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VAR help American Women to defeat Spain 2-1

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The long-awaited duel between hosts France and holders the United States will finally happen. The Americans, despite the unexpected difficulty, won Spain 2-1 thanks to two penalties on Monday in Reims and booked their places for the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

In the face of the difficulties encountered by Team USA against the surprising Spaniards, France can dream of qualifying for the semi-finals in front of their fans in a confrontation on Friday at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

In fact, the Americans, current world champions, found it very difficult to overcome Spain and advanced to the next stage thanks to two penalties converted by Megan Rapinoe (6 and 76 min). After conceding a goal for the first time in the tournament on Jennifer Hermoso’s placed kick (9 min), the United States needed VAR’s help at the end of the game to regain the advantage on the scoreboard. With a lackluster win after an easy group stage with 18 goals scored against Thailand (13-0), Chile (3-0) and Sweden (2-0), the Americans need to open their eyes.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, guilty of the Spanish goal, showed some fragility, while star Alex Morgan barely touched the ball. Even the manager Jill Ellis, who can feel herself about having “the second best team in the world” on her bench, failed to cheer her athletes during the match. The game, however, began to look like an expected American monologue after the current world champions opened the scoring with five minutes of play after a Spaniard player fouled the clever Tobin Heath inside the area. Rapinoe stepped up and converted from the spot with perfection. 1-0 US.

But in bizarre defense errors, first in Alyssa Naeher’s goal kick and then in a bad pass from defender Becky Sauerbrunn, Spanish striker Jennifer Hermoso took the opportunity slot home and level the game up. 1-1 with 9 minutes on the clock.

Under constant pressure from the Americans, owners of the ball possession, the Spaniards managed to show good organization and resist well to the impetus of the favorites in the first half.

But in the half-time break, Spain had the better chance of leading the way in the dangerous scorecards of Lucia Garcia (53) and Patri Guijarro (63), making the American fans sweat in Reims. But the referee, Katalin Kulcsar of Hungary, already generous in the first penalty, again made the difference in the match with a new decision favorable to the American after the slight touch of Virginia Torrecilla on Rose Lavelle inside the box.

Outraged, the Spanish asked the VAR to enter into action. And, after a long analysis in the video, seeing the play from several angles, the referee maintained her initial decision. So once again, Rapinoe stepped up and made it two for the Americans from the penalty spot. 2-1 US, in a harder game than initially expected.

We can say that the Spaniards tasted a little what Brazil did yesterday. Both had their best matches so far in the World Cup but ended up defeated. However, it’s time for the big game. France – USA. Who you got? I go with the US, 3-1 against France.

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Liverpool initiate pre-season with a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers

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The European Champions are back in action! On this Thursday, Liverpool with mostly their reserves, made their first preseason friendly, ending up thrashing Tranmere Rovers 6-0.

The highlight of the match was young striker Rhian Brewster who showed up his “classic number nine” skills and scored twice in the small Prenton Park stadium in Merseyside. Nathaniel Clyne opened the scoring in the six minutes and Brewster scored at 38 and 45. With 11 changes in the second half, Liverpool scored three more through Curtis Jones, Divock Origi, and Bobby Duncan.

As expected, coach Jurgen Klopp used all 23 players at his disposal, among recently promoted youngsters and some reserves, as goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, midfielder Adam Lallana, striker Divock Origi and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who returned to the fields at the end of last season after a year recovering from a serious knee injury.

Among the holders of the last season, the Brazilian midfielder Fabinho and defender Joel Matip, who were called only in the second half, and midfielder James Milner, who played in the opening stages, were already in the first friendly.

At the end of the match, a good part of the supporters invaded the pitch to take pictures with the players. The most requested one was the UEFA Champions League hero, Divock Origi, who recently agreed his contract extension with the Reds. I’m excited to see Rhian Brewster in action for the main team. I also think that Jurgen Klopp needs to give some chances to Ryan Kent, and Harry Wilson to be at least backup pieces to this squad. It’s hard to say only based on a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers, but it’s undeniable that the Reds keep on fire. Will Liverpool and Klopp repeat last season, and maybe finally conquer the so dreamed Premier League this season? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

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The Retirement of a Giant!

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Everything comes to an end… And on this Friday morning, notorious English striker Peter Crouch announced his retirement from football. At the age of 38, the 2.01m giant used his official Twitter account to inform fans of his decision.

The former Liverpool player said he got it all thanks to football and still made a point of thanking everyone who helped him out during his career in the sport.

“After much consideration this summer, I decided to retire from football. Our wonderful game gave me everything. I am very grateful to everyone who helped me to get there and to keep me for so long.” He wrote.

Crouch was revealed by Tottenham back in 1998 and had also played for clubs like QPR, Aston Villa, Norwich, Stoke City, and Burnley. However, a two-meter giant needed a club with his proportions… And he found everything he was looking for at Liverpool, as he played important roles, scored decisive goals, and even disputed a UEFA Champions League. Also, it was playing for the Reds that Crouch was called to defend England National Team back in the World Cups of 2006, and 2010.

“If you told me, when I was 17, that I would play in World Cups, reach a Champions League final, win the FA Cup and get 100 goals in the English Championship, I would not believe. It was absolutely a dream come true.” Added the player.

In his last season, Peter Crouch began playing in the second division, with the shirt of Stoke City. He then went to Burnley, where he played six games in the English Premier League and did not score goals. He’s a very nice guy, and almost everyone likes him. He’s always making fun of himself due to his big size, and even compare him to a giraffe. I’m pretty sure Liverpool fans will always remember him.

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Griezmann signs for Barcelona!

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Finally, the Griezmann conundrum is solved! After over a year of rumors and speculations, Barcelona announced today the signing of French striker Antoine Griezmann. The confirmation of the transfer occurred with the payment of the fine of 120 million euros to Atletico Madrid, held at the headquarters of the Spanish League.

In a statement, the Catalan team reported that Griezmann signed for five years, until June 30, 2024. Also, the Catalans have set a buyout clause in Griezmann’s contract of about 800 million euros.

Griezmann had the opportunity of joining the Catalans a year ago, but he opted for staying at Atleti. However, something made him change his mind up, as he joins Ernesto Valverde’s side. Griezmann will “steal” Philippe Coutinho’s number 7, as the Brazilian midfielder is currently numberless, and dignity-less as well at the Catalan club.

If Barcelona and Griezmann are happy, apparently the other side, Atletico, is not. The club from Madrid is arguing that Barça should pay 200 million euros instead of 120, as the agreement for the French player was sealed back in March when the fee to sign Griezmann was higher. Atletico is also complaining about the “Barça-way” of approaching their targets, as they seem to forget about etic values and fair play to the other clubs.

But let’s be honest… 120 million euros for Antoine Griezmann is such a joke. He’s a very good player, maybe he’s been world-class at his prime, but he is a merely good player nowadays. Not to mention average season last season with Atleti.

In my opinion, the Griezman arrival in Barcelona is one more problem for Ernesto Valverde to solve. He’s got into such a situation where he needs to figure out how to play Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, and maybe Neymar together at the same time. What a squad Barça is building up by the way. They’ve got everything to become the new “Galacticos” maybe? Yeah, who knows… Only time will say!

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