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.

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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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Mexico 1-0 Honduras: Pizarro strikes early to put El Tri in Gold Cup semifinals

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Mexico had little trouble dispatching Honduras as El Tri won 1-0 in Glendale, AZ and eased into the Gold Cup semifinals.

Just four minutes into the game, Mexico took the lead as they got Honduras on its heels, with Rodolfo Pizarro sticking the ball in at the far post at the end of a scramble. Jesus Duenas carved a ball through the defense, and while Elias Hernandez whiffed on the tap-in, Pizarro was right behind him to finish the chance.

Mexico settled in after scoring, while Honduras tried to out-muscle El Tri, with the latter receiving a pair of yellow cards in the first 45 minutes. There were precious few other chances throughout the first half, with Honduras completely incapable of creating anything in the attacking half.

Mexico continued to dominate out of the halftime break, but they lost Monterrey midfielder Jesus Molina in the 65th minute with discomfort, replaced by Chaka Rodriguez. The best moment for Honduras as they chased the game late came in the 78th minute as Jose Corona made a spectacular save when substitute Alexander Lopez nearly scored directly from a corner. They came close again in stoppage time after a set-piece as Alfredo Mejia scuffed a shot agonizingly wide.

Honduras ended their Gold Cup without a single goal scored. They technically defeated French Guyana 3-0 in the group stage, but that came on the typical forfeit scoreline, whereas the actual game played ended in a 0-0 draw.

Meanwhile, Mexico will take on Jamaica in the semifinal in a rematch of last tournament’s final.

Manchester United beats City 2-0 in preseason Derby

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Manchester is Red, at least for the preseason.

Manchester United used quickfire first-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford to topple Manchester City 2-0 in Houston as part of the International Champions Cup.

The first half-hour saw plenty of action, but nothing in terms of goals. New Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker made a great run to cut down Rashford before he could shoot, while goalkeeper Ederson was required to keep out Paul Pogba.

On the other end, Chris Smalling was active often, nearly conceding a penalty with a pull on the shirt of Patrick Roberts, while also cleaning up after a high City press caught United in their own defensive third.

[ MORE: West Ham signs Chicharito ]

Just before halftime, United went in front thanks to their prized new striker. Pogba launched an absolutely brilliant long-ball, and Lukaku streaked to meet it, heading past a charging Ederson before cutting from a tight angle into the empty net before defenders could recover.

Immediately after, Rashford put United 2-0 up on a cool finish from the right with space after a ball from Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The score is Rashford’s third goal of the United States tour.

After a host of changes at halftime that saw City keep just four players on the field, it didn’t help as United kept on the pressure. Rashford almost scored an accidental long-range chip as his long-ball to the far post nearly went in, but Ederson tipped it over. Moments later, Lukaku thundered a howitzer into the crossbar.

United made a host of changes past the hour mark, and they nearly had another if not for the offside flag raising on Phil Jones after a double-save by Ederson. City had a big chance in the final 10 minutes, as a great ball from Samir Nasri found Gabriel Jesus, but the Brazilian put it well over.

Ederson had a solid game in net for Manchester City despite the loss, while Kyle Walker and 17-year-old City youth product Brahim Diaz also stood out. For United, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was bright as were Paul Pogba and goalscorer Marcus Rashford.

LINEUPS

Manchester United: De Gea (Romero 45′); Valencia (Fosu-Mensah 77′), Lindelöf (Bailly 45′), Smalling (Jones 45′), Blind (Darmian 45′); Herrera (Fellaini 62′), Pogba; Rashford (Martial 62′), Mkhitaryan (Carrick 62′), Lingard (Pereira 78′); Lukaku.

Manchester City: Ederson; Adarabioyo (Otamendi 45′), Kompany (Mangala 45′), Fernandinho, Yaya Toure (Sane 45′), Walker, Foden (Zinchenko 74′), De Bruyne (Diaz 45′), Sterling (Jesus 45′), Aguero (Stones 45′), Roberts (Nasri 45′).

Kei Kamara goes on epic rant about MLS fine

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Kei Kamara threw Major League Soccer, the MLS Players’ Union, and fellow soccer stars in an epic rant on social media about a fine he received for not adhering to the dress code.

MLS has a strict dress code, made even more harsh by the league’s partnership with Adidas. Therefore, players are forbidden from sporting other non-Adidas brands.

The New England Revolution striker received a $1,250 fine from the league for wearing Trusox, a sock that helps keep feet dry and improve grip. Obviously, as that sock is not an Adidas product, Major League Soccer sent Kamara the notice that he must pay up for his insolence.

So what did Kamara do? He first went to the Players’ Union, but when that got him nowhere (“thanks for having my back, right?”) he took to social media. Kamara explained that he has a doctor’s note describing his need for the socks. The 32-year-old said that when he asked the Players’ Union for help, their response was that he is a “high-profile player” and therefore has a few extra set of eyes watching him. To debunk that claim, he brought pictures to show Toronto FC stars Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore wearing the same socks Kamara was fined for.

Have a look at the entire rant:

There’s no telling whether Bradley or Altidore have been fined for wearing TruSox, as uniform fines are not made public. It’s possible that the two have decided that wearing the special socks are worth quietly paying the fines, especially given their inflated salaries. Meanwhile, Kamara makes about one-eighth the salary of Altidore or Bradley, and the fine means much more to him.

If Kamara does indeed have a doctor’s note explaining his need for the sock, it’s surprising that Major League Soccer would fine him anyways.

Nevertheless, it’s likely that Kamara will end up with a fine for complaining about a fine, but to him it seems worth it to expose what he believes to be malpractice.

Follow Live: Mexico looks to hold off Honduras

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Mexico is looking to begin its Gold Cup title defense in earnest as El Tri takes on Honduras at 10:30 p.m. ET in Glendale, AZ in the 2017 Gold Cup quarterfinals.

With Jamaica already through with a 2-1 win over Canada, the winner of this match will take on the Reggae Boyz in the semifinal opposite the United States and Costa Rica.

[ LIVE: Gold Cup scoreboard ]

Honduras has yet to score a single goal in Gold Cup 2017 competition, but their defensive prowess kept them around to the knockout stage thanks to their forfeit win over French Guyana (technically a 3-0 victory) and a 0-0 draw against Canada.

Mexico, meanwhile, won Group C handily, conceding just once throughout the group stage. However, El Tri has brought a youth squad, and they showed weaknesses in the group stage despite the solid record on paper. They have spread out the scoring among five different goalscorers, but lean on Elias Hernandez for much of the creative duties.

LINEUPS

Mexico: Corona, Pereira, Ayala, Molina, Alvarez, Pineda, E. Hernandez, Pizarro, Gallardo, Sepulveda, Duenas.

Honduras: Lopez, Crisanto, M. Figueroa, H. Figueroa, Alvarado, Acosta, Mejia, Quioto, Lanza, Elis, Sanchez.