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Brace-bagging Chicharito soured by officiating at St. Mary’s

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West Ham United nearly pulled off a stunning comeback with 10 men, a late concession making Javier Hernandez’s two-goal day a little less sunny.

The ex-Manchester United man scored in both halves for his first scoring match day in the Premier League since 2014.

[ RECAP: Saints 3-2 West Ham ]

The first came after teammate Marko Arnautovic was sent off for an elbow, while Chicharito’s second marker was followed by Southampton earning its second penalty kick of the match when Pablo Zabaleta interfered with Maya Yoshida‘s attempted header in the box.

Hernandez was not pleased that the Hammers’ game effort down a man went for nothing on the table. From the BBC:

“When you are running most of the game with 10 men, the penalty decision is harsh. We spoke about Marko Arnautovic’s sending off, it is not completely a red card.

“It shows the character of this team that we do not give up. You have to look at the positives and to look forward. It is hard with 11 men but with 10 men it is even harder. I gained motivation and confidence and happy I scored two but the result is what stays in your head.”

Both goals were classic Chicharito, as the relentless Mexican striker was on the scene to beat his marker to two rebounds. West Ham now sits bottom of the Premier League table through two matches.

VIDEO: Mexican striker Hernandez bags brace for West Ham

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has his first and second Premier League goals since 2014 to open his account as a West Ham United player, though the Hammers lost 3-2 to Southampton at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

Both arrived in fitting fashion, and with West Ham down to 10 men.

Mexico’s first-class poacher was in his office to finish with ease after Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster pushed a Michail Antonio shot onto his path, and then did it again in the closing stages.

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Hernandez raced past his marker to finish and give the 10-man Irons a chance at a St. Mary’s comeback following a red card to Marko Arnautovic.

Dusan Tadic, Charlie Austin, and Manolo Gabbiadini scored for Saints.

See the first goal atop the page, and the second below:

Southampton 3-2 West Ham: Late pen avoids Saints blushes

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  • Redmond, Gabbiadini combine for first
  • Arnautovic sent off
  • Tadic, Austin convert penalties
  • Hernandez scores twice

Charlie Austin watched as Southampton tossed away a 2-0 lead against brace-scoring Chicharito and 10-man West Ham United, then buried a penalty in stoppage time to give Saints all three points on Saturday at St. Mary’s.

Manolo Gabbiadini and Dusan Tadic scored to stake Saints to their lead, and Maya Yoshida won the penalty.

Marko Arnautovic saw red for violent conduct in the first half, and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored for West Ham before and after the break.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Nathan Redmond‘s through ball slid right into Gabbiadini’s stride, and the Italian spun the ball around Joe Hart and inside the far post.

Redmond then flicked a Dusan Tadic pass toward Hart, but the England keeper was wise to it.

Mark Noble should’ve put West Ham down to 10 men with an awful challenge just before the half hour mark, and then Marko Arnautovic earned a red card with an elbow to the neck of Jack Stephens.

Tadic converted a penalty on his 100th Premier League appearance, getting his 15th goal after ex-Saints star Jose Fonte hauled down Steven Davis in the box.

Hernandez netted his first West Ham goal when Fraser Forster pushed Michail Antonio‘s left-footed shot onto the path of the Mexican national team star.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

El Tri’s first class poacher was at it for the equalizer as well, as Forster saved another Antonio chance to Hernandez for a blast into the top of the net.

Nathan Redmond took a left-footed effort that deflected, forcing Hart to push the ball off the bar and out for a corner.

And Saints would break through with a second penalty given by Lee Mason. Pablo Zabaleta tried to get away with a veteran’s shove as Yoshida tried a header in stoppage time.

Morocco announces bid for 2026 World Cup

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It appears the combined USA/Mexico/Canada World Cup 2026 bid will have some competition.

On deadline day, the Moroccan Football Federation announced its interest in also hosting the 2026 World Cup. FIFA announced in May that August 11 was the deadline for federations to “express their interest” in hosting the international tournament.

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In a short statement, the Moroccan FF said, “The Royal Moroccan Football Federation officially launched on Friday (August 11th, 2017) a bid to host the 2026 World Cup. The committee has put the file of its nomination to the committees competent in this file at FIFA in order to embrace global football.”

It was originally expected that only the U.S./Mexico/Canada bid would be in the running for the 2026 World Cup, but now it appears that the U.S. will have a little bit of competition, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

While the U.S. and Brazil are completely different countries and cultures, there was no competition to the Brazil World Cup bid and as a result, the local (and allegedly corrupt) organizing committee members fell behind quickly on stadium projects, forcing there to be last minute changes at the 2013 Confederations Cup when some of the stadiums weren’t ready in time.

The U.S. bid however is still the most likely to win the World Cup rights, with the relative ease it will take the U.S., Mexico and Canada to host a 48-team World Cup.

North America hasn’t hosted a World Cup since 1994, while South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010 to represent the African continent.

Atlas hopes Marquez can ‘rejoin team’ after US allegations

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexico’s national soccer team and club Atlas have issued cautious statements backing embattled star Rafael Marquez but also apparently distancing themselves somewhat after he was among 22 people sanctioned by the U.S. government for alleged drug trafficking ties.

[ MORE: Assessing the top moves during the MLS summer transfer window ]

Atlas calls Marquez an “exemplary” player and wishes him well. It says it hopes for “a resolution that allows our captain to rejoin the team,” but does not give further details.

Marquez did not practice with the club for a second straight day Thursday.

The national team said Marquez has represented “El Tri” in a dignified fashion for two decades and it trusts “he will clear up his situation with authorities.”

The 38-year-old is a former defender for Barcelona and New York Red Bulls. On Wednesday he denied having any drug ties.