The 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs got off to a thrilling start, as the New England Revolution topped the Montreal Impact 2-1 in the Play-In Round match between the sides at Gillette Stadium on Friday, thanks to a golazo at the death from Gustavo Bou.
Carles Gil scored the first goal of the match for New England in the 38th minute, giving the Revs a 1-0 lead they would hold into the second half, only to relinquish it thanks to a clutch leveler from Montreal’s Romell Quioto. But Bou came to the rescue on with of the last kicks of the match with a stunning distance strike that sends New England through and brings Montreal’s season to a heartbreaking end.
The Revs had the better of the chances throughout much of the first half and found their breakthrough courtesy of Gil, who lashed home a gorgeous first-time volley off a feed from Bou.
But the Impact would strike back in the 61st minute after Amar Sejdic sent a free kick into the box that was headed back across the danger zone by Rudy Camacho into the path of a charging Quioto. The Honduran cashed home the huge equalizer with a perfectly placed headed finish past the outstretched arms of New England goalkeeper Matt Turner.
The leveler set up a back-and-forth finish as the sides swapped chances in search of a winning goal. The Revs had a flurry of close chances, starting in the 76th minute, when Gil found Teal Bunbury wide open in the box for a look on goal with Montreal goalkeeper Clement Diop charging off his line. But Bunbury put a curling effort just over the crossbar.
New England nearly struck for a winner twice more before full-time, as Bou had a shot trickle just wide in the 86th minute and Gil was denied by a sprawling save from Diop just moments later. Adam Buska also came within inches of a dramatic winner in second-half stoppage time with a snap header that looked bound for goal but was denied again by a diving Diop, who managed to deflect the shot off the post and get Montreal within mere moments of extra time.
But the Montreal goalkeeper’s late heroics would be extinguished by a spectacular winner from Bou just before the final whistle, as the Argentine lashed home a laser strike from distance into the bottom corner, sending the Revs through in dramatic fashion to face either the Philadelphia Union or Toronto FC.
- THE BIG PICTURE: What a start to this year’s postseason. Give credit to the Impact for a hard-fought performance with a shorthanded lineup, but in the end, the heart-pounding finish ends with another playoff win on the distinguished resume of Bruce Arena. They had to work hard for this one, but the Revs were the deserved winner with a strong overall performance. New England have all three of their Designated Players fit and healthy, and the duo of Gil and Bou showed how significant a development that might be as they look to turn the dramatic victory into a postseason run.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It’s the late winner from Bou, which was a gorgeous finish in the biggest of moments.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Scoring a 95th-minute game-winner is usually a good way to get the honors. Bou is the choice for this one as well.
Mahomes, Hill have huge day, Chiefs hold off Bucs – TSN
TAMPA, Fla. — When Tyreek Hill draws single coverage, Patrick Mahomes is going to find a way to get the ball to the Kansas City Chiefs’ most explosive receiver.
Mahomes threw for 462 yards, including touchdowns of 75, 44 and 20 yards to Hill, who finished with 13 catches for 269 yards in the reigning Super Bowl champions’ 27-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
“It feels good, you know, but I feel like there’s still a lot of work for me to do,” Hill said after going over 1,000 yards for the season.
“I’m always trying to get better, got to be consistent with what you do,” Hill added. “Those same people showing you love this week, you make a bad play next week, they’re going to hate you.”
Mahomes outplayed Tom Brady to win the fourth career matchup between the MVPs, completing 37 of 49 passes and holding the ball for more than 10 minutes without scoring on Kansas City’s last two possessions to put the game away.
Hill benefited from Sammy Watkins‘ return to the Chiefs lineup after being sidelined since Week 5 with a hamstring injury and got the best of a matchup with Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis, who often had no help trying to contain the speedy receiver.
“We don’t get that a lot, especially with that guy and his ability,” Mahomes said. “So when we do, we try to take advantage of it.”
Hill had seven catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone, joining Qadry Ismail (210 in the third quarter on Dec. 12, 1999) and Lee Evans (205 in the first quarter on Nov. 19, 2006) as the only NFL receivers since 1980 to have 200 yards worth of receptions in a single quarter.
The fifth-year pro’s last catch — an 8-yarder on third-and-7 in the final minute — gave Mahomes an opportunity to run out the clock.
“The last one, I learned a long time ago, you don’t give Tom Brady another shot,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “That’s why he’s the G.O.A.T. So, don’t give them the ball back. That was the mindset there.”
