FC Dallas vs. San Jose had it all: Four goals, three red cards, a comeback and questionable officiating

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Two old foes in Major League Soccer’s Western conference when head-to-head on Saturday. Man, it got ugly in the final 10 minutes.

FC Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes played out a hugely entertaining game in front of nearly 15,000 in Frisco, Texas.

San Jose raced into a two goal lead after 15 minutes, but Dallas came fighting back to tie the game at 2-2 and snatch a point. However the decisive 69th minute penalty given for a supposed fall by Bernardez on Blas Perez was laughable and the San Jose bench have every right to feel adjudged as Michel stepped up to seal a point for FCD.

But then the game broke out into a prolonged scuffle for the final period, as San Jose had Justin Morrow and Bernardez sent off and Dallas striker Kenny Cooper uncharacteristically lost the plot. Plenty of MLS fans are pointing towards referee Baldomero Toledo for losing his cool and brandishing red cards willy-nilly. They’ve got a point.

Let’s use video to break down the three red cards in the games final ten minutes, watch the highlights here as Morrow is sent off.

Firstly, this can only be described as a cynical foul by Justin Morrow in the 81st minute. Ramon Nunez is fast, we all know that. But Morrow was caught napping and this was all he could do to try and stop the speedy Honduran winger. This scything tackle deserved a red.

Then watch here as Bernardez clipped Cooper and the big American striker had just about enough of San Jose’s physical tactics for one game. Watch on in disbelief as Cooper pushes Bernardez to the ground in the 86th minute, pins him down and tells him exactly what he thinks. A moment of madness that somehow saw both men sent off. Surely a yellow card for both would have been the correct decision?

That’s just my view. Watch it all again below.

VIDEO: Tunisia equalizes on controversial penalty kick

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England centerback Kyle Walker put his arm up to halt the forward progress of Fakhreddine Ben Youssef. Unfortunately for Walker, Ben Youssef was in the box and Walker’s elbow caught Ben Youssef’s face.

Referee Wilmar Roldan quickly whistled for a penalty kick and despite the protests from a half-dozen of England players and a check from the VAR, the called stood. Ferjani Sassi’stepped up to the spot and found the lower-left corner, just barely beating Jordan Pickford to tie the game in the 35th minute.

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How will England respond?

VIDEO: Captain Kane puts England on the board early

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It may be the easiest goal-scoring opportunity Harry Kane‘s ever had in an international competition, and he finished it as easy as you’d like.

Kane side-footed home after Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen made a terrific save on John Stone’s header off a corner, but the save was directed right into a wide-open Kane who was standing ready inside the six yard box. The 11th minute goal will surely settle some of the Three Lions’ nerves as they open their World Cup bid in Russia.

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After slow start, Belgium takes care of business against feisty Panama

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All it took was one goal to bring Belgium to life.

Following a frustrating first 45 minutes, in which Belgium put a pair of shots into the side netting and forced saves from Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, Dries Mertens 47th minute goal opened the floodgates, as Belgium went on to defeat Panama, 3-0, Monday afternoon in Sochi.

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But Panama never made it easy for the Belgians. From the opening whistle the CONCACAF nation showed its incredible spirit, chasing down Belgium all across the field and making life incredibly difficult for Belgium attackers Romelu Lukaku, Mertens and Eden Hazard. Hazard was hacked down all over the field, and while he did earn fouls and a few yellow cards were issued to Panamanian players, it was enough to get in Hazard’s head.

Two minutes into the second half, everything changed. A wonderstrike from Mertens opened the game, and forced Panama to attack and try and tie the match, which gave Hazard, de Bruyne and Lukaku more space to operate.

In the heat and humidity of the Sochi summer, Panama’s veteran defense began to tire, allowing de Bruyne the space to deliver a terrific assist to Lukaku in the box, putting Belgium up 2-0 in the 69th minute.

 

Six minutes later, Lukaku was put through on the break, chipping over Penedo to confirm the victory.

With the win, Belgium moves to the top of Group G. Up next for Belgium is Tunisia on Saturday, while Panama takes on England on Sunday.

VIDEO: de Bruyne delivers gorgeous assist on Lukaku goal

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It took a little bit of patience, but Romelu Lukaku finally got on the scoresheet at the 2018 World Cup, thanks to a delicious assist from crosstown club rival Kevin De Bruyne.

The Manchester City playmaker delivered a spectacular outside-of-the-boot cross into the box, where Lukaku’s head met it and guided it towards the far post for Belgium’s second goal of the day.

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