Cardiff 1-2 Newcastle: Visitors hold on to grab a much needed victory (video)

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Alan Pardew will be sleeping a bit easier tonight, after his Newcastle side held on in the face of a late onslaught from Cardiff to take all three points home from Wales. Loic Remy scored a brace inside ten minutes, but the Bluebirds came roaring back in the second half. Only Peter Odemwingie managed to get in a goal, however, and Cardiff take 12th — for now, anyway.

After two successive league losses, the visitors were desperate for a win. When Remy scored his first goal on the half hour mark, one could almost see the weights lifting from Pardew’s shoulders. The Frenchman charged up the left, cut inside and drove his shot low and into the far corner. David Marshall managed to get a hand to it, but could do nothing to keep out Remy’s fine solo effort.

Not even ten minutes had passed before Remy managed another. This time Papiss Cisse put in the effort, but Marshall parried away. Unfortunately for the Cardiff keeper, the ball fell to Remy, who easily slipped in the rebound.

Perhaps Pardew buoyed his side up a bit too much during the halftime interval, or perhaps Malky Mackay really is that good at the halftime pep talks, but Cardiff came back determined to find at least a point. Jordon Mutch, last week’s goalscorer, came on for Bo-Kyung Kim and quickly got into the swing of things, putting one effort wide before setting up Peter Whittingham for his own scuffed attempt.

The third try’s the charm, though, and it was Mutch’s through ball that set up Cardiff’s goal. Odemwingie latched on to the end of it, leaving Newcastle defender Mike Williamson scuffing at air before drawing out Tim Krul. With the goal clear, Odemwingie easily slotted home.

Cardiff very nearly got their equalizer moments later, with Odemwingie playing the set up man this time, but Frazier Campbell sent his shot wide. The hosts continued to press for the equalizer, enjoying the majority of the possession in the second half. Mackay might do well to put Mutch on from the start next time, as he proved to have an excellent touch and fine way of weaving through the Newcastle defense.

Cardiff Starting XI: Marshall; Taylor, Caulker, Turner, Theophile-Catherine; Medel, Whittingham, Kim (Mutch 46) Gunnarsson, Odemwingie (Maynard 81); Campbell (Bellamy 66)

Substitutes not used: Lewis; Hudson, Noone, Cowie

Goals: Odemwingie 58

Newcastle Starting XI: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Cabaye (Ben Arfa 85), Tiote, Sissoko; Gouffran, Cissé, Remy (Gutierrez 71)

Substitutes not used:  Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett, Anita, Sammy Ameobi

Goals: Remy 30, 38

CONCACAF: USMNT, Trinidad & Tobago seek first points of Hexagonal

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Through two rounds of play in the Hexagonal, everything has gone according to plan for Mexico and Costa Rica.

Not so much though for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

While Los Ticos and El Tri currently sit in the top two positions of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the U.S. is left at the bottom and faces a difficult match against Honduras when play resumes on Friday night.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras match ]

Mexico and Costa Rica will face off at the Estadio Azteca in the second of Friday’s three slated qualifiers, and while both nations surely expect to reach the World Cup in Russia, both CONCACAF heavyweights have the opportunity to put their stamp on the group.

For Costa Rica, a victory could potentially open up a five-point gap over El Tri, while a win for Mexico would bring Juan Carlos Osorio’s side the opportunity leap over their Central American foes.

Friday’s action will kick off at 7 p.m. though when third place Panama travels to Trinidad & Tobago, who seeks its first points of the Hex. Trinidad will be led by captain Kenwyne Jones of Atlanta United as well as Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino, with the duo scoring a combined 39 international goals for the Soca Warriors.

Below is the schedule and current table ahead of Friday’s CONCACAF matches as the region turns its attention to Matchday 3 of the Hexagonal.


Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama — 7 p.m. ET

Mexico vs. Costa Rica — 9:50 p.m. ET

USMNT vs. Honduras — 10:30 p.m. ET (PREVIEW)


1. Costa Rica — 2-0-0 — 6 pts.
2. Mexico — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
3. Panama — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
4. Honduras — 1-0-1 — 3 pts.
5. Trinidad & Tobago — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.
6. USMNT — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.

Spurs allowed to play all home matches at Wembley next season

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Tottenham was granted the right to play all of its home matches at Wembley Stadium for the 2017/18 season, but the club must now make a decision whether or not to remain at White Hart Lane for another year.

[ MORE: Man City weighing massive offer for Milan’s Donnarumma ]

The club’s application was granted on Thursday by Brent Council’s planning committee, giving Spurs the option to move into Wembley next season for all 27 home Premier League fixtures.

Spurs must decide if it will go ahead with that move though by March 31.

Tottenham continues to play at White Hart Lane while its new stadium, located next door to its current venue, is being constructed. The current plan is that the new venue will be open ahead of the 2019/2020 campaign, but the club is said to be weighing all of its options in the event that it could be ready for the 2018/19 season.

Prosecutors question Beckenbauer in World Cup fraud case

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BERN, Switzerland (AP) Swiss authorities say prosecutors have questioned Germany soccer great Franz Beckenbauer in their ongoing World Cup fraud case.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT looks to build momentum vs. Honduras ]

Criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer and three other German members of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee were opened in 2015. The four are suspected of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement, and misappropriation relating to a payment of 6.7 million euros ($7 million) to FIFA in 2005.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras WCQ ]

The Swiss attorney general’s office said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday that federal prosecutors questioned Beckenbauer earlier in the day in Bern, adding that “Beckenbauer was cooperative.”

Beckenbauer’s home in Austria was raided last year for evidence on behalf of Swiss federal prosecutors investigating corruption linked to FIFA.

Report: Man City launching massive bid for AC Milan’s Donnarumma

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Gianluigi Donnarumma has quickly established himself as the best young goalkeeper in European soccer, and AC Milan won’t be letting the 18-year-old go without a pretty penny in return.

[ MORE: Schedule, preview for UEFA World Cup qualifying ]

According to Sky Sport Italia, Manchester City is preparing a massive bid in the range of $130 to $160 million to acquire the AC Milan shot-stopper as the English side’s goalkeeping situation is still unsettled.

The Citizens have failed to hunker down at the goalkeeper position this season despite spending big to bring in Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, who has underperformed. Willy Caballero has also been shaky at times for the English giants, while on-loan keeper Joe Hart will almost certainly move on from the club over the summer.

Donnarumma is currently second in Serie A in saves (110), trailing only Crotone’s Alex Cordaz, who has stopped two more shots.

Since turning professional in 2015, Donnarumma has quickly enjoyed his rise through Italian football for both AC Milan and with the national team. After previously featuring for the Under-15, U-17 and U-21 sides, Donnarumma has established himself as the surefire replacement for Gianluigi Buffon once he retires from the international game.