US Open Cup Roundup: Galaxy and Rapids fall, Rhinos look to take down Revs

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Round 5 of the US Open Cup put six matches in the books last night with two to play tonight in the country’s 101-year-old tournament.

Tuesday evening saw two Major League Soccer sides bow out of the competition to NASL clubs as the Carolina RailHawks took down the LA Galaxy 1-0 in extra time and the Atlanta Silverbacks defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in a match marred by a face-stomp and four red cards.

TUESDAY’S RESULTS

Carolina RailHawks 1 Los Angeles Galaxy 0 

For the third time in three years the Galaxy’s Open Cup run came to a halt at the hands of the RailHawks, who previously claimed victory over Los Angeles in 3rd Round matches in 2012 and 2013. This year it was Daniel Jackson scored a 105th minute breakaway against the run of play to hand his side a quarterfinal date with FC Dallas on July 8th.

Colorado Rapids 1 Atlanta Silverbacks 2

While the Galaxy result was surprising, the Silverbacks game was shocking. In the 64th minute absolute chaos ensued when the Rapids Drew Moore went to the turf and was stomped on by Silverbacks forward Jaime Chavez. A five minute melee ensued resulting in red cards being handed out to Chavez, teammates Borfor Carr and Kwadwo Poku, as well as Colorado’s Marc Burch. The rest of the match was filled with arguments, elbows and pushes while Chavez nailed a brace and Dillon Powers cut the lead in half with a 75th minute penalty.

Seattle Sounders 1 San Jose Eathquakes 1 (4-1 PENS)

A 26th minute strike by Seattle’s Kenny Cooper cancelled out Steven Lenhart’s opener to bring the match to penalties where Sounders keeper Marcus Hahnemann came up big. Gonzalo Pineda, Marco Papa, Brad Evans and Lamar Negal all converted from the spot for Seattle while Khari Stephenson scored for the Quakes but Alan Gordon missed and JJ Koval had his effort saved for Negal’s conversion to prove the decisive goal.

Houston Dynamo 2 FC Dallas 3

In Houston, Tesho Akindele scored the 98th minute winner for Dallas after goals from Fabian Castillo and Andres Escobar were offset by Giles Barnes and Omar Cummings.

Sporting Kansas City 1 Portland Timbers 0

A Gaston Fernandez brace and penalty by Will Johnson handed Portland 3-1 victory over Kansas City at Sporting Park. Soony Saad’s third strike in as many matches helped Sporting cut the lead but wasn’t enough to generate a comeback after falling behind by three goals in 68 minutes.

Philadelphia Union 2 New York Cosmos 1

A Sebastien Le Toux brace handed his Philadelphia Union the 2-1 win over NASL side New York Cosmos. Alessandro Noselli put the home side on its heels with his 56th minute chip but it was only a minute later that Le Toux leveled before his 115th minute pen gave the Union their winner at PPL Park.

TONIGHT’S MATCHES

Rochester Rhinos vs. New England Revolution (Stevenson Field, Providence, RI, 7:30pm ET)

After their thrilling 1-0 home win over DC United in Round 4 of the tournament, Rochester takes on its second straight MLS opponent in the New England Revolution. The Rhinos, who won the US Open Cup in 1999, have faired decently well against MLS sides in the competition, winning eight of the 25 contests they’ve played in. The Revs, however, will be well aware of their opponent’s potential after barely getting by fellow USL PRO side, Richmond Kickers, 3-2 in their Round 4 match. They too have won the competition (2007) setting up what promises to be a compelling match. The contest will be streamed live here with the winner facing Philadelphia Union in the next round.

Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire (Toyota Park; Bridgeview, IL, 8:30pm ET)

After needing extra time to secure a 2-1 home win over NASL side Indy Eleven, the Columbus Crew now face the Chicago Fire for a bid to the next round. The reward? Those pesky Atlanta Silverbacks, who upset the Colorado Rapids 2-1 last night amidst some definitive controversy. The Crew were knocked out by the Fire in last year’s competition and will be seeking revenge against the four-time Open Cup winners. Chicago head into the matchup after beating the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1, a match that was ultimately abandoned in the 49th minute due to a rain-soaked pitch. The Fire pose a formidable home record in the cup, having lost and drawn only once while winning the other 19 matches they’ve played. The match will be streamed live, here.

 

 

FIFA opens case against Xhaka, Shaqiri for celebrations

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FIFA’s disciplinary committee opened disciplinary proceedings against Swiss players Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri for politically charged goal celebrations during their 2-1 World Cup win over Serbia in Kaliningrad.

[ MORE: The meaning behind Xhaka, Shaqiri’s eagle celebration ]

FIFA also said Saturday it has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Serbian Football Association for crowd disturbance and the display of political and offensive messages by Serbian fans. FIFA also is reviewing statements that Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic made after the match.

