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04.12.2018 08:29
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NICOSIA, Cyprus -- It wasnt the result he wanted but John Herdman was pretty happy about how Canada finished the Cyprus Cup womens soccer tournament. Diamondbacks David Peralta Jersey . Diana Matheson and Sophie Schmidt scored second-half goals as Canada rallied for a 2-1 win over Ireland to secure fifth place. It marked the first time in six years the Canadians hadnt reached the tournament final, but Herdman was encouraged by how his team dealt with that adversity. "The team showed a real resilience and that second-half performance was just phenomenal," he said. "This is a very unique group of women, when the chips are down they really can pull it out of the bag. "You think theyre out and then they come back and keep fighting but I thought the second half wasnt just about fight. They played just some wonderful football. The Irish were on the rocks for 45 minutes and we knew it was just a matter of time." Ireland opened the scoring early in the first half before Matheson tied it at the 56-minute mark. Schmidt highlighted a wild finish, scoring at the 90-minute mark. Canada, ranked seventh in the world, has traditionally fared well in this event. The national team won the tournament three times and was a finalist the last two years. But that streak ended with a 2-0 loss to England on Monday. And considering all the Canadians needed to advance was a draw, Herdman admitted the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow. "Absolutely," he said. "In previous tournaments we dodged the bullet of having England or France in our qualifying group and when we ended up (with England) in our group, we knew that was the game that was going to make the difference. "Getting the girls up for this one was tough because we were pretty devastated. But we tried to focus on this being a World Cup and just losing the final game in our group but still having qualified with another game to play and what strategies wed have to put in place to get things pulled around and in focus. It was a pretty good two days for our team." Despite the fifth-place finish, Herdman said the Canadian team learned many valuable lessons at the tournament. "We struggled, and Ill tell you why we did against the English and Irish defensive tactics," Herdman said. "The English held a really deep defensive block and hit us on the counter-attack, they just preyed on our sloppy play and within seconds were firing shots or crosses and I think that was the real learning this year. "Against a zone or 4-4-2 we did well, we did well against Italys 3-5-2 but against that deep 4-5-1 block, which is also what the Irish did, we struggled. But what was exciting about that last game was we were able to get hold of a tactic and the players really made a big push." The 2014 and 15 seasons are big ones for Canadian womens soccer. In August, the world under-20 tournament will be held in four cities -- Edmonton, Moncton, Montreal and Toronto. Then in 2015, Canada will host the womens World Cup with games in Edmonton, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg. And following Canadas stirring bronze medal victory at the 2012 London Summer Games, there will be plenty of expectations on the national teams shoulders in 2015. That fact certainly isnt lost on Herdman, who said the squad has a definite plan in place. "Its always been said Canadians are great in the power phase, theyre good at defending and theyre good at the counter-attack," he said. "But the ability to control and develop possession through the thirds of the pitch, thats the strand thats been missing. "Weve put a massive amount of focus in that and at times it has been to our detriment. We couldve went into the England game and said, Look, well drop a deep block, well launch it from the keeper every time we get it because the only focus is about winning the tournament, but we didnt. We played our way." Herdman said playing their way meant a definite eye to the future and not just another solid Cyprus Cup showing. "If we were going to win the tournament, we were going to win it a certain way that would also help us be more successful against teams in the womens World Cup playing a brand these girls wanted to be recognized for," Herdman said. "Even after we went up 2-1 against the Irish, the girls were still doing things trying to play a certain style of football where normally youd try to kill a game off. "At this stage of our development I think thats OK but when it comes down to the World Cup, well be in a stage where we know how to play those games like we did at the Olympics." So for Herdman, his measurement for success at the Cyprus Cup goes way beyond wins and losses. "I think we definitely got better, our statistics were way better than theyve ever been," he said. "There are things we wanted to work on post-Olympics to get the team ready for 2015 and those have improved. "Its just now chemistry and