MAINZ’S Bundesliga relegation clash with Freiburg descended into madness when VAR was used to award a penalty AFTER the half-time whistle had been blown.
Fans also disrupted the clash by throwing toilet paper onto the field as they protested the decision to play the six-pointer on a Monday night.
Getty Mainz’s relegation clash with Freiburg descended into madness
It all started when a Freiburg player appeared to handle the ball in his own box on the stroke of half-time at Mainz’s Opel Arena.
But the incident was ignored by match official Guido Winkmann, who then blew the whistle to mark the end of the first 45.
Freiburg quickly jogged off into the changing rooms as Mainz’s players dawdled towards the touchline.
However, it soon became apparent that the ref had changed his mind as he called in for help from the TV replay assistants – even though the sprinklers had been turned on.
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Fans stood around miffed as the ref consulted his helpers and a handily-placed screen for several minutes.
Yet there was pandemonium as he signalled for a penalty while telling the Mainz players to get back on the field.
Freiburg coaches also couldn’t believe what they were seeing as they took another few minutes to usher their own confused stars back from the changing rooms.
Goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow looked particularly unimpressed as he was the only Freiburg man to have to get his gear back on.
EPA Fans showered the pitch with toilet paper in protest at playing on a Monday night
Getty VAR stole the show when a penalty was awarded after the half-time whistle had been blown
And it got even worse when Pablo de Blasis blasted in the spot-kick to put Mainz ahead, with an official time of 45+7 on the clock.
However, this failed to appease home fans, who were furious with the game being played on a Monday night and not at the usual time of 3.30pm on a Saturday.
Mainz pride themselves on being the “sausage, beer and football” brigade, with weekend afternoons always set aside to have a good time while watching the beautiful game.
And they made their feelings known when a barrage of toilet paper rained down on the field just before the second-half was due to kick off.
REUTERS Freiburg players couldn’t believe it when a penalty was awarded for an incident just before the break
EPA Supporters were angry at not playing the relegation clash on Saturday afternoon Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner makes hilarious FIFA style mistake against Borussia Mönchengladbach
Liverpool Tell Real Madrid £200m-rated Mohamed Salah Is Not For Sale And Will Review Egyptian’s £90,000-a-week Deal
LIVERPOOL are reportedly determined to stave off any interest from Real Madrid in £200million-rated Mohamed Salah.
Salah, 25, has taken football by storm in his debut season at Anfield after netting 43 times so far — including two in the 5-2 thumping of Roma on Tuesday.
REUTERS Liverpool have told Real Madrid Mohamed Salah is not for sale, according to reports
And the Daily Mail report that the club is now set to review the PFA player of the year’s current £90,000-a-week contract, that has four years left to run, and make him their main man.
The Reds are desperate to build their team around Salah for years to come but Real could come in for the Egyptian international.
Zinedine Zidane has been impressed by Salah, whose value has doubled from £100million since December as he continued his incredible run of form.
However, Liverpool chiefs are confident they can rebuff any offers from Real as they have a good working relationship with his agent Ramy Abbas.
Capela Scores 26 Rockets Eliminate Wolves With 122-104 Win
Clint Capela had 26 points and 15 rebounds, James Harden added 24 points and the Houston Rockets pulled away in the third quarter to get another lopsided win and eliminate the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 122-104 victory in Game 5 of the first-round series Wednesday night.
The top-seeded Rockets are headed to the second round for the second year in a row after taking care of the eighth-seeded Timberwolves. Minnesota was in the postseason for the first time since 2004.
Houston will await the winner of the Utah-Oklahoma City series, which the Jazz lead 3-2 after the Thunder rallied from a big deficit Wednesday night to avoid elimination.
After scoring 22 points in Houston’s 50-point third quarter in a Game 4 blowout Monday night, Harden poured in half of Houston’s 30 points in the third quarter on Wednesday night to put the Rockets up for good. His 15 third-quarter points matched Minnesota’s output in the frame and he finished with 12 assists.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Jamal Crawford added 20 points off the bench.
