Underdogs

Last-Minute Equalizer Keeps Syria Somehow Alive In World Cup Qualifying

Syria needed a win or a tie Tuesday against Iran to keep its World Cup hopes alive. Down 2-1 going into stoppage time, it looked like the dream was dead.

And then it wasn't.

Real Sociedad Could Have One Magical Season Before The Market Eats Them Alive

After finishing 12th in the 2014-15 La Liga season, it’s been onwards and upwards for Real Sociedad ever since. In 2015-16 they finished 9th, and last season they were the surprise European qualifiers after finishing 6th, only eight points back from Sevilla in Spain’s final Champions League spot.

Sociedad have been placed with Zenit, Rosenborg and Vardar in Europa League group play, and the club has every right to believe they can make a serious impact in the competition and even improve on their La Liga finish.

Huddersfield Town Retain Invincibles Status For Another Week

With a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United, Huddersfield Town rose to second place in the Premier League table, sitting behind Manchester United on goal difference alone. We’re only two weeks into the season, but the Terriers are off to an almighty flyer in the top division.

German-American coach David Wagner and his squad are Invincibles.  

This week’s result isn’t as eye-catching as their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, but Huddersfield looked exceptionally more qualified for life in the Premier League than fellow newcomers Newcastle.

Cochabamba’s Wilstermann Are The Copa Libertadores Heroes We Need

The 2017 Copa Libertadores round of 16 wrapped up last Thursday, and among the advancing quarterfinalists will be some of the usual South American powers. Traditional favorites will be three-time winners River Plate and Santos, two-time champions Gremio and 2014 victors San Lorenzo.

But four remaining sides have never captured the Copa Libertadores trophy in their history: Brazil’s Botafogo, Argentina’s Lanus, Ecuador’s Barcelona and Bolivia’s Jorge Wilstermann.  

Celtic vs. Linfield Is An Early Can't-Miss Champions League Matchup

Typically, second round qualifiers for the UEFA Champions League are ho-hum affairs featuring clashes between footballing “minnows” from Europe’s lesser leagues and dominant clubs from decidedly top-heavy ones.

Where Scotland’s Celtic FC fits into this picture is up for debate, but what can’t be argued is that its upcoming tie against Linfield FC, a semi-professional club from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will be anything but boring, both on and off the pitch.

Notoriously Dumb FIFA Rankings Actually Nail Iceland’s Ascendancy

When it comes to the notoriously ill-advised FIFA World Ranking system, there’s generally a lot to laugh at. Nations are cruelly punished by virtue of not playing (the United States, unbeaten since November of 2016, drops 12 places to 35th) while others largely benefit by playing lesser sides in meaningful competition (Poland is up to sixth after waxing Romania in World Cup qualifying).

When Canada Won The Gold Cup By Winning A Coin Toss And Upsetting Mexico

In 13 previous editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the outlandishly large trophy has been lifted by either Mexico or the United States on 12 occasions. The only other nation to have triumphed at the event isn’t Central American power Costa Rica, nor is it previous tournament guests Brazil or Colombia. In 2000, the event was won by the side currently ranked 109th in the world — Canada.

The Canadians made a historic run to the final, frequently playing in a Los Angeles Coliseum that was at about 3% capacity, beginning with the successful navigation of group play via a coin toss.

Cincinnati Shock Chicago With Keeper Mitch Hildebrandt On Another Planet

A record-setting crowd of 32,287 packed into FC Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium to watch their club take on surging MLS side Chicago Fire in the Round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup. Perhaps there’s no greater barometer for the growth of the sport in America than the fact that this wasn’t just a quirky Wednesday night excursion to the stadium to watch Bastian Schweinsteiger for FCC faithful, this was a seething cauldron of tensions and daring expectancies.

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