Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 28th 2014 Contents A56
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, April 28, 2014
AMSTERDAM---Ajax has won its
33rd Dutch league title---and the
fourth straight---after drawing at
Heracles Almelo 1-1 yesterday.
Lasse Schone put Ajax ahead with
a free kick after 13 minutes. Almelo s
Simon Cziommer equalised 10 min-
utes later, also through a free kick,
as an out-of-form Ajax settled for
Last week Ajax lost the Dutch Cup
final in a humiliating 5-1 defeat
against PEC Zwolle.
Other Dutch teams have won four
straight championships, including
PSV Eindhoven twice---but the 43-
year-old Frank de Boer becomes the
first coach to win four in a row.
The club s achievement was all
the more remarkable after Ajax had
slipped to sixth place early in the
season, and saw many of its best
player either depart---such as Chris-
tian Eriksen to Tottenham and Toby
Alderweireld to Atletico Madrid---or
injured, such as skipper Siem de
De Boer relied heavily on young
talent on his way to the title, notably
21-year-old midfielder Davy
Klaassen, fresh out of Ajax s youth
academy and already on the national
"Every year we try to put together
a team, and we ve done it again...I m
proud," De Boer said.
"It wasn t the prettiest match,
and either team could have won,
but in the end you have to be the
best over a whole season," De Boer
He noted that while Ajax at times
failed to beat poor teams, it played
its best against the top contenders,
beating Feyenoord, PSV and FC
Feyenoord claimed second place
and a berth in Champions League
qualifying in style, beating SC Cam-
buur 5-1 in Rotterdam.
Third place FC Twente will play
in the Europa League after another
big win, 5-2 at NEC Nijmegen.
Other slots in the Europa League
will not be determined until the final
round of play next week.
Ajax players celebrate after defeating Heracles Almelo in the Dutch Premier League final with a 1-0 score in Almelo, Netherlands, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Sochaux put Paris Saint-Germain s
title celebrations on hold by sal-
vaging a 1-1 draw in the French
PSG striker Edinson Cavani chest-
ed down a long ball from Thiago
Motta to fire in an off-balance strike
in the 24th minute, but Sochaux
equalised with an own goal from
PSG centerback Thiago Silva in the
PSG leads Monaco by eight points
at the top of the league with just
three rounds left.
"The trouble is that people think
it s a done deal," PSG coach Laurent
Blanc said. "The more people say
it, the more we also believe it...I
know we haven t won the league
yet. There s not much missing but
we still miss that little something."
Elsewhere, Lyon beat mid-table
Bastia 4-1 to consolidate fifth place
and move five points clear of Mar-
seille in the race for a European spot.
Sochaux pressed high in the open-
ing minutes to disrupt the defending
champions passing game. But PSG
soon dominated possession and had
its first scoring chance when
Cavani s curling shot was tipped
over the bar by goalkeeper Yohann
Pele in the 20th.
PSG winger Lucas Moura s header
from the subsequent corner was
cleared off the line by Sochaux right
back Julien Faussurier.
The visitors broke the deadlock
four minutes later when Cavani out-
paced the Sochaux defense to shoot
past Pele for his 16th league goal.
Salvatore Sirigu protected his
team s lead by saving a close-range
effort from Sochaux midfielder
Sebastien Roudet on the stroke of
halftime after Jordan Ayew had
played him in with a backheel flick.
However, the PSG goalkeeper
allowed Sochaux to rally in the sec-
ond half. Sirigu diverted a cross from
Sochaux left back Florian Marange
and the ball bounced off Thiago
Silva to sail into the net.
PSG pushed to score the winner.
Cavani dribbled past defender Cedric
Kante in the 61st but was denied
by Pele. PSG substitute Marco Ver-
ratti then took a pass from Gregory
Van der Wiel to go through on goal
but shot straight at Pele from seven
yards in the 65th.
"We didn t deserve to win this
match," PSG president Nasser Al-
Khelaifi said. "The World Cup is
near but the season is not over yet.
Everybody is a bit tired. We still
need to go and get the title at home
in our next game."
Sochaux kept its slim safety hopes
alive by staying four points behind
Evian in 17th place.
At Stade Gerland, Lyon striker
Bafetimbi Gomis headed in a cross
from Henri Bedimo to put the hosts
ahead in the 14th.
Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir dou-
bled the lead in the 23rd by con-
verting a rebound after goalkeeper
Mickael Landreau palmed away a
cross from Gomis.
Bastia striker Gianni Bruno pulled
one back from close range in the
But Lyon put the result beyond
doubt with a powerful header from
defender Bakary Kone in the 50th
and forward Alexandre Lacazette s
15th league goal in the 64th.
20,000 of Barcelona s fans
gathered along with players
to pay their respects to Tito
Vilanova at Camp Nou on Sat-
urday, a day after the former
coach died following a battle
with throat cancer.
Condolences continued to
pour in from across Europe,
with Bayern Munich coach Pep
Guardiola saying he would
never forget his former coach-
ing partner at Barcelona, who
died at the age of 45.
"We experienced a lot
together," Guardiola said. "We
lost together and won together.
This is a very difficult situation.
The sadness will accompany
The day began with
Barcelona s players signing a
book of condolence and silently
The club then opened the
temporary memorial site to the
public. It said 20,802 mourners
came to pay their respects. The
attendees included Artur Mas,
Catalonia s regional president,
and the club president of
crosstown rival Espanyol, Joan
"It s a difficult moment,"
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol
said. "We send our support to
his family and friends. A great,
complete person, an example,
has left us. This is a difficult
Vilanova s illness forced him
to step down as Barcelona
coach last summer after win-
ning the 2012-13 Spanish
He previously served as
Guardiola s assistant at
Barcelona for a four-year run
during which the team won 14
of a possible 19 titles, helping
to establish the club s most
Bayern expressed its condo-
lences on its website, under-
scoring the relationship
between Guardiola and Vilano-
va, which the Bundesliga
champion s statement said
"went well beyond a profes-
A minute s silence was held
for Vilanova before this week-
end s round of league matches
in Spain, and also before Bay-
ern s home game against
Werder Bremen, with Bayern
players wearing black arm-
Barcelona has declared three
days of mourning for Vilanova,
whose funeral will be today in
Barcelona s cathedral.
PSG held 1-1 at Sochaux in French league
Ajax makes it four
straight Dutch titles
Saturday: Ajaccio 1, Monaco
4; Evian 1, Saint-Etienne 2;
Guingamp 1, Valenciennes 0;
Montpellier 2, Toulouse 1; Nice 1,
Reims 0; and Rennes 1, Lorient 1.
On Friday, Marseille drew 1-1
Links Archive April 27th 2014 April 29th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page