Day five of the Women’s World Cup showcased teams from Groups F, G, and H with Italy and Argentina facing off against each other, world number two Germany going up against another tournament debutant in Morocco and South American giants Brazil playing against Panama for the first time.
Let’s have a look at what these games had to offer.
Italy vs Argentina
After being knocked out in the quarter-finals in 2019, Italy look to improve in this year’s edition of the Women’s World Cup where they play Argentina first at Eden Park in Auckland. It was a tight and fiery contest between these two sides, the Argentinians had an early shot on goal with Mariana Larroquette’s acrobatic effort going over the bar in the first minute.
Italy had a big chance to go into the lead through Valentina Giacinti whose shot was a bit close to goalkeeper Vanina Correra who made a comfortable save in the 10th minute. Arianna Caruso almost gave Italy the lead, however, she received the ball in an offside position and therefore it did not count. It was the case of Déjà vu for the Italians with Giacinti also scoring in the 36th minute but was called for offside as well.
Argentina’s Eliana Stabile’s free-kick attempt in the 49th minute was on target but Italy’s goalkeeper Francesca Durante made a strong save to keep things level. Italy put the pressure on the Argentinians throughout the second half controlling majority of the possession and continually testing Vanina Correra between the sticks with shots from Manuela Giugliano and Giada Greggi.
Although Argentina stayed strong defensively throughout the game, Italy found the winning goal after Lisa Boattin was able to find substitute Cristiana Girell in the box scoring a header in the 87th minute.
Argentina could have equalised in the fourth minute of extra time through a Florencia Bonsegundo free-kick but again Durante was there to keep the clean sheet alive and ensure a win for the Italians.
Germany vs Morocco:
Morocco headed into their first-ever Women’s World Cup game against two-time Women’s World Cup winners Germany at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. The Germans gave the newcomers Morocco a rude awakening; controlling most of the possession and winning the ball quickly every time they lost it.
Germany’s captain Alexandra Popp go onto the scoresheet in the 11th minute which involved Kathrin Hendrich crossing the ball into the box and Popp was there to head it into the back of the net.
Despite conceding early, Morocco continued to battle on with captain Ghizlane Chebbak going for goal from long distance in the 24th minute but Germany’s goalkeeper Merle Frohms responded with a comfortable save. Sara Daebrtiz was able to score in the 33rd minute but was caught in an offside position, keeping the Germans at a one-goal advantage.
Popp got herself a brace in the 39th minute after a corner taken by Klara Buehl found Popp in the box who once again headed it past Morocco goalkeeper Khadija Er-Rmichi doubling the Germans’ lead.
It only took 23 seconds into the second half for Germany’s Klara Buehl to score their third goal where she pounced onto the loose ball after Morocco failed to clear the ball out of their box.
Three minutes later, Buehl almost had a second goal to her name but struck the post and was already in an offside position. In the 53rd minute on the other side of the pitch, there was a small spark of hope for the Moroccans with Anissa Lahmari scoring but the goal was ruled offside as well.
It only got worse for Morocco where defender Hanane Ait El Haj scored an own goal in the 54th minute after Svenja Ruth crossed the ball back into the box where Ait El Haj knocked it into her own goal putting the Germans four goals up.
Germany’s lead was increased to five in the 79th minute after another own goal by Yasmin Mrabet who had to stretch to prevent the goal but it wasn’t enough as the ball already crossed the line. Substitute Lea Schueller topped off a dominating Germany win with a sixth goal in the 90th minute to seal the three points.
Brazil vs Panama:
The first match played at Adelaide’s Hindmarsh Stadium at this year’s Women’s World Cup saw Brazil and Panama play against each other for the first time ever. Brazil dominated possession from the first whistle while also putting the pressure on Panama keeper Yenith Bailey early, with shots from the likes of Adriana, Debinha and Lauren testing the 22-year-old.
The Brazilians found the breakthrough in the 19th minute with Debinha assisting Ary Borges who was at the back post by herself to head it past Bailey giving Brazil the lead.
Luana was close to doubling Brazil’s lead in the 36th minute but Yenith Bailey responded with a strong save keeping Panama in this match. Three minutes later, Ary Borges was on the scoresheet once again tapping it past Bailey after her initial header was saved by the Panamanian keeper.
Three minutes into the second half, Bia Zaneratto scored Brazil’s third after a well-worked team goal involving the likes of Debinha and Borges who assisted Zaneratto. Although it’s still early days in this tournament, Zaneratto’s goal has to be in contention for the goal of the tournament
Ary Borges completed her hat-trick on her Women’s World Cup debut scoring another header in the 70th minute where substitute Geyse was able to pick Borges out in the box and extend Brazil’s lead to four goals.
Brazilian legend Marta made an appearance coming on in the 75th minute, replacing the hat-trick hero Borges. Geyse almost finished another well-worked Brazilian goal but her shot fell wide of the post in the 81st minute. Panama almost scored a consolation goal through Riley Tanner who forced Brazilian keeper Leticia to make a save in the fifth minute of added time. Gabi Nunes could’ve scored a fifth for Brazil but her shot struck the side netting, but the Brazilians held on to secure the three points and sit at the top of Group F.