Wednesday, July 30, 2014

UEFA Champions League Qualifying

The third round of UEFA Champions League qualifying continued on Wednesday with the opening match of each of the 12 remaining two-game series.

At Aktobe, Kazakhstan:

Valeri Korobkin (58') and Robert Arzumanyan (88') each scored once as FC Aktobe salvaged a series-opening 2-2 home draw with Steaua Bucharest.  Claudiu Keseru (44') and Andrei Prepelita (79') delivered the goals for the visiting Romanian club. 

At Baku, Azerbaijan:

Danilo Dias (2') and Reynaldo dos Santos Silva (86') each tallied once as FK Qarabag took the opening match of their two-game series with FC Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 on the road, despite finishing the game with only nine men.  Jonathan Soriano Casas kept the Austrian club (who finished with ten men) alive in the series with his road goal in the 77th minute.

At Helsinki, Finland:

Tomas De Vincenti (71') and Cillian Sheridan (74') each scored a second-half goal three minutes apart as APOEL FC erased a two-goal deficit to gain a series-opening 2-2 draw with HJK Helsinki.  Demba Savage scored both goals (11', PK-45'+1) for the hosts.

At Larnaca, Cyprus:

Lukasz Gikiewicz scored the only  goal of the match in the 84th minute as AEL Limassol took the opening match of their series with Zenit Saint Petersburg 1-0 at home.

At Kiev, Ukraine:

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and visiting FC Copenhagen battled to a series-opening 0-0 stalemate, in a match that was originally set for Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, but was moved to the Ukrainian capital because of ongoing pro-Russian protests in Ukraine.

At Zurich, Switzerland:

Sebtastien Corchia (29') and Ryan Mendes (40') delivered the scoring as LOSC Lille Metropole took control of their series with Grasshoppers following their series-opening 2-0 road victory.

At Razgrad, Bulgaria:

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad were held to a series-opening 0-0 stalemate with visiting Partizan Belgrade.

At Rotterdam, Netherlands:

Mustaka Pektemek (13') and Kerim Koyunlu (71') each scored once as Beskitas held off Feyenoord Rotterdam 2-1 on the road in the opening game of their two-match series.

At Liege, Belgium:

Panathinaikos held hosts Standard Liege to a series-opening 0-0 deadlock.

At Aalborg, Denmark:

Marcelo Brozovic scored the only goal of the match in the 29th minute as Dinamo Zagreb topped AaB Aalborg 1-0 in the opening contest of their two-game series.

At Maribor, Slovenia:

Damjan Bohar scored the only goal of the match deep into second-half stoppage time (90'+5) as NK Maribor took the opening contest of their series with Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-0 at home.

At Warsaw, Poland:

Miroslav Radovic scored twice (10', 36') as Legia Warsaw dominated visiting Celtic 4-1 in the opening match of their two-game series.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Copa Libertadores: Despite Game-Two Defeat, Club Nacional Reaches Final

At Montevideo, Uruguay:

Despite a 1-0 game two defeat on Tuesday to Defensor Sporting, Paraguay's Club Nacional still won their two-game Copa Libertadores semifinal series 2-1 on aggregate and advanced to the two-match final, the opening game of which the Paraguayan club will host next Wednesday, with the return match to be played on August 13.  The winner of the San Lorenzo-Club Bolivar series (which the Argentinian club leads 5-0 on aggregate) will take on Club Nacional.

UEFA Champions League Qualifying

Three games---all in the Champions Path---were played on Tuesday as the curtain was raised on the third round of UEFA Champions League qualifying.

At Prague, Czech Republic:

David Lafata delivered a hat trick (22', 51', 70') as Sparta Prague doubled up visiting Malmo FF 4-2 in the opening match of their two-game series.

At Bratislava, Slovakia:

Igor Zofcak (PK-42') and Karol Meszaros (85') each scored once as FC Slovan Bratislava defeated visiting FC Sheriff 2-1 in game one of their two-game series.  Ricardo Cavalcante Mendes, also known as Ricardinho, kept the club from Moldova alive with his goal in the 74th minute.

At Debrecen, Hungary:

Debreceni VSC, thanks to Ibrahima Sidibe's successfully-converted penalty kick in the 56th minute, defeated visiting  FC BATE Borisov 1-0 in their series opener.

