Thursday, November 23, 2017

Europa League

24 games were contested in Europa League group-stage play on Thursday.

GROUP A:

At Astana, Kazakhstan:

Cedric Bakambu scored twice in the final half-hour (65', 83') as Villarreal held off Astana 3-2 on the road to clinch a berth in the knockout stage.

At Netanya, Israel:

Josef Husbauer scored both goals (45'+1, 54') in Slavia Prague's 2-0 road triumph against Maccabi Tel Aviv.


Group A Standings:

1. x-Villarreal (GP: 5; GD: +5; PTS: 11)
2.     Slavia Prague (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 8)
3.     Astana (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 7)
4. z-Maccabi Tel Aviv (GP: 5; GD: -8; PTS: 1)

x-Clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP B:

At Elbasan, Albania:

Ali Sowe scored the game winner in the 56th minute as Skenderbeu Korce held off visiting Dynamo Kiev 3-2.  Due to Partizan Belgrade's victory over Young Boys, though, the Albanian club was still eliminated from the tournament.

At Belgrade, Serbia:

Ognjen Ozegovic scored the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute as Partizan Belgrade defeated visiting BSC Young Boys 2-1 to gain a berth in the knockout stage.

Group B Standings:

1. x-Dynamo Kiev (GP: 5; GD: +3; 10)
2. x-Partizan Belgrade (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 8)
3. z-Skenderbeu Korce (GP: 5; GD: -3; PTS: 5)
4. z-BSC Young Boys (GP: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 3)

x-Clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP C:

At Braga, Portugal:

Fransergio scored twice (81', 90'+3) as SC Braga defeated TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3-1 to lock up a berth in the knockout stage while eliminating the German club in the process.

At Razgrad, Bulgaria:

Kerim Frei scored the winning goal in the 27th minute as Istanbul Basaksehir kept their chances of advancing in the tournament alive by knocking off Ludogorets Razgrad 2-1 on the road.

Group C Standings:

1. x-SC Braga (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 10)
2.    Ludogorets Razgrad (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 8)
3.    Istanbul Basaksehir (GP: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 5)
4. z-TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (GP: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 4)

x-Clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP D:

At Milan, Italy:

Andre Silva (38', 70') and Patrick Cutrone (42', 90'+3) each scored twice, once in each half, as AC Milan sealed top spot in Group D after demolishing visiting Austria Vienna 5-1.

At Athens:

Sergio Araujo (45'+ 2) and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (55') each scored once as AEK Athens find themselves on the cusp of advancing to the knockout stage after erasing a two-goal deficit to gain a 2-2 home draw with Rijeka. 

Alexander Gorgon scored twice (8', 28') for the now-eliminated Croatian club.

Group D Standings:

1. y-AC Milan (GP: 5; GD: +9; PTS: 11)
2.    AEK Athens (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 7)
3.    Austria Vienna (GP: 5; GD: -7; PTS: 4)
4. z-Rijeka (GP: 5; GD: -3; PTS: 4)

y-Won Group D and clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament

NOTE:  In the two games contested between Austria Vienna and Rijeka, the Austrian club outscored the Croatian club 5-4 overall, 4-3 on away goals.



GROUP E:

At Liverpool, England:

Bryan Cristante (GP: 12' , 64') and Andreas Cornelius (88', 90'+4) each scored once as Atalanta scored four goals in the second half en route to a 5-1 road fist-beating of Everton as the Italian club locked up a berth in the knockout stage.

At Decines-Charpieu, France:

Mouctar Diakhaby (29'), Nabil Fekir (32'), Mariano Diaz Mejia (67'), and Myziane Maolida (80') each scored once as Lyon advanced to the knockout stage after blasting visiting Apollon Limassol 4-0.

Group E Standings:

1. x-Atalanta (GP: 5; GD: +9; PTS: 11)
2. x-Lyon (GP: 5; GD: +8; PTS: 11)
3. z-Apollon Limassol (GP: 5; GD: -6; PTS: 3)
4. z-Everton (GP: 5; GD: -11; PTS: 1)

x-Clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP F:

At Moscow:

Jefferson Farfan scored twice (17', 51') as Lokomotiv Moscow upended visiting FC Copenhagen 2-1.

At Tiraspol, Moldova:

Jairo de Macedo da Silva scored the only goal of FC Sheriff's 1-0 home win over Fastav Zlin in the 11th minute.

