Thursday, April 17, 2014

Copa Libertadores: The Strongest Prove To Be Too Strong For Defensor Sporting In Their Series Opener

At La Paz, Bolivia:

In the lone Thursday Copa Libertadores Round-of-16 contest, Jair Reynoso (69') and Raul Castro Penaloza (79') delivered the goals as The Strongest blanked visiting Defensor Sporting 2-0 in match one of their two-game series.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Copa LIbertadores: Lanus Take Series Opener As Knockout Stage Begins; Leon Held To 2-2 Home Draw By Club Bolivar; Cerro Porteno Gain Series-Opening Road Draw, Too

Three games were played on Wednesday as the knockout stage of the Copa Libertadores commenced.

At Lanus, Argentina:

Facundo Monteseirin (65') and Matias Martinez (90'+4) provided the scoring as Lanus topped visiting Santos Laguna 2-1 in the opening contest of their two-game series.  Carlos Quintero scored in the 67th minute to keep the Mexican club in the series.

At Leon, Mexico:

Juanmi Callejon (44') and Juan Carlos Arce (70') each scored a goal as Club Bolivar gained a series-opening 2-2 road draw with Club Leon.  Luis Montes (20') and Mauro Boselli (85') delivered the scoring for the Mexican club.

At Belo Horizonte, Brazil:

Miguel Samudio's late equalizer (90'+3) enabled Cruzeiro to salvage a game-one 1-1 home draw with Cerro Porteno.  Angel Romero scored in the 31st minute for the Paraguayan club.

Now, It's Atlanta's Turn

Major League Soccer on Wednesday awarded an expansion franchise to Atlanta (a city that twice failed with NASL teams) set to start play in 2017.

MLS: Red Bulls Grab First Victory By Holding Off Visiting Philly

At Harrison, New Jersey:

Thierry Henry (57') and Lloyd Sam (67') each scored a goal in the lone Wednesday Major League Soccer contest as the New York Red Bulls picked up their first win of the season, holding off the visiting Philadelphia Union 2-1, despite finishing the match with ten men.

GARETH BALE HELPS GALACTICOS COP KING'S CUP

At Valencia, Spain:

Gareth Bale scored the winning goal in the 85th minute on Wednesday as Real Madrid defeated arch-rivals Barcelona 2-1 to win the Copa del Rey final.

AFC Champions League

Eight games were played in the AFC Champions League's group stage on Wednesday.

Group A:

At Al Rayyan, Qatar:

Cho Yong Hyung's own goal in the 90th minute proved costly as Al-Jazira defeated Al-Rayyan 3-2 on the road and clinched a berth in the knockout stage.

At Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:

Saeed Al Dasori scored the winning goal deep into second-half stoppage time (90'+5) as Al-Shabab defeated visiting Esteghlal 2-1.  The Saudi Arabian club will play in the knockout stage.

GROUP A STANDINGS:

1. x-Al-Shabab (GP: 5; GD: +3; PTS: 12)
2. x-Al-Jazira (GP: 5; GD: +3; PTS: 10)
3. z-Esteghlal FC (GP: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 4)
4. z-Al-Rayyan (GP: 5; GD: -4; PTS: 3)

x-Clinched berth in knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



Group B:

At Tashkent, Uzbekistan:

Oleg Zoteev (43'), Shodiev Vokhid (83'), and Alibobo Rakhmatullaev (85') produced the goals as Bunyodkor defeated visiting Al-Fateh 3-2 and stayed alive in the race for a knockout-stage berth.

At  Ahvaz, Iran:

Bakhtiar Rahmani (21'), Gholam Reza Rezaei (45'), and Luciano Pereira (90'+3) each scored a goal as Foolad defeated visiting El Jaish 3-1 and locked up a berth in the knockout stage.

