Adding To The Wardrobe : Primark


Finally with the football having a break I managed to get out shopping plus it being pay day really helped. With the warmer weather forecast I knew I needed to update my wardrobe to a more summery selection, as 90% of it at the moment is black jeans and long sleeve tops or jumpers. One place I knew I definitely needed to head to grab some of the best items was Primark as they never let me down, all throughout the year I am picking up items from there and to be honest they do last me, as long as I don't gain too much weight. 


So I headed down to pick up a few bits to keep me going in the warm weather and here is what I got...




Technically I didn't pick up this piece but my mum got it for me and I just had to pay her back. I absolutely love Toy Story and can't wait to see the 4th film so when I saw this top online I knew I was going to have to get it. At £8 you can't go wrong, I love the neon print and the fact the print is bigger on the back than on the front.




I was in desperate need of some shorts as my current ones just kept falling down and the colour didn't really go with anything. At £6 I had to get these as I love the white one the sides plus they are the perfect length and really comfortable. 



Now I had these pink shorts the other year and I lived in them, especially when sitting out in the garden. So when I saw these were only £2 I knew I had to pick another pair up seen as my others have magically disappeared. These are a really good length for me plus the fact they are swim shorts means they are really lightweight and cool.




I also picked up a pair of dark grey shorts for £9 as I wanted some shorts with a bit more of a fit to them and these were perfect as they are slim fit but not too tight. Again they are also really lightweight and the perfect length. Some shorts can be way too long on me due to my height but Primark seem to have got it right and they are a great fit.




I then headed over to the sale rail and found this t-shirt for just £3. Granted I really didn't need another black t-shirt but this is a little bit of a thicker material so perfect for those cooler days. Plus it isn't fully black I love the neon stitching and the small print on the front. Plus the fact it was so cheap makes it even better for me. Even if I just wear it a few times then have it as pyjama top I am sue I will have my money worth out of it.




I tried last year with the invisible socks but honestly they drove me mad constantly sliding around so I will only be wearing those when I really need to (if my trainers are really low cut). But if not I will just be going back to standard trainer socks and for just £2 per 5 pairs I have got myself stocked up in a variety of colours. The best thing about the Primark ones are the fact they have the comfort arch which is perfect for if I have to do plenty of walking or I am breaking new trainers in. Plus they don't go to high up they are just the perfect length. 



Finally it is nothing to do with clothing but I picked up these 2 fragrances for just £2 each. I can't do with women's scents as they can just be too florally for me but these are fantastic as they aren't too strong. The best thing is I can just throw these in my backpack for top ups during the day and I can have a new daily fragrance instead of wasting my Tom Ford, I can now keep that for special occasions. 


I can't wait to start styling these pieces and putting together the outfits that represent me the most. Now I just need to carry on ticking off a few more bits of my current shopping list.


See you soon
Lucy

FIFAWWC19 Knockout Stages

The world cup is now well and truly underway and we are now down to our final 8 teams. The round of 16 stage definitely didn't disappoint with some great games and obviously the VAR controversy carried over to this stage with it being brought into action plenty of times.

The first game we had was a 3-0 victory to Germany over Nigeria which to be honest I think I expected as Germany have had the consistency through the tournament so far and have looked a threat. They are definitely a team not to be taken lightly.

Then we had Norway vs Australia and what a game that was. An equalizer from Australia in the 83rd minute took the game to extra time. Then Kennedy ended up being sent off, but the score sent the game to penalties. I honestly though Australia had the game in the bag when it went to penalties but how wrong was I? Norway ended up winning 4-1 on the shootout which saw Kerr absolutely sky her attempt. I am gutted to see Australia go though as they really were one of my underdogs going into the tournament.

Up next is possibly the most controversial game I have seen in years, England came out of the game 3-0 winners against Cameroon but how they managed to stay so calm throughout this game really shows their character as a team. Tempers could easily have blown over after Cameroon players were caught spitting on players, elbowing players and even going in with a seriously dangerous and reckless challenge on captain Houghton then standing over her shouting whilst she is receiving treatment. But that wasn't the end of it you had the Cameroon players seemingly not wanting to carry on with the game after VAR decisions didn't go in their favour, both decisions were actually spot on calls. They even had a FIFA official on the field at half time talking to them and warning them about their actions but it didn't seem to help as the 2nd half was more of the same with one player even seemingly shoving the ref out of the way. The ref herself was definitely not up to scratch and should really have started giving out cards before it got out of hand. I really do hope FIFA take action on this as it really took away from England's victory and really didn't show the sportsmanship you would expect from players at this level. But well done England for carrying on and performing as you would any other game and not get dragged to their level.

Home nation France beat Brazil 2-1 which saw Marta exiting the competition, could that be the last we see of her and Formiga in a Brazil jersey? France have played ok this tournament but I don't believe they have been at the best and they have had quite a few decisions going their way which maybe might not have been given in other instances.

Spain came up against the USA in their knockout game and people seemed to be writing them off before the game even kicked off. But Spain have been playing so well and proving people wrong so I don't know why people didn't give them a chance. USA took the lead early on through a penalty but Spain bounced right back to level the scoring just a few minutes later, they took their fight for the full 90 minutes but unfortunately lost 2-1 to the USA who earnt a second penalty in the 76th minute which honestly I don't think was a penalty it didn't even look like there was contact.

