What’s going on at Villa Park? West Midlands derby has already given us six goals – Watch

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In one of the most open games of the Premier League season, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion have combined for six goals in 45 minutes, spectacular strikes combining with freakish fortune to send the rivals into the dressing rooms tied 3-3. And with both teams relentlessly challenging each other since the opening kickoff, the match seems destined to produce more goals after intermission, with neither side given any reason to relent in this shootout.

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The scoring started in the fourth minute when a rocket from Chris Brunt beat Brad Guzan from 25 yards, giving West Brom at 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, a cross from James Morrison was redirect by Fabian Delph into his own goal, giving the visitors a two-goal lead before the 10-minute mark.

Over the next 28 minutes, however, Villa would fight back, eventually taking the lead. Andreas Weimann started the comeback by chipping Ben Foster after a Diego Lugano header inadvertently went  toward the West Brom goal. In the 24th minute, Leandro Bacuna was the beneficiary of more randomness, with Matthew Lawton’s cross finding him at the left post after a West Brom tackle redirected a ball to the lingering right back. In the 37th minute, however, a Delph blast off the bottom of Foster’s bar gave Villa a fully earned goal, putting the home side up one.

That lead lasted six minutes before combination play from Victor Anichebe, Morrison, and Yousouf Mulumbu ended with the Baggies midfielder putting the equalizer inside Guzan’s left post, sending the sides into halftime tied, 3-3.

It’s an apt score after a half that saw both teams discard any intent to possess the ball, immediately turning up field to test their rivals with each new possession. Instead of passing backward or attempting to play around their opponents’ defense, the teams are electing to go through their opposition, with any loss of possession offset by the knowledge they’ll get the ball back in a few moments.

Whether both sides persist with this approach in the second half remains to be seen, but with Paul Lambert going against Pepe Mel, there’s every reason to believe these teams will continue throwing haymakers.

VIDEO: Toivonen chips Neuer; Germany on brink of elimination

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Germany, the defending world champions, have their backs firmly pressed against the wall, less than an hour away from elimination, in just their second game of Group F play at the 2018 World Cup. As of this moment, they’re set to be eliminated with one game still to play.

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After losing to Mexico in the opener, Joachim Loew’s side now trails Sweden in game no. 2, just shy of 45 minutes on the clock. As of right now, Mexico and Sweden (six points each) would go through to the knockout rounds, and Germany and South Korea (zero points) would go home.

Die Mannschaft were utterly dominant for the game’s first 30 minutes, holding more than 75 percent of possession, until Ola Toivonen, who scored all of two goals for Ligue 1 side Toulouse this season, got in behind the German backline and dinked the ball over the head of Manuel Neuer for the game’s opening goal.

Report: Player “coup” has Sampaoli on the outs at Argentina

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The Argentina men’s national team has been a mess for some time, with Lionel Messi retiring the last time controversy reared its ugly ahead, but this is something else.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Reports out of Argentina say manager Jorge Sampaoli has lost the team, who is now making decisions on their own ahead of their World Cup group stage finale against Nigeria.

Argentina drew Iceland in its opener before being embarrassed in a 3-0 defeat to Croatia in the second match, one in which Sampaoli’s lineup choice, tactics, and in-match decisions were skewered in the media.

Sergio Aguero was among the players to bristle at talk of the coach after the game.

This just hours after Sampaoli’s lineup to face Nigeria was “leaked” via training ground photos on Saturday.

More to come…

MLS weekend preview: Busy Saturday following the World Cup

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You won’t have to wait too long after the final World Cup game of Saturday to get more soccer.

Major League Soccer is back with a busy night of fixtures.

[ RECAP: Mexico 2-1 South Korea ]

Here are some 1-2 liners to get prepared for what’s in store.

Philadelphia Union vs. Vancouver Whitecaps — 5 p.m. ET

Carl Robinson’s rising visitors will hope the inconsistent side of the Union hits the field in Pennsylvania.

New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas — 6 p.m. ET

Dallas’ seven-match unbeaten run includes four-straight wins, but RBNY has not lost at home since late April.

Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact — 7:30 p.m. ET

Orlando has not gained a point of its last available 18, while Montreal is slowly finding form.

Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo — 8:30 p.m. ET

The Western leaders host a Houston side with a tough 1-3-3 mark away from home.

Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United — 9 p.m. ET

Two-win Colorado has been much better at home than away, and the Loons can’t afford to give the Rapids win No. 3 if they want to stay in the playoff picture.

Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes — 10 p.m. ET

Real has won six of seven at Rio Tinto, and San Jose has just two wins this season (So, MLS rules dictate this will go in the Quakes’ win column).

Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire — 10 p.m. ET

The Sounders’ awful season gets a Chicago with points in five of six.

LAFC vs. Columbus Crew — 10:30 p.m. ET

Traveling across the country without Carlos Vela and beating a very solid Crew side is asking a lot of Bob Bradley‘s expansion side.


Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers — 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday

Gio Savarese has manufactured some fine away performances for Portland, but this is a long flight and a tall ask in a possible MLS Cup Final preview.

NYCFC vs. Toronto FC — 5 p.m. ET Sunday

TFC has yet to climb back into the East’s Top Six, but will like its chances to make a statement against Patrick Vieira-less NYCFC on the postage stamp pitch at Yankee Stadium.

WATCH: Spurs’ Son scores sensational consolation goal for South Korea

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South Korea has not had a good World Cup, but the Taegeuk Warriors have a fine goal for their tournament highlight reel.

[ RECAP: Mexico 2-1 South Korea ]

Tottenham Hotspur star Heung-Min Son was frustrated by Mexico’s stifling defense for most of the day, but El Tri had little hope of stopping his stoppage time stunner.

Son took a lay-off and then used a pick into his yard of space to rip into a shot in the third minute of extra time.

South Korea must hope for Germany to beat Sweden, then for Mexico to beat Sweden while it beats Germany and builds goals for tiebreakers.

As unlikely as that is, at least Son had this moment.