MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew SC 4-1 Philadelphia Union

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The game in 100 words (or less): Columbus Crew SC just have too many attacking options — all of whom play together so well, so freely and so seamlessly — which the Philadelphia Union found out the hard way on Saturday night. With Kei Kamara now in the fold, Crew SC have a focal point to their attack, the central hub with which the other weapons (more on them in a bit) can combine and shred opposing midfields and defenses with frightening regularity. The only thing that can slow down this Crew SC buzzsaw is themselves, or a serious rash of mid-season injuries. Fingers crossed (because I love watching good soccer), the latter doesn’t happen.

[ RECAPS: Two games on Friday night ]

Three moments that mattered

21′ — Kamara chests it down, finishes far post — Pick your poison, Crew SC opponents. You really do need six defenders and a goalkeeper to corral the four-headed monster of Kamara, Federico Higuain, Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram. On this occasion it was Finlay dribbling out wide and providing the cross for Kamara (last week it was the other way around), who controlled and finished easily.

32′ — Finlay with the smooth redirect, makes it 2-0 — Left side, right side, it doesn’t matter, because Crew SC have a winger or overlapping full back that can beat you on either side. This time it was Waylon Francis who provided the width on the left, crossed into the box and Finlay ghosted in behind Kamara and applied the slick first-time finish.

44′ — Meram’s mazy dribble rewarded with a goal — This thing really got out of hand quickly, didn’t it? Meram brought Emanuel Pogatetz’s long ball down and turned on Raymon Gaddis in one quick motion, held Gaddis off from behind and was very fortunate that John McCarthy made a mess of the subsequent shot and let the ball squirt over the end line.

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Man of the match: Ethan Finlay — This man is on the verge of becoming an absolute star. Two goals and an assist for the 24-year-old in this one, and countless other chances created that could have made the final score infinitely more lopsided.


Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Francis, Pogatetz (Wahl 56′), Parkhurst, Grana, Tchani, Saeid, Meram (Steindorsson 66′), Higuain, Finlay, Kamara (Schoenfeld 77′)

Goals: Kamara (21′), Finlay (32′, 73′), Meram (44′)

Philadelphia Union: McCarthy, Fabinho, Vitoria, Edu, Gaddis, Lahoud, Carroll (White 61′), Wenger (Ayuk 46′), Maidana, Le Toux (Casey 61′), Sapong

Goals: Ayuk (64′)

AFCON wrap: Diaby’s sensational rip highlights trio of matches

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The Africa Cup of Nations said hello to six more competitors on Monday, with a thrilling goal amongst the eight tallied across the competitions in Egypt.

[ MORE: Copa America roundup ]

Mali 4-1 Mauritania

Two different men named Adama Traore — neither of them the Wolves winger — joined Moussa Marega on the score sheet but it’s difficult to describe the class and small margins that defined the tournament’s goal of the day.

Sporting Lisbon’s Abdoulay Diaby somehow got this shot off through two defenders and into the upper reaches of the goal to open the scoring in the three-goal win for Mali, which is having some summer when you take into account the U-20 World Cup.

Ivory Coast 1-0 South Africa

There were only 13 total attempts in the game, and Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija scored the lone goal of a tournament opening win for Les Elephants.

Tunisia 1-1 Angola

A draw was probably fair, as Youssef Msakni’s first half penalty was met by Djalma Campos’ late goal to split the spoils in Group E.

Copa America roundup: Uruguay tops Chile; Full knockout bracket

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Ecuador and Japan drew to allow Paraguay to sew up the final knockout round spot, sending Miguel Almiron and Co. into a match-up with Brazil.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

And Uruguay rode Edinson Cavani’s goal into the other side of the bracket, moving ahead of Chile in a tight match.

Ecuador 1-1 Japan

There was a lot to like in a match with 30-plus shots and the ultimate prize of a match-up with Brazil on Thursday in Porto Alegre.

Shoya Nakajima put the Asian side ahead a quarter-hour into the match, but Angel Mena provided an equalizer before halftime to put both sides in danger of failure to reach the knockout rounds.

Chile 0-1 Uruguay

Cavani scored for the second time this tournament as Uruguay claimed first place in Group A and a knockout round meeting with Peru.

Cavani’s deftly flicked header of a Jonathan Rodriguez pass pushed Uruguay above Chile, which had won both of its group matches and now meets Colombia on Friday.

Knockout round schedule

June 27
Brazil v. Paraguay

June 28
Venezuela v. Argentina
Colombia v. Chile

June 29
Uruguay v. Peru

July 2
Brazil/Paraguay v. Venezuela/Argentina
Colombia/Chile v. Uruguay/Peru

July 6
Third place playoff

July 7

Norwich City adds Switzerland international Drmic on free transfer

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Norwich City has added a new star striker to a unit which produced 93 goals in the Championship last season.

Josip Drmic will join Swiss national teammate Timm Klose with the Canaries for the next three seasons, hoping to bring his Bundesliga and international experience to a Premier League safety campaign.

[ MORE: Johannsson to MLS? ]

Drmic turns 27 next month, and scored two goals in five appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach last season. He has 31 goals and seven assists in 107 Bundesliga appearances between Gladbach, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, and Nurnberg.

Coach Daniel Farke got 30 goals from target forward Teemu Pukki, who plays a similar role to Drmic and has plenty of top flight experience with Celtic and Schalke amongst others.

Drmic can also operate on the wing, usually left over right, and has featured in both the 2014 and 2018 World Cup. From

“I’m going to do everything and give 100% on the pitch. I will be ready to give everything for the club. My job is scoring but I also want to help my team and help us be successful.

“When I first came to Norwich, the first thing I noticed was how kind everybody was. It’s given me a lot of positive energy and I’m excited to see what happens.”

Between Pukki and Drmic, Norwich can have faith that its well-prepared to have an answer up top.

Canada’s Beckie: Sinclair asked if I wanted to take penalty v. Sweden

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Prolific forward Janine Beckie didn’t dodge cameras after her missed penalty helped seal Canada’s fate at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and she also explained why legendary striker Christine Sinclair wasn’t at the spot.

Beckie, 24, scored two goals in Canada’s run to the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and the Houston Dash forward and Texas Tech product has 25 goals in 57 caps.

[ MORE: Sweden tops Canada ]

The American-born Beckie was called upon to try to level the score against Sweden on Monday in the Round of 16, and took a solid effort which was parried by Hedvig Lindahl in an outstanding bit of goalkeeping.

“I’m confident in my penalty,” Beckie said. “I thought I hit it really well. I thought she made a really good save. It’s the big moments. It’s the moments that you live for. You get all the glory if it goes in, and you take the blame it feels like if you miss. That’ll stay with me for a long time.”

So why was she at the spot? Here’s Beckie on TSN, and Sinclair’s confirmation of the tale. As we expected, Lindahl’s success against Sinclair at the Algarve Cup played a role.

“Christine actually asked me if I wanted to take it. That’s a big moment for me and it’s gonna be hard for a while.”

Full marks for stepping up to both places: The penalty spot and the post-match interview.