As it happened: Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

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Two evenly matches teams saw one, 90th minute defensive mistake separate them, with Fabio Coentrão’s late gamble on Philipp Lahm leading to the game winning goal. Here’s how PST saw the action, as it happened:

Final: Bayern Munich 2 (Ribery 17′, Gomez 90′), Real Madrid 1 (Özil 53′)

94′ – The whistle blows, and thanks to Philipp Lahm and Mario Gomez, Bayern Munich have held serve. They’ll take a 2-1 advantage to Madrid having handed Real their first loss of the tournament, though José Mourinho’s side take a valuable road goal out of the Allianz.

93′ – Marcelo goes in very late on Thomas Müller, how holds his leg in agony. Howard Webb is quick to come in as the teams converge.  As the teams disperse, Kroos is up. Webb only gives yellow. Replays show Marcelo comes in from behind, swinging a leg late, nailing Kroos in the left shin.

92′ – Higuain goes into the book after asking for a card when Ronaldo’s brought down.

90′ – Coentrão again is left on the ground after a failed challenge, Lahm getting a free pass to the line. He gets there, moves toward goal, then plays a ball into the six. Mario Gomez is there for what should be the winner, the Bayern attacker getting ball side of Alvaro Arbeloa for his 12th goal of Champions League.

87′ – The crowd wants all call here, but Howard Webb sees Sergio Ramos as being good, despite taking down Mario Gomez. A ball rolled in through the channel to the right of Pepe sees Gomez with a near-chance, but Ramos comes over and wins the challenge (despite Bayern’s protests).

86′ – Another chance for Gomez. Lahm cuts back onto his left foot and puts a cross in. Gomez gets up and redirects it on goal, but Casillas is right there.

85′ – Perhaps seeing an opportunity in the half-chance Esteban Granero had a minute ago, José Mourinho has switched Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s back on the left.

84′ – Real Madrid’s last change: Gonzalo Higuain is on; Karim Benzema comes off. Bayern still has two subs.

82′ – Throw in for Ribery sees him flick a ball over an oncoming defender and cut toward goal. He cuts the ball back, but Real Madrid intercepts, and after some nervous moments of clanking clearances off each other, the ball is out.

81′ – Arbeloa is down, having taken a shoulder in the back from Gomez. It’s Bayern’s first show of frustration, as they’ve been unable to make much headway over the last 10 minutes.

80′ – Esteban Granero is on for Angel Di Maria. He’ll play between Ronaldo and Marcelo, a line of three behind Benzeman.

79′ – Ribery is down again, trying to drawn another card. This one was whistled for a foul, but Real’s players are tired of it. Alonso immediately turns around, screaming at Ribery.

75′ – Wow. Ramos should get red for this, but he won’t. The Real Madrid defender goes sliding through the back of Thomas Muller as the Bayern defender, back to defense, waits for a ball to come to feet. As dangerous as that play is, there was never hope for anything but yellow.

74′ – Bayern has more of the ball right now, but they’re only generating half-chances. Their latest foray sees Luiz Gustavo plays one long and deep down the left, Ribery unable to save a Real goal kick.

72′ – A couple of step-overs by Ronaldo give Alaba a chance to gain possession. He does, and Bayern’s on the counter, the crowd roaring at the prospect of Ronaldo being made to pay. Ball is worked out to Bayern’s right where a cross for Gomez is put over the bar.

71′ – On the restart, the ball drops in behind the defense. A poor touch from Sergio Ramos plays the ball right to Mario Gomez. Gomez lifts a golden opportunity over the bar, given Ramos a reprieve.

70′ – For the second time this half, Ribery’s gone down to an Alvaro Arbeloa foul, and for the third time tonight, Ribery’s making the most of it. This time, Webb warns Arbeloa, but his cards stay in his pocket.

69′ – Real Madrid’s first change is a surprising one. Marcelo is coming on. Mesut Ozil’s coming off.

66′ – Another corner from the right for Bayern, and it’s much of the same. Real’s defenders are doing well to get up for Robben’s service, though instead of the kick leading to a Real counter, a second ball come in targeting Mario Gomez at the near post. Real’s ready for it and sends it out.

64′ – Robben wins a corner for Bayern, but Real defends it well enough to spring a counter. Angel Di Maria, who’d just taken a yellow to stop a counter, is taken down by Philipp Lahm, who goes into Howard Webb’s book.

62′ – Scare for Real Madrid as a ball’s rolled through the line, sending Gomez in on goal. Casillas reads it perfectly and covers it up.

61′ – The first change of the match sees Thomas Müller come on for Bastian Schweinsteiger. Given the timing of this, it could have been a planned substitution, as Schweinsteiger still may not be 90 minutes sit. It shows the value of Toni Kroos, though, as he’ll now drop back and play with Luiz Gustavo.

59′ – Foul on Kroos, who takes down Ozil about 40 yards from goal. Alonso’ on this and swingings it in right to a Bayern defender. The ball’s headed out and Di María frantically tries to stop a counter. The Argentine takes a yellow, fouling Ribery.

