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Friday Roundup: NWSL rescinds Mark Parsons’ suspension

Also in today’s roundup, World Cup qualifying results from around the globe and midfielder Kelly Conheeney has landed in Sweden. 

The NWSL has rescinded Mark Parsons’ suspension. (photo copyright Patti Giobetti for The Equalizer)

The NWSL announced on Friday that they had rescinded the one-game suspension assessed by the league’s Disciplinary Committee for misconduct while interacting with officials following the Thorns’ 1-0 season-opening loss to the North Carolina Courage.

On Saturday, March 31, Parsons served the automatic one-game suspension for being dismissed by the official at the conclusion of the March 24 match in Cary.

On Friday, March 30, the NWSL announced that the league’s Disciplinary Committee had reviewed the incident in question and had “determined that Parsons committed misconduct in his interactions with the officials in violation of Section 11.3.6, “Major Game Misconduct”, as well as Section 11.3.3, “Coach/Staff Misbehavior” of the League Operations Manual.” They assessed an additional one-game suspension and fined Parsons an undisclosed amount.

The Thorns appealed the Disciplinary Committee’s decision and, as a result, the additional one-game suspension was rescinded. However, the league upheld the fine originally assessed to Parsons.

Parsons is now clear to return to the Thorns sideline for the team’s home opener at Providence Park on Sunday, April 15 against the Orlando Pride.

Thursday World Cup qualifying results

Venezuela 1-0 Ecuador: FIFA World Player of the Year finalist Deyna Castellanos bagged her first senior international goal in the 85th minute to give Venezuela the win in the opening match for both.

Brazil 3-1 Argentina: The favorites got off on a winning note with four-time World Cup vet Cristiane hitting the game-winner three minutes after Spirit forward Estefania Banini tied the match. Debinha added the late insurance. Brazil’s opener was scored by Bia.

Namibia 0-2 Zimbabwe: Marjory Nyaumwe and Mavis Chirandu scored to give Zimbabwe a two-goal win in the away leg of the total goals series. The winner advances to the final qualifying matchups in June and those winners advance to the Africa Women Cup of Nations in November-December. From there the top three finishers will qualify for next year’s World Cup.

Note: Mali advanced to the next round on the withdrawal of Sierra Leone.

Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-6 Russia: Russia overcame conceding an early own goal to score their first qualifying win but still lag far behind England and Wales in Group 1.

Croatia 0-3 Ukraine: Tetyana Kozyrenko scored twice in the final five minutes of the first half and Ukraine cruised on the three-goal lead throughout the second half to remain relevant in Group 4 with two wins and a draw. They have yet to play Sweden or Denmark though.

Hungary 1-4 Sweden: Sweden was scored on for the first time in qualifying but remained perfect through three matches. Four different players—Caroline Seger, Sofia Jacobsson, Stina Blackstenius, and Mimmi Larson—accounted for the goals. Larson scored in stoppage time after entering the match in the 89th minute.

Switzerland 1-0 Scotland: Lara Dickenmann’s 32nd minute goal carried the day for Switzerland who took firm control of Group 2 with their fifth win in as many matches while sending Scotland to their first loss and points dropped. Former NWSL Most Valuable Player, Kim Little played the full 90 for Scotland.

Austria 1-1 Serbia: Austria were held at home by Serbia who took an early lead in the 5th minute through Marija Radojicic before an Aleksandra Lazarevic equalized for the hosts in the 32nd minute. Austria remain in a battle with Finland for runner-up position in Group 7 where Spain appear to be the class.

Friday World Cup qualifying results

England 0-0 Wales: Although England outshot Wales 29-3, 11 of which the Lionesses put on target, the match concluded with neither side able to break the deadlock. With the result, Wales climbed to the top of the group with England sitting one point shy of them in second place.

Poland 1-1 Albania: Midfielder Katarzyna Daleszczyk scored in the second minute to give the Polish side an early lead, but they were unable to hold on, giving up the equalizer in the 76th minute to Albania’s Geldona Morino. The draw puts Poland in second place in their group but a full eight points behind group leader Switzerland.

