'Beautiful Day' for Colombia, Brazil 'Walk On'

THE DAY REPLAYED – The elite players on show at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ are not the only stars currently wooing the crowds in Canada. U2, one of the most famous bands in rock history, are on tour here too, and some 20,000 fans packed into Montreal’s Bell Centre on Saturday night to hear Bono, The Edge and co. in concert. Indeed, the fortunes of the eight teams in action today in Moncton and Montreal gave us a timely reminder of some of the Irish group’s biggest hits…

Colombia’s shock win over France meant the South Americans had a “Beautiful Day”. Indeed, the South Americans were so little fancied going into the encounter, their win could even be described as a “Miracle”. Les Bleues are genuine title contenders and now find themselves in something of a tight spot going into the final group fixture against Mexico. They will console themselves that “Some Days Are Better Than Others”. England avoided such a slip-up and picked up their first points by edging out Mexico, while Brazil became the second side after Japan to qualify for the knockout stages. One word can describe their performances so far - “Magnificent”.

Results* Group E* Brazil 1-0 Spain Korea Republic 2-2 Costa Rica

Group F France 0-2 Colombia England 2-1 Mexico

Goal of the day *France 0-1 Colombia, Lady Andrade (19) *

The quality of the final pass made this goal outstanding in its own right. Colombia’s Yoreli Rincon picked up a loose ball halfway into the French half, got her head up and threaded a wonderful ball into the path of Lady Andrade. “Hallelujah Here She Comes” must have thought the livewire Andrade as she nipped in between the static French centre halves to place an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner past despairing goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. Come the final whistle, the “Pride” the Colombians took in their achievement was clear for all to see from their wild celebrations.

Memorable moments Breathe Things were getting nervy for England as their match against Mexico entered the last 20 minutes. The Three Lionesses had missed some good chances and must have begun to wonder whether they would find a way past a valiant Mexican defence. They need not have feared though, as Fran Kirby was on hand to open the scoring with a neat finish and enable coach Mark Sampson to “breathe” a little easier. England have reached the quarter-finals on each of the last three global showcases and their eventual 2-1 win means they remain on course to repeat that achievement. After drawing 1-1 with Mexico in the group stage four years ago, this was a badly needed victory. *

With Or Without You Brazil captain Marta and her Spanish counterpart Veronica Boquete are old friends, ever since they played together for Tyresö in Sweden from 2012 to 2014. Such is their friendship you could even say their “Two Hearts Beat As One”, *and they were in touch by text in the days leading up to the encounter. Today though, it was down to serious business in Montreal, and after a warm Handshake for Peace and toss of the coin prior to kick-off, no quarter was given between these two fierce - but friendly - rivals.

  • Walk on “Just you watch, we are going to show everyone exactly how good we are", said Camille Abily defiantly in her post-match interview in Moncton. The French midfielder was clearly not suffering from a case of “Vertigo” *as she laid down the gauntlet to the other sides in Group F following her side’s shock loss to Colombia. The tireless Abily is right to accentuate the positives; after all, the fourth-placed side from four years ago have three points and only need a win over Mexico, on one point, on Wednesday to reach the Round of 16.

    Sunday Bloody Sunday Korea Republic’s first appearance at the Women’s World Cup in 2003 ended in three defeats, in which they conceded 11 goals and scored just one. The Asian side’s 2-0 loss to Brazil in their opening match suggested their 2015 experience might not prove to be all that different. On Sunday (by Korean time, at least), the Taeguk Ladies* *believed that they had finally brought that undesirable run to a halt. Leading 2-1 in the 89th minute versus Costa Rica, they could practically taste victory until Karla Villalobos equalised. The CONCACAF representatives are playing in their first Women’s World Cup and celebrated their draw as if it were a win. Their reaction was in stark contrast to the South Koreans, who struggled to hide their disappointment.

    The stat 1 – For the first time, a South American team other than Brazil got the better of a European side at the Women’s World Cup. Colombia’s achievement against France is all the more impressive given that it is only their second appearance at this level. At Germany 2011, where Las Cafeteras made their tournament debut, they exited at the group stage after picking up only one point in three matches.

    The words “We panicked a little towards the end of the match, but we still managed to hold onto our lead. Sometimes, you just need things to go your way,” Brazil midfielder Andressa Alves, who scored the winner against Spain. Next matchday Monday 15 June (all times local)* *

    Group A Netherlands- Canada (Olympic Stadium, Montreal, 19.30) China PR-New Zealand (Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg, 18.30)

  • Group B * Thailand-Germany (Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg, 15.00) Côte d'Ivoire-Norway (Moncton Stadium, Moncton, 17.00)