Watford beat wasteful West Ham

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  • Deeney, Deulofeu score for Hornets
  • West Ham’s Hernandez misses several chances
  • Second-straight win for Watford

Watford beat West Ham United 2-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday, as it just wasn’t West Ham’s day.

Several big chances came and went for the Hammers who hit the woodwork twice and Javier Hernandez had an off day, while a Troy Deeney penalty kick and a fine strike from Gerard Deulofeu saw Watford eased to victory in the end.

With the win the Watford move up to sixth in the table, while West Ham drop to 12th as their run of four-straight wins came to an abrupt end.

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The Hammers were dangerous early on as crosses from Pablo Zabaleta and Michael Antonio down the right caused chaos in the Watford box.

Felipe Anderson gave the ball to Antonio and although his shot on goal was powerful, it was straight at Ben Foster.

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At the other end Watford won a penalty kick as Roberto Pereyra played a wonderful one-two with Gerard Deulofeu and was brought down by Fabian Balbuena, who injured himself in the process. A clear PK.

Deeney drilled the spot kick into the top corner to make it 1-0. Moments later Deeney was almost played in as West Ham’s defense was all over the place.

Balbuena was forced off through injury for the Hammers but they were almost level before the break. Ben Foster saved well from Javier Hernandez who pounced at the back post but couldn’t keep his good run of form going.

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In the second half West Ham pushed hard for an equalizer and it almost came right away as in-form Scottish winger Robert Snodgrass whipped in a corner. Antonio met the cross but his header hit the post and Watford cleared.

Watford almost sealed the win as Abdoulaye Doucoure played in Pereyra and his low shot across goal was pushed away by Lukasz Fabianski with Deeney lurking.

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The Hammers kept pushing as Anderson played in Hernandez but the predatory Mexican forward completely missed his kick at the vital moment.

Doucoure was then denied by a fabulous stop from Fabianski after being played in by Deulofeu, and at the other end another chance fell to Hernandez but Doucoure denied him with a wonderful last-ditch block.

West Ham went even closer soon after as Foster saved Snodgrass’ header and then Antonio somehow hit the crossbar with the rebound. That summed West Ham’s day up.

Watford sealed the win late on as Deulofeu played a lovely one-two with Pereyra and finished superbly to make it 2-0 and send the Hornets into the top six of the Premier League.

Ibrahimovic scores twice, 10-man Galaxy ties Sounders 2-2

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Carson, Calif. (AP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in each half and the LA Galaxy tied the Seattle Sounders 2-2 on Saturday night despite playing nearly the entire match down a man.

The Galaxy’s Daniel Steres was sent off in the sixth minute for the denial of obvious goal opportunity.

Ibrahimovic tied it at 1 for the Galaxy (13-11-2) with a header in the 45th minute. In the 65th minute, he was taken down by Kim Kee-hee while going for a header in the area and converted the penalty, making it 2-1 with his 20th goal of the season.

LA defender Jorgen Skjelvik scored an own goal in the 82nd minute when he inadvertently deflected goalkeeper David Bingham’s attempted clearance into the Galaxy net.

Raul Ruidiaz opened the scoring in the 42nd minute for the Sounders (11-8-7). Harry Shipp hustled to round up a loose ball and fed it to an open Ruidiaz, who slotted it home.

MLS Wrap: What we learned

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Three unanswered goals from FC Dallas to earn a draw, a late Jozy Altidore goal and Chicago cruises past Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union: Saturday’s early slate of games had it all. Here’s what we learned from the busy action.

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Montreal, Dallas split points in six-goal thriller

The Montreal Impact, up 3-0 in the 56th minute, probably thought they had the game in the bag. Dallas said, ‘not so fast.’

With three unanswered goals – one of those in stoppage time – Dallas did the unthinkable, stunning the Impact and flying back home with a point that tastes like three.