Monday, July 28, 2014

MLS: Landon Donovan Helps Galaxy Throttle Sounders In Seattle

At Seattle:

Landon Donovan played a role in all three goals as he scored once in the 18th minute and assisted on goals from Gyasi Zardes (8') and Stefan Ishizaki (36') as the Los Angeles Galaxy dominated the Seattle Sounders 3-0 on the road in the lone Monday Major League Soccer contest.



MLS STANDINGS:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1. Kansas City (GP: 21; GD: +12; PTS: 38)
2. DC United (GP: 19; GD: +9; PTS: 34)
3. Toronto FC (GP: 18; GD: +2; PTS: 26)
4. Columbus (GP: 21; GD: -2; PTS: 26)
5. New York (GP: 20; GD: +1; PTS: 24)
6. New England (GP: 20; GD: -8; PTS: 23)
7. Philadelphia (GP: 21; GD: -2; PTS:23)
8. Chicago (GP: 19; GD: -6; PTS: 20)
9. Houston (GP: 20; GD: -18; PTS: 19)
10. Montreal (GP: 20; GD: -16; PTS: 14)

NOTES:  With Toronto FC and Columbus level on points (26), the Reds have won more games (7-6) than the Crew.  With New England and Philadelphia level on points (23), the Revolution has more wins (7-5) than the Union.

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

1. Seattle (GP: 19; GD: +8; PTS: 38)
2. Real Salt Lake (GP: 20; GD: +5; PTS: 32)
3. Los Angeles (GP: 18; GD: +13; PTS: 30)
4. Colorado (GP: 20; GD: +7; PTS: 30)
5. FC Dallas (GP: 21; GD: +3; PTS: 30)
6. Vancouver (GP: 20; GD: +2; PTS: 28)
7. Portland (GP: 21; GD: 0; PTS: 27)
8. Chivas USA (GP: 20; GD: -12; PTS: 23)
9. San Jose (GP: 18; GD: +2; PTS: 20)

NOTE:  With Los Angeles, Colorado, and FC Dallas all level on points (30) and wins (8), the Galaxy has the best goal differential of the three (+13, to +7 for the Rapids and +3 for the Hoops).

ADDITIONAL NOTE: With Sporting Kansas City and Seattle level on points (38) in the race for the Supporters' Shield, the Sounders have more wins (12-11) than SKC.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

MLS: Hoops and Caps Draw in Vancouver; Timbers Knock Off Impact In Montreal

Two games were played in Major League Soccer on Sunday.

At Vancouver, British Columbia:

Darren Mattocks (11') and Pedro Morales (PK-53') each scored once as the Vancouver Whitecaps salvaged a 2-2 home draw with FC Dallas.  Blas Perez (29') and Michel Garbini Pereira (PK-39') delivered the goals for the visiting Hoops.

At Montreal:

Diego Valeri scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute as the Portland Timbers defeated the Montreal Impact 2-1 on the road, handing the hosts their MLS-era record fifth straight defeat.

CAF Champions League

Two games---both in Group A---were played on Sunday as group-stage action in the CAF Champions League continued.

At Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo:

Guy Basisila (81') and Tady Etekiama (PK-90'+7) delivered the goals as AS Vita Club blanked visiting Al-Hilal Omdurman 2-0.

At Alexandria, Egypt:

Zamalek and visiting TP Mazembe battled to a 0-0 stalemate.

GROUP A STANDINGS:

1. TP Mazembe (GP: 4; GD: +1; PTS: 7)
2. AS Vita Club (GP: 4; GD: +1; PTS: 7)
3. Zamalek (GP: 4; GD: -1; PTS: 4)
4. Al-Hilal Omdurman (GP: 4; GD: -1; PTS: 4)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

MLS: Road Wins For SKC, Crew

Two games were played in Major League Soccer on Saturday.

At Toronto:

Graham Zusi (48') and Jacob Peterson (80') each delivered a goal as Sporting Kansas City topped Toronto FC 2-1 on the road, despite finishing the game with ten men.

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Ethan Finlay scored the winning goal in the 84th minute as the Columbus Crew knocked off the struggling New England Revolution 2-1 on the road.  The Revs' losing streak has now reached eight games.


CAF Champions League: CS Sfaxien Blank Esperance ST In Battle Of Tunisian Clubs

At Sfax, Tunisia:

Mohamed Ali Moncer scored the only goal of the match in the 77th minute as CS Sfaxien defeated visiting Esperance ST 1-0 in a Group B contest which was the lone Saturday CAF Champions League match.

