Thursday, May 05, 2016

Copa Libertadores

The Round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores concluded on Thursday with two games.

At Rosario, Argentina:

Marco Ruben scored twice (4', PK-23') as Rosario Central defeated visiting Gremio 3-0 in game two and eliminated the Brazilian club 4-0 on aggregate.

At Buenos Aires:

Boca Juniors (Argentina) vs. Cerro Porteno (Paraguay), Game Two (Boca up 2-1 on aggregate)

Europa League: Sevilla, Liverpool Advance To Final

The semifinal round of the Europa League concluded on Thursday with two games.

At Seville, Spain:

Kevin Gameiro scored twice (9', 47') as Sevilla defeated visiting Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 in game two and won their series with the Ukrainian club 5-3 on aggregate.

At Liverpool, England:

Goals courtesy of Bruno Soriano (OG-7'), Daniel Sturridge (83'), and Adam Lallana (81') carried Liverpool to a 3-0 game-two home domination of Villarreal as the Reds sank the Yellow Submarine 3-1 on aggregate.

Sevilla will take on Liverpool in the Europa League final, set for Basel Switzerland on Wednesday, May 18 with the winner qualifying for the Group Stage of next season's UEFA Champions League.

Copa Libertadores: Champs Ousted

The Copa Libertadores' Round of 16 continued on Wednesday with four games.

At Sao Paulo, Brazil:

Nicolas Lopez (4') and Santiago Romero (56') each scored a goal as Club Nacional gained a game-two 2-2 road draw with Corinthians, and with the aggregate score also at 2-2, advanced to the quarterfinals on away goals.

At Belo Horizonte, Brazil:

Lucas Pratto scored the game-and-series-winning goal in the 71st minute as Atletico Mineiro defeated visiting Racing Club de Avellaneda 2-1 in game two and eliminated the Argentinian club by that same score on aggregate.

At Toluca, Mexico:

Despite dropping a 3-1 game-two road decision, Sao Paulo still defeated Toluca 5-3 on aggregate.

At Buenos Aires:

Despite dropping a 1-0 game-two road decision to River Plate, Independiente del Valle still ousted the defending continental club champions 2-1 on aggregate.

UEFA Champions League: Defensive Boo-Boo Sets Up All-Madrid Final

At Madrid:

Fernando's own goal in the 20th minute proved fatal for Manchester City on Wednesday as Real Madrid took game two 1-0 at home in their UEFA Champions League semifinal series.

Here, we see Los Blancos' celebrating after the goal was scored.

For the second time in three years, Los Galacticos will battle cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final to take place on Saturday, May 28 at Milan, Italy.

Real defeated Atletico in overtime in the 2014 final.

Getty Images photo

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

AFC Champions League

Eight games were contested on Wednesday as group-stage action in the AFC Champions League concluded.

GROUP A:

At Muscat, Oman (due to deteriorating relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia):

Lucian Sanmartean (15') and Ahmed Al-Nadhri (74') each scored a goal as Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia blanked Iran's Sepahan 2-0.  The victory wasn't enough, though, to lift the Saudi club into the knockout stage.

At Tashkent, Uzbekistan:

A 0-0 draw between Lokomotiv Tashkent and visiting Al-Nasr carried both clubs into the knockout stage.

Final Group A Standings:

1. Lokomotiv Tashkent (GP: 6; GD: +3; PTS: 10)
2. Al-Nasr (GP: 6; GD: +1; PTS: 9)
3. Al-Ittihad (GP: 6; GD: +5; PTS: 9)
4. Sepahan FC (GP: 6; GD: -9; PTS: 3)

Lokomotiv Tashkent and Al-Nasr advanced to the knockout stage.  Al-Nasr had a win and a draw in two games against Al-Ittihad and outscored the Saudi club 2-1 on aggregate.



GROUP B:

At Dubai, United Arab Emirates (due to deteriorating relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran):

Ehsan Pahlavan (30'), Masoud Hassanzadeh (PK-42'), and Hashem Beikzadeh (87') each scored a goal as Zob Ahan blanked Al-Nassr 3-0.

At Doha, Qatar:

Lekhwiya and visiting FC Bunyodkor battled to a 0-0 stalemate.

Final Group B Standings:

1. Zob Ahan (GP: 6; GD: +10; PTS: 14)
2. Lekhwiya SC (GP: 6; GD: +5; PTS: 9)
3. Al-Nassr (GP: 6; GD: -9; PTS: 5)
4. FC Bunyodkor (GP: 6; GD: -6; PTS: 3)

Zob Ahan and Lekhwiya advanced to the knockout stage.



