Thursday, May 25, 2017

MLS: Fire To Host Hoops On Thursday

At Bridgeview, Illinois:

In Thursday's lone Major League Soccer contest, the Chicago Fire will host FC Dallas.

Copa Libertadores: Group-Stage Play Set To Conclude

Copa Libertadores group-stage play is set to conclude on Thursday with six games.

GROUP ONE:

At Medellin, Colombia:

Atletico Nacional (Colombia) vs. Barcelona SC (Ecuador), 5:45 PM PDT

At Quilmes, Argentina:

Estudiantes (Argentina) vs. Botafogo (Brazil), 5:45 PM PDT

Final Group One Standings:

1.
2.
3.
4.

Barcelona SC and Botafogo advanced to the Copa Libertadores' knockout stage.



GROUP THREE:

At Buenos Aires:

River Plate (Argentina) vs. Independiente Medellin (Colombia), 3:30 PM PDT

At Guayaquil, Ecuador:

Club Sport Emelec (Ecuador) vs. FBC Melgar (Peru), 3:30 PM PDT

Final Group Stage Standings:

1. River Plate
2.
3.
4.

River Plate advanced to the Copa Libertadores knockout stage.



GROUP EIGHT:

At Porto Alegre, Brazil:

Gremio (Brazil) vs. Zamora FC (Venezuela), 5:45 PM PDT

At Asuncion, Paraguay:

Club Libertad (Paraguay) vs. Deportes Iquique (Chile), 5:45 PM PDT

Final Group Eight Standings:

1.
2.
3.
4. Zamora FC

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Copa Libertadores

Copa Libertadores group-stage continued on Wednesday with two games.

GROUP FIVE:

At Montevideo, Uruguay:

Junior Arias (36') and Ivan Villaba (41') each scored a goal as Penarol, despite being eliminated from South American competition, concluded their Copa Libertadores stint in a blaze of glory by knocking off visiting (and Round-of-16-bound) Jorge Wilstermann 2-0.

At Sao Paulo, Brazil:

Yerry Mina (14'), Willian (68'), and Ze Roberto (90') each scored once as Palmeiras laid claim to top spot in Group Five with a 3-1 home win over Atletico Tucuman, who will be playing in the second stage of the Copa Sudamericana.

Final Group Five Standings:

1. Palmeiras (GP: 6; GD: +4; PTS: 13)
2. Jorge Wilstermann (GP: 6; GD: +2; PTS: 9)
3. Atletico Tucuman (GP: 6; GD: -2; PTS: 7)
4. Penarol (GP: 6; GD: -4; PTS: 6)

Palmeiras and Jorge Wilstermann advanced to the Copa Libertadores' knockout stage while Atletico Tucuman qualified for the second stage of the Copa Sudamericana.

RED DEVILS BLANK AJAX, CAPTURE EUROPA LEAGUE CROWN---AND CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BERTH

At Solna, Sweden:

Paul Pogba (18') and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (48') each scored once on Wednesday as Manchester United blanked Ajax Amsterdam 2-0 in the Europa League Final.

With the victory, the Red Devils (seen here celebrating with the Europa League trophy) will not only play the winner of the UEFA Champions League Final (Juventus vs. Real Madrid) on August 8 at Skopje, Macedonia, they will also play in the group stage of next season's Champions League.

EPA photo by Vassil Donev

CAF Champions League

Group-stage play in the CAF Champions League continued on Wednesday with three games.

GROUP B:

At Harare, Zimbabwe:

Ronald Chitiyo scored twice (16', 81') as CAPS United defeated visiting USM Alger 2-1.

Group B Standings:

1. Zamalek (GP: 2; GD: +2; PTS: 4)
2. CAPS United (GP: 2; GD: -1; PTS: 3)
3. USM Alger (GP: 2; GD: +2; PTS: 3)
4. Al-Ahli Tripoli (GP: 2; GD: -3; PTS: 1)

NOTE:  CAPS United defeated visiting USM Alger 2-1 on Wednesday.



GROUP C:

At Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo:

Krahire Zakri scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 57th minute as defending champs Mamelodi Sundowns knocked off AS Vita Club 3-1 on the road.

