Rapinoe sets up USA showdown with France, Sweden scrape through

Women's World Cup

Women's World Cup holders the United States will face hosts France in the quarter-finals after a pair of Megan Rapinoe penalties saw off Spain in a 2-1 win. Having not conceded a goal heading into the last-16 tie in Reims, USA found matters much tougher against a resilient Spain side on Monday. Maria Leon's reckless challenge on Tobin Heath gifted Rapinoe a chance to open the scoring after seven minutes, which she duly took from 12 yards, only for Jennifer Hermoso to restore parity two minutes later. USA struggled to click into gear for much of the contest, with star forward Alex Morgan particularly quiet, but they were handed a reprieve when Virginia Torrecilla caught Rose Lavelle. A lengthy VAR check was required to

Formidable USA, underdogs China and perfect hosts – the Women’s World Cup last-16 stats

After an entertaining group stage filled with goals and VAR-drama aplenty, the Women's World Cup is entering the knockout rounds. Five teams advanced through with a perfect record as England, Germany, Netherlands, United States and tournament hosts France won three games from three. Norway, Italy, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Sweden progressed with six points, meanwhile, and they will be joined in the last 16 by Spain, China, Nigeria, Japan and Cameroon. Eight mouth-watering ties await in the first knockout round, starting with Germany against Nigeria in Grenoble on Saturday, and here we assess each match with the use of Opta numbers. Germany v Nigeria (June 22) 12 - Nigeria have won just one of their last 12 Women's World Cup matches against European nations, beating

FIFA Women’s World Cup Brackets: Round of 16 fixtures, dates and timing

Sweden v USA Group F - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

The knockout stages of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup will begin on Saturday, with Germany taking on Nigeria at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble. All the pre-tournament favourites have made it through to the knockout stages, with no hiccups, albeit with varying levels of performance. The defending champions USA have swept aside everything in their tracks, with a commanding group stage showing, where they scored 18 goals and conceded none, in Group F. In Group F, there was also heartbreak for Chile, who fell just a goal short of making it to the knockout stages in their first ever appearance at the World Cup. There are some tasty fixtures in the Round of 16, with Norway taking on Australia, France facing

FIFA Women’s World Cup: USA, Netherlands win to top groups; Cameroon qualify, but Chile endure heartbreaking exit

Netherlands v Canada Group E - 2019 FIFA Women's W

On the last day of group stage action at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France, the Netherlands and defending champions USA confirmed their status as group winners, as both teams won their final games to finish top of Group E and Group F respectively. Late Beerensteyn winner sinks Canada Lineth Beerensteyn scored a 75th-minute winner as the Netherlands beat Canada in their final group game to top Group E. The Dutch dominated large spells of the game, and should've taken the lead before half-time, through their record goalscorer Vivianne Miedema. After receiving a cross from Shanice van de Sanden, Miedema turned brilliantly before shooting across goal, and beating Canadian 'keeper Stephanie Labbé all ends up, only to see the ball hit the post

FIFA Women’s World Cup: England cruise into the knockouts, Scotland suffer heartbreaking exit

2019 Women's World Cup

Phil Neville's heavily rotated Lionesses finished top of Group D after Ellen White's brace helped England comfortably dispatch Japan at the Allianz Riviera and progress to the knockouts of the 2019 Women's World Cup. The outcome of the encounter would've been a lot different had Japan taken their chances through the course of the game. However, a mixture of poor finishing by the Japanese and outstanding goalkeeping by England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley meant the Lionesses went through to the last 16 of the 2019 Women's World Cup with a 100% win record.  Kumi Yokoyama's 35-yard free-kick was brilliantly saved by Bardsley who exhibited impeccable anticipation and got both hands on the venomous effort. Japan gave away the ball in midfield to England and Georgia Stanway, who

FIFA Women’s World Cup: Germany and France through as group winners

FIFA Women's World Cup

FIFA Women's World Cup hosts France qualified for the last 16 as group winners, with Germany also topping their section after Monday's action. Norway, China, and Spain secured their progression into the knockout rounds but Nigeria faces a nervous wait to see if they also go through after losing narrowly to a late goal against France. Wendie Renard's third goal of the tournament earned a 1-0 victory in Rennes, the defender converting a twice-taken penalty after goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was penalized for moving off her line in saving the first attempt. Ngozi Ebere was sent off for after the penalty was awarded following a VAR check, with Nigeria finishing third in the section ahead of South Korea but not certain of their fate. Norway ensured they

FIFA Women’s World Cup Review: Sweden and United States ease into knockout rounds

