MLS Snapshot: Toronto FC 0-2 Columbus Crew SC

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The game in 100 words (or less): For four and a half months of the 2015 MLS season (July 15), Columbus Crew SC went without a single victory away from home. Following that mid-summer day in Chicago, Gregg Berhalter’s side went on to win six of their final eight road games, closing out their regular-season road schedule with a 2-0 victory over (then-)second-place Toronto FC on Saturday. Crew SC’s latest road triumph, which came via goals scored by Ethan Finlay and Federico Higuain, not only clinches their playoff place, but moves the Black and Gold past three other sides (TFC, D.C. United and New England Revolution) and into second place in the Eastern Conference (for the time being). TFC slip down to third, still two points clear of fifth in their quest to host their knockout round playoff game in on Oct. 28 or 29. Crew SC close out the regular season vs. D.C. next Sunday, while TFC are away to Montreal Impact.

[ MORE: East playoff scenarios | West ]

Three moments that mattered

40′ — Finlay turns one home before halftime — Higuain played the out-swinging corner kick into the TFC penalty area, Tony Tchani headed the ball toward the back post, where Finlay was waiting to turn home his 10th goal of the 2015 season (to go with 13 assists).

62′ — Clark goes full stretch to deny Giovinco — Giovinco’s free kicks are otherworldly. Sure, Steve Clark got two hands to this one and pushed it wide, but let’s admire precision, the power, the movement, everything Giovinco puts on every attempt on goal from a dead ball.

90+1′ — Higuain chips a beauty for 2-0 — Higuain used to do stuff like this practically every week for Crew SC, before Kei Kamara arrived on the scene and gobble up 22 goals this season. The Argentine playmaker bodied Josh Williams off the ball, and all in one motion lifted the ball over Joe Bendik and inside the far post. Exquisite.

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Man of the match: Federico Higuain

Goalscorers: Finlay (40′), Higuain (90+1′)

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