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Timbers beat Whitecaps 3-0 to move into 5th place

Fanendo Adi scores twice, Timbers beat Whitecaps 3-0 to move into 5th place in West
Kelly McLain, The Canadian Press

PORTLAND, Ore. - With a potential playoff spot in the balance, as well as a chance to climb to the top of the Cascadia Cup standings, the Vancouver Whitecaps travelled to Portland on Saturday looking to make amends for the drubbing suffered at the the hands of the Timbers less than a month ago.

It was not to be.

Ozil inspires Arsenal win; Liverpool loses again

Ozil inspires Arsenal win at Villa to halt slump; West Ham inflicts Liverpool's 3rd loss in 5
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Mesut Ozil answered his critics to lift Arsenal out of its slump, while Liverpool slumped to a second successive English Premier League loss on Saturday.

Ozil, Arsenal's record $70 million signing, ended an eight-match scoring drought stretching back into last season, and also set up Danny Welbeck's first goal for the club in a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Platini criticizes FIFA over luxury watch probe

Platini criticizes FIFA over luxury watch probe as world body says it too gave out timepieces
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

GENEVA - UEFA President Michel Platini denounced FIFA's handling over a luxury gifts controversy on Friday and world football's governing body then disclosed it spent at least $140,000 on watches for officials at the World Cup.

Platini was angered by FIFA publicly rebuking football officials who accepted gifts at the World Cup, saying he will donate about $27,000 to charity rather than return the Parmigiani watch given to him by the Brazilian federation.

Wembley to host Euro 2020 semifinals and final

Wembley Stadium in London will host the semifinals and final of a continent-wide Euro 2020
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

GENEVA - Wembley Stadium will host the semifinals and final of the first continent-wide European Championship in 2020, ending a run of bidding failures by England.

England, which failed in the quest to host the 2006 and 2018 World Cups, was given the final by UEFA on Friday after Germany withdrew Munich's bid just before the vote.

UEFA picks Wembley for Euro 2020 semifinals, final

UEFA choses Wembley Stadium in London for semifinals, final of continent-wide Euro 2020
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

GENEVA - UEFA has selected Wembley Stadium in London to host the semifinals and final of the first continent-wide European Championship in 2020, ending a run of bidding failures by England.

Wembley was selected ahead of Bayern Munich's stadium in Friday's vote by the UEFA executive committee.

England had failed in bids for the 2006 and 2018 World Cups.

Congressman supports real grass at World Cup

Oregon congressman supports players protesting artificial turf at the 2015 World Cup
Anne M. Peterson, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon congressman is throwing his support behind players who are protesting the plan to use artificial turf at the Women's World Cup next summer in Canada.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer has written his colleagues to join the effort. He will gather their signatures for a letter he plans to send early next week to Jeffrey Webb, president of the North, Central America and Caribbean soccer federation and vice-president of FIFA, soccer's international governing body.

FIFA orders officials to return expensive watches

FIFA orders football officials to return luxury watches to avoid disciplinary action
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

NYON, Switzerland - FIFA's ethics investigator ordered football officials on Thursday to return 65 luxury watches given as World Cup gifts or risk disciplinary action.

The Brazilian federation distributed gift bags with the expensive watches at the pre-World Cup Congress, FIFA said in a statement. They were distributed to 28 executive committee members, an official with each of the 32 teams, and representatives as well as members of the South American soccer confederation.

Germany still ahead of Argentina in FIFA rankings

Germany still ahead of Argentina in FIFA rankings; Colombia, Brazil, France all rise in top 10
The Associated Press

ZURICH - World Cup winner Germany is still No. 1 in the FIFA rankings despite losing to second-place Argentina in a friendly rematch of their final this month.

Colombia climbs one place to No. 3 even though it lost to Brazil in a friendly, and trades places with the Netherlands which lost both its matches this month.

Belgium stays at No. 5 and Brazil climbs one spot to No. 6. Uruguay is No. 7, followed by Spain.

France and Switzerland, which lost to England in a European Championship qualifier, trade places to complete the top 10.

Bayern beats Man City 1-0 in Champions League

Bayern Munich strikes late to beat Man City 1-0 in Champions League; Barcelona edges APOEL 1-0
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - Bayern Munich scored a 90th-minute goal to beat Manchester City 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Barcelona had an easier time edging APOEL 1-0.

Bayern defender Jerome Boateng's powerful shot appeared to deflect off teammate Mario Goetze, rising up and beyond the dive of his former City teammate Joe Hart, who had denied the 2013 champion with a series of saves.

The goal brought Bayern coach Pep Guardiola racing down the touchline to celebrate with Boateng.

Madrid starts Champions League defence in style

Real Madrid thrashes Basel to start Champions League defence, Liverpool secures late win
Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press

PARIS - Real Madrid started the defence of its Champions League crown with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Basel on Tuesday, while Liverpool celebrated its return to Europe's top club competition with a dramatic 2-1 win against Bulgarian side Ludogorets.

Madrid's win should end talk of crisis following a poor start to the club's domestic season.

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