Sweden and Canada was set to be a good match but I went to bed at half time as I was so bored. Sweden came out of the game as 1-0 winners and have looked pretty strong throughout the tournament but I am gutted for Canada, they didn't really seem to hit the tournament running and didn't look like the side who came up against England in the build up to the world cup. Sinclair couldn't seem to get into the game as much as you would like but Beckie had a good game apart from that unfortunate penalty miss. If you go by the rest of the tournament you would say Sweden deserved to progress but I will miss seeing Canada.

Italy have been a bit of a surprise this tournament especially as they topped their group. I didn't get to watch much of this match but China had some decent chances they just couldn't convert where as Italy comfortably took a 2-0 win and that 2nd goal was great. Italy come up against the Netherlands next which will be a big test but seriously don't right them off as they will definitely put up a challenge.

The final game of the round of 16 was the Netherlands vs Japan, where the Netherlands came out 2-1 winners I missed this match as I was at my grandparents but by the sounds of it Japan put up a fight and were unlucky to have a 90th minute penalty scored against them. To me though Japan hadn't looked as much of a threat this tournament as they have in previous years but the Netherlands are definitely looking as good as they did when they won the Euros in 2017. It is going to make a change not seeing Japan in the final this time around. 

When you look at the teams left in the final 8 it is quite amazing to see 7 of the 8 are European teams which just goes to show the quality we have over here and how the game is just getting better and better and I am really looking forward to the quarter finals as there are definitely plenty of games worth watching. Here is what the schedule for the quarters looks like (all times are BST):

Thursday 27th 8pm: Norway vs England
Friday 28th 8pm : France vs USA
Saturday 29th 2pm : Italy vs Netherlands
Saturday 29th 5.20pm : Germany vs Sweden

It really is going to be interesting to see who progresses to the semi-finals.

See you soon
Lucy.

Bradford City 19/20 Home Kit

Copyright Bradford City Football Club
One of the most exciting parts to the off season for me is definitely finding out what the next seasons kits are going to look like. Yeah I understand you also have the transfer window which can be pretty exciting too (post coming very soon on the Bradford City transfer window) but I just love to see what shirts I will be spending my money on and seeing my team playing in weekly.

City released their shirt last Friday in time for their refurbished shops reopening and it didn't disappoint. AVEC sport are back with a 3 year deal providing City with the Shirts, training and leisurewear alongside also now taking control of the shop. I am glad that AVEC are back on board as I love their shirts, they are lightweight and definitely last a lot longer than some of my Nike shirts have done. Plus we have gone back to the stripes, this for me makes the perfect City shirt and how every City shirt should be. Forget the checks or block colours we have had in the past we are back to stripes which is just what we need. Still in the traditional claret and amber colour each separated by black pinstripes this shirt has the potential to be one of my favourites yet by the brand.  I really like the little bits of black around the back of the neck and the edge of the sleeves as it is just a subtle bit of a difference. Obviously you still have the sponsors logos on the back and front of the shirt but they are honestly ones I don't mind on the City kit as the JCT600 looks like it was made to be there to me and I am just so used to seeing it that I am used to it by now.

The prices of the shirts are as follows:

Infants (kits) £25
Juniors £36
Youth £40
Adults £45

I honestly do think these shirts are great value for money especially when you take in to account I almost spent £64.95 on an England shirt just for the world cup.

I can't wait to head to the shop to pick up this shirt and possibly some of the training range as I do every season. Now I just need to wait and see what the away and 3rd shirts are going to look like. 

This won't be the last you see from Bradford City on the blog as I am hoping to do weekly round up posts on them, transfer news and any other bits you would like to see so feel free to leave me some ideas.

See you soon,
Lucy 

FIFAWWC End Of Group Stage Round Up

Well this post is definitely a little late, the group stages ended on Thursday and they definitely didn't disappoint, the teams that went home after this stage though can definitely hold their head up high as there were some great quality games played. You had the 13-0 victory for the USWNT and the 3-2 fightback from Australia, all in all I would say that it was a great advertisement for women's football.

So here is how each group finished off....

Group A
France
Norway
Nigeria
South Korea

I think this group finished just as expected to be honest and France ran away with the group winning all 3 games. France had some pretty good passages of play but honestly I don't think they had too many spectacular moments in the group stages. Nigeria also progressed thanks to being one of the best 3rd places.

Group B
Germany
Spain
China
South Africa

Another group that finished just as expected with Germany coming top of the group. It was only goal difference though that helped Spain get through as 2nd place with China bringing up 3rd and qualifying as a 3rd best place. Unfortunately though South Africa ended up bottom not earning a single point which surprise me I thought they may have drawn with at least China.

Group C
Italy
Australia
Brazil
Jamaica

I honestly think this could have been my favourite group as it was so tight, who would have thought that Italy would top this group?  The group however finished with the top 3 teams all on 6 points each and had some brilliant games in it such as Australia fighting back to beat Brazil 3-2. I honestly wouldn't have thought Brazil would end up only qualifying as been one of the best 3rd places.

Group D
England
Japan
Argentina
Scotland

There was one big surprise for me in this group England actually won all 3 games, I was honestly doubtful for their game against Japan but they really surprised me and came out on top. I am actually really proud of the way England played throughout the group stages as although they weren't the best at times they held it together only conceding 1 goal. I am gutted for Scotland though as even by scoring more goals than the other 2 teams aiming for 2nd in this group they just couldn't stop them scoring and ended up crashing out of the tournament. But to say it was their first world cup they can definitely be proud. Unfortunately Argentina also didn't do enough to get through as a best of 3rd place team either.

