Monday, January 25, 2021

Italy, Brazil and Australia all progress

Wins for Brazil and Australia were enough for both sides, as well as Italy, to seal progression to the round of 16. A Sam Kerr inspired Aussie side hammered Jamaica 4-1 while Brazil needed a penalty to edge Italy 1-0 in Valenciennes.

Italy and Brazil was probably one of the main heavyweight clashes we would have been looking out for on the calendar when the groups were announced. It certainly lived up to that billing as both sides made the other work hard to gain even an inch in what was an enthralling game.

Brazil eventually ran out winners through a penalty scored by all-time leading scorer, Marta. The penalty came when Debinha burst into the box only for Elena Linari to step across her and send the Brazilian flying. The referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot and VAR took no time at all to confirm the decision. Marta stepped up and just like normal, buried the penalty. That goal made her the all-time leading scorer in World Cups not just in women’s football, but in men’s football too – eclipsing the legendary Miroslav Klose.

Italy through at WWC

Italy

In the other game, Jamaica’s first ever goal in a World Cup wasn’t enough as they were hammered 4-1 by a brilliant Aussie side. Sam Kerr will write all the headlines down under tomorrow morning as she bagged all four goals scoring two headers, a close range tap in and capitalised on a keeper error for the fourth. She is now level in the race for the golden boot with USA star Alex Morgan, having played a game more.

In terms of what this all means for the group table, all of Brazil, Italy and Australia finished on six points. Italy’s superior goal difference of +5 means they top the group. Meanwhile, Australia and Brazil have the same goal difference of +3, but Australia have scored more goals so they finish second. Brazil will take up one of the four best third placed positions.

Italy will face the third placed team from either group A, B or F. That means they’ll face one of China, Nigeria, Thailand or Chile. Australia play the second placed side from group A, meaning they will face Norway in the round of 16.

Meanwhile, Brazil can face either the winner of group A or the winner of group B meaning they’ll meet either France or Germany in the next round. A tough draw for Vadao’s side but they will back their ability to beat anyone on their day.

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