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USMNT, Bosnia and Herzegovina play to sleepy 0-0

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  • Second game, draw since World Cup failure
  • KC’s Opara easy Man of the Match for U.S.
  • Medunjanin misses PK for BIH

The United States men’s national team and Bosnia & Herzegovina staged a scoreless match that provided little entertainment for anyone other than a boisterous, pro-Bosnian crowd in Carson, California.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin hit a penalty kick off the post for BIH.

USMNT boss Dave Sarachan has two draws in his caretaker stint, but surprisingly did not use all of his subs despite having a number of players craving a first career cap (Russell Canouse, Marky Delgado, Nick Lima).

[ MORE: 3 things | Player ratings ]

CJ Sapong made noise in the first minute, running onto a long ball down the left and crossing for Tyler Adams to head onto goal.

Sapong then forced BIH keeper Ibrahim Šehić into another save, earning a corner kick after beating club teammate Haris Medunjanin to a back pass.

Adams earned a free kick for the U.S. from the right, played short to him and kicked out for a goal kick.

Ike Opara had a sterling first half up to the 40th minute when he gave away a free kick with a hard foul, but Bosnia’s quick-played corner led to a shot sent over Bill Hamid’s goal.

[ MORE: Ibrahimovic to MLS has “serious legs” ]

It was a precursor to his first big save, getting low to save Walker Zimmerman blushes when Luka Menalo hit a mishit clearance on goal from in-tight.

The game within the game was finding entertainment. Save us, second half:

USMNT head coach Dave Sarachan gave Zack Steffen a debut between the sticks in the second half, and brought on Kelyn Rowe and Paul Arriola in place of Sapong and Gyasi Zardes.

Arriola made an instant impact, sending a ball to meet a perfect Jordan Morris run. The forward’s cross invited Rowe, but the New England man couldn’t sweep his trailing leg to turn the pass on goal.

Morris then ran onto a gorgeous pass from Wil Trapp, and an inventive first touch proved too strong as he carried himself too wide to turn a shot on goal.

Menalo then turned the early stages of the half on its ear. He was allowed to get away with a 52nd minute foul, but Zimmerman then hip checked Menalo to the turf for a simple penalty. Medunjanin made Steffen guess wrong, but hit the post.

Roldan was presented with a tremendous chance to make it 1-0 when Matt Polster’s cross deflected into his path but was betrayed by his first touch. Rowe hit a magnificent pass to start the play.

Steffen got low for a languid slap of a Menalo strike in the 66th minute.

Sarachan then put Juan Agudelo into the match for Roldan.

Bosnia produced several good chances down the right as the second half crawled into its final 20 minutes.

Morris comically saw his shirt ripped through the chest on a 75th minute foul.

Omaha-Nebraska player Elvir Ibišević subbed into the match for BIH in the final few minutes of the contest.

Fernandes scores first goal, says Ronaldo backed Manchester United move

Bruno Fernandes Ronaldo
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It’s probably not a surprise that a young Portuguese player would fancy Manchester United given the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford early his career.

Bruno Fernandes admits that those images danced through his head well before he signed with the Red Devils in January.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It’s also not a shock that United would turn to their former player for a take on the playmaker before buying him from Sporting Lisbon.

Fernandes says he’s grateful that CR7 endorsed BF18. From Sky Sports:

“I know some people asked Cristiano what he thought of me and what I was like as a player and a person,” Fernandes said. “I know he spoke highly of me and gave me a good reference, so I sent him a message after to thank him for his kind words.”

Fernandes has 19 caps and two goals for Portugal, while Ronaldo has a few more with 164 and 99.

He now has a goal and an assist in four appearances for United. Ronaldo finished with 118 goals and 69 assists in 292 appearances for the Red Devils.

Here’s the finish:

Eden Hazard suffers fracture ahead of Man City in UCL, El Clasico

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Eden Hazard is set to miss the Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League first leg against Man City with a broken fibula.

Hazard had only returned to the lineup for two matches following a three-month absence with an ankle injury.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The 29-year-old has made just 15 appearances for Real since arriving in a big-money move from Chelsea, scoring once with five assists.

He has never appeared in less than 30 league matches over the course of his career, five times missing one or zero matches.

Of course, all of his absences show that Real is very comfortable playing and winning without Hazard. Zinedine Zidane’s men lost Sunday to drop behind Barcelona in La Liga, but that was just its second loss of the league season.

Real will be taxed in depth like its rivals, with Wednesday’s visit from Man City followed by an El Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 1. Barcelona hosts Napoli on Tuesday.

Whether you like the playmaker or despise him, there must be some sense of sympathy for his latest ailments (even if Man City and Barca fans will likely offer a Jerry Seinfeld-esque, “That’s a shame”).

Watch Live: Manchester United, Wolves host bottom three battlers

Manchester United Watford live stream link
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A pair of Premier League basement dwellers face stiff tests in their bids to win another season in the top flight.

Manchester United hosts Watford on NBCSN while Wolves welcome Norwich City on CNBC as both home sides aim to improve the health of their top four hopes in 9 a.m. ET kickoffs.

[ WATCH: Man Utd-Watford | Wolves-Norwich ]

Lineups notes from both matches:

LINEUPS

Manchester United

Watford


Wolves

Norwich City

Three Serie A matches suspended due to virus deaths in Italy

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ROME (AP) Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended late Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the virus from China.

On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo and Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

“The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,” read a letter from Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago shortly before midnight local time on Saturday. “Those measures also include the sports world in order to prevent risks and to better take care of the health of those involved in the events and competition.

“Following measures taken by the cabinet for protective reasons and maximum precaution, on orders of the government I’m asking you to suspend all sports events of every level and discipline planned for the Lombardy and Veneto regions on Sunday.”

The secondary contagions prompted local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A postmortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it wasn’t clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf