Host Canada edges Switzerland, advances to Women’s World Cup quarterfinals

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Canada is headed to the quarterfinals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup after defeating Switzerland, 1-0 on Sunday at BC Place.

The hosts had the backing and support of 53,855 fans cheering them towards a victory. Josee Belanger scored her first goal for her country since December 2010 as Canada held on for the win. Canada will now play the winner of Norway vs. England game in the quarterfinals on Saturday, right back in Vancouver.

“It feels pretty incredible to have that many Canadian fans,” Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod said. “It’s always an honor. I was pretty pumped. I was kind of embarrassed that I self-cheered so much during the game. Overall I’m really proud with the way the team performed, especially in the second half. We played like the Canada we know and we’re going to show a lot more during the tournament.”

Canada coach John Herdman’s team started off slow and played tentative in the first half. A team talk during the interval sparked Canada and helped the hosts show the true form they have. Herdman was delighted with the performance his team put forth in a win-or-go-home situation.

[FOLLOW: Latest Women’s World Cup coverage from ProSoccerTalk]

Canada could have a date with old coach Even Pellerud in the quarterfinals if Norway advances, but Canada captain Christine Sinclair says she has no preference as to who the team’s next opponent will be.

“Not really,” she said. “We’ve played England so often. Obviously most recently before this tournament started. In your heart it would be cool to play Even. Personally he had a huge impact on me. It would be nice to share that experience with him. I think we’re just going to sit back and watch them kick each other tomorrow (laughs).”

Herdman’s halftime speech appears to have made a difference for Canada.

“He told us these are moments we’ll never get back and no regrets at the end of it,” Sinclair said.

The Swiss were not intimidated by the strong physical nature of Canada. Forwards Ramona Bachmann and Lara Dickenmann were able to set up a pair of early chances for Switzerland, the first after Bachmann raced past a sliding Sesselmann, but ran out of pitch length. The FC Rosengard striker also sent in a cross that Dickenmann was a tad late to reach. Canada’s backline was tested and came through in the early stages of the match.

Belanger moved to her more comfortable position up top as a striker next to Melissa Tancredi and Christine Sinclair. In the 52nd minute, Belanger fired a long-range shot from distance that appeared to be harmless, but somehow found the inside of the back far post. For Belanger, that was her second crossbar or post of the tournament as scoring seems to elude Canada.

Moments later, Tancredi looked to connect with a cross, but instead took out Swiss goalkeeper Gaelle Thalmann. The 29-year-old keeper took an elbow to the ribs and was able to continue on after being attended to by team trainers.

Both teams settled into the remainder of the opening forty-five playing as though they were afraid to make a mistake. At times it looked like Canada had no imagination going forward. Bachmann was free to run all over the pitch as she turned Sesselmann inside out on a few occasions. Switzerland came to play and had Canada on the defensive. The first half ended 0-0 with both Canada and Switzerland struggling to find finishing in the final third.

Herdman and Swiss coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg both elected not to make any changes before the second half kickoff. Canada got things going with more urgency, possession and control to their game.

Herdman revealed after the game that defender Kadeisha Buchanan was questionable to play against Switzerland. The tough tackling center back has missed training this week with an abdominal muscle injury. Buchanan’s role as a shutdown defender is vital to the success of Canada. She talked about how she was able to get fit for the match and the state of her injury.

“I only missed one session out of the three so I felt like I knew my role,” Buchanan said. “It was pretty easy to get back out there when you know your role. I felt confident two practices before. It’s pretty sore right now. I’m just going to go back to the hotel and rest it up and get better for the next game.”

Rhian Wilkinson was back in the lineup at right back sent a cross into the box for Tancredi to connect with. The ball was too far in front for Tancredi and well over the head of Thalmann. Canada kept coming and once again it was Wilkinson who setup the play that lead to Canada’s opening goal in the 52nd minute.

Wilkinson’s cross found Sinclair in the box. Sinclair, with defenders all over her, played a little touch to Belanger. The recently converted fullback was wide open and had a split moment to find her shot. Belanger sent a left-footed, curling shot past the Swiss keeper for a 1-0 Canada advantage and chorus of cheers from the BC Place faithful.