Andrew Wiggins scored the last four points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 85-74 entering the fourth quarter. The Rockets used a 7-2 spurt, highlighted by a 3 from Ryan Anderson, to start the fourth and make it 92-76 with 9 1/2 minutes left.
A basket by Derrick Rose got Minnesota within 14 later in the fourth when Houston went on a 10-4 run to push the lead to 108-88 with less than five minutes to go.
The Wolves got consecutive 3s by Jamal Crawford and Wiggins to cut the lead after that, but the Rockets scored the next five points to end that run and cruise to the victory.
The Rockets opened the second half with a 10-2 run to erase a halftime deficit and take a 65-61 lead with about nine minutes left in the third. Chris Paul, who finished with 12 points and nine assists, had four points in that stretch and Harden and P.J. Tucker added 3-pointers.
Minnesota scored the next five points to go back on top, but Harden scored five quick points after that to leave the Rockets ahead 70-66. Harden, who had just five points at halftime, hit a 3 before throwing down a one-handed dunk over Taj Gibson that prompted Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau to call a timeout.
The timeout didn’t do anything to slow Harden and the Rockets down, and he added another 3 on Houston’s first possession after the timeout.
Towns added a basket after that before Houston scored the next eight points to extend the lead to 81-68 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.
Things got a little testy after that when Crawford pushed Paul to the court and stood over him jawing. Paul got to his feet and got in his face, but the two were quickly separated and Crawford was given an offensive foul and a technical.
Timberwolves: Tyus Jones returned after sitting out in Game 4 with a sore knee. … Jimmy Butler had eight points and Wiggins finished with 14. … Jeff Teague scored 17 and had seven assists.
Rockets: Coach Mike D’Antoni said that Luc Mbah a Moute, who missed the entire first round after dislocating his right shoulder, is getting better and will be re-evaluated next week. … Eric Gordon scored 19 points. … Houston had just four turnovers.
The Rockets will host the first two games of the Western Conference semifinals against the winner of the Jazz-Thunder series.
Raptors Wizards Honor Victims Of Toronto Van Attack With Moment Of Silence
TORONTO — The Raptors honored the victims of Monday’s deadly van attack in Toronto with a moment of silence Wednesday night before their Game 5 win over the Washington Wizards.
Players from both teams held up banners with the hashtag (hash)TORONTOSTRONG as they stood on the court during the tribute and the national anthems that followed.
The Raptors, the Wizards and the NBA will make a donation to a fund for victims and those affected by the incident.
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Raptors president Masai Ujiri spoke about the attack after the Raptors practiced Tuesday.
“What we do doesn’t really matter sometimes,” Ujiri said before the Raptors’ 108-98 win. “I can’t imagine what it would be like to be on that sidewalk.”
Toronto guard Kyle Lowry said he was impressed by the actions of Const. Ken Lam, who earned international acclaim for the peaceful arresting of suspect Alek Minassian.
“In America, he would definitely have been shot up,” Lowry said. “He did an amazing job of making a judgment call. I think more people could learn from that.”
Raptors coach Dwane Casey was struck by how close the carnage occurred to his own Toronto neighborhood.
“It’s not too far from up the street from where I live,” Casey said.
Casey and his coaches were in the midst of a meeting Monday afternoon when assistant Rex Kalamian’s phone buzzed with someone informing him of the tragedy. The coaches stopped their meeting and turned on a television to find out what had happened.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Casey said. “Just this weekend, I was talking to people saying how safe Toronto is, how it’s a melting pot and you don’t have the same crime. Hopefully, though, sport can offer a relief, some reprieve.”
Like Casey, Ujiri said he is proud of Toronto’s reputation as a safe, welcoming place.
“Everywhere I go, I brag about this city,” Ujiri said. “It’s the safest place in the world. It’s the best city in the world, and it’s going to continue to be the best place and the best city in the world.”
Toronto police said the 10 people killed and 14 injured in the attack were “predominantly” women, but they have declined so far to discuss a motive. The 25-year-old Minassian has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.
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