Bournemouth beat Bolton, all but officially seal promotion to the Premier League

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AFC Bournemouth v Bolton Wanderers – Sky Bet Championship

Barring an unforeseen disaster of catastrophic proportions — losing their final game of the season by more than a dozen goals — Bournemouth will officially seal promotion to the Premier League for the 2015-16 season on Saturday. (Even then, Bournemouth would find themselves safely into next month’s promotion playoffs.)

[ FOLLOW: PST’s ongoing Promotion Watch series ]

Following Monday’s 3-0 victory over Bolton at Dean Court stadium in Bournemouth (seen above, covered by fans), Eddie Howe’s men are just about as close to promotion to England’s top division as is possible, without actually being guaranteed a place in next year’s Premier League.

The Cherries currently sit three and four points ahead of third- and fourth-placed Middlesbrough and Norwich City, but by virtue of the goal differential tiebreaker, are miles and miles ahead (19 and 12 goals, respectively) in the race for the Championship’s second and final automatic promotion place.

Bournemouth rode a pair of first-half goals, scored by Marc Pugh (9th league goal of the season) and Matt Ritchie (13th league goal), and a late exclamation point from leading goalscorer Callum Wilson to victory on Monday, as Bournemouth prepare for their first season of top-flight competition in club history (Bournemouth was founded in 1890 and joined the Football League in 1923).

[ MORE: Van Gaal unsure about Rooney’s knee injury | Sturridge may be done for the season ]

Howe, who made over 250 appearances for the club as a player, is in his second stint as Bournemouth manager at the tender age of 37. Howe reassumed the reins at Dean Court in October 2012 and helped the club to promotion to the Championship later that season. Fast forward through two seasons in the Championship, and Howe’s side is now Premier League-bound.

Wilson, 23, led the line for Bournemouth for much of the season, scoring 20 goals in 44 games thus far, but is just one of four players (Yann Kermorgant, Brett Pitman and Ritchie) to reach double-digit goals scored, with another pair of players — Hugh and Harry Arter — on 9 and 8 goals, respectively.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback: Chelsea brilliant, not boring, as title inches closer ]

No team in the Championship has scored more goals that Bournemouth’s 95, as things stand now (Watford, who gained promotion on Saturday, have scored 90), while only Middlesbrough (37) have conceded fewer goals than Bournemouth’s 45.

As for Bournemouth fans, they’re understandably thrilled to be going up to the Premier League next season, as they voiced their joy throughout the final 15 minutes of Monday’s game.

Bournemouth are away to Charlton on Saturday, needing only a point — or a loss and points dropped by both Middlesbrough and Norwich — to officially officially go up.

Real Monarchs beat Louisville City to win first ever USL Cup
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Real Monarchs scored three unanswered goals as they routed Louisville City 3-1 at Lynn Stadium to win their first ever USL Cup title.

Noah Powder’s goal in the 66th minute sealed the deal for the visitor’s, adding to the goals scored by defenders Erik Holt and Konrad Plewa in the first half.

Surprisingly enough, it was Lou City who got off to a superb start on Sunday night, though.

Only six minutes after the initial whistle, Lou City’s leading goalscorer, Magnus Rasmussen, scored the game’s first goal, breaking a record for the fastest goal in a USL Cup final.

The defeat brings an end to Lou City’s historic run of consecutive USL Cup-winning seasons.

On July 1, former Real Salt Lake defender, Jamison Olave, took over as the Monarchs interim coach following Martin Vasquez’s unexpected resignation.

Man arrested after English soccer player reports homophobia

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TRANMERE, England — A footballer in England’s third tier reported being subjected to homophobic abuse from the stands, leading to police making one arrest.

Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop told the referee of the abuse at halftime of the League One soccer game at Tranmere as his team won 2-0.

Tranmere says it is very disappointed to learn of a homophobic comment made.

In a statement, Merseyside Police condemned abhorrent incidents.

Police Chief Inspector Jason Crellin added that “hate crime has no place in our communities, and not least at a showcase sporting event attended and watched by many people.”

Brazil beat Mexico to win U-17 World Cup (video)

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Brazil became Under-17 world champions for a fourth time in dramatic fashion as Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ scored a 93rd-minute winner to edge Mexico 2-1 at Estadio Bezerrão on Sunday.

Brazil’s comeback started in the 84th minute when Kaio Jorge converted from the penalty spot, following VAR’s decision which ruled contact on the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Gabriel Veron, inside the 18-yard box.

With Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Cafu in attendance, the host’s had the better of chances throughout the first 45 minutes. Without any luck, however, Brazil were unable to get the ball past Eduardo Garcia, instead hitting the bar on several occasions.

Then in the 66th minute, Mexico – winners of the tournament in 2005 and in 2011 – stunned the home crowd when Bronze Ball winner Eugenio Pizzoto’s cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan, breaking the deadlock between two sides that had met in the same game back in 2005.

What was going to be a stunning, underdog victory for El Tri, turned into a heartbreaking night for Marco “Chima” Ruiz and company.

Brazil, on the other hand, are now only one championship away from tying Nigeria’s record of five championships.

EURO qualifying wrap: France, Iceland, Turkey earn wins

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With their tickets already booked to next summer’s big tournament, France and Turkey picked up wins in Sunday’s Euro qualifying action, which saw defending champions Portugal clinch qualification.

[ READ: Defending champions Portugal qualify to EURO 2020 ]

Albania 0-2 France

Albania opened their new, 22,500-seat stadium with a hard-fought loss against France.

Early on, Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso gave the impression that the home fans were in for a long night at the inaugurating Air Albania Stadium, opening the score just eight minutes in with a well-placed header. In the 31st minute, an unfamiliar face, Leo Dubois, connected with Antoine Griezmann, who slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner. France finish the qualifiers leaders of Group H with 25 points. Throughout the 10 matches, the world champions lost only once, a 2-0 loss against Turkey.

Andorra 0-2 Turkey

Real Valladolid’s Enes Unal scored a first-half brace as Turkey coasted past Andorra 2-0. Turkey, who clinched a spot next summer after finishing Group H two points behind France, controlled possession and chances at goal.

Moldova 1-2 Iceland

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the visitor’s second and winning goal in the second half, as Iceland walked away from Zimbru Stadium with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

With 19 points throughout 10 games, Rúnar Kristinsson and company felt five points short of qualifying directly for next year’s competition. That said, they’ll partake in the Euro 2020 playoffs, looking to squeeze their way in.


Luxembourg 0-2 Portugal

Serbia 2-2 Ukraine

Kosovo 0-4 England

Bulgaria 1-0 Czech Republic