Bachmann was trying to do everything possible to find an equalizing goal for her team, but it just wasn’t in the cards for Switzerland. Canada’s back-line shaky at time was able to do enough to earn the victory. Erin McLeod wasn’t tested often enough, but did well on corners and crosses to deny the Swiss. McLeod earned her third clean sheet of the tournament.

Voss-Tecklenburg expected a strong physical match from Canada and that’s exactly how it played out. Canada was able to finish one particular chance, while Switzerland couldn’t convert. Overall, the Swiss have done quite well in their first time at a Women’s World Cup.

“It was a highly intensive match, exactly what we expected,” Voss-Tecklenburg said. ‘I feel badly for my players. We’re sad, they are sad. This World Cup has been a huge experience for us.”

Canada Starting XI: Erin McLeod; Allysha Chapman, Lauren Sesselmann, Kadeisha Buchanan, Rhian Wilkinson (Marie Eve-Nault 87); Sophie Schmidt, Desiree Scott, Ashley Lawrence (Kaylyn Kyle 76); Christine Sinclair(C), Melissa Tancredi (Jonelle Filigno 69), Josee Belanger. (4-3-3)

Switzerland Starting XI: Gaelle Thalmann; Selina Kuster (Vanessa Buerki 61), Lia Waelti, Caroline Abbe(C), Noelle Maritz; Vanessa Bernauer, Martine Moser (Fabienne Humm 71); Ana Maria Crnogorcevic, Rachel Rinast (Rahel Kiwic 79); Ramona Bachmann; Lara Dickenmann;(4-2-2-1-1)

England vs Ukraine, live! Score, updates, stream, video highlights, lineups


England host Ukraine in a UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier at Wembley with an extremely emotional atmosphere expected in London.

[ LIVE: EURO 2024 qualifying scores – England vs Ukraine ]

As the war rages on across Ukraine following the Russia invasion just over a year ago, the United Kingdom have been one of Ukraine’s key partners in the fight against Russian forces.

The English Football Association have given away close to 1,000 free tickets to Ukrainians (and their sponsor families from the UK) who were forced to flee their country and resettle with families in the UK. Over 4,200 Ukraine fans will be in the away end at Wembley amid a sea of blue and yellow and you can expect plenty of mutual respect and support from fans of both countries towards each other. This match is Ukraine’s first of 2023, as they narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after losing to Wales in a playoff last summer.

[ MORE: Full EURO 2024 qualifying schedule, standings ]

England beat Italy 2-1 in Naples on Thursday as Harry Kane became their all-time leading goalscorer with his 54th goal for the Three Lions and they held on after going 2-0 up as Luke Shaw’s red card with 10 minutes to go complicated matters. Gareth Southgate’s young side are developing but will they be able to finally win a major tournament?

They have to qualify for the Euros in Germany next summer first, but a first win away in Italy since 1961 was a great start to this qualifying campaign.

Here’s everything you need for England vs Ukraine.

England vs Ukraine live score: 2-0

Harry Kane goal video: Saka cues up North London rival

Bukayo Saka goal video: Sensational curl makes it 2-0

How to watch England vs Ukraine live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12pm ET, Sunday (March 26)
Updates: Via
Stadium: Wembley Stadium, London
Stream: Fubo

Key storylines, in-form players

The last time this nations met England ran out 4-0 winners in the quarterfinals of EURO 2020. They will be the heavy favorites in this game but Ukraine should not be underestimate as the No. 26 ranked team in the world have the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Vitalii Mykolenko all playing in the Premier League.

England’s forwards ran riot in the first half against Italy with Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka sensational, plus Jude Bellingham’s driving runs from midfield give this Three Lions side an extra dimension. There is more creativity and cutting edge about this England side compared to recent years and it feels like they are ready to win something. There will be a ceremony before this game to honor Harry Kane becoming England’s all-time goalscorer as he passed Wayne Rooney with his goal in Italy on Thursday.

England team news, lineup options

Luke Shaw will be suspended for this game after his red card in Italy, so Ben Chilwell comes in at left back. Jordan Henderson enters for Kalvin Phillips in midfield, while Phil Foden misses out after undergoing appendix surgery. Reece James is also out, but Jude Bellingham perseveres through an injury to start and James Maddison is also in the XI.

