Where EAST meets the Northwest
The Asian Reporter, V29, #13 (July 1, 2019), page 7.
GOAL GRATITUDE. Thailandís Kanjana Sungngoen (#21, left) celebrates after
scoring her sideís first goal during the Womenís World Cup Group F soccer match
between Sweden and Thailand at Stade de Nice in Nice, France. "Everyone was very
happy that we at least scored one," Kanjana said through a translator. "The
whole team is very glad." (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Thailand scores first World Cup goal in loss to Sweden
By Rob Harris
The Associated Press
NICE, France ó A couple of seconds elapsed before a disbelieving Kanjana
Sungngoen raised her arms in celebration.
It really happened.
Thailand had finally scored at the Womenís World Cup.
By the time Sungngoen found the net against Sweden in the first minute of
stoppage time, Thailand was already trailing 0-4.
But simply scoring was a triumph after Thailandís humiliating 0-13 opening
loss to the United States. Coaches embraced on the bench and Thai flags were
raised in the stands on the French Riviera.
They were still beaming after the final whistle, even after Elin Rubensson
scored with the final kick of the game from the penalty spot to seal a 5-1
victory for Sweden, which advanced to the Round of 16 with a game to spare.
"Everyone was very happy that we at least scored one," Kanjana said through a
translator. "The whole team is very glad."
Even if it was only a consolation goal and the team remained at the bottom of
"It was a difficult goal and playing a great team like Sweden, it meant so
much," Thailand coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian said through a translator. "It
meant that all of our preparation paid off. We had a lot of chances today. This
one goal made us laugh, made us smile, and makes us happy."
Even Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, through the disappointment of not
keeping a clean sheet, could see what scoring meant to the Thais.
"We are all human," Lindahl said, "and having had that defeat they had
against the U.S., and now scoring their goal, you can feel some empathy for
It helped that her teammates had already scored four times by the time
Sungngoen got on the end of a high ball on the right flank and cut in before
beating Lindahl at her near post.
The first of the five Swedish scorers netted in the sixth minute in Nice,
with Linda Sembrant heading past Waraporn Boonsing.
The Thai goalkeeper did manage to palm away Anna Anvegardís shot in the 19th
minute but she couldnít recover the ball to prevent Kosovare Asllani scoring.
Boonsing couldnít stop the 41st-minute strike from Fridolina RolfŲ curling into
the top corner.
Just like in the game against the United States, it was 0-3 at halftime.
Unlike in Paris, Thailand didnít concede another four times in the opening 11
minutes of the second half.
In fact, it took Sweden until the 81st minute to find the net again through
Lina Hurtigís header before being beaten by Thailand on the counterattack.
So when the final whistle blew, the Thai squad was able to bow to its fans.
Some pride had been restored.
"Our defeat in the [U.S.] game was massive," Srathongvian said. "We were
disappointed, but scoring one today we made some success. We still need to
develop and we need to improve and make it better. We need to get as close to
other super teams. We need to play better so we can enjoy it more."
* * *
From The Asian Reporter, V29, #13 (July 1, 2019), page 7.
DRAMATIC DEFEAT. Japanís Saki Kumagai kicks the ball away from Vivianne
Miedema of the Netherlands during the Womenís World Cup Round of 16 soccer match
at Roazhon Park in Rennes, France. The Netherlands defeated Japan, 2-1. (AP
Japan out of Womenís World Cup after stoppage-time PK
By Rob Harris
The Associated Press
RENNES, France ó Tears were still flowing from Saki Kumagaiís eyes more than
30 minutes later.
With victorious Dutch rivals passing her on the way out of the stadium,
Japanís captain seemed to find solace in speaking about the penalty long after
it cost her team a place in the quarterfinals of the Womenís World Cup.
With the game entering the 90th minute locked at 1-1, Kumagaiís outstretched
left arm blocked the shot Vivianne Miedema had aimed into the right side of the
"It hit my hand for sure," Kumagai said. "Itís difficult to accept, but itís
also sad. I know that is football."
Referee Melissa Borjas pointed to the penalty spot and Lieke Martens netted
her second goal of the game in the 90th minute to seal a 2-1 victory that sent
the Netherlands into the quarterfinals for the first time.
"We have made history," Martens said. "Iím not usually taking the penalties
but I felt really good this game. I asked Sherida Spitse if I could take it and
she gave it directly to me and I felt quite relaxed about it."
It was journeyís end for Japan, which won the 2011 tournament and was the
runner-up four years later.
The strength of the second-half display counted for nothing.
As befitting a meeting of the Asian and European champions, the game produced
some of the slickest action of the World Cup. A backheel flick set up Martens to
send the Dutch in front in the 17th minute and Yui Hasegawa equalized in the
43rd to complete a slick passing move.
But the post, crossbar, and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal thwarted Japanís
pursuit of a winning goal.
"I think we lacked the clinical edge," Japan coach Asako Takakura said. "We
have to accept the result, weíre defeated, weíre very disappointed and for all
the players I feel very sorry for them and frustrated."
With the last Asian team eliminated, the Womenís World Cup had a record seven
European teams in the quarterfinals.
Martens flicked in the opener after evading her marker to meet a corner and
send the ball through the legs of Yuika Sugasawa into the net.
Sugasawa had a quick chance to tie, only to hit the post. But Japan did
equalize by completing an intricate move.
Hina Sugita squared across the penalty area to Yuika Sugasawa, who passed
back to Mana Iwabuchi on the edge of the penalty area. After holding off Jackie
Groenen on the turn, Iwabuchi slipped the ball through to Hasegawa, who was free
to delicately dink a shot over Van Veenendaal into the corner of the net.