Group C Standings:

1. Esperance de Tunis (GP: 2; GD: +2; PTS: 4)
2. Mamelodi Sundowns (GP: 2; GD: +2; PTS; 4)
3. Saint George (GP: 2; GD: 0; PTS: 2)
4. AS Vita Club (GP: 2; GD: -4; PTS: 0)

NOTE: Esperance de Tunis have scored three goals through two games, compared to Mamelodi Sundowns' two.



GROUP D:

At Lusaka, Zambia:

Ernest Mbewe scored the only goal in the 13th minute as Zanaco defeated visiting Wydad Casablanca 1-0.

Group D Standings:

1. Al-Ahly (GP: 2; GD: +2; PTS: 4)
2. Zanaco (GP: 2; GD: +1; PTS: 4)
3. Wydad Casablanca (GP: 2; GD: +1; PTS; 3)
4. Coton Sport (GP: 2; GD: -4; PTS; 0)

AFC Champions League

Two games, both in the East Region, were contested on Wednesday as the Round of 16 in the AFC Champions League reached the midway point.

At Shanghai, China:

Hulk (PK-32') and Odil Akhmedov (45'+1) each scored once as Shanghai SIPG took the opening contest of an all-China two-game series with Jiangsu Suning 2-1 at home.

At Jeju City, South Korea:

Marcelo Toscano (7') and Jin Seong-wook (90'+2) delivered the goals as Jeju United blanked visiting Urawa Red Diamonds 2-0 in their series opener.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Copa Libertadores

The final week of Copa Libertadores group-stage play opened on Tuesday with four games.

GROUP TWO:

At Santos, Brazil:

David Braz scored twice (19', 71') as Santos demolished visiting Sporting Cristal 4-0 in the Peruvian club's tournament finale.

At Bogota, Colombia:

Javier Lopez's own goal in the 38th minute lifted The Strongest to a 1-1 road draw with Independiente Santa Fe---and a berth in the Copa Libertadores' knockout stage.  Damir Ceter scored for the now-Copa Sudamericana-bound hosts in the 25th minute.

Final Group Two Standings:

1. Santos (GP: 6; GD: +7; PTS: 12)
2. The Strongest (GP: 6; GD: +4; PTS: 9)
3. Independiente Santa Fe (GP: 6; GD: +2; PTS: 8)
4. Sporting Cristal (GP: 6; GD: -13; PTS: 2)

Santos and The Strongest advanced to the Copa Libertadores' knockout stage. Independiente Santa Fe qualified for the second stage of the Copa Sudamericana.



GROUP SEVEN:

At Montevideo, Uruguay:

Alejandro Silva scored the only goal in the 26th minute as Lanus defeated Club Nacional 1-0 on the road as both clubs advanced to the Copa Libertadores' Round of 16.

At Chapeco, Brazil:

Arthur Caike do Nascimento Cruz (90') and Andrei Girotto (90'+1) each scored a goal a minute apart in the final minutes as Chapecoense upended visiting Zulia 2-1 and locked up a Copa Sudamericana second-stage berth and end the Venezuelan club's South American adventure.

Final Group Seven Standings:

1. Lanus (GP: 6; GD: +10; PTS: 13)
2. Club Nacional (GP: 6; GD: +2; PTS: 8)
3. Chapecoense (GP: 6; GD: -6; PTS: 7)
4. Zulia FC (GP: 6; GD: -6; PTS: 5)

Lanus and Club Nacional advanced to the Copa Libertadores' knockout stage; Chapecoense qualified for the Copa Sudamericana's second stage.

Amway Canadian Championship: Fury, Caps Take Semifinal Series Openers

The semifinal round of the Amway Canadian Championship  opened on Tuesday with two games.

At Ottawa:

Ryan Williams (PK-57') and Sito Seoane (72') each scored a second-half goal as the Ottawa Fury from the United Soccer League knocked off visiting Toronto FC 2-1 in the opening contest of a two-game series.

At Vancouver, British Columbia:

Alphonso Davies (13') and Nicolas Mezquida (33') each scored once as the Vancouver Whitecaps held off the visiting Montreal Impact 2-1 in their series opener.

CAF Champions League

Group-stage play in the CAF Champions League resumed on Tuesday with five games.

GROUP A:

At Maputo, Mozambique:

Ferroviario Beira and visiting Al-Hilal Omdurman battled to a 0-0 stalemate.

