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UEFA-backed Crimean league begins following 2014 annexation by Russia

A new UEFA-backed professional football league has started in Crimea after the peninsula was annexed by Russia last year.

Following the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, the Russian Football Union tried to add Crimean clubs to its competitions but was blocked by UEFA, which set up a Crimea-only competition.

The first match of the Crimean Premier League was a 2-2 draw Saturday between SKChF Sevastopol and TSK-Tavria Simferopol, with both new clubs using the facilities of old Ukrainian Premier League...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Andriy Yarmolenko is 'top, top quality' target for Stoke boss Mark Hughes

Andriy Yarmolenko is being pursued by Stoke after fine performances in the Europa League last season.

Mark Hughes hopes Stoke can bring in a "top, top quality player" this summer after confirming his interest in Dynamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko.

Hughes has already brought in seven new players since the end of the season with Stoke hoping to build on their best-ever Premier League finish of ninth last term.

Yarmolenko, 25, has been heavily linked with a switch to the Potters, and Hughes confirmed that the Ukraine international -- who recorded the joint-most assists (six) in last season's Europa...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Defensive Howler helps Ukraine beat Georgia in friendly

Yevhen Konoplyanka's goal was the difference as Ukraine beat Georgia.

A defensive howler gave Ukraine a lead and they held on for a 2-1 win against Georgia in a friendly in Austria on Tuesday.

In the 57th minute, left-back Lasha Dvali passed back to his goalkeeper, but the ball slipped past Giorgi Loria and bounced off the far post right into the path of Artem Kravets to open the scoring.

Yevhen Konoplyanka, a widely pursued transfer target, doubled their advantage by getting his foot to a cross in the 67th minute.

Mate Vatsadze scored on a spectacular diving header...

Favourites Argentina exit in group stage after goalless draw with Austria

Argentina players are downcast after the costly draw with Austria.

Under-20 World Cup favourites Argentina were eliminated in the group stage after they were held to a goalless draw by Austria on Friday.

Argentina have only two points from their three matches and finished third in Group B, with their other two games ending in defeat to Ghana and a draw with Panama.

Argentina entered Friday's match knowing they would likely have to win to preserve their chance of winning the under-20 title for the seventh time. They pressed Austria relentlessly, securing 71 percent...