Britain Soccer FA Cup

Blackburn nearly knock out 10-man Manchester City in third-round FA Cup tie

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Blackburn Rovers issued quite a scare to Manchester City during a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park in the third round of the 2013/14 FA Cup, but will be left rueing their inability to capitalize on a late City red card.

The subplots were plenty for six-time winners Blackburn; Paul Robinson returned to the pitch after a back injury and life-threatening blood clot kept the accomplished goalkeeper away from game action for nearly a year. Scottish super striker Jordan Rhodes didn’t start, leading to even more rumors of a transfer out of Blackburn to one of many suitors.

Blackburn’s first half was under heavy pressure, but a well-defended frame that fell moments short of perfect. Unfortunately for the Rovers, their defending turned spotty on a David Silva corner. Edin Dzeko headed the corner off frame, but Alvaro Negredo collected the ball and easily touched it home for a 1-0 lead moments before the halftime whistle.

Whatever manager Gary Bowyer said during the intermission was pitch perfect, as the Rovers were anything but hemmed in to open the second half. Bowyer’s camera-captured gesticulations and reactions became part of the match’s entertainment, and his reaction to the equalizer was a beauty.

Ewood Park erupted when oft-dangerous Tom Cairney sent in a cross that 6-foot-4 Frenchman Rudy Gestede headed toward Costel Pantilimon. The City keeper made the stop but couldn’t control the ball, with Blackburn captain Scott Dann pushing the rebound across the line.

Blackburn’s chances of advancing to the fourth round looked even better when Dedryck Boyata took an absolutely ridiculous second yellow card that could’ve been a straight red, anyway. Boyata more or less took a veiled swing at DJ Campbell and was sent off.

Unfortunately for Blackburn, they could not capitalize despite decent possession and a clever left-footed shot from Cairney. Man City was content to send it to a replay, even with a couple chances of their own during four minutes of added time.

There will be a replay for the two sides at City’s fortress, the Etihad Stadium. The Citizens have won the FA Cup one time fewer than Blackburn, and will be grateful their potential for No. 6 is still alive.

All-in-all, an entertaining start to the day’s heavy FA Cup slate.

Ex-Guatemalan soccer chief pleads guilty in FIFA bribe case

PRATO, ITALY - APRIL 13: General view during the FIFA Futsal playoff match between Italy and Hungary on April 13, 2016 in Prato, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) A former Guatemalan soccer federation president has pleaded guilty in New York to charges related to a sprawling corruption investigation of world soccer.

[ MORE: Christian Vieri ready for return, pursuing Chinese Super League ]

Brayan Jimenez pleaded guilty Friday to federal racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. It’s unclear when he’ll be sentenced.

The 62-year-old Jimenez is among 40 people from around the world charged in a FIFA bribery scandal over lucrative broadcasting rights.

Prosecutors say Jimenez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Florida-based sports marketing company. They say in exchange for the money Jimenez awarded the company media marketing rights to the Guatemalan soccer team’s World Cup qualifying matches in 2018 and 2022.

Jimenez’s attorneys haven’t returned a message seeking comment on his guilty plea.

D.C. United acquires Igboananike from Fire in trade

BRIDGEVIEW, IL - MARCH 06:  Andrea Pirlo #21 of the New York City FC looks to pass against Kennedy Igboananike #77 of the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on March 6, 2016 in Bridgeview, Illinois. The New York City FC defeated the Fire 4-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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With the playoffs still very much in sight, D.C. United is making another attempt to boost its struggling attack.

[ MORE: NYCFC, Rapids meet in Bronx on Saturday ]

After recently trading for New York City FC forward Patrick Mullins and New York Red Bulls midfielder Lloyd Sam, D.C. has completed a trade for Chicago Fire attacker Kennedy Igboananike in exchange for target allocation money and a third-round draft selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

In over a season-and-a-half in MLS with the Fire, Igboananike notched 11 goals and four assists in 49 matches. The Nigerian forward is a Designated Player, and is due to make over $900,000, according to the MLS Players’ Union website.

[ MORE: Christian Vieri trying to make comeback in Chinese Super League ]

D.C United is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference standings, sitting on 20 points through 21 matches. The team is four points behind the New England Revolution for the final playoff position.

Report: Atletico set to offer $52 million for Chelsea’s Costa

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  Diego Costa of Chelsea shoots past Thiago Silva of PSG to score a gol to level the scores at 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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Already with one of the world’s most dangerous attacks, Atletico Madrid is prepared to add another dimension into the mix.

[ MORE: Man City makes final bid for defender John Stones ]

Daily Mail is reporting that the Spanish side is prepared to offer Chelsea over $52 million for striker Diego Costa, who joined the team from Atletico back in 2014.

While the Blues have maintained their position that Costa isn’t for sale, Atletico looks to boost its already strong offense with the 27-year-old Spaniard. Diego Simeone’s group already features talented attacking duo Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres.

During his previous stint in La Liga, Costa netted 56 goals across all competitions in two seasons with the Rojiblancos.

[ MORE: Christian Vieri trying to make comeback in Chinese Super League ]

Chelsea is reportedly pursuing former striker Romelu Lukaku after signing Belgian Michy Batshuayi this summer. Antonio Conte’s side also features young forward Bertrand Traore, who has made a strong impression during the preseason.

Report: Manchester City makes final bid for John Stones

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16:  Diego Costa of Chelsea and John Stones of Everton compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on January 16, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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Take it or leave it.

Manchester City has made a final push for Everton defender John Stones, and has set its last offer at $52 million. Last month, the Citizens made the same exact bid for the 22-year-old, which was rejected by Everton.

[ MORE: Italian legend Christian Vieri looks to join Chinese Super League ]

City is said to be looking to avoid overpaying for Stones, after compensating Porto over $55 million for centerback Eliaquim Mangala two years ago.

While Stones has gone on record saying that he wants to play for manager Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, it remains to be seen if Everton will part ways with its prized defender.