Le Sommer, free kick goals help France send statement in win over Colombia

Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images
0 Comments

France sent a message to Olympic groupmates Team USA with a resounding 4-0 win over Colombia on Wednesday in Belo Horizonte.

Camile Abily and Amel Majri each scored free kick goals, Eugenie Le Sommer scored in a dominant performance, and a Colombia own goal rounded out the scoring.

France next faces Team USA in a massive match after the Yanks won 2-0 versus New Zealand earlier Wednesday, while Colombia moves on to face the Football Ferns in a must-win match for both sides.

MORE: Highlights here

France netted just as the game passed the one minute mark, as Le Sommer’s cross was deflected in by Colombia’s Carolina Arias. 1-0, 2′.

They looked set to make it 2-0 from an in-tight free kick, but Colombia goalkeeper Sandra Sepúlveda darted in front of the offering before Wendie Renard could nod it home.

Elise Bussaglia fired a laser just off frame in the 13th minute as France continued to control the proceedings. Le Sommer added a second via diving header in the 14th minute when she followed a rebound off the cross bar.

Colombia found some momentum as the game entered its second 20 minutes, with a corner kick and free kick series that ended when

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - AUGUST 03: Players of France celebrates a scored goal against Colombia during a match between France and Colombia as part of Women's Football - Olympics at Mineirao Stadium on August 3, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)
(Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

Sepulveda then parried well after Le Sommer dribbled through the 18 to take a left-footed shot. It was her sixth shot of the game, all coming within the first half hour.

Abily swooped a 19-yard free kick over the wall and past a diving Sepulveda before halftime to make it 3-0. It was a gorgeous shot.

Majri lofted a left-footed free kick over Sepulveda, off the cross bar, and into the goal with less than 10 minutes to play.

France played a near-suffocating defense to go with its strong attack and, considering the competition today, was probably the most impressive side of the nascent tournament.

Mikaela Shiffrin, three gates from gold, skis out of world championships combined

Mikaela Shiffrin
Getty
0 Comments

Mikaela Shiffrin was three gates from a record-tying seventh world championships gold medal when she lost her balance and straddled a gate, skiing out of the first race of worlds on Monday.

Italian Federica Brignone won the women’s combined instead, prevailing by 1.62 seconds over Swiss Wendy Holdener, the largest Olympic or world championships men’s or women’s margin of victory in the event since it switched from three runs to two in 2007.

Austrian Ricarda Haaser took bronze in an event that is one run of super-G followed by one run of slalom.

At 32, Brignone, the 2020 World Cup overall champion, won her first global title and became the oldest female world champion in any event.

“What was missing in my career was a gold medal,” she said. “So I’m old. No, I’m just kidding.”

ALPINE WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Shiffrin was sixth fastest in the opening super-G run, 96 hundredths behind Brignone. She skied aggressively in the slalom in a bid to beat Brignone. Shiffrin cut the gap to eight hundredths by the last intermediate split with about 10 seconds left on the course in Meribel, France.

Shiffrin looked set to overtake Brignone until tripping up slightly with five gates left. It compounded, and Shiffrin couldn’t save the run, losing control, straddling the third-to-last gate and skiing out. The timing system still registered her finish — 34 hundredths faster than Brignone — but it was quickly corrected to the obvious disqualification.

Asked on French TV if she lost focus, Shiffrin said, “People are going to say that no matter what.”

“The surface changed a little bit on these last gates, so [on pre-race] inspection I saw it’s a bit more unstable on the snow,” she added. “I tried to be aware of that, but I knew that if I had a chance to make up nine tenths on Federica, or more than that, like one second, I had to push like crazy. So I did, and I had a very good run. I’m really happy with my skiing.”

It marked Shiffrin’s first time skiing out since she did so in three races at last February’s Olympics, where her best individual finish was ninth in five races.

“What she did at the Olympics versus what she did in this run, two completely different things,” NBC Sports analyst Steve Porino said on the Peacock broadcast, adding that it was “an error of aggression.” “It certainly wasn’t nerves that sent her out. This was Shiffrin knowing that she had to have a huge run to get the gold medal.

“The way she went out this time, I think she can brush that one off.”

Shiffrin was bidding to tie the modern-era records for individual world championships gold medals (seven) and total medals (12). Coming into Monday, she earned a medal in her last 10 world championships races dating to 2015.

Her next chance to match those records comes in Wednesday’s super-G, where she is a medal contender. Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel is the world’s top-ranked super-G skier through five races on the World Cup this season, though she was 71 hundredths behind Brignone in Monday’s super-G run.

Shiffrin has raced two super-Gs this season with a win and a seventh place.

She is expected to race three more times over the two-week worlds, which is separate from the World Cup circuit that she has torn up this season.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts across all disciplines since November, moving her one shy of the career victories record of 86 accumulated by Swede Ingemar Stenmark in the 1970s and ’80s. Again, world championships races do not count toward the World Cup, which picks back up after worlds end in late February.

Worlds continue Tuesday with the men’s combined.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships results

Mikaela Shiffrin World Championships
Getty
1 Comment

Top 10 and notable results from the 2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships in Meribel and Courchevel, France …

Women’s Combined
Gold: Federica Brignone (ITA) — 1:57.47
Silver: Wendy Holdener (SUI) — +1.62
Bronze: Ricarda Haaser (AUT) — +2.26
4. Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT) — +2.48
5. Franziska Gritsch (AUT) — +2.71
6. Michelle Gisin (SUI) — +3.43
7. Laura Gauche (FRA) — +3.71
8. Emma Aicher (GER) — +3.78
9. Elena Curtoni (ITA) — +4.05
10. Marie-Michele Gagnon (CAN) — +4.91
13. Bella Wright (USA) — +6.21
DQ (slalom). Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
DNS (slalom). Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI)
DNS (slalom). Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR)
DNS (slalom). Sofia Goggia (ITA)
DNF (super-G). Marta Bassino (ITA)
DNF (super-G). Breezy Johnson (USA)
DNF (super-G). Tricia Mangan (USA)

Men’s Combined (Feb. 7)
Women’s Super-G (Feb. 8)
Men’s Super-G (Feb. 9)
Women’s Downhill (Feb. 11)
Men’s Downhill (Feb. 12)
Team Parallel (Feb. 14)
Men’s Parallel (Feb. 15)
Women’s Parallel (Feb. 15)
Women’s Giant Slalom (Feb. 16)
Men’s Giant Slalom (Feb. 17)
Women’s Slalom (Feb. 18)
Men’s Slalom (Feb. 19)

ALPINE WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!