World Soccer




Meikayla Moore’s 50th cap for New Zealand should have been a proud day, but it turned into an anxiety dream come to life for the defender. In the fifth minute, she sliced a cross into the back of her own net with her right foot, then 80 seconds later she mistimed a header that also beat her keeper. Half an hour later her misery was complete, this time sending a leftfooted miscued clearance into the Ferns’ net to make it a hat-trick of own goals. In the 40th minute, the Liverpool defender was put out of her misery and subbed off.


Jurgen Klopp’s brand of high-tempo football has at times been described as “heavy metal football”, while in Germany he’s known as one of the architects of gegenpress­ing. Presumably that’s what BBC pundit and former Reds star Stephen Warnock had in mind when he described the Liverpool manager’s approach as “Gangnam Style” football on Match of the Day 2, managing to confuse the 2012 hit by South Korean pop star Psy for the German word for counter-press.


Norwegian club Tromso IL proudly claim to be the world’s northernmo­st profession­al football team, so frequently their players must be prepared to put up with freezing cold conditions. Based inside the Arctic Circle, the club recently launched their new kits for the 2022 Eliteserie­n season with a kickaround on their home pitch – which is currently buried under several feet of snow. The players waded through knee-deep slush to put on a five-a-side clash, which – unsurprisi­ngly – soon descended into a snowball fight.


The commentato­rs for Arbroath’s recent Scottish Championsh­ip fixture must have been tearing their hair out when they saw the home team line up with three Hamiltons in their starting XI – Colin, Chris and Jack. Their opponents that day at Gayfield Park? Hamilton Academical, who, incidental­ly, had Jamie Hamilton starting for them at right-back.


To celebrate the return of TV series Peaky Blinders on the BBC at the end of February, Championsh­ip club Birmingham City announced a return “to its roots for the upcoming game with Huddersfie­ld Town”, by changing their name to Small Heath Alliance – their moniker at the start of the last century – for one weekend only. However, after falling to a 2-0 home defeat at St Andrew’s, the away side took the opportunit­y to have a brutal dig at the Blues on social media, tweeting after the game: “Three points coming home, by order of Huddersfie­ld Town. Comfortabl­e win on the road against The Leaky Blinders makes it17 games unbeaten in all competitio­ns for the Terriers!”


After four years without an A-League goal, Western United full-back Ben Garuccio finally ended his drought by scoring a brace. Not only that, the second, a stunning scorpion kick, was a contender for the Puskas award. The clip is made all the more remarkable for the commentary that accompanie­s it: “That’s not a goal, that’s a freak show!” he says, before adding: “This is Rene Higuita on steroids! I’ve seen it four times and I still don’t believe it!”

 ?? ?? Drought over… Ben Garuccio celebrates
Drought over… Ben Garuccio celebrates
 ?? ?? Distraught… Meikayla Moore
Distraught… Meikayla Moore

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