Women’s World Cup: China finishes second in Group A after 2-2 draw with New Zealand

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While hosts Canada were busy drawing their way to the top spot in Group A at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, China and New Zealand were locked in what turned out to be one of the wilder and wackier games of the tournament thus far.

[ MORE: WWC advancement scenarios ]

Not only did China come back from a goal down, go a goal ahead themselves and then concede a semi-late equalizer, but this game also featured one of the worst refereeing decisions of the tournament — a dubious penalty decision for a non-handball — and silly sideline shenanigans between the two managers.

Rebekah Stott scored New Zealand’s first goal of the World Cup and put the Football Ferns ahead after 28 minutes, when she hammered home a loose ball following a corner kick. Wang Lisi equalized from the penalty four minutes before halftime, though replays strongly suggest the ball hit the defender’s chest and not an arm or hand.

[ RELATED: Germany, Norway advance to KO round; Thailand in trouble in third ]

Wang Shanshan put the Chinese ahead right on the hour mark, when she went up and bravely headed home from close range with the outrushing goalkeeper closing in quickly. The lead was short-lived, though, as Hannah Wilkinson’s side-volley from inside the six-yard box won New Zealand their second point of group stage, and more importantly, kept China (4 points) from topping Canada (5 points) for the top spot in Group A.

During the game’s final minutes, Chinese manager Hao Wei appeared to make contact with an opposing player on the sideline, which did not sit well with his opposite number, Tony Readings, who after the game refused to shake the hand of Hao Wei, who was shown a red card off for his failed time-wasting tactic.

Report: Chelsea would let Juventus hire Sarri for $7m fee

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Maurizio Sarri looks set for a second-straight offseason of “Will Chelsea or won’t they?”

One year after needing the Blues to sort out the removal of Antonio Conte and compensation with Napoli, Sarri could now be moving back to Italy.

[ MORE: Man Utd nears $20m signing ]

But Chelsea won’t make any decisions on his future until after the Europa League Final in Baku next week, and reportedly would let him leave for Juventus if the Serie A side pays a $7 million fee.

Sarri also criticized the Blues’ preseason trip to America, and Matt Law’s report says the manager is fine to stay in England but may want to return to Italy. Roma is also searching for a manager.

Chelsea’s playing style under Sarri drew criticism from supporters but the Blues are in the Europa League Final, finished third in the Premier League, and came within penalty kicks of beating Manchester City to the League Cup title.

Maybe the cigarette-chomping Sarri isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but his success on the table and tournaments with a transfer ban looming was pretty solid. Chelsea could do much worse.

Man Utd set to add $20m Swans winger James

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Manchester United’s first signing of the summer will be a Welsh international forward, but not that one, presuming the clubs sort out the transfer fee.

Swansea City winger Daniel James has agreed to terms with United, according to Sky Sports.

The 21-year-old is expected to cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men about $20 million.

[ MORE: Players to watch at U-20 World Cup ]

James scored five times with 10 assists for Graham Potter in all competitions this season, totaling 2800 minutes for Swans.

Only Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish was fouled more per game than James, who was taken to the turf 2.7 times per match. He mostly played on the left wing this season.

Twice-capped by Wales, James turns 22 in November. How long will it take him to make the jump from Championship star to Premier League contributor?

Martinez names Kompany in Belgium squad

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Roberto Martinez is going to suit up a manager as Belgium fights to qualify for EURO 2020.

Okay, okay, that manager is Anderlecht player-manager Vincent Kompany, mere days removed from sealing a domestic treble for Manchester City.

[ MORE: Players to watch at U-20 World Cup ]

Kompany, 33, has been called up by Belgium for the first time since November. He has 87 caps with four goals for the Red Devils, and perhaps the nickname will be a little less awkward now that he’s not a member of the Premier League’s “noisy neighbors.”

Here’s what Martinez had to say about Kompany’s inclusion.

“In modern football it is not easy to combine the job of player and coach,” Martinez added. “In England they have a tradition of that but less and less because the job of coach has become enormously demanding. We must give him time. We will support him in everything he does.”

Belgium is in a qualifying group with Russia, Cyprus, Scotland, Kazakhstan, and San Marino, and should waltz into the tournament.

USMNT dates to host Cuba, Canada revealed

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MIAMI (AP) The United States will host Cuba on Oct. 11 and Canada on Nov. 15 in the first CONCACAF Nations League.

CONCACAF said Tuesday that the Americans, seeded in Group A, will play at Canada on Oct. 15 and at Cuba on Nov. 19.

Sites have not been determined.

Other Nations League groups are:

B – Bermuda, Mexico, Panama

C – Martinique, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago

D – Costa Rica, Curacao, Haiti

The top team in each League A group advances to the semifinals in March, and the last-place team is relegated to League B.

The U.S. intends to play exhibitions on the September FIFA dates for national teams.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports