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 Cristiano Ronaldo's injury-time penalty put holders Real Madrid through to the Champions League semi-finals after holding off a stunning Juventus comeback.Ronaldo's coolly taken 97th-minute penalty into the top corner came after Medhi Benatia brought down Lucas Vazquez in the box. Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, in what might be his last Champions League appearance, was sent off by English referee Michael Oliver after awarding the spot-kick, for foul and abusive language.

Real, Champions League winners in three of the past four seasons, came into the second leg leading 3-0, helped by Ronaldo's stunning bicycle kick. But the Serie A leaders got off to a perfect start when Mario Mandzukic headed in from Sami Khedira's cross after just two minutes and Mandzukic got a second before half-time.
Blaise Matuidi pounced to capitalise on Keylor Navas' fumble to level the tie on aggregate before the dramatic ending.
Real join Liverpool, Roma and Bayern Munich in the last-four draw, which takes place in Nyon on Friday at 12:00 BST.
Football Daily podcast: ‘Lucky’ Real Madrid and ‘disgraceful’ Buffon
Bedlam at the Bernabeu - reaction to Real's dramatic win
Relive how it happened
Chaotic 10 minutes in Madrid
The game looked to be heading for extra time before a chaotic final few minutes saw even the calmest of players lose control.
90th minute: Benatia push on Vazquez is adjudged to be a foul and Oliver points to the spot. Benatia booked and furious Juve players surround the referee,
incensed at the decision.
93rd minute: Buffon remonstrates too vociferously, screaming and pointing his finger in the direction of Oliver and is shown a red card.
96th minute: Juve striker Gonzalo Higuain is brought off and replaced by former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
97th minute: Ronaldo despatches the penalty into the top right-hand corner.
98th minute: Ronaldo is booked for taking off his shirt while celebrating in front of the home supporters.
99th minute: Referee blows for full-time.
Ronaldo steps up to the mark
Real have endured a poor season so far in La Liga, sitting fourth in the table and 15 points adrift of runaway leaders Barca, who capitulated on Tuesday night to go out of the Champions League.
The competition is Real's only hope of a major trophy this season, but they only just managed to sneak through to the last four for the eighth consecutive season.
Ronaldo, the Ballon d'Or holder, proved himself to be the best once again, stepping up under the most intense pressure to send his team through.
The penalty extended his incredible goalscoring form this campaign:
Now netted in 11 games in a row for Real
Takes his tally to 27 in his past 14 games for club and country
41 strikes overall in 38 games this season
120th goal in 150 Champions League appearances.
Not the send-off Buffon was hoping for
Legendary goalkeeper Buffon ended the night, and possibly his European career, in controversial fashion.
It drew parallels with Real boss Zinedine Zidane when his France playing career ended with a sending off at the 2006 World Cup final for a headbutt on Italy defender Marco Materazzi.
Italy's most-capped international Buffon, who is much respected throughout the game, let his emotions overcome him at the end and was dismissed on his 650th appearance for Juve.
Buffon had announced in October that this would be his last Champions League campaign unless his side won the final, after which he had intended to play in the Club World Cup.
Buffon had been having a brilliant game, saving low from Welshman Gareth Bale and reacting sharply to keep out efforts from Isco and Ronaldo.
But he will not receive the dream send-off, missing out on claiming the only major trophy which has evaded him in his career.
Super Mario - the stats
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 10 Champions League goals against Juventus - the most by one player against a one opponent in the competition.
Juventus have won more away games against Real Madrid than any other side in all European competition [three].
Gianluigi Buffon's first Champions League red card was Juventus' sixth in the competition against Real Madrid - more than any team has had against another opponent in the competition.
Mario Mandzukic's first goal after 76 seconds was the fastest that Real Madrid have ever conceded in a Champions League home game.
Mandzukic also became the first player to score a first-half double as an opposition player in a Champions League match at the Bernabeu.
The Italian side had more shots on target in the opening 15 minutes of play [three] than they did in the entire first leg (2).
BBC

Substitute Lionel Messi scored a sublime 89th-minute equaliser as leaders Barcelona came from 2-0 down to preserve their unbeaten La Liga record. Sevilla looked set to inflict a first league defeat on Barca for 11 months after goals by Franco Vazquez and Luis Muriel.

Luis Suarez pulled a goal back from close range in the 88th minute before Messi equalised moments later.

Barca's leading scorer curled home his 26th league goal from outside the area.

Messi had missed both of Argentina's friendlies during the international break because of a hamstring injury and was left out of the starting line-up for this game.

