Switzerland 1-1 USMNT: Another late equalizer cancels out Shea’s stunner

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Switzerland fought back to earn a 1-1 draw with the U.S. national team in Zurich on Tuesday, as the USMNT let another lead slip in the second half.

[ WATCH: Shea’s stunning free kick ]

Brek Shea’s stunning free kick on the stroke of half time put the U.S. 1-0 up, but Jozy Altidore’s red card with 20 minutes to go gave Switzerland the man advantage and they made the most of it as Valentin Stocker poked home an equalizer in the 80th minute to mark the 12th time the U.S. has conceded a second half goal since the World Cup.

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Late on the U.S. were put under severe pressure, but Jurgen Klinsmann’s young side held on for a respectable draw but a worrying trend continues as the USMNT have now held a lead heading into the second half of seven of their matches since last summer but have only won twice.

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The U.S. settled down early on and Gyasi Zardes whipped in a delightful ball from the right but nobody gambled. In the eighth minute Mobandje surged forward from left back and caused some problems but the U.S. managed to clear the lines as Switzerland started to dominate possession.

After 15 minutes the U.S. had a glorious chance to go ahead as Alejandro Bedoya whipped in a great ball to the back post but Zardes fired over as the ball bounced up at the vital moment. In the 27th minute the USMNT had another glorious opportunity as Jozy Altidoe held the ball up and played in Bedoya who picked out Bradley six-yards out but the U.S. captain somehow side-footed over with the entire goal gaping. Before half time Shea whipped in a great ball to the back post which Bedoya latched onto but his header lacked power, then Mehmedi missed the ball entirely from close range after great work down the left from Xherdan Shaqiri.

Right on the stroke of half time the U.S. won a free kick 25-yards out after Inler brought down Alfredo Morales and Shea stepped up and curled a beauty into the top corner to put the U.S. 1-0 up at the break. At the interval the U.S. brought on goalkeeper William Yarbrough for his debut, while Ventura Alvarado also came on with Switzerland making a raft of changes to try and get things going.

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Bedoya and the USMNT put in a composed display for most of the game, but crumbled late on.

At the start of the second half the U.S. almost went 2-0 up, as a looping cross from the right saw Burki come out and flap at the ball as Zardes headed towards goal but it bounced inches wide. Bradley had another great chance to make it 2-0 but was closed down at the final moment after confusion in the Swiss box, as the U.S. pushed hard to extend their lead.

Before Tuesday’s game 10 of the 14 goals the USA had conceded since the World Cup last summer had come in the final 30 minutes of matches and their chances of holding on for a marquee win were not helped when Altidore was shown a red card, two yellows one after the other, in the 68th minute after first fouling a Swiss player and then swearing at the referee.

Late on Switzerland threw the kitchen sink at the U.S. as Kasami and Embolo came close, then Stocker tapped home after a looping ball into the box from the left wasn’t cleared by Alfredo Morales and DeAndre Yedlin. 1-1, as the U.S. held on under intense pressure to seal a draw as their trip to Europe came to a close on a high note.

LINEUPS

Switzerland: Burki; Lichtsteiner (Widmer, 45′), Schar, von Bergen, Mobandje; Frei (Kasami, 45′), Inler (Stocker, 45′), Fernandes; Drmic (Embolo, 56′), Shaqiri, Mehmedi (Xhaka, 45′)

Goal: Stocker (80′)

USA: Rimando (Yarbrough, 45′); Chandler, Orozco (Ventura, 45′), Brooks, Shea; Bedoya (Yedlin, 76′), Williams, Bradley, Morales (Ream, 88′); Zardes (Morris, 88′), Altidore

Goal: Shea (45′) Red card: Altidore (68′)

Cruzeiro relegated from Brazilian top flight for first time

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Brazilian side Cruzeiro was relegated from the top flight for the first time in the club’s 98-year history following a 2-0 defeat to Palmeiras on the final day of the season.

Cruzeiro required victory and a loss by Ceara at Botafogo to stay safely in the Brazilian Serie A, but neither came to pass.

Palmeiras midfielder Ze Rafael scored in the 58th minute to send the visitors on their way, with fellow midfielder Dudu finished things off in the 84th minute. Referees ushered the players off the field immediately after the conclusion of the match as Cruzeiro fans rioted in the Mineirao stadium, ripping out seats, setting off smoke bombs, and clashing with police.

Cruzeiro finished 17th in the 20-team table, three points back of Ceara in 16th. In the Brazilian top flight, the bottom four teams are relegated. CSA, Chapecoense, and Avai were also relegated. Cruzeiro had won the Brazilian Serie A as recently as 2013 and 2014, winning four titles in its history. They also have six Copa do Brasil titles, most recently winning the league cup in 2017 and 2018.

Flamengo ran away with the championship, finishing on 90 points, 16 points clear of second-placed Santos and third-placed Palmeiras who both finished level on 74 points. Palmeiras had challenged for the title, but fell off at the end of the season with a five-match winless run through November.

Premier League Preview: West Ham United v. Arsenal

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Two struggling London sides meet Monday when West Ham United hosts Arsenal (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The sides might’ve expected they’d be within close proximity at this point on the fixture list, but two wildly disappointing seasons means the three points between the Gunners and Irons comes with the former in 11th and the latter 16th.

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It’s been nine matches since Arsenal beat someone, 11 since it happened in the Premier League. West Ham hasn’t been much better, winning once in its last 10.

