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Chelsea internationals: Norway advance at Women’s World Cup; Gold Cup begins

International action from the extended weekend

Korea Republic v Norway: Group A - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France
Ji vs. Reiten
Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Year-round football continues with hardly a break as the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup got underway in the USA (with a few games played in Jamaica and Costa Rica as well), joining the Copa América happening in Brazil and of course the Women’s World Cup over in France, which is now into the final round of group games.

Here’s what’s been happening over the past few days.


Most of the Round of 16 qualifiers are now known at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and it’s mostly good news for Chelsea players.

The latest to advance have been Norway, for whom Maren Mjelde and Maria Thorisdottir continue to start in central defense and Guro Reiten continues to pull the strings in attack. On Monday, they secured their place in the knockout round by beating and eliminating Ji So-yun’s South Korea. The Koreans finally managed a goal after more than 250 minutes of play at the World Cup — great backheel nutmeg to set that up — but still lost 2-1. Norway thus finish second behind France, who completed a perfect group stage with a 1-0 win over Nigeria.

Also advancing are Sweden, confirmed with a game to spare on Sunday, when they put 5 past Thailand, with Magdalena Eriksson picking up an assist. Thailand did manage to put a consolation goal past Hedvig Lindahl, which sparked a fair bit of celebration by the team coming off of a 13-0 humiliation by the USA. Jonna Anderson once again did not play. The US also won in their second game, beating Chile 3-0, and thus join the knockout round already as well.

There was less good news earlier in the weekend however, as Ali Riley’s New Zealand were beaten by Canada, 2-0, and are thus basically out of the World Cup despite the convoluted second round qualifying pattern keeping them mathematically alive.

Meanwhile, in Group B, all three of Germany, Spain, and China have advanced, with South Africa heading home.


The biennial exercise to determine whether the USMNT or Mexico are the best at soccerball in North and Central America (and sometimes a few invited guests) got underway this weekend, and Mexico made an early statement with a 7-0 hammering of Cuba. Personal favorite and hopefully not future Spurs player Chucky Lozano is missing out on account of an MCL injury, but the excellent Raul Jiménez (recently of Watford Wolves) scored twice and LA Galaxy’s Carlos Antuna chipped in with a hat-trick at the Rose Bowl.

There isn’t much Chelsea involvement in this tournament (though there’s more than just a singular Willian for Brazil in the Copa América), but one of those select few is Michael Hector, whose Jamaica got off to a solid start yesterday by beating Honduras 3-2. This game was actually held in Kingston, Jamaica, where a good crowd wast treated to some rather low quality yet bizarrely entertaining football. That’s the CONCACAF we know and love! Here are some highlights, featuring a glimpse of Hector and an anonymous performance from highly rated Chelsea wannabe Leon Bailey.

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