THE DAY REPLAYED – The final four group stage matches of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ came to a close on Wednesday as Groups E and F were finalised and the remaining spots in the Round of 16 were determined.
There were few surprises in store for the six teams still vying to secure a spot in the knockout stages (Brazil and Colombia has already sealed passage), though a flurry of fine French goals delighted the fans in Ottawa, England entertained the Montreal crowd, Korea Republic stunned Spain with a late fight back and Brazil took down Las Ticas in a tight contest.
*Costa Rica 0-1 Brazil
Korea Republic 2-1 Spain
*Mexico 0-5 France
England 2-1 Colombia
Goal of the day
Mexico 0-5 France, Amandine Henry (80’)
France were by no measure short of goals in their rout of a young El Tri team in Ottawa, but Amandine Henry definitely saved the best of the bunch for last. With ten minutes remaining and the game well in hand, the midfielder picked her head up and decided to have a go from about 25 yards out. After rolling the ball ahead of her slightly the No6 unleashed a wicked strike, which surely her namesake from Les Bleus’ fame would approve of, that was always curling away from Cecilia Santiago and into the top corner for what will be a clear contender for goal of the tournament.
*Les Bleues made easy work of *El Tri, and Philippe Bergeroo’s side made history in the process. Marie Laure Delie scored 34 seconds into the match, just four ticks of the watch longer than Lena Videkull’s goal against Japan at China PR 1991, the fastest goal in tournament history.
No boom box? No problem!
Upon arriving at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the Colombian team sang in unison while walking to the dressing room, where they have become used to continuing the party with more singing and dancing in an effort to relax before the match. However, Las Cafeteras’ kit man accidentally left the all-important boom box back at the hotel, but that was no issue for the South Americans. Without missing a beat, the players started singing on their own and making their own rhythms to carry on a tradition established throughout the group stage.
The Taeguk Warriors celebrated wildly in their dressing room and in the tunnel after completing a remarkable second-half comeback to sink Spain 2-1 and reach the Round of 16 for the first time at the Women’s World Cup. The Korea Republic bench sprinted onto the pitch at full time, then they got really loud once they were away from the cameras, singing and dancing while spraying members of their backroom staff with water and sports drinks to mark the occasion of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Tears for Las Ticas
Despite some brave goalkeeping by Dinnia Diaz – the Costa Rican keeper made eight saves before Raquel finally found a way past Las Ticas’ No1 with seven minutes remaining – the Central Americans never found that all-important goal, which would have helped them in the race to being one of the top four third-place teams. Reminiscent of Los Ticos’ exit at Brazil 2014 where Keylor Navas shone before the Netherlands edged Costa Rica on penalties in the quarter-finals, Amerlia Valverde’s side can leave Canada with their heads held high.
13 – *France became the quickest team to score three goals in a Women’s World Cup match, accomplishing the feat in just 13 minutes.
*“I don't often score, so I'm very happy to have scored at a World Cup, and I hope there are more to come. I'll have to watch it again, but I think I was it a bit lucky - sometimes those shots end up high or wide!" *Amandine Henry on her 80th minute strike
*Saturday 20 June
Round of 16
*Germany – Sweden (Lansdowne Stadium, Ottawa, 16:00)
China PR – Cameroon (Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, 17:30)
*All times local