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city, country: Melbourne
My near-lifetime of attending football matches kicked off as a five-year-old snotty-nosed kid going to Craven Cottage with my family to watch Fulham play a West Ham team with that famous trio of World Cup winners - Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst. And there was travelling up to rural Rotherham in 1981 to watch Chelsea get spanked 6-0 - at a time when this upcoming seasons BPL title favourites were marooned in the bottom half of the second division. We should have heeded the ominous warning before setting out from London, as it was Halloween morning. Ive also had the utmost privilege of attending European and FA Cup Finals. That all said, last Tuesdays U-20 game at Olympic Stadium vaults right into contention as one of my most unforgettable moments inside a football stadium. I attended Tuesdays pivotal group stage game with our U-12 playing daughter. With Canadas team comprised of players the same ages as her two elder sisters, it really bought home to us the profound significance that our hometown was hosting the FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup Finals. By the sheer noise and electric atmosphere, you wouldnt have known there were only 13,000 in the very same stadium that jammed in over 60,000 when David Beckhams LA Galaxy played the Impact in 2012. This was no more apparent than in the 65th minute, when Jeanine Beckie scored the lone goal of the game to send Canada into the quarter-finals and the crowd delirious at the final whistle. That atmosphere wasnt lost on Nichelle Prince. "They were crazy, it was insane - especially with this huge stadium," she told the media post-game. "It was an honour to be able to play in it. The crowd was amazing." As some filed out of the stadium at the final whistle, we stayed behind to fully soak up the on-field celebration and lap of honour. The standout image was when the squad sprinted over to the section that their families sat in. I have no problems admitting this bought a tear to the eye. I could only imagine the immense pride which most have been felt by players and families alike. Think of all those countless hours over many years spent toiling on a training field and football pitch. And what must have coursed through their minds as the reward of a quarter-final at the World Cup now beckoned. It was hard to imagine this was the very same team that, at halftime last Friday in Toronto, looked to be doing their best impression of our U-20s in 2007. That team ended up losing all their group stage matches and werent even able to register a goal in those three matches. Whatever was said at halftime - that inspired Canada to turning round the 0-2 score line against Finland with three unanswered second half goals - is truly the stuff of legend. Coincidentally, last Fridays victory was a day removed from the second anniversary of that glorious London 2012 bronze medal match. Toronto captured and Montreal enraptured. Now the scene shifts to Edmonton for Saturday nightsencounter with Germany - a team which certainly captured the eye in Tuesdays earlier game at Olympic Stadium. The Germans were effortless as they stroked in goal after goal past a hapless and unrecognizable Brazil. Where, I wonder, have we heard that before? Edmonton is sure to evoke and rekindle those extraordinary scenes and memories from the FIFA U-19 Womens World Championship in 2002. That was when, on the back of 10 goals and an MVP performance from Christine Sinclair, the host nation made it all the way to the final. Four Canadians made it onto the All-Star Team. Matched against our best football friends to the south in that final, it seemed we were heading for penalties until eventually becoming unstuck in the second half of extra time - courtesy of a Lindsay Tarpley winner. In doing so, the 2002 U-19 final sowed the seeds for the biggest global rivalry in the womens game. This was on clear display at that now infamous London 2012 semifinal at Old Trafford. Five of those Sinclair goals in 2002 came against England in the quarterfinal at Commonwealth Stadium. A crowd of just over 23,000 was in attendance then. A spike in the box office occurred after Tuesdays North Korea victory, with sales for the Germany quarter final already surpassing the 16,000 mark. So were already guaranteed this will be the largest crowd of Canada 2014 so far. Runners up in 2012 and champions in 2010, Germany - along with the French - are the two standout teams of the tournament. Stopping their trio of goal scorers in Diebritz, Bremer and Pamfil - who have already found the back of the net 11 times in only three matches - is a large part of the task that awaits our ladies. Park the bus, Andrew Oliviera will not. We have a trio of stardust ourselves in Kadeisha Buchanan, Nichelle Prince and Janine Beckie. These players especially have been instrumental in that extraordinary turnaround in our fortunes, since halftime against Finland last Friday. Make no mistake - if we advance, it will be against the odds. Our so-termed 12th Player at Commonwealth Stadium has a significant role to play. If Tuesdays final group stage game provided me with abiding memories, imagine what it could be like at Olympic Stadium in Montreal next Wednesday night. A possible Canada-France semifinal matchup exists. Imagine that for a moment. Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter Anthony Rizzo Jersey . Smith has spent the last three seasons with the Rockies, playing both left and right field, and has a .275 batting average with 51 homers and 181 RBIs in 487 major league games. Jake Arrieta Jersey . -- The Atlanta Braves added to their extensive wave of long-term deals with their young stars on Sunday by agreeing to a $42 million, four-year contract with All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel. http://www.cubsteamproshop.com/cubs-wade-davis-jersey/. Ashley Wagner will skate in the womens short program for a U.S. team thats in seventh place. Davis and White won the silver medal at the Vancouver Games and are two-time world champions. Kerry Wood Jersey .com) - Kam Chancellor bobbed his head in celebration as he crossed the goal line on his game-clinching 90-yard interception return. Ben Zobrist Jersey . A night later, he was back to help lead a rout of the Detroit Pistons. John Wall had 20 points and 11 assists, and Beal scored 10 of his 15 points during the second quarter as Washington pulled away for a 106-82 victory on Saturday.INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Roger Federer beat Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday, continuing his strong play at the tournament where he has yet to drop a set in four matches. Anderson failed to break Federers serve in the match, which lasted just over an hour. The South African had 21 unforced errors, while Federer hit 17 winners and won 79 per cent of his first serve points. A four-time Indian Wells champion, Federer will play Ukraines Alexandr Dolgopolov in the semifinals. Dolgopolov beat Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-4. On the womens side, top-seeded Li Na beat Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in a rematch of their Australian Open final. She next plays Flavia Pennetta, who defeated Sloane Stephens 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in Thursdays other quarterfinal. Federer earned the only break in the first set in the last game when Anderson netted a backhand volley. The Swiss star then broke Anderson twice to take a 4-0 lead in the second set. Anderson did his best to trade groundstrokes with Federer while looking for an opening to rush the net, but the South Africans repeated errors spoiled his game plan. "It was big to win the (first) set and then to go on to break early in the second," Federer said. "Then double break was like a bonus. From then on I was home, basically. It was a really good match for me." Dolgopolovs win assured the Ukrainian of rising to a projected No. 23 in next weeks ATP Tour rankings. He has already made the biggest jump in the top 50 this year, moving up 26 spots to No. 31 before the tournament began. "Obviously if youre ranked 20, 30, 40 youre a good enough player. To get in the top 10 you just need all those small things to be together and to be solid," he said. "Its really small differences from the players that are top 10 and top 50." Dolgopolov improved to 6-2 against top-20 opponents this year, including hiss third-round win here over top-ranked Rafael Nadal.dddddddddddd Li, who beat Cibulkova to win her second Grand Slam title in January, dropped her first set in four matches while improving to 15-1 this year. The Chinese star is seeded No. 1 for the first time at a larger WTA event. "Not like before if I come here, maybe like No. 6 or No. 7 seed," she said. "But I think I am handling very well, so just continue." Li rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the second set to close to 5-4 before Cibulkova called for her coach. After they huddled, the Slovak player held to even the match at a set apiece. They traded breaks to open the third. Cibulkova survived a service game that went to deuce seven times and staved off four break points to level the score at 2-all. Li swept the final three games, however, to seal the victory. "Im disappointed I didnt win because I had my chances," Cibulkova said. "My serve was just not there. Maybe I tried to go for too much. Her serve was much better than mine." Pennetta emerged victorious after a wildly uneven match affected by swirling winds in the third set from a dust storm outside the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. "The third was a disaster for both of us," Pennetta said. Stephens was the lone American woman left in the tournament, enjoying her best showing of the year so far. She appeared poised to move on after winning six straight games over the end of the second set and start of the third to take a 3-0 lead in the decider. But the Italian, who at 32 is 12 years older than Stephens, won six of the final seven games, breaking the American at love in one of those games. "I was trying to play in the middle of the court, but there was no one ball was in the middle, was always right or left," Pennetta said. No. 2 seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep meet in the other womens semifinal Friday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Discount NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap Jerseys 2018 Discount NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '


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