Today in the Women’s World Cup, Groups E and F finished their second group stage games and we saw our first group winner, a last minute equalizer, and everything in between.
1) Biggest Winner — Brazil
Not only did Brazil win their game against Spain, 1-0, but also thanks to results in the other group stage game they are the first nation to win their group to advance to the knockout stages. Brazil won the game without relying on their star player, Marta, who always seems to be called upon to deliver big for the Brazilians. With this result, they can be more confident that they have other scoring options other than the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year.
You could argue that Brazil was an easy pick to win their group, or at least advance to the next round, but for As Canarinhas this is a big accomplishment to win their group with one game still left to play. They can focus on playing their game and developing for the next round, which will be key for them as the Brazilian ladies always seem to come so close to getting their first elusive championship.
2) Biggest Loser — France
France is the biggest loser of the day as they were upset by Colombia, a team that barely managed to gain a result against Mexico. France have only themselves to blame though as they didn’t play a great game, were a bit unlucky to not find the back of the net, but overall they looked lethargic out there. Meanwhile, Colombia outshined their European counterparts, buckling down and playing a great counter-attack game that France could not figure out for the life of them.
France now must manage a result against Mexico, a spirited squad that drew against Colombia and just narrowly lost to England. If France plays another game like they did against Colombia, they are in real big danger of not advancing to the next stage and risk an early exit from the biggest stage in the Women’s game.
3) Standout Performer — Sandra Sepulveda, GK — Colombia
Colombia wouldn’t have managed their historic upset of France, which goes down as one as one of the largest gulfs between teams as there are 25 spots that separate France (ranked 3) and Colombia (ranked 28), without the help of their goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda. She kept out everything that France threw at her and managed to keep a clean sheet over one of the toughest offenses in the world. Especially with the whole world expecting an easy France victory, Sepulveda had to step up big time in order to keep her team in it and give them the confidence they would need to keep her team going. That in itself is no small feat, and as you will see in the video below, she was on her A-game today.
4) Results of the Day:
France 0 Colombia 2 (Andrade 19′, Usme 90’+3)
Brazil 1 (A. Alves 44′) Spain 0
England 2 (Kirby 71′, Carney 82′) Mexico 1 (F. Ibarra 90’+1)
Korea Republic 2 (Ji Soyun 21′ pen, Jeon Gaeul 25′) Costa Rica 2 (D. Herrera 17′, K. Villalobos 89′)
5) Tweet/Social Media of the Day –
Sure, this is a handball if you want to split hairs about what "hand" and "ball" mean. #COL #FRA #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/rRLXY55y82
— Soccer Gods (@soccergods) June 13, 2015
6) Goal of the Day — Fran Kirby – England
Fran Kirby, the only player on the Lionesses squad that doesn’t play in the top flight, scored a beauty after a cheeky toe poke allowed her to advance towards the Mexico goal to give England the 1-0 lead.
7) Best Moment — Karla Villalobos’ Equalizer Celebration
The beautiful game gives us beautiful moments and none were more beautiful than Costa Rica’s celebration after scoring the equalizer in the 89th minute. Take a look at the elation Karla Villalobos felt after she scored Las Ticas’ second goal. That’s raw emotion of a woman who’s mother forbade her from playing soccer, a woman who was sent to a psychiatrist because she wanted to play the beautiful game like the men did. This is what soccer is all about people. Pure emotion or, borrowing a phrase from the Costa Rican lexicon, Pura Vida.