Frisco, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — Christine Sinclair isn't concerned about chasing records. She's set her sights on the World Cup.
Sinclair scored twice and Canada went on to secure a spot in next year's World Cup in France with a 7-0 victory over Panama on Sunday in the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament.
Sinclair has 177th international goals. She ranks second on the career list — among both men and women — behind former U.S. forward Abby Wambach's record of 184 goals.
After her header in the 44th minute gave Canada its opening goal, Sinclair pumped her fist in celebration. She added another header in the 49th minute.
"It's my teammates that keep reminding me of it," she smiled. "Especially in this tournament, it's just all about qualifying."
Adriana Leon, who came in as a sub for Sinclair in the 68th minute, also scored a pair of goals.
Canada will face the United States in the final. The defending World Cuo champoion Americans beat Jamaica 6-0 in the second semifinal at Toyota Stadium.
The final and third-place match are set for Wednesday night. The top three finishers in the CONCACAF Women's Championship will represent the region in France, so the winners of both semifinals earn a berth. The fourth-place finisher will face Argentina in a playoff for a spot.
Canada, ranked No. 5 in the world, will make its seventh World Cup appearance. The only time Canada has missed out on the game's premier tournament was in 1991, the event's first year.
"It's massive for us," Sinclair said. "It was obviously our goal coming into this tournament. It's getting more and more difficult qualifying out of CONCACAF, you see different teams making it the semifinals, with Panama and Jamaica making it."
Panama coach Victor Daniel Suarez gave half of his starters from earlier in the tournament the night off, including 17-year-old goalkeeper Yenith Bailey, who turned heads in a 5-0 loss to the United States in the group stage. Carli Lloyd shook the teenager's hand following a gutsy performance. Panama started Farissa Cordoba instead.
The strategy was apparently to give the starters a break in anticipation that 66th-ranked Panama will play in the third-place game, perhaps against Jamaica, and a win there can still secure a World Cup berth.
Suarez said after the match that Bailey had a sore shoulder, so he wanted to keep her fresh for Wednesday's match.
Panama has never been to a World Cup.
"There's a lot of changes happening," Suarez said through a translator about Panama's recent rise. "They (he players) want to make history, as they are right now, but it will be step by step."
Canada had the best chances in the first half, including Allysha Chapman's shot in the 12th minute that was just off target and hit the side of the net, before Sinclair broke through.
Jesse Fleming added another goal for Canada in the 48th minute, a short time before Sinclair's second. Janine Beckie and Rebecca Quinn also scored before Leon's brace. Leon has six goals in the tournament.
Diana Matheson made her 200th appearance for Canada. The midfielder has played for the national team since 2003.
Rome, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — Italy is finally showing signs of emerging from its crisis, nearly a year after failing to qualify for the World Cup.
Cristiano Biraghi's goal in stoppage time earned the Azzurri a much-needed 1-0 win in Poland on Sunday in the UEFA Nations League.
Playing in Group 3 of League A, Poland became the first team to be relegated in the new European competition.
Italy also hit the crossbar twice in the first half, first with Jorginho then with Lorenzo Insigne.
Still, the match appeared headed for a scoreless draw until Biraghi slid in to redirect a corner inside the far post two minutes into injury time.
"We dominated the game completely and should have scored earlier," Italy coach Roberto Mancini said. "A 0-0 would have been an unfair result. We played very well but we can still improve a lot. In football you only need time and hard work; magicians do not exist."
It was the first national team goal for Biraghi, a full back at Fiorentina.
Biraghi celebrated by making a No. 13 with his fingers, a dedication to former Fiorentina captain and Italy defender Davide Astori, who died from cardiac arrest in March.
Astori wore the No. 13 shirt.
"Astori is a part of me," Biraghi said. "I dedicate my goal to him because if I'm here it is only thanks to him and all the things he taught me when we played together."
It was Italy's first competitive victory in more than a year, since beating Albania 1-0 in World Cup qualifying last October.
