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Southampton's Champions League hopes blown by late goal in 2-1 loss to Stoke in EPL

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STOKE, England — Southampton's bid for a Champions League berth was undermined when it conceded a late goal in a 2-1 loss to Stoke in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Charlie Adam, scorer of a wonder goal from his own half against Chelsea two weeks ago, came on at halftime and delivered the winner six minutes from the end. The ball ricocheted around the box until Adam controlled it, swiveled away from a defender, and fired under goalkeeper Kelvin Davis for Stoke's first win in five matches.

PHOTO: Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, center right, scores his side's first goal of the game against Stoke City during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke On Trent, England, Saturday, April 18, 2015. (Lynne Cameron/PA via AP)      UNITED KINGDOM OUT     -    NO SALES     -     NO ARCHIVES
Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, center right, scores his side's first goal of the game against Stoke City during their English Premier League soccer match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke On Trent, England, Saturday, April 18, 2015. (Lynne Cameron/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

With five games left, Southampton's chances of making the top four were dim. It remained six points behind fourth-place Manchester City, which plays West Ham on Sunday, and one point behind Liverpool.

Misery was piled on at the end when defender Toby Alderweireld was carried off on a stretcher with a leg in a brace after an awkward fall.

Morgan Schneiderlin's first league goal since September gave Southampton the lead into halftime, but two minutes later the score was level.

Davis should have easily gathered in a shot from Stoke's Steven Nzonzi but let it go, and the ball rebounded to Mame Diouf, who accepted the gift.

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