London: Sam Kerr scored her first goal for Chelsea as a stunning three-goal burst inside the opening 20 minutes helped the Blues to a 4-1 victory over Arsenal on Sunday to leave the FA Women’s Super League title race wide open.
Bethany England scored a spectacular strike against the north-London club, as she curled her shot to put Chelsea in front after 10 minutes with her 15th goal of the season of what is proving to be another prolific campaign.
A second followed just three minutes later, as Kerr was picked out by Guro Reiten’s cross to the far post and she sent a header across the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.
De Vanna left out as Matildas name Tokyo Qualifiers squad
Sydney: Matildas coach Ante Milicic included a wealth of stars, but not Lisa De Vanna, as his 20-player AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers Final Round squad was revealed on Wednesday.
Australia will compete against group hosts China PR, as well as Chinese Taipei and Thailand from February 3 to 9 in Wuhan, with the group’s top two sides to advance to the final qualification play-offs in March.
Bell names 26 for Korea Republic pre-tournament camp
Seoul: Two teenagers will press their claims for a place at February’s AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament Final Round, after being named by head coach Colin Bell in a 26-strong Korea Republic training squad.
The camp, announced by the Korea Football Association on Thursday, will run from January 9 to 20, ahead of Korea Republic’s key Group A matches against Myanmar on February 3 and Vietnam six days later, both in Jeju.
Kang Ji-woo, 19, and Cho Mi-jin (pictured above), 18, have been selected alongside a range of national team veterans, after the teenage duo produced a string of standout performances for Korea Republic’s youth teams.
Japan's FIFA Women's World Cup-winning squad to open Torch Relay
Tokyo: The members of Japan's FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning squad from 2011 will open the domestic leg of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, the Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee announced on Tuesday.
The leg, known as the "Grand Start", is due to take place at the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima on March 26, 2020.
Faghani set to become first Asian to referee an Olympic final
Rio de Janeiro: Iranian Alireza Faghani is set to make history by becoming the first Asian referee to officiate the final of a Men's Olympic Football Tournament when he takes charge of the Brazil versus Germany gold medal match on Saturday (local time).
Since becoming a FIFA International referee in 2011, Faghani (centre) has been entrusted with a host of high profile matches. He was named the fourth referee for the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Croatia. He was also tasked to officiate the 2014 AFC Champions League Final first leg match between Al-Hilal and Western Sydney Wanderers.
During the hugely successful Asian Cup 2015 Australia, Faghani was appointed to officiate the final match between Korea Republic and host nation Australia. Faghani also refereed the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup final, which saw Barcelona take on Argentina’s River Plate.
The 38-year-old Faghani will be joined by assistant referees and compatriots Reza Sokhandan and Mohammadreza Mansouri as well Ghanaian fourth official Joseph Lamptey.
Tanaka hopes to turn Asian success into Olympic springboard
Tokyo: Nippon TV Beleza captain Mina Tanaka has revealed her determination to play a role in Japan’s bid for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games success.
The in-form striker made the pledge in the wake of her superb hat-trick against Melbourne Victory on Saturday, which helped Beleza to their inaugural AFC Women’s Club Championship title in Yongin.
Tanaka’s four goals in that tournament followed 20 in Japan’s Nadeshiko League, a competition where she was also voted Most Valuable Player, but the 25-year-old has recently been a conspicuous absentee at the international level.
Adelaide: Australia made it two wins over Chile in less than a week, defeating the South Americans 1-0 in a friendly international at Hindmarsh Stadium on Tuesday.
Emily Gielnik scored the game’s only goal in the 23rd minute, while Sam Kerr provided the assist, had a penalty saved and hit the woodwork on a night where the Australian captain did everything but score.
The match was part of the Matildas’ preparation for next February’s Olympic Qualifiers, where they will meet Chinese Taipei, Thailand and China PR on the Road to Tokyo.