The Chiefs (10-1) won their sixth straight game and clinched their seventh 10-win season in eight years under Reid.
The defending champs improved to 6-0 on the road and have won nine straight away from home going back to last year.
“Very very few guys that I’ve seen in this league or any league that can backpedal eight, nine, 10, 11 yards in the pocket and throw a dime 25 yards down the field,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said of Mahomes. “And he can read the defence as he does it. That makes him more explosive.”
Brady was 27 of 41 for 345 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of second-half interceptions in falling to 2-2 against Mahomes, who built an early 17-0 lead and also had the Chiefs up by 17 entering the fourth quarter.
The Bucs (7-5) made it close, with Brady throwing TD passes of 31 and 7 yards to Mike Evans, the latter trimming his team’s deficit deficit to 27-24 with 4:10 remaining.
Tampa Bay, which has lost three straight home games, never got the ball back.
“We battled back but we left ourselves a big deficit,” Brady said. “When you play a good offence we’ve got to do our job offensively and keep them off the field.”
The Chiefs led 20-7 at halftime. The Bucs were fortunate they weren’t in a bigger hole.
Kansas City ran 42 plays to Tampa Bay’s 22 in the first two quarters, outgaining the Bucs 377 yards to 131 with Mahomes throwing for 359 yards and Brady 117.
Three drives inside the Bucs 20, however, only netted a pair of short field goals. Shaquil Barrett sacked Mahomes, forcing a fumble that William Gholston recovered at the 14 with the Chiefs looking to build on a 17-0 lead.
Bashaud Breeland and Tyrann Mathieu picked off Brady. The Chiefs hurt themselves with a pair of roughing the passer penalties on the 10-play, 73-yard drive the six-time Super Bowl champion put together to close the gap to three points.
The loss comes on the heels of home defeats to New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams, games in which Brady played poorly and left his new team searching for answers about the offence’s inconsistency.
Brady isn’t listening to critics, who feel the Bucs aren’t tailoring their scheme to what he’s done best during his career.
“Just external noise. When you’re losing that’s what you deal with,” Brady said. “I love playing with the guys, and the whole organization is unbelievable. I’ve just got to do a better job in the final four games.”
The Chiefs beat Tampa Bay for the first time since Sept. 5, 1993, when Joe Montana led Kansas City to a 27-3 victory. The Bucs had won five straight in a series the Chiefs lead 8-5.
Chiefs: LB Dorian O’Daniel suffered a right ankle injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Buccaneers: LG Ali Marpet returned to the lineup after missing three games because of a concussion. LT Donovan Smith was active after not practicing all week and being listed as questionable with an ankle injury suffered last week against the Los Angeles Rams.
Chiefs: Host Denver next Sunday night, the lone home game during a stretch that’ll see Kansas City play four of five on the road.
Buccaneers: Bye week.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Broncos’ Kendall Hinton QB experiment falls short against Saints’ defence – Sportsnet.ca
DENVER — Taysom Hill didn’t look much like an NFL quarterback Sunday when the Denver Broncos held him to 78 yards passing, intercepted him once and sacked him three times.
Despite a paltry passer rating of 43.2, it wasn’t Hill who looked out of position in a game New Orleans won handily 31-3 for their first win over the Broncos since Dec. 24, 1994.
It was Broncos QB Kendall Hinton who looked lost _ and for good reason: until Sunday he was a practice squad receiver, and he was forced into action when all of Denver’s quarterbacks were disqualified over coronavirus concerns.
By comparison, Hill looked like Tom Brady.
“Taysom played this thing just how I wanted him to play it, and it doesn’t have to be esthetically pleasing to be effective,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “The job is to win and he did a good job of that.”
In a grind-it-out slugfest like from pro football’s early days, the Saints won their second straight game with Hill subbing for the injured Drew Brees. But Hill wasn’t nearly as sharp as a week earlier against the Falcons, when he completed 18 of 23 passes for 233 yards and a 108.9 passer rating.
Hill did run for 44 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos and Latavius Murray rushed for 124 yards and two scores to help the NFC-leading Saints (9-2) overcome a slow start and win for the eighth straight time.
“The game plan changed the last 24 hours. So, my mindset changed as well and I really became a game manager at that point and certainly the way Sean called the game reflected that,” Hill said. “We’re not going to take any unnecessary risks and put the defence in a bad situation.”
