Paco Alcacer

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EURO 2020 qualifying: Spain rout Faroe Islands, Italy hold off Finland

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The paths of Spain and France to victory were contrasting, however, both teams continued their winning ways in Sunday’s EURO 2020 qualifying.

[ MORE: EURO qualifying wrap ]


Spain 4-0 Faroe Islands

Who knows if it was planned, but Spain put on a lively celebration for Sergio Ramos, who equalled Iker Casillas’ international caps on Sunday night in Gijon, in their 4-0 drubbing of Faroe Islands.

Even then, the scoreline isn’t a clear reflection of Spain’s dominance over a vastly inferior visiting side, who registered less than 30 percent possession and took two shots throughout 90 minutes.

La Roja, comfortable as ever, had time to experiment and put together well-orchestrated attacks.

Rodrigo started the scoring frenzy in the 13th minute with a tap-in, before adding a second in the second half after his left-footed strike wad deflected into the back of the net.

Substituted in the 61st minute for Real Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal, Paco Alcacer added his own brace over the span of three minutes to seal the night for Spain, who stay unbeaten after six qualifying matches and atop of Group F.

Finland 1-2 Italy

Italy’s victory in Finland was controversial, to the say very the least.

Norwhich City’s man of the hour, Teemu Pukki, scored a penalty in the 72nd minute, only to be nulled by Chelsea’s Jorginho, who converted one of his own, which turned out to be the Italian’s match-winning goal.

The call that led to the penalty, however, was worthy of video review.

Finland’s Sauli Väisänen, with his arm attached to his torso as he turned away, made contact with Nicolò Barella’s shot. The official, who was on the opposite of the box, instantly deemed it a penalty and showed a yellow to the defender, despite the heavy petitioning from the Finish players.

With the victory, Italy, who like Spain have yet to lose, remains ahead of second-place Finland in Group H by six points.

VAR is not used in the qualifying process, but will be implemented in the 2020 European Championship, according to UEFA.

Elsewhere

Switzerland 4-0 Gibraltar
Georgia 0-0 Denmark
Sweden 1-1 Norway
Greece 1-1 Liechtenstein

Bundesliga wrap: Davies scores in Bayern rout; BVB upset in Berlin

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Bayern Munich put up a six-star performance to climb above faltering Borussia Dortmund, and both are looking up at RB Leipzig following three matches each in the young Bundesliga season.

[ MORE: Pulisic assists in Chelsea draw ]


Union Berlin 3-1 Borussia Dortmund

Not as planned.

That’s an understatement for Borussia Dortmund after newly-promoted Union Berlin used a pair of Marius Bulter goals to pick up a massive home win.

Bulter’s first goal was quickly answered by Paco Alcacer, but he added a second after halftime and Union put it to bed in the 75th minute. Dortmund drops from first to fifth.

Schalke 3-0 Hertha Berlin

Everton loanee Jonjoe Kenny scored his first Bundesliga goal after Hertha conceded a pair of own goals on either side of halftime.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie again went 90 minutes for Schalke, again covering the most ground of any player on his squad (12.32 km).

Bayern Munich 6-1 Mainz

Niko Kovac’s men have now posted a pair of resounding wins following an Opening Day draw, and Saturday was an onslaught.

Highlighted by a late goal for Canadian teenager Alphonso Davies, Bayern waxed Mainz behind goals from Benjamin Pavard, David Alaba, Ivan Perisic, Kingsley Coman, and Robert Lewandowski in addition to the ex-Vancouver scorer.

Both of Davies’ Bundesliga goals have come against Mainz.

Elsewhere

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-3 RB Leipzig — Friday
Freiburg 1-2 Koln
Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Hoffenheim
Wolfsburg 1-1 Paderborn
Werder Bremen v. Augsburg — 
9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Fortuna Dusseldorf — Noon ET Sunday

Bundesliga wrap: USMNT’s Steffen shines on debut; BVB stomps Augsburg

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A day after Bayern needed Robert Lewandowski heroics to rescue an Opening Day draw, more thrills were on the menu Saturday.

Werder Bremen 1-3 Fortuna Dusseldorf

Zack Steffen was under siege but only beaten once in his Bundesliga debut, as the Man City loanee from these United States helped the visitors to a massive three points on Saturday.

Steffen saw 25 attempts from the hosts, including two from American substitute Josh Sargent, as Fortuna Dusseldorf got into the win column. From Bundesliga.com/En:

“It’s a lot of new challenges for me, and I want to perform and execute my job,” said the former Columbus Crew backstop. “I’ve got a good group of guys around me, a good coaching staff to lift me up and give me confidence, and make me feel at home.”