Xhaka and Shaqiri celebrated their goals by making a nationalist symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage. Both of their families come from Kosovo, the former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Serbia doesn’t recognize Kosovo’s independence and relations between the two countries remain tense.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The Polish Football Association was fined $10,100 and given a warning by FIFA’s disciplinary committee for a banner that the governing body deemed political and offensive. The banner was displayed during Senegal’s 2-1 win over Poland on Tuesday in Moscow.

The committee also opened disciplinary proceedings against the federations of Argentina and Croatia for crowd disturbances during Croatia’s 3-0 win Thursday at Nizhny Novgorod.

Low: Germany survived “a thriller full of emotion”

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At 1-0 down, they were headed for elimination in the group stage (with a game still to play); once level at 1-1, they faced yet a steep hill to climb on the final day of the group stage; after Toni Kroos scored his stunning 94th-minute winner, Joachim Low could finally exhale and imagine himself managing the German national team for another day.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Sweden at the 2018 World Cup was, for most intents and purposes, a worrying performance for the defending world champions. Fortunately for Low and Co., the one place in which their comeback dramatic victory was a raging success is the only one that matters: the Group F table, where Die Mannschaft currently (somehow) sit second and control their own destiny — quotes from the BBC:

“This was a thriller, full of emotion, right up until the final whistle. Brandt hit the goal post just three minutes before the end too. We took out a defensive player and brought on an attacking player because we knew had to bring on everything we had to turn it round.

“We had a couple of great chances — Mario Gomez’s header being one of them. The last couple of minutes were full of drama but those matches exist in football. We’ve had these situations in other tournaments as well. For the viewers that’s part of the attractiveness of football.”

“Something I did appreciate today was that we didn’t lose our nerve, we didn’t panic after going a goal down. We kept a level head and said we needed to make quick passes and tire the Swedes out to open up spaces.

“We didn’t score a couple of good chances but we never lost hope we could win the match and I think the goal scored in stoppage time had a bit of luck involved but it did show the belief we had in ourselves.”

There’s still plenty of work to do for one of the most popular pre-tournament favorites — there’s a little matter of needing to beat, or at the very least, best Sweden’s result against Mexico — but that can wait until tomorrow, because Saturday unexpectedly became all about survival.

Germany snatches late win over Sweden to avoid elimination

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Germany dodged a fatal bullet on Saturday, coming back from a goal down to Sweden to steal a 2-1 victory at the 2018 World Cup and keep their world title defense alive… barely.

For all of 16 minutes — plus halftime — the Germans were in line to be eliminated with one Group F game still to play, but ultimately, Ola Toivonen‘s unlikely opener was canceled out by Marco Reus in very short order after the restart, and Toni Kroos broke Swedish hearts in the 94th.

Put another way, Joachim Loew survives to manage another day.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Sweden felt massively aggrieved to have not been awarded a penalty kick in the 17th minute, when Jerome Boateng took out the legs of Marcus Berg as he bore down on an out-rushing Manuel Neuer. The combination of leg-to-leg contact and a strong push in the back appeared an obvious error for the video-assistant referee to right a wrong, but the call never came.

The opening goal was the direct result of a careless giveaway by Kroos near the center circle, and needed just three touches and two passes to cut through the German defense and spring Toivonen behind Antonio Rudiger. The finish, a perfectly weighted dink — perhaps aided by the slightest of deflections by Rudiger — left Neuer with no chance (WATCH HERE).

Then, with the final touch of the first half, Berg glanced a header from a free kick that was destined to his the inside netting at the far post, but Neuer redefined the phrase “at full stretch” to keep the scoreline 1-1.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

That save proved invaluable for Joachim Loew’s side, as Marco Reus pulled the defending world champions level less than three minutes into the second half. Timo Werner dribbled to the endline and cut the ball back toward the penalty spot, and Reus got on the end of the deflected cross and struck it home with his knee. A semblance of order restored.

Bedlam ensued in the final 15 minutes, as Boateng was sent off for a second yellow card and Neuer lost his footing while scrambling across the face of goal to make a save, only narrowly preserving the 1-1 scoreline. Robin Olsen one-upped Neuer in the 88th minute, rising to his crossbar to punch Mario Gomez’s header just over.

In the fourth of five minutes of second-half stoppage time, Kroos became the hero. From a nearly impossible angle on the left side of the penalty area, Kroos rolled the ball forward to Reus on the restart, creating an ever so slightly wider angle from which to curl his shot toward the far post. It worked to perfection.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

Germany (3 points) will finish group play against fourth-place South Korea (0 points) on Wednesday, while Sweden (3 points) will face Mexico (6 points), who had clinched their place in the knockout rounds until Germany’s late winner.

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.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

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.