My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
The seventh edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway, and after the first round of group games there have been 40 goals in 12 matches – a rate of 3.33 goals/game. There have been some astonishing games, one-sided events, several penalties and moments of history.
So what have been the highlights?
The World Cup is the perfect way to advertise Women’s Football right across the world, and so far things have been going brilliantly. Canada’s opening day victory over China was watched by 53,058 people, which was a record for Canadian soccer in both men’s and women’s. And in Canada, China, America, Japan, Britain and Netherlands have all seen increased television viewers.
The hosts’ performance at every World Cup is vital for the tournament’s success, so nearly everyone are hoping Canada get out of the group stages. They struggled to break down a youthful Chinese side and were very fortunate to win a 92nd minute which Christine Sinclair converted. If they have any chance of lifting the trophy, they will have to improve.
Germany hit 10
Group B sees two of the European powerhouses compete to win the group that is completed by two countries making their debut. Norway played first, and two goals from Isabell Herlovsen helped them defeat Thailand 4-0. Next up were the two-times World Champions Germany who thanks to hat-tricks from Celica Sacic and Anja Mittag thrashed Côte D’Ivoire 10-0. The astonishing fact about this performance was that Germany was guilty of wasting several great chances.
Japan had beaten USA on penalties in the 2011 World Cup Final, and their first game was against debutant Switzerland. The Japanese won thanks to Aya Miyama’s penalty, but it was not a display that brought many plaudits.
The Group of Death
Group D is this tournament’s so-called ‘Group of Death’ with previous World Champions USA and Sweden competing with African Champions Nigeria and the Asian Cup Runners-up Australia. The Americans beat Australia 3-1 thanks to a brace from Melanie Rapinoe, although Australia were unlucky not to draw. But the game of the tournament so far came between Sweden and Nigeria. At half-time, Sweden were 2-0 up and cruising, but with 8 minutes of the second half Nigeria had equalised thanks to goals from Ngozi Okobi and Asisat Oshoala. Sweden retook the lead through Linda Sembrant’s strike – but in the 87th minute, Francisa Ordega equalised to win the African Champions a deserved point.
England began with a tough match against France, and they set up in a defensive formation designed to frustrate an attacking French side. It worked to an extent, but an error gave Eugenie Le Sommer the chance to score the winner. Despite the strong defensive performance, England failed to create chances to get an equaliser.
In the other game in England’s group, Goal-Line Technology had to be used for the first time with Victoria Perez’s goal putting Mexico in front. Colombia though fought back to draw 1-1 thanks to Dainela Montoya’s wonder-strike.
Marta Becomes World Cup Top Scorer
Brazil beat South Korea 2-0 in a match that saw their captain Marta become the top scorer in World Cup history with her 15th goal in her 15th match. Formiga scored their other goal in a less than convincing performance.
World Cup Debutants
There are 8 countries making their World Cup debut. Netherlands won on their debut beating New Zealand thanks to Lieke Martens’ wonder strike. In the first battle of the debutants, Cameroon thrashed Ecuador 6-0 thanks to three penalties and Gaelle Enganamouit’s hat-trick.
In the other battle of debutants, Spain drew with Costa Rica 1-1. Vicky Losada had put Spain into the lead, but 74 seconds later Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno equalised.
As mentioned above, Côte D’Ivoire, Thailand and Switzerland all lost.