58′ – Bayern with their first chance sine the goal. Coentrão reaches for a challenge on Robber, who dances to the line before playing into the six for Gomez. The ball’s cut off and a corner’s conceded.

56′ – Fabio Coentrão goes into the book for a bad foul on Luiz Gustavo. Xabi Alonso soon joins him. That makes four who’ve seen yellow.

55′ – We see a replay of Real Madrid’s bench, elated at getting the away goal.

53′ – Oh, wow. Real Madrid catches Bayern out. It’s three attackers on three defenders, and Benzema finds Ronaldo wide open on the right. Ronaldo plays it right into the feet of Neuer – a really poorly taken try – but the rebound comes out, is picked up by Real, and eventually played back over to Ronaldo. From a tight angle, he plays into the six for an easy tap-in for Özil. Real Madrid have that valuable road goal.

52′ – Robben sees his first chance of the night. A counter down the left eventually comes through Kroos in the middle to Robben. With Real’s defense shifted to the right, Robben has a lot of room to come in onto his left foot and left a shot go from 22 yards. It goes over the bar.

51′ – Di Maria plays another long ball for Benzema. This time, the ball’s wide, allowing Ronaldo to cut in. Benzema tried to play a cross for him but it comes up short. Neuer grabs it.

49′ – If Real had started to regain control at the end of the first half, halftime cooled that. The first three minutes of the second have been even, though we have been given another hint that Benzema could be dangerous. A longer ball sees the Real striker that two steps on Boateng. He wins a corner.

46′ – According to UEFA, Xabi Alonso (5.7 km) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (5.8 km) covered the most ground in the first half.

46′ – We are back. Bayern is now moving from left to right on your imaginary television screen.

Halftime: What changes need to be made at halftime? Both sides could argue none. Bayern hasn’t been perfect, but they’re playing well against a really tough opponent. For Real Madrid, a tactical adjustment might be preferred to changing personnel. Real was having success playing the ball on the ground to Karim Benzema early in the half, but after the goal, they wanted to feed Ronaldo. José Mourinho should encourage his guys to bring Benzema back into the game. If the current personnel can’t do it, bring on Kaká for Özil at 60′.

Halftime: One pre-match move that I expressed surprise at was sacrificing Thomas Muller for Toni Kroos, but Jupp Heynckes’ decision appears to be paying off, if only mildly. With Müller in the team, Bayern would play with a slightly different shape. He’s a player that will play forward from his position between the wingers, whereas Kroos’ more natural tendencies have him sit and at times drop back. He’s been able to provide a number of useful touches from those spots.

Halftime: After one minute of injury time, Webb blows his whistle. It’s been an even half, possibly one controlled slightly more often by Real Madrid, but Bayern’s strong spell in the middle of the half produced the match’s only goal.

45′ – Sergio Ramos with a very ill-advised foul. He takes down Gomez in the arc when the Bayern attacker is surrounded by three Real defenders. Kroos stands over it, the ball spotted just outside the arc, but he can’t get it over the wall.

44′ – It’s been a while since Real Madrid tested Boetang and Badstuber, as they did early on. Most would say that’s the weakness of Bayern’s team, but after the goal, Real’s been content to try their luck from distance.

43′ – Its a good thing these sides are changing ends at half, else they’d wear out the grass on Ronaldo/Robben’s flank. Almost everything that’s happened this half has taken place on that side.

42′ – Update on that stats: Both teams have two shots on goal. Real’s put 7 shots toward Neuer. Bayern’s fired only three. Possession is dead even.

40′ – First real chance for Mario Gomez comes in transition with Alvaro Arbeloa caught up field. Gomez is able to attack to Pepe’s right and launch a 16 yard rocket at Casillas. The Real keeper pushes it over the bar, with the ensuing corner poorly delivered by Franck Ribery.

39′ – Bayern’s first spell of possession in some time fizzles out on their right. Real Madrid’s quick into a counter, with Ronaldo running at Lahm. He eventually cuts in and tries to play a ball for Di Maria with the outside of his right foot. It’s intercepted, cleared, and the Bayern response ends up with a ball rolled to Iker Casillas.

37′ – Bayern’s attempt to counter sees Fabio Coentrão with the ball. His attempt to play the ball back into Bayern’s end is bet with the bottom of Robben’s boot. Ceoentrão goes down holding his left. Howard Webb produces his second card.

36′ – Ronaldo’s brought down again, this time by Robben. Clear foul, if harmless if Alonso can’t do something with this service. The ball’s deep on Real’s left, swung in by Alonso, with Benzema’s flick dealt with.

34′ – For the first time in about 20 minutes, the match is starting to look like it did at the onset. Through they’re doing little with it, Real Madrid is about to possess,string together touches, and generally decide where they want to attack. No surprise, they always seem to make their way back to Ronaldo.

