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′).

STREAM: CONCACAF tripleheader concludes with USMNT

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CONCACAF’s bottom three sides in the Hex standings look to make the table incredibly tight as World Cup qualifying finds three-straight matches on the docket beginning at 5 p.m. EDT.

Honduras vs. Costa Rica

Los Catrachos were creamed 6-0 by the U.S. on Friday, and return home hoping a wounded Costa Rica remains vulnerable. Honduras is dead last on goal differential, but three points would be huge and put them level with Los Ticos. Costa Rica won its first two matches before falling to Mexico on Friday.

Trinidad and Tobago vs. Mexico

El Tri has two wins and a draw from their first three Hex matches, and will be without Rafa Marquez on Tuesday. A win guarantees Mexico the top spot heading into the next round of matches in June. The Soca Warriors surprised some with their 1-0 win over visiting Panama on Tuesday. Mexico is a different class.

Panama vs. USMNT

Despite its miserable start, the U.S. can find itself as high as second with a win and help from Honduras. The injuries remain plenty for the Yanks, who are without Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood, Sebastian Lletget, and John Brooks. Panama has allowed just a single goal through three Hex matches, but also has only managed one.

AFC and Oceania wrap: Iran, New Zealand take next steps

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With CONMEBOL and CONCACAF serving as the main course later Tuesday, the morning and afternoon saw big World Cup qualifiers on the other side of the world.

[ MORE: Three keys for USA v Panama ] 

Asian qualifying

Iran is on the verge of qualification for Russia 2018 after Persepolis star Mehdi Taremi bagged his ninth international goal in a 1-0 home win over China.

Iran leads Group A by four points, but second-place South Korea and third-place Uzbekistan kept pace with 1-0 home wins of their own. Hong Jeong-ho scored in South Korea’s win over Syria, while Odil Ahmendov’s 65th minute free kick was enough to push Uzbekistan past Qatar.

The goalkeeping was… less than ideal.

Over in Group B, shutouts were the name of the game for high-powered hosts as well.

Japan stayed atop the group with a 4-0 win over Thailand, as a trio of players with Premier League experience — Maya Yoshida, Shinji Kagawa, and Shinji Okazaki — joined Gent’s Yuya Kubo on the scoreboard.

Saudi Arabia is level with Japan on points thanks to Yahya Al-Shehri’s post-halftime goal in a 1-0 win over Iraq, while Australia saw off United Arab Emirates thanks to goals from Burton Albion’s Jackson Irvine and Ingolstadt’s Mathew Leckie.

That leaves Australia three points behind Saudi Arabia and Japan in the race for two of three automatic spots. The Socceroos hosts the Green Falcons in June before an August trip to Saitama in a pair of matches which will decide who goes directly to Russia and who has to win a pair of playoffs: One against the Group A’s third-place team and another against CONCACAF’s fourth place side.

Oceania qualifying

New Zealand took the next step in collecting Oceania’s berth in the intercontinental playoff with a 2-0 win over Fiji in Wellington. PEC Zwolle winger Ryan Thomas bagged a brace for the All Whites.

New Zealand will next face either Tahiti, Solomon Islands, or Papua New Guinea over two legs in late August and early September for the right to battle the fifth place CONMEBOL team for a World Cup berth. That could be Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, or even Colombia.

Tahiti hosts Papua New Guinea at 1 a.m. EDT Wednesday, and will be the odds-on favorite to face New Zealand with a win.

After further tests, Lletget to miss 4-6 months

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So much for initial reports.

Less than 24 hours after the LA Galaxy announced that Sebastian Lletget had come through his injury on USMNT duty with no structural damage, a specialist found something worse.

Lletget has a Lisfranc injury and requires surgery, meaning the Galaxy and the U.S. will be without the midfielder for four to six months.

[ MORE: Spurs eager for U.S. return ]

Lletget, 24, spent a half-decade with West Ham but couldn’t break into the squad before returning to the U.S. last summer. He became a mainstay for the Galaxy, earning a call-up to the national team.

He scored his first USMNT goal on Friday to open the World Cup qualifier against Honduras, but was injured after a hard sliding tackle from Ever Alvarado.

Galaxy has depth beyond Lletget and Jermaine Jones, with Rafael Garcia, Joao Pedro, and Baggio Husidic able to fill a similar role, but this one stings for the Galaxy. Get well, Sebastian.

Scouting report: Everton target Orlando’s Cyle Larin

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Reports have been suggesting the Orlando City’s star striker Cyle Larin is attracting some serious interest from Premier League side Everton.

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Larin, 21, has started the MLS season off in red-hot form and the report suggests the Toffees have bid $4 million for his talents. They’ll likely have to up that offer for the Canadian national team star.

What is Larin all about?

With Romelu Lukaku seeming to be heading towards the exit door this summer as his contract saga rumbles on, it’s not outlandish to state that Larin has a very similar style to the prolific Belgian international. Of course, he has yet to test himself in the PL and Lukaku’s boots would be a big pair to fill if Larin did arrive at Goodison Park as some kind of replacement in the coming months, yet when you watch Larin play there are so many similarities between the pair.

Ronald Koeman is always eager to give youth a chance and with Tom Davies, Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all getting regular minutes this season, so Larin would get chances to impress if he ended up on Merseyside.

Here are some key stats Toffees fans will want to know too:

  • 17 – Number of goals Larin scored in his debut MLS season, the most-ever by a Rookie
  • Larin has scored all three of Orlando’s goals so far in the 2017 MLS season
  • He has scored 39 goals in 68 appearances for Orlando since arriving in 2015
  • For Canada, he has five goals in 19 appearances after making his debut as a teenager
  • Larin became the first-ever Canadian to be selected as the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft when he joined Orlando in 2015

Click play on the video above to see Larin’s best moments so far in MLS, as he continues his impressive development.