GROUP B STANDINGS:

1. ES Setif (GP: 4; GD: +3; PTS: 8)
2. CS Sfaxien (GP: 4; GD: +2; PTS: 7)
3. Al-Ahly Benghazi (GP: 4; GD: -3; PTS: 4)
4. Esperance ST (GP: 4; GD: -2; PTS: 3)

CAF Champions League: Road Win For ES Setif

At Tunis, Tunisia:

El Hedi Belameiri (18') and Sofiane Younes (90'+3) delivered the goals on Friday as ES Setif defeated Al-Ahly Benghazi 2-0 of Libya in Group B play as the second half of CAF Champions League group-stage action commenced.  This was designated an Al-Alhy home game though all of their home contests are played outside of Libya due to security concerns in that country.

Friday, July 25, 2014

MLS: Rapids Dominate Goats

At Commerce City, Colorado:

In the lone Friday Major League Soccer contest, Nick LaBrocca (16'), Drew Moor (26'), and Gabriel Torres (75') delivered the goals to propel the Colorado Rapids to a 3-0 home domination of Chivas USA.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

MLS: Olmes Garcia Delivers Double As RSL Top Struggling Impact

At Sandy, Utah:

Olmes Garcia scored twice (70', 90'+3) as Real Salt Lake defeated the visiting---and ten-man---Montreal Impact 3-1 in the lone Thursday Major League Soccer contest.

Europa League Qualifying

The second round of Europa League qualifying concluded on Thursday with 39 games.

At Karaganda, Kazakhstan:

Mihret Topcagic (47'), Ulan Konysbayev (61'), and Roman Murtazayev (90'+3) each scored a goal as Shakhter Karagandy dominated visiting Atlantas 3-0 in game two, and with the aggregate score at 3-0, won their two-game series with the Lithuanian club.

At Larnaca, Cyprus:

A 0-0 game-two road deadlock with Hapoel Be’er Sheva was good enough for RNK Split as the Croatian club won their series 2-1 on aggregate.  This game was played in Cypurs due to the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas.

At Kouvola, Finland:

A game-two 0-0 stalemate on the road was good enough for Dinamo Minsk as the Belorussian club won their two-game series with MYPA 3-0 on aggregate.

At Nicosia, Cyprus:

A 0-0 draw at home in game two was good enough for Omonia Nicosia as the Cypriot club took out Montenegro's FK Buducnost Podgorica 2-0 on aggregate to advance to the third qualifying round.

At Haugesund, Norway:

Sevko Okic scored twice (36', 82') scored twice as FK Sarajevo overturned their series-opening home defeat with a 3-1 road win over FK Haugesund in game two and won their series 3-2 on aggregate.

At Krasnodar, Russia:

Wanderson scored twice (67', PK-74') as FC Krasnodar demolished visiting JK Sillamae Kalev 5-0 in game two as the Russian club completed their two-game 9-0 aggregate annihilation of the Estonian club.

At Baku, Azerbaijan:

Sebastian Holmen's first-half goal (45'+2) enabled IF Elfsborg to top ten-man Inter Baku 1-0 in regulation of game two on the road, then after 30 minutes of scoreless overtime, Viktor Prodell, Marcus Rohden, Mikkel Beckmann, and the aforementioned Sebastian Holmen converted their spot kicks as the Swedish club won the penalty-kick shootout 4-3. 

At Gothenburg, Sweden:

Despite a 1-0 game-two home defeat, IFK Gothenburg still won their two-game series with Hungary's Gyori ETO FC 3-1 on aggregate.  Gyori ETO finished game two with ten men.

At Poznan, Poland:

Tomasz Kedziora (33'), Kasper Hamalainen (43'), and Dawid Kownacki (90'+3) each scored a goal as Lech Poznan overcame their series-opening road defeat with a 3-1 game-two home win over Nomme Kalju and won their series 3-1 on aggregate.

At Liberec, Czech Republic:

Toma Dubek (54'), Dzon Delarge (81'), and Josef Sural (90') each scored a goal as FC Slovan Liberec dominated visiting MFK Kosice 3-0 in game two and took out the Slovakian club 4-0 on aggregate.

At Tromso, Norway:

Bardur Hansen (60') and Hallur Hansson (7') each scored a second-half goal as Vikingur came from behind to upend ten-man Tromso IL 2-1 on the road in game two and 2-1 on aggregate to win the series with the Norwegian second-division club.

At Vlore, Albania:

Felipe Teixeira (39'), Pablo Torres (84'), and Njonge Priso (90') delivered the goals as FC Petrolul Ploiesti defeated Flumurtari Vlore 3-1 on the road in game two and took out the Albanian club 5-1 on aggregate.

