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Mexico downs Haiti on late Jimenez penalty to reach Gold Cup finals

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Raul Jimenez bailed Mexico out again, bagging a 93rd minute penalty to send his country through to the Gold Cup finals past Haiti by a 1-0 score after extra time.

Mexico dominated the match but struggled in the final third, ripping 27 shots towards Johnny Placide but finding the target with just five. After regulation ended goalless, extra time began and the match was decided soon later. Mexico was bailed out by a soft but accurate whistle in stoppage time as Jimenez was clipped by a high boot from Herve Bazile at the top of the box after receiving the ball, and he was on hand to deliver the winning blow.

The goal was Jimenez’s fifth of the tournament, and he has arguably been their best and most consistent attacker. The rest of the strike force wilted in Glendale, with Monterrey attacker Rodolfo Pizarro proving a dangerous creative force but Jimenez and Andres Guardado were both denied by wonderful Placide saves and Jonathan dos Santos failed to put his first-half chance on frame.

While Mexico’s attack continued to sputter, the defense was comfortable for much of the game, holding Haiti to just one shot on target among its 11 total efforts. Assisting matters was the 69% possession Mexico maintained, keeping Haiti’s chances down further. They nearly had a dramatic late equalizer in the 119th minute, but Mikael Cantave cannoned his shot off the crossbar with Haiti’s last opportunity.

Mexico head coach Tata Martino was suspended for the match and forced to watch from a private box, banished from the pitch due to a pair of yellow cards picked up during the tournament, a new feature of the FIFA rules that state managers and coaches can pick up yellow and red cards like players and are thus subjected to the same suspension scenarios.

Haiti’s tournament comes to a bittersweet end after a fantastic showing, winning its group which also featured Costa Rica, coming back from two goals down to beat Canada in the knockout stage, and playing Mexico to the death. The finals appearance for Mexico will see them gun for a leading eighth Gold Cup title, with the United States currently sitting on six. They will face the winner of the second semifinal between the USMNT and Jamaica which takes place Wednesday evening.

Celtic win Scottish Cup to secure unprecedented domestic treble-treble

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Celtic came from behind to top Hearts 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final, completing an unprecedented “treble-treble.” They are the first team in Scottish top flight history to win each of the league title, Scottish Cup, and League Cup in three straight seasons.

After a scoreless first half, Ryan Edwards put Hearts in front in the 52nd minute, pouncing on a messy backheel from Sean Clare and scoring the first goal Celtic had conceded all competition.

That jumpstarted the Glasgow giants, with an Odsonne Edouard double leading the way. His first came from the spot in the 62nd minute, just sneaking his penalty past Zdenek Zlamal for the equalizer before he won it with eight minutes to go. The moment came off a powerful Mikael Lustig header from near the halfway line that sprung Edouard free on goal, and the 21-year-old buried the one-on-one.

The victory gave Celtic its third major domestic trophy of the campaign for the third consecutive season, marking the historic achievement. Earlier in the season they had secured the league title by an eight-point margin and beaten Aberdeen 1-0 in the League Cup final, all despite losing manager Brendan Rodgers midway through the year to Leicester City, with Neil Lennon taking over and leading the finish.

Celtic has now won the Scottish Cup a record 39 times, with 50 league titles and 18 League Cups to go along with it.

Matias Almeyda named new San Jose Earthquakes head coach

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The last place San Jose Earthquakes have a new direction for the future.

With Mikael Stahre sent packing less than a month ago, San Jose announced the hire of former Chivas Guadalajara head coach Matias Almeyda. The 44-year-old Argentinian won the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League with Chivas, qualifying for the 2018 Club World Cup, but departed after clashes with the front office regarding offseason player recruitment and the planning of the preseason schedule.

However, Almeyda left his mark on Chivas. Joining in 2015, the club was nearing relegation. He won the Copa MX in his first year in charge, and won the Supercopa MX in 2016. He won the Copa MX yet again in 2017, and then earned the league title with a 4-3 aggregate score over Tigres, giving Chivas its second-ever double, the first club to achieve that multiple times.

