Haris Medunjanin

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USOC: Sporting KC, Union join Timbers in quarterfinals

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A quick recap of Saturday’s action in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16…

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news | Sunday’s schedule, streams ]

Sporting Kansas City 3-2 FC Dallas

The 2017 Open Cup winners survived and outlasted the 2016 winners at Children’s Mercy Park, thanks to a brace from Daniel Salloi, and a serious contender for USOC Goal of the Tournament from Yohan Croizet which came just one minute before the end of regular time.

Dallas raced ahead of a frantic, haphazard Sporting KC side after just 18 minutes when Carlos Gruezo tapped home Michael Barrios’s chipped effort over goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas; but Salloi drew Sporting level just before halftime with his first of the night, poaching a tap-in of his own off Ike Opara in the 43rd minute.

Salloi’s second came 20 minutes into the second half, moments after shifting inside from the left wing and unloading from the edge of the box. Roland Lamah made it 2-2 in the 77th minute, though, capitalizing on a scramble in the box that saw Sporting unable to boot the ball clear on multiple occasions. 12 minutes later, Croizet went a long way toward quieting a few of his critics after a rough start to his time in MLS.

Sporting will face the winner of Monday’s clash between Houston Dynamo and Minnesota United.

Philadelphia Union 2-1 New York Red Bulls

Philadelphia joined Sporting and the Portland Timbers (winners over the LA Galaxy on Friday) in the quarters with a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls at Talen Energy Stadium.

Haris Medunjanin unleashed a rocket from distance and Cory Burke slotted past Luis Robles, in the 52nd and 61st minute, before Bradley Wright-Phillips pulled a goal back for the Red Bulls in the 77th.

Philadelphia will face the winner of D.C. United versus Orlando City SC (Wednesday) in the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere in USOC fifth round

Portland Timbers 1-0 LA Galaxy (Friday)

Remaining USOC fifth round schedule

Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United (Monday)
D.C. United vs. Orlando City SC (Wednesday)
Louisville City vs. Nashville SC (Wednesday)
Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire (Wednesday)
Los Angeles FC vs. Sacramento Republic (Wednesday)

USMNT, Bosnia and Herzegovina play to sleepy 0-0

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  • Second game, draw since World Cup failure
  • KC’s Opara easy Man of the Match for U.S.
  • Medunjanin misses PK for BIH

The United States men’s national team and Bosnia & Herzegovina staged a scoreless match that provided little entertainment for anyone other than a boisterous, pro-Bosnian crowd in Carson, California.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin hit a penalty kick off the post for BIH.

USMNT boss Dave Sarachan has two draws in his caretaker stint, but surprisingly did not use all of his subs despite having a number of players craving a first career cap (Russell Canouse, Marky Delgado, Nick Lima).

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CJ Sapong made noise in the first minute, running onto a long ball down the left and crossing for Tyler Adams to head onto goal.

Sapong then forced BIH keeper Ibrahim Šehić into another save, earning a corner kick after beating club teammate Haris Medunjanin to a back pass.

Adams earned a free kick for the U.S. from the right, played short to him and kicked out for a goal kick.

Ike Opara had a sterling first half up to the 40th minute when he gave away a free kick with a hard foul, but Bosnia’s quick-played corner led to a shot sent over Bill Hamid’s goal.

[ MORE: Ibrahimovic to MLS has “serious legs” ]

It was a precursor to his first big save, getting low to save Walker Zimmerman blushes when Luka Menalo hit a mishit clearance on goal from in-tight.

The game within the game was finding entertainment. Save us, second half:

USMNT head coach Dave Sarachan gave Zack Steffen a debut between the sticks in the second half, and brought on Kelyn Rowe and Paul Arriola in place of Sapong and Gyasi Zardes.

Arriola made an instant impact, sending a ball to meet a perfect Jordan Morris run. The forward’s cross invited Rowe, but the New England man couldn’t sweep his trailing leg to turn the pass on goal.

Morris then ran onto a gorgeous pass from Wil Trapp, and an inventive first touch proved too strong as he carried himself too wide to turn a shot on goal.

Menalo then turned the early stages of the half on its ear. He was allowed to get away with a 52nd minute foul, but Zimmerman then hip checked Menalo to the turf for a simple penalty. Medunjanin made Steffen guess wrong, but hit the post.

Roldan was presented with a tremendous chance to make it 1-0 when Matt Polster’s cross deflected into his path but was betrayed by his first touch. Rowe hit a magnificent pass to start the play.

Steffen got low for a languid slap of a Menalo strike in the 66th minute.

Sarachan then put Juan Agudelo into the match for Roldan.

Bosnia produced several good chances down the right as the second half crawled into its final 20 minutes.

Morris comically saw his shirt ripped through the chest on a 75th minute foul.

Omaha-Nebraska player Elvir Ibišević subbed into the match for BIH in the final few minutes of the contest.

Lionel Messi scores brilliant match-winner in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina

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A Lionel Messi gem was enough to hand Argentina a 2-1 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina at The Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday evening.

