West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United: Rooney goal the highlight of Red Devils’ routine win (video)

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Manchester United’s campaign to slip into Europe via sixth place is alive and well after beating West Ham 2-0 at Upton Park. A fantastic goal from Wayne Rooney opened the scoring, and with the forward adding another before the break, there was really nothing the hosts could do to close the gap.

Marouane Fellaini had a chance in the fourth minute, but who remembers that now? All previous memories were wiped away by Rooney’s spectacular goal in the seventh minute. The forward pushed past James Tomkins as the ball bounced favorably, allowing Rooney to hit his shot on the half-volley. From an impressive 57 yards out, the ball sailed across the pitch, flying passed West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, who was scrambling to get back between the sticks.

(WATCH: WAYNE ROONEY WONDERGOAL)

West Ham’s best chances of the half came from Andy Carroll. The forward first headed a free kick from Mark Noble just wide. Then came a cross from Stewart Downing, heading toward the back post. Carroll came flying in for the header but David De Gea was there to save.

The wasted opportunities came back to haunt the hosts in the 33rd minute. The West Ham defense made a mess out of clearing the ball, with Noble’s clearance falling directly at Rooney’s feet. His second goal wasn’t anywhere close as inviting as his first, but hey, they all count, right?

West Ham’s vital signs are weak. Manchester United have been popping the ball around them with relative ease in the second half. Stewart Downing wastes a chance to get at the visitors down the right, leaving the ball behind initially and them cuffing his cross too deep

Sam Allardyce attempted to liven things up by replacing Mohamed Diamé with wideman Matt Jarvis. The move helped little, only resulting in a tame effort from Jarvis, easily rescued by De Gea. By about the 65th minute, the West Ham manager was absolutely livid, unable to believe his players’ performance. The hosts had trouble stringing together passes, getting into decent positions and, of course, finding the target.

West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Collins, Taylor (Nocerino 83), McCartney, Noble, Tomkins, Diame (Jarvis 58), Nolan (C. Cole 72), Downing, Carroll

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Carrick, Buttner; Mata (Welbeck 77), Fletcher, Fellaini, Young; Kagawa; Rooney (Hernández 77)

Subs: Evra, Lindegaard, Chicharito, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverley, Januzaj

Mexico receives FIFA fine for insulting chant

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FIFA handed a $10,400 fine down to Mexico on Wednesday for “discriminatory and insulting chants” that occurred during El Tri’s 1-0 victory over Germany.

[ MORE: Spain tops Iran after overruled goal ]

The FIFA disciplinary committee reportedly levied the fine to Mexico for directing a derogatory chant towards German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) with a fine of CHF 10,000 for the misconduct of a group of Mexican fans (cf. art. 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code) in relation to discriminatory and insulting chants during the first half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup match played between Germany and Mexico,” FIFA declared in a press release.

The Mexican Football Federation has aimed to eliminate an ongoing epidemic of homophobic chants that supporters have screamed during goal kicks for some time.

El Tri was sanctioned 12 times during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for those chants.

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.