Group E
Netherlands
Canada
Cameroon
New Zealand

It was always going to be the Netherlands or Canada who topped this group but honestly I thought it would be Canada and I think if Sinclair was on form and did better with some of her opportunities they would have been on top. But in the end it was the Netherlands who won the group by winning all 3 games. The big surprise for me was definitely Cameroon coming above New Zealand as after how they performed against England in the build up to the world cup I thought they would get through. In the end though it was Cameroon who finished in the final best 3rd place spot.  

Group F
USWNT
Sweden
Chile
Thailand

As I expected the USWNT came out on top of their group, but one standout from me in this group was definitely Chile, they were so unlucky not to qualify for the round of 16 but they can definitely hold their heads high especially their goalkeeper Endler who had a fantastic standout performance this tournament especially in the game against the USWNT. Thailand can also hold their heads high as they played well and showed the country that they can perform and the emotion from the team when they scored their only goal was absolutely fantastic it just showed you how much being at the tournament meant to them.

So now it is onto the knockout stages, I will have my first post up about the knockouts so far tomorrow so check back for that as we have definitely had some interesting games so far.

See you soon,
Lucy

Last Week #47


Well it has definitely been a while since I did one of these posts but football has taken over my life this month. If I aren't watching the world cup, I am writing about the world cup. If I haven't been watching the football world cup I have been watching the cricket world cup thanks to Liam who has finally got me into liking cricket. In and amongst all this I have also been having some family time which has been brilliant.

Whilst my dad and Liam did the decking on Saturday me my mum, sister and nephew went to a dragon boat festival which was a great day out for us all. Then Sunday was spent doing a bit of shopping (I even got to try a Taco Bell for the first time) and watching the rugby, I really do need to try get to more games in the future as I really do miss it. So here is what I have...

Been Watching : All that was on the TV last week was the FIFA WWC or the cricket world cup and I am really enjoying them both. 

Been reading : Once again my reading has been none existent, it is limited to match reports lately.

Been listening to : Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello teamed up once again this time for Senorita and WOW it hasn't come off repeat yet. I am also in the process of creating a gym playlist so any suggestions please let me know. 

Bought : I treated myself to some new clothes (post coming soon) and I had to pick up a copy of Crash Team Racing as soon as it was released.

Plans for this week : I actually have my little to do list in my diary now so fingers crossed I can get 90% done as I think the full 100% may be a bit of a struggle. There is no football on Wednesday either so fingers crossed I can get caught up on jobs and get to the gym.

So there you have it that was my week. What have you guys been up to?

See you soon
Lucy

FIFAWWC Day 14


4 games of football occurred yesterday to finish off the group stages of the tournament and they were some pretty good games, the Netherlands beat Canada 2-1, Cameroon beat New Zealand 2-1 and Chile beat Thailand 2-0. But the game I was most looking forward to yesterday was definitely USA vs Sweden. With such rivalry between these 2 sides it was bound to be a good game. Which is why I can't understand why Sweden made so many changes, especially to their back line. Granted the USA also made plenty of changes but that was to be expected especially with them basically returning to the team from their game against Thailand. But what I will never understand is why Jill keeps Press on the bench and has the top 3 as Rapinoe, Morgan and Heath, take out Rapinoe add in Press and honestly I think you will have a much bigger threat these days. 

It really didn't take long for the USWNT to get off the mark. I honestly thought the corner had been messed up a bit but I guess never right the USWNT off as they can make something out of nothing. The ball seemed to just roll through the crowed box and Horan's well anticipated run meant she was right place right time to put the ball passed Lindahl. This meant at just 3 minutes the USWNT were already 1-0 up and off to a great start. 

The goal seemed to spur Sweden on a little bit but they just never seemed that much of a threat especially to how they were in 2016 when they knocked the USA out of the Olympics. The place they seemed to be struggling most was definitely in defence, it was far too easy for the likes of Heath, Morgan and Lavelle to get through that back line.

But it wasn't just Sweden who were struggling, at times when Sweden did look promising  it seemed that the USA back line was also struggling to keep up and there were a few miscommunicated moments where Sweden ended up gaining a better position from this. Over all there was plenty of sloppy pieces of play from both sides, with sloppy passes straight to the opposition, heavy passes straight to touch and quite a few unnecessary offsides. there were plenty of heavy challenges going in from either side, I really am surprised players walked away in one piece with some. But it does leave me wondering if Morgan picked up a knock near the end of the 1st half that ended up in her needing to be replaced by Lloyd, was it just a precaution or has she done some damage?

There also seemed to be a lot of players just slipping even when not under pressure, how wet was the surface or was it just players with the wrong studs? Rapinoe for me just isn't firing up as expected this tournament especially when it comes to her crosses most just look sloppy and are going nowhere near their intended target. I hope she picks up in the next few games if not PLAY PRESS!

Lavelle surprised me once again as she just looks so confident lately and unfazed and O'Hara had a brilliant game with plenty of great runs into the box and overlapping play. Her and Heath's link ups were once again amazing and helped the USA get forward, once again the right side was definitely strongest for the USWNT. Whereas for the Swedish team there was not really a stand out player throughout the game and the USWNT did well to make it so Asllani didn't get into the game as much as Sweden would have wanted.

It was Heath who finally got the 2nd goal of the game, (although everyone else is giving it as an Andersson own goal) don't take it away from Heath like I honestly thought VAR was going to. This whole offside rule with VAR really needs clearing up as it is starting to cause so much confusing and not just for the fans and players but I think for the referees too.  The goal came from once again Heath causing some great hold up play in the box and a cheeky little chip ending up in the back of the goal, her skill level is just absolutely unbelievable. But what I don't understand is why she was given so much space throughout the game it was like Sweden didn't want to try with her. 

