Germany 1-2 USA: USMNT complete another late comeback victory in Europe

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The U.S. national completed its last full round of pre-Gold Cup friendlies with a 2-1 away victory in Cologne, Germany, over the defending world champions on Wednesday.

The USMNT’s latest comeback victory caps off a spectacular European adventure after also defeating the third-place finishers at last summer’s World Cup, the Netherlands, in dramatic fashion last Friday. Wednesday’s victory was the Americans’ first-ever defeat of Germany on German soil, and the first time the two sides met since the final game of group play at the 2014 World Cup.

[ MORE: Klinsmann names Gold Cup roster ]

Wednesday’s exhibition began much the same as last Friday’s, when the Americans went behind the Dutch early on, and to the delight of many American hearts, it ended much the same way as last week’s triumph in Amsterdam.

Mario Gotze opened the scoring in the 12th minute, when he finished with extreme ease and composure Patrick Hermann’s simple cross to the back post with a classy, curled finished back to the near post.

Gotze nearly doubled the Germans’ lead in the 31st minute, when Mesut Ozil played the scorer of last year’s World Cup-winning goal behind the USMNT defense. Gotze found himself in side the penalty area, one on one with Brad Guzan, but the big American goalkeeper made the sprawling kick save as Gotze’s shot was headed for the inside of the same far post in which he’d scored 20 minutes earlier.

[ PLAYER RATINGS: How Klinsmann’s USA fared against Germany ]

Very much against the run of play — possession 67 percent to 33, in favor of Germany — the Yanks equalized in the 41st minute, when Mix Diskerud applied the right-footed finish after Michael Bradley launched a pinpoint diagonal ball into the German penalty area. Bradley’s ball and Diskerud’s finish capped off a 30-pass sequence for the Americans which covered 95 seconds on the clock.

In truth, the USMNT was much better following the halftime restart, thanks in part to a number of halftime substitutions which changed the shape of the side from the 4-4-2 diamond midfield, to a more conventional single-striker system. Though the overall possession numbers swung considerably more in favor of the U.S. after halftime, all of that possession was converted into just two shots on target in the second 45.

Jordan Morris, the Stanford University standout and second-half substitute against the Germans, nearly gave the USMNT a late lead in the 75th minute, when his right-footed shot sailed just wide of Ron-Robert Ziegler’s far post. Morris had been on the field for all of 20 seconds, and the 20-year-old nearly had his second international goal.

[ EDWARDS: After NED, GER victories, USMNT riding newfound wave of momentum into Gold Cup ]

Bradley nearly scored yet another late winner for the Yanks in the 83rd minute. Capping off a fluid, dynamic counter attack, the ball fell to Bradley near the top of the German penalty area, where he unleashed a powerful, left-footed effort, but his first-time shot was hit straight into the feet of Ziegler who made the reflexive save.

The winner came, once again, off the foot of nomadic club striker Bobby Wood, who Klinsmann has called in repeatedly despite poor form for various club teams over the last year and a half. From nearly 25 yards out, Wood unleashed a left-footed blast into the bottom corner of Ziegler’s far post in the 87th minute. Brad Evans provided the pacy through ball, and Wood applied the emphatic finish.

The USMNT currently has one more friendly scheduled, July 3 against Guatemala, before they kick off their Gold Cup campaign (July 7-26) against Honduras on July 7.

LINEUPS

Germany: Zieler, Rudy, Mustafi, Rudiger, Hector, Schweinsteiger (Khedira 46′), Gundogan (Kramer 60′), Herrmann (Bellarabi 73′), Ozil, Schurrle (Podolski 46′), Gotze (Kruse 73′)

Goals: Gotze (12′)

USA: Guzan, Johnson (Evand 46′), Brooks, Alvarado, Chandler, Williams (Beckerman 46′), Diskerud (Morales 74′), Zardes (Wood 74′), Bradley, Agudelo (Yedlin 46′), Johannsson (Morris 74′)

Goals: Diskerud (41′), Wood (87′)

Almeyda, Wondolowski sent off in Quakes’ fall against Atlanta (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): Melodrama took center stage in Atlanta United’s 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, as Matias Almeyda, Chris Wondolowski and Cristian Espinoza were all sent off on Saturday. Josef Martinez, six games away from tying Lionel Messi’s world record for most consecutive goals, left the field in 79th minute following an injury, ending his MLS-record run at 15 games. Playing with 10 players from the 34th minute onwards, the Quakes held on to the draw up until the 90th minute. Unmarked inside the box, Emerson Hyndman rocketed the ball past Daniel Vega, who recorded nine saves throughout the night. In stoppage time, Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez was rewarded for his stellar performance with a goal of his own. With a game at hand, Eastern Conference leaders, NYCFC, are three points ahead Frank De Boer‘s side. The Quakes, on the other hand, have internal fires to put out as they have lost six of their last eight, and are only a point above the red line with three games to play.

Three moments that mattered

27′ — Great run by Espinoza, greater ball by Vega  — Daniel Vega and Cristian Espinoza were players that San Jose were desperately missing last season. This sequence says it all.

 

90′ — Emerson Hyndman wins it for the Five Stripes   — Hyndman, with no one near him, seals three points for the home side.

 

90′ + 2 — Martinez takes advantage of broken San Jose  — Martinez’s goal was only salt in San Jose’s fresh wound.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Gonzalo “Pity”  Martinez

Goalscorers: Meram (4′), Guzan (27′ – OG), Hyndman (90′), Martinez (90′ + 2)

FIFA sees no obstacles for women to attend games in Iran

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ZURICH — Soccer’s governing body FIFA says an inspection visit to Iran has shown “no noteworthy operational obstacles” to lifting the country’s 40-year ban and letting women attend a World Cup qualifying game next month.

