Vincent Kompany saw red in the opening 10 minutes, but Man City ground out a much-needed win.

Manuel Pellegrini questions Vincent Kompany’s red card, praises Manchester City’s resilience

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HULL — Following Manchester City’s battling 2-0 win away at Hull City, where the Citizens played for over 80 minutes with 10-men, manager Manuel Pellegrini called out referee Lee Mason after a pivotal decision could’ve cost his side dear.

In the end Vincent Kompany’s ninth minute red card — which came after City’s skipper was caught on the ball by Hull striker Nikica Jelavic who then raced in on goal but was brought down by last-man Kompany — didn’t stop City from climbing to second in the Premier League standings, as they now sit six points behind leaders Chelsea with two games in hand.

But Pellegrini believed Jelavic fouled Kompany with his initial challenge, and lambasted referee Mason for missing it.

“Maybe because we won the game, I have a calm opinion. But I think it was a clear foul by Nikica Jelavic before Vincent made his foul,” Pellegrini said. “But the referee didn’t see it, he saw the foul on Kompany and he was the last man so he sent him off. I repeat, I think it was a clear foul [by Jelavic] just before.”

(MORE: Hull City 0-2 Man City: Silva inspires 10-man City to victory)

Pellegrini has a point, Jelavic did appear to force his arm out to obstruct Kompany. But the big Belgian went down very easily, and that kind of upper body strength is usually a trademark of Kompany’s game. Plus the center back seemed to slip just before he hauled Jelavic to the ground, with the only possible outcome being a red card.

City battled out regardless of Kompany’s sending off, as David Silva’s stunner five minutes later sucked the life out of Hull, before the diminutive Spanish playmaker teed up Edin Dzeko to seal the victory late on.

A chippy second half played out, as some other flashpoints flared up. Hull attacker George Boyd went through and looked to dive as Joe Hart raced out at his feet, then City’s England international ‘keeper rushed out to confront Boyd and seemed to move his head towards Boyd. Pellegrini, unsurprisingly, failed to see that incident and felt the referee should be left to deal with it. Would Man City’s manager have been saying that if his side would’ve lost at Hull?

Luckily, they didn’t and Pellegrini praised his side after a difficult week where City crashed out of the FA Cup at home to Wigan and then lost to FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.

“It was a very good response after a very difficult week,” Pellegrini said. “Playing with one player less for 80 minutes is very difficult. It was a great performance.”

Morgan, USWNT cruise past Costa Rica 5-0 behind early flurry of goals

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The U.S. Women got off to a flying start in Olympic qualification Group A play by torching Costa Rica 5-0, including goals from Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Crystal Dunn.

Morgan led the way with a double, including one in the opening 12 seconds – only six passes off the opening kick – that set the record for quickest goal in U.S. Soccer history. Lloyd and Dunn both struck in the opening 15 minutes to make it 3-0 before Costa Rica even had time to blink. Lloyd’s came on a penalty after Dunn was felled for the captain’s 83rd international goal, and then the latter bagged one of her own minutes later on a rebound off a shot by Morgan.

[ VIDEO: Alex Morgan caps off a 12-second, six-pass goal ]

The visitors were able to make it Morgan scored her second after the hour mark to cap the goal tally. Jill Ellis completed her trio of substitutions after the fourth goal and the U.S. saw the game out easily.

The fifth came late on a cross from Tobin Heath that fell to Christen Press in the box. With her back to the goal, the 27-year-old produced a simply stunning first touch, back-heeling the ball down before whipping around the opposite direction to lose her defender and firing home the fifth goal.

With the final whistle, the United States improved their record against Costa Rica to a perfect 13-0. The U.S. will play Mexico next on Saturday before finishing out Group A play against Puerto Rico on Monday, February 15.

VIDEO: Alex Morgan scores goal against Costa Rica in 12 seconds

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The United States got off to a historically roaring start in Olympic qualifying. Taking on Costa Rica in Frisco, Texas to begin Group A play, Alex Morgan opened the scoring in just 12 seconds, taking just six passes to complete the masterpiece.

According to the USWNT twitter account, the goal is the fastest in U.S. Soccer history.

According to CONCACAF, the goal is also the quickest in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, breaking Abby Wambach’s of 35 seconds in a 14-0 domination of the Dominican Republic in 2012.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

The United States scored three goals in the first 15 minutes against Costa Rica tonight. They will take on Mexico and Puerto Rico across the next five days.

Watch Live: USWNT vs Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 23:  (L-R) Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States is congratulated by teammate Alex Morgan #13 after a goal against Ireland at Qualcomm Stadium on January 23, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
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The United States women are set to begin Group A play in Olympic qualification, taking on 36th ranked Costa Rica at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The game takes place after a 17-day camp at the national training camp in Carson, California.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

Other teams in the group include Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Mexicans dominated Puerto Rico 6-0 in the first game.

LINEUP

United States: Solo; Krieger, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg; Brian, Horan, Dunn, Lloyd, Heath; Morgan.

Columbus, NYCFC release new kits to mixed results

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New York City FC
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Two Major League Soccer clubs have put their kits out there for the 2016 season. They’ve received a mediocre welcome at best.

Columbus was the first, and their kit makes a bold statement moving away from the traditional yellow and black that so often adorns their regular shirts. Instead, the kit incorporates the Columbus flag onto it. The release has seen quite a negative reaction on social media.

The kit was unveiled at the Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, featuring the traditional adidas stripes, although instead of the usual placement on the shoulders, the stripes come down the side of the torso. Recently, adidas has the tendency to copy general jersey patterns across its multiple properties, so look for this design with other clubs in the near future.

The negative reaction to the Columbus release isn’t terribly surprising considering fans often enjoy sticking to tradition, and backlash is common when clubs deviate from the norm. As an additional hurdle, the color contrast between red and yellow is somewhat stark, lending to the difficult reception. Add in the bright pastel blue shorts and…yikes.

While the club didn’t describe how they will utilize this kit during the season, it’s likely to be the primary (at least for now) as the club release says the kit portfolio also includes last year’s black kit, which is traditionally the away kit.

NYCFC’s release of their secondary kit was more positive, receiving a mixed response on social media.

As you can see, adidas again copied their general outline with the stripes down the side of the torso. However, the German clothing manufacturer did much better with the general design of these kits than the Columbus ones. I will give a bit of personal opinion here: I absolutely love these kits. The ripple effect accentuates the crest with a near-3D effect, and the colors mesh perfectly which serves to assuage the eye from being overwhelmed by a busy design. If there’s any criticism, it’s that without an outline, the Etihad logo tends to get in the way a bit, but that’s nitpicking. Well done NYCFC. Columbus…I’ll leave that one to you all.