Friday’s soccer news starts with Europa League qualifying. Mix Diskerud’s Omonia took a 4-2 first-leg lead over Sam Vines’s Royal Antwerp at GSP Stadium in Cyprus. Manuel Benson gave Antwerp the lead in the 26th minute. Omonia’s Loizos Loizou leveled the score in the 43rd. Andronikos Kakoullis put Omonia up in the 48th and Loizou scored again in the 55th. Koji Miyoshi pulled a goal back for Antwerp in the 62nd, but it was Omonia finishing off the goals through an 84th minute Iyayi Atiemwen penalty. Diskerud subbed out in the 76th minute.
“I am very disappointed,” Royal Antwerp coach Brian Priske said. “It just wasn’t good enough defensively. We now have a week to prepare for the return leg. We have to keep thinking positive. It’s not done yet.”
Also in Europa League qualifying, DeAndre Yedlin’s Galatasaray drew 1-1 at Randers. Kerem Akturkoglu scored for Galatasaray in the 26th with Randers leveling the score in the 54th minute.
Moving to Europa Conference League qualifying, Christian Ramirez’s Aberdeen trails Qarabag 1-0 in their playoff round series. Qarabag scored in the 30th minute.
“We watched Qarabag on video before the game but you can’t feel the heat when you’re watching on your laptop or on the TV!,” Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass said. “It’s a tough environment, the players aren’t used to playing in that heat. That was tough, it saps the energy, but the players kept going.”
Cameron Carter-Vickers subbed out in the 87th minute of Spurs’ 1-0 loss at Pacos de Ferreira. The goal came in the 45th minute in an opening leg where Spurs didn’t put a shot on goal.
“It was a tough game, but we didn’t play well,” Chelsea manager Nuno Espirito Santo said. “We moved the ball well in the first half but lost too many passes. Let’s look at that and start to improve it. No excuses. The boys are working well and hard, many are getting back and trying to get the right performance level that competition in all football requires. We’ll get there.”
Bryan Reynolds subbed on in stoppage time for Roma in their 2-1 first-leg win at Trabzonspor. Lorenzo Pellegrini scored for Roma in the 55th. Trabzonspor equalized in the 64th with Eldor Shomurodov returning the Roma lead in the 81st minute.
Christian Pulisic unavailable for Chelsea after testing positive for COVID-19. Pulisic missed training on Thursday and will spend 10 days in quarantine. Chelsea plays at Arsenal on Sunday and at Liverpool on August 28. “With Christian, it’s unfortunately very easy to explain,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday. “He had a positive test and needs to follow the protocols so he won’t be available for the game.”
In a tweet, US Soccer wrote: “We are in communication with the Chelsea medical staff and will work together to determine Christian’s status for the World Cup Qualifiers in September.”
The Athletic’s Sam Stjeskal looks at how MLS embraced the transfer market. SI’s Avi Creditor with PSG in theory and now in practice. The NY Times’ Rory Smith works through specific issues with Scottish transfers under Brexit. Marca’s Carlos Carpio with the latest on Barcelona’s salary cap issues.
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