Everton 2-1 Hull City: Supersub Pienaar gives Toffees win (video)

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Steven Pienaar was the hero for the Toffees, as the South African international scored with this first touch of the game in the 59th minute to hand the Blues a 2-1 win.

A great ball from Ross Barkley on the right found Pienaar who delicately tucked his shot home to hand Roberto Martinez’ side the win. But for most of the game it was an even affair in difficulty condition on Merseyside.

Everton went ahead in the eight minute, as Belgian star Kevin Mirallas drilled a low shot from distance that looked as if it was drifting wide, but clipped the inside of the post and went in. But Hull City had some sub magic of their own, as Yannick Sagbo equalized before half time by rifling in a terrific finish.

The second half went back and forth, but the Blues held on to secure their fourth win of the season.

Everton struck early as Belgian international Mirallas fired a low shot towards goal in the eighth minute that snuck just inside the near post and left Hull ‘keeper Alan McGregor rooted to the spot.

source: Getty Images
A great battle played out between Everton and Hull at Goodison

After a replay, it seemed as though Mirallas’ shot took a slight deflection off Gareth Barry who was stood in an offside position.

A lively start for the Toffees was rewarded thanks to Mirallas’ effort but any moment they gained soon stopped, as Danny Graham went off injured and was replaced by Yannick Sagbo.

The Tigers were coming back into the game, and Hull equalized after 29 minutes as substitute Sagbo smashed home a great effort, USMNT ‘keeper Tim Howard had no chance with Sagbo’s blistering effort.The ball was pulled back from the byline, and the French attacker finished superbly after being on the pitch for less than 10 minutes. Hull’s equalizer was fully deserved, as they created some good chances and looked confident after going behind early on.

Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku once again linked up well for the Toffees, with both having efforts to put the home side ahead

But the first half ended with the score at 1-1.

After the break Hull defended resolutely as wave after wave of Everton attack reigned down on the Tigers’ goal. Two solid banks of amber and black shirts stood in front of Martinez’ men and they found it extremely difficult to break the visitors resolve.

However in the 56th minute Ross Barkley’s superb ball from the right found substitute Steven Pienaar who had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds, before he swept Everton ahead with his first touch.

Magical management from Martinez, as they change changed in an instance thanks to Pienaar’s goal.

Hull didn’t give up though, as Curtis Davies saw his header flash wide as the Tigers looked to grab an equalizer, however Everton’s defense held firm on the Blues recorded yet another win under new boss Martinez.

LINEUPS

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Mirallas, Osman (Pienaar, 56), McCarthy, Barry, Barkley (Naismith, 80), Lukaku (Kone, 68).

Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior (Boyd, 66), Figueroa, Davies, Faye, Elmohamady, Brady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Graham (Sagbo, 16), Aluko (Quinn, 74).

Chivas Guadalajara wins 12th Liga MX title

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A nail-biting finish saw Chivas Guadalajara lift the 2016/17 Liga MX title, beating Apertura champions Tigres to earn the club’s 12th Liga MX title.

The title makes Guadalajara the joint-most successful club in Mexican top flight history, even with Club America on titles.

With the aggregate score at 2-2 coming into the second leg at Chivas Stadium, the home side took the lead on an 18th minute expert finish by former Tigres youth product Alan Pulido. Oswaldo Alanís delivered a brilliant deep, looping ball to the far post, and under one-on-one pressure with a defender, Pulido struck it first-time and buried the ball into the far corner.

The game waited until midway through the second half for the next strike, as the eventual winner would fall to Jose Vazquez. The 29-year-old charged down a bounding ball that Tigres failed to clear, and his effort on net took a sizeable deflection off the midsection of a visiting defender, leaving the ball to trickle in uncontested.

Despite a 4-2 aggregate lead, it was by no means comfortable down the stretch for Chivas. Tigres pulled one back in the 88th minute on a fabulous strike by Ismael Sosa from just outside the top of the box. The visitors pressed for a stunning late equalizer, but it wasn’t to be.

The title is sweet for Chivas, who has endured a decade of struggles since winning its last championship, even coming close to relegation at times. In addition, the starting lineup for the second leg was fully domestic from top to bottom, with all 11 players from Mexico. On that same note, Pulido outdueled expensive Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, putting in on of the most impressive shifts of the match.

MLS Snapshot: FC Dallas 0-0 Houston Dynamo

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The game in 100 words (or less): The goalkeepers starred as the first Texas derby of the season ended goalless in Frisco, leaving both teams winless for at least three matches. A relatively slow start to the match gave way to an electric pace before halftime, as both goalkeepers made incredible saves, and FC Dallas had a goal correctly ruled out for offside. The second half saw two more fantastic stops, and each team had little else to offer the game.