It is well documented the rivalry on the pitch and off the field too between these 2 sides and honestly the USWNT comments about being the best in the world and Lindahl saying Sweden would do the speaking on the court, well once again it was the USWNT doing the talking and proving why they have the right to be arrogant and confident because they can back up their talk with their play on the field. 

I do think the USA deserved the win but I was expecting a lot more from the game, I was expecting more fight from the Swedish side and I think the USWNT could have done better in defence and not wasted so many chances.

My woman of the match for this game would definitely be Heath, with her skill and getting the team into dangerous positions she definitely was the stand out player of the game and I can't wait to see her play again in the round of 16 she just adds the flare and passion to every game.

See you soon
Lucy



FIFAWWC Day 13


Well it was a tough choice last night working out if I was going to watch England try claim the top of the group or Scotland try make it to the next round, but naturally I picked to watch the England game and I was I didn't as the Scots let a 3-0 lead slip and a controversial VAR decision left the Argentinian's drawing level to make it 3-3 and sending Scotland home. But Scotland can definitely be proud of themselves as they have shown what they are capable of by scoring and putting up a fight in all 3 games. But onto the England game...

Phil did his usual, making plenty of changes. Stokes came in to replace Greenwood, Duggan was fit enough to start, Bardsley took her place in goal once again and Bright came back into the team but most importantly for me Daly finally got a start. It was nice to see he had put Daly upfront for the game as I honestly believe this is currently the best position for her and her pace really benefits the team from there as she can power on into the box but also get back quickly if needed to help defend.

Duggan for me shouldn't have been starting, she is just coming back from an injury so why not gradually work her back into the game? Like bringing her on as a sub later on in the game. To me she looked off her game 90% of the time but she did have a good attempt that the keeper eventually saved. She was finally taken off in the 82nd minute but honestly Parris should have been on from the start and Duggan should have come on for her instead. She just didn't look as much of a threat as she could have been.

I was really surprised by how well Scott and Daly linked up throughout the game too and I can honestly say I would love to see this pairing a lot more in the future as they really helped England get into some dangerous attacking positions as well as getting them out of their own half by the linking up.

Japan were the first ones with a real chance for me with an absolutely brilliant free kick which ended with an even better save from Bardsley to deny them, she really made herself big and stopped the ball going straight into the top corner. That to me just shows the nets don't need making smaller for the women, especially with keepers as skilled as Bardsley. Japan definitely looked threatening at times through the game especially when on the counter attack with some great give and go play but they just couldn't finish off any of their chances luckily for England. They didn't look anywhere near as good as they have in previous years to me but I suppose that did benefit England in the long run.

It was Ellen White who managed to get the first goal of the game, Stanway who brilliantly turned away from her defender played a brilliant pass through to White who calmly hit the ball home. Stanway really surprised me whilst she was on the pitch she just looked so confident playing some brilliant balls, defending well and taking shots when the opportunities came, not bad for a youngster I can see big things happening for her in the future if she keeps this play up.

In the first half I was really impressed once again with England's movement it was great once again but then when it came to the second half it just seemed like a switch had flipped and they didn't look as good as in the first 45. We didn't seem to be closing down half as much as we had in previous games and our passes were heavy at times. Some passes were really sloppy with us losing possession but some how we kept some how improving for a few minutes after each passage of poor play. Daly was undoubtedly the best player in the first half but we just couldn't get her involved in the second half. 

For me Daly is definitely one of the most underrated players around at the moment, her work rate is amazing constantly tracking back getting stuck in for tackles and winning the ball back for the team. Plus her ability to charge at the defence really helps on the attacking front. She can also play in a good ball when putting a cross crating plenty of chances for others. Her pace also sets her apart from the rest as she can get all over the pitch in a short space of time which was great when Japan came on the counter attack.

Scott also had yet another great game and just kept up her current form which you really can't fault at the moment. Houghton really stood out for me in parts of the game too as she really put her body on the line to stop some chances for Japan. She looked a lot more confident than in the previous games. The best bit though is how perfectly timed her challenges were. There was no recklessly flying in like you see from some players and she never left her team in a dangerous position from her challenges.

England's second and final goal came from White once again who has now taken her tournament tally to 3. It all started with a nice ball from Scott to Carney who then played a brilliantly weighted pass through to White who very calmly put the ball into the back of the net, once again it was another clinical finish from White who is really growing on me this tournament.

As for the woman of the match as much as I want to give it to Jill once again I would honestly have to give it to Daly or White, Daly's work rate and movement was just fantastic and overall her performance was absolutely brilliant. White also had a brilliant game putting herself in some fantastic positions and bagging herself the 2 goals to help us top the group.

Overall even though we won the game I think there a few things we still need to work on, that backline definitely needs to be a whole lot stronger if we want to progress in the tournament and we need to stay consistent, no dropping off in the second because with us only getting 1 or 2 goals a game we really can't afford to switch off as we are likely to concede stupid goals that will eventually end up with us out of the tournament.

See you soon
Lucy




FIFAWWC Day 11&12



I actually had a day off from any football on Monday as I was just far too tired and had to get some stuff done around the house. However, it meant I missed the following...

