Felipe Caicedo

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Serie A roundup: Lazio hand 10-man Juventus first loss (video)

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Lazio’s triumphant victory over league favorites Juventus highlights Saturday’s Serie A action.

 [ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Lazio 3-1 Juventus

Juventus are no longer unbeaten in Serie A play under Maurizio Sarri, losing 3-1 to Simone Inzaghi’s inspired Lazio.

Luiz Felipe, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Felipe Caicedo scored for the home side, who are now three points behind second-place Juventus and five behind top-of-the-table Inter Milan.

Scoreless from open play since October, Cristiano Ronaldo found the back of the net in the 25th minute to put the Old Lady in front after tapping in Federico Bernardeschi’s well-placed pass inside the box.

It was Juventus’ game to lose, which they went on to do after a series of defensive and cognitive mishaps.

Tied after Felipe’s goal right before the break, Milinkovic-Savic scored in the 74th minute. The Serbian’s goal came after Juan Cuadrado was sent off for his reckless tackle on last-man Manuel Lazzari in the 69th. Milinkovic-Savic was set up by Luis Alberto‘s assist over the Juventus defense and scored with a low shot past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Ciro Immobile had a clear-cut chance to widen his red-hot goalscoring form, but the striker was denied by Szczesny from the spot. Juventus’ goalkeeper saved Immobile’s initial blistering strike, and his following second chance.

In stoppage time, however, Felipe Caicedo’s second-chance strike was too much for the Polish ‘keeper.

Juventus will have to quickly turn the page as they face Bayer Leverkusen midweek in their final match of the Champions League group stage, while Lazio travel to France to take on Rennes in their Europa League group stage finale.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Atalanta 3-2 Hellas Verona

Udinese 1-1 Napoli

Serie A Roundup: Roma pummel Brescia, move top four; Lazio edge Sassuolo (video)

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Inspired by Chris Smalling‘s career night, AS Roma’s dominant, 3-0 win over Brescia highlights Sunday’s Serie A action.

 [ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Roma 3-0 Brescia

A two-time Premier League league winner, Smalling, 30, must have a long list of “memorable” games to choose from. But after scoring once and assisting twice against bottom-dwellers Brescia on Sunday, it can be said that the Englishmen might have topped the list.

On Sunday, the defender became the first English player to score at least two goals in a single Serie A season since David Beckham.

The Manchester United loanee opened the floodgates in the 49th minute, heading Lorenzo Pellegrini’s lofting corner into the back of the net. Just eight minutes later, Roma scored a second from a corner-kick. 

This time, Smalling – keeping tabs on the last Brescia defender – headed the ball downwards, rebounding and finding defender Gianluca Mancini’s right foot, which set up for a simple volley strike past Jesse Joronen

In the 66th minute, the defender’s header found a well-positioned Edin Dzeko for Roma’s third and final of the night.

Now fourth in the Italian top flight, Roma prepare for Istanbul Basaksehir on Thursday, while Brescia look for their league win in eight consecutive games against Atalanta.

Sassuolo 1-2 Lazio

With the game two minutes away from the final whistle, Lazio needed a miracle to comfortably remain in Serie A’s third spot.

Substitute Felipe Caicedo was just that, scoring I Biancocelesti’s game-winning goal in the first minute of stoppage time.

 

With the frustration of not getting a penalty call go their way minutes earlier, Luis Alberto and Caicedo paced past Sassuolo’s midfield and backline, combining with a set of back-and-forth passes. Inside the box, with position to shoot at goal, the Ecuadorian’s strike bounced over two, full-stretch defender and into the back of the net.

In the first half, Serie A top scorer, Ciro Immobile, added his 15th of the season, while the home side finished the first 45 minutes with a lot of hope, following captain’s Francesco Caputo’s tap-in.

Red-hot Lazio host CFR Cluj on Thursday in Europe League play, while Sassuolo prepare for their big game against Juventus on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Bologna 2-2 Parma

Verona 1-0 Fiorentina

Sampdoria 2-1 Udinese

South America: Chile, Colombia split points in WCQ; Argentina-Brazil PPD

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A roundup of Thursday’s 2018 World Cup qualifying action in South America:

Argentina vs. Brazil — PPD

Neymar’s return to competitive international action (suspension following Copa America) will have to wait at least one more day, as Thursday’s Argentina versus Brazil showdown was postponed to Friday (7 p.m. ET). Why was the game postponed, you ask? The below video was posted to Twitter a little more than two hours before the originally scheduled kickoff time. As badly as we all yearn for Argentina versus Brazil, we don’t want to watch it in these conditions.

