FIFAWWC 19: Round 1 Summary

The first set of Group matches are over. We’ve had a couple of shocks, plenty of top goals and a few controversial decisions.

Group A

France 4-0 Korea Republic
The hosts danced their way into their next game with a dominant performance in front of over 45,000 in the tournament opener. Two trademark towering headers from Wendie Renard, a fox-in-the-box” opening goal from Eugenie Le Sommer and a sweet curling effort from player of the match, Amandine Henry saw the French convert 60% possession into a comfortable win.

Norway 3-0 Nigeria
In a game that was close in terms of possession and chances created, Norway put on a clinical display to put three past Nigeria. Guro Reiten opened the scoring with a fine finish but defensive errors then saw Lisa-Marie Utland hammer home before Ohale put the ball in the back of her own net.

Group B

Germany 1-0 China PR
Germany squeaked through their first game with a 1-0 win over China. Giulia Gwinn’s 66th minute rocket from outside the box sealed the win for the favourites. It was a physical match and the fitness of German captain Dzsenifer Maroszan is a major doubt after she broke her toe.

Spain 3-1 South Africa
Despite the score and the possession stats, Spain can count themselves fairly lucky that they managed to get three points out of their opening game. South Africa, featuring in their first World Cup, put on a spirited performance. Thembi Kgatlana was a constant threat down the left side in the first half and got her rewards with a curling finish before the break. Two penalties from Jennifer Hermoso got the Spanish back into the game – the second was somewhat controversial and resulted in Nothando Vilakazi receiving her marching orders. As Banyana Banyana tired, Spain ensured the victory when Lucia Garcia ran onto a defence-splitting pass to score.

Group C

Australia 1-2 Italy
Italy’s 95th minute winner sealed one of the shocks of the opening round. The European side had threatened early on and had a goal ruled out by the narrowest of offsides, but the prolific Sam Kerr had sent her team into the lead in the 22nd minute. Italy came back in the second half and a brace from Barbara Bonansea turned the game around in a dramatic fashion.

Brazil 3-0 Jamaica
A hat-trick from Cristiane saw Brazil earn a 3-0 victory against the Reggae Girlz. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the favourites as Jamaica competed throughout but couldn’t find the target. Brazil jumped to the top of Group C ahead of the second round.

Group D

England 2-1 Scotland
A Nikita Parris penalty and Ellen White strike put England comfortably ahead at the break with a sparkling first half performance. However, Scotland came back in the second period as the Lionesses sat deeper and deeper. Claire Emslie made it a nervy finish, scoring with 11 minutes left to play but Scotland couldn’t find an equaliser in the late stages.

Argentina 0-0 Japan
Another shock of the first round saw 37th ranked Argentina hold Japan to a goalless draw. In a result that blew Group D wide open, Japan predictably controlled possession but couldn’t find their way through an Argentinian defence that allowed them no space on the ball.

Group E

Canada 1-0 Cameroon
The Canadians ensured their strong run of form continued as they edged past Cameroon. A solitary goal on half time from defender, Kadeisha Buchanan, saw them seal the 3 points

New Zealand 0-1 Netherlands
New Zealand can count themselves very unlucky to have come away from their opener with nothing. In an entertaining game, both sides had several chances across the 90 minutes. The European Champions left it late, scoring the winner in the 92nd winner through substitute Jill Roord.

Group F

Chile 0-2 Sweden
A weather impeded match saw Sweden nab two late goals against a resolute Chile in their first World Cup game. Kosovare Asllani pounced in the 83rd minute to give her side the lead before Madelen Janogy doubled the score deep into injury time.

USA 13-0 Thailand
It was a miserable World Cup debut for Thailand as the USA cruised to victory and to the top of Group F. Alex Morgan made herself favourite for the Golden Boot with 5 while there were braces for Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis and goals for Lindsay Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd.

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