China 0-0 Spain
South Africa 0-4 Germany
Nigeria 0-1 France
South Korea 1-2 Norway

But I made sure that I was able to get back from my grandparents in time last night to watch Australia vs Jamaica. It was a tough decision on if I wanted to watch this game or Italy vs Brazil but thanks to some of my favourite NWSL players playing for the Australia side I opted to watch them as I really wanted them to win and make it through to the round of 16. Which I am really glad I did, I missed the 1st 7 minutes of the game thanks to me travelling home but I clearly got home just in time as Kerr put the Australians ahead in the 10th minute with a brilliant looping header. It was a great ball into her but even better connection on her behalf.  

One thing I definitely noticed throughout the game was Australia's passing movement was a lot better than in the previous 2 matches and they looked a little more confident on the ball for a change.
I think one thing that really benefitted them though was putting Kerr in a more central role, where she is known to play best. It just made her more of a threat especially aerially which we saw when she headed home her second goal of the game after being left completely unmarked in the middle. You could tell the full 90 that she is better suited to that position so why hadn't they done it the previous 2 games? But more importantly who in their right mind leaves Sam Kerr unmarked.

Jamaica finally got their first goal in a world cup and what a goal it was, a fantastic through ball to Solaun who took the ball straight around Williams and slotted it home passed 2 Australian defenders. You can't take away the fact it was a brilliant goal but seriously what were those defenders doing to even let the ball get passed them in the first place? That goal really seemed to fire the Jamaican side up and they did have a couple of threatening attacks throughout the remainder of the game. 

However, it was the Australian side who added to their tally and of course it was Sam Kerr there to pick up her hat-trick. Some great build up play from substitute Raso with a nice ball into the box which unfortunately bounced straight off a member of the Jamaican defence. The ball then landed straight at Kerr's feet who was in the right place and the right time and slotted the ball passed the keeper with great composure. Kerr's hat-trick was the first for Australia in a world cup but it also meant that Jamaica have now had a hat-trick scored against them in every game this tournament.

Another game another penalty call that ended up going to VAR. Initially it did look like the keeper brought down Kerr but after seeing it from the different angles there was no contact and a throwing was rightly given. Once again though the VAR decision took far too long. 

Kerr finished the game on 4 goals after pouncing on a silly mistake from the keeper. Why mess around when Kerr is coming towards you? Just kick it straight out. The 4th goal for Kerr also means she is now tied with Alex Morgan for the most goals scored so far this tournament with 5 goals each.

One thing I did notice throughout the game was just how great the Jamaica pace is and honestly they could possibly outrun any team. Australia have now progressed to the next round and I am hoping that is when Kennedy finally gets off the mark as she was unlucky not to get on the score sheet after hitting the crossbar yesterday. So Australia beat Jamaica 4-1 and Brazil ended up beating Italy 1-0.

If I had to chose a woman of the match it would have to be Kerr after she grabbed all 4 goals.

See you soon,
Lucy 


FIFAWWC Day 8,9&10


I missed quite a few games on Friday but there was no way I was missing the England game. I missed Japan beating Scotland 2-1 and I also missed Italy thrash Jamaica 5-0. Italy really seem to have been a bit of an under dog this tournament with their 2 victories. But come 8pm on Friday I was sat ready and waiting for England to take on Argentina. Phil had made a few changes for this game and one of these was Telford coming into goal instead of Bardsley. It was nice to finally see Telford getting to represent England on the big stage as in previous tournaments she had been overlooked.

Right from the start Argentina weren't holding back on the challenges they were putting in and honestly I am surprised Bronze managed to play the full 90 with some of the challenges she suffered through. One thing I think England did well from the get go was working the ball around the field, they did this a lot better than their previous game against Scotland and it really helped them get into some threatening positions. Although they were a lot more confident on the ball once again they just couldn't capitalise on their chances in front of goal, this seems to be something they have struggled with for a few games now and I don't understand why as the players are more than capable. Poor Scott has some great chances from headers but they just didn't want to find the back of the net, which is really unfortunate as I really want Jill to bag herself a goal but it just doesn't seem to be falling for her.

The penalty was definitely a clear penalty as the Argentinian player lunged straight into Greenwood, it is possibly the clearest penalty I have seen given in the tournament so far. Unfortunately for Parris though she couldn't convert it as the ball seemed to come off her heel which meant it wasn't a clean strike. I do believe Taylor could have possibly done better on the follow up though. It was a great initial save from the Argentina keeper though, in fact she pulled off some fantastic saves throughout the game, especially in the first half.

One of the things I really loved to watch was Scott and Kirby linking up during play, they did this really well throughout the game and it got England into some really dangerous positions. It also meant that Kirby was a lot more involved than she was on Sunday which again benefited England. It was the duo linking up that ultimately lead to England finally scoring. A great counter attack from Jill who threaded the ball out to Kirby who played a nice pass to Mead who eventually put in a great ball for Taylor who slotted the ball home from close range, it really was a brilliantly worked goal.

It was nice to see Phil bring Daly on too as I was worried she was just going to be a player who made up the numbers and didn't get any game time, even if it was just a short time on the pitch at least it was some time. But please Phil play her again. I have to admit though that wasn't the best of games and I honestly thought there would be a bigger score line in this game but I think the 1-0 really reflected England not taking their chances and the Argentinian keeper pulling off some great saves. If If I had to name a woman of the match for this game I honestly think it would have to be Scott again she is running the midfield and is helping out both defensively and attacking.

Saturday was an unplanned family day, so I ended up missing the Netherlands beat Cameroon 3-1 but I saw the highlights and what a great goal for Cameroon. Then it was Canada vs New Zealand I did manage to catch a bit of this game and to be honest although Canada came away with a 2-0 win they still don't look like the strong Canada I am used to seeing. It was great to see Fleming score though she is such a great young talent.

