Just before the interval of the Potters’ 1-0 Barclays Premier League home win over Hull on Saturday, Ireland was on the receiving end of a rash-looking challenge from Tigers defender Maynor Figueroa and he was subsequently substituted at half-time. After the game, Hughes revealed Ireland had sustained a calf injury that required ”something like 12 or 15 stitches” – and a photograph published on Sunday by The Telegraph shows the huge gash that was in the 28-year-old Irishman’s leg before the stitches went in. Tigers boss Steve Bruce – whose side are four points above the relegation zone in 15th while Stoke are 10th – claimed Crouch’s effort should have been ruled out for offside, and said the Aluko opportunity was the best of the match. Bruce, quoted by the Hull Daily Mail, said: “We didn’t do enough with the ball but we had the best chance of the game. “When Sone’s wriggled free, that’s a great opportunity and when you look at the opportunities in the game, we’ve probably created the best one. “He’s tried to hit it with the outside of his left foot. For me, you have to take it with your right foot and at least hit the target. It’s wonderful skill to get there but when you create big chances like that, you’ve got to take them.” A gruesome image has emerged showing Stoke midfielder Stephen Ireland’s injured leg shortly after the tackle his manager Mark Hughes said could have ended the player’s career. The tackle that had caused the damage went unpunished, with referee Neil Swarbrick allowing play to continue at the time. And the official and his assistant were strongly condemned by Hughes, who said Figueroa should have been shown a straight red card. The manager also rated the challenge worse than the one made a week earlier by Burnley forward Ashley Barnes on Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic at Stamford Bridge which drew so much attention. Hughes told the BBC: “The tackle on Stevie Ireland could have finished his career. “Why the referee hasn’t given a straight red for that, I have no idea. The referees have got to get their act together, really. “He has had it all stitched up and hopefully it doesn’t get infected, but that is the risk over the next couple of days.” A 71st-minute header from Stoke striker Peter Crouch, notched a minute after he came off the bench, settled Saturday’s encounter at the Britannia Stadium – a game which was particularly low on entertainment. Neither side produced much going forward, with Hull’s only real chance coming in the 20th minute when Sone Aluko outfoxed Philipp Wollscheid to get into the Stoke box before sending the ball wide of the far post with his left foot from a tight angle. Press Association
The Badgers pose for a photo with smiles and trophies aplenty. Wisconsin also won the WCHA title and senior Meghan Duggan took home the Patty Kazmaier award.[/media-credit]A raucous crowd of Badger faithful fans welcomed home their 2011 national champion Wisconsin women’s hockey team Monday evening at the Nicholas Johnson Pavilion in the Kohl Center with a loud, trophy-filled celebration.The Wisconsin marching band brought the ceremony to order as the master of ceremonies, Brian Posick, called each member of the team onto the stage one-by-one until they all stood before the crowd, donning their national championship hats.Before Mark Johnson and several other Badgers were called to the podium to speak to their adoring fans, a few guest speakers addressed the audience.First, Chancellor Biddy Martin gave her praise to the team.“I’m just here to congratulate the best hockey players in the world,” Martin said. “What an extraordinary achievement: four national championships in six years. … Winning as a team, winning for the university and winning in the right ways. I congratulate each and every one of you, you’ve given us a marvelous sense of enjoyment for the entire season.”After Martin finished, Athletic Director Barry Alvarez was summoned to the podium. He spoke of several Wisconsin athletic programs that had performed well this past weekend, including the men’s basketball team, which earned a bid to the Sweet 16, and Maggie Meyer, who won a national championship in swimming.Finally, Mark Johnson was called to speak about his team and their great season, culminating in the national championship.“Just look at our last four games,” Johnson said. “Our overtime game against Minnesota in their back yard, our quarterfinal game against Duluth, our semifinal game against Boston College and our final game yesterday against [Boston], probably the four best teams in the country and [we] beat them all.”The Badgers racked up a program-record 37 wins this season and went 27 straight games without a loss to finish the season.The team might not have realized its success without the next speaker, senior captain and Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, forward Meghan Duggan.Duggan delivered an emotional speech when she was handed the microphone.