Amanda Ilestedt scored within the 89th minute to present Sweden a 2-1 win over South Africa in its Group G opener on the Ladies’s World Cup on Sunday and deny South Africa the primary main upset of the match.
South Africa shocked Sweden when Hildah Magaia scored within the forty eighth minute. However Sweden received on the board within the sixty fourth minute with Fridolina Rolfo’s equalizer. Ilestedt then produced an ideal header from a nook with a minute left to assist Sweden escape on the finish of an unimpressive opening sport effort.
Sweden was anticipated to comfortably win the group and it is first match towards 54th-ranked South Africa seemed to be it is best. However after a scoreless first half, Sweden got here out of the locker room flat and South Africa capitalized with the primary aim of the match three minutes after the restart.
Thembi Kgatlana dropped behind the protection and struck a excessive shot that keeper Zecira Musovic may solely parry. Magaia hurled herself ahead with such pressure she was carried into the aim together with the ball.
Sweden did not benefit from a dominant first half by which it had 71% of possession, eight corners and 5 pictures on aim, three on course.
Lastly urged into motion, Sweden pressed ahead and equalized when Johanna Kaneryd’s sweeping cross from the precise facet missed the pinnacle of Stina Blackstenius however fell on the toes of Rolfo and ended within the internet.
South Africa performed in new all black uniforms, a departure from its regular inexperienced away strip, and the jerseys have been a stark distinction to Sweden’s all gold on a dark, wet night at Wellington Regional Stadium.
The Banyana Banyana appeared energized and performed with a verve which regularly nervous Sweden when it was expressed on sudden, incisive counter-attack.
The South Africa gamers have been buoyant after settling a long-standing pay dispute with their nationwide federation which assured them they are going to obtain the $30,000 FIFA has promised each participant at this World Cup. Banyana Banyana gamers sang and danced as they stepped down from their group bus and made their solution to their locker room an hour earlier than the match began.
They sang and danced once more as they left the sector.
Rain started falling in Wellington about two hours earlier than kickoff and continued steadily, typically closely into the match, glazing the pitch and making it slick in locations. The wind, often omnipresent in Wellington and an element when Spain met Costa Rica on Friday, was absent and the harbor which flanks Sky Stadium on its jap facet, was glassy.
Ilestedt’s 89th minute aim, a masterpiece on the finish of a match by which Sweden seldom sparkled.
The ball was swept in for Sweden’s eleventh nook of the match and Ilestedt was completely positioned to go the ball down and into the web. It was a merciless blow to South Africa who performed with nice braveness and shocked Sweden with the primary aim of the match. But it surely put Sweden’s marketing campaign on monitor, giving them an anticipated early lead in Group G.
Why it issues
Sweden hadn’t misplaced a World Cup group match since 2003 and for a second on Friday that document regarded in jeopardy. However objectives from Rolfo and Ilestedt, the second with moments left, allowed Sweden to seize an anticipated Group G win. It wasn’t spectacular and Sweden should enhance.
Italy and Argentina, the opposite groups in Group G, acquired a warning to not overlook South Africa after its plucky efficiency.
Italy and Argentina meet within the subsequent match in Group G in Auckland on Monday. Each could have watched and famous South Africa’s efficiency. The group instantly appears tighter than anticipated.
South Africa performs Argentina in Dunedin on Friday and Sweden faces Italy in Wellington on Saturday.
Netherlands scores early then shuts down Portugal 1-0
Stefanie van der Gragt scored on a header within the thirteenth minute, main the Netherlands to a 1-0 win over Portugal on the Ladies’s World Cup on Sunday because the 2019 finalists started their match run.
The Dutch defender gathered herself as teammate Sherida Spitse lofted a nook kick her means, then headed the ball throughout the aim into the far facet of the web. An offside assessment delayed the celebration.
The aim by the 30-year-old van der Gragt, who plans to retire after the Ladies’s World Cup, was the quickest first aim of the match. The Dutch managed the tempo of the sport — Portugal’s first shot of the match didn’t come till the 82nd minute.
The assembly with the Netherlands, ranked No. 9 on the earth, marked Portugal’s first-ever match look.
Available have been 11,991 spectators, who have been sheltered from the rain inside Dunedin’s lined Forsyth Barr Stadium, often called the Glasshouse, which has a capability of 25,947.
Although a lot of the crowd gave the impression to be Dutch followers, a small however vocal group of Portuguese supporters with flags and group attire banged on drums all through the sport, the beat echoing throughout the venue.
Van der Gragt’s first-half aim gave the Dutch a lead and allowed them to play lockdown protection. Each groups performed a bodily sport, however Portugal was unable to match the Netherlands’ technical mastery.
