Thursday's soccer news starts with the conclusion of the 2019-20 Championship season in England. Leeds United and West Brom won promotion with Brentford, Fulham, Cardiff City, and Swansea City entering the playoff. Charlton, Wigan, and Hull City drop to League One, with Wigan appealing a 12-point deduction for going into administration. Should that appeal prove successful, Barnsley would finish in the bottom three.
Tim Ream's Fulham drew 1-1 at Antonee Robinson's Wigan Athletic. Kieffer Moore scored for Wigan in the 32nd minute with Neeskens Kebano equalizing in the 48th. Robinson saw yellow in the 43rd minute. Luca De La Torre wasn't in the squad for Fulham. Wigan finished 24th with Fulham in 4th-place. Fulham plays 5th-place Cardiff City on Monday to open the promotion playoffs.
"The dressing room is what you can imagine. It’s a group of people who are absolutely devastated," Wigan manager Paul Cook said. "As you can imagine they have been dealt a really cruel hand and they really had the belief they could turn around 12 points and still stay up. Tonight was always going to be tough against a good Fulham side with excellent players all over the pitch. The players didn't leave a breath on the pitch, I'm so proud of them, proud of the football club and how we have reacted to the adversity."
Geoff Cameron subbed out in the 57th minute of QPR's 2-2 draw at West Brom. Ryan Manning scored for QPR in the 34th minute. West Brom equalized in the 44th and went ahead in the 49th. Eberechi Eze leveled the score in the 61st minute. QPR finished 13th.
Matt Miazga subbed out in the 81st minute of Reading's 4-1 home loss to Swansea City. Down a goal from the 17th minute, Reading's Yakou Meite saw red in the 40th. George Puscas equalized from the penalty spot in the 43rd. Swansea added goals in the 66th, 84th, and a minute into stoppage time. Reading finished 14th.
Cameron Carter-Vickers's Luton Town beat Blackburn 3-2 at home. With Blackburn up from the 10th minute, they gave up own-goals in the 28th and 35th. Luton Town's James Collins converted a 60th minute penalty to make it 3-1. Blackburn pulled a goal back in the 75th. Carter Vickers saw yellow in the 83rd minute. Luton Town finished 19th. Duane Holmes wasn't in the squad for Derby County's 3-1 win at Birmingham City. Graeme Shinnie put Derby up in the 6th minute with Birmingham City equalizing in the 56th. Morgan Whittaker made it 2-1 Derby in the 87th with Louie Sibley scoring a minute into stoppage time. Derby finished 10th.
The Guardian's Paul Wilson explains why the Championship is such an entertaining league.
In the Premier League, Christian Pulisic subbed on in the 59th minute of Chelsea's 5-3 loss at Liverpool. Trailing 3-0 from goals in the 23rd, 38th, and 43rd minutes, Olivier Giroud scored for Chelsea in first-half stoppage time. Down 4-1 with Liverpool scoring in the 55th, Pulisic assisted on Tammy Abraham's goal in the 61st minute. Pulisic scored in the 73rd. Liverpool finished off their goals in the 84th minute.
"He is so young and he has such natural talent and he creates goals and scores goals," Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said of Pulisic. "He is a big player for us so I'm delighted to see him come through fit. Clearly he will be a big player in these next few games for us and going forward as well."
Moving to MLS is Back, FC Cincinnati shutout the Red Bulls 2-0 to finish 2nd in Group E with New York eliminated in 3rd-place. Yuya Kubo scored in the 43rd minute with an own-goal doubling the lead in the 56th.
"In the process that we're in, we're still like sort of in a preseason in week four," Cincinnati coach Jaap Stam said. "Already against these two very big teams, very big, very good opponents, getting this success tells you something about this team, as well as the mentality that's in there."
Colorado and Minnesota drew 2-2 in Group D with Minnesota finishing 2nd and the Rapids eliminated in 4th-place. Kei Kamara put the Rapids up in the 19th minute. Ethan Finlay equalized for United in the 36th minute, giving them the lead in the 43rd. Jonathan Lewis equalized for Colorado in the 59th. Sporting KC won Group D with Real Salt Lake advancing in 3rd-place.
Group B was set to conclude on Monday morning with weather delaying Chicago vs Vancouver with the game scoreless in the 63rd minute. The game resumed a little after 12pm with Vancouver shutting out Chicago 2-0. Yordy Reyna scored in the 65th minute and assisted on Cristian Dajome's goal in the 71st. Thomas Hasal kept the clean sheet with four saves. The result means both teams finished with three points. Vancouver passed Chicago on goal difference with the Fire eliminated from MLS is Back.
Couldn’t be prouder of how each and every member of the club came together and fought until the very last day. Unfortunately what comes next is out of our hands but thank you to everyone who has supported us through this regardless 💙🤍💚 pic.twitter.com/VfFDjXclV2— Antonee Robinson (@Antonee_Jedi) July 23, 2020
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