After a Sead Kolasinic own-goal in the 3rd minute handed Argentina a 1-0 lead, all things were even heading into the second stanza where a beautiful, weaving run by Messi was capped by a calm left-footed finish from 18 yards out.

With a 2-0 lead in hand, Argentina eased off the gas and were punished for it when a sensationally slipped pass by Senad Lulic found Vedad Ibisevic, who cooly finished past Sergio Romero. As B&H pushed for a winner it was Argentina who came closest to scoring again before the final whistle blew handing La Celeste a crucial 2-1 victory to go tops of Group F.

Things began fast when Mensur Mujdza‘s crushing tackle sent Sergio Aguero flying to the turf. Messi’s ensuing free kick from 25 yards out curled in beautifully for Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, who nicked the ball onto the left knee of defender Kolasinic, who could only watch as the ball dribbled into the net.

B&H then settled in with Zvjezdan Misimovic providing some brilliant play-making ability, cutting open the middle of the pitch and finding Izet Hajrovic over the top only for the winger to hesitate and have his effort saved by Romero. A minute later and it was Misimovic again, this time embarrassing Javier Mascherano and earning a free-kick that Miralem Pjanic fired into the wall.

Despite conceding the own-goal, Kolasinac more than made up for it with some sensational defense, giving Pablo Zabaleta and Messi headaches on multiple attacks up the right side. It was an uninspiring performance from Edin Dzeko, who was largely invisible but for a turning 33rd minute strike that flew well over the goal. Eight minutes later and the Dragons came closer, this time through Lulic who’s near post header was sublimely saved by Romero.

Heading into the half-time 1-0 up but under-performing, Argentina needed to shake things up and coach Alejandro Sabella wasted no time doing so, disposing of his five-man backline by removing center-back Hugo Campagnaro in favor of midfielder Fernando Gago and replacing midfielder Maxi Rodriguez with forward Gonzalo Higuain.

With the 4-3-3 formation that Argentina are more familiar with La Celeste caught fire as a 55th minute break saw Messi find Aguero, who mishit his right-footed shot high and wide. By now, though, Argentina was clicking with Messi finding space in the midfield and Higuain, Aguero and Di Maria flying up the pitch.

In the 58th minute it was Hajrovic reeking havoc on Marcos Rojo, juking the left-back before sending in a teasing cross for Lulic that caught Romero off the line only for Federico Fernandez to head away from danger. Two minutes later, it was Argentina’s turn and the improving Messi found Aguero on the right side of the box but his right-footed effort was ripped right into the hands of Begovic.

In the 64th minute Messi spurned an excellent opportunity when he put his left-footed free kick 20 yards over the bar from 30 yards out. Things were looking bleak for the Barcelona sensation but 30 seconds later he proved why he is one of the greatest ever players. Picking up the ball 10 yards in front of midfield Messi dispatched a clever outside-of-the-foot pass that Higuain brilliantly flicked back to La Pulga, who had his sights set on net.

By the time B&H center back Ermin Bicakcic realized it, he stepped up only for Messi to pull the ball left, sending Bicakcic sliding into Besic. With the pathway clear, Messi dispatched a low, carefully placed left-footed strike from 18-yards out that banked off the left post and into the net. The Maracana erupted with a Messi fist-pump clear evidence of a monkey off his back.

Credit to B&H, they didn’t put their heads down and coach Safet Susic went into the most attacking lineup possible, bringing on winger Edin Visca to replace the fantastic Hajrovic, forward Ibisevic for Mensur Mujdza while captain Zvjezdan Misimovic was then removed for Haris Medunjanin.

In the 82nd minute Messi picked the ball up in his defensive third and his 80 yard dribble found Aguero on the right but his cross was snuffed out by a sliding Spahic. Three minutes later, lax defending by Argentina allowed B&H to cut the lead in half. Lulic pushed forward on the dribble and when no one challenged, he slipped a sneaky pass around Fernandez that Ibisevic latched on to and put a subtle touch around Romero.

With six minutes left B&H continued to push forward compelling Argentina to sub Aguero off for Lucas Biglia, adopting a more defensive shape. With The Dragons pushing hard for the equalizer it was La Celeste that enjoyed the better chances with Messi coming closest off the counter in the 93rd minute, only to hit the side netting.

All in all it was a great win for Argentina against a tricky B&H side but one that Sabella will want to see vast improvements upon if his side are to make a deep run in this World Cup.

LINEUPS

Argentina – Romero; Rojo, Garay, F. Fernandez, Campagnaro (Gago 45′), Zabaleta; Di Maria, Mascherano, Rodriguez (Higuain 45′); Messi, Aguero (Biglia 87′).

Goals: Kolasinac, OG (3′) Messi (65′)

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Begovic; Kolasinac, Spahic, Bicakcic, Mujdza (Ibisevic 69′); Besic, Hajrovic (Visca 71′); Lulic, Misimovic (Medunjanin 74′), Pjanic; Dzeko.

Goal: Ibisevic (84′)