It was deja vu all over again for Bayern Munich, as they went up against Real Madrid at home in the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday, but like last year Real Madrid came back to win 2-1 and take a huge step toward another appearance in the Champions League final. Bayern took the lead early in the game, a Marcelo defensive mistake allowed Joshua Kimmich in on goal, and he beat Keylor Navas to his near post as Navas guessed wrongly that Kimmich would shoot far post. Real equalized right before halftime, as Marcelo hit a fierce volley in the bottom corner after Bayern failed to clear their zone. Real then got the eventual winner in the second half, Rafinha had a terrible turnover near midfield allowed Real Madrid to spring forward, and after an exchange of passes between Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio, Asensio was played through and finished the chance, and that score would decide the game. Bayern had a number of chances to get a result, but failed to do so. And for Real Madrid, this was not their greatest performance, but with so much experience in these games, they were able to get the job done, as they have so often the last few years in Europe.
The World Cup is coming up in just a couple of months, and today Fox announced the pairs of commentators who will be calling the World Cup games this summer. The lead team is the American duo of John Strong and Stuart Holden. Strong and Holden have done a lot of the Champions League and MLS games on Fox, so this is hardly a surprise. The other Fox crew based in Russia will be JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola. Dellacamera is the lead play by play voice of the Philadelphia Union, and he has voiced a lot of U.S. Men’s and Women’s games in the past as well. Aly Wagner is making a notable appearance as the first woman to be an analyst of men’s World Cup games on U.S. television. Wagner will be based in LA along with the rest of the announcing teams, including other notable names like Derek Rae and Cobi Jones. Fox has put together a strong lineup here, and should make for some entertaining commentary during the World Cup.
Besides the two away goals they gave up at the end of the game, the one sour note of the night for Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday was that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was forced to leave the game early with an injury. Bad news followed on Wednesday, Ox had damaged knee ligaments, and will miss not only the rest of Liverpool’s season, but the World Cup as well. This is devastating for a player who really came into his own at Liverpool, and will now miss presumably the Champions League final, as well as a World Cup. Hopefully Ox is able to recover soon, and be back on the field playing in important games again.
Ouch. After heading into the final series as favorites, Toronto FC came agonizingly close to becoming the first MLS team to win the Concacaf Champions League, but fell on penalties 4-2, after winning in regulation 2-1 to tie the affair 3-3 on aggregate on Wednesday in Mexico. Toronto actually went down initially in this game as well, but Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco scored for Toronto to level the tie. Unfortunately, Toronto couldn’t break through in regulation, Jozy Altidore had to leave the game with an injury, and then Toronto missed two penalties in the shootout. After seeing arguably the best MLS team of all time get so close but not win the Concacaf Champions League, who knows when MLS will finally have a team that breaks through and wins the whole thing.
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