US advance with Sweden win, Cameroon snatch last 16 spot - GulfToday

US advance with Sweden win, Cameroon snatch last 16 spot

Women Soccer

US’ Lindsey Horan (third right) scores against Sweden during their Women’s World Cup Group F match in Le Havre on Thursday. Associated Press

The US made it a perfect three wins out of three at the Women’s World Cup on Thursday by beating Sweden 2-0 to top Group F, while Ajara Nchout fired Cameroon into the last 16 with a last-gasp winner.

The Americans will continue their bid to defend their world title against Spain in Reims on Monday after a win that saw them make it 18 goals for the tournament and break the 24-year-old record for the number of goals scored in the group stage held by Norway.

Lindsey Horan opened the scoring when she tapped home Samantha Mewis’ flick with two minutes on the clock, and Tobin Heath helped make sure of the points by firing past Hedvig Lindahl via a big deflection off Jonna Andersson four minutes after the break.

Andersson’s own goal somehow survived a VAR check from referee Anastasia Pustovoytova despite substitute Carli Lloyd looking to be offside in the build-up.

However afterwards Lloyd claimed she hadn’t seen the incident, with Heath saying that she would “take the goal” all the same.

Lloyd replaced star player Alex Morgan at half-time after the 29-year-old took a knock in the opening 45 minutes, but USA coach Jill Ellis was non-committal on whether she would be fit for Spain.

“Alex took a knock in the first half and it was more of let’s be smart about this, in terms of what we did,” she said.

“It’s a zero risk game in terms of having players available in the next round.”

Sweden started with a team with seven changes from the side that beat Thailand 5-1 last time out and four players making their World Cup debut, and offered very little attacking threat.

However their defeat means that they face Canada next in Paris on Monday and are in an easier side of the knockout draw from the US, who have hosts France, England and Norway as potential opponents further down the line.

The only truly top draw side lined up for the Swedes is Germany, who they could meet in the quarter-finals if they beat Canada, who lost 2-1 to Group E winners the Netherlands earlier on Thursday.

Their coach Peter Gerhardsson admitted that he “didn’t think in advance that it was important to end up first or second”, but Ellis was unconvinced.

“I think after the game that might be a fair comment. I think that’s not caring about the game but thinking ahead,” she said.

There was heartbreak for Chile meanwhile, who needed to beat Thailand by three goals in order to pip Nigeria into the knockouts.

They were 2-0 up with five minutes left when they were awarded a penalty via VAR, only for Francisca Lara to crash her spot-kick off the bar and see her side knocked out.

Just 10 seconds of the allotted five minutes of added time remained in Montpellier when Nchout curled her team into the next round as one of the best third-placed teams with a superb strike to beat New Zealand 2-1.

Nchout had earlier given Cameroon the lead in the 57th minute, controlling with her shoulder before slotting home.

However, when Aurelle Awona sliced a Katie Bowen cross into her own net with 10 minutes left, it looked as though both teams were heading out.

Instead, Nchout’s last-gasp goal means Cameroon go through as one of the best third-placed sides, while New Zealand return home without a point.

The Netherlands will meet Japan in the last 16 after Lineth Beerensteyn turned in a Desiree van Lunteren cross in the 75th minute in Reims to seal their win over Canada and advance as Group E winners.

Veteran Canada forward Christine Sinclair scored her 182nd goal for her country on the hour mark following Anouk Dekker’s 54th-minute opener, leaving her just two shy of Abby Wambach’s international record for the United States, but it wasn’t enough to beat their opponents to first place.

Agence France-Presse

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Team Emirates’ Pogacar claims podium finish

A monumental final push in the UAE heat from Tadej Pogacar wasn’t enough to take the win in the third stage of the team’s home country as Adam Yates...


The 184km Emirates Stage finished with an exhausting 10.8km climb as Yates launched a surprisingly early attack with 6km to go. Pogacar didn’t react to Yates’ initial acceleration but then ripped clear of the chasing group with 5km remaining, finishing second in the stage, claiming the young rider’s jersey and ending the day second in the GC in a successful day for the team.

Pogacar said “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased.

“There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

Pogacar will get another chance to claim back the one minute GC deficit as the fifth stage of the Tour finishes at the same Jebel Hafeet summit.

Pogacar will wear the white young rider’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage as the race sees the riders return to the flats which will come as welcome relief for the sprinters.

The Emirates NBD Stage starts from Zabeel Park, crosses Mushrif Park and Motor City before finishing at Dubai City Walk where the popular walkway has been transformed as part of the racing route.

British climber Yates pulverised the opposition on the tough, final ascent of stage, winning by over a minute and taking the overall race lead.

His compatriot Chris Froome was dropped early in the race.

The four-time Tour de France winner again struggled on his comeback from injuries sustained last May.

The 27-year-old Yates is also making his 2020 debut and looks favourite to win in a competitive field after his stunning attack from 6km out at the end of a warm day with temperatures passing 30C.

“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good,” said Yates, whose win gives him a 1min 07sec lead in the overall.

“A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then,” Yates said in reference to stage five.

“Also tomorrow I heard a rumour there are going to be crosswinds, so we’ll see.”

Yates was followed up the final 10.6km Jebell Hafeet climb at a 7 per cent gradient by a trio of challengers with Slovenian prodigy Pogacar finishing 1min 03sec adrift.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was third at 1min 30sec accompanied by up-and-coming Frenchman David Gaudu.

Yates came fourth at the 2016 Tour de France and is targeting the Grand Boucle this summer where he will lead the Australian team ahead of his brother Simon.

Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.





Stage 3 Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 4h42’34”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:03

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:30

General Classification Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 12h30’02”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:07

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:35

22 hours ago