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MLS Snapshots: Montreal Impact 3-0 NY Red Bulls | RSL 2-1 Seattle Sounders

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The game in 100 words (or less): Attention, folks: the Montreal Impact are really, really good, with or without Didier Drogba, as they showed once again in Saturday’s 3-0 hammering of the reigning Supporters’ Shield-winning New York Red Bulls. Dominic Oduro, Ignacio Piatti and Anthony Jackson-Hamel provided the goals, while the Red Bulls failed to find the back of the net for the second straight game after leading the league in goals scored last season (just four shots on target through two games). Piatti (three goals and two assists through two games) looks the player likeliest to challenge Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco for Golden Boot and MVP honors this year.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 2 ]

Three moments that mattered

58′ — Oduro gets in behind, finishes past Robles — With Drogba once again unavailable on Saturday, Oduro got his second straight start and center forward and scored for the second straight game.

71′ — Piatti gets in behind, makes it 2-0 — Gideon Baah made his MLS debut in generally impressive fashion last week for the Red Bulls. This week, he was the Impact’s whipping boy, having committed the fatal turnover on Oduro’s opener, and then getting caught in acres of space as Piatti waltzed into the penalty area and fired Montreal to a 2-0 lead.

90+4′ — Jackson-Hamel slots it past Robles to complete the rout — Harry Shipp’s delicately chipped through ball put Jackson-Hamel into all kinds of space inside the Red Bulls penalty area, where the 22-year-old coolly poked his first-time effort past Luis Robles for the emphatic exclamation point goal.

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Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti

Goalscorers: Oduro (58′), Piatti (71′), Jackson-Hamel (90+4′)


The game in 100 words (or less): If you spent two hours of your Saturday afternoon soldiering through the Real Salt Lake 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders, I am truly sorry. Hopefully you allowed me to watch this one so you didn’t have to. Osvaldo Alonso scored an unattractive goal — his first in 96 games — just before the half-hour mark, Sunny Obayan equalized just before halftime, and Jamison Olave scored the most “Jamison Olave” goal to snatch all three points in the 86th minute. The Sounders are without a single point through two games to begin the 2016 season, while RSL were mere seconds last week from taking all six points to open the season.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 2 ]

Three moments that mattered

28′ — Alonso pokes home a rebound to make it 1-0 — Nick Rimando made an extremely Rimando-like reaction save to stop Nelson Valdez’s initial effort off the cross from Joevin Jones, but the ball sat up ever so nicely for Alonso at the back post, where the Cuban poked home with ease.

43′ — Sunny heads home from a corner, makes it 1-1 — Perfectly placed corner kick by Joao Plata, perfectly executed header from 11 yards out by Sunny. Textbook stuff from RSL, and poor marking from the Sounders.

86′ — Olave wins the jump ball, heads home for 2-1 — From Plata’s overhit free kick, Juan Manuel “El Burrito” Martinez did the simplest things: he sent the ball back into the penalty area with his first touch. Olave clashed with goalkeeper Tyler Miller in mid-air, and the Colombian brute came out on top, as he often does in aerial duels.

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Man of the match: Juan Manuel Martinez

Goalscorers: Alonso (28′), Sunny (43′), Olave (86′)

VIDEO: Kei Kamara scores superb bicycle kick goal against Sporting KC

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Kei Kamara has scored plenty of goals at Children’s Mercy Park, but none like his bicycle kick goal on Saturday.

The 35-year-old, now in his 16th season, showcased his penchant for scoring right before halftime against his former team. The goal makes 12 for the Colorado Rapids’ forward this season, placing him within the top 10 of the league and two begin his 14-goal season last year.

Overall, Kamara is fifth in the all-time MLS scoring list with 124 goals, second among active players behind San Jose Earthquakes’ Chris Wondolowski.

Enjoy a superb goal from a superb goalscoerer.

La Liga Roundup: Messi, Barcelona stunned by inspired Granada (video)

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Granada’s shocking 2-0 win over Barcelona and subsequent rise to the top of the table headlines Saturday’s La Liga action.

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Granada 2-0 Barcelona

Not even Lionel Messi, who made his season debut on Saturday, was able to save Barcelona against a red-hot Granada.

