Seattle 0-1 Vancouver: Cascadia Cup stays put, Caps in playoff control

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Almost 56,000 fans in Seattle watched as the Cascadia Cup’s fate was sealed; It will spend another year in Vancouver.

Kekuta Manneh’s 45th minute goal stood up for the visitors in a chippy affair that referee Jair Marrufo struggled to control. The match marked the first time the Sounders lost at home in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 fans, falling to 9W-1L-1T in such contests.

[ VIDEO: Manneh nets before halfZusi blasts KC into playoffs ]

The Whitecaps needed a win for a number of reasons, but most importantly their race for the final playoff spot. Vancouver entered the night two points back of Portland for the fifth spot in the East.

Seattle not only loses their chance at regaining the Cup, but no longer control of their fate in the race for the Supporters Shield. L.A. plays FC Dallas this weekend with a chance to move ahead by three points.

The chances were few and far between during the first half, as Seattle’s crowd was the clear highlight. Their loud cheers accentuated the rare bursts into Vancouver’s tight defensive shape.

But it was a Whitecaps counter that did the trick just before halftime. An injured Kekuta Manneh latched onto a sensational ball from Pedro Morales, took a few touches and buried it past Stefan Frei. Watch the goal here.

[ RELATED: Latest MLS standings ]

Manneh left the game with a quad contusion, and international duty allowed Cuban-born 18-year-old Kianz Froese to earn his MLS debut in the 46th minute.

Erik Hurtado nearly made it 2-0 after the break when Morales sprung him down the right, but Frei kicked a hard shot away.

Clint Dempsey was in a bad mood, and could’ve easily seen a second yellow multiple times. He clapped in the face of head referee Marrufo at one point, and took turns hitting the turf and hitting out at Whitecaps for much of the evening.

And a late Dempsey foul that sent Caps keeper David Ousted to the turf had Russell Teibert trying to get at the USMNT star. Marrufo had lost a bit of control, and plenty of stoppage time was in store.

Stoppage saw a free kick that bounced between heads in the box before Kendall Waston cleared it away. Waston was perhaps the Man of the Match as Seattle could not find a way past the big Costa Rican.

Lineups

Seattle Sounders: Frei, Evans, C Marshall, Anibaba (Rose, 82′), Gonzalez, Neagle, Alonso, Azira (Pineda, 66′), Pappa (Barrett, 62′), Dempsey, Martins

Vancouver Whitecaps: Ousted, Harvey, Waston, Laba, Hurtado, Manneh (Froese, 46′), Rosales (Ballouchy, 71′), Teibert, Beitashour, O’Brien, Morales (Mezquida, 81′)

Goal: Manneh (45′)

Dortmund hammer Freiburg but gain no ground on Bayern

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Borussia Dortmund moved back within one point of Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich with a 4-0 win against Freiburg on Sunday.

[ LA LIGA: Real Madrid win to stay within striking distance of 2nd ]

Dortmund went ahead in the 11th minute when 19-year-old Jadon Sancho scored from the six-yard box after a run by Marco Reus. It was Sancho’s 11th Bundesliga goal this season.

Dortmund added three after the interval with goals from Reus, Mario Gotze and Paco Alcacer with a penalty.

[ MORE: PSG crowned Ligue 1 champions with five games left ]

In the day’s other game, Hertha Berlin was held 0-0 at home by bottom side Hannover, which ended an eight-game losing streak.

On Saturday, Bayern beat Werder Bremen 1-0.

With four rounds left, Bayern leads with 70 points, Dortmund has 69 and Leipzig is third with 61.

La Liga: Real Madrid win to stay within striking distance of 2nd

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: PSG crowned Ligue 1 champions with five games left ]

Real Madrid 3-0 Athletic Bilbao

Karim Benzema bagged a hat trick (WATCH HERE) — his 19th, 20th and 21st goals of the league season (second-most, 12 behind Lionel Messi) — to send Real Madrid to a comfortable victory over Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu. The result also keeps Los Blancos within four points of capital rivals Atletico Madrid in something of a battle for second place behind runaway leaders Barcelona.

Benzema has scored 10 goals in his last seven La Liga appearances, a run in which Madrid have complied a 5W-1D-1L record. Benzema failed to score in Zinedine Zidane’s re-debut as Madrid manager, but has scored eight goals in five games since.

Sunday’s game marked the 300th league appearance for midfielder and 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric in a Real Madrid shirt.

Getafe 3-0 SevillaWATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Sevilla’s hopes of returning to the UEFA Champions League following a one-year hiatus took a serious hit on Sunday, as Pablo Machin’s side was hammered by Getafe, the side which now occupies fourth place, two points ahead of them. Getafe continue to enjoy their meteoric rise through the Spanish ranks, as they were competing in the second division this time two years ago.

Two of the three goals the scored on Sunday came from the penalty spot, as Jaime Mata and Jorge Molina converted in the 35th and 45th+4′, respectively. Molina completed the scoring eight minutes into the second half.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Betis 1-2 Valencia
Levante 2-2 Espanyol
Villarreal 2-1 Leganes

PSG wins French league after 2nd-place Lille fails to win

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PARIS (AP) Paris Saint-Germain clinched the French league title without kicking a ball as second-place Lille could only draw 0-0 at Toulouse on Sunday.

Lille had to win to have any chance of catching PSG, but PSG is now 16 points ahead of its only rival with five matches left after this weekend.

After failing to clinch the title in the past three matches, drawing one and losing two, PSG can celebrate the eighth title in its history ahead of its home game against Monaco later Sunday.

It is PSG’s sixth title in the last seven seasons, with only Monaco in 2017 breaking PSG’s dominance.

Although the title was long expected from a side scoring 92 goals in 32 games so far, it took longer than it should have.

PSG could have won it three games ago, but drew 2-2 at home to Strasbourg when a win would have clinched it.

Then PSG needed a draw at Lille last Sunday, only to lose 5-1 in the club’s heaviest defeat since Qatari investors QSI took charge of the club in June 2011.

A win away to Nantes would have sufficed, too, on Wednesday night only for PSG to lose 3-2 .

The 10 goals conceded in those three games made for PSG’s worst defensive record during a three-game spell since 1985.

Also Sunday, striker Kalifa Coulibaly scored twice as 13th-place Nantes beat 17th-place Amiens 3-2.

Later, Saint-Etienne needed a draw at Reims to move above Marseille and into fourth place.

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

Klopp hails Liverpool mettle in face of “proper banana skin”

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Jurgen Klopp knows that more than a few clubs would’ve slipped up Sunday at Cardiff City, given the hosts’ desperation and the visitors’ midweek triumph, but his Reds stood up to the test.

[ RECAP: Cardiff 0-2 Liverpool ]

Liverpool beat Cardiff City 2-0, scoring a pair of second half goals to go back atop the Premier League before Manchester City plays its final match-in-hand of the season in a midweek Manchester Derby.

“It was prepared to be a proper banana skin and we knew that, the boys were unbelievable,” Klopp said after his team kept a second consecutive clean sheet.

He insists that he’s not feeling pressure as Liverpool may need to win every one of its matches and get help to capture its first Premier League crown.

“I only know about me and I didn’t feel it (the pressure) we have to do it like we do it. We cannot change it. The boys try really with all they have, we only speak about the things we have to do. Their attitude is outstanding and it’s a tough season but a very positive one as well.”

Liverpool has two banana skins left, a visit from Huddersfield and trip to Newcastle, closing out the league slate with Wolves at Anfield.