Monday, April 24, 2017

AFC Champions League

Group-stage play in the AFC Champions League resumed on Monday with four games.

GROUP C:

At Tashkent, Uzbekistan:

Arkamjon  Komilov (8') and Eldor Shomurodov (54') each scored once as FC Bunyodkor blanked visiting Al-Ahli of Saudi Arabia 2-0. 

At Isfahan, Iran:

Danilo Moreno (25'), Omar Abdulrahman (60'), and Mohamed Abdulrahman (81') each scored once as Al-Ain dominated Zob Ahan 3-0 on the road.

Group C Standings:

1.    Al-Ain (GP: 5; GD: +4; PTS: 9)
2.    Al-Ahli Jeddah (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 8)
3.    Zob Ahan (GP: 5; GD: -1; PTS: 7)
4. z-FC Bunyodkor (GP: 5; GD: -4; PTS: 3)

z-Eliminated from tournament



GROUP D:

At Muscat, Oman:

Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal battled Iran's Persepolis to a 0-0 stalemate and locked up a berth in the knockout stage.  The match was contested in Oman due to deteriorating relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

At Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:

Sebastian Tagliabue scored twice (43', 72') as Al-Wahda demolished visiting Al-Rayyan 5-1.

Group D Standings:

1. x-Al-Hilal (GP: 5; GD: +2; PTS: 9)
2.    Al-Rayyan (GP: 5; GD: -2; PTS: 7)
3.    Persepolis (GP: 5; GD: -1; PTS: 6)
4.    Al-Wahda (GP: 5; GD: +1; PTS: 4)

x-Clinched berth in knockout stage

Sunday, April 23, 2017

MLS: Sunday Wins For Lions, Sounders, Loons

Three games were played on Sunday in Major League Soccer.

At New York City:

Cyle Larin scored twice (31', 51') while goalkeeper Joe Bendik came up with five saves as Orlando City knocked off New York City 2-1 on the road.

At Carson, California:

Clint Dempsey (29'), Ashley Cole (OG-35'), and Jordan Morris (44') each scored a first-half goal as the Seattle Sounders dominated the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-0 on the road.

At Minneapolis:

Miguel Ibarra scored the only goal of the match in the 72nd minute as Minnesota United defeated the visiting Colorado Rapids 1-0.



MLS STANDINGS:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

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

NOTES: With Columbus and the New York Red Bulls level on points (13) and wins (4), the Crew have the superior goal differential (+1, compared to the Red Bulls' 0); with Atlanta United and Chicago level on points (11) and wins (3), the ATL have the superior goal differential (+9, compared to the Fire's 0); with New York City and Toronto level on points with ten, the Citizens have more wins than the Reds (3-2). 



WESTERN CONFERENCE:

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

NOTES:  With Seattle and San Jose level on points (9) and win s (2), the Sounders have the superior goal differential (+3, compared to the Earthquakes' -2); with Real Salt Lake and Minnesota United level on points and wins, RSL have the superior goal differential (-3, compared to the Loons' -11).

Saturday, April 22, 2017

MLS: Dynamo, Timbers, Red Bulls, Hoops, ATL UTD Grab Saturday Wins

Seven games were on the Major League Soccer Saturday docket.

At Chester, Pennsylvania:

Ignacio Piatti (41'), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (69', 87') delivered the scoring that let the Montreal Impact bounce back from a three-goal deficit to gain a 3-3 road draw with the Philadelphia Union.  Roland Alberg (5', PK-39') and C.J. Sapong (23') delivered the goals for the still-winless Union.

At Houston:

Erick Torres (PK-9') and Alberth Elis (72') each scored once as the Houston Dynamo blanked the visiting San Jose Earthquakes 2-0.

At Portland, Oregon:

Darlington Nagbe (18') and Darren Mattocks (40') each scored once as the Portland Timbers held off the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 in a Cascadia Cup clash.

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Lee Nguyen (5') and Sean Franklin (OG-48') each scored once to ally the New England Revolution to salvage a 2-2 home draw with DC United. Jared Jeffrey (26') and Sebastien Le Toux (28') each scored a goal two minutes apart late in the first half-four for the guests.

At Harrison, New Jersey:

Alex Muyl (11') and Daniel Royer (PK-38') each scored once as the New York Red Bulls blanked the visiting Columbus Crew 2-0.


At Frisco, Texas:



Maynor Figueroa scored the only goal of the match in the 77th minute as FC Dallas remained the league's lone unbeaten club after their 1-0 home victory over Sporting Kansas City.


At Sandy, Utah:

Hector Villalba (9'), Yamil Asad (46'), and Brandon Vasquez (90'+6) each scored once in Atlanta United's 3-1 road win over Real Salt Lake.

