Clint Irwin

Dallas and Colorado scrounge up late road points

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Two MLS clubs secured ugly but important points on the road against tough opponents Saturday night.

Colorado became the first visiting club this season to score four goals at Saputo Stadium, with Tony Cascio scoring the winner six minutes into stoppage time with literally nothing left on the clock.  It’s the first time Montreal have been beaten at home, and just the second time all season they’ve dropped points at their fortress.

The Rapids came back from a one-goal deficit twice to equalize before Cascio’s deflected shot found the back of the net for the win.

Montreal will rue allowing Colorado back in.  They only have themselves to blame, with a complete failure to mark properly on Chris Klute’s cross as the Rapids made it 3-3.  Then, the choke was complete as Klute made a successful tackle in his own half and brought the ball all the way up to the box.  His cross to Deshorn Brown was well defended but not cleared, and both defenders covering Cascio couldn’t keep the shot off net.

Montreal have a semi-comfortable four-point lead atop the Eastern Conference, but the potential win would have put them far and away in the conference drivers seat.  The three points go to Colorado instead, who jump Seattle for sixth and are just a point back of the Galaxy in the final playoff spot.  It’s a bit early to table-watch, but the Rapids have appeared to put themselves in a good spot going forward.

For FC Dallas, they will take the draw but can no doubt be furious with the assistant referee for possibly denying them all three points. The Red Stripes thought they found an equalizer late in stoppage time as Blas Perez beat the Philadelphia keeper Zac MacMath with a trickling volley, but Sheanon Williams cleared the ball off the line…or did he?

The referee said no goal, and the replays appeared to contradict the decision, but it didn’t matter as Perez moments later latched onto the end of a pinballing free kick in the box as MacMath went down and the match was tied.

All this came after Dallas found themselves a man down in the 68th minute when Je-Vaughn Watson was sent off for a clear dive that resulted in his second yellow.

The Union will be kicking themselves, as they were handed a chance to gain ground on the Impact.  Instead, Dallas will bring home a cherished road point that gets them (temporarily) clear of Portland for sole possession of second place in the West and just two behind Real Salt Lake, who won earlier in the day.

Bayern’s Vidal says “ugly” Atletico not deserved UCL finalists

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Juanfran of Atletico Madrid and Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich argue during the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Bayern Muenchen at Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.

Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.

They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.

The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.

Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.

[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]

Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.

Europa League preview: Liverpool, Shakhtar look to overcome Spanish foes

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - APRIL 28:  Cedric Bakambu of Villarreal is watched by the Liverpool defence during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between Villarreal CF and Liverpool at Estadio El Madrigal on April 28, 2016 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]

Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0

Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.

[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]

Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw 

Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Men in Blazers podcast: Celebrating Leicester’s title with Arlo White

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In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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European police say Russian mafia infiltrating soccer clubs

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 04:  Sporting Lisbon fans celebrate after their team score a goal during the Portuguese Liga match between Sporting Lisbon and Uniao Leiria at the Alvalade XXI Stadium on November 4, 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.

[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]

Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.

Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.

Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.