Group F Standings:

1.    FC Sheriff (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 9)
2.    Lokomotiv Moscow (GP: 5; GD: +3; PTS: 8)
3.    FC Copenhagen (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 6)
4. z-Fastav Zlin (GP: 5; GD: -7; PTS: 2)

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP G:

At Lucerne, Switzerland:

Carlos Antonio de Souza Junior scored the game's lone goal in the 50th minute as Lugano defeated visiting Hapoel Be'er Sheva 1-0.


At Plzen, Czech Republic:

Milan Peterzela (49') and Jan Kopic (76') each scored once as FC Viktoria Plzen joined Steaua Bucharest in the knockout stage by blanking the visiting Romanian club 2-0.

Group G Standings:

1. x-Steaua Bucharest (GP: 5; GD: +3; PTS: 10)
2. x-FC Viktoria Plzen (GP: 5; GD: +3; PTS: 9)
3. z-Lugano (GP: 5; GD: -3; PTS: 6)
4. z-Hapoel Be'er Sheva (GP: 5; GD: -3; PTS: 4)

x-Clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP H:

At Barysaw, Belarus:

Red Star Belgrade held hosts FC BATE Borisov to a 0-0 stalemate.

At Cologne, Germany:

FC Cologne kept their chances of advancing alive after knocking off visiting Arsenal 1-0.  Sehrou Guirassy successfully converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute for the Billy Goats.
  The Gunners, nevertheless, locked up top spot in Group H.

Group H Standings:

1. y-Arsenal (GP: 5; GD: +4; PTS: 10)
2.    Red Star Belgrade (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 6)
3.    FC Cologne (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 6)
4.    FC BATE Borisov (GP: 5; GD: -4; PTS: 5)

y-Won Group H and clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

NOTE:  Red Star Belgrade defeated FC Cologne 1-0 on the road on September 28.  The two clubs will again meet on December in the Serbian capital.



GROUP I:

At Konya, Turkey:

Wilfred Moke's own goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time enabled Marseille to gain a 1-1 road draw with Konyaspor.  Nejc Skubic successfully converted a penalty kick for the hosts in minute #82.

At Wals-Siezenheim, Austria:

Moanes Dabour (26'), Andreas Ulmer (45'+1), and Huang Hee-chan (67') each scored once as FC Red Bull Salzburg dominated visiting Vitoria de Guimaraes 3-0 to lock up top spot in the Group I

Group I Standings:

1. y-FC Red Bull Salzburg (GP: 5; GD: +6; PTS: 11)
2.    Marseille (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 7)
3.    Konyaspor (GP: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 5)
4.    Vitoria de Guimaraes (GP: 5; GD: -4; PTS: 4)

y-Won Group I and clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage



GROUP J:

At Ostersund, Sweden:

Dmytro Hrechyshkin (OG-40') and Saman Ghoddos (77') provided the scoring as Ostersund blanked visiting Zorya Luhansk 2-0 and clinched a berth in the knockout stage.

At Bilbao, Spain:

Aritz Aduriz scored twice (PK-35', PK-66') while Inaki Williams scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute as Athletic Bilbao defeated visiting Hertha BSC Berlin 3-2 to knock the German club out of the tournament.

Group J Standings:

1. x-Ostersund (GP: 5; GD: +4; PTS: 10)
2.    Athletic Bilbao (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 8)
3.    Zorya Luhansk (GP: 5; GD: -4; PTS: 6)
4. z-Hertha BSC Berlin (GP: 5; GD: -1; PTS: 4)

x-Clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP K:

At Nice, France:

Mario Balotelli (PK-5', 31') scored twice as Nice locked up a knockout-stage berth with their nice 3-1 home win over SV Zulte Waregem.

At Rome:

Luis Alberto's equalizer in the 42nd minute was good enough for Lazio as the Young Eagles locked up top spot in Group K after their 1-1 home deadlock with Vitesse Arnhem. 

Bryan Linssen scored for the Dutch club in the 13th minute.

Group K Standings:

1. y-Lazio (GP: 5; GD: +6; PTS: 13)
2. x-OGC Nice (GP: 5; GD: +6; PTS: 9)
3. z-SV Zulte Waregem (GP: 5; GD: -6; PTS: 4)
4. z-Vitesse Arnhem (GP: 5; GD: -6; PTS: 2)

y-Won Group K and clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

x-Clinched berth in Europa League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP L:

At Saint Petersburg, Russia:

Emiliano Rigoni scored the winning goal at 43 minutes as Zenit Saint Petersburg defeated visiting Vardar 2-1.

