The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Paddy von Behr

JILL El­lis has agreed a new longterm con­tract to coach the US na­tional team af­ter guid­ing them to World Cup glory this sum­mer.

El­lis’s team lifted the tro­phy last month for the third time, as a Carli Lloyd hat-trick fired them to a 5-2 vic­tory over 2011 cham­pi­ons Ja­pan in the fi­nal.

Now the Portsmouth-born coach will have the op­por­tu­nity to lead them to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with qual­i­fy­ing tak­ing place later this year.

And El­lis, whose con­tract also cov­ers the 2019 World Cup in France and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is ex­cited about the chal­lenge.

“To watch our play­ers achieve their dreams and con­tinue to in­spire fans across the coun­try and the world was one of the most sat­is­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ences of my coach­ing ca­reer,” she said.

“We had a re­ally ex­cit­ing year, and we are look­ing for­ward to more ex­cit­ing times ahead.” Reign­ing African cham­pi­ons

Nige­ria have failed to qual­ify for Rio 2016 af­ter suf­fer­ing a 3-2 ag­gre­gate de­feat to Equa­to­rial

Guinea, led by Bristol Academy for­ward Jade Boho Sayo.

Nige­ria were with­out a hand­ful of key play­ers, in­clud­ing Liver­pool’s BBC Foot­baller of the Year Asisat Oshoala, and the Nige­rian Football Fed­er­a­tion is not ready to hit the panic but­ton.

“It’s an un­for­tu­nate dis­ap­point­ment,” said NFF spokesman Ade­mola Ola­jire. “There’s no quick fix and we need a much broader re­view.”

Equa­to­rial Guinea will now face a play-off with South

Africa – while Cameroon take

on Ivory Coast for the other African spot at the Games – and they will not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

South Africa coach Vera Pauw said: “Equa­to­rial Guinea will not be weaker than Nige­ria. The fact they beat Nige­ria means it will be a tough en­counter.”

Closer to home, the line-up for the Ir­ish FA Cup fi­nal has been de­cided af­ter

Cl­liftonville beat Sion Swifts 2-1 af­ter ex­tra-time and Cru

saders Strik­ers thrashed Col­eraine 9-0 in the semi­fi­nals, Danielle McDow­ell scor­ing four times.

Scot­tish Women’s Premier League lead­ers Glas­gow City main­tained their un­beaten start to the sea­son with a 2-0 win at

Spar­tans last week­end.They are level on points with Hibern

ian, with both hav­ing won 12 of their 13 league fix­tures.

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