2015 Women’s World Cup – United States vs Colombia – Unimpressive Americans Wheeze Past Colombia (Gee, What Happens Next?)

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

PRE – The buildup to this one has been nigh-unsufferable, as Lady Andrade has kept talking and the American WoSo punditocracy has kept sticking their finger in Colombia’s collective chest while muttering “oh, yeah?”. At times, it’s made What Pia Said-gate look palatable in comparison, but it’ll finally get settled on the field here. France upset aside, Colombia are still major underdogs, especially with their starting keeper Sepulveda out via suspension. It’ll probably be a decisive U.S. win, but the question is if it’ll be through a performance supporters can finally get behind.

4’ – U.S. has a free kick chance in a dangerous spot on the far flank, AKA a Rapinoe special. Her delivery is aimed at Johnston, but Colombia block her off well and clear.

4’ – Big chance for the U.S. Colombia surrounds Morgan on a throw, but she still manages to poke out to a wide open Heath in the arc. First-time shot, low and headed to far post is tipped but spilled by Perez. Wambach charges and slides into ball and keeper, sending the ball in, but the flag is up for offside.

8’ – Krieger isn’t getting fooled by Lady Andrade’s tricks on the ball, and the Colombian isn’t going to get the call as she goes down in the box on a just barely there obstruction call. Montoya pounces on the loose ball, but her weak shot is deflected and easily collected by Solo.

10’ – Heath gets physical with Velasquez on the near flank, and the official whistles for a foul, giving Colombia a chance to swing in a dangerous free kick. Her effort is cleared, with Montoya driving a follow-up acres high.

14’ – Long ball nodded on by Morgan to Wambach near the top of the arc. Wambach turns and nails a rising volley that Perez does well to deflect.

16’ – Holiday swings a long diagonal ball to Klingenberg on the left flank. She cuts back to get around Carolina Arias and crosses towards the far post, but it whistles wide of the target.

17’ – YELLOW CARD – United States (Holiday) – Ack. Holiday comes in late and clatters Rincon, with the Colombian flying to the turf. Already on a yellow, Holiday now misses a prospective quarterfinal. Again, ack.

19’ – Holiday has a corner kick deflected around in the box before Johnston’s shot is deflected over for another corner. Perez totally misjudges the second delivery, but Lloyd and Wambach seem to run into each other at the far post as it goes wide.

28’ – From the near flank, Holiday hooks a ball high and into the area. Morgan nods a header down into the ground, but Perez stretches high to tip it over. The keeper punches, letting Colombia clear.

33’ – Heath crosses back towards the edge of the box, but Rapinoe puts a free header wide. It hasn’t been a promising half offensively.

37’ – Colombia are doing a reasonable job of heading away every diagonal ball the U.S. tries to hoof into the box. Something has to change for the Americans to try and break through this defense.

38’ – Vidal goes over pretty damn easily at the slightest of contact from Krieger, giving Colombia a dangerous free kick diagonally out from the near corner edge of the box. Rapinoe heads the free kick behind for a corner. Colombia plays short to Andrade who is triple teamed for another corner. Short corner has Rincon eventually delivering to the far post, but the U.S. clears again.

41’ – YELLOW CARD – United States (Rapinoe) – More aggro, as Vidal again goes down easily near the far corner flag. The set pieces are certainly mounting for Colombia late in the half. U.S. initially clears, but Rapinoe then shoulders Velasquez over at the far sideline. It’s a foul, but bloody hell, if every challenge like that was booked, we wouldn’t finish with fifteen players on the pitch. Rapinoe’s booking means she misses the quarterfinal too.

42’ – From that, the U.S. puts up a half-assed two person wall with Heath and Klingenberg, and Velasquez takes note, slipping a low, hard shot between the two that just slices wide of the post.

HT – A pretty dire half for the U.S., who put up no goals and saw two players ruled out for the potential quarterfinal through yellow card accumulation. The offense looks archaic, with the few attempts they did generate stopped by a few smart saves from Perez. Going the other way, the defense conceded a lot of cheap fouls with a painfully picky referee overseeing things. The U.S. defended set pieces well and have limited opportunities in the run of play, but it’ll only take one if the offense can’t get going.
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Washington and the W-League: A Brief History

As the Washington Spirit Reserves conclude the 10th season of Washington teams’ formal involvement in the USL W-League, I thought this would be a good time to look back at what led up to this.

