Saturday, July 22, 2017

CONCACAF Gold Cup: Jozy And The Deuce Carry Team USA Past Ticos And Into Final

At Arlington, Texas:

At AT&T Stadium, Jozy Altidore (72') and Clint Dempsey (82') each scored a second-half goal on Saturday as the United States blanked Costa Rica 2-0 in one semifinal match in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Tim Howard made a number of key saves to preserve the shutout.

The Americans will face the winner of Sunday's Mexico-Jamaica game in Wednesday final, to be contested at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California (6:00 PM Pacific Time, Fox Sports One).

MLS: Both New York Clubs, Dynamo, Crew, Hoops, Revs Grab Saturday Wins; Radips and Reds Draw In Toronto; Likewise RSL And SKC In Utah

Eight games were contested in Major League Soccer on Saturday.

At New York:

David Villa (47') and Frederic Brillant (50') each scored once as New York City held off the visiting Chicago Fire 2-1 to end the guests' unbeaten streak at eleven games.

At Minneapolis:

Daniel Royer (16'), Bradley Wright-Phillips (67'), and Alex Muyl (90') each scored once as the New York Red Bulls dominated Minnesota United 3-0 on the road.

At Washington:

Andrew Wenger (6'), Mauro Manotas (15'), and Memo Rodriguez (17') each scored a goal in the first 20 minutes as the Houston Dynamo picked up their first road win of the season, 3-1 at DC United's expense.

At Toronto:

Dominique Badji's equalizer in the 76th minute lifted the Colorado Rapids to a 1-1 road draw with Toronto FC.  Jay Chapman tallied for the Reds in the fifth minute.

At Columbus, Ohio:

Justin Meram scored the only goal of the Columbus Crew's home win over the Philadelphia Union in the 65th minute.

At Montreal:

Cristian Colman scored twice (52', 62') as FC Dallas came from behind to upend the Montreal Impact 2-1 on the road.

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Teal Bunbury scored twice (70'73') as the New England Revolution knocked off the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy 4-3.

At Sandy, Utah:

Benny Feilhaber's successful penalty kick in the 59th minute lifted Sporting Kansas City to a 1-1 road draw with Real Salt Lake.  Luis Silva scored for the hosts in the 43rd minute. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

MLS: Late Goal Carries Five Stripes Past Lions In Orlando

At Orlando, Florida:

In the lone Friday Major League Soccer contest, Hector Villalba's goal in the 86th minute and goalkeeper Brad Guzan's five saves for the shutout (in his first MLS match since 2008, when he was with the late, lamented Chivas USA) carried Atlanta United to a 1-0 road win over Orlando City in the league's first meeting of Southeastern clubs since the demise of the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny after the 2001 season.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CONCACAF Gold Cup: Quarterfinal Round Closes As Reggae Boyz And El Tri Advance To Semis

At Glendale, Arizona:

The quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup concluded on Thursday with two games contested at University of Phoenix Stadium.

In the opener, Shaun Francis (6') and Romario Williams (50') each scored a goal as Jamaica defeated Canada 2-1.

In the nightcap, Rodolfo Pizarro's goal in the fourth minute held up as Mexico defeated Honduras 1-0.

Matchups for the semifinal round:

Saturday at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas:

United States vs. Costa Rica, 7:00 PM Pacific Time

Sunday at the Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California:

Mexico vs. Jamaica, 6:00 PM Pacific Time

The semifinal winners would square off in the final set to be contested at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, next Wednesday at 6:30 PM Pacific Time.

Europa League: Second Qualifying Round Ends As Three Cypriot Clubs (Along With Aberdeen, Red Star Belgrade) Advance

33 games were played on Thursday as the second round of Europa League qualifying concluded.

At Burgas, Bulgaria:

Plamen Dimov (10'), Fernando Viana (22'), Lachezar Baltanov (47'), and Ferlipe Brisola (90') each scored once as Botev Plovdiv demolished vising Beitar Jerusalem 4-0 in game two and ousted the Israeli club 5-1 on aggregate.

At Chisinau, Moldova:

Alexandre Afonso Alex da Silva (PK-45') and Andre Schembri (80') each scored a goal as Apollon Limassol topped Zaria Balti 2-1 on the road in game two and knocked out the Moldovan club 5-1 on aggregate.

At Minsk, Belarus:

Oleksandr Noyok (21'), Nino Galovic (70'), and Anton Saroka (84') each scored a goal as Dinamo Minsk dominated visiting Rabotnicki 3-0 in game two and ousted the Macedonian club 4-1 on aggregate.