Freddie Ljungberg has yet to win as Arsenal interim boss, while West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini could see his current stint in London end without more results like the Nov. 30 win at Chelsea.

Monday versus Arsenal would qualify.


Injuries/suspensions

West Ham United: OUT —  Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski, Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid. QUESTIONABLE — Michail Antonio.

Arsenal: OUT — Dani Ceballos. QUESTIONABLE — Rob Holding.


Probable lineups

West Ham United: Martin; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Fredericks; Rice, Noble, Yarmolenko, Anderson, Snodgrass, Haller.

Arsenal: Leno; Kolasinac, Sokratis, Luiz, Bellerin, Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil, Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette.


What they’re saying

West Ham’s Antonio sees an opportunity: “The only three teams that are really performing are Liverpool, Leicester and Man City. Everyone else is getting beaten, and it means we’ve had a missed opportunity so far this season. We started the season off brightly, the best start we’ve had for four years, but then we’ve had a slump. Everyone’s having a slump and this is our slump. Now it’s time for us to start turning up. We’ve been in this situation before and we know how to dig in and pull ourselves up again.”

Arsenal’s Ljungberg on setting targets: “I don’t think we should stop talking about the top four, but for us it’s about concentrating on what we’re doing here now and not look up, down, sideways. We just need to work on our own game and our own confidence.”


Prediction

Really, you wouldn’t want to predict anything from these sides right now besides goals. We’ll give an edge in desperation to the hosts and a 2-2 draw.

La Liga: Sevilla held at Osasuna, Getafe maintains UCL fight

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Sevilla was held to a 1-1 draw at 10-man Osasuna on Sunday, giving both Real Madrid and Barcelona space at the top of the La Liga table.

Munir El Haddadi put the visitors 1-0 up just 11 minutes in, but Ezequiel Avila struck just before halftime to share the points. Sevilla was held to just two total shots through the opening 45 minutes, and despite Osasuna defender Oier Olazabal being shown a second yellow card with 29 minutes to go, Sevilla still managed just 11 total efforts through the 90 minutes, with four on target.

Getafe continued its battle for a top four spot as they won 1-0 on the road at Eibar. Angel Rodriguez bagged his eighth goal of the season to secure the win, cropping up in the 67th minute to finally put Getafe through. They had been turning the screw for some time, forcing Marko Dmitrovic into a pair of big saves just before the opener which came from an absurdly tight angle after Angel had rounded the goalkeeper. The win leaves them fourth, level with Real Sociedad on 27 points.

They were allowed to close the gap after Real Sociedad was held scoreless in a 0-0 draw at 14th placed Real Valladolid. The visitors put just two of their 14 shots on net, and dropped to fifth thanks to Getafe holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Athletic Club also fell back in the race for a top four spot, dropping a 3-2 decision on the road at Real Betis. Joaquin scored a first-half hat-trick, with all three goals coming in the opening 20 minutes to give him five in his last three games. Inaki Williams brought Athletic Bilbao one back before halftime from the spot, and Yuri Berchiche made things interesting with a minute to go, but that was all they could muster as the visitors fell to sixth on 26 points, above Atletico Madrid on goal differential with the two yet to play head-to-head.

Celta Vigo made it interesting as Iago Aspas scored a man-down goal, but Leganes held on for a 3-2 win over the 10-man visitors. Oscar Rodriguez had a first-half brace to help the hosts to a 3-0 lead, but Nestor Araujo and Aspas helped Celta Vigo make things interesting. Still, a 71st minute second yellow card for halftime substitute Gabriel Fernandez hampered the visitors in their efforts for a comeback, leaving Celta Vigo in the relegation zone, a point back of safety, with Leganes is four points behind them in 19th.

Gerrard reacts to Rangers’ Old Firm heartbreak in final

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Steven Gerrard lined his Rangers side up for success, but fate was cruel to the Liverpool legend.

Rangers lost the League Cup Final to their Old Firm rivals on Sunday despite out-shooting the Bhoys by a 16-5 margin, winning a penalty, and playing almost a half-hour up a man.

[ RECAP: Rangers 0-1 Celtic ]

“To a man we were very good … by much the better side,” Gerrard said. “But unfortunately that’s not what gets you a trophy.”

But Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster stopped Alfredo Morelos’ penalty, three minutes after goal scorer Christopher Jullien was offside on the lone goal of the game.

Scotland doesn’t yet use VAR, and Gerrard doesn’t love VAR but he likes it more than he likes Scottish officials.

“There were three Celtic players standing in offside positions but unfortunately we play in a country where there is no VAR,” he said, via the BBC. “I’d be a liar if I said I was 100% in favour of it, but the one thing I do know is that officials up here need support.”

Now he has the task of getting his men to rebound ahead of its biggest non-derby in ages, as Rangers need at least a draw against Young Boys at home on Thursday to advance to the Europa League knockout rounds

“It’s a bit raw right now… It’s up to me to pick the players up. One thing I will say is I’ll stay with these players on the evidence of today because they gave me absolutely everything. We might have to suffer a bit short-term. I need to pick them up a bit physically and mentally for Thursday which is huge but our day will come on the evidence of today.”

Gerrard has done a very good job with Rangers, who are two points back of Celtic in a two-horse race for the Scottish top flight title. Celtic has won eight-straight titles to improve their total to 50, four less than the Rangers.