Championship Sunday focus: Newcastle United

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Story so far…  Things were going swimmingly for Alan Pardew and Newcastle earlier this season, as the Magpies flirted with the top four around the festive period. Then the wheels came off, massively. A run of six-straight defeats, after Pardew had been handed a hefty ban due to head-butting an opposition player, saw the fans turn on their manager, the owner and then finally their club. Loic Remy has been the star man, as the on-loan Frenchman has scored 14 goals in 29 appearances. He won’t stick around next season and its highly unlikely that Pardew will be around too.

MORE: Head here for all things Championship Sunday

Will under-fire owner Mike Ashley sell the club or continue to battle on despite protests at every game from Newcastle’s fans? A turbulent time awaits this summer on the Tyne after a season that promised so much has delivered very little.

Who do they play and where can I watch it: Newcastle have the chance to throw a massive spanner in the works of Liverpool’s title bid as the Magpies travel to Anfield on the final day of the season. These two clubs have played out some of the PL’s most exciting matches in history. Tune into NBCSN to watch live at 10 a.m. to see if they can repeat it and stream the game online via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Form guide: Earlier on this season Liverpool had a torrid time at St. James’ Park as they drew 2-2 just before Newcastle’s best spell of the campaign when they won all four games in November. They have been on a horrendous run of late with six defeats in a row until they beat Cardiff City last weekend.

March 29 – at Southampton, L 0-4
April 5 – vs. Manchester United, L 0-4
April 12 – at Stoke City, L 0-1
April 19 – vs. Swansea, L 1-2
April 28 – at Arsenal, L 0-3
May 3 – vs. Cardiff City, W 3-0

What’s at stake: The highest they can finish is in ninth, while defeat to Liverpool could see the St. James’ Park club finish in tenth if Stoke beat West Brom away from home.

When the final whistle blows: I expect Newcastle to finish in ninth but after in an incredible tail-spin to end the season, don’t be surprised if wholesale changes arrive at St. James’ this summer. The PL’s second longest serving manager, Pardew, is walking on thin ice. It is getting thinner by the second as the fans revolt in the North East.

STREAM LIVE: USMNT looks for 3 more points in Panama

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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The United States looks to finish the international break in an automatic qualifier spot in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table when it faces Panama in Panama City at 10:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

A lot of the faces are the same from the 6-0 demolition of Honduras in California on Friday, though John Brooks and Sebastian Lletget are out with injury.

Jermaine Jones replaces Lletget while Tim Ream moves into the fray for Brooks. Geoff Cameron played Friday’s match with a minor injury, and moves out of the XI for Graham Zusi.

LINEUP

USMNT: Howard; Villafana, Gonzalez, Ream, Zusi; Bradley, Jones, Nagbe; Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore

Subs: Bingham, Rimando; Beasley, Besler, Camron, Zimmerman; Acosta, Arriola, Bedoya, Kljestan, McCarty, Pulisic; Wondolowski

Reyes header gives Mexico three points in T&T (video)

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Diego Reyes’ 58th minute header off a corner kick gave Mexico a lead it wouldn’t give up in a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Hasely Crawford Stadium in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

The win gives Mexico a table-topping 10 points, seven ahead of last-place T&T.

[ MORE: Honduras 1-1 Costa Rica ]

The Soca Warriors were in fine, stingy form early, and looked to have gone ahead on the counterattack when Joevin Jones belted a left-footer into the Mexico goal.

The linesman, however, ruled that Jones was offside. He almost certainly was not, as Mexico’s supreme luck in CONCACAF play continued for at least one night.

Hector Herrera hammered a shot off the far goal post early in the second half as Mexico attempted to grab control.

T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams jammed Miguel Layun’s shot over the bar moments before the breakthrough from Reyes.

Williams then saved Javier Hernandez’s 64th minute offering as Mexico looked to put three points to bed.

Joevin Jones won a free kick in the 76th minute that gave a brief moment of light to T&T’s hopes, but Jones hit the wall and Mexico cleared the ball.

Honduras holds Costa Rica 1-1

AP Photo/Moises Castillo
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Honduras did the United States a favor by taking a point from visiting Costa Rica in Tuesday’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula.

Anthony Lozano pushed a 35th minute chance past an indecisive Keylor Navas, as Los Catrachos set the stage for a hopeful three points.

[ STREAM: T&T-Mexico, Panama-USMNT ]

Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston’s haphazard defending helped allow the goal, but he scored off a late Costa Rica corner kick to ensure Costa Rica will finish the international break in second place.

With four points, Honduras moves ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and the United States before both sides play Tuesday.

Costa Rica beat the U.S. 4-0 in 2016, while the Yanks battered Honduras 6-0 on Friday.

WATCH: Video Assistant calls back Griezmann goal

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France and Spain used the Video Assistant Referee program on Tuesday in a friendly, and the French likely rue that decision.

Antoine Griezmann had an incorrectly allowed goal reverse for offside, while Gerard Deulofeu saw an initially ruled offside goal allowed upon review in Spain’s 2-0 win over France.

[ MORE: Bolivia stuns Messi-less Argentina ]

Here’s an example, as Griezmann’s barely offside goal was overturned in less than a minute (Both calls took less than a minute to decide):

At the risk of sounding like a caveman, I really don’t like these razor thin offside calls being subject to review.

When you consider the improbability of timing the moment of contact with the ball — how many times have you seen a freeze frame conveniently used to make a case? — it just seems to mess with the spirit of sport.

What do you think?