Dhaka, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) -Senegal reinforced its status as one of the favorites to win the African Cup of Nations by starting its campaign in Egypt with a 2-0 win over Tanzania on Sunday.
Senegal didn't miss forward Sadio Mane, who was suspended for the game, as it opened with a solid display in Cairo.
Playing just his second competitive game for his country, Krepin Diatta powered in a shot from outside the penalty area to make it 2-0 midway through the second half. Senegal would have won the Group C game by much more if it had been just a little sharper in front of goal.
Tanzania goalkeeper Aishi Manula also helped keep the score down.
Keita Balde got the first goal in the 28th minute after finishing off an intricate attack — which swept from one side of the field to the other — by driving his shot into the bottom corner.
Mane missed the game with a suspension for two yellow cards he received in qualifying.
Senegal, host Egypt and Nigeria are seen as the strongest contenders for the title, although Senegal has played more African Cups (15) than any other team without winning the championship.
Senegal is the No. 1 team in Africa while Tanzania is the second-lowest ranked team at the tournament. It's making just its second appearance at the African Cup and first since 1981.
Also in Group C, Riyad Mahrez scored the second goal as Algeria began its campaign with a 2-0 win over Kenya, which qualified for the first time since 2004.
Baghdad Bounedjah slotted a penalty for Algeria after Aissa Mandi cut into the area from the right flank and was sliced down. Mahrez added the second before halftime. His first-time shot from a cross was heading for the bottom right corner of the Kenyan net, deflected off a defender, and ended up in the bottom left.
Content with 2-0, Algeria shut the game down in the second half and had little trouble in holding off the Kenyans.
But meetings with minnows have provided early headaches for some of the other top teams in the first three days of action in Egypt. The home team struggled to break down Zimbabwe, Uganda surprised Congo 2-0 and Nigeria needed a late goal to finally beat tournament debutant Burundi, the lowest-ranked team to make it to Egypt. Guinea was held 2-2 by Madagascar, another team making its first appearance.
The trend continued in Sunday's first game. Morocco got lucky and escaped with a 1-0 victory over Namibia in Group D when Itamunua Keimune scored an own goal in the 89th minute.
"The first game is always difficult," Morocco's M'barak Boussoufa said. "We are happy to win, even by a slim margin."
Striker Keimune was at the wrong end of the field and trying to clear a free kick from Hakim Ziyech. Apparently uncertain whether to kick or head the ball, all he did was divert it into his own net with a minute to go. Bitterly disappointed, Namibia's players slumped to the ground at the final whistle and were consoled by members of their coaching staff.
"We deserved a draw," Namibia coach Ricardo Manetti said.
The Morocco-Namibia group is arguably the toughest at the African Cup, with 2015 champion Ivory Coast and South Africa the other two teams. They meet on Monday.
Morocco plays Ivory Coast in its next game, when Morocco coach Herve Renard comes up against the country he coached to the title in 2015.
"We have to get ready for that," Renard said.
Salvador, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — Colombia beat Paraguay 1-0 Sunday with a second-string team to stay perfect at the Copa America with three wins and without conceding any goals. The win also helped Argentina to advance from Group B in second place.
The only goal of the match at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador was scored in the 31st minute by midfielder Gustavo Cuellar.
Argentina beat Asian champion Qatar 2-0 in Porto Alegre to finish behind Colombia with four points.
Paraguay got two points and guest team Qatar ended its Copa America participation in fourth, with one point.
Colombia will have to wait for Group C to finish on Monday to know who it will play in the quarterfinals. Colombia, a team that has won the Copa America only once in 2001, next faces the second-place team from Group C. Defending champion Chile leads that group with six points and plays Uruguay with four points.
"If you have a dream and you want to be champion, you need to have a group of players that are ready to play," said Colombia coach Carlos Queiroz. "The true Copa America begins now."
Paraguay must hope for a draw between Japan and Ecuador in Group C to advance as one of the two best third-place finishers.