To put this history in context, we have to go back to 2004. The WUSA had ceased operations in 2003 and but for a few fruitless “WUSA Festivals” the following year would exist no more. However, Washington Freedom head coach Jim Gabarra and assistant coach Clyde Watson – presumably with some financial help from John and Maureen Hendricks – kept the team name going, the only one of the eight WUSA teams to do so. (The Boston Breakers may claim heritage back to the WUSA era, but they did not exist in any form in the several years between WUSA and WPS.)
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2015 Women’s World Cup – England vs Norway – Norway Pay The Price for Limited Gas Tank & Wastefulness

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

PRE – Everyone’s basically had this one pegged as a knockout stage matchup since the draw was made. Norway weren’t superb against Thailand and Cote d’Ivoire but got the job done and were inspired in coming back to draw against Germany a few matches ago. They’ll enter as favorites against an England side that looked sluggish against France in defeat but improved to top Mexico and Colombia, only losing out on the group via goal differential. They’ve started slowly though and come into games under Mark Sampson. A slow start here could make things messy.

4’ – England survive one corner played short to the near post and then see Bardsley emphatically punch clear on the second corner.

11’ – Almost a very costly giveaway by Mjelde, who misplaces a pass deep in her own end. Duggan intercepts and plays up to Kirby inside the box. She unselfishly tries to pass it back, but Norway intercepts to get the danger away.

11’ – It’s England’s turn to flirt with danger, and it’s a much better chance for Norway. Gulbrandsen’s given too much time to pick out a pass, while Houghton is watching the ball and not Herlovsen, who ghosts in behind to meet the pass. She’s 1v1 with Bardsley, but the keeper rushes off her line, makes herself big, and kicks away.

12’ – Herlovsen aims…something…at the near post from the far flank. It’s threatening enough that Bardsley feels compelled to get down and push it wide. Resulting corner is harmless.

17’ – England aren’t getting any pressure on service from midfield, and it’s almost been their demise. Myjkaland is allowed to serve a ball to the far post, and England loses Minde’s blindside run, getting lucky that her last touch is wide.

21’ – It’s Tofte Ims’ turn to play a pass that nearly turns into a goal, as she chips a ball towards Hegerberg from the halfway line. Bassett gets there just in time to poke behind, but the referee somehow calls for a goal kick. Still no pressure whatsoever on Norway’s midfielders.

23’ – Long Norway free kick sees Fara Williams hit a powerful back header right back to Bardsley. It’s all Norway at the moment.

28’ – Long diagonal for Wold, who brings it down expertly before crossing towards Hegerberg in the box. She flicks a header at goal, but it’s well wide.

29’ – Long ball forward for Herlovsen sends Bardsley off her line to claim as her defenders looked like they were traversing through concrete. England just about surviving right now.

31’ – Hope for England, as they win a corner. They promptly whip it at a wide open Norwegian player. Oof.

31’ – Another chance for England! Bronze dishes to Carney on the far flank, with the midfielder splitting two defenders on her way in the box. She flops in the box theatrically off Minde’s slight nudge, and Norway clear a re-delivery behind for a corner. Houghton heads the corner onto the roof of the goal.

34’ – Fara Williams with a contender for worst free kick of the competition. Set up thirty-five yards out with players queueing in the box, she has a go directly and ends up skying it a mile over.

40’ – Bronze does everything but serve the ball up on a silver platter for Hegerberg with a ridiculous, soft backpass to nobody. The big forward rumbles forward with Bronze all but on her back and shoots right at Bardsley. She would’ve had a penalty if she had gone down, surely.

42’ – Ims plays forward to Herlovsen, who looks to have the beating of Bassett, as the defender trips in the box. That allows for a shot that’s blocked, but the referee whistles for a foul, apparently as the forward just got her legs tangled with Bassett.

45’ – Some comedy off a second England corner, as Norway clears off the ref. The whistle blows a second later for an English foul in the box.

