By Mark Gleeson BATA, Equatorial Guinea (Reuters) - African football sits at yet another crossroad in its search for credibility after farcical and violent scenes in Saturday's quarter-finals at its showpiece event. A dubious refereeing decision, followed by a violent reaction from aggrieved Tunisian players, put a damper on an African Nations Cup tournament that has been hastily put together with much success in a matter of over just two months. Equatorial Guinea stepped in just 64 days before kick off as emergency hosts to rescue the tournament and their national team, ranked 118th in the world, have since emerged as unlikely semi-finalists after two successive upset wins. The penalty against Tunisia in Bata came in stoppage time and forced the match into extra time.
Posted: February 1, 2015, 10:14 am

Congo's Fode Dore, right, reacts after scoring a goal against Democratic Republic of Congo's goalkeeper Robert Muteba Kidiaba, left, during their African Cup of Nations quarter final soccer match in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Host Equatorial Guinea made it to the semifinals and a referee only just made it out of the stadium in one piece as the African Cup of Nations descended into angry chaos on Saturday. Equatorial Guinea beat Tunisia 2-1 in extra time to make the last four of the continental championship for the first time, and after being helped in a big way by a hotly-disputed penalty call by the referee in the last minute of normal time. Mauritian referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn was chased by furious Tunisian players, who aimed punches and kicks at him, and only just made it to the safety of the tunnel at the end of the match with a riot police escort. Congo and Republic of Congo had earlier served up a roller-coaster second half in their quarterfinal, with Congo coming back from 2-0 down with four goals in the last 25 minutes to win 4-2 and reach the semis for the first time in 17 years.

Posted: February 1, 2015, 12:29 am

Chelsea's Loic Remy scores a goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, London, England, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Chelsea settled for a 1-1 draw with title rival Manchester City to protect its Premier League lead Saturday, and Real Madrid won big without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo to stay on top of the Spanish standings. Chelsea appeared content with the stalemate that kept Jose Mourinho's side five-points clear of City, which now has neighbor Manchester United just five points behind after it beat Leicester 3-1. Karim Benzema filled Ronaldo's void by scoring twice to lead Madrid's 4-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad, ensuring it stayed in front of Barcelona for another week.

Posted: January 31, 2015, 11:36 pm
Arsenal are clicking into gear heading into their match versus Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Arsene Wenger's Arsenal (11-6-5) are one point outside of the top four following a surge of good results in recent weeks. The Gunners have lost just one of their last seven, are through to the FA Cup fifth round and riding high on confidence after their 2-0 win over Manchester City last time out in the Premier League. Arsenal's performance in the win over City was hugely impressive, not least because it came out of the blue following a run of dreadful results for Wenger's side against the league's top teams.
Posted: January 31, 2015, 11:02 pm

South Korea's Lee Keun-ho, left, and Australia's Massimo Luongo battle for the ball during the AFC Asian Cup final soccer match between South Korea and Australia in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

SYDNEY (AP) -- Australia won its first Asian Cup title by beating South Korea 2-1 after extra time Saturday in the final at Sydney's Olympic Stadium.

Posted: January 31, 2015, 11:42 am
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - The owners of the San Francisco 49ers football team have purchased a stake in Sacramento's minor league Republic soccer club, the second major team to do so this week in an effort to bolster the club's chances of winning major league status. Sacramento sports boosters, including Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former star player with the National Basketball Association's Phoenix Suns, are trying to persuade Major League Soccer to pick the Republic as an expansion team, part of a move to make the state capital into a regional professional sports center.
Posted: January 31, 2015, 1:02 am
So many times over the years, Frank Lampard was a difference-maker for Chelsea as they ascended to the Premier League elite. Lampard left Chelsea as their all-time leading scorer with 211 goals in all competitions, including 48 match-winners in league play. His first goal for the Citizens on Sept. 21 didn't provide a victory, but it did secure a needed point against his former squad in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad, striking in the 85th minute as City played the final 24 minutes with 10 men in a testy match that saw nine yellow cards issued. "It's not how I expected to say goodbye to the Chelsea fans," the midfielder said after that match, with City manager Manuel Pellegrini calling out counterpart Jose Mourinho by saying Chelsea was "a big team with very good players that were just defending." Given this may be City's last chance to keep Chelsea in their sights as they enter this match five points behind the Pensioners, emotions will undoubtedly run high.
Posted: January 31, 2015, 12:00 am
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Juan Agudelo has returned to the New England Revolution after a one-year absence.
Posted: January 30, 2015, 7:38 pm

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