US pulls clear by 5 points at Solheim Cup

US golfers Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr celebrate on the 12th green during the second day of the Solheim Cup international golf tournament at Des Moines Golf and Country Club Saturday. (USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 20 August 2017
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US pulls clear by 5 points at Solheim Cup

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa: Two years ago, the US staged the biggest singles comeback in Solheim Cup history.
Only the biggest letdown the event has ever seen will keep the Americans from retaining the cup.
The US took a 10 1/2- 5 1/2 lead over Europe on Saturday, matching its biggest advantage entering the final day.
The Americans took three of the four afternoon fourball matches after splitting the morning foursomes at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. The biennial event concludes Sunday with 12 singles matches.
The US also led 10 1/2-5 1/2 in 1998 and won by four points.
“We’re confident. So we just want to keep it going,” American Austin Ernst said.
Cristie Kerr set a record for career points by an American with 20, teaming with Lexi Thompson to win both of her matches. US captain Juli Inkster held the previous mark with 18 1/2.
Kerr and Thompson beat Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Caroline Masson 5 and 3 in the morning, and topped Georgia Hall and Catriona Matthew 4 and 2 in the afternoon.
In the other US afternoon victories, Brittany Lincicome and Brittany Lang beat Carlota Ciganda and Mel Reid 2 up, and Ernst and Paula Creamer edged Karine Icher and Madalene Sagstrom 2 and 1. Shadoff and Anna Nordqvist beat Lizette Salas and Angel Yin 4 and 2 for Europe’s lone point.
Creamer and Ernst also won in the morning, topping Reid and Emily Pedersen 5 and 3. Europe took the other foursomes, with Nordqvist and Hall beating Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller 2 and 1, and Matthew and Karine Icher defeated Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang 2 and 1.
“I’m ecstatic,” Inkster said. “I think anytime we can split in foursomes that’s a win for us.”
Lincicome started her round with six straight birdies — and Lang made eagle on No. 7 by holing out from about 100 yards. The Europeans were within a hole of tying the match for much of the back nine, but Lang put her approach on the 18th hole within inches.
“It just seemed like the hole was the size of Texas. It made it easier,” Lincicome said.
Creamer and Ernst never trailed in winning their second matchup of the day.
Kerr holed out from a sand trap on No. 15 for an eagle that essentially sealed the match — though Matthew missed a long putt that would’ve extended it by less than a foot.
“Lexi had to make some great putts on top of that and I had to make some great putts on top of that,” Kerr said. “We really ham and egged out there. I think that’s why we make such a good team,“
No team has ever rallied from more than four points down to win at either the Solheim Cup or the men’s Ryder Cup.
But Nordqvist, who has yet to lose this week, is hoping to do to the Americans on Sunday what they did to Europe two years ago in Germany.
In those matches at St. Leon-Rot, the US — infuriated by Suzann Pettersen’s claim that Europe had not conceded a short putt to Alison Lee in the completion of the rain-delayed fourballs — overcame a 10-6 deficit entering the singles to win 14 1/2-13 1/2.
“We saw what happened in ‘15,” Nordqvist said. “If there are matches left, I think there’s still a chance.”
The Americans lead the series 9-5.


Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts

Updated 25 June 2018
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Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts

  • The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament
  • The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal

KAZAN: Radamel Falcao, Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado scored as stylish Colombia boosted their World Cup last 16 hopes with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland on Sunday.
In a match destined to see the loser sent home after the group stages, Colombia overcame a nervous start against Adam Nawalka’s men to move up to third place in Group H, one point behind Japan and Senegal.
The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament.
“I’m very sorry and very sad about the result, but tomorrow’s another day and we have to come to terms with things,” said Poland coach Adam Nawalka.
“Our players did their best until the end of the game. We lost to a very strong team and this is something we have to accept.
“I extend my congratulations to Colombia.”
The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal, who drew 2-2 with Japan earlier in the day.
Colombia’s march to the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago came thanks to James Rodriguez’s six-goal tally for Los Cafeteros.
And days after a troublesome calf injury restricted him to a half-hour cameo role as 10-man Colombia stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Japan, the Bayern Munich midfielder was back to his best.
Starting alongside Juan Quintero and Cuadrado on the right, Colombia’s ultra-offensive starting line-up was a forewarning.
After riding a tense start that forced Mina and then Wilmar Barrios to react quickly to thwart early threats from Robert Lewandowski, Colombia eventually got into their stride.
Cuadrado was wasteful on several occasions when finding space deep on the right flank.
The Juventus winger’s trickery would eventually pay dividends, but it was Falcao — who has dreamed all his life of scoring a World Cup goal — who turned on the style, dancing through the Polish defense to win the corner that led to Colombia’s opener.
Rodriguez’s short corner eventually found Quintero, whose smart through ball back to Rodriguez gave him time and space to curl a perfect left-footed cross that Mina rose to header powerfully past Szczesny on 40 minutes.
Colombia resumed in positive fashion, Cuadrado holding up well to set up Falcao for a first-time drive that sailed over Szczesny’s crossbar.
A Colombia counter saw Falcao’s drive from the edge of the area deflected out for a corner.
Nawalka replaced Dawid Kownacki with the more experienced Kamil Grosicki and the switch almost paid dividends.
Only the bravery of goalkeeper David Ospina saved Colombia from conceding what looked like the equalizer when he rushed out to block from Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker did well to get a shot away from a long ball from midfield.
Poland threatened again, but when Lewandowski got his head to a cross into the area he was marked by both Mina and Davinson Sanchez.
Colombia, however, were not to be denied.
When right-back Sanitago Arias found Quintero, the midfielder sliced Poland’s defense apart with a low pass that found Falcao on the run before he beat Szczesny down low with the outside of his right boot.
Five minutes later, Rodriguez produced arguably the assist of the night, drawing several Polish players on the left flank before somehow finding Cuadrado on the run with a superb cross-field pass that the pacey winger tucked away.