FIFA Women´s World Cup – The Lionesses

by Lorraine Williamson
The Lionesses

Yesterday, four-time winners, and reigning champions, the US were held to a 1-1 draw by the Netherlands. The last time both teams went up against each other in this competition, was 4 years ago in the final, when USA won 2-0 against Netherlands.

This time however, Jill Roord opened the scoreline after just 17 minutes putting the Netherlands into the lead. Pelova received the ball on the right and passes it back towards the centre where Roord connected with it on the edge of the box before driving it in to the bottom right of the net.

First half

Just one minute later, Rodman almost managed an equaliser, but the ball was just tipped wide. Throughout the first half, the American side had many chances, but failed to put any of them away. The Dutch, however, were the more confident side at that point as they looked for a second goal. But despite this, the first half ended 0-1.

Rose Lavelle

Just after half time, the US side brought on Rose Lavelle. Lavelle scored against the Netherlands in the final of the last World Cup in 2019. But after just 6 minutes on the pitch, she was given a yellow card after a bad challenge. This ended up being the only card of the game.

The first ten or fifteen minutes of the second half were fairly uneventful, until Lavelle did what she was brought on to do. Lavelle took a corner which was met by Lindsay Horan who headered it home into the bottom corner.

Minutes later, Rodman almost put USA in the lead, but the goal was disallowed for offside. It was still 1-1.

Both teams still had chances to score the winning goal, but the game ended in a draw.

Final game in the group stages

The US side had an incredible 18 shots at goal, with 4 of them on target, and an amazing 11 corners. This compared to the Netherlands 5 shots at goal, with 1 on target, and only 1 corner.

With one game left to play in the group, and both teams on level point, both must win. However, the reigning champions are ahead on goal difference.

Both sides are playing again on Tuesday August 1 at 9.00 am local time. Bottom of the table Vietnam, take on the Netherlands, while the USA will face Portugal. Portugal must win their next game to have a chance at progressing to the final 16. Vietnam on the other hand will end their competition journey after their game against the Netherlands.

England v Denmark

Today, England took on Denmark at Sydney Football Stadium in the second of their group matches having previously won against Haiti.

The Lionesses started strong and were rewarded with an early goal after just 6 minutes when Lauren James found space and had a shot at goal from 20 yards out.

Having dominated the game for the first 25 minutes, the English side began to be a little complacent. Denmark took full advantage but failed to succeed. However, the Danish side did gain in confidence. Regardless, the first half ended 1-0 to England.

At the start of the second half, the Lionesses threw everything at the Danes, but they were held at bay. A succession of corners for the English side mean Denmark had to be content at defending instead of attacking during the first part of the second half.

After a series of substitutions on both sides, there was just over 10 minutes of the 90 remaining. England were pushing for their second goal to secure the victory, just as Denmark were looking for the equaliser.

With 3 minutes of ordinary time left, Vangsgaard hit the woodwork and missed the chance to equalise. Four minutes of stoppage time was added as England hung on. The Danes, despite an opportunity to score 2 minutes into stoppage time, failed, and the game ended 1-0 to England.

Both teams also play their final group matches on Tuesday. England will take on China, and Denmark will play against Haiti. If Haiti win, and Denmark lose, they have a slim chance at progressing. Both Denmark and China are currently on 3 points. A win for either side, would put them on 6 points. Both sides need to win to progress. England have already secured 6 points, but should England lose, and Denmark win, then it could be down to goal difference.

Other action

Spain are back in action again on Monday against Japan. And later in the day, Canada take on Australia. Both Spain and Japan are guaranteed to progress to the final 16. However, in group B, Ireland will play against top of the table Nigeria knowing that win, lose, or draw, they are going home. But if Nigeria lose, that will keep them on 4 points. Whereas, with Canada on 4 points, and hosts, Australia on 3 points both teams have everything to play for. A lose for Nigeria, and a draw between Canada and Australia could turn everything upside down.

Final group stages

Saturday July 29

Sweden v Italy

France v Brazil

Baycrest Wealth

Panama v Jamaica

Sunday July 30

South Korea v Morocco

Norway v Philippines

Switzerland v New Zealand

Germany v Colombia

Monday July 31

Japan v Spain

Costa Rica v Zambia

Republic of Ireland v Nigeria

Canada v Australia

Tuesday August 1

Vietnam v Netherlands

Portugal v United States

China v England

Haiti v Denmark

Wednesday August 2

Argentina v Sweden

South Africa v Italy

Panama v France

Jamaica v Brazil

Thursday August 3

Morocco v Colombia

South Korea v Germany

Round of 16

The round of 16 will commence on Saturday August 5. The top two teams from each group will battle it out to remain and continue to the final 8 – the quarter finals which will take place on August 11 and 12.

ASSSA

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