By DAN KARELL
With ninety minutes of soccer in the books, the focus turns to the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, where Club Tijuana and Palmeiras will battle in their Copa Libertadores Round of 16 second-leg match on May 14.
Neither side could break the deadlock on Tuesday night as the two teams played to a 0-0 draw at Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente. Xolos forward Fidel Martinez was his sprightly self but his touch let him down in the final third all night. Fernando Arce nearly scored on a free kick, but Palmeiras goalkeeper Bruno made a terrific save to keep the score level in the first half.
In the second half, Xolos forward Duvier Riascos nearly scored on a dipping left-footed shot from the top of the box but Bruno’s reflexes again helped him as he pushed the ball over the bar. The Palmeiras ‘keeper was credited with six saves, keeping his side alive as they return back to Brazil for the second-leg match in two weeks time.
Also in Copa Libertadores action last night, Argentine side Tigre defeated Paraguayan club Olimpia 2-1 in Buenos Aires.
Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:
CHELSEA TO GIVE LAMPARD A NEW CONTRACT
A potential move across the Atlantic Ocean for Frank Lampard may have to be put on hold for another year.
According to reports out of England, Chelsea has changed course on the future of the 34-year-old midfielder, and are willing to offer Lampard a one-year contract extension to keep him at the club through 2014. Part of the plan according to the report is that Lampard will be able to play with manager Jose Mourinho, who is very likely to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season.
Lampard currently sits just one goal away from Chelsea’s all time scoring record and with a new contract he would have every opportunity to break it and fully cement his name at the top of the Blues record books. Despite his age, the England international has had one of his more efficient scoring seasons, bagging 13 goals in 26 Premier League appearances this season.
GÖTZE DIAGNOSED WITH HAMSTRING TEAR
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze is a major doubt for the Champions League final, after hurting his hamstring in Tuesday’s semifinal clash with Real Madrid.
The German side lost Götze in the 14th minute, but still went on to survive on aggregate and advance to Wembley for their first European final since they won the competition in 1997. After tests on Wednesday, the 20-year-old playmaker was diagnosed with a tear in his hamstring, putting serious doubt in his availability for the May 25th match.
For the time being, Götze will have to wait on the sidelines, and will miss this Sunday’s Bundesliga match against his future team, Bayern Munich. The German international, who agreed a deal with Bayern on April 23, has scored 16 goals for Borussia this season across all competitions.
According to reports out of Spain, Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho will leave once he settles a €10 million buy-out clause in his contract with the club. (REPORT)
Just a day after a scathing ethics report on FIFA was released, another FIFA executive committee member, Vernon Manilal Fernando, has been given an eight-year ban for ethics related offenses. (REPORT)
Tottenham have once again been linked with the signing of Brazilian forward Leandro Damiao from Internacional this summer. (REPORT)
Manchester City are interested in buying £17 million valued Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho. (REPORT)
Former Chelsea midfielder Deco has tested positive for a banned substance and could face a lengthy suspension if the “B test” samples come up with the same substance. (REPORT)
Barcelona have been linked with 18-year-old defender Marquinhos of AS Roma, with the Spanish side needing to shore up their defense this summer. (REPORT)
What do you make of these reports? Do you see Xolos winning on the road? Do you believe Lampard can continue to perform at Chelsea? How big of an impact do you see Götze’s injury having on Borussia?
Share your thoughts below.