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Italy tops China 2-0 to advance to Women’s World Cup quarterfinals

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China proved dangerous in spurts but disorganization at the back allowed Italy to feast and take home a 2-0 win, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup. Goals from Valentina Giacinti and substitute Aurora Galli did the business as Italy picked up its first-ever knockout stage win.

The Italians were predictable in the match, coming into the game as the team called for the most offside infractions as they look to break opposition back lines. They roared of the gates with that same strategy and pressed for an early opener.

Italy had the ball in the back of the net just 10 minutes in via Valentina Giacinti on the break but it was correctly flagged for offside, the fourth goal ruled out for offside this tournament for Italy who likes to test the fortitude of the opposition back line. Minutes later a horrible Chinese turnover by Han Peng at the back led to a shot by Giacinti but she just missed the top-right corner with the goalkeeper out of position.

They would find the opener in the 15th minute in a scrum in front of the goal mouth, with the Chinese goalkeeper coming out to clatter Elisa Bartoli, and the ball fell to Giacinti who finished strong. The Chinese again were scattered defensively, unable to stop the cutting delivery from Barbara Bonansea that set up the chance.

The opener seemed to ignite China’s attack and they began to push forward for an equalizer. In the 28th minute Wang Yan produced an absolutely stunning long-distance shot with the outside of her right boot, curling a fabulous strike destined to finish under the crossbar and forcing Italian goalkeeper Laura Giuliani to acrobatically leap for an equally impressive save.

Italy nearly caught China out of sorts again, but Cristiana Girelli fired just wide and was fractionally offside anyways. Moments later they broke again as Valetina Bergamaschi remained onside and got through, forcing Peng Shimeng to produce a stunning save diving to her right. Italy was then dealt a blow late in the first half as Girelli was forced off by the 90-degree heat, replaced by Aurora Galli. China struck the post soon after with a set-piece header, but the offside flag went up.

After the break, Italy doubled the lead in the 50th minute off another sloppy turnover by China at the back as Galli the substitute fired a speculative low effort from outside the penalty area that found the bottom corner and beat a surprised Shimeng.

That would do it for Italy as they sat back and allowed China to work in the attacking third, but Italy’s stout defensive shape kept the Asian side at bay. They pressed forward on the counter and provided an entertaining second half, but the scoreline was never in doubt as Italy progressed to the quarterfinals while China failed to reach that stage for the first time ever.

Watch Live: 2019 Women’s World Cup – Day 11

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The first double headers of the 2019 Women’s World Cup has arrived, as Groups A and B come to a close on Monday.

Hosts France are already through to the last 16 of the tournament but they face Nigeria who are aiming to finish in second place as they have three points from their first two games, and so do Norway who face South Korea in the other Group A finale.

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Germany are already through from Group B and a win against South Africa, who sit bottom of the standings, will see them top the group. The real drama will be in the game between Spain and China as both teams have three points heading into their final group game.

You can watch every single game from the tournament live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes and via the NBC Sports App. All you have to do is click on the links below.

[ LIVE: Watch every single 2019 Women’s World Cup game ]

Here is your full schedule for Monday, June 17 at the Women’s World Cup.


2019 Women’s World Cup schedule

Group B: China v. Spain – 12 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Group B: South Africa v. Germany – 12 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE

Group A: Nigeria v. France – 3 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Group A: South Korea v. Norway – 3 p.m. ET – STREAM LIVE

Women’s World Cup: Australia’s comeback, China back on track

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A roundup of Thursday’s action at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France…

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Australia 3-2 BrazilFULL RECAP

Australia’s 3-2 comeback victory over Brazil is an early contender for game of the tournament — for some very good reasons, as well others not so great.

First, the good:

  • By scoring the game’s opening goal — a penalty kick in the 27th minute (WATCH HERE) — Marta made history by becoming the first player (man or woman) to score a goal at five different World Cups, beginning all the way back in 2003. It was the 111th goal of her international career.
  • Cristiane made it 2-0 by scoring her fourth goal of the tournament just 11 minutes later (WATCH HERE). Brazil looked to have turned the clock back, while Australia were yet to even show up.
  • The Matildas sprang to life just before halftime, when Caitlin Foord pulled a goal back to make it 2-1.

  • Chloe Logarzo made it 2-2 by applying the deftest of finishes from the tightest of angles in the 58th minute.

Then, it all went a bit haywire. The Laws of the Game surrounding active and passive players in offside positions are horrifically murky and left up to the interpretation of the referee, which means the video-review decision made on Australia’s 58th-minute winner (WATCH HERE) was correct, by the book, but so horribly wrong in the spirit of the game.

After two games played, Brazil and Australia sit first and third, respectively, in Group C with three points each. To the surprise of many, it’s Italy who could go top of the group and secure at least a third-place spot in the knockout rounds with a victory over Jamaica on Friday (12 p.m. ET).


