Day 5 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup saw Italy play Argentina, Germany face Morocco, and Brazil take on Panama.
Slept through it and need to know what the big story is? This is what happened on the fifth day of the World Cup.
Your bite-sized recap of Day 5 of the 2023 Women’s World Cup
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Italy 1, Argentina 0
The Big Story: Argentina played in their fourth World Cup, but is still looking for their illusive first win in group play after a late goal by Italy.
The Big Moment: In the 87th minute, Italy was finally able to break through and find a goal when a Lisa Boattin cross from distance found the head of Cristiana Girelli who had subbed in just four minutes earlier.
What it means: It was a highly physical match in Eden Park with 34 fouls, and six yellows between the two teams, and there could’ve easily been more. Argentina ended the first half with four shots, but none on goal. Italy only had two official shots, although they did have two goals called back because of very clear offside calls. The Argentine backline did a really great job of containing the Italian attackers throughout the match. Italy seemed to control much of the play through the first half, but Argentina did eventually find their footing and retain possession of the ball more as the half went on. One thing that didn’t get better through the half for Argentina was their passing accuracy and looking rushed while in transition, leading to turnovers.
Going into the second half, Argentina looked like they had adjusted well and had a very dangerous free kick in the opening minutes. After that, Italy really started pressing forward. Even though they were spending a lot of time just outside the Argentine box, Italy struggled to create dangerous chances. The Azzurri struggled with inaccurate final passes, trying to force shots, or shooting right at the Argentinian goalkeeper Vanina Correa, until they scored in the final minutes of regulation.
Germany 6, Morocco 0
The Big Story: Germany opened World Cup play with a statement win over debutants Morocco, proving why they should be one of the favorites to win it all.
The Big Moment: Alexandra Popp is a brilliant goalscorer but in previous editions of this tournament she scored a total of three goals in 15 appearances. She had two in one matches this time around. If Popp scores at the rate she showed she is capable of during the 2022 EUROs Germany will go far. With her towering presence always ready to attack any cross or set piece they are never out of a game.
What it means: There were concerns about this German team coming in. Lena Oberdorf, the tempo setter and destroyer in midfielder, is temporarily unavailable due to injury. Who would fill in? Missing a natural right back, the EURO 2022 runner-ups played veteran midfielder Svenja Huth in that position.
Despite these questions, Germany came in and dominated, scoring the fastest goal of the tournament so far and the most goals of any game so far. They dominated possession, holding a whopping 75%, and took 16 shots. Seven of those shots were on target and six found the back of the net. This ruthlessness and efficiency in front of goal are key, and what competitors like the United States have arguably lacked so far.
For the first Arab nation to compete at the Women’s World Cup, they have positives and negatives to take away. Defensively they struggled immensely. Set pieces in particular were consistently chaotic and clearances were not good enough. They gave the ball away in dangerous areas, gifting the two-time champions chances.
On the attack they created some good chances with four of six shots on target of their own. Their midblock was relatively effective at turning the ball over higher up the pitch then leading into strong counterattacking opportunities when they connected. They even scored a goal that they thought would be Morocco’s first World Cup goal, but it was called back for offsides.
– Bella Munson