Hummels plays down Bayern clash

12 August 2012 08:56

Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels has played down the significance of a DFL-Supercup victory over Bayern Munich on Sunday.

Juergen Klopp’s men travel to the Allianz Arena to take part in the annual curtain raiser to the Bundesliga season.

While Hummels believes Dortmund’s traditional rivals have strengthened significantly, it will in his opinion be unrealistic to predict how either team will finish their campaign in the league based on the match.

“Even if we secure our sixth consecutive win against Bayern Munich, I would not consider it to be a big deal,” the Germany international told Bild.

“This game does not have the meaning of a true Bundesliga match. Neither we, nor they, are at 100 percent.

“It will be impossible to judge how dangerous Bayern will be this season at this point in time, as we know all too well ourselves. Borussia once trounced Roma 4-0 in pre-season, but ended up 13th in the league.

“While we’ve lost an exceptional player in Shinji Kagawa, we’ve brought in another excellent player, Marco Reus, while Mario Goetze is fit again. I won’t speak of titles for ourselves just yet, but at least we definitely are not weaker than last season.”

The German league champions will begin the defence of their crown when they host Werder Bremen on August 24.

International friendly: El Salvador 1 Guatemala 0

12 August 2012 08:46

A stunning Nelson Bonilla goal has given El Salvador a 1-0 victory over Guatemala in an international friendly on Saturday.

The Alianza forward struck from range on 28 minutes to give his side the win at the Home Depot Center in California.

In what was an otherwise uninspiring affair, Bonilla blasted a 35-yard shot past Leon Manuel.

Carlos Ruiz missed a glorious opportunity to equalise for Guatemala just moments later, shooting wide after Mario Rodriguez found him with a cross.

Both teams struggled to take their chances as El Salvador, ranked 24 places higher than their opponents in 64th by FIFA, had Bonilla to thank for their victory.

MLS wrap: Wins for Sporting, San Jose

12 August 2012 08:44

Sporting Kansas City have moved to the top of the Eastern Conference standings after beating DC United 2-1 at Live Strong Sporting Park.

Teal Bunbury gave Kansas City the early lead, converting a header from a Graham Zusi corner kick in the 13th minute.

United midfielder Nick Deleon replied in the 23rd minute to have the scores locked 1-1 at the half time break.

Zusi then added a goal to his assist in the 63rd minute, scoring the game-winner to secure Kansas City the victory.

The San Jose Earthquakes extended their lead in the Western Conference standings with a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC.

Simon Dawkins scored the first goal of the match for San Jose from a corner in the 71st minute.

Seattle’s Fredy Montero converted the apparent match-saver, equalizing in the 92nd minute with a header in to the back of the goal.

But forward Steven Lenhart sealed the contest with a winner in the third minute of injury time, gifting San Jose the victory.

San Jose remain unbeaten at Buck Shaw Stadium.

FC Dallas produced a thrilling come-from-behind victory to beat 10-man Colorado Rapids 3-2.

A Brian Mullan cross was sent home by Jamie Castrillon to give Colorado the first lead of the match in the 12th minute.

Dallas held a 62 percent possession advantage in the first half and capitalised with goals to Fabian Castilo (41′) and Jair Benitez (44′).

A David Ferreira score in the 49th minute for Dallas sealed the victory, with Colorado unable to overcome the deficit despite Jeff Larentowicz converting for the Rapids in the 55th minute.

The match-up between Columbus Crew and Toronto FC was postponed because of the funeral of Crew midfield Kirk Urso, who died last week.

Brazil Serie A wrap: Love blooms for Flamengo, Santos struggles

12 August 2012 05:18

Vagner Love scored twice to help Flamengo to their second win in a row as they defeated Nautico 2-0 in Brazil’s Serie A.

In the 15th minute, Love rolled off his opponent at the top of penalty area to collect a pass, beat another Nautico defender and then thumped his shot through the opposition goalkeeper’s hands.

The 28-year-old striker’s second goal of Saturday’s match came on a counter-attack with Love hitting the post with his first shot before collecting the loose ball and taking his time to slot it in the bottom corner.

Love’s two goals take him into a share of the lead at the top of the Brazilian goal-scoring charts.

Saturday’s result continued a welcome return to form for Flamengo, who went four matches without victory to finish July before winning their past two games.

Flamengo have moved up to ninth on the league table thanks to the win, while Nautico remain in 12th.

Figueirense moved off the bottom of the Serie A table with a 1-0 victory away to Sport Recife thanks to a 56th-minute goal from Aloisio.

Santos’ poor season has continued with a disappointing 2-2 draw to visiting Atletico GO, who have replaced Figueirense at the bottom of the league.

The away team led 2-0 at half-time with goals from Patric and Wesley but Santos fought back after the break.

Patricio Rodriguez started Santos’ comeback when he hit the back of the net in the 56th minute, while an 83rd-minute penalty from Ezequiel Miralles salvaged a draw.

In the other match in Brazil’s Serie A on Saturday, Cruzeiro won 1-0 away to Bahia through a ninth-minute goal from Walter Montillo.

Rooney: Great to play with Kagawa

12 August 2012 04:31

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is pleased with the partnership developing between himself and new signing Shinji Kagawa.

Both players got on the scoresheet as United beat German outfit Hannover 4-3 in a pre-season friendly.

Rooney bagged a double and then set up Kagawa for the winning goal as United rallied to come from 3-1 behind and claim a thrilling win.

With the Premier League season set to kick off on August 18, the England international has been encouraged by his side’s form as they seek to wrestle the title back from local rivals Manchester City.

“It was great (to play with Kagawa),” he told MUTV. “Obviously he’s a very clever player. The likes of him, Chicharito and Tom Cleverley are players who are capable of getting on the ball and linking the play and it worked well for us tonight.

“It as end-to-end and we were a bit sloppy at times. We could have done better defending, but I thought some of the play throughout was great, with some great link-up play between us.”

Rooney is eagerly looking forward to the new campaign and is confident United’s defence will be more secure when they take on Everton in their opening Premier League fixture.

“It’s been a bit stop-start with the international players coming back a bit later but we’ve had to make sure we look after ourselves over the summer,” said the 26-year-old.

“I think tonight you can see that they players are looking better every game – fresher and fitter – and hopefully come next Monday against Everton we’ll be ready because it’s a difficult game.”