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UCL: PSG embarrasses Barcelona 4-0 in first leg

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Angel Di Maria’s brace helped Paris Saint-Germain dismantle poor Barcelona, and PSG is on the verge of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals after a 4-0 win at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.

Three of PSG’s goal came from birthday boys, as Di Maria (29) and Edinson Cavani (30) celebrated anniversaries. Julian Draxler also scored, but his birthday is Sept. 20.

The second leg is March 8 at the Camp Nou.

[ MORE: Champions League scores ]

Di Maria put a left-footed free kick between the heads of Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez in the Barcelona wall, giving the French side a 1-0 lead.

Suarez’s jumped forward to help open the gap, but it’s still a fine strike by the former Real Madrid and Manchester United man (WATCH IT HERE).

[ MORE: Champions League scores ]

Barcelona was down to 10 men at the time thanks to an injury to Neymar, and PSG pounced to take a first leg lead in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

Andre Gomes found Barcelona’s first chance in the 27th minute, as Neymar played Andre Gomes through on Kevin Trapp. Gomes tried to meg the keeper, but Trapp got a piece of it.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Julian Draxler was dangerous for PSG, winning the free kick Di Maria scored and later dribbling in from the left to force a save from Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Moments later, Di Maria nearly found the head of Edinson Cavani on a break on goal. Would they find a second?

Yep. Draxler belted a shot home after a clinical counter attack. The German was played onto his right foot by Marco Verratti, and it was 2-0 in the 40th. Verratti was incredible during his 68th shift, controlling the midfield and looking dangerous nearly every time the ball found him.

Di Maria stumbled before belting home a goal in the 55th minute, and Edinson Cavani needed one touch to score PSG’s fourth following a terrific dribble and pass from Thomas Meunier.

Rooney swerves long free kick around the wall (video)

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Thirty-plus yards is a tricky distance for defending a free kick.

How many guys do you put in the wall in case the shooter has the audacity to shoot?

[ MORE: Henry looks to Pep, Wenger ]

It didn’t matter all that much during Wednesday’s match between DC United and Toronto FC. The shooter was Wayne Rooney, and he curled a fireball around the wall and inside the near post.

The amount of spin on the ball is out-of-this-world, as Rooney and DC aim to gain a four-point advantage over seventh place Montreal with two matches to play.

It’s Rooney’s 10th MLS goal in 18 games. He’s also posted six assists in leading United up the table.

Jamaica edges Panama, earns first Women’s World Cup berth (video)

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Jamaica is joining the United States and Canada as CONCACAF representatives in this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France after a thrilling 2-2 draw gave way to penalty kicks in Wednesday’s third place match at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

It’s a first World Cup for the Reggae Girlz, who won 4-2 in kicks.

[ MORE: Henry looks to Pep, Wenger ]

Jamaica held a pair of leads but allowed equalizers in regulation and extra time to push the match into kicks.

That’s when Jamaica coach Merron Gordon rolled the dice, subbing out goalkeeper Sydney Schneider in favor of Nicole McClure.

The backup saved two of four Panama attempts, and Sheyla Diaz buried her attempt to clinch a spot in France.

Panama can still qualify via a two-legged playoff with CONMEBOL’s Argentina, so there’s still hope for one of the great stories in women’s soccer (headlined by 17-year-old goalkeeper Yenith Bailey).

Olympiakos’ Fortounis gets ban for obscene celebration

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) Olympiakos midfielder Kostas Fortounis has been handed a one-match ban in the Greek league as punishment for an obscene goal celebration during a game this month.

[ MORE: Henry looks to Pep, Wenger ]

Fortounis will miss this weekend’s match against OFI on the island of Crete after the penalty was announced Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Greece international mouthed obscenities toward opposing fans after scoring against AEK Athens on Oct. 7 during a 1-1 draw. He later apologized for the incident.

PAOK currently leads the Greek league standings with 16 points from six matches, level with Atromitos. AEK and Olympiakos follow with 13 points.

Ramos posts video to refute ‘stamp’ on Sterling

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Let’s start here: Sergio Ramos is a darn good center back and a filthy player. Both of those things are true.

And opponents are always going to try to use the latter to deprive a match of the former.

[ MORE: Henry looks to Pep, Wenger ]

But the Real Madrid center back is having the last laugh regarding the latest furor over one of his tackles.

It all started when a Twitter user spied what he believed to be a Ramos stamp on Raheem Sterling in Spain’s 3-2 loss to England in the UEFA Nations League (although the still frame of the video shows you where this is going).

Perhaps knowing that Ramos would come near, it turns out Sterling is playacting or having an extremely delayed response to another tackle.

Check the other angle.

Sure he probably stamped on someone else during the match, especially after being trucked by Eric Dier, but this is pretty funny from the Real Madrid antagonist.