At Lyngby, Denmark:

Mikkel Rygaard Jensen (PK-19') and Martin Ornskov (30') each scored once as Lyngby defeated visiting Slovan Bratislava 2-1 in game two and finished off the Slovakian club 3-1 on aggregate.

At Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic:

Jan Charamosta (9') and Golgol Mebrahfu (31') each scored a goal as Mlada Boleslav blanked visiting Shamrock Rovers 2-0 in game two and eliminated the Irish club 5-2 on aggregate.

At Solna, Sweden:

Nils-Eric Johansson (48') and Henok Goitom (85') each delivered a goal as AIK Solna blanked visiting Zeljeznicar Sarajevo 2-0 in game two and won their series by that same score on aggregate.

At Larnaca, Cyprus:

Florian Taulemesse scored the only goal of the match in the 33rd minute as AEK Larnaca posted a second 1-0 victory over Cork City, this time at home, and dispatched the Irish club 2-0.

At Korce, Albania:

Sabien Lilaj (50') and Sebino Plaku (83') produced the goals that propelled Skenderbeu Korce to a 2-0 game-two home blanking of Kairat as the Albanian club won their series 3-1 on aggregate.

At Nova Gorica, Slovenia:

Giorgos Masouras (11'), Samed Yasil (16'), and Lazaros Lamprou (23') each scored once as Panionios held off ND Gorica 3-2 on the road in game two and eliminated the Slovenian club 5-2 on aggregate.

At Baku, Azerbaijan:

A game-two 0-0 with Zira was good enough for Astra Giurgiu as the Romanian club won their series 3-1 on aggregate.

At Poznan, Poland:

Darko Jevtic (32') and Nicki Bille Nielsen (90'+3) delivered the goals as Lech Poznan overcame their series-opening defeat by blanking visiting Haugesund 2-0 in game two and took out the Norwegian club 4-3 on aggregate.

At Vaasa, Finland:

Marko Meerits' own goal in the 16th minute proved important as Brondby, despite dropping a 2-1 game-two road decision to VPS, still won their series 3-2 on aggregate.

At Vilnius, Lithuania:

After Maksim Maksimov scored twice in regulation (11', 35') to enable Trakai to square their series with IFK Norrkopoing at 3-3 on aggregate after taking game two 2-1 at home, forcing a scoreless 30 minutes of overtime, Arunas Klimavicius, Modestas Vorobjovas, Svajunas Cyzas, Mykhailo Shkysha, and Justinas Janusevskij all converted their spot kicks as the Lithuanian club won the penalty-kick shootout 5-3 to advance to the third qualifying round.

At Sofia, Bulgaria:

Franck Ohandza (80') and Ante Ecreg (86') each scored once as Hajduk Split downed Levski Sofia 2-1 on the road in game two and won their series 3-1 on aggregate.

At Felcsut, Hungary:

Danko Lazovic scored in the 37th minute to carry Videoton to a 1-1 game-two draw with visiting Nomme Kalju as the Hungarian club won their series 4-1 on aggregate.

At Reykjavik, Iceland:

Omer Atzili (57') and Dor Peretz (66') each scored once as Maccabi Tel Aviv blanked KR Reykjavik 2-0 on the road in game two and won their series 5-1 on aggregate.

At Waalwijk, Netherlands:

Sean Klaiber (18'), Willem Janssen (76'), and Zakaria Labyad (83') each delivered a goal as FC Utrecht defeated visiting Valletta 3-1 in game two and ousted the Maltese club by that score on aggregate.

At Bergen, Norway:

Kristi Qose (64') and Dominik Kruzliak (PK-78') each scored once as Ruzomberok overturned their game-one home defeat with a 2-0 game-two road triumph over SK Brann as the Slovakian club won their series 2-1 on aggregate.

At Marijampole, Lithuania:

Despite dropping a 1-0 game-two home decision to FK Liepaja, FK Suduva Marijampole still won their series with the Latvian club 2-1 on aggregate.

At Bailystok, Poland:

Ilgar Gurbanov (18') and Filip Ozobic (89') delivered the goals as Gabala blanked Jagiellonia Bialystok 2-0 on the road in game two and ousted the Polish club 3-1 on aggregate.

At Larnaca, Cyprus:

Fidelis Irhene (70') and Kevin Lafrance (88') each scored once as AEL Limassol defeated visiting Progres Niederkorn 2-1 in game two and eliminated the Luxembourgian club 3-1 on aggregate.

At Brest, Belarus:

Nouma Ngamaleu (8'), Stefan Nutz (44'), and Philipp Netzer (52') each scored once as Rheindorf Altach dominated Dinamo Brest 3-0 on the road in game two and won their series 4-1 on aggregate.

