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Thread: Women's World Cup ...records created....

  1. #1
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Exclamation Women's World Cup ...records created....

    Germany routs Argentina in opener

    SHANGHAI, China -- Germany trounced Argentina 11-0 with a record-setting victory in the opening game of the women's World Cup on Monday, sending a message it is a serious about defending its title.

    The margin of victory was the largest in the women's World Cup, and the goals were the most by a single team.

    Veteran forwards Birgit Prinz and Sandra Smisek combined for six goals -- three each -- as the Germans dominated every part of the game over their smaller opponents.

    Prinz, playing in her 165th game for Germany, scored with a thumping header, knocked in a loose ball at the far post, and then slipped a glancing header past Argentine goalkeeper Vanina Correa.

    The last was Prinz's 12th overall in the World Cup finals, surpassing the previous German record of 11 by Bettina Wiegmann.

    Smisek, who has played nearly 120 matches for Germany, scored a second-half hat trick.

    With the midfield in complete control, the Germans knocked balls over the Argentine back wall and attacked down the wings for a 5-0 lead at halftime.

    Prinz scored twice in the first half for Germany, which also got a lucky first goal in the 12th minute when Correa punched a corner kick from Melanie Behringer into her own goal.

    The other first half goals for Germany, which beat Sweden in extra time of the final four years ago, came from forward Kerstin Garefrekes and midfielder Melanie Behringer.

    The second half started the same way for Germany, with veteran midfielder Renate Lingor jumping on a poor clearance at the edge of the area to loop it over Correa into the far corner.

    Smisek then took over, seizing on errors in the Argentine defense. Her partner up front, Prinz, also scored once in the second half. Correa mishandled another corner kick in the last minute of play for Germany's 11 goal.

    The huge win was a strong message to the other favored teams in the tournament, especially United States, which is ranked No. 1 in the world, one spot ahead of the Germans. The Americans were to open on Tuesday in Group B against North Korea.

    The other Group A opener in Tuesday with Japan playing England.

    The 16-team tournament is spread around five cities in China with the final in Shanghai on Sept. 30.

    Argentina played without suspended Catalina Perez and lost the services of midfielder Mariela Coronel on the eve of the tournament because of a knee injury.
    Dun think we will see anything like this in the Men's tournament!
    Last edited by melvin; 12th September 2007 at 11:37 AM.

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    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Host China enters World Cup amid criticism

    WUHAN, China -- For China, the women's World Cup is another opportunity to boost its sports stature before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    That could be a tough task.

    Once one of the world's best teams, China has slid to a No. 11 ranking, and former players have predicted the team won't go far.

    "China is no longer a top-class team. Physically, they are not as strong as Germany, and skillfully, they are no match for Brazil," former goalkeeper Gao Hong told the official Xinhua News Agency. "They are becoming a team with no characteristics."

    And striker Sun Wen said in a published commentary that the team is lacking a playmaker who can create threats on goal.

    "With such a big tournament, no matter where it is, the public will pay a lot of attention to it," defender Zhang Ying told reporters in the lobby of the team hotel. "This year's World Cup, next year's Olympics will both be like this."

    The Chinese open play Wednesday against Denmark in Wuhan, a central Chinese city of 8 million that sprawls along the Yangtze River. Brazil plays New Zealand in the early game of a Group D doubleheader.

    "There's definitely pressure, but we just hope to turn that pressure into motivation," midfielder Qu Feifei said Monday.

    China heads into the World Cup after four straight losses at the Algarve Cup earlier this year, including a 4-1 defeat to Iceland. Since then, the team has hired its first foreign coach _ Marika Domanski-Lyfors, who led Sweden to the 2003 World Cup finals. She took over April 27 and has steered China to eight wins, four losses and one draw in 13 matches.

    The standard is the 1999 Chinese team, which finished second against the United States.

    Qu, a 2003 World Cup veteran, brushed off criticism from former players, saying the key is for her teammates to relax and play normally.

    "It's not a big deal. After all, we're not ranked as one of the top teams,'' she said. "But I hope that after this World Cup we will get our recognition."
    China standard drop liao cant make it!

  3. #3
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Updated: Sep. 11, 2007, 8:00 AM UK
    England 2-2 Japan: Last-minute equaliser

    A last-minute free-kick denied England victory against Japan as the two sides battled for an entertaining 2-2 draw in their opening Group A game at the 2007 World Cup.

    Having gone behind to Aya Miyama's free-kick early in the second half, Kelly Smith looked to have won the game for England when she struck in the 81st and 83rd minutes.

    Smith devastated by draw

    But Japan won another free-kick in a dangerous position in the final seconds of the game and Miyama struck a superb shot into the back of the net to rescue a point.