Why it issues
The Dutch victory raises the stakes for his or her upcoming rematch with the two-time defending world champion People, who beat Netherlands 2-0 in that 2019 ultimate. A winner in that match will achieve management of Group E and will very nicely wrap up a berth within the knockout stage.
Portugal failed to interrupt by means of and turn out to be the primary of the eight newcomers within the Ladies’s World Cup to get a win.
In their very own phrases
“It’s an necessary aim. I’m pleased with the group and it’s a superb win. The primary sport is at all times the necessary sport of the match and I feel these three factors are actually good for us.” — Stefanie van der Gragt, Netherlands defender.
“What the Portuguese gamers did at this time is of utmost braveness, utmost character. To play the vice-champions of the world (2019 runners-up), the Portuguese gamers managed to interrupt their rhythm. We simply must play extra matches and get used to this,” Francisco Neto, Portugal head coach.
Netherlands heads to the Group E showdown towards the U.S. on Thursday in Wellington. Portugal faces Vietnam, which did not get a single shot on aim in its 3-0 loss to the People, additionally on Thursday. That match is in Hamilton, with the loser possible out of competition for the spherical of 16.
Jamaica holds France to a stunning 0-0 draw
Hervé Renard is aware of all about World Cup shocks. He additionally is aware of an early setback may be overcome in worldwide soccer.
With that in thoughts, the France coach was not unduly involved by his group’s 0-0 with Jamaica on Sunday, which was one of many largest surprises up to now on the Ladies’s World Cup.
Renard led Saudi Arabia to a well-known win towards Argentina on the males’s World Cup in Qatar final 12 months, earlier than Lionel Messi’s group rebounded and went on to carry the trophy for his or her nation.
“I’ve already gained competitions after drawing my first two video games,” stated the two-time Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach. “Let’s speak in regards to the World Cup 2022. I don’t assume that we must be getting forward of ourselves.
“There are many individuals, plenty of groups that begin with the fanfare and usually are not there come the ultimate and others are possibly gradual to get out of the beginning blocks.”
Whereas there isn’t any want for France to panic, this was nonetheless an surprising consequence for the fifth-ranked group on the earth and one of many match favorites.
Against this Jamaica is ranked forty third and entered the match co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand having misplaced all of its video games at its World Cup debut in 2019 with a aim distinction of -11.
“We at all times inform our gamers simply don’t fear in regards to the rankings,” stated Jamaica coach Lorne Donaldson, who declared his nation’s first level ever within the competitors as its biggest achievement in soccer.
“I feel it’s the No. 1 consequence I’ve seen males or ladies,” he stated. “I might put it there. If you happen to go by the rankings you’ll say that consequence on this stage needs to be No. 1.”
Jamaica’s gamers ran onto the sector after the ultimate whistle as in the event that they’d been topped world champions. It could have been a really completely different story had Kadidiatou Diani’s Ninetieth-minute header not struck the bar.
In a sport of few possibilities, Diani had France’s finest alternatives to attain a winner, however couldn’t discover a breakthrough on the Sydney Soccer Stadium.
She compelled a save from Jamaica goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer within the first half and noticed one other effort deflected large.
One other header within the second half additionally went large of the goal earlier than her late effort got here again off the bar.
The French have been anticipated to be too sturdy for Jamaica, however favorites haven’t had all the pieces their very own means up to now within the match. The 2019 quarterfinalists have been the newest to battle towards an underdog.
Australia wanted a penalty to get a 1-0 win towards Eire, whereas European champion England additionally wanted a spot kick to beat Haiti 1-0. Nigeria held Olympic champion Canada 0-0.
“The French are used to having the higher hand in the course of the opening video games, however that is one thing that’s going to alter as a result of issues are getting lots nearer,” Renard stated. “We have to hold our heads up excessive and we have to hold our confidence excessive.”
Jamaica did nicely to disrupt a France group that struggled to place collectively fluid strikes.
In one in every of France’s few moments of high quality within the first half, Diani noticed a low effort bundled across the publish by Spencer. From the ensuing nook, Wendie Renard headed over from shut vary.
Kadidiatou was fractions away from giving France a halftime lead when firing from the sting of the world. Chantelle Swaby managed to get one thing in the way in which of the shot, which deflected narrowly large with the keeper crushed.
After seeing one other header go large after the break, Kadidiatou virtually got here up with the decisive second when hitting the bar.
On an in any other case joyous evening for Jamaica, it could come to remorse the purple card for star ahead Khadija Shaw, who will probably be suspended for the following sport.
France performs Brazil in Brisbane on Saturday. Jamaica travels to Perth the place it’ll face Panama.