Saturday, June 13, 2015

Women's World Cup Day 7: Colombia shocks France in biggest upset in women's soccer history

France 0-2 Colombia
Yes, you read that right. Colombia, ranked 28th in the world, dropped third ranked France by two goals. Saying they stole the game might be an understatement. France controlled 60% of the ball and took 21 shots overall while Las Cafeteras only took three. The eye test was more than enough to determine the French ladies were the better side. Despite being completely outplayed, Colombia went in front in the 19th minute when Lady Andrade was on the end of a perfect pass from Yoreli Rincon for an easy tap in.

France continued to pour on the pressure into the second half, but Colombia stayed strong in their own end. They should have conceded a penalty in the 67th minute when Daniela Monotya swatted at the ball in the box. The referee waved away France's valid protests. Just another black mark on what has been some shady officiating in this World Cup.

In second half stoppage time, Colombia put it away with a goal from Catalina Usme off a silly turnover from French keeper Sarah Bouhaddi.

Brazil 1-0 Spain
Andressa Alves (who was the only player on the Brazilian roster who goes by more than one name) gave a persistent effort in the 44th minute to score the only goal. The win secures first place in Group E and a spot in the knockout rounds for Brazil. It leaves Spain in need of some help if they want to advance.

England 2-1 Mexico
What a frantic match. The teams combined for 43 shots and 17 on target. Even with all the shooting, all the scoring came in the final 20 minutes. In the 71st, Francesca Kirby used some fancy footwork to put England up 1-0. Eleven minutes later, it was a cross from Alex Greenwood finding the head of Karen Carney to make it 2-0. Mexico got one back from Fabiola Ibarra tapping home a rebound in the first minute of stoppage time, but that would be it.

The France upset and England getting a win makes Group F very, very interesting. Colombia, of all sides, are currently on top with four points. England and France are next with three each, and Mexico is bringing up the rear with one. All four are still able to get one of the top two spots for automatic advancement. It should be a very fun conclusion to the group on Wednesday.

South Korea 2-2 Costa Rica
I thought both sides would defend so well that there would be no scoring, boy was I wrong. Three of goals came in a span of eight minutes in the first half. Costa Rica's Melissa Herrera got it started in the 17th. South Korea would get goals from So-Yun Ji off a penalty in the 21st and Gaeul Jeon in the 25th to make it 2-1 to Korea at halftime. That score would last the almost duration of the second half. It wasn't until the 89th minute that Costa Rica drew equal with a Karla Villalobos goal.

The draw creates an interesting Group E table. Brazil are the group winners with their six points. Costa Rica sits in second with two and Spain and Korea find themselves tied at one. Costa Rica plays a Brazil team with nothing left to win needing all three points to safely earn the second spot. Spain and Korea will be gung ho to beat each other, as a single point for either team probably means their World Cup is over. Two points will not be enough to secure one of the top four third place finishes for a spot in the round of 16.

Monday's Matches
After another day off, the final stage of group play kicks off on Monday at 4pm. Group B concludes first as Germany faces Thailand while Ivory Coast takes on Norway. Group supremacy is at stake here as Germany and Norway are even at four points each. They should both win handily, but Norway has a six goal split in goal difference to make up in order to catch Germany. I don't think they will get there. I say Germany 6-0 Thailand and Norway 4-0 Ivory Coast.

At 7pm, Group A comes to a close as our Canadian hosts look to take the top spot in the group with a win over the Netherlands. Canada leads the group with four points, a point ahead of both the Dutch and China. Canada has had trouble scoring so far, and I think that will continue. They can hold the Netherlands off the board as well though, so I say a 0-0 draw.

A point will not be good enough for Canada to win the group on their own. They need a draw or New Zealand win over China in the other match. It's not an impossible task for the Football Ferns, but it is a tough one. I like China to win a low scoring game 1-0 to take the top spot in Group A.

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