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Bundesliga drama on final day of 2016-17 season

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The 34th and final round of action in the 2016-17 Bundesliga season took place on Saturday and there was plenty of drama at the top and bottom of the table.

[ MORE: Bundesliga’s final day scores ]

Hamburg scored a late winner against relegation rivals Wolfsburg to save themselves from competing in the Bundesliga relegation playoff for the third time in four years and push Wolfsburg into the relegation playoff.

Elsewhere there was plenty of chopping and changing for the remaining European places as Borussia Dortmund won a thriller 4-3 to stay in third place and qualify automatically for the UEFA Champions League, while Bayern Munich finished off their title-winning campaign in style.

Below is the final wrap of the Bundesliga season.


Hamburg 2-1 Wolfsburg

Hamburg have never been relegated from the Bundesliga and they will keep that proud record intact. Hamburg’s hero was Luca Waldschmidt who turned 21 yesterday and he jumped off the bench late on to head home and secure Hamburg’s spot in Germany’s top flight for next season. Filip Kosti had made it 1-1 in a nerve-jangling but the hosts scored late and their goalkeeper made a string of fine saves to pull off a remarkable final day win.

As for Wolfsburg, who had taken an early lead through Robin Knocke, the have a two-legged playoff on Thursday May 25 and May 29 as they aim to keep their place in the Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich 4-1 SC Freiburg

Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso went out with a win as the German champions (that’s now five titles on the spin) beat Freiburg thanks to goals from Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal which put them 2-0 up, but Freiburg pulled a goal back to make it interesting. Ribery and Kimmich added goals in stoppage time to put some extra gloss on the scoreline.

Bayern also lifted the German title at the Allianz Arena after the full time whistle as Lahm and Alonso head into retirement with one final win under their belt. For Freiburg, they could still qualify for the Europa League if Dortmund beat Frankfurt in the German Cup final next weekend.

Borussia Dortmund 4-3 Werder Bremen

An absolute humdinger of a game as Dortmund scored a later winner via an Aubameyang penalty kick as Thomas Tuchel’s men secured third place and an automatic spot in the UCL group stage. Dortmund trailed 3-2 heading into the final 15 minutes but two late penalty kicks, the first from Marco Reus, turned the game around. Aubameyang also won the Bundesliga’s Golden Boot with 31 goals for the season.


Elsewhere

Hoffenheim 0-0 Augsburg – Hoffenheim’s draw means that they finish fourth and will be playing in the UCL playoff round
Hertha Berlin 2-6 Bayer Leverkusen – Hertha finished in sixth place and still qualified for Europa League after a big defeat
Cologne 2-0 Mainz – Koln sealed fifth place and a Europa League group stage spot. First European campaign in 25 years
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 RB Leipzig – Two goals in the last seven minutes rescued a point for Frankfurt
Ingolstadt 1-1 Schalke – Hosts are relegated but grabbed a nice point on their final day in the Bundesliga for at least 12 months
Monchengladbach 2-2 Darmstadt – Already-relegated Darmstadt score a late equalizer and cost ‘Gladbach a potential Europa spot

Standings

MLS Snapshot: Houston Dynamo 1-1 FC Dallas (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): It ended scoreless when the two sides met for the first time this season, and although there were goals in this one, it finished with the same outcome. The Dynamo and Dallas remain equal on points following the draw, with each team boasting 25 at the midway point through the MLS campaign. Goals from Erick “Cubo’ Torres and Maxi Urruti cancelled one another out at BBVA Compass Stadium, but it was the Dallas that had more of the chances in the match. The Dynamo remain one of the top sides in MLS at home, boasting a record of 7-0-2 in their opening nine matches in Houston.

Three two moments that mattered

19′ — Torres makes it 11 on the year! — Give Erick Torres an inch this season… Well, you know the rest of the saying…

59′ — Urruti makes Dynamo pay for missed chance on other end — The Dynamo were so close to making it 2-0 just a minute sooner, but Maxi Urruti had other plans for the visitors.

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

Man of the match: Maxi Urruti

Goalscorers: Erick Torres (19′), Maxi Urruti (59′)

MLS Snapshot: Toronto FC 2-0 New England Revolution (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Toronto FC was without some of its regulars on Friday night, but that didn’t matter much as Greg Vanney’s side avenged their loss to the Revolution from two weeks ago. Coming off of just two days’ rest, TFC continued its push towards an Eastern Conference title at BMO Field behind Drew Moor’s first goal of the season. Sebastian Giovinco was held in check most of the evening, but the Italian scorer did what he does best in the final minute of stoppage time to seal it for the home side with his seventh goal of the year. The Revs pushed and pushed during the second half for an equalizer but TFC’s resilience defensively proved superior as they kept the visitors off the scoreboard for their eighth shutout of 2017.