33′ – Mesut Ozil with the ball, takes it to the right corner before giving up a throw. The German international has done little over the first half hour.

31′ – First yellow card of the match is given to Holger Badstuber after Angel Di Maria is taken down. The caution could have just as easily gone to Luiz Gustavo. Ronaldo is given a direct from about 36 yards, one he puts into the wall.

30′ – Cristiano Ronaldo has his first chance from open play. He cuts in from the left and puts a right-footed shot over the bar. The game’s opened up, slightly.

29′ – Robben get out on a counter, and Coentrao and Ramos are left running back to goal, trying to keep pace. Robben plays a ball past Coentrao, beats him to it, and crosses into the six. Nothing comes of it, but it’s not what Jose Mourinho wants to see – his former Chelsea star running at an defense not given time to set up.

28′ – Bayern looks like they’re going to come down the left this time, but Ribery switches it early to Bastian Schweinsteiger, who’s pushed up on the right. Trap, set it up, tee it off, and the ball goes wide of Casillas’s right post. Bayern’s looking the better of the sides since the goal.

26′ – Every time Bayern’s building, they’re building down their right, where they have Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm. As Robben gets on his toes and tries to set up Fabio Coentrão, Sami Khedira comes over and is guarding against Robben cutting back on his left foot. This time, Lahm’s played a ball to the line, gets in a cross, that leads to a corner.

25′ – Real Madrid continues trying to feed Benzema between Boateng and Badstuder. This time, it’s Pepe, who’s allowed to carry the ball into Bayern’s half before playing a pass that rolls all the way to Neuer.

24′ – Second foul on Ronaldo, with the Madrid attacker coming in from the left, picking up a ball in his own half, and trying to break his team into a counter. Ribery backtracks through his man, drawing the foul.

23′ – If the goal rocked Real Madrid, it’s hard to tell. They seem to see this as early days. Bayern, on the other hand, look their opponent’s equal, an attitude that wasn’t always apparent before the goal.

20′ – First time Cristiano Ronaldo’s taken down tonight, with Philipp Lahm coming in from behind to give Ronaldo a free kick from about 28 yards out. It’s funny to see Ozil standing over this, too, as if there’s any question who’l take this. Ronaldo takes two steps and opens his right foot onto it, putting his shot about 2 feet over the goal’s upper left hand corner.

19′ – That was Bayern’s first official shot on goal (Real Madrid also have one). Teams are splitting possession, according to UEFA.

17′ – Just like that, Bayern have the lead! So much for Real controlling the early minutes, right? Corner from Bayern’s left comes off Ramos and falls near the spot. Ribery’s there to snap the opener past Casillas. It’s 1-0 Bayern.

15′ – Mild controversy! Bayern with some nice play down their right plays a ball into the box for Ribery. Ribery plays the ball past Sergio Ramos toward the spot, runs into his man, and goes down. The crowd wants a cal, but Webb has none of it. Relays showed that while Ramos had a palm on Ribery’s chest, the Bayern forward idiotically goes down. Having his man beaten, he was set up for a shot from 12 yards on this strong foot.

14′ – A kerfuffle! Robben and Coentrão get mixed up. The ref (Howard Webb) has a word with Real’s left back. No cards, and in truth, not much of a kerfuffle.

13′ – One interesting positional note: Sergio Ramos is playing on the left side of Madrid’s central defensive pair, something that’s not unheard of, but it will put another quick defender on Arjen Robben’s side. Pepe versus Bayern’s right wing is more of the mismatch and is begging the big Portuguese to take cards (not that Ramos is good at avoiding them).

11′ – Bayern with some possession plays a long ball for Gomez, and while it forces Casillas out of his box to play it, it doesn’t do much to bring them into this match. Real Madrid resumes possession.

10′ – And just like that, you think back on the last 4-5 minutes and realize Real Madrid’s assumed control. Perhaps that Benzema chance pushed Bayern unto their heals, but Madrid’s now stringing together passes and able to establish themselves in Bayern’s half.

8′ – Benzema tries to run onto another through ball. This time, right-center back Jerome Boetang goes with him. It looks like Real Madrid may have a game plan there, but if Boetang is going to move away from his right to cover Benzema, that’s going to open up that area for Cristiano Ronaldo. Luiz Gustavo’s going to have to help.

7′ – First major chance of the match. Mesut Ozil draws Holdger Badstuder off his line, threads a ball in to Karim Benzema. One touch and the striker blasts one from just inside the box. Neuer pushes it over. Easy save.

6′ – Teams are still very munch in the feeling out stage, neither generating a real threat, let along an honest chance. This is a good point to remind everybody that these first legs can often be a bit dire, with the teams aware they’re in the first minutes of a 180 minute match.

4′ – We’re also seeing effort at its highest early on. Some interesting examples of this: Mesut Özil doing some tracking of Toni Kroos through midfield in the first minute, Franck Ribery being even with left back David Alaba when intervening on a long diagonal for Angel Di Maria.

