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Canada's Christine Sinclair becomes international soccer's top goal scorer – CBC.ca

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Christine Sinclair has made soccer history.

Canada’s captain broke U.S. forward Abby Wambach’s world-record total of 184 goals on Wednesday, scoring for the second time against St. Kitts and Nevis at the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.

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Sinclair’s 185th goal of her career came in the 23rd minute. Left alone, Sinclair converted an Adriana Leon feed for the milestone goal.

WATCH | Sinclair scores goal No. 185:

Canadian Christine Sinclair scores the 185th goal of her career, passing American Abby Wambach on the all-time goals list. 1:10

The record-tying goal came on a penalty kick in the seventh minute at H-E-B Park in south Texas.

Sinclair’s shot rolled to the right of St. Kitts goalkeeper Kyra Dickinson.

The 36-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., was playing in her 290th career game for Canada. Wambach, who retired in 2015, compiled her total in 255 games.

Wambach, now 39, broke fellow American Mia Hamm’s record haul of 158 in 2013 with a four-goal performance against South Korea.

Sinclair was 16 when she made her senior debut on March 12, 2000, becoming Canada’s youngest-ever player at the time. She opened her scoring account one game later, beating star goalkeeper Bente Nordby in a 2-1 loss to Norway two days later at the Algarve Cup.

Sinclair’s glittering career has already garnered the Portland Thorns captain a slew of honours.

In December, she was named the Canada Soccer player of the decade. Canada Soccer president Steven Reed called Sinclair “a once-in-a-generation athlete that has been at the heart of Canadian sport for over 20 years.”

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Netherlands dominate USA in first knock-out World Cup match – Al Jazeera English

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A 3-1 victory for the Oranje at the Khalifa International Stadium sends Team USA home.

The Netherlands have put three goals past the USA to book a place in the football World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar.

Despite scoring once, the USA posed little challenge to their opponents, who repeatedly outclassed the Stars and Stripes at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday.

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Matt Turner in the USA goal produced some spectacular saves to deny the Dutch a larger scoreline, while his opposite number Andries Noppert was called upon far less frequently.

tuner
Mark Turner produced some crucial saves for the USA [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Although the USA enjoyed long periods of possession in a bright first-half display, all too often a lack of composure in the final third let them down.

Instead, it was the Dutch who calmly bided their time before carving open the USA defence with forensic precision.

USA forward Christian Pulisic squandered a golden chance to put his team 1-0 up after only three minutes when he found himself in space only to see a scuffed shot saved.

But the Netherlands grew into the game, with Memphis Depay and Daley Blind finding the net after being both assisted by Denzel Dumfries in the 10th and the first minute of first-half added time, respectively.

Netherlands vs USA
Netherlands fans celebrate their team’s progression to the tournament’s last 8 [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Cody Gakpo cleared Tim Ream’s header off the line early in the second half to keep the Netherlands’ advantage safe, but the men in orange wasted chances to put the game to bed.

Second-half substitute Haji Wright cut the US deficit to 2-1 in the 76th minute when Pulisic’s cross hit his trailing foot and popped over Noppert and into the net.

But Dumfries restored a two-goal lead for the Netherlands in the 81st minute – this time Blind provided the assist.

Runners-up in 1974, 1978 and 2010, the Oranje extended their unbeaten streak to 19 games and will face next the winner of Saturday’s evening clash between Argentina and Australia.

Denzil Dumfries added a late goal
Denzil Dumfries added a late goal [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

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FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Uruguay beats Ghana Group H Jordan Ayew Giorgian de Arrascaeta – TSN

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AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — Luis Suarez couldn’t watch as his Uruguay team slid toward a painful World Cup exit. He put his hands in front of his eyes, then pulled his shirt over his head. When his face emerged again, there were tears.

The Uruguay captain sat in the dugout after being substituted as his team beat Ghana 2-0 on Friday but was still eliminated from the tournament by a stoppage-time goal in another game.

A late goal by Hwang Hee-chan secured South Korea a last-gasp 2-1 win over Portugal and a place in the last 16 from Group H at Uruguay’s expense because it scored more goals. After the most dramatic end to the group, Portugal advanced as group winner and South Korea clinched second.

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Ghana, which came into the last set of games in second place, was also eliminated.

“It is sadness and disappointment that we feel,” said Suarez, who was playing in his last World Cup. “I was lucky enough to play my fourth World Cup, and I was thinking about my 4-year-old son, who is leaving with the image of sadness. It’s difficult, but it’s up to me to face the situation.”

When Suarez left in the 66th minute of the game, Uruguay was in a position to advance to the knockout stage for a fourth straight World Cup. He had played key roles in both Uruguay goals by Giorgian De Arrascaeta, which came after Ghana captain Andre Ayew missed a 21st-minute penalty.

