Valencia edges AC Milan, 2-1, to close out preseason

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Valencia ended their preseason nicely by edging Serie A club AC Milan, as manager Nuno Espirito Santo made his debut for Los Che on home grounds.

The La Liga club faced tumult in ownership and finances last year, but with new owner, Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim taking the helm, and new signings Rodrigo, Nicolas Otamendi and Andre Gomes, the stage is solidified for Valencia’s brand new start, and they gave fans reason to cheer on Sunday.

In the 18th minute, the Valencia jumped out to 1-0 lead when 20-year-old Paco Alcacer boomed a 40-yard goal from Cristian Zapata’s off-target pass that landed on his feet.

However, Milan wouldn’t let the Spanish squad have the advantage for more than 10 minutes, when Kesuike Honda pinpointed a free kick score that dipped hard and bounced off the right post.

Rodrigo notched the game-winner in the 38th minute, zipping past two Milan defenders in the box and blasting a left-footer into the bottom of the net.

As is often noticed with preseason contests, the second half began, and there wasn’t that same vitality noticed in both sides during the first 45 minutes.

Alcacer came off for Sofiane Feghouli, and the substitute nearly supplemented his team’s lead, ripping a shot wide from 12 yards in the 68th minute. Milan midfielder Jeremy Menez had a great opportunity just outside the box, but his try couldn’t stay on frame.

Veteran Michael Essien crushed a header on net in the 78th minute, and goalie Yoel came up huge with an spectacular stop to finalize the victory for Valencia, who will open their regular season vs. Sevilla at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium on Aug. 23.

This was a good win for Valencia, and because this match about a week out from La Liga play, it makes sense to pay more attention to this one than previous preseason games. In May, Sevilla and Valencia clashed in the Europa League semi-finals, and Sevilla advanced, a higher tally of away goals seeing them to the finals on a 3-3 aggregate score.

Geiger, Marrufo, Villarreal picked as Gold Cup referees

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Mark Geiger, who three years ago became the first American to referee a knockout stage match at the World Cup, is among 17 referees picked for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Americans Jair Marrufo and Armando Villarreal also were announced Thursday for the 12-nation tournament, which runs from July 7-26 in various U.S. cities.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Geiger, who is from New Jersey, was a referee for France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria in the round of 16.

Three each were picked from Mexico (Roberto Garcia, Fernando Guerrero and Cesar Ramos) and Honduras (Melvin Matamoros, Oscar Moncada and Hector Rodriguez).

Two will come from Costa Rica: Henry Bejarano and Ricardo Montero.

Others picked for the tournament are Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Drew Fischer (Canada), Walter Lopez (Guatemala), Yadel Martinez (Cuba), John Pitti (Panama) and Kimbell Ward (St. Kitts and Nevis).

Watch Live: Germany, Chile in Confederations Cup showdown

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Alexis Sanchez is back in the Chilean starting lineup for the Confederations Cup’s marquee match-up on Thursday at 2 p.m.ET live on Telemundo Deportes.

Chile faces Germany for the Group B driver’s seat, holding a one goal advantage in goal differential.

[ WATCH LIVE: Cameroon vs. Chile on Telemundo Deportes ]

Germany starts Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and Liverpool’s Emre Can in a young lineup with Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Report: Manchester United outbidding giants for PSG’s Marquinhos

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Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte says Manchester United has made the best offer to Paris Saint-Germain in a three-team giant battle for Marquinhos.

According to the report, the transfer fight is between United, Juventus, Barcelona, and Real Madrid, though only the first three sides have lodged bids.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Barca’s offer is said to be the lowest, around $50 million, while United is said to be willing to pay a staggering $78 million for the 23-year-old Brazilian.

Marquinhos has made 155 appearances for PSG since joining from Roma in 2013. He’s reliably made 40-plus appearances over the past three seasons, and has 17 caps for Brazil.

A terrific defender who excels in keeping possession, Marquinhos has also played some right back for PSG.

VAR steps in to help Australia draw Cameroon 1-1

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Twenty-one year-old Cameroon midfielder Zambo Anguissa scored a deft late first half goal, but Video Assistant Referee helped Australia to a match-tying penalty kick as both sides stayed alive in the Confederations Cup after a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

Australia captain Mark Milligan scored for Australia in the second group stage match for both teams at the Confederations Cup in Russia on Thursday.

Both teams lost opening matches, and victorious Chile and Germany square off at 2 p.m. ET

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Australia struggled to put any semblance of threat together, and wasted its prime chance just after halftime when Mathew Leckie cued up Tomi Juric only to see the Luzern striker waffle before mailing a harmless chance wide and high.

The Socceroos came close again in the 55th minute, as a Leckie shot was blocked wide of goal. Their forward-thinking allowed some chances for Cameroon, too, as Aboubakar missed wide himself in the 58th minute.

Referee Milorad Mazic used Video Assistant Referee to change a corner kick to a penalty kick in the 60th minute, and Australia captain Milligan buried the spot kick to make it 1-1.Cameroon defender Ernest Mabouka chopped down Alex Gersbach in the box.

Aboubakar had a near post offering blocked wide by Milos Degenek, and the corner came to nothing. Australia had survived.