Paperwork delays debut of record-setter Neymar
The star was missing but the party went ahead successfully at the Parc des Princes on Saturday as host Paris Saint-Germain won its French league season opener.
Without Neymar on the pitch, Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore took on the scoring responsibilities to ensure PSG got a winning start by beating promoted Amiens, 2-0.
World record signing Neymar was ineligible to play because of paperwork issues. PSG Coach Unai Emery opted for a 4-3-3 formation with Pastore and Angel Di Maria supporting Cavani.
Just like the fans, Neymar watched from the stands. The French league did not receive his international transfer certificate from the Spanish federation before Friday night’s deadline, despite his $263 million move from Barcelona being completed the previous day.
“All I know is that the club did everything to have the player’s transfer ratified,” Emery said. “He prepared for the game with the group, we waited until the very end. I don’t know if Spain did everything, but PSG did all it could.”
Neymar did not play but he gave fans something to cheer about during his official presentation before the game. Neymar was unveiled at a ceremony involving fireworks and did a lap of honor.
The 25-year-old Brazil international is expected to make his debut Aug. 13 against Guingamp.
GERMANY: Sven Ulreich saved two penalties as Bayern Munich defeated host Borussia Dortmund, 5-4 in a shootout, to win the season-opening German Supercup.
The game went straight to penalties after Bayern scored late in a goalmouth scramble to earn a 2-2 draw in regular time.
American Christian Pulisic had fired Dortmund into an early lead. However, Robert Lewandowski equalized against his former club shortly afterward. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang thought he’d won it for the home side, only for Joshua Kimmich’s shot to be deflected in via Lukasz Piszczek and Roman Buerki.
MLS: C.J. Sapong started and finished the scoring for the Philadelphia Union in a 3-1 victory over FC Dallas in Chester, Pa. It was the first-ever win for Philadelphia over Dallas.
The Union came in 0-5-4 against Dallas, which had a league-low two defeats away from home.
Sapong scored in the 17th and 68th minutes . . . .
The Chicago Fire scored the final three goals in a 4-1 victory over the New England Revolution in Bridgeview, Ill. Juninho Gomes broke a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 39th minute to start the spurt . . . .
Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored the winning goal in the 84th minute in helping the Montreal Impact to a 2-1 victory over visiting Orlando City SC . . . .
Clint Dempsey scored twice, in the 18th and 73rd minutes, to lead the Seattle Sounders to a 4-0 victory over Minnesota United FC in Minneapolis.
Neymar is not expected to make his debut for Paris Saint-Germain until Aug. 13 against Guingamp.