Overseas Football: Maradona misses out

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The Independent Online
DIEGO MARADONA played his first league game in Argentina for nearly 12 years yesterday and ended up a loser. Newell's Old Boys, for whom the World Cup- winner scored the only goal in a friendly against Ecuador's Emelec on Thursday, were defeated 3-1 by Independiente.

Maradona had the consolation of creating his team's goal, scored by Carlos Morales. It was scant reply to a hat-trick of headers by Raul Alfaro Moreno, which hoisted Independiente to third place in the 20-strong league. Newell's Old Boys lie 18th with just three points from their five games.

Most European nations took the weekend off in preparation for international matches and the only significant action was in Germany where the leaders, Eintracht Frankfurt, extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches, equalling Bayern Munich's record Bundesliga start in 1980-81. They won 2-1 at home to Leipzig while the champions, second-placed Werder Bremen, beat Borussia Dortmund 4-0. Bayern themselves continued their good form of late, winning 4-0 against Hamburg to assume fourth place.

In France, the action was off the field. Bernard Tapie, the beleaguered president of Marseille, said in a television interview that the proposed sale of Alen Boksic to Lazio for pounds 6m would do much to ease his club's financial problems.

The European Cup-holders face relegation to the Second Division should they have to call in the receivers.