GROUP B STANDINGS:

1. x-Foolad FC (GP: 5; GD: +4; PTS: 11)
2.    El Jaish (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 8)
3.    Bunyodkor PFK (GP: 5; GD: -1; PTS: 5)
4. z-Al-Fateh (GP: 5; GD: -4; PTS: 2)

x-Clinched berth in knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



Group E:

At Osaka, Japan:

Lee Myung-Joo (24') and Kim Seung-Dae (65') each scored a goal as Pohang Steelers clinched first place in Group E following their 2-0 road win over Cerezo Osaka.

At Buriram, Thailand:

Kai Hirano scored the only goal of the match in the 35th minute as Buriram United made it a three-team race for the second Group E knockout-stage berth with their 1-0 home win over Shandong Luneng Taishan.

GROUP E STANDINGS:

1. xy-Pohang Steelers (GP: 5; GD: +5; PTS: 11)
2.      Buriram United (GP: 5; GD: -4; PTS: 5)
3.      Cerezo Osaka (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 5)
4.      Shandong Luneng Taishan (GP: 5; GD: -1; PTS: 5)

xy-Won Group E and clinched berth in knockout stage



Group F:

At Gosford, Australia:

John Hutchinson's second-half stoppage-time own goal (90'+2) proved costly to the Central Coast Mariners as FC Seoul found themselves atop the Group F standings and on the cusp of locking up a berth in the knockout stage following their 1-0 road victory.

At Beijing, China:

Naoki Ishihara scored twice in the second half (67', 70') as Sanfrecce Hiroshima stayed in the race for a knockout-stage berth following their 2-2 road draw with Beijing Guoan.  Shao Jiayi (55') and Joffre Guerron (61') delivered the goals for the Chinese club.

GROUP F STANDINGS:

1. FC Seoul (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 8)
2. Central Coast Mariners (GP: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 6)
3. Beijing Guoan FC (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 6)
4. Sanfrecce Hiroshima (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 6)
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CONCACAF Champions League Final: Scoreless Series Opener On Rainy Tuesday Night In Mexico City

At Mexico City:

The opening match of the CONCACAF Champions League final saw Toluca holding hosts Cruz Azul to a 0-0 stalemate.

The series will conclude next Wednesday night at Toluca, Mexico.

AFC Champions League: Group G Up For Grabs

Eight games were played in the group stage of the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

Group C:

At Doha, Qatar:

Asamoah Gyan scored twice (70', 90'+2) as Al-Ain demolished Lekhwiya 5-0 on the road.

At Mecca, Saudi Arabia:

Abdulfattah Asiri (18') and Mukhtar Fallatah (60') delivered the scoring as  Al-Ittihad defeated visiting Tractor Sazi 2-0.

GROUP C STANDINGS:

1. x-Al-Ain (GP: 5; GD: +7; PTS: 10)
2. x-Al-Ittihad (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 9)
3. z-Tractor Sazi (GP: 5; GD: -3; PTS: 5)
4. z-Lekhwiya (GP: 5; GD: -6; PTS: 4)

x-Clinched berth in knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



Group D:

At Fuladshahr, Iran:

Mehdi Sharifi scored twice (48', 56') as Sepahan smashed open what had been a scoreless stalemate at halftime with four second-half goals en route to a 4-0 home demolition of Al-Sadd.

At Dubai, United Arab Emirates:

Al-Ahli settled for a 0-0 home stalemate with Al-Hilal.

GROUP D STANDINGS:

1. Sepahan Isfahan FC (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 7)
2. Al-Ahli (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 7)
3. Al-Hilal (GP: 5; GD: +4; PTS: 6)
4. Al-Sadd (GP: 5; GD: -7; PTS: 5)



Group G:

At Melbourne, Australia:

Mark Milligan (2') and James Troisi (90'+1) provided the scoring as the Melbourne Victory helped gum things up in Group G following their 2-0 home blanking of defending champs Guangzhou Evergrande.

