United States defeats Germany, advances to Women’s World Cup final

20 Comments

MONTREAL – The United States is headed to its second straight Women’s World Cup final after a 2-0 victory over world No. 1 Germany on Tuesday in front of a raucous pro-U.S. crowd of 51,176 fans.

Carli Lloyd scored for the second straight match and second-half substitute Kelley O’Hara added a late insurance goal to send the U.S. to the Women’s World Cup final for the fourth time in seven tournaments.

Lloyd scored from the penalty spot in the 69th minute, sending Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer the wrong way. Alex Morgan drew the penalty kick after having her path obstructed by Germany defender Annike Krahn on the edge of the box. Lloyd has now scored in three consecutive games.

“These are the moments I live for,” Lloyd said. “These are the moments when I kind of roll my sleeves up and say to myself I have to step up.”

The goal came eight minutes after Celia Sasic missed the first penalty kick in Germany’s Women’s World Cup history, pushing her right-footed effort wide of the net in the 59th minute. Julie Johnston received a yellow card – not a red card- for bringing down Germany forward Alexandra Popp in the box as the last defender, keeping the U.S. at even strength with Germany.

“I wish I could have that moment back,” Johnston said. “It was definitely a defender’s worst nightmare. This was a team performance and the team definitely lifted me up after that moment happened.”

Lloyd then played playmaker in the 84th minute, getting to the endline and driving a cross toward goal for O’Hara to tap in.

The U.S. will play winner of Wednesday’s Japan-England semifinal in Edmonton, Alberta, in the final on Sunday in Vancouver.

U.S. coach Jill Ellis started in a new formation for the first time, playing Morgan as the lone striker with Lloyd underneath her as a withdrawn forward in a 4-4-1-1 formation. The new setup allowed Lloyd, Morgan Brian and Lauren Holiday to all start in central roles.

Lloyd had her best game of the tournament in the quarterfinals against China while playing in a more attacking role and continued to improve in the semifinals. Brian’s presence as a more defensive midfielder gave Lloyd that “freedom,” as she often called it.

Holiday missed the quarterfinal due to suspension, but both she and Megan Rapinoe returned to the starting lineup for the U.S. on Tuesday after missing the quarterfinal due to suspension.

Transition was the operative word for a cracking first half of the match in which the United States forced Angerer into two point-blank saves.

Angerer first kick-saved Julie Johnston’s header in the 7th minute on a Rapinoe corner kick, and eight minutes later she denied Portland Thorns teammate Morgan, again with a left-footed kick-save. Morgan bent her run to stay onside and midfielder Tobin Heath played a ball in stride for Morgan and on the striker’s preferred left foot, but Morgan’s low shot was kicked clear by Angerer.

The United States’ pressure on Angerer and her back four was sustained throughout much of the first half. Morgan and Heath both had half-chances near the end of the half, but Morgan failed to put hers on frame and Heath’s was blocked after a scramble in the box following a U.S. corner kick.

Brian collided heads with Popp – causing the latter’s head to bleed – in the 29th minute, but both players stayed on the field. Brian said after the game that she was “fine.” Both coaches said that they have complete faith in their medical staffs and are confident that neither player suffered a concussion.

With the shutout, the United States hasn’t given up a goal since the opening minutes of the World Cup against Australia; the Americans are currently on a 513-minute shutout streak.

Each of the three times that the United States and Germany have met at a World Cup, the winner off that match has gone on to win the World Cup (USA in 1991 and 1999; Germany in 2003).

The U.S. is now 21-4-7 all-time against Germany.

Man City vs Man United: How to watch live, stream link, team news

0 Comments

Manchester City vs Manchester United: Erling Haaland is set for his Manchester derby debut when the two-time defending champions host the rapidly improving Red Devils at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (watch live, 9 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE MAN CITY vs MAN UNITED

Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm with an absurd 11 goals scored in his first seven games after (ostensibly) choosing Man City over Man United before leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Six weeks ago, Manchester United had not a single point from their first two games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of tiny Brentford, but Erik ten Hag has since switched tactical course en route to four straight wins, including a 3-1 victory over PL leaders Arsenal last time out, to set up this hugely intriguing showdown on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Man City vs Man United

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

Despite a pair of disappointing draws (Newcastle and Aston Villa), it’s been an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 season for Man City, who still lead the PL in possession (66.4 percent per game) while also becoming an unstoppable offensive force from last season (14 goals in their first seven games) to this season (23). That’s not to say it’s been easy as Manchester City go through a tactical shift of their own to better appeal to the big Norwegian’s poaching abilities. Though they have been forced to grind out results a few times already this season, it’s highlighted a newfound spontaneity for a side that’s been as regimented as any in the world. Will that freedom be what ultimately lands Pep Guardiola his first Champions League trophy since 2011, and perhaps a third straight PL title (and a fifth in six years) to boot?

