Casablanca, Morocco- Zambia, Morrocco, Nigeria and South Africa have all booked their spots at the upcoming FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup scheduled for New Zealand and Australia from the 20th of July to the 20th of August 2023.
South Africa beat Tunisia 1 – 0 whilst Nigeria outmaneuvered Cameroon with the same scoreline.
Zambia and hosts Morocco, who both qualified for their first FIFA Women’s World Cup tourney, had to put out a fight to get the spots. Morocco edged a tenacious Botswana 2 – 1 whilst Zambia had to get their victory in a roulette style where they won 4 – 2 on penalties after a 1 – 1 stalemate with Senegal in the first 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has congratulated Zambia’s National Women Team for the historic qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga, thanked the government, especially the FAZ patron, President Hakainde Hichilema for the support rendered to the Zambia Women National Team (Copper Queens) during preparations and the tournament.
“On behalf of the executive committee, I wish to congratulate the Copper Queens for their historic qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It is a huge milestone not only for the women’s game but our entire football.
Many thanks to the government, especially the FAZ patron, President Hakainde Hichilema and Minister of Youth, Sport, and Arts Honourable Elvis Nkandu whose support has invigorated the team’s desire to go an extra mile.
Moreso, many thanks to the players and technical bench and the different clubs that have moulded these players into world beaters. Our prayer is that the public continues to support these girls as they aim to fly the Zambian flag at the FIFA World Cup.
Considering where the women’s game is coming from, we are happy that the efforts that we have put in the last few years have yielded admirable results like Olympic and World Cup qualificationss.
We hope that these achievements will galvanize support in the women’s game especially the Super League that is in its infancy,” said Kamanga.
The 2023 tournament will see the Women’s World Cup expanded from 24 to 32 teams. Competing countries will be divided into eight groups of four teams (groups A to H). Teams in each group will play one another in a round-robin, with the top two teams advancing to the knockout stage.
Three Stars from Day 4 of WJC: Lysell, Sweden dominate all-European action – Sportsnet.ca
Sweden made its presence felt in an all-European matchday at the 2022 World Juniors.
The Junior Crowns established their dominance in Group B with a convincing 6-0 win over Austria. They will fight for a first-place finish in the group stage with the United States on Sunday.
Without two of their best young forwards, Red Wings eighth overall pick in 2022 Marco Kasper and Canadiens second-rounder Vinzenz Rohrer, Austria struggled against the Swedes. The good news for the Austrians is that there is no relegation in this rescheduled version of the World Junior Championship.
Slovakia salvaged their disappointing run in Edmonton by clinching their spot in the quarterfinal round.
The Slovaks — without the top two picks in the 2022 Draft in Juraj Slafkovsky and Simon Nemec — fell 5-4 against their Czech rivals then 11-1 against Canada earlier in the tournament. In their third game on Friday, Slovakia were held up by Latvia but finally took a 3-2 win in a shootout.
The loss means that Latvia will finish in the depths of the tournament. The Latvians can find solace in the fact that the country stood up to Slovakia and at least snagged away one point from their European counterparts.
Here is a look at the top performances from Day 4 of the World Juniors:
3rd star: Isak Rosen, Sweden
Sweden had yet to score on the power play at Rogers Place yet but Rosen rose to the occasion with one goal and one assist.
After a first period where the Swedes had 21 shots but only one goal, Rosen added a second goal to his tournament tally and broke their power play drought.
The Austrians forgot about the winger near the right faceoff circle. Fabian Lysell located Rosen with a cross-ice pass of his own and the young winger bagged in the one-timer on one knee.
Rosen later told Swedish media that this was an important goal for his country after they spent the pre-tournament and the first game of the WJC without scoring on the power play.
The Buffalo Sabres prospect is known for his strong shot but he also has quite the passing ability. Rosen used his physicality to impose himself and get Sweden another goal.
The 19-year-old dispossessed Austria’s Tim Geifes along the boards and then found his captain Emil Andrae with a swift cross-ice pass to notch his country’s fourth goal of the game.
Rosen will cross the pond to North America for the first time for the upcoming season. The wingers will play for the Rochester Americans of the AHL and be yet another addition to the young Sabres pipeline.
