Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall rallies from awful, early blunder to save the Dynamo day (video)

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The Dynamo needed something special from goalkeeper Tally Hall in the playoffs. Given what they were up against in the series against New York, they had to have their big goalkeeper, who had begun 2013 with a call into Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team camp, be right on top of his game.

At the very least, the Dynamo needed Hall to make all the routine plays – so his first-half blunder was a real crusher. Or … it could have been.

Hall got himself together after gifting the home team an early lead, fumbling a benign cross from the Red Bulls’ right side and providing Bradley Wright-Phillips with the simplest of finishes for an early 1-0 lead. That also gave the Red Bulls, fresh off their best season in MLS, a Supporters Shield winning year, a 3-2 aggregate lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

It was an unfortunate gaffe from a typically rock solid ‘keeper in MLS … but if we’re being honest, one who had hardly been at his very best throughout the home-and-away series.

Hall certainly wasn’t at his tip-top on either of New York’s goals Sunday in Houston. He hesitated in coming for Thierry Henry’s cross initially on the visitors’ first goal at BBVA Compass Stadium, so he was slightly out of position as Tim Cahill directed that early header on goal. And he was beaten just a little too easily to the near post on Eric Alexander’s shot that made it 2-0.

(MORE: Houston stuns New York, advances into Eastern Conference finals)

Neither was a blunder, exactly; but if you find yourself the decided underdog, you’d just like to see your goalkeeper deliver something special.

Well, deliver Hall did, if perhaps a little late. His pair of one-handed stops Wednesday after the unsightly mistake were huge game-savers. Check that, “series savers.” One came on a ball that Henry aimed toward goal, which changed directions in a flash on Cahill’s deflection.

Later, that same right hand was quick as a flash in pushing away a potential own goal.

Watch below as the big man from saves the Dynamo day; this the better of the two saves:

 

Geiger, Marrufo, Villarreal picked as Gold Cup referees

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Mark Geiger, who three years ago became the first American to referee a knockout stage match at the World Cup, is among 17 referees picked for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Americans Jair Marrufo and Armando Villarreal also were announced Thursday for the 12-nation tournament, which runs from July 7-26 in various U.S. cities.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Geiger, who is from New Jersey, was a referee for France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria in the round of 16.

Three each were picked from Mexico (Roberto Garcia, Fernando Guerrero and Cesar Ramos) and Honduras (Melvin Matamoros, Oscar Moncada and Hector Rodriguez).

Two will come from Costa Rica: Henry Bejarano and Ricardo Montero.

Others picked for the tournament are Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Drew Fischer (Canada), Walter Lopez (Guatemala), Yadel Martinez (Cuba), John Pitti (Panama) and Kimbell Ward (St. Kitts and Nevis).

Watch Live: Germany, Chile in Confederations Cup showdown

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Alexis Sanchez is back in the Chilean starting lineup for the Confederations Cup’s marquee match-up on Thursday at 2 p.m.ET live on Telemundo Deportes.

Chile faces Germany for the Group B driver’s seat, holding a one goal advantage in goal differential.

[ WATCH LIVE: Cameroon vs. Chile on Telemundo Deportes ]

Germany starts Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and Liverpool’s Emre Can in a young lineup with Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Report: Manchester United outbidding giants for PSG’s Marquinhos

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Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte says Manchester United has made the best offer to Paris Saint-Germain in a three-team giant battle for Marquinhos.

According to the report, the transfer fight is between United, Juventus, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, though only the first three sides have lodged bids.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Barca’s offer is said to be the lowest, around $50 million, while United is said to be willing to pay a staggering $78 million for the 23-year-old Brazilian.

Marquinhos has made 155 appearances for PSG since joining from Roma in 2013. He’s reliably made 40-plus appearances over the past three seasons, and has 17 caps for Brazil.

A terrific defender who excels in keeping possession, Marquinhos has also played some right back for PSG.

VAR steps in to help Australia draw Cameroon 1-1

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Twenty-one year-old Cameroon midfielder Zambo Anguissa scored a deft late first half goal, but Video Assistant Referee helped Australia to a match-tying penalty kick as both sides stayed alive in the Confederations Cup after a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

Australia captain Mark Milligan scored for Australia in the second group stage match for both teams at the Confederations Cup in Russia on Thursday.

Both teams lost opening matches, and victorious Chile and Germany square off at 2 p.m. ET

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Australia struggled to put any semblance of threat together, and wasted its prime chance just after halftime when Mathew Leckie cued up Tomi Juric only to see the Luzern striker waffle before mailing a harmless chance wide and high.

The Socceroos came close again in the 55th minute, as a Leckie shot was blocked wide of goal. Their forward-thinking allowed some chances for Cameroon, too, as Aboubakar missed wide himself in the 58th minute.

Referee Milorad Mazic used Video Assistant Referee to change a corner kick to a penalty kick in the 60th minute, and Australia captain Milligan buried the spot kick to make it 1-1.Cameroon defender Ernest Mabouka chopped down Alex Gersbach in the box.

Aboubakar had a near post offering blocked wide by Milos Degenek, and the corner came to nothing. Australia had survived.