Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 4th 2015 Contents A56
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, February 4, 2015
FRANKFURT---Bayern Munich remained
winless in the second half of the Bundesliga
season after holding on with ten men to
earn a 1-1 draw with Schalke yesterday.
The defending champion retained its eight-
point lead over Wolfsburg, which clinched a
late 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt. Wolfsburg
beat Bayern 4-1 on Friday but needed a late
equaliser from Kevin de Bruyne to escape
with a point.
Bayern lost Jerome Boateng to a red card
in the 17th minute and was lucky not to fall
behind as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer easily
caught the resulting penalty from Eric-Maxim
Arjen Robben put Bayern ahead in the 67th
but Benedikt Hoewedes equalised five minutes
Also, Borussia Moenchengladbach beat
Freiburg 1-0 and Hannover and Mainz drew
1-1.Bayern dropped points at home for the first
time this season, while Schalke stayed fourth.
Boateng was sent off for bringing down
Sydney Sam as he surged forward. Choupo-
Moting s penalty was low and weak, and
Neuer had no problem diving to his left to
smother the ball.
Schalke did not change anything in its game
plan and mostly defended despite being a
man up. Bayern controlled the game but pro-
duced few chances in a dull contest.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola brought in
striker Robert Lewandowski early in the sec-
ond half, livening up the match.
The home team went ahead when Robben
headed in a corner from Xabi Alonso.
Schalke s goal also came from a corner,
with Sam providing the cross for Hoewedes
to head home.
"It s frustrating," Robben said. "We go
ahead and then we let him score. We were
down a man but we ran and fought, and con-
trolled the game, so it s disappointing.
"Schalke didn t do anything, they only
defended. We didn t allow any counter-
attacks, we played much better than against
Bayern failed to exploit the inexperience
of 19-year-old Timon Wellenreuther, who
made his Bundesliga debut in Schalke s goal
in the second half, replacing the injured Fabian
Eintracht was also coming off a 4-1 loss
in Freiburg and shored up its defense against
Frankfurt was the better side and Stefan
Aigner scored in the 58th. But De Bruyne fol-
lowed up his two-goal performance against
Bayern by notching the equaliser in the 88th.
Wolfsburg s latest signing Andre Schuerrle
was not in the squad.
Patrick Herrmann scored in the 23rd to
secure third-place Moenchengladbach s win.
Jimmy Briand scored in the 26th for Han-
nover, but Elkin Soto earned a draw for Mainz
in the 77th. (AP)
PARIS---Brazilian defender Maxwell s
goal was enough to send defending cham-
pion Paris Saint-Germain into the League
Cup final after a 1-0 win at Lille yester-
The left back scored in the 27th minute,
running onto a pass from Uruguay forward
Edinson Cavani and firing into the top left
corner as PSG recorded a sixth straight
win in all competitions.
PSG created the early chances, with Lille
goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama saving smartly
from Cavani and Brazilian winger Lucas.
Coach Laurent Blanc s side will meet
either Monaco or Bastia in the final on
April 11. They play their semifinal today.
Lille did not threaten until the 40th
minute when midfielder Idrissa Gueye s
powerful shot was blocked. (AP)
ROME---Roma s miserable year contin-
ued as it lost 2-0 at home to Fiorentina
and was eliminated from the Italian Cup
Mario Gomez scored twice to send
Fiorentina, which lost last year s final to
Napoli, through to a semifinal against
After beginning 2015 with a narrow win
over Udinese, four successive draws have
seen Roma fall seven points behind Serie
A leader Juventus and the capital side s
title hopes slip away.
Gomez broke the deadlock in the 65th
minute, dinking Manuel Pasqual s cross
over Roma goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupsk.
The two combined again in the final
minute, with Gomez controlling another
Pasqual cross before firing under the bar.
Roma was booed off the pitch. (AP)
MOSCOW---UEFA is confident that it will
be safe to play a Champions League match
between Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayern
Munich in the Ukrainian city of Lviv on
February 17 despite the conflict in the
Shakhtar hails from Donetsk in eastern
Ukraine, the scene of intense fighting
between pro-Russian separatists and
Ukrainian government forces, but is based
in Lviv this season due to the conflict.
