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Patricio, Eder help Ronaldo-less Portugal to EURO 2016 crown

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Eder scored a goal in the 109th minute to lift Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal to its first ever major tournament title, a 1-0 win over host France as EURO 2016 concluded on Sunday.

The substitute’s fourth international goal in 29 caps was enough for Portugal thanks to the outstanding goalkeeping of Rui Patricio, who was credited with seven saves.

Ronaldo’s injury came in the opening 10 minutes when Dimitri Payet surprised Ronaldo with a tackle. The captain went down and clutched his knee, briefly leaving the field twice before finally exiting in the 25th.

Moments later, Antoine Griezmann forced Rui Patricio into a fabulous save. The ensuing corner was headed at the keeper by Olivier Giroud.

[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Ronaldo injury ]

Portugal had problems containing a fit and motivated Moussa Sissoko, though the final ball continued to elude Les Bleus. Also instrumental in that failure to break through were center backs Pepe and Jose Fonte.

It’s easy to forget that so much of France’s tactics would’ve been focused on Ronaldo, and Didier Deschamps’ crew looked perplexed at times.

Kingsley Coman came on for an ineffective Payet with a half-hour to play and changed the game, his 66th minute cross nearly headed home by Griezmann.

Giroud slipped down the left of the box to force Patricio into another solid save, and the 75th minute saw France looking more likely to find the opener.

Hugo Lloris was called into action for the first time in a great deal of time and looked shaky in dealing with an 80th minute chip from Nani but scooped up an ensuing overhead kick to keep it 0-0.

Sissoko teed up a blast in the 84th, but Patricio dove to make a two-handed parry. And Andre-Pierre Gignac worked Pepe before hitting a stoppage time ball off the far post. Was fortune on Portugal’s side?

[ MORE: Janssen to Spurs? ]

Extra time found, well, a continued dearth of excitement. It took almost the entire first period for a moment of import, as Eder was robbed by Lloris.

Referee Mark Clattenberg misread handball on Eder as one on Laurent Koscielny, and Raphael Guerrero almost scored on the resulting free kick. The crossbar won the battle, though.

Eder found the goal though moments later, shrugging off a pull to carry to the middle of the pitch and lash a shot past a diving Lloris. It wasn’t the finest moment for the Spurs keeper.

An injury to Guerrero left Portugal down to 10 men in the final moments of the match, but it was not to be for France.

U.S. Open Cup: Goals a-plenty as Atlanta, Minnesota advance

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The first two quarterfinal berths in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup were earned Tuesday with 3-2 away wins.

Columbus Crew 2-3 Atlanta United

A pair of goals from Brandon Vazquez helped Atlanta United overcome both the Columbus Crew and a 48-minute weather delay.

Miles Robinson also scored for Atlanta, while David Accam bagged a goal for the hosts.

A 71st minute Brad Guzan own goal set up a nervy final 20 minutes for the Five Stripes, but they navigated the obstacles and emerged into the quarterfinals

Atlanta will play the winner of FC Cincinnati and Saint Louis FC.

Houston Dynamo 2-3 Minnesota United

The Houston Dynamo thought they were cruising to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, and instead just waltzed right out of the tournament.

Up 2-0 at home and at halftime, the Dynamo conceded three times in the final 24 minutes to bow out of the USOC.

The victor, who deserves full marks, is Minnesota United. Darwin Quintero struck twice and Mason Toye scored in the 89th minute as the Loons advanced to play the winner of New Mexico United and FC Dallas. No Texas Derby in the cup this year.

Berhalter names first USMNT Starting XI for Gold Cup

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Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Michael Bradley all start as the United States men’s national team will look a bit more like its best for Tuesday’s Gold Cup opener against Guyana.

The 10 p.m. ET kickoff in Minnesota will see the Yanks without injured Tyler Adams, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin, and Sebastian Lletget, but Jozy Altidore has been relegated to the bench — perhaps not fully fit — behind Gyasi Zardes.

[ LIVE: Latest Gold Cup scores, stats, lineups ]

The back line will see Nick Lima, Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Long, and Tim Ream, while Bradley, McKennie work atop them.

Paul Arriola and Tyler Boyd will be out wide, with Christian Pulisic central underneath Zardes.

The substitutes are Sean Johnson, Tyler Miller, Omar Gonzalez, Wil Trapp, Jordan Morris, Reggie Cannon, Cristian Roldan, Daniel Lovitz, Jozy Altidore, Jonathan Lewis, Matt Miazga, Djordje Mihailovic.

[ MORE: Mata staying with Man Utd ]

Chinese club reportedly offers $15M contract to Newcastle’s Benitez

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It would be peak Newcastle United of recent seasons to lose their coach to a squabble over the sort of players the manager wants to sign.

Rafa Benitez‘s contract expires at the end of this month, and he makes decent money at St. James’ Park, but his $6 million pales in comparison the money being offered by a Chinese Super League club.

[ MORE: Mata staying with Man Utd ]

Benitez wants to stay at Newcastle, but his concerns aren’t about his wages as much as being allowed to build a contender under stingy owner Mike Ashley. With the team possibly getting a takeover, Benitez is not guaranteed the chance to improve his roster. Not to mention Newcastle operates under club-wide restrictions.

Sky Sports says, “the former Liverpool, Chelsea and Valencia boss wants to be given the green light to sign players over the age of 26, which has been against club policy in previous years.”

Sky Sports reports that Benitez is mulling a $15 million offer from Dalian Yifang, the CSL team currently sitting in 11th place under former South Korea national team manager Kang-hee Choi.

Dalian Yifang currently employs transfer rumor mainstay Yannick Carrasco, as well as Marek Hamsik and young Ghanaian striker Emmanuel Boateng.

If Newcastle allows Benitez to leave and the takeover is not completed, it would be the most embarrassing thing for the club since Joe Kinnear couldn’t pronounce half of his players’ names. That’s saying something.

Gold Cup LIVE – USMNT meets Guyana after Panama, T&T tangle

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Gregg Berhalter’s shaky USMNT welcomes several of its star players into the fold when it kicks off its 2019 Gold Cup campaign against Guyana on Tuesday.

[ LIVE: Latest Gold Cup scores ]

The match comes 2.5 hours after one between the two sides which conspired to keep the Yanks out of the 2018 World Cup.

While the USMNT played the biggest role in that monumental failure, Trinidad and Tobago is the team that beat the Yanks in Couva on the same night that Panama scored a ghost goal to push the U.S. into fifth in the Hex.

Guyana has lost to Haiti, Bermuda, and French Guiana in the last eight months, and it would be stunning if the U.S. didn’t post a generous amount of goals on the scoreboard even after miserable efforts against Jamaica’s B team and Venezuela.

Panama and T&T, on the other hand, should be a beauty, with Los Canaleros getting a bit older in the tooth and the Soca Warriors maturing a bit as a side.

Panama and T&T kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the USMNT expected to kickoff with Guyana a little after 10 p.m.