HT – I think the technical term for that half was ‘ugly as hell’. Norway were the much better side and really should be up a goal (or more), considering they carved out more than a few chances. England have again started very slowly and were terrible at putting pressure on the ball in midfield, allowing Norway to open them up with a variety of passes. They’ve also shown very little offensively, and Sampson has it all to do at the break.
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W-League Final Four Preview

The contenders for the W-League championship have been whittled down to four. In order of seeding, they are: the Washington Spirit Reserves, the Colorado Pride, the Laval Comets, and the Quebec Dynamo ARSQ. Laval – a suburb of Montreal – is hosting the tournament at Desjardins Stadium. The semifinals are on Friday with Quebec facing Washington at 5 and Laval meeting Colorado at 7:30. The consolation game is Sunday at noon followed by the championship at 2:30.
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2015 Women’s World Cup – Canada vs Switzerland – Hosts Advance After Dull Encounter

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

PRE – Well, this one became a hell of a lot more interesting with Christine Latham absolutely burying John Herdman in the pregame. Canada have looked lethargic and dull for most of this tournament and will need a big performance to overcome Switzerland. For their part, the Swiss have looked fragile defensively and utterly dependent on Ramona Bachmann and Lara Dickenmann up front. It’s a battle of two flawed teams which equals a boring affair or a goalfest. I’m hoping for the latter.

5’ – Abbe almost leaves her goalkeeper short on a backpass, with Thalmann having to hack clear to keep Sinclair from getting onto it. That’s about as good as it’s got in the first handful of minutes.

6’ – Schmidt swings in a free kick, but Switzerland defend well and clear.

11’ – Switzerland win it in midfield and play long towards Bachmann, as Sesselmann tries to dive in and clear and doesn’t get close. Bachmann is alone on goal but at a sharp angle, and Buchanan prods her into a shot to the near post that McLeod tips wide.

13’ – YELLOW CARD – Canada (Sinclair) – Switzerland have Canada under a little pressure right now, forcing them to clear out some crosses. Sinclair charges after a ball against Maritz to try and start the counter but gets there late and sends the full-back flying. She’s booked, though it looked much worse live than on replay.

14’ – Switzerland play a semi-elaborate free kick that ends up with Bachmann running at pace towards the endline. She beats Scott there and crosses, but Dickenmann misses completely before its cleared. Belanger tries to counter but makes a hash of it.

16’ – That would’ve been spectacular. Lawrence passes to Belanger on the far flank, with the winger trying to cross towards goal. The speculative effort to the far post has Thalmann struggling though, and it caroms off the far post before being cleared! Almost a sensational and odd goal.

17’ – Canada hump another ball into the box, and Tancredi jumps with an elbow to the ribs of Thalmann, who, understandably, goes down in a heap. How is that not a booking?

22’ – Not exactly the best sign for Switzerland, as Tancredi, probably the slowest player on the pitch, uses a change of pace to blow by Rinast. Her cross is abysmal though as the crowd calls for a handball which isn’t given.

30’ – Bachmann drags Chapman to the ground near midfield. No, it has not been a classic by any means.

34’ – It’s Sesselmann’s turn to almost put her goalkeeper in mortal danger with a backpass, but McLeod manages to rush a pass back to her center-back in time…except it goes out into touch. D’oh.

38’ – Crnogorcevic gets handsy with Chapman by the near corner flag as she fits for a ball and is whistled for the foul.

40’ – Switzerland in a nutshell. Long pass into Bachmann’s stride sees her beat Buchanan and Sesselmann with a hesitation move before traversing the endline and cutting back into space. There’s nobody there though, letting a phalanx of Canadian defenders clear.

45’ + 2’ – Bachmann dribbles upfield as she’s amoeba’d by a set of Canadian defenders but manages to thread a pass into the path of Dickenmann in the box anyway. Chapman manages to shoulder Dickenmann away from the ball, letting McLeod slide out and claim the ball.

HT – It’s been a dirge thus far, with neither side able to seriously threaten the other’s defense. Bachmann and Dickenmann have flashed signs of danger but haven’t been helped out by their supporting cast. Canada’s offense has largely been MIA as well, making this an utterly forgettable contest. It can’t get much worse next half…can it?
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Spirit dampen Reign, 3-0

It was a clash of streaks: the Washington Spirit had yet to lose at home in 2015 (4-0-1) , while the Seattle Reign were undefeated in their last 8 matches (5-0-3). With the Spirit missing both their WWC champions (Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger) and their Nigerians, I thought a tie would be an accomplishment. On the other hand, it would be the first chance for Diana Matheson to team up with Crystal Dunn as a forward, plus Seattle would be missing their champs (Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe) as well as key defender Kendall Fletcher, who was out with an injury. As it turns out, the moral of the story seems to be not to take your streak to Maureen Hendricks Field if you want to keep it going.

