Soccer in brief: DDSL sides back in cup
TEAMS from the Dublin and District Schoolboys League (DDSL) are back in the national cups following a meeting of the Schoolboys FAI (SFAI) council yesterday.
FAI chief executive John Delaney had told SFAI top brass at a crisis meeting on Thursday that sanctions would be imposed unless the current stance was changed. Delegates from the SFAI council had voted last month to exclude teams aligned to the DDSL, the biggest league in the country, from their national cup competitions that span from under 12 to under 16.
Once the SFAI's executive recommended that decision to be reversed, it was met with overwhelming support.
Of those attending the summit, 32 voted in favour, none were against while eight delegates abstained.
The deep sense of annoyance within the room, however, was illustrated with the motion only being passed 'under protest'.
The 180 DDSL entrants -- representing 3,000 players -- will now play off their preliminary rounds to discover which four qualifiers proceed from each age-group to the last-32 stage in February.
OWLS SMASH LEEDS FOR SIX
Sheffield Wednesday registered their biggest-ever Yorkshire derby win against Leeds with a 6-0 thrashing to maintain their climb up the Championship table.
First-half goals from defender Reda Johnson and big striker Atdhe Nuhiu put Wednesday firmly in control and after Leeds substitute Matt Smith had been sent off two minutes into the second period, Connor Wickham added a killer third.
Chris Maguire's deflected free-kick in the 67th minute and substitute Caolan Lavery's superb late double ensured Leeds slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season and not since a 4-0 victory in October 1955 have Wednesday enjoyed such a comfortable win against their White Rose rivals.
GESTEDE KEEPS ROVERS IN HUNT
Rudy Gestede scored his first goal at Ewood Park for Blackburn as they beat Doncaster 1-0 to keep the pressure on the top six in the Championship.
Gestede pounced for his second league goal in consecutive games on the stroke of half-time when he headed past Ross Turnbull from six yards.
It earned Blackburn a second league win on the bounce and extended their impressive recent record to just one loss in eight.
It also keeps Doncaster in the bottom three and they have picked up just two points from 27 on the road. They remain without a win at Ewood Park.
LOPEZ STRIKE SINKS BLUES
David Lopez hit the only goal as Brighton boosted their play-off challenge with a 1-0 win at the Amex Stadium to end Birmingham's 10-match unbeaten run.
Brighton, with only one win from their previous four home games in the Championship move into the top six. Brighton broke the deadlock in the 58th minute when Lopez struck a shot with the outside of his right foot into the bottom corner.
IBRAHIMOVIC INSPIRES PSG
Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up both goals as Paris St Germain recovered to snatch a 2-1 win at bottom side AC Ajaccio that put the champions five points clear in Ligue 1 yesterday.
PSG went behind in the sixth minute when Eduardo scored for the Corsicans, only for Ezequiel Lavezzi and Blaise Matuidi to find the net each side of the interval to lift PSG to 47 points from 20 games ahead of Monaco. PSG were denied on several occasions by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, while Ibrahimovic's powerful free kick hit the post, on the half-hour.
The only black mark for PSG was that Ibrahimovic, who has eight assists to go with 15 league goals in 19 appearances, will get a one-game ban for his third yellow card in four matches.
MESSI FAILS TO SPARK BARCA
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid stayed locked together at the top of La Liga table after they played out a tense 0-0 draw with few genuine chances at the Vicente Calderon stadium last night.
Not even Barca's introduction of fit-again Argentinian striker Lionel Messi at half-time or their Brazil forward Neymar with just over 20 minutes remaining could break the deadlock and both sides now have 50 points at the halfway stage of the campaign.
The result was, however, good news for Carlo Ancelotti's third-placed Real Madrid, who can close to within three points of the joint leaders with a victory away to Espanyol this evening.