Borussia Dortmund 5-1 Augsburg

Augsburg’s first minute goal from Florian Niederlechner had some thinking that BVB could join Bayern Munich in an opening weekend stumble, but that was simply a mirage.

Paco Alcacer scored twice, new boy Julian Brandt also scored, and Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho found the score sheet as BVB scorched the visitors at the Westfalenstadion.

Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Paderborn

It was expected to be a cakewalk for the Champions League outfit, but Bayer had to twice overcome pesky Paderborn equalizers.

Leon Bailey and Kai Havertz had their 10th and 19th minute goals answered before Kevin Volland put it to bed in the 69th.

Elsewhere

Bayern Munich 2-2 Hertha Berlin — Friday
Freiburg 3-0 Mainz
Borussia Monchengladbach 0-0 Schalke
Wolfsburg 2-1 Koln
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Hoffenheim
— 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Union Berlin v. RB Leipzig
— Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Borussia Dortmund 1 1 0 0 5 1 4 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 SC Freiburg 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 0-0-0 1-0-0 3
 Bayer Leverkusen 1 1 0 0 3 2 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 VfL Wolfsburg 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 1-0-0 0-0-0 3
 Hertha BSC Berlin 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1
 Bayern Munich 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1
 FC Schalke 04 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-1-0 1
 Mönchengladbach 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1
 1. FC Union Berlin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 1899 Hoffenheim 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 Eintracht Frankfurt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 RB Leipzig 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0 0
 SC Paderborn 1 0 0 1 2 3 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 1. FC Köln 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 Werder Bremen 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0-0-1 0-0-0 0
 FSV Mainz 05 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0-0-0 0-0-1 0
 FC Augsburg 1 0 0 1 1 5 -4 0-0-0 0-0-1 0

Sancho, Alcacer fire Dortmund past Bayern in German Super Cup

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Once again, Borussia Dortmund appears the club best positioned to challenge Bayern Munich and end the evil empire’s seven-year reign as Bundesliga champions, if you’re someone who puts stock into the annual tradition of domestic curtain-raisers.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Jadon Sancho and Paco Alcacer, two players Dortmund will lean upon very heavily to unseat Bayern, each scored a goal en route to a 2-0 victory in a Der Klassiker edition of the German Super Cup inside Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.

Alcacer opened the scoring just after halftime, rewarding Sancho with an assist for his unbelievable, mazy run through midfield and into Bayern’s penalty area. The 19-year-old (he won’t turn 20 until March) appears hellbent on raising his game another level — or two, or three — following a glittering breakout 2018-19 campaign.

Dortmund were quite easily the better side over the whole of 90 minutes, but Lucien Favre’s was more than a little lucky to escape a chaotic goal-mouth scramble without conceding an equalizer just before the hour mark.

[ MORE: 6 days until new PL season: Modern no. 6 is flourishing in PL ]

Dortmund made the most of their get-out-of-jail-free card and Sancho put the game away not even 10 minutes later. A helpful (free) tip to teams in the Bundesliga and across Europe: don’t let the kid lead a one-on-three counter-attack from the halfway line. More often that not, it’ll end badly for you.

Bundesliga play is set to begin in just under two weeks’ time, when Bayern host Hertha Berlin on Friday, Aug. 16, followed by Dortmund hosting Augsburg the following day. The two title-chasing sides will renew their rivalry on Nov. 9 and again on April 4.

Borussia Dortmund tops Liverpool 3-2 at Notre Dame

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A half-hour of the big guns wasn’t enough to get Jurgen Klopp a result against his former team.

Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Liverpool in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the University of Notre Dame on Friday.

Paco Alcacer, Thomas Delaney, and Jacob Bruun Larsen scored for the Black Yellow, who led 3-1 when mass changes began with Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Andrew Robertson entering the match.

Liverpool faces Sevilla on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Alcacer with the ball in the box is a bad idea, and the Spaniard took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip to smash home from a yard outside the six.

Wilson leveled the score before halftime, but Delaney made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute when a long diagonal ball beat the Reds line and a low pass across the box went undetected.

It was 3-1 via a clever Bruun Larsen touch to wrong foot James Milner, but Brewster brought the Reds back to within one when he converted a 75th minute penalty won by Ben Woodburn.

Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, who are on break after deep summer tournament runs.