A shot by Suarez led to De Arrascaeta’s opener in the 26th minute. Suarez then set up the second with a clever pass that De Arrascaeta volleyed in six minutes later.

By the time the final whistle blew, Uruguay’s 2-0 lead still stood but the 35-year-old Suarez’s World Cup career was over.

The realization that it might be heading that way came for Suarez when a screen at the stadium flashed up news of South Korea’s late goal against Portugal. Before that, Suarez was smiling in the dugout.

Uruguay desperately chased another goal through eight minutes of stoppage time. One goal would have been enough to advance on goal difference.

Substitute Maximiliano Gomez hit a shot that Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi saved by diving to his right in the final minutes. Sebastian Coates missed a shot just wide. Uruguay also had two claims for a late penalty turned down. Several Uruguayan players angrily confronted the referee after the match as they were headed off the field.

“They broke their backs. They gave their best,” Uruguay coach Diego Alonso said.

At the end, the Ghana fans at Al Janoub Stadium chanted “Korea, Korea, Korea” and celebrated Uruguay’s exit, testament to the bitter resentment they still feel towards Suarez and the rest of the national team for one of the most contentious games in World Cup history.

Suarez was responsible for Ghana’s World Cup elimination in the quarterfinals 12 years ago. Then, his deliberate handball on the goal line denied Ghana a certain goal at the very end of extra time.

Suarez was sent off but celebrated wildly on the sidelines when Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty. Uruguay went on to win in a shootout.

That 2010 game loomed over this rematch, stoked by Suarez’s refusal to apologize for his handball when asked to do so on the eve of the game in Qatar by a Ghanaian journalist, who said the player was now known as “el diablo” — a devil — in Ghana.

Ghana coach Otto Addo said the game wasn’t about revenge for 2010.

“What hurts the most is we are out,” Addo said. “It doesn’t matter who it was.”

But that sentiment was not shared by the majority of Ghanaians in the crowd, who booed Suarez every chance they got. One held up a sign before kickoff that read: “Revenge 4 2010.”

The same sign was held up again at the end as Suarez trudged off the field crying.

GHANA’S PAIN

Ghana’s exit was also painful, and memories of the 2010 agony were revived with Ayew’s missed penalty. Ayew was the only member of Ghana’s current squad on that team, although he missed that quarterfinal match because of a suspension.

He went low to the bottom right corner with his penalty and Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet guessed right to push it away with his left hand.

“This is football,” Addo said. “Sometimes football is really, really beautiful. Sometimes it’s ugly. Today it was ugly for us.”

ADDO STEPS DOWN

Addo said he was stepping down as Ghana coach in keeping with a promise he’d already made that he would only lead the team until the end of the World Cup.

BOTH GOING HOME

Uruguay missed out on a place in the last 16 for the first time since 2006, when it didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Ghana, a four-time African champion, has exited in the group stage at the last two World Cups it has played.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Blue Jackets’ Laine the big winner in latest post-trade battle against Dubois, Jets

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WINNIPEG — Patrik Laine took a much more casual approach to his second game back in Winnipeg, combining his trademark sense of humour while downplaying the importance of facing his former teammates.

Pierre-Luc Dubois hardly recognizes the roster of the Columbus Blue Jackets team he left in that blockbuster trade from January of 2021.

In this latest battle of those involved in the blockbuster deal, all three players involved found the scoresheet and made a contribution, with Laine scoring twice and just missing out on a hat trick (hitting the post and having Blake Wheeler make a kick save with the Winnipeg Jets net empty in favour of an extra attacker) in what would become a 4-1 victory for the visitors.

Jack Roslovic also played an inspired game, chipping in an assist and blocking three shots while Dubois scored the lone goal for the Jets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 14-7-1 on the season as they prepare to welcome the Anaheim Ducks to town on Sunday afternoon.

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The temptation when these two franchises get together is to get out the measuring stick, not for how it was used earlier this week when the Jets earned a decisive victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, but to try and get a handle on where things stand when it comes to the trade that altered the future of these two franchises.

In this hot-take society, we are often far too quick to declare the winners and the losers, looking for any sort of edge that is to be gained by one side or the other.

The truth is that weighing in before the future of Dubois is determined leaves the picture incomplete.

The Blue Jackets certainly have an edge in one department, since Laine signed a four-year extension worth $34.8 million (and carrying an AAV of $8.75 million), something he conceded was a huge weight lifted off his shoulders earlier in the day.

