Darlington Nage gets more than his fair share of love. He was number one on MLS Soccer’s 24 Under 24 list, and whenever he scores a goal like he did tonight in Vancouver (a blast from well beyond the Whitecaps’ penalty area), he usually goes MLS’s version of viral.
Tonight, however, he might not even be a footnote thanks to Camilo Sanvezzo. The Brazilian had already brought his team back once tonight, answering Nagbe’s first half strike with a direct kick in the second. But after Will Johnson’s goal reestablished Portland’s lead, Vancouver’s leading scorer finished what has to be the new Goal of the Year.
Whichever goal was leading the race before, forget it. This is one of the best goals you’ll see. In MLS or otherwise.
Just look how high Camilo gets to meet this ball, his foot possibly over his head by the time the cross gets to him. When he kicks it — and we’re using “kick” in the sense that a material artist would; not in the soccer sense — he hits the ball perfectly, just inside Donovan Rickett’s left post to make it 2-2.
In a game of four really well-struck goals, that’s how the score would stay, though in second half stoppage time, Vancouver were left bemoaning Silviu Petrescu’s swallowed whistle. Give the man credit, Petrescu does manage to stay consistent, even if the Whitecaps had a claim for a potentially game-winning penalty kick.
With the result, Portland’s now within two points of West-leading Real Salt Lake. Vancouver are six points back of fifth place Colorado with three games to play.
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.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
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.
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.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
Arsenal looks like it will have a new man between the pipes for next season.
According to a report from German publication SportBild, Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno will be introduced as an Arsenal player on Tuesday, after a reported $23-29 million transfer fee. The 26-year-old was on Germany’s 35-man pre-World Cup squad, but was one of the last cuts as Joachim Low went with Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Kevin Trapp in Russia.
Leno became the full-time starter for Leverkusen as a 20-year-old, and has held the position of the No. 1 for the last six seasons, earning plenty of Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League experience along the way.
It’s unclear what will happen to current Arsenal No. 1 Petr Cech. The 36-year-old Premier League legend experienced one of his worst seasons in net for Arsenal and he could begin the season as a backup, unless he moves to a new club. He reportedly has a contract through 2019.
Here’s some more transfer rumors from around the Premier League and Europe.
After a frustrating 45 minutes, it took only two minutes for Belgium to finally get on the board, even if it was a goal sprinkled with magic dust.
Off a partially cleared ball on the right side of the box, Belgium attacker Dries Mertens whalloped a shot that arced over Panama (and former LA Galaxy) goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, giving Belgium a 1-0 lead.
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