    England, who were making an appearance in the global tournament for the first time in 12 years, had put in a promising display throughout which should bode well for the rest of their tournament.

    The game got off to lively start as both sides attacked and Japan went close in the third minute when Eriko Arakawa fired just wide of England goalkeeper Rachel Brown's post.

    Some good play between Smith and Eniola Aluko almost opened the Japan defence as Aluko won possession 30 yards from goal and played the ball to Smith but the Arsenal forward was unable to find her strike partner with the return ball.

    Smith then flashed a shot wide of the post in the 15th minute after she had skilfully worked her way into the Japan area.

    England were enjoying most of the possession as the half wore on and should have taken the lead in the 38th minute.

    Japan goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto raced out of goal to try to clear the ball only to miss it completely and the onrushing Aluko pounced on the mistake, only to send her shot wide of the open goal from the edge of the box.

    England came out strong after the break and Katie Chapman saw her goalbound shot cleared by the Japan defence in the 50th minute.

    But it was the east Asians who took the lead in the 55th minute when they won a free-kick just outside the box and Miyama stepped up to rifle a shot beyond Brown and into the back of the net.

    The goal saw Japan grow in confidence and the England defence was called upon on a number of occasions to stem the attacks.

    But the Three Lions roared forward and the ever-dangerous Smith came close to pulling England level though just after the hour mark when her powerful rising shot went just wide of the post.

    Aluko was denied soon after as England searched for an equaliser when her effort was cleared on the line by Japan defender Hiromi Isozaki.

    And in the 81st minute England were rewarded for their domination as Smith grabbed the equaliser.

    With the defence failing to clear, Smith picked up the ball in the box and turned towards goal before cooling slotting beyond the hapless Fukumoto.

    And just two minutes later the 28-year-old put England ahead when she broke down the left before firing a powerful drive at Fukumoto, who could only deflect the ball back into the path of Smith who made no mistake from close range.

    It appeared as though England would hold on for a deserved victory but Japan rescued a point at the death through another Miyama free-kick as the midfielder flighted a ball perfectly over the wall and into the back of the net.

    Smith devastated by draw

    England striker Kelly Smith felt devastated as she watched Japan snatch an equaliser at the death in their World Cup Group A opener in Shanghai.

    Arsenal star Smith was the hero for the Three Lions as her strikes in the 81st and 83rd minute wiped out Aya Miyama's 55th minute free-kick and looked to have put England on course for the three points at the Hangkou stadium.

    But Miyama stepped up deep in injury time to rattle home her second free-kick of the night and ensure a share of the spoils.

    Throughout the game England had put in an inspired performance on their return to the World Cup finals after a 12-year absence.

    And although Smith admitted the draw was disappointing, she praised the performance of the team on the night.

    'I feel devastated,' said the 28-year-old. 'With about a minute to go I could feel myself smiling inside thinking we had picked up three points.

    'But then, with the last kick of the game, they hit a great free-kick and I just thought we had thrown the game away.

    'We had gone from a real high to be brought back down to earth.

    'I feel that on the night we deserved all three points with a great team performance, we dug deep and showed a lot of character and I am very proud of the girls.'

    England have to pick themselves up for a crucial game against defending champions Germany on Friday.

    It will not be an easy game, especially with Germany full of confidence following their stunning 11-0 victory over Argentina in the opening game of the tournament on Monday.

    But Smith is confident England can get a result against Silvia Neid's side.

    'We have played Germany a number of times and know their formation inside out,' she added.

    'I'm confident in the team that we can get a result out of the game.

    'The group is still open and with two games to go we are still in it.'

    England coach Hope Powell refused to blame any of her players for Japan's two goals, insisting there was little that could be done to prevent them.

    'The first one was unfortunate,' said the 40-year-old.

    'I think it might have hit someone before it went in, the second one was very well struck and you have to give the girl credit.'
    England... Guys cant make how abt the gals?...

  4. #4
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Updated: Sep. 11, 2007, 8:00 AM UK
    Nigeria 1-1 Sweden: Uwak saves Super Falcons

    CHENGDU, China (AP) Cynthia Uwak's goal in the 82nd minute lifted Nigeria to a 1-1 draw with favored Sweden in an opening game of Group B of the women's World Cup on Tuesday.

    Uwak pounced on a failed clearing attempt and her shot from 20 yards out beat Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

    Victoria Svensson's goal in the 50th minute gave Sweden a 1-0 lead, which seemed it would be enough for the victory. Taking a pass, Svensson broke in alone on goalie Precious Dede and scored from 10 yards out.