The Broncos (4-7) were forced to play without any of their four quarterbacks because of coronavirus concerns, so they promoted Hinton from their practice squad two hours before kickoff.
“When I got the call it was pure excitement,” Hinton said. “Of course, there was nerves and disbelief but the encouragement the team gave me … made it a lot easier for me.”
The former Wake Forest quarterback who converted to wide receiver his senior year went just 1-for-9 for 13 yards with a sack, two interceptions and a passer rating of zero.
“He did everything he could,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. “That was a big, big ask.”
The Broncos (4-7) also sprinkled in some wildcat snaps to running backs Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, who left in the second half with a knee injury.
The Broncos were thrust into this quarterback quandary when their passers failed to wear masks as mandated by the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol last week.
Starting quarterback Drew Lock, backup Brett Rypien and practice squad veteran Blake Bortles were disqualified over the weekend when the NFL discovered the three weren’t wearing masks around each other before No. 3 QB Jeff Driskel tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.
The Broncos managed 37 yards and a single first down before heading into halftime down 17-0 after the Saints scored twice off turnovers in the final 2:22 of the second quarter.
Centre Lloyd Cushenberry III’s low snap skittered past Lindsay and Kwon Alexander was headed for the end zone after scooping it up. Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles, who signed a four-year, $68 million extension Saturday, tripped him up at the 23.
Hill, who scored from 1 yard in the first quarter, added a 2-yard TD run to make it 14-0. Two plays later, Janoris Jenkins intercepted Hinton’s underthrown pass to DaeSean Hamilton, and that set up Wil Lutz’s 40-yard field goal as the clock expired.
It took Brandon McManus’ 58-yard field goal to keep the Broncos from getting shut out at home for the first time ever _ 465 games.
The field goal was set up by another undrafted Wake Forest rookie, cornerback Essang Bassey, who returned an interception 26 yards to the Saints 40-yard line in the third quarter.
The Broncos tried to persuade the NFL to delay the game to Monday or Tuesday night like the Ravens-Steelers game was pushed back from Thanksgiving after a virus outbreak on the Ravens. When that failed, they turned to Hilton, who played quarterback his first three seasons at Wake Forest before moving to receiver in 2019, when he caught 73 passes for 1,001 yards and four touchdowns.
He signed with Denver as an undrafted free agent and spent all of training camp with the Broncos before being waived on Sept. 5. He rejoined the practice squad on Nov. 4.
Hinton’s last touchdown pass came on Oct. 7, 2017, against Clemson, which is more recently than Hill, whose last TD throw was on Nov. 26, 2016, for BYU against Utah State.
An hour before kickoff, Lock tweeted an explanation and a mea culpa in which he admitted the QBs weren’t wearing their masks when they gathered Wednesday.
While some players such as tight end Noah Fant were incredulous over the league forcing Denver to play a game without any of its QBs, other Broncos took the news in stride.
Von Miller and Bradley Chubb both made posts comically suggesting they could play quarterback, and the team’s Twitter account even had a mock request inquiring if Nuggets supreme passer Nikola Jokic might be available.
On Saturday night, Fant also tweeted, “Anybody know if Peyton Manning is busy tomorrow? Laughing but serious”
Saints placed backup G Derrick Kelly on the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday.
Saints: visit Atlanta for the second leg of a three-week road trip.
Broncos: Visit Kansas City to try snapping a 10-game losing streak to the Chiefs.
Mike Tyson dominant as he fights to a draw with Roy Jones Jr. in exhibition – National Post
Mike Tyson showed age has not robbed him of his power as the former heavyweight champion, in his long-awaited return to the ring, dominated Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition fight on Saturday in Los Angeles that was surprisingly ruled a draw.
While there were no ringside judges to score the eight-round contest between two of boxing’s all-time greats, both over 50, and no official winner, the World Boxing Council formed a set of judges that remotely scored the bout.
“I’m used to doing it for three minutes,” 54-year-old Tyson said of the shorter rounds. “Sometimes, that two minutes felt like three minutes. I’m happy I got this under my belt to keep doing this and go further.”
Tyson, 15 years removed from his ignominious defeat to Irishman Kevin McBride in the last professional fight of his career, came out firing and was in control of the bout the entire way.
Jones Jr, 51, was the more visibly fatigued of the two fighters but managed to pick up the pace in the later rounds enough to earn the win on one scorecard and a draw on the other while Tyson took the third scorecard.
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