Newcastle United 1-2 Swansea City: Bony’s brace seals crucial win for Swans (video)

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Swansea City secured a last gasp win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday, as a double from Wilfried Bony did the damage in a stunning comeback.

Newcastle took the lead early on when Shola Ameobi slotted home, but right on the stroke of half time Bony headed home a sumptuous cross from the right to send the teams in level. After the break both teams searched to go ahead, but the pivotal moment didn’t arrive until the 91st minute when Cheick Tiote brought down Marvin Emnes for a penalty and Bony stepped up to coolly slot the spot kick home.

The 2-1 win sees Swansea move onto 36 points and all but secure their safety in the race against relegation, while Newcastle suffered a fifth-straight defeat as they remain in ninth.

(Premier League Roundup: Chelsea blow it, Swansea, Spurs and Palace win)

It was an even start at a sunny St. James’ Park, as both sides zipped the ball around but neither carved out clear cut opportunities in the opening stages. Referee Chris Foy was then involved in the thick of things, as a shot from Jonjo Shelvey was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini and the ball ricocheted straight into Foy’s face as he hit the floor. The referee received treatment and eventually saw the funny side of it, as the game continued with Foy getting plenty of ‘banter’ from the 50,000 plus fans inside St. James’.

Swansea pressed for the opener, as Jonathan de Guzman’s near post cross was cleared away by Mike Williamson just before Bony could pounce to shoot. However, the home side then went ahead with their first goal in five PL matches. Target man Ameobi flicked the ball on to find Luuk de Jong, who laid the ball back into Ameobi’s path for the Newcastle veteran to slot home just his second goal in 55 PL matches.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

After early being smashed in the face by the ball, referee Foy had to be replaced after feeling nauseous as fourth official Anthony Taylor took control of the match. Then Newcastle lost both their strikers as Papiss Demba Cisse and de Jong had to leave the pitch through injury. For the rest of the first half Swansea tried to get back level and right on the stroke of half time they did just that. Ben Davies whipped in a delightful cross from the right and Bony rose like a salmon to nod home his 21st goal of the season to make it 1-1 at half time.

It was a subdued start to the second half at St. James’ as both teams felt their way into the second half. Newcastle went close in the 60th minute when Vernon Anita twisted away from his marker and rifled a 30-yard shot just wide of the far post. Newcastle were the better of the two teams and pushed to go ahead throughout the second half.

Yet Swansea went close in the 78th minute win de Guzman curled an effort towards the top corner that went narrowly over and landed on top of the net. In the final 10 minutes the Swans continued to push and Bony was played clean through but just as he tried to get control of the ball, Tim Krul rushed off his line to save Newcastle.

The game-winning moment arrived in stoppage time as substitute Emnes raced clear of Newcastle’s defense and was then brought down by Tiote to win a penalty kick. Bony stepped up to slot home the PK and send the traveling fans from Swansea into raptures, with the Swans holding on to secure a precious three points.

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Krul; Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett; Anita, Gosling (Armstrong, 81′), Tiote, Gouffran; de Jong (Remy, 40′); Cisse (Debuchy, 21′), Sh Ameobi

Goal: Ameobi (23′)

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies, Britton, Shelvey, De Guzman, Routledge (Bartley, 94′), Hernandez (Emnes, 81′), Bony

Goals: Bony (45′ & 90′)

MLS Snapshots: Opara scores a bike, SKC win; SJ thump RSL

Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The game in 100 words (or less): I’m going to start by quoting myself (re: Sporting Kansas City), via Twitter: “This team is better in June than it was in March, and will be better in October than it is in June. Just steadily progressing.” Saturday’s 2-1 victory away to LA Galaxy (just their second road win of the season, and the team’s fourth and fifth away goals in 10 games) is the latest sign of progress for Peter Vermes’ side, as they extend their lead on the rest of the Western Conference to five points. Roger Espinoza and Ike Opara scored the visitors’ goals — the latter coming in spectacular, most unexpected fashion — before the hosts pulled back to 2-1 through Dave Romney late in the second half. LA, meanwhile, sit sixth in the West, one point clear of the wrong side of the playoff cut line.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

Three moments that mattered

22′ — Diop’s howler puts SKC up 1-0 — Sometimes — and this is one of those moments for Clement Diop — you just want the ground to open up and swallow you into the middle of the Earth.

35′ — Opara rides his bike to 2-0 — Ike Opara, a center back, scored a bicycle kick from a long ball played to him by Matt Besler, Sporting KC’s other center back. It’s a sequence of events you won’t see again for a long, long time.

59′ — Smith goes through Feilhaber, who is subbed off — Baldomero Toledo allowed Nathan Smith to stay on the field after this “tackle” on Benny Feilhaber.

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Man of the match: Ike Opara

Goalscorers: Espinoza (22′), Opara (35′)


San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Real Salt Lake

Three Two moments that mattered

13′ — Hoesen blasts a loose ball past Rimando for 1-0 — If you fail to clear the ball anywhere inside 12 yards, you’re probably going to get scored on. Danny Hoesen got all of this one.

68′ — Hoesen sets up Ureña for 2-0 — Hoesen’s speculative through ball found its way into space, and Marco Ureñat took it from there, putting the game away and handing RSL their eighth loss in 11 games.

