While it may not be quite at the level of a Puskas Award, Alexandru Mitrita scored a fabulous free-kick against Toronto FC tonight that may actually be a lot harder than it looks at first glance.
In just the sixth minute, Omar Gonzalez fouled Valentin Castellanos just outside the top of the box, giving NYCFC an early free-kick opportunity. The ball was just inches outside the box and the angle was almost dead center, meaning the opening for a goal from the set-piece was extremely small. A hit too slow and loopy would be easy for the goalkeeper to reach, while too hard would likely see the ball blasted into the wall, which at that angle and distance is covering almost the entire window of opportunity.
Yet somehow, the 24-year-old Romanian international found the right formula, ripping an effort just over the wall’s left edge and past a diving Quentin Westberg into the back of the net.
Free-kick goals from this distance and angle are almost always stunning efforts given the degree of difficulty the positioning presents. Toronto fans may also look at Chris Mavinga, the man on the left edge of the wall who barely even efforts to stop the shot as it whizzes past him, even separating from the wall to give Mitrita the opening. Westberg may also earn some blame for his positioning, sticking himself too far behind the wall and leaving far too much space on the left side of the net, at which Mitrita takes aim.
The goal is the Romanian’s eighth of the season in 25 matches, having joined this past offseason from Romanian club CS Universitatea Craiova. It’s also his second goal in three games after scoring and assisting one each against Vancouver on September 1. Take a bow.
Real Monarchs scored three unanswered goals as they routed Louisville City 3-1 at Lynn Stadium to win their first ever USL Cup title.
Noah Powder’s goal in the 66th minute sealed the deal for the visitor’s, adding to the goals scored by defenders Erik Holt and Konrad Plewa in the first half.
Surprisingly enough, it was Lou City who got off to a superb start on Sunday night, though.
Only six minutes after the initial whistle, Lou City’s leading goalscorer, Magnus Rasmussen, scored the game’s first goal, breaking a record for the fastest goal in a USL Cup final.
The defeat brings an end to Lou City’s historic run of consecutive USL Cup-winning seasons.
On July 1, former Real Salt Lake defender, Jamison Olave, took over as the Monarchs interim coach following Martin Vasquez’s unexpected resignation.
TRANMERE, England — A footballer in England’s third tier reported being subjected to homophobic abuse from the stands, leading to police making one arrest.
Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop told the referee of the abuse at halftime of the League One soccer game at Tranmere as his team won 2-0.
Tranmere says it is very disappointed to learn of a homophobic comment made.
In a statement, Merseyside Police condemned abhorrent incidents.
Police Chief Inspector Jason Crellin added that “hate crime has no place in our communities, and not least at a showcase sporting event attended and watched by many people.”
Brazil became Under-17 world champions for a fourth time in dramatic fashion as Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ scored a 93rd-minute winner to edge Mexico 2-1 at Estadio Bezerrão on Sunday.
Brazil’s comeback started in the 84th minute when Kaio Jorge converted from the penalty spot, following VAR’s decision which ruled contact on the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Gabriel Veron, inside the 18-yard box.
With Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Cafu in attendance, the host’s had the better of chances throughout the first 45 minutes. Without any luck, however, Brazil were unable to get the ball past Eduardo Garcia, instead hitting the bar on several occasions.
Then in the 66th minute, Mexico – winners of the tournament in 2005 and in 2011 – stunned the home crowd when Bronze Ball winner Eugenio Pizzoto’s cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan, breaking the deadlock between two sides that had met in the same game back in 2005.
What was going to be a stunning, underdog victory for El Tri, turned into a heartbreaking night for Marco “Chima” Ruiz and company.
Brazil, on the other hand, are now only one championship away from tying Nigeria’s record of five championships.
With their tickets already booked to next summer’s big tournament, France and Turkey picked up wins in Sunday’s Euro qualifying action, which saw defending champions Portugal clinch qualification.
[ READ: Defending champions Portugal qualify to EURO 2020 ]
Albania 0-2 France
Albania opened their new, 22,500-seat stadium with a hard-fought loss against France.
Early on, Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso gave the impression that the home fans were in for a long night at the inaugurating Air Albania Stadium, opening the score just eight minutes in with a well-placed header. In the 31st minute, an unfamiliar face, Leo Dubois, connected with Antoine Griezmann, who slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner. France finish the qualifiers leaders of Group H with 25 points. Throughout the 10 matches, the world champions lost only once, a 2-0 loss against Turkey.
Andorra 0-2 Turkey
Real Valladolid’s Enes Unal scored a first-half brace as Turkey coasted past Andorra 2-0. Turkey, who clinched a spot next summer after finishing Group H two points behind France, controlled possession and chances at goal.
Moldova 1-2 Iceland
Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the visitor’s second and winning goal in the second half, as Iceland walked away from Zimbru Stadium with a 2-1 win on Sunday.
With 19 points throughout 10 games, Rúnar Kristinsson and company felt five points short of qualifying directly for next year’s competition. That said, they’ll partake in the Euro 2020 playoffs, looking to squeeze their way in.
Luxembourg 0-2 Portugal
Serbia 2-2 Ukraine
Kosovo 0-4 England
Bulgaria 1-0 Czech Republic