3′ – First time either keeper has had been active sees a cross snatched up by Iker Casillas. Seconds later, a ball rolled into the six by Karim Benzema is swallowed up by Manuel Neuer.

0′ – And we’re off. Bayern kicks off, moving from right to left.

[limbo] – The Champions League anthem is done, and we’re moments before kickoff. Have to say I’m still surprised by Kroos getting the nod above Müller. Don’t like it or dislike it, though I’m excited Toni Kroos is getting the call on such a big stage.

[limbo] – I’d also like to apologize ahead of time for messing up your favorite player’s name. And to confirm your suspicions now: Yes, I did intentionally mess it up. It almost certainly wasn’t an innocent mistake.

[limbo] – I have some shocking news: The match is not kicking off exactly at 2:45 p.m.

-2′ – It’s rare you get to see the stadium before the match. We’re used to pundits getting in their last words, but this time we get a treat: The announcement of Bayern’s lineup to the Allianz crowd. For each FCB player, the PA announce will say the first name (“Arjen …”) and let the crowd should the last (“Robben!”).

-3′ – Subs for todays match … Bayern: Butt, Rafinha, Contento, Pranjic, Tymoshchuk, Olic, Muller (who I mistakenly, by reflex, put in the starting lineup); Real Madrid: Adan, Marcelo, Albiol, Varane, Kaka, Granero, Higuain.

-8′ – Just a reminder of our lead-in to today’s match. The take away message: Arjen Robben is real good, real important, and Bayern really wants to win.

-10′ – We’re about 15 minutes from kickoff at the Allianz Arena in Munich, and from now until the final whistle, we’re going to be providing updates here.

Real Madrid  is in Germany to face Bayern Munich, the clubs having won a combined 13 European Cups. Today is the first leg of their Champions League semifinal, the winner moving on to face either Barcelona or Chelsea on May 19 at this very same venue.

The lineups have been in for a while, here they are:

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1/4-4-2): Manuel Neuer – David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Phillip Lahm – Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luiz Gustavo – Franck Ribery, Toni Kroos, Arjen Robben – Mario Gomez

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1/4-4-2): Iker Casillas – Fábio Coentrão, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa – Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso – Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Özil, Ángel Di María – Karim Benzema

Kick-off is at 2:45 p.m. ET. If you have FOX Soccer, check in there. If not, we’ll do our best to keep you up to date.

Messi scores two beauties, accosted twice as Argentina tops Jamaica 3-0

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HARRISON, N.J. (AP) Lionel Messi responded to an in-game, on-field request for a signature with a signature goal.

Messi scored two goals and was twice accosted by fans running on the field as Argentina extended its unbeaten streak to 35 matches over three years by beating Jamaica 3-0 on Tuesday night in its next-to-last World Cup warmup match.

“You have to enjoy Messi,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said. “No matter your country, everyone does. I’m his coach, but I would buy a ticket to see him.”

[ MORE: Who will make the USMNT World Cup roster? ]

Julian Alvarez put Argentina ahead in the 13th minute. Messi entered in the 56th and increased his career total to 90 goals in 164 international appearances with his 17th multigoal game.

“There are no words to describe what he is,” Alvarez said. “Playing five, 10 minutes or all the match, he manages to do amazing things.”

A fan sprinted onto the field in the 65th minute and tried to take Messi’s photo. Messi stood and watched the spectator being subdued at his feet while the fan still tried to snap an image with his cell phone.

The six-time world player of the year, three months past his 35th birthday, doubled the lead when he beat Andrew Blake to the goalkeeper’s left on a 23-yard left-foot shot in the 86th minute after driving forward following a give-and-go with Giovani Lo Celso.

After his first goal, Messi was approached by a barechested fan who asked him to sign his back, and he started to scrawl a signature as three guards tackled the fan and more swarmed in.

Messi got another goal three minutes later after he was pulled down by Adrian Mariappa just outside the penalty area. Messi sent the kick through the defensive wall and just to the right arm of a sprawling Blake for his ninth free-kick goal for Argentina.

Messi scored four goals in Argentina’s two World Cup warmups this month, giving him 16 career goals in the U.S.

Fans erupted in applause less than a minute into the second half when Messi walked with teammates to a corner and started to warm up. A large percentage of the crowd appeared more focused on Messi stretching than they did the action on the field, and fans stood and made the stadium rumble when he entered for Lautaro Martinez and took the captain’s armband from Angel Di Maria.

Messi, who won his first senior title for Argentina at last year’s Copa America, still has more speed and quicker acceleration than most and his addition energized Argentina in the second half. He also forced Blake to make a pair of diving saves.

[ MORE: Saudi Arabia vs USMNT analysis, recap ]

Many in the sellout crowd of 25,000 in Red Bull Arena wore blue-and-white-striped Albiceleste jerseys, making it feel like an Argentina home game. Public address announcements were primarily in Spanish and ribbon boards flashed “Vamos Argentina!”

