Wilder KOs Ortiz to Retain WBC Heavyweight Title

 

Unbeaten Deontay Wilder landed a devastating right hand to knock out Luis Ortiz in the seventh round and retain his World Boxing Council heavyweight title.

The 34-year-old Wilder remains on course to achieve his goal of unifying all four heavyweight belts despite being largely outboxed by Ortiz before the explosive one-punch finish at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas late Saturday night.

“When I see the right shot, it is baby good night,” Wilder said.

Unbeaten in 43 fights, Wilder showed why he is widely regarded as the most destructive puncher in the resurgent heavyweight division.

The “Bronze Bomber” recorded his 10th straight title defence to equal Muhammad Ali who achieved the feat between 1974 and 1978. Only four heavyweights in the history of boxing have made more than 10 consecutive title defences.

Wilder waited patiently for his big moment and when it came, with just nine seconds left in the round, it was stunning.

He followed a pawing jab with a crushing straight right that sent Ortiz’s head snapping back and his body crashing into the ropes before landing on the canvas.

“That was a punch intended to hurt for sure,” said the American. “I got him at the right angle, my feet were planted perfectly and I felt the torque.”

Ortiz tried to get up but he clearly could not continue. The fight was officially stopped at 2:51 of the seventh.

Unification goal

It was a repeat of their 2018 fight where Wilder had battled adversity to deliver a 10th-round stoppage.

Wilder’s win now sets up another money-spinning rematch with Tyson Fury scheduled for February.

If he comes through that a unification showdown against the winner of next month’s rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia for the other three major heavyweight belts could follow.

The fights with Fury, and Ruiz or Joshua, would generate millions for Wilder.

The last two years in heavyweight boxing have provided plenty of rousing match-ups and renewed enthusiasm in contrast to the previous 15 years or so which were dominated by the Klitschko brothers.

“I am looking for a unification bout,” Wilder said. “I want one champion, one face, one name that goes by Deontay Wilder.

“The heavyweight division is too small to have so many belts lingering around. It should be just be one champion and I think I am the perfect man for that job.”

The 40-year-old Ortiz, who was coming off three straight victories, was trying to become the first Cuban to win the world heavyweight title.

‘It was a war’

“This is boxing. I told everyone it wasn’t going to go 12 rounds,” said Ortiz.

Ortiz won most of the early rounds. He was the aggressor from the opening bell as he tagged Wilder with a left hook to the face in the opening round.

Ortiz also suffered a cut to his right temple area in the opening round due to an accidental clash of heads. But there was little blood flow and his corner did a good job of containing it as the rounds continued.

Both fighters were waiting for an opening in the second round and by the third Ortiz was building up points because he was the busier of the two.

Ortiz landed a big overhand shot in the fourth which excited the crowd and pumped up Wilder, who pounded his chest and yelled bring it on.

Ortiz’s plan to was to fight inside and pay attention to defence while Wilder was constantly looking for the knockout shot and hoping Ortiz would eventually tire himself out.

That transpired in the seventh as Ortiz walked straight into a punch that appeared to come out of nowhere, sending the Cuban into dreamland.

“I don’t care about losing rounds because it is a 12-round fight,” said Wilder. “I wanted to time my punches and do the right thing.

“I had to strategically move Ortiz. I had to time myself and calculate my punches. It was a war.”

Ortiz wasn’t so sure it should have been stopped even though he barely managed to wobble to his feet after the knockdown.

“I was clear-headed. When the count was at seven I was still trying to get up. Maybe the count was quicker than I thought,” he said.

Kenya’s Kosgei Crushes Radcliffe World Record In Chicago Marathon

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya poses for a photo after breaking the world record to win the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Quinn Harris/Getty Images/AFP 

 

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei shattered Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record Sunday, winning the Chicago Marathon in two hours, 14 minutes and four seconds.

Kosgei broke the mark of 2:15:25 set by Radcliffe in the London Marathon on April 13, 2003 as she won in Chicago for the second straight year.

