Asia

Australia Coach Wants Messi Included In What He Calls Tokyo’s “Group Of Dreams”

MELBOURNE - Upbeat Australia coach Graham Arnold has urged Argentina to bring Lionel Messi to the Olympics and described their tough pool as Tokyo's "group of dreams.”

Drawn with twice champions Argentina, 1992 winners Spain and Egypt, the “Olyroos” face an uphill battle to reach the knockout rounds of the 16-team tournament, their first Games since Beijing in 2008.

Melbourne Victory Claims W-League Title With 120th-Minute Olimpico

Melbourne Victory forward Kyra Cooney-Cross scored directly from a corner in the final minute of extra time to help her team beat Sydney FC in the W-League Grand Final on Sunday and be crowned champions of Australia for the second time.

Melbourne created the majority of the chances at Sydney's Kogarah Oval in the latest edition of the "Big Blue" rivalry but needed a last-gasp effort to triumph thanks largely to the heroics of Sydney goalkeeper Jada Whyman.

Luxembourg Is Back, Baby! Recapping The Biggest Upsets From International Break

While there were no headlining matchups, the latest cycle of international qualifying across the globe provided us with some unexpected upsets — if you know where to look.

North Macedonia over Germany and Luxembourg beating the Republic of Ireland were tabbed as the biggest surprises of the international break, but there plenty more stunning results from across Europe and beyond.

These were the best of the bunch:

Egypt Is Dead Set On Getting Mohamed Salah To The Olympic Games

The manager of the Egypt national under-23 team, Shawky Gharib, hinted at the presence of Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

"The only senior player who has been chosen is Mohamed Salah, he's one of the three best players in the world," the coach said. "The remaining choices will depend on the team's need." 

Mongolia Keeper Records 11 Saves Against Japan, Still Loses 14-0

Waking up and looking at Tuesday’s schedule of international football, I couldn’t help but notice the final score of one match that had already finished out in Chiba, Japan. The Japan national team had put up two touchdowns — a fortnight of scoring — on Mongolia in World Cup qualifying. 

The 14-0 win isn’t the biggest in Japan’s history (15-0 over the Philippines in 1967), nor was it the biggest defeat in 190th-ranked Mongolia’s (15-0 to Uzbekistan in 1998). 

W-League Striker Retires To Be With Ill Partner, Who Proposed After She Scored In Her Final Game

MELBOURNE — Former Australia striker Rhali Dobson bowed out of professional soccer with a goal for Melbourne City on Thursday before saying 'yes' to a surprise pitchside marriage proposal from her partner Matt Stonham, who is battling cancer.

Dobson, 28, announced her retirement from Australia's W-League this week so she could return to New South Wales state to support Stonham, who was diagnosed with brain cancer several years ago and is set to undergo aggressive treatment.

Chinese Football In Chaos After CSL Champion Jiangsu FC Ends Operations

BEIJING - Chinese football was thrown into disarray on Sunday as the owners of reigning Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu FC announced the club would cease operations with immediate effect.

A post on Jiangsu's official WeChat account expressed hope of new backers or that a "company of insight" would be willing to consult on the team's future.

The announcement stated all of owners Suning Group's football clubs, including the hugely successful Jiangsu Suning Women, would "cease operations from today.”

Once An Afterthought, Australia Has Become A Covid-Free Utopia For International Footballers

Located in the far northern reaches of the Iberian Peninsula, Basque Country is a small autonomous district in Spain (and a small sliver of France) known for its unique language and cultural practices.

Two of the biggest soccer clubs in the region, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao, feature lineups based heavily around home-grown talent, with Bilbao even enforcing a strict Basque-only policy at the club since 1912.

Australia, Qatar Pull Out Of This Summer’s Copa América

Australia and Qatar, the two non-South American sides due to take part in this year's Copa América, have pulled out of the tournament, the secretary general of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said on Tuesday.

The two teams were set to join 10 others from South America in the tournament, which will be hosted by Argentina and Colombia in June and July.

"Qatar and Australia will not come to play in the Copa América," Gonzalo Belloso told Argentine radio station Radio Red.

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