“Yeah, it helps. At least I don’t have to answer those stupid questions for the next couple years, so that’s kind of off the table now. So I’m happy about that,” said Laine, who has been limited to nine games this season because of a pair of injuries. “Still got to do the same job, still got to prepare the same way whether you’re playing for a contract or have one in your pocket. Still got to work the same way. But I think it just gives you a bit more freedom. People always say don’t think about it. But it’s not as easy as it seems. It’s always in the back of your head. So that’s kind of gone now.”

Laine wreaks his revenge to lead Blue Jackets to comfortable win over Jets

Dubois made it clear during the off-season that he had a lot of thinking to do before he was ready to decide whether he was going to make a long-term commitment to the Jets.

But Dubois wasn’t going to be doing a lot of that thinking during the course of the season.

When it comes time to iron out his next contract once the current one-year pact expires, he will deal with most of the particulars.

He was going to focus on growing his game and he’s done just that through 22 outings.

For the record, Dubois has done nothing but raise his value for negotiations on his next contract.

He’s producing at nearly a point-per-game rate (11 goals, 21 points in 22 games) while sitting near the top of the league leaders in penalties drawn.

When it comes to his own game, Dubois is a hard marker.

He appreciates the strides he’s taking, while always searching for other areas to improve or augment.

“Yeah. I’ve said this a lot in the past. The player that I want to become, the player I know I can become, I think it takes time,” said Dubois. “It will keep taking time. I don’t think I’m there, either. When I sit next to (Cole) Perfetti, I feel old, but when I sit next to other guys, I’m still young. I feel like I’m getting to where I want to be, but there are still a lot of steps to learn, still a lot of things I can do better, especially as a centreman. It can be a complicated position if you want to perfect it. I really want to get to the level where I feel I am the player I know I can become. I’ll only get there with hard work and the help of everybody in this organization.

“Especially defensively, the play without the puck, it’s a lot of systems, it’s less creativity with the puck than more creativity. Without the puck, it’s more reads and anticipation. That’s the hard part of the game. You really see some of the guys, the best two-way players in the league, they’re at their eighth, ninth, 10th season. For some guys, it’s obviously a little bit earlier, but it’s hard. I know I can do a better job at that. I’m somebody that’s never fully happy with how my game is and that’s definitely an area I know I can clear up and develop.”

One of the things Dubois clearly wanted to figure out this season was where he fit with incoming head coach Rick Bowness.

The early returns on that front are obvious. Bowness trusts Dubois and believes he can be an impact player for a long time.

Fellow pivot Mark Scheifele loves what Dubois has done in helping the Jets have that one-two punch on the top two lines that is rounded out by Adam Lowry and David Gustafsson.

That’s part of the reason GM Kevin Cheveldayoff pulled the trigger on this deal and paid a premium to get it done.

“He’s a guy that is powerful, skates well, strong, good hands, good in tight, he does it all,” said Scheifele. “He’s a tough guy to play against when he has the puck on his stick and when he has it down low. When I played against him, he was still a young buck. He’s grown before our very eyes. He works at his game. He comes in and he has that edge to him that everyone loves, and opponents hate. He’s a guy that gets into the dirty areas, gets to the net, has great hands in tight.

“When he has the puck down low, he’s pretty impossible to take off the puck. That’s why he draws so many penalties, that’s why teams get a stick in there, holding, whatever it is. When he’s doing that, it makes our team pretty lethal.”

But will it be the long-term fit for the Jets, since both Scheifele and Dubois are eligible to become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2024?

That’s why there’s a pronounced sense of urgency when it comes to the results for the Jets this season.

As much as the Jets fan base is enjoying this organization battling for top spot in the Central Division, how things progress on the contract front with Dubois is a question that could ultimately determine how the trade is viewed in the future.

As for the present, the Jets came up with an effort that was not up to the standard they’ve established in the first quarter of the campaign.

“We had a lot of bad performances from a lot of players in that room. We did. The team game kind of went out the window at times, defensively. We gave them those goals on terrible coverage that we normally cover very well,” said Bowness, who was asked if his team had a letdown after an emotional victory over the Avalanche earlier this week

“It shouldn’t. It shouldn’t. Listen, we’re in a dogfight to make the playoffs. Every game is important. I don’t care who we play. Like I said this morning, we set the standard of how we’re going to play, regardless of who we play. And as I told them after the game, it’s on every individual to look at yourself first. Don’t look at anything else. Look at yourself first and foremost.”

Bowness was adamant this was just one of those rough nights that teams have over the course of an 82-game season.

He expects his group to respond and you can understand why he would feel that way, since the Jets won three consecutive games — all within the Central Division — after a listless performance against the Minnesota Wild nine days ago.

With Friday marking the start of a stretch 16 games in 30 days, the Jets don’t have much choice — not if they want to remain in this chase to remain one of the top teams in the division and the entire Western Conference.

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