*THE DAY REPLAYED – *As numerous countries around the globe marked Father’s Day today, the hosts gave their dads every reason to celebrate by reaching the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ together with Australia and France. The success was a historic one for the Matildas, while France must now face Germany after being closely scrutinised by their coach Silvia Neid, who was among the crowd at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.
In contrast, families of the players from Brazil, Switzerland and Korea Republic had less to cheer as they watched their teams’ Women’s World Cup adventures come to an end. The suffering was particularly acute for Korean goalkeeper Kim Jungmi, who will undoubtedly wake up with a headache tomorrow after taking two heavy blows to the head during her match, while the South Americans’ wait for a first title on the world stage goes on. Although the Eidgenossinnen performed strongly on their debut appearance in this competition, they were ultimately forced to make way for a team cheered into the last eight by a packed-out BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
*Brazil 0-1 Australia
France 3-0 Korea Republic
Canada 1-0 Switzerland
Goal of the day
*France 1-0 Korea Republic, Marie Laure Delie (4’)
*Philippe Bergeroo’s side were in full control throughout their encounter with Korea Republic and frequently combined to produce some terrific football, including in the build-up to their first goal. Laure Boulleau moved into the penalty area from the left, played a one-two with Camille Abily and cut the ball back from the byline behind the defence. Marie Laure Delie was waiting in the centre to calmly sidefoot the ball home, giving goalkeeper Kim Jungmi no chance despite failing to strike the ball cleanly.
Father’s Day trips and presents
The fact that taking an excursion on Father’s Day is not only a popular tradition in North America is perhaps why France paid a visit to Mont Real, the mountain from which the host city takes its name, before today’s match. Whatever the case, the trip gave them a chance to clear their heads and enabled them to deliver a convincing performance against the Taeguk Ladies. Among the crowd for their game was Eugenie Le Sommer’s father, who told FIFA.com before kick-off: “I’m here and waiting for my present.” His daughter did not need to be asked twice: although she did not give him a goal, the French No9 provided two valuable assists in Les Bleues’ triumph.
Australia’s historic victory
The dads from Down Under received a similarly special gift from their daughters as the Matildas defeated Brazil to win their first knockout match at a Women’s World Cup, an achievement that has not yet been equalled by their male counterparts at a FIFA World Cup. Kyah Simon scored ten minutes from time to seal this historic moment for Australia, netting her third goal of the tournament so far after a brace against Nigeria in the group stage. The only other player on the Australian goalscorers’ list at Canada 2015 is Lisa De Vanna, who has found the target twice so far.
*Superstar takes on a maternal role
*Although Brazilian star Marta’s father had less reason to celebrate today, there is no doubt that he will still have been proud of his daughter, who proved her greatness off the pitch with a display of her maternal instincts. Noticing that her mascot was extremely nervous as she prepared to walk out onto the pitch before the match, the five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year took her young companion by the hand and spoke to her. Marta clearly chose the right words, as in no time the girl was laughing and happy to accompany her new friend onto the hallowed turf. Sadly the South American was less successful in connecting with her team-mates as Brazil conceded their first and only goal of the tournament. Never before has a team with such a solid defensive record been eliminated from the Women’s World Cup. The previous record was set by the same nation in 2011, when they were forced to head home after the quarter-finals despite only conceding twice in the entire competition.
Going home with heads held high
In an interview with FIFA.com just a few days ago, Canada’s Josee Belanger confirmed how important her father’s support has been for her career. His advice to passionately pursue the things she loves must have been ringing in the striker’s ears as she netted the only goal of the match on her return to the Canadian attack today, having put in several defensive shifts during the group stages. Although the Swiss reacted to this setback with a display of team spirit when captain Caroline Abbe gathered her team-mates in a circle inside their penalty area before the game restarted, this show of unity could not prevent their eventual exit.
11 – Canada’s match against Switzerland was their 11th encounter with a European nation at a Women’s World Cup, but marked their first-ever win against a side from the Old Continent. The Canucks previously suffered nine defeats to such teams, with their only draw coming on home soil against the Netherlands in their last group game.
"Although it was a very difficult match, it was a valuable experience and I personally enjoyed the game."
Despite her disappointment, Korea Republic midfielder Cho Sohyun was determined to take something positive away from her team’s defeat by France.
Monday 22 June
Round of 16
Norway – England (Lansdowne Stadium, Ottawa, 17:00)
USA – Colombia (Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, 18:00)
(All times given are local)