South Africa 0-1 China

China picked up its first points of the tournament, following an opening defeat to Germany, to move level with Spain in the race for second place in Group B.

Li Ying scored the game’s only goal in the 40th minute, a superb sliding finish to redirect Zhang Rui’s curling diagonal ball into the box.

China and Spain will meet in the final game of group play on Monday (12 p.m. ET), with a (likely) guaranteed place in the knockout rounds on the line.


Friday’s Women’s World Cup schedule

Japan v. Scotland — 9 a.m. ET
Jamaica v. Italy — 12 p.m. ET
England v. Argentina — 3 p.m. ET

Women’s World Cup: Spain’s controversial comeback, Germany wins

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The first full day of Women’s World Cup action brought plenty of fireworks, some controversy, and great goals as well Group A and B begin to take shape. Here’s a recap of the action on the day as three European sides emerged victorious over Asian and African opponents in France.

Germany 1-0 China

China put up a fight, but wastefulness in the final third was their undoing as 19-year-old Giulia Gwinn scored a 66th minute winner to see Germany secure all three points. Germany struggled to put shots on target, ripping off 18 shots and only able to put five on target, but defensively they remained strong. China was plucky, but they failed to finish off opportunities, only able to put four shots together throughout the match.

Gwinn arrived at the key moment for Germany, delivering a scorching strike to win the match and becoming the first German teenager in 20 years to score a Women’s World Cup goal.

China had opportunities, the best of which came just before halftime when Yang Li struck the post before Germany goalkeeper Almuth Schult arrived to snuff out any danger. The loss is a disappointment for China who may have felt they were up to the task, but the performance is still positive overall headed into games against Spain and South Africa where they will feel confident after challenging Germany closely. Germany is unbeaten in 13 matches, the longest current streak of any Women’s World Cup participant.

Spain 3-1 South Africa

Spain looked shaky in the first half seeing South Africa go in front 25 minutes in via Thembi Kgatlana, but the European side was the recipient of a pair of controversial VAR decisions to propel them in front after halftime. The first came with 20 minutes to go as a Spain cross caught Janine Van Wyk in the arm as she turned away, with a penalty given after a VAR check. Jennifer Hermoso dispatched the spot-kick to draw the two sides level.

The second and far more controversial decision happened with just seven minutes remaining as a VAR check determined that Nothando Vilakazi followed through a clear dangerously, slamming her spikes into the groin of Lucia Garcia. That resulted in both a penalty and a sending-off, and Hermoso was there again to deposit the chance for her second of the day and a Spain lead.

With Spain in front and South Africa down a player, Garcia scored a third and put the game away, sneaking behind the defense and latching onto a long-ball to give Spain a 3-1 lead.

Norway 3-0 Nigeria

For at least one match, Norway didn’t miss Ada Hegerberg as an end-to-end saw the European side clinical with goals from Guro Reiten and Lisa-Marie Utland before halftime, with an own-goal from Osinachi Ohale capping off the wild first 45 minutes. Both sides had big chances, but Norway was the one to capitalize as Nigeria couldn’t find a way through, with Norwegian defender Maren Mjelde on hand to snuff out a big early Nigerian chance on the break and the back line again holding firm just before the break in a wild scrum.

There was a lengthy delay soon after the start of the second half as Nigerian defender Faith Ikidi was stretchered off after a collision with her goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi. Nigeria settled in a bit through the second half but failed to find a breakthrough and Norway cruised to victory.

China FA silent on prospects of Lippi replacing Cannavaro

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The Chinese Football Association is staying silent over speculation that Marcello Lippi could make a surprise return to take over the national team job after Fabio Cannavaro quit this week.

With China’s official state news agency and Italian media outlets reporting Lippi is back in the country ready to sign a deal, the CFA declined a request for comment from the Associated Press.

Cannavaro lifted the World Cup in 2006 as captain of an Italy team that was coached by Lippi. He succeeded the 71-year-old Lippi at the helm of China’s national team in January but handed in his notice after just two games and two defeats against Uzbekistan and Thailand.

“Out of respect for the country that has been hosting me for some years, I feel the duty to communicate that I have renounced my position as head coach of the Chinese national football team,” Cannavaro posted on social media to explain his decision.

Cannavaro was combining the national team post with his position as head coach of Guangzhou Evergrande – a team coached by Lippi from 2012-14 – and announced that he wants to focus solely on leading China’s leading club.

“I wish to sincerely thank Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club and the Chinese Football Association for having offered me the position of the head coach of the two most important football teams in the country, however, this double assignment would take me away from my family for too long.”

It leaves China, ranked No. 74 in the world by FIFA, without a coach just four months ahead of the start of qualification for the 2022 World Cup.

Lippi could be an easy replacement, although his first stint in charge of China from October 2016 until he returned to Italy in January, didn’t produce the results that the CFA hoped for.

China reached the last eight of the Asian Cup despite having the oldest roster in the 24-team tournament.

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