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Stoke City 1-1 Southampton: Begovic’s crazy goal not enough for Potters

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Stoke City and Southampton played out a hugely entertaining 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium, as both teams battled away in the wind in the Midlands.

The Potters took an incredible lead just 12 seconds into the game as goalkeeper Asmir Begovic saw his long punt forward catch a gust of wind before bouncing once and going over Southampton ‘keeper Artur Boruc’s head and into the net.

Despite that early set back Saints battled back well and equalized just before half time through Jay Rodriguez header. In the second half Southampton took the game to Stoke both the atrocious conditions turned the game into a midfield battle.

Stoke rise one place to 16th with the point, while the Saints stay in fifth as they extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven games.

So, after just 12 seconds goalkeeper Begovic scored for Stoke City in a bizarre incident at the Britannia Stadium.

Southampton had the kick off, and gave possession away and as the ball went back to Begovic the Bosnian international smashed the ball forward and the gusty conditions in Staffordshire played havoc with Artur Boruc and Saints’ defense.

Begovic’s long punt flew through the air, bounced once and went over Boruc’s head and shocked the entire stadium to give the Potters an early 1-0 lead.

Stoke should have a grabbed a second in the 5th minute when Ryan Shawcross headed wide when unmarked inside the six-yard box.

That early setback didn’t disrupt Saints’ flow and Rickie Lambert came ever so close to equalizing just moments later, as an inviting cross was cleared away. From the resulting corner Saints defender Dejan Lovren missed a glorious chance to equalize by heading wide from close range.

Stoke then continued to force the issue as their high-pressure approach combated the way Southampton usually set their stall up, and the home side carved out several chances as they battered Saints’ defense with long balls and a physical aerial approach.

source: Getty Images
Asmir Begovic smashes another long kick forward as the wind swirled around the Britannia Stadium.

But Southampton equalized in the 42nd minute through Jay Rodriguez following some lovely build up play by the Saints. The English striker, who netted his third goal in the last four headed home past Begovic by directing the ball down into the turf and into the net.

Some great one-twos from Rickie Lambert and James Ward-Prowse set up the goal, as the two teams went in level at the break at 1-1.

In the second half Stoke started brightly and Boruc made up for his earlier error by making a superb stop from Marko Arnautovic’s effort.

The Potters put Saints under pressure as the windy conditions continued to affect the game, and the wind was behind Southampton as they attacked the home teams goal.

In the 54th minute an extended period of pressure from Saints resulted in 19-year-old midfielder Ward-Prowse whipping a terrific free kick from 20-yards out just over the bar as the visitors pushed to go ahead.

For most of the second period, Saints did most of the pressing with the wind behind their backs and Stoke found it extremely difficult to get out of their own half. A midfield battled ensued in the bluster November weather, with the Potters digging deep to try and claim their first PL win in seven games.

In the 89th minute Southampton had a huge claim for a penalty, as a inswinging free kick from Ward-Prowse looked to have struck Shawcross in the arm. Referee Chris Foy waved away protests from Saints’ players as they game ended level.

LINEUPS

Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Ireland (Assaidi, 65), Whelan (Palacios, 45), Arnautovic; Crouch

Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez (Ramirez, 69), Lambert

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MLS: Le Toux to join D.C., Timbers set to acquire Myers and more

Sebastien Le Toux, Tony Beltran
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Two teams are set to bring in experienced players ahead of the new season, while another veteran has said his goodbye to his former club.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

D.C. United has reportedly signed veteran forward Sebastian Le Toux after spending last season with the Philadelphia Union and the Colorado Rapids.

According to SB Nation’s Black and Red United, Le Toux has inked a one-year deal with D.C. United. Le Toux has scored 57 goals in his time in MLS, with 50 of those goals coming with the Union.

Le Toux has also previously played for the New York Red Bulls, Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders.


Meanwhile, the Portland Timbers are reportedly set to sign long-time Sporting KC defender Chance Myers, who spent the last nine seasons with the Western Conference side.