After meeting government and soccer officials in Tehran this week, FIFA says it will work with Iran’s soccer body to also open domestic league games to female fans.

FIFA wants Iran to end its ban on women entering stadiums which breaches international soccer statutes prohibiting discrimination.

Global attention on the ban followed the death this month of a 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire outside a courthouse. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a soccer stadium in Tehran and faced six months in prison.

Ahead of Iran hosting Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium on Oct. 10, FIFA says the visit on Thursday focused on “international relations, security and ticketing matters.”

Iranian officials were told of FIFA’s “firm and clear position that women need to be allowed to enter football matches freely” with tickets sold to as many who wanted to attend.

FOLLOW LIVE: Atlanta v. Quakes, Galaxy v. Impact on a busy MLS Saturday

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Eight games in seven hours, now that’s a jam-packed MLS Saturday.

[ FOLLOW: MLS scoreboard, for the next 7 hours ]

Things kickoff with Matias Almeyda’s San Jose Earthquakes visiting red-hot Josef Martinez’s Atlanta United, and comes to a close in Los Angeles, where league leaders LAFC host Toronto FC and LA Galaxy, who look to continue moving up in the Western Conference standings, host Montreal Impact.

In between, the New England Revolution look to remain in the Eastern Conference playoff picture as they welcome Kyle Beckerman and Real Salt Lake, while the Chicago Fire hope to jump level with the Revs in the standings as they take on FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium.

Saturday’s full MLS schedule

Atlanta United v. San Jose Earthquakes — 3:30 p.m. ET

Vancouver Whitecaps v. Columbus Crew — 5 p.m. ET

New England Revolution v. Real Salt Lake — 7:30 p.m. ET

FC Cincinnati v. Chicago Fire — 7:30 p.m. ET

Sporting Kansas City v. Colorado Rapids — 8:30 p.m. ET

Houston Dynamo v. Orlando City — 8:30 p.m. ET

LAFC v. Toronto FC — 10:30 p.m. ET

LA Galaxy v. Montreal Impact — 10:30 p.m. ET

Bundesliga wrap: Lewandowski’s Bayern keeps rolling, Leipzig stays top

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Week 5 of the Bundesliga season looked a lot like so many others since Robert Lewandowski arrived in the country from Lech Poznan in 2010.

He scored, and his team won.

[ MORE: Man City hangs 8 on Watford ]

It wasn’t enough to put Bayern Munich atop the league, as the Bavarian side also saw RB Leipzig get a win and could sit third once Lewandowski’s first German team, Borussia Dortmund, plays on Sunday.

Bayern Munich 4-0 Koln

Robert Lewandowski is humming along, scoring two more goals to give him nine in Bayern’s first five matches of the Bundesliga season. The 31-year-old Polish superstar scored at midweek in the Champions League, and has scored in all seven matches he’s played since being skunked in the DFL SuperCup loss to Borussia Dortmund.

Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic also scored for Bayern, who will finish the weekend no lower than third on the table. A 59th minute red card to Koln’s Kingsley Ehizibue came with Bayern already leading 2-0, so it was a bit snoozy in terms of drama at the Allianz Arena.

Werder Bremen 0-3 RB Leipzig

A 64th minute red card to Konrad Laimer couldn’t slow down the table leaders, as Leipzig added a goal after going down to 10-men in the win.

Willi Orban and Marcelo Saracchi scored for the visitors, and Marcel Sabitzer scored a terrific free kick in the win.

American teenager Josh Sargent started and played 80 minutes for the hosts, covering 9.63 kilometers and getting a lone shot on goal.

Elsewhere
Schalke 2-1 Mainz — Friday
Freiburg 1-1 Augsburg
Hertha Berlin 2-1 Paderborn
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Union Berlin
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Fortuna Dusseldorf — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Borussia Dortmund — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 5 4 1 0 13 3 10 1-1-0 3-0-0 13
 Bayern Munich 5 3 2 0 16 4 12 2-1-0 1-1-0 11
 SC Freiburg 5 3 1 1 11 4 7 1-1-1 2-0-0 10
 FC Schalke 04 5 3 1 1 10 5 5 2-0-1 1-1-0 10
 Bayer Leverkusen 5 3 1 1 8 7 1 2-1-0 1-0-1 10
 Borussia Dortmund 4 3 0 1 13 5 8 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
 VfL Wolfsburg 4 2 2 0 7 3 4 1-1-0 1-1-0 8
 Mönchengladbach 4 2 1 1 5 4 1 0-1-1 2-0-0 7
 Eintracht Frankfurt 4 2 0 2 5 5 0 2-0-0 0-0-2 6
 Werder Bremen 5 2 0 3 8 12 -4 1-0-2 1-0-1 6
 FC Augsburg 5 1 2 2 7 11 -4 1-1-0 0-1-2 5
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 4 1 1 2 6 7 -1 0-1-1 1-0-1 4
 1899 Hoffenheim 4 1 1 2 3 6 -3 1-0-1 0-1-1 4
 1. FC Union Berlin 5 1 1 3 5 10 -5 1-0-2 0-1-1 4
 Hertha BSC Berlin 5 1 1 3 5 11 -6 1-0-1 0-1-2 4
 1. FC Köln 5 1 0 4 4 11 -7 0-0-2 1-0-2 3
 FSV Mainz 05 5 1 0 4 5 15 -10 1-0-1 0-0-3 3
 SC Paderborn 5 0 1 4 6 14 -8 0-0-2 0-1-2 1