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Senegal hold off late charge, defeat Poland on controversial goal


Two matches, two upsets.

For the second time on Tuesday, an underdog took down a favorite as Senegal defeated Poland, 2-1, with the game-winning goal decided in controversial fashion.

In the 60th minute, M’baye Niang was waved onto the field by the referee while the ball was still in play in the middle of the field, and Niang raced on to the end of a Gregorz Krychowiak backpass that stunned the Poland defense. Niang arrived at the pass a second quicker than goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, allowing the Senegal winger to score into an empty net.

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The VAR checked the goal but it was allowed, as it was a subjective decision of the referee to allow Niang back on the field following an injury, and not a clear and obvious error.

Senegal took the lead in the first half on the counter attack. With Poland slow in transition, Sadio Mane found Idrissa Gueye in space at the top of the box. After two touches, Gueye fired a strike to the far post in the 37th minute that took a wicked deflection off Poland defender Thiago Cionek and left Szczesny helpless.

Poland struggled all game against the pace and physicality of Senegal and the Lions of Teranga were very smart in controlling possession and switching the field, forcing the Poland squad to tire quickly.

Krychowiak did breathe some life into the game with a header goal off a free kick in the 86th minute, but despite some poor clock management from Senegal, its defense was able to hold off Poland’s last-ditch chance to tie the game, going level with Japan on three points at the top of Group H.

Perin transfers to Juventus to replace departed Buffon

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TURIN, Italy (AP) — Goalkeeper Mattia Perin has transferred to Juventus as a replacement for departed captain Gianluigi Buffon.

Juventus announced the move Friday, saying it will pay Genoa a 12 million euro ($14 million) transfer fee plus another 3 million euros in eventual bonuses.

The 25-year-old Perin has spent most of his career at Genoa besides a couple loan spells and is also a member of Italy’s national team.

Buffon recently left Juventus after 16 seasons with the Turin club, which has won a record seven straight Serie A titles.

Perin, who signed a four-year contract, will compete with Wojciech Szczesny for the starting job.

Over the last five seasons in Serie A, Perin tied for second with AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma for percentage of shots saved (73 percent) behind only Buffon (78 percent). Perin also kept 12 clean sheets last season.

Real Madrid blows 3-0 lead, advances on controversial PK

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Real Madrid blew a 3-0 lead but was rescued by a stoppage time penalty kick and sending off of Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty kick to send the hosts into the UEFA Champions League semifinal.

Real fell 3-1 in the second leg at the Bernabeu, when Ronaldo beat backup keeper Wojciech Szczesny to give the reigning UCL champions a 4-3 aggregate win.

Juventus got two goals from Mario Mandzukic and another from Blaise Matuidi.

Sergio Ramos did not play for Real thanks to a suspension.

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Mario Mandzukic has several opportunities in the first quarter hour, highlighted by his fourth minute goal. Sami Khedira lofted a diagonal ball toward the back post and the big Croatian thumped a header home to give Juve its first goal.

Isco had the ball in the net soon after the goal, as Real was unbowed, but was whistled for offside. He found himself denied by Gianluigi Buffon in the 34th.

Mandzukic was back at it in the 37th minute, again at the back post to smash a header past Keylor Navas. This time, the assist went to early substitute Stephan Lichtsteiner.

Raphael Varane slapped a header off the cross bar in first half stoppage, and Real maintained its aggregate lead into halftime.

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Buffon stopped a 58th minute Cristiano Ronaldo bid to put Real on the scoreboard.

At the other end, Navas got low to his right and denied a Gonzalo Higuain effort in the 60th.

That’s when Matuidi struck, taking care of a poor collection effort from Navas to jab home from well inside the six.

Buffon made an outstanding save on a deflected shot with 12 minutes to go, as Real collected momentum in front of its home crowd. And Giorgio Chiellini stopped a cross from getting to Ronaldo with a headed clearance just over the bar.

It’s difficult to deny Michael Oliver’s penalty kick call, but he sent off Buffon who may have been shoved into the referee. Backup backstop Szczesny went the wrong way on Ronaldo’s PK and the Bernabeu erupted in joy.

Serie A: Dybala’s hat trick sends Juve 7 points clear in title race

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ROME (AP) Serie A leader Juventus overcame a series of defensive lapses to beat last-place Benevento 4-2 and move seven points clear on Saturday.

Cheick Diabate scored twice for Benevento before Paulo Dybala converted the second of his two penalties in the 74th minute to finally put Juventus ahead for good and complete a hat trick.

Coming off a debilitating 3-0 loss at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals, and ahead of next week’s second leg, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri rested several regular starters.

The two goals Juventus conceded matched the number the Bianconeri allowed over their previous 17 Serie A games.

“We’ve got to reorganize ourselves and improve, because right now we’re conceding too many shots,” Allegri said. “But moments like these happen over the course of a season, otherwise we would never allow any goals.”

Dybala opened the scoring with a shot from the edge of the area into the far corner midway through the first half.

Diabete, a Mali forward, notched his first from close range after he was left unmarked following a rebound off goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who played in place of Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon.

Just before the break, the VAR awarded Juventus a penalty that Dybala converted for contact between Berat Djimsiti and Miralem Pjanic.

Diabate rose above defender Medhi Benatia to head in another equalizer in the 51st for his fifth goal in four matches since arriving on loan from Turkish club Osmanlispor.

Ten minutes after he was sent on, Gonzalo Higuain earned a penalty and Dybala again was perfect from the spot, giving him a personal-best 21 goals in the league.

Douglas Costa, another substitute, sealed the victory with a long-range goal in the 82nd.

“I’m happy for the goals because these haven’t been easy days,” Dybala said. “We won a complicated match and played well.”

Dybala had two penalties saved earlier this season.

“Missing them happens. Goalkeepers train at stopping them,” Dybala said.

Dybala was optimistic for Wednesday’s second leg in Madrid.

“We believe in our Champions League chances. My teammates are men that never give up,” Dybala said. “We’re convinced we can get the result, otherwise we wouldn’t even go.”

Serie A: Juve keep winning to remain 1 point back of Napoli

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TURIN, Italy (AP) Juventus closed the gap on Serie A leader Napoli back to just one point as the six-time defending champion eased past Genoa 1-0 on Monday.

Douglas Costa scored in the 16th minute, the first conceded by Genoa in five league matches. It was a less than convincing performance from Juventus but it was never really troubled, as goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny – standing in for the still-injured Gianluigi Buffon – was little more than a spectator.

“What was important was to win,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “At the end there was a bit of nervousness because we were lacking in energy a bit.

“We could have finished off the match in the first half, and again with a couple of occasions after the break. We didn’t manage to so compliments to Genoa.”

The battle for the Serie A title is shaping into a two-horse race. Juventus moved 10 points clear of third-placed Lazio, although the capital side has a match in hand.

“The season is still long and all those who are behind us can still get back into the race,” Allegri said. “It was important to stay in Napoli’s slipstream.”

Juventus needed to win after Napoli beat Atalanta 1-0 on Sunday.

Allegri’s side started brightly and had an early chance to take the lead but Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin did well to keep out a free kick from specialist Miralem Panic.

However, it did not take much longer to strike. Douglas Costa passed out left to Mario Mandzukic, who played a delightful return ball for the Brazil midfielder to slot into the bottom left corner.