At Wals-Siezenheim, Austria:

Despite dropping a 2-1 game-two home verdict against FK Cukarick, SV Grodig still handily won their series with the Serbian club 5-2 on aggregate.

At Tbilisi, Georgia:

After 210 scoreless minutes---90 minutes in game one, another 90 minutes in regulation of game two, then two 15 minute overtime periods---David Odikadze, Giorgi Gabedava, Giorgi Koripadze, and Tornike Mumladze converted their spot kicks as FC Chikhura Sachkhere won the penalty-kick shootout 4-1 over visiting Bursaspor.

At Solna, Sweden:

Kennedy Igboananike (56') and Henok Goitom (72') delivered the goals as AIK Solna overcame their series-opening defeat with a 2-0 game-two home win over Linfield and won their series with the Northern Irish club 2-1 on aggregate.

At Chisinau, Moldova:

A 0-0 home draw in game two enabled FC Zimbru Chisinau, with the aggregate score at 1-1, to eliminate CSKA Sofia on away goals and advance to the third qualifying round.

At Salihorsk, Belarus:

Sairhai Balanovich scored the series-winning goal in the ninth minute as FC Shakhtyor Salihorsk drubbed visiting Derry City FC 5-1 in game two and won their series with the Northern Irish club that plays in the Republic of Ireland's top fight 6-1 on aggregate.

At Vaduz, Liechtenstein:

A game-two 0-0 road deadlock was good enough for Ruch Chorzow as the Polish club eliminated FC Vaduz 3-2 on aggregate.

At Larnaca, Cyprus:

Despite dropping a 1-0 game-two decision on the road against Hapoel Tel Aviv, FC Astana won their two-game series with the Israeli club 3-1 on aggregate.  Game two was moved from Israel due to that country's ongoing conflict on the Gaza Strip with Hamas.

At Esbjerg, Denmark:

Jakob Ankersen scored the only goal of the match in the 38th minute as Esbjerg fB defeated visiting FC Kairat 1-0 and won their two-game series 2-1 on aggregate.

At Zlate Moravce, Slovenia:

Marek Janecka scored twice in the first half (4', 43') as FC Spartak Trnava dominated visiting FC Zestafoni 3-0 in game two and won the series by that same score on aggregate.

At Groningen, Netherlands:

Adam Rooney (PK-26') and Niall McGinn (33') each scored a first-half goal as Aberdeen defeated FC Groningen 2-1 on the road in game two and took out the Dutch club by that same score on aggregate.

At Kiev, Ukraine:

FC Zorya Luhansk, with Nikola Ignjatijevic (74') and Pylyp Budkivskiy (87') each scoring a second-half goal, defeated visiting KF Laci 2-1 in game two and won their series 5-1 on aggregate.

At Sligo, Ireland:

Mike Jensen scored twice as Rosenborg recovered from the series-opening home setback with a 3-1 game-two road win over Sligo Rovers and won their series with the club from the Republic of Ireland 4-3 on aggregate.

At Bydgoszcz, Poland:

Glynor Plet (1'), Chuks Aneke (48'), and Olafur Skulason (76') delivered the scoring as SV Zulte Waregem defeated Zawista Bydgoszcz 3-1 on the road in game two and won their two-match series 5-2 on aggregate.

At Novi Sad, Serbia:

Despite dropping a 3-0 game-two decision on the road, FK AS Trencin still won their two-game series with FK Vojvodina 4-3 on aggregate.

At Tripoli, Greece:

Pablo De Blasis scored twice (PK-45'+6, 73') as Asteras Tripoli FC defeated visiting RoPS 4-2 in game two and won their series 5-3 on aggregate.

At Split, Croatia:

Despite dropping a 2-1 game-two decision at home, Hajduk Split still held off Dundalk FC 3-2 on aggregate to advance to the third qualifying round.

At Nova Gorica, Slovenia:

Agnaldo Moraes scored in the 49th minute to lift Molde FK to a game-two 1-1 road draw with ND Gorica, good enough for the visiting Norwegian club to win their series 5-2 on aggregate.

At Jagodina, Serbia:

Guima scored the only goal of both the game and series in the 81st minute as CFR Cluj won both game two (on the road) and the two-match series (on aggregate) with FK Jagodina 1-0.

At Koper, Slovenia:

Mirhuseyn Seyidov (21') and Carlos Cardoso (84') as Neftchi Baku overcame their 2-1 series-opening home loss with a 2-0 game-two road win over FC Koper to eliminate the Slovenian club 3-2 on aggregate.