    The draw in Group B leaves all four teams with one point. The United States and North Korea drew 2-2 in the other Group B game Tuesday.

    Sweden dominated the first half and came close to scoring twice. In the second minute, top striker Hanna Ljungberg hit the crossbar. In the 34th, Svensson also hit the bar. The rebound came down on the goal line, with TV replays showing it failed to cross the line.

    The Nigerians posed little threat for most of the game with the Swedes dominating possession and overall shots, but pressed forward more in the last 10 minutes and came up with the tying goal.

    Group B is regarded as the toughest in the 16-team World Cup, with the top two teams advancing to meet the qualifiers from Group A, where Germany is the favorite.

  5. #5
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Updated: Sep. 11, 2007, 8:00 AM UK
    O'Reilly's goal rallies U.S. against North Korea

    CHENGDU, China -- For those who thought the U.S.-North Korea matchup might be the best of the women's World Cup, they weren't disappointed.

    The United States rallied for a 2-2 draw Tuesday, with Heather O'Reilly scoring in the 69th minute in the Group B opener for both teams.

    It was end-to-end action in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 35,000. It was counterattacking. And it was the two quickest teams in the world facing each other: the top-ranked Americans against the best team in Asia.

    "I hope you enjoyed the game as much as I did," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. "It was two great teams. North Korea is a fantastic team.

    "There were chances for the U.S. to win and for North Korea to win," Ryan added. "We knew what a difficult group this would be -- and it is proving to be very difficult."

    The Koreans scored twice while the U.S. was a player short for several minutes in the second half, before O'Reilly tied the match with a shot from about 10 yards into the top corner of the net.

    The United States extended its unbeaten streak to 47 games spanning 2 years under Ryan.

    Played in a light rain at Chengdu Sports Center Stadium, the match had the feel of a final rather than a group-play opener. The final of the 16-team tournament is Sept. 30 in Shanghai.

    Abby Wambach gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute with a long-range shot that goalkeeper Jon Myong-hui got her gloves to but was only able to deflect into the net.

    Minutes later, Wambach knocked heads with another player in a scramble around the goal and left the field with blood pouring from her face, leaving the Americans with 10 players.

    North Korea scored twice in her absence. Ryan made a decision not to replace her, which he almost regretted.

    "It was a very tough call," he said. "The doctor said they could get her back within just a few minutes. Abby is such an important player to this team. I thought we could withstand playing 11 against 10.

    "I'm just glad we got that last one after giving up the two."

    Kil Son-hui benefited from a goalkeeping error, as Hope Solo let a long shot slip through her hands in the wet conditions in the 58th minute. In the 62nd, Kim Yong-ae pounced on a rebound and shot it past Solo.

    Wambach returned in the 65th minute, and her return seemed to calm things for the Americans. O'Reilly scored minutes later with a clever shot using the outside of her boot.

    "The U.S. is the best in the world, but today they didn't perform to their maximum," North Korean coach Kim Kwang-min said. "This gave us a chance to see our level, and if we meet the Americans a next time we will have the tactics to beat the Americans. We are marching toward the target of a world title."

    Group B is the toughest in the World Cup with third-ranked Sweden and African champions Nigeria also playing for a spot in the quarterfinals. The Americans face Sweden on Friday and North Korea plays Nigeria.

    Despite its poise, the U.S. looked unnerved at times. North Korea pressed the Americans in the first half like few teams have.

    Keeping the ball on the slick turf, Ri Kum-suk lashed several shots just wide of Solo. Kim Yong-ae and Kim Kyong-hwa joined Ri, putting a half dozen more shots on goal that required saves.

    North Korea always counterattacked, seldom waiting for a slow buildup. The Americans had trouble keeping possession, but still managed threats in spurts. They looked dangerous on several corners and free kicks. In open play, Lori Chalupny and O'Reilly tested Jon twice early in the game, and long crosses in from Cat Whitehill tensed up the Korean defense.

    The best chance for the United States -- maybe the best for either team in the first half -- came in the 40th minute. Off a corner kick from Stephanie Lopez, Wambach's header went off the crossbar behind Jon and dropped inches in front of the goal before it was cleared.
    Once a Power house have the US become a struggle house?

  6. #6
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Todays Fixtures:

    Sep 12 10:00 UK Ghana v Australia Group C Hangzou Dragon Stadium
    Sep 12 13:00 UK Norway v Canada Group C Hangzou Dragon Stadium
    Sep 12 10:00 UK New Zealand v Brazil Group D Wuhan Sports Center Stadium
    Sep 12 13:00 UK China v Denmark Group D Wuhan Sports Center Stadium


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