Hull City 1-1 Stoke City: Visitors equalize late against 10-man Hull

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Hull City went down to 10-men inside 15 minutes, but their hard-fought defending earned them a point as Stoke City were only able to draw level with seven minutes remaining in the match.

Nikica Jelavic scored just before the break against the run of play for the home side down a man, and Stoke struggled to finish until they finally grabbed a goal towards the end of the match.

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Early on Hull City maintained good possession, and all Stoke could do was consistently foul during the home side’s build up play.

However, that pressure from Stoke earned them respite early on, not in the form of a goal but instead in a man advantage.

With Stoke all over the Hull players on the ball, James Chester got a horrifically weak back-pass from Jake Livermore, and with Glenn Whelan giving chase, Chester stuck a leg out and chopped down Whelan, a clear last man foul and rightly earning a straight red on 14 minutes.

It was incredibly unlucky for the 25-year-old defender, who will certainly have some postmatch words for his midfield teammates, who hung him out to dry with terrible play under pressure.

Up a man early on, Stoke powered forward and built chances. After a scrum in front of goal, the ball dribbled out to Erik Pieters who blasted a shot over the bar from a tight angle after 24 minutes.

Following the red card, Hull struggled to get the ball out of their own half, but they put together their first attack in a while on 40 minutes and it bore fruit against the run of play.

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Tom Huddlestone blew by new addition Bojan Krkic as he pushed towards the penalty area, and blasted a shot from distance before he reached the 18-yard box.  It was a dangerous low shot, and Asmir Begovic could only touch it wide of the post, but before it reached the end line Nikica Jelavic was there to tap it into the back of the net.

After the halftime break, Stoke continued with much of the possession, but their finishing also continued to be poor.  Their first shot on target of the match came in the 52nd minute when a low shot by Ryan Shawcross off a set-piece was well saved down low by Allan McGregor.

Charlie Adam tried his luck from long range but McGregor tipped over the bar, and as play continued to frustrate Stoke, Diouf couldn’t put his shot on net from close range after a combo play by by Peter Crouch and Peter Odemwingie.

Crouch had his first go with 10 minutes left in regulation, but after settling a long ball in the box, he couldn’t control his turn-and-shoot volley and it escaped well over the bar.

Stoke pressed and pressed and pressed against 10-man Hull and they finally picked up the equalizer. Phil Bardsley ripped a volley that crashed into the ground and then bounded over McGregor.  The ball came off the post and hit the unsuspecting goalkeeper, and Ryan Shawcross was the man to tap in the rebound.

Hull boss Steve Bruce accosted the referee for not giving a throw in the right way just before the goal, but it was a deserved equalizer for the visitors who had struggled to finish their possession and Hull struggled to defend on the chance.

They will be disappointed to only earn a point, and after a high water mark finish in the club’s Premier League history, they have just a single point in their first two matches.

Hull City, meanwhile, will cherish their point – the fourth of their season – after having lost midweek in the Europa League and with the squad somewhat thinned.

LINEUPS:

Hull City: McGregor; Chester, Davies, McShane, Elmohamady; Robertson, Huddlestone, Livermore, Quinn (Meyler 76′), Ince (Rosenoir 66′), Jelavic (Boyd 81′).

Goals: Jelavic 42

Discipline: Chester (straight red) 14′

Stoke City: Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Odemwingie, Nzonzi, Whelan (Krkic 41′), Sidwell (Adam 65′), Arnautovic (Crouch 55′); Diouf.

Goals: Shawcross 83′

Barcelona plan Cruyff tribute at club’s training center

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) One year after his death, Barcelona says it will name the future stadium at its training center after Dutch great Johan Cruyff.

The new stadium at Barcelona’s training center just outside the Catalan city will be called “Johan Cruyff Stadium” in honor of the club’s former player and coach.

Barcelona says in a statement that “the most emblematic building in the facility where future Barca players are coached is to be named after somebody who played such a central role in fostering youth talent at the club.”

Barcelona also says it will commission a “commemorative sculpture” of Cruyff, who died of lung cancer on March 24 last year at age 68. The statue will be placed at Barcelona’s main Camp Nou stadium.

Cruyff is largely credited with launching Barcelona’s era of trophy success, both as a player and a coach.

As a player, Cruyff joined Barcelona midseason in 1973 and led the middle-of-the-table team to its first national title in a decade.

He later returned as a coach and guided Barcelona to four consecutive Spanish leagues from 1991-94 and the club’s first European Cup in 1992.

“I think the tributes are very warming,” said Cruyff’s son, Jordi Cruyff. “It sort of changes the sadness that we might feel as family to lose a father, a husband and a grandfather. It changes to a certain kind of pride to understand that he left something behind.”

