Hull City v West Ham United - Premier League

Hull City 1-0 West Ham: Hull hang on, remain undefeated at home (video)

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In a Saturday full of big surprises — most notably, both Manchester sides losing — Hull City’s position in the table must be noted as one of them. Thanks to their win over West Ham United,  the newly-promoted Tigers are now seventh in the table, although that could change if Everton get a win against Newcastle on Monday. Still, three wins in six is impressive for Hull, and may signal that they’ll stay safe in the Premier League.

In fact, West Ham just might be looking up enviously after this loss, which sends them into 16th place, barely above the relegation zone. The Irons haven’t won since week 1, against Cardiff City, but have achieved two draws, both of them goalless. Will that be enough for Sam Allardyce to continue to keep his job?

Big Sam may be able to argue that luck went against him on Saturday afternoon. In the 12th minute, Robbie Brady went down, rather easily it seemed, under a challenge from West Ham defender Joey O’Brien. Referee Kevin Friend immediately pointed to the spot. Brady himself took the penalty, sending his shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the bottom right corner.

West Ham very nearly found an equalizer in the 23rd minute, but Liam Rosenior managed to clear James Tomkins’ header off the line. There were appeals for a handball, but the ball appeared to collide with the defender’s shoulder rather than his arm. Official review also showed that the ball never crossed the line.

Hull spent almost the entire half sitting back and defending, allowing just one good chance for the visitors. Modibo Maiga stung Allan McGregor’s palms in the 53rd minute, but soon gave way for Mladen Petric. Allardyce also threw on Stewart Downing and Ricardo Vaz Te, but no one was able to get through the tough Tigers defense.

Perhaps Allardyce gets a bye this week, but if results don’t improve soon, will we see a change in East London?

Hull City: McGregor; Rosenior, Figueroa, Davies, Faye; Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Brady (Meyler 80); Aluko (Boyd 89), Graham (Sagbo 71)

Subs not used: Harper, Bruce, McShane, Quinn

West Ham: Jaaskelainen; O’Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Rat; Morrison, Noble, Nolan; Diame (Downing 71), Maiga (Petric 59), Jarvis (Vaz Te 71)

Subs not used: Adrian, Taylor, Collins, Demel

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)