Ukraine team news, lineup options

Andriy Yarmolenko (three goals away from equalling Andriy Shevchenko as Ukraine’s all-time leading scorer) has been struggling with a hamstring injury and misses out, while Bournemouth’s Ilya Zabarnyi and Shakhtar’s Oleksandr Zubkov are both out. Roman Yaremchuk offesr real quality in up top while Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko is the heartbeat of this Ukraine side and Chelsea’s Mykhailo Mudryk will drive the left side in front of Everton’s Vitalii Mykolenko.

EURO 2024 qualification live! EURO qualifiers schedule, updates, standings


EURO 2024 qualifying is here, and you’re in the right spot for groups, fixtures, and results.

Italy outlasted England in penalty kicks to win EURO 2020 and is bidding to become the first repeat winner since Spain in 2008 and 2012.

[ MORE: Breaking down Premier League title race ]

England is still seeking its first European Championship and will be favored to emerge from Group C with aforementioned Italy as well as Ukraine, North Macedonia, and Malta.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions started off 2024 qualifying well as Harry Kane snapped a tie with Wayne Rooney atop England’s all-time goals list with a 2-1 win in Italy, the nation’s first in the country since 1961.

Netherlands and France are also in a spicy group that has dark horse Republic of Ireland and former champions Greece, as well as Gibraltar.

[ MORE: Live scores, updates, standings from EURO 2024 qualifying ]

A number of nations have guaranteed themselves no worse than a playoff spot due to their performances in the UEFA Nations League: Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Georgia, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia, Kazakhstan.

EURO 2024 qualifying schedule

Thursday, March 23

Kazakhstan 1-2 Slovenia
Slovakia 0-0 Luxembourg
Italy 1-2 England – Video, player ratings as Kane breaks Rooney record
Denmark 3-1 Finland
Portugal 4-0 Liechtenstein
San Marino 0-2 Northern Ireland
North Macedonia 2-1 Malta
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-0 Iceland

Friday, March 24

Bulgaria 0-1 Montenegro
Gibraltar 0-3 Greece
Moldova 1-1 Faroe Islands
Serbia 2-0 Lithuania
Austria 4-1 Azerbaijan
Sweden 0-3 Belgium
Czech Republic 3-1 Poland
France 4-0 Netherlands

Saturday, March 25

Scotland 3-0 Cyprus
Israel 1-1 Kosovo
Armenia 1-2 Turkey
Belarus 0-5 Switzerland
Spain 3-0 Norway
Croatia 1-0 Wales
Andorra 0-2 Romania

Sunday, March 26

Kazakhstan 3-2 Denmark
England vs Ukraine — Noon ET — Live updates, video highlights
Liechtenstein vs Iceland — Noon ET
Slovenia vs San Marino — Noon ET
Slovakia vs Bosnia and Herzegovina — 2:45pm ET
Northern Ireland vs Finland — 2:45pm ET
Luxembourg vs Portugal — 2:45pm ET
Malta vs Italy — 2:45pm ET

Monday, March 27

Montenegro vs Serbia — 2:45pm ET
Netherlands vs Gibraltar — 2:45pm ET
Poland vs Albania — 2:45pm ET
Austria vs Estonia — 2:45pm ET
Sweden vs Azerbaijan — 2:45pm ET
Moldova vs Czech Republic — 2:45pm ET
Hungary vs Bulgaria — 2:45pm ET
Republic of Ireland vs France — 2:45pm ET

Tuesday, March 28

Georgia vs Norway — Noon ET
Wales vs Latvia — 2:45pm ET
Romania vs Belarus — 2:45pm ET
Switzerland vs Israel — 2:45pm ET
Kosovo vs Andorra — 2:45pm ET
Turkey vs Croatia — 2:45pm ET
Scotland vs Spain — 2:45pm ET

EURO 2024 qualifying standings

Group A

Spain — 3 pts, +3 GD
Scotland — 3 pts, +3GD
Norway — 0 pts, -3 GD
Cyprus — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group B

France — 3pts, +4 GD
Greece — 3 pts, +3 GD
Republic of Ireland
Gibraltar — 0 pts, -3 GD
Netherlands — 0 pts, -4 GD

Group C

England — 3 pts, +1 GD
North Macedonia — 3 pts, +1 GD
Malta — 0 pts, -1 GD
Italy — 0 pts, -1 GD

Group D

Turkey — 3 pts, +1 GD
Wales — 1 pt, 0 GD
Croatia — 1 pt, 0 GD
Armenia — 0 pts, -1 GD

