Brazil thrash Argentina to reach Women’s Gold Cup semis


Los Angeles, March 3 (AFP/APP):Bia Zaneratto scored twice as Brazil thrashed Argentina 5-1 on Saturday to move into the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup while Olympic champions Canada scraped past Costa Rica with a 1-0 win after extra-time.

                  The Brazilians had simply too much firepower for Argentina as they set-up a semi-final clash with the winner of Sunday’s game between Mexico and Paraguay.

                  Argentina had the first opening when Brazil keeper Luciana was caught off her line but Dalila Ippoli’s attempted chip from distance fell harmlessly wide.

                  The Brazilians got ahead in the 19th minute when Yaya rose to angle in a superb header from a Zaneratto cross from the left.

                  Yasmim Ribiero then doubled the lead in the 36th minute when a clearance fell to her on the edge of the box and her low drive took a slight deflection as it whistled into the corner.

                  There was no change to the flow of the game after the break — the Argentine defence was at sea and Brazil took full advantage with Zaneratto poking home from the center of the box.

                  A header from Gabi Nunes on a Gabi Portilho cross from the right made it 4-0 and put the outcome beyond any doubt.

                  Argentina pulled a goal back in the 82nd when a ball over the top found Celeste Dos Santos who chipped the advancing Luciana.

                  But there was still time for Brazil to add one more when the outstanding Zaneratto fired home a left foot diagonal shot to complete the rout.

                  Canada will face the winner of Sunday’s quarter-final match between the United States and Colombia after fighting their way past stubborn Costa Rica.

                  Costa Rica finished third in their group and won a draw of lots to make it into the last eight, but they proved to be a tough opponent for Bev Priestman’s team.

                  The deciding goal came from substitute Evelyne Vienes, who glanced home a header from a Jesse Fleming free kick.

                  Canada, which created numerous chances but lacked the clinical touch in front of goal, had goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan to thank for an excellent save deep into stoppage time in regulation.

                  Sheridan’s outstretched right foot denied Alexa Herrera’s firmly struck effort from close range.