Women's World Cup

Group F heavyweights Sweden and the United States eased into the knockout rounds of the Women's World Cup with routine wins on Sunday. Double figures might have eluded USA on this occasion but their passage to three points against Chile was assured from the early stages in Paris. Head coach Jill Ellis made eight changes to the team that embarrassed Thailand 13-0 on Tuesday and the big-name inclusion, co-captain Carli Lloyd, confidently set about winning back a starting berth. Lloyd, 36, punished a poor defensive header with a well-taken opener in the 11th minute and headed in a second before the break, in the process becoming the oldest player to score multiple goals in a Women's World Cup match. Julie Ertz nodded in a

South Africa: Brave Banyana in Narrow Loss to China

FIFA Women's World Cup

Banyana Banyana lost 1-0 to China in their second Group B match at the FIFA Women's World Cup in France on Thursday night. A Li Ying goal in the 40th minute of the first half was enough to secure a Chinese victory but South Africa gave a good account of themselves, with a number of attempts on goal and around 47% possession. South Africa lost their opening match of the tournament, going down 3-1 to Spain despite taking the lead through a stunning goal by Thembi Kgatlana. They have one game left in Group B against leaders Germany who are undefeated. That takes place on Monday, June 17 at 18:00 (SA time).

‘Nigeria Will Probably Give Us A Hard Time’ – France Coach Ahead Of Last Group


France coach Corinne Diacre expects a difficult game when they face Nigeria in their final Group A match at the Roazhon Park, Rennes on Monday, June 17. The hosts maintained their one hundred percent record at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup this evening, beating Norway 2-1 thanks to Eugenie Le Sommer's game-winner from the spot 18 minutes from time.  Nigeria brightened their chances of making it to the knockout rounds following their 2-0 win against South Korea in Grenoble.Speaking at the post-match press conference, Diacre said : ''As far as Nigeria team is concerned, I'm just looking at one match after another so I haven't thought yet about anything concrete on Nigeria.''I am going to relax, think about it tomorrow, then

FIFA Women’s World Cup Results: France pip Norway; Germany beat Spain

FIFA Women's World Cup

Hosts France notched up their second win of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, with a 2-1 edging of Norway at the Allianz Riviera in Nice. France now top Group A with six points from two games, and barring a sensational turn of events in the final round of group fixtures, the hosts have booked their place in the Round of 16. Valerie Gauvin gave France the lead in the first half, after a neat finish off a superb cross from Amel Majri. The hosts had some nervy moments in the second half, and that was compounded after a comical own-goal from centre-back Wendie Renard. While dealing with a low cross and under no pressure, Renard side-footed the ball to give Sarah Bouhaddi in the French

World Cup 2018: What the tournament taught football fans

FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia

"Football is a pleasure that hurts," wrote Eduardo Galeano warmly in his book, Football in Sun and Shadow. The final of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia demonstrated these beautiful lines. The Croatian team, after the defeat at the hands of the magnificent French, was in pain and looked dejected. The players looked withdrawn and hurt. After all, one doesn't play the final of the World Cup daily, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and if one is really lucky, he may play twice. The Croatians played hard and beautifully throughout the tournament, but the French exuberance proved a bit too much for them. The French broke their impregnable defence, shook their tremendous self-belief and with it, their resilience too broke down. In the end, they

87% of France’s World Cup-winning team are immigrants or children of immigrants


France won just their 2nd ever World Cup trophy this past weekend after they defeated Croatia in the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Bolstered by goals from Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, and Kylian Mbappe and assisted by Mario Mandzukic's unfortunate own goal, France cantered away to lift world football's most coveted piece of silverware. Encapsulated within this inspiring tale of a team overcoming a steady flow of challenges to emerge victoriously, is a heart-warming story of how a bunch of like-minded immigrants with similar skills came together to conquer the world for a country they collectively call home. After France won the World Cup, naturally, praises and congratulations came in the form of a gratifying tempest. Several noteworthy personalities also took to

2018 World Cup: 5 best young players of the tournament

2018 World Cup

As we pull down the curtains on the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup, it's time to draw out the analysis sheets and mull over a few things. France joined Argentina and Uruguay as the teams to win the World Cup twice, while Harry Kane became just the third Englishman to finish as the most prolific player in the competition. The tournament witnessed a total of 169 goals being scored in 64 games, and only one of those ended goal-less. We also saw how smaller sides like Russia, Iran, Sweden, Japan and even Croatia, punch above their weights, but the competition was also lit up by some talented youngsters making an indelible mark on the biggest stage. Some of these have impressed