Alvarez put Argentina ahead after Nicolas Tagliafico passed from the flank to Martinez, who spun around Leon Bailey to open space and centered to the 22-year-old Alvarez. He slotted past Blake for his second goal in 11 international appearances.

Heading to its 13th straight World Cup, Argentina seeks to add to championships it won in 1978 with Mario Kempes and 1986 with Diego Maradona. Argentina has one remaining friendly, against the United Arab Emirates on Nov. 16 at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. At the World Cup in Qatar, Argentina opens against Saudi Arabia, which tied the United States 0-0 in an exhibition Tuesday, and then plays Mexico and Poland.

Argentina has 25 wins, including one on penalty kicks, and 10 draws since a 2-0 loss to Brazil at the Copa America on July 2, 2019.

Scaloni made eight changes from the starting lineup in Friday’s 3-0 win over 80th-ranked Honduras at Miami Gardens, Florida, inserting Di Maria and Giovani Lo Celso. Emiliano Martinez replaced Geronimo Rulli.

The Reggae Boyz, who finished sixth among eight nations in the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region, played in jerseys without names, in contrast to Argentina. Jamaica started a first-choice lineup in its first match under new coach Heimir Hallgrimsson that included Premier Leaguers Michail Antonio, Leon Bailey and Bobby Decordova-Reid and Blake, a Philadelphia Union standout.

World Cup 2022 schedule – groups, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates

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The World Cup 2022 schedule is locked in and there is so much to look forward to ahead of the tournament in Qatar in November to December.

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From the USMNT facing England the day after Thanksgiving to Mexico and Argentina squaring off in the group stages, Spain facing Germany, and Belgium vs Canada, there are plenty of intriguing games in the opening round.

[ MORE: USMNT react to draw

Then we have the Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and final to look forward to.

Below is the schedule in full, details on how to watch the games and everything else you need..

[ MORE: World Cup odds ]


World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
Group stage game kick off times: 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
Location: Qatar
TV channel in English: Fox
TV channel in Spanish: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock


Group A schedule (all kick off times ET)

November, 20: Qatar vs Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 12pm
November, 21: Senegal vs Netherlands – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 5am
November, 25: Qatar vs Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 8am
November, 25: Netherlands vs Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 11am
November, 29: Netherlands vs Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 10am
November, 29: Ecuador vs Senegal –  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Group B schedule

November, 21: England vs Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
November, 21: USA vs Wales- Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
November, 25: England vs USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm
November, 25: Wales vs Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 5am
November, 29: Wales vs England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
November, 29: Iran vs USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Group C schedule

November, 22: Argentina vs Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 5am
November, 22: Mexico vs Poland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
November, 26: Argentina vs Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
November, 26: Poland vs Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
November, 30: Poland vs Argentina – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm
November, 30: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Group D schedule

November, 22: France vs Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 2pm
November, 22: Denmark vs Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
November, 26: France vs Denmark – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
November, 26: Tunisia vs Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 5am
November, 30: Tunisia vs France –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
November, 30: Australia vs Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am

Group E schedule

November, 23: Spain vs Costa Rica- Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 11am
November, 23: Germany vs Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
November, 27: Spain vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm
November, 27: Japan vs Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 5am
December, 1: Japan vs Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
December, 1: Costa Rica vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Group F schedule

November, 23: Belgium vs Canada – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
November, 23: Morocco vs Croatia – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 5am
November, 27: Belgium vs Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 8am
November, 27: Croatia vs Canada – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 11am
December, 1: Croatia vs Belgium – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
December, 1: Canada vs Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 10am

Group G schedule

November, 24: Brazil vs Serbia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
November, 24: Switzerland vs Cameroon – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 5am
November, 28: Brazil vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
November, 28: Cameroon vs Serbia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 5am
December, 2: Cameroon vs Brazil – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
December, 2: Serbia vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Group H schedule

November, 24: Portugal vs Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha – 11am
November, 24: Uruguay vs South Korea – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
November, 28: Portugal vs Uruguay – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
November, 28: South Korea vs Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 8am
December, 2: South Korea vs Portugal – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
December, 2: Ghana vs Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am


Round of 16 schedule

Match 49 – December, 3: Winner Group A vs Runners up Group B – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 50 – December, 3:  Winners Group C vs Runners up Group D – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm

Match 52 -December, 4: Winners Group D vs Runners up Group C – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 51 – December, 4: Winners Group B vs Runners up Group A – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

Match 53 -December, 5: Winners Group E vs Runners up Group F – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am

Match 54 – December, 5: Winners Group G vs Runners up Group H – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm

Match 55 – December, 6: Winners Group F vs Runners up Group E – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 56 – December, 6: Winners Group H vs Runners up Group G – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm


Quarterfinal schedule

Match 58 – December, 9: Winners Match 53 vs Winners Match 54 – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am

Match 57 – December, 9: Winners Match 49 vs Winners Match 50 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

Match 60 – December, 10: Winners Match 55 vs Winners Match 56 – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha – 10am

Match 59 – December, 10: Winners Match 51 vs Winners Match 52 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Semifinal schedule

Match 61 – December, 13: Winners Match 57 vs Winners Match 58 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm

Match 62 – December, 14: Winners Match 59 vs Winners Match 60 – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Third-place play-off

Match 63 – December, 17: Losers Match 61 vs Losers Match 62 – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm


Final

Match 64 – December, 18: Winners Match 61 vs Winners Match 62 – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 10am

USMNT held by Saudi Arabia as malaise continues

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The USMNT drew 0-0 against Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain, as Gregg Berhalter’s side finished their World Cup preparations with plenty of pressure building on them.

