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Upsets abound in U.S. Open Cup second round

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The second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup didn’t need more than a quarter of its slate to provide genuine upsets.

Or, as they #USOC crowd likes to call them, Cupsets.

[ MORE: Huddersfield Town to Wembley ]

USL side Richmond Kickers and NASL clubs Indy Eleven and New York Cosmos were knocked out of the Open Cup by lower tier sides on Wednesday, with the Kickers bowing out at the hands (and feet) of fifth-tier Christos FC.

Richmond Kickers 0-1 Christos FC

Not that Christos are pushovers, but overseas they’d be called a Sunday League side. Champions of the Amateur Open Cup and the National Cup, Christos FC got a goal from one of its many UMBC grads, Geaton Caltabiano, to knock out Richmond.

Consider that Christos traveled to Western New York last week for a Werner Fricker Cup quarterfinal and won 1-0 with nine men, and it’s somewhat less surprising. But this is a major moment for both the Sunday Leaguers and this year’s tournament.

Reading United 3-2 New York Cosmos

This one’s nearly as surprising, considering the Cosmos have been the darlings of this tournament in years past. The NASL side has handled its business against several MLS sides, but ran into a problem with Reading United (one of the better programs in the fourth-tier PDL and an affiliate of the Philadelphia Union).

Paul Marie, Marco Micaletto, and Frantzdy Pierrot scored for Reading, while Kalif Alhassan and ex-USMNT midfielder Danny Szetela scored for the Cosmos.

Michigan Bucks 1-0 Indy Eleven

University of Michigan star Francis Atuahene scored the lone goal, assisted by Jordan Snell, as the PDL champs knocked the NASL visitors out of the tournament.

FC Cincinnati 0-0 AFC Cleveland

It took extra time to separate the USL hosts and the visiting champions of the fourth-tier NPSL, thanks mainly to AFCC keeper Alex Ivanov, but former Randers and Molde striker Baye Djiby Fall scored in the 115th minute to save Cincy blushes.

Elsewhere
Rochester Rhinos
3-0 Motown FC
Tartan Devils 0-9 Louisville City
Boston City 1-2 GPS Omens
Carolina Dynamo 1-6 North Carolina FC
Miami United 1-2 Jacksonville Armada
Atlanta Silverbacks 1-2 Charleston Battery
Miami FC 3-2 South Florida Surf
Ocean City 0-1 Harrisburg City Islanders
Chicago United 3-1 Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Houston Dutch Lions 1-2 San Antonio
Oklahoma City Energy 5-1 Moreno Valley
Tulsa Roughnecks 5-3 Oklahoma City Energy U23
Wichita 3-4 Saint Louis FC
Colorado Springs 2-0 FC Tucson

Later
Fuego – Phoenix Rising
San Francisco Deltas  – Burlingame
Golden State Force – Orange County SC
LA Wolves – Chula Vista
OSA FC – Reno
Sacramento Republic – Anahuac

Rodgers not too bothered by VAR as Leicester City back in Top Four

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
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Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is keeping his cool about the Foxes’ decent start to the Premier League season.

The Foxes beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Saturday to move back into the Top Four, four points behind leaders Liverpool.

[ MORE: Match recap | Pochettino reacts ]

Leicester has now beaten Spurs, Bournemouth, and Sheffield United, drawn Wolves and Chelsea, and lost away to Manchester United last week (in a match it was arguably superior to the hosts).

Rodgers loved his team’s day, which was challenged by VAR taking away goals from both sides, but knows the big picture is a big challenge.

“A brilliant team performance,” he said. “Very early days, we have had a tough start. We will get into the New Year and see where we are February, March.”

As for VAR, Rodgers saw an early Leicester goal pulled back for offside, but the system also determined that Heung-Min Son was offside by the finest bit of his rotator cuff before Serge Aurier made it 2-0 to Spurs.

Back to 1-0, Leicester equalized within moments through Ricardo Pereira before James Maddison scored a wonder-strike to win it for the hosts.

“It’s what happens with VAR, you have to get your head round it. It works for you and against you. Worked both ways for us today. … We spoke with the players in pre season about VAR. You have to deal with it, sometimes for you and against you. Have to accept it and move on. It was a very important three points.”

Pochettino says VAR call inspired Leicester; Twitter has knives out

Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images
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Mauricio Pochettino worked a marvel with the English language in describing how VAR affected the late stages of Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Spurs looked to have doubled its home lead with 20 minutes to play when Serge Aurier belted a far post shot past the reach of Kasper Schmeichel, but a lengthy video review showed Heung-Min Son‘s shoulder was maybe possibly offside.

[ RECAP: Leicester City 2-1 Tottenham ]

Clear and obvious? Mehhhhhhh.

Pochettino, oddly enough, chose not to debate the call but instead focused on the momentum he believes it provided to Leicester City en route to Ricardo Pereira‘s near-immediate answer and James Maddison‘s late winner.

“After 80 minutes, the game was going to be over. You gave massive belief to the team that was already dead. After we conceded the goal 1-1, we had some chances to score the second goal, but that’s what makes the Premier League the most beautiful league. You can never stop.”

He was optimistic on the overall performance following a disheartening 2-2 draw with Olympiacos at midweek, as Spurs threw away a 2-0 first half lead over the Greek hosts.

“Very disappointed because we lost the three points but in thinking the big picture I am very optimistic because the team showed great reaction after Olympiacos.”

Meanwhile, much of the rest of Twitter’s soccer world was a bit less forgiving of VAR. Even Leicester City legend Gary Lineker sent venom to the Video Assistant Referee.

Man City scores five times in first 18 minutes v. Watford (video)

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What a start. Emphasize it, bold it, underline it.

Manchester City scored five goals in the first 18 minutes of play on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium, relegating Watford to also-ran status before the match was a quarter finished.

[ STREAM: Man City v. Watford ]

It took 54 seconds for De Bruyne to assist David Silva with an outstanding opener, but Gerard Deulofeu nearly answered when he danced around Nicolas Otamendi to force a conceded corner out of Ederson.

Silva, marked for Inter Miami in a mid-week report, was the finisher for the 55th time in his Premier League career and 72nd for his club.

Ben Foster then gave away a useless penalty when he slapped a through ball out of bounds before felling Riyad Mahrez for an easy penalty. Aguero stepped to the spot calm as you like and dispatched the No. 2 to the scoreboard.

That was hardly the end to Watford’s woes, as Mahrez dazzled with a dribble through the heart of the field to earn a free kick atop the 18. There was only one destination, given the series of events. 3-0.

Bernardo Silva then got in on the act, when Otamendi nodded a De Bruyne corner to the back post for a prone finish and 4-0.

Not to be outdone, Otamendi was back post for a finish of his own, giving City its fifth goal off an Aguero assist.

Watch Live: Man City v. Watford headlines 10am ET games

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Three Premier League games take center stage at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, as potential upsets are the focus.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Manchester City aim to get back on track as they play Watford, while Norwich head to Burnley and Everton host Sheffield United.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for the three games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


10 a.m. ET: Man City v. Watford – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley v. Norwich – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton v. Sheffield United – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]