Barcelona are 12 points clear at the top of the table although Atletico Madrid will cut the gap to nine if they beat Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday (19:45 BST).

Sevilla, who are sixth in the table, wasted a string of chances to seal victory when 2-0 up.

They have not beaten Barcelona since October 2015 although they will get another chance to overcome Ernesto Valverde's side when the teams meet in the Copa del Rey final on 21 April.

The teams could also still meet in the Champions League.

Barcelona are chasing a European and domestic treble and host Roma in the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, while Sevilla entertain Bayern Munich the day before.

 

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund clash on Saturday for the German Super Cup in a rematch of their Champions League final, with Dortmund denying they want revenge. Bayern's 2-1 win over Dortmund at London's Wembley in May meant Munich became the first German team to win the treble of European, league and cup titles, but Borussia are viewing the Super Cup showdown as a yardstick, rather than Wembley payback.

 "This is not revenge for Wembley," said Borussia's Germany defender Mats Hummels ahead of the game in Dortmund

Borussia may have finished second, and fully 25 points, behind Bayern in last season's Bundesliga, but Hummels added: "For us, it is a good test to know where we stand, but we won't base our motivation on the fact that we lost in London."

With the new Bundesliga starting on August 9th, bragging rights are up for grabs in this pre-season showdown, but much has already changed for both teams since Arjen Robben's late winner at Wembley.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes has been replaced by ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, Spain under-21 captain Thiago Alcantara has been recruited from the Camp Nou and Germany midfield star Mario Götze has joined from Dortmund.

Dortmund have also rung the changes by signing attacking midfielders Pierre-Emerick Aubameyeng, from St Etienne, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Illness or injury means neither are due to start at Dortmund's sold-out Westfalenstadion, with a crowd of 80,645 expected.

Mkhitaryan is out for the next few weeks having torn ankle ligaments in a pre-season match, while Aubameyeng, along with Poland winger Jakub 'Kuba' Blaszczykowski, is expected to be on the bench as he recovers from a stomach disorder.

Between them, Dortmund and Bayern have won the last four Bundesliga titles and there is much global interest in the match, which will be broadcast in 195 countries.

While Dortmund will start without their newly-signed trio, Bayern's star-studded squad will be at virtually full strength.

The European champions have won all nine of their pre-season friendlies at a canter, seeing off Catalan giants Barcelona 2-0 in Munich in Wednesday's friendly.

Guardiola has ten full internationals in his midfield and has said he will meet club bosses after Saturday's match to discuss whether any players should be sold before the transfer window closes at the end of August.

Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo has been linked to Wolfsburg, while Premier Legaue side Liverpool are reported to be interested in Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri.

Both sides have played down the bad blood which flowed between them earlier this year, especially following the April announcement that Götze had activated a clause in his contract to join Bayern.

"Last season, there were one or two irritations, but they were dealt with publicly or internally," said Dortmund's director of sport Michael Zorc. "We would do well to just talk about ourselves."

In February, Bayern's president Uli Hoeness had boasted "the status quo in Germany has been restored" after Munich beat Dortmund in the German Cup quarter-final.

Bayern's director of sport Matthias Sammer insisted: "There'll always be a bit of rivalry."

AFP/jcw

 

US captain Clint Dempsey scored two goals to lead the American national team to stave off a late comeback on Sunday for a 4-3 victory over Germany in an international football friendly. Tottenham striker Dempsey netted his 34th and 35th international goals in his 96th appearance for the USA, moving past Eric Wynalda into second on the all-time US scoring list, 14 shy of Landon Donovan's record.

"Having a player like Clint Dempsey on your team is just a privlege," said US coach Jürgen Klinsmann. "This is one of the best players in US history. He has the hunger and the drive. He sends a message to his own players and also to the opponents."

Former German star Klinsmann guided the Americans against a German side he managed in the 2006 World Cup, a team now guided by his former assistant, Joachim Löw. Dempsey's brace gave the Americans a dream 4-1 lead in the US Soccer Federation's centennial celebration match just four days after they struggled in a 4-2 loss to Belgium.

"The game with Belgium was simply too embarassing to them," Löw said. "The US team approached the game with passion and commitment. I was not surprised with the quality of the US team." A German side missing many of its top stars battled back on late goals by Max Kruse and Julain Draxler, but could not net the equalizer, falling to 6-3 against the Americans, their first loss to a US side since falling 2-0 at the 1999 Confederations Cup in Mexico.

