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Champions League wrap: PSV strikes late to win thriller (video)

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Five first legs of the UEFA Champions League’s second qualifying round are in the books, including a thrilling back-and-forth with a show-stopping stoppage time winner.

[ MORE: Rodgers talks down Maguire sale ]


PSV Eindhoven 3-2 FC Basel

Bruma scored a debut opener for the Dutch hosts, who fell behind 2-1 in the 79th minute before Sam Lammers and Donyell Malen struck in the 89th minute and second minute of stoppage, respectively, to put PSV ahead.

Basel will be okay taken two away goals home via Albian Aljeti and Omar Alderete.

Lammers came in for Mexican star Hirving Lozano in the 79th minute to score the leveler within 10 minutes before Malen, who went the full 90, kept his focus to deliver this clever winner.

The New Saints 0-2 Copenhagen

Pieros Sotiriou and Robert Skov scored on either side of halftime to give the Danish powers a healthy advantage heading into the second leg.

Elsewhere
FK Sutjeska 0-1 APOEL Nicosia
Saburtalo 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Viktoria Plzen 0-0 Olympiacos

Wednesday
BATE Borisov v. Rosenborg — 1 p.m. ET
Ferencvaros v. Valletta — 2 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv — 2 p.m. ET
Maribor v. AIK — 2:15 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade v. HJK Helsinki — 2:45 p.m. ET
Dundalk v. Qarabag — 2:45 p.m. ET
Celtic v. Nomme Kalju — 2:45 p.m. ET

Minnesota United adds third Designated Player

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The Loons have added a new midfielder, signing Jan Gregus to a Designated Player contract.

Gregus, 27, comes to Minnesota United from FC Copenhagen, where he has two goals and an assist in 34 appearances across all competitions this season.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines, Week 18 ]

The 22-times capped Slovakian international has also played for Banik Ostrava, Jablonec, FC Nitra, and Bolton Wanderers (though he only played for the U-23 side during his loan).

Here’s what Loons coach Adrian Heath has to say about Gregus. From MNUFC.com:

“The one thing that sticks out is his composure on the ball. He’s got a great range of passes, both short and long. He has a great stride to goal, and an imposing stature at 6 foot 3 inches. The fact that he’s in his pomp — what we consider his prime — we think we have acquired him at the right time in his career. We know we’ve got excellent attacking pieces on the roster, but we need to be able to supply the ball to those pieces and we feel that Jan can be the supplier and connector from the midfield to the attack.”

Former Denmark forward apologizes for Copenhagen episode

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OSLO, Norway (AP) Former Denmark international Niklas Bendtner has apologized for an episode over the weekend in which a cab driver in Copenhagen reportedly broke his jaw.

The Rosenborg forward says he had been “involved in a very unpleasant situation at around 2 a.m. Sunday. I am of course extremely sorry about that the outcome.”

[ MORE: USMNT-Mexico preview ]

Bendtner’s lawyer told Danish media that his client is innocent of any wrongdoing. The cab company says it has handed a video of the episode over to the police.

Bendtner’s girlfriend said on Instagram that the player had acted in self-defense after a quarrel over the fare.

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

Copenhagen 0-0 Leicester: Foxes inch closer to KO rounds

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) Leicester missed its chance to secure an early place in the last 16 of the Champions League after being held to a 0-0 draw by FC Copenhagen on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

While a win would have put the Premier League champions and Group G leaders through to the knockout stages, the next opportunity will come in its home game on Nov. 22 against Brugge, which lost 1-0 to Porto.

Leicester stayed top of the group with 10 points, followed by Porto with seven, Copenhagen on five and Brugge with zero after four straight defeats.

Claudio Ranieri‘s side nearly returned home empty-handed as the best chance of the game fell to the home team in injury time, when Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel had to dive to his right to claw away a downward header from Andreas Cornelius.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Copenhagen had the majority of possession early on with goalscoring attempts from William Kvist, Federico Santander and Cornelius.

Both sides had chances in a fast-pace second period. Goalkeeper Robin Olsen denied Leicester playmaker Riyad Mahrez and Copenhagen’s Peter Ankersen saw his shot blocked minutes later.

Ranieri focused on Champions League despite Premier League stumbles

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Claudio Ranieri kept focused on the magical 40-point mark last season, even as it became clear his Leicester City Foxes were a legit challenger for a European place.

Things have changed a bit these days at King Power Stadium. Despite only eight points to start the Premier League season, the manager of the champions is focusing on success in the UEFA Champions League rather than relegation.

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Although Ranieri admits there will be concerns down the line, right now it’s all about succeeding in a very winnable UCL group. Leicester has six points through two matches, and a win Tuesday at home to Copenhagen can almost assure continued European competition at some level after the group stage.

From Sky Sports:

“They fight and last season we were more compact but now everyone knows about us. Now we are in the balance, in the middle, and not as good as last season but it’s normal for a team like Leicester.

“I think we can fight in every match. Now our training sessions are Premier League and Champions League. We are getting better and have to be solid and strong and don’t make any pressure about relegation.”

Ranieri also said he’s not worried about the scoring prowess of Jamie Vardy, who has just three goals in 12 matches this year. The manager says some of it is down to tactics, as he demanded the forward pester David Luiz rather than fly around the pitch in Leicester’s 3-0 loss to Chelsea on Saturday.

The 13th-place Foxes should steady the ship soon. Aside from an Oct. 29 date with Spurs, Leicester’s next six matches have Crystal Palace, West Brom, Watford, and Middlesbrough.