Fans saw matchday number two at the 2023 Women’s World Cup come to a close with more surprises than expected. After a historic day for the opening games for Australia and New Zealand, all eyes were on the Olympic champions Canada and tournament debutante Phillippines.
So if the 3 am kickoffs weren’t on your agenda, we’ve got your Day 1 recap here, and read below for Day 2 action.
Women’s World Cup Roundup Day 2
Canada ties Nigeria in Women’s World Cup opener
The Olympic gold medalist Canadian women’s team took to the pitch in Melbourne against the Nigerian Super Falcons and it was not a match to disappoint in Group B. Unless you’re on the Canadian women’s team. They were left looking for positives after a scoreless draw with Nigeria in its opening match.
Superstar striker Christine Sinclair had arguably the best scoring chance for Canada in the second half. She appealed for a penalty in the 47th minute Nigeria’s Francisca Ordega clipped her in the penalty box and went down. No call originally but Finnish referee Lina Lehtovaara took it for a look.
50th minute and Sinclair fired from the penalty spot but Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie make an excellent one-handed save. Nigeria played a very physical defense as the Canadians took them to ask early. End of the match and both squads wanted the go-ahead goal.
Canada’s Kailen Sheridan with the one-legged save in the 80th minute was followed up in added time as Nigeria’s Deborah Abiodun was sent off after a video review on fullback Ashley Lawrence. Both teams earned a point with the draw and left the group wide open.
Group B Standings
- Australia – 3 pts | +1 GD
- Canada – 1 pts | 0 GD
- Nigeria – 1 pts | 0 GD
- Irish – 0 pts | 0 GD
Philippines fall in tournament debut to Switzerland
It wasn’t the debut that the Philippines hoped for in their first-ever World Cup as they fell 2-0 to Switzerland in Group A. The match was the first game inside Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium in New Zealand, the tournament’s only indoor venue.
But there was early hope for the Filipina squad in the 15th minute. Forward Katrina Guillou appeared to score a goal but it was waived off by an offside call. Yet Switzerland was the dominant offensive team of the night, outshooting the Philippines 17-3.
Largely made up of Americans, the Philippines’ defense held on. Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel made several key first-half saves before allowing two marks from the Swiss.
Switzerland’s first goal came off a penalty. Coumba Sow slid for the ball in the Philippines’ penalty area and, as she went down, she was kicked by Jessika Cowart. Ramona Bachmann drilled her penalty kick into right before halftime to make it a 1-0 game. The second Swiss goal of the evening came from Seraina Piubel. She slotted it in the net off a rebound from a missed shot by Sow that ricocheted off McDaniel.
The Swiss are now tied with New Zealand for first place in Group A.
Group A standings:
- Switzerland – 3 pts | +2 GD
- New Zealand – 3 pts | +1 GD
- Norway – 0 pts | -1 GD
- Philippines – 0 pts | -2 GD
Spain crushes Costa Rica 3-0 in Group C
The final match of the day belonged to Spain facing off against Costa Rica in the first Group C match of the tournament in the pouring rain. It was the second time these two teams faced off in a World Cup opener. The last time came at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Spain didn’t come to play and scored all three of their goals in a six-minute span. Pressure from the Spanish squad finally paid off in the 21st minute when Gonzalez’s cross was turned in by Costa Rica’s Valeria del Campo.
Two minutes later, Aitana Bonmati cut back with possession and curled it past two Costa Rican defenders to put Spain up 2-0. The goal-scoring bonanza finished as Esther Gonzalez ran rampant in the box and scored from a rebound off the post.
Costa Rica had their opportunities on the counter-attack but they were quickly snuffed out and they managed only one shot compared to Spain’s 45.
Spain will face Zambia on Saturday while Costa Rica plays Japan on Wednesday.
Group C Standings
- Spain – 3 pts | +3 GD
- Japan – 0 pts | 0 GD
- Zambia – 0 pts | 0 GD
- Costa Rica – 0 pts | – 3 GD
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Mandatory Credit: AP Photo/John Cowpland, AP Photo/Victoria Adkins, & AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino