Aldwyn McGill reports from FIFA Women’s World Cup in France
The first round of matches at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup finished the way it started. Host France opened Group A with a 4-0 defeat of Korea Republic at Parc de Prince Stadium while Norway defeated Nigeria 3-0.
Spain leads Group B on goal difference over Germany after they defeated South Africa 3-1 .Germany had a tough job in gaining a 1-0 win over China before the two teams met in a showdown on Wednesday at press time.
Whichever team manage to wins that match will most certainly earn the top spot in Group B with an automatic berth into the Round of 16 Knock-out.
The long awaited match between Brazil and Jamaica Reggae Girlz lived up to its billing in many ways. In spite of Jamaica’s 3-0 loss after Cristiane’s brilliant hat-trick, the atmosphere at the Alpes stadium was electric ,thanks to the huge Jamaican following. The people of the town of Grenoble have taken a liking to the Jamaica Reggae Girlz and their supporters.
Last Sunday, the city of Grenoble seemed like a little Jamaica. One of the hotel clerks was taken aback at the turnout. “I was shocked when I saw so many people wearing those bright Jamaican colours” said the Grenoble native.
The Reggae Girlz have nothing to hang their heads about. They lost to a team that was better organized as a cohesive unit. They certainly did not lose because of a lack of talent but more from a lack of experience.
The thought of making a debut appearance against Brazil at a World Cup with unsure footing must have put a mental strain on the Reggae Girlz. However, game two against Italy today may well determine the fate of the Jamaican team in the tournament.
The Girlz match up well against Italy which could be riding the rhythm of the only surprise of the tournament thus far. They defeated Australia which was rated as the best rated team in the group 1-0 and this should give the Reggae Girlz more reason to be cautiously optimistic.
With four third place team joining the top two group finishers, it seems if the door is still ajar for the Reggae Girlz to enter the knock out picture since the leader board in Group C can change in a heartbeat.
Group leader Brazil will be playing their next match against Australia while Jamaica should be planning a welcoming party in Reims on Friday 14th for Italy to flip the script of the group standings,
At this time, four second place teams will advance to the Round of 16 knock out stage together with the top two teams in each of the six groups. With that in mind, it seems like the race for the top positions in Group D remains wide open.
Group leader England had to hold on for dear life on account of their slim 2-1 victory against Scotland while within the group Japan and Argentina played to a scoreless draw.
With two big games coming up. Canada sits at the top oft Group E after a close 1-0 win over a stubborn Cameroon team. It took a Kadeisha Buchannan header from a corner kick taken by Janine Beckie just before the half to clinch the game for Canada.
Canada can now advance into the next round with a positive result against New Zealand on Saturday June 15th in Grenoble. Netherlands and Canada sit at the top of Group E with identical records as Netherlands defeated New Zealand by the same 1-0 score.
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