Auckland: China PR were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man New Zealand in new head coach Aleksandar Jankovic’s debut on the bench at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium on Thursday after All Whites defender Tommy Smith was sent off in the second half.
Smith was sent off in the 63rd minute for bringing down Chinese striker Wu Lei following a mix-up between the Colchester United defender and goalkeeper Oli Sail, but Jankovic’s side were unable to make the most of the one-man advantage.
Hopefuls set for crucial friendlies ahead of Qatar 2023 draw
Kuala Lumpur: Several AFC Asian Cup™ Qatar 2023 hopefuls will be busy over the coming days as the countdown begins for the continental showpiece with a series of friendlies.
Most of the 24 teams who have qualified for Qatar 2023 will be in action with their results set to impact their next FIFA World Ranking, which will determine the seedings for the AFC Asian Cup draw in May.
Newcastle: Striker Caitlin Foord got on the scoresheet as Australia beat Jamaica 3-0 on Wednesday to stretch their win streak to seven in an ideal build-up to the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 on home soil this year.
The victory at Newcastle, north of Sydney, ensured they won the four-team Cup of Nations - a dress rehearsal for the showpiece tournament in Australia and New Zealand in July-August.
Sam Kerr's side - who face Ireland, Nigeria and Canada in World Cup Group B - also beat Spain 3-2 and the Czech Republic 4-0.
Sydney: A Sam Kerr-led Australia beat powerhouse Spain 3-2 on Sunday in a big confidence boost ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 on home soil, stretching their unbeaten streak to six games.
The two sides are both seen as contenders at the showpiece tournament in Australia and New Zealand in July-August, with the ongoing four-team Cup of Nations in Sydney and its surrounds being used as a dress rehearsal.
Cortnee Vine, Clare Polkinghorne and Arsenal star Caitlin Foord all scored in a blistering first half before Olga Carmona and Alba Redondo pulled goals back for Spain in the second stanza.
The Czech Republic earlier beat Jamaica 3-2 at the same Sydney stadium, thanks to a last-gasp winner from substitute Alena Peckova.
Miami: Brazil's six-time World Player of the Year Marta made her return to action after a lengthy injury absence and promptly created the winning goal as Brazil beat Japan 1-0 in the SheBelieves Cup on Thursday.
Korea Republic, meanwhile, suffered a 4-0 defeat to England in the Arnold Clark Cup while China PR were beaten 4-1 by Sweden with the teams using the friendlies to prepare for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.
Second half blitz powers Australia past Czech Republic
Gosford: Manchester City striker Hayley Raso scored twice as Australia beat the Czech Republic 4-0 Thursday to bank a fifth consecutive win as they ramp up preparations for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 on home soil this year.
All the goals came in the second half at Gosford, north of Sydney, with Chelsea star Sam Kerr bagging a 62nd for her country and veteran Clare Polkinghorne grabbing the fourth to celebrate becoming Australia's most-capped player in her 152nd match.
Spain earlier kick-started the four-team Cup of Nations by beating Jamaica 3-0 in the same stadium to remain undefeated in five games.
Sydney: A 25-player Australia squad has been named by head coach Tony Gustavsson to contest the 2023 Cup of Nations to be hosted across New South Wales later this month.
The six-match tournament - which will also feature Spain, Jamaica and Czech Republic - will kick-off in Gosford on February 16 with Matchday 2 in Sydney three days later before the Cup of Nations concludes on February 22 in Newcastle.
Riyadh: Cristiano Ronaldo recovered from a punch in the face to score twice for Riyadh All Stars XI against Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday in a lively reunion with his great rival Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo, 37, was decked by PSG 'keeper Keylor Navas's flailing fist but he drilled the resulting penalty and then added another in a 5-4 defeat, his first appearance since moving to Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr.
For PSG, Messi and Kylian Mbappe both scored and Neymar missed a penalty before they withdrew on the hour-mark alongside Ronaldo, who was representing a composite Saudi side.