Dallas, like practically everyone else in the West this season, is dreaming of cracking into the final seven. Whether that happens or not is yet to be seen. What was palpable on Saturday, however, is that Dallas played with a lot of determination on the road and with all the odds against them.


Chicago gets by Philadelphia with ease

The Philadelphia Union are good but not good enough to beat the Chicago Fire, apparently.

It could have been the league’s well-known parity, or the fact that the Union were on the road, but the Fire were able to squeeze out the three points, winning 2-0 with 10 men. Nicolas Gaitan earned a straight red right before halftime.

The Union, a proven side time and time again this season, alternatively, have questions to answer and a set of defects that were unearth Saturday (including finishing) to polish up on. But as they shown several times this season after suffering loses, they’ll bounce back under Jim Curtin.

The Fire (33 points) sit one point behind Montreal, Toronto and Orlando, while Philadelphia (45 points) remain clear leaders in the Eastern Conference.


 

NYCFC too much for Cincinnati 

NYCFC had quite the showing.

With Valentin Castellanos and Heber recording a brace each, Allan Cruz’s goal stood no chance. City, who are now third in the Eastern Conference with 41 points (one behind Atlanta), are clearly in midseason form, while FC Cincinnati is yet to win under Ron Jans.

With a defense that has allowed 61 goals – like the one above – Jans’ rest of the season is looking bleaker than brighter. But then again, it’s with a team he purely adopted. It worth noting that New York’s attack has produced eight goals in the last three games, so maybe that was the determining factor.

 

 


 

Altidore earns last-minute draw for Toronto

Like in many other instances, it was Altidore to the rescue for Toronto FC.

Its goal No. 10 for the 29-year-old goal, making it his fourth season with double digit goals. Jonathan Osorio, too, pitched in a goal in the 42nd minute. 26 games in, this is exactly when Greg Vanney needs his big-time players to step up.

The Columbus Crew, in contrast, can’t catch a break. Once again the superior team, a lack of finishing and defensive concentration make it three-straight draws for the Caleb Porter’s men. With seven games to go and seven points out of playoff contention, even a late run might not be enough for a postseason regular.

Sporting KC earn valuable win against Quakes (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less):  While the San Jose Earthquakes continue to drop in the playoff race, Sporting Kansas City are slowly creeping their way into contention after their 2-1 victory against San Jose. The Quakes, who have lost their last two games, are now sixth in the Western Conference and depending on the Portland Timbers’ result, can fall right above the red line. Surely, it’s not what Matias Almeyda desires, despite being the master of overcoming adversity. Peter Vermes’ side, on the other hand, is now six points out of the playoffs, a reachable distance with eight games left. The Quakes had the game in their hands in the first half, though, controlling the pace of the game. The home side’s finishing in the final 45 that got the job done, however. Moving forward, turnaround for both teams will have to be instantaneous as the Quakes travel to LAFC and Kansas City hosts Minnesota United, respectively.

Three moments that mattered

25′ — Wondolowski sets MLS record —

Whatever you do, don’t leave Wondolowski unmarked unless you want to get scored on.

48′ — Feilhaber rips it into the back of the net  —

Benny Feilhaber still has it, obviously.

73′ — Smith seals a massive victory for Sporting  —

Not who one expected to earn Kansas City three points, but soccer is all about surprises.

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Chris Wondolowski sets another MLS record in historic career

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Just months removed from becoming MLS’ all-time leading goalscorer, Chris Wondolowski is putting pen to the record book once again.

The 36-year-old is the league’s first player to ever score 10 goals (or more) in 10 consecutive seasons. His tenth of the season came against Sporting Kansas City, who, for one reason or another, left him unmarked in the box on a corner kick – an imprudent defensive strategy.

Wondolowski’s regular-season tally is now at 154 goals, 31 goals clear of Kei Kamara‘s 123, who is the second highest active goalscorer in the league.

The San Jose Earthquakes captain’s record run began in 2010. He was 27.