MLS

MLS: Sounders stay hot as clash between ex-Man Utd team-mates ends in Inter Miami-Atlanta draw

By Sports Desk May 09, 2021

Seattle Sounders continued their strong start to the MLS season by edging Portland Timbers as former Manchester United team-mates Phil Neville and Gabriel Heinze oversaw the Inter Miami-Atlanta United draw.

Raul Ruidiaz and Fredy Montero scored second-half goals to lead in-form Seattle past hosts Portland 2-1 at Providence Park on Sunday.

After a goalless opening half, the Timbers had a golden chance to open the scoring from the spot within 10 minutes of the restart when Shane O'Neill was penalised for a foul on Jeremy Ebobisse.

Diego Valeri's first attempt was saved by Stefan Frei but a retake was needed after the Sounders goalkeeper came off his line too early, though the former's second effort glanced off the post.

As the penalty hit the woodwork without Frei touching it, the rebound did not count in Portland.

Seattle star Ruidiaz then broke the deadlock with a penalty of his own just past the hour-mark, having been fouled by Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella.

Montero doubled the lead with 11 minutes remaining before a stunning Bill Tuiloma free-kick in the 94th minute proved nothing more than a consolation for Portland.

The Sounders top the Western Conference by a point as the Timbers sit second bottom with three points from four matches.

Inter Miami and Atlanta played out a 1-1 draw as Neville and Heinze reunited at DRV PNK Stadium.

Neville and Heinze spent a season together at Premier League giants United in 2004-05.

Now head coaches of Inter Miami and Atlanta respectively, Neville and Heinze shared the touchline as the two teams split the points.

Josef Martinez's ninth-minuter opener for Atlanta was cancelled out by Inter Miami's Lewis Morgan 13 minutes from the end.

In the day's other match, Sporting Kansas City scored two goals in the final eight minutes to rally past expansion side Austin 2-1.

Related items

  • Argentina 1-1 Chile: Vargas salvages a point after Messi moment of magic Argentina 1-1 Chile: Vargas salvages a point after Messi moment of magic

    A sublime Lionel Messi free-kick was not enough for Argentina to start the Copa America with a victory as Chile striker Eduardo Vargas salvaged a 1-1 draw.

    Argentina had much the better of the first half and mercurial captain Messi put them in front with a brilliant free-kick in the Group B encounter at Estadio Nilton Santos.

    Vargas came to Chile's rescue after the break, heading home the rebound after Emiliano Martinez saved Arturo Vidal's penalty.

    Nicolas Gonzalez was particularly wasteful as Argentina were unable to secure what would have been a deserved victory in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.

    Messi is yet to win a trophy with Argentina following back-to-back runners-up performances at the Copa America in 2015 and 2016, having also fallen short in the 2007 final against Brazil.

    Giovani Lo Celso was Chile's chief tormentor in a promising start from the Albiceleste, setting up chances that Lautaro Martinez and Gonzalez were unable to take.

    Gonzalez headed over the crossbar after his shot was palmed away by Claudio Bravo and the forward also failed to beat the Chile goalkeeper with a tame finish when the lively Lo Celso sent him clear with an incisive pass.

    Messi produced yet another moment of magic to put Argentina in front, though, bending a brilliant free-kick into the top-right corner after 33 minutes.

    An unmarked Martinez spurned a glorious chance to add a second when he scuffed a shot wide and Lionel Scaloni's side were made to pay for their profligacy when Chile levelled 12 minutes into the second half.

    Vidal was awarded a spot-kick for a rash challenge from Nicolas Tagliafico after referee Wilmar Roldan checked the pitchside monitor and although the midfielder's penalty was brilliantly tipped against the crossbar by Martinez, Vargas nodded in following up.

    Bravo palmed away Messi's drive 20 minutes from time and Gonzalez headed over the bar when his skipper presented him with another golden opportunity in a frustrating start for Argentina.

  • Luis Enrique and Spain players back struggling Morata after boos in Euro 2020 stalemate Luis Enrique and Spain players back struggling Morata after boos in Euro 2020 stalemate

    Spain head coach Luis Enrique and his players leapt to the defence of Alvaro Morata after he was booed in their frustrating 0-0 draw with Sweden at Euro 2020.

    Morata squandered Spain's best chance of their Euro 2020 Group E opener when he fired wide with just Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen to beat on Monday.

    Spain had dominated the match in Seville as they made 917 passes and enjoyed 85 possession, but lacked a cutting edge in attack.

    Morata was even subjected to boos and whistles by a section of Spain supporters, having failed to register any of his three attempts on target before he was substituted in the 66th minute.