It also ended a five-match winless streak in all competitions and gave Italy a slim chance to catch group leader Portugal.
Portugal leads with six points, two ahead of Italy, while Poland is last with one.
Italy hosts Portugal in its next and final match but then Portugal has another game at home against Poland.
World Cup quarterfinalist Russia needs only one more point to be promoted into League A following a 2-0 win over visiting Turkey in Sochi with goals in the Group 2 game from Roman Neustadter and substitute Denis Cheryshev.
Turkey will be relegated from League B if it loses to Sweden on Nov. 17, while Russia can move up with a draw in Sweden three days later.
A long pass from goalkeeper Ariel Harush set up Israel's first goal by Tomer Hemed in a 2-0 win over visiting Albania in League C.
Harush also made a series of saves before Israel got its second from Dia Seba.
Israel is three points ahead of Scotland and Albania atop Group 1.
Also in League C, Romania played the entire second half with 10 men and still drew 0-0 with Serbia.
Serbia, which had captain Dusan Tadic miss a penalty, stayed atop Group 4, one point ahead of Montenegro, which won 4-1 in Lithuania.
Romania is two points back.
Kosovo held on for a 1-1 draw in the Faeroe Islands to remain unbeaten atop Group 3 in League D.
After Milot Rashica's early opener, Rene Joensen equalized after the break for the Faeroes.
In the same group, Azerbaijan and Malta also played to a 1-1 draw, with Araz Abdullayev's second-half equalizer canceling out Rowen Muscat's opener for Malta.
Dhaka, Oct 14 (UNB) – Walton Group accorded a reception to the Bangladesh U-18 Women’s Football team, who became unbeaten champions in the First SAFF U-18 Women’s Tournament, at the conference room of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) on Sunday afternoon.
BFF and SAFF President Kazi Mohammad Salahuddin was the chief guest at the reception.
BFF Senior Vice-president Abdus Salam Murshedy, MP, Chairman of the BFF Women’s Committee Mahfuza Akhter Kiron, Team Manager Amirul Islam Babu, BFF General Secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag, BFF Technical and Strategic Director Paul Thomas Smalley, Coach Golam Rabbani Chotan, Captain Mishrat Jahan Mousumi and Operative Director of Walton Group FM Iqbal Bin Anwar were also present on the occasion.
Each player of the Bangladesh U-18 Women’s Football team was given a Walton Freeze while the team officials received smartphones.
Bangladesh clinched the six-nation maiden SAFF U-18 Women’s crown with all-win record beating Nepal by 1-0 goal in the final at floodlit Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan on Sunday last.
Masura Parvin scored the match-winner for Bangladesh in the 49th minute by a header from close, off a long free kick of his team mate (1-0) to score the 24th goal for Bangladesh in the meet.
Siraj Jahan Shopna of Bangladesh was adjudged the highest scorer of the tournament scoring eight goals.
Amsterdam, Oct 14 (AP/UNB) — Coach Joachim Loew made history twice on Saturday night — he led Germany for a record 168th time before his team lost to the Netherlands by a three-goal margin for the first-ever time.
The historic 3-0 defeat — even if the score slightly flattered the Dutch — will pile more pressure on Loew, who opted to stay in the job after the 2014 world champion crashed out of the summer's World Cup in Russia at the group stage.
While the Dutch rediscovered their scoring touch at the Johan Cruyff Arena, the Germans have lost their way in front of goal, squandering chances that might have changed the course of what was a close match until the closing 10 minutes.
Loew's team is now goalless in its last three competitive matches.
"We are lacking confidence," said Loew. "We are not in form and we were missing a number of injured players."
Stars including Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan were unfit for the match in Amsterdam.
But, Loew said, "our biggest problem is that we are not taking our chances. If we had scored 1-0 it would have given the team confidence."
Germany's woes were personified by Loew's decision to play Mark Uth as a lone striker despite the 27-year-old Schalke striker not scoring a goal yet this season. Uth rarely threatened and was substituted in the second half.
"He converted a lot of chances in training," Loew said to explain his decision to play Uth. "But he had a difficult match here."
