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    Women’s World Cup: Columbia upsets Germany; Morrocco gets 1st ever win
    • July 30, 2023

    SYDNEY (AP) — Manuela Vanegas scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time as Colombia upset Germany 2-1 at the Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

    The defender headed in to settle a thrilling game and put her country on the brink of advancing to the knockout stage.

    Alexandra Popp had scored an 89th-minute penalty and seemed to have earned two-time champion Germany a 1-1 draw after 18-year-old Linda Caicedo had struck a stunning opener for Colombia.

    But Vanegas came up with a late twist to huge celebrations from Colombia fans who dominated the Sydney Football Stadium crowd.

    The Germans thought they’d secured a point after Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez was penalized for bringing down Lena Oberdorf in the box.

    Popp, who scored twice in her country’s 6-0 rout of Morocco in its opening game of the tournament, fired straight down the middle to level the game.

    That had disappointed the crowd, which passionately cheered Colombia on throughout and erupted after Caicedo’s goal in the 52nd.

    The Real Madrid teenager had suffered a health scare earlier in the week, but produced a moment of moment of magic to score her second of the tournament.

    It was all the more special coming after she’d dropped to the ground holding her chest in training during the week.

    Caicedo scored from distance in the 2-0 win against South Korea on Tuesday. But while that goal involved an error from goalkeeper Yoon Young-geul, on this occasion it was all about individual brilliance.

    Collecting the ball from just inside the area after a corner, she worked her way into space by bewildering two German defenders in a fast-stepping move before lashing a shot into the top corner.

    Caicedo, followed by her teammates, charged toward the corner to get closer to the crowd as it went wild.

    Germany has never failed to advance from the group stage of the World Cup. It is still expected to beat South Korea in its last game of Group H, but will likely have to settle for second place.

    The runners up at last year’s Euros should have been ahead in the first half when Popp was guilty of missing the target with a with a volley from close range shortly before the break.

    Earlier Lina Magull had the chance to test Perez from close range, but mis-kicked and the opportunity was wasted.

    In the last games in Group H, Germany faces South Korea and Colombia plays Morocco, with three teams still able to advance to the knockout stage.

    Morrocco 1, South Korea 0

    ADELAIDE, Australia — Morocco made history in multiple ways during its victory over South Korea.

    Defender Nouhaila Benzina became the first player to wear a Hijab in a World Cup game at the senior level, and her teammate Ibtissam Jraïdi scored the Atlas Lionesses’ first World Cup goal. The Moroccans scored in the 6th minute and were able to make it stand up for the remainder of the match.

    After a lopsided 6-0 loss against Germany, the victory keeps No. 72-ranked Morocco in contention to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.

    Morocco scored its first ever World Cup goal in the sixth minute when Jraïdi met a cross from Hanane Aït El Haj with a glancing header toward the far post.

    South Korea had the majority of the possession but was unable to translate the advantage into many scoring opportunities. Its best chance at equalizing came in the 87th minute when 16-year-old New Jersey resident Casey Phair pushed a shot just wide of the post. Phair, the youngest player to appear at a World Cup, went on as a late substitute.

    Morocco becomes the first Arab Nation ever to win a game at a Women’s World Cup and remains in contention to advance to the round of 16.

    South Korea is all but eliminated from the tournament after its second loss of the tournament.

    Switzerland 0, New Zealand 0

    DUNEDIN, New Zealand — New Zealand outshot Switzerland and even moved goalkeeper Victoria Esson into an attack position several times, but failed to break a 0-0 tie and became the first host nation to be eliminated in group play in tournament history.

    The Football Ferns are co-hosting the World Cup with Australia, which must win Monday against Canada to avoid its own early elimination.

    Switzerland advanced to the round of 16. The Swiss also played to a scoreless draw against Norway, but won the group with the draw against New Zealand, coupled with the Norwegians’ simultaneous 6-0 rout of the Philippines.

    New Zealand controlled the pace for long stretches of the match and had its chances to score, outshooting Switzerland 12-3. Jacqui Hand knocked a shot off the right post in the 24th minute.

    All 25,947 seats at Forsyth Barr Stadiums were filled — the only one of Dunedin’s six tournament matches to sell out. The raucous crowd stomped and cheered all night, to no avail.

    The tournament began July 20 with New Zealand upsetting Norway 1-0, but the Ferns failed to score from the 48th minute of that match through two more games. They lost their previous match 1-0 against the Philippines.

    “We expected it to be really tough. New Zealand really tried everything they could, and I think we knew how to respond, especially defensively. We did a lot right,” said Inka Grings, Switzerland’s coach.

    Esson moved into an offensive position several times in the last minutes of the match as New Zealand pressed for a winner. She managed a header off a corner kick but was off target.

    Switzerland becomes one of two teams from Group A to advance to the round of 16. It’s only the team’s second time in the knockout round — the first was in the Swiss’ only previous Women’s World Cup in 2015. Switzerland will play either Spain or Japan from Group C, pending a match between those teams on Monday to decide the top two places in that group.

    The New Zealanders’ failure to score put an end to their Women’s World Cup run.

    “Just gutted, I think. Obviously we talked and we were proud of ourselves and what we’ve been able to accomplish, but at the end of the day we wanted to get out of this group stage and we just didn’t. It’s just black and white. So, obviously gutted,” said New Zealand midfielder Malia Steinmetz of the elimination.

    Norway 6, Philippines 0

    AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Sophie Roman Haug’s hat trick kick-started Norway’s dormant offense and sparked a blowout win over the Philippines moved the Norwegians into to the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup.

    The Philippines’ debut run in the tournament came to an end as Norway scored early and often, netting three goals in the first 31 minutes.

    Norway’s spot in the round of 16 was secured when Switzerland and New Zealand played to a 0-0 draw. Norway and New Zealand were tied in Group A but Norway advanced on goal differential. New Zealand became the first host country to be eliminated in the group stage in tournament history.

    Before the game, Norway had not scored in three consecutive Women’s World Cup matches dating to the quarterfinals of the 2019 tournament.

    But Roman Haug one-timed a ball into the net in the sixth minute, and scored again 11 minutes later. Caroline Graham Hansen added a long-distance shot in the 31st minute.

    Haug completed the hat trick in injury time.

    “We’ve been talking quite a bit about having the first goal, then it will give us energy. We know in our attack, we are strong and have good combination play both on the right side and left side. Today was the day that, when we had the first one, we knew there could be more,” Norway head coach Hege Riise said.

    In the second half, an Alicia Barker own goal in the 48th minute and Guro Reiten’s penalty kick in the 53rd minute extended Norway’s lead to 5-0. Filipina defender Sofia Harrison received a red card in the 67th minute for using excessive force, and the Philippines played the rest of the match a player down.

    Eden Park was turned into a makeshift home match for the Philippines, as the Filipina fans screamed in unison any time the Philippines touched the ball, even as the deficit grew.

    The Philippines were fresh off of a historic 1-0 win over co-host New Zealand that marked the first Women’s World Cup win for the debutantes.

    “They showed some of their class today with their skill. They picked us apart and won a couple of battles in the air in the box early. We really released the pressure early and allowed them to, sort of, be a little more creative as the game went on,” Philippines head coach Alen Stajcic said.

    Norway will play either Japan or Spain in the round of 16 next Saturday, depending on the results of a game between those Group C teams on Monday.

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    ​ Orange County Register