Ireland 2-1 Slovakia: Irish players scored all three goals in this affair, with Ireland goalkeeper Marie Hourihan being credited with an own goal in the 73rd minute. That own goal was bookended by goals from Leanne Kiernan (69’) and second-half sub Amber Barrett (78’).

Netherlands 7-0 Northern Ireland: The reigning UEFA European Champions defeated Northern Ireland, 7-0, in front of more 30,000 fans at PSV Stadion in Eindhoven. Lieke Martens and Sherida Spitse each finished the match with doubles, while Vivianne Miedema and Shanice van de Sanden contributed singles. The seventh and final goal was an own goal from Northern Ireland.

Slovenia 0-2 Iceland: Iceland overtook Germany at the top of UEFA Group 5 after defeating Slovenia, 2-0. Gunnhildur Jonsdottir opened up scoring in the 15th minute, and Rakel Honnudottir added an insurance goal in the 37th to finish out scoring on the day.

Moldova 1-3 Italy: A three-goal first half saw Italy leading 2-1 at the half thanks to an own goal by Moldova’s Nadejda Colesnicenco. Valentina Giacinti sealed the win for Italy with her 76th-minute goal.

Belgium 1-1 Portugal: After 90 minutes of scoreless regulation, a dramatic period of stoppage time saw two goals and a red card between the two sides. In the 91st minute, Belgium got on the board via a Tine De Caigny goal, but just two minutes later, they were down to 10 players after defender Davina Philtjens was ejected from the match. Portugal equalized in the penalty kick resulting from the red card play, ending the match in a 1-1 draw.

Finland 0-2 Spain: Spain dominated everything about their World Cup qualifier against Finland, preventing the Nordic country from even getting off a shot. Spain, on the other hand, took 18 shots, putting nine of them on target to keep Finnish keeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela busy. Captain Irene Paredes and Olga Garcia both scored for Spain.

China 4-0 Thailand: After a scoreless opening half, China put away four goals for a convincing Asian Cup opening win over Thailand. Song Duan scored a brace for the Steel Roses with singles contributed by Wang Shuang and Li Yang.

Jordan 1-2 Philippines: Tournament hosts Jordan fell, 2-1, to the Philippines in their first match of World Cup qualifying. Maysa Jbarah put Jordan on the board first, but an own goal by defender Yasmeen Khair brought the score back level. Philippines midfielder Sarina Bolden scored in the 76th minute to give the visitors the win.

Lesotho 1-0 Swaziland: Litseoane Maloro scored the only goal to give Lesotho the lead in a battle of landlocked southern African countries. The second leg is Tuesday in Swaziland.

Morocco 1-1 Ivory Coast: Ghizlane Chebbak’s 74th minute equalizer completed the scoring leaving it all to play for Tuesday on the Ivory Coast. Fatou Coulibaly scored from the spot in the 53rd.

Kelly Conheeney lands in Sweden

Former Sky Blue FC and Houston Dash midfielder Kelly Conheeney has signed a one-year contract with Hammarby IF in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan league.

“With Kelly in the team we will get additional options in the middlefield and we think she will contribute to the team’s success,” sports director Johan Lager said in the team’s official statement.

After being sidelined for almost four years with lingering effects of a concussion sustained during a match with Virginia Tech during her senior year, Conheeney earned a spot on Sky Blue’s 2016 roster after impressing then-head coach Christy Holly during the team’s open tryouts. She started in her professional debut in Sky Blue’s season opener on the road against the Seattle Reign and immediately gained recognition after scoring the game-winning goal in the 67th minute.

She signed with the Houston Dash midway through the 2017 season after failing to make the official Sky Blue roster going into the season. She most recently was in 2018 preseason camp with Sky Blue but was one again left off the final roster.

Although Conheeney has already joined the Hammarby for training, the team is currently waiting for the Swedish Migration Board to approve her paperwork and issue her a work permit. They hope to have her cleared to play in time for their April 14 match.

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