San Jose hopes that Almeyda can replicate that success he had at Chivas with the Earthquakes.

“What we saw in Matias was a coach that brought success by creating a culture we strive to emulate,” Earthquakes GM Jesse Fioranelli said in a statement. “He has demonstrated leadership qualities in Argentina with River Plate and Banfield, as well as in Mexico with Chivas. He has always had a winning mentality, both as a player and a coach, and most importantly, he is someone that knows how to redirect a team in a difficult situation with a commitment to a distinct style of play and youth development.

“Matias came here because he welcomes the challenge of helping our organization open a new chapter after a grueling season. He had several other opportunities available to him from clubs and national teams around the world, but made it very clear the Earthquakes were the one he wanted to lead.”

During the height of his playing days, Almeyda played for River Plate, Lazio, Sevilla, and Inter Milan. He made 35 appearances for the Argentinian national team and featured in two World Cup squads.

BUNDESLIGA 2018-19: Guide to the promoted teams

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BERLIN (AP) A look at Fortuna Dusseldorf and Nurnberg, the promoted teams preparing for their return to the Bundesliga this weekend.

Dusseldorf hosts Augsburg and Nurnberg visits Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

[ MORE: Americans in Bundesliga 2018-19 ]

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF

Dusseldorf is back as second-division champion after beating Nurnberg 3-2 on the final day of last season.

Experienced coach Friedhelm Funkel stabilized the side after arriving in March 2016 and led the club to a sixth promotion in his second season.

Founded in 1895, Dusseldorf last played in the Bundesliga in 2013. The club’s fortunes have been mixed since it won the German championship in 1933. Its best days came with German Cup wins in 1979 and 1980. Of all the sides in the Bundesliga, only Hertha (1892) and Stuttgart (1893) have been around longer.

Rouwen Hennings finished as the team’s leading scorer last season with 13 goals in 33 appearances. The club has not made any big signings, but forward Dodi Lukebakio has arrived on loan from Watford, striker Marvin Ducksch was signed from Holstein Kiel and midfielder Matthias Zimmermann from Stuttgart.

NURNBERG

Eight-time German champion Nurnberg is back in the Bundesliga after a four-year absence.

Michael Koellner is enjoying his first coaching role after being promoted from Nurnberg’s reserve side in May 2017. A qualified dental assistant, the 48-year-old Koellner worked for 15 years with the German soccer federation before turning to coaching. He also co-write a book, “Your way to becoming a football professional,” for young players, parents and coaches.

Nurnberg captain Hanno Behrens is the team’s driving force, chipping in 14 goals last season from midfield. Swedish striker Mikael Ishak added another 12 for a team that finished with 12 different scorers.

Added to the mix for this season is Japanese striker Yuya Kubo, signed on loan from Belgian side Gent.

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

Report: USL side Cincinnati acquires Adi, Alashe from MLS clubs

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Taylor Twellman is reporting that FC Cincinnati is loading up for the end of their final USL season while preparing for life in Major League Soccer.

FCC has a six-point lead atop the USL Eastern Conference table, and is coming off a 3-2 loss to La Liga’s Espanyol which included a 1-0 lead and 2-2 equalizer in the corner of the hosts from Ohio.

[ MORE: Mitrovic in, Rondon out at NUFC ]

Twellman says the club is set to acquire Portland striker Fanendo Adi and San Jose midfielder Fatai Alashe for the stretch run of the USL season and beyond.

Jamie Goldberg reported that Saturday night was Adi’s last match as a Timber, and the 27-year-old Nigerian striker has 60 goals in 144 career appearances for Portland.

Alashe had a falling out with San Jose coach Mikael Stahre, whose club is bottom of the West, and the 24-year-old Michigan native is moving a lot closer to home.

Capped thrice by the United States at the U-23 level — he’s also eligible to represent Nigeria — Alashe has five goals and two assists in 87 MLS matches.

What will come the way of San Jose and Portland in return? Probably little in the case of the latter, as the move will open up significant salary for the Timbers. San Jose on the other hand may be getting money or future considerations.

Anyone willing to bet against FCC in the USL Playoffs?