. Leipzig, under Hasenhüttl, are regimented to one style, while there have been questions over Bayern’s tactical approach under Ancelotti this season.

If Hoffenheim can dispatch of Eintracht Frankfurt next weekend, then they will have Champions League competition – whether a qualifier or a group stage game – at the Rhein-Necker-Arena next season. And if Nagelsmann and sporting director Alexander Rosen can protect the foundations in the summer from falling apart, they are in great shape for a crack at the big time.

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Bundesliga: Dortmund defeat Gladbach, Mainz shock Bayern, Kruse scores four Sat, 22 Apr 2017 12:28:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Dortmund defeat Gladbach, Mainz shock Bayern, Kruse scores four appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Borussia Dortmund are back in third with a 3-2 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Mainz held Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, while Max Kruse powered Werder Bremen towards the European places.Gladbach 2-3 Dortmund
(Stindl 43′, Schmelzer 48′ o.g. – Reus pen. 10′, Aubameyang 59′, Guerreiro 87′)

Borussia Dortmund came from behind to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday evening, despite starting at Borussia-Park with Julian Weigl and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang on the bench. Dortmund got an early boost from Christian Pulisic, who drew a penalty on the edge of the box from Nico Elvedi. Marco Reus stepped up to the spot and converted the spot kick as he continued his fine run of form.

But Dortmund gift wrapped Gladbach a route back into the game due to their own mistakes. Mikel Merino, a first-half replacement for the injured Nuri Sahin, passed the ball straight to Andre Hahn in a dangerous position. He threaded a ball to Stindl who scored the equalizer. After the break, Schmelzer gifted another goal, turning a cross from Oscar Wendt into his own net.

Aubameyang turned the tide when he came for Reus 10 minutes later. He received a pinpoint through ball from Ousmane Dembele before finishing the second equalizer of the game from a tight angle. Raphael Guerreiro provided Dortmund with the winner just before full time, heading home a free kick from Gonzalo Castro.

Dortmund take third place from Hoffenheim as a result, while Gladbach slip down to 10th place with the defeat.

Bayern Munich 2-2 Mainz
(Robben 16′, Thiago 73′ – Bojan 3′, Brosinski pen. 41′)

Three days after getting knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid, Bayern Munich’s week didn’t get any better at home to struggling Mainz, who took a shock lead through January signing Bojan. The visitors almost doubled their lead shortly later but instead it was the tried and tested combination of Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben who combined for the equalizer, the Dutchman slotting home from the Frenchman’s pass.

Just before half-time, the visitors were ahead again, Daniel Brosinski converting from the spot after Joshua Kimmich had fouled Yoshinori Muto in the box. Mainz have now scored 25 of their last 26 penalties in the Bundesliga.

With 74 percent possession, Bayern piled on the pressure in the second half and were finally rewarded with just over a quarter of an hour to play when Thiago fired home from the edge of the box. Bayern believed they should have had a penalty two minutes later when Alexander Hack caught Robert Lewandowski late but the referee waved the claims away.

Despite late pressure, Martin Schmidt’s side held on for a vital and unexpected point in their relegation battle. RB Leipzig have the chance to cut Bayern’s lead to six points if they beat Schalke tomorrow.

Ingolstadt 2-4 Werder Bremen
(Lezcano 32′, Groß 62′ – Kruse pen. 45+1′, 81′, 87′, 90+4′)

Four goals from Max Kruse capped off an astonishing afternoon in Ingolstadt for Werder Bremen.

Dario Lezcano gave the hosts the lead in the Audi Sportpark, bringing down Marcel Tisserand’s long ball and slotting home past Wiedwald. But Max Kruse, drew the visitors level from the penalty spot after Tisserand had brought down Fin Bartels. Kruse has now scored all 11 of his Bundesliga penalties.

Referee Markus Schmidt pointed to the spot again on the hour mark, this time in favor of the hosts, Pascal Groß converting after a Moisander foul on Cohen to restore the Schanzers’ lead.

Ingolstadt were hoping to hold on for a vital victory only have themselves to blame for Bremen’s second equalizer. After Moisander looped a harmless ball into the box, goalkeeper Martin Hansen made a mess of the clearance which fell to Kruse, who forced the ball home to bring Werder level again.

With three minutes remaining, it got even better for Kruse and Bremen, the 29-year-old firing home from the edge of the area to put his team 3-2 up and – incredibly – into the European places. Kruse notched up his fourth goal of the afternoon in injury time after Ingolstadt had poured forward in search of an equalizer. An astonishing turn-around from Alexander Nouri’s men in the second half of the season.

Hamburg 1-2 Darmstadt

(Holland 90+3′ o.g. – Sulu 51′, Platte 53′)

Darmstadt won away for the first time all season, inflicting a first home defeat since November on Hamburg. Darmstadt coach Torsten Frings admitted ahead of kick off that his team were already as good as relegated but insisted his players were determined to fight in order to preserve the integrity of the competition.