Granada, who are off to their best start in their 88 years of existence, had a perfect night in front of their supporters, convincingly getting past a Barcelona that dominated possession, but lacked the offensive ingenuity needed to score.

Barcelona’s defense wasn’t noteworthily robust, either.

Two minutes in, the newly promoted side scored through a headed goal from Ramon Azeez, following a defensive turnover from Junior Firpo.

Unable to record a shot on target in the first half and looking to wakeup a dormant attack, Barcelona brought on wonderkid Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi at halftime. Despite the duo connecting on several occasion and generating a shot on target, it wasn’t enough to get past Rui Silva.

In the 66th minute, following video review, substitute Alvaro Badillo converted from the spot, handing Granada their third win of the season.

Atop of La Liga, Granada set their sights on Real Valladolid, while Barcelona, who are off to their worst league start in 25 years, host Villarreal at Camp Nou.

Atletico Madrid  0-0 Celta Vigo

For a second consecutive week, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid dropped points, drawing with Celta Vigo 0-0 at Wanda Metropolitano.

Tied with league leaders Granada and Sevilla with 10 points, the alarm bells are far from going off in Madrid. However, as Saturday’s performance showed, los Colchoneros are having trouble finishing chances this season, despite fielding an attack with the likes of Joao Felix, Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata.

In five games, Atletico have managed to score only five goals, six fewer than leaders Granada. Against Celta, Atletico registered 20 shots, five on target, but were unable to crack a stellar Ruben Blanco, who registered five saves.

Leveled with Granada and Sevilla, Atletico Madrid look to get back into winning ways as they take on RCD Mallorca. Elsewhere, Celta Vigo, who have won win after five games, host Espanyol next.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Villarreal 2-0 Real Valladolid

Levante 0-0 Eibar

Almeyda, Wondolowski sent off in Quakes’ fall against Atlanta (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): Melodrama took center stage in Atlanta United’s 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, as Matias Almeyda, Chris Wondolowski and Cristian Espinoza were all sent off on Saturday. Josef Martinez, six games away from tying Lionel Messi’s world record for most consecutive goals, left the field in 79th minute following an injury, ending his MLS-record run at 15 games. Playing with 10 players from the 34th minute onwards, the Quakes held on to the draw up until the 90th minute. Unmarked inside the box, Emerson Hyndman rocketed the ball past Daniel Vega, who recorded nine saves throughout the night. In stoppage time, Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez was rewarded for his stellar performance with a goal of his own. With a game at hand, Eastern Conference leaders, NYCFC, are three points ahead Frank De Boer‘s side. The Quakes, on the other hand, have internal fires to put out as they have lost six of their last eight, and are only a point above the red line with three games to play.

Three moments that mattered

27′ — Great run by Espinoza, greater ball by Vega  — Daniel Vega and Cristian Espinoza were players that San Jose were desperately missing last season. This sequence says it all.

 

90′ — Emerson Hyndman wins it for the Five Stripes   — Hyndman, with no one near him, seals three points for the home side.

 

90′ + 2 — Martinez takes advantage of broken San Jose  — Martinez’s goal was only salt in San Jose’s fresh wound.

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Man of the match: Gonzalo “Pity”  Martinez

Goalscorers: Meram (4′), Guzan (27′ – OG), Hyndman (90′), Martinez (90′ + 2)

FIFA sees no obstacles for women to attend games in Iran

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ZURICH — Soccer’s governing body FIFA says an inspection visit to Iran has shown “no noteworthy operational obstacles” to lifting the country’s 40-year ban and letting women attend a World Cup qualifying game next month.

After meeting government and soccer officials in Tehran this week, FIFA says it will work with Iran’s soccer body to also open domestic league games to female fans.

FIFA wants Iran to end its ban on women entering stadiums which breaches international soccer statutes prohibiting discrimination.

Global attention on the ban followed the death this month of a 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire outside a courthouse. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a soccer stadium in Tehran and faced six months in prison.

Ahead of Iran hosting Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium on Oct. 10, FIFA says the visit on Thursday focused on “international relations, security and ticketing matters.”

Iranian officials were told of FIFA’s “firm and clear position that women need to be allowed to enter football matches freely” with tickets sold to as many who wanted to attend.