Friday Kickoff: Monterrey salvages late draw, Villa talks to Solskjaer and more

Friday Kickoff: Monterrey salvages late draw, Villa talks to Solskjaer and more

South American Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Monterrey salvages late draw, Villa talks to Solskjaer and more

Suazo (Reuters Pictures)

Santos Laguna was on the verge of a momentum-seizing victory in the first leg of the Mexican clausura final before a familiar foe struck for some late heroics.

Humberto Suazo scored on a stoppage time penalty kick following a foul from Felipe Baloy to cancel out Oribe Peralta's second-half goal and salvage a 1-1 draw for Monterrey at Estadio Tecnologico Thursday night. American striker Herculez Gomez was on the bench for Santos but did not play.

Even with the draw, Santos Laguna maintain a slight advantage on away goals while heading back home for Sunday's second leg with a chance to seal some revenge for falling to Los Rayados in the CONCACAF Champions League final.

Highlights from the match and a few more stories to get your Friday going are after the jump:

SOLSKJAER MEETS WITH ASTON VILLA

Molde coach and former Manchester United standout Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has begun talks with Aston Villa to discuss the club's coaching vacancy, reportedly flying to Birmingham on Villa American owner Randy Lerner's private jet. 

Solskjaer currently coaches up-and-coming American winger Josh Gatt and guided Molde to the Norwegian championship last season and a place in this summer's upcoming UEFA Champions League.

Solskjaer's coaching career is still in its infancy, with last year's campaign at Molde being his first coaching job, though he did coach the Manchester United reserves after his playing career ended in 2007. Should he leave Molde, he would replace Alex McLeish, who was ousted by Aston Villa earlier this week.  

RODGERS TURNS DOWN LIVERPOOL

Liverpool's coaching search will not end with Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers.

Rodgers, who has three years remaining on his contract with Swansea, turned down Liverpool's request to interview him, forcing the Reds to look elsewhere. Wigan's Roberto Martinez has reportedly accepted an interview request and is among the leading candidates.

"Swansea City can confirm that an approach from Liverpool FC to speak to manager Brendan Rodgers was officially received by club chairman Huw Jenkins this morning," the club said in a statement on Friday. The club is pleased to confirm that Brendan has declined the current opportunity to speak to the Anfield club about the vacant position. The Swansea manager is currently working hard to strengthen the squad in readiness for the new Barclays Premier League campaign."

Rodgers guided the Swans to an 11th-place finish in their first season after being promoted from the League Championship, and Rodgers has become a hot coaching commodity for those searching for new management.

SANTOS, FLU FALL TO ARGENTINE SIDES

Argentine clubs took bragging rights over Brazilian ones in the first legs of Thursday's Copa Libertadores quarterfinal series.

Boca Juniors topped Fluminense 1-0 and Velez Sarsfield defeated defending champion Santos by the same scoreline to keep the Brazilian opposition from finding any away goals as they head to their respective second legs.

Pablo Mouche scored seven minutes into the second half to propel Boca Juniors, which had a man advantage for the final 56 minutes after a red card to Carlinhos.

Velez Sarsfield managed to contain Santos' Neymar-led attack and defended well enough to let Mauro Obolo's first-half header stand up as the only strike. Boca Juniors and Fluminense play their second leg next Wednesday, while Santos will look to overturn their deficit to Velez Sarsfield next Thursday. 

VILLA PARK TO HOST COMMUNITY SHIELD

This summer's Community Shield match in England will be taking place at an unusual location.

Villa Park will host the match between FA Cup winner Chelsea and league champion Manchester City on August 12. The match is usually played at Wembley Stadium, but with the Olympic soccer tournament final happening the day before at Wembley and the Olympics closing ceremony happening on the same day, the game needed to find another venue.

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Who do you think will win the Mexican liguilla? Do you think Solskjaer would be a good fit for Villa? Think Rodgers made the right choice in turning down a Liverpool interview? Surprised by the Copa LIbertadores results?

Share your thoughts below.

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