Feyenoord look to Koeman

European round-up

Feyenoord meet PSV Eindhoven today in a match they must win to prevent PSV from running away with the Dutch championship.

PSV thrashed Feyenoord in Eindhoven in October, scoring seven goals past a 10-man Feyenoord. That match had added significance as PSV moved past Feyenoord to go top of the league, a position they have maintained since.

Feyenoord are now out for revenge and are pinning their hopes on the the experience and precise passing of the 33-year-old Ronald Koeman.

A PSV win today would give them a six-point lead, while a victory for second-placed Feyenoord would put the two level at the top and ensure a tense battle in the final 10 matches of the season. Both teams are already out of Europe, but the title seems certain to go to one of them, with last season's champions, Ajax, struggling in fifth place.

Gremio, the Brazilian champions, showed their ugly side as they lost 1-0 away to Peru's Sporting Cristal on a night of bad behaviour in the South American Libertadores Cup on Friday.

Gremio's self-styled hard man Dinho was sent off in the first half, while television cameras caught defender Catalino Rivarola the elbowing an opponent in the face, an incident not seen by the referee.

Their opponents also finished with 10 men after having Marcelo Asteggiano sent off for a second bookable offence.

Gremio were the Libertadores champions in 1995 but made more enemies than friends with their ruthless style of play.

The defeat is unlikely to do Gremio much harm as only the last of the four teams in the each group will be eliminated in the first round.

Gremio are at present second, behind Sporting, while Cruzeiro of Brazil are favourites for elimination, having lost all their three games.

In Montevideo, both coaches got were sent off in the game between the Uruguayan champions, Penarol, and Millonarios of Colombia, who also had a midfielder Hilmer Lozano dismissed in their 2-1 defeat.

Gregorio Perez of Penarol was ordered to leave the bench for arguing in the 75th minute and his counterpart, Angel Castelnoble, suffered the same fate in the 85th minute, ironically after his team had just pulled a goal back.

Penarol's win was their second in two games in group five and suggested that the club, once a big power, could be coming out of the doldrums. Last week they thrashed local rivals Nacional 4-1.

Bolivar's Jefferson Gottardi was sent off for fighting only three minutes after coming on as a substitute as the Bolivian champions won 3-1 at home to Cerro Porteno, the champions of Paraguay, in La Paz. Bolivar are the group one leaders, having won all three games and scored 11 goals in the process.

The Austrian Football Federation President, Beppo Mauhart, and his Czech counterpart Frantisek Chvalovsky said they were confident their countries could mount a joint bid to host the European Championships in 2004. Spain are considered favourites to host the tournament. The sport's governing body, Uefa, is expected to make a decision in 1998.

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