September 26

Women’s World Cup final: Japan beat USA on penalties

first_imgNewsSports Women’s World Cup final: Japan beat USA on penalties by: – July 17, 2011 Sharing is caring! Share Tweet Sharecenter_img Share 18 Views   no discussions By Saj ChowdhuryBBC SportHighlights – Japan 2-2 USA (3-1 pens)Japan beat USA 3-1 on penalties to become the first Asian nation to win the Fifa Women’s World Cup.Saki Kumagai scored the winning penalty after Ayumi Kaihori had saved two out of three American three spot-kicks.Alex Morgan had opened the scoring with a low strike before Aya Miyama poked in the equaliser late in normal time.Abby Wambach headed USA ahead in extra-time but Homare Sawa ensured a thrilling finale with a spectacular flicked effort at the near post.The US will be heartbroken and annoyed that they did not manage to secure a record third World Cup having dominated for long periods in the match. But Pia Sundhage’s side will rue their profligacy in front of goal, particularly in the first half.Wambach was the biggest threat in that period and went closest when she crashed a vicious strike against the crossbar following a typical bulldozing run into the area.Lively winger Lauren Cheney also went close on three occasions. First, she fired just wide at the near post before looping a header over. She then diverted Megan Rapinoe’s delightful cross fractions off-target.Atlanta Beat midfielder Carli Lloyd also should have done better when she smashed her shot over the bar from 14 yards after Shannon Boxx’s ball into the area was cleared into her path.Japan, who had not beaten the USA in 25 meetings – losing 22 of those, looked to catch their opponents on the counter. That tactic paid dividends against hosts Germany in the quarter-final and semi-final opponents Sweden, but the USA defence had dangerwomen Nahomi Kawasumi and Kozue Ando well-marshalled for much of the half.The surprise finalists did manage to breach the USA area once in the opening half, when fleet-of-foot Shinobu Ohno, playing in her second World Cup, slid the ball into the path of Ando who fell over as she struck what was a tame effort into the hands of goalkeeper Hope Solo.The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with USA the more threatening of the two sides.Forward Morgan, who came on at half-time for Cheney, tried to make her mark within four minutes of setting foot on the pitch, when she stretched out a leg to poke a driven cross against the post.The pacy 22-year-old had given the USA an alternative target to the physical and aerial threat of Wambach, and in the 69th minute she scored what, at that point, was the most important goal of her young career.Midfielder Megan Rapinoe, whose delivery was exemplary on the night, launched a 50-yard pass over the top which Morgan latched onto before driving into the box and launching an angled drive past the reach of Ayumi Kaihori.The youngster was close to tears as she slid to the ground and was embraced by her team-mates.The USA seemed comfortably on course to victory with Japan dormant as an attacking force.But with nine minutes remaining the Asian side woke up when Rachel Buehler and Alex Krieger failed to clear their lines allowing Miyama to smash the loose ball past Solo.The USA were the stronger team in extra time and regained the lead at the end of the first period when Wambach headed in her 13th goal in world cup finals after connecting with Morgan’s cross from the left.But once again, resilient and stubborn Japan equalised when captain Sawa produced an audacious flick from a corner that left keeper Solo helpless.USA pressed again in search for a late winner. Morgan was en route to scoring her second before she was brought down by Azuza Iwashimizu on the edge of the area, who received a straight red from referee Bibiana Steinhaus.The free-kick came to nothing which was followed by the whistle to signal the end of extra-time.A nervous-looking Shannon Boxx set the tone for USA’s penalty kicks as she struck her effort straight at Kaihori. The Japanese keeper also saved from Tobin Heath while Carli Lloyd blazed over the bar. Wambach was the only player to find the back of the net but by this stage it was advantage Japan.Norio Sasaki’s side missed one but scored the all-important penalty when young defender Kumagai stayed cool to fire in a brilliant spot-kick high into net.last_img read more

September 8

Chelsea Looking To Halt Liverpool Title Charge

first_imgLiverpool will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself when Chelsea visit Anfield in today’s big Premier League clash.The Reds famously fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to the same opposition when last challenging for the league back in 2014, a result that ultimately saw them miss out on the title to Manchester City.However, there are two different managers in the dugouts and probably 20 different players in the starting lineups (Mohamed Salah is one of only two survivors and was in the Chelsea ranks that day). More relevant is Liverpool’s failure to beat Chelsea in the last eight encounters at Anfield and their opponents’ problems on the road, with Maurizio Sarri’s side losing four of their last six away league games.Liverpool haven’t won any of their last six Premier League games at Anfield against Chelsea (D4 L2); the Reds have never endured a longer winless home run against an opponent in the competition.Chelsea have only lost twice in their last 16 meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (W6 D8), though both of those defeats came at Stamford Bridge. The Blues’ last defeat at Anfield came back in May 2012 in the Premier League (1-4).The Blues have already won away at Liverpool this season, beating them 2-1 in the Carabao Cup. However, Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 37 Premier League games at Anfield – only once in their top-flight history have they had a longer unbeaten home run (63 between Feb 1978-Dec 1980).Chelsea have won three Premier League games in a row for the first time since September 2018, when they won their first five matches in the competition under Maurizio Sarri.However, the Blues have lost their last five Premier League away games against fellow ‘big six’ opponents, including all three this season by an aggregate score of 1-11. Interestingly, they have won three of their last four away league games against sides starting the day top, including that 2-0 victory at Anfield in April 2014.Looking at the players that will step out in today’s game, Andrew Robertson will return to the Liverpool side having been suspended for the midweek Champions League win over Porto.That means James Milner, the Scotland captain’s stand-in last Tuesday, is available for a midfield role – giving manager Jurgen Klopp a selection dilemma as Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson have both performed well in the last two matches.Fellow midfielder Adam Lallana is expected to return to the squad after missing the last two games with a muscle injury.Chelsea will recall Eden Hazard for the trip to Anfield after he was only used as a substitute against Slavia Prague. Hazard has had a hand in more goals than any other Premier League player this season (28 – 16 goals and 12 assists). The only league season in which the Belgian has been involved in more goals was in 2011/12 with Ligue 1 club Lille (36).Callum Hudson-Odoi was left out of the squad but may also be drafted back into the fold while Emerson Palmieri will undergo a fitness test.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more