Sergio Ramos could be in hot water in Champions League play.
The Real Madrid defender, known for his fiery play and widespread hateability, is being investigated by UEFA for intentionally earning a yellow card in the dying minutes of Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Dutch club Ajax on Wednesday.
The yellow card, earned in the 89th minute for a trip of Ajax youngster Kasper Dolberg, earns Ramos a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation, having earned three cautions since the start of group stage play. All cards are wiped clean after the quarterfinals match, so Ramos may have intentionally earned a caution with Madrid in a good position heading into the home leg instead of risking a suspension in the following round against a stronger opponent.
Adding to the case against the Spaniard are his comments immediately after the match, where he reportedly told media members, “Looking at the result, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t force [the booking]. It is not to underestimate the opponent nor to think that the series is over, but in football you have to make tough decisions.” Ramos then backtracked his comments, writing on Twitter to deny that he earned the caution intentionally.
In addition, there is apparently footage of Ramos during the game asking his teammates if he should indeed look to earn a card.
UEFA could up his standard one-match ban to a two-match suspension if they determine he did indeed intentionally look to earn a caution. There is recent precedent for this, having handed down punishment to Ramos’s Real Madrid teammate Dani Carvajal for such a violation in the final minutes of a 6-0 win over APOEL Nicosia during last year’s tournament.
It’s a fully-changed starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team as it closes out the group stage against Panama at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
Omar Gonzalez and Matt Miazga start together in the backline, Jozy Altidore returns to the starting lineup up top, and Jordan Morris and Jonathan Lewis feature on the wings alongside Altidore. Ten of the 11 players now ply their trade in MLS, including the Gonzalez, who recently moved to Toronto FC.
[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Kansas City]
Hit the link above to follow along for the next two hours, and check back on PST for a full recap and in-depth analysis after the final whistle.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say it. Wayne Rooney just scored the most amazing goal in Audi Field’s young history.
In the 10th minute of D.C. United’s match against Orlando City SC on Wednesday evening, Rooney noticed Orlando’s Brian Rowe straying way off his line. And so, with an audacious but accurate attempt, Rooney let fly from 65 yards and SCORED. Just check this goal out below.
[FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT v. Panama]
Rooney took advantage of a crazy bounce and with his literal first touch, unleashed a thunderbolt that Rowe couldn’t catch up to. It automatically becomes one of the top contenders for the MLS Goal of the Year, and should make it on every top ten countdown this evening and tomorrow.
The legend of Joao Felix appears to have reached full market value potential.
The 19-year-old Portuguese striker is coming off a breakout year for Benfica, and now the Portuguese giants have received an impressive $143 million offer from Atletico Madrid for Felix. The club confirmed the offer in a statement on its website, stating it was analyzing the deal. Felix has a $136.5 million release clause in his contract, but it appears the additional $7 million is in processing costs.
[READ: Kroos wants to retire at Real Madrid]
Felix was outstanding at Benfica last year, scoring 15 goals with seven assists in 26 league games and three goals and one assist in five Europa League game. Felix has already made his international debut for Portugal.
If confirmed, Felix would become the fifth-most expensive transfer in world history, and the second-most expensive transfer for a teenager behind Kylian Mbappe.
CAIRO (AP) Former champion Nigeria became the first team to reach the last 16 at the African Cup of Nations after defender Kenneth Omeruo‘s second-half goal delivered a 1-0 win over Guinea on Wednesday.
The Nigerians were unimpressive in the first half in Alexandria but lifted their game in the second. Alex Iwobi‘s rasping shot was pushed away by Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone and Ahmed Musa almost set up Odion Ighalo on a counterattack.
The former Chelsea defender Omeruo did what the forwards had not been able to do when he beat Kone with a glancing header at the near post off Moses Simon’s corner in the 73rd minute.
Nigeria, which won the title in 2013, has two wins from two games in Group B. It beat Burundi 1-0 in its first match and now needs a draw from its last fixture against Madagascar to finish top and stay in Alexandria for the last 16.
There was more good news for Nigeria when Samuel Kalu came on as a substitute near the end. The midfield player collapsed at a training session the day before the first game, suffering from dehydration, and was hospitalized.
Coach Gernot Rohr rested captain John Obi Mikel against Guinea.
Elsewhere, Egypt also confirmed a place in the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ahmad Elmohamady and Mohamed Salah each scored in the first half to lead the Pharoahs to victory, the hosts second-straight win in the competition.
In the other match of the day, Uganda tied Zimbabwe, 1-1.