Loew brought on Leroy Sane in the second half and the Manchester City forward looked dangerous attacking the Dutch on the left, but he also missed a clear chance to equalize in the 64th minute, firing wide when he had only goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen to beat.
"The young players were a breath of fresh air, but they missed a couple of good chances maybe because of their inexperience," Loew said.
Ronald Koeman's young Dutch team lost 2-1 to France in its opening Nations League match thanks to a goal by Kylian Mbappe and a stunning winner by Olivier Giroud. The Netherlands is second in the three-team group behind France, which drew 0-0 with Germany.
"Of course I'm proud," Koeman said. "This is a fantastic result that we've been waiting for for a long time."
Koeman is rebuilding the Netherlands after it failed to qualify for the last World Cup and European Championship. The country's only major trophy is the 1988 European Championship. The Dutch have reached three World Cup finals and lost them all.
So Koeman was still keen to improve even after Saturday's victory.
"We have to look at the moments that we can do better," said Koeman, who started with two debutants and brought on a third as a substitute during the match.
Captain Virgil van Dijk scored only his second international goal on the half hour and anchored a solid Dutch defense that held out Germany, while Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum struck late to achieve the historic win.
The comprehensive defeat left Germany at the bottom of Group 1 in the new competition's top-tier League A days before it heads to Paris to take on group leader and World Cup champion France.
A corner from the right by Depay exposed German defensive frailties. Babel rose between Jonas Hector and Mats Hummels to head against the underside of the bar and the ball bounced up invitingly for unmarked Van Dijk to head in the opening goal.
Depay doubled the lead in the 87th, calmly finishing after a quick break down the right by substitute Quincy Promes. The Olympique Lyon striker then hit the crossbar in extra time before Liverpool midfielder Wijnaldum made it 3-0 with virtually the last kick of the match as Germany crumbled.
Van Dijk's opening goal came after the Netherlands had withstood strong pressure from Germany early on. Timo Werner and Jonas Hector on the right repeatedly caused problems for the Dutch defense.
After initially struggling against Werner, debutant left back Denzel Dumfries showed his attacking qualities by twice swinging in dangerous crosses from the right, first for Ryan Babel who just failed to get a touch at the far post and then in the last minute of the first half for Depay whose glancing header went just wide of Manuel Neuer's right hand post.
The performance by the young Dutch team should give fans hope for the future, Koeman said.
"Take a look in five years," he said. "I think you will see a much better team."
Dhaka, Oct 13 (UNB)– Bashundhara Kings, the newcomers in the Premier Division Football League, came to limelight in their first appearance, recruiting eight promising booters of the current national football team that played in the just concluded Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football tournament 2018.
Big budgeted Bashundhara Kings, which qualified for the Premier Division Football League as the champions of the last years Bangladesh Championship League, is likely make their debut in the country’s top level with Federation Cup Football, scheduled for later this month.
On completion of players registration formalities, the Spanish coach of the Bashundhara Kings, Oscar said, “We formed a good and balance team to win all the major soccer trophies of the country as well as to qualify for the AFC Cup”
The national footballers, who joined the Bashundhara Kings are: custodian Anisur Rahman Zico, defender Sushanto Tripura, medio Masuk Miah Zony, Emon Mahmud Babu, Mohammad Ibrahim, forwards Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Towhudur Alam Sabuz and Motin Miah.
Besides, the Kings also confirmed the services of national coloured defender Nasiruddin Chowhury and medio Hemonto Vinsent Biswaj.
Three high profile foreign players – last World Cup playing Daniel Colinder Solera of Costa Rica, Jorge Gotor Blas of Spain and Marcos De Costa Soares of Brazil –are in the final list of 32 players that joined the Bashundahra Kings on Saturday.
Earlier, the Bashundhara Kings appeared the BFF office in Motijheel Saturday afternoon with bus, microbus, motorcycle and horse cars, escorted by a good number of supporters wearing red T-shit and carrying flag, poster and festoon.