Dhaka, June 28 (UNB) - After a thrilling quarter-final win over Norway which banished the patchy displays of their four previous matches, Phil Neville turned to his players at the final whistle and asked: "Are you ready to win a World Cup?", reports BBC.
Ever since he took the job 17 months ago, England's head coach has claimed his team can win in France and finally he has the kind of performance to back it up.
Four years ago in Ottawa, Lucy Bronze's screamer against Norway earned England a first World Cup knockout win, en route to a third-place finish.
On a balmy night in Le Havre, the Scandinavian side proved the catalyst once more as Bronze unleashed another thunderbolt to seal a 3-0 victory and a record third consecutive major tournament semi-final.
Neville said of the 27-year-old Lyon right-back: "You've seen tonight that Lucy Bronze is the best player in the world."
She now heads to her new home city to take on either hosts France or the holders United States in the semi-finals just as England appear to be reaching their peak at a perfect time.
The ruthless Manchester City spine gets help
Five games, five wins, 11 goals scored and only one conceded tells of an impressive campaign, but occasional defensive mistakes as the team have tired in second halves of games has kept questions about England's capability front of mind.
The fact they have reached the last four owes much to a Manchester City spine, which has been as ruthless in attack as it has been miserly in defence.
Up front, new City striker Ellen White scored her fifth goal of the tournament, putting her equal in the race for the Golden Boot with Australia's Sam Kerr and the United States' Alex Morgan.
In midfield, her club-mate Jill Scott set the tone against Norway with a third-minute goal, and has been England's most consistent performer in France.
In defence, City skipper Steph Houghton continued to be England's saviour with last-ditch interceptions and a clearance off the line. Another City player, Karen Bardsley, made further important stops in goal.
The difference on this occasion was that others joined the party. Despite a second penalty miss of the tournament, Nikita Parris improved after a quiet game against Cameroon.
Fran Kirby was an important cog in destabilising the Norway defence made up of her Chelsea team-mates Maren Mjelde and Maria Thorisdottir, who was in tears at the end.
And although Millie Bright had a difficult night, she was aided by another Manchester City player - Demi Stokes - at left-back as the pair helped nullify the first-half threat of their most dangerous opponent Caroline Graham Hansen.
Before the game, the players, whose ambition matches Neville's, said there was more to come, and they delivered.
Neville almost faultless in France
Barring his new haircut, which he called a "disaster", Neville has been almost faultless in France.
His bold claims about his players' capabilities and his team's aims had not been matched by the calibre of their performances, but that has now changed.
The squad rotation - having used 22 of his 23 players - appears to have paid dividends as his team tore into Norway in the first half despite their country's media claiming they were the fitter side.
And his relaxed nature - seen when he was smiling on the touchline shortly after his team went 3-0 up - has had a positive influence on his players.
Extra days off have been welcomed, helping the squad switch off rather than bombarding them with endless meetings.
Bronze has praised Neville's approach, where he trades on the psychological side of the game rather than overloading them with tactical masterclasses. She has likened his style to men's England manager Gareth Southgate, who led his team to the World Cup semi-finals last year.
Some of the players say Neville reminds them of an annoying older brother, but if he can take them to the final and beyond, an occasional bad gag will be allowed.
His claim after the game that they were "having the time of their lives" looked entirely apt, and the perfect antidote to the added pressure that will now follow.
Can England raise levels once more?
Neville's claim that his team would need to improve "15-20%" to match Norway came true, but they will now have to raise their standards even further against France or United States, who are aiming for a third consecutive final.
At Euro 2017, England beat France for the first time in 43 years to reach the last four, where they were thumped 3-0 by hosts and eventual champions the Netherlands.
That was a harsh lesson in how a home crowd can galvanise a team - and one who were ranked lower than England. Should they overcome the US, Corinne Diacre's impressive French side will have the backing of Lyon, the home of Europe's most successful club side.
As for the US, former goalkeeper Hope Solo says their superior fitness is often the key to their success, and has questioned whether England can match them from that perspective.
Keeping his players fresh may help Neville in this cause, and he has already overseen a 2-2 draw against Jill Ellis's side en route to winning their first SheBelieves Cup title in March.
His team will need to cut out the errors, but that has been a narrative for five games now and it hasn't caused any irreparable damage.
"We want to come home with the World Cup," Neville said. "I keep thinking to myself, 'stop saying it', but we can't hide away from the fact, something's happening."
Dhaka, Jun 28 (UNB)- A brilliant hat-trick by Guinean striker Ismael Bangoura pushed the NoFeL Sporting Club to snatch a 5-2 goals victory over Rahmatganj MFS in their Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football match at Shaheed Bulu Stadium in Noakhali on Friday.
