Maya Yoshida

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Brazil hammer Japan; Serbia, South Korea win

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There are plenty of friendlies taking place across the globe this week as teams step up their 2018 World Cup preparations.

Five teams who have already booked their spot at the tournament in Russia next summer were in action early on Friday with Brazil, Serbia and South Korea all grabbing wins.

Below is a roundup of the games which took place, with plenty of other international friendlies to come in the next few days.


Japan 1-3 Brazil

The Seleceao were purring in Lille, France as Neymar scored from the penalty spot early on (with the help of VAR giving a decision against Southampton and Japan defender Maya Yoshida) but the PSG star then missed a second spot kick in the first half. Not to worry as Marcelo smashed home to make it 2-0 and and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus finished off a flowing team move to make it 3-0 before half time. Japan pulled a goal back in the second half through Tomoaki Makino but Brazil dominated as they now face England at Wembley next Tuesday. Japan face Belgium in Brugge on Tuesday.

South Korea 2-1 Colombia

Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son scored twice for South Korea as they beat much-fancied Colombia in Suwon. Cristian Zapata pulled a goal back for a strong Los Cafeteros side who had James Rodriguez and Davinson Sanchez in the starting lineup, plus Carlos Bacca and Edwin Cardona jumped off the bench with Juan Cuadrado an unused sub. Colombia travel to Chongqing to face China on Tuesday.

China 0-2 Serbia

Torino’s Adem Ljajic opened the scoring for managerless Serbia in Guangzhou and Newcastle’s Aleksandar Mitrovic made it 2-0 in the second half. Serbia play against South Korea in Ulsan on Tuesday. Good preparations for Serbia ahead of their first appearance at a World Cup since 2010.

Southampton 0-1 Burnley: Vokes wins it late on

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  • Vokes heads home winner late on
  • 1 defeat in nine PL games for Burnley
  • Burnley up to sixth in PL table

Burnley beat Southampton 1-0 at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday with Sean Dyche‘s team continuing their fine form away from home this season.

Substitute Sam Vokes scored the game-winner late on with Burnley’s only effort on target as Saints once again dominated possession but failed to score at home.

With the win Burnley momentarily move into sixth place in the table, while Southampton drop into the bottom half.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

After a slow start at St Mary’s, the home side did most of the pressing but just like in recent games they struggled to break down a stubborn defense.

Sofiane Boufal smashed in a volley on goal which Nick Pope saved well at the near post as Saints cranked up the pressure before half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Ryan Bertrand then had a powerful drive blocked by James Tarkowski as Southampton had plenty of joy down their left flank.

Soon after Nathan Redmond cut inside, again from the left, but his shot was saved well down low by Pope.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

Pope made another great stop early in the second half as Maya Yoshida volleyed acrobatically towards goal but Burnley’s goalkeeper tipped it over the bar.

Burnley threatened on the break in the second half after bringing on Sam Vokes and Ashley Barnes, while Southampton brought on Charlie Austin and Shane Long but failed to break the Clarets down.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Steven Davis found some space on the edge of the box but fired his shot over the bar and late on Burnley went 1-0 up.

A fine cross from Johan Gudmundsson found Vokes who headed home to put the away side ahead with their first, and only, effort on target during the game.

Southampton 1-0 West Brom: Amazing Boufal goal leads Saints

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  • Boufal’s solo goal wins it
  • Saints outshoot WBA 20-7
  • WBA winless since August

Sofiane Boufal‘s magnificent goal off the bench helped Southampton break down West Bromwich Albion for a 1-0 win at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

Saints go 10th with the win, on 12 points, while West Brom drops to 13th. The Baggies’ 10 points are two clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ryan Bertrand cranked a deflected free kick off the bar in the 18th minute, as Saints had plenty of possession.

Manolo Gabbiadini dribbled 50-plus yards before cuing up Shane Long for a shot pushed wide of the near post.

There were a pair of handball shouts in the box at either end, with Salomon Rondon and Dusan Tadic both lucky to escape the view of officials.

Ben Foster made a terrific slap save on Maya Yoshida‘s headed corner as the match neared halftime, and Yoshida missed the far post with an overhead kick off the ensuing effort.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Both teams looked fairly content with a point in the early stages of the second half, Kieran Gibbs‘ header a rare bit of action for Saints backstop Fraser Forster.

The 72nd minute saw a probable but uncalled penalty to Tadic, who made a magnificent run into the box and saw himself into a tangle with Jonas Lossl.