After a slight delay due to pyrotechnics in the home end, the first half ended goalless. But after the break, it was the Lillies who put on an explosive show, scoring two goals in two minutes to take a 2.0 lead. First, Aytac Sulu forced the ball home from a corner before Felix Platte doubled the lead.

Hamburg pulled one back thanks to a Fabian Holland own goal but it was too little, too late.

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 Augsburg

(Fabian, 78′, 87′, Rebic 90+1′ – Gouweleeuw 9′)

Elsewhere in the relegation battle, Jeffrey Gouweleeuw gave struggling Augsburg a surprise lead away at Frankfurt, who had only managed five goals in their previous ten games going into Matchday 30.

And for a long time, it looked as it the Eagles would struggle to score here too, until Marco Fabian poked home Chandler’s knock-back inside the six-yard-box. Having enjoyed almost 80% of the ball, it was a deserved equalizer.

Ten minutes later, relief turned to ecstasy in the Commerzbank Arena. After the ball had ping-ponged around the edge of the box, it fell to the Mexican who fired Eintracht into the lead. In injury time, Ante Rebic made it 3-1 to give Frankfurt their first home win since Darmstadt in February.

Hertha Berlin 1-0 VfL Wolfsburg
(Ibisevic 59′)

After an uneventful first half, it was Hertha who took a rather undeserved lead in the second half against Wolfsburg, courtesy of top scorer Vedad Ibisevic – his 11th goal of the season.

Mario Gomez struck the bar in the second half for Wolfsburg but it was the closest they came to an equalizer.

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Bundesliga: Hoffenheim grab deserved leveler as European dream comes true Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:24:00 +0000 The post Bundesliga: Hoffenheim grab deserved leveler as European dream comes true appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Hoffenheim scored in injury time through Kerem Demirbay to clinch a Europa League place at least. The visitors dominated but Leonardo Bittencourt had struck on the break to give Cologne the lead.Cologne 1-1 Hoffenheim

Bittencourt 58′ – Demirbay 90+3′

Hoffenheim are heading to Europe. Of course they hope it will be in the Champions League rather than the Europa League but they at least secured the latter against a largely inferior Cologne.

Wherever their travels take them next term, it will be Hoffenheim’s first European adventure. It is quite a tale for a team from little more than a village who rose up the ranks of German football thanks to a software mogul’s millions.

But recent years have seen consolidation in the Bundesliga and last season’s flirtation with relegation. Step forward a 29-year-old wonder coach in Julian Nagelsmann and suddenly you have a side ready to play in Europe.

Hoffenheim sit third on 55 points, an unassailable 14 points above Cologne who occupy the final automatic Europa League spot in sixth with both having four games left.

The visitors enjoyed much the better of the first half. They knocked the ball around confidently and showed just how much verve Nagelsmann has instilled in his side.

But they failed to carve out a really clear-cut chance, Steven Zuber testing Timo Horn from distance in perhaps their best opportunity.

Immediately at the other end, Cologne went the closest of either side in the opening period, a combination of Oliver Baumann and the post keeping out Dominique Heintz’s header.

Telling moment

The hosts were generally frustrated, Anthony Modeste running offside far too often and Bayern Munich-bound Niklas Süle looking at his commanding best in the Hoffenheim backline.

The same pattern appeared to be developing in the second half but Cologne suddenly broke at pace and Hoffenheim’s defence fell away in uncharacteristic style, allowing Bittencourt to score one of the easiest goals he will have the pleasure of netting.

Jonas Hector was given time and space to pick out the unmarked Bittencourt for a tap-in after 58 minutes.

As Hoffenheim pressed forward for an equalizer and left gaps, Cologne’s Yuya Osako was clear in the box but chose to shoot instead of squaring and surely setting up a second goal.

Süle then had a half chance at the other end but desperate Cologne defending saved the day. Milos Jojic then should have sealed it for Cologne before being snuffed out in a telling moment which summed up how dogged and daring Hoffenheim have been this term.

Demirbay duly grabbed the equalizer in stoppage time after scrappy Cologne had failed to clear their lines. In truth it was the least visitors Hoffenheim deserved.

Their rise from relegation candidates last season to Europa League qualifiers and Champions League contenders this term under such a young coach is arguably the story of the Bundesliga season, whatever RB Leipzig fans might say.

With a 12-point cushion over Hertha Berlin in fifth, at least the fourth Champions League qualifying spot is surely now in Hoffenheim’s grasp.

Relive the action as it happened:

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Tennis: Djokovic dumped out in Monte Carlo quarters by Goffin Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:45:00 +0000 The post Tennis: Djokovic dumped out in Monte Carlo quarters by Goffin appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Novak Djokovic’s very shaky season continued as he was beaten by the Belgian 10th seed 6-2 6-3 7-5. The Serbian has now been knocked out early in his last four tournaments.David Goffin proved too good for a faltering Djokovic as the Belgian reached the Monte Carlo semifinals with a thrilling victory.

