US Female Footballer Rapinoe Accepts House Invitation After Snubbing Trump

United States’ forward Megan Rapinoe celebrates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women’s World Cup quarter-final football match between France and USA, on June 28, 2019, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Lionel Bonaventure / AFP

 

The captain of the US women’s football squad, Megan Rapinoe, has accepted an invitation from a high-profile Democrat to visit the House of Representatives, just days after bluntly saying she would refuse a similar offer from President Donald Trump.

“It may not be the White House, but we’d be happy to welcome @mPinoe & the entire #USWMNT for a tour of the House of Representatives anytime they’d like,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the fiery young lawmaker who is a rising star of the Democratic Party, tweeted Friday.

“Consider it done,” Rapinoe, the US star forward, quickly replied.

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Ocasio-Cortez then tweeted, “The party’s on!”

Rapinoe is leading the charge for Team USA at the women’s World Cup. On Friday, she scored both of the squad’s goals to propel them to a 2-1 victory over France in the quarterfinals.

The Americans take on England on Tuesday with a spot in the finals at stake.

She had earlier vowed to stay home if Trump invited the women’s team to Washington, and urged her teammates to join her in protesting the president’s policies and character.

That drew a pair of angry tweets from Trump, who said that “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!”

Championship US sports teams are traditionally honoured with an invitation to the White House, though Trump has at times revoked invitations after team members criticized him.

Among the teams that have declined the offer have been pro basketball’s Golden State Warriors and last year’s Super Bowl winners, the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL).

The 33-year-old Rapinoe — who plays for Reign FC of Tacoma, Washington — came out as a lesbian in 2012.

A longtime activist, she has been outspoken in demanding equal pay for women’s soccer players.

In 2016, she joined a movement started by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest police violence against African Americans, taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.

AFP

Women’s Cup: England Beat Cameroon, Advance To Quarter-Final

England’s defender Steph Houghton (hidden) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women’s World Cup round of sixteen football match against Cameroon, on June 23, 2019, at the Hainaut stadium in Valenciennes, northern France. Denis Charlet / AFP

 

Captain Steph Houghton set England on their way to the quarter-finals of the women’s World Cup on Sunday with a 3-0 win over a Cameroon side who were left furious with several refereeing decisions and at one point appeared ready to walk off the pitch.

Houghton, Ellen White and Alex Greenwood scored the goals for England in a bad-tempered encounter watched by more than 20,000 fans in Valenciennes, and Phil Neville’s side go through to a quarter-final against Norway on Thursday.

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However, this match will be best remembered for Cameroon’s protests to the Chinese referee as they went out in the last 16 for the second successive World Cup, and African interest in France came to an end.

They were left with a sense of injustice at the manner in which England’s opening goal came about in the 14th minute, and their anger reached boiling point when White’s goal to make it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time was initially disallowed for offside before being awarded after referee Qin Liang consulted with the Video Assistant Referee.

Their players surrounded the referee, pointing to the big screen replays of the goal and seemingly threatening to walk off the pitch.

 ‘What is this?!’

Coach Alain Djeumfa persuaded them to carry on, but expressed his rage as he turned to the television cameras and appeared to shout: “It’s a shame, what is this?!”

Further confusion came just three minutes after the restart when Cameroon thought they had pulled a goal back to make it 2-1, but Ajara Nchout’s effort was eventually disallowed for offside after the referee had again consulted with the VAR.

The Indomitable Lionesses carried on but were outclassed by an England side who will nevertheless need to improve considerably from this performance if they are to win the World Cup.

Their early opener on a sticky evening at the Stade du Hainaut came after Cameroon goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom picked up what was adjudged to have been a backpass by Augustine Ejangue, although it looked to be nothing more than a poor piece of control from the defender.

Toni Duggan laid off the free-kick barely six yards out for Houghton to fire in, despite Cameroon placing every single player behind the ball.

England were laborious but increased their advantage through that controversial second goal right on half-time, with Lucy Bronze doing excellently to set up White, who fired in on her left foot for her fourth goal of the World Cup.

White was in line with the last defender when the pass was played, and the decision to let the goal stand was the correct one.

The next flashpoint came just after the restart as Nchout scored from Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene’s low ball into the box, but again VAR overturned the decision, this time disallowing the goal for offside.

Again it was the right decision, but again the Cameroon players protested vehemently. Neville approached Djeumfa to try to help calm his opposite number down, and play again eventually resumed.

England then wrapped up their victory when Duggan’s low corner from the left was swept home first-time by Greenwood in the 58th minute.

That ended any doubt about the final outcome, and the referee then opted not to give England a penalty after coming to review a possible foul on Fran Kirby in the box by Ysis Sonkeng, thereby avoiding the further wrath of the Cameroon players.

AFP

Canada Beat New Zealand To Reach Women’s World Cup Second Round

Canada’s forward Nichelle Prince (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women’s World Cup Group E football match between Canada and New Zealand, on June 15, 2019, at the Alpes Stadium in Grenoble, central-eastern France. Jean-Pierre Clatot / AFP

 

Canada beat New Zealand 2-0 in a women’s World Cup Group E game in Grenoble on Saturday to cement a place in the second round and leave the Kiwis on the brink of elimination.

Earlier in Valenciennes, the Netherlands saw off a spirited Cameroon 3-1 to also move to six points in the group and secure their place in the last 16.

Canada had beaten Cameroon 1-0 in their opening game while New Zealand had battled hard before losing to an injury-time Dutch goal.

On Saturday, Canada again dominated andbombarded the New Zealand goal with 22 total strikes, 11 of them on target.

The Canadians took the lead after 48 minutes.

Nichelle Prince raced down the left wing, where the New Zealand defence had struggled even before right back C.J. Bott went off injured in the 17th minute.

Prince cut in along the goal line and then pulled a precise pass back to Jessie Fleming who side-footed the ball inside the far post.

Prince added a second after 78 minutes, poking home a rebound from close range after Christine Sinclair’s powerful downward header hit the inside of the post.

Despite the assist, it was another frustrating evening for 36-year-old Sinclair who is chasing retired American Abby Wambach’s record of 184 international goals.

Sinclair remained on 181 goals for Canada after nodding the ball against the bar in the first half, skying a shot from a precise low cross by the outstanding Janine Beckie early in the second and hitting the post before Prince’s goal.

Canada and the Netherlands meet in Reims on June 20 to decide who will top the group.

At the same time, New Zealand will play Cameroon in Montpellier. As things stand, a win could be enough to take either team through to the second round as one of the four best third-place teams, although that could change by kick off.

AFP

Flamingoes Are Ready For World Cup, Says Nikyu  

u-17, flamingoes, Nikyu, World cupNational U-17 women’s coach, Bala Nikyu, says his team is ready for the FIFA U-17 women’s World Cup, which kicks off on September 30 in Jordan.

The Flamingoes’ will be up against Brazil during the first match that will take place on October 1.

Nikyu, who also led the Flamingoes at the last championship in Costa Rica, where Nigeria reached the quarterfinals, admitted that the players had not reached the peak of their fitness.

He, however, said he would ensure that everything is done to improve their performance ahead of the games.

A total of 30 players, alongside technical and backroom crew, have been in camp in Abuja for the past two weeks in readiness for the championship.

The Flamingoes have won all three warm up games as they intensify preparations for the tournament and Coach Nikyu said the girls will continue to work on their weak areas.

He expressed confidence in the team’s performance, noting that “Nigeria will tackle Brazil, England and 2008 champions Korea DPR, in the group stage at the 5th FIFA U-17 women’s world cup”.