At Yokohama, Japan:

Manabu Saito scored two second-half goals a minute apart (61', 62') as Yokohama F. Marinos helped make it a four-team race in Group G with their 2-1 home win over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

GROUP G STANDINGS:

1. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 7)
2. Guangzhou Evergrande FC (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 7)
3. Melbourne Victory (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 7)
4. Yokohama F. Marinos (GP: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 7)



Group H:

At Ulsan, South Korea:

Mark Bridge (60') and Brendon Sentalab (80') delivered the goals as the Western Sydney Wanderers blanked Ulsan Hyundai 2-0 on the road.

At Guiyang, China:

Kengo Nakamura scored the only goal of the match in the 38th minute as Kawasaki Frontale stayed level on points with Western Sydney atop the Group H standings with their 1-0 road win over already-eliminated Guizhou Renhe.

GROUP H STANDINGS:

1.    Western Sydney Wanderers (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 9)
2.    Kawasaki Frontale (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 9)
3.    Ulsan Hyundai FC (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 7)
4. z-Guizhou Renhe (GP: 5; GD: -1; PTS: 4)

z-Eliminated from tournament

OFC Champions League: Pirae Defeat Waitakere United To Win Group A Title And Semifinal Berth; Auckland City In Semis Too

Group-stage play in the OFC Champions League concluded on Tuesday with two Group A contests played at Churchill Park, Lautoka, Fiji.

In the opener, Micah Lea'alafa delivered a quadruple (8', 20', 26', 89') as Solomon Warriors destroyed Kiwi FC 8-0.

In the group-stage finale, Raimana Li Fung Kuee (1'), Naea Bennett (17'), and Jimmy Tepa (90'+2) provided the scoring as AS Pirae defeated Waitakere United 3-1 to finish atop Group A and advance to the semifinal round.  With the Waitakere United defeat, Group B runners-up Auckland City advanced to the semifinals as the wild-card team.

FINAL GROUP A STANDINGS:

1. AS Pirae (GP: 3; GD: +11; PTS: 9)
2. Solomon Warriors (GP: 3; GD: +7; PTS: 4)
3. Waitakere United (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
4. Kiwi FC (GP: 3; GD: -18; PTS: 0)

AS Pirae won Group A and advanced to the semifinal round.  All other clubs in the group were eliminated.

Match-ups for the semifinal round with the game-one hosts listed first:

Ba FC vs. Amicale FC

Auckland City vs. AS Pirae

The opening contests are scheduled for April 26-27, with the return matches set for May 3-4.

Monday, April 14, 2014

OFC Champions League: Amicale Defeat Auckland City To Clinch Semifinal Berth

Action in Group B of the OFC Champions League concluded on Monday with two games played at Churchill Park in Lautoka, Fiji.

In the opener, five goal scorers each tallied once as AS Dragon demolished Nadi FC 5-0.

In the second match, Dominique Fred's first-half stoppage-time score (45'+1) carried Amicale FC to a 1-0 win over defending champions Auckland City, enabling the club from Vanuatu to lock up top spot in Group B and a berth in the semifinal round.

FINAL GROUP B STANDINGS:

1. Amicale FC (GP: 3; GD: +8; PTS: 9)
2. Auckland City (GP: 3; GD: +5; PTS: 6)
3. AS Dragon (GP: 3; GD: +1; PTS: 3)
4. Nadi FC (GP: 3; GD: -14; PTS: 0)

By winning Group B, Amicale FC advanced to the semifinal round.  Depending on what happens Tuesday in Group A, Auckland City remained alive for the tournament's wild-card berth.  AS Dragon and Nadi FC have been eliminated.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Crew And Quakes Battle To 1-1 Draw In Santa Clara

At Santa Clara, California:

Chris Wondolowski's equalizer in the 51st minute enabled the San Jose Earthquakes to salvage a 1-1 home draw with the Columbus Crew in the lone Sunday Major League Soccer contest.  Federico Higuain scored in the 44th minute for the visitors.



