Tag Archives: Sam Kerr

Australia and New Zealand Awarded 2023 Women’s World Cup

Australia and New Zealand will host the next edition of the Women’s World Cup in 2023, FIFA announced yesterday, after a long day of deliberation.

The two countries united to launch the ‘As One’ bid to host the tournament and they saw off a counter bid from Colombia to win the right to stage the tournament, the first which will be held over two continents, as Australia are in the Asia confederation whilst New Zealand are part of the Oceania confederation.

Australia and New Zealand’s ‘As One’ bid won 22 of the 35 votes cast by FIFA Council Members, as Colombia won 13. The South American country was the only rival for hosting the tournament after Japan and Brazil had pulled out of the race.

FIFA’s technical evaluation of Australia and New Zealand’s bid marked at 4.1 out of 5 compared to Colombia’s score of just 2.8.

The 2023 edition of the Women’s World Cup will be the first tournament to feature 32 countries, an increase from the current 24 sides, and in line with the format of the Men’s World Cup.

Australia and New Zealand have put forward the stadiums they plan to use for the tournament, which runs from July-August 2023, with eight grounds in Australia and five in New Zealand touted, in a total of twelve cities.

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, Launceston to be the Australian hosts whilst Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin will be used for the fixtures scheduled to take place in New Zealand, alongside Auckland. The first game will take place at Eden Park in Auckland, with the final set to take place in Sydney.

President of Football Federation Australia, Chris Nikou, told the BBC the forthcoming competition will be “ground-breaking”.

Nikou added:

“Not only will it be the first ever co-confederation hosted Fifa World Cup and the first ever Fifa Women’s World Cup in the Asia-Pacific region, but we will unlock the huge potential for growth in women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The president of New Zealand Football, Johanna Wood, said:

“We believe we have been given a treasure, and we will look after that treasure.”

The decision to award Australia and New Zealand represents a huge boost to women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region, and a number of players took to social media to express their joy at the announcement.

Australia Captain and Chelsea star Sam Kerr tweeted:

While, New Zealand defender CJ Bott said:

“The tournament going to be the absolute pinnacle and highlight of our careers.”

Both countries will be looking to better their previous showings at the World Cup now that it will be on home soil. The Matildas were eliminated from last year’s tournament on penalties in their last sixteen tie against Norway but will fancy their chances of winning their first World Cup crown with their hime fans behind them.

New Zealand meanwhile, will looking to progress past the group stage, having failed to make it out of their group in any of their previous World Cup appearances.

With football already Australia’s most popular team sport, the exposure, media attention and investment that hosting a World Cup will bring will certainly boost women’s football and it’s profile Down Under.

It will undoubtedly lead to a spike in the number of girls and women who take up the sport at grassroots level in both Australia and New Zealand and help to put football in Asia, a continent often over looked, on the map once again.

Want to here more about women’s football and the World Cup 2023 bid? Then feel free to have a listen to our new podcast episode by clicking on link here: https://soundcloud.com/adam-stephens-425096853/24-7-football-second-podcast

 

FIFA Council to select Women’s World Cup 2023 host(s) in June

The FIFA Council announced on Friday that they will announce the next host(s) for the 2023 edition of the Women’s World Cup online on June 25.

It has 314 days since the United States women’s national team defeated the Netherlands 2-0 at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Décines-Charpieu. Due to COVID-19, football fans have been anxiously waiting for the return. However, as league play starts to come back, FIFA delivered some good news to fans, especially those who hope their country hosts the tournament.

The bids for the tournament include a joint submission by the Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football, Brazilian Football Association, Colombian Football Association, and Japan Football Association. This race is the most competitive bidding process in the history of the Women’s World Cup.

Australia and New Zealand, ranked seventh and 23rd in the FIFA World Rankings, have never hosted the tournament in either the men’s or women’s edition of the World Cup. The Matildas advanced to the knockout stages, led by superstar Sam Kerr, before falling to Norway in penalties during the Round of 16. However, the Football Ferns finished dead last in their group, losing all three games in the process.

Brazil has hosted several World Cups, including in 2014, for the men, but never for the women. All-time great Marta, in a message after their loss to host France in the Round of 16, insisted that “the women’s game depends on you to survive.” The honor of hosting would be great for the future of the game for the women in the South American country.

Colombia, ranked 25th in the world, was not a part of the last edition of the Women’s World Cup. However, they are looking to make it for the first time since 2015, where they fell in the Round of 16 in Canada. The best way to qualify is to get an automatic bid as a host.

As the 2015 World Cup champions, Japan is hoping to add hosts as another one of its achievements in women’s football. The country hosted the 2002 edition of the Men’s World Cup with South Korea but is hoping to host its first with the women’s side. 