At Omdurman, Sudan:

Hameur Bouazza scored the game winner in the third minute of second-half stoppage time as Etoile du Sahel knocked off Al-Merrikh 2-1 on the road.

GROUP A STANDINGS:

1. Etoile du Sahel (GP: 2; GD: +6; PTS: 6)
2. Al-Hilal Omdurman (GP: 2; GD: 0; PTS: 2)
3. Al-Merrikh (GP: 2; GD: -1; PTS: 1)
4. Ferroviario Beira (GP: 2; GD: -5; PTS: 1)



GROUP B:

At Sfax, Tunisia (due to ongoing security concerns in Libya):

Al-Ahli Tripoli of Libya and Egypt's Zamalek battled to a 0-0 draw.



GROUP C:

At Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

Saint George and visiting Esperance de Tunis battled to a 0-0 deadlock.



GROUP D:

At Garoua, Cameroon:

Oluwafemi Junior Ajayi (12') and Momen Zakaria (14') each scored a goal in the opening quarter-hour as Al-Ahly blanked Coton Sport 2-0 on the road.

AFC Champions League

Four games were contested on Tuesday as the AFC Champions League's Round of 16 continued.

WEST REGION:

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

Abdullah Al Zoari (52') and Carlos Eduardo (57') each scored a second-half goal as Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal knocked off Iran's Esteghlal Khuzestan 2-1.

At Tehran, Iran:

The opening contest of the series between Persepolis and visiting Lekhwiya ended in a 0-0 stalemate.  The match was played behind closed doors due to misbehavior on the part of the Iranian club's fans during Persepolis' May 8 home game against Al-Wahda.



EAST REGION:

At Nonthaburi, Thailand:

Second-half goals from Kengo Nakamura (66'), Yu Kobayashi (69'), and Hiroyoki Abe (89') carried Kawasaki Frontale to a series-opening 3-1 road win over Muangthong United.

At Guangzhou, China:

Paulinho scored the only goal of the match in the 75th minute as Guangzhou Evergrande defeated visiting Kashima Antlers 1-0 in the opening game of their two-match series.


Monday, May 22, 2017

AFC Champions League

Two games---both in the West Region---were contested on Monday as the knockout stage of the AFC Champions League commenced, opening with the Round of 16.

At Tehran, Iran:

Kaveh Rezaei scored the only goal of the match in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, thanks to his successfully-converted penalty kick as Esteghlal took the opening match if their series with Al-Ain 1-0 at home.

At Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

Abdulfattah Tawfiq Asiri's equalizer in the 38th minute enabled Al-Ahli Saudi FC to salvage a series-opening 1-1 home deadlock with Al-Ahli FC from the Emirates.  Khamis Esmaeel scored for the guests in the 21st minute.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

MLS: Sunday Wins For Revs, Galaxy, Citizens

Three games were contested on Sunday in Major League Soccer.

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Diego Fagundez scored twice (24', 34') as the New England Revolution came from behind to knock off the Columbus Crew 2-1 on the road.

At Minneapolis:

Christian Ramirez scored twice, once for his team in the 66th minute, then, accidentally, once for the opponents in the 84th as Superman's own goal proved the difference as the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated Minnesota United 2-1 on the road.

At Orlando, Florida:

David Villa scored twice (PK-14', 82') as New York City handed Orlando City their first defeat at their new home stadium 3-0.



MLS STANDINGS:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1.   Toronto FC (GP: 13; GD: +9; PTS: 26)
2.   Chicago (GP: 12; GD: +6; PTS: 21)
3.   New York City FC (GP: 12; GD: +9; PTS: 20)
4.   Orlando City SC (GP: 12; GD: -3; PTS: 20)
5.   Columbus (GP: 13; GD: +1; PTS: 19)
6.   New York Red Bulls (GP: 13; GD: -6; PTS: 17)
7.   Philadelphia (GP: 12; GD: +4; PTS: 16)
8.   New England (GP: 12; GD: +3; PTS: 16)
9.   Atlanta United FC (GP: 11; GD: +8; PTS: 15)
10. Montreal (GP: 11; GD: 0; PTS: 13)
11. DC United (GP: 11; GD: -10; PTS: 11)

NOTES:  With New York City and Orlando City level on points (20) and wins (6), the Citizens have the superior goal differential (+9, compared to the Lions' -3); with Philadelphia and New England level on points (16) and wins (4), the Union have the superior goal differential (+4, compared to the Revolution's +3).