Honourable mention: Slovakia’s Adam Sykora blew away the few fans in attendance with a flash of brilliance to get his country levelled 1-1 in the first period. He skated his way past a defenceman then made a give-and-go play with Jakub Demek to fool Lativian goalie Bruno Bruveris.
Slovakia will try to channel the relief from their shootout win against the high-flying Finns on Sunday. On their end, the Latvians will hope to hold another close game on Sunday against Czechia.
2nd star: Emil Andrae, Sweden
A defenceman with two goals in a single game is always worth mentioning. Emil Andrae returned to the ice after a season-ending injury with HV71 and helped his team find another gear in the second period.
The 54th overall pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2021 was touted as a blueliner that can play on both sides of the puck and proved it against Austria.
Sweden’s captain scored twice in the span of 1:05 to keep the Austrians at bay and secure the victory.
The five-foot-nine defenceman took advantage of Rosen’s forced turnover to score his first goal. Andrae found himself in a perfect position to utilize his heavy wrister on the power play.
Andrae added his second goal from the point with another wrist shot directed in traffic to get Sweden up by four goals. The captain chipped in a late secondary assist in the third period to finish the game with three points and a plus-2 differential.
1st star: Fabian Lysell, Sweden
On an all-European afternoon, Fabian Lysell made his experience of North American ice felt. The winger made sure to remind hockey fans that the Boston Bruins drafted him in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
Lysell finished the game with one goal and one assist. He joins his teammates Rosen and Andrea as Sweden’s leading scorers with three points each.
The winger may have missed a penalty shot but he bounced back admirably with a goal a few seconds later.
From a very tight angle, Lysell found the tiniest bit of space above Austrian netminder Sebastian Wraneschitz’s shoulder to score Sweden’s fifth of the game.
The winger showed that his game isn’t too far away from the NHL and that he doesn’t mind getting his nose dirty. The Swede, who is used to North American ice playing for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, crashed Wraneschitz’s net early on in the game in an attempt to kickstart Sweden’s domination.
Lysell and his country-mates will need to keep the pace up as Sweden looks to take on the Americans on Sunday and the surprising Germans on Monday.
Joshua Roy off to a hot start at the World Juniors – Habs Eyes on the Prize
The Montreal Canadiens have several prospects in action at this summer’s World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton. In today’s episode of Habsent Minded Extra, I’m taking a look at how fifth-rounder Joshua Roy has become a key member of the powerhouse Canadians in their quest for gold.
He has played most of his minutes so far on the top line with Mason McTavish and Connor Bedard. That trio has been relied upon to drive offense for the team so far, and while their initial contest against Latvia was somewhat lukewarm, they exploded against Slovakia on Thursday night.
In a selfless act, Roy gave up a chance at a breakaway and his first goal of the tournament by passing to McTavish, and insisting that the latter take his attempt at notching the hat trick, which he did.
#GoHabsGo Joshua Roy is an exemplary teammate.
Foregoes a breakaway and dishes to Mason McTavish, and points to the net, letting him know he doesn’t want it back and wants his linemate to go for the hatty.
He gets the hatty. pic.twitter.com/Sv1nPXHVm9
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) August 11, 2022
With the game well in hand for Canada in the third period, head coach Dave Cameron brought out the line blender. This saw Roy shifted down in the lineup to play with Islanders prospect William Dufour, and Senators prospect Zack Ostapchuk. An eyebrow raiser at first given Roy’s performance, but it yielded results almost immediately.
Roy scored his first goal of the tournament, and added an assist on an Ostapchuk goal to finish with four points against Slovakia, tying him for second in tournament scoring behind McTavish.
Whether that line blending sticks or not, Roy showed in this game is that he can produce wherever they put him in the lineup. With Dufour and Ostapchuk, he actually gets to play more of a similar trigger-man role that he’s used to in Sherbrooke, and it may even help his overall production.
His selflessness, and acceptance of a checking and puck retrieval role with the top guns means they can put him right back on that top line as well. After barely missing out on the roster for the ill-fated December 2021 tournament, he has established himself as a versatile tool for team Canada.
That versatility should earn him plenty of playing time for the remainder of this tournament, and could make him a no-brainer for a big role with the team when they reconvene in December for the next one.
