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Bundesliga drama on final day of 2016-17 season

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The 34th and final round of action in the 2016-17 Bundesliga season took place on Saturday and there was plenty of drama at the top and bottom of the table.

[ MORE: Bundesliga’s final day scores ]

Hamburg scored a late winner against relegation rivals Wolfsburg to save themselves from competing in the Bundesliga relegation playoff for the third time in four years and push Wolfsburg into the relegation playoff.

Elsewhere there was plenty of chopping and changing for the remaining European places as Borussia Dortmund won a thriller 4-3 to stay in third place and qualify automatically for the UEFA Champions League, while Bayern Munich finished off their title-winning campaign in style.

Below is the final wrap of the Bundesliga season.


Hamburg 2-1 Wolfsburg

Hamburg have never been relegated from the Bundesliga and they will keep that proud record intact. Hamburg’s hero was Luca Waldschmidt who turned 21 yesterday and he jumped off the bench late on to head home and secure Hamburg’s spot in Germany’s top flight for next season. Filip Kosti had made it 1-1 in a nerve-jangling but the hosts scored late and their goalkeeper made a string of fine saves to pull off a remarkable final day win.

As for Wolfsburg, who had taken an early lead through Robin Knocke, the have a two-legged playoff on Thursday May 25 and May 29 as they aim to keep their place in the Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich 4-1 SC Freiburg

Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso went out with a win as the German champions (that’s now five titles on the spin) beat Freiburg thanks to goals from Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal which put them 2-0 up, but Freiburg pulled a goal back to make it interesting. Ribery and Kimmich added goals in stoppage time to put some extra gloss on the scoreline.

Bayern also lifted the German title at the Allianz Arena after the full time whistle as Lahm and Alonso head into retirement with one final win under their belt. For Freiburg, they could still qualify for the Europa League if Dortmund beat Frankfurt in the German Cup final next weekend.

Borussia Dortmund 4-3 Werder Bremen

An absolute humdinger of a game as Dortmund scored a later winner via an Aubameyang penalty kick as Thomas Tuchel’s men secured third place and an automatic spot in the UCL group stage. Dortmund trailed 3-2 heading into the final 15 minutes but two late penalty kicks, the first from Marco Reus, turned the game around. Aubameyang also won the Bundesliga’s Golden Boot with 31 goals for the season.


Elsewhere

Hoffenheim 0-0 Augsburg – Hoffenheim’s draw means that they finish fourth and will be playing in the UCL playoff round
Hertha Berlin 2-6 Bayer Leverkusen – Hertha finished in sixth place and still qualified for Europa League after a big defeat
Cologne 2-0 Mainz – Koln sealed fifth place and a Europa League group stage spot. First European campaign in 25 years
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 RB Leipzig – Two goals in the last seven minutes rescued a point for Frankfurt
Ingolstadt 1-1 Schalke – Hosts are relegated but grabbed a nice point on their final day in the Bundesliga for at least 12 months
Monchengladbach 2-2 Darmstadt – Already-relegated Darmstadt score a late equalizer and cost ‘Gladbach a potential Europa spot

Standings

VIDEO: Portugal lead Iran at HT; Spain 1-1 Morocco

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We’re through the first 45 minutes of Monday’s Group B finales at the 2018 World Cup, and things are happening. A quick rundown…

[ SCENARIOS: Who needs what, to finish where, in final round of group games ]

Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos combined to commit a disastrous gaffe at midfield, resulting in a goal for Khalid Boutaib in the 14th minute. At this point, Spain would have finished second, behind Portugal, and headed to the far more difficult side of the knockout bracket.

Five minutes later, it was Iniesta who, with a little help from some slightly lesser geniuses, unlocked the Moroccan defense to set up Isco for an emphatic finish. La Furia Roja moved back to the top of the group, on goals scored.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

In the afternoon’s other game, Portugal and Iran appeared destined for a 0-0 scoreline at halftime, until Ricardo Quaresma unleashed a stunning, outside-of-the-foot curler from outside the box to beat the goalkeeper and put Portugal ahead — both on the day, and in the table. As things currently stand, Portugal would win the group and Spain would finish second.

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 4

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In the fourth episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England players have been preparing for their next match in an unusual way, Argentina has a huge meltdown, and more.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

Click play on the video above to watch the fourth episode in full.

Atlanta leads way with six All-Star Fan XI selections

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It may be hard to believe with all the World Cup festivities going on, but the Major League Soccer season is nearly halfway over.

[ MORE: Toronto FC’s 2018 has been far from their cup-winning 2017 ]

And that means it’s almost All-Star time.

The MLS All-Stars will continue their recent tradition of facing a European superpower in August, with Juventus being welcomed to the United States in early August.

But, which players from MLS will we see in action?

Last season’s expansion sweetheart Atlanta United leads the way in the fan voting with six players from the Eastern Conference side voted into the Fan XI, including attackers Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco, Darlington Nagbe and Josef Martinez.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender/captain Michael Parkhurst also made the team from Atlanta.

In all, only five clubs were represented based on the Fan XI, with the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela and Laurent Ciman, Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi and Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri each rounding out the squad.


Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)

Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club – EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge)

Saudi Arabia steals late win over Egypt in Group A finale

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Saudi Arabia pulled off a late 2-1 win against Egypt on Monday in their Group A finale, as the two nations ended their 2018 World Cup run in the group stage.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Salem Al Sawsari scored in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to give the Saudis a late winner in the match, as the attacker struck the post in the dying moments before the ball crossed the line.

The Pharaohs took the lead in the 22nd minute, after a tremendous run from Mohamed Salah and lob over the Saudi Arabia goalkeeper.

Salah has two goals at the World Cup for Egypt, who were already eliminated heading into Monday’s match.

Saudi Arabia was granted a chance to equalize prior to halftime, however, goalkeeper Essam El Hadary brilliantly stopped Hattan Bahebri’s penalty kick in the 41st minute to preserve the Egypt advantage.

El Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history to appear in a match at the age of 45.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

The Egypt keeper wasn’t as lucky the second time around though, with Salmon Al Faraj converting a penalty kick in the 51st minute.

Saudi Arabia finishes group play in third place on three points, while Egypt goes winless in its three matches.