Group E

Czech Republic — 3 pts, +2 GD
Faroe Islands — 1 pt, 0 GD
Moldova — 1 pt, 0 GD
Poland — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group F

Austria — 3 pts, +3 GD
Belgium — 3 pts, + 3GD
Azerbaijan — 0 pts, -3 GD
Sweden — 0 pts, -3 GD

Group G

Serbia — 3 pts, +2 GD
Montenegro — 3 pts, +1 GD
Bulgaria — 0 pts, -1 GD
Lithuania — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group H

Northern Ireland — 3 pts, +2 GD
Denmark — 3 pts, +1 GD
Slovenia — 3 pts, +1 GD
Kazakhstan — 3 pts, 0 GD
Finland — 0 pts, -2 GD
San Marino — 0 pts, -2 GD

Group I

Switzerland — 3 pts, +5 GD
Romania — 3 pts, + 2 GD
Israel — 1 pt, 0 GD
Kosovo — 1 pt, 0 GD
Andorra — 0 pts, -2 GD
Belarus — 0 pts, -5 GD

Group J

Portugal — 3 pts, +4 GD
Bosnia and Herzegovina — 3 pts, +3 GD
Slovakia — 1 pt, 0 GD
Liechtenstein — 1 pt, 0 GD
Iceland — 0 pts, -3 GD
Luxembourg — 0 pts, -4 GD

Kevin Paredes scores spectacular goal as US U20s fall to England (video)


A day after the United States men’s national team pumped home seven goals against Grenada, Wolfsburg phenom Kevin Paredes showed them a bit of what could be in store for the program.

The U.S. U-20 men ultimately fell 4-2 to England in Marbella, Spain, on Saturday, but Paredes scored an acrobatic goal before cuing up an Owen Wolff finish to tantalize American fans.

[ MORE: Dual national Folarin Balogun meets with U.S. Soccer ]

Paredes, still a teenager until early May, made his U-20 debut going 68 minutes on Wednesday as the Baby Yanks were smacked 4-0 by France in a friendly.

He’d find the scoresheet twice via his goal and assist against England, however, and both showed off the technique and power that has USMNT fans tickled by the potential of the left-sided man.

Paredes’ goal is the stuff of wonder, a scissor kick goal to finish off a wonderful turnover-and-counter. He left DC United for Wolfsburg last season, making two appearances before really finding his footing this season.

Wolfsburg’s called his name 18 times this season, 16 of those coming in the Bundesliga, and Paredes has responded with a goal and two assists. He’s appeared in nine of Wolfsburg’s last 10 matches, missing once for illness.

Leeds’ Mateo Joseph scored a brace for Leeds, while Chelsea starlet Harvey Vale and Liverpool’s Jarell Quansah also bagged goals in the win.

The U.S. U-20s finish the international break with a friendly against Serbia on Tuesday.

Kevin Paredes goal video: Acrobatic finish pulls one back

Jack McGlynn forces a turnover and drives the 18 before laying off for Wolff.

The Austin FC kid’s cross is hammered home by Paredes with a scissor kick.

Owen Wolff backheel goal video: Kevin Paredes assist for 2-2

Paredes then turned provider for Wolff after the Baby Yanks drove the ball from the back through the midfield with Colorado Rapids product Darren Yapi helping it along to Hajduk Split phenom Rokas Pukstas.

Pukstas, 18 and a squad regular, found the Wolfsburg man on the right. Paredes then dribbled inside from the right, finding Wolff for an improvised backheel finish.

Phil Foden has appendix surgery, to miss Manchester City vs Liverpool


Manchester City star Phil Foden will be unavailable for the club’s big Premier League match with Liverpool, and he may be out longer.

Foden, 22, withdrew from the England squad in order to undergo an appendectomy, and City says he has returned to Manchester to begin recovery.

His recovery means he will not feature for second-place City when it hosts rivals Liverpool on April 1.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

Foden’s nine goals put him into a tie for 12th on the Premier League’s season goals list, and he’s chipped in four assists in league play.

City has 61 points, eight fewer than leaders Arsenal but with a match-in-hand on the Gunners.

Man City’s bidding to win a third-straight Premier League Trophy, something that hasn’t been done since Manchester United completed a “three-peat” at the end of the 2008-09 season.

England plays Ukraine at Noon ET Sunday.