Soccer

Women's World Cup: Uninspiring USA win vs. Spain sets up France clash

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AP

Women's World Cup: Uninspiring USA win vs. Spain sets up France clash

By the skin of their teeth, the United States Women's National Team advanced to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals Monday.

The United States beat Spain 2-1 in Reims, France, thanks to two penalty kicks from captain Megan Rapinoe to set up a match with the host nation Friday. 

Rapinoe stepped up to the spot and gave the Americans a lead in the seventh minute, but Jennifer Hermoso equalized two minutes later when she caught goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher off her line. The Spaniards' press picked veteran American defender Becky Sauerbrunn's pocket, and the USWNT conceded its first goal of the tournament.

Midfielder Rose Lavelle was fouled in Spain's box late in the second half to set up Rapinoe's second penalty, before the three most-dreaded letters of the tournament appeared. The referee turned to VAR -- video assistant referee -- to determine if there was a "clear and obvious error," but the call was upheld. There wasn't much contact on Lavelle, but it was enough for the referee to point to the spot again.

Rapinoe's finish left no doubt, even as the Americans absorbed late pressure from the Spaniards, who hoped to keep their World Cup dreams alive. The USWNT advanced, but the win raised far more questions than answers.

Coach Jill Ellis opted to sit Lindsey Horan, with the midfielder facing a suspension if she picked up another yellow card. Ellis' squad failed to generate much of anything moving forward, but she did not make her first change to the lineup until the 85th minute. The USWNT attempted fewer shots on target (three) than any game in the tournament, and there wasn't all that much in the way of quality, either.

Monday's win won't settle concerns about the USWNT headed into Friday's showdown with France in Paris. Although the French needed extra time to dispatch Brazil on Sunday, they already have beaten the Americans this year. France defeated the USWNT 3-1 in a January friendly, and jumped out to a three-goal lead in that match.

The Americans won't enter the rematch on a high, but Ellis said she believed that could work to her team's advantage -- using some NSFW language.

[RELATED: How Women's World Cup bracket shakes out]

Ellis has to hope it does. In any other World Cup, Friday's match would be worthy of a final. The USWNT and France entered as two of the favorites, but one's tournament will be over before the semifinals by the time Friday's last whistle blows.

If the Americans don't improve upon Monday's performance, it very well could be them.

Wolves-Liverpool live stream: Watch Premier League game online, on TV

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AP

Wolves-Liverpool live stream: Watch Premier League game online, on TV

No Premier League team has stood in the way of Liverpool (21-1-0; 64 points) this season. Can Wolverhampton Wanderers (8-10-5; 34 points) be the first?

Wolves lost 1-0 at Anfield on Dec. 29, but they've only lost twice at Molineux Stadium this season. The Reds picked up a win there in the league last season, yet they were knocked out of the FA Cup at the Molineux just over a year ago. Nuno Espirito Santo's side need only one point Wednesday to grab sole possession of fifth place, and ending Liverpool's undefeated season would leave Wolves just three points back of fourth.

The league-leading Reds can extend their unbeaten streak to an astounding 40 matches, and that would leave Liverpool just nine games clear of matching Arsenal's all-time Premier League unbeaten streak (49 games). They would become only the third English club to cross the 40-match plateau, joining Arsenal and Chelsea. 

[RELATED: Burnley shock Manchester United in 2-0 win at Old Trafford]

Here's how to watch Thursday's Wolves-Liverpool match live online and on TV.

 

When: Thursday, Jan. 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT
TV: NBCSN
Online: NBC Sports

Tottenham-Norwich live stream: Watch EPL game online on NBC Sports Gold

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AP

Tottenham-Norwich live stream: Watch EPL game online on NBC Sports Gold

With the end of the winter transfer window looming, every Tottenham Hotspur (8-7-8; 31 points) match could be Christian Eriksen's last.

Spurs manager José Mourinho confirmed the Danish midfielder will be in the squad Wednesday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Norwich City (4-5-14; 17 points), but how much longer is anyone's guess. Eriksen has been linked to a move with Inter Milan, and the club's sporting director said Monday that the Italian giants have submitted a bid. Eriksen reportedly turned down a contract extension with Spurs earlier this season, and the clock is ticking on Tottenham's ability to get any kind of transfer fee for him, as his contract is set to run out this summer. 

Norwich frustrated Tottenham in a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road on Dec. 28, twice taking the lead over Spurs. The Canaries got a big boost in their quest to avoid relegation Saturday, beating fellow cellar-dwellers Bournemouth at Carrow Road. They're still six points from safety, though, so Wednesday's match firmly is in must-win territory. 

[RELATED: Luiz red card sets Arsenal back in wild derby draw with Chelsea]

Here's how to watch Wednesday's Tottenham Hotspur-Norwich City match exclusively streaming on NBC Sports Gold. 

When: Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT
Stream: NBC Sports Gold

You can also watch Leicester City-West Ham streaming exclusively on NBC Sports Gold during that window.