Before an all-time record Soccerplex crowd of 5,413, Washington dismantled Seattle, 3-0, for the most lopsided win in the Spirit’s history. (The previous women’s professional soccer record for Maureen Hendricks Field was 5,149, set on May 3, 2009, when Hope Solo made her first appearance at the ‘plex as her St. Louis Athletica took on the Washington Freedom.)
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2015 Women’s World Cup – France vs South Korea – Inspired French Turn On The Style (In Spurts) Against South Korea

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

PRE – Well, after France’s date with disaster against Colombia, they rebounded to plonk Mexico in their final group stage match and are expected to do the same here, with Louisa Necib back in the lineup after her strop against Colombia likely led to her benching for the next match. South Korea’s odds of a win were long before Ji So-Yun was confirmed to not be starting. They’ll need a miracle, an out of body experience, or something really weird to end up advancing against the European powerhouse.

4’ – GOAL – France (Delie) – Oh, come on, that’s not fair. Boulleau takes it at the far flank and cuts in before cutting the ball back to an unmarked Abily. Abily takes a brief touch before passing back to the charging Boulleau, who in turn passes back to the unmarked Delie. Far post finish. That’s just ridiculous. A clinical display of quick passing and exploiting space.

8’ – South Korea have a chance to strike back at the other end off a free kick from the far flank. It’s played short by Kim Sooyun and then squared back into the six before it crosses the endline. Bouhaddi collides with Renard but manages to punch, not letting Jeon Gaeul ghost in and head home.

8’ – GOAL – France (Thomis) – Talk about paying the price. Houara motors up the pitch on the counter before playing it wide to Thomis. Thomis cuts inside and plays a one-two with Le Sommer on her way into the box. South Korea gets caught watching the ball for a brief and fatal moment, as Thomis gets it onto her left and fires past Kim Jungmi.

17’ – France swing in a free kick towards the six Kim Jungmi doesn’t really go for it authoritatively and gets whacked in the head by some of her defenders for good (bad?) measure. Replay shows that Park Eunsun delivered an inadvertent forearm shiver to her keeper on the way up for it. Jungmi stays down for treatment. The keeper is fine to continue after around five (!) minutes of stoppage. Going to be a long half.

24’ – That could have been calamitous for France. Off a free kick about forty yards out, South Korea delivers, and Bouhaddi spills it despite being under no pressure whatsoever. Shim overruns it though, and France hack clear a second later.

26’ – Henry plays a ridiculous diagonal ball from midfield to Thomis on the flank, which the attacker brings down beautifully with her right foot, sending the defender down in a heap in the process. She keeps dribbling centrally and fires an off-balance shot that is weak and dribbles wide.

27’ – South Korea quickly get a corner on the other end. You sense they aren’t going to get anything out of open play, so these set pieces are important…which makes the disappointing delivery that goes out for a goal kick all the more frustrating.

29’ – Lee Geummin breaks away from Abily, who stumbles down, and tries to thread a pass through to Jeon Gaeul at the edge of the area. Renard appears to give her a shove, sending the Korean player down, but the referee remains unmoved.

31’ – It really should be 3-0 and game over. Henry plays Boulleau towards the endline out on the far flank, and the full-back threads a cross that bounces in the box, with Le Sommer trying to half-volley to the far post. It evades the keeper but somehow slides wide of the post.

33’ – YELLOW CARD – South Korea (Lee Eunmi) – Lee Eunmi trips up Le Sommer as she comes in late for a ball, earning the first booking of the day.

36’ – South Korea get a free kick in a dangerous position and promptly waste it, with two players running over the ball before Park Eunsun fires a mile wide. Awful.

40’ – Oh, they can play direct, too. Le Sommer plays a brilliant defense splitting ball into the path of Delie, who shots towards the near post as she enters the box. Jungmi is up to it though and juggles before gathering.

45’ – Board shows four minutes of stoppage time, which is lulzy, as Jungmi was down for five minutes earlier in the half.