At Istanbul, Turkey:

Brwa Nouri successfully converted his penalty kick in the 60th minutes as Ostersund drew 1-1 on the road with Galatasaray and ousted the Turkish club 3-1 on aggregate.

At Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg:

Samir Hadji (21'), Enis Saiti (32'), Tom Laterza (59'), and Cedric Sacras (90'+4) each scored once as Fola Esch dominated visiting Inter Baku 4-1 in game two and eliminated the Azerbaijani club 4-2 on aggregate.

At Skein, Norway:

Stefan Mladenovic scored the only goal of the match in the 82nd minute as Odds BK racked up a second 1-0 victory over FC Vaduz, this time at home, and won their series 2-0 on aggregate.

At Domzale, Slovenia:

Ivan Firer (PK-25'), Jure Balkovec (69'), and Semijad Ibricic (71') each collected a tally as Domzale defeated visiting Valur 3-2 in game two and waved so-long to the Icelandic club 5-3 on aggregate.


At Belgrade, Serbia:

Mitchell Donald (10') and Slavoljub Srnic (77') each scored once as Red Star Belgrade blanked visiting Irtysh Pavlodar 2-0 in game two and won their series 3-1 on aggregate.

At Siroki Brijeg, Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Greg Stewart (72') and Gary Mackay-Steven (78') each posted a second-half goal as Aberdeen blanked NK Siroki Brijeg 2-0 on the road in game two and took out the Bosnian club 3-1 on aggregate.

At Herning, Denmark:

Gustav Wikheim (34'), Rasmus Nissen (71'), and Alexander Sorloth (81') each scored once as FC Midtjylland defeated visiting Ferencevaros 3-1 in game two and pulled the plug on their Hungarian guests 7-3 on aggregate.

At Podgorica, Montenegro:

Thorsten Rocher (33'), Philipp Zulechner (39'), and Deni Alar (46') delivered the goals as Sturm Graz dominated Mladost Podgorica 3-0 on the road in game two and eliminated the Montenegrin club 3-1 on aggregate.

At Helsinki, Finland:

Ivan Celikovic's goal in the 71st minute lifted Shkendija to a 1-1 game-two road draw with HJK Helsinki and a 4-2 series victory on aggregate at the Finnish club's expense.

At Petah Tikva, Israel:

Mavis Tchibota (50') and Yuval Ashkenazi (85') each scored once as Bnei Yehuda blanked visiting Trencin 2-0 in game two and won their series 3-1 on aggregate.

At Lucerne, Switzerland:

Muzafer Ejupi scored what proved to be the series-winning goal in the 72nd minute as Osijek, despite dropping a 2-1 game-two road decision, eliminated FC Lucerne 3-2 on aggregate.




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MLS: Impact, Red Bulls, Caps, RSL, Sounders Gather Wednesday Wins

Seven games were contested in Major League Soccer on Wednesday.

At Montreal:

Blerim Dzemaili scored the winning goal in the 51st minute as the Montreal Impact defeated the visiting Philadelphia Union 2-1.

At Harrison, New Jersey:

Daniel Royer scored twice (90', 90'+1) in the final minutes as the New York Red Bulls demolished the visiting San Jose Earthquakes 5-1.

At New York:

Ashtone Morgan (11') and Victor Vazquez (90'+1) each scored once to carry Toronto FC to a 2-2 road draw with New York City.  David Villa (45'+2) and Maxi Morales (56') produced the Citizens' goals.

At Minneapolis:

Minnesota United FC and the visiting Houston Dynamo battled to a 0-0 stalemate.

At Carson, California:

Tony Tchani scored the only goal of the match in the 64th minute as the Vancouver Whitecaps knocked off the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 on the road.

At Portland, Oregon:

Joao Plata scored twice (PK-50, 80') as ten-man Real Salt Lake dominated the nine-man Portland Timbers 4-1 on the road.

At Seattle:

Will Bruin (51'), Brad Evans (62'), Gustav Svensson (74'), and Cristian Roldan (78') each scored once as the Seattle Sounders erased a three-goal deficit and upended visiting DC United 4-3.



