• Martínez heads Bayern past Sevilla to win Super Cup
    The Canadian Press

    Martínez heads Bayern past Sevilla to win Super Cup

    BUDAPEST, Hungary — Javi Martínez is Bayern Munich's Mr. Super Cup.Seven years after scoring an extra-time goal to help Bayern win its last UEFA Super Cup, Martínez netted the winner in the 104th minute Thursday as the German club beat Sevilla 2-1 in the European curtain raiser in a stadium partially filled with fans.Martínez rose above a crowd of players to head in the rebound when Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou parried David Alaba's speculative shot.Bayern midfielder Thomas Müller hailed Martínez as “Mr. Super Cup,” recalling the 2013 goal which sent a game against Chelsea to a penalty shootout which Bayern won.It could be one of Martínez's last games for Bayern after eight years and eight German league titles. Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told German media last month that the versatile defensive player was seeking to leave.“When i play in a Bayern shirt I want to give everything, 100%, and I showed that today," Martínez told broadcaster Sky, leaving a question about his future open. "I just want to celebrate today with my colleagues, the whole team. Not so much because we have another game on Sunday (in the German league). Obviously if I am there on Sunday I will give everything.”Playing extra time was far from ideal for either team in a season which has started later than normal and will have a more congested calendar amid the coronavirus pandemic. For both Bayern and Sevilla it was the start of a run of four games in 11 days and came barely a month after Bayern beat Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final.Europa League champion Sevilla took an early lead when David Alaba fouled Ivan Rakitic and Lucas Ocampos converted the 13th-minute penalty. Champions League winner Bayern levelled when Leon Goretzka hammered in a ball expertly cued up for him by Robert Lewandowski in the 34th.Bayern was largely in control of the second half but saw two goals ruled out — one for offside, one for a shove by Lewandowski — and needed Neuer to save Youssef En-Nesyri's shot on the counterattack in the 87th minute.The game was played with around 15,000 supporters in the Puskas Arena, around a quarter of capacity, as UEFA trialed a partial return of fans in time for the Champions League and Europa League group stages.However, the recent rise in coronavirus cases across Europe — and Budapest in particular — made it a controversial move.Around 800 out of the 2,100 tickets sold to Bayern fans were returned ahead of the game after politicians in the state of Bavaria warned fans against going to Budapest. Sevilla distributed around 500 tickets, meaning the vast majority of people in the stadium were Hungarian locals.Social distancing rules were largely followed at the Puskas Arena, with fans mostly sitting in ones and twos with empty seats in between. However, travelling Bayern fans pushed to the front of their sector to watch the trophy presentation and stood shoulder to shoulder when the team came to celebrate in front of their stand. Only a few wore masks, which UEFA had said were obligatory “when social distancing cannot be respected.”The international travel for Bayern and Sevilla fans also made the Super Cup an outlier. The main European leagues that have resumed with supporters, such as Germany and France, have restricted games to home fans so as not to encourage long-distance travel during the pandemic.Bayern lifted a fourth trophy in three months after the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League, even if it was a largely symbolic prize. Sevilla has played four Super Cup games in the last seven years as a serial winner of the Europa League and lost them all.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press

  • FC Dallas improving after rough start during strange season
    The Associated Press

    FC Dallas improving after rough start during strange season

    The 2020 season has been challenging - to say the least - for FC Dallas. Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, himself coming off an injury, has the perspective of a player who has seen it all. The 31-year-old's career includes a brief stop in Chile and a stint with the lower-tier New York Cosmos before ultimately landing in Dallas in 2017.

  • Milan, Tottenham advance in Europa League qualifying
    The Canadian Press

    Milan, Tottenham advance in Europa League qualifying

    AC Milan midfielder Hakan Çalhanoglu scored twice to give his team a 3-2 home victory over Norwegian club Bodo/Glimt in Europa League qualifying on Thursday.There were no major upsets as Tottenham, Celtic, Wolfsburg, PSV Eindhoven and Sporting Lisbon all advanced to the playoff round.With Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic sidelined with the coronavirus, Lorenzo Colombo also scored for the seven-time European champion, which was banned from UEFA competitions last year after breaching financial fair play rules.Milan will travel to face Rio Ave on next week in the playoffs. The Portuguese team prevailed 4-2 on penalties after drawing 1-1 at Besiktas in Turkey.After scoring four goals against Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday, Son Heung-min netted again for Tottenham in a 3-1 win against Shkëndija in North Macedonia.Erik Lamela and Harry Kane also had a goal each to set up a home match against Maccabi Haifa in the playoffs. The Israeli club won 2-1 at Rostov in Russia.Tottenham had to ask for the goal frames to be changed ahead of the game after discovering they were too small.“Before the game was a funny situation because my goalkeepers told me that the goal was small,” Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said, adding that the frames lacked 5 centimetres (2 inches) in height. “I went by myself and of course the goal was small."Decimated by coronavirus infections, Romania’s FCSB had to sign new players only hours before its home game against Czech club Liberec to be eligible to play.It still lost 2-0 after having defender Stefan Cana sent off in the 20th minute.Also, Spanish league leader Granada defeated Georgia’s Locomotive Tbilisi 2-0 to set up a meeting with Swedish club Malmö, which routed Lokomotiva Zagreb 5-0.Substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi netted in the final minute to send Celtic to the next round with a 1-0 victory over Latvia’s Riga.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press