Another day of final group games, another day of going cross-eyed trying to watch two matches at once. One was filled with goals, the other, not so much.
Again, there was a controversial penalty decision this time when Debinha went down in the box under challenge from Elena Linari, the spot kick coolly dispatched by Marta to make history. Tied with Miroslav Klose on 16 World Cup goals, the spot kick took the Brazilian into her own world, raising the bar across both the women’s and men’s games.
The narrow win would have been enough had it not been for the goal frenzy in the south of the country, and despite starting the day out second in Group C and winning their match, Seleção dropped down to third in the standings. Their six points more than enough to ensure progression, although the opposition and location of their next match remains unknown for now. Remaining top of the group on goal difference alone, Italy have set up a clash with the third placed team from groups A or B, in Montpellier on Tuesday.
Some 400+ miles south of Valenciennes, Australia avoided a scare against a Jamaica team bound for an early exit. Two goals up courtesy of Sam Kerr at the break, the Matildas defence was breached as the Reggae Girlz claimed their first ever World Cup goal through Havana Solaun. The comeback was however short-lived as Kerr powered in a further two, lifting the Matildas to second in the group and tying Alex Morgan’s [current] goal tally in search of the golden boot.
As runners up, Australia progress to Nice to face Norway on Saturday in the second of the knock-out matches.
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