Portland, DC United both win in CONCACAF Champions League play

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Major League Soccer is still looking for its first CONCACAF Champions League title in over a decade.

It’s still very early, but both Portland and DC United have looked solid in group play, as both earned wins against good teams in impressive fashion.

Portland Timbers 4, C.D. Olimipa 2

A 2-2 match at the half, Maxi Urruti picked up a brace as the home side fought off a pair of comebacks by the Honduran club.  Will Johnson also scored to help pick up Portland’s second win in the competition in as many matches.

Urruti’s second goal was a peach, as a brilliant one-touch release by Will Johnson over the top of the defense sprung the striker, and Urruti chipped the goalkeeper before latching on the back end and crashing home into the empty net.

Portland were deadly at the front, as even Rashuwan McKenzie scored – his first professional goal in seven years – with a fabulous set-piece header from a decent way out.

The win sticks Portland into a tie for the Group 5 lead with Olimpia with a game in hand.

Waterhouse 1, DC United 2

Another day, another Fabian Espindola. The Argentine has gone relatively quiet in MLS play – largely thanks to a knee injury – with just one goal since June 8, but he exploded back onto the DC United scene, bagging a brace including a brain-asploding chip goal after beating three defenders. Watch:

https://vine.co/v/OWZDi5bhvr6

HE WASN’T EVEN LOOKING. Anyways, Espindola bookended the halftime break with his two scores, and it was enough to beat Jamaican side Waterhouse FC out of Kingston.  Hughan Edwards Grey scored the only Waterhouse goal on a free kick in the 71st minute to make things interesting, but it was DC United’s day.

The win gives DC complete control of Group 4, with the max six points through two matches, both against Waterhouse. The Jamaican side also has six, but they’ve played four matches.

Cruz Azul 3, Chorrillo 0

Cruz Azul jumpstarted its CONCACAF CL journey after a comprehensive win over Panamanian club Chorrillo. Mauro Formica, Ismael Valadez, and Mexican international Marco Fabian were all on target as Luis Fernando Tena’s side picked up its first win in Group 6 play.

It could have been even worse had defender Rogelio Chavez not missed a pair of penalties, both wide right of the net.

Chorrillo finished with 10 men after goalkeeper Junior Torres picked up his second yellow card in stoppage time allowing Cruz Azul snatch its third goal, a penalty converted by Fabian.

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
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It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

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It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

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Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

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The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

Manchester United Watford live stream link
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:

LINEUPS

Manchester United

Watford


Wolves

Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

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ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf