West Brom 0-1 Southampton: Race for eighth place is on

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  • Jordy Clasie‘s fine strike wins it
  • Saints move on to 44 points
  • West Brom in eighth on 40 points
  • Back-to-back wins for Southampton

Southampton beat West Brom 1-0 at the Hawthorns on Saturday as Jordy Clasie’s fine strike was enough to separate the teams.

The Dutchman rattled home his first goal in the Premier League in the first half and despite late pressure the Baggies couldn’t break through against a stubborn Saints defense.

Saints have now sealed back-to-back wins in the Premier League, moving them on to 40 points for the season and they sit just four points behind eighth-place West Brom with two games in hand. The race for eighth (if that’s a thing) is on.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Southampton started the game well with some surging runs down the flanks but West Brom looked dangerous with Matty Phillips whipping in some crosses for Salomon Rondon.

The Venezuelan then had an effort which went woefully wide as the Baggies looked a little off the pace, while Fraser Forster kept out James Morrison‘s effort and Nacer Chadli fired the rebound over.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Just before the half hour mark Southampton deservedly took the lead as the ball was cut back to Dusan Tadic on the edge of the box and he set up Clasie who smashed a wonderful effort into the top corner to score his first goal in the Premier League and put the away side 1-0 up.

Before the break West Brom battled back into the game with Rondon having a header at the back post well saved by Forster and then Phillips fired the rebound over.

Shane Long also felt he was clipped when clean through on goal but didn’t get the decision and he also missed a diving header which he should have scored as Saints only led by one at the break.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half West Brom struggled to get back into the game with Saints looking dangerous on the break.

Nathan Redmond hit a shot at the back post which Ben Foster saved well at his near post and then Tadic curled a wonderful effort just over.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Late on West Brom threw the kitchen sink at Saints as Hal Robson-Kanu fired, then Forster denied Dawson superbly and kept out Evans as Southampton held on for a big three points to solidify their spot in the top 10.

LIVE — USMNT seeks ‘payback’ v. Canada in CONCACAF Nations League

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The USMNT’s CONCACAF Nations League hopes are on the line when it meets Canada in Orlando at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.

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The Yanks seek to avenge a 2-0 loss to the Canucks in Toronto last month, one that heaped pressure on coach Gregg Berhalter.

If the USMNT fails to win on Friday, a match Canada also needs for its World Cup qualifying hopes, it will bow out of the tournament before the semifinal round.

There’s no place for DeAndre Yedlin in the back line, as Tim Ream‘s been chosen to play right back with a center back pairing of John Brooks and Aaron Long. Sergino Dest starts on the right.

The midfield will have Jackson Yueill lying deep, with Weston McKennie and Sebastian Lletget also getting the call.

Gyasi Zardes starts at center forward with Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola on the wings.

EURO qualifying wrap: Sweden joins Finland in qualifying

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Finland and Sweden have qualified for EURO 2020 after posting big wins on Friday, the former doing it at home to relative minnows Liechtenstein while the latter scored an impressive win away to Romania.

[ WATCH: G. Jesus’ comical penalty miss ]

Romania 0-2 Sweden

Marcus Berg and Robin Quaison scored first half goals as Sweden qualified for its sixth-straight EURO. Both are having decent starts to the club season. The veteran Berg has scored five times for Krasnodar, while the 26-year-old Quaison has scored four times for Mainz this season.

Spain 7-0 Malta

The Spanish had seven different goal scorers beginning with Alvaro Morata and Santi Cazorla providing a 2-0 halftime lead. Spain out shot Malta 25-1, with Pau Torres, Pablo Sarabia, Dani Olmo, and Gerard Moreno also scoring for an experimental squad.

And what if we told you Jesus Navas scored? Cause he did.

Denmark 6-0 Gibraltar

Christian Eriksen scored twice in the final five minutes after Robert Skov’s brace came sandwiched around Christian Gytkjaer and Martin Braithwaite goals. The Danes climbed to the top of Group D, one point better than the Swiss and three better than Republic of Ireland (who it meets on the last match day).

Switzerland 1-0 Georgia

Granit Xhaka went 90 minutes and Cedric Itten scored the game’s lone goal as the Swiss joined the Danes in climbing above Republic of Ireland.

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-3 Italy

The Azzurri were clinical on Friday, with Francesco Acerbi, Lorenzo Insigne, and Andrea Belotti bagging

Norway 4-0 Faroe Islands
Finland 3-0 Liechtenstein — RECAP
Armenia 0-1 Greece

WATCH: Gabriel Jesus comically misses penalty; Messi pots winner on Argentina return

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As long as Lionel Messi is on the field, Argentina and Brazil is going to be must-watch no matter the location.

Messi converted a rebound of his own won and saved penalty to score his 69th international goal in Argentina’s 1-0 win in a Saudi Arabia-hosted friendly on Friday.

[ MORE: Finland makes history ]

It was Messi’s first match with Argentina since the summer, when he was banned three months for claiming the 2019 Copa America tournament was fixed for hosts Brazil.

Let’s be real, though: You should be here for this terrible penalty miss from Gabriel Jesus.

The Brazilian also won his penalty, but his miss was a dreadful dribble wide of the frame. It clicked three boxes of terrible: no direction, no conviction, no technique.

Pique: Griezmann growing into Barca role “little by little”

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This summer, there was plenty of talk that Barcelona’s players wanted Neymar in town and quite the opposite regarding Antoine Griezmann.

The Atletico Madrid star was the player purchased by Barcelona.

[ MORE: Finland makes history ]

Griezmann, 28, has four goals and three assists in 15 matches, but the bulk of that outlay came in two matches and he’s without a goal or assist in the UEFA Champions League.

A bit different from his 21 goals and 10 assists in 48 matches last season, at least on the goals end, but the Frenchman is settling into a new club and city.

While it’s not like his new teammates think he’s garbage, they aren’t sugarcoating their opinion of his transition nor downplaying their lofty opinion of Barca.

Here’s Gerard Pique, via AS.com:

“Real Sociedad and Atlético were teams who played for Griezmann. That’s not the case at Barca, because the level is higher and he has to find his place in the side. Little by little he’s finding it. He’s got the quality and talent for it.”

Pique also blew off Barca’s extra rest before the new El Clasico date, and talked about Leo Messi’scontract talks as well as his relationship with Sergio Ramos. It’s all here.