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

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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.

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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.


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.

Peru extradites ex-soccer boss to US on bribery charges

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - OCTOBER 13: A FIFA logo next to the entrance during part I of the FIFA Council Meeting 2016 at the FIFA headquarters on October 13, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
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LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru has extradited the country’s former soccer boss to the United States for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights.

Manuel Burga was sent to New York on a commercial flight before dawn on Friday.

He has been in jail since December 2015 as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June cleared the way for his extradition and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a decree authorizing the move a week ago.

Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing.

San Jose Earthquakes release Clarence Goodson, eight others

San Jose Earthquakes forward Quincy Amarikwa (25) is mobbed by teammates after scoring against the Portland Timbers during the first half of an MLS soccer match Sunday, March 13, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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While the battle for MLS Cup 2016 has been dwindled down to two sides, the rest of the league continues to make roster transactions in preparation for next season.

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The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Friday that the club has exercised options on six players, including goalkeeper David Bingham, Fatai Alashe, Kip Colvey and Victor Bernardez.

Additionally, the Earthquakes have released nine players, including U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, however, the latter two are reportedly in talks to return to the club in 2017.

Napoli beats Inter 3-0 in Serie A after lightning start

NAPLES, ITALY - DECEMBER 02:  Players of Napoli celebrate the opening goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and FC Internazionale at Stadio San Paolo on December 2, 2016 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
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NAPLES, Italy (AP) Napoli eased to a 3-0 win over Inter Milan in Serie A on Friday, with two goals in the opening five minutes.

[ MORE: Top 5 PL storylines heading into weekend ]

The home side got off to a lightning start as, following a wonderful team move, Jose Callejon headed back Marek Hamsik’s chipped pass for Piotr Zielinski to volley into the bottom left corner.

[ MORE: Ronaldo, Mourinho involved in massive tax evasion system ]

Zielinski turned provider moments later as Hamsik beat the offside trap to run onto his pass and fire into the bottom right corner.

It was Hamsik’s 104th goal for Napoli, moving him level with Edinson Cavani in third in the clubs’ goalscoring charts. The Slovakia forward needs 11 more to equal Diego Maradona’s record.

Inter started the second half aggressively but hopes of getting back into the match were scuppered six minutes after the restart when Lorenzo Insigne netted his fourth goal in three league matches after visiting goalkeeper Samir Handanovic only flapped at a corner.

Napoli moved level on points with Atalanta, which visits league leader Juventus on Saturday, and fourth-placed Lazio, which hosts Roma in the capital derby on Sunday.

Inter, which beat Fiorentina 4-2 on Monday for its first win under coach Stefano Pioli, remained eighth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.

Report: Paraguayan midfielder Almiron to join Atlanta United for $13 million

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 11:  Miguel Almiron #17 of Paraguay tries to keep the ball as John Brooks #6 of United States slides in the first half during the Copa America Centenario Group C match at Lincoln Financial Field on June 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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On a day where Atlanta United added another young talent, the 2017 MLS expansion side could be preparing to make a major splash for a South American playmaker.

According to numerous Argentine media outlets, Atlanta is closing in on signing Paraguay international Miguel Almiron for an MLS-record fee of $13 million from Lanus at the end of 2016.

Almiron, 22, has scored three goals in 34 appearances for Lanus since joining the Argentine club in 2015. The young winger began his professional career back in 2013 with Cerro Porteno, where Almiron also played for the club’s youth academy.

On the international stage, Almiron has already earned seven caps for Paraguay after previously representing the nation’s Under-17 and U-20 national teams.