Tuesday Kickoff: Mexico takes U-23 crown, Rodgers scores in Norway & more

Tuesday Kickoff: Mexico takes U-23 crown, Rodgers scores in Norway & more

European Soccer

Tuesday Kickoff: Mexico takes U-23 crown, Rodgers scores in Norway & more

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Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

Mexico's Under-23 men's national team will head to the Olympics as CONCACAF's champion.

Mexican-American left back Miguel Ponce scored in extra time to lift Mexico to a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory over Honduras in the final of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament at Livestrong Sporting Park Monday night.

Honduras, which finished the match with nine men after having two sent off in extra time, had grabbed the lead just after halftime, with Romell Quioto heading in a free kick to break a scoreless deadlock. Marco Fabian pulled El Tri even with a blast from distance in the 75th minute, forcing extra time. Fabian and teammate Alan Pulido shared the tournament's Golden Boot with five goals apiece, one more than the United States' Joe Corona.

For Mexico, the triumph is the latest accomplishment over the last year. Mexico's senior national team won the Gold Cup, while the U-17s won the FIFA U-17 World Cup and U-20s came in third in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Both Mexico and Honduras will learn their Olympic fate in the April 24 draw.

Highlights from the match and more stories from around the soccer world are after the jump:

RODGERS SCORES IN LILLESTROM DEBUT

Luke Rodgers picked up for Lillestrom SK where he left off for the New York Red Bulls, scoring in his debut for the Norwegian club in a 2-2 draw with Rosenborg on Monday.

Rodgers came on as a 73rd-minute substitute and scored five minutes later, heading home a teammate's shot that had come off the crossbar right at the goalmouth into a vacant net to give Lillestrom a 2-1 lead at the time.

POWERS SET FOR SUMMER ARGENTINE SWAP

Real Madrid and Manchester City both boast an embarrassment of attacking riches, and according to reports from Spain, they will potentially be exchanging stars with one another this summer.

Madrid will reportedly offer Gonzalo Higuain to Manchester City as part of a move to lure Sergio Aguero to the Bernabeu. Aguero, who rose to prominence at Real Madrid rival Atletico Madrid, has been prolific in his first season in the Premier League, scoring 24 goals in all competitions. 

His international teammate, Higuain, has had an uneven season in terms of being a starter and reserve, but he has also managed 24 goals this season for the Spanish giants.

ROBBEN NEARS BAYERN EXTENSION

Those hoping for Arjen Robben to hit the transfer market in the near future appear to be out of luck.

The Dutch winger is reportedly close to a contract extension with the German power that would lengthen his stay past when his current deal expires, which is at the end of next season.

Often injured but as capabale a winger as there is when healthy, the 28-year-old Robben has been with Bayern Munich since 2009, when he joined the club from Real Madrid.

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Do you see Mexico or Honduras figuring into the medals at the Olympics? Happy to see Rodgers remaining in form? Who would be getting the better end of the proposed Madrid-City swap? Think Robben is still among the world's elite players?

Share your thoughts below.

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