German substitute Heiko Westermann's header in the 51st minute off a corner kick from Kruse pulled the visitors within 2-1. But the Americans answered in the 60th minute, Jozy Altidore playing the ball to his right into the penalty area and Dempsey taking it on one bounce and hammering a shot into the back of the net.

Dempsey struck again four minutes later, firing a left-footed rocket from just beyond the penalty area for a 4-1 US lead.

Kruse pulled one back for the Germans in the 79th minute and Draxler trimmed the margin to 4-3 in the 81st, taking the rebound off a Sydney Sam shot that US goalkeeper Tim Howard sprawled to deflect and tapping the ball unchallenged into the goal.

But the US stiffened at the finish to preserve the victory. "We still have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and not allow those two late goals," Dempsey said.

"We're not happy with the number of goals we have allowed in the last two games. At the same time, we take a lot of confidence from beating a very good team."

German defender Per Mertesacker missed a golden chance from the heart of the penalty area in the 10th minute while one-on-one with Howard, pushing his shot just wide of the goal to the right of the Everton netminder.

Altidore gave the Americans the lead in the 13th minute, blasting a cross from Graham Zuzi with a left-footed volley into the back of the net from just inside the penalty area.

A 16th-minute blunder by German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen gave the US side a 2-0 edge. Ter Stegen misplayed a pass from defender Benedikt Howedes and the ball rolled off his foot and across the goal line.

In the 24th minute, German captain Miroslav Klose took a breakaway pass and flicked a right-footed shot past a helpless Howard, but the Lazio striker was offside on the play, nullifying the effort as Germany trailed 2-0 at half-time.

Klose remains one goal shy of Gerd Müller's all-time German national team record of 68 goals.

The Germans lacked several top names from Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid stars Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira.

AFP/mry

 

Paris St-Germain continued their domestic dominance by winning the French League Cup for the fifth successive time with a comfortable victory against Monaco.

PSG took an eighth-minute lead through Edinson Cavani's penalty, Angel di Maria firing in a second on 21 minutes.

Monaco skipper Radamel Falcao saw a header ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR) just before half-time.

PSG sealed victory when Uruguay striker Cavani drilled in a late third.

The Qatari-owned club have now won 11 of the 13 major domestic trophies on offer in the past five seasons and remain on course for their third treble in four seasons.

Unai Emery's side are 17 points clear of second-placed Monaco in the league, while they are tied at 1-1 with Caen after the first leg of their French Cup semi-final.

Cavani converted a penalty given for a foul on former Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe, although there was a three-minute delay amid confusion when referee Clement Turpin went to the VAR before confirming the decision.

Mbappe's stunning pass set up Di Maria for the second, splitting the Monaco defence with a ball from inside his own half, allowing the Argentine to fire under a weak attempted block from keeper Danijel Subasic.

Monaco thought they had a lifeline when Falcao bravely beat PSG keeper Kevin Trapp to a right-wing cross to head in.

However, the referee decided he needed VAR help again and, after another two-minute wait, the effort was ruled out for a tight offside call.

Monaco continued to improve after the break, coming closest to halving the deficit when former Manchester City youngster Rony Lopes clipped the crossbar.

Despite that chance, PSG were always in control and never looked in danger of relinquishing their lead and Cavani sealed the win in the 85th minute.

Source BBC

Germany followed England out of the European Under-21 Championship at the group stage after Alvaro Morata's late winner for Spain in Israel. The 2009 winners looked on course for a point which would have kept their hopes of progressing alive despite losing the first game 3-2 to the Netherlands. But Germany were stunned when Real Madrid striker Morata cut inside the box in the 86th minute and drilled the ball into the net.

 Spain progress to the semi-finals.They will be joined in the last four by the Netherlands, who showed their title credentials with an emphatic 5-1 win over 10-man Russia in the European Under-21 Championship Group B. After falling behind to Georginio Wijnaldum's 30-yard finish in the 39th minute, Russia had Nikita Chicherin sent off for a foul on Adam Maher.Luuk de Jong made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute, Denis Cheryshev reduced the deficit, before Ola John made it 3-1.


Late goals by Danny Hoesen and Leroy Fer sealed the win for the Netherlands, who won the tournament in 2006 and 2007. The result means Russia, who lost 1-0 to Spain in the first game, are knocked out at the group stage.

BBC

A Nigerian Millionaire Dr Mike Adenuga Jr, the Chairman of Globacom has on Monday redeemed his promise he made to reward the super Eagle Coach, Stephen Keshi with two brand new cars for leading Nigeria to victory during 2013 Africa Cup Nations earlier this year in South Africa.

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