In the goal-fest match, Bangoura made his hat trick against his old BPL club Rahmatganj scoring three goals in the 35th, 43rd and 66th minutes while defender Mohammad Kamrul Islam and midfielder Jamir Uddin scored one goal each.
On the other hand, Uzbek defender Furqatjon Hasanboev and midfielder Sohel Rana scored one goal each for the Rahmatganj MFS.
With the day’s feat, NoFeL SC moved up to the 10th spot from the 11th in the point table of ongoing BPL.
NoFeL SC earned 13 points from their 16 matches with three wins, four draws and nine defeats while Rahmatganj MFS remained at the previous 9th slot with their previous credit of 15 points from 17 matches with three wins, six draws and eight defeats.
Switzerland, June 28(AP/UNB) — AC Milan's decision to voluntarily remove itself from next season's Europa League to pay for UEFA financial fair play breaches received the consent of the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday.
UEFA had already fined Milan 12 million euros ($13.5 million) of Europa League prize money in the case, which included a CAS ruling to overturn a ban from last season's Europa League.
Milan hopes this wipes the slate clean ahead of ongoing monitoring of its often troubled finances.
CAS said it will invite UEFA's cub financial control body "to issue a procedural order acknowledging the outcome of the present arbitration(s) and terminating the proceedings relating to the 2016/2017/2018 monitoring period, which have become moot."
Although Milan is a seven-time European champion, its finances have taken a hit during a six-year failure to qualify for the Champions League.
While Milan's finances now will not formally be examined by UEFA next season, the Rossoneri's books will still come under scrutiny as soon as they qualify for Europe again.
Milan could have expected at least 15 million euros ($17 million) from UEFA just for entering the Europa League, and close to 50 million euros ($57 million) for winning it.
By withdrawing, it increases the likelihood that Milan will have to sell some of its top players to balance its books ahead of an anticipated return to Europe in 2020-21. There are already reports that 20-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma could be sold to Paris Saint-Germain for 50 million euros ($57 million).
The agreement also reflects an improved relationship with Milan forged by Ivan Gazidis, the club's new CEO, who had to forfeit his seat on the UEFA executive committee to make the move from Arsenal to Milan at the end of last year.
Milan finished fifth in Serie A last month, missing out on the Champions League places by one point.
While UEFA made no immediate announcement, the move should open the way for Roma to enter the group phase of the Europa League.
Roma, which finished sixth in Serie A, had been slated to play Europa League qualifying beginning in late July.
Torino, which finished seventh, takes Roma's spot in the qualifying rounds.
Milan failed to advance from the group stage of the Europa League last season.
Madrid, June 28 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos admits that he may have to move in order to get the game time he is looking for.
The 22-year-old is currently starring for the Spain Under-21 side in Italy, but has struggled to make an impact since joining Real Madrid from Betis in 2017.
His first season saw him make just four league starts and although he started 12 league games last season, only two of those were following Zinedine Zidane's return as coach and the pair are thought to enjoy a difficult relationship.
With Madrid having spent over 300 million euros on new signings already this summer, the club aim to capitalize on Ceballos' performances in the European Under-21 tournament to sell him at a high price and although the midfielder would rather stay at the club, speaking on Spanish radio, he admitted he may have to move.
"I don't want them to sell me," Ceballos said on 'Onda Cero' adding that "I want to enjoy myself and feel important wherever I play."
"I think I have a lot of good football in me and I think next season is going to be my best," he said.
Ceballos said he was enjoying playing in the Under-21's after another difficult campaign with his club.
"I play to enjoy myself and to show what I can do. I know it wasn't my best season, but I was really hoping things would work out here (in Italy)," he admitted.
Spain will play Germany in the Under-21 final on Sunday and Ceballos admitted it "could be the most important game of my life."
The Hague, June 28 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Champions League winners Liverpool have attracted Dutch defending prospect Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle, both clubs announced on Thursday.
The 17-year-old defender finalized terms on a long-term contract with the Reds after an agreement was reached with the Eredivisie club on a transfer fee of around 2 million euros (2.3 million U.S. dollars), which could rise to 7 million euros including bonuses.
Van den Berg made his debut for PEC Zwolle at the age of 16 and played 15 matches in the Dutch top flight last season. He is a regular in the Dutch U-19 team. Dutch top club PSV and German giants Bayern Munich also had interest in signing Van den Berg.
In Liverpool, Van de Berg will train with compatriots Georginio Wijnaldum and Virgil van Dijk.
"I am really excited," Van den Berg said on the website of Liverpool. "I think this is the best place for me to grow and I hope to play a lot of games here."