Day 14 of the 2023 FIFA Girls’s World Cup started with Sweden defeating Argentina and South Africa eking out a victory in opposition to Italy. The second set of matches noticed France rise above Panama in addition to a Brazil-Jamaica draw that resulted in Brazil’s elimination and Jamaica’s development to the knockout spherical for the primary time.
Brazil 0, Jamaica 0
The Huge Story: In solely their second ever World Cup, Jamaica advances out of the group levels in a nil-nil draw in opposition to Brazil that knocks the South American giants out of the event within the group stag for the primary time in properly over a decade. Finally, Brazil knew they needed to win this recreation whereas Jamaica knew they solely needed to earn a draw and so the best strain was on Brazil they usually simply couldn’t break via.
The Huge Second: Of all of the moments that occurred within the match, the most important second is what occurred after it completed. Cameras caught Khadija Shaw and Marta share a second when Shaw, who has spoken about how a lot she appears to be like as much as the Brazilian legend, shared heartfelt phrases with Marta who in flip clearly returned the sentiment to the younger Jamaican famous person.
This can be Marta’s final World Cup, however it’s only the start for Shaw and this second of shared love and respect between the 2 gamers is evocative of this new period of girls’s soccer the place traditionally smaller groups are actually contending with essentially the most storied nations.
What it means: Heartbreak for Brazil as they only couldn’t do sufficient to interrupt down the Jamaican protection and get out of the group stage. Passes have been off and gamers simply couldn’t discover one another as Jamaica put forth a fully stifling protection. This can be a monumental disappointment for the legendary South American facet. To see Marta’s legacy finish on the worldwide stage on this trend is heartbreaking, however there’s sufficient younger expertise on the workforce to really feel like they may come again even stronger in 2027.
For Jamaica, this can be a event of goals. 4 years in the past, they earned their first World Cup berth ever however misplaced all three group stage video games. Quick ahead to 2023 they usually not solely received their first World Cup match on Saturday, additionally they turned the very first Caribbean workforce and solely third CONCACAF workforce to advance out of the group stage. They usually haven’t conceded a single purpose within the event but! At present’s clear sheet comes because of a compact Jamaican protection and absolute brilliance on behalf of keeper Rebecca Spencer who stifled each near-chance Brazil despatched her method. Brazil managed a couple of late probabilities, together with a set piece proper outdoors the field on the finish of regulation time and a nook that produced a scramble within the field in stoppage time, however Spencer was greater than able to dealing with something that got here her method.
To advance past the Spherical of 16, Jamaica might want to do greater than frustrate groups and hold them out. They’ll want to remain simply as defensively strong whereas additionally kickstarting their offense. Fortunately, Shaw is harmful sufficient that they’ve an ever-present hazard who can strike at any time. Within the 82nd minute, Shaw made a solo run and beat two defenders and virtually took all three factors for Jamaica. This was one among their solely strong probabilities, however it confirmed simply how a lot Shaw can punish groups within the transition if given half an opportunity. And if opponents are targeted on containing Shaw, they could depart a gap for an additional attacker like Cheyna Matthews or Jody Brown.
It’s simple to say that it’ll be robust for Jamaica to advance past the Spherical of 16, however they’ve already proven they’re greater than able to main upsets. They’ve confirmed themselves equal to some other workforce within the event and woe to any opponent that underestimates them transferring ahead.
— Bekki Morgan
South Africa 3, Italy 2
The Huge Story: South Africa punched their ticket to the knockout spherical with their first World Cup win, and the workforce’s first journey to the Spherical of 16 in a high-scoring matchup in opposition to Italy.
The Huge Second: As soon as once more benefiting from their velocity in transition, a cross finds South Africa’s Hildah Magaia who slid the ball throughout to an unmarked Thembi Kgatlana who pokes the ball via Italian defenders to take the lead late.
