Norwich City 1-0 Hull City: Vital win for the Canaries (video)

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Ryan Bennett’s first goal for Norwich couldn’t have come at a better time, securing a massive win for the Canaries. The victory lifts them into 12th, temporarily at least, and gives Chris Hughton the chance to fight for more time to right his side.

Despite their poor away form, Hull came flying out of the gates, with the first chance falling to new signing Nikica Jelavić. Unfortunately the Croat destroyed his own chance at a dream debut, putting his shot just wide of the near post, despite lurking close to goal.

The visitors had the better of the first fifteen minutes, but were forced into an early change when James Chester went out with injury. Mayor Figueroa came on in his place, forcing Steve Bruce to switch from his prefered 3-5-2 formation to a 4-4-2.

Norwich took advantage of the change to gain control of the match. Their best chance came in the 42nd minute, the first time Allan McGregor was forced into action. Robert Snodgrass, who’d had a couple poor crosses but had generally done well troubling the Hull defense, decided to let rip a shot from distance. The ball dipped and swerved on its way to goal, but the keeper was up to the task, leaping to palm away the shot.

Despite both teams looking eager to take all three points in the first half, the tempo slowed in the second, leaving behind a rather dull match. It seemed certain that caution would win the day, and a goalless draw would see both sides sharing the spoils.

Instead, with less than five minutes left in the game, Norwich finally found a goal. Snodgrass put in a good delivery from the corner, drawing out McGregor, who was unable to get near the cross. Ryan Bennett, unmarked in the center of the area, was able to head on for his first Norwich goal.

Suddenly the Tigers came roaring back to life, but they were hampered by Tom Huddlestone receiving his second yellow of the match. Still, they managed to give the Canaries a scare when Curtis Davies got his head on the end of a cross from Ahmed Elmohamady, but the ball went just wide of John Ruddy’s goal.

Norwich City: Ruddy; Martin, R Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson, Gutiérrez (Pilkington 68), van Wolfswinkel (Becchio 80), Hooper

Goals: R. Bennett 87′

Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior, Bruce, Chester (Figueroa 15), Davies, Huddlestone, Koren (Fryatt 82), Livermore, Jelavic, Sagbo (Boyd 67), Elmohamady

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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Agent Jorge Mendes appears before judge in Falcao tax probe

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MADRID (AP) Football agent Jorge Mendes has told a Spanish judge that he had no involvement in the financial planning of client Radamel Falcao, who has been accused by a state prosecutor of tax fraud.

Mendes, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, appeared before a judge in a Madrid court for 45 minutes on Tuesday as part of the probe into whether there are grounds for the case against Falcao to go to trial.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Mendes’ agency, Gestifute, released a statement saying that “neither he nor his employees have ever intervened in the creation of corporate structures for his clients and much less provided any tax advice to them.”

Last month, a state prosecutor accused Falcao of defrauding Spain’s Tax Office of around $6 million from 2012-13. The alleged unpaid taxes were from money the Colombian player made from endorsement deals through image rights, not from the salary he was then being paid from club Atletico Madrid. Falcao now plays for Monaco.

Arfield, Adekugbe on Canada’s Gold Cup roster

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Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and on-loan Brighton defender Samuel Adekugbe are among the players who will represent Canada in this summer’s Gold Cup.

Arfield, 28, was born in Scotland and earned the first of seven Canada caps in 2016, and Adekugbe returns to Vancouver from a year-long loan to Brighton and Hove Albion on June 30.

The pair join nine MLS players, two NASL player, and a USL player, with the rest of the group based outside North America.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Notably, Orlando City players Will Johnson and Cyle Larin were not called up by coach Octavio Zambrano.

Goalkeepers: Maxime Crepeau (Montreal), Milan Borjan (MKS Korona Kielce), Jayson Leutwiler (Shrewsbury Town)

Defenders: Samuel Adekugbe (Brighton and Hove Albion), Fraser Aird, Manjrekar James (Vasas Budapest), Dejan Jakovic (New York Cosmos), Adam Straith (FC Edmonton), Steven Vitoria (Lechia Gdansk), Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Midfielders: Scott Arfield (Burnley), Patrice Bernier (Montreal), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver), Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Louisville City FC), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto), Michael Petrasso (QPR), Samuel Piette (CD Izarra), Russell Teibert (Vancouver)

Forwards: Lucas Cavallini (CA Penarol), Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto)