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Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City: Lifeline for Garde, Villa

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  • Villa now 8 points off safety
  • Garde gets 2 win in 5 PL games
  • Norwich lose fifth-straight

Aston Villa beat Norwich City 2-0 at Villa Park on Saturday to breath new life into their fight against relegation.

[ REACTION: Agbonlahor says Villa now ready to produce great escape ]

Goals in each half from Joleon Lescott and Gabriel Agbonlahor were enough to secure Remi Garde his second victory in the last five games and Norwich only mustered a few chances late on as Alex Neil will be a very worried man.

With the three points — just their third victory in 25 PL outings this season — Villa are still eight points from safety but have given themselves a chance as they now sit on 16 points. Norwich’s alarming slide continues as they drop into the bottom three after five-straight defeats.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays

Norwich started brightly but the first big chance of the game fell to Villa as Leandro Bacuna‘s shot went towards Agbonlahor but he couldn’t convert the chance.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Norwich got back into the game before half time as Steven Naismith drove towards the edge of the box but sent his low shot wide of Mark Bunn‘s near post. A great cross from Russell Martin then found Sebastien Bassong but his header went wide when he should have done better.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Villa took the lead right on half time with Lescott heading home Carles Gil‘s looping free kick from the right. 1-0 to Villa and the home side had a lifeline in their battle against the drop.

Six minutes into the second half Villa led 2-0 as a hopeful ball down the left flank found Agbonlahor who dinked the ball over the onrushing Declan Rudd and into the empty. 2-0 to Villa.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Norwich struggled to create chances in the driving rain in Birmingham, and Bacuna should have put Villa 3-0 up but smashed his effort horribly wide.

The Canaries did have two chances late on but Martin’s header was cleared off the line, then Mbokani was denied following a great last-ditch tackle from Jonas Okore. Despite those hairy moments, Villa held on for what could prove to be a priceless three points as they continue their battle against relegation.

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 BezerrĂŁo 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, RĂşnar 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