Semi-finals - USA vs Germany

Women’s World Cup: USA Dominates Best Player Award Nomination With Three Players

Three US players — Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Julie Johnston — were named on Thursday among eight short-listed for the Golden Ball Award given to the best player at the Women’s World Cup. The tournament concludes on Sunday with holders Japan playing the United States in Vancouver in a rematch of the 2011 final. Japan have two candidates for the award — captain Aya Miyama and defender Saori Ariyoshi —  FIFA announced on Thursday. Germany forward Celia Sasic is also among the contenders along with England defender Lucy Bronze. Former two-time winners Germany take on England in the play-off for third place in Edmonton on Saturday. France’s Amandine Henry has also made the short-list, despite her team being eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany on penalties. Midfielder Henry scored a superb goal against Mexico. Lloyd helped lift the United States past Germany in the semi-final with a penalty and a decisive cross for a 2-0 win. Sasic missed a […] Read more »

Argentina vs Paraguay

We Are Desperate To End 22 Year Title Wait: Lionel Messi

FC Barcelona super star Lionel Messi heads a star-studded Argentina desperate to write their own piece of history by winning a first international title since 1993, 12 months after an agonizing defeat to Germany in last year’s World Cup final. Chile, meanwhile, are anxious to finally shed their unwanted tag as the perennial nearly men of South American football, ending 99 years of hurt by winning a first Copa America. An Argentine triumph would crown a remarkable season for Messi, who less than a month ago completed a treble-winning campaign with Barcelona with victory in the Champions League final. It would also erase the sense of frustration Messi has often felt at international level, 10 years after he led Argentina to victory as a teenager in the 2005 Under-20 World Cup. “This generation is desperate to win a title with the national team,” Messi told reporters on the eve of the Copa America. “As a team, we deserve to win something […] Read more »

CHILE VS. BOLIVIA

Copa America Final: ‘Pitbull’ Gary Medel Must Stop Lionel Messi If Sanchez And Co. Are To Win

The Copa America final between Argentina and hosts Chile could turn upon a showdown between Lionel Messi’s brilliance and the combative Gary Medel, whose ‘Pitbull’ nickname perfectly sums up his style. The well-travelled defensive midfielder Medel will have the near-impossible job of controlling FC Barcelona star Messi ‘The Flea’ in Saturday’s clash between two teams, arch-rivals who are each desperate for Copa success. The FC Barcelona star danced around Paraguay’s defenders as Argentina fired six goals past them in the semi-final this week. Medel provoked jitters for his side when he scored an own goal that put Peru level before Chile secured a 2-1 win to reach the final. Argentina captain Messi has now gone more than 900 minutes without scoring a goal from open play in an international game. But he has remained a world class threat who had a hand in virtually all of Argentina’s goals against Paraguay. “Hopefully I can score in the final, but it really doesn’t […] Read more »

Semi finals - Japan vs England

Women’s World Cup: England And Germany Overcome Heartbreak To Face Each Other In Third Place Battle

England and Germany wipe away the tears as they play for pride and third place at the Women’s World Cup in Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday. It was not the final game either had dreamt of but after a month of gruelling football and an emotional rollercoaster ride to the semi-finals both sides are determined to finish on a high. A 92nd-minute own-goal from Notts County defender Laura Bassett ended England’s fairytale run to their first semi-finals with a 2-1 loss to defending champions Japan. It brought back memories of Italia ’90 when Paul Gascoigne cried his way into English hearts in their last semi-final in the men’s tournament, then losing on penalties to West Germany. That time England finished fourth, but this time the women’s team are determined to go home with a medal. “I think we can hold our heads high and we have to pick ourselves up to go and play against Germany,” England captain Steph Houghton […] Read more »

Argentina vs Paraguay

Chile Have No Chance To Win If Messi And Co. Click Again: Paraguay Manager Diaz

Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz says Chile have “no chance” if Lionel Messi and his Argentina team mates are at their best in Saturday’s Copa America final. Lionel Messi produced a scintillating individual performance as Argentina destroyed Paraguay 6-1 in the semi final of the Copa America on Tuesday. The FC Barcelona man tormented Paraguay mercilessly as the favorites produced their best display so far of the Copa America and advanced to a showdown with Chile in Saturday’s final. Although Messi failed to end his run of more than 900 minutes without an international goal from open play, he turned creator with three assists and had further hand in two other goals. Goals from Angel Di Maria (2), Marcos Rojo, Javier Pastore, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain completed an emphatic rout for the South American giants. The Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz claims that hosts Chile will be in for a tough night if Argentina reproduce their best form in the Copa America […] Read more »

