Thursday, July 2, 2015

Heart-breaking England exits at major tournaments (Reuters)


(Reuters) - An injury time own goal from England defender Laura Bassett handed Japan a 2-1 win in their Women's World Cup semi-final in Edmonton on Wednesday as the nation credited with founding the game suffered yet more soccer heartache. The tough losses have not only been restricted to England's women, with the men suffering a number of painful defeats at international tournaments following their sole World Cup win on home soil in 1966. - - - 1970 World Cup quarter-final: England 2-3 West Germany (after extra time) Holders England were considered second favorites for the tournament behind eventual winners Brazil and were 2-0 up and cruising in their quarter-final against West Germany.
Chicharito injures collarbone as Mexico ties Honduras (The Associated Press):
Mexico's Javier Hernandez calls for medical attention after he landed hard on his shoulder during the first half of a soccer match against Honduras Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)
Mexico's Gold Cup chances could take a hit after Tuesday's tune-up game with Honduras. Star forward Javier ''Chicharito'' Hernandez left the scoreless draw with a collarbone injury. ''We still don't have a report,'' Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera said through a translator.


Japan celebrates return to Women's World Cup final (Reuters):
Japanese football fans screamed with joy on Thursday after "divine winds" blew their women's national team into the World Cup final following a heart-stopping 2-1 win over England. The team, known as 'Nadeshiko' in Japan, will play the United States for the title in Vancouver on Sunday, a rematch of the 2011 final in Frankfurt where the Japanese won on penalties to become the first Asian World Cup champions. On Thursday, crowds throughout Tokyo shouted in triumph as an injury-time own goal from defender Laura Bassett gave Japan the win over England.
United States asks Swiss to extradite seven in FIFA probe (Reuters):
A staff walks past a logo of soccer's international governing body FIFA at their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, May 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
The United States asked Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials arrested in an investigation into a global bribery scandal at soccer's governing body, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) said on Thursday. The officials, including two then members of FIFA's executive committee, have been in jail since being detained on U.S. arrest warrants in a raid on a luxury Zurich hotel on May 27. The arrests took place two days before FIFA's annual congress, throwing the organization into turmoil.


Sampson draws strength from defeat, expects strong growth (Reuters):
By Simon Evans EDMONTON (Reuters) - England coach Mark Sampson says his team's march to the last four of the Women's World Cup, which ended with a heartbreaking loss to Japan in Wednesday's semi-final, should be the catalyst for major improvements in the game back home. Laura Bassett's 92nd minute own goal gifted Japan a 2-1 victory but an emotional Sampson said the first ever appearance for the Lionesses in a semi-final should encourage efforts to improve the sport in England. The England coach then made a direct appeal to those involved in domestic women's soccer to help improve the game further.
Japan into final after England injury time own goal (Reuters):
Jul 1, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Japan midfielder Aya Miyama (8) scores a goal on a penalty kick against the England during the first half in the semifinals of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
By Simon Evans EDMONTON (Reuters) - An injury time own goal from England defender Laura Bassett put Japan into the World Cup final with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday, setting up a title rematch with the United States. The U.S., who lost the 2011 final to the Japan on penalties, booked their ticket to Sunday's championship game in Vancouver with a 2-0 win over top ranked Germany on Tuesday. Bassett’s attempted sliding clearance from a low cross, crashed off the underside of the bar and over the goal-line to end England’s dreams of a first final in the cruelest of fashions.


Own goal win over England was no fluke, says Japan (Reuters):
Japan believe their women's World Cup semi-final win over England on Wednesday was just reward for their determination and not a fluke after a stoppage time own goal sent the defending champions through to a title showdown against the United States. Japan beat the Americans on penalties to win the last World Cup in Germany four years ago and remain on a course to defend their title, albeit after a fortuitous 2-1 win over a heartbroken England in Edmonton. While England was left devastated, Japan coach Norio Sasaki told reporters his team deserved to win because they had been willing to risk defeat by pushing forward in the dying moments.