WESTERN CONFERENCE:

1.   Kansas City (GP: 13; GD: +7; PTS: 22)
2.   Houston (GP: 12; GD: +2; PTS: 10)
3.   FC Dallas (GP: 10; GD: +7; PTS: 19)
4.   San Jose (GP: 13; GD: 0; PTS: 19)
5.   Portland (GP: 12; GD: +2; PTS: 18)
6.   Vancouver (GP: 11; GD: -1; PTS: 16)
7.   Los Angeles (GP: 11; GD: -2; PTS: 14)
8.   Seattle (GP: 12; GD: -3; PTS: 13)
9.   Minnesota United FC (GP: 12; GD: -12; PTS: 11)
10. Real Salt Lake (GP: 13; GD: -13; PTS: 11)
11. Colorado (GP: 11; GD: -8; PTS: 7)

NOTES:  With Houston, FC Dallas, and San Jose all level on points with 19, the Dynamo have six wins, compared to five each for the Hoops and Earthquakes; FC Dallas have the superior goal differential compared to San Jose (+7 to 0); with Minnesota United and Real Salt Lake level on points (11) and wins (3), the Loons have the superior goal differential (-12, compared to RSL's -13).

Saturday, May 20, 2017

MLS: Impact, Fire, Sounders, ATL United, Philly, Caps, Quakes Post Saturday Wins

Seven games were on the Major League Soccer schedule for Saturday.

At Montreal:

Ignacio Piatti scored twice (PK-13', 50') as the Montreal Impact dominated the visiting, ten-man Portland Timbers 4-1.

At Washington:

David Accam scored the only goal of the match in the 52nd minute as the Chicago Fire handed DC United their third straight defeat 1-0 on the road.

At Seattle:

Harry Shipp scored the only goal of the match in the 42nd minute as the Seattle Sounders defeated visiting Real Salt Lake 1-0.

At Atlanta:

In Atlanta United's 4-1 home domination of the Houston Dynamo, Miguel Almiron delivered the hosts' first-ever hat trick (30', 42', PK-80').

At Chester, Pennsylvania:

C.J. Sapong (67') and Haris Medunjanin (75') each scored a goal as the Philadelphia Union came from behind to register a franchise-record fourth straight win, 2-1 over the visiting Colorado Rapids.

At Vancouver, British Columbia:

Christian Techera (40') and Tim Parker (67') each scored once as the Vancouver Whitecaps blanked visiting Sporting Kansas City 2-0.
At Frisco, Texas:

Jahmir Hyka scored the game's lone goal in the 81st minute while David Bingham made three saves to preserve both the shutout and the victory as the San Jose Earthquakes knocked off previously-unbeaten FC Dallas 1-0 on the road.

Friday, May 19, 2017

MLS: Red Bulls Snap Reds' Winning Streak

At Harrison, New Jersey:

In the lone Friday Major League Soccer contest, Benoit Cheyrou's 70th-minute equalizer enabled Toronto FC to salvage a 1-1 home draw with the New York Red Bulls as the Reds' six-match winning run came to an end.  Bradley Wright-Phillips scored for the Red Bulls in the 38th minute.

Canadian Championship: Fury Oust Eddies, Reach Semifinals

The preliminary round of the 2017 Canadian Championship took place earlier this month as two second-division clubs battled for the right to reach the semifinal round.

At Ottawa:

In the opening match of a two-series played on Wednesday May 3, Ryan Williams scored the only goal of the game as the Ottawa Fury (USL) defeated visiting FC Edmonton (NASL) 1-0.

At Edmonton, Alberta:

In the series finale, played on Wednesday, May 10, Steevan dos Santos scored twice (PK-37', 90'+4) as Ottawa defeated Edmonton 3-2 on the road in game two and took the series 4-2 on aggregate.

The semifinal round is set to open this coming Tuesday the Vancouver Whitecaps host the Montreal Impact in game one of their two-contest series while Toronto FC will visit the Ottawa Fury in the other semifinal series opener.