Yesterday was fathers day so we had a family get together which unfortunately meant missing the Sweden game where they beat Thailand 5-1 but it was lovely to see the emotion on the Thailand bench when they scored their goal which was actually a brilliant finish. I did however make sure I was home for the USWNT match, there was no way I was missing that but I did actually end up missing the first 15 minutes and the first USWNT goal of the game, when I caught it on a replay though it looked like a fantastic first goal for Lloyd with a nice clean strike.

The USWNT had made 7 changes for this game but still had a fantastic starting 11 on the pitch which just goes to show you how many great players the team have to pick from. I was really glad to see Ali Krieger in this starting 11 as I was worried when she was called up that Jill would just use her as popularity and a bench warmer but to see her actually get game time was great. She really hasn't lost it she still has her speed and her ability on the ball is fantastic she kept up with the game perfectly, her first touch was fantastic and her attacking game was brilliant too, all that time of not knowing if she was ever going to represent her country again yet she has kept up with her training and is really showing why she should be on that big stage.

Chile were really unlucky not to draw level when their goal was called offside, the attacking player didn't make any contact with the ball and honestly I don't know what Naeher was doing when she came for it. After seeing this one ruled out it really did make me wonder if the Australia one should also have ruled out.

It was Ertz who grabbed the 2nd goal for the USA, it was an absolutely fantastic in swinging corner from Davidson which Ertz connected brilliantly with as she got on the right side of the defence, it just shows how much of an ariel threat Ertz can be and her headers are absolutely fantastic.

Another corner from Davidson lead to another goal for the USWNT this time it was Lloyd who found the back of the net. Lloyd absolutely towered over the defence to header the ball into the back of the net. It was yet another precision delivery from the youngster Davidson from the same side as Ertz's goal. It was yet another game for them going into half time 3-0 up.

Davidson has really impressed me in her first world cup game as she provided some fantastic deliveries from set pieces along with getting stuck into her defensive game when required. It is just a case of if she can continue this as they come up against bigger teams as the tournament progresses.

McDonald was brought on at half time for her first world cup game to replace Ertz, was this a tactical move from the USWNT to save Ertz for the upcoming Sweden game? If it was it is a great decision as Ertz could prove crucial in that game.

One player who really impressed me during this game was Press, year after year she is becoming better and better and looking more confident. Her quick feet and skilful runs are really amazing and are really challenging for the opponents she really isn't afraid to take on the opposition which is great to see she really is improving as a player.

2 further changes were made for the USWNT which brought on Long and Sonnett meant that all the outfield players for the USWNT now had some game time under their belts. I was glad to see Sonnett come on as she is a fantastic defender who is really underrated, I would have liked to see her in the CB role though as opposed to the RB one as I think she is a better CB. 

The USA had chance to grab a 4th goal through a penalty but Lloyd was unable to convert this. I know she was going for a hat-trick but honestly I think it should have gone to someone else as her track record isn't too cracking with the penalties, remember that one against Scotland? I suppose it was a little bit of karma though as the penalty should never have been given. Once again the VAR was far too slow and the foul actually occurred outside the box how it was given after so many checks I really don't know. 

The USWNT worked the ball around really well and had some great movement where as Chile never really looked a threat to the USWNT and definitely weren't closing down quick enough, putting pressure on the USWNT and were always going in with heavy unnecessary challenges. 

Woman of the match for me was definitely the Chile goalkeeper Endler, if it wasn't for her the goal margin would have been a lot bigger, she really stopped the USA running away with the game and pulled off some amazing saves in the process. She was hyped up in the pregame and really lived up to it and could be a huge prospect in any league in the future.

The team that started against Thailand for the USWNT really looked stronger and I can see it being that team to take on Sweden but this 11 also played great meaning Ellis possibly has a few tough decisions to make.

See you soon,
Lucy

FIFA WWC DAY 6&7


Unfortunately I missed all day 6's games due to needing to get some jobs done around the house. But here are the results from that day:
Nigeria 2 - 0 South Korea
Germany 1 - 0 Spain
France - 2 - 1 Norway

I also missed out on China's 1-0 win over South Africa yesterday after seeing the result I can't help but wonder is it all over for South Africa? 

One game I didn't miss though was Australia vs Brazil, it was bound to be a good game and it definitely didn't disappoint. Australia really needed to win this game after their disappointing loss to Italy, the only way in my eyes they could do this was if the backline really stepped up and performed as expected, I really didn't want to see them crashing out of the tournament so soon. Raso started on the bench but the big news was Marta being back for Brazil, surely what Australia didn't want to see. Polkinghorne missed out on the game due to an injury which saw Catley step into the back line and honestly I think it made a difference.

One thing that really let Australia down especially in the first half was the quality of their crosses, at times they weren't even beating the first woman which is poor for their players standards. However, young Ellie Carpenter was playing absolutely fantastically her runs at the Brazilians showed just how confident she is in her own ability and her overlapping play was fantastic gaining Australia vital yards and helping creating space for those around her. She really is a player to keep your eyes on in the future. In fact she put in a brilliant ball in the 12th minute and Australia were unlucky not to get anything from it. She also always seemed to be there to win the ball back for her team too.

Formiga is out of Brazil's next game thanks to her picking up another yellow card, which wasn't necessary at all. It was right in front of the referee and honestly the Australian player had nowhere to go anyway due to the positioning of the referee. She was subbed off at half time so if we want to see her again we have to hope Brazil get into the knockout stages.