It was some way to make the most of a first shot on target for a team that
failed to score in two of its three group stage games.
Van Veenendaal came to the rescue of the Dutch in the second half by denying
Emi Nakajima as Japan chased the winner.
"Japan is a world class team and you saw that today," Miedema said. "In the
second half you can see they have loads of quality on the pitch."
* * *
From The Asian Reporter, V29, #13 (July 1, 2019), pages 7 & 9.
Australia eliminated in penalty-kick shootout
By Daniella Matar
The Associated Press
NICE, France ó Goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth proved to be a shootout hero once
again as Norway beat Australia on penalties to advance to the quarterfinals of
the Womenís World Cup.
Hjelmseth saved Emily Gielnikís kick and Ingrid Engen, who is playing in her
first World Cup, hit the decisive penalty as Norway won the shootout 4-1 after
the match finished in a 1-1 draw.
Australia captain Sam Kerr, who was frustrated by Norway most of the night
despite several opportunities, fired her penalty shot high and wide.
"It was a great win," Hjelmseth said. "I was just focusing and picking a side
when they put the ball down. I was just telling myself, ĎOK, I will go to the
right,í and then I took a chance and it was good for us, it was the right side."
Hjelmseth saved two penalties in her last shootout ó the semifinal of the
2013 European Championship.
"That was a good one," she said. "I think when youíre a goalie you can only
be a hero so itís just about picking a side and just finding the right timing to
go so you donít get the VAR [Video Assistant Referee] stuff."
The shootout came after a game during which neither team had a clear
advantage, though Norway succeeded in keeping Australiaís Kerr from being much
of a factor. Kerr had a goal ruled out in the second half after offside was
called. Australia also had two penalties denied on video review in normal time.
The game went to extra time after Australiaís Elise Kellond-Knight scored
from a corner to make it a 1-1 game in the 83rd minute.
Forward Isabell Herlovsen put Norway up 1-0 with a goal in the 31st.
Australia had to play the final 16 minutes of extra time at a numerical
disadvantage after defender Alanna Kennedy was sent off on a red card for
hauling down Norway forward Lisa-Marie Utland. Norway peppered Australiaís goal
but was repeatedly denied by goalkeeper Lydia Williams.
"It was tough," Kerr said. "A lot of the girls had already played a lot of
minutes so we were already running on empty and then obviously Alanna getting
sent off is not ideal but we stuck together. We were still confident and
believing in each other but it just didnít come off tonight."
Kerr ended the tournament tied with American Alex Morgan for the most goals
"Only big players can miss penalties, because small players donít take them,"
coach Ante Milicic said when asked what he told Kerr after the match.
Australia was thwarted in its attempt to reach the quarterfinals for a fourth
"This team had high expectations and goals coming into this tournament so to
go out this way it was pretty rough and I havenít really wrapped my head around
it I donít think," said defender Steph Catley, who had Australiaís only
successful penalty kick during the shootout. "Doesnít really feel like weíre out
if that makes sense. Itís devastating."
* * *
From The Asian Reporter, V29, #13 (July 1, 2019), page 9.
Italy beats China 2-0 in WWC Round of 16
By Joseph Wilson
The Associated Press
MONTPELLIER, France ó Italy made its case to be considered a contender in the
Womenís World Cup (WWC) after a convincing 2-0 win over China. China had only
allowed one goal in its three group stage games but the talented Italian attack
broke down the vaunted defense.
Valentina Giacinti scored in the 15th minute. Aurora Galliís long strike put
the result beyond doubt four minutes after halftime at the stiflingly hot Stade
de la Mosson.
China coach Jia Xiuquan seemed to put his future in doubt after his team
exited with just one goal scored in the tournament, saying "maybe it is time to
take a break."
"I believe the World Cup is a big stage and it makes us realize our
shortcomings," Jia said through a translator. "To improve Chinese football it
requires generations. It canít only depend on myself."
Forward Giacinti was a force as she threatened on two occasions before she
sparked the chance that ended in her goal.
After pressuring to win a ball near the touchline, she raced down the flank
and found Barbara Bonansea, who waited to find left back Elisa Bartoli joining
the move. Bartoliís shot was blocked by China goalkeeper Peng Shimeng but
Giacinti pounced on the loose ball and drove it home.
China midfielder Wang Yan did manage to make goalkeeper Laura Giuliani palm
her effort over the bar in the 28th minute.
But Peng then had to dive to parry a powerful strike from Valentina
Bergamaschi as Italy looked close to a quick second goal against a China team
that couldnít handle its press and its trio of attackers.
Once China settled down and eliminated sloppy passes, the action tilted
momentarily to the other half. Forward Li Ying gave Bartoli fits with her
dribbling and she made the Italian defenders work with her dangerous crosses.
Italy suffered a bigger blow when striker Cristiana Girelli had to walk off
the field with an apparent leg injury in the 39th.
She was replaced by Galli, who surprised Peng with a right-footed strike that
went skimming over the turf and beyond the goalkeeperís reach.
* * *
Womenís World Cup
Round of 16
Germany 3, Nigeria 0
Norway 1, Australia 1
(Norway win on PKs, 4-1)
England 3, Cameroon 0
France 2, Brazil 1
(France win after extra time)
Spain 1, USA 2
Sweden 1, Canada 0
Italy 2, China PR 0
Netherlands 2, Japan 1
Norway 0, England 3
France 1, USA 2
Italy 0, Netherlands 2
Germany 1, Sweden 2
July 2, noon
England vs. USA
July 3, noon
Netherlands vs. Sweden
July 6, 8:00am
July 7, 8:00am
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