    "He has the personality to endure it and I would more like [him] to be applauded," Luis Enrique told a post-match media conference. 

    "Morata is a great player who does things well in attack and defence.

    "I have heard the whistles for Morata but then he was applauded off. He does a lot for the team and he is used to these situations so I do not think it will affect him."

    Spain midfielders Marcos Llorente and Pedri also backed Morata, who has not scored in his last four international matches, to come good.

    "Today he was not lucky in the face of goal, but he will be," Llorente said.

    "I don't think the whistles are good. Anyone who was inside would like to be supported and applauded.

    "We've got two group games left and the support of our fans is a great help."

    Pedri added: "We can all fail, we all do. He [Morata] works a lot for the team and that can be seen on the field. He needs support. I tell people to keep trusting us, we are a great team.

    "We created so many chances that I'm sure the goals are coming. I know there will now be good video analysis to see why it is we didn't score."

    Luis Enrique felt the playing surface at Seville's La Cartuja stadium hampered his players in front of goal.

    He said: "What we try to do is to generate scoring chances, the field was not helping much. If you haven't noticed the players have complained. 

    "We have generated chances, we haven't scored them."

  • Euro 2020 data dive: Spain stunted but set passing standard after Schick's record-breaking blast Euro 2020 data dive: Spain stunted but set passing standard after Schick's record-breaking blast

    There was more drama on day four of Euro 2020, although the pace of the tournament slowed just a little in Seville.

    The Czech Republic and Slovakia claimed precious wins before attention turned to Spain and Sweden, the two presumed favourites in Group E.

    But neither team had the imagination to forge a breakthrough, even if Spain were completely dominant.

    That stalemate features as Stats Perform reviews the action with the best Opta data.

     

    Scotland 0-2 Czech Republic: Schick shocks Scots from record-breaking range

    Patrik Schick's brilliant brace at Hampden Park gave the Czech Republic their first win over Scotland since October 2010.

    The Bayer Leverkusen striker's double was the first from a Czech player at a major tournament since Tomas Rosicky against the United States at the 2006 World Cup, while Milan Baros managed it at Euro 2004 versus Denmark.

    Schick's second was particularly special, lobbing 36-year-old David Marshall – Scotland's second-oldest player at a major tournament – from 49.7 yards, the longest distance for a goal at the Euros since records began in 1980. It surpassed Torsten Frings' 38.6-yard effort for Germany against the Netherlands in 2004.

    That strike took Schick to eight goals (and two assists) in his past nine international starts, but the headed opener alone might have been enough.

    Scotland have now failed to score in five of their seven Euros matches and five of their past six opening matches at major tournaments. They have lost five of those six, too.

     

    Poland 1-2 Slovakia: Same Lewy woes but new pain for Szczesny

    Poland's big names endured frustrating outings in a 2-1 defeat to Slovakia that means they have now won just one of their past 10 opening matches at major tournaments.

    Milan Skriniar's third goal in four appearances for Slovakia settled the Group E fixture, but Poland had been on the back foot since Wojciech Szczesny's 18th-minute own goal.

    He became the first goalkeeper to put through his own net at a European Championship, while Grzegorz Krychowiak's subsequent red card made this one of only two examples of a team at the Euros scoring an own goal and having a player sent off in the same game (also Czechoslovakia versus the Netherlands in 1976).

    Szczesny had been the most recent Poland player dismissed at a major tournament back in 2012.

    Karol Linetty did equalise for Poland 32 seconds into the second half – the second-fastest goal after half-time, behind Marcel Coras for Romania against Germany in 1984 (21 seconds) – but another off day for Robert Lewandowski harmed their hopes of victory before Skriniar's strike.

    Lewandowski has scored with just two of his 35 shots for Poland at major tournaments, failing to register a goal with any of his 17 attempts since netting against Portugal at Euro 2016.

     

    Spain 0-0 Sweden: Luis Enrique's side luckless in Seville

    Spain will wonder how they did not earn all three points against Sweden in the tournament's first goalless draw.

    La Roja dominated 85 per cent of the possession, attempted 917 passes and completed 830 of them. All three figures are records since 1980.

    Luis Enrique's side were frustratingly profligate and Spain have now won just one of their past six opening matches at major tournaments.

    The only positive was an 11th Spanish clean sheet in their past 14 games at the Euros, with this remarkably the first time Sweden – who showed little attacking ambition – have drawn a blank in a Euros opener.

    They have now failed to score in three consecutive games in the competition, though, and failed to show how they might end that run against Slovakia on Friday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.