One thing I really don't understand is why at times during the game Kerr was playing so wide, she is an ariel threat and just a threat in front of goal in general, so why have her right out by the wing instead of near the box where she can get herself in better positions, to make the most out of her you need her in the middle of the field definitely not out wide.

In the 19th minute it looked like Australia has won themselves a penalty. It looked like the Australian was tripped whilst pulled back slightly when she got into the box, this all came about after Australia really put pressure on Brazil's back line and won the ball back in a dangerous position. However the decision went to VAR (of course) and it was eventually pulled back for a Brazil free kick due to a handball in the build up. Granted this was possibly a good decision but how far back do we go to see if anything else effected play? Plus the VAR decision took far too long to come to a conclusion which meant players were just stood around waiting it takes away the momentum of the game. 

Brazil were next for a penalty shout and honestly it looked like there could have been a handball in the build up to this one but VAR stuck with the ref's original decision and gave the penalty, which to be honest the Australian did have a handful of the Australians shirt to bring her down, it was soft but it was a penalty. Of course it was Marta who stepped up to take this and easily converted it to put Brazil 1-0 up.

I honestly think play was sloppy from both sides throughout the game and neither side actually looked at their best. Cristiane then added to the score in the 38th minute to send Brazil into a 2-0 lead. The goal had a soft build up as the Australian defence should have done a whole lot better. But it a great ball and nutmeg from Tamires through to Debinha who put in a great cross that lead to Cristiane adding to her goal tally with a pretty good header.

At 2-0 you would have thought Brazil held a great lead but that all changed when Foord came sliding in to get a goal back for Australia making it 2-1 just before half time. It was a nice ball in that she managed to get on the end of, she really was right place right time to anticipate just where the ball was going to land.

It was in the 58th Minute when Australia struck again this time what looked like it could have been a ball in from Logarzo found its way to the back of the net, honestly I think the ball was intended for Kerr but went one better and sailed into the goal. It seemed to knock Brazil back a bit as they had now lost their 2 goal lead.

It was the 66th minute when things really changed a ball in from the Aussies that Monica tried clearing but actually ended up putting the ball in the back of her own net, this of course got sent to VAR due to a possible offside from Kerr but the goal stood and Australia took the lead. I think this was the correct decision as when Monica went to play the ball it looked as though Kerr had already run passed her and out of the way so she couldn't interfere meaning Monica didn't need to actually play the ball. As controversial as it is I really do think the officials made the correct decision even after how long it took for the VAR decision to come through. 

Australia really seemed to step up their game in the second half, they were definitely better than when they played Italy and I think the result really reflects that. Even though Australia had some very good game management when they took the lead at times it did go back to like the first half and went end to end at times, which created a great game to watch for the fans. I really think the 5 minutes added time was just added to make up for all that lost to VAR which they really need to speed up as you can't have 5 mins after every game just due to slow decisions.

The group now has Brazil, Italy and Australia all on 3 points at the moment with Italy to play today. This could really be a close group and is all going to go down to the last game. I am just glad Australia still have a chance.

If I had to pick I would give Carpenter the woman of the match due to her performance she was really brilliant in her role and stood up against some of the greatest in the world. She put is a solid performance for the full 90 in my opinion and at her age you can only expect her to get better and better.

See you soon
Lucy


FIFAWWC Day 5


Day 5 of the women's world cup really didn't disappoint we had a late goal for the Netherlands to beat New Zealand 1-0, a bit of a delay in play due to storms during the Sweden Chile game where Sweden finally came out on top as 2-0 winners however, from what I have heard Chile and New Zealand were unlucky to not pick up a point. Then you had the USWNT playing their first game and showing the rest of the world they mean business with a 13-0 win, so my focus today is going to be on the USWNT Thailand game.

It is no secret I have a soft spot for the USWNT it is thanks to some of their players I am so into the sport as I am, they have had some real legends in the past and the current team include some of the greatest players in the game at the moment. It was nice to see Hope in the BBC studio too giving her opinions on the game and not actually being biased pointing out the things the USWNT has needed to improve in the past. It seemed to be a brilliant crowd too a lot better than the England Scotland game with less empty seats and over 18,000 fans there you can't knock the support the US brought with them, the Outlaws are brilliant.

When they line-up was announced I was really pleased to see Heath, Horan and O'Hara all picking up the starts. Heath has a huge ability in any game to be a threat as does Horan who knows how to command a midfield and create chances. O'Hara is a player I think is massively underrated so to see her get the start, especially not long after having surgery was brilliant. The USWNT could have had a dream start but Morgan was flagged offside and the first goal was ruled out, it just makes you wonder if she had left it would it have gone in anyway and stood? The USWNT came out to prove a point, that they could become back to back winners and they were absolutely all over Thailand in the first 5 minutes, with great movement and passing of the ball.

It only took 12 minutes for the USWNT to actually get off the mark and of course it was Alex Morgan who got the 1st and what a great goal it was, a brilliant chip into the box with Morgan connecting well with her head to send the ball into the back of the net, she really positioned herself well for this goal. To be honest I think the ball into the box was better than the actually goal as it was just so calm and composed whilst perfectly weighted. One player who had too much fun all the time they was on the pitch was Tobin Heath who really didn't hold back and looked like she loved running at the Thai defence whilst pulling off her signature skill set, she really is an amazing player.

