Reims, June 24 (AP/UNB) — Megan Rapinoe converted a pair of penalty kicks and the United States set up a much-anticipated quarterfinal meeting with host France at the Women's World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Spain on Monday.
Rapinoe's first came in the seventh minute to the cheers of the U.S. supporters melting in temperatures that reached nearly 90 degrees at the Stade Auguste-Delaune. They were quieted a short time later when Jennifer Hermoso tied it up for Spain with the first goal the Americans had allowed in France.
Video review was used to confirm a foul on Rose Lavelle that gave the pink-haired captain the game-winner in the 75th minute, spoiling Spain's spirited effort in its first knockout-round appearance at a World Cup.
The defending champions head to Paris to face France on Friday night. The French defeated Brazil 2-1 in extra time Sunday night, with Amandine Henry scoring the game-winner in the 107th minute.
A meeting between the three-time World Cup champions and the hosts at the home of Paris Saint-Germain has been anticipated since the tournament draw in December. France is vying to become the first nation to simultaneously hold both the men's and women's World Cup titles. The French men won in Russia last year.
The United States skated through its group with a stage record 18 goals. And the team didn't concede a goal in the group stage for the first time at a World Cup.
Until Monday, the Americans had not allowed a goal in eight straight competitive matches dating back to the 2016 Olympics, outscoring opponents 44-0. It was the first goal the United States had allowed this year since a 5-3 win over Australia in an April friendly.
La Roja had not scored in its previous two games but still finished second in its group to Germany to get the matchup with the Americans.
The U.S. and Spain met in a friendly in Alicante in January, part of a European exhibition trip for the United States. Christen Press scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory. That match was a confidence-booster for No. 13 Spain because it was able to hang with the world's top-ranked team. Spain's profile on the international stage has grown under coach Jorge Vilda, who took over following the team's World Cup debut in 2015. Spain won the 2017 Algarve Cup and last year won the Cyprus Cup.
Spain gave the U.S. all it could handle on Monday.
Rapinoe's first penalty kick was the result of Maria Leon's tackle on Tobin Heath after a pass from Abby Dahlkemper.
Less than three minutes later, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher's pass to Becky Sauerbrunn was stripped by Lucia Garcia and the ball wound up at the feet of Hermoso, who sent her shot from the penalty arc into the top right corner. It was Hermoso's third goal of the tournament to lead Spain.
Alex Morgan was set to take the penalty after Lavelle was tripped up by Virginia Torrecilla, but after review Rapinoe stepped forward and slotted the ball just under the outstretched arm of Spain goalkeeper Sandra Panos.
Morgan, who leads the field in France with five goals, took a beating throughout the game. She stayed down for a long while in the second half after a hard tackle by Irene Paredes.
Coach Jill Ellis did not start midfielder Lindsey Horan, replacing her with Samantha Mewis. Horan, who came in as a sub in the 89th minute, had a yellow card in the team's second match.
Rapinoe collected a yellow card in the 37th minute against Spain. The cards could become an issue for the United States against France. Players who accumulate two through the quarterfinals must sit out the next game.
Ellis coached her 124th match with the U.S., matching April Heinrichs for most in the team's history.
Dhaka, June 24 (UNB) - State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell on Monday said Bangladesh wants to send more young footballers to Brazil for higher training.
He came up with the remark while addressing a press conference arranged by Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) at the BFF House on the occasion of the departure of four Bangladeshi young booters for Brazil for a month-long higher training.
The four Bangladeshi junior footballers -- Jogen Lorka (Rajshahi), Latifur Rahman Nahid (Rangpur), Omar Faruq Mithu (Kurigram) and Nazmul Akanda (Rangpur) – will leave Dhaka on Tuesday late night for the training in the football crazy country to groom themselves at the CR Vasco da Gama Football Club of Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s just the beginning. We want to send more young footballers to Brazil for higher training. Even, we’re also keen to send our women footballers there,” Russell said.
Brazilian Ambassador to Bangladesh Joao Tabajara de Oliveira Junior, BFF President Kazi Salahuddin, Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs MJH Javed, acting Youth and Sports Secretary Dr Mohammad Zafar Uddin, BFF women wing Chairman and FIFA council member Mahfuza Akter Kiron were also present on the occasion.
