Aubameyang thrilled with Saint-Etienne silverware

21 April 2013 08:27

Saint-Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was delighted to see his side lift the Coup de la Ligue on Saturday.

A 1-0 win over Rennes gave Saint-Etienne their first major trophy since 1981, when they won the Ligue 1 title, and Aubameyang said he was happy to give the team’s supporters something to shout about.

“All the fans have been waiting for this day and us as well,” Aubameyang said.

“To be able to write a new page in the history of the club is just wonderful.

“Personally, I will never forget this moment and neither will anyone else in the team. We all get along very well together and we are one team.”

Aubameyang paid tribute to Brandao, whose 18th-minute strike was enough to lift the cup.

“Brandao has been the star of this competition for Saint-Etienne,” he said.

“I am so happy for him. He was criticised a lot by the media and he showed that he is always efficient when it matters. It is really great for him and I hope people support him.”

Aubameyang’s team-mate Loic Perrin said the club will use the cup win to inspire them for the last six games of the Ligue 1 season.

“This victory will help us for the rest of the championship as we are now sure that will play the Europa League next year,” he said.

“The end of our season will be very exciting with only big games.

“I hope that we will now finish strongly. Let’s enjoy this victory and from Wednesday focus on Ligue 1 to make this season one to remember.”

MLS wrap: Sporting slip up against Galaxy

21 April 2013 07:41

Sporting Kansas City missed the chance to extend their lead on top of the MLS Eastern Conference when they were beaten 2-0 by LA Galaxy.

With Houston Dynamo held to a 1-1 draw in Toronto, Sporting KC could have moved four points clear on top of the Conference with a win over Galaxy, on Saturday but they could not get the job done in California.

Marcelo Sarvas put the Galaxy ahead via a tap-in just before the half-hour mark, and Landon Donovan scored the second goal in the 74th minute to seal a win for the hosts at The Home Depot Center, keeping them in second place in the West.

Galaxy are eight points behind the Western conference leaders Dallas, who scored a 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps at home – an own goal from Brad Rusin and a Blas Perez strike doing the damage.

Also in the West, Real Salt Lake jumped over Chivas USA into third place thanks to a 1-0 victory over the visitors.

Javier Morales scored the only goal eight minutes into the second half while Chivas’ bad day was compounded by a red card to midfielder Edgar Mejia in the 92nd minute.

New York Red Bulls scored just their third win from nine matches with a 4-1 thumping of New England Revolution, goals from Dax McCarty, Fabian Espindola, Thierry Henry and Jonathan Steele powering the victory.

The Seattle Sounders, bottom of the Western Conference, secured a much-needed win – 1-0 away to the Colorado Rapids – with former Inter Milan and Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins scoring the only goal of the game.

And the Chicago Fire enjoyed a 1-0 home victory over the Columbus Crew.

Liga MX wrap: Salcido brace fires Tigres

21 April 2013 06:28

Mexican international midfielder Carlos Salcido has scored twice for Tigres UANL as they defeated Pachuca 3-1 to stay at top of Liga MX.

Salcido smashed a stunning strike in the first half to get Tigres underway before his bullet header in the 87th minute wrapped up the victory in San Nicolas de los Garza.

After losing last week and with Atlas having moved top earlier on Saturday with a 1-0 win over local rivals Guadalajara, Tigres needed three points to retain their lead in Liga MX.

Salcido opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a blistering shot from the edge of the area that gave Pachuca goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota no chance.

Tigres moved further ahead four minutes before half-time when Lucas Lobos collected a left-wing cross and stabbed home his shot.

While Pachuca reduced Tigres lead in the 66th minute thanks to a flying volley from Fernando Cavenaghi, the hosts wrapped up the win three minutes from time when Salcido was left free at the back post and powered his header into the net.

In the Guadalajara derby, Atlas triumphed by a solitary goal scored by Rodrigo Millar to move to 31 points, one behind Tigres.

The result extended Guadalajara’s losing streak to four matches, while at the Estadio La Corregidora, Queretaro defeated San Luis despite going behind in the first half.

A header from Mario Ortiz gave visiting San Luis the lead in the 24th minute but six minutes after the break, Queretaro equalised thanks to a towering header from Amaury Escoto.

The home side snatched the three points from an 87th-minute corner when Wilberto Cosme got on the end of a flicked header to nod the ball home at the back post.

The win took Queretaro into seventh position on the table, while San Luis remain second from bottom.

In other Liga MX results, America defeated Pumas UNAM 1-0 and Morelia won 2-1 away to Tijuana.

Baup backs defensive mindset

21 April 2013 05:29

Marseille head coach Elie Baup has claimed he wants his team to score more goals after notching yet another 1-0 victory in Ligue 1.

Saturday’s win over Brest saw Marseille extend their streak of clean sheets to six matches with Baup’s side having only scored more than one goal in one of their past 12 games.

Marseille have copped a lot of criticism for their style of play this season with the south coast club sitting second in Ligue 1 with the 13th-best attack in France’s top flight but Baup will not apologise for his team’s defensive prowess.

“It is a huge satisfaction to have kept a clean sheet,” Baup said after the win over Brest.

“It is the seventh game without conceding a goal.

“We can rely on that but as I always say, the last games of the season will be very tense and the defence will make all the difference.”

In their run of seven games without loss, Marseille have been involved in three scoreless draws, while notching four goals.

Baup maintained that although he would love to see Marseille hit the back of the net more often he is certain a solid defence will be more crucial in the final month of the season.

“Everyone tells us we have to score more, the journalists write lots of articles about it, everyone hopes for a higher score from Marseille and we are the first ones trying to achieve that,” Baup said.

“But more seriously, we always try to score and to go forward.

“Our opponents did well and we didn’t take chances but I think that it will be like that until the end of the season.

“The whole season was like that, so it will be too complicated to change it.”

Barry seeking City extension

21 April 2013 03:38

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry hopes to seal an extension to his contract at the end of the season.

As reported by on Tuesday, the 32-year-old accepted he will likely have to take a pay cut to remain at the Etihad Stadium when negotiations resume in the summer to prolong his stay past June 2014.

“I am happy here and settled,” Barry told the press. “I’d like to stay as long as possible.

“Of course, for a player to feel settled, you want to be playing regularly. I have been lucky enough to feature in a lot of games this season. That’s why I’m happy to stay.

“I have a year left. Nothing has been mentioned but I think they’ve said they will maybe speak to players over the summer. New people have come in upstairs and we’re not too sure how they work.

“It’s not just me, there are others like Carlos (Tevez) and Joleon (Lescott) who have a year left on their contracts.”

The City man is still hopeful of breaking back into the England squad if he can maintain his levels of performance for Roberto Mancini’s side.

“I’ve been out of the England squad for nearly a year and, when you’ve been out for that long, it becomes harder to get back in, especially as I’m 32,” he said.

“I’ve not heard from Roy Hodgson since the summer.

“I’ve got to play well to get back in. I’ve not given up on England. I’ve been disappointed not to make the squads.”

Though losing the Premier League title appears a foregone conclusion, Barry is still aiming to seal FA Cup glory against Wigan to make up for their failings elsewhere in 2012-13.

“If we win the FA Cup, we’ll probably think we’ve ended the season on level par,” he said.

“Failing to get out of our Champions League group was the most disappointing thing. This club have players good enough for the Champions League final.”