The LA Galaxy should be happy enough with a 0-0 result Thursday in Costa Rica, where playing Herediano to the scoreless draw in CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal action leaves the MLS side in reasonable shape for next week’s return leg.
The Galaxy back line, as A.J. DeLaGarza renewed his central partnership with Omar Gonzalez, was strong throughout. Robbie Keane pushed past a slow start at the packed Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero to ask some questions of the Costa Rican defense here and there through the night.
Mike Magee did find the net, and may have actually been onside when he scored off Juninho’s cross – although officials didn’t see it that way.
At the other end, the moment that mattered was Ismael Gomez’s 87th minute penalty kick, which banged off the crossbar. Gomez earned the spot shot on the most marginal contact from Sean Franklin. On the one hand, Franklin gave Jamaican Courtney Campbell the opportunity to make a call by reaching out for Gomez. On the other hand, Gomez clearly threw himself to the ground. And theatrically so.
Still, the Major League Soccer teams all stand reasonably well heading into next week’s second legs. Houston carries a tenuous 1-0 lead into Mexico for its return leg against Santos. Seattle is behind, 1-0, in its series with Tigres, but finds solace getting the Mexican side back into CenturyLink Field. And the Galaxy, with the weekend off of MLS action, has almost a full week to prep for the return engagements with Herediano at the Home Depot Center.
Full LA Galaxy match highlights are here:
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.