Kelley played really well and put in some great balls to create some fantastic opportunities for the whole team and created space for them and herself, she at times seemed to be playing a bit of a midfield role instead of her usual defensive one and her ability really hasn't disappeared since her days as a forward at Stanford she is certainly an underrated player. It was actually thanks to a brilliant ball over the top from Kelley that Lavelle's goal came from. The brilliant ball over from Kelley to Morgan who then played another brilliant ball through to Lavelle who finished it of with a brilliant strike.

The referee really didn't seem to want to give anything to the USWNT Thailand were going in with some really heavy challenges that weren't called for and then there was 2 clearly penalty calls, the first one was obvious as if Mewis wasn't pulled back she would have got her shot away and possibly scored a goal? I really don't know how VAR didn't pick this up. Then there was the ungiven penalty for a challenge on Horan at first glance it didn't look like a penalty but after seeing it from different angles it was clear her legs were taken out yet another VAR didn't pick up.

Then came the 3rd goal for the USWNT a free kick taken by Heath which looked like a total miss kick but was actually a great ball into the box, unfortunately the ball completely bounced off Mewis but fell too Horan who brilliantly smacked it home to make the game 3-0. I was surprised to see Thailand making their first sub after just 34 minutes, I honestly thought they would have had the starting 11 play out the first 45 minutes. Morgan really amazed me through the full game as her skill level was almost on par with Heath's some clever little turns and back heels really helping out the team.

One thing I did notice though was that Rapinoe's crosses seemed to be all over the place in the first half, they definitely weren't what we were used to seeing with them going straight out or nowhere near the intended. Thailand's defence really played well just before half time they managed to keep out shot after shot from the US and managed to go into half time just 3-0 down.

Throughout the whole game the US didn't look like they were going to sit back at any point, even thought they were scoring goals and 3 nil up at half time they came out for the second half looking hungry for more goals. They were really calm and collected on the ball too just showing they know exactly what to do and how to do it there was no panicking and just hitting the ball and hoping for the best.

The USWNT 4th goal came from Mewis who managed to get a brilliant strike away which took a deflection from the Thai defender to end up in the back of the net. I really do believe if this was left the keeper may have stood a chance of saving it. From then on the goals came in pretty quick succession, a great delivery in from Heath with a good flick on from Horan the ball landed perfectly with Morgan who was once again in the right place at the right time and sent the ball into the back of the net to make it 5-0 to the US.

Yet another quick goal then came about a deflected shot from Lavelle which fell kindly to Mewis who was there ready and waiting to slot the ball home 6-0 to the USWNT. Then a great ball in from Dunn to Mewis set the way for the 7th goal of the night, Mewis played a nice ball into the centre of the box which Morgan left and Lavelle was there to slot the ball home which she did very calmly.

How many teams can say they at one stage had 3 players on a hat-trick in one game? Unfortunately though Lavelle wouldn't get the chance for a 3rd as she was brought off along with Heath for the entrance of Press and Lloyd, just what Thailand will have wanted to see at already 7-0 down. I would like to think this was done to rest Heath and Lavelle for the next game. Then they took Ertz off and brought on Pugh which I couldn't get my head around but it looked like they went to a back 3 for the remainder of that match, if anyone though I would have replaced O'Hara just to protect that ankle.

Then came Morgan's 3rd goal a nice little turn in the box after a great first touch with a nice finish it was nice to see Press get involved in this one by coming inside a bit and playing a great ball. At 8-0 you would think it would all be over wouldn't you? Nope the US carried on and Rapinoe got off the mark for the tournament too. Press once again pushing forward and playing a great ball into Rapinoe who hit it home for 9-0. At one point I actually forgot who was in goal for the US as Naeher barely had anything to do all game with no real tests. then came Alex Morgan's 4th goal of the night a nice little bit of play from Rapinoe who passed to Morgan whose first touch was once again brilliant and fired it home for 10-0 with a nice clinical finish. Morgan then turned provider setting Pugh on her way who cheekily took it passed the keeper and calmly slotted it into the back of the net.

Then Morgan turned scorer again with an amazing touch to take the ball around her defender and fire it home 5 goals for Morgan living up to her 2018 form already in this competition she is an absolutely fantastic player and surely is only going to get more and more goals throughout the competition. Carli then finally managed to get herself on the scored board another nice ball through from Morgan and some great movement from Lloyd who finished it off with a shot from the outside of her boot. 13-0 and the USWNT were absolutely ruthless for the full 90 minutes just showing the world what they are made of and they aren't just going to sit back how many other teams score 10 goals in the 2nd half, 39 shots throughout the game and 20 on target these are absolutely fantastic stats. You could see from the celebrations just how much it meant to them as a team when each goal went in. Some on social media are saying this is arrogant of them but honestly if it was your first game in a world cup wouldn't you celebrate like that? This team have worked so hard for 4 years to get to where they are they deserve to be able to celebrate any goal as they like whether its a 13-0 win or a 1-0 win these goals mean the world to the players.

If I had to choose a woman of the match it would be a tie between O'Hara and Morgan. O'Hara played absolutely fantastic for the full 90 and her movement and deliveries were excellent, she kept up with all the pressing attacks and made things happen through the game. I was really pleased with her performance especially to say she has just come back from ankle surgery it looks she never had the op or a rehab period she also defended really well. Morgan would also be a woman of the match due to her scoring 5 goals and her ability to find plenty of space throughout the game, creating chances for others and moving the ball around the pitch well. Her skill throughout this game was also great too and it really helped the team. It will also have helped her confidence too she wasn't having the best 2019 especially at club level so these 5 goals will have hopefully sparked something in her and seem to be getting 2018 Alex back. 


See you soon
Lucy