Jimenez’s late goal keeps Benfica top in Portugal LISBON, Portugal (AP): Raul Jimenez scored a late goal to ensure that Benfica reclaimed the lead of Portuguese league with a 1-0 win at Rio Avenue on Sunday. Jimenez went on as a substitute in the 67th and the Mexican forward found the net in the 73rd when he headed in a ball that had been cleared onto the bar. The defending champions restored their two-point lead over Sporting Lisbon at the top of the table with three rounds left. Elsewhere, Joao Pica scored four minutes from time to give bottom side Tondela a 1-0 win at Setubal, boosting its hopes of avoiding relegation. On a good night for visiting sides, Arouca also won 2-1 at Maritimo, Moreirense won 1-0 at Nacional, and Estoril drew 1-1 at Guimaraes. Title within reach for Juventus ROME (AP): Gianluigi Buffon saved a late penalty and Juventus took a big step towards a fifth consecutive Serie A title with a 2-1 win at Fiorentina yesterday. If Napoli fail to win at Roma today, Juventus will have sealed the Italian league championship with three matches to spare. If Napoli win, Juventus need only one more point to seal it. Substitute Alvaro Morata scored the winner seconds after Nikola Kalinic had equalised for Fiorentina late in the second half. Buffon then stopped Kalinic’s spot kick in the 90th. “We’re not cheering for anyone,” Morata said of today’s game. “If we win (the league), it’s because we deserve to.” Last month, Buffon broke a 22-year-old Serie A record by not conceding a goal for 974 consecutive minutes. Levante, Getafe concede late goals BARCELONA, Spain (AP): Levante and Getafe both conceded late goals in disappointing draws at home on Sunday that hurt their chances of avoiding relegation from the Spanish league. Levante couldn’t stop Athletic Bilbao from scoring twice in the final minutes to finish 2-2 and remains at the bottom of the standings with only three rounds remaining. Getafe stayed immediately above Levante after seeing their fightback frustrated when Valencia scored for a 2-2 stalemate. Villarreal, Liverpool’s opponents in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad in a lacklustre home match as it stayed in fourth place. Sevilla beat Real Betis 2-0 in a derby for their first win in six rounds to warm up for a Europa League semi-final against Shakhtar Donetsk, also on Thursday.
0Shares0000Former Everton FC ace Steven Pienaar during his time in Tanzania as the Kits for Africa AmbassadorDAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Jan 28 – Former Everton FC forward Steven Pienaar has urged Kariobangi Sharks, winners of the 2019 Sportpesa Cup, to maximize the opportunity that comes with playing the English Premier League side in a friendly match next July in Nairobi.Sharks earned the opportunity after edging out Bandari in the final on Sunday evening in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and will welcome the Merseyside club to Nairobi at a date to be confirmed in July as part of Everton’s pre-season training. “It’s a good opportunity for the players. If I am a player playing against a Premier League team, I want to show my talent and this is an opportunity for them to show that they are good and hopefully, one or two of them can get scouted and move abroad,” Pienaar who played over 250 times for the Toffees stated.He added; It is a good and rare chance for them and I am sure they will be motivated for that game.”Kariobangi sharks players celebrate after clinching the 2019 SportPesa Cup at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on January 29. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluSharks players have themselves vowed to do themselves a world of good by giving their best in the friendly, saying it will be an opportunity for them to market themselves to the outside world.“Facing Everton is a huge game. Everyone wants to play in England or Europe and that we have the opportunity to play against a European team is enough motivation for us to prepare for that game. It will help us a lot in terms of confidence,” midfielder Patillah Omotto stated.His sentiments were echoed by head coach William Muluya who said;“Playing Everton is something huge for these players and especially noting that they are coming to Nairobi, we will want to give our best for them,” the tactician stated.Pienaar believes that if they prepare well, then they will give Everton a run for their money.The South African international who finished his career playing back at home with Bidvest Wits has been in Tanzania for the past four days as Everton’s ambassador to the tournament and part of the ‘Kits for Africa’ campaign carried out by the Liverpool based club.“It is a big thing for the region for Everon to come and play here. It gives the youth and opportunity to see some of their heroes and for those playing a chance to go out there and follow their dreams,” he said.Adding; “Having come from the same circumstances, I know how it feels to overcome lots of challenges and play at the top.”“Everton is the people’s club and that is why it is so close for them to come out here and help the people and help the young kids as well become better players and better people.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)