West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle United: Magpies sweep Irons

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  • Arnautovic scores in 6th minute
  • Saivet makes amends for gaffe
  • First NUFC win since Oct. 21
  • Magpies sweep West Ham

Henri Saivet, Mohamed Diame, and Christian Atsu booted Newcastle United out of the drop zone with a 3-2 win at West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.

The Magpies end a nine-match winless run in the Premier League, rising to 15th with 18 points.

Marko Arnautovic and Andre Ayew scored for David Moyes‘ Irons, who slip 17th.

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DeAndre Yedlin protested an early corner, and West Ham replied by fouling during service.

At the other end, Adrian caught a Mo Diame cross and held it in play as his body carried into the goal.

A horrific giveaway from Henri Saivet sprung Arnautovic for a 1v1 with Ciaran Clark, and the Austrian cut to the right to belt a shot past Rob Elliot. 1-0.

Saivet made amends with a sensational free kick goal. Making his first start in the Premier League under Rafa Benitez, the Frenchman swept a free kick over the wall and just inside the near post to level the score.

Yedlin came close to supplying a go-ahead assist when he ran onto Matt Ritchie‘s through ball, but Dwight Gayle‘s shot popped off the cross bar.

Michail Antonio popped a corner kick over goal with an unmarked header off a corner kick in the 26th. Elliot made a nice stop on Arthur Masuaku moments later.

Matt Ritchie hit the post as Newcastle struck the woodwork for the fourth time in two matches.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

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Newcastle went ahead with style, as Christian Atsu nutmegged James Collins and squared to the penalty spot for Diame to belt into the gaping frame.

The lead was set to be shortlived after a penalty was conceded (despite a foul outside the 18) by Newcastle, but Elliot saved Andre Ayew’s poor penalty.

And Atsu piled misery on the Irons with a counter attack that West Ham gave plenty of liberty. Dwight Gayle forced a turnover and Joselu squared for Atsu to finish in the 61st.

But Newcastle born Andy Carroll won a back post header off a corner kick, and Ayew was on the spot to bury West Ham’s second. Game on, 69′.

The Magpies would need every bit of resolve to hold off hard-charging West Ham, but managed to keep the Irons out of their goal.

Former Arsenal, Brazil midfielder Baptista announces retirement

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Julio Baptista’s time at Arsenal only lasted 12 months, but it was a memorable stint.

The Brazilian, who played the 2006-07 season for the Gunners, announced his retirement on Thursday at the age of 37. The former Brazil international only managed 10 goals with Arsenal, but they came in bunches.

Baptista memorably scored four goals against Liverpool in the League Cup quarterfinal, as Arsenal finished with a 6-3 win. Baptista even missed a penalty kick that game.

Baptista cemented his legacy later in the season with a brace in the FA Cup against rival Tottenham.

Baptista, clearly an immensely talented player, suffered from being a good, but not great player. He seemed to have no perfect position other than the No. 10, and most teams he played for had better players in that position. It forces him to play along the wings, deeper in midfield or as a striker during the prime of his career.

In the end, injuries beset his career, especially a short spell at Orlando City in MLS.

 

U-20 World Cup Rewind: Italy tops Mexico, host Poland falls on Day 1 (video)

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Italy opened the FIFA Under-20 World Cup with a bang, knocking off fellow Group B favorite Mexico, 2-1, in Gdynia, Poland.

It only took Italy three minutes to get on the board, as Davide Frattesi found a pocket of space in front of the El Tri backline and dribbled in on goal. The Sassuolo midfielder then decided to fire on goal from distance, hitting a rocket into the corner to give Italy a 1-0 lead.

Later in the first half Gianluca Scamacca also took a rip from outside the box, but his strike sailed just wide.

A defensive error on a corner kick gave Diego Lainez and Mexico life. In the 37th minute, AC Milan product Alessandro Plizzari committed a howler, coming out to punch away the curled corner kick. Plizzari missed the ball and it went right to the head of Roberto De La Rosa, who calmly made it 1-1.

El Tri however suffered a blow late in the match as Italy took back the lead. In the 67th minute, Luca Ranieri collected the ball on the edge of the six yard box and from a tight angle, he scored past Mexico goalkeeper Carlos Higuera.

For Mexico, it’s a rough way to start the World Cup, having to go against a perennial power in Italy and playing on European soil. Not all is lost for Mexico, but it has to rebound with a win in its next game against Japan.

Elsewhere, Colombia defeated host Poland, 2-0, Japan tied Ecuador 1-1, and Senegal beat Tahiti, 3-0.

Saudis, Bahrain, UAE join to bid for FIFA’s U-20 World Cup

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GENEVA (AP) Middle East neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are jointly bidding to host the Under-20 World Cup in 2021.

FIFA says the Gulf plan is among five to express interest in bidding, including Brazil.

Indonesia, Peru and a Myanmar-Thailand joint bid are the others.

FIFA announced the contenders Thursday, one day after dropping a proposal for Qatar to share hosting duties for the 2022 World Cup with regional neighbors.

The 2021 U20 contenders must submit a formal bid by Aug. 30. FIFA’s ruling Council will pick the winner, likely in October.

The 2019 edition kicks off Thursday in Poland.

Putin awards medal to FIFA president Infantino

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MOSCOW (AP) Vladimir Putin has given FIFA president Gianni Infantino a medal.

The Russian president awarded Infantino the Order of Friendship at the Kremlin on Thursday.

Infantino has often said last year’s World Cup in Russia, where the host nation surprisingly reached the quarterfinals, was the best of the 21 editions of the tournament.

Putin thanked the FIFA leader for “your glowing assessment of our efforts.”

Infantino says of Russia’s “bonds of friendship” with soccer “is not the end, it is only the beginning of our fruitful cooperation and interaction.”

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