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Rios scores four to keep Playoffs hopes alive

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Charlotte FC kept their faint MLS Cup Playoffs hopes alive with a resounding 4-0 win over Supporters’ Shield hopefuls Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

Nothing but a win would do for CLTFC if they were to stand a chance of making the post-season in their expansion year. On paper, that looked like a tough task against a Union side level with LAFC atop the overall standings and with just four defeats all season.

However, on the field, the result was never in doubt. Forward Daniel Rios was the architect, scoring no fewer than four goals, giving the hosts the lead in the 24th minute before adding another three after the break.

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Kamil Jozwiak provided two assists in what was his best performance yet as a Charlotte FC player, while at the back, Adilson Malanda and Anton Walkes were flawless, completely silencing Major League Soccer’s most potent attack.

Read on for full player ratings from Bank of America Stadium:

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

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GK: Pablo Sisniega – 6/10 – Made an unexpected appearance after Kristijan Kahlina picked up a finger injury in the warm-up. Wasn’t busy but did just fine.

RB: Nathan Byrne – 7/10 – Used his pace to make a couple of vital interceptions in his own box.

CB: Anton Walkes – 7/10 – A strong defensive performance from Walkes, who kept it simple.

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CB: Adilson Malanda – 9/10 – A rock at the back and absolutely perfect with the ball at his feet. Continues to look like an excellent piece of business.

LB: Harrison Afful – 7/10 – Rolled back the years with a solid defensive performance at left-back.

CM: Derrick Jones – 7/10 – Controlled the tempo in midfield for Charlotte and showed great composure.

CM: Brandt Bronico – 7/10 – Another strong defensive performance in the middle, making nine recoveries and two interceptions.

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RW: Kerwin Vargas – 6/10 – The quietest of Charlotte’s forwards but still had plenty of bright moments.

CAM: Karol Swiderski – 7/10 – Added a touch of class between the lines. Was central to most of Charlotte’s most effective moves.

LW: Kamil Jozwiak – 9/10 – Simply has to go down as Jozwiak’s best performance as a Charlotte FC player. Provided two assists from four chances created and gave the Union defenders hell with his dribbling.

ST: Daniel Rios – 10/10 – Each of Rios’ four goals showed different qualities, from intelligent movement to pure skill, and ultimate composure from the penalty spot. The first hat-trick in Charlotte FC history clearly wasn’t enough for him.

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SUB: Nuno Santos (66′, for Bronico) – 7/10 – Won the penalty for Rios’ hat-trick and looked lively.

SUB: McKinze Gaines (74′, for Vargas) – 7/10 – Kept the Union honest with his pace and assisted Rios’ fourth.

SUB: Jordy Alcivar (80′, for Jozwiak) – 6/10 – Neat and tidy from the bench.

SUB: Andre Shinyashiki (80′, for Swiderski) – 5/10 – Didn’t change the game.

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GK: Andre Blake – 3/10 – Saw four goals go past him and failed to make a single save.

RB: Nathan Harriel – 4/10 – Really struggled to get to grips with Jozwiak. Kept on the back foot throughout.

CB: Jakob Glesnes – 5/10 – About as good as it got for a Union defender, which wasn’t saying much.

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CB: Jack Elliott – 5/10 – Strong in the air but struggled to cope with Rios’ movement.

LB: Kai Wagner – 2/10 – Completely fell asleep for Rios’ opener and picked up a second yellow card for a handball to give away the penalty for his hat-trick. An unusually awful day for Wagner, who has been excellent this season.

CDM: Jose Martinez – 7/10 – Did more than any other Philadelphia player to keep Charlotte at bay. Made tackle after tackle, but needed more help.

CM: Leon Flach – 4/10 – Flach’s hard work failed to make up for his wastefulness on the ball.

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CM: Jack McGlynn – 5/10 – Neat and tidy but failed to stamp his authority on the game.

CAM: Daniel Gazdag – 5/10 – Had a couple of lively moments and tried to make things happen, but it wasn’t his day.

ST: Julian Carranza – 3/10 – Missed the target with every single shot and was totally snuffed out by the Charlotte defense.

ST: Mikael Uhre – 5/10 – Battled hard against the Charlotte defense but wasn’t given enough service.

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SUB: Cory Burke (59′, for Uhre) – 6/10 – Offered more of an outlet than Uhre but couldn’t get into the game following Wagner’s red card.

SUB: Paxten Aaronson (59′, for McGlynn) – 5/10 – A few nice touches but mostly ineffective.

SUB: Quinn Sullivan (75′, for Carranza) – 5/10 – Never got going.

SUB: Matthew Real (81′, for Elliott) – 5/10 – As above.

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

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England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

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USMNT players apologize for World Cup elimination

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US men’s national team players took to social media to apologize to fans following their elimination from the 2022 World Cup.  

After failing to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament, the American side entered Qatar with high hopes. The team kicked off with draws against England and Wales, before triumphing 1-0 over Iran to make the knockout round as second place of Group B. 

Gregg Berhalter’s side was forced to face the Netherlands on Saturday at Khalifa International Stadium for the highly anticipated match up. Despite an energetic start to the game, the USMNT ultimately lost 3-1, with goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries proving to be the difference between the two sides.

The Americans will now look forward to the 2026 World Cup where they will serve as hosts alongside Mexico and Canada. 

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France vs Poland: Confirmed lineups

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France vs Poland: Confirmed lineups

In Sunday’s last-16 matchup at the Al-Thumama Stadium, Poland and France, the current champions, prepare for battle after both teams lost in their World Cup 2022 group stage campaigns.

Les Bleus completed first in Gathering D to endure to the knockout rounds, while Czeslaw Michniewicz’s men set up a bind with the holders subsequent to putting second in Gathering C.

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