With its spot secured in the knockout stage, Colombia used an alternative lineup.
Goalkeeper Alvaro Montero replaced David Ospina, who had to travel home due to family issues, and Colombia went for defenders Cristian Zapata and Jhon Lucumi. Midfielder Cuellar started instead of Wilmar Barrios, and Edwin Cardona took the place of James Rodriguez.
Jefferson Lerma, Juan Cuadrado and captain Radamel Falcao started the game.
Falcao did not score any goals in Copa America's group stage.
"He is saving (them)," Queiroz joked. "We wish he had scored today, but the work he has done for the team is fantastic."
Paraguay brought striker Oscar Cardozo back to its starting lineup, but that move had little impact on the Colombian defense.
Colombia scored its winning goal when Cuellar received the ball on the right, ran past a defender and shot between the legs of goalkeeper Gatito Fernandez.
In the second half, James replaced Cuadrado and gave an assist for Luis Diaz to score a second, but it was disallowed by VAR because of a handball by Diaz.
Colombia's opponent in the quarterfinals is likely to come from the Uruguay vs. Chile match in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.
"There is not much to say about Uruguay, it is the team that has won the Copa the most," Queiroz said. "Oscar Tabarez is one of the coaches that I admire the most. Chile has great players."
Dhaka, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) -As the score remained tied in extra time and the clock ticked toward a penalty kicks shootout, France's stress kept increasing. Hosting the Women's World Cup, Les Bleues are expected to win the title or at least come close.
"It's not simple. We're playing on our home turf," coach Corinne Diacre said through a translator. "There's a constant reminder that we have this pressure to perform."
France survived its first knockout match and advanced to the quarterfinals when captain Amandine Henry redirected Amel Majri's free kick for a tiebreaking goal in the 107th minute of a 2-1 victory over Brazil on Sunday night at Le Havre.
"I didn't remember what happened," Henry said through a translator. "I had my teammates jumping on top of me,"
The World Cup hosts, in the quarterfinals for the third straight time, will play the defending champion United States or Spain at Paris on Friday.
"France has everything that it takes to win," Brazil coach Vadão said through a translator. "France is absolutely prepared to win this World Cup."
France joined England, Germany and Norway in a thus-far all-European quarterfinal field.
"We know that there will be pressure, We know that there will be this burden to bear," Diacre said. "You have to understand that when you're playing in front of such a huge crowd, even when you're on your home turf, it's not something that's easy to get your head around. I think that we can be a little bit patient. I think we can allow our players to crumble under pressure, albeit for a couple of seconds."
Valérie Gauvin, whose first-half goal was disallowed in a video review, put fourth-ranked France ahead in the 52nd minute before a crowd of 23,965 at Stade Oceane, but Thaisa tied the score 11 minutes later for No. 10 Brazil.
Henry scored on a left-footed shot from 7 yards, getting ahead of Monica for her 13th goal in 86 international appearances, her second goal of the tournament.
Brazil had a chance to go ahead near the end of the first extra-time period when Debinha broke in alone and beat goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, but her shot headed toward goal was blocked in front of the line by defender Griedge Mbock Bathy.
"We weren't at our best. ... I didn't recognize my team," Diacre said. "There is something that is not jelling. Why? Because people are unfortunately not hitting their potential on an individual basis."
This marked perhaps the final World Cup game for 33-year-old Brazilian star Marta, a six-time world player of the year who scored a record 17 goals in five tournaments. And it likely was the last game in the showcase for 41-year-old Formiga, who appeared in a record seven World Cups.
"It's very unlikely that we will see another Marta," Vadão said. "It's unlikely that we still see another player like her for her talent, her professionalism, her character, everything."
