MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew 2-2 Chicago Fire

Leave a comment

One game in 100 words: Calling this match a tale of two halves is fair by purely looking at the scoreboard. Two goals for the Crew in the first half. Two goals for the Fire in the second half. The resilience of Chicago was apparent when they came out in the last 45 minutes and looked determined to convert two consecutive scores, especially in the waning stoppage time minutes as Frank Yallop’s side absolutely dominated possession (nearly at 77 percent). Columbus is now two points behind the New York Red Bulls, the Eastern Conference’s third-place squad. At sixth place in the East, the Fire are situated one point above Toronto FC.

 

Goals

Columbus: Kei Kamara 8′, 55′

Chicago: David Accam 58′, Jason Johnson 90’+4′

 

Three moments that mattered

55’ — Kamara’s second for considerable 2-0 lead — Federico Higuain calmly set up this goal from a corner kick, curling his ball to the near post for Kevan George to leap and meet with his head. It wasn’t George who would convert it; his header skidded across the face of goal directly to Kei Kamara on the edge of the six-yard box. A simple headed finish capped the former Sporting KC man’s second goal of the match.

58’ — Accam capitalizes on deflection — Call it luck, but the Fire began to show some bite on the attacking end and were awarded for their endeavors with this goal. Forward Kennedy Igboananike trotted forward on his own through the Crew defense before reaching the end line and attempting to hit a clean cross toward frame. His effort deflected off the foot of defender Michael Parkhurst and looped over Emanuel Pogatetz, right to the head of David Accam for the close-range goal.

90’+4’ — Gehrig to Johnson levels it late — Fire defender Eric Gehrig sat just outside the box with space and time to aim his cross perfectly for substitute midfielder Jason Johnson. The Jamacian was far back in the penalty area, but he wound up and applied power to his header, which took one bounce and slipped past goalie Steve Clark for the late-gasp equalizer.

 

Lineups

Columbus: Kei Kamara (Aaron Schoenfeld 90’+1′); Steve Clark; Chris Klute, Michael Parkhurst, Emanuel Pogatetz, Waylon Francis; Tony Tchani, Kevan George, Ethan Finlay (Kristinn Steindórsson 75′), Federico Higuain (Ben Speas 87′), Justin Meram

Chicago: Kennedy Igboananike (Guly 83′); Jon Busch, Eric Gehrig, Jeff Larentowicz, Adailton, Joevin Jones, Razvan Cocis (Quincy Amarikwa 71′), Matt Polster, Harrison Shipp (Jason Johnson 67’), Shaun Maloney, David Accam

Kane, Sterling star as England rout Bulgaria

Getty Images
Leave a comment

On a night where racist abuse from the stands in Bulgaria marred the overall spectacle, England’s players produced an incredible result and spectacle for the visiting fans, with all things considered.

Harry Kane scored once and assisted on three others as England rolled over Bulgaria, winning 6-0 on Monday evening in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria. Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley both scored a brace for the Three Lions and Marcus Rashford’s thunderbolt from a tight angle gave England the opening goal it needed.

The blowout result was the perfect response after England had suffered its first loss in qualifying for a decade, losing on Friday, 2-1 at the Czech Republic. The six goals England put past Bulgaria was also the fourth time out of six games that England had scored at least five goals in a match. The only other time, aside from the defeat, was a 4-0 win last month at Wembley Stadium over Bulgaria.

This story will be updated.

 

Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

Getty Images
Leave a comment

England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.

Tottenham re-signs goalkeeper Vorm

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With Hugo Lloris set to miss at least another two months of action with a broken elbow, Tottenham has turned to a familiar face to provide some cover between the pipes.

Tottenham announced Monday it had re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm to a contract through the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season. Vorm spent five seasons with Tottenham after signing from Swansea City in 2014. However, after playing second-fiddle to Lloris and later serving as the third backup behind current Tottenham No. 2, Paulo Gazzaniga for the past couple of seasons, Vorm was released at the end of last season.

Its certainly a boost for Tottenham that a player with a long history at the club and plenty of experience was available to help in this situation. Similar to Liverpool picking up Adrian after Alisson Becker’s injury, Tottenham know what it’s getting in Vorm and may play him a few times if Gazzaniga needs a night off in the next few months.

According to Vorm, he had been home in his native Netherlands and was watching the game when he saw Lloris get injured.

“Obviously I saw straight away that he had a bad injury and at the time I thought about how bad it was, Vorm told Tottenham’s website. “After the game I spoke with Jan (Vertonghen), he told me what was going on and I spoke also with Toni (Jimenez, our goalkeeping coach) and, yes, during the week I got the phone call to ask if I was open to come back and help out. I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the players and also with Toni. We were speaking quite regularly and on Thursday he called me, we had the conversation and from there on, it went very quickly.”

In his five seasons with Tottenham, Vorm made a total of 47 appearances in all competitions. He saw plenty of time in the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and Champions League during his stay at White Hart Lane.

In-form striker Duvan Zapata injured on international duty

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This international break has been particularly brutal to clubs who have seen a host of key players go down with injuries, and there’s still a few days of matches remaining.

The latest player to succumb to injury is Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata who returned from Colombia duty with an adductor strain and will miss at least three weeks, according to Sky Sports Italia (via FootballItalia). Zapata went down 23 minutes into Colombia’s 0-0 friendly draw with Chile on Friday and was sent back to Italy for tests at his club.

Those tests have reportedly confirmed the initial fears. The loss of Zapata is a massive one for Atalanta, as the 28-year-old has been steadily building for years and is having a breakout start to this campaign, scoring six Serie A goals in seven matches plus one more in Champions League play, currently on a run of four consecutive games with a goal across all competitions. With Zapata’s help, Atalanta sits third in the Serie A table, having bagged the most goals of any team with 18 through seven games.

Zapata becomes the latest high-profile injury from this international break, joining Colombia teammate Alexis Sanchez who went down late in the same match and is reportedly out until 2020 with a serious ankle injury. Chelsea has been hit the hardest, with Andreas Christensen, Mateo Kovacic, and Reese James all pulling up while N’Golo Kante was injured in France warmups but he is expected to be fit for the weekend. Luka Modric may miss time after going down in a Euro qualifier against Wales, while Gareth Bale also picked up a knock in that match. Neymar went down in Brazil’s match against against Nigeria, which forced manager Tite to explain his reasoning for the selection in a friendly. Sergio Aguero is apparently struggling to train with Argentina thanks to a mystery injury confirmed by Lionel Scaloni. Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos withdrew from Spain training earlier in the week with “hamstring overload.” Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson left USMNT camp with a hamstring problem with the MLS playoffs on the horizon.