At halftime: Quickfire double has Chile up despite Cahill goal – FOLLOW LIVE

Leave a comment

Story of the game: No surprise as Chile leads Australia in Cuiaba, but it’s a lot closer than it appeared to be at the start.

Alexis Sanchez and Jorge Valdivia scored within two minutes of each other in the opening 15, and Chile looked like they were up to the task in Group B with a 2-0 lead over Australia.

The incredibly young Socceroos squad broke early, as a few defensive mistakes marred those opening minutes. The defensive group failed to clear multiple times before the opening goal by Sanchez, and Valdivia was given acres of space for Chile’s second.

But Tim Cahill struck with 10 minutes to go before the break, as Chile got a bit too comfortable in possession, and a counter from Australia pinballed around the box before Cahill headed home.

FOLLOW LIVE: Soccerly’s realtime match center

Goals:

12′ – Alexis Sanchez found a way through the Australian defense after young goalkeeper Maty Ryan had been drawn out to the edge of the box. It seemed the Aussies might still pick up their keeper as they crowded the Chileans out, but Sanchez found a crease just as Ryan got back in net.

14′ – The floodgates began to open as Jorge Valdivia got acres of space at the top of the Aussie box, and he struck a brilliant finish into the top corner for a 2-0 Chilean lead.

35′ – Tim Cahill found the back of the net with his head, something he’s done plenty of across his fantastic career. Ivan Franjic did some outstanding work for the goal, with a precise tackle to win the ball on the right edge before sending in a fantastic cross right to the head of Cahill.

Other key moments:

None of any note, as interestingly enough all the big chances found the back of the net.

LINEUPS:

Chile – Bravo; Mena, Isla, Medel, Jara; Vidal, Valdivia, Aranguiz, Diaz; Sanchez, Vargas.

Goals – Sanchez 12′, Valdivia 14′

Australia – Ryan; Franjic, Spiranovic, Wilkinson, Davidson; Bresciano, Milligan, Jedinak, Oar, Leckie; Cahill.

Goals – Cahill 35′

Questions for the second half:

  • Will Chile’s back line hold up? With Australia on much more confidence, the Chilean center-back pairing is actually a pair of defensive midfielders, and the team is compensating with goalkeeper Claudio Bravo occupying any space, but there have been a few gaps.
  • Can Australia muster enough of an attack? Chile has held 70% of possession throughout the first half, and while the Aussies have looked dangerous going forward, they will be hard pressed to find another goal, and especially two, if they can’t keep the ball.

MLS Snapshot: Philadelphia Union 3-0 Columbus Crew

AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less)Goals from Ilsinho, CJ Sapong, and Marcus Epps led the Philadelphia Union to a 3-0 win over the Crew, who had not one but two players sent off in the loss. Jonathan Mensah saw red in the 35th minute for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity, and Lalas Abubakar was sent off for violent conduct with about a quarter hour to play. Sapong had two assists and Ilsinho added a helper too. Philly pulls to within five points of sixth-place Columbus, and have played one less game.

Three moments that mattered

20′  — Overhead pass gets deserved finish — Ilsinho made Zack Steffen’s diving attempt look feeble with a blast after Sapong’s bike-like ball across the box.

38′ — Alberg PK denied — Did we mention it could’ve been worse for Philly? Roland Alberg was stopped by the left hand of the law, er, Steffen. The left hand of the Steffen.

81′ — Epps puts it to bed — The man was credited with eight shots on the night, as 22-year-old Marcus Epps has his first MLS goal (He has scored in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup).

Man of the Match: Sapong.

Conte questions Spurs ambitions: “You must buy expensive players”

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Like most Spurs fans, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has noticed that Tottenham isn’t spending during this summer transfer window.

He’s also heard the remarks of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who said the spending from many other Premier League clubs is “unsustainable.”

Conte’s reply? Maybe not winning’s okay to you, Dan.

[ WATCH: Neymar scores vs. Man Utd ]

The Chelsea boss defends the massive money being doled out on players by, essentially, saying ambitious clubs have to keep up with other ambitious clubs. And without digging into the profit margins of Spurs and other PL clubs, perhaps he has a point.

Also, you can’t help but appreciate the subtle dig at Liverpool, as if to say, “Yeah, maybe they care.”

From the BBC:

“If [Spurs] don’t win the title, it’s not a tragedy. If they don’t arrive in the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. If they go out in the first round of the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. If they go out after the first game that they play in the Europa League and go down against Gent, it’s not a tragedy.

“Maybe for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and – I don’t know – Liverpool, it is a tragedy. You must understand this. You must understand the status of the team.

“Every team has to understand what their ambitions are. If their ambitions are to fight for the title or try to win the Champions League, you must buy expensive players. Otherwise you continue to stay in your level. It’s simple. My question is this: What are Tottenham’s expectations?”

Again, we’re not poring over the financials of these clubs, but it is saying something that Spurs have not bought any new players and sold Kyle Walker to Man City for $59 million. If the market says players are worth that, than the logic goes that Spurs cannot improve without investing that sum into players.

And look, Mr. Levy, you spent $40 million on Moussa Sissoko and close to $30m on Vincent Janssen. It’s not like we’re talking about a totally new world here.

It wasn’t all negative, or passive aggressive negative, from Conte, who said Harry Kane is the top striker worth buying in the world, and valued him at more than $131 million.

FOLLOW LIVE: Lineups as the USMNT goes trophy hunting

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Levi’s Stadium is the scene as the United States men’s national team looks to wrestle the Gold Cup back after Mexico claimed the 2015 championship.

Jamaica is the opponent, and an incredible story all things considered, as the Reggae Boyz hope their second-straight tournament final is the occasion for their first Gold Cup crown.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Stats, scores from Gold Cup Final ]

Kickoff is slated for about 9:45 p.m. ET, with the pageantry from California getting started at 9:30.

There are no real surprises in the XI, aside from Bruce Arena’s continued use of Graham Zusi at right back. Omar Gonzalez pairs with Matt Besler in the heart of the defense, with Michael Bradley, Kellyn Acosta, Darlington Nagbe, and Paul Arriola combining for an industrious midfield.

Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris are up top, while Jorge Villafana fills out the lineup at left back with Tim Howard in goal.

Clint Dempsey is on the bench, perhaps awaiting another super sub performance.

WATCH: Neymar dizzies Valencia, gets Suarez pick to score vs. Man Utd

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

All three parts of the MSN trident helped Barcelona produce an International Champions Cup goal against Manchester United on Wednesday, though not in the most traditional of fashions.

Lionel Messi’s through ball was off target, and Neymar rushed onto it before spinning toward goal. Luis Suarez literally shoved Chris Smalling out of contention to stop the Brazilian, and Neymar did the rest with a finish past David De Gea.

[ REPORT: Barca confident of Coutinho deal ]

Say it with me, “It’s preseason for the officials, too, you guys.”

Neymar’s goal has given Barcelona a 1-0 lead over United, and the match is at halftime. Obviously, he hasn’t been sent to Paris Saint-Germain.