Chile 1-1 Colombia

Arturo Vidal and James Rodriguez scored goals that canceled one another out in a 1-1 draw between Chile and Colombia, the first points dropped in World Cup qualifying by the reigning South American champions, Chile (6 points). Vidal headed home Matias Fernandez’s free kick just before the halftime whistle, but Rodriguez responded with a classy finish in the 68th minute to steal an away point, Colombia’s fourth of the current campaign.

Ecuador 2-1 Uruguay

Pop quiz: Which is the only South American side with a 100-percent record from the first three games of WCQ? If you guessed any of the continent’s most famous giants, you would be wrong. Actually, it’s Ecuador, who took all three points at home against Uruguay on Thursday and sit all alone atop the 10-team group after three rounds. Felipe Caicedo (Espanyol) and Fidel Martinez scored the goals for La Tricolor either side of Edinson Cavani’s 49th-minute equalizer. The defeat represents Uruguay’s (6 points) first points dropped in 2018 WCQ.

Also of note: drones flying over soccer stadiums are officially a problem. Cut it out, people.

https://twitter.com/porfindeportes/status/664923581961342976/photo/1

Bolivia 4-2 Venezuela

Bolivia won their first points of WCQ on Thursday, while Venezuela remain in search of their own. Rodrigo Ramallo (twice), Juan Carlos Arce (penalty kick) and Rudy Cardozo provided the goals for La Verde, while Mario Rondon and Richard Blanco were the scorers for Venezuela.

La Liga wrap: Moyes orchestrates Barca upset; Top tightens as Real falls

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Real Sociedad manager David Moyes has his first signature win as manager of the Spanish club, and it’s come at the expense of a title challenger.

Atletico Madrid accepted a festive gift from Real Madrid, while Barcelona stamped “return to sender” on the end of Real’s 22-match unbeaten streak.

[ MORE: La Liga Saturday wrap ]

It’s all a part of the La Liga weekend wrap.

Valencia 2-1 Real Madrid  – RECAP

A first-half penalty conversion from Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to set the tone for another winning day at the office for Los Galacticos, but it was a false flame.

Valencia more or less controlled the goings-on, with Nicolas Otamendi and Antonio Barraga sending Real to its first loss since a Sept. 13 defeat against Atletico Madrid.

source: Getty ImagesReal Sociedad 1-0 Barcelona

It wasn’t comfortable by any stretch of the imagination, but Real Sociedad manager David Moyes has his biggest win as a La Liga boss.

The hosts went in front on a mistake from the visitors, as a Jordi Alba own goal in the second minute but Barca behind an early eight ball.

And as former Sociedad goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was left to rue the mistake, his replacement starred in denying Barca its equalizer. Twenty-two year-old Argentine keeper Geronimo Rulli had a strong game between the sticks for the Txuriurdin.

Dani Alves and Lionel Messi came off the bench for the Blaugrana, but couldn’t find the finishing touch. Luis Suarez attempted to draw a late penalty, but Rulli got a hand on the ball before catching Suarez’s trailing foot.

Now the Scot turns his attention to Wednesday’s Copa del Ray Round of 16 match at Villarreal.

Atletico Madrid 3-1 Levante

A pair of goals from Antoine Griezmann and an insurance tally from Diego Godin lifted the hosts to all three points, as Atleti is back within shouting distance of their cross-city rivals.