The 2023 edition will be the first one to feature 32 teams, so it is a great honor for whichever nation(s) get the host the biggest tournament in the world’s most popular sport.

WSL Update: Chelsea’s title to lose?

The Blues took what appears to be a giant step towards the title against London rivals Arsenal last time out. 

New Australian signing Sam Kerr scored her first goal for the club as Chelsea scored three times in 20 minutes at the home of the defending champions on their way to a 4-1 victory.

Emma Hayes’ side now have a game in hand over their title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal and are just a point further back in third.

At the other end of the table meanwhile Liverpool finally got their first victory of the season to leapfrog Bristol City.

The reds secured a 1-0 victory over the West-Midlands side thanks to a 13thminute strike from their new signing, Rachel Furness.

Both the Manchester clubs also won, Manchester City kept their title hopes alive with a 2-0 victory over Birmingham City.

Ellen White scored against her old club in just the first minute of the match and midfielder Keira Walsh completed the scoring with a strike from the edge of the area.

Manchester United’s captain, Katie Zelem scored twice as the red devils got the better of Tottenham Hotspur, emerging 3-0 winners.

Elsewhere, Chloe Kelly scored a hat trick as Everton beat Reading 3-1 to secure their first victory in four matches and Alisha Lehmann’s two late goals helped West Ham come from behind to beat Brighton 2-1.

Matchday Previews and Predictions

Sunday 2ndFebruary

Liverpool vs Birmingham City (Kick-off 12pm)

Vicky Jepson’s Liverpool team have enjoyed a revival of late by winning three of their last five games in all competitions. They also secured their first league win of the campaign against fellow strugglers Bristol City.  They also put eight goals past Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.

Birmingham City by contrast have lost four of their past five games and are currently only a point and a place ahead of Liverpool.

The Blues however did win the reverse fixture back in October 2-0 thanks to goals from their captain Kerys Harrop and Lucy Staniforth.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-0

We fancy Liverpool to continue their recent impressive run and secure their second victory of the season. 

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Everton (2pm)

Everton have won their past two games in all competitions after suffering back to back 3-1 defeats against both Arsenal and Manchester City.  The Toffees currently sit fifth in the table and just goal difference separates them from Manchester United above them in fourth.

Brighton meanwhile could certainly do with a win to ease their regelation concerns, Hope Powell’s team are currently only three points off the bottom. Since beating Liverpool 1-0 at home at the start of January the Seagulls have lost their last three league matches.

Prediction: Brighton 1-0

The Seagulls are under pressure to get a result and we think with home advantage they have what it takes to cause an upset. 

Chelsea vs West Ham United (2pm)

The Blues are flying at the moment, having beaten the defending champions Arsenal last time out they have also secured their place in the Continental Tyres Cup Final by beating Manchester United in the week.

The London side also find themselves in prime position for the WSL title with a game in hand and their two title rivals playing against each other this weekend.

The Hammers’ form has been very up and down in recent weeks and they have also never beaten their London rivals in four previous encounters.  They did however manage to get a 1-1 draw in the corresponding fixture last season.

Prediction: Chelsea 4-0

We anticipate another comprehensive Chelsea victory.

Manchester City vs Arsenal (2pm)

This is certainly the game of the weekend.  The match also marks Nick Cushing’s final game in charge of Manchester City before he heads off to become Assistant Manager of New York City FC.

The sides met in mid-week with Arsenal emerging victorious in their Continental Tyres Cup Semi-final 2-1 to secure a place in the final against Chelsea at the Nottingham Forest City Ground at the end of next month.

Not only is it the Manchester City manager’s final game in charge, this match certainly has huge ramifications for both teams in terms of their title chances.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-2

We are just giving the edge to Manchester City due to home advantage and the fact that it is their manager’s last game in charge.  Anticipating an open game with plenty of goals.

Reading vs Manchester United (2pm)

Both of these sides have suffered two defeats in their last three games.  Manchester United in particular have gone out of two-cup competitions in the space of a few days to Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.

The Royals meanwhile have lost their last two league games against Arsenal and Everton, however they were both away from home. They did win their last home match against Birmingham City 1-0 thanks to a goal from Amalie Eikeland.

The Red Devils secured a 2-0 win when the sides met back at the end of October.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-0

We think that Casey Stoney’s Manchester United will bounce back from their recent disappointments in this one. 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Bristol City (2pm)

The final match sees Spurs hosting bottom side Bristol City.  The London side won emerged victorious in the only encounter between the sides earlier this season in a hard fought 2-1 win.

Bristol City’s form has improved in recent weeks as they have won three of their past five matches including a 1-0 win against Manchester United.

Tottenham Hotspur however have lost three of their past four games, but their one victory did come at home against fellow London side West Ham.

Prediction: Tottenham 3-1

We believe that Tottenham will come away with the three points. 