Kosgei, the 25-year-old who also won in London in April and clocked the fastest half-marathon in history this year of 1:04:28 at the Great North Run, quickly separated herself from the women’s field as she ran with two male pace-setters.

Lawrence Cherono made it a Kenyan double with victory in the men’s race, as Mo Farah finished a distant eighth to end a week when he hit back at critics over his work with disgraced coach Alberto Salazar.

Kosgei crossed the finish line alone, with Ethiopians Ababel Yeshaneh and Gelete Burka a second and third in 2:20:51 and 2:20:55.

“I’m happy and I feel good,” Kosgei said. “People were cheering all along the course, which gave me more energy.

“I felt my body was moving, moving, moving so I went for it.”

While the IAAF called the 2:17:01 clocked by Mary Jepkosgei Keitany at the 2017 London Marathon a “women only” world record posted without male pace-setters, it’s Radcliffe’s mark — so long untouchable — that has been the grail for female marathon runners.

The British great was in Chicago and posed for photos with Kosgei.

“I think we’ve always known that time was going to come,” Radcliffe said. “When I saw how fast Brigid was running in the first part of the race, if she was able to hold that together, she was always going to beat the time.”

Radcliffe had also held the Chicago course record of 2:17:18 — set in winning the 2002 race in what was then a world record.

“That was a very special day for me and it’s a very special day for Brigid today,” Radcliffe said.

Kosgei’s performance continued a remarkable weekend in the punishing event, coming a day after fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to break two hours at the distance when he clocked 1hr 59min 40.2sec on a specially prepared course in a Vienna park.

Kosgei signalled her intentions with an astonishing first five kilometers in 15:28 — so far inside Radcliffe’s world record pace that it seemed she might have ruined her chances out of the gate.

But she settled into a more sustainable rhythm, and powered relentlessly to the finish line.

Her halfway split of 1:06:59 had Kosgei comfortably inside world-record pace, and her lead expanded over the second half as her pursuers felt the effects.

The pace-setters dropped away in the closing kilometers, leaving Kosgei to break the tape alone, her arms raised in celebration.

Cherono sprints to win

Cherono won a men’s race that came down to the wire in 2:05:45 — barely edging Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela who was second in 2:05:46 with another Ethiopian, Asefa Mengstu, third in 2:05:48.

Last year’s winner Farah was never a factor — finishing in 2:09:58.

The Briton — who set a European record in Chicago last year — was among an early lead group that began to disintegrate around the 10km mark, leaving half a dozen runners, including Cherono, setting the pace.

Kenya’s Bedan Karoki challenged late but faded before the last turn toward the finish to leave Cherono, Debela and Mengstu to sprint for the line.

“All of a sudden when we reached 41 kilometers the (others) were not going again,” Cherono said. “I decided to kick and felt I was still having enough energy to sprint.

“I tried my luck, and it worked.”

US distance running guru Salazar has been banned for four years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a string of doping violations.

Nike shut down its Oregon Project running group headed by Salazar, and four-time Olympic gold medalist Farah arrived in Chicago for his defence to find himself again denying any irregularities during his time with the coach.

USA Thump Cuba 7-0 In CONCACAF Nations League Opener

Weston Mckennie #8 of the United States scores a goal against Cuba during the first half at Audi Field on October 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images/AFP

 

Weston McKennie scored a hat trick as the United States opened their CONCACAF Nations League campaign in style, thrashing Cuba 7-0 on Friday.

Jordan Morris added a goal and contributed on three others, Josh Sargent scored and Christian Pulisic converted a penalty for the Americans, who also benefitted from an own goal by the Cubans.

McKennie put the hosts in front less than a minute into the contest off a low cross from Morris.

He added a second off an almost identical play in the fifth and after setting Morris up for the hosts’ third goal in the ninth, completed his hat trick in the 13th.

It was the fastest known hat trick ever for the USA.

It was a second big defeat in the competition for Cuba, who fell 6-0 to Canada in the previous round.

