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Friday Kickoff: Tigres pounds Pumas; Platini ban upheld; and more


Attack-minded Pumas UNAM looked anything but on Thursday, as Tigres UANL pummeled the visitors at Estadio Universitario.

Tigres, thanks to goals from Andre-Pierre Gignac, Javier Aquino, and Rafael Sobis, defeated No. 1 seed Pumas at home, giving them a 3-0 advantage heading into the second leg of the Liga MX Apertura finals.

Pumas was undoubtedly overmatched on Thursday, being outpossessed 61-39 percent while also being outshot 20-7. Tigres’ Gignac penciled his name on the scoresheet first with a penalty kick conversion. Aquino stretched the lead to two with a second goal for Tigres before halftime, and Sobis tapped in from close range after an hour of play to secure the home side’s dominant win.

Pumas needs three goals to force extra time in the second leg of the Liguilla finals, which will take place on Sunday at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario.

Here are some more news and notes:


Michel Platini remains suspended.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld FIFA’s initial 90-day suspension of UEFA president Michel Platini on Friday, stating the ban “does not cause irreparable harm to Michel Platini at this point in time.”

“The CAS Panel also emphasized that, even if the ban were lifted at this time, such measure would not give any guarantee to Michel Platini that the FIFA ad hoc electoral committee would validate his candidature for the FIFA  presidential election before 5 January 2016,” the statement continued.

Platini, who was suspended in October, is currently being investigated for accepting a “disloyal payment” from outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Both have denied wronging since the investigation began in October.

Due to CAS upholding the suspension, Platini cannot resume campaigning ahead of the FIFA presidential election, which will take place on Feb. 26. However, CAS also said Platini’s ban could not be extended in January when the 90-day ban ends.


Rafa Benitez is currently at the helm at Real Madrid, but Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo made his feelings known about his former coach on Friday.

The 30-year-old star said he misses former Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti, who was sacked by the team in May.

“He’s an unbelievable person. I just wish every player could have an opportunity to work with him because he’s a fantastic guy, a fantastic coach and I miss him a lot because we won many trophies together,” Ronaldo told ESPN. “And I wish to work with him one day again. But now I’m good. I have a new coach and I’m happy too, but it’s great I have good memories.”

Speculation in November suggested Ronaldo and Benitez were at odds with one another.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti said he may wait to become head coach of Manchester United earlier this week.

Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in 20 games so far this campaign for Real Madrid, but the club sits in third on the Liga BBVA table, two points behind Atletico Madrid and four points behind Barcelona.


Honduras international and Olimpia player Arnold Peralta, 26, was murdered in La Ceiba, Honduras. (REPORT)

Man United head coach Louis Van Gaal says winning the Europa League is a “big competition” and would be a great achievement. (REPORT)

Aston Villa is interested in adding Roma left back Ashley Cole during the January transfer window. (REPORT)

Ronaldinho will re-join former Rio-based side Fluminense to take part in January’s Florida Cup. (REPORT)

Former Argentine international Diego Milito will retire from professional soccer at the end of the 2016 Copa Libertadores. (REPORT)


  1. Interesting interview with Toni Kroos in the German publication Die Zeit:

    There were some question about his coaches. He was complimentary about most of his coaches…JK on the other hand apparently lacked everything:

    ZEIT: Und Jürgen Klinsmann, was machte ihn aus?

    Kroos: Während seiner Zeit bei den Bayern habe ich persönlich alles vermisst: eine Spielidee, angemessene Kommunikation – und den Erfolg.


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