16′ – Ramos gives Real its road goal – At the time, this one loomed large, with an early header from Sergio Ramos giving the visitors not only a 1-0 (2-0, agg.) lead but the away goals tiebreaker. A potentially decisive blow, nobody knew it would start an avalanche.
34′ – Ronaldo provides the heart-break – Sergio Ramos’s second goal came so quickly after the first, there was little time to collected our thoughts. By the time the half hour mark arrived, however, there was unmistakable feeling that Bayern couldn’t afford to give up another. Four minutes later, that’s exactly what happened, with a Gareth Bale-led a counter attack ending with Ronaldo’s 50th career Champions League goal with Real Madrid.
38′ – Xabi Alonso out of the final – The whole team seemed to sense a yellow was coming the second Xabi Alonso slid into Bastian Schweisteiger. At least, that would explain their pleas, eventually ignored as the Spanish international was put in the book. The 2005 Champions League-winner will miss his chance to play in another final.
60′ – Wake up, Iker. Franck’s taking a crack – Despite near-70 percent possession throughout the first hour, Bayern was held without a shot on target until the 60th minute, when Franck Ribery finally tested Iker Casillas from the right side of the box. Thomas Müller would put another shot on goal a minute later, with Bayern going on to test Casillas four times by the final whistle. The first of those tries, however, didn’t come until well after the match had been decided.
72′ – Guardiola makes his final roll – The two players who mounted Bayern’s first threats near the hour were gone 12 minutes later. Off came Ribery and Müller. In came Mario Götze and Claudio Pizarro, though to no avail. Bayern would finish the tie scoreless, its European title defense ending with an unexpected dismantling on home soil.
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.
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 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.
France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.
That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.
Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.
Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.
2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE