Friday, April 15, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Liverpool storms into Europa semis with dramatic win over Dortmund

Yesterday's Scores
Europa League- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 Braga (6-1 on aggregate)
(Srna PK 25', Ferreira OG 42', OG 74', Kovalenko 50')

Sparta Prague 2-4 Villarreal (2-6 on aggregate)
(Dockal 65', Krejci 71')-(Bakambu 5', 49', Castillejo 43', Bruno 45+1')

Liverpool 4-3 Borussia Dortmund (5-4 on aggregate)
(Origi 48', Coutinho 66', Sakho 78', Lovren 90+1')-(Mkhitaryan 5', Aubameyang 9', Reus 57')

Sevilla 1-1 Athletic Bilbao (3-2 on aggregate)
(Gameiro 59')-(Aduriz 57')

Three goals in the final 25 minutes put Liverpool through to the Europa League semi-finals in one of the most dramatic comebacks in the competitions history. It wasn't the miracle in Istanbul in the 2005 Champions League Final, but this will certainly be one that Liverpool fans remember for a long, long time. They were down two goals within ten minutes and went down a pair once again just before the hour mark. Whether it was Anfield mystique, superior tactics, or just plain Liverpudlian grit, the Reds scored thrice in the final 25 minutes with the winner coming from Dejan Lovren's stoppage time header. I'm sure Anfield is still buzzing as you read this the morning after.

The International Football Association Board has adopted a couple of rule changes for next season. The first is that players who deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity with a foul will no longer be sent off. A notable example of this was when Per Mertesacker was sent off for a tackle in Arsenal's match with Chelsea in January. Under this new statute, Mertesacker would have gotten away with a yellow, which suited the severity of the tackle more.

The other change has to do with instant replay reviews. The Italian Football Federation has been chosen as the test market for a replay system that could be used to determine if a goal was scored, if a penalty should be awarded, if a player should be sent off, and in cases of mistaken identity for cards. This would have affected the result of Wednesday's Atletico Madrid win over Barcelona in the Champions League. Replay review would have awarded Barca a penalty in stoppage time for a handball on the edge of the penalty area.

Don Garber was at Sacramento's MLS block party and all but officially announced that Sacramento was next in line for expansion. He did officially announce that the league would expand to 28 teams, but he did not give a time table. Atlanta and Minnesota are joining next season and he hopes Los Angeles and Miami will be in by 2018. The league could be ready for Sacramento as early as 2020. What other cities were mentioned for expansion? Garber spoke of Austin, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Detroit.

Today's Matches
Houston Dynamo v. LA Galaxy- 7pm- Unimas

Hannover 96 v. Borussia Moenchengladbach- 2:30pm- FS2

La Liga
Levante v. Espanyol- 2:30pm

Ligue 1
Olympique Lyonnais v. Nice- 2:30pm

Liga MX
Queretaro v. Club America- 8:30pm- Univision Deportes
Tijuana v. Meterrey- 10:30pm

Jacksonville Armada v. Miami FC- 7pm- beIN

Real Monarchs v. Arizona United- 9pm- YouTube

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