As for Manchester United, the Ten Hag era has been a wild roller-coaster ride already, short as it’s been. The back-to-back defeats were one thing, but the abject performances were the real cause for discontent. While picking up the four straight victories, the Dutchman has also settled on a midfield setup with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen operating in (effectively) a double pivot with Bruno Fernandes the most advanced of the three. It has brought defensive stability, of course, but more importantly the change has revealed a deadly counter-attacking side. Each of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes have scored twice during the winning run, with new boy Antony also getting in on the fun on his debut. With space in behind (and the proper service from deep), Ten Hag might just have his first winning formula (albeit quite unlike him).


Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Marcus Rashford (thigh), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE, Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

WATCH: Lionel Messi spins gorgeous free kick goal past Nice’s Schmeichel

0 Comments

Lionel Messi got the better of Kasper Schmeichel with an outstanding free kick as Paris Saint-Germain outlasted Nice 2-1 on Saturday at the Parc des Princes.

The world’s greatest scorer was fouled to set up a free kick just inside the arc. Nice, of course, got into a wall and former Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel arranged it to his liking.

As he does so many times, however, Messi spun a free kick just over the wall. The ball, which came so close to taking a slight turn off a leaping wall member (actually, did it?), tumbled down and right into the side netting to give PSG a 1-0 lead before the match was a half-hour old.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi scores relentless Groningen goal ]

Gaetan Laborde tied the match before halftime, and Nice’s revamped roster looked set to hold tight for a point (The club’s signed familiar Premier League names Schmeichel, Ross Barkley, Aaron Ramsey, and Mario Lemina).

Even that wouldn’t be enough, though, as Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to replace young Hugo Ekitike to finish a Nordi Mukiele assist for a 2-1 win.

PSG has eight wins and a draw this season, good for a two-point lead on second-place Marseille. Messi has five goals and a joint-league-best seven assists, tied with Neymar. Mbappe and Neymar are tied for the league goals lead with eight.

Lionel Messi free kick goal video

USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi defies xG with relentless goal (video)

0 Comments

USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi’s goal while trying to will Groningen back into an eventual 4-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar on Saturday will not be one of the expected variety.

The 19-year-old striker, on loan from Augsburg, ran onto an audacious long pass from 20-year-old defender Neraysho Kasanwirjo but had plenty of work to do with AZ leading 2-0.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez scores audacious overhead goal ]

Pepi sees one defender fall in a race to the ball, then bodies up AZ’s Sam Beukema a little outside the six-yard box.

Hand-to-hand combat sees both players hit the turf, and Pepi probably could won a penalty.

But the World Cup hopeful spins while on the pitch and snaps a shot past charging AZ goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst to make it 2-1.

Video after the jump.

Ricardo Pepi
fotmob.com

Ricardo Pepi goal video: Fantastic start to Groningen loan

Pepi now has a goal or an assist in his first three Eredivisie outings, not unlike his fantastic start to life in a USMNT shirt.

His goal contributions have taken a dive since his first two USMNT matches — World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Jamaica — and he only has one assist from the following 10 outings in a U.S. shirt.

Still, Pepi is clearly one of Gregg Berhalter’s favorite options for the upcoming World Cup, and his performances will be measured against Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok, FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira, and others.

In a tournament where every moment matters, his work for this scrappy finish will be well-noted by the USMNT staff.

Josef Martinez scores vicious overhead kick in Atlanta United loss (video)

0 Comments

If this is the last goal of Josef Martinez’s (likely) final season with Atlanta United, it will be very appropriate.

So for Martinez, even in a losing effort, to go airborne for an overhead kick that is a simply sensational feat of athleticism and power, well, it just feels right.

The 29-year-old Venezuelan forward joined the Five Stripes in 2017 in what seemed a massive capture for the club at the time and now seems downright gargantuan, but he’s fallen out with current manager Gonzalo Pineda and was even suspended for a match last month.

[ MORE: West Ham beats Wolves | Klopp reacts to latest setback ]

Martinez has nine goals and four assists in an injury-abbreviated 25-game season, giving him 111 goals in 156 appearances for ATL UTD. The former Torino and Young Boys striker is still being capped for Venezuela and would leave with an MLS Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and Campeones Cup as well as a boatload of individual honors.

Atlanta lost 2-1 to New England on Saturday and returns home for their season finale next weekend versus New York City FC. The Five Stripes won’t make the playoffs unless at least two teams decide not to field teams, so if the NYCFC game doesn’t go well, let’s pretend this one was his final appearance for the club.