Welcome to the weekend! Sweden have booked their place in the last 16 of the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup with a 5-0 Group G thrashing of Italy in Wellington. Amanda Ilestedt scored twice as Peter Gerhardsson’s side blitzed the Azzurre with four goals across 11 minutes spanning the end of the first and the start of the second halves. In the day’s main event, France edged Brazil 2-1 in arguably the best contest so far this tournament in Brisbane with Wendie Renard scoring a late winner after Debinha had leveled after Eugenie Le Sommer’s first half opener. There have also been major fitness updates on three of the star names down under in Australia’s Sam Kerr, England’s Keira Walsh and Norway’s Ada Hegerberg. I am Jonathan Johnson serving you up a dose of the latest from the Women’s World Cup this Saturday.
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📺 Women’s World Cup latest results
- Group G: Sweden 5, Italy 0
- Group F: France 2, Brazil 1
- Group F: Panama 0, Jamaica 1
📺 Footy Fix
Sunday, July 30
All times U.S./Eastern
- Group H: South Korea vs. Morocco, 12:30 a.m. ET ➡️ Fox
- Group A: Norway vs. Philippines, 3 a.m. ET ➡️ FS1
- Group A: Switzerland vs. New Zealand, 3 a.m. ET ➡️ Fox
- Group H: Germany vs. Colombia, 5:30 a.m. ET ➡️ FS1
Renard delivers for France in Brazil win: French captain Wendie Renard played through the pain barrier and scored the winning goal for Les Bleues in their 2-1 victory over Brazil in Brisbane on Saturday. Eugenie Le Sommer gave France the lead with her head just 17 minutes in from a Kadidiatou Diani assist before Debinha coolly equalized for the Brazilians at Suncorp Stadium. Time ticked down until the 83rd minute when Selma Bacha delivered for Renard to put her side back in front and hand Herve Renard’s side a much-needed first win Down Under. It was a matchup between two of the tournament’s big guns which did not disappoint and delivered arguably the best and most absorbing spectacle so far. The three points lifts the French above Brazil in Group F and turns a tricky start to this World Cup into a decent one with top spot now within reach ahead of the final game vs. a Panama side that have officially been eliminated after their loss to Jamaica.
Sweden thrash Italy to advance: Potential United States women’s national team knockout opponents Sweden thumped Italy 5-0 to join Spain and Japan in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup with one game left to play. Peter Gerhardsson’s side needed 39 minutes to open the scoring in Wellington through Amanda Ilestedt but the Arsenal player’s second 11 minutes later was a fourth for the Swedes who ran riot in that period. Fridolina Rolfo and Stina Blackstenius both scored within minutes of each other to seize control of the game for Blagult. Rebecka Blomqvist added gloss to the final score with a fifth deep into added time against an Azzurre side which had kept six shutouts in the past 13 World Cup games. Ilestedt tops the scoring charts after two rounds of games with three goals along with Brazil’s Ary Borges while Sweden could face the USWNT, the Netherlands or Portugal in the knockouts.
Kerr “definitely” available for Matildas: Sam Kerr has declared herself “definitely” available for Australia ahead of the Women’s World Cup co-hosts’ clash with Canada on Monday. The Matildas’ captain has missed the opening two games with a calf injury suffered in training just before the tournament got underway. The Aussies now need the Chelsea star after their surprise 3-2 loss to Nigeria on Thursday, which has jeopardized their hopes of a last 16 berth despite an opening 1-0 win over Ireland in Group B.
“I am feeling good,” Australia’s all-time top scorer Kerr said. “I was out on the pitch today. It is going to go down to the wire — I am definitely going to be available. The plan has always been the same — miss the first two games and then reassess. I have done everything under the sun to get fit to be selected. I have given everything in the last 10 days, and four years before that, to be here.”
Lionesses’ Walsh relief: England’s Keira Walsh did not suffered an ACL injury in the Lionesses’ win over Denmark earlier this week. There were major fears that the Barcelona star would miss the remainder of the World Cup after going off on a stretcher against the Danes, but tests have established that she has not suffered an ACL tear. Walsh will miss next week’s clash with China in Adelaide, but the reigning European champions only need a draw to ensure they reach the last 16. With this news, the 26-year-old could yet feature again this tournament depending on whether or not the English reach the knockout phase and continue to progress. Beth Mead and captain Leah Williamson have fallen foul of ACL injuries while Sarina Wiegman has been handed a boost that the damage is not necessarily terminal for this tournament with Laura Coombs likely to deputize again in the China clash.
Hegerberg to miss vital Norway game: Lyon’s Ada Hegerberg is out of Norway’s vital Women’s World Cup Group A clash with the Philippines because of a groin injury. The Ballon d’Or winner pulled out of the draw with Switzerland after feeling discomfort during the warm-up. The Norwegians are currently bottom of Group A after a shock loss to co-hosts New Zealand and then that draw with the Swiss.
Hegerberg, 28, could return in the knockout stages if Norway can manage to salvage a last 16 place through a win over the Philippines — they must hope that either Switzerland or New Zealand win as well as needing a three-goal swing over the Swiss: “There was too little time to make it to the match against the Philippines,” said Hegerberg. “I have faith in the team and will continue to work to be ready for a possible round of 16 game.”
“We knew it could be a possibility,” added Norway boss Hege Riise. “The medical staff have worked to see if this was possible. It turned out that it was not. The rest of us have prepared as best we can for what we have to do and the group has handled it very well. We are continuing the rehabilitation with a view to getting Ada ready to play for the next match — if we continue in the tournament.”
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Here are some more World Cup headlines:
🔗 Chuck Booth on
🔗 Briana Scurry joined Attacking Third to talk about the USWNT ahead of Tuesday’s Portugal match.
🔗 Jill Ellis breaks down the World Cup with the Attacking Third team.
🔗 The Attacking Third squad look back at the USWNT vs. Netherlands and break it all down.
🔗 The Women’s World Cup is breaking all sorts of records.