There wasn’t much to like about the match between Newcastle and Stoke at St. James Park on Saturday, a 0-0 draw that will leave both sides frustrated.
Newcastle stays in 18th place, with 7 points, and is a point behind Bournemouth.
Stoke is 14th, with 13 points, and if you were forced to pick the better side, it’s not likely it would’ve been the Potters.
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Newcastle had the better of play to begin the match, with Ayoze Perez looking especially lively.
A pair of Stoke corners were dealt with, if barely, but Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot and a suspect defense.
Soon after, Jon Walters butchered a prime chance to put Mark Hughes‘ Potters on top after the Irishman came wide open behind the Magpies’ defense but couldn’t get to Charlie Adam‘s cross.
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Stoke had the better of the play in the second half, and the home side was on its heels. Fabricio Coloccini, fresh off his overturned red card, blocked a fresh shot for a corner.
Jack Butland made one of several big saves late with a tap over on Georginio Wijnaldum, but there really wasn’t much to this one once the second half took hold. Bore draw? A bit.
[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score ]
Gustavo Bou had his ‘Welcome to MLS’ moment on Wednesday, and it didn’t even take an entire half in his league debut.
The Argentine, just a week after signing with the New England Revolution, announced himself to the home fans with an incredible golazo on the volley off a corner kick. The goal put the Revolution up 1-0 over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first half.
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Bou joins MLS coming off a half season where he scored 10 goals in 16 games for Club Tijuana in Liga MX. He spent the Apertura, or fall half of the season with his former club in Argentina, Racing.
Watch the goal below.
If Jozy Altidore keeps up his current scoring pace, U.S. Men’s National Team coach Gregg Berhalter will have no choice but to start him in the future.
[FOLLOW LIVE, MLS Wednesday]
For the second consecutive game since returning from the Gold Cup, Jozy Altidore found the back of the net, and once again it was in tremendous fashion. Taking a cross in from the right, Altidore realized his near-post run was too close to goal. Instead of controlling the pass or letting it by him, Altidore caressed the ball with the inside of his right heel, directing the ball past New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles and in for a goal.
Altidore scored a brilliant free kick last week to help secure all three points. Toronto FC inside ten minutes is already on its way to another three.
Watch the goal below.
It’s an exciting four-game slate in some Wednesday MLS action, headlined by Toronto FC hosting the New York Red Bulls. Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore always seem to relish playing their old club, but it’s also a crucial game for the playoff picture
Toronto FC is right on the red line to make it into the playoffs, and three points tonight will go a long way to helping them make it there. The Red Bulls meanwhile can jump into second place with a win and will be just two points back from the first-place Philadelphia Union.
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Elsewhere, Atlanta United looks to rebound from a 2-1 defeat to the Seattle Sounders with a trip across the continent back home as Atlanta hosts the Houston Dynamo. Emerson Hyndman has earned the start for his new club while Brandon Vasquez starts ahead of MLS record signing Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez.
New addition Mo Adams also makes the bench for Atlanta.
Also tonight, the New England Revolution host the Vancouver Whitecaps, and new signing Gustavo Bou makes his first start for New England. In addition, the Chicago Fire host the Columbus Crew in a match between two struggling Midwest clubs.
Follow along with us at the link above and stay right here at PST for plenty of postgame analysis.
Scottish Premier League champion Celtic advanced mostly with ease to the second round of UEFA Champions League qualifying.
In the first official home game of the season at Celtic Park, Celtic defeated FK Sarajevo, 2-1, advancing with a 5-2 aggregate victory. Manager Neil Lennon was able to rest some starters, including Craig Gordon, Scott Sinclair and Leigh Griffiths as Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor scored for the hosts.
A second half turnover led to a wide-open Benjamin Tatar in the box, who finished to tie the score at 1-1 on the night. McGregor’s 76th minute smash from 30-yards out gave Celtic the lead again, which it held on to for the rest of the game.
With the win, Celtic advances to face Nõmme Kalju of Estonia, with matches set to take place July 23/24 and July 30/31.
Here’s a roundup of other UCL first round qualifying second leg scores.
Riga FC 0-0 Dundalk (4-5 on penalty kicks)
AIK 3-1 Ararat
Qarabag 2-0 Partizani
Rosenborg 4-0 Linfield
Ludogorets 2-3 Ferencvaros
CFR Cluj 3-1 Astana
Piast Gliwice 1-2 BATE Borisov
Maribor 2-0 Valur
Sutjeska 1-1 Slovan Bratislava