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Soccer In Brief: Elding keeps up hot streak

Anthony Elding made it nine goals in eight games for Sligo Rovers with a brace in their 2-0 defeat of Shelbourne at the Showgrounds last night.

Elding's opener came after a counter-attack from a Shelbourne corner, with Lee Lynch and Raffaele Cretaro breaking and teeing up the unmarked striker inside the area after just 15 minutes.

Cretaro's industry also created the second just before the hour mark, with Elding bundling home from close range.

Sligo Rovers: Rogers, Keane, McMillan, Henderson, Gaynor, Cawley, Lynch (Ventre ht), Djilali (Connolly 59), Cretaro (Millien 80), Greene, Elding.

Shelbourne: Burden, Shortall, Memery, Gartland, Flynn, Cornwall (Brennan 80), Bayly, Crowley, Hanlon (Mooney 88), Kelly, Hughes (Leech 75).

Bayern wrap up the title

Bayern Munich wrapped up the German title in record time by winning 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday with six rounds left in the season, an unprecedented feat in 50 years of the Bundesliga.

Bastian Schweinsteiger scored with a classy back-heel to deflect Phillip Lahm's cross past goalkeeper Oka Nikolov in the 52nd minute for Bayern's 11th win in succession – also a record within one Bundesliga season.

Defending two-time champions Borussia Dortmund came from two goals down to beat Augsburg 4-2 at home but were unable to prevent Bayern from sealing their 23rd German championship.

Bayern, on 75 points, remain on course to smash Dortmund's record of 81 set last season.

Brady gets Hull back on track

Robbie Brady's second-half free-kick ensured promotion-chasing Hull returned to winning ways as a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough saw them hold on to their spot in the top two of the Championship.

A curious sequence which has seen them win and lose alternate games stretched to a ninth contest when Brady's low 62nd-minute free-kick caught out Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele, who merely helped it into the net.

Bolton close in on play-offs

Bolton produced a flying start to leave Wolves shellshocked and secure a seventh consecutive home victory with a 2-0 win in the npower Championship.

David Ngog and Marcos Alonso were on target within the first 10 minutes to ensure Dougie Freedman's men brought up their best home sequence since 1995. Wolves had goalkeeper Dorus De Vries to thank for limiting the damage thereafter as the hosts threatened to run riot.

Kevin Doyle and Adam Hammill might have reduced the arrears after half time, but De Vries was rarely far from the action as eighth-placed Bolton closed to within two points of the play-off places

McCarthy: We got lucky

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy admitted his team were guilty of a smash-and-grab raid on Pride Park after a late Carlos Edwards strike earned the visitors a vital 1-0 Championship win over Derby County. The Rams missed a penalty for the third game in a row – they have now failed from their last four spot-kicks – before Edwards burst forward to lift Ipswich six points clear of the relegation zone.

"Did we deserve the three points? Not on that performance because they were better than us. But it was a great strike,'' said McCarthy.

Ozil on double

as Real hit five

Real Madrid trimmed the gap to La Liga leaders Barcelona to 10 points when Gonzalo Higuain, Kaka and substitutes Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil struck in a 5-1 comeback win at home to Levante yesterday.

Coach Jose Mourinho left a number of key players out of his starting line-up as Real prepare to defend a 3-0 lead at Galatasaray in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final, second leg.

Mid-table Levante took a surprise lead in the 31st minute when Michel finished off a swift attack before Higuain levelled with an acrobatic volley five minutes later.

Kaka put Real ahead from the penalty spot in the 38th minute and Ronaldo volleyed home from close range and set up Ozil for Real's fourth after coming on in place of Jose Callejon at half time. Ozil stroked in Real's fifth in added time.

Juve within sight of glory

Juventus took another step towards a second straight Serie A title when Mirko Vucinic's double secured a 2-1 home win over Pescara that took them 12 points clear at the top as the visitors finished with 10 men.

Vucinic's 72nd-minute penalty broke the resistance of Pescara – who had Giuseppe Rizzo sent off for the foul on Arturo Vidal that led to the spot kick – before the Montenegrin doubled their lead five minutes later.

Bottom side Pescara pulled a goal back through Emmanuel Cascione's long-range drive seven minutes from time.

Irish Independent