Three moments that mattered

11′ — Moor taps in for early Toronto advantage — Even on two days’ rest Toronto looks like this…

57′ — Cheeky Nguyen keeps Revs in match — Lee Nguyen is typically known for his creativity in the offensive half but it was this clever play defensively that kept the Revolution down just one goal.

83′ — Kamara comes so close! — It’s just not meant to be on the night for the Revs.

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Man of the match: Alex Bono

Goalscorers: Drew Moor (11′), Sebastian Giovinco (90+6′)

Video: Orlando City product scores crazy bicycle kick

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Goals like this one below never grow old.

Orlando City academy product Alejandro Pereira scored a brilliant bicycle kick for his Under-17/18 side in their 2-0 win on Thursday night during the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs.

Orlando will continue its path in the Academy Playoffs on Saturday when they face off against Players Development Academy (PDA) U-17/18, before meeting Indiana Fire U-17/18 on Monday.

Brazilian league filled with possible transfer targets

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SAO PAULO (AP) While soccer takes a rest in Europe and the Brazilian league gets going again, many local players have already caught the eyes of foreign clubs.

[ MORE: Confed Cup scenarios before final group stage matches ]

A few of them are already in Brazil coach Tite’s plans for next year’s World Cup in Russia, and signing them now instead of next season could be a real bargain.

Here are some names to know:

LUAN

A 24-year-old striker at title-favorite Gremio, Luan has yet to play abroad and his coach has already said it will be hard to keep him in Brazil until the end of the season. After eight matches, Luan has scored four goals. Gremio executives have said they won’t take less than 24 million euros ($27 million) for him. Luan was part of Brazil’s gold-medal winning team at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He began the tournament on the bench, but eventually took a place in the starting lineup alongside Neymar and Gabriel Jesus. Ronaldinho said Luan deserves to be at Barcelona. “Luan would fit in perfectly there, he is very creative,” Ronaldinho said.

GUILHERME ARANA

More than 20 percent of the goals scored by Corinthians this year have come from the left foot of 20-year-old defender Guilherme Arana. An excellent Brazilian-style dribbler, Arana had several assists in the derbies against the team’s three Sao Paulo city rivals. Arana has yet to make his international debut, but he believes his short time with Tite at the club could help him get to Russia next year. Many in Brazilian media have dubbed him “the new Marcelo.”

LUCAS LIMA

A close friend of Neymar, 26-year-old midfielder Lucas Lima has been frequently linked with a transfer to Barcelona. In the first 100 days of 2017 he had 10 assists – the same number he produced all of last season. He is in top physical shape, something that has earned him praise from coaches and a series of callups from Tite to play with Brazil. Lima has rejected a series of offers from Chinese clubs because he wants to play in Europe.

GUSTAVO SCARPA

Fluminense midfielder Gustavo Scarpa is classy and cerebral, traits he tries to mirror from his hero Andres Iniesta. But the 23-year-old Brazilian can also provide some stunning shots from long distance, like the goal he scored from his own half in February in a Brazilian Cup match against Globo. Scarpa likes to play as a left winger, but he can also be used in a central midfield position and as a left back. Tite called on him for a friendly against Colombia in February. In the 2016 Brazilian league, he scored eight goals and had 10 assists. He has just finished recovering from a right foot injury.

DUDU

A fan-favorite at defending champion Palmeiras last season, 25-year-old striker Dudu has yet to score in this year’s competition. Still recovering from injury, Dudu is fast and often runs right at goal. He played at Dynamo Kyiv without much success from 2011-14, and he admits he was not very mature when that transfer happened. In March, he was part of the Brazil team for World Cup qualifying matches against Uruguay and Paraguay, as a replacement of injured Douglas Costa.

RODRIGO CAIO

A 23-year-old Sao Paulo defender who has frequently been called up by Tite, Rodrigo Caio has played more than 200 matches for his club. Caio wants to go to Europe after a first attempt at Valencia fell through — he failed a medical check because of a now-healed knee injury. Also a gold medalist at the 2016 Olympics, the defender can play as a defensive midfielder. Although he looks a lot like Kaka, his style is more like Dunga’s: great tackles, accurate passing and leadership.