 

 

WSL Update: Week 10 round-up and Week 11 preview

The Robbins stun Casey Stoney’s United to record first league win, Sam Kerr makes a successful WSL debut for Chelsea and Nick Cushing’s Manchester City record a convincing victory against Tottenham

Bristol City enjoyed a fine start to the New Year as they secured their first league victory of the WSL season. City beat Manchester United 1-0 at United’s Leigh Valley Stadium. 

Former United player Ebony Salmon scored the only goal of the game in the first half by slotting the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Mary Earps.

Sophie Baggaley also performed a starring role for the West Country club in goal, as she pulled off a string of outstanding saves in the game’s closing stages.

Chelsea meanwhile had to come back from a goal down to see off Reading 3-1 at Kingsmeadow.

England’s most-capped international, Fara Williams had given the Royals an early lead before Reading keeper, Grace Moloney was sent off for a late challenge on Chelsea’s Australian debutant Sam Kerr.

Kerr is the Australian and American League record goal scorer who signed for the blues in November but was only available to make her first appearance for her new club in January.

Although she missed a few chances she was involved in the equaliser, producing a classy backheel to create the opening for Beth England to score.

Guro Reiten and Erin Cuthbert completed the scoring in the second half, securing the win for Emma Hayes’ side.

Elsewhere, two goals from Pauline Bremer helped Manchester City to a 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur.  Rianna Dean managed to score a penalty for the home team, however further goals from Ellen White and Lauren Hemp put the result beyond any doubt.

The league leaders Arsenal were able to maintain their three point advantage by completing a 2-0 win over Birmingham City.  While Liverpool remained winless as they lost 1-0 to Hope Powell’s Brighton.

The final match between West Ham United and Everton was called off due to a flu outbreak within the East London side’s squad. A rescheduled date is to be confirmed.

Week 11 preview: Saturday 11thJanuary

Manchester City vs Everton (Kick-off 17:30) – BT Sport

The weekend kicks off with Nick Cushing’s team hosting an Everton side that have lost all of their six league matches against Manchester City.

It is set to be one of Cushing’s last games in charge of City as he is going off to take over as assistant manager at New York City in the MLS in February.

The Toffees will have to watch out for City’s top goal scorer Pauline Bremer, the German has scored three goals in her past two games.

Prediction City win 3-0

Predicting that Manchester City will maintain their strong start to 2020.

 Sunday 12thJanuary

Liverpool vs Manchester United (12:30)

Both of these sides are coming off the back off disappointing results last time out. Liverpool did manage a 1-1 draw with Chelsea in their last home game and are currently unbeaten in their last three home matches.

Manchester United however won the reverse fixture in the league back in September 2-0.  They will most likely be looking to their midfielder Lauren James to provide that spark.  James is currently United’s top league goal scorer with five goals.

Prediction: United win 2-1

Think that Manchester United will return to winning ways against Vicky Jepson’s team.

Brighton vs Arsenal (12:30)

Brighton have recently enjoyed an upturn in form in recent weeks aside from the 5-0 loss against Manchester City that is their only defeat in the past five matches.

The defending champions Arsenal meanwhile are on an even better run and have scored 28 goals in their last five games.

The Seagulls will have to pay close attention to Scottish international and Gunners captain Kim Little.  The midfielder has contributed three goals in her last three games and has been an integral part of the North London Club’s impressive run.

Prediction: Arsenal win 2-0

Anticipating that the Gunners will have too much for Seagulls.

Chelsea vs Bristol City (14:00)

The West Country side finally secured their first league win last time out against Manchester United.  They have also won their last two away games in all competitions that indicate that they are starting to turn a corner.

Chelsea however are the only unbeaten team left in the Women Super League and young English midfielder Beth England in particular has been impressive in recent weeks.

Prediction: Chelsea win 4-1

Reckon the blues will put on another strong showing in front of their own fans.

Reading vs Birmingham City (14:00)

Birmingham come into this game not in the best of form having lost three of their past four league matches.  The midlands side however have never lost to Reading in seven matches.

The Royals will most likely look to their England midfielder, Fara Williams to make the difference.  Williams made two assists in Reading’s last home win against Tottenham Hotspur back in December.

Prediction: Reading win 1-0

Believe that home advantage will give The Royals the edge against Birmingham this time around.

Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United (14:00)

Tottenham are going through a bit of a tricky period as they have lost their last two league games.  They did however win the reverse fixture against the Hammers 2-0 at the Olympic Stadium in September.

West Ham meanwhile is going through a frustrating time as well as their last two league matches have been postponed for various reasons and they will hope that their squad has recovered from the flu they suffered last week.

Prediction: Draw 2-2

This is a difficult one to predict. So we are going with an entertaining score draw between these sides.