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Canadians in action: David does it again in Lille win

Jonathan David Lille Jonathan David - LOSC

Jonathan David stayed red-hot, Christine Sinclair opened her goal-scoring tally for 2024 and Alistair Johnston and Junior Hoilett faced off in an instant classic in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Here's a look at Canadians in action over the weekend.

Jonathan David, Lille - If Lille is set to return to the Champions League next season, and that looks to be a very good possibility, then Jonathan David's resurgence will have played a large part in the feat. After starting the year ever so slowly, David's return to form has been blistering since the new year and that continued on Sunday against Strasbourg. The only goal of the match came in the 12th minute. Strasbourg was leisurely with their possession in their own half, allowing Remy Cabella to pounce upon Frederic Guilbert's indecision with goalkeeper Alaa Bellaarouch already off of his line. Cabella quickly broke forward and found David to hammer home with a first-time strike. The goal was David's 17th Ligue 1 marker this season, putting him second among all goal scorers and trailing only Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappé's 24. But what's remarkable about David's tally is that on January 1, he had five goals. The Ottawa-raised David now has 12 goals in his past 13 league matches. The three points leave Les Dogues in fourth place in the table on 52 points, occupying the final Champions League place. They are five clear of fifth-place Nice and trail third-place Brest by one point and second-place Monaco by three. Even if David moves elsewhere during the summer transfer window, he will have left LOSC in great shape for next season.


Christine Sinclair, Jessie Fleming and Janine Beckie, Portland Thorns and Amanda West and Sophie Schmidt, Houston Dash - It was a time for a change for the Portland Thorns. Winless in four to begin their NWSL campaign, their worst-ever start to a season, general manager Karina LeBlanc made the call last Wednesday to move head coach Mike Norris into a technical director role with Rob Gale taking over on an interim basis. Saturday saw the Thorns take to the pitch for the first time since the coaching change and the early returns look promising with the Thorns getting the better of the Houston Dash for their first win of the season. The Thorns got things started quickly at Providence Park. Pouncing on a turnover, Sophia Smith broke forward and forced a fine diving stop from Jane Campbell, but Christine Sinclair snuck behind Avery Patterson to the far post and was there to poke it home into an empty net to make it 1-0 in the sixth minute. The goal was Sinclair's first of the season and 63rd goal in NWSL competition, putting her one back of Lynn Williams for the second-most in league history (Sam Kerr's 77 is the all-time record). The hosts would grab a second just before the half-hour mark, this time through Smith. Pressuring Sarah Puntigam into a bad turnover, Smith broke in alone on Campbell and calmly tucked it past her with her left foot to make it 2-0 in the 27th. The scoreline would carry into the break. After the half, the visitors fought back. In the 49th, Michelle Alozie cut down the right and sent a ball to the far post for Amanda West. The rookie from Burlington, Ont. chested the ball down into the path of Diana Ordonez, who beat Shelby Hogan to make it 2-1. A forward out of Pitt, it was West's first career assist. But that would be as close as the Dash would get with the Thorns icing the game with two late goals. In the 87th, it was Smith, yet again, who made life difficult for the visitors. Undressing Puntigam during a fine run, Smith laid off for Olivia Moultrie almost at the penalty spot to make it 3-1. Then, deep into stoppage, Janine Beckie got onto the scoresheet. With the Dash pressing forward in hopes of a late goal, Beckie, who came on for Sinclair in the 61st, picked up an errant pass at midfield and ran at goal all alone. Beckie shot low under Campbell to wrap up the scoring at 4-1 with her third goal of the season. While she didn't find her name on the scoresheet, London, Ont.'s Jessie Fleming played 70 minutes in the victory, completing 27 of her 32 pass attempts and making a pair of tackles. Winnipeg's Sophie Schmidt played all 90 minutes in a losing effort for the Dash, making 56 of her 67 pass attempts and recording an interception.


Alistair Johnston, Celtic and Junior Hoilett, Aberdeen - As Celtic and Rangers battle for the Scottish Premiership title in the final weeks of the season, another battle between the Old Firm rivals will happen on May 25 at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup Final. It will be the 18th time the eternal rivals have met in the Final. Celtic, the current holders, are the all-time record holder with 41 wins, while Rangers have the second-most titles with 34. Rangers advanced to the final with a 2-0 victory over Hearts, while the Hoops had to labour against Aberdeen in an instant classic. The semi-final encounter saw Canada teammates Alistair Johnston and Junior Hoilett face off against one another with each man making a big contribution to their respective team's efforts. The Dons got off to a dream start in only the second minute, taking advantage of the Bhoys' high line. Leighton Clarkson slipped a ball through to Bojan Miovski, who broke in between the Celtic central defence. Joe Hart came off his line to cut the angle, but the North Macedonia forward chipped over top of the former England No. 1 to make it 1-0. Celtic restored parity in the 21st thanks in large part to a terrible gaffe from Angus MacDonald, who was pressured into a giveaway by Kyogo Furuhashi. The Japan forward's initial effort was turned away by Kelle Roos, but Nicolas Kuhn arrived to score into an empty net to make it 1-1. The Hoops were the better team to open the second half and were rewarded for their efforts in the 63rd. From outside the area, James Forest used the number of bodies in the box to his advantage and beat Roos with a low, skipping drive to make it 2-1. The Bhoys held onto their lead into the dying minutes and appeared poised for another final appearance, but the Dons weren't finished. In the final seconds of regular time, Brampton, Ont.'s Hoilett came down the left side and lofted a perfectly weighted cross to the far post for Ester Sokler to head home a dramatic equalizer and stun the Hoops. Sokler's goal would force extra time where Celtic once again thought they were headed to the final. In first-half stoppage, Vancouver's Johnston collected a pass at the near post and beautifully pulled back a pass for a completely unmarked Matt O'Riley at the spot to rocket home and make it 3-2. But just as they were dead to rights at the end of regular time, the Dons produced more magic with their backs against the wall late with MacDonald atoning for his earlier mistake. In the 119th minute, Hoilett once again played provider with another fine cross. With a ball very similar to the one he sent Sokler, Hoilett found MacDonald this time to head home and improbably force penalties. In spot kicks, the Dons blinked first. At 3-3, Hart managed to poke Ryan Duncan's low drive off the post and out. He then stepped up to win the match himself, but Hart rang his effort off the post. After Johnston and Tomoki Iwata made their kicks for the Hoops, Hart took centre stage again, diving to stop Killian Phillips' effort to send Celtic to a 60th Scottish Cup Final.