USA 0-0 Serbia: Serbia downs US 6-5 in penalty kicks in U-20 World Cup quarters

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The United States held on against Serbia for 120 minutes of scoreless soccer, but couldn’t survive a nine-round penalty shootout, losing 6-5 to be bounced from the U-20 World Cup.

It marks the end of a great run for Tab Ramos’ side, who surprised many by making it to the quarterfinals of the competition.

[ RELATED: EURO 2016 qualifying roundup ]

After beating Colombia 1-0 against all the run of play in the round of 16, it looked like the U.S. was about to pull off another unlikely victory against the Serbs in Auckland.

The U.S. had a good run of play for the opening 25 minutes of the match, but facing one of the toughest defenses in the tournament in Serbia, failed to create any dangerous chances on goal.

Once Serbia settled in and found their game, they controlled play for most of the match.

San Jose Earthquakes’ striker Tommy Thompson got his first start of the tournament for the United States and had the best chance of the first half for the Stars and Stripes, but his shot with the outside of his foot curled just wide of the Serbian net.

[ RELATED: What we learned on Day 8 of the Women’s World Cup ]

Both sides went into the break tied 0-0 after a relatively cautious first half, with neither team posing any major threats on the attack.

In the second half Serbia created more opportunities offensively, but Zack Steffen made a few fine saves in net for the U.S.

Steffen enjoyed a brilliant tournament for the United States, as the University of Maryland-product was one of the main reasons they advanced to the quarterfinals in the first place.

One of the brightest prospects following a long line of great U.S. goalkeepers, Steffen showed why he left college early to join Bundesliga-side Freiburg.

[ RELATED: Colombia stuns heavyweights France 2-0 in Women’s World Cup ]

Steffen kept the match scoreless with a great save off a free kick in the 68th minute, diving low to his right side to get a hand on a ball destined for the bottom corner.

As Serbia continued to press, defender Matt Miazga stayed strong on the right-side while Cameron Carter-Vickers cleared anything that came his way. After 90 scoreless minutes, the match headed to extra-time.

Serbia had the better of chances in extra-time, but just as two of the other three quarterfinal matchups ended, the match would be decided in a penalty shootout.

Rajkovic made two big saves for Serbia in the penalty shootout.

Rubio Rubin was the first to shoot for the United States, and had his shot stopped by Serbian keeper Predrag Rajkovic.

The next four shooters for the U.S., Desevio Payne, Paul Arriola, Emerson Hyndman, Gedion Zelalem, would all score, as Stanisa Mandic was the only Serbian to miss.

Then the goalkeepers faced off as Rajkovic stepped up to the spot for Serbia, but Zack Steffen stoned his counterpart to keep the United States alive.

Substitute Joel Sonora would hit the crossbar before Cameron Carter-Vickers skied his shot over the net, unfortunate as the young defender played such a strong game for Tab Ramos’ side.

Steffen would make another stop for the U.S., but John Requejo had his shot saved as Serbia advanced to the semifinals 6-5.

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Serbia: Rajkovic, Antonov, Stevanovic, Veljkovic, Babic,  Zdjelar, Maksimovic, Zivkovic, Sergej (Grujic, 111′), Gacinovic (Saponjic, 68′), Mandic

USA: Steffen, Requejo, Carter-Vickers, Miazga, Payne, Zelalem, Delgado, Hyndman, Arriola, Rubin, Thompson (Sonora, 103′)

Liverpool youngster Elliott scores bicycle kick goal in reserve match

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Harvey Elliott came to Liverpool via Fulham as highly rated as youngsters come. He’s got plenty of maturing still to do both on and off the field, but his talent is undoubtable.

That was on display as Liverpool’s reserve squad took on Wolverhampton Wanderers in a Premier League 2 fixture. Just after halftime, Elliott leveled the score at 2-2 with a stunning bicycle kick at the near post on a corner. The skill it took to essentially catch up to the ball as it floated parallel past him was fabulous, and his strike was true as it caught the Wolves goalkeeper off guard, unable to catch up to the pace of the shot.

The 16-year-old has been a regular for the Liverpool first-team squad in Cup matches but has then taken the field for the U-23 squad to get him some playing time, and clearly it’s done wonders.

Elliott came over from Fulham this past summer for an undisclosed fee given his age. He had already become the youngest player to appear in a Premier League game, coming on for the Whites in a game in May against Wolves with relegation looming.

Watch Live: West Ham United v. Liverpool

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After weeks of having a game in hand on Premier League title chasers Manchester City and Leicester City, the full extent of Liverpool’s lead will be revealed when the Reds visit West Ham United on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Once the full-time whistle blows at the London Stadium, all 20 PL sides will have played 24 games. Ahead of kickoff, Jurgen Klopp‘s side leads second-place Man City by a whopping 16 points.

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West Ham, meanwhile, sit 17th in the table and are only clear of the relegation zone by way of goal differential. That’s something that could very easily change between now and 5 p.m. ET.

LIVE, League Cup semifinal: Man City v. Man United

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It’s time for leg two of the Manchester derby in the semifinals of the EFL Cup (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET) at the Etihad Stadium.

[ LIVE: Man City v. Man United ]

Manchester City lead 3-1 following their first-leg dismantling of Manchester United at Old Trafford. In theory, it’s a mere formality to reach the final at Wembley, where they would take on Aston Villa following their late dramatics on Tuesday.

Click on the link above to follow the action live, while we will have you covered here at Pro Soccer Talk with all of the reaction and analysis.

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Transfer rumor roundup: Richarlison to Barca for $110m? Spurs’ striker search

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


A roundup of all of the major transfer rumors, most notably those involving Premier League clubs, on Wednesday…

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

Barcelona have reportedly had a $110-million bid for Richarlison rejected by Everton. That’s a mind-blowing number for a club like Everton to receive, but the Toffees apparently didn’t have to think long before saying “thanks, but no thanks.” Luis Suarez is expected to miss four months due to a knee injury, leaving the Blaugrana somewhat for a replacement. Everton, however, have no desire to lose a key member of their squad with little to no time to sign a replacement.


After adding winger Steven Bergwijn on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur are heavily linked with a number of strikers as options to replace the injured Harry Kane. AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek is the most frequently linked (and most expensive) player coming out of the rumor mill, while Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has come up as an emergency option (he is reportedly open to the idea). However, Jose Mourinho has reportedly been told he has just $13 million to acquire a new forward after spending a combined $108 million on Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes.


Elsewhere in Tottenham rumors, full back Kyle Walker-Peters is expected to complete a loan move (without an option to buy) to Southampton in the very near future. The 22-year-old has been on the fringe of the first-team squad for what feels like five years now, but has never quite broken through. This could be Spurs putting into the shop window a player who they don’t believe is in their long-term plans in order to drive up his price tag come this summer.


Sheffield United look set to make a big push for a top-six finish, as the Blades are linked with moves for a pair of highly rated young players: Richairo Zivkovic, from Chinese side Changchun Yatai, and Sander Berge, from Genk. Zivkovic was one of the most highly touted youngsters in Europe before moving to China on a big-money deal; Berge has been linked with some of the biggest clubs across Europe in recent years, all the while the 21-year-old has become a fixture for the Belgian side.