Three moments that mattered

27′ – A pair of incredible saves, one on each end. In a game that had slogged through the opening half-hour and just seen FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman off injured, the match sprung to life. First, Kellyn Acosta delivered a beautiful free-kick from just off-center to the right. Tyler Deric was there, acrobatically reaching the top-right corner with his fingertips to deny the USMNT youngster. The save was so good, Acosta appeared to be prematurely celebrating a goal before he was forced to pull up after seeing the stop.

Then, immediately down the other end, Alberth Elis charged down a loose ball and ripped a shot on net, but Jesse Gonzalez produced an equally stunning save to keep the game scoreless.

66′ – FC Dallas dominated the opening stages of the second half, but they’d need their goalkeeper again to keep the score level. Alex delivered a dangerous cross from the left flank, and while it went over the head of Cubo Torres, it fell to Mauro Manoutas sliding in at the back post who met it on the slide. Unfortunately for Houston, Gonzalez was in the right place to make an admittedly awkward save.

80′ – In a 0-0 game, with no goals to speak of, the loudest cheer of the night was for Mauro Diaz. The 26-year-old made his return from an Achillies tear, subbing on with 10 minutes remaining for the first time since early August. He received a standing ovation from the FC Dallas home crowd.

Honorable mention – Kellyn Acosta delivered this eye-popping through-ball just before halftime. Feast your eyes.

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Man of the match: Jesse Gonzalez

Goalscorers: None

Championship Playoff Final preview: Huddersfield Town vs. Reading

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These two teams weren’t supposed to be here, at Wembley on Monday at 10:00 a.m. ET playing for a spot in the Premier League.

Everyone talked about how beautiful Fulham played. Everyone talked about how Sheffield kept on winning. Everyone kept talking about the favorites. Everyone wrote off the other guys.

Yet here we are. Reading, owner of a +4 goal differential. Huddersfield Town, owner of a -2 goal differential. Reading, winners over Fulham thanks to a bogus handball. Huddersfield, on to Wembley after a penalty shootout in the rain.

Here we are. The game that will catapult one team to the riches of the Premier League, the game that will send another team back to the depths of the Championship, consigned to progress with the heartbreak of knowing they were so close.

[ MORE: USMNT roster announced for upcoming World Cup qualifiers ]

The Championship playoff final is one of the biggest enigmas in the European soccer landscape. Teams like Reading looking to return to familiar lands of plentiful bounty, others like Huddersfield looking for glory never experienced before.

Huddersfield has not seen top flight action since 1972, and former American international David Wagner has them on the precipice. “There were a lot of statements before the semi-finals about momentum and about form,” Wagner said. “It is another example where we have proven that experience and what has happened in the past is irrelevant. After the 120 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday there were a lot of tired legs, but now after a training camp in Portugal and training on the grass here, everybody is ready to go.”

As far as form goes, Town is struggling. They drew both legs of the Sheffield Wednesday playoff semifinal 0-0, and finished the regular season on a three-match losing streak. They haven’t won a match since April 14th.

Reading, meanwhile, finished the year with wins in seven of their final nine regular season games, and they downed an attacking Fulham side 1-0 at home in the second leg of their semifinal. They’ve been stellar at winning close games all year, winning 18 regular season games by just a single goal, and losing just four, with seven draws. If Jaap Stam can lead his side back to the Premier League, it would mark just a four-year turnaround from their previous relegation from the top flight.

Riches await the winner. The sides couldn’t be more different, and yet on Monday, they both face the same brick wall.

Epic fake injury mars Hungarian league title match

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Sometimes it works out perfectly. Two teams, a title on the line, one match to decide it.

The top two teams in the Hungarian top flight, also known as the NB I, were set to play each other on the final day of the season to decide the title winner.

Budapest Honved hosted Videoton, with the winner set to win the league title. A draw would have given Videoton the victory on goal differential.

With the match 0-0 at halftime, it progressed tensely through the second half. So tense, in fact, that the teams felt they needed to do everything in their power to earn an edge. Even fake injuries. Terribly.

34-year-old Videoton striker Danko Lazovic, a veteran who has been around Europe with Zenit St. Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen, and a host of Eredivisie teams,  looked to earn a foul in the attacking half. He put so much effort into selling the foul that, well, he went a little overboard. And by a little overboard, we mean he went berserk on the field, rolling around and flailing on his back.

There are many factors that make this an absolutely epic moment. First, his team had already earned a foul without the dive. The referee had blown the whistle for a shove moments before Lazovic went down. Second, his teammate looks to come over and help him sell the foul a little more realistically, and instead of accept his teammate’s assistance, he shrugs off the help and continues to flail. Third, as karma would have it, Honved would score the title-winning goal six minutes later as they would go on to win 1-0.

Kids, don’t try this at home. It’s not a good look.