Canadians in action: Gilles helps OL stay perfect
Vanessa Gilles helped Lyon stay perfect, while Lucas Cavallini opened up his account at Puebla and Liam Millar turned in another good performance as transfer rumours swirl.
Here's a look at Canadians in action over the weekend.
Vanessa Gilles, Lyon - Lyon's perfect run in Division 1 Feminine continued on Sunday with a visit to Montpellier where Vanessa Gilles found the scoresheet in a 2-1 victory. Chateauguay, Que.'s Gilles opened the scoring in the 12th from a corner. France winger Selma Bacha's initial attempt was cleared, but only as far as to Eugenie Le Sommer at the edge of the area. Le Sommer once again found international teammate Bacha near the touchline to send another ball into the box and this time Gilles muscled past her marker Oceane Deslandes to head home past Marie Petiteau to make it 1-0. The goal was Gilles' third league goal of the season and her sixth D1 goal for OL. Midway through the half, the visitors would bag a second through Ada Hegerberg that looked much like the first. This time Bacha's cross was even prettier, pinpointing Hegerberg at the far post to poke home in the 27th for the Ballon d'Or winner's 10th on the season. Montpellier would make things interesting before the first 45 was over with Deslandes getting a measure of redemption for the Gilles goal. From a Faustine Robert corner, Cyrielle Blanc forced a 10-bell save out of Christiane Endler, who palmed away her header into the bar. But the ball fell right on the goal line where Deslandes was fastest to it to make it 2-1 in the 35th. That would be the final goal of the match. After a scoreless second half, Lyon moved to 13-0 on the season and now holds an eight-point led over Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the table.
Lucas Cavallini, Puebla - Lucas Cavallini picked up his first goal since returning to Puebla, but La Franja fell again to start the Clausura with two losses in a 2-1 defeat to Necaxa. Toronto-born Cavallini returned to Puebla at the beginning of the month following two seasons at Xolos. Cavallini previously spent three seasons at the club where he scored 29 league goals before a move to Vancouver Whitecaps in 2020. After an hour in which the two teams traded chances and the visitors had a first-half penalty shout overturned by VAR, the referee pointed to the spot in the 59th. Jair Cortes was adjudged to have handled in the area in his attempt to deflect a cross and a penalty was awarded. Replays showed this to be the correct decision with the midfielder's hand in an unnatural position. A confident Cavallini stepped up and scored with a thumping shot that Ezequiel Unsain motionless on his line. La Franja's lead would last for 20 minutes before two late goals gave the visitors all three points. In the 79th, only minutes after Cavallini just missed a second when he curled his effort outside the far post, Edgar Mendez shook off a defender to meet a fine cross from Ricardo Monreal with his head to beat Jesus Rodriguez and even things up at 1-1. Four minutes later, Necaxa would have a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Diber Cambindo slipped behind the Puebla backline to be the first to a Heriberto Jurado free kick to head home and grab the game-winning goal in the 83rd. The loss left Puebla second from the bottom of the Liga MX table.
Liam Millar, Preston North End - With rumours swirling about his future, Liam Millar produced another fine display for Preston North End in Sunday's 2-1 heartbreaking loss at high-flying Leeds. On loan from Swiss side Basel, Millar picked up his fifth assist of the season in the defeat. The 24-year-old Toronto native's name has been attached to Sunderland in recent days with the Black Cats looking for a long-term replacement for Jack Clarke with the 23-year-old Leeds youth product widely expected to move on from the Stadium of Light in the summer transfer window. The visitors got off to a brilliant start at Elland Road. Joe Rodon was adjudged to have hauled down Emil Riis Jakobsen with Preston awarded a free kick in a dangerous area. Ben Whiteman's ball bounced around in the area before it fell to Millar whose shot was deflected to Will Keane for the former Manchester United man to make it 1-0 in just the second. The lead was short-lived, however, with another former United player tying things up for the visitors in the sixth minute. Breaking forward, Crysencio Summerville's ball for Junior Firpo seemed to be overhit, but the Dominican Republic-born left-back did well to keep it from going out and then sent in a fine ball for Daniel James to head home from point-blank range to make it 1-1. The match would stay 1-1 all the way until the dying minutes of second-half stoppage. With a draw appearing to be the likely result, PNE's failure to deal with a corner in the 94th led to disaster. As Leeds attempted to push the ball back forward, Ryan Ledson knocked the ball down with his hand in the area and that was quickly spotted by the ref who awarded a penalty. Joel Piroe stepped up to take and slid his effort under David Cornell to make it 2-1 and secure all three points for the hosts. The win kept Leeds in fourth, four points behind automatic promotion, while PNE remained on the peripheral of the playoff places in 12th on 38 points and five behind Coventry City for the final spot. Should the match be Millar's final one with PNE, he would finish his season with three goals and five assists in 22 Championship contests.