Fuel Soccer Talk: U.S. women ace first test; “Raised eyebrows” in England; The best minute of football – ever?

Only one place to start today – and that’s in France!

Win over Sweden gives U.S. 18 goals in 3 games – most ever in group stage

LE HAVRE, France (June 20, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team notched an impressive 2-0 win against rival Sweden to claim first place in Group F in front of 22,418 fans at Stade Océane. Lindsey Horan’s strike in the third minute was the fastest opening goal of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while the USA’s second goal gave the team 18 in group play – the most any nation has scored during a group stage in the history of the tournament.

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis returned to almost the same starting lineup that the USA featured in the first game of the World Cup, the lone exception being Becky Sauerbrunn’s installation at center back in place of Julie Ertz, who was held out with a minor injury as a precaution since the U.S. was already guaranteed advancement to the knockout rounds.


From the opening whistle, the USA played with the same energy and determination that highlighted their emphatic wins against Thailand and Chile to start the tournament. The banner start earned the U.S. the fastest opening goal of the 2019 competition when Horan stabbed home Samantha Mewis’ flicked pass off a corner kick from the left side in the third minute.

From there the USA established itself as the dominant force in the match, amassing 62 percent possession and a 16-7 shot advantage, including 4-2 shots on goal, while limiting Sweden to counter attacks, several of which proved dangerous. On the few occasions that Sweden did threaten, U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was on hand to make the necessary saves.

Just after the break, the USA doubled its lead when Heath ripped a sharp-angle shot that glanced of Sweden defender Jonna Andersson, over goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl into the net.

In the day’s other Group F match, Chile just missed out on advancing to the knockout stage as it needed one more goal in a 2-0 defeat of Thailand in Rennes in order to advance. The USA (3-0-0; 9 points) won its group for the sixth time in World Cup history while Sweden (2-1-0; 6 points) finished second, Chile (1-2-0; 3 points) third and Thailand (0-3-0; 0 points) was fourth.

What did you think of the United States’ first real test in France?


First Class: England’s men’s Under 21 team travels on private jet

The U.S. women’s soccer team isn’t the only one complaining about unfair treatment. According to the Daily Mail, there were some raised eyebrows in the England women’s camp when a picture of the men’s Under 21 team on a private jet to Italy emerged on social media last week, just hours before the Lionesses’ 1-0 win against Argentina in the World Cup.

Aidy Boothroyd’s age group side were travelling on a chartered plane ahead of their European Championship campaign, which kicks off against France in Cesena on Tuesday.

Yet the women’s senior squad had to make do with a scheduled British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Nice earlier this month.

Members of Phil Neville’s side filmed themselves checking in, boarding the plane and walking out of the terminal to a waiting bus for a video which was posted on the team’s Twitter account.

A source told Sports Agenda: “We were a bit shocked to see the picture of the Under 21s. We didn’t have any special treatment — business class or otherwise!”

Padiham vs. Widnes and a remarkable final minute of non-league football

This is the dramatic final minute of Padiham’s meeting with Widnes in the North West Counties Football League on Saturday. Trailing 3-1 in the 92nd minute, Padiham grab a goal with little more than 60 seconds of the game remaining. Widnes then have a chance to make the score 4-2 but Padihim manage to clear the ball and get the equalizer in the game’s final seconds.

Have you ever seen a more exciting 60 seconds of soccer? 

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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