While Lviv is approximately 1,000 kilo-
metres west of the fighting around Donetsk,
there have been sporadic incidents of vio-
lence in the city, including a reported attack
on the mayor s house with a rocket-pro-
pelled grenade in December.
UEFA said in e-mailed comments that
it had "no such reservations" about the
first knockout round fixture.
Lviv is one of two Ukrainian cities ruled
safe to host European games this season,
the other being the capital Kiev. Shakhtar
is sharing the city s Arena Lviv, a Euro 2012
arena, with local team Karpaty Lviv.
Shakhtar s stadium in Donetsk, the Don-
bass Arena, has suffered damage from
shelling during the conflict and has recently
become a base for humanitarian aid dis-
tribution efforts organised by the club s
billionaire owner Rinat Akhmetov. (AP)
BATA---Neutral fans may
already be licking their lips over
the possibility of an Ivory Coast
vs Ghana final at the African Cup
In the battle of the strikers it
would be Wilfried Bony vs
Asamoah Gyan. Playmakers:
Gervinho vs Christian Atsu.
Coaches: Herve Renard vs Avram
But hold on.
The African Cup has a tendency
for the underdogs to surprise, and
Congo and host Equatorial Guinea
may yet spoil the party for one or
both of the big guys.
Here are some things to know
ahead of the African Cup semi-
DECIDER?: Neutral fans would
likely love it. It would pit some
of Africa s premier talent against
each other, and give both teams
a chance to end a long drought
when it comes to the continental
title. Ivory Coast and Ghana have
probably been Africa s best teams
over the last few years, but it is
25 years since either won.
Both know the danger of an
underdog. Ivory Coast lost the
2012 final to big outsider Zambia,
among its surprise losses in two
finals, a semifinal, and two quar-
terfinals in the last five editions.
Ghana also fell to Zambia three
years ago, in the semifinals, and
lost to Burkina Faso in a big shock
in the last four in 2013.
That means Ivory Coast s semi
today against Congo, and Ghana s
tomorrow against Equatorial
Guinea are not foregone conclu-
QUIETEN DOWN: Bizarrely,
Equatorial Guinea s hopes may
take a blow by playing its semifinal
in the capital city, Malabo. Equa-
torial Guinea has played every one
of its games in front of rowdy
home fans at the 35,000-seat sta-
dium in Bata, the biggest venue
at the tournament.
That surge of home support has
been a major factor in the team
making the semis for the first
time. But the stadium in Malabo
holds around 15,000 people, and
that means the noise might go
down a notch, something that ll
definitely suit the Ghanaians.
BACK IN THE BIG TIME:
That s Congo. Sub-Saharan
Africa s biggest country is back
in the semifinals for the first time
in 17 years, and could make the
African Cup final for the first time
since the last of its two continental
titles in 1974.
Congo, once known as Zaire,
used to be a powerhouse of
African football. It s returned
under the guidance of home coach
Florent Ibenge, the only African
coach left in the tournament.
TOO MANY OPTIONS: Ivory
Coast coach Herve Renard says
one of his big problems has been
keeping his array of star attacking
players happy, especially when
many of them have to sit on the
bench. Renard has gone with in-
form Wilfried Bony as his No. 1
forward, and the likes of Max
Gradel, Seydou Doumbia and
Salomon Kalou all have to work
"I can t play with all of them.
It s impossible," Renard said.
"Although the players think we
should play with all of them."
STAT PAC K : The African Cup
has produced 61 goals in 28 games,
five successful penalty kicks, two
missed penalties, 74 yellow cards,
and two red cards. Ghana is the
top-scoring team with seven,
while host Equatorial Guinea is
the best defensive team still in the
tournament, conceding just twice
in four games. Algeria has the
most yellow cards with nine.
The Confederation of African
Football also says the goal average
is 2.17 per game, up on the 2.15
goals per game at the same stage
at the last tournament in South
Africa. However, it s below the
goal average for the five tourna-
ments before 2013. (AP)
held 1-1 by Schalke
African Cup semis: Underdogs still have say
Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger, right, and Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng from Ghana
challenge for the ball during the match between FC Bayern Munich and FC Schalke in the
Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, yesterday. The match ended 1-1. AP PHOTO
CL match safe
Roma out of Italian
Cup after 2-0 loss
PSG beats Lille to
reach League Cup final
Links Archive February 3rd 2015 February 5th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page