MLS Snapshot: Columbus Crew SC 3-3 Toronto FC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): In what might just be a sneak peek of the 2015 Eastern Conference finals, Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC played to a thrilling 3-3 draw at MAPFRE Stadium Saturday night, and all the big names played their part in making sure the affair lived up to the hype. Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, Kei Kamara and Ethan Finlay bagged four of the six goals on the night, as both sides crept a little closer to pace-setting D.C. United at the top of the East standings. TFC, running with three at the back, went down 3-0 just after the halftime restart, but showed the kind of unwavering resilience during the final 40 minutes to earn one of the best points of any team in Major League Soccer this season.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 21 ]

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Tchani hammers home from outside the box — Even when Ethan Finlay messes up, the man picks up an assist these days. On this occasion, Finlay’s poor first touch ended in a Crew SC goal, despite the fact he booted the ball in the complete opposite direction to which he meant. Tony Tchani pounced on the loose ball and blasted his curling effort past Joe Bendik to make it 2-0 early on.

50 — Giovinco’s volley puts TFC on the board — Giovinco does what Giovinco does, you know? Collen Warner hit the perfect diagonal ball into the penalty area, where the Atomic Ant was waiting patiently. He made no mistake with what is an insane bit of skill.

88′ — Altidore draws a PK and converts for 3-3 — Jozy Altidore is a big man, while Waylon Francis is quite diminutive in comparison. So, when Francis makes the slightest bit of contact with Altidore, the TFC striker shouldn’t flail to the ground like Adebayo Akinfenwa just clubbed him from behind. Anyway, Fotis Bazakos bought the acting and awarded TFC a late penalty, which Altidore converted himself.

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LINEUPS

Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Francis, Wahl, Parkhurst, Barson, Tchani, Trapp, Meram (Steindorsson 66′), Higuain (Saeid 78′), Finlay (Cedrick 86′), Kamara

Goals: Kamara (17′), Tchani (36′), Finlay (47′)

Toronto FC: Bendik, Morrow, Perquis, Zavaleta, Lovitz, Cheyrou (Osorio 82′), Warner, Jackson, Delgado (Chapman 90+4′), Altidore, Giovinco (Findley 90+2′)

Goals: Giovinco (50′), Warner (55′), Altidore (89′ – PK)

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.

Elsewhere

Luxembourg 0-2 Portugal

Serbia 2-2 Ukraine

Kosovo 0-4 England

Bulgaria 1-0 Czech Republic