At Trondheim, Norway:

Mikel Oyarzabal scored the only goal in the 90th minutes as Real Sociedad joined Zenit in the knockout stage after knocking out Rosenborg 1-0 on the road.

Group L Standings:

1. x-Zenit Saint Petersburg (GP: 5; GD: +10; PTS: 13)
2. x-Real Sociedad (GP: 5; GD: +12; PTS: 12)
3. z-Rosenborg (GP: 5; GD: -5; PTS: 4)
4. z-Vardar (GP: 5; GD: -17; PTS: 0)

x-Clinched berth in Europa League group stage

z-Eliminated from tournament

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Copa Libertadores Final: Gremio Take Series Opener

At Porto Alegre, Brazil:

In Wednesday opening match of the Copa Libertadores Final, Cicero Santos scored the game winner in the 82nd minute as Gremio defeated visiting Lanus 1-0.

The series will conclude next Wednesday at Lanus, Argentina.

The winner would advance to the semifinal round of next month's FIFA Club World Cup, to be staged in the United Arab Emirates.

UEFA Champions League, Group D: Barca Lock Up Berth In Knockout Stage; Lions Stay Alive

Two Group D games in the UEFA Champions League were contested on Wednesday.

At Turin, Italy:
A 0-0 road stalemate with Juventus clinched a berth in the knockout stage of the tournament---and lock up top spot in Group D for Barcelona.  Veteran Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon waves to the fans at the conclusion of the match.

Associated Press photo by Antonio Calanni

At Lisbon, Portugal:
Bas Dost scored twice (40', 66') as Sporting CP stayed alive in the tournament by defeating Olymiacos 4-1, knocking the Greek club out of European competition.  Here's the hometown Lions' Bruno Cesar (left) scoring his team's other goal in the 43rd minute as The Legend's Bjoern Engels (center) and Leonardo Koutris (right) challenge fruitlessly.

Associated Press photo by Armando Franca

Group D Standings:

1. y-FC Barcelona (GP: 5; GD: +6; PTS: 11)
2.    Juventus (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 8)
3.    Sporting CP (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 7)
4. z-Olympiacos (GP: 5; GD: -7; PTS: 1)

y-Won Group D and clinched berth in Champions League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from European competition

UEFA Champions League, Group C: Blues Blast Qarabag, Clinch Berth In Round of 16; Mattress Makers Knock Off Roma To Stay Alive

Two games were contested in Group C of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

At Baku, Azerbaijan:
Chelsea's Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the game from the penalty spot during their Champions League, group C, soccer match between Qarabag FK and Chelsea at the Baku Olympic stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Willian scored twice (36', 85') as Chelsea demolished Qarabag 4-0 on the road to clinch a berth in the knockout stage and knock the Azerbaijani club from European competition.  Here's the Blues' Eden Hazard celebrating after scoring the English club's first goal of the match by converting a penalty kick in the 21st minute.

Associated Press photo by Pavel Golovkin

At Madrid:
Antoine Griezmann (69'; that's him celebrating here) and Kevin Gameiro (85') each scored once in the second half as Atletico Madrid blanked visiting AS Roma 2-0 to stay alive in the tournament and prevent the Italian club from clinching a knockout-stage berth.

Associated Press photo by Francisco Seco

Group C Standings:

1. x-Chelsea (GP: 5; GD: +8; PTS: 10)
2.    AS Roma (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 8)
3.    Atletico Madrid (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 6)
4. z-Qarabag (GP: 5; GD: -11; PTS: 2)

x-Clinched berth in Champions League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from European competition

UEFA Champions League, Group B: Wednesday Triumphs For Bayern, PSG

Two games were contested in Group B of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

At Brussels, Belgium:

Corentin Tolisso scored the winning goal in the 77th minute as Bayern Munich defeated RSC Anderlecht 2-1 on the road.  Here's Bayern Arjen Robben (left), battling Anderlecht's Serigne Mbodji for the ball.

Associated Press photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert

At Paris:
Neymar (9', 22') and Edinson Cavani (28', 79') each scored twice as Paris-Saint Germain destroyed visiting Celtic 7-1.  In this snapshot, we see PSG's Layvin Kurzawa (left) being challenged by the Bhoys' Thomas Rogic.