At Budapest, Hungary:

Ivan Krstanovic (PK-20') and Miral Samardzic (37') delivered th scoring as HNK Rijeka held off Ferencvaros 2-1 on the road in game two and won their series 3-1 on aggregate.

At Siroki Brijeg, Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Michal Duris scored twice (55', 85') scored twice as FK Mlada Boleslav demolished NK Siroki Brijeg 4-0 on the road in game two and handily won their series with the Bosnian club 6-1 on aggregate.

At Nyiregyhaza, Hungary:

Diosgyori VTK, despite dropping a 2-1 home decision in game two against PFC Litex Lovech, still ousted the Bulgarian club 3-2 on aggregate.

At Belfast, Northern Ireland:

Dardan Rexhepi scored in the 27th minute as IF Brommapojkarna gained a 1-1 game-two road draw with Crusaders and won their series 5-1 on aggregate.

At Perth, Scotland:

After a second straight 1-1 regulation-time deadlock, which was followed by 30 scoreless overtime minutes, Steven MacLean, Liam Caddis, Dave MacKay, Stevie May, and Thomas Scobbie all converted their spot kicks as St. Johnstone won the penalty-kick shootout, 5-4 over visiting FC Lucerne.

At Sankt Polten, Austria:

Daniel Segovia scored twice (6', 55') as St. Polten overcame their 2-1 series-opening defeat in Bulgaria and defeated visiting Botev Plovdiv 2-0 in game two and won their series 3-2 on aggregate. Not bad for a second-division club.

At Hafnarfjordur, Iceland:

Atli Gudnason (42') and Atli Bjornsson (80') provided the goals as FH Hafnardordur blanked visiting FC Neman Grodno 2-0 in game two and won their series 3-1 on aggregate.

At Gardabaer, Iceland:

Atli Johannsson scored the series-winning goal in the 114th minute as Stjarnan, after game two ended in a second consecutive 2-2 draw in regulation, won their series with visiting Motherwell 5-4 in overtime.



Here are the match-ups for the third qualifying round, with the opening games set to take place next Thursday, and the return contests to be played on August 7.  The game-one hosts are listed first.

Kurabukspor (Turkey) vs. Rosenborg BK (Norway)

FC Chornomorets Odessa (Ukraine) vs. RNK Split (Croatia)

St. Johnstone (Scotland) vs. FC Spartak Trnava (Slovakia)

1. FSV Mainz 05 (Germany) vs. Asteras Tripoli FC (Greece)

Diosgyor (Hungary) vs. FC Krasnodar (Russia)

FK Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic) vs. Lyon (France)

FK AS Trencin (Slovakia) vs. Hull City AFC (England)

AC Omonia (Cyprus) vs. FK Metalurg Skopje (Macedonia)

Torino (Italy) vs. IF Brommapojkarna (Sweden)

PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) vs. St. Polten (Austria)

Stjarnan (Iceland) vs. Lech Poznan (Poland)

FC Zorya Luhansk (Ukraine) vs. Molde FK (Norway)

FK Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) vs. Atromitos FC (Greece)

Real Sociedad (Spain) vs. Aberdeen FC (Scotland)

FC Astana (Kazakhstan) vs. AIK Solna (Sweden)

SV Zulte Waregem (Belgium) vs. FC Shakhtyor Salihorsk (Belarus)

SV Grodig (Austria) vs. FC Zimbru Chisinau (Moldova)

FC Astra Giurgiu (Romania) vs. FC Slovan Liberec (Czech Republic)

Ruch Chorzow (Poland) vs. Esbjerg fB (Denmark)

Dynamo Moscow (Russia) vs. Ironi Kiryat Shmona FC (Israel)

BSC Young Boys (Switzerland) vs. Ermis Aradippou (Cyprus)

IF Elfsborg (Sweden) vs. FH Hafnarfjordur (Iceland)

FC Petrolul Ploiesti (Romania) vs. FC Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic)

Vikingur (Faroe Islands) vs. HNK Rijeka (Croatia)

FC Dinamo Minsk (Belarus) vs. CFR Cluj (Romania)

Neftchi Baku (Azerbaijan) vs. FC Chikhura Sachkhere (Georgia)

IFK Gothenburg (Sweden) vs. Rio Ave (Portugal)

Club Brugge (Belgium) vs. Brondby IF (Denmark)

FC Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan) vs. Hajduk Split (Croatia)