While Gregg Berhalter’s United States will need to show they can beat much higher quality opponents, the easy win was a welcome confidence builder for a team that lost to Mexico in the Gold Cup final in July, then lost to Mexico again in a friendly before playing to a 1-1 draw with Uruguay last month.

Modeled on UEFA’S tournament of the same name in Europe, the Nations League offers the United States and other CONCACAF teams a chance to boost their world rankings to earn automatic entry into the final round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

The tournament is also the qualifying path for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The United States — still rebuilding after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup — are among 12 teams in the tournament’s A League.

In other A League action on Friday, Mexico beat Bermuda 5-1 in Hamilton.

Jose Macias scored twice and Uriel Antuna, Hirving Lozano and Hector Herrera scored for Mexico, with Nahki Wells grabbing the lone goal for the hosts.

AFP

Djokovic Ramps Up Shanghai Masters Title Defence

Novac Djokovic of Servia celebrates after winning during his men’s singles third round match against John Isner of the US at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 10, 2019. NOEL CELIS / AFP

 

Novak Djokovic rolled into the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals as the world number one made light work of American John Isner on Thursday.

The defending champion from Serbia dismissed the 16th seed 7-5, 6-3 in 74 minutes and plays upcoming Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas or Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight.

Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, faces 13th seed David Goffin of Belgium later Thursday.

Biles Wins 15th World Title As US Claim Team Gold

USA’s Simone Biles performs on the beam during the women’s team final at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart, southern Germany, on October 8, 2019. THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP

 

US gymnastics star Simone Biles clinched a record-extending 15th world championship gold medal on Tuesday as the Americans won the women’s team title in Stuttgart.

Biles, 22, collected her 21st medal at the championships to become the most decorated women’s gymnast, taking her one clear of Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina.

She also moved to within two medals of the all-time record held by Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus, a men’s gymnastics star in the 1990s.

It was a fourth team title for Biles in an event the Americans have dominated for the last eight years.

They claimed gold with a tally of 172.330, well ahead of the Russians who took silver with 166.529, while bronze went to Italy on 164.796.

Biles played a key role in a commanding performance by the USA, earning the most points in three of the four disciplines — the vault, balance beam and floor.

She earned a loud cheer for landing the “Biles II” skill — a triple-twisting double back on the floor — keeping her pre-championship promise to perform it in “every competition” in Stuttgart.

Her huge tally of 15.333 led a US clean sweep in the floor exercises alongside team-mates Jade Carey and Sunisa Lee, to hand the Americans gold.

Biles is expected to add more medals to her dazzling tally as the favourite in the women’s all-around final on Thursday and this weekend’s apparatus finals.

AFP

How Motherhood Helped Serena Reach Brink Of History

Serena Williams of the US serves against Qiang Wang of China during their Women’s Singles Quarter-finals tennis match during the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 3, 2019. DOMINICK REUTER / AFP

 

 

Serena Williams finds chasing after her two-year-old daughter Olympia has helped her pursuit of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open as her 38th birthday approaches.

Williams would match Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Slam singles titles and claim an unprecedented seventh US Open title with a victory in Saturday’s final at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“Being on the court is almost a little bit more relaxing than hanging out with a two-year-old that’s dragging you everywhere. I think that has kind of been a little helpful,” Williams said after her 6-3, 6-1 semi-final victory Thursday over Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina.

Just two years ago, Williams was fighting for her life with a blood clot in her lung after giving birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

Now she could become only the fourth mother in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Aussies Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Belgium’s Kim Clijsters.

“I think it’s amazing to come back with a baby and win because it’s hard,” Williams said. “My day off isn’t a day off.

“I’m literally hanging out with baby. I’m doing activities with her. I don’t want her to forget me. I try to spend as much time (as I can) with her. I’m a full-time mom first, foremost. That means the most to me. So I train and then I rush home.

“Being in a Grand Slam is difficult because it takes away a lot of time that we normally have together.”

Three weeks shy of her 38th birthday, Williams would become the oldest women’s champion in Grand Slam history, surpassing the age mark she set in winning the 2017 Australian Open at 35 while pregnant.