5 Players Who Scored in the Final of the Champions League and World Cup

Croatia's Mario Mandzukic joined the list with a goal in the 2018 World Cup final against France

The mark of a true great is the ability to perform when it matters the most. A player may have a mediocre season but to come good in the big games - in the big moments - is what could make the difference between their team finishing as winners or runners-up. In football, the two biggest games in a player's career are the UEFA Champions League final and the FIFA World Cup final. To score in either game is a dream come true. But only five players have scored in both finals. #1 Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich & Juventus / Croatia) Croatia's Mario Mandzukic joined the list with a goal in the 2018 World Cup final against France When in doubt, get the ball to Mario Mandzukic. At

Why this was the World Cup we deserved

World Cup

As the curtain closes on this edition of the World Cup, The French National team stand tall amidst all the chaos and excitement witnessed over the past month. They delivered a telling, coming of age performance and banished the ghosts of the 2016 Euro Final, which saw them lose out to Portugal in overtime. This particular edition was unpredictable, to say the least. It had several upsets that left people in disbelief, and new heightened drama with the introduction of VAR. Over the course of the tournament, there have been several heated discussions over the use of VAR and it’s implementation. One thing is for certain, the use of VAR has certainly levelled the field in terms of results, which has made every game more

5 reasons why Kylian Mbappe is a better option than Neymar for Madrid

2018 World Cup

Maybe, he was just the difference between France winning and losing a tournament. France were in the final of the Euro 2016 but somehow managed to lose it to Portugal, despite the fact that their best player was on the sidelines after being injured in the game. In this World Cup, they were up against Croatia – who were a much better side than Portugal were in 2016 – and saw themselves come under a barrage of attacks from the Croat players. However, in the end, they ran out winners after scoring from almost every chance that they got. Maybe, Mbappe was the difference. Maybe, he will always make this difference. As France won the final of the World Cup 4-2 to crush

World Cup 2018: Top 5 goals

world cup 2018

Russia welcomed 32 teams in June to live the most electrifying sports show on earth, and it certainly did not disappoint. France got away with the trophy after deploying a fantastic and balanced brand of football which some may say was as efficient as valuable. France took down Croatia in the final 4-2, giving football fans the final with the most goals scored since England's 4-2 win over Germany in 1966, although extra time made its presence in that match. The last final game with at least six goals in ninety minutes was Brazil's thrashing of Sweden in 1958, Pelé's arrival with 17 years of age, similar to 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé's abrupt display of pace, confidence, and goalscoring we saw in the

Golden consolation for Luka Modric

Luka Modric

Luka Modric named Adidas Golden Ball Award winner despite Final defeat Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois picks up the Adidas Golden Glove Award France’s Kylian Mbappe collects FIFA Young Player Award Prior to seeing France lift the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy, the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG) came together to decide where the Russia 2018 awards should go. adidas Golden Ball Award: Luka Modric Croatia owed their place in the Final in large part to their supremely gifted No10. His two goals and one assist almost pale in comparison to his tireless work in the midfield, where he used his incisive vision to great effect in guiding his team, setting the tempo, and exploiting gaps

Cafu expected more from Neymar


Brazil World Cup winner Cafu conceded Neymar's performances in Russia fell short of expectations but claimed the Paris Saint-Germain forward remains the country's "greatest revelation in the last 10 years". After recovering from a metatarsal injury just in time to make the trip to Russia, Neymar scored twice in five games as Brazil were knocked out by Belgium in the quarter-finals, though he was roundly criticised in the media for his histrionic reactions to challenges. Cafu, who is Brazil's most capped player with 142 appearances for the Selecao, admitted that Neymar failed to live up to his billing as one of the potential stars of the tournament, but backed the 26-year-old to overcome the disappointment. "We all expect a lot from the ace,"

Southgate’s England achieved more than I ever did – Gerrard

Steven Gerrard said England deserve "a hell of a reception" when they return from the World Cup, admitting Gareth Southgate's side have already achieved more than he did in 14 years as an international player. England's run to the semi-finals in Russia was the team's best performance at a World Cup since 1990 and the first time the Three Lions reached the last four of a major tournament since Euro '96, which predates Gerrard's emergence as one of his country's finest midfielders. Gerrard played for England at four World Cups, reaching the quarter-finals in 2002 and 2006, and the newly installed Rangers manager said he was sorry to see Southgate's men lose 2-1 in extra-time to Croatia on Wednesday. "I'm gutted for the