Click the play button below to listen to my full thoughts on Roy’s hot start ahead of tonight’s game against Czechia.
Series preview: Blue Jays head into crucial set against surging Guardians – Sportsnet.ca
We may be in the dog days of August but the American League wild-card race is intensifying to the point where every series carries weight for contending teams.
Here is a look at the Guardians-Blue Jays series.
Friday, 7:07 p.m. ET: Cleveland RHP Cal Quantrill (8-5, 3.88 ERA) vs. Toronto RHP Jose Berrios (8-4, 5.19 ERA)
Saturday, 3:07 p.m. ET: Cleveland RHP Triston McKenzie (8-8, 3.16 ERA) vs. TBA
Sunday, 1:37 p.m. ET: Cleveland RHP Shane Bieber (7-6, 3.21 ERA) vs. TBA
(All games on Sportsnet)
Latest on the Blue Jays
The Blue Jays (60-50) currently sit atop the AL wild-card standings with a half-game lead over the Mariners and a two-game lead over the third-place Tampa Bay Rays.
The Blue Jays are coming off a 3-5 road trip through Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Baltimore. You could make the argument that Toronto got lucky when Wednesday’s game in Baltimore was rained out, given the weather prevented an opportunity to be swept in three games by the surging Orioles.
The Blue Jays’ record against teams above .500 stands at 29-38 and that will need to improve in a hurry. Following the set against Cleveland, Toronto will host the Orioles for three games and then head to Yankee Stadium for a four-game series.
It’s fair to say this is an important stretch for a Blue Jays club that lost outfielder George Springer, starter Ross Stripling and reliever Tim Mayza to the injured list on the recent road trip.
Latest on the Guardians
The AL Central-leading Guardians (59-52) arrive in Toronto fresh off a sweep of the Detroit Tigers and have won eight of their last 11 games.
In recent years, the Guardians have typically been buoyed by their pitching staff. That area has been a struggle for the team for parts of this season,but it looks to be rounding into form.
Each of the three starters Cleveland will throw at the Blue Jays — Cal Quantrill, Triston McKenzie and Shane Bieber — is coming off a dominant, scoreless outing. Since the all-star break, the right-handed trio has combined for a 3.48 ERA over 12 starts.
Reliever James Karinchak won’t make the trip to Toronto due to Canadian vaccination requirements.
Home sweet home
Blue Jays right-hander Jose Berrios was slated to start Wednesday’s game but because it was postponed, he’ll now take the mound on Friday. That might actually work out in his favour.
Berrios has been the author of some weird splits this season:
— In 11 starts at home, he sports a 3.23 ERA with 70 strikeouts across 64 innings.
— In 11 starts on the road, Berrios has posted a whopping 7.50 ERA with just 37 strikeouts over 54 innings.
There are times a pitcher’s bloated ERA can be explained away as the result of one or two bad outings. That’s not the case for Berrios, though.
The veteran has allowed at least five earned runs in six of his road starts. That includes his only outing against the Guardians this season — a May 5 contest in which he allowed six runs on eight hits over 4.2 innings.
The pitchers set to follow Berrios and toe the rubber in Saturday and Sunday’s games have yet to be announced by the Blue Jays.
Remember all that hullabaloo about whether Whit Merrifield would get a COVID-19 vaccine and be allowed to travel to Toronto?
Well, shortly after he was acquired at the trade deadline by the Blue Jays, the utility player indicated that he did in fact get vaccinated. This series will feature his first home game with his new club.
Merrifield is hitting .286 (6-for-21) while playing mostly in centrefield since his trade from the Kansas City Royals.
In 15 career games at Rogers Centre, he sports a .263/.364/.421 slash line with two homers and three doubles.
This series will also mark a homecoming of sorts for a pair of Guardians players: Quantrill, of Port Hope, Ont., and first baseman Josh Naylor, a native of Mississauga, Ont.
This is Naylor’s fourth year in the major leagues and third with the Guardians, but the 25-year-old has yet to take the field for a major-league game at Rogers Centre. Quantrill, meanwhile, made his lone MLB start at Rogers Centre in 2019 when he was a member of the San Diego Padres.
Three Stars from Day 4 of WJC: Lysell, Sweden dominate all-European action – Sportsnet.ca
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