Williams seeks a record seventh US Open title to surpass the mark she now shares with Chris Evert. If she wins the finale it would give her 102 US Open match wins, one more than the record 101 she shares with Evert.

Williams says she definitely would still be playing at an age when most rivals have put down the racquet even if she had already passed Court’s once-thought unassailable mark.

“I definitely would still be playing if I had already passed it. I’ve had so many chances to pass it and (hope) to have a lot more, but it’s cool because I’m playing in an era… five eras with so many amazing players.

“If you look at the span of the career, the players I’ve played, it’s amazing that I was able to get this many.”

‘A sick joke’

Williams, who won her first Slam title 20 years ago at the US Open, said if someone had told her at 17 she would still be playing two decades later, “I would definitely not have believed them.

“At 17 I thought for sure I’d be retired at 28, 29, living my life. So I would have thought it was a sick joke.”

Williams has missed three prior Grand Slam finals chances to match Court and collect her first Slam as a mom, falling in last year’s US Open and the past two Wimbledons.

“I think it’s great. To be this far in my career, to be playing at this level with these amazing new players, is cool,” Williams said.

“It’s cool that I’ve been in more finals than I think anyone on tour after being pregnant. I think that’s kind of awesome.

“It’s not easy to go through what I did and come back, and so fast. To keep playing, to also not be 20 years old, yeah, I’m pretty proud of myself.”

Svitolina marvels at Williams as well.

“What she does is unbelievable effort on a daily basis. You have to work every day. You have to be always ready, always prepared for any match,” Svitolina said.

“What she does and what she achieved, it’s something unbelievable. For sure, everyone dream about it. For now, only her who can do it.”

Serena powers into 10th US Open final

Serena Williams cruised into a 10th US Open final Thursday as she brushed aside fifth seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 to claim a record-equaling 101st win at Flushing Meadows.

Williams is seeking a 24th Grand Slam singles title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record and will face either Belinda Bencic or Bianca Andreescu on Saturday in her bid for a seventh US Open triumph.

The 37-year-old American, who made her US Open debut in 1998, also drew level with Chris Evert for the most wins in tournament history after advancing to a 33rd major final.

“It’s impressive. To be in any club with Chrissie is awesome,” said Williams, who lifted her first Grand Slam title at the 1999 US Open.

“I couldn’t have done it without this crowd. You guys have literally been here for 20 years and I’m still here.”

Williams fought off six breaks points across her opening three service games before finding her rhythm to dispatch Wimbledon semi-finalist Svitolina in 70 minutes, hitting 34 winners against just 20 unforced errors.

“I know how (Svitolina) can play, she’s such a good player. Obviously two semis in a row is really hard to do and I just wanted to not get off to a slow start and I wanted to hang on in there.”

Williams, who was beaten by Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final in July, returns to the championship match in New York a year on from her infamous meltdown in a loss to Naomi Osaka overshadowed by controversy.

She is chasing a first Slam title since the 2017 Australian Open and hasn’t won the US Open since 2014.

Svitolina was attempting to become just the second Ukrainian to play in a Grand Slam singles final after Andrei Medvedev, who lost in five sets to Andre Agassi at the 1999 French Open.

Benic Ousts Osaka While Vekic Rallies For US Open Win

 

Belinda Bencic stunned top-ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka to reach the US Open quarter-finals, where she will face Donna Vekic, who rallied from match point down on Monday to advance.

Bencic’s 7-5, 6-4 triumph, her WTA-best sixth over a top-five foe this year, ensured 21-year-old Japanese star Osaka will fall from the world number one spot next week.

“The challenge cannot be bigger against Naomi,” Bencic said. “I had to be at the top of my game and I’m really pleased how well I handled my nerves at the end.”

The 22-year-old Swiss 13th seed matched her deepest career Grand Slam run from the 2014 US Open with her third victory of the year over Osaka, having also won at Indian Wells and Madrid.

Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, the reigning French Open champion who was beaten Sunday, will move into the world number one position next Monday.

Vekic, the 23rd seed from Croatia, saved a match point in the second set and made her first Slam quarter-final by rallying past German 26th seed Julia Goerges 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-3.

