Armenia shocks Czech Republic to further muddy Group B

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With four matches remaining coming into today’s play, Europe’s World Cup qualifying Group B was already a mess. Now, it’s even more so.

25-year-old striker Gevorg Ghazaryan (pictured, right) scored a crazy rebound header in extra time as Armenia stunned the Czech Republic 2-1.  The three points means the top four teams in the group all sit within five points of one another – pending results later in the day of course.

Italy are still relatively comfortably in first place with 14 points, but behind them it gets clogged.  Bulgaria sit on 10 points in second place, and Armenia’s win puts them level with the Czech Republic for third with nine points each.  Even Denmark still has a prayer – albeit with lots of help needed – back in fifth place with six points.

Looking at the standings, the Czech Republic had a fantastic chance to firmly grab second place if they could have won, with Bulgaria playing at Italy later tonight in a match with now massive implications.

Denmark also play bottomfeeders Malta, and a win could draw them level with the Czech Republic and Armenia.

It will be an interesting home stretch for the group.  Both the Armenians and Czechs have matches with Italy and Bulgaria remaining on the docket, while the Danes creeping up from behind get to play Malta twice, including the one later today.

As for Ghazaryan, the goal is his first of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, and his first goal for Armenia since June of 2012 when he bagged a brace in a friendly with Kazakhstan.  The striker plays his professional ball in the Kazakhstan Premier League with Shakhter Karagandy, having just moved to there in July from Ukranian side Metalurg Donetsk.

Here’s video of his goal.  It appears in real time to be a poor bit of goalkeeping by Czech keeper Petr Cech. However, upon watching the replay, the Chelsea netminder saves the first shot on a tough angle, but a brilliant bit of reaction time allows Ghazaryan to head in the rebound.

Neymar appears in good shape after Brazil training week

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TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) Neymar has finished his first full week of training with Brazil in apparent good shape ahead of the upcoming World Cup after foot surgery.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Real vs. Liverpool ]

The striker continued his recovery Saturday in Brazil’s last training session on home soil before setting camp in London on Monday.

Brazilian football confederation footage shows Neymar passing and dribbling at high speed in training that was closed to the media.

The Brazilian has been recovering from right foot surgery in March.

Brazil players will be off duty until Sunday morning. They travel to London hours later.

Heartbroken Karius issues apology to Liverpool

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Liverpool’s disappointing result in Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final can be chalked up to many factors, but all anyone will ever remember is Loris Karius‘ performance… and the goalkeeper knows it.

[ MORE: Bale brace guides Real Madrid to third straight UCL title ]

Karius issued this series of tweets on Sunday, declaring his disappointment from the team’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, as well as an apology to the supporters and his entire club.

Of the two errors Karius made, the Real Madrid equalizer from Karim Benzema was certainly the more glaring.

After receiving the ball on a routine grab, Karius rushed his distribution from goal while Benzema read the play perfectly and stepped in front of the throw to get a foot on the ball.

The ball then deflected into the back of the Liverpool net, and changed the complexion of the match drastically.

While Karius’ mistakes cannot, and won’t, go unnoticed, the Reds were still reeling from Mohamed Salah‘s gruesome shoulder injury in the first half — which leaves the Egypt international’s availability uncertain for the summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Rotherham gains promotion to Championship

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After one season down in League One, the Millers are returning to the Sky Bet Championship in 2018/19.

[ MORE: Tammy Abraham rescues England in Toulon opener ]

Rotherham United defeated Shrewsbury Town, 2-1, in extra time on Sunday at Wembley Stadium to reach the Championship.

Regulation wasn’t enough to decide the League One playoff final, but Richard Wood brace ensured his side, Rotherham, would reach the English second division ahead of the 2018/19 season.

Wood did superbly to volley home his squad’s second goal in the first half of extra time, after a brilliant Joe Newell set piece curled into the path of the defender.

Shrewsbury equalized around the hour mark when Alex Rodman calmly placed the ball beyond goalkeeper Marek Rodak from close ranger after a perfectly-executed set piece that caught the Millers off guard.

The first half went largely in favor Rotherham though, having taken the lead in the 32nd minute through Wood’s header to the bottom left corner.

The lead should have been larger though heading into halftime, but David Ball’s early penalty kick was saved by Shrews keeper Dean Henderson in the ninth minute to keep the match scoreless at the time.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man United plans Joe Hart move and more

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Pro Soccer Talk takes a glance at some of the biggest transfer rumors on Sunday…

[ MORE: Bale brace guides Real to third straight UCL title ]


We start in Manchester, where the Red Devils are reportedly interested in raiding their cross-town rivals for a back-up goalkeeper.

Man United is said to have interest in Manchester City’s Joe Hart, who missed out on being called up to England for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Hart has spent the last two seasons on loan from the Citizens, spending 2016/17 in Serie A with Torino and this past season with West Ham United.


Sticking with United, the Red Devils are preparing a new contract for Anthony Martial, according to the Sun.

Martial has become a regular for United since joining from Monaco in 2015, scoring 36 goals in all competitions.


Finally, Danny Rose could be making a Merseyside move if Everton has it their way.

The Toffees are eyeing up the Tottenham left back, although Manchester United has also expressed its interest in the England international.

Rose missed a significant portion of the 2017/18 season due to a knee injury, and the 27-year-old could be on the move this summer despite spending the last 11 seasons in London with Spurs.