GROUP E:

At Jeonju, South Korea:

Leonardo Rodriguez Pereira (PK-19') and Lim Jong-eun (69') each scored a goal as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors locked up top spot in Group E and a berth in the knockout stage with a 2-2 home draw with Jiangsu Suning.  Alex Teixeira (24') and Jo (PK-54) each scored once for the Chinese club, who found themselves eliminated from the tournament because of that draw, combined with FC Tokyo's victory.

At Thu Dau Mot, Vietnam:

Ryoichi Maeda scored twice (21', 55') as FC Tokyo defeated Becamex Binh Duong 2-1 and clinched a berth in the knockout stage.

Final Group E Standings:

1. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (GP: 6; GD: +4; PTS: 10)
2. FC Tokyo (GP: 6; GD: 0; PTS: 10)
3. Jiangsu Suning (GP: 6; GD: +3; PTS: 9)
4. Becamex Binh Duong (GP: 6; GD: -7; PTS; 4)

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and FC Tokyo advanced to the knockout stage.  Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors took both matches against FC Tokyo by an aggregate score of 5-1 (2-1, 3-0).



GROUP F:

At Hiroshima, Japan:

Yusuke Minagawa scored the winning goal in the 39th minute as Sanfrecce Hiroshima closed out their tournament campaign with a 2-1 home win over FC Seoul, who still locked up top spot in Group G.

At Buriram, Thailand:

Buriram United and visiting (and knockout-stage bound) Shandong Luneng battled to a 0-0 stalemate as the club from Thailand picked up their first and only point in the tournament.

Final Group F Standings:

1. FC Seoul (GP: 6: +12; PTS: 13)
2. Shandong Luneng (GP: 6; GD: +2; PTS: 11)
3. Sanfrecce Hiroshima (GP: 6; GD: +1; PTS: 9)
4. Buriram United (GP: 6; GD: -15; PTS: 1)

FC Seoul and Shandong Luneng advanced to the knockout stage.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

CENTRAL FC WINS CFU CLUB TITLE OVER W CONNECTION; DON BOSCO WINS THIRD-PLACE CONTEST, JOIN BOTH FINALISTS IN CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Both the final and third-place playoff in the CFU Club Championship took place on Sunday at Sylvio Cator Stadium in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

In the opener, Venel Saint-Fort (27') and Folson Philemond (59') delivered the goals as Don Bosco from the host nation blanked Jamaica's Arnett Gardens 2-0 in the third-place game to claim a berth in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League.

In the finale, Marcus Joseph (5'), Jason Marcano (83'), and Darren Mitchell (90'+3) each scored once as Central FC dominated W Connection 3-0 in an all-Trinidadian final with both clubs having already qualifying for next season's CONCACAF Champions League.

The title was Central's second.

Copa Libertadores

The second half of the Copa Libertadores' Round of 16 commenced on Tuesday with two games.

At Medellin, Colombia:

Alejandro Guerra scored twice (57', 67') as Atletico Nacional doubled up visiting Club Atletico Huracan 4-2 in game two and won their series by that same score on aggregate.

At Mexico City:

Eduardo Herrera (12') and Ismael Sosa (80') produced the goals that enabled Pumas to overcome their series-opening road defeat with a 2-0 home victory in game two against Deportivo Táchira and a 2-1 series aggregate victory.

Which Was The Bigger Impossible Dream---Leicester City Winning The EPL Title.........

Or Kosovo becoming a member of UEFA?

No question that the Serbs are not impressed by that decision.

UEFA Champions League: Mattress Makers Oust Bayern On Away Goals, Punch Ticket For Milan

At Munich:
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann scored the series-winning goal in the 54th minute on Tuesday(shown here) as Atletico Madrid, despite dropping a 2-1 game-two road decision to Bayern Munich, won their two-game UEFA Champions League semifinal series on away goals, with the aggregate score at 2-2.

The Mattress Makers advanced to their second Champions League final in three years with the victory and will face the winner of the Real Madrid-Manchester City series (currently at 0-0 on aggregate) on May 28 at San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy.

Reuters photo

AFC Champions League

Eight games were contested on Tuesday as the final week of group-stage play in the AFC Champions League commenced.

