Laughable goalkeeping in Europa League qualifier leads to match-fixing suspicions


The early qualifying rounds of tournaments like the Europa League are perfect targets for match-fixing.

Little media coverage, often no video, small clubs with players looking to make quick money.

Questions have arisen after Slovenian club FC Luka Koper beat Montenegran side FK Celik Niksic 5-0 in the first round of Europa League qualifying.

The reason so many red flags were raised is the actions of experienced goalkeeper Vladan Giljen, who has formerly played in the Portuguese Primer Liga with CD Nacional.

He played so poorly that people are starting to wonder whether it’s possibly to produce such a disastrous match.

For example, on Koper’s second goal, he literally jumps over the shot in a horrific attempt to make it look like he’s trying. Take a look:

And Giljen wasn’t the only one. According to reports in Montenegro, the Celik players “wandered the pitch” and appeared “uninterested.”

In addition, there’s history with Celik. Back in 2012 Europa League qualifying, they lost to Russian side Metalurg Donetsk a combined 11-2 over two legs.  Last year in the same competition, they fell to Hungarian club Budapest Honved FC a combined 13-1.

If such accusations prove true, it’s likely the end of Giljen’s career, a sad ending considering he’s playing for his hometown club.

Koper and Celik will play the second leg this coming week.

Report: David Silva out 2-3 weeks with ligament damage

LOGRONO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 09:  David Silva of Spain is fouled by Lars Gerson of Luxembourg during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier group C match between Spain and Luxembourg at Estadio Municipal Las Gaunas on October 9, 2015 in Logrono, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
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Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.

Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.

Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.

[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]

Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.

With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.

Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.

City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.

Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico

GLASGOW,  SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 15 :  Alejandro Bedoya of USA  in action during the International Friendly match between Scotland and USA at Hampden Park on November 15, 2013.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
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Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.

Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.

Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.