Associated Press photo by Christophe Ena

Group B Standings:

1. x-Paris Saint-Germain (GP: 5; GD: +23; PTS: 15)
2. x-Bayern Munich (GP: 5; GD: +5; PTS: 12)
3. z-Celtic (GP: 5; GD: -12; PTS: 3)
4. z-RSC Anderlecht (GP: 3; GD: -15; PTS: 0)

x-Clinched berth in knockout stage of Champions League

z-Eliminated from Champions League contention but still alive for berth in Europa League knockout stage

UEFA Champions League, Group A: Horses Blank Eagles, Knock Out Benfica; Basel Upend Red Devils

Group-stage play in the UEFA Champions League continued on Wednesday with eight games, two of them in Group A.

At Moscow:
Benfica's Jonas controls the ball during the Champions League Group A soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Benfica in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Georgi Shchennikov (13') and Jarvel Nivaldo Vieira (OG-56') each scored once as CSKA Moscow blanked visiting SL Benfica 2-0, knocking the Portugese club out of European competition.  Here's the Lisbon-based Eagles' Jonas controlling the ball.

Associated Press photo by Ivan Sekretrev

At Basel, Switzerland:


 Michael Lang scored the only goal of the match in the 89th minute as FC Basel stayed very much alive for a Champions League knockout berth by upending visiting Manchester United 1-0.  Here, we present Basel's Matteo Darmian (left) battling the Red Devils' Mohamed Elyounoussi vie for the ball.

AFP/Getty Images photo by Fabrice Coffrini

Group A Standings:

1.   Manchester United (GP: 5; GD: +8; PTS: 12)
2.   FC Basel (GP: 5; GD: +4; PTS: 9)
3.   CSKA Moscow (GP: 5; GD: +4; PTS: 9)
4. z-SL Benfica (GP: 5; GD: -11; PTS: 0)

z-Eliminated from European competition

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

MLS Cup Playoffs: Crew And TFC Battle To Scoreless Draw In East Final Opener; Sounders Blank Ten-Man Dynamo In Houston To Open West Final

The semifinal round of the Major League Soccer Cup Playoffs  commenced on Tuesday with the opening game of each of the two conference finals.

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL:

At Columbus, Ohio:

The opening match of the Eastern Conference Final between the Columbus Crew and visiting Toronto FC ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL:

At Houston:

Gustav Svensson (11') and Will Bruin (42') delivered the goals as the Seattle Sounders blanked the ten-man Houston Dynamo 2-0 on the road in the opening match of the Western Conference Final.

UEFA Champions League, Group H: Blancos Join Spurs In Knockout Stage

Two games were contested on Tuesday in Group H of the UEFA Champions League.

At Nicosia, Cyprus:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema (39', 45'+1) and Critiano Ronaldo (49', 54'; that's him scoring his second goal here) each scored twice as Real Madrid destroyed APOEL FC 6-0 on the road to lock up a Champions League knockout-stage berth.

Photo from UEFA website

At Dortmund, Germany:

Son Heung-min (that's him, on the right, celebrating with teammate Harry Kane) scored the winning goal in the 78th minute as Tottenham Hotspur defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on the road to clinch top spot in Group H.

Photo from ESPN FC website

Group H Standings:

1. y-Tottenham Hotspur (GP: 5: GD: +8; PTS: 13)
2. x-Real Madrid (GP: 5; GD: +9; PTS: 10)
3. z-Borussia Dortmund (GP: 5; GD: -5; PTS: 2)
4. z-APOEL FC (GP: 5; GD: -12; PTS: 2)

y-Won Group H and clinched berth in Champions League knockout stage

x-Clinched berth in Champions League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from Champions League but still alive for Europa League knockout-stage berth

UEFA Champions League, Group G: Black Eagles Advance To Knockout Stage; Monaco Eliminated

Two games in Group G of the UEFA Champions League were contested on Tuesday.

At Istanbul, Turkey:

Anderson Souza Conceicao (a.k.a Talisca) delivered the equalizer in the 41st minute as Besiktas gained a 1-1 home deadlock with FC Porto to lock up top spot in Group G and a berth in the knockout stageFelipe Augusto de Almeida Monteiro scored for the Portuguese club in the 29th minute. That's Dragons coach Sergio Conceicao sitting on the sidelines.

Associated Press photo

At Fontvieille, Monaco:
Timo Werner (Leipzig)
Timo Werner scored twice (9', PK-31', that's him here) as RB Leipzig carried a four-goal first-half en route to a 4-1 road domination over AS Monaco that knocked the hosts out of European competition.

