Swansea City 1-2 West Brom: Pepe Mel gets first win, likely saves his job (video)

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Better late than never, right? Well, it took until the 85th minute of Pepe Mel’s eighth game in charge of West Bromwich Albion for his side to finally secure a win, but the Baggies won’t much care. Those three points put them three points into safety, and they’ve still got a game in hand. Swansea, on the other hand, are now just four points clear of the drop.

The fans were still settling into their seats at the Liberty Stadium when Swansea took an early lead. Roland Lamah, getting his first Premier League start since November, put the Swans ahead, cutting in from the left to latch on to a pass from Wilfried Bony.

West Brom managed their first effort on goal after fifteen minutes, but Michel Vorm had no trouble dealing with a low shot from Victor Anichebe. Minutes later, it was Swansea that nearly doubled their lead, but Ben Foster was there to stop Bony’s close-range shot.

The Baggies got into the swing of things in the second half, and it didn’t take long for them to draw level. James Morrison set up Stéphane Sessègnon, who hit a lovely low shot from about 25 yards out. It sailed past Vorm to land just inside the post.

Swansea had a decent shout for a handball when Gareth McAuley appeared to handle inside the area, but referee Martin Atkinson wasn’t about to give it. That decision might keep Gary Monk up pacing the halls on Saturday night.

Because although both sides were pushing for the win for the final thirty minutes, it was West Brom that ultimately took those three precious points.Youssouf Mulumbu grabbed the ball and slipped through the Swans defenders, before sliding it through Jordi Amat’s legs to land in the corner of the net. Perhaps Amat was blocking Vorm’s sightline, because the Swansea keeper didn’t even move.

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies, Britton (Emnes 87), Canas (Michu 62), de Guzman, Routledge, Lamah (Hernandez 77), Bony.

Goals: Lamah 2′

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Reid, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans (Gera 75), Ridgewell, Sessegnon (Thievy 79), Anichebe (O’Neill 89)

Goals: Sessègnon 52′, Mulumbu 85′

AT HALF: Lletget, Bradley, Dempsey spur USMNT to 3-0 lead

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The United States men’s national team’s bid to recover their 2018 World Cup hopes is off to a flying start.

As it stands, the 3-0 halftime lead provided by Sebastian Lletget, Michael Bradley, and Clint Dempsey has the Yanks up from sixth to fourth in the Hex table.

Sebastian Lletget scored a fifth minute goal to ease the tensions of the Avaya Stadium crowd in San Jose, though he’d leave the match with injury before the match was 20 minutes old.

Sloppy Honduran defending caused a turnover outside the 18, and Jozy Altidore played Christian Pulisic in on goal.

[ LIVE – Play-by-play via @USSoccer ]

Keeper Donis Escober got a piece of Pulisic’s shot, but no one followed Lletget to the back post and the ex-West Ham and current LA Galaxy man quickly put the Yanks up 1-0.

Then it was the captain who doubled the lead, as Honduras inexplicably gave him the room to walk across the arc of the 18 to rip a shot across goal. 2-0.

It was Clint Dempsey’s turn in the 33rd minute, after an otherworldly scooped pass from Pulisic.

What. A. Pass. Kid.

LINEUP

USMNT: Howard; Villafana, Gonzalez, Brooks, Cameron; Bradley, Lletget (Bedoya, 18′), Nagbe; Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore.

Goals: Lletget (5′), Bradley (27′), Dempsey (33′)

LIVE – USMNT looks to right ship vs. Honduras

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The United States starts to make amends for its 0-2 start to the final round of World Cup qualifying with a match against Honduras on Friday in San Jose.

Losses to Mexico and Costa Rica cost Jurgen Klinsmann his job and Bruce Arena will try things differently

[ LIVE – Play-by-play via @USSoccer ]

Most importantly for Arena, Geoff Cameron and Tim Howard are available this time around.

Cameron starts at right back, with John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez in the center of the back four. Jorge Villafana slots into the mix at left back.

Captain Michael Bradley will sit atop the midfield, with Darlington Nagbe, Sebastian Lletget, and Christian Pulisic in the midfield.

Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore are the forwards. Kickoff is set for 10:55 p.m. EDT from Avaya Stadium.

Minnesota’s Molino lifts Trinidad and Tobago to big win (video)

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Minnesota United attacker Kevin Molino has given Trinidad and Tobago life in the race to win a spot at the 2018 World Cup.

Molino’s 37th minute goal gave hosts T&T a 1-0 lead against visiting Panama at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Friday, and the Soca Warriors held on to win its first points of qualifying.

Panama had a Luis Tejada goal controversially ruled offside as Los Canaleros nearly pulled their fifth point of the Hex. Panama faces the USMNT on Tuesday in Panama City.

[ WATCH: Zaha scores wonder vs. Russia ]

Molino fooled long time LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo with a low shot across the body. The Panama backstop couldn’t get low enough or far enough with his dive to stop the shot.

The win has T&T in fifth place on the Hex table, behind Honduras on goal differential and three points ahead of the last place USMNT.

The U.S. needs a two-goal win to pass T&T, and a three-goal win to climb above Honduras.

WATCH: Zaha drives Russia nuts with mazy dribble goal

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Wilfried Zaha combined balance, deft touch, and breakneck speed to score his first international goal for the Ivory Coast.

With his side leading Russia 1-0 on Friday, the Crystal Palace winger worked his way through four defenders before burying his shot.

[ MORE: Smalling hurt, Gibson called up ]

Zaha especially fooled with Ilya Kutepov, a harsh cut nearly tipping both to the field.

He’s just 24, and it seems much longer ago that he made his failed move to Manchester United in 2013.

Failed may be a rough verb considering it all contributed to making him the player he is for Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast today.