MLS Snapshot: Defense optional — Crew SC outlast Timbers, 3-2

AP Photo/Bryan Woolston
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The game in 100 words (or less): As far as teams who get out in the open field and score the lion’s share of their goals on the counter-attacking, there aren’t many MLS teams better than Columbus Crew SC and the Portland Timbers. The two sides met Saturday night at MAPFRE Stadium, site of their MLS Cup 2015 clash, and lived up to their reputations. Of the five goals scored, two were notched on flat-out counters and two more came to pass through quick transitional movements. Portland (9 points) dropped their first points of the season, falling 3-2 to goals scored by Justin Meram, Ola Kamara and Niko Hansen, while Crew SC have back-to-back wins and find themselves level on points (7) with the New York Red Bulls with each side having played four games.

[ MORE: Saturday’s MLS (afternoon) roundup ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

4′ — Asprilla opens the scoring early on — 2017 Crew SC defending, same as 2016 Crew SC defending.

11′ — Meram fires home the rebound for 1-1 — One of Portland’s biggest weaknesses last season was their set-piece defending. Looks like not much has changed.

19′ — Higuain feeds Kamara for a 2-1 lead — The question mark that Portland will eventually have to answer is this: How much, if at all, have they improved defensively in the open field? Based on this Crew SC counter-attack, the answer might be “not much.”

45+3′ — Adi recovers to make it 2-2 — Everything Adi does these days (even the bad things, like this first touch) ends up being good.

84′ — Hansen cleans up at the back post for 3-2 — Jake Gleeson made a spectacular reaction save to deny Kamara his second goal of the game, but the rookie, making his MLS debut, was in the right place at the right time.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Men of the match: Wil Trapp

Goalscorers: Asprilla (4′), Meram (11′), Kamara (19′), Adi (45+3′), Hansen (84′)

Andorra’s 11-year, 58-game losing streak is over

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Rarely has a scoreless stalemate in front of the home fans tasted so sweet.

But 11 years of nothing but losing will do that to a team.

Andorra’s 0-0 draw with fellow minnow Faroe Islands in World Cup qualifying on Saturday ended its run of 58 competitive defeats.

It was the first point in qualifying for the Pyrenees mountain principality, population 80,000, since a scoreless draw with Finland in 2005.

Faroe Islands finished with 10 men after Joan Edmundsson was booked a second time with 15 minutes to play.

World Cup qualifiers: Dutch disaster persists; Greece hold Belgium

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s World Cup qualifying fixtures, as Groups A, B and H hit the halfway point in Europe…

[ MORE: USA 6-0 Honduras | Three things we learned | Player ratings ]

Bulgaria 2-0 Netherlands

Spas Delev scored both Bulgarian goals (5th and 20th minutes) to secure all three points and send Danny Blind’s Netherlands side (7 points) into fourth place in Group A, six points back of leaders France and three back of second-place (qualifying playoffs) Sweden.

17-year-old Matthijs de Ligt was handed his international debut for the Dutch; he was ultimately at fault for both of Delev’s goals; he was subbed off at halftime (as was Georginio Wijnaldum).

Luxembourg 1-3 France

Olivier Giroud scored twice (28th and 77th minutes) for France, and Antoine Griezmann added the other (37th minute – penalty kick), as Les Bleus maintained their three-point lead in Group A. Kylian Mbappe, Monaco’s 18-year-old rising star, made his international debut in the 78th minute, when he replaced Dimitri Payet.

Portugal 3-0 Hungary

Cristiano Ronaldo bagged the 69th and 70th goals of his international career (36th and 65th minutes), as Portugal (12 points) kept pace with an unbeaten Switzerland side (15 points) which managed a 1-0 victory over Latvia to keep their 100-percent record intact. Andre Silva scored the opener (32nd minute) for Portugal, the 21-year-old Porto striker’s fifth goal in six international appearances.

Belgium 1-1 Greece

Romelu Lukaku‘s 89th-minute rescued a point for Group H leaders Belgium (13 points), but it did little to mask an otherwise uninspiring performance from Roberto Martinez’s side. Kostas Mitroglu put Greece ahead in the first minute of the second half, but Panagiotis Tachtsidis saw his second yellow of the game in the 65th minute, and that was the start of Greece’s unraveling. The draw was just enough to keep Greece (11 points) in second, ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose 5-0 thrashing of Gibraltar moved them to 10 points with a superior goal differential.

Elsewhere in UEFA’s World Cup qualifying

Group A

Sweden 4-0 Belarus

Group B

Switzerland 1-0 Latvia
Andorra 0-0 Faroe Islands

Group H

Bosnia-Herzegovina 5-0 Gibraltar
Cyprus 0-0 Estonia