The 29-year-old had made 147 appearances for Sporting KC since joining MLS, while adding two goals over that span.


Dax McCarty posted a heartfelt message to New York Red Bulls fans, players and staff following the veteran’s move to the Chicago Fire.

The midfielder was recently traded to the Eastern Conference side after the spending the last five-and-half years with the Red Bulls, where McCarty served as the team’s captain.

Gerrard urges Liverpool to “try and bid for Van Dijk”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28:  Virgil van Dijk of Southampton celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on December 28, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Virgil Van Dijk‘s quick rise in the Premier League has caught the attention of many around England, and one of the division’s greats has high hopes the Dutchman will join his former side in the future.

[ MORE: Saints wallop Leicester in complete effort ]

Steven Gerrard has suggested that Liverpool come out and pursue Van Dijk, who joined Southampton back in 2015 from Scottish side Celtic.

Gerrard — who is set to take a coaching position with Liverpool’s academy — believes the budding star would be a strong fit for the Reds, however, the ex-midfielder realizes it’ll be a hard sell.

“Who I think we need, I would go and try and bid for Van Dijk from Southampton,” Gerrard told BT Sport. “But we’ve had enough of their players so that will probably go down like a lead balloon.”

The 25-year-old has made waves in England’s top flight after quickly proving to be one of the division’s top defenders and helping guide the Saints towards the top half of the table since his arrival.

Report: San Diego making push to become future MLS expansion site

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With the NFL no longer the biggest show in town, San Diego could be bringing another football to the city in the near future.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Hyndman provides assist in Rangers debut win ]

According to NBC 7 San Diego, FS Investors founder Mike Stone and former Qualcomm Vice Chairman Steve Altman are prepared to reveal their proposal on Monday that will bring a future MLS franchise to San Diego.

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The proposed move includes a stadium plan that will reside where the Chargers’ Qualcomm Stadium currently sits. With the NFL franchise now playing in Los Angeles, the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball are the only remaining professional team in the area, out of the five major sports in the U.S.

NBC 7 is also reporting that a future San Diego team would share its facility with the San Diego State Aztecs football team.

MLS is currently up to 22 teams entering the 2017 season, while Los Angeles FC is also tabbed to enter the league next year. David Beckham’s Miami project is also considered to be the league’s 24th team, and MLS is likely to hold off on further announcements regarding expansion until later in 2017.

If San Diego were to be chosen as an expansion site, the club would become the fourth to call California home in the current state of MLS, joining the San Jose Earthquakes, Los Angeles Galaxy and LA FC (2018).

In addition to San Diego, several other cities are currently vying to enter MLS in the future, including St. Louis, Cincinnati, Sacramento and Charlotte.

Hull’s Ryan Mason hospitalized following collision with Gary Cahill

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Ryan Mason of Hull City lies injured after the collision with Gary Cahill of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge on January 22, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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Ryan Mason has undergone surgery following a scary collision with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill on Sunday.

[ MORE: Chelsea goes eight points clear at top of PL ]

The Hull City midfielder was injured after knocking heads with Cahill during first half of the 2-0 defeat to the Blues. Nine minutes of first-half stoppage time were needed after Mason stayed down on the pitch at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Xhaka’s red card makes him most sent-off player in Europe ]

It has been confirmed by the club that Mason suffered a skull fracture, while it is has also been speculated that the 25-year-old could have had bleeding on his brain.

Mason will remain hospitalized for the “next few days,” according to the Tigers.

“The Club can confirm that Ryan Mason sustained a skull fracture in our fixture at Chelsea this afternoon. He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital where he has undergone surgery.

“Ryan is in a stable condition and is expected to remain in hospital for the next few days.
“Everyone at the Club would like to express their sincere thanks for the excellent and swift care given to Ryan by both the Accident and Emergency department and Neurosurgery Unit at St Mary’s Hospital.

“A further update will be issued tomorrow.”

While Mason was forced off during the match due to the injury, Cahill managed to continue for Chelsea and scored the game’s second goal.