Author Archives: Naomi Lopez

Toronto FC beats Seattle Sounders to lift MLS Cup trophy

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Toronto FC became the very first Canadian team to win the MLS Cup after beating Seattle Sounders 2-0 in the final.

The club will also become the first MLS team to win a domestic treble, after Greg Vanney’s side also won this year’s Supporters’ Shield — for finishing top of the MLS table — and the Canadian Championship, their domestic cup title.

The team also managed to secure a record 69 points in a MLS season.

On the other hand, Seattle — aiming to become only the fourth team to retain the MLS Cup — came into the game on the back of six clean sheets and looked to frustrate the hosts in the final, but was pinned back throughout.

After having lost to Seattle on penalties in last year’s final, Toronto lead deservedly this time around when Jozy Altidore latched on to Sebastian Giovinco’s through ball and clipped a shot over Stefan Frei, before Victor Vazquez added an injury-time second from close range.

It was almost a cruel twist of fate for Frei, who had earlier made a host good saves to deny the likes of Jonathan Osorio, Giovinco, Marco Delgado and Víctor Vazquez in the first half.

But Toronto continued to push after the break, and it was Altidore who found the way through, although there were claims he was offside when Giovinco played his pass forward.

On the other side, Seattle — with former Fulham and Tottenham player Clint Dempsey in their team — offered little going forward and only had two shots on target.

Their push for a late equaliser bore no fruit as Vazquez scrambled TFC’s second into an empty net after Armando Cooper’s own shot found the woodwork.

Jose Mourinho says title race is over as Man City beats United

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side’s title hopes are “probably” over after 2-1 loss to “lucky” neighbours and title rivals Manchester City.

City widened the gap on top of the Premier League to 11 points thanks to Manchester derby victory at Old Trafford, and became the first team to win 14 successive English top-flight games in a single season.

They took the lead when man-of-the-match David Silva hooked home from close range after confusion at a corner on 42 minutes.

Although United appeared to have been handed a lifeline in first-half stoppage time when poor defending from Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph allowed Marcus Rashford to steal in for a composed finish. However, Otamendi quickly made amends nine minutes after the break when Romelu Lukaku — who had a poor game — lashed at a clearance in the area and the City defender pounced on the rebound to score.

Still, Mourinho took issue and focused on an incident in the 79th minute, when Ander Herrera went down in City’s box under a challenge from Otamendi but was booked for diving instead.

“I think they are a very good team, they are lucky, they have decisions in their favour,” Mourinho said. “My first reaction is that I feel sorry for Michael Oliver. The referee is a human being and he tried his best. He was very committed to have a good match, which I think he had, but made one mistake, which was a crucial mistake.”

Regardless, City has only dropped two points in their first 16 league games. Although they had numerous opportunities to extend their lead, it was their keeper Ederson who made the decisive late intervention with a miraculous double late save from the Romelu Lukaku and substitute Juan Mata.

When asked whether the title race was now over, Mourinho answered: “Probably, yes. Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them.”

Borussia Dortmund sacks Peter Bosz and appoints Peter Stoger

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Borussia Dortmund have sacked head coach Peter Bosz and appointed Peter Stoger in his place after their winless run stretched to 12 games in all competitions with their latest defeat against Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Bosz took over the Bundesliga club in the summer but, despite a strong start which saw them took the lead in the German top-flight, they slumped to a two-month winless run since September which saw the Dutchman fall under increased pressure.

His team’s latest result was a 2-1 defeat against Werder on Saturday which left Dortmund seventh in the Bundesliga, while they exited the Champions League after finishing third in Group H behind Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid, failing to win a match in the group stages.

Dortmund’s chief executive, Hans-Joachim Watzke, said: “Last night, in a conversation with Peter Bosz, we decided that we would release him with immediate effect. It was very emotional, but also respectful.”

“On behalf of all at Borussia, I would like to thank Peter Bosz. We still consider him a great coach and person.”

In his place, the club announced that the former Cologne manager Peter Stoger would take charge of the team until the end of the season. “I’m really happy to be coach of this team and to be in this stadium,” Stoger said upon his appointment.

The Austrian was sacked by Cologne this month, but only after a four-year tenure in which he guided them to promotion from the second tier and then to fifth place in the league last season to earn European football.

This season saw a dismal start to this campaign in which Cologne took only two points from the first 13 matches, which in turn cost Stoger his job but Dortmund hope he can have a similar impact on their fortunes as he did when he first arrived in Cologne.

Stoger oversaw his first training session with Dortmund on Sunday, ahead of his first match on Tuesday night, away against Mainz.

Wembley to host four additional Euro 2020 group stage matches

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Wembley will host seven games at Euro 2020 after UEFA handed the stadium an additional four matches that was previously scheduled for Brussels.

Euro 2020 is poised to be staged across 12 countries as former UEFA president Michel Platini’s idea of a one-off gesture to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the tournament.

UEFA had decided to reallocate the three group fixtures and one last-16 game previously given to the Belgian capital due to delays in the building of a 60,000-capacity stadium on the site of Heysel. Belgian authorities failed to provide guarantees the stadium would be ready.

Speaking in Nyon, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said the decision of UEFA’s executive committee had been unanimous as waiting on Belgium was deemed “high risk”.

“We don’t know if they can build a stadium or not,” Ceferin had added.

In addition to deciding where the first game, on 12 June, will be and what to do about the difficulties in Brussels, the UEFA executive committee has also announced where each of the six groups’ games will be played.

Baku and Rome will host group A, group B games will take place in Copenhagen and St Petersburg, Amsterdam and Bucharest get group C, Glasgow and London will share group D, group E will be staged in Bilbao and Dublin, while group F’s fixtures will be in Budapest and Munich.

The English FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, said: “We are delighted to help UEFA by hosting the additional four matches at Wembley Stadium. It’s an honour to be one of the 12 nations that will play a part in this prestigious Euro for Europe tournament and I would like to thank the UEFA executive committee for giving us the opportunity to stage these games.”