France appeared to go ahead in the 23rd minute when Kadidiatou Diani lifted a cross in front of the goal. Brazil goalkeeper Barbara got her hands on the ball and Gauvin crashed into her. The ball went off Gauvin's shoulder and into the net as both players fell to the ground. After they recovered, Canadian referee Marie-Soleil Beaudoin signaled for a video review, and the goal was disallowed because of a foul.
Gauvin did score a goal that counted early in the second half. Diani sped down a flank past Brazilian defender Tamires and crossed. Gauvin slid in ahead of Leticia Santos and poked the ball past Barbara for her 12th goal in 22 international appearances, her second of the tournament.
Bouhaddi prevented an equalizer minutes later, leaping to tip Cristiane's long-range shot off the crossbar and over.
Thaisa tied the score with her sixth goal in 82 appearances. The score at first was disallowed for an offside call on Debinha in the buildup but was reversed in a video review. Wendie Renard's attempted clearance of Debinha's cross went to Thaisa, who scored with a left-footed shot.
"Obviously, I know my players inside out. I know that we weren't 100 percent today and the objective is to hit that 100 percent for the next game," Diacre said. "Will this happen? I don't know. I don't have a magic wand. I don't have a crystal ball. I can't see into the future. But it's something that we're working on."
Charlotte, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — Uriel Antuna, Raul Jimenez and Fernando Navarro scored and Mexico advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals with a 3-2 victory over Martinique on Sunday in front of 59,283 fans at Bank of America Stadium.
Mexico went 3-0 in group play despite resting a handful of regular starters in its final match of the round, including goaltender Guillermo Ochoa, knowing it had all but clinched a spot in the next round.
Kevin Parsemain and Jordy Delem scored for Martinique (1-2).
Charlotte, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — Coach John Herdman couldn't be happier about the state of Canadian soccer.
"Our Canadian football system is starting to produce players," Herdman said. "That's exciting, seeing those youngsters coming through."
Canada got three goals each from 19-year-old Jonathan David and Lucas Cavallini, and breezed to a 7-0 win over Cuba on Sunday in the first game of a CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader at Bank of America Stadium.
Junior Hoilett also scored for Canada, which finished the group stage with 2-1 record to advance to the quarterfinals. Mexico beat Martinique 3-2 in the other game Sunday.
"I believe in the young guys," said Herdman, who also included another 19-year-old Alphonso Davies and others in talking about Canada's soccer youth movement.
Cuba finished group play a disappointing 0-3, losing by a combined score of 17-0.
Canada took control early as David scored on a point blank shot off a crossing pass from Hoilett just three minutes into the game. It was David's seventh goal in seven international games for Canada, although he wasn't done.
Cavallini stretched the lead to 2-0 at the 21 minute mark when he scored after Hoilett centered a pass that deflected off Cuba midfield Jorge Kindelan and the post. Cavallini stuck out his right foot and nudge the ball into the net — the first of three straight first half goals for the 26-year-old.
He added two more goals in the final three minutes of the first half to give Canada a commanding 4-0 lead at the break. David assisted on one goal and Davies on the other.
After one goal Cavallini stuck his left thumb in his mouth, held out four fingers with his right hand and then patted his chest before kissing his hands and pointing to the sky.
Cuba coach Idalberto Medero said Cavallini and David were difficult for his team to defend.
"They are very fast and very quick with the ball and without it," Medero said. "They know how to move without the ball and play very well together. They play very well with the modern day football, which is very fast."
Ironically the one shot Cavallini couldn't make might have been the easiest attempt.
Leading 5-0, Cavallini had a penalty kick. But he paused as he approached the ball, then fired left of the wide open net, holding his head in disbelief.
It was one of the few mistakes Cavallini and Canada made all day, outshooting Cuba 22-10.
Herdman said he liked that his players brought the energy on a hot afternoon where temperatures were nearing 90 degrees and took Cuba out of the game.
"If we never brought that energy Cuba could have gotten that little injection and made it tough for us," Herdman said. "But there was clarity from all of the players. (Cavallini) and Johnny were given some great opportunities."