Jamaica defy France but Sweden, Netherlands win World Cup openers – The Namibian
Perennial underachievers France have been held 0-0 by Jamaica to make a irritating begin to their Ladies’s World Cup marketing campaign on Sunday, however Sweden and the Netherlands each received by slender margins.
France have by no means lifted the World Cup regardless of the power of their girls’s home league and have been defied by a battling Jamaica within the Sydney rain in entrance of almost 40,000.
Herve Renard’s France, one of many pre-World Cup favourites together with holders the USA and England, hit the woodwork late on and had extra possession and possibilities, however Jamaica refused to fold.
The Jamaicans solely made their Ladies’s World Cup debut within the earlier version in 2019 and misplaced all three video games, so this level was a treasured first within the competitors for them.
“I’d say it’s the primary consequence we’ve had up to now, males or girls — I’d put it there,” coach Lorne Donaldson declared.
The one bitter notice was the dismissal in harm time of star striker Khadija Shaw for a second yellow card. She’s going to miss their second recreation of the event in opposition to Panama because of this.
The Jamaicans, ranked 43 on the earth to France’s 5, celebrated wildly on the remaining whistle and defender Deneisha Blackwood was paraded within the air.
“You’re taking part in a crew like France who’re simply incredible. I imply, simply wanting on the rankings, you’ll say that consequence on this stage must be primary,” Donaldson stated.
Brazil play Panama in the identical group on Monday.
Within the first match of day 4 of the event in Australia and New Zealand, Sweden got a scare by South Africa earlier than profitable 2-1.
The third-ranked Swedes fought again from a purpose down and conjured up the winner within the ninetieth minute by way of Arsenal defender Amanda Ilestedt, a lot to the reduction of their followers in miserably moist situations in Wellington.
A purpose early within the second half by Hildah Magaia — during which she suffered a match-ending harm — had given South Africa hope of an upset in entrance of 18,317 spectators.
However that was quickly cancelled out by Barcelona star Fridolina Rolfo earlier than Ilestedt’s late intervention, heading dwelling from shut vary for a hard-fought victory.
Italy face Argentina on Monday, additionally in Group G.
Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson stated “nerves and rigidity” have been behind a shaky begin to their World Cup marketing campaign.
“It’s OK to be nervous however you want to have the braveness to nonetheless make that cross,” Gerhardsson stated.
The Dutch, losers 2-0 to the USA within the remaining 4 years in the past, had much less hassle in opposition to debutants Portugal within the New Zealand metropolis of Dunedin.
Defender Stefanie van der Gragt scored with a strong header on 13 minutes with what turned out to be the winner.
The Netherlands now face the USA on Thursday in a rematch of their remaining, with Group E supremacy at stake.
Sunday’s match in Dunedin, performed in entrance of a crowd of almost 12,000, noticed the Dutch have extra of the ball however Portugal threatening on the break.
Portugal’s first shot of the sport lastly arrived within the final 10 minutes however the Dutch have been finally pretty comfy winners.
Two-times former champions Germany enter the fray on Monday once they face World Cup debutants Morocco.
Germany are one other of the favourites to win the event however their coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg warned that ladies’s soccer has by no means been extra aggressive.
“All of the video games are tight, girls’s soccer groups have come ever nearer,” the previous worldwide participant stated on the eve of her crew’s opening match.
“All of the nations coming right here are usually not solely proud to be on the World Cup however they completely have the standard to play right here and to pose issues.”
Co-hosts New Zealand return to motion on Tuesday to start the second spherical of group matches.
The New Zealand crew needed to be evacuated on Saturday after a fireplace at their lodge in Auckland.
Defender CJ Bott known as it “not ideally suited” and “not a state of affairs anybody needs to be in”.
“We went down the fireplace exits,” she stated.
“One was a bit smoky however the majority of us acquired down the opposite exit.”