SYDNEY (AP) — The tests keep coming for England at the Women’s World Cup and the Lionesses keep roaring.
Alessia Russo fired England into the semifinals with a second-half goal to beat Colombia 2-1 on Saturday in a game that showcased the resolve of Sarina Wiegman’s team and set up a clash with co-host Australia.
“We always find a way through,” said Russo, whose goal completed a come-from-behind win after Leicy Santos had given Colombia a first-half lead. “One of the strongest things about this team is we never give up.”
England advanced to the last four for the third consecutive Women’s World Cup, despite going into the tournament with a host of key players out injured.
Kiera Walsh was then sidelined after hurting her knee in the second game of the group stage and Lauren James is serving a two-game suspension for stepping on Nigeria defender Michelle Alozie in the round of 16.
Yet England keep coming up with answers.
“We’ve had lots of challenges, and we’ve got through these challenges,” Wiegman said. “It showed the resilience of the team.”
Without star player James, England’s route to the semifinals was made all the more complicated by Santos’ strike in the 44th.
England also had to contend with a partisan crowd of 75,784 at Stadium Australia that was hugely in favor of Colombia and then there was the physical approach of its opponent as the Lionesses were left bruised by a number heavy challenges.
Yet the composure of England’s players under intense pressure was never more evident than when going a goal down.
The Lionesses produced arguably their most composed play as they controlled possession and probed Colombia’s half before Lauren Hemp seized on a mistake by goalkeeper Catalina Perez to poke the ball over the line in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time.
“Everyone knows their task and you try to stick to the task and keep your emotions in control. It’s easy to say, but that’s what you practice every day,” Wiegman said. “That’s one of the strengths of this team that we do stay calm. So we conceded a goal and you don’t see any panic. We just try to speed up the game even more and create chances and score goals. So far I think we have done that really well.”
Wiegman is a step closer to her second consecutive Women’s World Cup final after her Netherlands team was runner-up to the United States in 2019.
England lost in the semifinals in 2015 and 2019, going out to Japan and the United States, respectively.
Wiegman led the Lionesses to victory in the European Championship last year, having won that competition with Netherlands in 2017.
In leading the Lionesses to success last year, she became only the second England coach, male or female, to win an elite international tournament. Alf Ramsey’s men’s team won the World Cup in 1966.
If she were to win the World Cup she would become England’s most successful coach of all time.
With many of the favorites, including America, Germany, France and Japan, already eliminated, the Lionesses will be increasingly confident they can win a first Women’s World Cup.
Colombia, meanwhile, exits having made history by securing a place in the quarterfinals for the first time. It was the last remaining team from the Americas in the tournament.
“We have peace of mind,” Colombia coach Nelson Abadia said. “Not satisfied, but peace because of our very good performance in the World Cup. We proved how Colombian football has evolved.”
Colombia looked capable of going even further after Santos’ goal gave it an unexpected lead.
Taking the ball on the right of the box, she shaped to cross, but her effort instead flew directly toward goal, catching out England keeper Mary Earps and dipping under the bar.
It sparked an eruption of noise, while Colombia’s substitutes ran to join in the celebrations with Santos and the rest of the players.
If going behind for the first time in the tournament came as a shock to England, it didn’t show.
They evened the score after the mistake from Perez.
The keeper should have easily gathered the ball when Russo mis-controlled in the box, but let it slip out of her grasp and Hemp pounced.
Russo’s winner came after England had dominated the second half without managing to open up Colombia’s defense.
Georgia Stanway collected the ball around 40 yards (meters) from goal and slipped a pass to the striker, who held off a challenge from Daniela Arias before firing low into the far corner from a tight angle.
England will play Australia in Sydney on Wednesday, when the Stadium Australia crowd will be against the Lionesses once again.
Wiegman, who is from Netherlands, might need a crash course in the rivalry between the nations.
“I just think it’s going to be really big, but now I’ve had a couple of questions about it so it’s probably going to be bigger than I imagine now,” she said.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
More AP Women’s World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/fifa-womens-world-cup
Garnacho on target as United beats Crystal Palace in League Cup defence
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Seven months after lifting the trophy, Manchester United made a successful start to its defense of the English League Cup on Tuesday by beating Crystal Palace 3-0.
Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro fired the holders into a 2-0 first-half lead at Old Trafford and Anthony Martial added a third after the break in the third-round match.
It is now back-to-back wins for Erik ten Hag’s team, which has endured a disappointing start to the season.
The dominant performance against an understrength Palace followed Saturday’s narrow victory at Burnley and will give United fans hope the team has turned its form around.
“The mood is always good, but of course when you are not winning at United there is disappointment, and there is frustration, but the togetherness is always there,” Ten Hag said. “We know we are not now in the position where we want to be. So we have to build up, we have to catch up and then you have to go from game to game, working on the process and working on the results. Don’t get too far ahead.”
The League Cup ranks fourth among English soccer’s most important trophies. But Ten Hag still savored last season’s success.
Victory against Newcastle in February’s final at Wembley Stadium ended the club’s six-year wait for a trophy and saw Ten Hag deliver silverware in his first season at the club. He went on to also reach the FA Cup final, only to lose to Manchester City, and also guided United back into the Champions League to mark an impressive campaign.
Things have not gone so well this term, with his team losing four out of five games before beating Burnley 1-0.
This latest victory was far more convincing, even if Palace benched regular starters Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Joachim Anderson and was also without forward Odsonne Edouard.
Ten Hag also made changes with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund on the bench and Christian Eriksen absent.
Mason Mount, however, made his first appearance since Aug. 19 after returning from an injury.
Garnacho fired United ahead in the 21st minute after converting Diogo Dalot’s cutback in the box.
His low shot had too much power for Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who had only just come on as a substitute for the injured Dean Henderson.
Johnstone was tested again moments later when Dalot blasted an effort from an angle, which the keeper blocked.
He was beaten again, however, in the 27th, this time by Casemiro, who headed in Mount’s corner to double United’s lead.
Martial added a third 10 minutes into the second half when firing across goal after meeting Casemiro’s looping ball to the far post.
United plays Palace again in the Premier League on Saturday and the Londoners showed their threat when twice forcing saves from ‘keeper Andre Onana later in the match. But manager Roy Hodgson did not sound confident about securing a different outcome when the teams next meet.
“We are going to have to become a totally different team in the way we approach the game and the way we play the game,” he said.
Third-division Exeter produced a shock 1-0 win against Luton to knock the Premier League club out of the competition. Luton made 10 changes from the team that picked up its first topflight point of the season against Wolverhampton on Saturday, but the result will still go down as a big upset. Demetri Mitchell scored the winner in the 83rd, but Exeter had to see out the game with 10 men after he was sent off in the 88th.
Wolverhampton was also eliminated after throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at second-division Ipswich. Hwang Hee-Chan and Toti Gomes had seemingly put the visitors on course for the next round after goals inside the first 15 minutes. But Omari Hutchinson, Freddie Ladapo and Jack Taylor sealed a comeback win for Ipswich.
Burnley is still waiting for its first win in the league this season, but it is powering on in the cup after a 4-0 win against Salford City, the fourth division club co-owned by Manchester United greats including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.
Elsewhere, Middlesbrough beat Bradford 2-0 and Port Vale won 2-1 against Sutton United.
Fourth-division Mansfield beat third-division Peterborough 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in regulation time. Lucas Akins’ penalty to even the score in the 93rd had sent the game to a shootout.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation
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Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
Examining the Casino’s Game Selection
Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.
Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.
Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.
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