Elsewhere

Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 Athletic Bilbao — Ivan Cavaleiro’s 24th minute goal holds up.
Malaga 1-2 Almeria — Israeli forward Tomer Hemed’s brace leads visitors to three points.
Getafe 1-2 Rayo Vallecano — Raul Baena’s 64th minute goal completes comeback.
Espanyol 1-2 Eibar — A late tally from the hosts’ Felipe Caicedo did not inspire an equalizer.
Elche 2-2 Villarreal — Four first-half goals, nothing in second.
Sevilla 1-0 Celta Vigo — Nicolas Pareja scored the only goal of the match.
Cordoba vs. Granada — 245pm ET Monday

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Real Madrid 16 13 0 3 56 15 41 6-0-1 7-0-2 39
Barcelona 17 12 2 3 41 8 33 7-0-1 5-2-2 38
Atlético Madrid 17 12 2 3 34 15 19 7-1-1 5-1-2 38
Valencia 17 10 4 3 31 14 17 7-1-1 3-3-2 34
Sevilla 16 10 3 3 26 17 9 6-3-0 4-0-3 33
Villarreal 17 9 4 4 29 16 13 5-0-3 4-4-1 31
Málaga 17 9 3 5 21 17 4 5-2-2 4-1-3 30
Eibar 17 6 5 6 21 23 -2 2-3-3 4-2-3 23
Celta Vigo 17 5 5 7 17 19 -2 3-2-3 2-3-4 20
Espanyol 17 5 5 7 21 26 -5 4-3-2 1-2-5 20
Rayo Vallecano 17 6 2 9 19 32 -13 2-1-5 4-1-4 20
Athletic 17 5 4 8 14 21 -7 3-2-3 2-2-5 19
Real Sociedad 17 4 6 7 18 22 -4 4-2-3 0-4-4 18
Getafe 17 4 5 8 13 22 -9 2-3-4 2-2-4 17
Almería 17 4 4 9 15 25 -10 0-3-5 4-1-4 16
Deportivo 17 4 4 9 14 27 -13 3-2-4 1-2-5 16
Levante 17 3 6 8 13 33 -20 2-2-4 1-4-4 15
Granada 16 2 7 7 10 26 -16 1-4-3 1-3-4 13
Córdoba 16 1 8 7 11 27 -16 0-5-3 1-3-4 11
Elche 17 2 5 10 15 34 -19 1-3-5 1-2-5 11

 

USMNT vs. Ecuador preview: More than a legendary tribute

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Credit the shrewdness of Jurgen Klinsmann and US Soccer for this: a win over FIFA No. 21 ranked Ecuador in a normally-ordinary friendly would be a tough feat in any circumstances.

Turning Friday’s match into an amped-up crowd affair as a send-off for Landon Donovan is going to make it more difficult for La Tricolor. And in Klinsmann’s quest to become a seeded team for World Cup 2018, every win over a high-ranked team is critical.

For the record, according to FIFA’s ranking points calculator, even wins are going to drop the States to 900 points. That figure would move them from No. 17 to 20 in this months’ rankings. Two draws? No. 23. Two losses? No. 26. 

[ USMNT: Injured Julian Green leaves team | “My Landon Donovan moment” ]

Let’s cover our bases as it pertains to Friday’s opponent, Ecuador. First off, there’s going to be MLS representation on the visitors roster, as Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata will hope to earn his second cap in a group that includes just two other forwards (the highest profile being Enner Valencia of West Ham).

The deep midfield corps is highlighted by unattached Segundo Castillo and Dynamo Moscow middleman Christian Noboa. Nineteen-year-old Carlos Gruezo of Stuttgart got a call-up as well, with Ivan Hurtado and Walter Ayovi the biggest names in defense. Starting goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez will be there as well.

But some big names are not coming: Antonio Valencia of Manchester United, Jefferson Montero of Swansea and Felipe Caicedo of Espanyol are all staying away. In terms of big names not getting the call, this is significant and the American Outlaws should expect to be heavy favorites at home in a game of such emotional import.

[ MORE LegenD: Top 5 USMNT goals | Emotional video tribute ] 

[ YOU: What’s your “My Landon Donovan moment?” ]

The question of how they might line up is challenged by Julian Green’s continued rib struggles. Here’s an informed guess at the Starting XI, with the caveat that when Donovan comes off after 30 minutes, it will be to make way for Bobby Wood or Miguel Ibarra (with Chris Wondolowski saved as a late-game sub for Jozy Altidore.

Guzan

Yedlin—Orozco–Brooks—Chandler

Bedoya–Corona–Diskerud

Donovan–Altidore—Gyau

Prediction:

Score: United States 2, Ecuador 1

Goal scorers: ECU- E. Valencia; USA- Gyau, Diskerud

Tribute to Donovan: fitting and emotional