Former world number one Djokovic saved four match points but wilted on the fifth to allow Goffin to set up a last-four meeting with clay king Rafa Nadal, who hammered Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-4.

Earlier, Spanish claycourt specialist Albert Ramos followed up his victory over world number one Andy Murray with a 6-2 6-7 (5) 6-2 defeat of Croatian fifth seed Marin Cilic.

France’s Lucas Pouille meanwhile beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-0 3-6 7-5.

In the first European claycourt tournament of the season, second seed Djokovic was overwhelmed in the opening set before hitting back in the second.

The third set was a tense affair. Djokovic was serving at 4-3 but Goffin won the game to love to roar back into contention.

In the 12th game, Goffin opened a 40-15 lead on Djokovic’s serve but the 12-times grand slam champion saved four match points before netting a forehand to lose to the Belgian for the first time in six meetings.


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Dortmund coach Tuchel hails arrest of suspect in bomb attack probe Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:47:00 +0000 The post Dortmund coach Tuchel hails arrest of suspect in bomb attack probe appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has said the arrest of the man apparently responsible for this month’s bomb attack on the team bus before a Champions League game could help players and staff overcome the trauma.”If the motive has been identified that would help us a great deal to process it,” Tuchel said at a news conference previewing Dortmund’s Bundesliga match at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday.

He was speaking after authorities said on Friday they had arrested a 28-year-old German-Russian man suspected of carrying out the bus bombing on April 11 after he bet on a drop in the club’s share price.

The man, identified only as Sergei W., had allegedly used a hotel room overlooking the bus’ departure route to remotely detonate three devices placed in a hedge just after the vehicle pulled off on its way to Dortmund’s stadium.

Several bus windows were shattered, injuring defender Marc Bartra and a police officer on a motorbike.

Prosecutors said the suspect had bought so-called put options on the team’s shares on the day of the attack, just prior to a Champions League match against AS Monaco that was postponed by one day.

“A significant drop in price could have been expected if, as a result of the attack, players had been seriously injured or even killed,” prosecutors said.

Tuchel said that he personally had come to terms well with the attack but was reluctant to speak for his players and staff.

It was up to them to take enough time to process what had happened, he said.

“I am not prepared to place the usual demands on my players because some of them are not in as good shape as I am,” Tuchel added. “Everyone has the right to deal with things at their own pace.”

Dortmund lost the rearranged quarterfinal, first leg against Monaco 3-2 and were beaten 3-1 in the return for a 6-3 aggregate reverse.

Tuchel said the psychological impact of the attack had put his team at a clear disadvantage.

“That was the decisive factor for Monaco,” he said. “We held our own against our opponent but they were playing with freedom. Our team, on the other hand, were thrown completely out of their frame of reference.”

Dortmund are fourth in the Bundesliga, 10 points ahead of fifth-placed Hertha Berlin.

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Manchester United face Celta Vigo, Ajax meet Lyon in last four Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:48:00 +0000 The post Manchester United face Celta Vigo, Ajax meet Lyon in last four appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

English powerhouses Manchester United have been drawn to play Spanish club Celta Vigo in the semifinals of the Europa League. In the other last-four clash, Dutch team Ajax meet Ligue 1 side Lyon.United is seeking to win Europe’s second-tier competition for the first time, which would earn the English team direct entry into next season’s Champions League.

The draw was made on Friday, with United and Lyon getting home matches in the second legs. The first legs take place on May 4, with the return legs on May 11.

Best chance

With Jose Mourinho’s side currently four points outside the Premier League top four, winning the Europa League may be their best chance of qualifying for Europe’s elite club competition.

As England’s final European representatives this season, United were made to sweat by Anderlecht in the quarter-final second leg on Thursday.

Marcus Rashford’s extra-time goal sealed a 2-1 win at Old Trafford that sent United through 3-2 on aggregate.

If United make it to the final in Stockholm’s Friends Arena on May 24 it will be the club’s first appearance in the decisive match of Europe’s second-tier tournament.

It would also be United’s first European final since they lost the 2011 Champions League decider against Barcelona at Wembley.

However, mounting injury problems mean they are “in trouble” going into the season’s decisive weeks, Mourinho said on Friday.

United lost Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimiovic to injury during the win over Anderlecht, the pair joining Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Juan Mata on the sidelines.

Debut semifinal

Celta Vigo, meanwhile, have advanced to a semifinal of a top European club competition for the first time and are bidding to become the eighth Spanish winner of the Europa League or UEFA Cup in the last 12 years.

Ajax and Lyon’s four previous meetings all came in the Champions League group stage. The Dutch side won home and away in 2002-03, before two 0-0 draws in 2011-12.

Lyon have won two of their three knockout ties against Dutch opponents. It took penalties for PSV Eindhoven to get the better of them in the 2004-05 quarterfinals.


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