45’ + 4’ – Jungmi should get hazard pay for this half. After being elbowed earlier, Renard comes flying in for a missile header off a cross and ends up bonking the keeper in the head on the follow through. Ref blows the whistle for the half, because, hey, why not?

HT – A couple of moments of magic have pushed French to a comfortable lead at the half, and you could argue they really should have a few more with a little better finishing. South Korea don’t look dynamic enough to pry them open on the attack, and they’ve been utterly wasteful on set pieces. Their chances of a comeback look slim, and you figure French more likely to add a third than concede at this point.
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2015 Women’s World Cup – Australia vs Brazil – Luciana Howler Gifts Australia Victory

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

PRE – It’s one of the tastiest encounters of the round of sixteen, as Brazil, who rolled through the group stage, take on an Australian side who have looked very impressive in stretches thus far. The Oceanic nation will fancy their chances of matching pace with their counterparts, with Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr poised to give an untested Brazilian defense some serious problems. On the other side though, Brazil are much more than Marta, with Formiga looking in pristine form, while full-backs Fabiana and Tamires also should be looking to stretch the Australian defense.

8’ – After a cagey beginning, the first real chance falls Brazil’s way. An Andressa Alves pass finds Cristiane in a nice pocket of space, and the center forward cuts back around one tackle before getting off a shot from just outside the arc that bounces to Williams.

10’ – And it didn’t take long for Luciana to almost give Brazilian supporters a heart attack. Off a rather soft corner, the keeper rises to claim at the six and promptly fumbles it backward for another corner. She wanders off her line a bit on the follow-up corner to the far post, but Kerr sizzles a volley into the sidenetting.

12’ – It’s heating up, as Alves plays a low ball that sees its way through the Australian defense. Formiga comes to it, but she’s not the quickest these days, with her cross going miles ahead of any Brazilian player as she begins to slow up.

14’ – YELLOW CARD – Brazil (Fabiana) – Williams doesn’t get there on a corner kick, which is luckily headed away by Australia. The Matildas break before Fabiana commits the professional foul on Foord at center circle, stopping the counter by sending the full-back flying. Guessing Australia may want to target her going forward…

21’ – Marta makes with the stepovers and ball feints before finding Tamires on an overlapping run. Her cross somehow evades every yellow shirt in the box who run over it, with Australia clearing soon after.

24’ – Nice chance for Australia, as Heyman plays a one-two with Kerr, with the former splitting the gap between Fabiana and Monica. She squares…to nobody, as Luciana picks up the dribbling attempted pass. Nice thought, poor execution at the end.

28’ – Almost for Brazil. Van Egmond goes one way, with the ball going the other, allowing Formiga to swoop in and turn to fire a laser that looks to be headed into the top-right corner of the goal. Williams skies up though to tip the ball over with what could be a contender for save of the tournament. Monica heads wide after the corner is recycled back in the box.

31’ – De Vanna wins a corner by backheeling the ball off Fabiana. Cheeky. The corner is much ado about nothing, and Brazil clears the initial effort and a couple of other half-chances.

35’ – Alleway Alleways a ball with a wretched first touch, letting Marta come in with a head of steam and plow forward with the ball. Stepovers, feints, and…a pass to nobody in particular.

39’ – De Vanna, one of the fastest players at the tournament, tries to latch onto a ball through the midfield, but Fabiana runs with her stride for stride. Australia certainly will need some answers if De Vanna can’t find separation from the defense.

40’ – Some succulent one-touch passing through the middle of the park sees Australia break forward with Catley surging up the left flank to take another pass. Her cross is deflected by Monica, and the ball goes back to Luciana.

HT – It’s been a cagey start for sure, with both sides struggling to really create big scoring opportunities other than Formiga’s big blast that was tipped over. Australia’s one-touch game has looked dangerous, but their pace hasn’t troubled Brazil in most instances. However, Brazil have struggled to really link up, with Cristiane and Marta looking like they’re on their own island up top. They really need width from their attacking full-backs to help stretch the Australian defense.
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2015 Women’s World Cup – China vs Cameroon – China Edges Through in Tedious Game

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

Starting Tactical Lineup (from FIFA.com)

PRE – Well, I’m guessing not too many called this one before the tournament. China were a team with no major tournament experience that had problems scoring, while Cameroon had been mostly unimpressive at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Both, however, have shown very well thus far, with Cameroon upsetting Switzerland to finish second in their group, while China could have easily won their group if not for a controversial penalty decision against the hosts. The winner tonight gets a quarterfinal berth, which had to be beyond the wildest dreams of either of these sides going into the tournament.

