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Sunderland 2-1 Newcastle: Fabio Borini late winner lifts Sunderland in tantalizing Tyne-Wear derby (video)

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Fabio Borini netted the winner in the 85th minute as Sunderland finally gave their home fans something to cheer about with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United in the Tyne-Wear derby.

The match was an exciting one, with both sides giving 110% effort.  The effects showed late in the match with tired legs and exhaustion abound, but Sunderland dug deep for their first home points of the season and a lift off the bottom of the Premier League table.

The game had a ferocious start, with both teams fittingly after each other harshly in the opening minutes.

Steven Fletcher opened the scoring in just the fifth minute.  With the Englishman starting alongside American Jozy Altidore for just the second time this season, Altidore won a corner with good work by the flag, and Fletcher nodded home a back-post cross home with his head off the set-piece.

Fletcher outjumped Paul Dummett, the defender who was making his first career Premier League start and labeled this the biggest game of his life.

The goal didn’t change the exciting feel to the match, as both teams continued to press hard and play physical.

Fletcher nearly had a second in the 16th minute, with a bouncing shot forcing Tim Krul into a diving save, and Altidore couldn’t outmuscle Dummett for possession of the rebound.

Rain began to fall in the 23rd minute bringing strong winds with them, making physical play even more intense and challenges clumsier.

source: Getty Images
Gus Poyet’s introduction of Fabio Borini immediately injected fresh legs and an added attack to Sunderland and provided the match-winner.

The physical battle continued up to halftime and even after, and both teams failed to get real spells on goal until Newcastle found their equalizer in the 57th minute.

Hatem Ben Arfa on the ball found himself double-teamed at the top corner of the box, but he threaded a brilliant ball through the double-team of Sebastian Larsson and Phil Bardsley.  The ball traveled past the pack and to Mathieu Debuchy, who had snuck past everyone, including his marker Adam Johnson, and slotted easily past Kieran Westwood.

Ten minutes later, Fabio Borini made his way off the bench for Sunderland, replacing Adam Johnson, and he immediately made an impact.  Borini got the ball streaking towards the 18-yard box corner, and his defender Debuchy slipped, allowing Borini to fire off a shot which Tim Krul nearly spilled but collected in time.

Sunderland had a promising spell of attacking play in the 81st minute when Altidore won a free kick at the top of the penalty area.  Altidore stood over it initially, but in the end it was either Fletcher or Larsson who decided to take the kick. Fletcher put his boot to it but put it into the wall.

The Stadium of Light got their moment three minutes later when Jack Colback found himself on the break.  He found Altidore, who caught the defense off guard with a perfect layoff for Borini.  The give provided the Italian with just enough space to rifle off a shot, which found its mark – the top right corner.

The win brings Sunderland off the bottom of the table past Crystal Palace to 19th place.  It’s Gus Poyet’s first win as Sunderland manager, and its the first win of the season for the Black Cats.

GOALS:

Sunderland – Fletcher 5′, Borini 84′
Newcastle – Debuchy 57′

LINEUPS:

Sunderland – Westwood; Bardsley (Celustka, 77′), Dossena, O’Shea, Cuellar; Cattermole (Ki, 70′), Colback, Larsson, Johnson (Borini, 69′); Altidore, Fletcher.

Newcastle – Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Dummett, Santon; Sissoko (Cisse, 45′), Tiote, Cabaye; Gouffran (Sammy Ameobi, 86′), Ben Arfa, Remy (Shola Ameobi, 70′).

FIFA disbands racism task force ahead of World Cup in Russia

PRATO, ITALY - APRIL 13: General view during the FIFA Futsal playoff match between Italy and Hungary on April 13, 2016 in Prato, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
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MANCHESTER, England (AP) FIFA has disbanded its anti-racism task force, declaring the work complete despite ongoing concerns about discriminatory behavior in 2018 World Cup host Russia.

FIFA wrote to members of the task force to say that it has “completely fulfilled its temporary mission” and “is hereby dissolved and no longer in operation.”

“I wish I could say that I am shocked by the decision, but unfortunately I am not,” task force member Osasu Obayiuwana told The Associated Press on Sunday. “The problem of racism in football remains a burning, very serious and topical one, which need continuous attention.

“I personally think there remained a lot of very serious work for the task force to have done – the 2018 World Cup in Russia being one such matter. But it is evident the FIFA administration takes a different position.”

The task force was established in 2013 by then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter and headed by Jeffrey Webb, a vice president of world soccer’s governing body until he was arrested in 2015 as part of the American investigation into soccer corruption.

Webb, who pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, was replaced exactly a year ago as task force chairman by Congolese federation president Constant Omari, who also sits on FIFA’s ruling council.

“We never had a single meeting under his chairmanship,” Obayiuwana said. “I wrote him, more than once, asking for when a meeting would be held. But I never received a reply from him.”

Obayiuwana, a journalist, broadcaster and qualified lawyer, received the letter from FIFA on Friday announcing the end of the task force.

