sinc

Six ‘did you see that?!’ moments from the Olympic quarterfinals

7 Comments

France, the U.S., Japan, and Canada all advance to the semifinals while gifting us with some unforgettable moments. Let’s relive them together, shall we?

Alex Morgan’s frightening clash with Jenny Bindon.

Probably the most widely discussed moment of the round, New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon and Alex Morgan were involved in a truly terrifying collision outside the penalty box. Stretchers were summoned as both players remained motionless on the pitch. Calls for a foul and/or subsequent card went unheeded as referee Jesica Di Iorio whistled for play to resume. Both players ultimately regained their bearings but still looked listless even after the final whistle blew.

Morgan’s hard-earned assist.

Before clattering into Jenny Bindon, Alex Morgan provided Abby Wambach one of the assists of the tournament. Morgan displayed her much-improved hold-up play for the second time in as many matches. She warded off her defenders just long enough to send a wonderfully weighted ball Wambach’s way. It marks Wambach’s team-leading fourth goal Morgan’s team-tying third assist.

The celebratory cartwheels.

source:

The USWNT added another goal celebration to its ever expanding repertoire. In an apparent tribute to gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas, the team feted Wambach’s goal by launching into cartwheels. The spontaneous show of calisthenics failed to get unanimous praise, though. New Zealand coach Tony Readings voiced his displeasure, saying “I wouldn’t have done that.” Tribute or affront to the Olympic spirit? For one, it helps having something to celebrate.

Sydney Leroux’s reaction after scoring.

The U.S. was three minutes away from securing a place in the semifinals, but substitute Sydney Leroux officially put the contest to bed. She made a blistering run down the right flank that bamboozled the New Zealand defense before powering in a shot that beat Jenny Bindon (who was somehow still standing after moment no. 1). What followed was unbridled euphoria, starting with Leroux’s shell-shocked expression and the ‘oh…my…God!’ exclamation to pal Lauren Cheney. First ever Olympic goal? The moment’s all yours, Syd. Own it.

Canada’s .GIF-able goals.

The Canadians delivered the shock of the tournament by knocking out well-to-do hosts Great Britain thanks to a pair of stupendous goals. 21-year-old Jonelle Filigno got the upset underway in the 16th minute when she dispatching a scorching half-volley past Great Britain goalkeeper Karen Bardsley. Christine Sinclair would go on to supply the knockout blow. Her potent free kick evaded the Great British defense and put the match out of reach. The goals were the first Great Britain conceded of the tournament and would ultimately be the last. The Sinclair goal in all its glory:

source:

Shinobu Ohno’s skillful goal that sent Brazil packing.

World champions Japan withstood Brazil’s increasingly cynical challenges with undisturbed repose. A goal down with 20 minutes left, Brazil resorted to hopelessly thuggish tactics in an attempt to stop play. Japan would have the last say with a stunning second goal. Shinobu Ohno deftly controlled a pass from teammate Yuki Ogimi, made space for herself and rocketed a shot past goalkeeper Andreia. The goal sees Japan progress to the semifinals and sends Brazil back home.

UEFA Champions League final preview — Madrid’s finest Real or Atleti?

MILAN, ITALY - MAY 27:  Diego Simeone head coach of Atletico Madrid looks on during an Atletico de Madrid training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 27, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final isn’t quite the unstoppable force against the immovable object — Real’s defense is good and Atleti has plenty of attacking intent — but it’s fair if you’re expecting the Madrid Derby final to be Diego Simeone’s diligent defenders attempting to counter Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid’s potent attack.

[ MORE: Mourinho confirmed ]

Simeone’s built his name on tight teamwork, and La Liga teams broke Atleti down a mere 18 times in 38 matches this season. Before you crow about the weakness of Spain’s top flight from top to bottom, Real only managed a single goal against Atleti in a 1-1 draw that came at the Vicente Calderon. Atleti triumphed 1-0 at the Bernabeu to take four of six points from their derby mates.

But this is the big one, and a rematch of the late thriller we saw in the 2014 final. That’s when Diego Godin’s 36th minute goal came within seconds of being the difference, only for Sergio Ramos to net in stoppage time and Real to score three goals in extra time for a 4-1 win.

[ MORE: Torres ready for “game of my life” ]

Ronaldo will be fine to go, which is obviously bad news for Atleti. While his goal at the end of the 2014 final was just chiseled-ab window dressing, he has scored in both of his UCL finals (He scored for Manchester United in the 26th minute of their 2008 defeat of Chelsea).