1’ – That didn’t take long. Some unsteady backpasses allow Enganamouit to swoop in and deflect it into the box to Ngono Mani who shoots high. Cameroon already threatening.

5’ – Long ball from midfield from Ngono Mani slips in between the gap between the right-back and right center-back, letting Onguene burst through the whole. Rong Zhao gives her a slight nudge, but the Cameroonian fireplug wins a corner. It doesn’t amount to anything.

12’ – GOAL – China (Shanshan Wang) – Well, Cameroon’s had most of the run of play early, but it matters little now. Enganamouit misses a defensive header off a corner, letting Dongna Li bring it down and square to an unmarked Shanshan Wang about eight yards in front of goal. Perfect volley under Ngo Ndom, and China lead early.

17’ – Really dodgy moment from China in defending a corner. Zouga bends it out towards the six into a crowd of players, with Wang Fei coming off her line but tripping up well away from the ball. Ngo Mani’s header goes well wide of the target though. Needs to do better.

21’ – It’s Cameroon’s turn to look dodgy on a cross, as a deep effort from China sees Ngo Ndom try to punch awkwardly. She gets nowhere near it, but fortunately, neither does Guixin Ren, the closest Chinese player. Jiali Tang slips on the wet turf before her cross is cleared.

21’ – Back the other way, Onguene gets the ball wide and crosses through two Chinese defenders towards Enganamouit, who runs over it in frustration. Leuko tries to cross it back in, but it’s right at Wang Fei.

23’ – Cameroon have a free kick in a dangerous position, with Enganamouit taking and firing a hard shot, low and into the wall. China’s wall is slow to break, and Onguene pounces and should hit the target but hits it into the sidenetting. A waste.

24’ – China assaults Cameroon with some quick one-touch passing and chip over the ragged Cameroonian backline towards Peng Han into space. She brings it down and takes Awona out with a cutback, but her shot is awful and right to Ngo Ndom who almost claims it a little too late.

31’ – Feudjio shoots low and hard from range, but that’s not troubling Wang Fei. Cameroon’s penchant for low percentage hits probably isn’t going to help them as they try to equalize.

38’ – China head away a dangerous free kick but only as far as Meffometou Tcheno. She finishes like the full-back she is though, hitting a slow roller right to Wang Fei, who smothers.

40’ – SUB – China bring off Jiali Tang for Shuang Wang. That’s…odd. Injury? There’s only five minutes to the half.

41’ – That sub is right before a China corner, but they struggle to get a shot off. Lisi Wang does a great job of weaving through the defense into the box but is shoulder checked off the ball by Feudjio. A couple more half-chances follow, but Cameroon’s defense hangs tough.

45’ + 1’ – China with a great chance to double their lead. A great Peng Han cross that arcs towards the penalty spot has Ngo Ndom caught in the corridor of indecision. Shanshan Wang charges in but can’t get contact on the header.

HT – It’s not exactly been a thrill-a-minute affair, as you might have expected considering Cameroon’s group stage matches. Neither offense looks particularly crisp after the first half, with each unable to capitalize on a pair of defenses that have wobbled under the bright lights. China’s rearguard is doing the better job though and have kept Onguene and Enganamouit from running riot, while the Asian side’s offense took their goal beautifully. It’s a steep road uphill for Cameroon if they want to pull this one out.
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W-League: Spirit Reserves punch ticket to Final Four

For the fourth year in a row, the Washington Spirit Reserves (née DC United Women) will play in the four-team W-League Championship Weekend after downing the Braddock Road Stars Elite, 2-0.

The match was pretty much a must-win for the Reserves as a tie or loss would have allowed the Charlotte Lady Eagles to claim the conference championship with a win in their final game. I came in figuring that the worst-case scenario for Washington was a 0-0 draw as I didn’t see the attack-starved home team scoring on a back line anchored by U-23 national teamer Andi Sullivan.
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