“The FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination was set up with your help on a temporary basis to develop recommendations for FIFA,” wrote Gerd Dembowski, FIFA’s diversity and anti-discrimination manager.

“We are therefore delighted to inform you that all of the task force’s recommendations have been implemented and all resulting projects are ongoing.”

FIFA pointed to the introduction of an anti-discrimination monitoring system at matches, the launch of a “Good Practice Guide ,” starting a team of footballing legends and a new diversity award. Fatma Samoura, FIFA’s first female and non-European secretary general, will present the award on Monday at the SoccerEx convention in Manchester.

FIFA also told task force members that its own initiatives “actually exceed the working group’s recommendations” – trumpeting its “Say No to Racism” campaign, women’s leadership conferences and programs in Russia. There are less than nine months until Russia stages the Confederations Cup, the warm-up event for the 2018 World Cup.

The most recent research from the Moscow-based SOVA Center and the UEFA-affiliated FARE Network reported a surge in the number of racist displays by Russian soccer fans, with most cases going unpunished. Researchers logged 92 incidents of discriminatory displays and chants by Russian fans in and around stadiums in the 2014-15 season, against a total of 83 for the previous two seasons put together.

Rob Harris can be followed at http://www.twitter.com/RobHarris and http://www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports

MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew 2-0 New England Revolution (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): It was mostly the Crew from start to finish, and Ola Kamara’s brace helped ensure Greg Berhalter’s side that the team will remain in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. While the other Kamara — Kei — and his Revolution teammates were largely limited for chances on the evening, the Crew backline did an admirable job to prevent their opposition from testing them. For the Crew, it was the team’s first shutout since the two sides last met on August 20, ironically also a 2-0 victory for Berhalter’s group.

[ MORE: David Villa discusses MLS playoffs, Guardiola and more ]

Three moments that mattered

42′ – Ola smashes one past the Revs on the stroke of halftime — The Crew attack has sputtered a lot in 2016, but Ola Kamara continues to keep the team’s bleak playoff hopes intact.

67′ — Afful’s effort smacks against the post, stays out — The Crew attacked and attacked and attacked some more. Harrison Afful was definitely a bit unlucky that this chance didn’t end up in Brad Knighton’s goal.

84′ — Questionable penalty seals the points — It looked a bit soft to be given, but Kamara makes no mistake with the finish.

 

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

Man of the match: Ola Kamara

Goalscorers: Ola Kamara (42′, 84)

Watch: Dario Benedetto scores audacious blast for Boca Juniors

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When there’s little support up the field, what should you do?

Just ask, Dario Benedetto.

The Boca Juniors man broke Sunday’s 4-1 win over Quilmes wide open after a quarter hour when Benedetto smashed a 40-yard attempt into the back of the net, leaving the opposing keeper speechless.

The 26-year-old did just about everything right on the day, as Benedetto finished off the match with a hat-trick before halftime.

Serie A roundup: Torino knocks off Roma, Fiorentina-AC Milan finish scoreless

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 25:  Andrea Belotti (L) of Torino and Federico Fazio of Roma compete for the ball during the Serie A match between FC Torino and AS Roma at Stadio Olimpico di Torino on September 25, 2016 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
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Joe Hart and Torino earned a 3-1 win over Roma on Sunday after two second-half finishes from Iago Falqué separated the hosts from the Giallorossi. Andrea Belotti struck for Torino after just eight minutes to give Siniša Mihajlović’s men the early lead. Meanwhile, Francesco Totti attempted to get Roma back in the match after halftime as the veteran striker converted from the penalty spot with 35 minutes remaining. For Totti, the goal marked his 250th in Serie A with Roma.

[ MORE: Schalke misery continues, Leipzig earns road point ]

Fiorentina drew AC Milan, 0-0, as the latter managed just one shot on target throughout the afternoon. Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was forced into five saves on the day, however, the Viola couldn’t find a way to break through the Milan backline.

Goals from Mattia Destro and Ivan Perisic cancelled out as Bologna picked up a point on the road against Inter Milan. Frank de Boer’s Inter currently sit third in Serie A, trailing only Juventus and Napoli, while holds the seventh spot.

Despite going down to nine men in the second half, Genoa managed a 1-1 draw against Pescara on Sunday afternoon. Giovanni Simeone’s opener gave the hosts the advantage just two minutes after the halftime whistle, however, Rey Manaj tapped in from close range in the 85th minute to secure a point for Pescara.

A pair of finishes from Balde Diao Keita and Senad Lulic helped hand Lazio a 2-0 win over Empoli to propel the Biancocelesti to fifth place in Serie A. The defeat leaves Empoli in the relegation zone through six matches.

Gregoire Defrel lifted Sassuolo past Udinese, 1-0, after knocking home the game’s lone finish in the 34th minute. Udinese fought until the very last minute, nearly finding an equalizer in the 90th minute when Felipe’s header struck the cross bar.