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Tyler Adams went closest to scoring for the USMNT but in truth it was a poor game in a near-empty stadium in southern Spain, as an injury-hit Saudi Arabia were dangerous on the break.

This is not the kind of performance, and result, Berhalter would have wanted after their disappointing defeat to Japan last week and it gives him plenty of questions to answer just 54 days out from the World Cup kicking off in Qatar.


What we learned from Saudi Arabia vs USMNT

Confidence is low in the USMNT camp: This was not much better than the defeat to Japan and the U.S. look totally devoid of confidence on the ball. In the final third they always seemed to pick the wrong option and there were still some very bad giveaways in defense as Long, Turner and Adams were all guilty. This is a team which was playing safe and looked like a group of players who didn’t want to pick up an injury in the final game before the World Cup. There was no cutting edge and you have to feel sorry for Ricardo Pepi up top, as there was no cohesion and no rhythm to this display.

Musah, Robinson, Weah are badly missed: Berhalter referenced the starters he was missing before this game and it is clear the USMNT missed players who can keep the ball and provide quality from wide positions. Musah makes the USMNT tick in midfield and Weah and Robinson are so direct out wide that it allows midfielders to run into dangerous positions knowing they will be found. The USMNT had none of that in this game aside from Pulisic and McKennie combining and getting in a few times down the left in the first half. Pulisic in particularly went missing in the second half of this.

Saudi Arabia will be a tough nut to crack: Missing several key starters, this was a spirited display from Saudi Arabia. Herve Renard knows how to organize a team to be disciplined and dangerous on the counter and Saudi Arabia were exactly that. They’re in a very tough group with Argentina, Mexico and Poland, but they can cause a few shocks. The fact they have five more friendlies between now and the World Cup and all of their players are based domestically (with many coming from Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr) means they are very familiar playing together and are a robust unit.


Tactical focus

The USMNT looked to go long early and often and it worked to generate more chances than they did against Japan. McKennie surged in-behind the defenders, Pulisic cut in from the left and Long and Zimmerman both looked long whenever they could. Saudi Arabia were still a threat on the break and the spacing between the midfield trio and the defense remains a big issue for the USMNT as there were far too many gaps on the transition.


How to watch Saudi Arabia vs USMNT live, updates and start time

Date: Tuesday, September 27
Kick off time: 2pm ET
Where: Estadio Nuevo Condomina, Murcia, Spain
How to watch: FS1, UnimasTUDN


Saudi Arabia vs USMNT live analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright

  • Send in your questions for our live Q&A (click on the video above) straight after Saudi Arabia vs USMNT
  • Gio Reyna leaves game in the 30th minute, replaced by Paul Arriola

18 minutes to go. Still 0-0. Not a lot going on.

SHOT! Much better from the USMNT as sub Scally had a cross cleared, then moments later fellow sub Ferreira smashes on goal but it is saved. The subs having a great impact. That is more like it.

Scally, McKenzie and Ferreira on for the USMNT. Yedlin (who was down for a long time getting treatment following a nasty tackle), Pepi and Long off.

The USMNT have yet to get going in this second half. Saudi Arabia looking more dangerous and whipped in a few crosses.

An update on Gio Reyna: he was taken off as a precaution (per Fox Sports’ Jenny Taft) and U.S. Soccer have since said he was ‘experiencing muscle tightness’ and that was why he was taken out.

Second half is underway and no subs from either side. It has been all Saudi Arabia so far.

HALF TIME: Saudi Arabia 0-0 USMNT – Not a great half from the U.S., again. A few more chances with McKennie and Adams going close and balls over the top causing problems. However, Saudi Arabia have had a few chances and are looking decent on the counter. To sum up the USMNT’s display in a word: sloppy.

The news filtering through about Gio Reyna doesn’t sound positive, as it has been confirmed by U.S. Soccer that the substitution was not planned. All signs point to some kind of injury. Fingers crossed it is nothing serious and the U.S. were just being very, very cautious given his recent injury history.

CLOSE! Saudi Arabia almost take the lead. Walker Zimmerman and Paul Arriola make crucial blocks after substitute Haitham Asiri got in down the right and Hattan Bahebri couldn’t sort out his feet at the key moment. Huge let off.