MLS STANDINGS:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1. Columbus (GP: 5; GF: 8; GD: +5; PTS: 10)
2. Toronto FC (GP: 5; GF: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 9)
3. Kansas City (GP: 5; GF: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 8
4. DC United (GP: 5; GF: 5; GD: -1; PTS: 7)
5. New England (GP: 6; GF: 4; GD: -4; PTS: 7)
6. Philadelphia (GP: 6; GF: 8; GD: 0; PTS: 7)
7. Houston (GP: 5; GF: 7; GD: -1; PTS: 6)
8. Chicago (GP: 6; GF: 9; GD: -1; PTS: 5)
9. New York (GP: 6; GF: 6; GD: -4; PTS: 4)
10. Montreal (GP: 6; GF: 6; GD: -4; PTS: 3)

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

1. FC Dallas (GP: 6; GF: 15; GD: +6; PTS: 13)
2. Colorado (GP: 5; GF: 8; GD: +3; PTS: 10)
3. Seattle (GP: 6; GF: 12; GD: +2; PTS: 10)
4. Real Salt Lake (GP:6; GF: 10; GD: +4; PTS: 10)
5. Vancouver (GP: 6; GF: 8; GD: +2; PTS: 8)
6. Los Angeles (GP: 4; GF: 5; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
7. Chivas USA (GP: 6; GF: 7; GD: -4; PTS: 6)
8. Portland (GP: 6; GF: 8; GD: -3; PTS: 4)
9. San Jose (GP: 4; GF: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 2)

OFC Champions League: Ba FC Sew Up Group C Crown And Semifinal Berth

The final cycle of group-stage games in the OFC Champions League commenced on Sunday with two Group C contests, both played at Govind Park in Ba, Fiji.

In the opener, Bill Nicholls (31'), Bertrand Kai (45'), and Kalaje Gnipate (81') each scored once as AS Magenta defeated Tafea FC 3-1, ending the Vanuatuan club's shot at finishing atop Group C.

In the second match, Avenish Suwany's penalty kick in the 66th minute lifted Ba FC to a 1-1 draw with Hekari United as the Fijian club locked up the Group C title and a berth in the semifinal round.

FINAL GROUP C STANDINGS:

1. Ba FC (GP: 3; GD: +6; PTS: 7)
2. AS Magenta (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
3. Tafea FC (GP: 3; GD: -4; PTS: 3)
4. PRK Hekari United (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 2)

Ba FC won the Group C title and advanced to the semifinal round.  All other clubs in the group were eliminated.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

MLS: Rapids, Revs, Galaxy, Sounders, DCU Grab Saturday Wins

Eight games dotted Saturday's Major League Soccer schedule.

At Montreal:

Quincy Amarikwa's equalizer in the 54th minute enabled the Chicago Fire to gain a 1-1 road draw with the Montreal Impact.  Jack McInerney scored his first goal for the Impact since coming over in a trade this past week from Philadelphia in the 43rd minute.

At Chester, Pennsylvania:

Andrew Wenger, in his first game since coming over from Montreal (55'), and Maurice Edu (90') each scored a goal as the Philadelphia Union came back from a pair of one-goal deficits to gain a 2-2 home draw with Real Salt Lake.  Luke Mulholland (6') and Kyle Beckerman (85') provided the scoring for RSL.

At Toronto:

Edson Buddle scored the only goal of the match in the 77th minute as the Colorado Rapids knocked off Toronto FC 1-0 on the road.

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Kyle Alston (68') and Jerry Bengston (90'+1) delivered the goals as the New England Revolution blanked the visiting Houston Dynamo 2-0.

At Washington:

David Arnaud's goal in the fourth minute stood up as DC United knocked off the visiting New York Red Bulls 1-0, as the hosts won back-to-back league games for the first time since October, 2012.