Friday, April 21, 2017

MLS: Seb Doubles As Reds Douse Visiting Fire

At Toronto:

In the lone Friday Major League Soccer contest, Sebastian Giovinco scored twice (28', 82') as Toronto FC defeated the visiting Chicago Fire 3-1.

Europa League Semifinal Draw: Ajax vs. Lyon; Celta Vigo vs Zlatanless Red Devils

The draw for the Europa League's semifinal round took place on Friday.  The match-one hosts are listed first with all kick-off times Pacific.

Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands) vs. Lyon (France)

The opening match will take place at Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands on May 3 at 9:45 AM with the return match set for Olympique Lyonnais Park in Decines-Charpieu, France on May 11 at 12:05 PM

Celta Vigo (Spain) vs. Manchester United (England)

The opening game of this series will take place at Balaidos in Viga, Spain on May 4 at 12:05 PM with the return match set to take place at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, also at 12:05 PM.

The winners will face off in the Europa League final, to take place at Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden, with the winners qualifying for next season's UEFA Champions League.

UEFA Champions League Semifinal Draw: Los Blancos vs. Mattress Makers In All-Madrid Series; Monaco To Battle Juve

The draw for the semifinal round of the UEFA Champions League took place on Friday, with the game one hosts listed first and all kick-off times set for 11:45 AM Pacific Time.

Real Madrid (Spain) vs. Atletico Madrid (Spain)

This all-Madrid series will open on May 2 at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of Los Blancos, with the return match to take place on the Mattress Makers' pitch (Vicente Calderon Stadium) on May 10.

AS Monaco (France) vs. Juventus (Italy)

This series will open at Louis II Stadium in Fontvieille, Monaco on May 3 with the return match set for Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy on May 9.

The winners will advance to the June 3 final, set to take place at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, with the winner there advancing to December's FIFA Club World Cup, set to be staged in the United Arab Emirates.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Copa Libertadores

Copa Libertadores group-stage play is set to continue on Thursday with four games.  The hosts are listed first with all kick-off times Pacific.

GROUP ONE:

At Guayaquil, Ecuador:

Sassa's successfully-executed penalty kick in the 88th minute lifted Botafogo to a 1-1 road draw with Barcelona SC.  Christian Aleman scored for the Ecuadorian club in the 31st minute.

Group One Standings:

1. Botafogo (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 7
2. Barcelona SC (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
3. Estudiantes (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 3)
4. Atletico Nacional (GP: 3; GD: -4; PTS: 0)

NOTE: Botafogo gained a 1-1 road draw with Barcelona SC on Thursday.

GROUP THREE:

At Medellin, Colombia:

Valentine Viola (12') and Andres Mosquera (63') each scored once as Independiente Medellin blanked visiting FBC Melgar 2-0.


GROUP SIX:

At Mendoza, Argentina:

Guillermo Fernandez (56') and Javier Correa (73') delivered the goals as Godoy Cruz blanked visiting Sport Boys 2-0.

Group Six:

1. Godoy Cruz (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 7) 
2. Atletico Mineiro (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 4)
3. Club Libertad (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
4. Sport Boys (GP: 3; GD: -5; PTS: 1)



GROUP EIGHT:

At Asuncion, Paraguay:

Pedro Rocho Neves' equalizer in the 78th minute lifted Gremio  to a 1-1 road draw with Club Guarani.  Hernan Lopez scored for the hosts in the 71st minute.

Group Eight Standings:

1. Gremio (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
2. Club Guarani (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
3. Deportes Iquique (GP: +1; PTS: 3)
4. Zamora FC (GP: 3; GD: -7; PTS: 0)

NOTE:  Gremio gained a 1-1 road draw with Club Guarani on Thursday.

Europa League: Red Devils, Celta, Ajax, Lyon Advance To Semifinals

The Europa League's quarterfinal round closed on Thursday with four games.

At Manchester, England:

After a 1-1 draw in regulation of game two that squared the series at 2-2 on aggregate, Marcus Rashford scored the winning overtime goal in the 107th minute as Manchester United took out visiting RSC Anderlecht 3-2 on aggregate.

At Genk, Belgium:

Pione Sisto scored the series-winning goal in the 63rd minute as Celta Vigo gained a 1-1 game-two road draw with KRC, enabling the Spanish club to win their series 4-3 on aggregate.

At Gelsenkirchen, Germany:

After Schalke 04 blanked Ajax Amsterdam 2-0 in regulation of the second game to square the series at 2-2 on aggregate, Nick Viergever (111') and Amin Younes (120') each scored an overtime goal to enable the visiting Dutch club to win the series 4-3 on aggregate and advance to the semifinal round.