“I don’t think I could paint a picture any better than the weekend we just had,” Duggan said. “You look at these trophies up here and we worked hard day-in and day-out for every single one of those. We battled hard through adversity, through overtime, shootouts. I’m just so proud of the girls, we had an outstanding season and that’s how you sum it up. I’m really excited to bring these trophies back to Mad Town and share them with all of you guys.”In the championship game against Boston Sunday, junior winger Carolyne Prevost scored two goals, including the empty-netter that sealed the deal for the Badgers.Prevost was next on the bill to speak to the beckoning crowd and spoke of the type of relationship she and the rest of her teammates had throughout the season.“I’m from Canada and I don’t get to see my family very often,” Prevost said. “I have four sisters, but this has been my family here and it has been awesome.”The final speaker of the evening was senior Carla Pentimone. Pentimone did not see much ice time during the season, but many of her teammates called her the glue of the group.At the podium, she spoke of her dream of playing for the Badgers and of being part of a national championship team. Pentimone had a difficult time holding back the tears while she reflected on the season and her teammates.“This group this year had all the ingredients to produce a national championship team,” Pentimone said. “The chemistry, love and enthusiasm that we all shared was something truly magical.”Each speaker made sure to thank the fans, who came out to celebrate in waves, for their support throughout the season.“I think I speak on behalf of the entire team when I say thank you,” Duggan said. “I think that the Wisconsin women’s hockey team has the best women’s hockey fans in the country, so thank you very much.”
The wait is over. The U.S. women’s national team will take the field Tuesday to compete in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with its first match against Thailand in Group F. Thailand, ranked 34th in the world by FIFA, is relatively new to the World Cup stage as it first made the tournament in 2015 after finishing fifth at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. In 2015, Thailand was the only nation to win a game without progressing to the knockout round, mainly because it gave up too many goals in losses to Germany and Norway. Back again in 2019, Thailand hopes to prove it’s here to stay. Led by Nuengruethai Sathongwien, 47, the Thai national team has seen some changes in leadership over the past few years. Sathongwien became the first woman head coach in 2014, but resigned in 2016. Former Manchester City defender Spencer Prior then took over. He stepped down in 2017, allowing Sathongwien to return. Related News In contrast, the Americans are one of the most experienced teams entering the tournament as they look to defend their title. The U.S. enters with more World Cup games played (43), wins (33), goals (112) and titles (three) than any other country. The U.S. is also the only nation to reach the final four in each World Cup. The USWNT has won its last six games by a combined score of 23-3, keeping five clean sheets in the process.The match kicks off Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France. When was the last time the U.S. played Thailand?The United States and Thailand have met just once before. They played in a friendly in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 15, 2016, resulting in a 9-0 win for the USWNT. Women’s World Cup 2019: Updated group stage results and standings Thailand player to watchOrathai Srimanee: The midfielder has been a member of Thailand’s national team since 2009 and has played an integral role in her team’s success on the international stage. She scored the nation’s first two goals in the 2015 World Cup, ultimately setting the team up for a 3-2 win over Ivory Coast. Srimanee has become a regular starter playing in a similar role as she did four years ago. “The value of playing at the Women’s World Cup can inspire many young girls to play football”🇹🇭@FAThailand’s Orathai Srimanee discusses 2015 #FIFAWWC legacy, and her #WAC2018 hopesREAD 👀👉 https://t.co/37FI7k1GFS pic.twitter.com/byQlRPD6DC— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) April 4, 2018Three Opta facts to knowThough Carli Lloyd has started just one of the USWNT’s 10 games in 2019, she has had a hand in eight of the team’s 29 goals, which is tied for the most of any American player.Thailand has lost 11 of their last 12 games, giving up multiple goals in all 11 defeats.Tobin Heath has scored in five of the USA’s last seven games. Lloyd (3) and Sam Mewis (3) are the only other Americans to score in more than two of those games.4 – Kanjana Sungngoen scored four goals at the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup for Thailand – the only player to score more at the tournament was China PR’s Li Ying (seven). Fantastic. #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/hzd178msd0— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 5, 2019PredictionUSA 6, Thailand 0Based on experience alone, Thailand won’t be a challenge for the United States. The Americans are ranked No. 1 in the world and it’s likely they will keep a clean sheet through the group stage opener.