At Frisco, Texas:

Picking up where he had left off with last Saturday's hat trick, Clint Dempsey scored twice (22', 85') as the Seattle Sounders outlasted FC Dallas 3-2 on the road.

At Carson, California:

Robbie Keane scored the only goal of the match in the 47th minute as the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0.

At Portland, Oregon:

Erick Torres delivered the equalizer in the 79th minute, lifting Chivas USA to a 1-1 road draw with the still-winless Portland Timbers (Will Johnson scoring for the hosts in the eighth minute).

WOLVES WIN PROMOTION TO LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP

Let's hope that this would turn out to be the first of back-to-back promotions.

OFC Champions League: Solomon Warriors, Kiwi FC Eliminated

The second cycle of OFC Champions League group-stage contests concluded on Saturday with two games, both in Group A, both at Churchill Park, Lautoka, Fiji.

In the opener, Naea Bennett delivered a quadruple (5', 6', 22', 90'+1) while Raimana Li Fung Kuee added a first-half doubled (PK-37', 45'+2) as AS Pirae scored six goals in the opening half en route to an 8-0 nuking of Kiwi FC, eliminating the Samoan club from the tournament.

In match two, Silas Seda's own goal in the 86th minute enabled Waitakere United to salvage a 1-1 draw with Solomon Warriors.  James Naka scored in the 45th minute for the now-eliminated club from the Solomon Islands.

GROUP A STANDINGS:

1.   AS Pirae (GP: 2; GD: +9; PTS: 6)
2.   Waitakere United (GP: 2; GD: +2; PTS: 4)
3. z-Solomon Warriors (GP: 2; GD: -1; PTS: 1)
4. z-Kiwi FC (GP: 2; GD: -10; PTS: 0)

z-Eliminated from tournament

Friday, April 11, 2014

Europa League Semifinal Draw: Sevilla vs. Valencia In All-Spanish Series; Eagles get Juve

The draw for the Europa League's semifinal round took place at Nyon, Switzerland on Friday.

The home teams are listed first.

Thursday, April 24:

Sevilla vs. Valencia

SL Benfica vs. Juventus



Friday, May 1:

Valencia vs. Sevilla

Juventus vs. SL Benfica



The semifinal winners will face off in the Europa League final at Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy on May 14.

UEFA Champions League Semifinal Draw: Bayern Will Get Galacticos; Chelsea To Face Atletico Madrid

The draw for the semifinal round in the UEFA Champions League took place at Nyon, Switzerland on Friday, with the hosts listed first.

Tuesday, April 22:

Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea

Wednesday, April 23:

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Madrid

Tuesday, April 29:

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

Wednesday, April 30:

Chelsea vs. Atletico Madrid

The semifinal winners will face off at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal in the Champions League final, with the winner to take part in December's FIFA Club World Cup, to be played in Morocco.

OFC Champions League

Two game were played on Friday in Group B of the OFC Champions League, both played at Churchill Park in Lautoka, Fiji.

In the opener, Kim Dae-Wook (14'), Emiliano Tade (48'), and Joao Moreia (59') each delivered a goal as Auckland City dominated AS Dragon 3-0, eliminating the Tahitian club from the tournament.

In game two, Nikola Vasilic delivered a hat trick (73', 89', 90'+3) and Kensi Tangis added a double (85', 90') as Amicale FC scored all of their goals in the second half (Marko Dordevic got the ball rolling at 59 minutes) as Amicale FC annihilated Nadi FC 6-0 and eliminated the Fijian club from the tournament.

GROUP B STANDINGS:

1.    Amicale FC (GP: 2; GD: +7; PTS: 6)
2.    Auckland City (GP: 2; GD: +6; PTS: 6)
3. z-AS Dragon (GP: 2; GD: -4; PTS: 0)
4. z-Nadi FC (GP: 2; GD: -9; PTS: 0)

z-Eliminated from tournament