What it means: Heading into the match Italy might safe their place within the knockout spherical with both a win or a tie and an Argentine loss or tie, the place South Africa might solely advance with a win. Within the tenth minute, South Africa’s Karabo Dhlamini fouled Italy’s Chiara Beccari on the fringe of the field, VAR confirmed that the foul occurred within the field, and Arianna Caruso slotted the PK residence to provide Italy an early 1-0 lead.
After conceding an personal purpose on a backpass to the goalkeeper, one thing switched for Italy. Contemplating earlier than the equalizer Italy’s sole shot had been the penalty, they kicked into gear and began changing their possession into precise probabilities. Granted, they weren’t capable of actually problem the South African goalkeeper Kaylin Swart for the remainder of the primary half, however it was a transfer in the proper course. The Banyana Banyana had a couple of harmful probabilities come out of transition, however weren’t capable of get something on body.
South Africa got here out of the locker room at halftime on the entrance foot, being led on fastbreak counters by Racing Louisville ahead Thembi Kgatlana who danced round Italian defenders with ease stepping into the field. Italian defender Elena Linari made some nice stops to gradual the Banyana Banyana assaults however within the 67th minute an assault once more led by Kgatlana ended with a superbly weighted cross to Hildah Magaia who discovered the netting and the lead for South Africa. That South African purpose actually was the spark for Italy to come back again and equalize within the 78th minute off a set piece, with Caruso getting her second on the evening.
The late evening chaos was not accomplished but, South Africa would go on to take the lead in stoppage time. With the Banyana Banyana win and Sweden’s win, South Africa will take the second spot in Group G, advancing to the Spherical of 16 and dealing with off in opposition to the Netherlands this weekend. Italy–now eradicated—will likely be eager about that first half personal purpose, and what might have been.
— Taylor Vincent
France 6, Panama 3
The Huge Story: Though Panama received on the board first, Wednesday evening’s match between France and Panama was France’s to win. Happening early didn’t cease Les Bleus from dominating the debutant Canaleras of Panama, ending the sport with a 6-3 win and clinching their spot within the knockout spherical.
The Huge Second: Panama’s Marta Cox fully capitalized on an early free kick alternative, sending a rocket from a distance that discovered its well past France’s goalkeeper Peyraud-Maginin and into the highest nook. At 1:07, Cox’s purpose was the quickest of the 2023 Girls’s World Cup thus far.
What it Means: In Wednesday evening’s match, Les Bleus finally did what was anticipated of them – win decisively and qualify for the knockout stage – however it was a extra enjoyable, and even barely extra aggressive, match than many might have anticipated.
Coming into the match, France had all however clinched the highest spot in Group F, whereas Panama had no path ahead and performed solely to complete out its group stage video games. However Panama’s early lead, and extra two objectives within the second half, not solely offered for a vibrant and entertaining recreation, but in addition demonstrated the grit, tenacity, and pleasure that this debutant workforce can fire up.
Panama received on the board early, and it took France a short while to maneuver the sport’s momentum in its favor, however by the tenth-or-so minute, Les Bleus began to place attacking strikes collectively and management the match. A brace from Kadidiatou Diani (finally a hat trick by the top of the match) contributed to France’s 4-1 lead that it exited with on the finish of the primary half. Each Panama and France received on the board within the second half, to complete out the sport with a 6-3 end in Les Bleus’s favor.
France is a greater workforce than Panama; nonetheless, the ultimate rating and the main points of the match show actual aggressive potential from the Central American debutants. Two of France’s 5 totals got here from penalties – outcomes of handballs from Panamians – which means the rating was 4-3 France if one controls for flukey errors. France actually out-controlled and out-shot Panama all through the match, however for Panama to nonetheless make an influence realizing it had no path ahead was an honorable factor. And on this case, regardless that they’re going residence, Las Canaleras nonetheless ended up with the purpose of the event. France, the winner of Group F, subsequent performs on August eighth in opposition to the second place winner of Group H.
— Julie Schreiber