understanding when we play our way how that fits against the models of other teams. Weve got a year-and-a-half to figure all that out and get the plans ready." Diamondbacks Archie Bradley Jersey .J. -- After getting permission from his 7-year-old daughter, New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl has retired after an 11-year career that included two Super Bowl championships. Diamondbacks Matt Koch Jersey .ca. Hi Kerry, Love reading your column and loved watching your analysis on the TSN broadcasts!And were now in Round 2! Bruins! Canadiens! We know all about the great games of the past from the players, the broadcasters and the writers. . The victory strengthened Liverpools position in the top four after Tottenham lost 1-0 at Norwich in the days late kickoff, cutting the north London club six points adrift of fourth place and the final Champions League slot for next season.WASHINGTON - For his past six starts, Stephen Strasburg has pitched about as well as anyone could ask.Its his next outing that everyone will be waiting to see.Strasburg took over the league lead in strikeouts and gave up only two hits through six scoreless innings in his final tuneup ahead of his first post-season, helping the NL East champion Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 5-1 on Saturday.His strength is good. Hes throwing the ball where he wants to, making pitches where he needs to. Typical Stephen of what weve seen all year long, Nationals manager Matt Williams said. I think hes pitching really well. I think hes ready for next week.With shadows stretching across the field after the 4:07 p.m. first pitch, Strasburg (14-11) spotted his fastball at 97 mph and mixed in breaking balls that confounded a Marlins lineup missing the injured Giancarlo Stanton. Strasburg finished with seven strikeouts a€” giving him 242, three more than Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers a€” and one walk.Thats what he used to look like when he was in college, being able to pump it up like that for seven, eight innings, said Bryce Harper, who dashed home and scored on a head-first slide when Strasburg was credited with an RBI on a sacrifice bunt. Stras has been unbelievable for the past month, and pretty much all year long, hes been great. So its a lot of fun to watch.Dating to Aug. 30, Strasburg is 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA, 40 strikeouts and three walks.My arm felt good, Strasburg said. Just went out there and tried to execute pitches. My changeup was working really well and I threw my curveball for strikes when I needed to.Next up will be the playoff debut for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft. Two years ago, when they also had the NLs best record, the Nationals shut down Strasburg in September to limit his innings as he came back from reconstructive elbow surgery.On Saturday, Strasburg gave up a double to Jeff Mathis, and a single to Casey McGehee on a lineer that went off right fielder Jayson Werths glove. Diamondbacks Yoshihisa Hirano Jersey. That one originally was ruled an error, then changed to a hit.Miamis Nathan Eovaldi (6-14) gave up two runs in seven innings in a game played a day after the Nationals, who are now 95-66, assured themselves of home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs a€” and a week after the Marlins were officially eliminated from wild-card contention.It was a tough day for us offensively, Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. We didnt get anything going, really.Williams trotted out what might be the lineup for Game 1 of Washingtons NL division series Friday. But he also removed starters starting in the sixth, when Ryan Zimmerman went in to play first base for Adam LaRoche. Zimmerman recently returned after missing 55 games because of an injured right hamstring; he made a fielding error, failing to glove a grounder in the ninth, and singled, making him 5 for 15 since coming off the disabled list.We have to be mindful of his health, first and foremost, Williams said. So if he says, Im a little bit sore, were not going to push him.What Williams hasnt stated yet is what role Zimmerman, who turns 30 on Sunday, will have in the post-season. The way hes been used a€” usually in left field or as a pinch hitter; never at his original position, third base; never starting consecutive games a€” appears to indicate the 2009 NL All-Star could be destined for reserve duty.Asked whether Zimmerman would be on the teams division series roster a€” a question that speaks volumes about where things stand at the moment for a guy with a $100 million contract a€” Williams responded: Unless something happens, yeah. His timing is good at the plate. Hes capable of playing wherever we would ask him to play.UP NEXTNationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann (13-5, 2.78 ERA) starts Sunday, his first outing since taking a line drive off the side of his pitching shoulder last weekend. 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