Gunfire delays start of Coppa Italia final; one person in critical condition

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The Coppa Italia final is finally underway, but as officials met in the wake of pre-match violence in Rome, Fiorentina and Napoli’s chance to claim silverware was in anger of being postponed. With one person in critical condition after gunfire rang out amid conflicted outside the Stadio Olimpico, Napoli fans wanted the game delayed until the health of supporters could be confirmed. Electing to proceed with the match after a delay, officials are overseeing a final overshadowed by potentially tragic events off the field.

According to Sky Sports and La Repubblica, the conflicts took place in the Tor di Quinto area outside the stadium, with confrontations between opposing fans leaving between four and six people injured, including a police officer. Three Napoli fans were reportedly shot, with one fan in critical condition at nearby Villa San Pietro hospital

Another person, a firefighter, was injured inside the stadium by fireworks thrown by fans. “Firecrackers and other objects” were also thrown between fans outside the stadium.

From our partners at Soccerly:

Representatives of Napoli, Fiorentina and the Italian football authorities took part in discussions in the middle of the pitch, while Partenopei captain Marek Hamsik approached the Napoli fans in the curva in an attempt to calm the situation.

After a shower of flares rained from the Napoli supporters, Hamsik and the leader of the Ultras seemingly came to an agreement and the player made his way to the tunnel with an announcement moments later that the game will be played.

The fate of the game remained up in the air until 14 minutes after the planned kick off when it was decided to play the match.

Three Napoli supporters had suffered gunshot wounds in a violent prelude to Saturday’s Italian Cup final against Fiorentina in Rome, Italian media reported.

According to the Ansa news agency, one of them, a man in his 30s, was fighting for his life in hospital while the two other fans suffered light injuries.

After 19 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico, Napoli is current in front, 2-0.

MLS Three Things: RBNY beats Atlanta, is a special club right now

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At this point, Jesse Marsch could take the USMNT job, Tyler Adams could bolt for the Bundesliga, and we’d still have to select the New York Red Bulls to finish with a home playoff game.

[ MORE: Willian’s shot at Conte ]

That’s how well run RBNY is these days, which is to take nothing away from their coach and 19-year-old star, but considering they navigated a solid CONCACAF Champions League run en route to this start… well…. wow.

On a night when Luis Robles’ ironman streak ended, Kaku recorded two assists, and Ezequiel Barco bagged his second goal in three matches, they don’t even meet the requirements of our three things.

Form giants deliver more goals

Marsch’s men have been shutout once this season, and most multiple goals in four-consecutive wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, at LA, Colorado, and now Atlanta.

RBNY has the best points-per-game in Major League Soccer, has scored the joint-most goals despite playing in the second-fewest games, and is allowing barely more than a goal-a-game.

Bet against ’em. We dare ya.

BWP delivers the goods

RBNY’s 33-year-old English star scored twice and won a penalty that Daniel Royer converted as he continued his assault on all future Red Bulls’ hopes of becoming the club’s leading scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has almost 50 more goals than his nearest competitor, Juan Pablo Angel, and he makes headers look like child’s play.

Victory comes with a price

Kemar Lawrence was lost with a scary-looking face-plant on a clearance, and needed to be stretchered off the pitch. Hopefully it’s not long-term for the Jamaican back.

Willian “edits” Conte out of FA Cup champions photo

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Willian is not a fan of Antonio Conte.

Come to another conclusion if you like, but it’s hard to argue the Brazilian wizard’s feelings following his Instagram post after Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

[ MORE: Matic wants squad changes at Man Utd ]

Willian covered his manager in trophies following the win, and it’d be a stretch to call that a tribute to the Italian’s tactical brilliance.

The player recorded seven goals and six assists despite playing less than all but 12 Chelsea players in league play (12th place Alvaro Morata had 11 and 6).

We’re accepting alternative explanations for the since-deleted Instagram photo below:

Elis scores twice as Dynamo beat Fire 3-2

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) Alberth Elis scored two second-half goals to help the Houston Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire 3-2 on Sunday for their first road win of the season.

Elis, on a one-on-one breakaway, cut back to evade defender Johan Kappelhof and ripped a right-footer from the center of the box into the back of the net to give Houston (4-3-3) a 3-2 lead in the 74th minute.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

The Dynamo’s Romell Quioto opened the scoring in the fourth, running onto a long through ball from Tomas Martinez and rolling the finish past sliding goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Nemanja Nikolic tied it in the 14th minute and then fed Diego Campos for a goal about two minutes later. Elis converted from the spot to make it 2-2 early in the second half after Mauro Manotas drew a foul in the area conceded by Sanchez.

Chicago (3-6-2) has lost three of its last four games.

 

Inter Milan back in the Champions League after late heroics (video)

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It’s been more than a half-decade since Inter Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League, an infamous run that ended on Sunday.

Inter scored twice in the final 13 minutes to beat fifth-place Lazio and advance into the Top Four via head-to-head record.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

Lazio held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but could not get the job done at home, collecting red cards in the 79th minute and stoppage time.

Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino scored his third goal of the season, redirecting a corner kick home in the 81st minute, as Inter clinched fourth place in Serie A.