MLS STANDINGS:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1.   Toronto FC (GP: 20; GD: +15; PTS: 39)
2.   Chicao (GP: 19; GD: +18; PTS: 38)
3.   New York City FC (GP: 20; GD: +12; PTS: 34)
4.   Atlanta United FC (GP: 19; GD: +12; PTS: 30)
5.   New York Red Bulls (GP: 19; GD: -1; PTS: 29)
6.   Orlando City SC (GP: 20; GD: -7; PTS: 29)
7.   Columbus (GP: 20; GD: -2; PTS: 28)
8.   Montreal (GP: 18; GD: -1; PTS: 24)
9.   Philadelphia (GP: 19; GD: +3; PTS: 23)
10. New England (GP: 19; GD: -2; PTS: 20)
11. DC United (GP: 20; GD: -18; PTS: 18)



WESTERN CONFERENCE:

1.   Kansas City (GP: 20; GD: +10; PTS: 32)
2.   FC Dallas (GP: 18; GD: +12; PTS: 31)
3.   Houston (GP: 20; GD: +5; PTS: 29)
4.   Vancouver (GP: 18; GD: -2; PTS: 27)
5.   Portland (GP: 21; GD: 0; PTS: 27)
6.   Seattle (GP: 20; GD: -2; PTS: 27)
7.   San Jose (GP: 20; GD: -8; PTS: 26)
8.   Real Salt Lake (GP: 21; GD: -14; PTS: 23)
9.   Los Angeles (GP: 19; GD: -5; PTS: 22)
10. Colorado (GP: 18; GD: -8; PTS: 19)
11. Minnesota United FC (GP: 20; GD: -17; PTS: 19)

NOTES: With Vancouver, Portland, and Seattle all level on points with 27, the Whitecaps have eight wins, compared to seven each for the Timbers and Sounders; Portland has the superior goal differential compared to Seattle (0, compared to the Sounders' -2); with Colorado and Minnesota United level on points with 19, the Rapids have six wins compared to the Loons' five.

CONCACAF Gold Cup: Team USA, Ticos Advance To Semis

The quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup is set to commence on Wednesday with two games to be contested at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and televised by Fox Sports One.

In the opener, Anibal Godoy's own goal in the 77th minute enabled Costa Rica to defeat Panama 1-0.

In the nightcap, Omar Gonzalez (41') and Eric Lichaj (45'+2) each scored once as the United States blanked El Salvador 2-0.

UEFA Champions League: Bhoys, Legia, RB Salzburg, APOEL, Sheriff, Copenhagen, Trond Kids Advance To Third Qualifying Round

Ten games were contested on Wednesday as the second round of UEFA Champions League qualifying concluded.

At Dudelange, Luxembourg:

Igor de Camargo's penalty kick in the 40th minute produced the only goal of the match as APOEL FC registered a second 1-0 victory over F91 Dudelange, this time on the road, and eliminated the Luxembourgian club 2-0 on aggregate.

At Razgrad, Bulgaria:

Claudiu Keseru scored twice in the second half (58', 74') as Ludogorets Razgrad overcame their series-opening road defeat with a 4-1 game-two home domination of Zalgiris Vilnius and won their series with the Lithuanian club 5-3 on aggregate.

At Wals-Siezenheim, Austria:

Marc Rzatkowski (11'), Fredrik Guldbrandsen (19'), and Amadou Haidara (85') each scored once as FC Red Bull Salzburg posted a second 3-0 domination against Hibernians, this time at home, to finish off the Maltese club 6-0 on aggregate.

At Elbasan, Albania:

Cyrille Bayala scored what proved to be the series-winning goal in the 58th minute as FC Sheriff, despite dropping a 2-1 game-two road decision to Kukesi, advanced on away goals with the aggregate score at 2-2.

At Copenhagen, Denmark:

Benjamin Verbic successfully converted his penalty kick in the 48th minute, as FC Copenhagen, despite dropping a game-two 2-1 home decision to MSK Zilina, still won their series 4-3 on aggregate.

At Budapest, Hungary:

Anthony Nwakaeme scored twice (16', 84') as Hapoel Be'er Sheva defeated Budapest Honved FC 3-2 on the road in game two and won their two-match series 5-3 on aggregate.

At Maribor, Slovenia:

Mitja Viler's goal in the 27th minute lifted NK Maribor to a 1-1 game-two home deadlock with Zrinjski Mostar and a 3-2 series aggregate victory at the Bosnian club's expense.

At Trondheim, Norway:

After a second 1-1 draw in regulation time to square the series at 2-2 on aggregate, Matthias Vilhjalmsson scored the series winner in the 98th minute as Rosenborg won their series with visiting Dundalk 3-2 on aggregate after overtime.

At Glasgow, Scotland:

Scott Sinclair scored twice (4', 54') as Celtic demolished visiting Linfield 4-0 in game two and won their series 6-0 on aggregate.

At Warsaw, Poland:

Michal Kucharczyk scored twice (40', PK-54') as Legia Warsaw firebombed visiting IFK Mariehamm 6-0 in game two and completed their two-contest whitewashing of the Finnish club 9-0 on aggregate.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

UEFA Champions League

Seven games were contested on Tuesday as the second round of UEFA Champions League qualifying resumed.

At Tbilisi, Georgia:

Wilde-Donald Guerrier scored the game's lone goal in the 22nd minute as Qarabag defeated Samtredia 1-0 on the road in game two and finished off the Georgian club 6-0 on aggregate.

At Podgorica, Montenegro:

A 0-0 game-two road stalemate with Buducnost Podgorica was good enough for Partizan Belgrade as the Serbian club won their series 2-0 on aggregate.

At Astana, Kazakhstan:

Patrick Twumasi scored what proved to be the series-winning goal in the 59th minute as Astana gained a 1-1 game-two home draw with Spartaks Jurmala and ousted the Latvian club 2-1 on aggregate.

At Yerevan, Armenia:

Mikhail Gordeychuk scored twice (23', 35') as FC BATE Borisov defeated Alashkert 3-1 on the road in game two and won their series 4-2 on aggregate.

At Oswestry, England:

Mario Gavranovic scored twice (54', 79') as Rijeka demoilshed The New Saints 5-1 on the road in game two and finished off the Welsh club 7-1 on aggregate.

At Strumica, Macedonia:

Boban Grncharov (56'), Tigran Barseghyan (61'), and Boban Nikolov (90'+1) each scored a second-half goal as Vardar defeated visiting Malmo FF 3-1 in game two and took out the Swedish club 4-2 on aggregate.

At Torshavn, Faroe Islands:

Steven Lennon (PK-79') and Thorarinn Ingi Valdimarasson (90'+1) each scored once in the waning minutes as FH Hafnarfjordur defeated ten-man Vikingur Gota 2-0 on the road and knocked out the Faroese club 3-1 on aggregate.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

CONCACAF Gold Cup: Salvadorians (Who'll Get Team USA Next) Join El Tri And Reggae Boyz In Quarterfinals As Group-Stage Play Ends

Two Group C games were contested at San Antonio's Alamodome on Sunday as group-stage play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup came to a conclusion.

In the opener, Darren Mattocks' successfully-converted penalty kick in the 64th minute lifted Jamaica to a 1-1 draw with El Salvador.  Nelson Bonilla scored in the 19th minute for the Salvadorians, who joined the Reggae Boyz in the quarterfinal round.

In the nightcap (and group-stage finale), Angel Sepulveda (22') and Edson Alvarez (90'+1) each scored once as Mexico clinched top spot in Group C after their 2-0 blanking of already-eliminated Curacao.

Final Group C Standings:

1. Mexico (GP: 3; GD: +4; PTS: 7)
2. Jamaica (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 5)
3. El Salvador (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
4. Curacao (GP: 3; GD: -6; PTS: 0)

Mexico, Jamaica, and El Salvador advanced to the quarterfinal round.

Here are the matchups for the quarterfinal round with all times Pacific, all telecast over Fox Sports One:

Wednesday, at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia:

Costa Rica vs. Panama, 3:00 PM 

United States vs. El Salvador, 6:00 PM



Thursday, at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona:

Mexico vs. Honduras, 4:30 PM

Jamaica vs. Canada, 7:00 PM 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

CONCACAF Gold Cup: Team USA, Panama Advance To Quarterfinals; El Tri, Reggae Boyz Advance Too After Panama Victory

Action from Group B of the CONCACAF Gold Cup concluded on Saturday with two games contested at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

In the opener, Michael Murillo (44'), Abdiel Arroyo (60'), and Gabriel Torres (67') each scored a goal as Panama locked up a berth in the quarterfinal round with a 3-0 domination of Martinique (which also locked up a knockout-stage berth for the United States, Mexico, and Jamaica).

In the nightcap, Joe Corona (36'), Kelyn Roye (56'), and Matt Miazga (88') each scored once as the United States, who had already locked up a berth in the quarterfinals due to Panama's earlier victory over Martinique,  overcame having two penalty kicks saved and dominated Nicaragua 3-0 to win the Group B title.

Final Group B Standings:

1. United States (GP: 3; GD: +4; PTS: 7)
2. Panama (GP: 3; GD: +4; PTS: 7)
3. Martinique (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 3)
4. Nicaragua (GP: 3; GD: -6; PTS: 0)

The United States and Panama have advanced to the quarterfinal round and Martinique is still alive for a berth in the knockout stage.

NOTE:  With the United States and Panama level on points (7) and goal differential (+4), the Americans scored more goals (7-6).