GROUP C:

At Tashkent, Uzbekistan:

Sukhrob Berdyev (13'), Temur Talipov (24'), and Jaloliddin Masharipov (81') each scored a goal as Pakhtakor Tashkent blanked visiting Al-Jazira 3-0.

At Muscat, Oman (due to deteriorating relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia):

Ailton Almeida scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute as Al-Hilal knocked off Tractor Sazi 2-1 and seized a berth in the knockout stage.

Final Group C Standings:

1. Tractor Sazi FC (GP: 6; GD: +7; PTS: 12)
2. Al-Hilal (GP: 6; GD: +3; PTS: 11)
3. Pakhtakor Tashkent (GP: 6; GD: +1; PTS: 10)
4. Al-Jazira (GP: 6; GD: -11; PTS: 1)

Tractor Sazi of Iran and Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal advanced to the knockout stage.



GROUP D:

At Al Ain, United Arab Emirates:

Danilo Moreno Asprilla (39') and Mohamed Ismail Ahmed Ismail (90') each scored a goal as Al-Ain blanked visiting Nasaf Qarshi 2-0 and clinched a berth in the knockout stage.

At Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

Marquinho (62') and Osama Hawsawi (85') produced the goals that enabled Al-Ahli to blank visiting El Jaish 2-0.

Final Group D Standings:

1. El Jaish (GP: 6; GD: -2; PTS: 10)
2. Al-Ain (GP: 6; GD: +2; PTS: 10)
3. Al-Ahli Saudi FC (GP: 6; GD: +3; PTS: 9)
4. Nasaf Qarshi (GP: 6; GD: -3; PTS: 5)

El Jaish and Al-Ain advanced to the knockout stage.  El Jaish won both games against Al-Ain by a 4-2 aggregate score.



GROUP G:

At Melbourne, Australia:

Archie Thompson scored the winning goal in the 17th minute as the Melbourne Victory clinched a berth in the knockout stage following their 2-1 home victory over Gamba Osaka.

At Suwon, South Korea:

Kim Gun-hee scored twice (PK-7', 54') as Suwon Samsung Bluewings blanked visiting Shanghai SIPG 3-0.  Despite the victory, due to the fact that they surrendered a road goal in their home contest with the Melbourne Victory (the match in Australia ended in a scoreless draw), the South Korean club was eliminated from the tournament.

Final Group G Standings:

1. Shanghai SIPG (GP: 6; GD: +2; PTS: 12)
2. Melbourne Victory (GP: 6; GD: 0; PTS: 9)
3. Suwon Samsung Bluewings (GP: 6; GD: +3; PTS: 9)
4. Gamba Osaka (GP: 6; GD: -5; PTS; 2)

Shanghai SIPG and the Melbourne Victory (with the total aggregate score at 1-1 in their two games against Suwon Samsung Bluewings, their one goal was on the road in their one game in South Korea) advanced to the knockout stage.



GROUP H:

At Guangzhou, China:

Gao Lin scored the only goal of the match in the second minute as Guangzhou Evergrande defeated visiting Sydney FC 1-0 in their tournament finale.

At Saitama, Japan:

Zlatan Ljubljankic's successful penalty kick in the 87th minute lifted Urawa Red Diamonds to a 1-1 home draw with Pohang Steelers------and a berth in the knockout stage.

Group H Standings:

1. Sydney FC (GP: 6; GD: 0; PTS: 10)
2. Urawa Red Diamonds (GP: 6; GD: +2; PTS: 9)
3. Guangzhou Evergrande (GP: 6; GD: +1; PTS: 8)
4. Pohang Steelers (GP: 6; GD: -3; PTS: 5)

Sydney FC and Urawa Red Diamonds advanced to the knockout stage.

Monday, May 02, 2016

The Impossible Dream Becomes Reality

Thanks to Chelsea's comeback home draw against Spurs, Leicester City won their first-ever top-light title on Monday.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

MLS: Timbers Knock Off TFC; SKC And Galaxy Draw

Two games were contested in Major League Soccer on Sunday.

At Portland:

Fanendo Adi (17') and Diego Valeri (74') each scored once while goalkeeper Jake Gleeson made four critical second-half saves as the Portland Timbers defeated visiting Toronto FC 2-1.

At Kansas City, Kansas:

The Los Angeles Galaxy, despite finishing with ten men, gained a 1-1 road draw with Sporting Kansas City.  Brad Davis scored for the hosts in the 30th minute, while Giovani dos Santos equalized for the Galaxy 12 minutes later.