Focusing on the relationship between Brazil and Bangladesh, Ambassador Joao Tabajara de Oliveira Junior assured that their government will look into the matter and work together for the development of football in Bangladesh.
Earlier, the National Sports Council selected the four booters from initially chosen 20 footballers from two tournaments -- U-15 Development Cup and U-17 Bangabandhu Gold Cup -- after conducting a two-day final selection trial in November last year.
Dhaka, June 24 (UNB)- A brillinat hat-trick by Eti enabled Tangail District to earn a comfortable 6-0 goals victory over Gazipur District in the BFF-UNICEF U-16 National Women’s Football Championship’ 2019 at the Rafiq Uddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh on Monday.
Eti made a hattrick scoring three goals while Maria, Selina and Surma netted one goal each for Tangail.
In the day’s other match at the same venue, Narayanganj District beat Netrakona District by a solitary goal scored by Khuki in the very 5th minute.
Valenciennes, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — The head of women's soccer in Africa wants Cameroon to face punishment for the conduct of players in the Women's World Cup loss to England.
The Cameroon team rebelled against VAR decisions in a 3-0 loss to England in the round of 16 on Sunday.
Isha Johansen, who sits on the Confederation of African Football executive committee and is president of the women's soccer body, says she is "proud of our African female teams" in the tournament.
But Johansen believes the game "reflected badly not only on African women's football but African football on the whole. It is an issue which will be addressed and dealt with at the appropriate levels of governance."
According to the official from Sierra Leone, CAF should take action even if FIFA doesn't pursue a case against the Cameroon team.
Porto Alegre, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — Lionel Messi avoided another disappointment with the national team as Argentina escaped elimination in the group stage of the Copa America.
Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero scored a goal in each half as Argentina defeated guest team Qatar 2-0 to secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the South American competition.
"We needed a victory to give us confidence and tranquility," Messi said. "What I liked the most was the team's attitude, its desire to win the game."
Argentina finished second in Group B behind Colombia, which did Argentina a huge favor by beating Paraguay 1-0 in the other group match on Sunday.
Colombia finished with nine points, Argentina four, Paraguay two and Qatar one.
The top two teams in each of the three groups advance, along with the two best third-place finishers. Paraguay will advance only if Japan and Ecuador draw on Monday in Group C.
Argentina, which hasn't been eliminated in the first round of the South American tournament since 1983, will face Venezuela in the quarterfinals at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
It was Argentina's first win at this year's Copa America after opening with a 2-0 loss to Colombia and a 1-1 draw with Paraguay.
Argentina struggled again on Sunday, unable to impose its game against the Asian champion. Messi again was far from his best, unable to spark his team into a dominant performance.
Martinez opened the scoring only four minutes into the match after a mistake by Qatari defender Bassam Al Rawi while trying to pass to a teammate in front of his area. Martinez intercepted the pass and found the net to open the scoring at the Arena Gremio.
Qatar, making its first appearance as a guest in the Copa America, stayed in contention during most of the match but Aguero sealed Argentina's win with a run past a couple of defenders in the 82nd.
"The pressure was there," Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said. "Luckily we got an early goal."
Argentina's last title with the senior team was the 1993 Copa America. It has come close to victory in recent years with Messi, losing in the final in the World Cup in 2014 and in the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.
Argentina entered the match last in the group, knowing only a victory would guarantee its place in the next round. Qatar, led by Spanish coach Felix Sanchez, was making its first appearance as a guest in the Copa America, hoping to gain experience for when it hosts the 2022 World Cup. It was eliminated despite opening with a gritty 2-2 draw against Paraguay and a late loss to Colombia.
Qatar will also play in next year's Copa America co-hosted by Colombia and Argentina.
Venezuela, Argentina's next opponent, was second to Brazil in Group A. It drew 0-0 with the hosts in its second game in the Copa America.
"It will be a difficult opponent," said Scaloni, whose team lost 3-1 to Venezuela in a friendly in Madrid in March. "It's an interesting team, it has been playing together for a long time."