Tottenham 1-0 Hull City: Spurs cash in on questionable refereeing decision, jump to fourth (video)

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Tottenham Hotspur struggled to produce a goal from open play yet again, but were bailed out by referee Michael Oliver when he gave a questionable penalty for a handball in the final 10 minutes as White Hart Lane exhaled and went home 1-0 winners.

Hull City proved to be their usual gritty selves, peppering the Spurs goal on a 22nd minute free kick but couldn’t find a shot on target, with a pair of good attempts blocked.

The good start for Hull not only frustrated the home side but built the visitors’ confidence as they went forward and played their teammates in well.

The first half marched on and came to a close without a clear momentum leader, although Hull will have been happy to keep it goalless. Spurs have often found the final ball lacking from open play this season with the new squad.

Roberto Soldado, one of those new signings, proved threatening in the second half as Spurs quickly gained the upper hand, but Hull City goalkeeper Steve Harper played fantastically to keep him out on multiple occasions.

Soldado went down in the box as well in the 56th minute but referee Michael Oliver sided with the defender Alex Bruce.

Halftime substitute Mousa Dembele, not known for shooting very often, had a crack in the 70th minute but it whistled wide right along the grass.

The chances were beginning to wither for Spurs, when Oliver shockingly handed Tottenham a lifeline in the 80th minute.

Jan Vertonghen sent in a cutback cross from outside the left end of the penalty area, and his defender Ahmed Elmohamady stuck his leg out to block the cross.  The ball ricocheted off of Elmohamady’s leg and back onto his arm, and Oliver gave a penalty to Tottenham.

The decision was very harsh, as Elmohamady’s arm wasn’t outstretched from his body in any attempt to make his body larger, but Spurs took their chance. Roberto Soldado converted just Spurs’ ninth goal of the season in nine Premier League matches to get the win.

A scary moment before full time saw Andros Townsend go tumbling over the advertising boards at full speed, with the boards clipping his upper thigh and sending him head over heels.  Townsend popped right back up, however, much to the delight of the fans.

The three points push Spurs up to fourth in the Premier League table.  Depsite their lack of scoring, the staunch Spurs defense has only conceded five goals.

GOALS:

Tottenham – Soldado 80′

LINEUPS:

Tottenham Hotspur – Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Vertonghen; Pauilnho, Sandro (Dembele, 45′); Townsend, Holtby (Eriksen, 60′), Lennon (Defoe, 70′); Soldado

Hull City – Harper; Rosenoir (Mclean, 84′), Figueroa, Bruce, Davies; Meyler, Huddlestone, McShane, Boyd (Brady, 84′), Elmohamady; Sagbo (Proschwitz, 87′).

U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.