MLS STANDINGS:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1.   Montreal (GP: 9; GD: +2; PTS: 14)
2.   Philadelphia (GP: 8; GD: +3; PTS: 13)
3.   Toronto FC (GP: 8; GD: +2; PTS: 11)
4.   Orlando City SC (GP: 8; GD: +2; PTS: 10)
5.   DC United (GP: 9; GD: 0; PTS: 10)
6.   New York City FC (GP: 9; GD: -2; PTS: 10)
7.   New England (GP: 10; GD: -5; PTS: 10)
8.   New York Red Bulls (GP: 9; GD: -5; PTS: 9)
9.   Columbus (GP: 8; GD: -3; PTS: 8)
10. Chicago (GP: 7; GD: -1; PTS: 7)

NOTES:  With Orlando City, DC United, New York City, and New England level on points with 10, The Lions, DC, and the Citizens all have more wins (two) than the Revolution (one); Orlando City has the best goal differential amongst themselves (+2), DC United (0), and New York City FC (-2).



WESTERN CONFEENCE:

1.   Colorado (GP: 9; GD: +4; PTS: 17)
2.   Real Salt Lake (GP: 8; GD: +2; PTS: 17)
3.   FC Dallas (GP: 10; GD: -2; PTS: 17)
4.   Los Angeles (GP: 8; GD: +10; PTS: 15)
5.   San Jose (GP: 9; GD: +1; PTS: 15)
6.   Kansas City (GP: 10; GD: +1; PTS: 14)
7.   Portland (GP: 9; GD: -2; PTS; 12)
8.   Vancouver (GP: 10; GD: -3; PTS: 11)
9.   Seattle (GP: 8; GD: -2; PTS: 10)
10. Houston (GP: 8; GD: -2; PTS: 5)

NOTES:  With Colorado, Real Salt Lake, and FC Dallas level on points (17) and wins (5), the Rapids have the best goal differential amongst the three clubs (+4, compared to RSL' +2, and the Hoops' -2); with Los Angeles and San Jose level on points (1 5) and wins (4), the Galaxy have the superior goal differntial (+10, to the Earthquakes' +1).

Saturday, April 30, 2016

MLS: Sounders, NYC FC, RSL Gather Saturday Wins; Ten-Man Quakes Gain Road Draw With Philly; Rapids and Hosts Impact Draw; DCU And Hosts Fire Draw Too; Revs And Lions Draw At 2-2 In Foxborough

Seven games were contested in Major League Soccer on Saturday.

At Chester, Pennsylvania:

Simon Dawkins' 83rd-minute equalizer carried the ten-man San Jose Earthquakes to a 1-1 road draw with the Philadelphia Union.  Chris Pontius scored for the hosts in the 30th minute.

At Montreal:

Shkelzen Gashi (47') and Bobby Burling (73') each scored once as the Colorado Rapids gained a 1-1 road draw with the Montreal Impact.  Didier Drogba (9') and Maxim Tissot (50') delivered the goals for the hosts.

At New York:

David Villa scored twice (35', 41') while Steven Mendoza delivered the game winner in the 73rd minute as New York City upended the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2.

At Seattle:

Jordan Morris came through in the 88th minute with the lone goal of the match as the Seattle Sounders knocked off the Columbus Crew 1-0 on the road.

At Bridgeview, Illinois:

Patrick Nyarko's equalizer in the 64th minute carried DC United to a 1-1 road draw with the Chicago Fire.  Jonathan Campbell scored in the 41st minute for the hosts.

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Kevin Molino (30') and Carlos Rivas (90') each scored once as Orlando City gained a 2-2 road draw with New England.  Diego Fagundez (7') and Juan Agudelo (71') each delivered a goal for the Revolution.

At Sandy, Utah:

Jordan Allen (62') and Yura Movsisyan (70') produced the goalpower in the second half as Real Salt Lake came from behind to upend the visiting (and struggling) Houston Dynamo 2-1.

Friday, April 29, 2016

MLS: Red Bulls Run Roughshod Over Hoops

At Harrison, New Jersey:

Lloyd Sam (37'), Sacha Kljestan (52'), Mike Grella (71'), and Felipe (83') each scored a goal in the lone Friday Major League Soccer contest as the New York Red Bulls demolished visiting FC Dallas 4-0.

Is MLS Coming To Detroit?

Who could have thunk of this only a few months ago?

How 'bout Motor City FC ?