Maybe that snapped the match to life, and Nacer Chadli cranked a shot off the top pipe.

Saints looked dangerous, and Tony Pulis packed his men in his own end in search of an away point and nothing more.

That backfired when Boufal scored his wonderful solo goal.

Some editorializing, if you’ll allow it:

Southampton 2-2 Newcastle United: Spirited split of spoils

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  • Magpies lead 1-0 at half
  • Gabbiadini bags brace
  • Perez scores 86 seconds later
  • 31 total shots (19 for NUFC)

Manolo Gabbiadini scored a pair of equalizers, and Southampton came within a hair of a deserved win against Newcastle United in a 2-2 draw at St. Mary’s on Sunday.

Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez scored for the Magpies, who led in each half.

Newcastle inches to 11 points, staying ninth on the table, while Saints are dead-even with 10th place West Brom ahead of the Baggies’ Monday match versus Leicester City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There was good pace to the game early, and Christian Atsu missed the left post with a hard left-footed shot off a Newcastle corner kick.

Dusan Tadic had a chance for Southampton inside of 15 minutes, but his effort sailed over Rob Elliot‘s frame. Moments later, Tadic failed to head a Nathan Redmond cross into the goal.

Newcastle claimed a series of corner kicks as the match neared 20 minutes, but Jamaal Lascelles‘ header was claimed by ex-Magpies backstop Fraser Forster.

Hayden then scored, depositing a blocked Christian Atsu shot past a helpless Forster.

Saints began to assert a hold on the game over the next 10 minutes, and Maya Yoshida sent a tempting cross that found no bull’s eye in the 29th minute.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Forster saw a Joselu shot hit the cross bar and then pushed a rebound out for a corner kick.

That’s when Gabbiadini worked Javier Manquillo on the right edge, working to the top of the 18 and hitting a low left-footed shot past Elliot.

It was a fine goal.

Perez made sure the stalemate lasted barely more than 60 seconds, with Jonjo Shelvey starting a sequence that saw the Spaniard bury his own rebound from an acute angle for his first Premier League goal since March 5, 2016.

DeAndre Yedlin should have been sent off in the 56th minute when, on yellow, his studs-up challenge was let off with a warning.

Gabbiadini leveled for Saints when Shane Long hit the deck in the box after contact from Florian Lejeune.

The French defender had a header cleared off the line by Steven Davis in an 89th minute bid for redemption. It came during a stretch of near-complete Saints domination.

Premier League roundup: Manchester in focus (video)

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Manchester is five points clear of the pack after United and City both posted wins on Saturday.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap ]

The Red Devils’ victory came a bit easier, 4-0 against moribund Crystal Palace, but City’s may have made a bigger statement of intent considering a terrific win at Stamford Bridge.


Huddersfield Town 0-4 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

Harry Kane is really good, and finished September with a combined 13 goals for club and country after scoring a brace Saturday at the John Smith’s Stadium. Even Moussa Sissoko scored for Spurs, who also found a goal from Ben Davies.

Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace — RECAP

Squad rotation was no problem for Jose Mourinho, as Marouane Fellaini scored twice to go with Juan Mata‘s 145-second opener at Old Trafford. Romelu Lukaku bagged one late to doom Palace to a seventh-straight goalless loss.

Chelsea 0-1 Manchester CityRECAP

Don’t let the score line fool you: Manchester City was very, very good on a day without Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany. The goal came from Kevin De Bruyne, and it was wonderful, but this was a total win. The final shot total was 17-4 in favor of City.

West Bromwich Albion 2-2 WatfordRECAP

The Hornets were dormant out of the gates, and both Salomon Rondon and Jonny Evans reaped the spoils to open a 2-0 lead for the hosts. But Abdoulaye Doucoure scored and Brazilian magician Richarlison added an equalizer for Watford.

Bournemouth 0-0 Leicester City — RECAP

Far from a beauty for either side, but Joshua King, Marc Pugh and Bournemouth will feel extra aggrieved after a controlling performance failed to produce a goal.

West Ham United 1-0 Swansea City — RECAP

Diafra Sakho came off the bench to move the Irons out of the drop zone at the expense of now 18th Swans.

Stoke City 2-1 Southampton — RECAP

Good news for USMNT fans, as Geoff Cameron returned to the Starting XI and saw goals from Mame Biram Diouf and Peter Crouch get three points for the Potteries. Saints goal came from Maya Yoshida.