Friday’s soccer news starts with Tim Ream’s Fulham advancing in the Championship promotion playoffs. Fulham lost the second-leg 2-1 at home to Cardiff City, but advanced 3-2 on aggregate. Cardiff scored in the 8th minute with Neeskens Kebano equalizing for Fulham in the 9th. Cardiff scored again in the 47th minute. Fulham advances to play Brentford in the single-leg promotion final on Tuesday at Wembley Stadium.
“There’s always points in football matches which are nothing to do with tactics or technique,” Fulham head coach Scott Parker said. “It’s to do with a mindset, an understanding of the moment, and that was a prime example tonight. In the first-half, it wasn’t like that. They scored, but we had our quality and technique about us, and our structure and control got us through that half. The second-half was totally different. It was a case of you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to win a football match. You do what you have to do to get through this game and get to a final, and we did that.”
In Norway, Romain Gall was on the bench for Stabaek’s 2-2 home draw with Bodo/Glimt. Stabaek fell behind to goals in the 12th and 18th minutes. Mats Solheim pulled a goal back in the 23rd with Kornelius Hansen equalizing in the 61st.
Moving to the MLS is Back quarterfinals, the Philadelphia Union knocked out Sporting KC 3-1. Jamiro Monteiro put the Union up in the 24th. Sergio Santos added goals in the 26th and 39th minutes. Alan Pulido scored for Sporting a minute into first-half stoppage time.
“We set out to win this competition and you can tell by the effort the players have put in,” Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin said. “From the defensive side to the attacking side, getting transition plays right. Overall, I am happy with the performance. Everyone left everything on the field for us tonight. A lot went into the game and we have a lot of time to rest up and recover for the Final Four game and we will sit and wait to see who our opponent is.”
The Atheltic’s Jeff Rueter and Sam Stjeskal report on MLS plans to restart the regular season. ESPN’s James Olley talks to Chelsea and USMNT player Christian Pulisic. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff on Pulisic joining the small group of Americans to make it to an FA Cup final.
Reuters’ Simon Evans looks at what happened with the bid for new ownership at Newcastle United. The Independent’s Miguel Delaney looks at what Newcastle does now. The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew on the bigger picture questions the takeover attempt raised.
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