Stoke City 3-1 West Ham United: Odemwingie dazzles in Potters comeback win (video)

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Stoke City beat West Ham United 3-1 at the Brittania Stadium on Saturday, as the Potters continue their climb into midtable.

West Ham went ahead early on through Andy Carroll’s header, but Stoke came surging back as Peter Odemwingie equalized (glancing in Peter Crouch’s acrobatic effort) before half time, and then two goals in the space of 10 second half minutes from Marko Arnautovic and Odemwingie sealed the crucial comeback win.

Stoke deserved the three points as they got better as the match went on, with the Hammers struggling to create any clear cut chances throughout. With their win Stoke move into the top 10 on 34 points, while West Ham are in 11th on 31 points.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

The Hammers took an early lead as a beautifully flighted cross from Mark Noble found Carroll who headed home on his return to the first team, as the away side went 1-0 up at the Britannia.

After that opener Stoke peppered West Ham’s goal with long-range efforts, as Arnautovic went close, but the Hammers were holding off Stoke’s advances with ease.

But then in the 31st minute the Potters were level as Crouch flicked towards goal, after his initial header from a corner was flicked onto the crossbar from close range, and the ball flicked off Peter Odemwingie and into the net to make it 1-1.

Before half time Carroll turned and struck just over from distance, while Stephen Ireland burst through from midfield but hammered his shot straight at Adrian in goal for West Ham.

After the interval West Ham continued to look for Carroll in the box, as the bruising England international couldn’t quite connect on a cross that almost found him at the back post in the 49th minute.

Stoke were pressing forward well, as both sides weren’t content to sit back and settle for a point. And it was the Potters who made their pressing count as they went 2-1 up in the 68th minute. Fluid build-up play from Ireland and Odemwingie saw the latter play in Arnautovic and the Austrian bundled his way through West Ham’s defense and slotted home coolly.

Ireland and Odemwingie then combined again to seal the game, as Ireland burst through from his own half and ran over 70-yards with the ball before slotting in Odemwingie to slam home his second of the game in the 78th minute.

The rest of the match saw Stoke pressing for more goals, as the Hammers couldn’t get a grasp on the rampant Potters with Adrian forced into several good saves to keep Stoke from winning more comfortably.

LINEUPS

Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters (Muniesa, 14); Odemwingie, Nzonzi, Ireland, Whelan, Arnautovic; Crouch

Goals: Odemwingie (32, 79) Arnautovic (69)

West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, McCartney, Nolan, Tomkins, Carroll (Armero, 83), Noble, Demel, Diame, Downing (J. Cole, 62), Nocerino (C. Cole, 76)

Goal: Carroll (5)

Antoine Griezmann reveals desire to play in MLS

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Antoine Griezmann is being chased by the biggest clubs in Europe and is the main attacking talent for the French national team.

He just signed a new deal with La Liga giants Atletico Madrid through the 2022 season and despite Manchester United and Barcelona, among others, linked with a move for the predatory striker, nobody really knows where the Frenchman will be beyond this season.

But which league does he want to play in, for sure? Major League Soccer. Yep. That’s right.

In his new book titled “Behind a Smile: The life of the Little Prince” Griezmann says that he wants to follow in the footsteps of his idol, David Beckham, and finish his career in MLS. Griezmann also stated his love for NBA star Derrick Rose and his admiration for David Villa, captain of NYCFC.

Given the fact that Griezmann is 26 years old, it could be some time before he arrives in MLS but maybe he will do so in time to become one of Beckham’s first handful of Designated Players at his long-awaited Miami franchise?

Given the fact that whenever he discusses a potential move to Man United he cites the cold weather as an issue against the transfer, it’s likely Griezmann would want to be in a warmer climate in MLS. His good friend from their time together at Real Sociedad, Carlos Vela, is swapping Spain for Los Angeles in a few months as LAFC’s first DP.

Take your pick, Antoine. LAFC? Miami? NYCFC? LA Galaxy? Atlanta United?

I’m sure anyone would want to sign in a few years on DP-level money if you keep scoring goals like this one last night against AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League…

USMNT move up in latest FIFA rankings

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The latest batch of FIFA World Rankings arrived on Thanksgiving Day and the U.S. men’s national team can be thankful for moving up three places.

Despite their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the managerless USMNT rose three spots to 24th in the latest rankings and are the fifth-highest ranked nation to not qualify for the World Cup.

Mexico remain the top team in CONCACAF and stay in 16th place, while the U.S. has jumped ahead of Costa Rica who fell four places to 26th.

Germany remain in top spot in the rankings, while there were no other movers in the top five with Brazil in second, Portugal third, Argentina fourth and Belgium fifth. Spain moved up two spots to sixth, while Chile is back in the top 10 despite failing to make the World Cup and Switzerland moves into eighth place.

In total, four teams in the top 20, Chile, Italy,Wales and the Netherlands, failed to reach the World Cup. Senegal are the big climbers after their World Cup qualification as they rose nine places to 23, while Sweden moved up seven spots to 18th.

Below is a look at the top 25 nations on the planet, according to FIFA, as the 2017 international season comes to a close.


1. Germany
2. Brazil
3. Portugal
4. Argentina
5. Belgium
6. Spain
7. Poland
8. Switzerland
9. France
10. Chile
11. Peru
12. Denmark
13. Colombia
14. Italy
15. England
16. Mexico
17. Croatia
18. Sweden
19. Wales
20. Netherlands
21. Uruguay
22. Iceland
23. Senegal
= 24. USA
= 24. Northern Ireland

Wigan player races off for son’s birth after scoring 2 goals

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WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.

A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.

[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]

A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.

Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.

“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”

Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

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LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]

The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.