SUB: A worrying sign for the USMNT whenever Gio Reyna goes off early in a game and heads straight down the tunnel. Given his history record, this is concerning. Paul Arriola is on. 30 minutes gone.

USMNT fans won’t be delighted with what they’ve seen so far. Sure, it’s better than the display against Japan but it couldn’t get any worse, could it?

WIDE! Tyler Adams puts a shot just wide from 25 yards out. A decent effort after some sustained U.S. pressure.

Pulisic, wearing the captain’s armband, is looking real sharp. Some surging runs in from the left and he’s popping up everywhere.

Not too much going on at the moment as the USMNT struggle to get in the final third on a regular basis.

Lovely ball over the top and McKennie controls well but his shot is straight at the goalkeeper. Still, much better from the USMNT.

A few decent runs forward from the USMNT. As Pepi and McKennie both flagged for offside. Quick passing and moving from the U.S. as that is more like it.

KICK OFF: We are underway! Straight away Saudi Arabia have a shot from the edge of the box and Turner pushes it away. Sharp start from Saudi Arabia, who are missing several key players due to injury.

Anthems ring around the stadium in Murcia in front of a very small crowd which looks like being less than 1,000. Can the USMNT respond to that heavy defeat against Japan? We are about to find out.

Tick-tock! Kick off is almost here and this is the final chance for players to impress Gregg Berhalter ahead of the World Cup. Will it be another nervy, error-strewn display form the Stars and Stripes? Or will the likes of Pulisic, Adams and McKennie stand tall and really lead this young team to a much-needed win and, perhaps more importantly, a positive display?

As we approach kick off, the general reaction to team news focuses on Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman once again starting together at center back. This probably shows that Erik Palmer-Brown and Mark McKenzie are way down the pecking order in that position and the injured duo of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Chris Richards are well ahead of them. Also, watching Pulisic and Reyna on the wings could be fun, especially if they’re allowed to drift inside at will.

The team news is in from sunny southern Spain, as the beautiful Estadio Nuevo Condomina is the setting for the USMNT’s final game before the World Cup kicks off.

For the USMNT, Matt Turner starts in goal once again with Zimmerman and Long at center back. DeAndre Yedlin comes in at right back, with Sergino Dest switching over to left back. Ricardo Pepi comes in for Jesus Ferreira up top, Christian Pulisic replaces Brenden Aaronson out wide and Kellyn Acosta is in for Luca de la Torre in midfield.

Gregg Berhalter has gone a lot stronger with this starting lineup than we thought he might. Is that showing the pressure is on him to get a positive result? Perhaps.

Below is the Saudi Arabian starting lineup, as their entire roster is from their domestic league and for any USMNT fans underestimating them, Saudi Arabia finished above Japan in World Cup qualifying.


Saudi Arabia vs USMNT head-to-head record

This will be the seventh meeting between the Yanks and Green Falcons, but the first since 1999 against a national team representing political issues for the United States. Saudi Arabia won two of the first four but the Yanks claimed home soil wins in a 1995 friendly and the 1999 Confederations Cup. All of the on-field mentions above mean absolutely nothing for Tuesday but they are fun to note on a pre-match preview (Upside-down smile face emoji).


The lowdown on Saudi Arabia

This is a very Saudi Arabia experienced side, one that went 13W-4D-1L in World Cup qualifying and have experience in a lot of 1-0 contests including recent Spain-based friendly losses to Colombia and Venezuela. The team will also feel at home in Murcia, where it played those matches and where it had a scoreless tangle with Ecuador four days prior to this tilt. Ecuador outshot the Saudis 11-5 and had 60 percent of the ball but all that will get you an argument that you deserved better than a solitary point that comes from a real match. If you want to see your Yanks break down a sound team, Tuesday’s a good chance.


Key storylines

Let’s be very fair to Berhalter, who has a young team and has overseen some memorable and downright awesome triumphs in CONCACAF: There are injuries right now — Christian Pulisic was rested with a knock on Friday — and the coach does not have access to Timothy Weah, Cameron Carter-Vickers, and Chris Richards.

But his judgment is being questioned with Fulham captain Tim Ream, Union Berlin center forward Jordan Pefok, and Benfica back John Brooks healthy and ready to contribute but sitting at home. Berhalter has questioned their fits in the system and also said something nebulous about the team not expressing its “personality” versus Japan and that sounds pretty bad when the system looks awful.


USMNT team news, injuries, lineup

This is easily the most interesting lineup in some time for the USMNT after Berhalter gave starting looks to some of his lynchpins and got a mixed bag of results, none of which were exceptional aside from goalkeeper Matt Turner (and even he was not at his best in possession on an admittedly poor pitch in Dusseldorf) and Brenden Aaronson if we’re being judicious in the name of optimism. But really, all of the front three were ghosts. Much of is down to the eight men behind them, though, and forgiving glances can be cast at Aaronson and Giovanni Reyna. Jesus Ferreira is not included after missing a chance that would and could be called a sitter if he didn’t have to jump to head it (We kid, but it’s dark humor).

