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Portugal 2-2 Mexico: Late goals leave sides level

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It appeared Portugal had grabbed a late three points against a bright but mistake-prone Mexico side, but the CONCACAF champions leveled in stoppage time to leave honors even at 2-2.

Mexico looked positive in the opening 20 minutes, with Portugal holding the majority of possession but Juan Carlos Osorio’s squad looking up to the task.

There was a big moment after 20 minutes, as it appeared Pepe had scored on the volley after Cristiano Ronaldo hit the post, but after the goal was initially given, the referee asked for a video review, with VAR available in the tournament. After a quick video review, replay showed four Portuguese players offside on the initial delivery into the box, and the goal was wiped off. The call was correct, and the replay review was lightning quick.

Nevertheless, the moment sparked Portugal, and they began to grow into the ascendency. Moments after Memo Ochoa was forced to make a brilliant save, tipping the ball over the bar after it was headed by his own defender Carlos Salcedo, Portugal pounced. Ronaldo did the hard work to carry the ball into the box and cut between three defenders, and he laid off for Ricardo Quaresma who was completely unmarked on the other end of the net. The Besiktas made no mistake, touching past Ochoa and then tapping into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Once they grabbed the lead, however, Portugal’s cutting edge was lost. Mexico had a moment before halftime to pull back level, but while Carlos Vela’s cross met the head of Chicharito, the Bayer Leverkusen striker couldn’t do much with it, only weakly touching it into the waiting arms of Rui Patricio on the hop.

He would atone for the mistake moments later, bringing Mexico back even. Raul Jiminez sent the ball into the box, and a terrible whiff by Portugal defender Raphael Guerrero saw the ball drop to Carlos Vela, who whipped it back into the box for Chicharito who crashed home a header to equalize the score at 1-1.

The Mexican frontman had yet another chance right on the stroke of halftime, but he slipped trying to shoot and sent the ball into the clouds.

After the break, both teams looked to play with less attacking intent, and there were few attempts on net until the final minutes when Portugal began to pour men forward. With five minutes remaining, the Euro champions had their best chance to break the deadlock, as Andre Silva headed on net, but Ochoa was there to keep him out.

Mexico couldn’t see out the point, however, and Portugal seemingly grabbed a winner. Seconds after the Ochoa save, substitute Gelson Martins burst down the right edge of the box, and while his cross cannoned off Hector Herrera, it fell to Cedric Soares. His attempt on net clipped Herrera and deflected into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.

But again, the lead wouldn’t last long for Portugal. A Mexico corner in the 92nd minute fell to the head of Hector Moreno, and he buried the chance, beating Jose Fonte in the air.

With the late pair of goals, the points were shared, and both teams finished looking up at Russia who leads Group A.

Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

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Schalkamerica?

Bundesliga mainstays Schalke have added yet another American, this one 17-year-old Zyen Jones of Atlanta United. Jones is a forward with the U.S. U-17 national team.

Like Josh Sargent, who signed his deal with Werder Bremen on Tuesday, he’ll head overseas and sign a pro contract on Aug. 25, his 18th birthday.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Jones will join several potential USMNT teammates in Gelsenkirchen, including injured senior team midfielder Weston McKennie and youngster Nick Taitague (19). Forward Haji Wright is on loan at Sandhausen.

Report: Simon Dawkins making move to Minnesota

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The Loons are taking a flier on Simon Dawkins.

The London-born Jamaican international hasn’t done a ton since returning to MLS from Derby County, and turned 30 over the offseason, and Paul Tenorio says the player is on his way to Minnesota United.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Dawkins scored 14 goals between 2011-12 with San Jose, but scored just five times in his return to California and was blanked in 14 appearances last season. He registered just 10 shots in those matches.

The left winger would join an attack with Christian Ramirez, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, and a pair of Generations Adidas forwards: Abu Danladi (2017 SuperDraft) and Mason Toye (2018).

Champions League Weds. preview: Sevilla-Man Utd, Shakhtar-Roma

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Jose Mourinho says Manchester United is one round away from having legitimate hopes of winning the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

That makes the Round of 16 tie against Sevilla — beginning Wednesday in Spain — a bit of a dream qualifier for the Red Devils.

“I normally say that Champions League dreams start around the quarter-finals and not yet in the last 16,” Mourinho said on ManUtd.com. “Last 16 still looks a long way to go. When a team reaches the quarter-finals, I think it’s the moment where even the teams that are not favourites – which is our case – they start realising that anything is possible.

The injury-hit side got a bit of a boost on Tuesday in Sevilla, where Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera all trained ahead of the first leg.

As for the hosts, manager Vincenzo Montella admitted that he hopes Pogba won’t play, and joked that he’d prefer to tie up and “padlock” Alexis Sanchez in a bid to defend against the Chilean star.

The final Round of 16 tie to start will be Roma’s pairing with Shakhtar Donetsk, with the first leg taking place in Ukraine.

Shakhtar hasn’t played in some time, but the great equalizer is the bitter cold at Donbass Arena, where the temperature is set to be between 21 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit come kickoff.

Don’t worry, Roma fans, Daniele De Rossi is busy breathing fire into any teammates angling for excuses:

“The cold weather could affect things a little because we’re not used to it but at the end of the day it comes down to how well you perform out there. We must be mentally ready from the get-go because the cold might hit us in the opening minutes.

“If it was that much of a factor, these teams would win the Champions League every year. You don’t go through because of the weather.”

Villarreal opens probe into Semedo’s reported arrest

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MADRID (AP) Spanish club Villarreal says it is investigating the actions of defender Ruben Semedo after reports that he was arrested for a violent incident.

The club said it is “highly concerned” about the issue and “will take the appropriate disciplinary actions with utmost rigor based on the seriousness of the events.”

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

The statement was released after Spanish media reported that the Portuguese player was taken into custody early Tuesday for allegedly being involved in a hostile confrontation with another man last week.

Police did not immediately confirm Semedo’s arrest.