Group C - Brazil vs Colombia

Neymar Disobeyed Brazil Coaches Instruction By Confronting Referee: Gilmar

Brazil’s technical coordinator Gilmar Rinaldi says FC Barcelona star Neymar disobeyed instructions from Brazil coaching staff when he confronted the referee after seeing red against Colombia at the Copa America. South American federation CONMEBOL’s disciplinary committee had extended the provisional one game ban for the FC Barcelona star to four games following his behavior towards the officials in the aftermath of Brazil’s 1-0 defeat to Colombia. The suspension meant that Neymar did not play any part in Brazil’s Copa America campaign. It was alleged in some quarters that the punishment might have been too harsh with the referee’s report failing to mention any physical attack by the FC Barcelona star confirming there was none. However, the player got the ban and Gilmar has now revealed that Neymar’s decision to angrily confront referee Enrique Osses in the tunnel was in direct defiance of advice from his seniors. “I told him to be careful because he is responsible for his own actions,” former World Cup winner Gilmar […] Read more »

Argentina vs Paraguay

‘It Will Take The Entire Team To Stop Messi’ – Chile Captain Claudio Bravo

Veteran Chile Goalkeeper And Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona compatriot Claudio Bravo has come out and said that Chile can stop the Argentina magician only through collective work as a team in Saturday’s Copa America final. Lionel Messi produced a scintillating individual performance as Argentina destroyed Paraguay 6-1 in the semi final of the Copa America on Tuesday. The FC Barcelona man tormented Paraguay mercilessly as the favorites produced their best display so far of the Copa America and advanced to a showdown with Chile in Saturday’s final. Although Messi failed to end his run of more than 900 minutes without an international goal from open play, he turned creator with three assists and had further hand in two other goals. Goals from Angel Di Maria (2), Marcos Rojo, Javier Pastore, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain completed an emphatic rout for the South American giants. And with the Saturday’s final looming, Chile captain and ‘keeper Claudio Bravo who has first hand experience of watching Messi […] Read more »

FC Barcelona vs PSG

Mascherano Calls For Calm As Neighbours Involved In Territorial Dispute Clash In Copa America Final

Argentina and FC Barcelona star Javier Mascherano called for calm on Wednesday as the countdown to this weekend’s Copa America final against fierce rivals Chile got under way.  Two teams desperate to succeed will collide in Santiago on Saturday with hosts Chile aiming to end nearly a century of failure by winning a major tournament for the first time in front of an expectant home crowd. Argentina meanwhile are burning with desire to win a first title in 22 years, determined that one of the most talented generations of players the country has ever produced does not suffer another disappointment. The high stakes will carry an additional edge thanks to the historical rivalry between the neighboring nations, who in the past have been at loggerheads over various territorial and diplomatic disputes. But the FC Barcelona man was adamant that politics should not poison what is expected to be a highly charged sporting encounter. “I hope that people can understand that football […] Read more »

Semi finals - Japan vs England

Women’s World Cup: Japan Beat England To Set Up A Repeat Of 2011 Final Against USA

A late own-goal by England defender Laura Bassett put defending champions Japan into the final of the Women’s World Cup on Wednesday with a 2-1 win. Japan next play the two-time winners United States in the final at Vancouver next Sunday after the Americans beat Germany 2-0 in a Tuesday semi-final at Montreal. Japan and England looked to be heading for extra time deadlocked at 1-1 after captain Aya Miyama scored a penalty on 33 minutes at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium only for Fara Williams to level for England five minutes before the break, also from a penalty kick. But two minutes into injury time, Bassett sent the ball into her own net to end her team’s dream run to their first World Cup semi-final. Bassett was in tears after the final whistle and had to be consoled by England coach Mark Sampson as she walked off the field, the Lionesses stunned, shocked and crying at the heartbreaking final turn. “It’s […] Read more »

Argentina vs Paraguay

Lionel Messi ‘Should Not’ Focus On Scoring Goals And Other Things We Learned From Argentina-Paraguay Game

Lionel Messi produced a scintillating individual performance as Argentina destroyed Paraguay 6-1 to reach the final of the Copa America on Tuesday. We tell you why exactly should the FC Barcelona star not focus on scoring goals, but, on being the creator-in-chief for Argentina along with two other things we learned from the game.   Argentina thrashed Paraguay to reach the final of the Copa America, hoping to end 22 years without a major international trophy. The team, that scraped through most of their games without really creating an impression, seems to be peaking at the right time as they prepare to face the host. We decided to pick out the top three things learned from the scintillating performance by the world cup finalists. 1 – Lionel Messi Needs To Focus On Creating And Not Scoring Goals  For Argentina   The FC Barcelona man tormented Paraguay mercilessly as the favorites produced their best display so far of the Copa America and advanced to a showdown with Chile in Saturday’s […] Read more »