Photo from UEFA website

Group G Standings:

1. y-Besiktas (GP: 5; GD: +5; PTS: 11)
2.    FC Porto (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 7)
3.    RB Leipzig (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 7)
4. z-AS Monaco (GP: 5; GD: -7; PTS: 2)

y-Won Group G and clinched berth in Champions League knockout stage

z-Eliminated from European competition

UEFA Champions League, Group F: Citizens Clinch Top Spot; Napoli Stay Alive

Two games are slated to be played in Group F of the UEFA Champions League, set to kick off at 11:45 AM Pacific Time.

At Manchester, England:

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the match in the 88th minute (as shown here) as Manchester City locked up the top spot in Group F after defeating visiting Feyenoord Rotterdam 1-0 and knocking the Dutch club out of European competition in the process.

Getty Images photo by Laurence Griffiths

At Naples, Italy:
epa06343019 Napoli's Dries Mertens (R) scores a goal  during the UEFA Champions League Group F soccer match between SSC Napoli and Shakhtar Donetsk at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, 21 November 2017.  EPA-EFE/CIRO FUSCO
Lorenzo Insigne (56'), Piotr Zielinski (81'), and Dries Mertens (83', shown here) each delivered a second-half goal as Napoli kept their flickering hopes of advancing alive after dominating visiting Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0.

ANSA photo by Ciro Fusco

Group F Standings:

1. y-Manchester City (GP: 5; GD: +10; PTS: 15)
2.    Shakhtar Donetsk (GP: 5; GD: -1; PTS: 9)
3.    Napoli (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 6)
4. z-Feyenoord Rotterdam (GP: 5; GD: -10; PTS: 0)

y-Won Group F and clinched berth in Champions League's knockout stage

z-Eliminated from European competition.

UEFA Champions League, Group E: Liverpool Blow Three-Goal Lead And Chance To Clinch Knockout-Round Berth; Maribor Eliminated

Group-stage play resumed in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday with eight games, two of them in Group E.

At Moscow:
epa06342617 Head coach Darko Milanic of Maribor celebrates their 1-1 goal during the UEFA Champions League grup stage soccer match between Maribor and Otkritie Arena in Moscow, Russia, 21 November 2017.  EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

Jasmin Mesanovic's equalizer (90'+2) lifted NK Maribor to a 1-1 road draw with Spartak Moscow.  Ze Luis scored for the hosts in the 82nd minute.  The result eliminated the Slovenian club from European competition, even though Maribor coach Darko Milanic seemed to enjoy his club's score.

European Pressphoto Agency photo by Yuri Kochetov

At Seville, Spain:

Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice (51', PK-80'; that's him scoring here) and Guido Pizarro once (90'+3) as Sevilla erased a three-goal deficit to gain a 3-3 home draw with Liverpool, preventing the Reds from winning Group E and locking up a berth in the knockout stage.  Roberto Firmino scored twice (2', 30') and Sadio Mane once (22') for the English club.

Liverpool FC photo via Getty Images by Andrew Powell

Group E Standings:

1.    Liverpool (GP: 5; GD: +10; PTS: 9)
2.    Sevilla (GP: 5; GD: 0; PTS: 8)
3.    Spartak Moscow (GP: 5; GD: +3; PTS: 6)
4. z-NK Maribor(GP: 5; GD: -13; PTS: 2)

z-Eliminated from European competition

Monday, November 20, 2017

Saturday, November 18, 2017

AFC Champions Leaque Final: Red Diamonds Gain Series-Opening Road Draw With Al-Hilal

At Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:

In Saturday's opening match of the AFC Champions League Final, Rafael Silva's goal in the seventh minute enabled Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds to gain a series-opening 1-1 road draw with Al-Hilal.

Omar Khribin scored for the Saudi club in the 37th minute.

The series is set to conclude next Saturday at Saitama, Japan.

The winner would qualify for the quarterfinal round of next month's FIFA Club World Cup, set to be staged in the United Arab Emirates.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

LOUISVILLE CITY KNOCK OFF SWOPE PARK RANGERS FOR USL CROWN

At Louisville, Kentucky:

Cameron Lancaster scored the winning goal in the 88th minute on Monday as Louisville City defeated the visiting Swope Park Rangers 1-0 in the United Soccer League's championship game.

It was the Purples' first league title in their three years of existence.