Vivianne Miedema scored in the 3rd minute of stoppage time to propel the Netherlands to a 1-0 win over Norway in the World Cup qualifying debut for the European champions. In the first of two matches that most think will decide Group 3, the Netherlands held a 17-3 shot edge and hit the woodwork twice but were unable to break through until the final moments of added time.
Norway still lead the group on 6 points but have now dropped points whereas the Netherlands were just starting their campaign on Tuesday. The return match is September 4, 2018 in Norway.
In other UEFA World Cup qualifying results from this week:
Croatia 0, Denmark 4: Four days after reaching another tentative deal with their federation, Denmark took the field in Croaria and recorded a 4-0 win to temporarily keep their World Cup hopes afoot. Pernille Harder scored in the 7th and 27th minutes and the EURO runners-up were off the running. Nanna Christenson and Signe Bruun scored late. Denmark remain perfect and top Group 4 on goal difference but are still awaiting the fate of the cancelled match last week against Sweden which could result in the side banned from the tournament.
Sweden 5, Hungary 0: Sweden led 4-0 at halftime and outshot their guests 23-3 over 90 minutes. Kosovare Asllani scored a brace for Sweden who are 2-0-0 in the group so far. If Denmark are kicked out it will all but send Sweden a direct ticket to France.
Russia 0, Wales 0: Russia’s qualifying hopes took a major hit after failing to capitalize on a 22-5 shot advantage against Wales. Having already lost by six goals in England, Russia were not in position to drop points at home. Jess Fishlock played the full 90 for Wales who have 4 points from 2 matches to open qualifying.
Germany 11, Faroe Islands 0 : Germany got well after their shock home loss to Iceland last week by pounding minnows from Faroe Islands. Haslet Kayikci scored four goals—all in the final half hour. The lopsided score line was nothing compared to the 43-0 shot discrepancy for the 2003/2007 world champions.
Czech Republic 1, Iceland 1: Dagny Brynjarsdottir scored for Iceland but Eva Bartonova equalized as a suddenly competitive Group 5 took another twist with the 1-1 draw. Iceland failed to earn the win four days after their shock win in Germany but have still dropped fewer points than any of their competitors including Germany.
Italy 3, Romania 0: Italy stayed perfect in Group 6. Cristiana Girelli scored the first two goals after the match went to halftime scoreless.
Portugal 0, Belgium 1: Tine De Caigny’s goal in the opening minutes of the second half helped Belgium keep pace with Italy having taken the full 9 points from three matches.
Slovakia 0, Ireland 2: Denise O’Sullivan opened the scoring on 11 minutes and an own goal provided insurance to keep Ireland perfect through two qualifying matches. A November 28 trip to the Netherlands will be a stern test to see where they stand in Group 3.
Scotland 5, Albania 0: Scotland shot to the top of Group 2 by thrashing Albania at Saint Mirren Park. Four different Scottish players scored after an Albanian own goal gifted them the lead. Scotland appear to be Switzerland’s stiffest competition in the group. They will travel to Switzerland next April and host the Swiss in August.
Israel 0, Spain 6 (Monday): Spain outshot Israel 25-1 in the 6-0 rout Monday that kicked off qualification for Spain.
Emily Sonnett loaned to Sydney FC, headed Down Under
Westfield W-League club Sydney FC announced on Tuesday the loan of USWNT and Portland Thorns centerback Emily Sonnett.
Sonnett’s loan to Sydney is arguably the biggest W-League signing of the season, as it’s rare for an NWSL Champion with senior USWNT experience to be loaned overseas for the NWSL offseason, especially to Australia.
“Emily is a very good player who already boasts a wealth of experience,” Head Coach Ante Juric said about the 23-year old defender. “I’m expecting Emily to be a key member of our squad and be able to showcase all her talents this season.”
The Georgia native is coming off an impressive sophomore season with the Portland Thorns, recently claiming the team’s second NWSL Championship title after defeating the North Carolina Courage, 1-0. Sonnett provided the assist on Lindsey Horan’s championship-winning goal.
“I’m really looking forward to representing Sydney FC and playing in the W-League for the first time,” Sonnett said about the deal. “A couple of my [Thorns] teammates are Aussie and have told me wonderful things about the league. I know Sydney FC are one of the biggest clubs in the competition, and I’m excited to be Sky Blue and uphold their proud W-League history.”
In other W-League news, Natasha Dowie, on loan from the Boston Breakers, was recently named captain of her W-League club, Melbourne Victory.
— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) October 24, 2017
No players selected in NWSL re-entry wire
No players were selected in Tuesday’s NWSL re-entry wire and the eight players that were exposed are now part of the Discovery pool. The eight players were Jocelyn Blankenship (Orlando Pride), McKenzie Berryhill (Orlando Pride), Kelly Conheeney (Houston Dash), Kendall Johnson (Portland Thorns FC), Natasha Kai (Sky Blue FC), Jordan Obrien (Orlando Pride), Stephanie Ochs (North Carolina Courage), and Line Sigvardsen Jensen (Washington Spirit).
Sigvardsen Jensen would have been the most appealing player on the board. However, she has not played since tearing her ACL playing for Denmark at the European Championship and will also require any team that employs her to use an international roster spot.
Crist named NCAA Woman of the Year
Former Washington University in St. Louis Goalkeeper Lizzy Crist was named NCAA Woman of the Year over the weekend. Crist, who recently graduated with a 3.9 GPA in biomedical engineering, led the Bears to the 2017 Division III Championship last fall. Crist accrued an impressive array of accolades both on and off the soccer during her undergraduate career. She holds Washington University in St. Louis records for single-season shutouts (13) and all-time shutouts (31), and she tied the school record for total wins in a single season (19). She also received the 2017 Division III Honda Athlete of the Year award and the 2016 NSCAA (now United Soccer Coaches) Scholar Player of the Year. Crist was also the school’s Outstanding Senior Biomedical Engineering Achievement Award this spring. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in biomedical engineering at Minnesota.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award was created in 2017. In order to be considered, a female student-athlete must have graduated by end of summer 2017 term with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Potential recipients must also have completed their eligibility in their primary sport.
Arsenal coach Pedro Martinez Losa set to leave after 3 years
According to the BBC, Arsenal coach Pedro Martinez Losa is set to leave the FA WSL club after over three years at its helm. No reason for his departure, effective date, or replacement was provided.
At the start of the 2017-2018 season, Arsenal currently sits sixth on the table after earning four points over its first three games. Not a spectacular start, but also not a bad one for the Gunners, who went unbeaten over eight games to finish third in the FA WSL Spring Series earlier this year.
Arsenal, the most decorated club in English women’s history, finished third in the FA WSL in each of Losa’s three years leading the club. They also won the 2015 WSL Continental Cup and 2016 FA Cup.