Aaron Long was very poor and Walker Zimmerman uncharacteristically poor next to him, while youngster Sam Vines had a rough first half before Berhalter adjusted his usage from left back to left wing back with emphasis on the wing part. Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams are often the heartbeat of this team but both looked a mix of cavalier and junior varsity. That won’t happen often, and very rarely will occur at the same time.

Here’s what to watch from Berhalter’s lineup choices, presuming he doesn’t change his formation.

  • If Matt Turner starts — and then stays healthy and relatively blunder-free at Arsenal — forget about anyone else starting the World Cup opener in Qatar. If it’s Ethan Horvath or presumed No. 3 Sean Johnson, well, anything’s possible.
  • We’ll see Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie, but will it be Luca de la Torre completing the midfield trio? Will Kellyn Acosta or Johnny Cardoso arrive to move McKennie into a different role? Will Malik Tillman get his chance to start? Or will Giovanni Reyna be played in position (please?)?
  • Ricardo Pepi: The way Josh Sargent was plugged into the front three in the second half, it seems like FC Dallas star Ferreira and alum Pepi were meant to trade starts.
  • Christian Pulisic will start on the wing. How does he look, both in form and body language?
  • Sergino Dest and Sam Vines were the fullbacks versus Japan, with Reggie Cannon coming off the bench. Will it be Joe Scally and DeAndre Yedlin to start? Will Dest swap to left back? Antonee Robinson and Dest are the favorites to start in Qatar, but is the latter’s spot on the right now in question?
  • Much of U.S. Soccer, us included, considered this break to be a bunch of center backs bidding to play next to Walker Zimmerman in Qatar. Will it be Zimmerman plus one on Tuesday or something else?

UEFA Nations League: Schedule, how to watch, stream, TV, standings

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UEFA Nations League champions France will not go back-to-back, and Portugal is battling with Spain in its bid to return to the throne room, highlighting the odds that a new Nations League winner will be crowned at the end of third edition of the tournament.

[ LIVE: European Nations League hub — Scores, stats ]

England and Wales are no longer top-tier sides after their relegations to UEFA Nations League B. England didn’t win a single one of their six group games (0W-3D-3L) as Gareth Southgate’s side finished bottom of Group A3. Italy won at Hungary in their final game in Group 3 to reach the semifinal rounds, which won’t really make up for not making the World Cup but could give Roberto Mancini’s side some silverware.

France lost to Denmark and just remained in League A as Austria were relegated, with Croatia pipping the Danes to a place in the semifinal round by winning Group A1.

Group A4 is the opposite sort of fight, Belgium and the Netherlands have both played very well but the Dutch triumphed down the stretch (thanks to a 1-0 win as Virgil van Dijk scored the lone goal in Amsterdam) to advance to the semifinal round.

While all eyes went to Group A2 as Portugal hosted Spain on the final day and a win or a draw for Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. would’ve put him two wins from another trophy. Would Portugal join Croatia, Italy, and the Netherlands in the semis? That’s an unshiny nope for CR7 and Co., thanks to Alvaro Morata.


UEFA Nations League live: How to watch, stream links

When: June 1, 2022 – March 26, 2024
How to watch: Fox Sports Live, Fubo TV


UEFA Nations League A, Group 1

Croatia– 4-1-1, 13 pts [ADVANCED]
Denmark — 4-0-2, 12 pts
France — 1-2-3, 5 pts
Austria — 1-1-4, 4 pts [RELEGATED]

Next fixtures

Thursday
France 2-0 Austria
Croatia 2-1 Denmark

Sunday
Denmark 2-0 France
Austria 1-3 Croatia

UEFA Nations League A, Group 2

Spain — 3-2-1, 11 pts [ADVANCED]
Portugal — 3-1-2, 10 pts
Switzerland — 3-0-3, 9 pts
Czech Republic — 1-1-4, 4 pts [RELEGATED]

Next fixtures

Saturday
Czech Republic 0-4 Portugal
Spain 1-2 Switzerland

Tuesday
Portugal 0-1 Spain
Switzerland 2-1 Czech Republic

UEFA Nations League A, Group 3

Italy — 3-2-1, 11 pts [ADVANCED]
Hungary — 3-1-2, 10 pts
Germany — 1-4-1, 7 pts
England — 0-3-3, 3 pts [RELEGATED]

Next fixtures

Friday
Italy 1-0 England
Germany 0-1 Hungary

Monday
England 3-3 Germany
Hungary 0-2 Italy

UEFA Nations League A, Group 4

Netherlands — 5-1-0, 16 pts [ADVANCED]
Belgium — 3-1-2, 10 pts
Poland — 2-1-3, 7 pts
Wales — 0-1-5, 1 pt [RELEGATED]

Next fixtures

Thursday
Poland 0-2 Netherlands
Belgium 2-1 Wales

Sunday
Netherlands 1-0 Belgium
Wales 0-1 Poland