World Cup Soccer: On a day of wonderful goals and woeful goalkeeping, Mexico had reason to celebrate at the Women’s World Cup.
A 30-yard blast from Monica Ocampo gave Mexico a 1-1 draw against England on Monday in Wolfsburg, Germany, the biggest surprise so far after two days of the three-week tournament. A superb curling free kick from star player Aya Miyama earlier sent Japan past New Zealand 2-1 in Bochum.
The United States opens play in the 16-team tournament today, facing North Korea in Dresden in Group C.
The deft scoring touch of Ocampo and Miyama was offset by the play of the goalkeepers for Japan and England that was hardly the stuff of brilliance.
Ocampo’s dipping drive from far out in the 33rd minute was a beauty of a shot. Still, goalie Karen Bardsley had plenty of time to react. She trotted slowly to her right corner and put out her hands. It was too late.
England coach Hope Powell said the ball might have swerved, but she was forced to draw an inevitable conclusion: “She should have saved it.”
The goal recalled the blunder at the men’s World Cup last summer when English goalkeeper Robert Green cost England a victory in its opener against the United States. That made for a difficult ride in the group stage. Powell hopes the same won’t happen with the women.
Ocampo’s goal was Mexico’s first at a World Cup in a dozen years.
After the first round, Japan leads Group B with three points. England and Mexico have one and New Zealand none.
Japan, ranked fourth in the world, did not play like the favorite. The taller New Zealand players put on a physical performance, often smothering the superior skills of Japan.
Yuki Nagasato took a deep pass from Shinobu Ohno as New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon rushed out, then lobbed the ball over her head into the empty net.
It remained a tight game until Miyama curled a 17-yard free kick over the wall and past Bindon, who looked unsteady all game.
NFL players meet with their attorneys
NFL: As the two sides in the NFL labor dispute work toward ending the lockout, a small group of players met with their attorneys in Minneapolis.
A person familiar with the situation told the AP that the players’ side met on its own, without owners. The person spoke on condition of anony- mity because no labor develop- ments are being made public.
Players were told in conference calls that there will be more negotiations this week involving commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, several owners and players at an undisclosed location.
Previous meetings between the sides took place in suburban Chicago, New York, the Maryland shore and Hull, Mass., 18 miles south of Boston.
The players have an antitrust suit against the league that was filed in Minneapolis, and the city also is where the sides met for court-ordered mediation in May.
The lockout began on March 12.
• Crowder hints he sold game jerseys: Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder says college players should be able to sell their game jerseys – something he “hypothetically” did when he played for the Florida Gators.
Crowder discussed the subject Sunday during the debut of his new two-hour weekly talk show on WQAM radio in Miami. He said hypothetically he didn’t have any of his Florida jerseys, because some Jacksonville businessmen really liked his play.
Crowder expressed support for quarterback Terrelle Pryor in connection with the scandal at Ohio State. Pryor left the program and coach Jim Tressel resigned amid an NCAA investigation into players’ trading of signed equipment, championship rings and other memorabilia to a tattoo-parlor owner for cash and discounted tattoos.
Nadal to skip Spain’s Davis Cup match
Miscellany: Rafael Nadal will skip Spain’s Davis Cup quarterfinal against the United States in July, blaming his decision on the ITF for poor scheduling.
The six-time French Open champion harshly criticized the ITF after beating Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round at Wimbledon, saying the body is too inflexible and should try to find ways to make it easier for top players to compete in the Davis Cup.
Nadal sustained a foot injury in his match against Del Potro, but had already decided not to play against the U.S., saying he needed a rest of at least 15-20 days after Wimbledon to prepare for the second half of the season and the U.S. Open, one of his priorities.
• Boxer Mayweather sued for alleged assault: A Nevada man claims boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. directed his bodyguards to attack him at a Las Vegas casino last year after the man tried to take a photograph of the undefeated champion and asked about a fight with another star boxer, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in state court in Las Vegas.
The lawsuit alleges Mayweather’s bodyguards attacked Anthony Cliff near a valet parking stand at the Palms Casino Resort on March 27, 2010, after Mayweather accused Cliff of “disrespecting” him.