At Istanbul, Turkey:

After Besiktas gained a 2-1 game-two home decision  in regulation to level their series with Lyon at 3-3 on aggregate, and after 30 scoreless overtime minutes, Nebil Fekir, Corentin Tolisso, Rachid Ghezzal, Maciej Rybus, Mathieu Valbuena, Mouctar Diakhaby, and Maxime Gonalons all converted their spot kicks as the visiting French club outlasted the Black Eagles 7-6 in the penalty-kick shootout.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

MLS: Goose Eggs For Quakes And Revs In Foxborough

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

The San Jose Earthquakes and home-standing New England Revolution battled to a 0-0 stalemate in the lone Wednesday Major League Soccer contest.

The real stars were the clubs' goalkeepers, the Quakes' David Bingham and the Revs' Cody Cropper as each registered a shutout.

Copa Libertadores

Group-stage play in the Copa Libertadores  continued on Wednesday with four games. 

GROUP ONE:

At La Plata, Argentina:

Javier Toledo scored the only goal of the match in the 37th minute as Estudiantes defeated visiting Atletico Nacional 1-0.


GROUP TWO:

At Bogota, Colombia:

Independiente Santa Fe and visiting Santos battled to a 0-0 stalemate.

Group Two Standings:

1. Santos (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 5)
2. Independiente Santa Fe (GP: 3; GD: +1; PTS: 4)
3. The Strongest (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
4. Sporting Cristal (GP: 3; GD: -3; PTS: 2)



GROUP SIX:

At Asuncion, Paraguay:

Angel Cardozo Lucena scored the game's lone goal in the 26th minute as Club Libertad defeated visiting Atletico Mineiro 1-0.



GROUP EIGHT:

At Barinas, Venezuela:

Diego Bielkiewicz scored twice (PK-7', 19') as Deportes Iquique dominated Zamora FC 4-1 on the road.

UEFA Champions League: Monaco, Juve Advance To Semifinals

The quarterfinal round of the UEFA Champions League is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday with two games, with the hosts listed first and kickoff times set for 11:45 AM Pacific Daylight Saving Time.

At Fontvieille, Monaco:

Kylian Mbappe (3'), Radamel Falcao (17', shown here), and Valere Germain (81') each scored once as AS Monaco downed visiting Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in game two and ousted the German club 6-3 on aggregate.

Associated Press photo by Claude Paris

At Barcelona:

A 0-0 game-two road stalemate against Barcelona was more than good enough for Juventus as the Italian club ousted the Spanish titans 3-0 on aggregate as there would be no Barca comeback this time.  Here, we see The Old Lady's Juan Cuadrado attempting to score.

Associated Press photo by Emilio Morenatti

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

CONCACAF Champions League Final: Pachuca Gain 1-1 Series-Opening Road Draw With Tigres

At San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico:

In the opening match of another all-Mexican CONCACAF Champions League final on Tuesday, Victor Ismael Sosa's score in the 32nd minute enabled Tigres to salvage a 1-1 home draw with Pachuca.  Raul Lopez scored for the visitors in the third minute.

The series will conclude next Wednesday night at Pachuca, Mexico, with the winner advancing to the FIFA Club World Cup, set for this coming December in the United Arab Emirates.

Copa Libertadores

Group-stage play in the Copa Libertadores resumed on Tuesday with three games. 

GROUP TWO:

At Lima, Peru:

The Strongest held hosts Sporting Cristal to a 0-0 stalemate.



GROUP SEVEN:

At Lanus, Argentina:

Lautaro Acosta got the scoring started in the fourth minute as Club Atletico Lanus, with five goal scorers each tallying once, demolished visiting Zulia 5-0.

At Chapeco, Brazil:

Hugo Silveira's equalizer in the 40th minute lifted Uruguay's Club Nacional to a 1-1 road draw with Chapecoense.  Reinaldo Manoel da Silva successfully converted a penalty kick for the hosts in the ninth minute.

Group Seven Standings:

1. Club Atletico Lanus (GP: 3; GD: +6; PTS: 6) 
2. Club Nacional (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
3. Chapecoense (GP: 3; GD: -1; PTS: 4)
4. Zulia FC (GP: 3; GD: -5; PTS: 3)

UEFA Champions League: Madrid Giants Advance To Semifinals

The second half of the quarterfinal round of the UEFA Champions League commenced on Tuesday with two games.

At Leicester, England:

Saul Nigez scored in the 26th minute to carry Atletico Madrid to a 1-1 game-two road draw with Leicester City, enabling the Mattress Makers to eliminate the Foxes 2-1 on aggregate.  Atletico's goal didn't exactly sit well with the English club's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, as shown here.

Associated Press photo by Rui Vieira

At Madrid:

Cristiano Ronaldo delivered a hat trick (76', 104', 109'; that's him [center] celebrating here),  scoring once in regulation and twice in overtime as Real Madrid, despite dropping a 2-1 regulation decision at home in game two (thus squaring the series at 3-3 on aggregate), scored three times in overtime to oust visiting Bayern Munich 6-3 on aggregate.

Associated Press photo by Daniel Ochoa de Olza