Steffen the hero as Columbus advance in MLS playoffs

Columbus Crew forward Adam Jahn (12) reacts with goalkeeper Zack Steffen (23) and fellow Crew teammates after scoring the winning shootout goal against the Atlanta United during the Eastern Conference knockout round soccer game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Columbus Crew won in a 3-1 shootout. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 27 October 2017

Steffen the hero as Columbus advance in MLS playoffs

LOS ANGELES: Goalkeeper Zack Steffen was the hero as Columbus Crew ended Atlanta United’s debut Major League Soccer season in a penalty shoot-out on Thursday.
Steffen saved twice as the Crew stunned the 67,221-strong Atlanta crowd into silence to advance to an Eastern Conference semifinal against New York City FC next Tuesday.
Crew’s 3-1 win in the shootout came after an entertaining game finished 0-0 after 120 minutes of end-to-end action.
The defeat halted a fairytale first season in MLS for Atlanta, an expansion side who confounded expectations by reaching the playoffs at their first attempt.
But the Crew’s victory keeps alive their chances of delivering one last title to supporters before the club possibly relocates to Austin, Texas.
The Crew’s owners stunned fans of the franchise — one of 10 founding MLS members — after confirming earlier this month they were studying a possible move across country.
The prospect of relocation has added an emotional subplot to the Crew’s post-season campaign.
For long periods against Atlanta, Columbus looked the more threatening team, piling on the pressure in extra-time in search of a winner.
Ghana international Harrison Afful hit the bar with a left-footed strike in the 105th minute, shortly after Federico Higuain had spurned a golden opportunity with a free header saved by Brad Guzan.
In the closing minutes, Atlanta defender Michael Parkhust rescued his team with a goal-line clearance from Afful, sending the game to penalties.
Steffen saved both of Atlanta’s opening spot-kicks, including a superb diving one-handed stop from Julian Gressel, before Higuain’s cheeky “Panenka” gave Columbus the lead.
When Jeff Larentowicz’s fourth penalty for Atlanta hit the post, it was left to substitute Adam Jahn to ram home the decisive penalty.
In Thursday’s other playoff, Houston Dynamo squeezed past Sporting Kansas City 1-0 thanks to a 94th-minute goal from Alberth Elis.
Houston will now play the top-seeded Portland Timbers in the Western Conference semifinals.


Pakistan’s Hafeez in isolation for breaking distancing rules

Updated 8 sec ago

Pakistan’s Hafeez in isolation for breaking distancing rules

  • Hafeez smiled for a photo with a woman at a golf course
  • Pakistan Cricket Board said it has tested Hafeez for Covid-19 and will allow him to rejoin the group if he is negative

LONDON: Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been placed in isolation on the eve of the second test against England after breaching social distancing guidelines by posing for a photograph with an elderly golfer.
Hafeez smiled for a photo with a woman who he identified as “90+ and living her life healthy” after the pair met during a round at the golf course which adjoins the Ageas Bowl — site of this week’s test match.

 

 

Hafeez is not part of the red-ball squad, and has instead traveled as part of the limited-overs group playing matches later this month, but his actions still represent a breach of strict rules governing the “bio-secure bubble.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board issued a statement saying it has tested Hafeez for Covid-19 and will allow him to rejoin the group if he is negative.
The PCB said “the decision to put Hafeez in isolation has been taken for his and, the safety and security of everyone around him. The team management believes it was an inadvertent mistake, but a good reminder for everyone on the importance of following the bio-secure protocols, which have been designed for the health and safety of everyone involved in the series.”