“I don’t even know how I won this match,” Vekic said. “She was serving for the match. She had match point. I just kept fighting and believing I could win. It feels pretty amazing.”

Bencic owns a 2-1 career edge over Vekic from two 2014 wins but Vekic won the most recent meeting with her friend and frequent practice partner in the third round of this year’s French Open.

“It’s going to be a tough match for sure,” Vekic said. “She’s one of the best players this year.”

Osaka’s exit means there will be four different women’s Grand Slam winners in a season for the third consecutive year, a first in the Open era.

Reigning Australian Open champion Osaka struggled from the start on the same Arthur Ashe Stadium court where she consoled tearful US teen Coco Gauff just two days earlier.

“It was just an unbelievable moment for tennis,” Bencic said of Osaka helping Gauff cope with her sadness. “Coco’s story is unbelievable but what Naomi did is what a true champion would do.”

Osaka double faulted to surrender a break in the opening game of the match, but leveled at 2-2 when Bencic netted a backhand.

Bencic swatted a backhand down-the-line winner for a break to seize a 6-5 lead then held on a service winner to capture the first set.

Osaka double faulted away a break to hand Vekic a 3-2 lead and the Swiss never faced a break point in the second set, finishing off the victory with a forehand winner to end matters after 87 minutes.

“I was taking the serve early, trying to anticipate, because she has so much power,” Bencic said. “I’m trying to play like chess and make it tactical on the court.”

Bencic hit 29 winners with only 12 unforced errors to Osaka’s 26 winners and 21 unforced errors.

Confident in rallies

Goerges won the tie-breaker with consecutive forehand winners, then broke Vekic to open the second set and fired four consecutive aces for a 2-0 lead.

But the German was broken serving for the match, squandering a match point in the 10th game, and Vekic broke again when Goerges hit a forehand wide to force a third set.

“I was just trying to get a return in the court,” Vekic said. “She was serving amazing. I was feeling confident in the rallies and I knew if I could get that return in I would have an advantage.”

US upstarts play seeds in later matches as 116th-ranked qualifier Taylor Townsend faces Canadian teen 15th seed Bianca Andreescu and Belgian 25th seed Elise Mertens meets 141st-ranked wildcard Kristie Ahn.

 

Serena Survives US Open Challenge From Teen McNally

 

Serena Williams withstood a brave display from 17-year-old American wildcard Caty McNally at the US Open on Wednesday to keep her bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title intact.

READ ALSO: Federer Rallies Past Dzumhur To Reach US Open Third Round

Williams, a six-time champion in New York, recovered from dropping the opening set to prevail 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 and set up a third-round showdown with either 29th seed Hsieh Su-Wei or Karolina Muchova.

AFP

Saudi Arabia To Stage Joshua Vs Ruiz World Heavyweight Fight

Saudi Arabia will stage the world heavyweight title rematch between Britain’s Anthony Joshua and champion Andy Ruiz Jr, promoters announced on Friday.

The December 7 fight, dubbed ‘Clash on the Dunes’, will see Joshua trying to win back the IBF, WBA and WBO titles he sensationally lost to Ruiz Jr in New York in June.

READ ALSO: Joshua To Face Ruiz Rematch Before End Of Year – Promoter

The bout will take place in Diriyah, which incorporates the UNESCO World Heritage site of Al-Turaif, on the outskirts of the capital Riyadh.

China Calls US Sanctions On Oil Trader ‘Illegal’

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 30, 2019, an oil tanker is pictured off the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, which is the main base of the Islamic republic’s navy and has a strategic position on the Strait of Hormuzon. ATTA KENARE / AFP

 

China on Tuesday called US sanctions against Chinese companies “illegal”, a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced he was putting a leading oil importer on a blacklist.

Pompeo said Monday that the US was imposing sanctions on Zhuhai Zhenrong and its chief executive Li Youmin as part of a “maximum pressure campaign” for trading in Iranian crude oil.

“They violated US law by accepting crude oil,” he said.