(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The beauty of Atleti’s defense is how well it springs into the attack, with Godin and Filipe Luis both capable of providing offense.

But really, with respect to Gabi and Antoine Griezmann… that defense! Atleti allowed three goals in the group stage, and just seven across its 12 UCL matches.

How will Simeone aim to stop Real this time around? Will it be banks of four or five, with Torres and Griezmann waiting to strike on a fleet-footed counter? That could serve their disciplined unit well, but something tells me Simeone has something special cooked up for this much-anticipated rematch, and manager is a distinct edge for Atleti against a still-learning Zinedine Zidane.

As an aside, Griezmann has been fantastic, scoring 32 times this year with seven coming in the UCL. Torres is second in scoring, with 12.

Championship playoff preview: Sheffield Wednesday vs. Hull City

DERBY, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 14:  Eldin Jakupovic of Hull City celebrates as Andrew Robertson of Hull City scores their third goal during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off semi final first leg match between Derby County and Hull City at the iPro Stadium on May 14, 2016 in Derby, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

One is hoping to rejoin the Premier League at the first time of asking, while the other to see its first top flight action since 2000 with a win in Saturday’s promotion playoff final at Wembley Stadium.

Hull City did not make the top flight from its inception in 1904 until winning the playoffs in 2008. Since, the Tigers have spent a pair of 2-season stints in the Premier League.

Sheffield Wednesday, for its part, spent nine seasons in the top tier from 1991-2000, but fell as low as League One in the 21st century before a run to the playoffs this season.

[ MORE: Three battles that could determine UCL final ]

Hull’s stingy defense allowed 35 goals this season, tied for the second-best mark in the league, while scoring the fourth-most goals (69). The Tigers finished in fourth place to Wednesday’s sixth, and the sides drew 0-0 at Hull and 1-1 in the reverse fixture.

Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez was far and away Hull’s most deadly scorer, notching 21 goals in the Championship this season, while Sam Clucas paced the club with 8 assists.

Wednesday’s scoring was paced by former Watford attacker Fernando Forestieri’s 15 goals. Veteran Gary Hooper added 13 for the Owls, who got a team-best eight assists from Ross Wallace.

It’s the “richest game in sports”, and kicks off at Noon ET Saturday.

Sturridge injured again, Rashford set for England debut

England v Norway - International Friendly
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

GATESHEAD, England (AP) England striker Daniel Sturridge has picked up another injury, potentially affecting his chances of being selected for the European Championship.

England manager Roy Hodgson says Sturridge has a calf injury that has prevented him from training and is a doubt to play in the warmup match against Australia on Friday. Hodgson has until Tuesday to finalize his 23-man squad for the tournament in France.

[ MORE: Mourinho confirmed | Speaks more ]

Sturridge has been beset by injury problems in recent years.

His latest injury increases the possibility of 18-year-old Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford‘s fairytale season being extended to include Euro 2016.

Hodgson said Thursday that Rashford will make his debut against Australia in Sunderland – as a starter if Sturridge isn’t fit. Rashford only made his United debut in February.

Ex-Leicester boss Pearson hired by Derby County

Nigel Pearson, Leicester City FC
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Nigel Pearson lives.

The combustible former manager of Southampton, Hull City and Leicester City will now lead Derby County in the hopes of Premier League promotion.

Derby has been on the edge of promotion to the Premier League for several seasons, but neither Steve McClaren and Darren Wassall could do the trick.

[ MORE: Mourinho confirmed | Speaks more ]

Enter Pearson, 52, who has been hired on a three-year deal. It’s his first stop since a roller coaster ride saw him guide Leicester into the Premier League, only to be fired in the aftermath of some players being involved in a racist sex tape incident on a tour of Thailand.

This was after a bizarre season that saw him put his hands on an opposing player’s throat, call a journalist an ostrich, and ultimately save Leicester from the drop.

From Derby County’s site:

“I am honoured to be named as the Manager of Derby County, which is one of the biggest clubs in the country, a club in excellent shape and one with strong ambitions. It is firmly focused on achieving Premier League football.

“I will give absolutely everything I have to this role and do all I can to bring exciting, entertaining and winning football which our supporters can be proud of.”

At the very least, the Rams will be interesting to watch next season.