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Man of the match: Danny Hoesen

Goalscorers: Hoesen (13′), Ureña (68′), Hernandez (90+4′)

MLS Snapshots: Hat trick for Accam; MNUFC come back from 2-0

Photo credit: Chicago Fire / Twitter: @ChicagoFire
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The game in 100 words (or less): All hail King David Accam, the newest superstar of MLS — except, well, you know, he’s been doing this for a couple years now. It’s not his fault you hadn’t already taken notice. For too long, it was Accam and not much else for the Chicago Fire, who finished bottom of the league two straight seasons, in 2015 and 2016. Now, with the likes of Dax McCarty, Nemanja Nikolic and Bastian Schweinsteiger joining him in Bridgeview, Accam has ascended to his rightful throne as an MVP candidate. The 26-year-old Ghanaian international strengthened his case on Saturday, bagging three goals and an assist, playing a key part in all four goals, in Chicago’s 4-0 drubbing of Orlando City SC. Accam’s season stats now sit at 10 goals and six assists, for the Eastern Conference’s second-place team. If these kind of performances persist, don’t be surprised when Accam follows in Fabian Castillo’s footsteps, right off to Europe.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

Three moments that mattered

8′ — Accam rounds Bendik for 2-0 — The long-ball distribution from Bastian Schweinsteiger is perfect, but Accam still has a ton to do from there. He corrals the ball with his first touch, quickly goes around Joe Bendik, gets his wits about him and fires through an opening to make it David Accam 2-0 Orlando City SC. This one came just six minutes after his brilliant backheel finish for the opening goal.

52′ — Accam sets up Nikolic for 3-0 — The time and space afforded Accam is inexcusable from Orlando’s midfield remaining players in their defensive half of the field, but the through ball still required inch-perfect precision to find Nikolic.

63′ — Accam converts from the spot — No doubt about this one, as Accam slams home from the penalty spot to complete his much deserved hat trick.

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Man of the match: David Accam

Goalscorers: Accam (3′, 8′, 63′ – PK), Nikolic (52′)


Minnesota United 2-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

Three moments that mattered

45+2′ — Tchani heads a rocket past Shuttleworth — You’re not going to find many headers with more power behind them than this one from Tony Tchani, anywhere in the world, anytime.

50′ — Calvo heads down and past Ousted — Take, for example, Francisco Calvo’s goal five minutes into the second half… not quite as much behind it.

63′ — Thiesson hits it low, through traffic, for 2-0 — Jerome Thiesson’s equalizer needed eyes to make its way through a penalty area full of bodies.

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Man of the match: Kevin Molino

Goalscorers: Techera (17′ – PK), Tchani (45+2′), Calvo (50′), Thiesson (63′)

MLS Snapshots: Manneh inspires Crew SC; Philly, Atlanta win at home

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete
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Columbus Crew SC 4-1 Montreal Impact

Three moments that mattered

17′ — Higuain’s free kick beats Bush — Aided by a slight deflection off the top of the wall, Higuain put a free kick past Evan Bush to give the home side an early lead.

70′ — Manneh makes an immediate impact — The initial ball from Higuain is what you came here for, but the elementary defending by three Montreal defenders is what’ll keep you glued until the very end.

72′ — Manneh sets up Kamara for 3-1 — Kekuta Manneh had been on the field for all of three minutes, and he put a goal and an assist to his name. Most importantly, three points to that of Crew SC.

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Man of the match: Federico Higuain

Goalscorers: Higuain (17′, 88′), Jackson-Hamel (19′), Manneh (70′), Kamara (72′)


 

Philadelphia Union 1-0 D.C. United

Three moments that mattered

28′ — Blake gets down to deny Harkes from distance — Ian Harkes had picked out a spot just inside the far post, but Andre Blake was well up to the task of denying DCU’s homegrown rookie.

31′ — Picault slams Bedoya’s cross — Alejandro Bedoya’s cross has some serious loft on it, which it makes it so tough to keep the ensuing shot low and to hit it with such power. Fantastic finish from Picault.

70′ — Blake stone-walls Neagle from the spot — It’s a pretty poor penalty from Lamar Neagle, but it’s a massive moment so badly needed by Andre Blake who’s been well off his own standard this season. Don’t be surprised if it’s a season-turning save for the talented Jamaican.

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Man of the match: Andre Blake

Goalscorers: Picault (31′)


 

Atlanta United 1-0 Colorado Rapids

Three One moment that mattered

67′ — Martinez turns and beats Howard for the game’s only goal — You can’t give Josef Martinez this kind of space, and this kind of time, around the six-yard box. He’s shown us seven times already this season (in just seven games) how deadly he is from there.

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Man of the match: Josef Martinez

Goalscorers: Martinez (67′)

VIDEO: Accam’s slick backheel puts Chicago ahead

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For the last two years, David Accam has been, in my estimation, the best player in MLS that no one talked about.

[ MORE: NYCFC run rampant on Red Bulls, win NY derby 2-0 ]

Understandably so, of course, given the 26-year-old Ghanaian international and the Chicago Fire been rooted to the bottom of the league table for two years running. All of that has changed in 2017, though, as Accam finally has a forward (Nemanja Nikolic) who can not only put chances away, but create space and chances for his teammates, and a solid midfield base which allows him to cherry-pick counter-attacks just that little bit more.

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Entering Saturday’s game against Orlando City SC, Chicago sat second in the Eastern Conference, just four points back of Toronto FC, and Accam’s 7 goals and 5 assists (in 15 games) were a huge part of the why and the how. It didn’t take Accam long — two minutes, in fact, to put Chicago ahead of Orlando with a ridiculous backheel finish to Matt Polster’s cross.