But Beijing said Tuesday it has “consistently and resolutely opposed unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States,” slamming the sanctions as “illegal”.

READ ALSO: Britain’s Boris Johnson Set For PM Job

“The Chinese side has expressed firm opposition and strong condemnation of the relevant US authorities that have sanctioned Chinese enterprises,” said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a regular press briefing.

“The Chinese side has repeatedly stressed that energy cooperation between Iran and the international community, which includes China, falls within the framework of international law and is reasonable and legitimate, and must be respected and protected.”

Pompeo’s announcement over the sanctions was the latest move by Washington to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran over its alleged military activities in the Middle East and its nuclear programme by taking aim at business partners.

But Hua said the US was disregarding “the legitimate rights and interests of all parties”.

Between them, Zhuhai Zhenrong and Chinese state refiner Sinopec are responsible for nearly all the Iranian crude that China imports.

“We strongly urge the US to immediately correct wrong practices and stop illegal sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals,” said Hua.

“China will take all necessary measures to firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of its enterprises and individuals.”

AFP

Arsenal Open US Tour With 3-0 Friendly Win In Colorado

Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli scored in his Arsenal debut Monday as the English Premier League club launched their pre-season tour of the United States with a 3-0 friendly win over the Colorado Rapids.

Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka also scored for the Gunners, who cruised to the victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in suburban Denver.

Martinelli, the 18-year-old forward signed from Ituano on July 2, was given a surprise start in attack by Unai Emery and sent an early chance wide.

Saka, 17, was an energetic presence and put Arsenal up 1-0 in the 13th minute as he collected a through-ball from Eddie Nketiah.

Another teenager — 18-year-old Olayinka — doubled the score in the 29th, seizing a stray pass from defence and racing into fire into the top left corner of the net.

READ ALSO: Man City Set For Pre-Season Tour After Frustrating Delay

Martinelli, having missed his early chance, capped the scoring in the 61st when he slotted home a cross from close range.

The Rapids, in the midst of the Major League Soccer season, fielded a mostly reserve side that featured several players from the lower-rung Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

Arsenal, too, started a reserve team as they begin their build-up to the Premier League season after again failing to secure a Champions League berth.

The tour hasn’t started without controversy. Captain Laurent Koscielny refused to travel to the US, and a group of influential Arsenal supporters’ organisations published a statement on Monday hitting out at Stan Kroenke’s “passive ownership”.

Under a hashtag “WeCareDo You” the statement decried a “soulless” atmosphere at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and a lack of transfer strategy.

Kroenke, who began investing in the club in 2007 through his company Kroenke Sports Enterprises and took full ownership in 2018, also owns the Rapids as well as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.

AFP

Women’s World Cup: Rapinoe Wins Golden Ball And Golden Boot

United States’ forward Megan Rapinoe poses with the trophies after the France 2019 Women’s World Cup football final match between USA and the Netherlands, on July 7, 2019, at the Lyon Stadium in Lyon, central-eastern France. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Megan Rapinoe made it a special hat-trick on Sunday as she won Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the women’s World Cup after scoring as the United States beat the Netherlands to retain their title.

Rapinoe bagged the Golden Boot for top scorer after opening the scoring from the spot in the USA’s 2-0 final win over the Netherlands in Lyon to make it six goals and three assists from her five appearances in France, the same total as teammate Alex Morgan but in fewer minutes.

The 34-year-old, who may have played her last World Cup, won the Golden Ball for a series of match-winning displays which dragged the Americans to the trophy.

She scored the only goals in the USA’s tight 2-1 wins over Spain and hosts France, with the second brace coming in the middle of a media storm after a video surfaced of her saying she would refuse to visit the White House should her side win the competition.

She missed the last four victory over England, also won 2-1, with a hamstring injury but came up big on Sunday with another fine display that would have seen her assist tally increase had Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal not put in a magnificent display.

Van Veenendaal kept out the dominant USA until Rapinoe broke the Netherlands’ resistance in the 61st minute with a penalty awarded after a VAR check for a foul on Morgan.

AFP